Friday, September 25, 2009

Week 7: Starting Egypt

It has been a frustrating week. Several of our history books for the week were already checked out. Violet and Benny took it upon themselves to repair one of Benny's arrows with super glue and got superglue all over my bathroom counter. I got most of it off, but I also scraped off a small chunk of counter top where the glue was thickest. The power kept blinking while Jessie was trying to type her history essay on the computer. Jessie set her copy of God King in the rotten pepper juice on the table. I tried to clean the pages with water and Lysol spray, but I think we're going to have to get a new copy. It still reeks. I considered briefly that if I just had them sit on the sofa all day then they couldn't make messes or break/damage anything. Still that wouldn't have kept my printer from running out of ink on Friday morning when I tried to print the new geography pages. Some weeks are like that (even in Australia as Benny would add). Happily for the most part our school work went much more smoothly than the rest of the week.


Jessie spent most of the week working with mixed numbers. She added and subtracted, found common denominators and simplified when necessary, and even borrowed from the ones place to be able to subtract the fractions. Most of the days she even wrote out all of her work without me asking for it and did an excellent job. It wasn't until Friday, when she tried to do it all mentally that she ran into problems and made several mistakes. She argued with me that three of them were correct, so I told her to prove it by showing me her work. It turned out one of them was correct but not simplified while the other two contained mistakes so we both got a partial victory out of the challenge.

Violet is still multiplying and dividing with Singapore. She's getting through the lessons for now by either skip counting or using the abacus. I know we're going to have to start some multiplication math fact work soon, but she's still really slow on her addition facts. She also had a couple of days of word problems in her textbook and did really well catching on to the diagrams. In Miquon, she's been working on prime numbers. One day she had a number line with numbers from one to 100. The instructions were to shade in every second number after 2, every 3rd after 3, every 5th after 5, and every 7th after 7. The all of the numbers not shade were prime numbers. Thursday, she had to take those and identify prime factors (ie. 24 would be 2, 2, 2, 3). It took her awhile, but she eventually caught on.

Benny has finished up the number bond section of his Intensive Practice book and the A pages of his Miquon orange book this week. Next week we'll be on to addition in both books I believe. He's doing very well so far although some days he's tries to rush through the work so he can go watch his video.


Jessie has been working on nouns this week in R&S 5. Much of the material has been review so most days I either just had her complete the worksheet or assigned her only a portion of the textbook work. We did try to combine history and grammar this week. One of the grammar lessons was to write and develop a paragraph using examples. Instead of using any of the topic sentences given, I made up my own. After Jessie's paraphrasing it became "the geography of Egypt help them build a stable civilization". You can see the final product on the left hand side. I would have liked to see it a little more developed, but I reminded myself it was a first attempt so we simply corrected a couple of spelling mistakes and moved on. In CW Homer, this is our final model at the first skill level. The routine was basically the same as last week: identify the part of the scene, dictation, and sentence analysis/diagramming. I tried for a little bit greater sentence variety this week so that the sentences had some combination or direct objects, objects of the preposition, indirect objects, and predicate adjectives. The latter two we've only covered in Latin, so we labeled them but I left them out when we did the actual diagramming. She completed another lesson in SWO G and is continuing to enjoy God King and Age of the Fable.

Violet complete the first unit in R&S 3 grammar and did very well on her test. She started the second unit on nouns Wednesday. We've cover the definition of a noun, the difference between proper and common nouns, and how to write proper nouns correctly. I'm finally starting to see a decrease in the number of extra capital letters outside of copywork. She completed two spelling test this week. I thought the lesson with ie versus ei and the i before e rule might be confusing so I had her copy the rule for handwriting one day. She did fine when I tested her on the words. Her new CW Aesop model was "Androcles and the Lion." Beyond discussing the fable and dictating the moral, we worked together to figure out the meaning of a couple of words based on context and reviewed sentence types.

Benny's phonics continues to progress very well. I think it would be easier if I could decrease the distractions by Henry. When he's not distracted, he can actually sound the words out fairly quickly. Maybe the schedule could use a bit more tweaking. In handwriting we're up to the letter P. We did take two days this week for review. I had him trace all the capital letters from A to O and then write them on the line below without giving him the starting dot. We did the same the following day with the lowercase letters. The latter didn't all end up sitting on the bottom line but they were all well written and legible.

This week in Bible history we started the story of Joseph starting from the many-colored coat and continuing through the first time his brothers came to Egypt to buy food. The girls used the Draw and Write Through History to draw a picture of Joseph (I'll post pictures of these next week when the notebooking pages are complete.) and started their summaries. We'll finish the writing and put together the notebook page with a map next week. In ancient history, we started studying Egypt. The topics were supposed to be the geography of Egypt, the Rosetta Stone, hieroglyphics, and Champollion. Jessie was the only one to cover all four topics. Violet and Benny read Egypt in Spectacular Cross-Section to give them a visual idea of what it would have looked like to travel down the Nile in ancient Egypt. The text is so-so, but the pictures are excellent. Violet read portions of The Gift of the River, which will be her spine for Egypt. Benny's spine Ancient Egypt by Cohen is checked out, so we're still waiting for it. We're also waiting on Seeker of Knowledge to cover Champollion and Hieroglyphs by Milton for Violet to read portions and for Benny to use the hieroglyphic stencil. For related literature, Violet and Benny also read The Shipwrecked Sailor. Violet and Jessie (in her free time) read Pepi and the Secret Names. Violet took the hieroglyphic alphabet from the front and wrote her on name while Jessie used it to write the Rosetta Stone on her notebooking page. Both girls added timeline figures for Joseph and the Rosetta Stone and completed maps of Egypt. Jessie's was colored in to show the valley and the desert. Jessie in addition to the paragraphs I talked about up in language arts typed up three paragraphs on hieroglyphics, the Rosetta Stone, and Champollion. I'll write up a summary of exactly how we did this later this afternoon. Violet wrote 5 things about the Nile River and a few sentences about the original kingdoms before Menes.

We actually would have gotten to this if my computer hadn't run out of ink. At least I finally have the lessons ready, so we'll start next week.


We finished up lesson 4 on pollination. Tuesday we covered bees, butterflies, moths, and bats and the types of flowers they pollinate. Thursday we learned about wind pollination and self-pollination. No labs or nature walks. Hopefully, we'll have more time next week.


Jessie completed lesson 6 in LfC B. We've finally started some new grammar material. This week we covered singular personal pronouns in the third person. Her Building Thinking Skills had her putting lists of words in order based on time or size. Her MindBenders puzzle this week was extremely long so we spread it out over to days. The first day we matched up the 12 first names with the 12 last names. (They could only have 3 letters in common.) The second day we match up the names to the countries (four matching letters). I did go ahead and check Jessie's work at the end of the first day because I didn't want to restart the entire puzzle if she made a mistake. No mistakes found, however, she did a great job.


Since we didn't have the hieroglyphic stencil, Benny decided to do some drawing on his own in addition to some more pages from his Kumon book. Here's a look at his giraffe.
Not to be left out, even Henry tried his hand at some drawing when he discovered the girls' drawing board. I was trying to get him to sit behind the board so I could get a picture. The picture below was the best we could manage. Who wants to sit still when there's a camera within reach?
I have a video of his favorite game of the week, I'll try to upload by Sunday.

1 comment:

Diane said...

Wow, sounds like you got alot accomplished!