It's been way too long since my last weekly review. I missed getting to tell you about things like watching an open rehearsal for the symphony (very cool), going to a college production of Annie Get Your Gun, and Anna becoming a national champion in track (okay, I'll tell you about that one in a minute). Because we've finished several subjects for the year, our workload was lighter this week, which turned out to be a good thing because I kept getting distracted by broken air conditioners, forgotten dentist appointments, and ballet costume alterations.
Math: Rather than addressing this by child like I usually do, I'm grouping everyone together because it was an amazing week for each of them. Gracie, in MUS Alpha, just started subtraction and did great. We had spent the last few weeks reviewing addition trying to quicken her responses, so she was very excited to start something new. Anna (in Zeta) and Ryne (in Beta) each completed three lessons this week! Typically we do one lesson a week (we do slow down if they have trouble), but each of them hit material they were already familiar with or just mastered very quickly. I kept checking myself to make sure I wasn't just getting lazy about having them master the material before moving on, but I don't think this was the case. But how crazy for them both to do this in the same week to have my kids begging to do more math! So this puts Anna in Lesson 20 and Ryne in Lesson 26. Ryne's remaining lessons in Beta look fairly easy, so I wouldn't be surprised if he finishes the book quickly. He is super excited about starting Gamma. I've blogged before how he struggled a bit with addition and subtraction, but I don't think we will have that much trouble with multiplication thanks to the Nintendo DS game, Brain Age. (Not sure if I'm supposed to be proud of that or not!)
Anna: Other than the math there is not much to report. She's been working on a project we're calling "Reading Through the Reformation". She has about a dozen books (all from the Veritas Press catalog) she and I are both reading independently and then discussing. After we discuss the book she completes a short book report page which she will put in a folder with a Reformation timeline she will make. We have both really enjoyed reading these books.
Oh, the track thing... For the last couple of months she has been training and competing with a team of homeschoolers and Christian school students. This was something she's been wanting to do for a couple of years, but I told her we would wait until she was in 5th grade. I was hesitant to add something else in, but the season was short and came in between the short and long course swimming seasons, so the timing seemed okay. Still it was busy, juggling practice schedules and having to spend all day Saturday at track meets for four weeks. But I'm still glad she did it. She made a new friend with another girl the same age who is also homeschooled. And I have never met a greater group of parents, students and coaches.
And then there was the national championship last weekend. It was the National Homeschool Track Meet, or something like that. I'm all for competition, but I found the title a little silly. There were teams from four states, but only 10 teams total, so I'd hardly call it a national meet, but whatever. What matters is everyone had fun, and we got to see Anna take 1st in the 400 meter dash and 3rd in the 200. Here is a picture of her at an earlier meet trying out the long jump.
Ryne: Last week he finished First Language Lessons 3, and this week he finished up his Map Skills workbook. Today we also finished the workbook Swiss Family Robinson from the "Bring the Classics to Life" series.
I heard good things about the series a couple of years ago, so I ordered this one and the Huckleberry Finn workbook as well, thinking they would be stories Ryne would find interesting. They are both Level 1 workbooks. But for whatever reason I never got around to using them until now, which is too bad. They are way too easy for Ryne now, but I think the concept is promising. In fact, I'm having to edit this right now because I just wrote way too much about it and realized it would be better in a separate post -- so stay tuned.
Grace: We put her phonics worksheets on hold because it was not coordinating real well with her reading curriculum anymore. Since the phonics worksheets are her most time consuming task of the day, this freed us up to spend even more time in The Ordinary Parents Guide to Teaching Reading. This week she completed two reading lessons a day. Most of it is review of what she has picked up naturally in the last few months. I wish all homeschooling were this easy!
Grace is also preparing for performance in La Fille Mal Gardee (Wayward Daughter) in mid-June. She goes to a classical ballet school that instead of annual recitals puts on a full-length ballet every other year. This week was picture week, which meant I had to sew elastic to feathery wristbands and do other alterations which were way beyond my abilities. It was good enough for pictures, but now I need to find someone to fix all my mistakes and attach the tutu where it's really supposed to go! Gracie will be playing a chick, and since I don't really know much about the plot yet I can't really tell you what a baby chick has to do with a wayward daughter but it sounds like a good post for next month.