Friday, December 16, 2011

Week 15: Almost ready for a break

Jessie's 7th Grade
  •  Jessie worked on positive and negative fractions this week in Lial's.
  • In CW, she focused on working with adjective elements within a small bit of Shakespeare and did several sentence shuffles.
  • We did her regular vocabulary, but lightened up on her logic and only completed half what I had planned.  In grammar, she learned the active and passive voices.
  • She completed all of her Omnibus reading, but we have some discussions to finish next week.  I found it impossible to finish up the Christmas cards, ship the presents, and put up the remaining decorations while still finding time to read her Omnibus assignments myself.
  • In Latin Alive, she finished lesson 16 covering more third declension nouns, the imperative mood, and the vocative case and started 17 working with the dative case.  She also completed another week of EG2 where she worked with first person pronouns.
Violet's 5th Grade
  • Violet doubled up math lessons this week while studying ratios and has been breezing through her lessons.
  • She continued reading Treasure Island by Stevenson and Susan Creek by Wilson for literature.
  • She scored a 95 on her spelling test and practiced diagramming predicate nominatives and predicate adjectives in grammar.
  • For CW, she rewrote the model "How the Came Got Its Hump" by Kipling.  We finished up the poem "Twas the Night Before Christmas" for dictation.
  • In Latin, she learned the cardinal numbers to ten.  On the left, she's working on one of her Mind Bender's puzzles for logic.
Benny's 2nd Grade
  • Benny continued multiplying and divided by 2 and 3 this week in Singapore math and worked on a mixture of topics in Miquon.
  • He finished reading aloud Misty of Chincoteague by Henry and began The Black Stallion by Farley.  We continued to read The Story of the Amulet by Nesbit.
  • He's still using a portion of Luke 2 for his copywork and doing his regular spelling assignments as well.

In history this week, we covered Bacon's Rebellion, William Penn, and the Ottoman Empire and the siege on Vienna.  The girls outlined from This Country of Ours.   Jessie read William Penn:  Quaker Hero by Dolson while Violet read from The Story of the Thirteen Colonies
Everyone read from SOTW 3 for the Ottoman Empire.  Benny and I also read about William Penn using SOTW 3 and The Story of William Penn by Aliki.  The only hands on for history was our mapwork this week.

Jessie's still learning about plants in Life Science.  This week she learned about the different parts of a vascular plant and its leaves.  The one lab that we fit in was to measure the change in weight in a plant due to the loss of water by transpiration.
Violet studied wedges and screws.  We took paper ramps and rolled them around pencils to illustrate how they are related.
She also learned about different levers and tried lifting a tub of nails using a yardstick and fulcrum to compare the length of her level to the ease of raising her weight.


Violet and Benny made nutcrackers this week.
No music.  Lots of geography games.


Henry and I read lots of Christmas books this week.  He spent a lot of time moving ornaments around on the Christmas tree, so I pulled out our small tree for him to play with instead.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Ecclesiastical History of the English People by Bede - Book 27 of 52 in 52

The Ecclesiastical History of the English People by Bede is the well known work concerning the expansion of  the gospel among the English.  While I confess that there were portions of the text that were a bit dry, overall I enjoyed this selection much more than I expected.  It contains tales of brave Christian kings, faithful monks, and Christian martyrs.  Despite the outward threats of barbarians and the inward threats of heresy, the gospel of Christ was proclaimed and advanced through the land.  There are portions such as the tales of miracles relating to the bodies of saints or the constant arguments over how to properly calculate the date of Easter that seem odd to our own day.  To Bede the miracles are grounded in his belief in the resurrection, a promise of a greater resurrection to come.  His emphasis on church unity should give any modern day Christian pause in our time of fractured denominations and conflicting beliefs.  It definitely deserves its place among the great books.

The Dragon and the Raven by Henty - Book 26 of 52 in 52

The Dragon and the Raven by Henty is a delightful peace of historical fiction set in England during the reign of King Alfred the Great during the invasions of the Danes.  Edmund and his father are driven out of their home in East Anglia by the invaders.  After his father's death, Edmund travels to Wessex with his companion Egbert to join the West Saxons under Alfred in their attempts to repel the invasion.  Edmund proves to be an exceptional leader himself as he trains his men to harry the Danes on land and then builds a ship to harry them on the sea as well.  Along the way he mercifully spares the life of a Dane at the request of his daughter.  That one act of kindness changes the course of several subsequent events in the story.  As with all Henty stories, there is plenty of historical detail, plenty of action, and of course a bit of romance as well.  Sure to be a hit with both boys and girls.

Misty of Chincoteague by Henry - Book 25 of 52 in 52

Misty of Chincoteague by Henry has long been a favorite tale of children.  It has been years since I read the book for myself, but I decided to pull it out again for my oldest son (and my most reluctant reader).  Paul and Maureen Beebe have their hearts set on capturing and taming the legendary Phantom, who has twice eluded the pony roundup gang.  On the big day, it is Paul who finds the Phantom encumbered by a tiny foal and brings them to the rest of the ponies.  Can Paul and Maureen manage to buy both horses?  Can the Phantom ever really be tamed?  A thrilling tale for young children (and their parents) to enjoy again and again.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Book of Dragons by Nesbit - Book 24 of 52 in 52

A Book of Dragons by Nesbit is a delightful collection of short stories for all ages.  These aren't just your normal fire breathing dragon tales either.  There are dragons of all sizes, dragons of ice, dragons with lots of feet, and dragons that purr.  Add to the dragon mix a wide assortment of heroes and heroines and a good dose of adventure, and this will be a hit for dragon lovers everywhere.  (Can you tell I love dragon stories.)  The only downside that I have for the book is that the author could, on occasion, be more concise in her storytelling and leave out a bit of her own rambling.  Still it is an excellent book. 

Friday, December 9, 2011

Week 14: A Little More Like Christmas

YEAH Jessie!!!
 Jessie's 7th Grade

This week Jessie
  • completed her 3rd chapter in Lial's Prealgebra and passed the test with a 95%
  • worked on common problem verbs in grammar
  • completed the regular lesson and a half of vocabulary
  • analyzed adjectives in a short excerpt from Shakespeare for CW
  • completed reading The Ecclesiastical History of the English Church by Bede and the book of John for Omnibus.  (We are a bit behind in our discussions.)
  • finished one and a half chapters of Latin Alive and another chapter of EG1
  • did her regular logic work.
  • Violet's dictation
    Note the big smile.  I chose
    "Twas the Night Before Christmas"
    for our lessons this week.  Sometimes the
    theme makes all the difference.
Violet's 5th Grade
This week Violet
  • completed the textbook portion of Singapore covering the area of triangles and began the IP section
  • Rewrote "The Woodchuck Episode" by Burrough for CW.
  • Successfully passed another spelling test
  • worked on problem verb pairs such as raise and rise for grammar
  • continued to read Treasure Island by Stevenson and began reading Susan Creek by Wilson as well.
  • reviewed Latin prepositions for LFC B
Benny's Second Grade
  • worked on the 3s multiplication table
  • read more of Misty of Chincoteague by Henry to me and listed to The Story of the Amulet by Nesbit.
  • copied a portion of Luke 2
  • covered commands and questions for grammar
  • aced another spelling test
  • generally kept his Santa hat on for the whole week once I had mended it
We covered a range of small topics in history this week including pirates, the plague and fire in London under Charles II, Isaac Newton and John Locke, John Bunyan, and King Philip's War.  The girls read relevant sections from Our Island Story by Marshall, Trial and Triumph by Hannula, Courage and Conviction by Withrow, and SOTW 3.  They outlined from The Story of the Thirteen Colonies by Guerber.  Jessie also read Isaac Newton and Gravity by Parker as well as When London Burned by Henty (just for fun).
Benny and I read Pirate Diary by Platt (which I highly recommend although depending on the child you may need to preview some of the pictures) and portions of SOTW this week.
He was very excited to make a pirate hat out of newspaper
 and enjoyed burning our paper version of London.

 Jessie completed chapter 12 this week on plants.  We collected spore prints from mushrooms
and examined a bit of moss under the microscope.  We also observed a prepared slide of a mushroom.
 Violet learned about friction, work, and power.  Here she used a rubber band to pull the train on 3 different surfaces.  She compared the stretch of the rubber band on each surface and also compared the initial stretch to the stretch once the train was moving.

No science for Benny.


Jessie is working on landforms in North America.  Violet is progressing nicely with the states and is ready to begin working on capitals.  Benny is about halfway through his song and still working on the midwestern states.
 Violet is the only one who did art this week and drew a gingerbread man.

Mo music this week.


Henry is thoroughly enjoying his morning reading time and seems to prefer choosing his own books.  Here are a couple of his antics for the week.
 He successfully snuck into the kitchen, retrieved two pot lids, and banged them together behind Violet causing her to jump several times which he found hilarious.
He also entertained himself one day by popping the packaging that came with his Christmas stocking.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Week 13: A Little More Progress

I spent most of the weekend Christmas shopping and didn't prepare very well for this week.  DH was also home, and I let the kids spend more time with him before he leaves to go fishing tomorrow morning.

Jessie's 7th Grade
  • Jessie worked her way through chapter 2 of Lial's covering variables, simplifying algebraic expressions, and solving simple expressions to find the value of the variable.
  • She finished the textbook portion of her R&S chapter on verbs and had the week off from vocabulary.
  • In CW, we finally finished revising her second writing assignment and began the third unit.  (I'll post her final draft and some thoughts on Diogenes in the next few days.)
  • We played catchup in Omnibus by completing the entire section on Henty's The Dragon and the Raven and continued our progress through Bede's history. 
  • Our Latin focus for the past two weeks has been vocabulary.  Jessie has been playing the online FlashDash game daily.  This week she also managed to complete chapter 14 and begin chapter 15.  In Greek, we've done a lot of flashcard work and completed lesson 12 covering the Greek word for not.
  • Logic also got done for the week.
Violet's 5th Grade
  • Violet completed her fractions section of Singapore IP and started some review in her textbook this week.
  • She had the week off from SWO, but continued working on verbs in R&S.
  • In CW, I took a week off from the regular lesson plans and added a chapter from Colum's retelling of the Golden Fleece to get some additional practice on the 3rd level of sentence shuffles and paraphrasing before moving to the next level.
  • She finished Around the World in Eighty Days by Verne and began reading Treasure Island by Stevenson (which she is enjoying so far).  We've also been using short sections for dictation this week.
  • In Latin, she worked on ablative pronouns.  She completed her regular combination of BTS 2, Mind Benders B2 and Think-a-Grams A1 for logic.
 Benny's 2nd Grade
  • Benny finished his IP section on multiplication and began a new section in the textbook on the multiplication tables for 2 and 3 on Friday.  He also finished the fractions portion of Miquon Blue.
  • He's still thoroughly enjoying reading Misty of Chincoteague by Henry to me, and we've begun The Story of the Amulet by Nesbit together. 
  • For the month of December, his copywork will have a Christmas theme.  This week he copied the first verse of "Away in a Manger".
  • In grammar, we worked on statements and commands.  He did complete a spelling lesson and start a second this week as well.
  • I gave him the week off from critical thinking.


    This week in history, we covered Prussia and Peter Stuyvesant and New York as well as the beginnings of New Jersey, North Carolina, and South Carolina.  All three read about Frederick of Prussia in SOTW3.  Jessie read The Story of the Thirteen Colonies by Alderman for the remaining topics.  Violet read the same book one day, but read Old Silver Leg Takes Over!  by Quackenbush and a chapter of Guerber's The Story of the Thirteen Colonies for the other two days.  Benny and I read SOTW, Spier's The Legend of New Amsterdam, and Lobel's On the Day Peter Stuyvesant Sailed Into Town on Tuesday.  Wednesday and Thursday, we read portions from Whitehurst's The Colony of New Jersey, The Colony of North Carolina, and The Colony of South Carolina.  There was no hands on this week other than the mapwork.


Jessie is the only one who did science this week.  She finished the reading portion of chapter 11, took the test, and began chapter 12.  We have several labs to catch up on still.


No art or music this week.  Geography was the normal online games for the girls and state song and mapwork for Benny.


Henry spent as much of the entire week following DH around as he possibly could.  When this wasn't possible, he managed to successfully sneak up on Jessie under the table and tickle her feet once making for several minutes of laughter by everyone at her surprised reaction.