Seventh Grade Happenings

We finally finished the IOWA testing.  Now, I sit here and wait for the results to show up at my door.    We have been concentrating so much on Mathematics lately, that most everything else has been put aside.  Decimal, Algebra, Geometry, and Fractions have mostly been what we have been working on.  B. has continued to attend rehearsals for the Homeschool groups production of  “A Midsummer’s Dream”.  He is Bottom.  It fits his personality to a tee!!!  He has his lines down, but needs to work on cues.  They will be performing this play twice. Once for a friends and family show and then we are invited to perform at the  http://www.nyfairiefest.com/index.php Faerie Festival.  Our dear friend Bill Thorpe is the spear head of this festival.

B. is also beginning to attend Creative Writing Classes held at the Bundy Museum, taught by our friend LC.  He is going to enjoy this class I think.  If he can let go of spitting out facts and actually try to write fiction that doesn’t involve dungeons and dragons. LOL

We have continued on our Middle Ages studies.  We are beginning to enter into the Era of the Renaissance.    We are still trying to understand how to make Main Lesson Book pages of Beauty rather than boy mess. Sigh.

Testing

Today I am beginning the IOWA 8th grade level tests to see if B. can skip eighth grade and enter into Keystone National High school. I have given him the tests in both mathematics and Language arts that they provide and both resulted in our contacting the administrator requesting high grade material for his course work, so I feel he might be ready to move onto 9th grade all together.
We will see. This test is long and tedious. It at least will give me an idea as to where further gaps are in his education, so I don’t feel as though we are wasting time by doing this, even if we find ourselves continuing with 8th grade level school work.

T. has been having more of a challenge with his cursive writing lately and is making me wonder what is up. His letters are more sloppy and choppy looking than before. He is at least finishing his school work each school day so that is a blessing.
Today we will go to the Greene Library after school work is complete and pic up some neat Native American Stories and such to help us have fun with our Newest unit. We begin Native American studies this week. I have several projects lined up for us. We will be making dream catchers, moccasins, leather pouches, and more. I hope to bring some shelter study into this with various forms of Native American shelters. I hope we have fun with this. I would like to build our own shelter to tell the stories in, but I haven’t really found a way to accomplish that.

Geometry

B. is cranking out his mathematics work in Fractions, Decimals, Algebra and Geometry.  In his Geometry study he has taken it upon himself to study out of Jamie Yorks Middle School Mathematics Manual.  He has created several drawings that reflect some of the properties he is learning about.

We are getting there.

It’s been a while

Well, if I have any pictures of anything I might have been doing for the past week and a half, they are still on my camera, so aren’t getting put in this post anyway.  Sorry.  Just been lazy about the picture thing.  Even when I have wanted to take pictures for some event, I would forget until afterward, duh!  Slap me in the head, I know!

I haven’t been all that busy anyway, really.  I have been mostly trying to focus on getting my homeschooling groove back and helping each of the boys get what they need outta of the rest of this years school work.    Next month I am purchasing Teaching Textbook Mathematics Grade 4 for T.’s math next year and B. will be enrolled in Keystone National High or Middle School program for 8/9th grade.  T. and I have been waking to our morning circle time, which has been greatly modified thanks to the sharing from mudmama at http://brilliantstarblog.blogspot.com/ .  She brought to light some great circle time work that would really benefit T. greatly in many aspects.  I am going to purchase a couple books soon, The Extra Lesson and Take Time.  Both seem to be packed with really helpful movement exercises that address several difficulties T. presents.  After our circle time, we have managed to get quite a lot of written school work done with the work books.  Today, I actually got him to agree to fill in some of his Main Lesson Book with Titles and drawings of previously worked with Old Testament stories.  Today, he received the letter from Grandmother saying that she will be arriving in two weeks, so let the Native American Studies Commence!  I hope it is fun for him.  B., we are going crazy getting him out of the Middle Ages and into the Renaissance.  I just really needed to go over the last few major points in the late Middles Ages and have him get it down in his Main Lesson Book, before moving on.  I am not sure what I am going to cover quite yet, but I feel we won’t be for wanting for great topics during this time period.   We are also kicking butt in our mathematics.  He really needed a kick in the butt to find the relevance and need of his studies with math.  He finally figured it out and has cranked out his fractions work and picked up Geometry, Algebra and Decimals all at once.  I hope he doesn’t burn out, cause he is really having a good time with it all.  He is loving his construction work with Geometry.  Now, I am also pushing him to create beauty in his Main  Lesson Books, which he has not understood or seen in the past.  So, I ran through lots of websites, including my favorite and local waldorf blog http://harmonyvalley.blogspot.com/  to show him other work in Main Lesson Books.  I hope it frees his mind up to being more creative with his pages.  It would be really nice to see.  B. has been appointed, Bottom, in the MidSummer Nights Dream homeschool play that will perform this summer in a few locations including!! http://www.nyfairiefest.com/.  I think this is really cool!!  A local friend of the boys, Bill Thorpe and many other folk worked together to create this ren type festival.  We are looking forward to it!!

The boys have been participating in a Gym class located in PA, every Thurs.  It will end soon for the summer, but we are definitely participating next year as well.  They get so much out of this structured fun.  B. is supposed to be obtaining his Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do soon, but I am thinking of holding it off until I see more maturity in him.  I don’t think he is ready, even though he may perform the katas correctly and such, I have more value in his discipline than the belt.  So, I must speak with his Master.  I am not fond of talking to folks in general, so instructors of any kind make me even more put off.  It should be interesting to see how long I can procrastinate this discussion.

Bigger News!  T. turned 10 years old on the 21st.  He spent the morning after school work playing at our local Discovery Center.  This weekend we celebrate his birthday with a party!  The theme is knights.  We are having a joust and creating shields.  Slaying a dragon and searching for the Dragons eggs.  Hunting for the hidden treasure.  All will be fun and Gluten Free Casein Free!  It should be fun!!

And!  My dear friend Sander is visiting us from Montreal, Canada for the week!  This makes me very happy.

Must hit the sack now, so I can keep up the pace of school work around here.  Thanks to Gnome Home Radio found at http://www.alittlegardenflower.com to  help motivate me to get my shite together.

Schooling

I have been really having a hard time getting into the school work groove, but I think as the sun emerges from it’s slumber, so am I.  Today, I thought I would start to catch up with T. on his Old Testament Stories and plan for his Native American Indian Stories to begin.  I wrote up a letter he will soon receive from Grandmother, announcing her visit, and Read to him the story of Abraham sacraficing his son and The beginning story of Moses.  After trying several times to encourage discussion in hopes we could get a writing assignment out of these two, all I got was from it all was an experiment regarding the basket Moses was placed in.  The basket was coated with Tar, so as not to sink and soak through.  So, I figured if we made paper boats to simulate the basket and make another one and paint acrylic paint over it all to simulate the tar, we could see what happens.  I have no idea what properties of science this might cover but I couldn’t draw anything out of  him.  Oh well.

I am in the process of trying to develop a little self-discipline on my part by waking early and preparing for the day ahead of time.  I am also trying to incorperate more into our work that speaks to T. rather than at him.  If that makes any sense. 😛  For B. I am trying to fill in gaps.  Especially, with mathematics we seem to get stuck every year due to his resistance to memorizing his multiplication table.  Due to this I can’t move him forward in his math study, becuase even though the concept is easy for him, the results still come out incorrect.  So, I am doing some major track work with large multiples and division for a while, until I feel he is more competent.   It took us over an hour to get through four problems of multi-digit multiplication.  That was frustrating and long, but we accomplished a great foundation.

7th-dining-06

When our paint dries and we fill up the sink with water, I will show you our results of the boat experiment.  I hope something interesting comes of it.  Anyone know how to turn this one into eduspeak? LOL

Nummers for Lunch

Today we started our school work on a positive note with the practice of Cursive, but we started late in the day. Only anhour or so before lunch.  My fault.  Of course, the day spiraled into battle as soon as we came to the next page of school work.  Writing Sentences.  We fought over getting that done so we could eat lunch that I had prepared whilst doing the cursive and the first sentence on the worksheet.  Finally, he finished one sentence and I needed to eat, so we put that aside and ate our lovely lunch.

After we cleaned  up, the battel commenced again to complete the rest of his worksheets.  But finally around 1ish he completed the work and was off to his shower.  Now he is free to play and I can breath a little sigh of relief for the moment.

B. was given a writing assignment today to write a persuasive essay.  This is in hopes of giving LC a writing sample to evaluate his work.  I really need him to be prepared for essay writing and college writing.  Seventh Grade is not that far off from College.   LC gave me some ideas to present to him for topics and I feel this will certainly help motivate him writing.   He has Tae Kwon Do this evening.

That means I get to go to knitting group!! at B&N, hopefully, if all goes well with T.  Yeah!  Show and tell!!

Happenings

After the candy and chocolate high from Wednesday of last week, it was pretty clear that some time to detox was necessary.  I was hoping to make it out to a lovely local museum with the homeschooling Co-op, but after many tantrums and such throughout the morning, it was obvious, that excursion was not going to happen.   I flickered on and off the tele for various reasons through the last several days and even though it exasperated the already constant obsession with the screen, it eased my days while dealing with the ups and downs of T.  I stuck hard and fast to our school work and even though that drained me off much energy and patience, I think it was for the better.  I have continued focusing B. on the Fraction workbooks from Key To… and that has dramatically increased his ability to handle multiplication facts to be  much faster and more proficient.  I am very pleased.  I need some help with guiding him to better writing composition, thought.  Will continue research options available to me.  T. has been fighting tooth and nail to get five pages from the thick workbooks Comprehensive Curriculum Plus Test Practice, Grade 3 and 2
by School Specialty Publishing.  I choose a page from each subject and we just try to get through them.  He has completed most of grade 2 book, and now we are entering the grade 3 book starting with Math(multiplication and review).  He remembers the processes but is horrible with his math facts.  Today, I was very pleased that to begin our worksheet practice he choose to bring out his wonderful Cursive book to practice with first.  I was very pleased as I knew this is something he can easily get praised for.  He has horrible hand writing any other time, but with cursive, he is great!  I don’t push this work on  him, since I know he will only push back and cursive will go down the toilet as did hand writing.  He really likes working with Handwriting Without Tears and so do I.  We have fun playing with the Magic C bunny that is created out of a cloth/paper napkin to help guide him. (and makes fun of his mother)  Today we got through almost all the worksheets for today with out having any fighting!  It only flared when he choose the order of his work and left the most writing necessary paper for last. And they was no stopping afterward as he had to do another horrible and cursed thing after finishing his already painful dreadful worksheets. He had to shower. 8I  To him, this is torture that occurs daily and sometimes several times daily.  He was not happy to move through the last page, but he did and was very proud of himself for getting it all done.  All of it before lunch.

T. also took it upon himself to learn to knit yesterday.  I took out my large needles which already h ad the beginning of a project started for him to learn on and had him pick up where I left off.  I didn’t want him to deal with casting on, so this was good.  As of today, he has knit 20 stitches across the needle. He is so pleased with himself!!  I am pleased too!  Another thing about T. is that he loves activities and a book filled with activity ideas is gold to him.  I just received out Story of the World Volume three Activity Book and I had it in my hands for all of twenty minutes before it was absconded with by T.  He has already spray painted dog food to make it look like Gold from the story activity Fool Gold and Gold Fever from the Gold Rush era, and colored in two sheets of the Hatian flag taped them together and taped them to a rod to create a flag that he posted in our yard.  What this was about I have no idea.  I haven’t read the history section of what that was about.

B. has taken it upon himself to write out some of the music he has composed.  Thankfully, I was prepared for this to happen and had already ordered some manuscript paper from Mercurius with my Main Lesson books.  He is filling it out like crazy. I wonder if it makes sense to anyone but him.  I will test that with my musician friends soon.

I have been struggling to find something in my ability level and funky for my Dr. Seuss Swap through the Odd Duck group on Ravelry to gift my secret partner.  I will find something. I do have one idea and even bought the pattern for it.  It is a crochet hat, but the gauge is so thick I am having atough time finding yarn to do the job and choosing what colors to use for it.    I have also been knitting up a storm on my Tiny Tippet and Three Scarf Rauna.

One obscure passion of mine is eating asian food.  I grew up in a major city until I was 7 years of age and were surrounded by families from all sorts of asian ancestry.  That gave me some incredible eating experiences.  Have you ever eaten a grey booger from a newspaper on the floor?  I thought not. But that was my first experience eating snails!! YUMMY!!!  Right now, I am having a huge craving for Rice Cake filled with Red Bean Paste.  So I have gotten all the ingredients and am going to make some Mochi this week.  I just love it and so do my children.   I love the fact that my kids don’t recognize that they have always been exposed to food that other families would never think to try or eat.  They have eaten so many types of foods that most children never get to try.  We eat things regularly that are just not the norm in other households.  I think that is great and hope one day they help another person see how yummy new foods are.

I finished the Tiny Tippet today!  The knitting part anyway.  I cast off my first class project!  YEAh!  I still have to sew in ends and figure out how buttons will be arranged.  That is for another lesson later this week, as well as starting a new one.  I am not sure which project to start with but I think I am leaning towards socks.  That will have all sorts of new challenges for me.

Of course, the boys had a great time this weekend with T and O over for Sunday fun and today for Knitting.  I love having them all here.  It totally makes my day every day they are here.  T. proudly showed O his stitches he made and did another one for show.  It is totally cute!  I hope he keeps with it.