Friday, April 19, 2013

Week in Review - First Week of 4th Grade

This is our first week of 4th grade. I have been sick this last week & fighting a headache since the 7th. So, I'm not too sure how this week will go. Well, let's get this week started and see how it turns out.

Monday starts early for me. I wake up a little after 4am & cannot go back to sleep. Plus, I still have my headache. We decide to do Science & History in the afternoon this year, since we are upping the time to 3 hours each. So, our morning will have to include other subjects. He has also requested doing Math in the afternoon.  After his breakfast of oatmeal, we get ready for our first day of 4th grade. He requests Logic as the first subject. Logic today consists of Lesson 1 from Logic Safari 3 & Lesson 1 of Perplexors level A. After Logic, we move onto Language Arts. We start with Step 19 in AAS 4. Then, we do a Mad Lib. Next is literary elements with picture books. I have literary elements & descriptions written out on index cards. Before starting the book, we read over the literary elements that he should look for in this book. This week's book is Hogula! Dread Pig of Night. We read through the book & he tells me where he saw/heard the literary elements we discussed before reading. Next, he reads the introduction to Grammar Land. He finishes off Language Arts by playing vocab games online. He takes a break & the kids wash the car.

After lunch break, Jay does online Math games & watches some videos on MathTv. We then watch some videos from AoPS. Next up is Science. We start by discussing the plan for the Dinosaur study. Dinosaurs will be the topic for the 1st half of the year. He chooses his first project & gets started on it. The project he chose is 'Plan a Dinosaur Theme Park,' you know, like Jurassic Park but without all the death. We start by coming up with a list of what needs to be done. Then, he starts choosing which dinos he will have at his theme park. He reads a book on dinos, and we watch Dinosaurs Alive!: IMAX on Netflix streaming. We got some of those detailed coloring books that have info, not just pictures. He chooses a picture form one of the 2 dino ones & colors it. Next is Math. Today's Math is chapter 1 of LOF Elementary Physics. It is time for another break. After this break, we do ASL. We are not doing the book in order. We choose to start with the chapter on food. Finally, we do chapter 20 of LFC Primer B. The only thing left is his hour of reading, so he does that. He reads his first required reading book for the year - The Gruesome Guide to World Monsters (I let him choose a few of his required reading books, and this one was his choice).

Total School Time -   6.5 hrs
* This part is really just for me. When I planned out the year, I used estimated times for each subject. There are a few that are definite times, like the hour of reading & 30 minutes of vocab games online. However, most of the actual times will vary by day. So, seeing how our actual time spent compares to the estimates used for planning will help me get a better idea of how much time to really expect a day to take.

Tuesday starts with Jay complaining about having to wash his bowl & make his oatmeal. Eventually, we get started on school. We start with Language Arts. First, he does Grammar. He reads chapter 1 of Grammar Land. I then assign him to highlight all nouns in that chapter. He has the whole week to do it, so only does 3 pages today. Next, we do a Mad Lib. Dea joins us for a game of Boggle. While Jay does vocab games on the computer, Dea and I get lunch cooking.

After lunch break, Jay plays online Math games, watches MathTv, and we watch videos from AoPS. Next is Science. Today, we focus on Herbs. He will study Herbs all year, in addition to the study of dinos (1st half of year) & Marine Biology (2nd half of year). I bought him 2 coloring books for his herb study, similar to the ones I got him for dinos. He chooses one picture to color. We discuss the plan for the study, what materials we'll use, and the activities/projects. One major project will be the reference binders we'll be creating with our study. Dea is also joining us for the study of herbs. We get the binders set up. Jay starts reading the first book on herbs. It is one of the 2 books on herbs our library had in the kids' section - Medicines From Nature. For Art, we discuss the study & choose the 1st artist we will study. He chooses Vincent van Gogh. We look up a few of van Gogh's paintings online & discuss them. Latin is next. We again watch the dvd lesson for chapter 20, and Jay does another page in the book. Now, it is break time.

Since he finished The Gruesome Guide to World Monsters yesterday, he starts on the 2nd book from his required reading list - Secret of the Andes. We continue with the chapter on food in Joy of Signing,.We end the school day with chapter 2 of LOF Elementary Physics.

Total School Time - 5.5 hrs

Wednesday starts with Language Arts. We do AAS4 Step 20 followed by a Mad Lib. Then, Jay goes on the computer for Grammar games & Vocab games. After lunch break, Jay does Math games, & MathTv. We don't watch AoPS vids right now because we're having some problems with internet & tv, probably due to the thunderstorm. Next, we do ASL. We watch the dvd & practice food signs some more. Jay works on the 1st puzzle for the chapter in the puzzle book. Latin is next. We continue with chapter 20.

After a break & a snack, Jay does chapter 3 in LOF Elementary Physics & works on his assignment for chapter 1 of Grammar Land. Then, we do History. This year's History is U.S. History. We focus on Christopher Columbus this week. He reads Columbus Reaches the New World. We finish off History by watching Christopher Columbus: Explorer of the New World on Netflix. For Logic today, we play a game of Go Mental. We end the school day with quiet reading time. He is still reading Secret of the Andes.

Total School Time - 6.5  hrs

Thursday starts late for us. All of us slept late. School start with Language Arts. We play Word Sweep for Vocab. We do a Mad Lib for Grammar (I figured a day off from other Grammar work would be ok). Then, the kids play Letter Zap ( a Game Wave game just like Boggle) while I make bbq wings, buffalo wings, asparagus, and noodles for lunch. After the lunch break, Jay does Math games & MathTv. We don't watch AoPS videos today. We normally watch them on Plex, a personal & online content manager app. We have a Plex channel on our Roku, so we can watch videos on the tv. So, I just add the AoPS videos from YouTube (it won't add them from the AoPS site, for some reason) to our Plex queue, and we can watch them on the tv. Well, yesterday & today Plex hasn't been working for us. I can't access our Plex account online & the Plex Roku channel won't load. So, I was going to have him just watch the videos from the AoPS site online, using his computer. However, he decided to be whiny about the fact that I expected him to watch them on the computer, instead of hooking the computer to the tv so he could watch them there. So, I decide that he just didn't need to watch them today, at all. Instead, he uses his computer to do Music - Alfred's Essentials of Music Theory. Next is another meltdown, this time over where to start the dvd lesson for ASL. This leads to him being sent to his room until he calms down & can speak to me in a respectful, civilized manner. By the time he comes down, it is snack time, which takes him 40 minutes due to him screwing around. Finally, we get ASL done. He follows that with LOF Elementary Physics chapter 4. Then, we take a break.

Latin is next. He works some more on Chapter 20. Then, we move onto History. This does not go well, as he is being obstinate & refusing to listen to, or think about, anything. I end up sending him to his room after he tells me that it is a waste of time. I am too frustrated to deal with his crap right now. After we both calm down, we finish History. We read Christopher Columbus and discuss it as we go. Then, we read an article  from a very different point of view & discuss that, as well. We are done with Columbus. Next week, we will be starting on the colonial period. He finishes the school day with his hour of reading, finishing The Secret of the Andes.

Total School Time - 7 hrs

Friday is expected to be the shortest school day of the week. We do grocery shopping on Friday, and that takes a good chunk of time that would otherwise be devoted to school. So, I planned for that & scheduled less work for Fridays. School starts with Math games & MathTv. We finally have everything working together again, so we watch AoPS videos. Next, he goes on the computer for Vocab games & Grammar games. While I was explaining to Jay that his break needed to end so he could do the rest of his schoolwork, he threw a fit & stomped off to his room crying. So, I guess this break will last a bit longer. He finally calms down & does ASL. Next is Latin. He finishes chapter 20. Chapter 5 of Lof Elementary Physics is next. Then, we end the school day with Geography. Geography is easy today. All we do is choose the first state he'll study (Ohio), & then he plays Geography games on the computer.

I guess we weren't quite done with school after all. I had planned for us to play Scrabble today for his Spelling. Since the day was taking so long, and he was being so whiny, I didn't think we'd get to it. However, we did fit in a game, a bit longer than planned, too.

Scheduled but not done: 1 hr reading time (this time is meant for reading his required reading books & Historical Fiction. he didn't have either to read today. may have to alter the specifications for this hour), a Mad Lib (kind of forgot this one)

Total School Time - 5 hrs

Whew! It has been quite a week. We did finish most of the work planned, Friday being the only day we didn't accomplish everything. I love when a school year starts out on a good note.