Saturday, October 17, 2009

Weekly Update - Week 10 (10/13-10/16)

Maybe I am defining the word weekly a bit loosely. Hopefully I can get better at this!

I figured out this week that we are proceeding at roughly half speed in history and science. We are continuing our pattern of getting one or the other done, but not both.

The big news this week is that we actually did get some science work done! Activities, writing assignments and labs were completed and enjoyed! This week we covered cell theory, learned about the parts of the microscope and how to use it, looked at cork under the microscope just like Robert Hooke did back in 1663 when he first observed cells.

Pre-Algebra has been rough going - subtracting negative integers is a real sticking point in it's own right, but then combine them with long problems in which the order of operations is critical, then you can see a bit of what we've been working with. This week has been a review week for that reason. This was not a hard concept last year, but with the longer problems in Pre-Algebra, it is easier to become confused and to make simple errors in transcription if there are any interruptions or distractions to the work flow. Hoping this will smooth out in the coming days.

Grammar and spelling have been moving along nicely. Next week we will ramp up the language arts portion of the curriculum by beginning to write a biography on one of the people that has been encountered in the history studies. It will be interesting to see who is chosen - will it be Galileo Galeli, Carl Linnaeus or someone else?

Our Bible reading & prayer time continues daily, however we have stalled with discussions of the workbook we are using. My student is enrolled in a new elective class at church that covers theology, so that should complement our home study of theology well. I am hoping we can get back on track with this over the next few weeks. We read 1 Timothy this week.

Thinking forward:
I will have to assess where we are going to go with the remainder of the year. We will finish up Ch. 2 this week. Today I took the time to plan out the next chapter on cell processes and energy. I have 54 school days worth of plans for that one chapter alone. At this rate,we will not fully complete the material I wanted to cover during the year. I had already dropped the ecology chapters because we had covered that thoroughly during the past two years. I am committed to finishing the first unit in the book (7 chapters) because it includes basic information on Biology. My son had been looking forward to unit 3 on Human Biology and Health (which follows neatly after the end of unit 1, which includes an introduction to genetics. The unit in question is Unit 2 which covers living things - a chapter on viruses, bacteria, protists and fungi, a chapter on plants and then 5 chapters on various animals.

Towards that end, I read a fabulous book this week: Nurturing Inquiry by Charles R. Pearce. I picked up the book recommendation on The Well Trained Mind forums. It is an excellent description of using inquiry to teach science. I have been a bit puzzled by the recent descriptions of "science as inquiry" that I have seen here and there and this book proved to be an excellent primer on the concept. I think we will be making some changes in the weeks to come!

1 comment:

jonnia said...

For me, planning is incredibly challenging, but also fun. I love the freedom to tweak as necessary! Thank you for the Nuturing Inquiry title. I'm off to look it up now.