Weekly Update

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The kids and I are still trying to get into a school routine, but we had a nice week easing back into our schedule. Many of the twin’s outside classes have not started yet, but they have begun their at-home studies. They worked on biology, history, algebra (1 and 2), health and literature.

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The highlight of their week was finishing And Then There Were None
by Agatha Christie. They are reading this book for their teen book club, and they both loved it. Neither one of them could put it down once they started and now they are both reading Murder on the Orient Express.

Tru has also been enjoying his Algebra 2 class that he is taking through CTY online. He spends a couple of hours on it each day and always has some amazing math fact to tell me afterwards. It is wonderful to see him so enthusiastic about math.

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Speaking of Tru, he has also been pouring over another great book, One Two Three . . . Infinity. My friend gave Tru this book because she thought he would enjoy it, and I am so glad she did. I had never heard of it, but I have since read up on it. Apparently it is a classic  in the science and math world . If you have an older kid or teen who loves either subject I highly recommend this book.

Also this week Autry decided that she wants to make lecture videos on the joy of classical music. I think she was inspired by The Great Courses, so she spent the week making her introduction video. She enjoyed making it, and I got a kick out of watching it.

 

This week Decca finished week 2 of Latin, week 3 of this month’s Arrow, and the first few lessons of the environment and cycles unit in MBTP. I am not sure why Moving Beyond the Page is not more popular in the homeschooling world, but I feel like it is one of the best options out there, especially if you have a creative or gifted learner.

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Working on a project for Moving Beyond the Page

Decca also started his first set of lessons in Beast Academy 4a. We just received his next two books in Life of Fred, fractions and decimals, which we will probably start next week. Honestly math is not a favorite subject of his, but with these books he does seem to tolerate the work.

Also this week Kingsley and I spent a day at the doggie beach in Newport. He had an amazing time!

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And that is our week in review!

Weekly Update – 8th grade

Last week I featured my youngest son and his work, and this week I thought I would discuss Tru and his work. This is his eighth grade, and the year has been going so smooth I can hardly believe it. He is working almost entirely independent, and he is doing all his work easily and without complaint. It is as though he matured over the summer and is suddenly the perfect homeschool student. He enjoys all his school, works hard from about 7:30 in the morning until 4:00 in the afternoon, and doesn’t complain at all. It has been wonderful.

He seems to have gotten into a routine of sorts. He starts the day with his computer work, which for him is CNN student news, Rosetta Stone French, The Great Courses Understanding Astronomy, and Teaching Textbooks Geometry. After this he completes his geometry lesson and works on his one-year American history (which is mostly reading). Then he breaks for lunch.

After lunch Tru starts back with LoF Algebra (which he wanted to work through again this year for review), works through language arts (IEW, easy grammar, vocabulary), reviews his French textbook, and then works on his film studies.

I picked this vintage French textbook up years ago, and now Tru is using it. We both like it very much.

This week he is editing a film that he shot last weekend. He is also watching The Battleship Potemkin with me and taking notes on it (specifically going over the plot and writing down the plot points).

Tru finishes his day with independent reading. This week he read The False Prince which he seemed to like, but I don’t think he was crazy about it. He has a long day, but he has consistently gotten through his work, and I am very proud of him.

One of his boss creations

Of course I should mention that once he is done with his work he is free to get on his computer. He got a new computer this week, and he has been creating  bosses for a game he is making. He is obsessed with this right now, and I believe is might be motivating him to get through his work even faster. I don’t mind, as it makes for very pleasant, stress-free days.

Weekly Update

I thought it would be nice to concentrate on my daughter this week. Autry is still going strong at the Orange County High School of the Arts. She is finishing up her first year in Classical Voice, and I am so proud of her.

This week Autry had her juries to see how far she has come this year. She was nervous about this, but I wasn’t at all. (She is honestly a wonderful singer, and she has matured so much vocally over the past nine months that I was just not worried.) Anyway I picked her up at school after her jury, and she had the biggest smile on her face. Her teacher and the director of classical voice gave her very positive feedback, and Autry was so darn happy. They told her she was born to be a singer, and I couldn’t agree more!

So now that juries are over, she is practicing for her next concert and a Bach competition, both of which are in the first week of May. She has four songs that she will be singing between the concert and the competition, so she is working hard on those songs. She will be singing 3 solos and 1 quartet, and she is having a good time working on all the songs. I like the classical voice program at OCHSA because the kids are always working on songs for a concert. It is important for the kids to have opportunities to perform what they are learning. I think it motivates them.

I wish I had a video of the song she sang at juries, but I don’t. Instead here is a short video of Autry and her friend at school singing Yonder Come Day. It is one of my favorite songs.

OCHSA is a great school not only because of the art programs, but also because of the academics. One of the strengths of the school is that most of the teachers are aware that they are working with creative kids who learn in different ways, and the teachers allow for the students differences and strengths. For instance Autry had a math assignment where she had to design a mall using a scale drawing. The purpose of the assignment was to get the kids working in scale and to have them practice their geometry skills. Autry had so much fun with this project because she got to be creative and along the way she learned a good deal.

Here is the assignment:

And here is her finished project:

And here are the measurements:

In other news Autry sent me this photo she edited. I thought it was quite funny!

And here is a drawing she has been working on forever. She pulled it out this week and re-did it with color.

Also this week we have all been on a Pottermore kick. Getting sorted was the best thing about the site, and we all couldn’t wait to see what house we got into. It seems that no one was happy with their placement. Tru and Decca were placed in Hufflepuff (Tru couldn’t believe it), and Autry and I in Gryffindor (Autry wanted Ravenclaw).  Ah well, at least no one got placed in Slytherin, although I think they would have all been much happier if they were.

My Hufflepuff and Gryffindor hanging out together.

And that is our week in review.

Weekly Update – Spotlight on my Youngest

This week we have moved on to Africa to study animals. Decca read One Small Square African Savanna, Akimbo and the Crocodile Man, and Akimbo and the Snakes.

We have had Akimbo and the Crocodile Man on our shelves for a long time, and Decca never wanted to read it. He thought it looked boring and too young for him. I finally convinced Decca to read it as part of our study this week, and he loved it. On Wednesday I ordered Akimbo and the Snakes for him, and I think I will order the rest in the series for next week. I love when the kids discover a series of books that they love and can’t wait to read. It is one of the joys of homeschooling.

Akimbo and the Snakes is about Akimbo’s visit to his uncle’s snake farm. In it the uncle milks two cobra snakes for Akimbo to see. Decca was very interested in this so we spent some time on YouTube watching videos of snakes being milked.

Decca researched various animals of Africa this week. His favorite was the warthog, which seemed an unlikely candidate to me, but what do I know. I am not an 8-year-old boy, and I do not pretend to understand the inner workings of their minds. 🙂

Decca also continued working through Beast Academy this week. He is working on skip counting and hundred charts. I am constantly amazed at how high the thinking skills are in this book. Anyone who might be worried that their older child might not be challenged by these books are probably in for a pleasant surprise. The workbook questions get very hard very quickly and require a good amount of figuring out. This sometimes frustrates Decca to no end, but when he finally figures out a problem he is very proud of his accomplishment.

Decca also composed several songs in piano this week. Most of his songs that he works on he does not write them out, as it would be too difficult for him at this stage. He composes much more complicated songs than he would be able to write out. For these songs I record him playing, and he takes them into his teacher, and she gives him feedback. However he did attempt to write some songs this week for beginning piano players because he thinks it would be so awesome if he made his own piano books for others. His first song is called Ride.

And just because we cannot possibly go a week without doing something Scooby related (as my son is very obsessed with Scooby) Decca and I created a bar graph of his Scooby Doo books to see what author wrote the most books in his collection.

And that is our week in review.

Weekly Update

Autry had a wonderful concert last Friday night. I can’t believe it, but I didn’t get one picture of her singing. She wanted me to record the songs, so I was busy doing that, and I forgot about pictures. It was a wonderful concert though, and I was surprised at how much better the kids sounded than at the start of the year. It has been great to hear the progress.

We had some powerful winds her last weekend and along with all the branches that fell we found this bird’s nest. It was in great shape, so of course we scooped it up and brought it into the house. The kids all had fun trying to pick out everything the bird used to make it. Decca was most surprised by how much dryer lint was used in the construction of the nest.

Decca continued with his animal studies this week. He is studying the polar regions and is having fun with it. He read these two books this week,

worked on some notebooking

and watched these two videos.

He and Autry enjoyed the wolves documentary, and although he enjoyed the beginning of Knut, he turned it off in the middle. The music drove him crazy, and he insisted on turning it off. Music is very important to him!

Decca also began working on Beast Academy this week. If you haven’t heard of Beast Academy it is a new elementary math program put out by AOPS. Decca has been eagerly anticipating this math since we first heard about it months ago. We have worked through the first section now, and he loves it. The textbook is a comic book that is engaging, and the workbook is challenging. This seems to be a perfect combination for him, and I wish we could find more programs like this.

Tru did his usual work this week. He also spent a good deal of time down on the golf course.

He spent much of his time practicing his putting. He also took some time to teach Decca how to putt.

Tru set up some game that his teacher sets up for the class. Decca thought this was great fun and now he wants to start golf lessons. Maybe next year…

It is really funny to see everyone’s reaction to the boys down at the golf course during the day. I have never had anyone take much notice of the kids out and about during school hours, but for some reason at the driving range EVERYONE notices. The men (for it is mostly men) always seem so surprised to see them, and sometimes they stare at them, and then at me, for the longest time. I just smile and yell, “they’re homeschooled!” over and over again.

We also spent some time at the beach this week. My yearly pass is about to expire, so I suddenly felt the need to get some more use out of it. We hung out at Huntington Beach for a while, and next week I think we will spend some mornings at Crystal Cove.

And that is our week in review.