This was an interesting week. I thought we were making some progress with long division…by Thursday, there seemed to be less blood, sweat, and tears needed to complete a lesson. And then we got to today, and the test. Let’s just say it didn’t go so well. But, the really frustrating part was that A.) Turkey and Bunny did worse on the simple division, and actually did pretty well on the long division; and 2.) They were able to fix their mistakes almost immediately after they had been pointed out. I really feel like giving up at this point, at least for a while. They clearly understand it if they can do the difficult problems and/or fix mistakes so quickly, so I’m not sure what to do. I do know that at this point, I’m hard pressed to say if they hate long division more than I do!
History, on the other hand, went amazingly well. We were studying the gold vs. silver movement of the 1890s, and the election of 1896. I was amazed by the conclusions they were able to draw about what was going on in the country at that time…I’m certain I couldn’t have done that at their age! Since Turkey and Bunny have both read it (multiple times for Bunny), we looked at the symbolism in The Wizard of Oz, and they were able to figure out a lot of it without any prompting from me. Today we watched the movie as a “Fun Friday” activity, and looked at some of the differences between the book and the theatrical adaptation (most notably the switch to ruby shoes in the movie, to better display color film).
This was also an eye-opening week for me in history. It’s been awhile since I studied the 1896 election, and I can’t believe how many of the economic issues that the country was struggling with back then are still concerns today. It’s just proof that there’s nothing new under the sun, and people who are worried about the direction our country is taking should breathe a little easier…we’ve survived idiocy before–certainly we can do it again!
Ladybug is continuing to tear through her letter of the day and simple reading assignments. We’ve had some trouble with “sight words,” specifically “the.” She can sound out words just fine, but remembering that T-H-E always spells “the” is another story. I think she’s finally got it figured out, though…I guess we’ll find out for sure next week! She’s also working on telling time in math, and I think math in general will come easily to her. She’s doing well with analog clocks, in addition to the three digit numbers we’ve been looking at.
In science, we’re learning about the cardiovascular system. This is particularly easy for me to teach, and I’m guessing it’s partly because of the sheep heart dissection I did in junior high. I still remember how the heart works, and all of the major parts, so I didn’t have to really even think to teach it. I was impressed with the diagram the children had to label and color in their workbooks…it was just detailed enough that they had to think about it, but not so much so that it was cluttered. They’ve really enjoyed learning about just what makes the heart tick (sorry…I couldn’t resist!), and they’re looking forward to completing the chapter next week.
We also spent some time this week reviewing geography. I had Turkey and Bunny identify all the continents and oceans (super easy), all 50 states (they got them, but a few took process of elimination to figure out), a good portion of Europe (they knew way more than I was expecting…must have been all our Olympic studies!), some other world countries, and the Great Lakes (needs some work). I’m happy with how much geography they know, especially without having used a formal curriculum. We’ll keep working on world countries, mountain ranges, and the state capitals.
Next week will be more of the same…we’ll spend Monday learning about Martin Luther King, Jr., as well as the inauguration and then back to our regular studies on Tuesday. Maybe after our brains rest for the weekend, long division will seem a bit easier!