Friday, October 30, 2009

Week 11: Getting Going Again

It has been a very long week here. I don't think we've ever had this much trouble getting back into our routine after our fall beach trip. We did have a couple of attitude issues to deal with at the beginning of the week. After the attitudes improved, things settled down a bit. Here's a look at our week.


This week was supposed to be all review for Jessie as far as math. She began the fractions section of the IP before we left on vacation. Well, math took way to looong this week. I knew I was in trouble when she asked, "How do you multiply fractions again?" Then it was "When you divide a fraction by a whole number do you put the one above or below the whole number?" AARGH!!! By Thursday, I just told her to put down the math book and get on with her other work. After thinking and praying about it for a bit, I realized that while she had gone through all the right motions doing her math work in the textbook and workbook she had missed the concepts. So on Friday we backed up, opened the textbook to the start of the fractions section for a second time, pulled out our homemade fraction manipulatives and started over. Jessie was a little worried about getting behind, but the truth is there's always been one section every year that needed extra time. I'm sure there will be another section later where we can pick up the pace and catch back up.

Violet's week in math went very much like Jessie's. She struggled a bit with multiplying the larger numbers and had completely forgotten how to do long division. By Thursday, again we just stopped the assignment and took a breather. Friday, we backed up not quite to the beginning of the section on multiplication and division. We started with problems such as 27 x 4 and reexplained the concept. She caught back on quickly, so we moved on to three digit problems like 146 x 5. Then I had her do a workbook exercise. She did very well, so we'll skip the practice exercises in the textbook and move on to long division on Monday.

Benny is still adding in both of his math programs. For Miquon, he uses the blocks. For Singapore, he used pictures twice this week. Friday, the introduced the idea of solving the addition problems using a number line to count on the appropriate number of hops. He did very well.


Language arts went better than math luckily. Jessie finished another spelling lesson. In grammar, she spent two more days working on two step outlines. Then we spent the rest of the week talking about verb tenses in English. For CW, we began analyzing "The Good Samaritan". The synonyms and paraphrasing by synonyms on days 2 and 4 went OK. I really need to go buy a decent thesaurus before we analyze the next piece because we weren't very good at coming up with synonyms. The picture on the right is her paraphrase of a few of the sentences in the story. This week she just read The Cat of Bubastes. We need to check Bulfinch's Age of the Fable out from the library again. It's been sitting there on hold waiting for us all week. I forgot to pick it up Monday since it was on Jessie's card, and we just never made it back into town the rest of the week.

Violet managed to pass her spelling test after completing only half of the exercises in the workbook. (Don't ask me how with a check sheet in front of me, I still managed to miss that she didn't complete her spelling work on Wednesday. Obviously, I should have had regular coffee instead of decaf that morning.) In grammar, she still working on pronouns. For CW Aesop, we analyzed "Pandora" looking up vocabulary in the dictionary, discussing capitalization, and writing a couple of sentences for dictation. She had all of her library books. She finished The Golden Goblet, read a chapter each from The Red Fairy Book and The Complete Peterkin Papers, and finished the week with a historical fiction book titled Casting the Gods Adrift, which is set during the rule of Akhenaton.

Benny and I worked on words that end in -y this week for phonics. We introduced the -y on Monday, spent three days reading the page with y added to double consonant words, and finished by starting the page that adds y to three letter short vowel words after doubling the final consonant. We also finished learning the alphabet. We going back to review all the letters. Somewhere in there he managed to escape a couple of days with not handwriting. Now we're ready to start transitioning to copywork without any tracing or any dots to show where the letter starts. We didn't have a new chapter book this week, so we just read fables, Pooh stories, and Potter stories instead.


History was very disorganized this week. I never did get the daily history plans written on their check sheets other than the Bible readings. Basically, they came and asked what to read. I went and found the books, flipped through them quickly, and told them what to write. For Bible history, they covered the time period of Israel's forty years of wandering and ending with the death of Moses. The map shows the location of some of the different groups of people who were living in the region. Jessie also mapped Kadesh where they camped while the spies went to Canaan, and Mt. Nebo where Moses died. For Egypt, we covered Akhenaton and his attempt to have Egypt worship one god, Aton. Jessie's writing focused on the reasons Amernhotep III encouraged the worship of Aton, the actions of Akhenaton, and the final reasons the worship of Aton was abandoned. We also learned about Tutankhamun and mummies. In addition to their spines, Jessie read In Search of Tutankamun, and Violet read Mummies Made in Egypt. They drew pictures of a sarcophagus and added the two pharaohs to their timelines. Benny also learned about mummies, and we wrapped up one of his bears for fun.


We went back out to trees this week. Monday, we wrote down whether the crown of the tree was rounded or pointed, whether the leaves were simple or compound, the arrangement of the leaves, and a few phrases to describe the bark. Wednesday, upon discovering that the dried leaves that we were planning to use for our tree books were damaged by the dog chasing his ball into the dining room, we took the field guide outside and tried to identify the trees. I must confess, we didn't do very well. The guide I had from the library wasn't the easiest to use. Because several of out trees were small, we had a really hard time trying to id them. In the end, we decided to try again in the spring when we can also look for flowers, nuts, and berries. That gives me plenty of time to find a more child friendly field guide.


The girls covered Israel and Jordan with minimal help from me. YEAH!! I need to put up our markable map, so we can start reviewing next week as we go.


Logic went fine. Latin was a review lesson. Jessie and I decided that it would be best to spread it out over two weeks to give us more time for review the vocabulary and all the pronoun chants. Next week we'll work on the history reader and the memorization before she takes the test.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

All I wanted was a little information

I finally broke down and spent an hour of my afternoon filing a dispute with Nothing New Press through my credit card company. (I tried to use the Paypal dispute process first, but they said they couldn't handle my particular dispute.)

I preordered a copy of the 3rd edition of The Story of the Greeks back in June. The last updated time frame I had from Mrs. Miller was that she hoped the book would be back from the publisher by the end of July or beginning of August. Since mid-July, I've sent 4 separate emails (about once a month) requesting an update on the status or a estimate for the new shipping date. I was really hopeful in September when I saw Rainbow Resource was accepting orders with an expected arrival date of 9/23/2009. Still no book, no website updates, and no answers to my emails.

At this point, we only have one week left in ancient Egypt followed by a couple of weeks in the ancient Near East (Assyria, Phoenicia, and Babylon). Looks like I'm back to using the version available on I really didn't want the hassle of formatting and printing it, but if I must maybe I'll try to make some updates and add in some maps or even additional images.

I know I was within my right to file the claim, but I still feel crummy about it. I hate poor customer service. All I asked for was some updated information either on the website or by email. Does it really take that much more time to update a website then to write a new blog entry? It just shouldn't be this hard...

Friday, October 16, 2009

Week 10: Ready for Vacation

It's been a busy week here. In addition to trying to getting most of our school work done in four days instead of five, we've been packing for vacation. Benny was running a fever most of the week, so he spent his mornings watching a movie or listening to Three Tales of My Father's Dragon on tape over and over and over... again. Here's a look at mostly what the girls did for school this week.


Jessie finished up the textbook and workbook section on fractions with more word problems involving fractions and spent the second half of the week working in the corresponding section of the IP book. She's gotten comfortable enough that she doesn't always show all of her work any more. (I'm happy for her, but it takes me longer to check it that way.) As far as the CWP, she continues to progress well through the word problems with only some occasional input from me.

Violet has spent the entire week working on long division. I'm happy to say that all her hard work is starting to pay off. At the beginning of the week, she would stop at every single step and ask me if what she wrote was correct. By Thursday, she worked most of the problems without any help from me. YEAH!! (I just hope she doesn't forget everything over our break.) Her Miquon this week dealt with area and perimeter. I'm not sure what I was doing the first day, but Jessie explained what the area and perimeter meant and showed her how to figure them out. It's great to see them helping one another out.

Benny did complete one day of Miquon where we used blocks to add.


Jessie completed lesson 27 in SWO G. In R&S, she spent a couple of days with subject/verb agreement and a day looking at verb tense. The only new information this week was the outlining. She learned how to do two level outlining. There was one lesson and one worksheet, then the text moved back to verbs. Hopefully, when we get back, we can pick back up on the two level outline idea and start applying it to her history outlines. For CW, she rewrote the story "Xenophon, To the Sea". For literature, she's currently about halfway through both The Cat of Bubastes and Age of the Fable. I've decided after she finishes The Cat of Bubastes, I'm not going to assign any more historical fiction for her literature. The books are great for making history come alive, so I'll give them to her as free reads, but I want her literature to have a little more meat. I have a few weeks to decide exactly what we'll read, maybe The Hobbit or Robinson Crusoe.

Violet completed lessons 14 and 15 in SWO E this week. She finished up learning about nouns and is now working on pronouns. Since we covered this in FLL, it's been easy review this week. You can see her opinion of her grammar worksheet on the right. We made a few changes to CW this week. We completed a key word outline of "King Midas" together and then she used the outline to write her story. It did help her fill in a few more details when she wrote the story. We'll keep using it at least for a few more models. She is continuing to enjoy The Golden Goblet for literature. Her narrations are starting to improve as she gets farther into the story and the pieces begin fitting together.

Benny and I finished reading Dolphin Adventure this week. We also spent a few mornings catching up on some history and Bible reading.


This week in Bible history, we covered the events at Mt. Sinai (the Ten Commandments, the building of the tabernacle, and the golden calf) as well as the reports of the spies sent to check out Canaan and the resulting sequence of events. For art, the girls drew a picture of the ark of the covenant. They also drew a diagram of the set up of the Israelite camp. The summary regarding Mt. Sinai went on the notebooking pages. Their summaries of the spies, we decided to save and add to our next page on Joshua.

In ancient Egypt, we briefly discussed the Second Intermediate Period and spent most of the remaining time on Hatshepsut and Thutmose III. They completed summaries on both pharaohs, and the girls drew a map showing the extent of the Egyptian empire under Thutmose III. I reminded them that they should be skeptical of the claims of the Egyptians since their purpose in recording history was to make their pharaohs sound like great gods and not to record the actual events accurately. Jessie also made of chart with information about everyday life in Ancient Egypt (ie. homes, clothing, jobs, etc.) The last history item was fixing our timelines. We added a page for 1750 BC so we could spread out the figures added up to this point and make them all fit. We also added figures for the Second Intermediate Period, the 18th dynasty, Hatshepsut, and the making of the tabernacle.


The girls completed pages on Lebanon this week.


The weather was very uncooperative this week, and we just ran out of time. We'll pick back up with identify trees when we come back. Hopefully, they'll still be plenty of leaves on the trees.


Jessie completed lesson 9 in LfC B covering 2nd person pronouns and some more vocabulary. Spreading the history reader translation work out over four days so that we only had a couple of sentences a day worked very well. Her logic went fairly well this week. One of the Mind Benders puzzles stumped both of us for a little while. After several tries and a little caffeine for me, we managed to solve it.


Henry's been a bit more mischievous this week without his big brother to entertain him during the second half of the morning. One day he decided to help me by making some changes to Violet's CW plans. As you can see by the second picture, he put a lot of thought into his work.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

WW: My Little Helper

We have a child-sized broom, but he much prefers mine.

"Can I please take a picture too?"

Monday, October 12, 2009

Calculating Grades & First Quarter Results

Thinking back to when I was in school, I remember getting grades for homework, quizzes, and tests mainly. (Sure there were the dreaded team projects with presentations and the subjective class participation components, but I try to forget those.) In coming up with a parallel for homeschooling this year, I've settled on a method for Jessie's core subjects this year.

  • 25% daily work (This is based on completion, so she always gets a 100. Of course, I also always make her correct any mistakes until the work is correct so it ends up being a 100 either way.)
  • 25% CWP (She can earn 10 points a day, so regular problems are 5 pts each and challenging ones are 10 pts each. I deduct points for errors in calculation or for setting up the problem incorrectly.)
  • 50% tests (These are the practice pages in the textbook and the review pages in the workbook.)
Final Grade for the first quarter = 97.5 A

English (Grammar, Spelling, Writing, Reading)
  • For grammar, 50 % worksheets and writing assignments & 50% tests
  • For spelling, 1/3 for completion of daily work and 2/3 for tests
  • For writing, 25% analysis, 25% rough drafts, 50% final drafts (My grading for writing is fairly lax so far. I only deduct for spelling, grammar, and punctuation. Truthfully though, so far I haven't seen much subjectively that I would change either.)
  • For reading, 50% for narrating/discussing the material with me, 50% book reports
  • The final grades in each area are weighted equally for a final English grade
Final Grade for the first quarter = 97 A

  • 25% completion of daily work
  • 25% Latin worksheets (free from website) and quizzes in Primer
  • 50 % tests
Final Grade for the first quarter = 99.5 A+

That's all I'm grading currently. My plan is to start grading science when we switch over to the anatomy text. I haven't settled on a final grading method for that. I also haven't figured out how to grade history yet. Her mapwork is always excellent. If I only grade her writing based on spelling, grammar, and punctuation, then she would end up with an A+ based on what I've seen so far. I begin to understand why teachers like homework questions and tests. We may try an oral test at the end of our first history term along the lines of the CM tests on Ambleside and see how it goes. I have another month or so to decide.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Week 9: Starting to come together...

It wasn't a perfect week. There were still moments of whining, daydreaming, crying babies, and general chaos; but it was manageable. I've learned the schedule well enough to get the kids back on track All I have to do is say, "Henry, go play with ...", and he's off. The girls have figured out what I expect of them again (although that doesn't mean they won't try to push the limit at times). We finished on time a few days and persevered until the work was done on the days of daydreaming and doodling. Here's a look at what was accomplished.


Jessie had one day of reviewing multiplying fractions. Then she moved on to dividing a fraction by a whole number by writing the inverse of the whole number and multiplying. She did great when the problems were written out horizontally. One of the workbook pages had a little path chart that went both down and across, so of course she tried to solve the problems mentally instead of writing them out. After a few tries, we eventually got it all straightened out. Friday, the introduced word problems for the fractions skills we've been covering. I liked the way they took one problem and showed three different ways to solve it. The first method was to solve for the final fraction first before multiplying it by the whole number. The second had you multiply the fraction and whole number first and then answer the question, while the third used a bar diagram. Jessie also started the CWP 5 book this week and has done very well so far in the first section.

Violet had a harder time this week in math. She spent part of the week multiplying a two or three digit number by a one digit number. After explaining it conceptually, we stacked the numbers and multiplied ones, then tens, then hundreds regrouping as necessary. The problems may have taken her more time, but she did an excellent job on them. Friday, I introduced the beginning of long division. We discussed what a quotient and remainder were and then set up several small problems (some in the textbook and some I made up) on the dry erase board and worked through them together. She had some trouble remembering all the steps when she tried to do it on her own, so she kept coming to me to verify what she needed to do next. I'll try to spend some extra time next week working with her although it may mean I write on the whiteboard while she eats her cereal a couple of mornings.

Benny is still working with the concept of addition and addition sentences in Singapore 1A. Basically, we went over how to write an addition sentence, what the parts mean, and how it relates to the number bonds we used in the last unit. His Miquon pages also have him adding with the cuisenaire rods.. He likes to try to solve it using only two blocks. The problem would say 5 + __ = 7. He would lay the 5 and 7 rods next to each other and tell me the answer was two without bothering to get out the two block and check. The amazing part to me is that most of the time he was right.


Jessie worked on the words from last week's spelling lesson again. One day I had her copy the words. Two other days she took 10 words and wrote them in sentences. Friday, she got a 95 on her test. In grammar, we finished up with nouns and have moved on to the unit on verbs. She covered action verbs. This year the text had her further classify them as a physical action, mental action, or possession. We also reviewed state of being verbs and helping verbs. Most days she did the worksheet with the lesson and only a portion of the written part in the text. In CW Homer, we started analyzing our new model, "Xenophon, to the Sea". We reviewed the different parts of a scene and further discussed what each part meant using the new list of questions for each one in the core. There were plenty of vocabulary words to look up on day 2. I like the way they have her determine the part of speech before looking the word up in the dictionary. I guess I've always done it automatically, so I'm not sure it would have occurred to me to mention it. Day 3 was more diagramming, and day 4 was paraphrasing by synonym substitution. For literature, we completed a story chart for God King before Jessie wrote her book report (scroll down a post or two to read it.) She seems to be comfortable with the plot and conflict, so I think we'll try adding in one of the other elements next time with some of the Socratic questions. Her new literature selection is The Cat of Bubastes.

Violet is continuing steadily along through SWO E. We tested lesson 13 and she completed the first part of lesson 14. In R&S 3, she still working with nouns. This week focused on singular versus plural and using apostrophes to show possession. Violet's model for CW Aesop was King Midas, which I pulled from D'Aulaire's Greek Myths. Monday, we discussed myths using the core book. Tuesday, we used a dictionary to look up vocabulary words. Unfortunately words like Phrygian and satyr are not in our children's dictionary so we had to break out my college dictionary. Let's just say it took awhile but we survived. We also analyzing the capitalization and dictated a couple of the sentences. At long last, we finally picked up a copy of The Golden Goblet on Tuesday afternoon on the way back from apple picking. This is much more challenging than any of the other books this year. She's giving me less detail in her narration, but she still seems to be following the story well.

Benny has completed all of the exercises in the Pyramid book covering short vowel words with double consonant endings. I need to decide if we're going to start a new section in Phonics Pathways covering words that end in -y before vacation or if we'll just read some phonics readers for the next week and start fresh after our vacation. In handwriting, we made it through the letter X this week. One more week of letters, and he'll be ready to start copywork. YEAH!! Our main read aloud is Dolphin Adventure. It took a few chapters for Benny to get interested, but he's excited about reading it now.


This week in OT history, we covered the plagues, the exodus, and the Israelites journey toward Mt. Sinai. The girls had plenty of related drawing from our Draw and Write Through History book. For the plagues they drew a frog, and two different locusts. For the exodus, they drew Moses at the Red Sea. They also drew a quail from the story where the Israelites asked for food. We made a map of the difference locations mentioned in their reading. I showed them the different routes in our Bible atlas and explained why the routes didn't cross the Red Sea. (It's really sad when the Bible atlas doesn't even take the Bible at face value.) Then we took the Bible at face value and estimated what the actual route might have been based on the points of Goshen and Marah. We didn't actually draw the line, but at least our route crossed the Red Sea. As far as writing, they had a narration from last week covering Moses birth to his call at the burning bush. This week's narration covered the events from the Red Sea through the Israelites first battle. For the plagues we made charts. Violet just looked at what the plague was and Pharaoh's reaction. Jessie's chart included the reactions of other Egyptians and the effects (if any) on the Israelites. Together, we went over what the plagues would have meant to the Egyptians and how God proved himself stronger than the idols they worshipped.

For ancient history, we covered the First Intermediate Period and the Middle Kingdom. Jessie outlines the historical section in The Usborne Encyclopedia of the Ancient World. She used the information in The Pharaohs of Ancient Egyptto explain some the of the causes that led to the decline of Pharaoh's power leading into the First Intermediate Period. Violet narrated the events of the First Intermediate Period to me and wrote a narration of the story of "The Shipwrecked Sailor". Their timelines are so crammed, there wasn't room for either the First Intermediate Period or the Middle Kingdom. I think we'll take out the pages for 2000 and 1500, add in a 1750 page, and redo the figures on those pages next week so that things are in the right order. Violet doesn't really care, but it's irking both Jessie and I. Benny and I finally got a chance to starting reading Ancient Egypt by Cohen after waiting for it to be returned for three weeks. We covered the Old Kingdom and revisited pyramids. Friday, we worked together to build his lego pyramid. He decided to stick one of his figures inside for the mummy. My plan is to catch him up with his sisters next week.


The girls completed the notebook page for Syria this week. I'm hoping to start completing two pages a week starting next week.


In science this week, we completed lesson 6 on leaves. The girls learned about transpiration and how and why trees loss their leaves on Tuesday. For hands on, we went in our yard and my in-laws yard gathering leaves to make into nature books next week. I tied a numbered index card to the trees with some yarn so we could come back and gather more information. On Thursday, they learned about different ways to classify leaves: simple versus compound, the arrangement of the leaves on the branch, the pattern of the veins, and the shape. I had intended to revisit the trees we collected leaves from and record the new information, but Jessie wasn't feeling well Thursday and started running a fever Thursday night, so we'll work on it next week instead.


Jessie started the second Mind Benders B book this week. In LfC B, we (more correctly Jessie) learned the first person pronouns. (I think I'll have to take some Latin with me to the beach to get myself caught up the week after next.) Jessie and I did agree Thursday that next week we would try translating a couple of sentences a day from the history reader instead of doing the whole thing on Thursday, which takes us a long time.


Henry continues to keep us on our toes, but we've had fewer mishaps this week. He did manage to find the white out in my desk and smear is on the desk, the desk's chair, and his clothes. (If anyone has a suggestion for how I wash it out of his clothes, please let me know.) His newest game is to bang my metal pot lids together like cymbals. (I tried twice but haven't managed to grab the camera in time for a picture yet.) He has so much fun that even my DH doesn't complain about all the noise. (I am considering buying ear plugs if he is still at it in another week or two.) Friday, Benny got into the game. He held the pot lids while Henry banged on them with one of my metal measuring cups. Between the bangs and the laughter it was really loud, but somehow the girls managed to concentrate and accomplish some work anyway.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Our full MOTH schedule

Hopefully this will be the last revision of the school portion of our schedule until the second semester when we may try to add a few new things. We're currently following the schedule from 7-2 each day. I hope to start getting up at 5 in the next couple of months as Henry sleeps longer at night. (He slept until 5 last night!!) We'll start working on adding more structure to the afternoon and being more consistent with the chores once we come back from vacation.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Sometimes she makes me laugh...

Jessie's book report for God King. For the record, I wasn't very specific about the last paragraph. I just told her to write a few sentences about what she liked or didn't like about the book.

The God King begins with Taharka, an Egyptian prince. While a young boy, he goes out hunting crocodiles. When the boatman falls into the water and the crocodile attacks him, Taharka kills the crocodile and binds up the wound, using the cloth that was his clothing, which was against the tabu. When he arrived home he was chosen to be Pharaoh by his father instead of Shabataka, who Taharka thinks should have been Pharaoh. Taharka goes to Thebes to marry the High Priestess Shepnuset. Three days before the wedding he learns of a plot to kill him and runs away with Amos, a man from Jerusalem. They go toward Jerusalem and are captured by the Assyrians, whom they escape from later. The day after they escape, the Assyrians leave because there is plague in their camp and they are all dying like flies. Taharka and Amos go to the camp of Shabataka (whom, it turns out, was the one that wanted to kill him). The boatman whom Taharka had saved so long ago (see fourth sentence) remembers him. Taharka becomes Pharaoh and exiles Shabataka after warning him that if he returns he will be killed. Taharka rides around camp in his chariot and is proclaimed Pharaoh. He looks forward to seeing the Priestess (whom he is in love with) again.

(Say what you may, I don’t like this book. I think it is a little to bloody. But then, that is just my opinion. Oh, and I would not recommend this book for child reading until sixth grade. And mom, you can laugh as much as you want to at this paragraph. I think it is a little on the humorous side myself, but I don’t care because it is MY book report. All my own, and I wrote it on my own. So there!)

WW: More musical fun

While he still walks around tooting on Violet's recorder, Henry has decided he is ready to move on to a new instrument. The fact that he can add background rhythm and music is a definite bonus.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Week 8: Moses, Pyramids, and more...

It's been a good week here. I made a few changes to our schedule, which have made things a bit smoother. (Henry, for example, hasn't gotten into nearly as much trouble this week although he did manage to spill tea on my ergonomic keyboard. I hope I can get it to work again. The regular keyboard is killing my wrists.) The hardest part about the new schedule is remembering to read to Benny after lunch before I get on the computer.


Jessie finished up adding and subtracting mixed numbers this week and has moved on to multiplying fractions. The hardest part of the week was convincing her that it was easier to simplify the fractions before multiplying instead of the other way around. We worked out a few problems both ways so that she could see that the answer was the same and then she took off on her own and did just fine with all of her exercises. She also finished the last word problem in CWP 4 where we've been work on the reviews at the end of the book since the start of school. She's excited to be moving on to the CWP 5 book next week.

Violet continued multiplying this week. First she learned to multiply multiples of 10 and 100 by a single digit number (which she caught onto very quickly) and then she began multiplying a 2 or 3 digit number by a single digit number. Friday's work involved some regrouping during multiplication as well. She finished the last problem in CWP 2 on Thursday and started CWP 3 on Friday. In Miquon, she finished the section on prime numbers and has been working on a new section dealing with weight. Each problem presents her with two balances that she has to compare in order to determine the weight of one of the objects in the picture. We worked through a couple together, but once she caught on, she was able to work independently.

Benny finished up the IP section on number bonds this week in Singapore 1A. In Miquon he's started the C section which deals with addition. We built several walls of cuisenaire rods similar to the one in the picture for different numbers and used them to fill in the information on the page. Benny liked the problems that were filled in with all ones the best.


Jessie spent some more time on nouns this week in grammar. We did finally hit some new material and learned about appositives and nouns of address. We also did some more subject combining this week. For her grammar assignment that was to develop a paragraph using a sequence of steps. I had her write about building pyramids instead of using one of the suggested topic sentences. In CW Homer, she rewrote "The Frogs Desiring a King". She did an excellent job on her rough draft so we really didn't end up doing much editing. I'm looking forward to starting some new material next week as we'll move on to the second skill level. Spelling was rough this week. All of the words ended in either -ence or -ance. She missed 5 on her test Friday, so we're going to spend another week on the lesson and just do some copywork and writing the words in sentences next week before retesting. She read 2 more chapters in Age of the Fable and completed reading God King on Friday so we'll discuss and complete a book report next week.

Violet rewrote Androcles and the Lion this week for CW Aesop. Her original rough draft was much shorter than the original so I made her go back and try again the next day because she had left out some important parts. The second time she did a much better job so there wasn't really much editing to do. Spelling went well. In grammar, we're still working with common and proper nouns. She had a light week in literature since the next literature book was not yet available at the library. (It's very frustrating to be waiting for a book that is now a week overdue.) Her only reading for the week was another fairy tale from The Red Fairy Book and a chapter from The Complete Peterkin Papers.

Benny finally finished the section on double consonant ending in Phonics Pathways and we're working on the corresponding section in Pyramids. He tends to sound out the first two letters, then the third, then the fourth, and then puts them all together to tell me the word. I'd like to get to where he can at least blend the first three letters together before we move on to the next section. In handwriting this week, he learned the letters S, s, T, t, and U, u. (As you can tell by the picture I have our upcoming trip to the beach on my mind.)


For OT history this week, we finished up the story of Joseph and have finally moved into the book of Exodus. We covered from Moses' birth to his first appearance before pharaoh. The girls finished their Joseph summary from last week, made a map of Jacob's journey to Egypt and put together a page for their notebooks. In Egypt this week, we learned about Menes and the unification of Egypt, Cheops, and the pyramids. Jessie outlined the information on the Old Kingdom in Usborne Encyclopedia of the Ancient World and took notes on the role of pharaoh and the Egyptian government. She used this information to write a essay on Monday. She also read Pyramid by MacCauley to write her paragraph on pyramids. In The Pharaohs of Ancient Egypt a large portion of the chapter on Cheops talked about life in Memphis during his reign so I had her write a summary of the information. Violet read some more of The Gift of the River and Life in Ancient Egypt. She also read a section of Pyramids by Millard. She wrote a narration of Menes and another for pyramids. Both used the Draw and Write book to draw small pyramids and sphinxes for their notebooking pages. For our timeline, we added Menes, Cheops, and Israel's Slavery. Benny and I read a book called Pyramid by Delafosse. We're still waiting on the rest of his history books from the library. I had planned to build a lego pyramid with him on Friday, but since DH was off he decided he would rather go fishing.


We got to geography this week!! YEAH!!! This week we filled in a notebooking page for Turkey. Violet did a great job with the top and bottom portions of the page. I had to help her identifying and labeling the information of what was around Turkey because the map we were using in the atlas didn't have any of the countries in Europe to the north and west. Jessie was a bit dubious when I told her what I wanted in the center map. She added the cities on her own. I drew in the rivers for her to label this week and will probably continue to do so for the rest of the Middle East. Hopefully, by the time we get to Africa, she'll be more comfortable and will try drawing them on her own. She decided to write all of the economic activities on the map so I had her underline the top three when she finished her list.


We did some extra science this week because I want to cover the chapter on leaves so we can identify some of the trees in our yard before the start changing colors and losing their leaves. Tuesday we completed all of chapter 4 on fruits. The orange booklet covered the importance of fruit and the different methods of seed dispersal. The light green shutterfold booklet covered the types of fruits. On Thursday, we started chapter 5. The booklets covered, the importance of leaves, what they need to make food, and photosynthesis among other things. We chose to skip the activities in chapter 4 since we covered so much material.


In logic, Jessie has finished the Mind Benders B1 book this week. In Latin, we learned plural third person pronouns along with some additional vocabulary. I changed the schedule a bit so that Jessie and I either watch the DVD or review the vocabulary and grammar chant together before lunch and that seemed to help a lot.

Violet is on lesson 5 in Prima Latina. We're not doing any of the prayers, but she seems to be enjoying herself while learning a bit of Latin along the way.


Henry has caught on quickly to our revised schedule. I took this on Wednesday morning. He came looking for Violet about 9:00 since it was her time to play with him. When he couldn't her to put down her history book (which she was close to finishing), he decided to sit down and join her instead.
(Yes, if you look closely, his book is upside down.)