Thursday, July 14, 2016

An Update on Our Progress Through Egypt!

Today we are on Day 25 of the AWOA lesson plan! Big Brother was sick much of last week, so we took a few necessary days off. We had planned to finish our 30 day Egypt unit this Friday before we leave for vacation next week, but it looks like we will be finishing up the week after vacation instead. And we are fine with that! Flexibility is one of the many blessings of homeschooling.

So here is an update on our progress:

We finished reading The Golden Goblet yesterday. Big Brother and I both enjoyed this historical fiction book set in the ancient Egyptian city of Thebes very much. We feel as though we have made a new friend in the main character, a lonely little boy named Ranofer. Through reading this story we have not only learned more about life in ancient Egypt; but we have also increased our vocabularies and learned about the elements of literature.

I have been very happy with the writing instruction Big Brother is receiving with this program so far. I love that he is given time over a few days to prepare, write, edit, and rewrite his assignments. He is a reluctant writer, so breaking these assignments into manageable daily steps really helps. I was very pleased yesterday when he presented me with the final version of his first expository paragragh. The assignment was to write a paragragh comparing and contrasting two main characters from The Golden Goblet. Following the instructions in our lesson guide and with minimal help from me, he was able to craft a very nice paragragh! He had a perfect topic sentence, several good supporting sentences, and a concluding "clincher" sentence that tied the whole thing together. This was a major accomplishment for Big Brother, and I am pleased to give him a well deserved A!

For science he is currently creating a Desert Booklet. He is in charge of deciding what information, pictures, etc. is included in this booklet. So far he has created beautiful booklet pages including What is a Desert?; a map marking the main deserts of the world; a report on camels; and reports on the Sahara, Gobi, and North American Deserts. I have allowed him to practice his budding typing skills by typing some of these reports. When it is finished at the end of our unit, I will bind his booklet so that he has a nice keepsake to show for his hard work.

We have done a lot of reading and watching videos about Egypt. Some of Big Brother's favorite books to read for fun lately have been library books from the "You Wouldn't Want to Be..." series. He has read every book our library has in this series related to Egypt!

We played a fun spelling game earlier this week using our dry erase board and a flashlight. I would write 3 words on the board with only one of them spelled correctly. At my signal, he had to shine the light on the correctly spelled word then spell it aloud. Picking out a correctly or incorrectly spelled word from a given list is an area where Big Brother has always struggled on standardized tests, so I was glad to be able to practice this skill with him using an engaging game.

Big Brother has memorized Psalm 23 & 24 over the past few weeks. He has created nicely illustrated booklets for each chapter. To help him practice the verses, I typed and printed each one out. Then I would cut the verse into several pieces and mix up the words. He would then have to put all the words for the verse in order, glue them onto the page in his booklet, then draw a picture at the bottom of the page to illustrate the verse.

Little Brother is a busy boy! His latest fun thing to do (O.K. besides unrolling toilet paper all over the house) is use dry erase markers either on his marker board or in a little dry erase ABC & 123 book he has. One morning this week I noticed he was on a page that was covered with numbers. I absent-mindedly said, "Can you find all the 2's on that page?" and walked off. A few minutes later, Little Brother proudly plops his little book in my lap. I was shocked to see the little fellow had indeed found and put a mark on every single 2 on the page! He also enjoys gluing pictures into his Egypt ABC booklet. I try to help him feel included in school as much as possible.

Well, just now Big Brother has informed me that he is finished with his math assignment for today. I promised to take him for a morning swim for P.E. before we finish up the rest of our work this afternoon. Sometimes getting some energy out early in the day makes the rest of it go more smoothly. And hey, it is summer after all!

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