Monday, February 20, 2012

Weekly Wrap-Up : Solution to the Spelling, Colonial Times, Obedience Basics

Somehow around sicknesses, Daddy having a sick day and Valentine's Day, we managed to complete a little schooling;) As usual, we didn't complete all that I had in the plans but it's always nice to look through the week and be encouraged by what DID get completed;)

We continued to read and discuss New Testament stories about Jesus and His life and teaching.

Also chugging away at those Awana verses;) I love to see the kids excited about their verses... practicing with one another, listening to the CD that comes with the Sparks books and then reciting them for Brian and I when they think they can say them from memory!

Language Arts

IMG_9413After sharing my "concerns" about Chris not doing a "formal" spelling program this year, I found a simple resource that had 1st grade spelling lists. The list included both sight words and families grouped together. Since I wasn't sure where to start, I sat Chris down and just started testing each sight word and one (or two) family words from each section.

My fears were quickly relieved as I saw how well he did... much better than I thought. Now granted they are VERY simple words. But I guess I felt like I didn't have to "worry". And since he LIKED the "testing" we did it a few mornings. He liked stopping when his wipe board was full;)

The best thing was that after each "spelling session" he wanted to write a sentence or two with the words from his board:) That was cool !! Love this picture of him sounding out a word for his sentence!


I jotted down all the words he needed to work on and made a little list of activities for him to do with his review words. Sometimes I forget that he is a young 6 and that he still really likes for things to be "fun"... who doesn't:)

To add something extra to Lydia's spelling time. I gave her the little letters to see if she would use them to practice spelling her words, she was a little hesitant at first but then loved using them... pulling them out each day after that to "practice". Although she would have easily written the words for me, those little letter cards (or ABC magnets) were a great way to do spelling without writing;) Nice to do something a little different!!

We walked out of the library last week with our bag bulging;) Anna eagerly dove into reading;)

Anna's highlight this week was starting to memorize a new poem. It was a poem by Emily Dickinson about the colors of a sunrise and a sunset:) So Anna decided to try to paint a sunrise and sunset using the colors in the poem.

Saxon gets such a bad rap for being boring;) It is black and white... no colors! It includes lots of work for the kiddos! But the hands-on activities in the lessons are great! My kids look forward to math each day... we'll the lesson... sometimes not the fact sheets and practice sheets:)

Our favorite activities of the week;)
Identifying "double plus one" facts and finding the answers

Using linking cubes to find the difference of two numbers

Sorting shapes using their attributes.... color, size, shape, # of sides.

Anna had to figure out how many ways she could make $.25 using pennies, dimes, nickels and a quarter

I mentioned last week that we were going to stick with Colonial America for a little bit. Story of the World has some jumping around to see the global perspective, but I feel like we would get more from our studies if we stick with one area for a little while. And we have a lot more reading options by staying in Colonial America for a little bit and getting to read and read.

Last week we started with the little wars starting in England and affecting settlements of English, French and Spanish colonists. And then we moved onto the French and Indian War (or Seven Yrs War). The kids did their maps and listened to the chapter;)

We found a good video series about the French and Indian War from the North Carolina perspective. Not very long but just right for my crew;) I know they watched a couple of the parts a couple of times;)

The first book we read was The Matchlock Gun, it was a very thrilling little read. Then we starting working through some books about Daniel Boone!! And the kids and I began reading The Sign of the Beaver together (we're still reading!). After reading this afternoon, the kids got into some clay and tried to make bear claws like the Indian boy in the story had made after he killed a bear.

We also have a fun book about growing up in colonial times that we've all had a chance to look through... can't wait to read some with them:) And this week we get to talk about a tea party:)

With all the sickness and the day of the doctor visit, I did very little with our bird watching :( On Monday morning the kids and I looked through some pictures of local birds. We used the map to see if each type would be visible during this season and what sounds they made.

We collected pine cones, but never made our feeders. :( My kids reminded me DAILY! Maybe this week... just for fun and to feed the birds;)

On Friday on the way home from the doctors and while picking up Nate's prescription we stopped at the "pond" next to Walmart! The kids enjoyed trying to count all the seagulls that have taken over the pond. There were over 30:)

We did continue with our elements memory work. One day we'll get it;)

From a couple different sources (mostly reading What We Wish We'd Known and about the chores of colonial children) and preparing our family to move into the new home, I've been convicted that I've slacked on the training my children in obedience and helping around the home.

 I've really made an effort this last week to "stay on top of" our morning chores. The kids already know their chores and understand HOW to do them, but I have slacked in CHECKing to be sure they are completed to the child's ability. 

And after a few events this past weekend, I was further convicted about obedience issues. My kids are super kids, but it seems like little seeds of disobedience are starting to sprout, again, ... complaining, ignoring requests, or not completing tasks asked at all :(  It's back to the basics...
Obeying.... Right Away, All the Way and with a Happy Heart

Would you believe only Anna could remember that phrase??

And I always hate when authors say they are teaching their kids those things and don't explain HOW. This is what we're trying this week...
  • making it a "game" to be the first child to respond when called
  • checking to be sure the tasks we ask of the children are being completed
  • "do over"... when they respond with complaining and whining,  they can ask again the correct way
  • spending time together (games, chores together, reading, interest in what they are doing
Off to play Legos:)

Here's to a new week:)


Babs H said...

I like your "how to" list for obedience. I think i will try those too! :)

Jenny said...

They are doing great! Chris has wonderful handwriting. The way you all do Saxon does make it look like fun.

We are working on obedience here too. Ever since a meltdown last Tuesday, Abby has been doing much better.

Angela said...

We are in the middle of obedience training as well. It is so challenging at times! We keep telling ourselves the hard work we put in now will pay off ten fold in the future. I sure hope so!!!