Friday, October 19, 2012

Week 11: Ancient China

Since the baby has come, I have had to adjust my expectations of school a bit. IMG_5114It hasn’t been easy, but I’ve had to take out some of the hands-on projects that I normally LOVE doing. To be honest, the kids haven’t seemed to notice that much and they appear to be learning just as much (gasp)! I’m not sure if I’m happy or sad about this, but either way, we’re getting school done now, and I’m not feeling guilty about letting some of the “extras” go, for now.

Read Alouds:


We read the story of Gideon this week (just a random selection) and prayed for the people of China using our Window on the World book. We talked about the government there now, and how they don’t allow Jesus to be shared among the people, how dangerous life is for Christians there, but how much God is doing there in spite of the persecution. Our second week of discussing mission work, sharing the gospels in areas where there aren’t a lot of Christians and the idea of persecution went much better. Treyton almost seemed angry about it last week, whereas this week he had a few more questions and at least seemed sensitive to the idea.

Bible: Memory Work

We are not doing AWANA this year, so my plan was to memorize larger selections of scripture together as a family, starting with the Lord’s Prayer. We were going to start memorizing it this week, when I realized that Treyton had “forgotten” Psalms 23. I decided to go back and review it well before moving on. Well, it seems as though he needed a little more than just review. He hardly remembers any of it, so we are in the process of re-learning/remembering the 23rd Psalms this week.

I truly truly love the AWANA program, and I wish my church had the funds and volunteers to do it, HOWEVER that being said, I do think that most goal-oriented kids have the tendency to “fake-memorize” their scriptures and recite them for the prize/success of it, and then quickly forget the verses. It’s absolutely still good just to have them in the Word and I think they do remember some of the verses, just not all of them. I worked really hard at developing a good review system that we occasionally used, but even with that, I’m afraid that many of the verses Treyton “learned” in the last two years may not still be “in there”. I’m in a little bit of a quandary as to what to do about it – should I go back and have him relearn the verses or do we move on?

History: Write Chinese Numbers IMG_5132

History: Color a Chinese Dragon Picture IMG_5170

History: Draw and Caption

He chose to draw and caption about the Great Wall of China this week. IMG_5171

Geography: Label China, India and Pakistan on a World Map and a map of Asia IMG_5111



We started reading Boxcar Children (book 2) Surprise Island this week. Since switching from MFW to TOG I’ve really been missing a “good” literature read-aloud, so I will be adding my own in. TOG does have a literature selection that correlates with what we are learning and we do read them but they are usually story books for the lower grammar age, and I haven’t been in love with their selections thus far, so I think I will be trying to add in my own literature favorites.


Treyton is finding his reading groove again, after having those weeks off from vacation. Reading went much more smoothly this week. We continued to read through the Magic School House #4 Pirates Past Noon book, until Thursday when his new Mercy Watson books came in. Now I think I will have a tough time getting him back to the Magic Tree House book, until the three new Mercy Watson books are finished. ;)

Language Arts

Explode the Code – Treyton started book 6. We are working on vowel-r teams which we have already covered in All About Spelling, so he is flying through the lessons. He is currently halfway through lesson 3.

All About Spelling – I continue to review a few of his struggle words (of, cent, sent, since) throughout the week but we went on to his new list this week which was the third sound of “a” which is /o/. His list included mostly –all rhyming words as well as, water, want and was (a rule breaker). He hammered it out with no problem.

Handwriting – He learned the cursive letter Hh this week.


We have moved on to our second lesson in latin this week. He continues to love this subject, although he struggles with it a little bit, which I like to see.

We are learning some new letter sounds which seem to be giving him problems as well as his vocabulary words. I have decided that we will not be passing lessons until he learns ALL of his vocabulary words well, which is why we are going so slowly through the book, but I really am okay with it, as we have no reason to rush through this subject.

Alexas’s Preschool

Reading continues to go well for Alexa, she has passed two steps in her All About Reading program. We introduced the letter u and the second sound of s, /z/, this week. IMG_5158

She has struggled a little bit with the sound of u, sometimes wanting to say /y/, but she’s already beginning to get it out of her system.

Letter Sound Bingo – need I say more? She begged to do this over and over this week ;) IMG_5117

For spelling this week we focused on the short sound /i/. She didn’t get one wrong all week.

Math this week was the toughest thing she worked on, and even that she did great on.  IMG_5099We introduced numbers 10-20, which she can obviously already count past and recognize, but we worked on place value and the fact that 11 means 1 ten and 1 one, or that 16 means 1 ten and 6 ones. It took her a little while to get it, because she has already begun teaching herself addition, so she kept wanting to say “1+1 = 2” instead of “1 ten and 1 one = 11”, but after a few days she got the hang of it.     IMG_5110One of her favorite activities of the week was when I made two boxes on the table for her to use her cubes on as we counted to numbers greater than 10. This was a great activity and one of the things that really helped her “grasp” the relationship between the numeral and what the numbers actually represent.

Handwriting - In addition to completing her handwriting pages from her book, I also had her do a little review with the letters she seems to struggle the most with writing backwards or upside down – she must do good under pressure because she did great on this. IMG_5130

Matching upper and lower case letters – Alexa really wanted to play more games and do hands-on activities this week, which isn’t always this case. Because it was kind of last minute I found myself pulling out a few oldies-but-goodies including this rainbow letter matching game she enjoyed. IMG_5155

Art – she painted a picture of a flower this week. She described to both Tim and I how she used two of her favorite colors purple and black and how she put the black “behind” the purple for it to come through…. if you look closely you can see her artistic talent coming through, too.


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