Friday, September 30, 2011

Week 6, part 2: Pilgrims, cells, and magnets for the girls


Jessie finished up Tolkien's The Fellowship of the Ring  and read five more chapters in Augustine's Confessions this week.  She completed her second R&S unit and began unit 3 on nouns.  She also finished her Caesar's English I book and moved on to Caesar's English II for vocabulary.  She spent a full week working through the steps for her first writing assignment in CW Diogenes.

Violet finished reading Swiss Family Robinson by Wyss.  She completed her first review chapter in SWO G and her second unit in R&S 5.  She also began learning about nouns on Friday for unit 3.  For CW Homer, she rewrote "The Good Samaritan" after analyzing the components of the scene.  She also did some synonym work, a bit of diagramming, and a little paraphrasing by synonym substitution.

Jessie finally caught back up to where we had stopped NEM 1 to work on writing out steps in math.  She did a bit of estimating as a means of checking her answers on Thursday and tried the second challenge section on Friday.  We went over the ones which she had trouble with together.

Violet spent the entire week working on double digit multiplication and multiplication facts.  I think we'll move on in the Singapore text next week but continue filling in daily multiplication charts and completing a few whiteboard problems for multiplication as well to encourage her to practice her facts and improve her accuracy.


Jessie completed chapter 7 in LA1 and chapter 5 in EG2.  Violet completed her first review lesson in LfC B.


History this week was all about the Pilgrims of Plymouth.

On Monday, both girls read from the TruthQuest guide and a chapter from The Story of the Thirteen Colonies by Guerber.  Jessie and Violet completed a two level outline and a one level outline respectively of a portion of the chapter.  Jessie went on to read Miles Standish:  Plymouth Colony Leader by Miller, William Bradford of Plymouth Colony by Bradford, and John Alden:  Steadfast Pilgrim by Edwards.  She wrote very brief summaries of the first two selections. 
Violet spent three days reading one chapter at a time from the Guerber book, jotting down key events, and then writing a summary from them.  I combined her three summaries into one longer summary on Friday, and we made a few editing changes to give it better flow in a few awkward places.


Jessie continued learning about cells in BJU Life Science.  She did complete one experiment this week on turgor pressure by placing one slice of potato in regular water and one in salt water.  The other two experiments, we discussed but did not complete.  Her test results were not stellar, so Friday I had her go back through the textbook and make vocabulary cards for all of the words in bold print.  I'll quiz her on them over the weekend, and we'll start fresh money with an emphasis on study skills for science.

Violet spent the week learning about magnets with lots of hands on.
She strung together a series of magnets, a nail, and some paperclips; used one magnet to push the other around the table with touching them; and just spent some time playing and exploring as well.  I think it may be the first time, she voluntary experimented on her own just for fun.
She also magnetized a needle to make a compass.

Jessie chose to draw a page from one of our coloring books this week.
Violet drew a grizzly bear and tried adding different sizes of trees for dimension.

The girls learned about clarinets, saxophones, and bassoons for music adding more cards to their orchestra folders.

Both continue to progress through their logic programs. 

Week 6: Pilgrims and Curious George for boys


Benny spent the entire week in Singapore 2A learning how to borrow for subtraction.  He did a great job!  In Miquon, he had some fun doubling numbers.
We began reading aloud Five Children and It by Nesbit this week, while he continues to read A Lion to Guard Us by Bulla to me. He completed two more spelling lessons, learned how to write dates, and began learning about pronouns for FLL. His copywork was a little of this and that: the definition of a pronoun, Tuesday's date and his birthday, another four state names, and two history related sentences.

It was Pilgrim week.  Benny and I read a l...o...t of chapters from Stories of the Pilgrims by Pumphrey.  We took a break after every few pages for him to narrate a few sentences.  He is very proud to have composed his longest narration ever.  We also mapped their journey.
He and I made Indian cornbread (with modern ingredients) using the SOTW activity guide.  By the end of the week, he wanted to spend time with DH rather than do activities.

No SCIENCE for Benny this week.  I didn't have the booklets ready for the lapbook.


For art, I couldn't interest Benny in drawing a bear, so I suggested some finger painting.  I showed him these directions for finger painting caterpillars, butterflies, and flowers for ideas.  He had a lot of fun.  I'll put up a final picture another day once the paint is dry and he can draw in the legs, eyes, etc.

For music, we learned about the cello.

He learned the location of Wisconsin and Illinois and added four more states to his state song taking him up to Michigan in his list.

I finally got his memory box organized and placed in the verses and poems he knew as well as two new ones, Psalm 100 and "The Shepherd".


It was Curious George week for Henry.  It was fun to read the books and say "...a good little monkey but always very..." and let him supply curious or "man with the..." with him finishing "yellow hat".  He had a blast reading the stories with me. 

We also reviewed the Noah's ark story, named the colors of the rainbow (and reviewed other colors as well).  Somehow I missed getting any pictures, so I'll have to try a little harder next week.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Week 5: King Gustavus, cells, and electricity


We made zero forward progress in math this week with the girls.  Jessie made so many mistakes with math on Monday because she refused to show her work that I decided it was useless to continue forward.  I couldn't tell if she was making errors in computation, in order of operations, in conversion of fractions or decimals, or what.  So we discussed attitudes, lack of listening to directions, and the resulting consequences using examples from school and from life in general.  Then we started back at the beginning of NEM1 with the primary purpose of learning to write out the steps to show her work in math.  I picked and chose problems for her to write out with the understanding that a few errors in copying or computation were acceptable, but not writing out the steps or conceptual errors would result in additional problems for practice.  Tuesday was much better than Monday, and it is now much easier to correct her math.

Violet also had problems in math Monday.  Tuesday and Wednesday, we backed up and reviewed order of operation again.  Thursday and Friday we started working on double digit multiplication.  I've been having her fill out a daily multiplication chart before starting her assignments.  The number of errors is decreasing, but I think we're going to have to stay on multiplication at least part of next week until I see an improvement in consistency.


Jessie began Confessions by Augustine for Omnibus Primary while continuing Tolkien's The Fellowship of the Ring for Omnibus secondary.  She worked on the final vocabulary lesson in CE1 and covered 3 lessons and 2 worksheets in R&S 7.  We spent the week in Diogenes analyzing a Silence Dogood letter from Benjamin Franklin on the vice of pride of apparel. 

Violet completed reading Blackthorn Winter by Wilson and is near the end of Swiss Family Robinson by Wyss.  She continues to progress well in SWO B.  In Homer, she dug deeper into Theon's components and rewrote "To the Sea".  R&S was combining sentences or parts of sentences and more paragraph writing.


Jessie finished her first Latin Alive unit and completed another lesson in EG2.  Violet reviewed the verb sum, esse as part of her completed LfC B lesson this week.


 The girls finished learning about the Thirty Years War this week.  Both read three chapters from The Story of the Renaissance and Reformation by Miller covering King Christian of Denmark, King Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden, and the entry of France in the war.  They also read about the Swedish king in Trial and Triumph.  I had Jessie condense each Miller chapter into a one paragraph summary.  While Violet wrote a narration on Gustavus Adolphus from the second resource.
 Wednesday, they read 2 more chapters from Miller and outlined a section covering the end of the war, the peace treaty, and the fallout for Germany.
Thursday, they took a breather to read Rembrandt by Venezia and Diego Velazquez by Venezia.


Jessie completed chapter 4 on cell membranes and other structures this week.
She got her first chance to try out our microscope looking at a letter e from the newspaper as well as several prepared slides that came with the microscope.
We demonstrated osmosis through a semi-permeable membrane by filling tubing with water or corn syrup, submerging them in water, and then noting the changes.  We also had a long discussion about taking tests, the necessity of learning good study techniques (by following directions), and the consequences of poor study skills.  I found an extra test for chapters 3 and 4 in the test booklet that I hadn't scheduled, so she got another chance at studying and testing.  It went much better.

Violet continued learning about electricity.
She learned about circuits and tried placing tape, cardboard, and aluminum foil between the batteries in a flashlight to see which allowed for the conduction of electricity.
She also made a few circuits using Benny's snap circuits kit.


For music this week, we covered flutes, piccolos, and oboes.

They continued their online computer activities for geography and completed their logic assignments.

Art fell by the wayside because I ran out of steam.  We'll pick back up next week.

Week 5: Artists, whales, and bears oh my!


Benny spent the entire week learning and practicing addition with renaming.  I explained the concept twice on Monday using cuisenaire rods.  At that point, he was ready for me to leave him alone to complete his assignment. 


For reading, Benny has started reading A Lion to Guard Us by Bulla.  Together we finished The Wheel on the School by DeJong.  He successfully passed two more spelling tests and continued working on months and seasons for grammar.  Part of his copywork this week included verses from Psalm 100.


Benny finished the Thirty Years' War last week.  We read Rembrandt by Venezia and Diego Velazquez by Venezia and marked the countries where they lived on one of the SOTW maps.  We also read Hana in the Time of the Tulips by Noyes covering the tulip craze that engulfed the Netherlands for several years.  For fun, we read The Three Musketeers by Felder, which Benny loved.


This week in science, we finished up with toothed whales and learned about baleen whales.
After talking about beluga whales, we placed a cup of plain water and a cup of salt water in the freezer to see which one melted first as a demonstration of how the ocean water stays liquid in the arctic regions even when the temperatures are below freezing.

Benny was also very excited to finally get start on clay animals for his ocean box.  This week he made a dolphin, an orca, and a blue whale.


This week's instrument was the cello.  He did enough sculpting that we skipped art.  In geography we learned the location of the states Nebraska and Kansas and are up to Louisiana in our state song.


This week for preschool we learned about Noah's ark and bears.  Henry was thrilled to have a stack of his favorite books by Karma Wilson including:  Bear Snores On, Bear Wants More, Bear Stays Up for Christmas, Bear's New Friend, Bear's Loose Tooth, Bear Feels Scared,  and Bear Feels Sick. 

 He ran around the house to find out what his magnet would stick to,
practiced his casting and fishing,
and made a mess with my Post It bookmarks.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

WW: It's School Time! Where are you?

Violet and Benny decided to make school more interesting Tuesday by having their own school room. 

Friday, September 16, 2011

Week 4, part 2: 30 Years War, electricity, and cell membranes


Jessie reviewed fractions, decimals, the operations involving them, and rounding this week in NEM 1.  She also learned about significant numbers in rounding. 

Violet completed her first IP unit in Singapore 5A.  She's still making a lot of initial mistakes.  I've stopped showing her where her mistake is and am letting her check through her own work.  She's getting better at correcting her own mistakes and showing her work. 


Jessie completed her first primary book in Omnibus 2 this week.  Next week, we'll move on to Augustine's Confessions.  We're currently about halfway through Tolkien's The Fellowship of the Ring for Omnibus secondary.  In CE1, she finished chapter 19 this week and has only one chapter to go.  For CW Diogenes, we completed the first theory section and have begun working on the first analysis section. 
In grammar, she worked on independent and dependent clauses, simple and compound sentences, and diagramming compound sentences.

Violet continues Swiss Family Robinson by Wyss and Blackthorn Winter by Wilson for literature.  She worked on combining sentences and writing paragraphs in R&S 5, passed another test in SWO G, and rewrote "The Frogs Desiring a King" for CW Homer.


Jessie finished chapter 4 in Latin Alive this week and began working on the accusative and dative cases of nouns in chapter 5.  She's still breezing through the review of EG2.  Violet is also breezing through LfC B which is currently reviewing grammar from last year.  Both completed their regular logic assignments as well.

I wasn't able to get the girls the book on the pilgrims that I wanted this week, so they focused on the 30 Years War.
 They each outlined a portion of The Story of the Renaissance and Reformation by Miller covering the start of the war.
 They summarized the revolt in Bohemia and the persecution of the Huguenots in France under Richelieu.
I let them use Benny's map as a guide to complete their map work of the two sides of the war.  For the girls this topic will continue over into next week as well.
I invited the girls to join Benny and I in making origami storks on Monday.  We used this video for the directions.  All the kids needed help at some point along the way, but they had fun.


Jessie finished up chapter 3 in BJU life on cells and moved on to chapter 4 to learn above cell membranes and cell parts.
This experiment had her compare the results of a milk mixture with rennet tablets to one without tablets.  I thought it was also an excellent opportunity to practice writing a lab report.
She compared the amount of time it took food coloring to spread in a glass with moving water versus still water after learning about diffusion across cell membranes.
We caught up on last week's lab testing for proteins in various substances.  Since we had six test tubes, we just picked six substances from the list:  egg yolk, whole wheat flour, lemon juice, vinegar, sugar, and contact lens cleaner.  We still had two labs that we didn't get to that I'll have to push into next week (partially because I didn't have any corn syrup and partially because I was just too tired Friday to worry about it).

Violet spent the first two days of the week doing a vocabulary review and quiz for unit 2 of God's Design Heat & Energy.  Her new unit is on electricity.
We tried demonstrating static electricity with a balloon.  She learned different types of circuits and completed a worksheet on that information.  She also learned about lightning.


The girls continue to play online games for geography.  Jessie is almost ready to switch to the capitals games, while Violet continues to identify the states regionally.

For music this week, we finished learning the string instruments including the double bass and the harp and added the instrument cards to our orchestra folder.

In art, Jessie and I talked about light versus shadow.  Then she went back and colored in her duck picture from two weeks ago paying attention to the coloring and shadowing of the original illustration.
Violet drew a floppy eared bunny using these directions and asked to color it in with our soft pastels.

Week 4: Storks, whales, and more colors

 Benny had another great week!  In Singapore he had a few days of reviewing addition and subtraction from the previous book.  Then on Thursday, he started learning how to add with regrouping.  In Miquon, he been working on a mixture of adding and subtracting as well.


Benny finished reading Dark Day in the Deep Sea by Osborne to me this week.  We're still working on The Wheel on the School by DeJong as a read aloud.  In grammar, we discussed the seasons of winter and spring and the abbreviations for those months.  Copywork also included a few more state names and the beginning of Psalm 100.  He finished his first review lesson in SWO B and started lesson 7 on Friday.

Benny spent the beginning of the week learning about the Pilgrims in Holland and their move to Leiden using Stories of the Pilgrims by Pumphrey. 
He also learned about the 30 Years War using SOTW 3.  That particular chapter of SOTW was extremely long.  I think it would have been better to split the reading over 2 days instead.  We did complete the corresponding mapwork for the war.  Our only other hands on for the week was making an origami stork, which is pictured up in the girls' post.

We had a lot of fun in science this week, although I didn't get pictures of most of it.  We're still learning about whales.  On Monday, we covered whale moves like breaching and lobtailing.  Then for fun we acted out the different moves using my bed.  There was a lot of laughter as we jumped up on the bed (breaching), went off head first and whacked the bed with our feet (lobtailing), and peeked over the bed at Henry (spyhopping) who also thought we were very funny.
We started discussing toothed whales and learned about echolocation.  We made two paper megaphones and tried bouncing sounds of the wall to see if we could hear a difference with and without the megaphones.  Lastly, we learned about dolphins and porpoises.  I haven't had a chance to buy clay yet, so we'll have to wait until next week to start adding to his ocean box.


For geography, Benny is up to Louisiana in his state song and added North and South Dakota to his list of states that he can locate.
For art, we drew a very simple snake using these directions, which he then held against the wall to color so that is had some texture as well.

For music, we learned about and listened to a brief song featuring the viola.


I was not very organized for Henry this week.  We reviewed his colors and read lots of books this week, mostly of his own choosing.
He's actually started spending part of his mornings looking through books on his own.  Sometimes he just looks at pictures, and other times he tells his own version of the story using the pictures.
I couldn't interest him in any crafts this week, but he did have a great time playing with Jessie on Friday when she brought out Benny's marble run.