Friday, January 5, 2007

Back to the books!

Man that was a fast 5 weeks!  We so needed that time off and truly appreciated the time we had to just do fun projects, read, play and goof off! But, with a new year comes time to hit the books once again.  We started back on Tuesday and are beginning to fall back into our routine.  We actually finished a bit early so the kids are enjoying some extra time for playing.

My five year old was the most excited to start back to school so today I'll blog about what we did this week w/ her.  I read Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening by Robert Frost.  This particular book is part of our beloved FIAR curriculum.  It's a shorter lesson week, which worked well for our shorter school week. 

We discussed elements of a poem such as alliteration, repitition, rhyme and rhyme scheme.  We read through the poem finding Frost's usage of all these elements and saw how he used an AABA rhyme scheme for his poem.  

For science we discussed tracking and how you can find animal tracks in various places.  When we go on our next walk we're going to be looking for some animal tracks.  R. is hoping to find coyote tracks.  Although I've seen plenty of coyotes I've never actually seen their tracks.  I'll let you all know if we do happen across some animal tracks.

For art we discussed Susan Jeffer's beautiful illustrations.  We talked about the medium she used, the perspective she drew from and how she was able to capture the quiet and stillness of Frost's words w/ her drawings.  In Jeffer's drawings she uses mainly black and white with just a hint of color on each page.  We discussed why her reasoning for this might be and how this influences our feelings w/ the drawings.  I had R. draw her own interpretation of Jeffer's illustrations using pencil and ink (although I think R only used pencil) .    I had her draw a scene that used mainly black and white w/ just a hint of color.  This is her drawing:


It's hard to see real well in a scan since it's done w/ a dull pencil! LOL  But, in the lower right corner you can see just a little bit of color, that's her drawing of the man in the sleigh.  In the middle is a big tree and snow is falling down all around.  I think that's what the white ovals are.

R. also plugged away on her reading lessons this week.  After taking 5 weeks off I wasn't quite sure what to expect with her reading.  I think the time off did some good and really helped what we had been studying  before the break sink in.  She still is struggling with site words but each week she seems to gain some ground on them. 

We're using Reading Made Easy for reading lessons.  I've successfully used this program with my two oldest and R seems to be doing really well with this type of instruction as well.  She is very excited to learn how to read.  We're a little over half-way through the book.  I think once she gets those site words down she will discover she really does know how to read.  With some more memorization and some confidence boosting, she'll be off in no time.

Her math lessons were also continued to less than enthusiastic exclamations.  We're using Math U See for math.  Since R is just K and just this fall really had a handle on writing her numbers I started her in Primer.  She's doing fine in the program but it is not her favorite part of school.

I also introduced our new Poetry Memorization program.  This weeks poem was Ooey Gooey (author unknown) .  The kids all giggled and loved to recite this poem.  I am going to use this as a way to not only memorize poetry but also to practice speaking skills.  My kids tend to have noodle legs when reciting something and talk to the ground, or cushion or floor - wherever they happen to be flopping at the time.  For their poetry recitations they need to be standing - on the floor - facing us with their hands down to their sides.  They need to speak clearly and loudly, but not too loudy.  This is especially a challenge for my daughter with Tourettes.  I do give her some slack when I know it's a true tic and not just a floppy, lazy I don't want to be don't want to be doing this move.  I think, hope and pray that this will help her with speaking in front of others.

For devotions we are reading through the Bible reading two New Testament passages and a Proverbs every day.  In a few weeks I want to start back Leading Little One's to God devotions as well.   

E & A's week I'll blog about later, maybe tomorrow.

I don't know about all of you but I still have Christmas decorations up, including the tree.   I really need to take everything down but we've all been sick with icky coughs and runny noses.  I just haven't had the motivation to get it done.  Tomorrow is the day!  I will tackle all the decorations tomorrow.  With dh off one of us will be able to keep the baby out of the boxes (you know how fast a 10 month old can unpack a box, don't you!) while the other one packs up and  cleans up.  Yay. 



Looks like you've got school going off to a fine start. The new year pictures in your previous post were fun to see. Hope your new year is filled with blessings.

Jen Unsell said...

I enjoyed reading about your first week back Linda. We have not rowed Stopping by woods yet- it's one of the fiar books we do not yet have. I am hoping to get it soon and do this winter.

I know what you mean about the unpacking of the boxes.:-) Ally kept doing that to me when I was trying to get our Christmas put away.