Monday, October 10, 2011

Our Week In Review

This past week we learned about the Mongols, Marco Polo, and the Far East. I had forgotten that the Mongol Empire was the largest empire ever formed in terms of land, larger even than Alexander the Great's Empire. Wow! Yet historians don't study it too much because the Mongols didn't really advance their culture. They didn't build cities to replace the ones they conquered and burned, they didn't create amazing architecture, or works of literature, or even a distinct political system. They pretty much destroyed and conquered, and therefore their empire was short lived. Fascinating to read about though!

We really enjoyed reading about Marco Polo, who helped usher in the Age of Exploration. He traveled for about 2 years to reach China, became friends with Kublai Khan (The Great Khan, as he was called, grandson of Genghis), served in his court for many years, and then journeyed home. His perspective of China and his telling of their achievements and inventions, helped open more trade between the East and the West, and gave people a desire to learn what else could be "out there".

Amazing how each era of history flows into the next! And amazing to see God's hand in and through it all!

What was different about this week:

We had a little friend join us for one day, as she had pink eye and couldn't go to her own classroom in public school. That changed the dynamic a bit, but we had fun with her, and she got all her own homework done while at our house!

Of course other people's toys are always more interesting....!

What worked well this week:

We finally were able to start our Bible curriculum for this fall! Yay for an organized schoolroom! We are using a Bible/Worldview program published by Apologia Press that includes three volumes. We will take two years to go through all three books. It appears to be perfect for the age spread of our children, and I am happy we can all go through this together.

Son C has taken to writing like a duck to water! He can't wait to come home from co-op each Friday afternoon so he can start on his writing homework immediately. Here he is doing writing on Sunday afternoon! (in co-op he is in a writing class with 3 other children, and he loves that he gets to learn with his friends!)

Something else that worked well this past week was the start of grammar with son C. I have always understood the homeschooling adage, "better late than early" to have sound educational principle behind it, but now I am really testing it for the first time. Son C is in the fourth grade and has had NO formal grammar up to this point. Please don't judge! :-) He has picked up a lot of grammar from his older siblings, and so far the adage appears to be true because he is understanding the terms and concepts right away and "catching up" at lightning speed.

We played preposition bingo every day for an entire week. He got to use chocolate chips as the bingo chips, and eat them afterward!

At the end of the week, I drew a doghouse on the whiteboard, and he named our imaginary dog "Goldie". I began to fill in prepositions around the doghouse (on the doghouse, over the doghouse, in the doghouse, beneath the doghouse, etc) and son C quickly took over the pen and wrote as many as he could fit. Then I wrote a sentence across the bottom of the whiteboard (pictured in red), taught him how to cross off the prepositional phrases because the subject and verb are NEVER found in them, and then he could easily identify the subject and verb of the sentence. We did this several times with other sentences.

This week (starting today) he is beginning work in a grammar book, so our work last week was to bring him up to speed so he would be ready for the bookwork. He is doing great and I love his enthusiasm!


Teacher/Mom said...

No judgement here! I have developed this as well going from the first student to the last student. Does it have anything to do with the number of students, or is more the age and energy level of the teacher? Grammar is MY thing, so we started earlier than you did. But science is NOT my thing and thus we have waited on that to do formal science beyond getting books on scientific topics at the library and watching scientific themed videos.

Leslie said...

No judgement here either. We don't do grammar for most of mine until middle school - and it still works out well. :-) I enjoyed reading about your week. :-)