Friday, November 5, 2010

Weekly Report Week 9-12

It's been a busy few weeks here! We have had gorgeous weather and Rocket Boy has enjoyed biking and many neighborhood nerf wars. Fall is settling in though, and I think we will be settling in with it. Read on for an update on our home school adventures.

Bible: We completed reading the David Livingstone biography. Our hymns have been "He Leadeth Me" followed by "This is My Father's World." I am going to switch hymns a little more frequently during November so that we can get some good Thanksgiving themed hymns sung. We are continuing with A Young Person's Guide to Knowing God. This week we talked about God's provision and protection.

Middle School Essentials: We've dipped our toes back into this arena in order to strengthen Rocket Boy's outlining skills. By this I mean outlining as a way to take notes from a non-fiction source. We are using Study Skills Strategies: Outlining to work on this. 

Art: Rocket Boy is continuing in his Atilier Art course through our co-op. Quite honestly, I would have liked to see him in a class that challenged him more, or at least allowed him to show off his talent. He has not yet covered any new ideas. This is how things often go with co-op classes. They can vary in quality and rigor depending on what the teacher wants the class to be like.

History: India & Ireland are on the map! Rocket Boy has been reading about British Imperialism.  In addition to his reading in the Kingfisher History Encyclopedia, Rocket Boy read The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling and completed a one page paper on the Irish Potato Famine.

Language Arts:  We are staying the course with Analytical Grammar. Up to this point, comma rules have been the topic of conversation in our home. He is currently working on Lesson 23 and most likely won't get finished with season three before Christmas, but hopefully will soon after. Rocket Boy completed reading Treasure Island and studied setting with Lightening Literature. He is putting his knowledge to work as he participates in the Young Writer's Program for National Novel Writer's Month. As he progresses through the month, he will be using their free workbook for middle school students. The workbook is an excellent resource for anyone who wants to encourage creative writing or teach about analyzing literature. It covers character development with some very practical exercises, plot development, conflict and conflict resolution. It is a great way to cover these concepts. There are separate workbooks for elementary students, middle school students and high school students. Each Young Writer sets their own goals, so he has a very personalized program to work with this month.

Math: We are slowly moving through Algebra I from Math U See. Slowly is the key word here. Most likely we will not finish this program. I am considering counting this as a pre-algebra year and then using Harold Jacobs' Algebra next year.  I think it's emphasis on application problems might be something that will help Rocket Boy along. This is an area where I have found Math U See lacking. I am having to continuously remind myself that math is not a race. It's more important that he learn the concepts well than it is that he complete a program according to a pre-determined schedule.

Science: An amazing thing happened in science. We had a lab go flawlessly! Rocket Boy successfully separated the copper from a copper sulfate solution using a battery, alligator clips, an index card and two paper clips. The experiment went very quickly & we had great results.
The Set Up - Copper Sulfate Solution.

You can see the copper plating on the left paper clip. 
Here's the copper that was left in the bottom of the glass.

After a one week break, tennis clinics are ongoing, although the kids won't be practicing as often in the colder weather. Speech and Debate is also ongoing. Rocket Boy enjoys this class and is finding the material very challenging. His teacher did say that you have to participate over a year or two before you truly start understanding the process. He is beginning to form his arguments now, although a lot of work remains to be done before the practice tournament in December. First Lego League seems to be going well - the team has  a solid research presentation brewing and is working diligently on the robot challenges. The countdown is on, however, as the regional qualifying tournament is scheduled for December 4. That tournament will determine whether or not the team moves on to the state championship in January. The Boy Scouts had their Council Camporee in October as well. They celebrated the 100th anniversary of the BSA. Rocket Boy worked on his woodworking merit badge all weekend.

I finally downloaded pictures from my phone, so here are some pictures from the scieNCe Festival that I blogged about for week 6.

L to R: UNC-CH Chancellor with Jamie and Adam from Mythbusters.

Rocket Boy holding the strand of DNA that he extracted from a strawberry.

A close up of the DNA - how cool is this?


Karen said...

I love that feeling of a flawless experiment! We've had two doozies of failures so far this year, but many more that have worked well. Thanks for updating :)

Daisy said...

Wow, sounds like an incredible week. I love your science experience. I'm going to look into that resource for outlining. We are doing pretty well with that here but I'd love to have a helping hand with it. Thanks.