After five years in school, will homeschooling be a fit for our family? Walk with us as we try to find out!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Weekly Wrap Up: Writing and Piano and Webinars, Oh My!

We have had a relatively peaceful and productive week here at the lab.  I guess we are still running on our post-Spring Break energy.  With the end of the school year less than two months away, the test subjects seem to have settled back into a comfortable routine with more pleasant attitudes overall.  I'm very thankful for this :)

On Monday afternoon, TS 1 had his weekly writing class.  He is working on a very clever interview of a fictitious circus acrobat.  Perhaps he will allow me to post the final copy again here.  I am so pleased with how TS 1's composition curriculum went this year.  We spent most of the year working on the fundamentals of writing using the Student Writing Intensive from IEW.  Right around the time we completed that curriculum, this class was offered through our local homeschool group.  It has allowed TS 1 to take the fundamentals he learned and expand on them with longer, more challenging and more creative composition assignments.  

On Tuesday afternoons, we have piano lessons.  I am so pleased with the boys' progress!  TS 1 is working on some really advanced pieces already.  These two clips are songs he is working on right now.  They still need practice, but they are coming along really nicely, I think.

TS 1 is also learning some music theory and composition as well, simply because he thinks in such a technical way and asks detailed questions of his teacher about how music is composed.  

TS 2 is also doing wonderfully with piano.  Here is a clip of a  little song he composed himself.  Of course, I think it sounds fabulous!

And this is a song he is working on for the recital in June.

A friend and fellow homeschooling mom sent a link to a free astronomy webinar through Super Charged Science on Wednesday afternoon.  Since the test subjects have been studying astronomy all year with dad, this webinar sounded perfect!  It turned out to be very interesting and a good review of the solar system. 

Although Super Charged Science is a secular science program, there was no evolutionary perspective presented during the webinar.  Since it was a free webinar, the presenter spent a bit of time at the beginning and near the end of the presentation on a sales pitch for her online homeschool science curriculum.  That did not bother me at all- I felt she was entitled to tout her program since she was offering the webinar free of charge.  The only criticism I have of the experience is that it went a bit long (about 80 minutes) and the test subjects had lost interest by the time the question and answer portion of the webinar began.

The highlight of Thursday was our Tapestry of Grace review of the current week's lesson on Martin Luther and the Protestant Reformation.  We used the assigned lapbook and evaluation to guide our discussion.  This is typical of how we have handled our history review this year.  We started out using the weekly evaluations published by TOG, but I quickly realized a discussion and review feels more thorough and natural for our family at this stage.  Perhaps when TS 1 moves into the dialectic stage, we will use the evaluations as actual assessment tools again.  

On Thursday evening, we headed over to RA's school for the annual book fair.  It was fun to see old friends and we scored lots of great books, too!

As always, Friday morning brought co-op.  TS 1's PE teacher was out this week so the other assistant and I led the class this week.  We started with an obstacle course and then spent the rest of the period playing a kickball game.  The kids seemed to have a great time.  

We are all looking forward to our weekly Friday night playdate and a Saturday full of baseball.  I hope your weekend is blessed!

The Homeschool Mother's Journal

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