Friday, April 27, 2012

Week 32: Back From Spring Break

Jessie's 7th grade
  • Jessie completed the workbook challenge and problem sets of chapter 5 before beginning chapter 6 in NEM1.
  • In Omnibus, we began studying Tolkien's translation of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight as well as Shakespeare's Henry V.  Jessie also completed an alliterative poem.
  • In CW, she finished up her last Diogenes Maxim assignment.
  • R&S also had her write a short story in addition to learning about italics, underlining, and hyphens.
  • In LA, she began chapter 27 working on the perfect tense of the fourth conjugation.  She completed her final chapter in EG2.

Violet's 5th Grade
  • Violet worked on calculating angles in various triangles this week and angles made by extending one side of the triangle in a straight line.
  • She began reading The Fair American by Coatsworth while continuing Stevenson's Kidnapped for literature this week.
  • She worked with synonyms, antonyms, and homonyms in grammar with a brief etiquette lesson on making introductions in R&S and passed another spelling lesson.
  • In CW, she worked more with trochaic meter, onomatopoeia, and tercets.
  • In LfC B, she completed the last chapter of new material covering the third declension neuter i -stem endings.
Benny's 2nd Grade
  • Benny began breezing through the Singapore section on time this week for math.
  • In grammar, we discussed direct and indirect quotations.  He did all of lesson 13 in spelling and 2/3 of lesson 14.
  • We continued reading Socks by Cleary and Drumbeats in Williamsburg for phonics and literature respectively.
  • He's doing very well with both his cursive copywork and printed dictation.
  • He also made sure that he left himself plenty of time for fishing and playing with his new badminton set.

In history this week we finished our first TruthQuest guide!!!!  Topics included the French Revolution, the first US president, Benjamin Banneker, and some more reading on frontier life.  Everyone read SOTW 3 for the French Revolution.  Violet and Benny completed the corresponding map.  For Washington's presidency, the girls read from Guerber's The Great Republic while Benny and I continued with SOTW.  The girls also read Benjamin Banneker by Schlesinger, Frontier Home by Bial and The Cabin Faced West by Fritz.  Benny and I enjoyed Dear Benjamin Banneker by Pinkney and The Bear That Heard Crying by Kinsey-Warnock. 


Jessie began studying the circulatory system this week in BJU science and examined blood cells under a microscope.

Violet finished learning about medical inventions and considered the impact of those inventions on surgery.

 She preformed surgery on two oranges by cutting one in half and making on a small incision in the other and compared the results.
Benny and I learned about corals, sponges, and sea squirts this week.  He made sea anemones (in orange) and the medusa portion of a few jellyfish (in purple) that we will add yarn to for tentacles next week.



Henry and I read lots of books and continued working on letters and numbers.  He also learned how to open a can of Pepsi on his own although he certainly does not need the caffeine.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

WW: Benny Turned 8

He asked for a jungle themed cake that

everyone enjoyed eating.

 There were also presents from relatives

 and presents from Mom and Dad.

Then he just had to decide which to try out first.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Week 31: A Lighter Week

It was a bit of an odd week for us. Originally we were expecting my Mom on Wednesday, so I had scaled back some of our school work for the week. Then my grandfather passed away on Monday, so her plans were changed. We added a few things back in but still ended up with a lighter week overall.

 Jessie's 7th Grade
  • Jessie finally started some new material in NEM.  She worked with variables, combining like terms, and applying the distributive property this week.
  • R&S has covered quotations inside quotations, the use of colons and semicolons, as well as word choice in writing.
  • In CW, she finished up the last analysis lesson.  She just has one writing section left before we move on to poetry.
  • We ended up taking the week off from Omnibus.  Our library only had one version of "Sir Gawain and the Green Knight", which turned out to be an original version with original Old English spelling.  I gave up on the first page and told her we'd order the Tolkien version.  It just wasn't worth the headache to me.
  • In Latin, she took a breather and just reviewed vocabulary this week.  She did finish lesson 29 in EG2.
 Violet's 5th Grade
  • Violet has been working with graphs in Singapore 5B.
  • Her grammar has been a mixture of punctuation and dictionary skills with a writing lesson on using descriptive language thrown in for good measure.
  • In CW, she learned about trochaic meter and tercets and got to write a Haiku on Friday. 
  • Spelling was a review lesson.  We also did some dictation.
  • In literature, she continued reading Stevenson's Kidnapped, finished Carry On, Mr. Bowditch, and started The Fair American by Coatsworth.
  • For Latin, she spent a week on vocabulary review as well.
Benny's 2nd Grade
  • Benny finished up his textbook section on fractions and began working in his IP book for Singapore.  In Miquon, he finally finished with square numbers and moved on to a few lessons on measurement.
  • In grammar, we reviewed the parts of speech that we have covered so far.  For dictation, we needed to cover capitalization before we do our state testing, so I made up short sentences with the pronoun I or proper nouns and we talked about capitalizing for titles.  He also continued his cursive copywork.
  • Benny also finished up a review lesson in spelling this week.
  • For reading, he finished Ralph S. Mouse by Cleary and began Socks by Cleary.  For read-aloud, we finished A Spy in Williamsburg and began the sequel Drumbeats in Williamsburg.

We scaled back our history lessons for the week due to a dentist appointment and simply focused on the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the artist Benjamin West.  Jessie read Our Independence and the Constitution by Fisher and Benjamin West and His Cat Grimalkin by Henry.  Violet read A More Perfect Union by Maestro, The Bill of Rights by Colman, and the Henry book for Benjamin West.  Benny and I read the Maestro and Colman books with adding commentary from Mom to help him follow them and The Boy Who Loved to Draw by Bannaker.  All three completed a map showing the colonies and land claimed by the US after the treaty with Britain. 

Jessie learned about the skeletal and muscular systems this week and looked at prepared slides of bone and muscle. 

Violet made water clocks by punching a hole at the bottom and side of a milk carton and watched to see which one finished first.  She also took a quiz and began learning about medical technology such as X-rays and ultrasounds.

Benny and I have been learning about jellyfish, sea anemones, and corals.  He'll have some more figures to make next week after we finish the chapter.

Violet decided to draw the jellyfish from the front of Jessie's science book for art this week.


Henry's had a stuffy nose all week.  He actually took a nap on my lap one afternoon which gave me a good excuse to kick back and watch tv.  We have been reading, but didn't add any new letters or numbers this week.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Week 30:

It's been a great week here. I focused a lot of time this week helping Violet get ready to sing a solo for our church's Maunday Thursday service. She was a bit nervous, but she did a really great job.

Jessie's 7th Grade
  • Jessie continues to work through review exercises in NEM 1.
  • In Omnibus, we wrapped up both Shakespeare's Macbeth and Tolkien's The Two Towers.
  • There was plenty of word, sentence, and paragraph analysis in CW.  R&S covered punctuation as well as character and conflict in stories.
  • In Latin, she worked with adverbs and completed the Latin readings/translations for chapter 26 and unit 6.  EG1 focused on deponent compound verbs that have a preposition as part of the word.

Violet's 5th Grade
  • Violet spent the week working on her IP section on rates in Singapore.
  • She completed her 29th chapter in spelling covering a lot of words derived from Spanish.  In R&S she took her chapter 9 test on Thursday and began her last chapter on capitalization and punctuation.
  • She continued reading Stevenson's Kidnapped as well as Carry On, Mr. Bowditch for literature and wrote several couplets for CW poetry.
  • Her LfC chapter focused on 3rd declension neuter nouns and their endings.

Benny's 2nd Grade
  • Benny focused on fractions in Singapore and square numbers in Miquon this week.
  • He's been reading Cleary's Ralph S. Mouse to me.  We continued A Spy in Williamsburg by Lawrence as a read aloud.
  • Grammar was a review of the part of speech.
  • He also did his regular dictation and cursive copywork.

We finished up the Revolutionary War this week in history.  Everyone read about John Hancock using Will You Sign Hear, John Hancock? by Fritz.  The girls also read Why Not, Lafayette by Fritz and some chapters from the Guerber book.  Benny and I read Deborah Sampson Goes to War by Stevens and Jack Jouett's Ride by Haley.  We also picked out a few chapters from SOTW 3 to wrap things up for him.  We're planning on reading the sequel to The Spy in Williamsburg which will give him a more detailed look at the end of the war over the next couple of weeks.


Jessie aced her chapter 23 test, read about the skin and skeletal system, and examined a cross section of human skin under the microscope this week.

Violet read about refrigeration, sewing machines, modern appliances, and clocks.

Benny and I finished learning about echinoderms.  He made a sea star and a sea urchin from clay.  We started reading about cnidarians and have covered jellyfish so far.

Violet used our 1-2-3 Draw Mythical Creatures by Levin to draw a hippogriff appropriately named Buckbeak this week.


Henry and I read lots of books, began learning Ee and 4, and reviewed some previous nursery rhymes this week.  For his play with Jessie time, he always insists that she read Tintin books to him (mainly because everyone else has been reading them I suspect).

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

WW: Henry's catfish

"He was so big he almost pulled me in the water!"

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The Boggart and the Monster - Book 12 of 52 in 52

The Boggart and the Monster by Susan Cooper is a delightful sequel to The Boggart.  Emily and Jessup Volnik return to Scotland to visit Mr. Maconochie, the new owner of Castle Keep; Tommy, the local boy they befriended on their first trip; and, of course, the Boggart who gave them so much trouble in the previous book.  Mr. Maconochie, who only recently discovered the boggart, is thrilled to find out that the children know all about it (and that he is not going crazy).  They decide to take a camping trip with their first stop at Loch Ness where Jessup has been invited by a professor to see his state of the art submersibles that are going to look for the famous Loch Ness monster.  The boggart, who accidentally fell asleep in the camping gear, is excited to visit his cousin Nessie who hasn't been seen in hundreds of years.  Unfortunately, Nessie has spent those years asleep at the bottom of the loch in her monster form and has forgotten how to change shape.  Can the boggart figure out how to get help from Mr. Mac and the children?  Will they be able to help Nessie escape the probing submersibles and remember how to be a boggart again? 

Another excellent read by Cooper that I would recommend for ages 8 and up.  It's a little more serious than the previous book, but still a delightful read for all ages.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Macbeth - Book 11 of 52 in 52

Macbeth by Shakespeare is certainly not my favorite Shakespearean play; but having not read it since high school, I thought a reread was necessary in order to discuss it with my 7th grader.  The play opens with tales of Macbeth's valiant defeat of a rebellion against King Duncan of Scotland.  Then on his way home, he meets three witches who prophecy that he will become first Thane of Cawdor and then King of Scotland.  The first title is gladly given to him shortly thereafter by the king as reward for his recent acts in battle.  Although Macbeth should be rejoicing at his good fortune, he instead finds himself conflicted between faithfully serving a good Christian king as he should or giving in to his ambition and seizing the king's crown by foul means.  He ponders.  He talks with his wife, who spurs him on to act so that he murders the king.  One murder leads to another and another as Macbeth sinks himself deeper and deeper into evil until he himself is vanquished by those loyal to the king's son.

It is not an uplifting tale by any means, but it is an excellent source for moral discussion whether it be proper ambition, the perils of seemingly innocuous sins leading down a slippery slope, or the temptations and promises of evil versus the reality of the consequences.  This time through I was reminded of the opening verses of Psalm 1, "Blessed is the man who does not walk in the council of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers, but his delight is in the Law of the Lord and on that Law he mediates day and night."  Unfortunately for Macbeth, he listened to the witches, his wife, and his own ambition instead of what he knew to be right.  Of course as a classic it is a must read for ages 12-13 and up.