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November 18, 2007

In Which We Checked Boxes

That's what we did this week: We checked boxes. By that I mean that pretty much everything on our lists got done, but I was directly involved in little of it, and there was no discussion, reading aloud together, or shared learning experiences. Sometimes, though, life gets in the way and you check boxes. Or take a vacation. Or pretend to take a vacation.

Monday we had piano (and an Intelligent Design lesson). Tuesday we juggled two doctor's appointments in two different places, at the same time. Wednesday I was out all morning at my own doctor's appointment, and slept all afternoon. Thursday is always taken up with karate and drama classes. Friday I finally ran all the other errands that needed running.

What boxes got checked? Well, Connor occasionally deigned to do math - not a lot, mind you, and certainly not all that he was assigned. We're still working out the kinks of being responsible to Dad for math.

A couple of assignments in History Odyssey, including one written summary - check. (Although I think he skipped the math assignments and the timeline). A couple of chapters of King Arthur - check. A couple of chapters of Tom Sawyer - check.

We've misplaced Famous Men of the Middle Ages.

Latin - this week we tried out Galore Park's "So You Really Want to Learn Latin?" I didn't like it. It moves as fast, or faster, than Henle, with fewer practice exercises. I think that Latin Prep is a much superior program, as is Henle. I think that I will do my usual trick of bouncing back and forth between Henle and Latin Prep, using one until we get stuck, and then turning to the other for review, reinforcement, and to explain tough concepts in a different way.

And we did another week of analysis in Classical Writing. Folks, the more I use this program, the better it gets. At Connor's level, he is given a sentence. He must then:

1) Mark and diagram the sentence.

2) Rewrite the sentence replacing all the important nouns and verbs with synonyms.

3) Rewrite the sentence with some type of grammar change.

4) Rewrite the sentence in the shortest way possible, while still retaining the meaning.

5) Rewrite the sentence, adding description and detail to make it longer.

This is fantastic practice. A student who becomes comfortable with these exercises will be flexible; he'll be able to write in a variety of ways with ease. This program is worth every penny.

Now, Aidan. Well, Aidan did Latin and math, and read The Hobbit and another Timothy Zahn book. I've lost our Story of the World CDs, so we didn't do history. We didn't do Classical Writing. He had an easy week. There you go. We've lost his Singapore book too, so we're only doing Right Start E at present, working with multiples and equivalent fractions.

Griffin is finally making progress in math. He hit a wall when we tried to add tens and hundreds, but after some patience and working with the abacus, he's getting there. He practiced reading in Phonics Pathways. And that was it.

Science, you say? Ah. Well, coincidentally NOVA this week was about the Devon, PA trial to determine whether Intelligent Design can be taught in public school science classes. Timely, yes? It will be interesting to see what the kids have to say to the piano teacher on Monday. Also timely (but not so much for the kids) is Scalzi's report of his visit to the Creation Museum in Kentucky. Do check out his lolCreashun contest (unless you're one of my dearly loved Young Earth friends, in which case it would just tick you off). My favorite is on the first page with the caption: "Logic: You're Doing It Wrong." Did I mention it's not safe for kids? It's not.

Posted by lynx at November 18, 2007 12:14 AM

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