Friday, February 8, 2013

The Week School Became Fun Again

This was one of those weeks that doesn't feel the least bit productive until you sit down to think about it. We've had just about a month of this semester and I believe the changes we made to our curriculum and subjects have been positive.  Amber's attitude has thankfully leveled out as well, and she is working much more diligently on her assignments.  Whew!

In general, math is still going extremely well and according to my handy dandy homeschool software she will finish Saxon 7/6 before the end of our school year.  Yay! This week Amber put more effort into correctly copying the problems and the general neatness of her work.  I could not have been more pleased. 
I've always preferred graph paper for math, and so does Amber now.
For our more formal literature study Amber has been reading The Adventures of Robin Hood.  We are using both the student and teacher's guide from Memoria Press to help us through our study.  Not only is Amber working on advancing her reading comprehension skills, but she is gaining historical background on England.  She's never come close to studying medieval times, only gleaning knowledge from fiction books, movies, and questions she asks of us.  Amber loves our literature discussions each day and appears to be thriving with this style of lesson.

In Social Studies we have come to a chapter on economics, which includes the comparison between capitalism, socialism, and communism.  While I love history, I could REALLY do without economics.  However, Amber admittedly likes the study of economics.  How could this child be mine?  We've had rousing discussions this week about the different types of economies, including what kind she thought would be the mostly like to succeed at Utopia.  She came to the conclusion that it isn't the type of economy, but the people implementing it that determine the success of an economy.  She did decide that communism could never work because "you can't predict enough factors for an economy of that type to work all the time".  Where did those words come from?  Sheesh.
Every single day... she has assigned stretches from dance. We had to start scheduling time for them.
Amber also amazed me this week with her understanding of Newtonian physics.  Those of you who don't know, I originally studied astrophysics in school, before switching to the more lucrative computer science.  My heart still belongs in physics, but my bank account did not (honestly).  Amber usually does extremely well in all science, excepting the life sciences... can't blame her there.  However, this week she has shown a deeper and easier understanding of physics than any other topic.  Part of me is terribly proud and thrilled; the other part is scared she might want to go into physics some day.

Inertia demonstration
Unfortunately this week both Amber and I have felt a little "crummy in the tummy" on and off various days.  Never did we actually get sick, just that yuck feeling.  School was a little slow all week, and Thursday we were lucky to accomplish a few subjects before giving up and watching the BBC Pride and Prejudice for half of the afternoon on into the evening after dinner.  We still haven't finished, but Amber definitely likes it better than Emma which she originally declared impossible.  It seems the addition of a character like Lydia makes it so much more entertaining. At least I was able to finish a baby blanket and Amber finished 2 more baby hats while watching.

This week I prepped our next science unit, Astronomy!!!  We are both highly anticipating this unit, and it will be our last 5th grade unit.  Once it is finished, hopefully mid-April, we plan to make an early start on 6th grade Biology, using Elemental Science.   As much as I LOVE Winter, I am hoping it is warmer by the time we are studying astronomy because I do not want to be standing out in the cold, again, with the telescope.  Amber has a fairly large Celestron telescope she received from Santa a couple of years ago, and it seems her favorite times to use it are in the dead of winter.

We finally got real snow! Last Saturday late night into Sunday.  This is what it looked like when I went to bed.  Our "dusting" ended up being 4 inches, that melted to slush by mid-afternoon on Sunday. 
I also managed to plan Amber's Galen study, that was originally to be our bridge from Astronomy to Biology.  The Galen study includes a research report, while Amber's English curriculum also includes a biographical research report this semester.  It seems somewhat problematic to have two research reports due in April, so I have merged the two projects and the Galen study will now be done as part of Language Arts.  She will still be using the study provided by Elemental Science, and reading the book Galen and the Gateway to Medicine.  

Today, Amber was due to spend the late afternoon and evening at church with her Girl Scout troop working on their God and Family award. She desperately wanted to attend, but her tummy is still too queasy and she generally feels puny and "sicky".  I guess it is another day at home with a few school subjects and more Pride and Prejudice.

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  1. My daughter uses graph paper for her math too. Some kids just benefit from those little squares to keep their work lined up, organized and neat. Great simply "trick"!

    Oh, gosh, I wish you could teach MY KIDS Physics! LOL

    I hope you're both feeling better. You accomplished a lot for a week of feeling a bit icky! ("Crummy in the tummy" is a great phrase BTW. LOL)

    1. I used graph paper all through college for just about everything. But I went to a science and engineering school, so just about everything benefited from graph paper :-)

  2. it certainly looks like you had a productive week!

    I love the sound of the kind of social studies conversations you've been having with Amber - I'm looking forward to more of them with my daughter (currently in 3rd grade) as she gets older.

    Lucinda (visiting via Hammock Tracks)

  3. I tried getting my youngeest to use graph paper, but he doesn't like it. :/

    I look forward to hearing about how you like Elemental Science for the Logic stage. We used Biology for the grammar stage and LOVED it.

  4. I'm with Jessy. Will you come teach Keilee physics? :) I always love reading about you and Amber's weeks Christy. You always get so much done! I have been meaning to watch Pride and Prejudice with Keilee. We haven't watched Emma either. Your snow was pretty. We haven't gotten any this week. It is in the forecast for Saturday but I doubt we get any.

  5. Christy thanks for linking up to HammockTracks last week and I have featured you!