Saturday, November 12, 2011

This Week - Academics & Karate

I still feel good about letting go of curriculum.  I thought I'd have doubts, but I'm good.  

W's favorite book is Spelling Skills.  I agree with him - the book has everything.  This week he learned 20 new words and did a bunch of definition and antonym stuff with them.  Then he proofread a paragraph, finding the spelling mistakes and adding correct punctuation.  He also learned about "subject" and "predicate" and did a page on those - and when a word can be both a noun and a verb (e.g. poison, soil, etc) and how it gets listed in a dictionary.  38 more pages and we move on to the next level.  

For math, we started out the week with the Flash Kids 5 and by Thursday W asked to go right to TT7.  We're starting it in the Fractions section (Unit 4, Lesson 28).  He's done very well with the previous weeks' multiplication and division review.  He has the tables memorized and zips through long division with no problem.  I do feel he's ready to move on.  The great thing about fractions, decimals, percents, etc. is that all the math basics will constantly be used.  And even in the fraction lesson, TT7 threw in a few large-digit multiplication and division problems.   

He also did a few pages in a geography workbook (earth's makeup, other planets), a reading comprehension exercise in a summer bridge book - which I knew he'd be great at thanks to all those narrations over the years, and lots more independent reading.  We're going to focus on colonial and pioneer life this year for history - from about the late 1600s to the late 1800s.  I have a gazillion books, websites, and documentaries saved for this.  For science, we're going to try and spend a week on each worldbook topic (biological adaptations, biotic communities, animal and plant classification, etc) along with regular nature study (notebooking).  It's easy this way - we'll be using the  NY Hall of Science a lot, along with workbooks, websites, and science shows.  Gotta keep it simple.

Karate and fitness are W's new obsessions right now.  He goes to karate 3-4x a week and to the track 2x a week.  At karate, he's learning the 20 moves in the Kihon Kata, and the basics of Kumite (sparring) and in about 2 months he can take the test for his yellow belt.  At the park, we run around the track twice, then W does a bunch of reps and sets on all the exercise structures that are found every 50 feet around the track.  It's mostly sit-ups, leg-raises, push-ups, dips, lunges, pull-ups, and stretches.  Hey, it's good for him and it's starting to branch off into nutrition and other healthy living.  I love when he gets so into something.

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