Friday, February 27, 2009

Week 28: A Loooong Week

It has certainly not been our best week of the school year, although it wasn't a complete waste either. I was sick with a stomach bug Sunday and Monday, so we didn't get off to a very organized start (even the check sheets were only half done.) Trying to get caught up in things around the house has taken some of my attention away from schooling at the end of the week, but there are a few things that simply had to get done. Here's a look at what we did accomplish....


The main focus of Jessie's work this week has been dividing decimal numbers. She did an excellent job at the beginning of the week. When she had to start adding decimal places to find an answer without a remainder, she struggled a little bit. Friday's lesson was bumped to next week partially because I was in a hurry and didn't teach the concept well and partially because of Jessie's attitude. We chose to work on character rather than school.

Violet had a new unit on area in her textbook and workbook this week. Basically, the focus is simply learning what area means. She spent most of her time counting the number of square units or comparing the area of two different figures. Her Miquon dealt with map scales and measuring distances on maps. She did very well with both areas and continues to zip through her schoolwork.


We did very little CW this week. At the beginning of the week, we tried to do some editing and I simply was too tired to focus. We also did only half of our regular dictation. She did accomplish her spelling, which was a review lesson. We continued with adverbs in grammar and had a lesson in poetry on Friday. In reading, she finished her last story in Tales From Shakespeare. YEAH!! She wants to know if she gets to read a real Shakespeare play next year and told me that her favorite story was "A Midsummer Night's Dream". I told her that I would think about it. She's continuing to progress through 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and Lad, a Dog and seems to be enjoying both.

Violet spelling continues to progress nicely. In grammar, we discussed indirect quotation for two days and then introduced adverbs. I did manage to write out copywork for 4 days, so she got one day off. She's still enjoying All-of-a-Kind Family for reading. Her fairy tale this week was "The Goose Girl", and she also read through The Bears on Hemlock Mountain.


History was brief this week. Together we learned about the transcontinental railroad. We ended up focusing mainly on the Union Pacific Railroad building westward because one of the books on my list was checked out. Violet was impressed by how quickly they laid track. Jessie seemed most interested in the work train for cooking, sleeping, and other needs. The girls also each read a biography on John Stetson. We had booklets for both topics and a timeline figure for the railroad. We also made a combined map showing the routes of some of the cattle drives we read about last week plus the railroad route this week.


Only one day of science in which we learned about ichthyosaurs to finish out the lessons on aquatic reptiles on olden days. There was of course an accompanying booklet.


Jessie did complete the next lesson in LfC. We've started learning the Latin prepositions. We also memorized the future form of the verb to be.


It didn't get done. No art, music, or asl this week.


Benny's still working on counting to 100 by ones. He's mastered counting to 100 by tens but has yet to remember Thursday is one of the days of the week. Oh well, he'll get it eventually. He continues to do very well with his phonics. We've been working back through the same two pages of PP as the previous week go across the page this time instead of down. I actually had library books for him, but he wanted to read a Larryboy chapter book instead so we did. I didn't have a craft for him, so he made silly Mr. Potato head faces instead.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

WW: Entertaining Henry

A few books and some quiet time to enjoy them...

Friday, February 20, 2009

Week 27: Chugging along

It's been a good week, a busy week. I'm close to finishing our taxes. YEAH!! I have a more general idea of where I want to go with history next year. I'm catching up on the housework. YEAH!! Hopefully, this weekend I can start focusing more on finishing up plans for this year. Here's our week...


Jessie is still working through the section on basic operations with decimals. This week's main focus was multiplying with decimals. There were also a couple of lessons of word problems. I did slow the pace back down this week to what I had originally planned. While Jessie is doing very well with her multiplication, it takes her longer to solve each problem than with addition or subtraction. Even with the slower pace we had a couple of long mornings.

Violet completed the geometry section of the textbook and workbooks and began working through the corresponding section of the Intensive Practice book . Her favorite part of math this week has been her Miquon assignments. All the lessons dealt with maps overlaid with grids. She identified where things were located, drew sections of the map blown up to a larger scale, and even drew a couple of maps of her own.


Jessie completed lesson 5 in SWO G with her first perfect spelling test in the new book. YEAH!! In grammar, she tested to complete the unit on adjectives and began a new section on adverbs. Last year she struggled a bit with the adverb section, but this year so far so good. For reading, she is continuing to enjoy 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and Lad, A Dog. Her Shakespeare story this week was "Othello". (She's already asking me if she's going to do a real Shakespeare play next year and if so, which one? I haven't gotten that far in my planning.) For CW, we began rewriting "Little Red Riding Hood". Our dictation selection is from The Silver Chair. Currently, we're working on the section where Jill meets Aslan at the beginning of the story.

Violet's spelling continues to progress well. In grammar this week, we discussed and identified direct quotations. Violet's newest reading selection is All-of-a-Kind Family, which she seems to be thoroughly enjoying. Her fairy tale for the week was "Snow White and Rose Red". I missed choosing a book for Thursday so she got the day off. Her cursive copywork is steadily improving as she gets more comfortable writing the words. On Thursday, she did her first cursive dictation sentence since I was in the middle of cleaning the fish tank and had forgotten to write something down ahead of time. She did an excellent job.


We finally moved on to a new history topic. YEAH!! This week's history was all about the Wild West. We learned about cowboys, cattle drives, and Buffalo Bill. The girls read biographies of Annie Oakley and Bill Pickett. For map work, we colored in a map of the United States in 1880. We're finally back to creating booklets for a new lapbook. This week's booklets covered Buffalo Bill, Annie Oakley, and Bill Pickett.


We skipped science on Tuesday since we were running behind that morning, and I hadn't finished preparing the booklets. Our lesson Thursday was about pliosaurs and plesiosaurs. We took a tape measure downstairs and measured out the largest pliosaur on the basements floor. After measuring the total length, we did just the hear with the kids beside the tape measure to how many would fit in its mouth.


Lesson 23 in LfC A was another review week. It gave me a chance to catch up with my vocabulary. Jessie got some more practice translating and completed another huge crossword puzzle in the activity book. Her favorite Latin assignment for the week was drawing pictures of various Latin phrases like hairy house and long letter. I though she did a great job so I actually took a Latin picture for a change.

We did watch a new Signing Time video. This one was about moving. We learned signs like walk, jump, and spin. I don't really care for the format of the second series, but the kids still seem to be enjoying themselves.


There was no formal art lesson this week. (No large marine reptiles in the 1-2-3 Draw Ocean Animals book or even Jessie's 1-2-3 Draw Mythical Creatures one.) Violet opted to draw a clown fish. Jessie chose to draw Little Red Riding Hood to go along with her CW story. DH was home sick Thursday so we didn't get a chance to do music. We were supposed to try to be quiet, but I'm not sure how successful we were. There's always the van tomorrow when we run errands if I can remember to take along the book.


Pretty much the same as last week. Still counting to 80 by ones and to 100 by 10s. Still working on remembering Thursday in the days of the week. Still reading 3 letter words. We did pull out the second Bob book for a change of pace this morning. Our theme for the week has been elephants. Benny made a paper bag elephant puppet this morning while the girls completed their history activities.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

WW: I didn't mean to....

Books in my house are a baby magnet. If there are pictures, he wants to look at them. If there aren't, he loves to flip pages just for the sound. Unfortunately, little hands aren't always gentle...
so this is the face I see whenever I take a book away because he is too rough. Can't you just see how sorry he is? Poor little guy.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

CW: The Story of the Three Little Pigs by Jessie

Once upon a time there were three pigs who set out to seek their fortune.

The first little pig met an old farmer with a big bundle of straw and pleaded, “Please give me that straw to build a small house.” So the man let him have the straw, and the pig built a nice, little house.

The little pig was in his new house when along came a big, mean wolf. He knocked at the door and called, “Little pig, little pig, let me come in!”

“Not by the hair of my chinney chin chin,” answered the pig.

“Then I’ll huff, and I’ll puff, and I’ll blow your house down!” growled the wolf.

And he huffed, and he puffed, and blew the house down. Then he ate up the little pig.

The second little pig met a nice carpenter with a heavy bundle of sticks and requested, “Please give me those sticks to build a medium house.” So the man gave him the bundle.

The little pig had just built his house and gone inside when the wolf arrived. He knocked at the door and called, “Little pig, little pig, let me come in.”

“Not by the hair of my chinney chin chin,” answered the pig.

“Then I’ll huff, and I’ll puff, and I’ll blow your house down!” growled the wolf.

And he huffed, and he puffed, and he puffed, and he huffed and he blew the house down. Then he swallowed the little pig.

The third little pig met a young bricklayer with a wooden wagon full of big, red bricks and asked, “Please give me those bricks so I can build a sturdy house.” So the man kindly let him have them, and the pig built a big house.

When the pig was safely inside his new house, the wolf came and called, “Little pig, little pig, let me come in.”

“Not by the hair of my chinney chin chin,” answered the pig.

“Then I’ll huff, and I’ll puff, and I’ll blow your house down!” bellowed the wolf.

But no matter how much he huffed and he puffed, he could not blow that house down. So he decided to try something else.

He called, “I know that there is a nice field of turnips in Mr. Smith’s Home-field, and if you like, we can go there tomorrow and get some turnips for dinner.”

“All right. When will we go?” asked the pig.

“At six,” replied the wolf.

So the next morning the little pig got up at five and fetched the turnips. Then the wolf came and asked, ”Little pig, are you ready?”

The pig replied, “I have already gone and come back.”

So the wolf felt very angry, and he spoke slightly louder as he called, “I know where there is an apple tree, so shall we go and get some red, delicious apples for supper at five?”

“All right,” replied the pig.

But the next morning the pig went to the apple tree at four. Just as he had filled his basket and was starting to climb down the tree, he saw the wolf came. As soon as the big, bad wolf got to the tree he called up, “Are those good apples, little pig?”

The pig replied, “Yes, the most delicious I ever tasted. I will throw you down one.”

However, the pig threw the apple so far that while the wolf was still retrieving it, the pig climbed down and went home.

The next day the wolf came to the pig’s house and called out, “Little pig, there is a fair at Shanklin this afternoon. Will you go with me at three?”

“Certainly,” answered the little pig.

So the little pig left at two, and he bought a new butter-churn at the fair. He was going home with it, when he saw the wolf coming. The little pig climbed in the churn, and it rolled down the grassy, green hill right at wolf. That scared the wolf so much he ran home.

Later he came to the pig’s house and called, “I was on my way to the fair when something rolled down the hill. It scared me.”

Then the pig informed, “I have been to the fair, bought a churn, and then while going home got into the churn and rolled down down the hill to scare you.

Then the wolf was very angry and climbed up on the steep roof. But when the pig saw what the wolf was doing, he built up the fire, put an iron kettle of water over it. Then, when the wolf came down the chimney, he fell into the cooking pot. The pig put the pot’s lid on, and later he ate the wolf. He lived happily ever after.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Week 26: A Beautiful Week

It has been a beautiful week here weather wise. I must confess we procrastinated a bit to enjoy the nice weather. Most of our school work is complete, but my house needs some major help this evening. Here's a look at our week.


Jessie finished up subtracting with decimals the first half of the week before completing two days of review exercises. She's enjoying sailing through her math quickly even with a few doubled-up lessons. The only new idea that I remember was adding more zeros in the decimal places before subtracting. Otherwise she did some estimating and subtracting with .99 numbers mentally. The only snag that we hit was a misunderstanding of directions on one page. The directions were to round to the nearest whole number, and Jessie rounded everything to the nearest tenth instead. Hopefully, she'll remember from now on that whole number means the ones place.
Violet has started a new unit in 2B called geometry.
She's identified shapes, counted flat versus curved sides, grouped similar shapes together, and combined shapes to form a new shape. It's actually been very similar to exercises that she completed previously in Building Thinking Skills: Primary so she's had plenty of free time this week. She had a little trouble with counting the sides of the object. At first she was only counting the visible sides. Once I explained that she had to count all of the sides, she was able to correct her work without needing to build any models.


Another week, another spelling lesson down. She finished
one u shy of a perfect spelling test. (Maybe next week.) In grammar, she's completed everything but the test for the adjective's unit. There were two writing assignments this week. The first was rewriting a story, and the second was another friendly letter. With all of our CW work, the first lesson was easy. I gave her the day off on the letter because we had just mailed the last one she wrote a few days earlier. Jessie started 2 new books for her assigned reading time. On MWF , she's reading two chapters of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. Monday, I gave her a world map to mark the sighting of the mysterious creature sighted in chapter one. (Personally I was just thinking that it would be great latitude/longitude practice.) Jessie was so excited about the map that she used it the next day as she gave me her narration. She certainly had the air of a teacher using the magnet to point to the map and then
tapping it on her hand when she was just talking. Her other new story is Lad: A Dog which I have her reading once a week since each chapter is basically its own self-contained story. In Tales from Shakespeare she read the story of Hamlet. We weren't very consistent with other CW editting this week, so we basically ended up cramming everything in on either Thursday or Friday to complete the story. We finished dictating from The Voyage of the Dawn Treader using the section describing the monopods, the description of Reepicheep sailing to Aslan's country, and the final paragraph in the book.

Violet's spelling continues to go well. For grammar this
week we discussed interjection, conjunctions, and spent a day identifying part of speech in the story of "Goldilocks and the Three Bears". I need to catch up on her grammar cards for her memory box, but Violet's doing great despite Mom being a bit behind. She finished reading Five Children and It on Wednesday and informed me that she want to check the book out again this weekend from the library so she can read it again. Her fairy tale this week was "Hansel and Gretel". For Thursday and Friday, I had her read the book Capyboppy. My thought is to use Thursdays to let her read an easier book from the 1-3 grade level of the 1000 good books list. Her copywork was very spur of the moment, (I think the sentence for Thursday was "I have finished reading Five Children and It") but at least it got done.


History was the other area that we let slide in favor of time outdoors this week. We did finish up our time on pioneers by reading Sarah, Plain and Tall. Our project for the week (which we tried to cram into Friday) was to weave a basket using strips of file folders and wrapping paper. We finally finished. Jessie did most of her basket independently. Violet needed some help. Benny insisted that he needed a basket but had me do all the
work for him. We also have some tin cans that we are going to turn into lanterns. I'm waiting to let DH punch the holes just so he gets a chance to help the kids with the school work for a change.


We completed lesson 4 after reading reviewing the
differences between reptiles and amphibians and learning about aquatic toad, frogs, and salamanders. We started lesson 5 on primeval reptiles. Our first booklet describes how the first giant marine reptile fossil was found and what the Bible has to say about such creatures. Our second booklet covered notosaurs and mosasaurs.


I didn't have anything planned for art this week, but I suggested the girls could draw some sea snakes even though they weren't actually into our drawing book. Not only did they draw the snakes, but they used the 1-2-3 Draw Ocean Animals book to make an entire scene. Benny drew his own sea snake picture. I love that he added the paddle shape at the end of the tail of his very well fed snake.

Jessie completed lesson 22 in LfC A. We did review our ASL one day. The girls are starting to use their signs to ask for things when Henry is asleep.


Benny is very close to finishing up counting by 10s. He can also count up to 79 by ones. He's keeping up with his calendar with his sister's help. He's got most of the days of the week. He just to quit skipping Thursday. We're still working on 3 letter words. I pulled out the first Bob book one day this week. He did well with the reading, but the best part was seeing his eyes light up once he read the entire book. He read it again to DH later that evening, and I saw him with it again this afternoon. Definitely need to bring up those other books. We finished
up a couple of lion books and then just read books from our shelves.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

WW: Silly binky games

No, it's not an accident. After a few minutes, he turned it right side up.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Week 25: Progressing well while stopping to have fun

It's that time of year again. Christmas is over. I'm not planning another school break until the end of March. The kids are a little stir crazy from being cooped up inside because of the cold weather. Basically, the few inches of snow that accumulated on Tuesday gave us the perfect excuse for exactly what we needed. The kids got a partial break from school with some time outside. I just got a break in general from the routine. Part of me wishes I could say that I used my time productively and accomplished a few things, but the other part is glad that I decided to just relax and spend some quiet time with Henry instead. Here's a look at our week.


Jessie started the week with three days of review exercises. We discovered that our protractor has gone AWOL, so she got to skip a couple of problems. Other than a few careless errors, she did an excellent job. It's definitely reinforced my belief that things are progressing well for her in math this year. Thursday and Friday were spent starting a new section in the textbook and workbook on using decimal numbers in the four math operations. We combined several lessons here. Thursday was all about adding with decimals. Friday she had one last page of adding and the 3 pages of subtracting with decimals.

Violet spent most of the week zipping through the Intensive Practice section on table graphs. Truthfully, she probably could have finished all of her lessons for the week on Monday, but I don't want to finish math too early in the year nor do I want to get to far into the 3A book. Her favorite lesson for the week was again in the Miquon book. She outlined her hand print on a large grid at the top of the page and then had to redraw the picture on a much smaller grid at the bottom of the page. In fact, she enjoyed it so much that she did several similar grid drawing on the dry erase board late in the day.


Jessie continues to be challenged by her lessons in SWO G, but she getting more comfortable with looking up words in the dictionary at the back of the workbook in order to correctly answer the exercises. I still think some of the definitions in the back are poorly written but have decided to simply give her my definition of the word when this occurs rather than have her lug out the college dictionary every time she does a spelling assignment. Grammar is also going well. We are still working on adjectives. Jessie is doing a much better job this time around at diagramming the adjectives although they do still occasionally end up under the wrong word. For CW this week, we have been working on "The Three Little Pigs". I've established a new routine for our CW that we will use for the remainder of the year. On Monday, we discussed the story. We noted the progression in the house building materials and the corresponding increase in effort on the part of the wolf in attempting to blow down the structures. We discussed and made a list of words to describe the wolf and each of the pigs. We also noted the progression of requests and frustration on the part of the wolf in trying to trick the third pig out of his house. Tuesday and Wednesday I had Jessie hand write her draft. Thursday, she read through it and made spelling and grammar corrections. My plan is to take the weekend to type it up double spaced and mark corrections much like a student would receive in public school, give her a chance Monday to make changes, and then spend Tuesday through Thursday discussing any other editing changes. For reading she's completed Caddie Woodlawn and started back into Tales From Shakespeare with "Timon of Athens".

After a brief struggle with the i before e rule last week, she tested out of the lesson this week and returned to her normal pace of spelling. In our modified FLL, we completed our discussion of adjectives, began discussing interjections, and used the poem "The Year" for our cursive copywork. In reading she is continuing with Five Children and It. Her selections from The Blue Fairy Book included "Tom Thumb" and "The Forty Thieves".


We finished up Little House on the Prairie this week. In addition on Monday we read about and discussed the orphans trains. On Wednesday, we discussed some of the challenges to living on the Great Plains and read about a swarm of grasshoppers. We had a couple of projects scheduled that we didn't get to because I worked on taxes instead of prepping the crafts. I think we'll just make next week a craft week since the library didn't have my books on hold.


Only one day of science this week due to our snow play on Tuesday. We learned about sea snakes.


Jessie completed the next lesson in LfC. We learned about the imperfect tense of sum. She's really enjoying the history reader. This week's sentences were about Antony and Cleopatra. We did some review of our ASL this week. The girls could both use a little more practice before moving on.


For art this week, the girls drew rodeo cowboys from Levin's 1-2-3 Draw Horses which Violet received for Christmas. It was supposed to line up with a history week on cowboys but we're a little behind. No music.


Benny wanted to read about lions this week so we did. I didn't get to any craft projects with him either. His counting is going very well. We started counting by tens this week on the abacus. I think it should help him with his counting by ones so that we get up to 100. His phonics are going well. Some days are better than others depending on his level of concentration. We spent the entire week on one page doing either 8 or 12 words a day. I think he may benefit from doing two shorter phonics lessons a day, but I'm not ready to schedule a second one yet.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

A partial snow day

My general rule for snow days is that there has to be enough snow to cover the grass. Knowing that the snow would melt by afternoon, I decided on a midmorning break in classes. Then they could come in and do some more work until they warmed up before heading back outside. The girl were excited to get a break in classes. Benny was jumping up and down ready to get outside. Henry and I took a quiet siesta together in the recliner. Now I just wish another snow storn was coming so we could do it all over again.
I think Jessie and Violet got a little carried away with their snowballs. It took both Jessie and I together several tries to lift the middle piece onto the bottom. How they rolled them up the hill is beyond me.
Benny thought sledding was a better use of his time. (The sled's at the bottom of the hill. He just came up to see what I wanted.) If you're more awake than I was yesterday, you might notice that he put his snow pants on inside out the second time he went outside.