It’s my first Weekly Wrap-Up in a while! We sorta started school the week before last, but we’ve been going slow and easy. I’ve only really started Gray on math, since that’s our only must-finish-within-a-school-year subject. I’ve had him doing two lessons per day, since early on in the course it’s all review (Abeka Arithmetic kindly marks repetitive problems in a different color, so I have him skip all those, permitting he gets all the other problems in that section correct). We’re 20 lessons in so far, which gets us four weeks into the school year, in just two weeks! We’re quickly getting to the part where I’ll have to sit down and do lessons with him, though, so next week will look different.
We’ve continued intensive study of botany, in order to finish out our botany book before fall arrives— it’s hard to do experiments on leaf transpiration, flower observation, etc. once fall gets here. 😉 I can say honestly that I’ve learned something new almost every single day in our study of botany. I’m a plant, flower, and tree person, so I’ve been enjoying learning lots along with the boys. I just can’t believe I haven’t learned some of these things already! It’s really true that you can learn something new every day, no matter your age or how educated you think you already are on a particular subject.
Over the past couple of weeks in botany, we’ve learned about phototropism (it’s what causes plants and trees to grow & reach for the sun), stems, and tree trunks. We studied the various parts of a tree stem from our yard, and Gray diagrammed the anatomy of the inside of a tree trunk. We went looking around the neighborhood for trees with trunks twisted and curved due to phototropism— when we found one, we took a picture and Gray drew it for his notebook when he got back home. We put a piece of cut celery into red-colored water, and got to see how the xylem (the veins in a stem that carry water up to the top of a plant) suck up that water:
See the red dots? And the red veins going up the stem…and the red all in the leaves? All that got there from simply having the bottom couple of inches of the stem submerged in red water for a couple of days. The boys thought it was a pretty cool experiment (so did I)!
And finally, Desmond received his new spiral notebook (Angry Birds Pigs, of course- one of his favorites!) this week and began his very first journal entries. He was wary at first, having never written anything formally for school, but I’m pleased with his work so far.
He needs to be conscious of his sentence capitalization, and there are some spelling errors (then again, he’s only 6), but I’m so excited at how far he’s come. I just can’t rave enough about Abeka’s phonics program. It produced a complete turnaround in him. This time last year he wrote absolutely nothing on his own, ever, and was barely reading anything. Now he can write (and spell!) pretty well, and he’s an exceptional reader. For his journal entries, I started very easy and am requiring him to write at least three sentences per day, and he can write on any subject he wants.
And so ends another quiet, easy week to ease us into our new school year. Next week, we’ll start having full math & language/phonics lessons, in addition to botany. Then we’ll start easing back into history, writing, handwriting, and everything else that makes a full load for all of us.
I’m linking with the Weekly Wrap-Up at Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers. If you’re a homeschool blogger and would like to participate, it’s open to all!