We had a great start to the New Year! We took this Monday off, finishing up a two week vacation with no travel (pretty unique for us), just staying home and relaxing over the Christmas break.
The rest of the week went very smoothly - planning ahead has really paid off. We have kept all of the same curriculum from the beginning of the year and I expect to be able to finish out the year without tweaking too much more.
On my planning day, I tweaked two things for the last half of this year:
1) We will have math game day on both Tuesday and Thursday. This was such a hit in December when we needed to do a lot of review, that I wanted to continue it but knew we couldn't do it every day. Two days a week seemed to work very well this week. We are continuing to play the Muggins Math games that I wrote about last month. Truthfully, they have proven to be a great investment with each game playable at multiple levels.
2) I revised the writing checklists for the paragraph summary, the two-three page paper and the five paragraph report/essay. Rocket Boy no longer has the need to have a checklist for every dress-up, sentence opener, etc., but he does need a checklist to make sure that he does have good style. I also needed to move towards a grading plan that would count more points for the content of the writing than it did for the dress ups. I came up with three new checklists that hold him accountable not only for having solid stylistic techniques, but also for having a subject and having appropriate supporting topics.
The results of the new checklist were pretty outstanding - Rocket Boy started writing a paragraph summary on the Agricultural Revolution and ended up writing multiple paragraphs. He said there was too much information to contain in one paragraph. Next week, I am going to use the paper he wrote as a tool to review how to structure a multi-paragraph paper w/an intro and conclusion. I am trying to stay away from calling it a "5 paragraph report" because some papers need fewer paragraphs and some need more. I want him to learn how to let the content dictate the structure of the paper, much like he did when he turned his paragraph summary into a multi-paragraph paper.
Pre-Algebra has been going well this week - the unit on decimals is review, so I am thinking that the entire chapter will be review. Of course, most of Pre-Algebra is review to begin with!
All of our other subjects are moving along - nothing special to report there!
I am going to charge my camera battery this weekend - so I should have more pictures next week.
So, did you try anything new in your home school after your break?