Weekly Report: Week 1

Week 1! At a time when most people are either winding down their school year, or halfway through about ready for Christmas break, we have begun our new school year. We’re going on furlough next year, Lord-willing, and we’ve started school early this year to compensate for next year’s long break. This week was a good beginning, rich and full.

Skill subjects:
ABeka started off simply, reviewing vowels and consonants. I made two lessons out of the first four, since Caleb is only coming off of a three-week break before starting this year. He hadn’t forgotten that much already! So we finished lesson 7 of phonics and reading today. Writing is one lesson a day, since it’s our first time learning cursive. Caleb enjoyed his first poem “The Elephant.”

Math U See’s first lesson started off with an unfamiliar topic, place value, but Caleb mastered it this week, and we’ll move on next week to the next lesson. Nerd that I am, I hurriedly made my own “Decimal Street” chart on Sunday night per specifications in the teacher’s manual, only to find one previously made from the company in with the manipulative blocks! Note to self: look at ALL the materials before assuming it’s not provided. I was a bit disgruntled: “We haven’t even had one day of math, and already I’m having to make something up to teach it.” Caleb showed his temperament, though: he decided to switch every day which “Decimal Street” chart he would use. He used mine one day (sweet child—doesn’t want me to feel bad), and MUS’s the next (rule-abiding—wants to use the right one). He told me today, “Mom, I wish we could do math all day. I love playing with those blocks!” Callie and Colin like them as well.
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Content subjects:
Science got done three times. Here are Caleb’s drawings of what God made on each of the six days of creation. We also listened to the book Yellow and Pink and briefly discussed evolution. I reviewed my thoughts yesterday.

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History got done every day this week, reading the intro to Story of the World and learning about the “earliest people.” Honestly I don’t think I can keep up that pace with history, especially knowing how ABeka is going to ramp up the pace with language arts. Biblioplan had two chapters scheduled for this week, but reading the whole chapter at one sitting is too long for us; I read half of a chapter every day, and we did the map and coloring sheet on Thursday and craft on Friday. I’m encouraged to note that other weeks only have one chapter or a portion of a chapter scheduled. Here’s Caleb’s personal timeline:

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The arts:
I got every subject done on my curriculum list except for Drawing with Children. I have to read the first few chapters myself first before I can teach it and only got through the introductory material. I’m hoping to tackle that reading Sunday after church. (Yeah, right!) We did do picture study twice.

We also “met” the violin this week. We enjoyed listening to a clip we have from YouTube of Andre Rieu playing The Music of the Night on his violin; but Caleb got very distressed when he thought I suggested that he be a violinist when he grew up. Hands in the air, almost teary, “But Moooom, I’m not going to play the violin—I’m going to be a pastor like Daddy!” For goodness sake, all you have to do is appreciate the music and learn what a violin sounds like. Nobody’s committing you to a life of music if you don’t want! Okay, so maybe Caleb won’t be my musician, but I’ve still got three more hopefuls, right?

Colin learned “A” this week. We also practiced counting to 10.

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And these are some of my constant time-stealing interruptions:

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Usually (if Seth is home) I see his back as he sits in his study working at the computer. I try not to bother him, but I did use him three times this week when my claws came out, and I was about to throw someone. I did throw someone—Callie—in with Seth, while I made it through the math or writing lesson I was trying to get across to Caleb.

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But today, this is the view I got of Seth. He found out that somebody had driven into our teammate’s gate (who is on furlough). The pole was eaten by termites, and between those two unfortunate truths, the gate was not holding up. So Seth’s day got rearranged as he tried to fix the pole to fix the gate (so thieves would not enter in and steal…you get the idea.) Of course, nothing is that easy. The extension cord broke and needed to be fixed. Of course, that wasn’t as easy as one sentence either. Everything seems to take 20 steps in Africa. Two hours later (after a frustrating incident in which toddler stole crucial pieces and placed them somewhere else in the house, instigating a mass search for said pieces [interrupting homeschool]—aw, isn’t she cute? So helpful!), the cord fix-job was finished, but the original job was not. Ita Vita African.

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About Amy

I'm Amy, a missionary wife and mother of four children, blogging about our lives and perspectives on culture in South Africa.
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4 Responses to Weekly Report: Week 1

  1. Amy, if you ever want an easier way to do art (I tried the same Drawing with Children book and could never really make it happen), I recommend dvd instructions by Donna Hugh, available from http://www.coycreek.com. She’s fantastic, the children (and I) love her and all ages of children (including adults) can do the projects. The really neat thing is once you’ve worked through all her videos, you can just start over a few years later and see how the children have progressed. She has enough videos to last 2 or 3 school years of weekly lessons, I believe. Just a tip from someone who has been there! -Kelley

  2. Ann Bedford says:

    Loved this report. Such a good picture of all of your days. Very busy.

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