Sunday, May 26, 2013

Week in Review, Week 6, Grade 4

Sunday, after a family game, we all went outside to play. The weather was beautiful. There was a fantastic breeze (which was so nice after all the yard & house work we did). Within thirty minutes of us coming inside, there was a major storm, a severe thunderstorm warning, and a tornado watch. Due to the tornado watch, we all slept on the main floor of the house, in case we needed to head to the basement. The kids woke me up this morning & almost immediately started fighting. How nice to start the day listening to them bicker. This week, I have taken control of Dea's schedule. She starts the school day 30 minutes before Jay. She starts with Geometry. I want her to do this subject while her dad is home, so she can ask him for help, if needed. I don't like Math, and so prefer to let my husband, who went further in Math & enjoys it, field questions as much as possible for Algebra and up. Once she is done with her Geometry lesson, I look it over to make sure it is complete. Then, she gets the answer key & checks her work. She is done with her Geometry & on break by the time Jay starts school. Jay starts the day with Geography. We start a list of things to do while there. Next, both kids do their reading. Jay is reading a historical fiction for History, and Dea is starting Life of Pi, her new book for Lit.

Dea does half of her Writing after lunch, followed by ASL. Jay starts the afternoon with Science. This week, we are focusing on Herbs for Science this week. He starts by reading Herbal Drug Dangers. We then start with the Herbal Medicine Making Kit we got from LearningHerbs.com. We put in the DVD and watch the lessons. Dea joins us as we head into the kitchen to start our Echinacea Tincture. After a snack & break, Dea does Geography & finishes her Writing. Jay throws a few tantrums, and we get back to work on school quite late. When he finally gets to work, he starts with Logic. Today's Logic is less 6 in Perplexors A & LS3. We've decided that, since his tantrums took so much time, we will work straight through to dinner, to get as much done as possible. So, after Logic, he hops onto the computer for vocab games. After a break, Dea does Psych. Jay does chapter 17 of Elementary Physics next, followed by Latin chapter 24. Then, we go over the signs on the first 3 pages of chapter 20, as those are the ones we will be focusing on this week. After dinner break, Dea does Government & online logic games. Jay & I do Language Arts. We start with Literary Elements, with the book Deep in the Jungle. Next, we do Mad Libs, copywork, a noun worksheet, and chapter 7 of Woe is I Jr. We end the school day with AAS4 step 26.

The kids wake me & continue to come in to tell me things until I get up. I stay in bed as long as I can, because I am very congested (I forgot to pick up ginger this week & I get horribly congested without daily ginger). When I come into the living room, Dea is reading Life of Pi, despite the fact that it is not yet time for school. She stops reading and plays until school time. We shake & check on our tincture & top it off. Again, she starts 30 minutes before Jay. She has actually requested to do this, so I'm not fighting it. She starts school with Geometry. Jay starts with vocab games online. Next, we practice ASL. For ASL today, I make a sign & he has to tell me what it is and then use it in a sentence. The kids take the dog for a walk around the block before it gets too hot & humid. It's been in the 80s here lately. We've been hit with storms over the last few days, and are expecting to continue to get storms for much of the next week or so. With all the storms coming in, it gets really humid. They go do their hour of reading. Jay is reading his historical fiction & Dea is reading Life of Pi. We cut the hour short for both of them. Jay has finished the book he was reading & will wait until tomorrow to start the next. Dea finished reading the chapters she was assigned to read today. So, both kids help make nachos for lunch.

After lunch, Jay does Latin. Then, Dea joins us for a game of Boggle. I don't generally tell them my score, and Jay is always pressing for it. However, I'm really trying to get him to understand that it isn't about beating me. It is about improving. Dea does Geology, and Jay & I do Science. Today, we are making the Healing Herbal Salve that came with the Herbal Medicine Making Kit from LearningHerbs.com. While the oil is infusing with herbs, Jay reads a book for History. Dea works on her research paper. We've decided to do our Poetry Tea for dinner today. So, to fill time before that, Jay does his copywork, chapter 18 of Elementary Physics, Mad Libs, and his noun worksheet. Dea does vocab games online. Instead of tea, we have homemade lemonade we made this morning. It is just too hot for hot tea, so we figure we'll do lemonade, iced tea, or sun tea in the warmer months. Jay colors a picture in Color Your Own van Gogh, reads from a van Gogh biography, and reads chapter 8 in Woe is I Jr. Dea can't do Government today because her instructor hasn't responded to the assignment she submitted yesterday. So, she skips Gov. & moves onto Latin.

Wednesday starts with the kids fighting because Jay told Dea she needed to walk the dog & she got upset that he was bossing her around. After breakfast, they go out to play, which leads to another argument. Dea starts school with Geometry & online logic games. Jay starts with online vocab games, ASL, & Latin. Then, Jay reads another historical fiction & Dea starts making lunch. We have decided that she will make a meal at least once a week. She has to plan the meal, make sure we get what we need when we do grocery shopping, and prepare the meal herself. Today, she is making lamb chops, loaded baked potatoes, and salad.

After lunch, both kids choose to start with History. Dea goes onto the computer to research. Jay reads a book on Jamestown. Then, we watch the first episode on disc 1 of America: The Story of Us. Dea takes a break halfway through History to read Life of Pi & have a snack. Then she finishes History. When Jay is done with History, he takes a break & has a snack. After his snack, Jay uses the computer to visit sites for History. Then, does Grammar. The three of us play a game of Boggle for Spelling, and Jay does his copywork. While we make dinner, the kids also make smoothies & smoothie popsicles. The popsicles are for their breakfast tomorrow & Friday. Yes, I am fine with them having popsicles for breakfast, as long as they are homemade ones. The ones this week are made with chocolate almond milk, honey orange Greek yogurt, and whatever fruits the kids chose to add. They go play outside before coming in to finish school. Jay chooses to Logic and leave Math to last. Logic is finishing lesson 1 of Advancing Through Analogies. Math is a bridge in Elementary Physics. Dea does ASL & Latin.

Today starts just a little late. Once things get going, Dea starts Geometry. She decides she doesn't want to do the work & lies to me about being done, so she can go hide out in her room with her iPod. I find out she didn't finish & inform her that I'm pissed about being lied to & that she will finish the lesson tomorrow along with doing the lesson that was planned for tomorrow. I tell her it is time to read from Life of Pi, and, because she is pissed about being busted in a lie, she gets attitude, throws her clipboard, and yells, "WHY DO I HAVE TO READ THIS BORING BOOK ANYWAY?" I am trying not to react to her attitude or to feed it, so I respond simply, "Because I said." I hate saying that. I always hated it when my parents said it to me & swore I wouldn't say it to my own kids. Unfortunately, especially when one is throwing a fit, it is sometimes the only answer that prevents or stops an argument. I try to use it sparingly, though. I prefer to explain things to my kids, be open & honest with them. This wasn't a legitimate question, though. This wasn't her really wanting an answer. This was her trying to pick a fight. If I had given any other answer, she would have argued it. She would have kept arguing, yelling, and complaining until I snapped & screamed at her. It would have caused a fight, which is part of what she wanted. It would have delayed her having to read it, which is the other part of what she wanted. There is no argument to "Because I said," so she sits down quietly to read. Fit avoided, for now.

Jay starts the day with Music & vocab games. After lunch, Dea  works on her research paper. Jay does History. He starts with a journal entry from the trip to the 'New World.' Then, he reads a book for History & visits sites for History on the computer. After working on her paper, Dea takes a break. When Jay is done on the computer, Dea uses it for History. Jay & I do ASL followed by Grammar. The kids take a break & play outside. After the break, Dea does Latin. Before dinner, Jay & I do Spelling. Today, he finishes step 27 of AAS4, which is the last step. So, he has finished level 4, and we will be starting level 5 next week. Level 5 is the only level I bought for 4th grade, so once we are done with that, we are done with formal Spelling for the year & will fill all of Spelling with games like Boggle & Scrabble & review of the cards from AAS levels 1-5. After dinner, the kids do a Freewrite. Jay does chapter 19 of Elementary Physics while Dea & I work on her Grammar.

Friday morning, the kids & I do grocery shopping. By the time we get home, it is lunch time. This is a big part of why our original schedule for this year had less work planned for Fridays & why Fridays have almost no work planned with our new schedule (which started this week). The kids are each expected to do a Math lesson & their reading. They can choose to do extra work or use the day to make up work they didn't finish during the week. They still need to do housework, of course. When not doing school or housework, they simply need to find ways to entertain themselves, mostly without screens.

They spend part of the day playing outside. While out there they put out some water for the neighbor's dog. The neighbors don't take care of their dog. She is left outside virtually all the time, often not even in their yard, just hanging out in the parking lot next to their house. She digs through their garbage for food. Yesterday, the little girl that lives there told Dea that they ran out of food for the dog over a week ago & haven't gotten more for her. I'm not sure if the morons even have water out for her, as I have never seen any. So, my kids water her daily. We've fed her some of our dog's food on several occasions. Our dog is a small dog, though, and we get small bags of food for her. So, we are picking up a big bag of food for the neighbor's dog today, so our kids can put some food out for her every day, without risk of running out of food for our dog. Animal Control has been called on them several times, by us & at least one other person. They never do anything about it, though. This family also has a couple of overweight chiuauas, who have run down the middle of the street on multiple occasions (a very busy street at that), because they are not supervised either. Plus, the kids that live there regularly stay home from school, just because they don't want to go & their mom apparently doesn't care if they go or not. We have had problems with this family since not long after we moved into our house. One of the boys that lives there (I had always thought he was the oldest of the kids, but was just informed today that they have a teenage brother who also lives there, though I have never seen him or heard mention of him until today) bullied Jay for years.

Jay does chapter 20 of Elementary Physics & finishes his historical fiction. Dea finishes that Geometry lesson she didn't finish the other day, does the next lesson after that, and reads in Life of Pi.