Here's what we're up to in the Happy Elf Homeschool:
We're finishing up Singapore Maths Workbook 4B this week. We'll finish the textbook next week. Then we'll doodle around for a bit. We'll "review" for a week or so, too, and I'll see if I can't trip the children up here and there and find some weak spots. Word problems. Yeah. They'll hate it, but it will build character. I might print off some other state tests and see if they do well on those. Every now and then, the way in which the question is asked just throws them off.
Or better still, maybe I ought to just drill 'em for the SAT now so that in about six years they'll be really, really ready. My, I've seen other families do that even at this young age. You can succeed like that, you know... but I'm not sure it would teach math very well. Hopefully you know what I mean. Not that the SAT isn't really a good math test, but if that's all you're striving for, you'll miss it.
For that matter, it doesn't matter so much what grade level the children are working on, so long as they are progressing.
Just finished the Prince and the Pauper (abridged version) and am midway through Captive Treasure. I don't like the book. It seems very... unrealistic that the power of the Bible in one's hand would make a charging horse go in the other direction. I can't say that I've never heard of Bibles stopping bullets during wartime and giving protection, etc. but... I have a very hard time with the goody-goody family portrayed here wanting to leave all behind and minister to the Indians and praying during their nightly Bible reading. Or for the tribal leaders to call some captured kid the "Daughter of the Sun" and be so open to the Gospel, etc. I've read some of Milly Howard's stuff before and liked it much better than this book. She has a wonderful way of describing things and helping the reader "be there," but for all that I cannot get past these glaring problems I find with the novel.
I'm getting it done just to get it done. I've made plain that it isn't my favourite. The boys are excited about the book, especially as it is covered and discussed in their Bob Jones Bible curriculum. I think I would recommend another book, however. Usually I'm very excited about BJU resources.
We're progressing in our Spelling and our Landmark's Freedom Baptist Literature curriculum. The literature curriculum shows me plainly that Emperor has a very hard time sorting the information that he reads and finding it again. I don't know how to help on that except to make him go back and do it again, or show him yet another time that yes, the answer you were looking for is *right here.* Such things have always been easy for me, but it's very difficult for Emperor despite the fact that he enjoys the stories. Elf gets these exercises done super-quick for the most part, with few corrections. He tends to be slower in the math. It works out eventually to be about even so long as I do the "teaching" time with both of the children and then allow them to work at their own pace on the things they must do themselves.
I finally got some nice LIFEPACs and we're beginning a unit on animals. In fact, we're writing a paper about honeybees as suggested in the LIFEPACs. The children spent this morning "researching" (reading books and looking at pictures... hey, it counts) and writing a little rough outline about what they'd like to say on the subject. Later, we'll polish it up and hopefully have something new on the little boys' blogs.
I've always known the names of the three ships Columbus sailed to the New World, but had not studied the context in which he sailed until college. The LIFEPACs we will be using these next few weeks give a little information about continents and major explorers. We'll talk about the trade in spices just a bit. I think it's a nice overview for this age, but it does not go into any detail. Even the overview seems a bit overwhelming. I have a feeling that as we go through this unit and learn more, it will be easier for the boys to put things into context and understand them.
Later, when we're done with our honeybee papers, we'll research a spice and do a little paper on that as well.
Elf and Emperor have memorized Psalm 103! They start to freeze a bit before the camera, though. Will have to work out some bugs on that and see if we can't get some shy children to show what they're capable of doing. (Yes, it took a long time for us to get that done. Please don't think it all happened in one afternoon. For tales like that, visit another blog. It took us months.)