Saturday, 3 May 2008

Weekly Report 2008:18

My new checklist is working well and we've kept on track with planned activities this week, despite Jeff having a different schedule because he's on "mission week" at a church plant near Murdoch Uni. This has given him a great opportunity to talk to some of the people studying at the Theological Hall there, but that's a different post.

Circle Time
This week we read four stories from Acts 3-5 (we skipped the story of Ananias and Sapphira). It's pretty amazing how brave Peter, John and the other disciples were in the face of opposition to the gospel they were sharing. I really enjoyed reading Peter's statements to the Sanhedrin that "Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved." (Acts 4:12) and "We must obey God rather than men!" (Acts 5:29). I will be adding these to our list of memory verses for the future.
We've learnt the first verse of In Christ Alone and have started adding in the second verse. I sing the first verse with the kids joining in, then they listen to me sing the second verse on my own (yikes!) As with the memory verses, for some time it is just me on my own, then after a few days they'll join in with one or two words, then only a little while later they know the whole thing.
Our memory verse at the moment is Acts 2:36-39, and so far we've learnt the first two verses and are working on the third, adding in a new verse as we master the previous one. On Wednesday when we were listening to Acts in the car, Anna piped up with, "that's what we heard in our Circle Time", so I know they are listening.

Joshua has finished Hot Fox and read the first two stories in Stunt Duck. With the introduction of two lines of text on a page, he has struggled with his visual focus, mixing up letters (with the row above or below) more than previously. He also struggles with serif l - confusing it with capital I. I've started using a piece of white paper below the line of text he's reading and next week I think I'll add another above as well. Alternatively, I am thinking of typing out the text of each story and getting him to read my print out on one day, then the next day he can re-read the story from the book. I'm not sure which will work best but I do know which would be the more time consuming for me - but that shouldn't be the deciding factor, unfortunately.
Now that Anna is four years old, she is officially allowed to stay awake in the afternoons rather than have a compulsory nap. This means that she has joined Joshua for penmanship. Her sentences are simple tracework which also provide reading practice, such as, "The fat cat has a hat on." Joshua has completed some longer sentences as copywork, such as, "Socks the fox saw a hen. Yum, yum!" And the following day, "Socks the fox hid, but the hen saw him. Run, hen!" (Sound familiar? These sentences were inspired from the Bob Books he was reading a little while ago.)
On Friday, the children traced grammar sentences. Anna's was "A full stop marks the end of a sentence." Joshua had "An exclamation point marks the end of an expression of sudden or strong feeling. eg Emergency!" (I adapted this from Susan Wise Bauer's definition of an interjection in First Language Lessons.) I am trying to choose copywork sentences during the week to illustrate the punctuation rule I plan to teach next. As they copy the punctuation during the week, I recite the grammar rule to them so they are already familiar with it when they copy it on Friday.

We began reading The Wind in the Willows while we were at Pemberton, and Jeff liked it so much we have had to have our read aloud sessions after dinner each night. Jeff and I are loving the lyrical language - although with some very long and complex sentences I am struggling occasionally to read with the fluency and expression which I can usually manage to affect.
Jeff has also begun reading Spindles of the Dusty Range by Barry Chant to Joshua occassionally. It's a copy that Jeff's mother read to him as a child, which is quite special to think of. This is the first of a series of six (I think we have five of them) short Christian novels, starring the young boy Spindles, who lives in the Australian Outback.
On Friday night, in between walking Joshua to Karate class and picking him up again, I managed to read a chapter of The Milly-Molly-Mandy Storybook to the girls again. i love these books and the girls love having special girly stories. Although, being honest, Joshua enjoyed them a lot as well the first read through last year.

We finished Lesson 9, skipped Lesson 10 and went straight on to Lesson 11 in Earlybird Mathematics 2A. As with last term, Anna joins in with the activities, but only Joshua writes in the book. I'm not sure how that will work when we move on from measurement to number names and place value (tens/ones), but we'll just see how we go. I am thinking if Anna continues to understand everything in this K5 program, I'll just start them both together in Primary Mathematics 1 next year. And for the later lessons this week, even Abigail joined in and had a lot of fun estimating how many bowls of green water we'd fill from the saucepan, and how many cups of yellow water we'd fill from the recycled milk bottle.

Science & Geography
We read two non-fiction books, on Bats and Ocelots, continuing with our study of rainforest creatures. We also looked up South America on Joshua's globe.

On Tuesdays we had the T family over for a visit and when Mrs T came to collect the kids she stayed for a short chat that ended up lasting several hours. Mrs T had her first visit from a moderator on Thursday, and it was great to discuss how another parent prepares (mentally and otherwise) for these assessments.
Just as the T family were leaving Jeff arrived home with a friend from his army days who I haven't seen since I was pregnant with Joshua. It was great to catch up and see the video of his wedding, which Jeff flew over east to be best man at several years ago.
On Wednesday we visited a park near the church where we go to BSF with another mum and her son, who is in the same pre-school class as Abigail. I am really enjoying becoming better acquainted with the mums in my small group at BSF. It is great to talk with women who are determined to read the Bible daily and build their lives on what they find there.

Church History
This subject's for me: I've begun a six-week course in Church History to 1550 at T Theol College, where Jeff studies during the day. The class is full with 45 people and I don't know anyone other than the lecturer! The first lecture, covering the first 250 years of the Christian Church, was interesting. The most important insight for me was the fact that most of the Jewish Christians perished in the destruction of Jerusalem in 70AD and this is why the Church has been overwhelmingly Gentile in background since that time. This influenced the Church as new Gentile believers had been brought up worshipping the Roman pantheon of gods and listening to religio-philosophic ideas such as Platonism, Aristotleanism and Stoicism, but they had very little knowledge or understanding of the Hebrew Scriptures, which we know today as the Old Testament. cf One of the first things Jesus did after he was resurrected was to explain to his disciples how the Scriptures pointed to Him and the need for His sacrifice for our sins (Luke 24:25-27, 44-48). This was something we were studying in BSF just this past week, reading Matthew 5:17: "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them."


Mary@notbefore7 said...

I went back adn looked at the checklist. GREAT routine! I made just modify it a bit for our needs :)

Sharon said...

Feel welcome, Mary. Thanks what blogging is all about, isn't it? Learning from others?
~ Sharon