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Friday, June 22, 2012

Fourth Grade Week 3

Well, we are finished with another week of 4th grade.  This week brought some struggles, and I’m having to re-think my approach to English and Math.  These two areas have always proven more difficult for Caleb, and while I thought we had found the right fit, I’m not as sure in that decision.  I’ll address each when I post our weekly learning below.
Bible – This week our study focused on “An Enemy in Disguise,” and we read Genesis 3.
Latin – This week’s practical Latin is ‘surge’ and ‘surgite’ which mean ‘stand up’ (one person; more than one person, respectively).  The lesson focused on Latin verbs, and his vocabulary words were:  navigo, porto, oro, laboro, and specto.  It’s easy to see how so many of the English words come from Latin.
Vocabulary – This week’s lesson focused on antonyms.  Caleb’s words were native, foreign, excited, calm, identical, dissimilar, vanish, appear, enlarge, and reduce.
English – As I mentioned above, Caleb really struggled with some of his English this week (honestly, he’s always struggled with English, but we’ve managed to keep on trekking).  We have been using Accelerated Christian Education, and I think it’s a wonderful curriculum.  However, there’s not enough review built in, and I think that may be Caleb’s struggle.  So, from here on out, I’m ditching any kind of formal English curriculum (until further notice).  I ordered Painless Junior Grammar, and I’m planning on using that as my “spine” so to speak (I’ll also be using the Essentials manual from Classical Conversations as a spine).  It’ll guide me in the English concepts I should be teaching Caleb, and we’ll add in lots of hands-on work.  He’ll also do some worksheets, but not daily.  We will also use English in a practical way by using books to help cement concepts (locating the nouns on a page and identifying them, etc).  This week we worked on nouns.  Caleb worked on identifying the type of noun (person, place, thing, etc), and he then had to tell if it was common or proper.  Then, he had to tell if it was singular or plural.  We also worked on making singular nouns plural.  We read The Noun Hound by Liza Charlesworth, and he completed the worksheet that went along with it.  I’m really hoping that this new approach to English will make it more enjoyable and more meaningful for Caleb.  Time will tell…
Reading – This week we started reading The Bears of Blue River by Charles Major.  We read Chapters 1-5.
Math – This week Caleb moved into the 300 level of Light Units.  The first LU is a review of the previous year’s work.  Caleb has struggled with math for several years, and we’ve used several curriculums.  I’m going to stick with Christian Light Education because I believe it’s a very strong program.  However, just like English, I’m going to add in more hands-on activities and games to cement the concepts.  Caleb mentioned that he doesn’t really like math because it’s not fun…so I need to work on that.  While I understand that not all of life is fun, I think it’s important to do what I can now because I know it’ll only get harder from here.  So, if you have any recommendations on what I can do to make math more fun, then please share them.  Smile
Exploration – This week Caleb picked eyes, muscles, and snakes as his topics to explore. We only got to eyes and muscles because every morning was spent at tennis camp.  This made each day a late start, so time ran out.  Snakes will be explored next week.  Caleb read library books on the eyes and muscles, and he then completed a notebooking page on them.

Skeletal muscleIMG_9356
Smooth muscleIMG_9357
Cardiac muscleIMG_9360
Strongest muscle (we weren’t sure what they meant by strongest, so Caleb gave a thorough answer)IMG_9363
Smallest muscleIMG_9364
Largest muscleIMG_9365
Most active muscleIMG_9366
So, it’s been a week full of learning for Caleb and myself.  Smile  I think that’s what homeschooling is all about…you learn what is best for your child, and you do your best to make that happen.  I’m hoping next week goes much smoother, and we’ll keep on moving forward…


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