Friday, August 26, 2011

Week 1: Getting started, part 1

Benny has done a phenomenal job this week.  Last year we did all of his subjects together.  This year I switched to having him complete his math, spelling, and critical thinking independently because I needed to free up time to spend with Henry as well.  He's taken the changes in stride and really done an excellent job this week.

In math, he's been working with numbers to 1000 for the start of Singapore 2A.  We reviewed place value, did a small amount of addition and subtraction, and compared numbers using the appropriate symbols.  I did skip the portion asking him to right the numbers out as words because I really didn't think it was necessary at this point.  In Miquon blue, he's been working with odd and even numbers and patterns like odd plus odd equals even.


In place of phonics, Benny has been reading aloud to me for a few minutes each day.  This week he read from Days with Frog and Toad by Lobel.  He's had a tremendous increase in fluency over the summer,  so we're going to try increasing the difficulty level slightly next week.  Together we're reading aloud The Wheel on the School by DeJong, which loosely connects to our history since it is set in Holland.  For copywork, we reviewed the alphabet, so I could note any letters that were not being formed correctly.  He also copied the definition of a noun and his name and initials for his grammar lessons.  Using FLL, we talked about what a noun is and the different between common and proper nouns for grammar.  He also completed lesson 1 of SWO B and began lesson 2 this week.


Benny learned about James I using Story of the World 3 on Monday.  Tuesday and Wednesday, we read about the Separatists in England and their escape to Holland using Stories of the Pilgrims by Pumphrey (available free online).  Rather than use the corresponding SOTW map, I selected a different map from the activity guide to mark the countries under James I and the route of the Pilgrims.  Thursday we read Don Quixote and the Windmills by Kimmel to get a taste of the classic.
We used the recipe from the activity guide to make parkin on Tuesday.  Benny requested we add icing, so I made up some chocolate icing to go with it.  It was a little on the chewy side, but the kids liked it.  (DH, however, had enough after just one bite.  I don't think he liked the molasses.)


Benny requested to study ocean animals this year for science, so we're using Exploring Creation with Zoology 2: The Swimming Creatures of the Fifth Day by Fulbright since I already had it on hand.

We discussed aquatic animals and lined Benny's ocean box with leftover bulletin board paper that I saved from VBS decorations early in the summer.

We learned about different types of mobility and sorted a few animal pictures into the different categories of mobility.  He also drew a quick sketch of a plankton after reading that section for the final page of the booklet using 1-2-3 Draw Ocean Life by Levin. 

Finally, we learned about surface ocean currents and tried to create a model gyre with some floating cheerios to see the circular motion.


We discussed the 5 elements of shape using Drawing With Children by Brookes and practiced using the different shapes in a maple leaf outline based on these directions although I let him use whatever colors of markers he desired.

We'll add in music, picture study, and begin piano next week.


Yes, it's official.  This year Henry gets his own block of Mommy time, which he is very excited about.  He's been pulling books out of the library crate every morning this week after Curious George ends, asking "Mommy, are you going to come read to me now?" , and waiting very patiently for me to finish Violet and Benny's math lessons before it's his time.  I'm basing part of our lessons on this online curriculum, but changing book of the week to theme of the week.

Our Bible lesson for the week was the first 5 days of creation.  We read the first 2 pages of A Child's First Bible by Taylor.  We also did the creation fingerplay, learned Genesis 1:1, and sang "This is the Day" and "Do You Know Who Made the World?" from the curriculum page.  I added two books What God Made by Zobel-Nolan which has puzzle pieces to move during the story and a small flap book called All Things Bright and Beautiful with the lyrics of the first verse.  Henry had fun adding stars stickers for his craft on Thursday.
Our theme for the week was ducks.  We read Five Little Ducks by Raffi, Angus and the Ducks by Flack, I am a Little Duck by Crozat, Have You Seen My Duckling by Tafuri, Do Like a Duck Does by Hindley, and Little Quack by Thompson.  We also made the cute paper plate duck with the handprint tale feathers.
Our colors for the week were white, black, and blue.  We started our colorful catepillar, ate Oreos for black and white colors, and ran around the house with a flashlight looking for blue items to shine the light on.
 Then for a special treat on Friday, we mixed up some colorful (non-dairy) ice cream
with mini chocolate chips and a topping of blue M&Ms.  Henry named all three colors with ease! 
Our number for the week was 0.  We wrote some zeros on the dry erase board one day.  We also starting learning a little song for the days of the week.
Henry's favorite activity for the week was playing put the fire out.  We drew a chalk ladder and fire on the sidewalk.
He soaked his sponge in water, ran done to the fire, and squeezed the water out.  This game was repeated multiple times with various siblings at Henry's request.  By the end, I had a very clean sidewalk.

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