Wednesday, October 31, 2012

WW: Fall Beach Break

We visited the aquarium at Manteo,

caught several fish,

drew in the sand,


saw several pods of dolphins,

and found a few small crabs along the beach.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Creative Corner: Shaded Eyes and a Fall Tree

This week we focused on shading with our new drawing pencils by using this project inspired by the work of M. C. Escher.

 Violet also completed an eye.  Benny was too busy helping DH for his art project.
For Henry, I drew a basic tree pattern and let him glue crumbled squares of tissue paper in fall colors onto the tree and the ground around it.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Week 9: Making some adjustments

Jessie's 8th Grade
  • Jessie worked with binomials and trinomials for the first part of the week multiplying them to make polynomials. Then she reversed the process and began factoring polynomials into two binomials for the second half.
  • She continues to work with mechanics in grammar covering topics such as brackets, parenthesis, dashes, hyphens, and apostrophes.  She aced another vocabulary quiz, and made further progress reading both Pilgrim's Progress and Ivanhoe.  In CW, she continued to work on summarizing Antigone, had one lesson of discussing, and began analyzing the adverbial elements of the model.
  • Her Latin chapter reviewed positive adjectives and covered comparative and superlative adjectives.  We formed them, declined them, and translated back and forth with them.  In EG3, she looked at third declension neuter nouns that end with -ma, -mata.
  • Her geography and memory work were continuations from last week.
Violet's 6th Grade
  • Violet continued to work with word problems containing percentages this week in math.
  • She began a new unit in grammar on verbs,. worked with prefixes such as ab- and anti- for SWO, and began reading My Friend Flicka for literature.  In CW, we began looking at credibility.  Our model was the tale where Pooh becomes stuck in Rabbit's door.  I didn't have any old writing projects for her to analyze, so I gave her the challenge to write an original Pooh story while maintaining the credibility of the characters by staying true to their personalities.  She put a lot of effort into writing the story this week.  We're going to edit it next week.
  • Violet began learning the perfect tense endings in Latin, as well as how to conjugate and translate in the perfect tense.  In EG1, she reviewed the remaining letters, diphthongs, breathing, and accents.

Benny's 3rd Grade
  • Benny spent most of the week practicing multiplication of a 2-3 digit number by a single digit. On Friday, we began working on an introduction to long division. In Miquon, he's been working on a section dealing with money which has been an easy review.
  • He worked with plural and possessive nouns in grammar and did very well on his spelling test.  We continued with James and the Giant Peach for independent reading and began Miss Bianca for a read aloud.  In CW, we did some analysis of the myth of "King Midas".  In addition, he completed his daily cursive copywork and a few days of dictation.
The girls read the TruthQuest section on Karl Marx and completed the ThinkWrite assignment of summarizing his beliefs. They looked at the revolutions and changes in Europe using Grant's 1848:  Year of Revolution.  Then it was on to the Mexican-America War.  They outlined a chapter from The Great Republic and summarizing The Story of the Alamo by Richards.   Benny and I kept our focus on America.  We spent 2 days reading the SOTW 3 section on the Alamo and the war and completed the associated mapwork.  We also read Sam Houston:  Hero of Texas by Latham over two days.  For fun, we made an Alamo facade out of gingerbread using the directions in the SOTW 3 activity guide.  With the extra gingerbread dough, Benny made several figures and attempted a cannon which is in the center at the bottom of the pan.


Jessie and I backed up to chapter 3 on Monday.  I outlined each of the sections, went over them with her lectured style, and then had her compare my outlines to her notes.  Monday, we'll review for a Tuesday test.  Hopefully, the test will show better retention and an increased comprehension.  If not, I may have to reevaluate her science curriculum for the year.

Violet and Benny learned about acids and bases.  Rather than make an indicator from red cabbage.  We used pH paper left over from Jessie's labs last year and measured the pH of vinegar, lemon juice, baking soda, soap, and water.
After a lesson on salts, they put a bit of salt, lemon juice, and sugar on Q-tips and rubbed each on different parts of their tongues to see which parts of their tongues tasted the different samples most strongly.  We already read a brief explanation of batteries.


Our art is up in the previos post.  We didn't get to music, so we'll do it over the weekend.  For Spanish, we worked on asking a person's name and answering it, reviewed some counting, and learned how to ask someone's age and answer the question.

Henry and I read stories about sheep this week including Farmer Brown Shears His Sheep by Sloat, Pelle's New Suit by Beskow, and Little Baa by Lewis.  We added the letter Kk to his alphabet on the refrigerator and continued working on counting up to 20.  He didn't want to make a sheep craft, so we skipped it.  He pulled out the snap blocks one day and connected them  all into one long section and asked me to snap the above photo of his creation.


Thursday, October 11, 2012

Creative Corner: Layered Pipes and a Bat

 Here's a simple project for working with tinting and perspective from these directions.
We used oil pastels on black construction paper.

 We need to work a bit more on blending, but the girls were both happy with their results.
Benny was more interested in spending time with DH this week with art, but he finally took a few minutes to complete this bat.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Sunday, October 7, 2012

The Rescuers - Book 24 of 52 in 52

The Rescuers, a fantasy by Margery Sharp is a delightful tale of adventure, daring, teamwork, and luck.  It all begins when Madam Chairwoman of the Prisoner's Aid Society makes a daring proposal to send a mouse to the Black Castle, the darkest prison in the country, not to cheer up a prisoner but to rescue a Norwegian poet, who has been incarcerated there for some unknown reason.  The first step in the plan is to secure the assistance of a Norwegian mouse who can speak with the prisoner in his own language.  Bernard ventures to the bedroom of the ambassador's son to speak with the pampered Miss Bianca to request that she carry out this first step since she will be shortly traveling to Norway with her owner.  After fainting, Miss Bianca agrees and once in Norway ,with a simple request, she secures the assistance of Nils, a rough and hardy Norwegian seafarer; however, she soon realizes that she cannot adequately give him directions, she decides to travel with him back to the Moot house which houses the Prisoner's Aid Society.  Once there, the second part of the plan is set in motion.  Nils, Bernard, and Miss Bianca slip onto the supply wagons en route to the Black Castle.  Armed with resolve but lacking any semblance of a plan, they manage to reach the only mouse hole in the castle for shelter, but their greatest challenge still lies before them.  They must still find the poet and devise a means to get him out of the castle and across the surrounding wasteland while avoiding the head jailer's fat but vicious cat. 

I would heartily recommend this book for ages 6 and up as a read aloud.  It has short chapters that are further divided into sections that would make it suitable for independent reading for a child reading at a Magic Tree House level that isn't quite ready for longer chapter books.  It's a charming tale for all ages.  I'm looking forward to reading it again in a few years with my youngest, who even at 4 has been listening to much of the story.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Week 8: A Quiet Week

Jessie's 8th Grade
  • Jessie completed her 4th chapter of Foerster's algebra this week and scored another A on her test. Even though it's taking her longer to complete her assignments than I believe it should, at least I can confidently say she is understanding the concepts. Friday, she began learning about polynomials in chapter 5.
  • She completed her 7th lesson in vocabulary and made further progress in the section on mechanics in Rod & Staff.  This weeks topics included colons, semicolons, using single quotes, and quotations across paragraphs.
  • It's been a light week for CW.  After 2 final days on encomiums, she's spent three days reading a portion of "Antigone" and summarizing this plot.  She's also making steady progress in Pilgrim's Progress by Bunyan and Ivanhoe by Scott.
  • The first half of Latin this week included working with the first unit reading and completing her first unit test.  On Thursday, she began lesson 6 and began learning about comparative and superlative adjectives in Latin.  In EG3, she actually started declining third declension nouns and translating sentences with them.
  • For geography, she's still working on Europe using the online site.  Her memory work is a continuation from last week.

Violet's 6th Grade
  • Violet spent most of her week working with percentages about half of which were in the form of word problems.  She's also been cruising along in her CWP 6 book.
  • In R&S grammar, she completed the unit on nouns and began her 4th unit on verbs.  She again did very well on her spelling.
  • In CW, she had her final week of writing a story backwards using the tale of Robin Hood and Alan-a-Dale as a model.  In literature, she wrote a summary of "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" and read "Rip Van Winkle".
  • Latin grammar was a review of the present tense verb system.  She began her first week of Elementary Greek 1 with a review of a portion of the alphabet.
  • I don't think she did geography this week.  Her memory work was also a continuation from the previous week.

Benny's 3rd Grade
  • Benny began learning to multiply two digit numbers by a single digit number this week in Singapore.  He did a great job.  He completed hiis regular Miquon and CWP pages as well.
  • In grammar, he's been working with common versus proper nouns over the past several lesson and did very well with his Friday review lesson.  He continues to cruise along with SWO.  We rewrote "Androcles and the Lion" for CW.  We did some more focused editing this week working with word variety and pronoun clarity.
  • Benny finished reading Dolphin Treasure by Grover and began James and the Giant Peach by Dahl.  We also completed our read aloud, Sharp's The Rescuers.
  • In geography, we finished our California and Colorado booklets and began Connecticut.

It was classical composers week for history.  The girls wrote a paragraph on Beethoven after reading Beethoven by Blackwood.  They also read Her Piano Sang by Schumann and three books by Venezia:  Johannes Brahms, Frederic Chopin, and Peter Tchaikovsky.  They wrote a few brief sentences on each and mapped the countries of their birth.  Benny and I read an additional Venezia book Ludwig Van Beethoven.  He gave narrations of the four Venezia books and also mapped their countries.  We took the week off from hands on projects although the kids listened to some unscheduled classical music of their own accord.
Jessie spent the week in chapter 5 of BJU physical learning about gravitational forces. While she seemed to understand the concepts based on the review questions in the book, the extra problems on Friday did not go at all well and showed a fundamental lack of understanding. We're going to try a spending some time over the weekend going over those topics a second time. We may or may not need to back up and review the previous chapters.

Violet and Benny learned about exothermic versus endothermic reactions, factors that change reaction rates, and the role of catalysts and inhibitors. In the picture Violet is adding hydrogen peroxide to a slice of potato which then became covered in bubbles as the enzyme in the potato broke the peroxide into water and oxygen.

Art is in the previous post.  Benny listed to Hallelujah Handel and Vivaldi's Ring of Mystery this week for music.  The girls and I will be covering Bach and Handel first thing in the morning.

We managed 4 days of Spanish.  This week I taught them how to say goodbye and how to ask someone how they are doing and how to respond to that.  We also covered asking for names and stating our own names.  Next week we'll focus on putting these together in sequence to have a mini conversation.


Henry and I focused on chicken and grain this week. We read Galdone's The Little Red Hen, From Grain to Bread by Mitgutsch, French's Henny Penny, and From Egg to Chick by Nelson.  We spent the week reviewing our current letters and numbers and finding new things to practice counting to twenty.

We're going to make some bread and applesauce together tomorrow, but otherwise, he wasn't interested in any crafts this week except some cutting.  The lion face came from a different book and while it wasn't difficult cutting, there was more of it and he worked very diligently to get it finished.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Creative Corner: Watercolor flowers and a beach house

The girls and I took a break from drawing this week to try some watercolor.  We followed these directions to first watercolor and then used Sharpie marker to add in the details.
Jessie actually enjoyed it enough to complete a second picture after Henry scribbled all over the original.
 Violet did a fantastic job.
Benny created a beach house using washable paint and black oil pastel based on these directions.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

WW: Combine Creativity

It's so nice when they all work together.