Friday, May 25, 2012

Week 36: Just a Little Bit More

Jessie's 7th Grade
  • Jessie completed the textbook lessons, challenge, and problem solving sets in chapter 7 of NEM1. The plan for finishing out the year is to completed the review that follows chapter 7 and all of chapter 8 which means we will not be doing the final geometry related chapters of NEM.
  • For CW, she finished unit 2 of Intermediate Poetry and began unit three on figures of speech.  It quickly reviewed terms from last year and then moved on to alliteration.  It was neat that their example of Old English alliterative poetry was a portion of Tolkien's translation of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, which we finished last week in Omnibus.
  • We began The Divine Comedy:  Inferno by Dante and Shakespeare's Richard III for Omnibus.
  • She also completed her final lessons in Latin Alive 1.  I just need to check her work and review any errors with her.
Violet's 5th Grade
  • Violet finished up the IP section on volume in Singapore leaving just the year end review in the main text. She's a little further behind in her CWP book but we're combining lessons to finish up.
  • She finished her last to spelling chapters in SWO G. 
  • For writing, I want to spend the summer working on her summarizing and outlining skills, so I've had her complete the first five lessons in WWS 1.  She just needs more focused practice in picking out the important details.
  • She finished up White's The Sword in the Stone as her final literature book for the year.  The Disney movie version was a huge hit with all of the kids Tuesday night while I went to a vbs meeting.
  • She has been working for hours on that final vocabulary crossword for the LfC activity book.  Hopefully she'll finish the last of it on Monday.

Benny's 2nd Grade
  • Benny has been working with grids in his Miquon book. In Singapore, he's working with geometric shapes.
  • He's still doing some cursive copywork.
  • He finished reading Owls in the Family and also read Billy and Blaze to me this week.  I finished reading him The Wizard of Oz, and I'm hoping the DVD of the movie will be ready to pick up on Saturday when we go.

This week we focused on inventors.  The girls covered John Deere, Cyrus McCormick, Samuel Morse, and Robert Fulton using Pioneer Plowmaker by Collins, Cyrus McCormick and the Mechanical Reaper by Aldrich, Robert Fulton by Henry, A Head Full of Notions by Bowen, and Samuel F.B. Morse by Latham.  Benny and I covered the latter two as well as James Watt using the same Henry and Latham books as well as the first half of Watt Got You Started, Mr. Fulton? by Quackenbush.

    Jessie finished up her last lesson in BJU Life Science on Friday.  Next week, we'll go back and hit a couple of missed labs before calling it done for the year.

    It's been too nice outside for me to be able to interest Benny in assembling his ocean box.  I told him it had to get done the beginning of next week (which coincidentally will be too hot to be outside anyway.)

    Henry's Corner

    Henry and I continue to read together daily. We're not making a lot of progress with letters and numbers. I think we're going to change things up and restart after vbs in a few weeks. That gives me a couple of weeks to figure out a new strategy for him.

    Sunday, May 20, 2012

    Inkheart - Book 17 of 52 in 52

    Inkheart by Funke is a delightful piece of juvenile fiction and the first in a series of three books.  One peaceful night as Maggie's father reads to her and her mother from a book entitled Inkheart, three characters suddenly emerge from the pages while Maggie's mother disappears into the story.  At the time Maggie was too young to realize what has happened; and for years, her father manages to stay one step ahead of the fictional villain who wishes to harness his magical power, but they cannot hide forever.  Suddenly, the adventures that Maggie loves to read about are no longer in a distant imaginary place; and she finds herself in the middle of her own very real adventure.  Can they escape from the clutches of the villain Capricorn?  If they succeed, what then?  More running, more hiding.  Or perhaps there is a way to harness the magical power and control it to use to finally bring the villain to an end?

    I loved the premise of this book when I read dustcover and decided to give it a try.  The author does an excellent job of quickly drawing the reading into the story, so I actually ending up reading the entire book in one afternoon.  I would recommend this book for ages 8 and up with the caveat that the villains are really evil so it may not be appropriate for a sensitive child.

    Henry V - Book 16 of 52 in 52

    Henry V by Shakespeare is one of a series of plays based on British history.  This play is based during the reign of Henry V and covers the events leading up to the Battle of Agincourt and just after during the Hundred Years' War between England and France.  Set at the waning of the Middle Ages, the play explores the basis for a modern king's authority.  Henry V cannot claim that his authority comes from God because his father overthrew the anointed king on his rise in power.  Instead of standing over his people, Henry V spends time with commoners during his youth and walks through camp in disguise to spend time with his men gaining authority on the basis of popularity.  He orchestrates spectacles to maintain that popularity.  There are also themes of patriotism (and the rousing St. Crispin's Day speech), warfare, and justice.

    The most popular of Shakespeare's historical plays, I would definitely recommend this book to ages 13 and up.

    Sir Gawain and the Green Knight - Book 15 of 52 in 52

    Sir Gawain and the Green Knight translated by J. R. R. Tolkien does a masterful job of keeping the original story true to the alliterative style of the original poem while making the story accessible to modern readers.  Journey back to the Middle Ages to the time of knights and chivalry, magic and wizards, quests and courage where the tale begins in the court of the legendary King Arthur where a lavish celebration of Christmas-tide is underway.  In the midst of the festivities, the Green Knight appears challenging the renowned knights of Arthur's court to a test.  The knight may take the axe of the Green Knight and strike him with one blow, but he must promise to seek out the home of the Green Knight one year hence to receive back the blow he gives.  To prevent Arthur from accepting the challenge, Sir Gawain steps forward, makes his pledge, and severs the Green Knight's head from his body only to watch in amazement as the knight picks up the head and rides off.  A year later Sir Gawain must begin his quest alone to find the Green Knight and keep his word.  After resting at Christmas-tide at the Bertilak castle where he fends off the advances of Lady Bertilak, he arrives at his destination to discover that the entire quest has been a test devised using the magic of Morgan la Fay.  How well has he done?  Did he pass the test and show himself to be a true knight?

    One of the classics of literature, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, rightly deserves in place among the great books.  I would recommend the Tolkien translation for ages 13 and up.

    Drumbeats in Williamsburg - Book 14 of 52 in 52

    Drumbeats in Williamsburg by Isabelle Lawrence is the sequel to A Spy in Williamsburg.  Several years have passed for the Budge family.  The American Revolution has been going on for many years, both William and Ben Budge are away with the American army.  At home, the Budge women are doing whatever they can to provide for themselves and make ends meet while the men are away.  Then one day, their cousin Andy arrives from Philadelphia sent by his mother in an attempt to keep him safe.  Andy, who wants more than anything in the world to be a drummer boy in the American army, is at first disappointed to be sent away; however, he soon finds that Williamsburg is far more exciting than Philadelphia.  He meets General LaFayette, rescues a runaway British drummer boy, impersonates him to spy on the British, and finally becomes a drummer boy just in time for the final battle of Yorktown.

    This is also an older book and currently out of print, but it is definitely an nice read for ages 10 and up or a read aloud for younger kids. It does an excellent job of giving the reader an in depth look at the events in Virginia leading up to the battle of Yorktown.

    A Spy in Williamsburg - Book 13 of 52 in 52

    A Spy in Williamsburg  by Isabelle Lawrence is an excellent piece of historical fiction set in Williamburg, Virginia, in the time just before the American Revolution.  The Budge family is struggling to establish their blacksmith shop in the bustling town; so as a means of additional income, they rent a room to Patrick Henry, who warns them to be careful of spies that have already once rummaged through his belongings looking for information on the patriots.  The oldest son, Ben takes the warning to heart but discovers that identifying a spy is not as easy as he thought.  When the Virginia governor arranges to have the militia's gunpowder stolen, Ben is shocked to finally discover the identity of the traitor.  Can he put all of the clues that he learned along the way to use in stopping the governor's new plan to blow up the militia's gunpowder?

    While this is an older book and currently out of print, it is definitely an excellent read for ages 10 and up or a read aloud for younger kids.  It was one of my favorite selections of historical fiction for early American history with the girls, and I was glad to enjoy it again with my oldest son.

    Friday, May 18, 2012

    Week 35: Almost wrapped up

    Jessie's 7th Grade
    • Jessie started chapter 7 in NEM1.
    • For LA, she finished her last grammar assignments for the year and completed most of the second unit in CW Intermediate Poetry.  We also completed our discussions of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and Henry V for Omnibus.
    • In Latin, she completed chapter 29 of Latin Alive leaving only the final unit reading for next week.
    • She is also almost done with science after testing for chapter 26 and getting started with the final chapter of BJU Life Science.
    Violet's 5th Grade
    • Violet finished up the section on tessellations in Singapore's workbook and IP this week.
    • She completed another week of spelling and read about 10 chapters in White The Sword in the Stone for literature.
    • In LfC, she finished up her primer and continued to make steady progress on the mega end of the year crossword from the activity book.
    Benny's 2nd Grade
    • Benny began working with picture graphs in Singapore this week and is nearing the end of his Miquon book.
    • He finished up his last spelling lesson for the year on Tuesday and continued practicing his cursive with copywork each day.
    • He is still reading aloud Owls in the Family to me and listening to The Wizard of Oz for literature.

    This week we covered the War of 1812.  Jessie and Violet read selected chapters from Guerber's The Story of the Great Republic, James Madison by Clinton, and Francis Scott Key:  Poet and Patriot by Patterson.  Benny and I read James and Dolly Madison and Their Times by Quackenbush, the same Key book as the girls, Star-Spangled Banner by Spier, Flag Maker by Bartoletti, An American Army of Two by Greeson, and Battle for St. Michaels by McCully.  Jessie put together her notebook page, but I didn't get the summaries for the other two typed up.


    Henry and I did our regular reading at the beginning of the week until he had new birthday presents that were more interesting than my reading.  I think he's gotten everyone except DH with his water gun already and tried out 80% of his toys.  It made for an easy week for me because he was too busy with his new toys to get into to much mischief.  (I have no idea why he is tying that wheel to the rocking chair.)

    Wednesday, May 16, 2012

    WW: Henry's 4th Birthday

     He blew out the candles of his Hundred Acre Wood cake in one breath,
     opened all of his presents,
    and spent the rest of the week playing with his new toys with a few new house rules like "Don't shoot the water gun (or the bubble gun) in the house".

    Friday, May 11, 2012

    Week 34: Almost there

    Jessie's 7th Grade
    • Jessie completed the chapter 6 workbook pages as well as the challenge and problem sets this week in NEM.
    • In R&S, she worked on using reference books. 
    • She finished her first unit in CW Intermediate Poetry.  I have to say it has started off a bit dryly.  She's been looking at basic information in the poem, researching the author, placing the poem in its historical context, identifying concrete and abstract portions, and analyzing to which senses the descriptions appeal.
    • She also finished another lesson in Latin Alive. 
    • Next week, I hope to pick back up her Omnibus lessons.

    Violet's 5th Grade
    • Violet completed her IP section on quadrilaterals this week and continued plugging away at her word problems book.
    • She completed her final grammar lesson in R&S 5 and her final lesson in CW Poetry for Beginners!!
    • She also aced another spelling test and did her regular dication work.
    • In literature, she continues to read White's The Sword in the Stone.
    • For Latin, she is slowly working her way through the final review chapter and the mega crossword puzzle in the activity book which she'll finish up in another week or so.

    Benny's 2nd Grade
    • Benny has been working on capacity in both his Singapore and Miquon books this week.
    • He finished lesson 17 in SWO C and has one lesson left for the current year.
    • We're continuing to plug away with some dictation and cursive copywork.
    • In literature, he is reading  Owls in the Family to me.  I finished reading Drumbeats in Williamsburg to him and we began Baum's The Wizard of Oz.
    • In grammar, we discussed adjectives, adverbs, and articles.

    This week in history, we covered the end of French control in Haiti, the Barbary pirates, the duel of Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr, and Napoleon Bonaparte.  Jessie read Toussaint:  Black Liberator by Syme, Napoleon Bonaparte by Williams, and Seeker of Knowledge by Rumford.  She and Violet both outlined the portion of Guerber's The Great Republic covering th Barbary pirates.  Violet and Benny both read SOTW 3 to cover Toussaint and Napoleon.  Benny and I also enjoyed Duel by Fradin.  Everyone completed the Napoleon associated maps from SOTW although I erased the labels from the girls' maps.


    Jessie plugged away at chapter 26 in BJU.  We have one experiment that we didn't get to Friday afternoon to hold over until next week.

    Violet enjoyed being done.  Benny didn't complain that I kept forgetting to bake his sponges and spent his extra free time outside.  Next week, we really are going to sit down and put his ocean box together.


    Violet did some painting this week.  Unfortunately Henry decided it wasn't quite finished and made it a bit more colorful before I could take a picture. 

     This is Henry waiting for me with his stack of books for reading time.  He loves to look at the pictures and tell the story (as long as nobody's watching).
    He managed to convince Benny this morning that pillow fighting was more interesting than schoolwork (for a little bit anyway).

    Friday, May 4, 2012

    Week 33: Starting to Finish

    Jessie's 7th Grade
    • Jessie worked on chapter 6 of NEM this week simplifying equations and solving for the variable.
    • In R&S, she finished chapter 10 and began the final chapter learning more about dictionaries and related words. 
    • We also began the CW Poetry Intermediate book this week.  She did a bit of paraphrasing and some research and summaries on two poems and their poets.
    • Omnibus got pushed to the side again and skipped.
    • In Latin, she began working with the 4th conjugation in chapter 28.

    Violet's 5th Grade
    • Violet finished up the IP section on triangles this week in Sinagpore 5B.
    • She completed lesson 32 in SWO G.
    • In R&S, she worked with hyphens and colons.
    • She finished up The Fair American  by Coatsworth and began White's The Sword and the Stone while continuing with Kidnapped by Stevenson for literature.
    • She completed her 31st LfC chapter and has the final year end review chapter to go.
    • She also finished her last Mind Benders assignment for the year.

    Benny's 2nd Grade
    • Benny finished up IP section on time and completed a general review exercise in his workbook this week.  In Miquon, he used the blocks to work on area and perimeter of various figures.
    • In spelling, he passed his lesson 16 test and began lesson 17 in SWO C.  We studied adverbs in FLL and did the regular cursive copywork and printed dictation.
    • He finished reading Cleary's Socks to me, read all of Monjo's Indian Summer, and began Owls in the Family by Moffat.  I continued reading Drumbeats in Williamsburg aloud.
    • He reached the stopping point for his Building Thinking Skills workbook for the year and is working quickly through the remainder of his Mind Benders puzzles.
    We began TruthQuest AOR 2 this week covering Washington D.C., the Louisiana Purchase, the Lewis and Clark expedition, and Sacagawea.  The girls read Capital by Curlee and wrote a brief paragraph about the architect.  Jessie read and summarized The Louisiana Purchase by Tallant while Violet outlined the information for Guerber's The Great Republic.  Both read and summarized Lewis and Clark by Stefoff and Sacagawea by Erdich.  Benny and I enjoyed Capital!Washington D.C. from A to Z by Krauss, A Picture Book of Lewis and Clark by Adler, Seaman's Journal by Eubank, and A Picture Book of Sacagawea by Adler.  He narrated the two Adler book.


    Jessie completed chapter 25 in BJU.
    Violet finished science for the year!!
    Benny and I finished reading Apologia Zoology 2!

    He made three barrel sponges.  Now we just have to put his box together next week.

    Henry and I read lots of book this week.  He especially enjoyed a new series that we found by Helen Cooper about a cat, a squirrel, and a duck.  The books are entitled Pumpkin Soup, A Pipkin of Pepper, and Delicious!  Their are soup recipes in the first and third books that I want to come back and try in the fall.  We're still working on number recognition from 1-5 and letter recognition from A-F and O.

    He also enlisted Jessie's help to turn his bed into a cave

    and played in their quite happily several days this week.