Friday, September 16, 2011

Weekly Update 09/16/11

It's been a busy week here. We started school a couple of weeks ago but began with the basics and slowly added in the other subjects until we're now almost at the point where I feel like we've got almost everything covered. I still need to find a satisfactory way to approach science for both kids because although I do love the Singapore programs they aren't quite doing it for us. We're also adding poetry, art and music appreciation into Sunday afternoons and I need to figure out what to use for that but we're getting there.

Anyway, on with the weekly rundown.

Catherine - We started the week by drawing up a weekly schedule. If everything is done Catherine should have a minimum of 6 hours of work on school days. Yikes. Thankfully, this didn't seem to phase her as she enjoys most of it.

On top of the math, languages and English studies we added in histoy this week. I think I've finally found something that's not too pricey and a good compromise between structured and flexible. It's Medieval History Portfolio from Homeschool Journey. I bought the to-die-for Oxford Medieval and Early Modern World set (at about 60% off the regular price so don't go thinking I spent the $200 plus at the link) last year but for the most part it sat on our shelves unused. I'm hoping that having the portfolio will give us the spine we need to have some activities lined up and to branch out into the set and other readings. The only hitch I ran into with History Portfolio is the expense. I could buy the teacher/activity guide and maps in PDF but I would have had to buy the hard copy of the binder and have it shipped here to Canada and that would have been ridiculously expensive. So we made our own binder for this year and I would provide a picture but my internet is desperately slow today and despite a few attempts, won't let me upload pictures. I also added a section to the binder for a glossary so Catherine can write in unfamiliar words and a bibliography to record her sources. She spent this week learning about the early Christians and only just finished up a short report on St. Paul.

Catherine also requested a firmer focus on her cursive and an extra language - Tolkien's Runic from Lord of the Rings. :)

Harry - Harry's work last year focused on basic reading and writing to get him up to speed now that we've finally found programs that actually work for him. This year we're sticking with both Dancing Bears and Apples and Pears and adding Math Mammoth to our math lineup. I love Singapore but there inevitably seems to be a point where the kids need some reinforcement in something and that's when I can bring out the Math Mammoth worksheets.

We also added in writing this week. It's Emma Serle's Primary Language Lessons. It's actually from the same series as Catherine's writing program but this is only a slightly reworked version of the 1914 original from Downunder Literature while Catherine's has been reworked a bit more for a Catholic student. It's pretty much what I've wanted for the kids for years but never knew existed.

That's the new and exciting stuff. Most of the rest is same-old, same-old.


MissMOE said...

Glad to see the History Portfolio is working for you.

Dawn said...

I just left a comment on your blog about it. :D

I think it's just about perfect...Enough planning that I'm not floundering but not so much that we get claustrophobia and so easy to make a little more or less challenging.

Thanks for helping me decide on it.

Gifts for Girls Academy said...

It looks like you had a great week! My older dd is a huge Tolkien fan too! How do you like Lingua Mater?

Dawn said...

LOVE it. The grammar portion is a little simple in terms of what of it covers for my daughter but how it covers it, asking her to list the nouns or adj. or whatever and substitute or elaborate is exactly the kind of thing my daughter needed more of. She's very reluctant to narrate and describe (although she writes creatively ALL the time) so it's really pushing her.

It really is just about perfect in my mind. I had been considering CW Homer but this is a much better fit for us.