Friday, November 18, 2011

Week 12: A Little Crazy

Jessie's 7th Grade:
  • Jessie finished the first chapter in Lial's on integers and began reworking the comparable lessons in NEM1.
  • In CW, she began her writing assignment for unit 2.
  • She continues to make steady progress in CE2 and studied transitive verbs in R&S 7.
  • In Omnibus 2, we began reading The Ecclesiastical History of the English People by Bede but are still waiting for our secondary book, The Dragon and the Raven by Henty to be returned to the library even though it was due on the 15th.
  • Jessie completed the Unit 2 reading in LA1.  We played some Latin jeopardy on Thursday, and FlashDash online on Friday.  EG2 covered the declension of the word the.
  • Logic was also completed.
Violet's 5th Grade:
  • Violet continues to make steady progress through fractions in Singapore 5A.
  • She rewrote "The Face That Launches a Thousand Ships" by Guerber for CW Homer.
  • She completed a review chapter in spelling, finished the unit on verbs in R&S 5, and continued to reading Around the World in Eighty Days by Verne.
  • In LfC B, we worked on the accusative case prepositions.  I added Latin grammar cards to her regular memory verse to get more consistent review of the chants.
  • Logic was the regular combination of BTS 2, Mind Benders B2, and Think-a-Grams A1.
Benny's 2nd Grade
  • Benny is really enjoying reading Misty of Chincoteague by Henry and listening to The Book of Dragons by Nesbit for literature.
  • In math, we began working on multiplication and division in Singapore and on fractions in Miquon.
  • He successfully passed another spelling test, learned the definition of a sentence, and copied the definition for handwriting.

The girls read Johannes Vermeer by Venezia, Marquette and Joliet by Syme, and La Salle and the Exploration of the Mississippi by Harmon this week for summaries and completed an outline of the chapter on Louis XIV from SOTW 3.  They mapped France and the routes of the explorers.  Benny and I covered the SOTW chapter and its map work.  We've also started reading the Syme book, but it has taken longer than expected so we'll be finishing it up next week.


Jessie finished up chapter 10 on evolution this week and moved on to a new chapter on the kingdom Protista.  We managed to squeeze in a lab which we had previously skipped as well.  The bags behind Jessie each have 10 radish seeds that were subjected to 0-20 minutes of heat in the oven in 5 minute increments or 0-20 seconds of radiation in the microwave in 5 second intervals.  Rather than buy irradiated seeds, we followed the basic directions found here.  We haven't yet chosen an endpoint for out experiment.  We can either stop and write the results based on just germination or plant the seeds and look for other qualitative effects as well.

Violet learned about kinetic versus potential energy, the conservation of energy, and force this week.  In addition to rolling the golf ball at different speeds to knock over dominoes, she enjoyed shooting Benny's Nerf gun at a target and figuring out the energy conversion involved, investigating tensile strength by comparing thread to rope, and using our scale to measure the force of her weight versus her ability to push on the scale versus the weight of a book.

Benny got the week off from science.


In geography, the girls played their games as usual.  They also found some world maps from church that they had forgotten about and started coloring them in one evening.  DH began quizzing them on countries.  I was very glad to see how much they have learned despite our rather inconsistent efforts.  Benny and I keep plugging away with his state song and the midwestern state locations.

No music this week.  We'll spend some extra time on it next week instead.
In art, Violet drew a turkey this week.

 Henry had a great time sitting with her and playing with the different marker colors
and even doing a little drawing of his own.  (That's a jellyfish in the middle)

Henry and I read the dragon series from last week some more as well as Horton Hears a Who by Dr. Seuss and Five Little Monkeys with Nothing to Do by Christelow.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Five Children and It by Nesbit, Book 23 of 52 in 52

Have you ever pondered what you would wish for given the opportunity to wish for anything?  What might happen if your wishes were granted for a day?  This is opportunity that is given to Cyril, Robert, Anthea, and Jane in E. Nesbit's Five Children and It when they discover a Psammead (or sand fairy) in the sand pit during their summer holiday.  The rather grumpy fellow agrees to grant them one wish every day with the understanding that their wish only lasts until sunset.  Each day brings a new wish and a new set of troubles for the children.

The story itself gets off to a slow start.  The author from time to time unnecessarily adds too many of her own opinions into the story; however, the story itself with its delightful premise wins out and is an excellent read aloud for grades 2-3 or independent read for grades 4+ for both boys and girls. 

Sunday, November 13, 2011

The Nine Tailors by Sayers, Book 22 of 52 in 52

Set in the quiet countyside of East Anglia, The Nine Tailors by Sayers follows the steps of the famous Lord Peter Wimsey as he seeks to uncover the truth about a recent murder.  Who is the disfigured corpse?  How did he come to be locked in the church's belfry?  What exactly killed him?  Is there any connection to an old theft of a valuable emerald necklace?

I actually found this to be a refreshing change from the typical mystery.  Instead of the formulaic ending where the case is neatly solved in an instant at the end of the story, this case is slowly pieced together over the course of the book.  Lord Peter, while an excellent detective,  must adapt his theories to fit each new piece of evidence.  I also learned far more about bell-ringing than I ever wanted to know, but it provided a unique background for the textand flowed well in the story.  Jessie enjoyed it enough to immediately read all of the other Lord Peter Wimsey mysteries that our library had available.  I just wish I had that much time to read. 

On the Incarnation of Our Lord by Athanasius, Book 21 of 52 in 52

Athanasius was the bishop of Alexandria in Egypt for 45 years in the 4th century AD.  The church at that time came under attack from false teachers including Arius, who taught that Jesus was created by, but not equal to, God the Father.  Although banished temporarily after the Nicene Council, the Arians gained influence in Constantine's court and were allowed back into the church despite the vigorous protests of Athanasius.

On the Incarnation of Our Lord lays out his understanding of how the Incarnation is central not only to Christian faith but also for the entire course of history to a fellow Christian named Marcarius.  He discusses the Trinity, Creation, the fall of Man, the condition of man after the fall, the incarnation, and the redemptive work of Christ while refuting objections to each of these points that were raised during his time.  He spends the last few chapters specifically refuting first the objections of the Jews, and then the Gentiles ending with an exhortation to Marcarius to copy of the lives of the saints in action and to study the Scriptures himself in order to have a right understanding of them.

While I found the text challenging, it was far more clear and concise than more modern commentaries I have read on the subject.  It is an excellent glimpse at basic Christian theology from an excellent teacher that I would recommend for every Christian to read.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Week 11: Busy, busy

It's been a busy week around here, but we got almost everything done.

Jessie's 7th grade
  • For math, I've temporarily switched Jessie over to Lial's pre-algebra to work through integers and real numbers until she's got a solid mastery of those topics.  The difficulty isn't anywhere near that of NEM, but there's plenty of practice and the concepts are very clearly explained.  She covered numbers to the hundred trillions, integers, adding integers, subtracting integers, and rounding integers. 
  • She finished lesson 8 in CE 2, worked on verb tenses in R&S 7, and did more analysis of a Silence Dogood letter for CW.
  • In Omnibus, we spent the week studying creeds and took off from the Secondary lessons since we're still waiting to get the book from the library.
  • In Latin, she worked on conjugating 3rd conjugation verbs in the imperfect and future, while EG2 was a review week.
  • For logic, we looked at examples of mob appeal and discussion different generalizations made by various historians in the Critical Thinking text.
Violet's 5th grade
  • She did extremely well in math this week multiplying and dividing fractions by whole numbers and continues to improve with her math facts.
  • She continues to slog through Around the World in Eighty Days by Verne for literature.
  • R&S has been mostly the principal parts of verbs with a bit of outlining thrown in.
  • She rewrote "The Golden Apple" by Guerber for CW and did very well on her test for lesson 11 of SWO G.
  • Latin was a review week.  Logic continues to progress very well.
Benny's 2nd grade
  • Benny finished both the textbook and IP sections on weights this week in Singapore, completed his first section in CWP 2, and worked through a variety of mixed operation problems in Miquon.
  • We started The Book of Dragons by Nesbit for literature and Misty of Chincoteague by Henry for reading to me.
  • He passed two more spelling tests in SWO B and is now on lesson 18.
  • We began introducing verbs in FLL while continuing to use "Amazing Grace" for copywork.
  • Jessie's working on the last levels for the states and is ready to move on to a new topic.
  • Violet has moved up to level 3 for the states where she drags the state to its correct location on the whole map (instead of just a region of it) and is ready to begin working on capitals next week.
  • Benny is still working on the Great Lakes region.  I think I'm going to have him start working on the online game twice a week on the days we aren't doing geography together.

This week, we shifted our focus back to England covering the reign of Charles I and his death, the Puritan Revolution and the rule of Oliver Cromwell, and the restoration of Charles II and his persecution of Scottish covenanters.

Jessie and Violet both read primarily from The Story of the Renaissance and Reformation by Miller.  They completed summaries of each king and outlined a section of a chapter on Cromwell's rule.  Jessie read two chapters of Trial and Triumph covering the Scottish persecution, while Violet read Courage and Conviction about Samuel Rutherford.  Jessie was thrilled when I handed her some additional historical fiction Duncan's War, King's Arrow, and Rebel's Keep by Bond.  It must be good since she's on her second read through of the set after only two days. 

Benny and I read the first two sections of SOTW 3 and the same chapter on Rutherford as Violet.  He hasn't been interested in any hands on, so we just stuck with reading and mapwork for the week.


Jessie is working on chapter 10 covering evolution.  Her one activity for the week was designed to illustrate mutation.  She started with a basic sentence.  She spun a number to select which letter to change, drew a new letter for that space, and rewrote the sentence with the new change.  After 8 times, the sentence was of course completely unreadable.

Violet finished her Heat and Energy book this week.

Benny and I read about walruses, dugongs, and manatees and completed the corresponding booklets.  Then he made a seal and a pair of manatees for his ocean box.

Art / Music

 Jessie drew a pumpkin this week, colored it with oil pastels, and attempted some shading.
Violet decided to draw a peacock, and I decided to let Benny's science double as art.

Music has not been done as yet.

Henry's Preschool

It was dragon week for Henry.  In addition to our regular Bible stories, I read the same four books every day this week:  The Egg, The Great Dragon Rescue, The Dragon Snatcher, and The Dragon and the Gruesome Twosome by M. P. Robertson.  I reviewed the first three previously.  The fourth one is an excellent follow up as George and his dragon match wits with a pair of troublesome trolls.  Great books for boys (even Benny snuck in at least 3 days this week to listen as well).
 He also snuck under the table to tickle his siblings feet
and mashed playdough to cut shapes from like his big brother was doing.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Week 10: Up and Downs and Indians

Jessie's 7th Grade:
  • We worked on adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing integers this week.  It did not go well at all.  We'll start fresh next week with a combination of NEM and whatever addition supplements I can find.
  • In CW, she's been analyzing a piece praising Alexander the Great one paragraph at a time.
  • She finished unit 3 in R&S on nouns and began working with verbs.  Although she did well on her test, she missed more than usual.  Starting next week, I'll have her diagram a sentence or two each day with a noun phrase or clause for continued review and additional practice with the topic. 
  • Vocabulary and logic both went well as usual.
  • In Omnibus, we finished with both On the Incarnation of Our Lord by Athanasius and  The Nine Tailors by Sayers.  Next up the creeds for primary and The Dragon and the Raven by Henty for secondary.
  • In Latin Alive, she completed chapter 11 and most of chapter 12 this week covering various uses of the ablative and genitive cases.
Violet's 5th grade
  • Math has gone very well for Violet this week.  YEAH!  She's done very well with adding and subtracting mixed numbers, multiplying fractions, and multiplying a fraction and a whole number.
  • She's zipped through her grammar lessons and verbs and done very well with her spelling this week of French based words.
  • Her literature continues to be Around the World in Eighty Days by Verne.
  • In CW, we worked on various ways to make grammar changes in sentences, and she rewrote "The Tale of Jemima Puddle-duck".
  • She completed two more Mind Benders puzzles in the B2 book and is halfway through Think-a-grams 1. 
  • For Latin, she focused on the second person pronouns and the different uses of the genitive case.
Benny's 2nd Grade
  • Benny finished up the measurement section of his IP book and finished the multiplication charts in Miquon.
  • He also finished reading A Lion to Guard Us by Bulla and listening to Five Children and It by Nesbit.
  • Two more spelling tests were completed successfully.
  • He's been copying lines from "Amazing Grace" and working on identifying nouns and pronouns in sentences for grammar.

Everyone's history topic for the week was Indians, specifically those living in the eastern forests of the United States.

Jessie and Violet read Life of the Powhatan by Kalman and wrote about the different roles in their society.  They also read a portion of The Iroquois Indians by Sherrow covering Hiawatha and wrote a brief summary of the events.
 Benny and I spent three days reading from The Book of Indians by Holling.  He narrated about how to make a wigwam, made a duck decoy from a paper bag using directions from More than Moccasins by Carls, and got some help from DH in making a fishing lure with goose feathers although it didn't help him catch any fish.
Together, we had an Indian inspired dinner of halibut, mashed acorn squash, and cornbread.  The squash got mixed reviews.


Jessie spent the week working on chapter 9 of BJU Life Science which discussion Creationism.
Violet continued learning about light and did some experiments looking a refraction.

Benny got another week off (although we did buy more clay for him to make a manatee).

  • Jessie tried the USA puzzle games on
  • Violet moved up to the level 2 states game.
  • Benny continues to work on locating Michigan, Indiana, and Ohio on a map and is up to Montana in his state song.

Everyone drew clown fish this week and painted them with watercolor.  I challenged Jessie to add some depth to her drawing by having portions of the fish in front of some anemone and portions behind.


Jessie and Violet began learning about percussion instruments.  Benny learned about the harp.

Henry's Preschool

This week was more Henry chosen selections.  We did read The Three Billy Goats Gruff by Arnold almost every day.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011