Monday, November 28, 2016

Weekly Wrap-up ~ Math Woes are the Way it Goes

Santa came early and I got a new laptop! Yay! Now I can actually start blogging again without saying lots of bad words and considering throwing my computer through the window! It's been a grueling several months babying along my old Mac, and my new MacBook Air is amazing! I don't have any photos on this new computer yet, and I am NOT going to rev up the old one to send myself some photos. So this will, hopefully, be the last photo-less blog post.

I mentioned in a previous post that we are ahead of schedule this year with our hours. That feels great! So we didn't stress when we took a full week off for Thanksgiving break and previously had to take almost a full week off school for sickness.

In most subjects we have been moving along steadily completely a lesson each week. We have been doing lots of reading, researching historical events alongside the show Timeless, enjoying astronomy and Greek Mythology, and learning more and more about Missouri's history.

Pre-Algebra had us at a standstill for a few weeks. But, one of my favorite things about homeschooling is our ability to continue working on a concept until we have it mastered. We have been camped out in math with adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing integers while using order of operations. There are a lot of concrete rules that have all piled up on each other, but it is absolutely necessary that we have these rules memorized before we can move forward in pre-algebra. The kids were both a little discouraged, but I assured them that we could continue working on problems until they were confident that they had the concepts mastered. At the end of the week before Thanksgiving break, I think they finally had it under control. We are going to do one more day of practice problems today to make sure and then will move on.

Election week was an interesting week! And we took advantage of it! We have followed it closely watching debates, discussing the electoral college, scrounging through the media reports. Election night I really hadn't planned on watching the results, but once we got started we couldn't stop. We put in about 6 hours of schooling that night waiting to see what would happen. As a family we held out until the final announcement that Donald Trump was our president-elect and that Hillary Clinton had conceded.

Our Missouri History studies that week had us learning about the artist George Caleb Bingham. We studied several of his paintings, particularly one called "The County Election". We completed a great art study that allowed us to discuss the differences between elections from the past and current elections. We had hours of interaction on these topics. I was so impressed with the insight the kids had with the art and the electoral process. It was a fun lesson.

The kids have also had their enrichment class with their friends each week. Eli and his friend are enjoying watching an episode of "Where on Earth is Carmen Sandiego" and noting facts about locations visited. Brynne and her friend have been doing some seasonal creative writing and art.

Brynne is also now into the full swing of basketball, and Eli has started his youth bowling league. Brynne opted out of bowling this year. Eli is also still attending speech therapy each week.

In other words, we are busy all the time. We are planning four more solid weeks of school work and then are going to take a super long Christmas break this year from December 23rd until the first Monday in February! That will be so nice, especially since I am taking a week-long trip to Hawaii to visit a friend at the end of January.

2016-2017 School Hours Logged: 378.75 hours, including 63.5 hours outside home. Plus Summer Hours Logged: 141.5 hours, including 54 hours outside home.

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