Friday, January 29, 2010

Education Update January 25-29,2010

This is the final week of semester 1.   A-M had finals this week for all her classes except PE.   She's excited to be done and have a long weekend without any homework!   She's missed swimming all week because she's still feeling a bit under the weather.  :(    N is happy his semester is over.   He starts playing tennis next week and starts a new class schedule.   Although he's taking a light schedule at El Camino, because of his college classes he will complete 48 credits this sememster.  

History:   Ancient China stretches on for us.  The two week study I had planned has stretched into three and will continue into next week.  Everyone has completed an impressive three point outline that covers Chines history from the Shang Dynasty through the Hans Dynasty.  We've also added an invention page to our notebooks and worked on our timeline.   E-R drew a great wall of China with the layers of society embedded in the bricks.   Although, the study of China was scheduled for only two weeks, I really feel that the study of Ancient China should be as in-depth as a study of Ancient Greece or Rome.   China has survived as a nation much longer than either Greece or Rome did.   And considering we have a Chinese last name, I feel its appropiate!   My kids were alarmed that we ended our study at the Han dynasty.   Perhaps, we'll return to China this summer to study it more in-depth.

Art: This week we learned about negative space.

Language Arts:  E has completed chapter 2 of Rod and Staff which covered: compound subjects and predicates, simple and compound sentences, avoiding comma splices and run-on sentences, sentences that begin with that is or there are, combining choppy sentences, and adding variey in paragraphs.   E-R and I-E have been working through a test-prep book.   This week they covered metaphores, similies, personification, and context clues.   In spelling we continued on with Sequential Spelling.   We started narrations in Write Source.  

Swim Team:   This past weekend was the first swim meet for the kids.  They did great!   I-E placed second in the 200 freestyle relay, E-R placed third in the 100 freestyle, and E placed FIRST in the 50 breaststroke!

Science:   We started reading the Story of Science.  We read the first chapter which explained how science began with questions.   Then we each wrote five science questions we would like to answer this coming sememster.   We watched a Schlessinger DVD on fossils.   I thought it was well done, but my beloved children said that the aliens made it cheesey.   Ethan continued on with his physics.   This week he made a really neat ramp with a friction element. 

Math:   E-R and I-E concentrated on their Key to Fraction book.   E continued on with Teaching Textbooks and worked in Life of Fred also.   We started our math bulletin board this week.

French:  E and I have given up on Calvert French.   It is too cumberson for us, and the spoken component is not strong enough for my brain that has slowly jettisoned my french vocabulary over the course of the last twenty years.   I am hoping to purchase Power Speak.   A friend's son is using it with his K-12 curriculum.   After investigating this program a bit, I realized it is a new form of Power Glide.   I used Power-Glide with  A-M and N long ago before it was an online class.   In fact, I still have the workbooks and tape cassettes that made up the program!   So, I'm excited to see how it is in a more interactive format.  This week E reviewed what he had covered in Calvert and utilized Discovery Streaming to watch Tops! and Standard Deviants French.  Standard Deviants covered seasons, months, days of the week, greetings, adjectives, and how to conjegate verbs.  He also watched a video about French food!   After learning about French pastries, we all decided France would not be such a bad place to visit!

Spanish:   This week we began using Elementary Spanish on Discovery STreaming.  Senior Roberto taught us about cognates and saludos.  E-R and I-E drew comic strips using some of those saludos.  Youtube came in handy for practicing the Spanish alphabet.

Hasta luego!