I made quite a few changes this week and I feel like we are starting to get into the swing of things. I was excited to add diagramming into the mix this week and I look forward to expanding on this skill over the year. Before I jump into our day by day activities for the week I wanted to share two things about this week.
Student Essentials Notebook
In a previous post I shared how I organized all my Essentials materials for the year. For the most part it has worked excellent for us this year. However, we were quickly accumulating a whole lot of papers from IEW. So I made an adjustment to the notebook he uses in class. Here is a quick video I put together this morning to show you what I did:
This week I made some supplementary purchases I am really excited about. First I ordered
My second purchase was more foundations related, but my lego obsessed Essentials son is loving it. This book has tons of history sentences from this cycle. Not only does it give the kids lots of great building inspiration but it also provides historical stories to go along with each set. I am loving this book! Amazon offers several purchasing options, you can see them if you click on the image of the book.
While writing his narrative this week, my son told me he really wanted to make his story into a book. I had flashbacks to all the books I made when I was in grade school and really wanted to be able to do this for him. I also ordered a set of blank books for us to use this year for him to write and illustrate some of his writings this year.
It should arrive early this coming week and I plan to use these books to record his polished drafts and allow him to illustrate them if he chooses.
Our Week 3
Day 1 – Community Day
We had another great day in class. It is great to see us get a rhythm down for my son to start to retain just a little bit of information from past weeks. He really liked the diagramming and I am noticing that he is starting to understand basic concepts like subject and verbs. The last 45 minutes of class still remain the most difficult. I feel like he zones out. That last bit of class is spent on IEW, so I find that I end up reviewing a lot of that with him during the week. Our tutor played a really fun vocabulary review game this week, which really motivated him to practice his vocabulary words during the week.
Day 2 – More Chicken Lice
For this of you unfamiliar with chickens, they need to be treated every seven days until all the eggs are gone. So today I had a friend come over and help me treat them. The kids played and had a wonderful time, but did not really want to obey when it came to schoolwork or chores in the afternoon. As a result, our schooling time was spent on character and discipline. My son was told he was going to have to work harder the rest of the week since he chose to not work today.
Day 3 – Our First Narrative Story
We started out our time introducing the new vocabulary words for the week and then we dived into the EEL guide. I chose to start with sentence 3 today. We used the analytical task sheet in a page protector with my favorite dry erase markers for essentials. I had him write and complete steps 1-4 and then I planned to write step 5. However, he asked to write it. We did not do step 6, nor do I plan to anytime soon. I know it would overwhelm him.
When we pulled out IEW he groaned. We read the source text on Augustine for this week and I could tell he was not feeling it. At all. So I decided to use a simpler source text from the Blackline Master printable book that came with my IEW. Thankfully I made a mistake this summer and printed it and had it bound (I meant to have the SRN done). I was so glad I had it. We read “The Kings Feast” and made an outline for it.
Day 4 – Double Time
Today we started out going over our vocabulary words again and then we diagrammed the sentence from class “Jesus wept” together. Then we dove right into writing out our story from our outline. My son really enjoyed this. He is incredibly logical and practical. I tried to get him to make the story funny, and he absolutely would not entertain that idea. He dictated the story to me and I wrote everything down. I was really glad that I chose to use a different source text for this activity. The Augustine source text would have been much less fun for him this week. We ended here for the morning after going over our vocabulary again.
In the evening, due to his behavior earlier in the week instead of his free time in his room before bed we sat down again. First we used the practice page on page 52 in his IEW book to practice with strong verbs. He struggles with vocabulary so he needed a lot of help from me here. We then went through his paper and added -ly adverbs, strong verbs, and vocabulary to the writing. He really loves adding the vocabulary words but still needs lots of help thinking of creative verbs and adverbs as well as understanding what the list of words mean in his SRN. After he had added all our dress ups I sent him to bed and rewrote the paper for him for us to continue to work with tomorrow.
Day 5 – The Final Draft
Today we sat down and read he “Mohammed” source text on page 54 and used the brainstorming page afterwards to review all the elements of style. Then we took the draft I had written last night and we marked all the different dress ups and added a few things to finalize the paper. I then gave him the responsibility of writing the final draft of his paper before class on Monday. I did tell him we would be turning this paper into his tutor this week. I felt like he was getting a little too casual with his work this week and some accountability this week would be helpful. His draft is sitting on his bed now open and he will work on it several times over the weekend I am sure.
I can’t wait for our blank books to get here this week to surprise him with a way to publish his story!
I spent some time this week on CC connected downloading songs for all the english grammar from Foudnations and making a playlist. This week we have been playing the Pronoun songs all week long. In the car, at home, while we eat. My husband is even memorizing them. Ha! Ha! This has been such a help. If you have a child in foundations I can express enough how important it is to memorize the memory work with them! If your child is struggling with some of the definitions go grab some songs off CC connected. Nogreaterjoy is always the username I check first. Having the Foundations English memory work down makes memorizing the charts so much easier!