Preparing Hearts for His Glory:
This week I decided I needed to do a better job of really showing Riley what kind of work he is capable of, and encouraging him to do his very best. Riley really does love to color and create, but it is interesting how those natural talents don't necessarily transpire into him being able to make a good notebooking page. Knowing how large to draw things, how to balance writing and drawing on a page to make a nice overall appearance, how to use vivid colors and outlining, how to write neatly in a straight line without an actual line to write upon, how to label things, and how to read directions carefully so everything turns out well are allllll notebooking skills that need to be taught. So, now that we are quite far into PHFHG, I decided it was time to up the level of craftsmanship when it comes to notebooking type assignments. This would have been too much at first, but now he is ready for it.
We started with his coral reef notebooking page because the One Small Square books are beautiful notebooking type pages themselves. We talked about reading through each of the PHFHG directions carefully, as they provide excellent guidance for creating lovely notebooking pages. Then, we talked about mentally planning the layout of the page, where things would go, and what scale they would be. He was so pleased with how it turned out, and so was I!
For vocabulary, I started having Riley do 3 cards this week. He had been doing 2. We talked about what he could draw and making it more colorful. He also is now able to use the words properly in sentences of his own, which was the part of this activity that was the hardest for him. His R & S English lessons have also helped him understand what a complete sentence sounds like.
In history, Riley enjoyed making a map. He labeled various routes, and he did a super job of making his key. I like how the younger HOD guides like PHFHG prepare dc for the more difficult mapping in RTR on up.
The step by step history projects in PHFHG are teaching Riley to follow steps sequentially. For some reason, Riley always wants to start with the end.
If he reads through multiple instructions to complete something, he often wants to start with the last instruction. I'm sure it's because it's the last thing he read, but still, it doesn't work. He is getting better and better about following multiple step directions, and he even has begun looking ahead to the next several days' worth of completing the project, as he now knows it will take 3 days to complete, and knowing what's coming next helps him plan how to do the first part. HUGE progress!
Here is Riley's brooch, from start to finish (can you tell Emmett liked it too?
I've noticed how learning to work in a sequence for HOD's hands-on projects has also helped Riley be able to write in a sequence for retelling his stories in his written narrations. He used to do the same thing with these - start with the end. He now does a better job of "rewinding, like to the start of a videotape" as I have told him
, to retell from the start what was read. The guidance PHFHG gives to help dc improve their written narrations is so helpful! I can see improvements every day, slowly but surely...
Science continues to be such a favorite subject of Riley's - as well as the entire family's - especially this week.
Riley made coral polyps out of marshmallows, melted chocolate, sprinkles, and gum strips (I subbed in a piece of gum cut in 1/4's instead of string licorice or ramen noodles - HOD makes substituting easy - I can always get the gist of what we are going for, and sub in if need be without ruining the project
). Riley made a coral polyp for everyone, and everyone was glad!
The notebooking activities have helped Riley improve his science lab forms too. It's amazing how many things are inter-connected in HOD. One skill builds another, and that skill builds another, and they all work together to help move my dc along in their learning beautifully.
Cheerful Cursive - I cannot sing the praises of that cursive program enough. One year of Cheerful Cursive, and each of our dc have neat cursive to show for it. I am not super picky about handwriting, as I feel it is not logical in today's ever increasing type-written text, but I still think legible, overall neat handwriting is quite nice...
What a great week of big strides in learning! Not all weeks are like this, but this week is definitely the accumulation of many weeks of learning how to do work well, step by step. Hope you all had a good one too!