Saturday, September 8, 2007

Week 5 Report

Week 5 and we're finally getting into a rhythm - a really good rhythm. This was the first week we even got everything done I'd hoped to. It took a little creativity, but we did it. It's taken lots of tweaking and trying different schedules but we're getting there. I am sure there will still be changes to come but it feels great to be heading the right direction.

Here's the nuts and bolts of our week:

Math continues to go well; it's still the subject Thatcher calls his favorite. Last year he wasted a lot of time looking ahead to future lessons instead of staying on task. This year I tore out all the pages and three-hole punched them so that I could give him one page at a time. Now he can't flip pages but he can regularly be found staring at the wall, or his hands, or the dust speck in the air...oh the joys of homeschooling a kiddo with ADHD. And this is his favorite subject. Imagine when he's not so motivated!

Reading is going well, too. Thatch is doing much better with his oral reading - not so much mumbling. It's a joy to hear him read in his sweet little voice with all that expression! One of common characteristics of many ADHD kids (especially ones like mine who have some spectrum disorder (autistic) tendencies as well) is that they don't really "get" social and emotional cues. These things get all jumbled up in Thatcher's brain sometimes. As a result, he will sometimes read something in a sad voice that should be read with excitement or something in a surprised voice that should be angry. It's sort of sweet actually.

History is wonderful. I love the quote on the front of Cyndi's blog: To teach is to learn twice. That's definitely true for me. Actually, I don't remember learning much of this the first time, although I am sure I probably did. I am having at least as much fun as Thatcher, if not more! This week we learned about the Unification of Upper and Lower Egypt and we made a model of the Nile River. Right now it looks like mud soup but hopefully we will have grass growing all along the banks of our little Nile very soon. I was going to post a picture here but it really isn't a pretty sight. Lol!

Science is so much fun! We started learning all about animal habitats and the food chain. We painted six different habitats and after we study each animal we'll put a model of it in its correct home.

Phonics went much better this week than last. I took the time to sit down with him and not just let him work through the lessons independently. He only missed two words on his first test and got all seven words correct on his second test!

For Bible we started family devotions this week. We completed the first four lessons in Leading Little Ones to God, and I really like this book. The verses are from the KJV of the Bible so we have Thatch look up the Scripture in his personal Bible and read it to us for a more kid-friendly version. Family Huddle, as we're calling it, is a quick time since we are including all three boys. Next week I want to spend more time really discussing the lesson to be sure he is getting it after little brothers wander off. The lessons cover really great topics so I don't want to glaze over them just to "check a box".

Wanna know my favorite thing about his week? I was quite the "go with the flow" mom-at least for me, anyway! This is not natural given my personality, but I am slowly learning. I am also learning to use every second of the day and not let a moment go to waste. For example, one of my main goals for Thatcher this year is character development. One of the ways I planned to do this is to focus on one Aesop's fable each week. Before this week I had yet to fit that in. I thought through our day and realized mealtimes might be great times for some learning. None of my boys are big eaters; there's just too much fun to be had to sit still long enough to consume any significant number of calories (why can't I have this problem?!). They eat much better when they are distracted, so Aesop was our companion at lunch each day this week. We learned some valuable lessons and they ate much better than normal, too!

Lastly, Fridays have always been somewhat of a dilemma for us. Since Dh is a minister and works much of the day Sunday, Wednesday nights and often other nights of the week, he has Fridays off. It is great because we can go on family outings without having to fight weekend crowds. On the other hand, it's hard for me because we're off-schedule. This Friday I decided that we would try to get everything done we hadn't managed to accomplish during the week (novel idea for me for some reason). Basically, we needed to do our history and science projects and introduce our artist and composer of the month. It ended up being a "Fine Arts Friday" and worked beautifully. We listened to Bach's music and the Mr. Bach Comes to Call cd from Classical Kids as we built with Mega Bloks. Then we read the Bach title in the Getting to Know the Worlds Greatest Composers series. We painted our habitats and created our very own Nile. It was so fun and very doable with daddy at home to help keep little hands out of the way. Why didn't I think of this before?

Okay, this ended up being a long post and with no pictures. I will do better next week. Tonight I am just happy to get our report up as our ISP has been down most of the day today.


Tammy said...


Your week looked great! It sounds like you're getting into a good rhythm. I've found that reading during lunch/snacks works well for us too...they are a more "captive" audience then!

Can't wait to see pictures of your Nile River model!


LisaWA said...

Yes! Way to go Jennifer and da boyz! It sounds like a great week!

Glad you were able to have a great week and get all things planned done...

We begin week 4 today... so now I hope by week 5 we can get er all done too!

Hope you had a great weekend!


Anonymous said...

As for the Nile River...the grass will grow. It only took ours about 5 days and soon you couldn't see all our pyramids etc due to the tall grass. We are also having tons of fun with the ancients!!Next up...a sumerian seal, ziggurat model and then who knows.

Sheryl in GA

Diane said...

Sounds like a very productive week.
I skipped the nile river and went with the Shepard's crook. However, I think we'll go back and do the Nile this weekend. I just have to get some grass seed.

We watched this on United Streaming:

Happy Homeschooling. :)

Kerri said...

Hi Jennefer,

I'm looking at everyone's blogs a little late this week. Your week looked great.

How was the book on Bach? I have been trying to find one book that has all of the composers in it but I think I'm going to have to go to one book. We have been studying Vivaldi. Both of my boys have enjoyed Vivaldi and even asked for more books on him in the library. I was quite surprised.

Now for the running this week :) So far I've run twice this week and I hope to run tomrrow so that would make it 3 times (if I do it!)

Have a great week