Saturday, 19 January 2008

Weekly Report 2008:3

Just a funny photo to begin with:Samuel has discovered that there is something more interesting in the kids' bathroom than Abigail's potty: the wash basin. Finding him in the wash basin when things go suspiciously quiet makes a change from finding random items (socks, books, Abigail's pyjamas) floating in the toilet basin, anyway.

We've had Jeff's Dad staying with us this week.He's just finished a job in Jakarta (Indonesia) and he's visiting his family all over Australia before he begins another, off today for his next stop in Darwin. We tried to convince him to get one here in Perth near his grandkids, but we'll have to wait and see whether family wins out over the interest level of a possible job in India.

Although a fun trip to the indoor play centre Go Bananas won out over schoolwork on Friday, we caught up today, and I'm pleased that I have decided to feel free to skip a day during the working week if we need or want to. Saturdays at our house are no different with Jeff at home at the moment, so it makes no difference to the kids if they catch up then. Once the school term officially starts, we'll be doing BSF on Wednesdays and our homeschool days will drop down to four days a week rather than five to reflect that. So here's where we're at academically:

Joshua completed the first "lesson" from the Singapore Earlybird Mathematics 2A workbook, and began the second "lesson". There are 20 lessons per workbook, mostly with 4 pages per lesson and 2 workbooks, so we'll aim for one lesson each week, or one page each day. He could do a lot more, but I think the slow and steady approach will stop him from feeling overloaded, especially with the penmanship required on some pages. Since Joshua is already confident with his numerals 1-10, and is familiar up to about 18, he coped fine with the first lesson which deals only with 1-5. He was also interested enough in the tasks to draw some watercolour numbers on scrap paper during some free time later in the week. Already Joshua's 4s are a lot neater. We're using the colourful plastic bottletops I've been collecting for the last few months as counters, and Anna is joining in with the counting activities also. She's slower than him (as one would expect) but so far, she's been able to do every task he's been given.

Joshua listened in on a conversation I had with Jeff at the beginning of the week over possible penmanship tasks for his K5 year, and since then he's been begging for story sentences starring himself (as Jeff suggested I go with). He has only 6 sentences to go from his present Penmanship Reader, so he will be ready to start that sort of thing in a fortnight, when institutional schools start their year. A sample from this week's decoding and penmanship tasks:Anna has also been working on her penmanship. She'll be finished the alphabet next week so I might give her a week off before starting her with the same reading and penmanship program I developed for Joshua last year, based on Phono-Graphix. This is a sample of her best writing from this week:
Circle Time
The kids have all enjoyed singing "Shout to the Lord" with me in Circle Time this week, now they're a bit more familiar with it. I've decided to teach them 10 of Australia's top 25 worship songs as reported by CCLI this year, with one a month. Sometimes Samuel sits in his high chair with us for Circle Time, sometimes he's already having his nap, but Abigail is happy to join the other two at their schoolwork. On Monday we read about Jesus speaking to Philip and Nathanael, and she was most excited to include "circles" in her colouring:Joshua suggested tonight at dinner that I should teach Abigail to read at the same time I teach Anna. I told them all that Abigail needs to show that she can colour fairly neatly and draw recognisably before she'll be ready for that. Oh, and be able to pay a bit more attention to a read aloud story, although she's definitely been improving with that lately.

Literature and other things
We're still reading through The Complete Adventures of Thomas the Tank Engine and enjoying it thoroughly. Grandpa brought some DVDs of Thomas and Friends with him from Jakarta and the kids love them. The girls and I have begun re-reading The Milly-Molly-Mandy Storybook by Joyce Lankester Brisley the last two Friday nights, while Jeff has begun taking Joshua out for Karate lessons. It's nice to have a special girly time together.

I know it's not an academic area but I still want to record that Jeff suggested we let Joshua watch Play School at 3pm each day and so far, he's really getting into it, singing and dancing along. The others are napping then, but it's a convenient time for them to wake up if they hear the TV on, and if not, they don't miss it anyway.

Another highlight of our week included watching Samuel become a proficient walker. He's finally made the transition from crawling as his preferred mode of locomotion to walking pretty much everywhere, legs out, hands often in the air or carrying something. Like all the others at this stage, he's developed a sudden admiration for small play handbags (purses). Here he is about to enjoy the classically Australian summer delight of playing under the sprinkler:Samuel loved having his Grandpa visit and I must say I appreciated having someone else on cuddle duty:So that was our week. I hope yours went well also.

1 comment:

Nicole said...

Rebecca and I been reading Milly Molly Mandy too and are really enjoying it!