Monday, December 10, 2012

I Love December

Yay!  I'm so excited we got the book shipment last week.  I normally wouldn't have ordered anything this close to Christmas, but I couldn't wait.  I was just so impressed with both SOTW and Apologia General Science - the samples, the reviews, and the love of science and history they seem to procure.

We started the science first.  On Wednesday we did 2 days worth of "Module 1" (according to the lesson plan) including the experiment.  It was a brief history of science, including what science is, ancient Egyptian medics in 3000 BC, ancient Greek scientists in 500 AD, and the first ideas of atoms.  When we did some questions, W remembered the smallest details of just about everything.  He didn't even mind writing out a several-sentence-long answer to a question in his Student Notebook.  He even wanted to look up more info about papyrus.

The experiment was fun.  I'm glad I bought the lab kit so I have all the major materials for the experiments.  I know I would never go out and buy the individual things we need.  You can't just go out and buy one small balloon, or 1/4 cup of corn syrup, or 5 thumb tacks.  I would end up spending a fortune on full packages if things.  And each module's materials come in it's own labeled ziplock baggie!  Fits my Type-A personality perfectly.  So, imo, the $75 was well worth it.   Anyway, the first experiment was called "Density in Nature".  W poured oil, water, and corn syrup in a tall, clear glass.  All 3 liquids separated right away.  I remember doing a similar experiment when I was little, but it still fascinates me to see it.  Then he dropped in a small rock, a peeled clove of garlic (we ran out of grapes, but this worked perfectly), an ice cube, and a cork.  Each item suspended itself in a different layer.  This demonstrated the density of each liquid, which told us how loosely or tightly their atoms are packed together.  W loved it.  Yay.

We are starting Story of the World 1 next week.

 Math is still going very well.  W is learning new concepts so quickly and his mental math skills are right on.  I owe a lot of that to the 4 function drills we did over the summer.  I believe mastering the basics has been the best thing we've done.  So far W has been reviewing things like fractions, lines perimeter, graphs, place value, inequalities, and negative numbers.  There are also a lot of word problems.  He is learning to take his time reading through it so he understands what it's asking.  This is a challenge.  He has a tendency to either skip or insert words or completely misread words when they look like other words.  Recent ones include "navigate" for "negative" and "ingredient" for "integer".  Word problems do force him to be more accurate, which in turn improves his reading skills overall.  We stretch 1 math lesson out over 2 days.  At the rate we're going we should finish Saxon 7/6 by next December.

We're taking the Hake Grammar just as slowly: 1 lesson over 2 days.  I refuse to rush.  It is way more important for W to fully understand everything rather than hurry him through a book just to be able to say it's completed.  For W (and my girls too), 30-minute bite-sized chunks chewed slowly and savored are much better retained than 1-2 hour cram and binge lessons.  And on that note, we've also started breaking the dyslexia workbook lessons into 2 days as well.  It's getting a little harder and the last thing W needs is to get frustrated about reading.

W had his show choir recital the other day.  There are 6 kids, they sang 5 songs, and W had a solo part!  He did 2 shows.   J's studio performed a reinvented "Nutcracker" show on Sunday.  They only practiced for about a month, but it was the cutest thing.  J played the Arabian dancer and was in 4 other parts as well (party-goer, soldier, snowflake, candy something).  All the costumes were from previous competition numbers.  I loved it and I want to watch it every year, lol.

I think we'll be taking some more breaks throughout December.  I want to get into Manhattan for the Christmas stuff:  Rockefeller Plaza, FAO Schwarz, Columbus Circle, store windows, etc.  Two other things I'm looking forward to this we are:   Parent Observation Week and "Sweet Charity" at Laguardia High School!   I can't wait!!


Amish Author Sicily Yoder said...

Have you ever heard of Rod & Staff books? My uncle's sister Mennonite community has the publishing house, and they sell a lot of homeschooling books.

NYCitymomx3 said...

Yes. I hear great things about those books.