Monday, December 19, 2011

Serving others

The theme this week has been serving others as we have had opportunities to serve in the community and not because I said lets plan some service project. We did extra work on Thursday in order to free up Friday to help in the morning with the Food Drive put on by the Ministerial Association and then Friday afternoon we went Christmas Caroling at 2 nursing homes. Then Saturday morning we helped distribute food boxes at the food drive. There is a police officer in town that Caleb really looks up to. Caleb helped him, but Caleb did not recognize him without his uniform so he found out later who it was. Simeon and I helped a few others who were distributing boxes. While Simeon was not able to do some of the things that others have been able to do, he did carry loaves of bread to cars and wished them a Merry Christmas. Caleb said he wants to sing at the nursing home again so I think we will have some future projects of visiting their again.
Another thing I did with Caleb that I now wish I had done sooner is that I caught up on grading all his papers and went over his progress with him. We talked about how his math is really going well and how his hard work learning to read is paying off. Caleb beamed with pride while we did this. The we talked about what he needs to work on-- attitude or his temper might be more accurate, having neater penmanship, and not writing some of his letters and numbers backward. He decided he wanted to get better at these things too. I told him I was going to give him more penmanship work. He has cheerfully worked on this and even asks for more. I also told Caleb that one of the qualities I really appreciate about him is his determination. He does not like it when he can not do something so he works and works at it without giving up. Even when it has taken him a really long time weeks and sometimes longer. I have told Caleb from the start that he can and is supposed to do hard things in his life. I no longer have to tell him because now he tells himself out loud.
We finished reading The Jungle Book and started to read Tom Sawyer. Then Caleb read from two different readers one was Dick and Jane and the other was the Bible reader that came with My Father's World Curricula. Caleb practice a lot of addition facts and it is coming much more quickly. We read the rest of The Magic School Bus The Five Senses and explored each of the senses. Simeon practiced putting together three letter words with Bob Books, reviewed his letters so far, and had Mommy read him lots of Christmas stories. Caleb worked on Sh--, U_E, and --UE sounds in phonics as well as being introduced to a new list of spelling words. We got so busy doing school work that we did not take pictures and I regret that, but we had a busy week. We did not do Muffin Tin Monday since it was a review week, Sketch Tuesday was around things that make them each smile. Thursday we did extra school work to make up for what academic work we were not doing on Friday in order to do serve projects. That was pretty much our week last week in a nutshell. We had some Christmas celebrations over the weekend and Vic preached at an area church so this post is even being posted late. We hope you have a great Christmas week and keep Christmas about Jesus.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Ants, Music, The Letter T, Subtraction, and so much more

It has been a while since I have posted. Caleb asked if he could take some time to try to read certain books. He pulled them out and showed me-- they were all over his level, but I was not going to stop him from trying. He was at a good stopping place in math so we spent the week before our vacation with Caleb reading bigger word books. Then we went on vacation to the North Carolina Shore with extended family. We left the day before our flight and visited the Indianapolis Children's Museum. Then Caleb and Simeon flew in an airplane for the first time, saw the ocean for the first time, saw jellyfish, went to an aquarium, made some new friends, and just had many great experiences. Then when we got back Caleb and Simeon both got sick. So our break for Thanksgiving turned into 2 weeks instead of one. This week we got back into the swing of things.
Simeon's letter of the week was T and his number was 6. He also started putting together a couple of three letter words. His favorite one was Tad from the Leapfrog videos. We did some hands on projects to reinforce the letter T sound. He made turtles one out of a coffee filter and the other out of a paper plate. Thank you Refined Metals Academy and Delightful Learning blogsites for the ideas on these turtles. He also baked turkey and T-Rex cookies. Well we cheated a little with the T-Rex cookies as I actually did not have a T-Rex cookie cutter. Instead I had a generic dinosaur cookie cutter so we pretended it was a T-Rex.
Caleb has been struggling to figure out when y sounds like long i and when it sounds like long e at the end of words. So we went back and spent a lot of time reviewing this. He seems to have grasped the concept now. Then we moved on the ch sound. I typically try to combine food and other daily life things with the phonics sounds being learned. So this week we ate grilled CHeese and ate CHili. He also began to do addition problems that can not be done on his fingers. At first he was frustrated by this. However, when he slowed down a little he discovered he was able to do it. Then there was a subtraction problem on his last math sheet. So we will be moving into subtraction soon. Caleb was also thrilled when I pulled out some music and started pointing out the Treble and Bass Clef symbols and introduced the concept of Ta and Tee-tee to develop rhythm in music. He does not have this down yet, but he enjoys practicing it so he will soon.
For science Caleb is using Apologia and we were not going to do this with Simeon yet. However, Simeon wants to be involved so we let him as he wants. This week we started studying about social insects. Specifically we have talked about ants and honeybees so far. Next week it looks like we will study bumble bees and termites. At the beginning of the year Caleb and Simeon both asked if we could study Spanish and Sign Language. I told them both was too much, but they could pick one and we would add some of that one. They chose Spanish. So far we have looked at some greetings, and numbers. This week however, we learned what certain colors are in Spanish. We are learning about art and manners together in a book put out by How Great Thou Art. In this book Miss Annie teaches us lessons on how to be polite. This week Miss Annie challenged us to make it a point to smile more often and she talked about manners when spending the night at someones house. That was timely since Caleb and Simeon are spending the night with their grandparents. We also enjoy eating popcorn and drinking tea, apple cider, hot chocolate or some other treat while Mommy reads from a classic book. We are reading The Jungle Book right now. We have not liked that book as much as some others we have read, but we should finish this coming week and are looking forward to starting The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.
As you can see it has been a busy week-- maybe that's why I am tired. We hope you have had a good week and we look forward to sharing more of our homeschooling days in the future.