Friday, February 26, 2010

Week 26: Moving Along

It's been another crazy week here. We ran out to CVS Monday morning when I read on the Southern Savers website that the Huggies refills were ringing up at $2.50. (Some deals are too good to pass up even without coupons.) Thursday, my Mom called to remind me that I hadn't emailed her the kids clothing needs for spring and summer, and she was consignment shopping that evening. Violet, Henry, and Benny were simply a matter of checking boxes downstairs, but Jessie had to go through her clothes from last summer so we could see what still fit (mostly shirts and dresses) and what she had outgrown (mostly shorts and capri pants). Needless to say school ran late a couple of days. Here's our week.


Jessie is still working through the section on percentages. Most of her work this week has been word problems. There were several general word problems, but a few more practical ones as well. She calculated discounted prices for sale items and how much money would be in a bank account after a year at a given interest.

Violet has finished the section on length in the textbook and workbook and begun the corresponding section in the IP book. She's had lots of what I assume careless errors this week since she answers them correctly the second time. She's also been sneaking in to watch Curious George in the mornings without finishing her math, so I guess if I want to check my email it's going to have to be before 8 next week or after lunch. In Miquon, she been working with line graphs, identifying where things are on the graph, drawing different shapes in specified locations, and drawing a series of shapes in a line.

Benny spent two days in Miquon Orange matching up multiplication sentences with addition sentences (ie. 3x5 to 5+5+5) and a third day cementing the differences between multiplication by figuring out the answer for pairs of problems (ie. 2x5 next to 2+5). In Singapore 1A, we continue to work with numbers over 20. I downplayed the matching numbers to words parts since he can't read those words yet and focused just on the place value aspect (if you see 1 group of ten and 3 more that makes...13).


Another week, another spelling lesson for Jessie. In grammar, we're still working through the punctuation section. There was one lesson on writing a book report, but I didn't like their format. We finally had our discussion on The Hobbit using Teaching the Classics. We did the story chart for plot and discussed conflict as we've previously done. Then we focused on the character of Bilbo and went through several of the Socratic questions related to protagonists. I assigned her a 3 paragraph book report, which she can't finish until I get off the internet, so I'll post the results later. In CW, she completed the analysis and rewriting of The Defeat of Cyrus. (She was a little disappointed when I told her she couldn't use the summary from history last week because it wasn't detailed enough.)

Violet finished her second lesson in SWO F. In grammar, she working with a combination of adjectives and adverbs to help her distinguish between the two. She still gets the questions each one answers mixed up, but she's getting better. In CW Aesop, she did her rewrite of "Cornelia's Jewels" with her garden illustration on the bottom. In literature we continue to work through The Children's Homer. Whatever her issue was the first time through, she seems to have corrected it. Her narrations are still short, but they are much better than her previous attempts (which is probably just a sign that I was too lax in my expectations). Her handwriting continues from the same passage in The Secret Garden. I think we may try a day of studied dictation next week in her handwriting notebook to see how it works. I'd like her to be fully switched over to dictation by the beginning of next year, so I know we need to start transitioning now.

Benny worked with the long e sound this week in its various form (e-e, ee, and ea). We tried an early reader from our church library one day with mixed results. It had more sight words than I would have liked, but between the two of us we slowly finished the book. For copywork this week, I just had Benny write the alphabet. I gave him a try at writing from memory, but we quickly switched back to copying after I watched him write some of the letters backwards. We also did a much better job at getting to our read alouds this week.


In our OT unit, we covered the conquest of Israel by Assyria and the failed Assyrian attempt to conquer Judah during the reign of King Hezekiah. Jessie continued charting the different kings. I made an exception with Hezekiah and had her do a summary instead since their were several chapters related to him. Both girls completed maps showing the relocation of the Israelites after the Assyrian conquest. Violet and Benny also read about Jonah and various prophets.

In Greece, this week was all about Philip of Macedon. Both girls read and wrote summaries from their regular sources and made maps of Macedon, its ally, and the lands conquered under Philip. Jessie also read about the early life of Alexander and wrote a summary for next week's notebook page. Both girls drew Bucephalus from the Draw and Write Through History book for next week's notebook page on Alexander. There were a bunch of timeline figures this week. After looking at the available space in the notebooks, we opted to only include Isaiah and Jeremiah and leave out the other prophets. Other timeline figures included Philip I, the conquest of Israel, and King Hezekiah.


We did two lessons of science at the beginning of the week and then there were enough interruptions that we haven't done any more since Tuesday. We've started a new unit on reactions. Monday's lab had a fun demonstration of a chemical reactions called fire extinguisher in a jar. We lit a birthday candle and fixed it in the bottom of the jar with clay, added vinegar and baking soda, watched the bubbling liquid, and saw the released carbon dioxide extinguish the flame. On Tuesday, we worked on chemical equations. The idea of balancing the equation went way over their head, but they at least figured out the difference between a number 2 in front of the molecule versus a subscript of two in the molecule.


Jessie finished the Mind Benders B3 book this week. In Latin, she learning the demonstrative pronouns for this and these. Violet finished lesson 4 this week and watched the DVD for lesson 5 on Friday.


Fun Henry moments for the week:

1. Repeating the follow conversation multiple times in a row is funny if you're almost 2.

"Mom?" "What?" "Hello." "Hello."

2. On Thursday while dinner was cooking I heard a noise behind me while I was washing dishes and turned around to see this.

Apparently, he was really hungry because he ate 1 muffin, asked for 2 helpings of applesauce, and then ate most of a second muffin. Now if I could just get him to eat more fruits and veggies.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

WW: Curling - Benny's Version

He's a pretty good shot.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

All New Square Foot Gardening - Week 7 of 52 in 52

All New Square Foot Gardening: Grow More in Less Space! by Mel Bartholomew

After spending more weeks than I can ever remember looking out my window and seeing the ground covered in snow, I decided it was time to start looking forward to spring. DH and I discuss each year wanting to make some changes to the garden, but we have yet to actually make any changes. I figured I'd do what I always do when I'm in need of some information and ideas, read a new book.

I actually love this book. I love the idea of building a 6 inch tall box above ground and not worrying about the existing soil. (I might actually be able to start a flower garden or a garden for the kids this way or maybe even grow some corn.) I love the efficiency with which he uses his space (especially in the vertical gardening section. Who knew you could grow cantaloupe in the air? Maybe we could actually eat them this time instead of the rabbits.) He gives clear directions anything he recommends building, and I appreciate that he considered both cost and durability in his recommendations. There is information on composting, how to plant, when to plant, how and when to harvest. The one place where he and I differ in opinion is his emphasis on growing only what you will eat a it is harvested whereas I expect to torture myself with the hassle of summer canning in order to reap the savings and benefits for the rest of the year. The next step will be pricing out the cost of the soil to see what we can afford to do with our budget this year. Then the hardest part is going to be convincing DH to give it a try. He's well established in his single row system with the rototiller. I would call this one a must read for someone interested in gardening or for someone that has given up on the traditional garden because it was too much work.

I love Harris Teeter!!

This week has been super double coupons at Harris Teeter, so everything up to $1.98 in value doubles. I found all of the coupons I used online through and used coupons on everything except the whole wheat spaghetti (which was still half the price on sale of what I usually spend on a box). I purchased...

5 soft scrub bathroom cleaner bottles (FREE)
2 Regular Quaker Oats (75 cents each)
15 Barilla whole wheat spaghetti boxes (60 cents each)
16 Yoplait light yogurts (25 cents each)
8 8th continent soy milk cartons (4 free, 4 at $1)
9 cans Progresso beef soup (61 cents each)
3 House Autrey hushpuppy mixes and 1 seafood breader ($1.39 each)
1 Kashi cereal (95 cents)
4 Smart Starts cereal (FREE)
6 Aquafresh toothpaste of various kinds (FREE)
2 Old Orchards juice (50 cents each)
2 Starbucks Frapaccinos (FREE) - These were just for fun...

Total value: 173.89
Total out of pocket cost: $34.75
Savings: $139.14 (80%)

For the kids, the free cookies every time we went to the Harris Teeter store plus the free pretzels that Auntie Anne's was giving away on Saturday made it a great week.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Week 25: Seeking Some Balance

School has been a bit scattered this week. I confess I spent a good deal of time during the first part of the week figuring out what I wanted to get from HT this week while they were doubling coupons up to $1.98. Well we saved a good deal of money, my lack of focus on housework and school have made it a frustrating end of the week as I try to get caught up (and get the girls caught up as well). Here's what did get done.


Jessie continues to breeze through the section on percentages in her Singapore textbook and workbook. Some of this week's exercises included converting between percentages and decimals or percentages and fractions, solving word problems with percentages, and a day of review. She has struggled a bit with her word problems this week partially because she hasn't been drawing the diagrams. I think we'll take some time Monday to review the example problems in the current section before she starts working on the more challenging problems.

Violet has spent most of the week working with meters and kilometers. The converting between the two units went fairly smoothly. Then there was addition and subtraction of mixed km and m measurements which was supposed to be done mentally. Violet found it easier to do the work on paper (and her answers were more accurate that way). In Miquon, she's been working with maps and grids drawing routes and determining how many square units a given area is.

In Singapore, Benny has been doing three review exercises in the workbook. All I really did was read the directions for him. He did very well at solving all of the problems and even did most of the adding and subtracting in his head. I was very proud of him. In Miquon, he's been working on multiplication and how it relates to addition. The problems were all written in pairs like 3x3 and 3+3+3. There were also some problems with answers larger than ten, so I gave him a preliminary explanation of place value using the rods. He caught on quickly and even did a few problems without my help.


Jessie completed lesson 7 in SWO H with a perfect test. In grammar, she's continued through the section on punctuation. I have to confess that I've let her skip a lot of the exercises in the book because most of the material was review for her. A couple of days I let her complete the worksheet instead of the exercises in the book. In CW, she did analysis and writing based on the model "How the Camel Got It's Hump". This is definitely my least favorite model so far. I had a harder time finding appropriate sentences and paragraphs for the analysis work and just really had no desire to do anything beyond basic editing with the draft. I think I'll replace the model with something else next time around. In reading, she finished reading The Hobbit. She tried doing the story chart on her own Wednesday. (I had forgotten about it.) On Thursday, she started typing a book report, but when I checked on her she had almost 3 pages and hadn't even gotten Bilbo started on his journey yet. Needless to say, we'll have to try again next week with a "must be done with Mom" note on the checksheet.

Violet completed her 1st lesson in SWO F. I forgot to check her lesson on Wednesday, so she missed a couple of words that she had misspelled in the exercises. In grammar, we've been continuing with adverbs and the different questions they answer. So far we've covered identifying and diagramming adverbs that answer how, when, and where as well as those question words. In CW, she did analysis on the model "Cornelia's Jewels". That is her dictation exercise from Thursday on the left. In literature, I had her back up and start over with The Children's Homer. She was getting characters mixed up and was unable to answer basic questions. A couple of days I think she just read a couple of names and assumed she knew the story from the myths she read at the beginning of our study of Greece. At any rate, we're trying one more time at a slower pace with Mom trying to pay closer attention this time.

Benny has finished learning about the long u sound this week. He can sound out words with the long a, i, o, and u now, but he usually says the short sound first until I point out the e at the end. I'm not sure what we're going to do next week. We may just go back through all the long sounds again to review. He also started randomly floating some of his letters in his handwriting lesson, so I've decided I need to go back to sitting beside him rather than letting him do it on his own.


This week in OT history we covered the more of the events during the lifetime of Elisha. Jessie continued charting the different rulers in Israel and Judah. (Actually, she filled in the charts for all of them on Friday once I realized she hadn't been doing them on her own.) Violet gave me oral narrations on Naaman, Joash, and the troubles with the Syrians. We're still working on improving her narrations. I think part of the issue is that she is not reading carefully. I'm considering having her read the story aloud to Benny to see if that helps any. Both girls completed a map showing Israel, Judah, and the land Israel reclaimed from Aram.

In ancient Greece, Jessie wrote summaries covering the battles between Sparta and Thebes, the friendship of Damon and Pythias, and rule of Dionysius. Her map is supposed to show Laconia, the city of Sparta, Boetia, the city of Thebes, and the sites of the two battles, Leuctra and Mantinea. We're going to have to up our standard for acceptable mapwork starting next week. Violet read about Epaminondas and Pelopidas. Again her summary was so short, I'm not sure she is fully understanding the material. We may try reading her Famous Men book as a read aloud next week to see if it makes any difference. Her map simply show Sparta and Thebes. No art this week.


We've completed the 3rd unit in Properties of Atoms and Molecules. The test went so-so. The girls are loving the experiments, but I'm not sure how much of the material is sinking in, but then I could say that of our science every year. We were supposed to complete the first lesson of the next unit, but didn't get that far. I did get pictures of our Epsom salt and table salt crystals from the end of last week.

Jessie completed lesson 21 of LfC B, which was a review. Violet has started lesson 4 of LfC A. Both completed their normal critical thinking work for the week.


Henry has been into everything this week. He's driving me a little nuts. He managed to get hold of and eat portions of the olders Valentine's Day candy three times this week (which could possibly explain why he's driving me bonkers). I've also realized that Violet and Benny haven't been playing with him when they are supposed to, so I'll have to be stricter about enforcing our schedule next week. For cute pictures, she Wednesday's post. I have no messy chocolate face pictures since I opted to clean him up before he left any more chocolate stains on the furniture or floor.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Logic Stage History Assignments - part 2

Putting the Focus on Cause and Effect

The central premise for studying history during the logic stage years as I understand it is to understand the connections between events in history. Why did things happen the way they did? What caused certain events to happen? What were the results of the events? While I realize that not all 5th graders are ready to begin that level of critical thinking on their own, I can see no reason why the basic idea cannot be modeled for them. To that end, several of the writing assignments Jessie has completed this year were focused on cause and effect. Here is where we began with...

I. Explain the Causes of the First Intermediate Period

This was one of our most basic attempts at cause and effect. I provided Jessie with specific questions to answer with her text...

Pharaohs of Ancient Egypt p. 64-79
1. How did Cheop’s successors compare to him?
2. How did the priests assert their power?
3. What two important claims did the nobles make?
4. What pharaoh succeeded in reuniting Egypt? Where was he from?

Once the reading was completed, I provided Jessie with the topic sentence (similar to what she was familiar with in R&S) and told her to write one paragraph for me.

Topic sentence: After the death of Pharaoh Cheops, the power and influence of pharaoh declined leading to the chaos of the First Intermediate Period.

Here is her output...

After the death of Pharaoh Cheops, the power and influence of the pharaohs declined leading to the chaos of the First Intermediate Period. Pharaohs hacked Cheops' character, strength, and dignity. As a result, the priests of Ra (the sun god and Pharaoh's father) said that they represented Ra and steadily became more and more behind the government choices. Pharaoh also had lent out land to his favorite nobles on the condition that it would be returned to the royal family when the noble died. But now the nobles claimed the land was theirs and willed it to their families, while the pharaohs were unable to get their land back because there was no army. The lords also claimed that after a man died, he was tested to see if he had committed even one of forty-two mortal sins. If not, he was allowed to pass; but if he had, a strange creature (part lion, part crocodile, and part hippopotamus) would slither out of the shadows and eat him up. Finally a Theban, named Amenemhet, conquered Egypt and ruled it as one land again.

My reaction: This was not exactly what I had expected, but I took it as a good first start. We left the paragraph as written but discussed the importance of the change in the view of life after death.

I'll post a few more examples as I get a chance.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

WW: Henry's Questions

What can I do with big brother's pillowcase?
Does the water in big sister's bottle taste better? (The apparent answer is yes based on the amount he chugged in a couple of minutes.)

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Composition in the Classical Tradition - 52 in 52

Whew! I finally finished with 2 days to spare... Writing is not my favorite subject so sticking this one out took some perseverance on my part.

Composition in the Classical Tradition by Frank D'Angelo is designed to be a book on persuasion using the progymnasmata. It is a deceptively small book that I originally had figured on taking two weeks to read. The information inside is packed in tight so that it reads more like a textbook. The introduction is an overview of the progymnasmata (what it is, where it comes from, different versions, etc) and classical rhetoric. The next 12 chapters take you step by step through each level of the progymnasmata explaining the purpose of the exercise and how it relates to rhetoric. Each chapter contains several examples to illustrate the skills within each level. Under the narrative section, for example, there are narratives for condensing, expanding, and slanting, lists of headings/questions to work through to invent material for writing, and suggestions how to arrange the material. There is generally a brief mention of how each section relates to literature in general, but it is not expanded. Each chapter has 2-3 sets of review questions and 1-2 sets discussion/writing exercises.

Overall, I thought it provided an excellent overview of the progymnasmata and presented a good mix of examples both from antiquity and more modern times. The definitions are straight forward. The steps within each level are clearly explained. I didn't have time to work through the discussion/writing exercises, but they seems doable and fairly straight forward as well. I wasn't thrilled with the topics for some of the more modern examples (child abuse and crazy jealous girlfriends come to min), and I thought some of the examples in the later chapters stuck so closely to the headings used in invention that they seemed formulaic. That said, they do manage to get the point across, so my personal dislike of the writing style is probably not too important. My only other gripe was that he was so focused on persuasive writing that he only touched on how the exercises might also be useful in other types of writing.

Who might benefit from this book? It would provide a means of self-study/reference for an adult wishing to understand the progymnasmata or learn to write more persuasively. I could see it being used as a teaching tool for a high school level student as well providing the parent is working through and discussing the material with the student. I would definitely recommend the book to anyone interested in either the progymnasmata or persuasive writing, although at its steep price you may want to look for a used copy or try ILL to preview the book for yourself
before purchasing.

Mastering Walgreens register rewards

I've spent several hours over the past few weeks trying to learn the ins and outs of coupons (both paper and internet) and the various rewards programs offered by different stores. My new favorite website in this endeavor is I love the way the sale items are listed with the coupons and rebates when available. Currently, I'm waiting for $10 in Nabisco rebates and $7.50 in Pepsi rebates. I've actually started shopping at Walgreens and CVS for the first time in years. I never realized how much you could get with so little money.

Friday at Walgreens, I bought
  • 2 Dove Men's Body Wash
  • 2 20 ft Walgreen's aluminum foil *
  • 1 1 lb box of Epsom salts (for our crystal growing experiment)*
  • 2 40 count Wet Ones wipes
  • 2 Huggies jumbo packs (the girl at the photo center was so kind to get them from the back for me)
  • 1 Old Spice deodorant
  • 1 Children's Tylenol
  • 1 Children's Motrin
  • 4 64 page children's Disney activity pads*

*filler items to use all my coupons

I started with $10 in register rewards from the previous week, used a 15% off Walgreen's coupon on all 4 transactions along with $10 in manufacturer's coupons and additional $17.50 in register rewards that I earned in one transaction and spent in the second one, and still have $6 in rewards remaining for another week.

Total cost of items: $63.49

Total out of pocket: $5.03 saving 92%

and it actually would have cost me about $1.20 less is I hadn't forgotten to show her the in-store coupons from the add for the first 2 transactions. As a bonus the kids were very excited about the coloring books because I almost never let them pick things out when we go shopping, so their excitement was a great bonus.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Week 24: Recovering from last weekend

Last weekend's storm resulted in zero electricity at my house from Friday at 3 to Monday at about 3:30. Thankfully, I had printed off the check sheets ahead of time, but without access to my computer and the internet I couldn't complete all of the lesson plans. The girls got the week off from history, and I also gave them a week off from Latin since we couldn't watch the DVDs on Monday. I gave Benny the week off from handwriting (since it seemed only fair that he get a break also). It's been a bit of a crazy week, but we've still accomplished a respectable amount of work. Here goes..


Jessie finished up the IP section on decimals this week. She struggled a little bit with some of the work, but a couple of hints set her back on course. She also had a long review exercise in her textbook before starting a new unit on percentages Friday, which we are both expecting to be a nice easy break. In CWP, she has finished up the section on angles and done very well with those problems.

Violet also finished up the first IP section in the 3B books this week. Friday, she started a new unit in the textbook and workbook covering length. The first exercise was simply converting back and forth between meters and centimeters. Once we finish this unit, she'll finally be ready to start back into her CWP book with the section on length.

Benny finished up the IP section on ordinal numbers. We did a lot of the work orally, and I didn't have him write out the words first, second, etc. The amount of space that they gave for writing was extremely small, and I'm not really worried at this point whether or not he can spell them correctly.


Jessie finished her first review lesson in SWO H. In grammar, we finished the unit on adjectives and adverbs and started a unit on punctuation. The first lesson reviewed punctuation at the end of sentences and with initials briefly and introduce a bunch of abbreviations as well which were new. She plugging happily along through The Hobbit and has I believe 3 chapters left for next week. In CW, we moved on to skill level 4 with the model "The Woodchuck Episode" which focuses more on condensing the narrative during the analysis. Jessie's getting faster at the sentence shuffle, and we were able to complete 2 shuffles with a little time to spare this week.

Violet completed her regular spelling assignments. In grammar, we've started learning about adverbs. So far we've covered adverbs answering the question how and when as well as how to diagram them. In handwriting, she continues to copy sentences from The Secret Garden which are now describing what Mary sees the first time she enters the garden. In CW Aesop, she rewrote the model Julius Caesar this week. She tried to shorten her rough draft way down the first time, and I made her rewrite it using her outline. She continues to push my patience by trying to give me 2-3 sentence narrations on her literature, so I've made her reread assignments a couple of times. (It's not the only way she is testing me this week, so I'm hoping it is a phase that will end soon.)

Benny finished with the long o and started the long u this week. Our read alouds have been hit or miss as he's been outside playing some days, and I've been catching up the laundry on others, but we'll get back on track next week.


On break due to power outage.


We completed our Be models to show metallic bonding and read about metal alloys, Hall extracting pure aluminum, and crystals. This afternoon we'll start some table salt and epsom salt crystals forming. If it works well, I'll post some pictures next week.


Rather than a new lesson, we did some vocab and grammar review this week. I'm getting the vocab cards caught up. We did the regular logic assignments despite Jessie's meltdown when all the labels weren't on the chart.


I posted a few of Henry's antics on Wednesday. My only other picture from this week is he and Benny settling down together on Tuesday morning to watch Curious George. I think they set a new record in dashing to the television when Violet announced it was 8am.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

WW: Self Entertainment

What's a toddler to do while his siblings play in the snow?
Have some silly fun with an extra glove
or empty the boat for a morning fishing trip?

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The Hobbit - 50 in 50, Week 5

This is I believe the 3rd time, I've read through The Hobbit over many years. The first was for school naturally. The second was just for fun when my oldest was much younger. It is definitely a book I will enjoy rereading for many years to come.

For those who haven't read it in a long while it is the tale of Bilbo Baggins' journey with Gandalf the wizard and a group of 13 dwarves to retrieve treasures that the dwarves had lost many years before to a dragon named Smaug. While Bilbo starts off rather reluctantly, his confidence grows with each adventure. Add to that a magic ring to become invisible and a little luck, and he soon gains the respect of the dwarves and takes more of a leadership position in the group. Among the many difficulties are trolls, goblins, wolves, spiders, wood elves and of course the dragon. Overall it's a delightful book for kids 10 and up, but it would make a great read aloud for a younger crowd as well.

Monday, February 8, 2010


After 72 hours of shoveling snow, hauling water upstairs to flush toilets, heating water on the stove to wash dishes by hand, fussing at the kids to stay out of the refrigerator, and wishing for a hot shower and a cup of coffee, we FINALLY have power again. YEAH!!

Now to go get some laundry done and vacuum up the dog hair.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Week 23: Scattered Again

Another week, another weekend storm in the forecast. As before, we had to try to juggle finishing schoolwork and running errands this week. The fact that there were a lot of deals spread over many stores because of the Super Bowl only added to the challenge. We didn't accomplish a lot of science, and Benny only got 3 days of read alouds. Everything else was finished.


Jessie finished up the textbook portion of the decimals this week and began working on the corresponding section in the IP book. She is doing very well so far. Most of the mistakes I've found are simple computational errors and even those are fewer and farther between than they have been. Somehow I missed taking a picture of her work, so the picture on the left is from her CWP assignments. This week in CWP she started the unit on angles after finishing up I think it was ratios.

Violet's focus this week has been on mental math. She's practiced adding and subtracting by breaking numbers up either into tens and ones or into another combination that makes the problem simpler. She has also been multiplying or dividing with numbers that are multiples of 10 or 100 (ie. 60x3 or 400/2). She has done very well with the addition and subtraction. She is still struggling a little bit with the multiplication and division because she hasn't memorized her multiplication facts yet, but I'm starting to see some improvements in her computation.

Benny has started a new section in his Singapore 1A books on ordinal numbers. We've been working through the books together with me reading the instructions for him. He had a little trouble keeping straight left and right on the 3rd day of math when all of the problems were x places from either the left or right, but we got through them. In Miquon, he's still doing different variations of adding and subtracting. Friday's lessons introduced the idea of skip counting. It had a number line and asked if you started at 0 and moved so many red (2) or green(3) blocks where you would end up. He did a great job working through the page on his own.


Jessie spent part of her grammar time this week working with adverbs and the other days doing a few assignments related to poetry including rhyme and rhythm patterns and the use of similes and metaphors. Her CW model this week was "The Face That Launched 1000 Ships". We're finally at step 5 of the six sentence shuffle. I briefly thought about switching to the Poetry for Beginners book for a few weeks but decided that we would finish the Homer lessons first and save the easier poetry assignments for the end of the year. At this point I think it is still in rough draft form, so we need to edit it this afternoon or tomorrow. Her spelling lesson had lots of words with double consonants, and I confess even I had to double check a few times when I thought she had misspelled a word to make sure I was correct. I was very happy on Friday when she only misspelled 2 words on her final test. In literature, she's now reading The Hobbit five days a week and counting down the days until she finishes so that she can reread the book for fun. She was also asking if she could read the Lord of the Rings trilogy when she finished. I told her I was saving those books for school next year. At first, she was disappointed, but then I suggested she could read Robinson Crusoe next (which she's been asking about for year). Now I just have to read the book, so we can have an intelligent discussion on it.

Violet completed her spelling lessons with flying colors. In grammar, she continued to learned more about adjectives and the questions they answer. In CW Aesop, it was analysis week for her model, "Julius Caesar". We discussed legends, didn't find any vocabulary, identified nouns, and skipped the dictation due to time constraints (and the fact that Henry ripped her check sheet making it hard to read the assignments). In literature, she's finally started The Children's Homer. I have her going through at a slower pace than Jessie did. This week that made the readings very easy, but I think it will help her when the actual story of the Iliad starts and she gets bombarded with a lot of characters in a short period of time.

Benny and I focused on the long o sound this week. I've also decided to start having him read through the Bob books a second time starting with the A1 series for review although we only squeezed in one this week because I made exercise a priority and didn't get an early start. For his read aloud, we squeezed in 3 days of reading. We started Charlotte's Web and have almost caught up with Violet with the Bible readings. A lot of the other Greek readings fell by the wayside, but we'll try to catch up with those next week. We did manage three days of copywork as well.


In Bible history, Jessie finished up with Elijah and started on Elisha and the kings of Israel and Judah during that period. I had her chart the kings just like last with their name, the choices or actions, the consequences, and her evaluation of what kind of king they were. Violet is a little bit ahead of Jessie and spent the entire week on Elisha. I've started typing up her daily narrations. We're having a bit of a battle with them because she is providing almost no detail, so we had a discussion Friday where I explained what I expected and that the consequence for sloppy narrations (either oral or written) would be that they must be redone.

In ancient Greece, we covered the Peloponessian War and the rise of Sparta. Jessie's reading and summaries included Alcibiades (which discussed the events of the war), Socrates, and Xenophon. Violet's also included the Spartan leader Lysander. Jessie completed a map showing the allies and neutral kingdoms during the war. Timeline figures included Elisha, Socrates, Alcibiades, and the Peloponessian War.

No art this week.


We made marshmallow models of water molecules to go with Friday's lesson on covalent bonding. We read the text on metallic bonding but have not made the models for that lesson yet.


Jessie has almost finished the next lesson. We will definitely finished either this evening or tomorrow. (Right now I let her have a break to play out in the snow. Apparently shoveling the front walk qualifies as play.) Violet has finished lesson 3. Her spelling in Latin is atrocious, and I made her go back and fix every single spelling mistake this week. Hopefully, she's gotten the idea and will be more careful next week.


Henry has been into everything this week. I didn't actually get a picture of him doing anything, so I thought I'd share a couple of pictures that he took with my digital camera of the dog's fur and his feet in his pajamas.