Friday, November 30, 2012

Week 14: Coughing our way through

It has been a very long week and a half here.  DH was the first to get sick, but soon Henry and I came down with it.  Even Violet was running a fever by mid-week, although she finished most of her school work like a trooper.  I spent a lot of time in the afternoon snuggling with Henry, so getting work checked was a bit slow.  Jessie took advantage and procrastinated in the subjects that she didn't want to complete.  Benny zipped through and escaped the germs by going outside to whittle on a stick or play with the local stray cats.  At any rate, this is what we did accomplish.

Jessie's 8th Grade
  • Jessie finished up the section on the quadratic equation and scored Bs on her chapter test and cumulative review test.  On Friday, she began a new section involving graphing and equations with two variables.
  • In grammar, she's been reviewing verbs this week as well as organizing her note cards from before Thanksgiving into an outline form.  The latter took a lot more time than I expected, but she did a very thorough job.  She finished most of lesson 12 in vocabulary.  I'll have her review the words on Monday and quiz before moving on to lesson 13.  She let her writing fall by the wayside a bit and still owes me a CW paper, which I have her working on this afternoon.  She read 15 chapters in Austen's Pride and Prejudice and a portion of Dumas' The Count of Monte Cristo.  We weren't really able to discuss because by lunchtime Henry needed my attention, so we'll work on that next week.
  • In Latin, she did very well on her chapter 9 test. In chapter 10, she worked with the verbs volo, nolo, and malo; formed negative commands; and made comparisons of infinitives. In EG3, she completed lesson 13.
 Violet's 6th Grade
  • Violet began a new section in Singapore this week on speed.  She learned to calculate speed, distance, and time practicing with a few word problems in the workbook.
  • In R&S, she covered the verbs lay/lie, raise/rise, and sit/set in addition to learning to take notes from a reference source.  The latter took three attempts, but she finally succeeded.  I gave her the week off from dictation, and she only did the analysis portion of her CW.  In spelling, she completed lesson 14.  She began reading Tuck Everlasting for literature.
  • Fourth conjugation verbs were introduced in Latin.  In Greek, she practiced conjugating in the present tense and declining masculine nouns. 

  • Benny's 3rd Grade
    • Benny finished multiplying and dividing by six and began working with 7s this week in Singapore. His Miquon had some balance type puzzles, geometric puzzles where you tell how many of a certain shape are in the picture, and some worked on area and perimeter.
    • He struggled with another spelling lesson, so I've decided it's time to slow down our pace to one lesson per week reviewing lesson 3 again next week.  He did very well with demonstrative pronouns in grammar.  We did copywork but not dictation and did no editing to his CW narrations of "The Fox and the Crow".  He finished reading Henry's Sea Star and is working on The Family Under the Bridge.  For a read aloud, we began The Book of Three.


      Last week, the girls read about bleeding Kansas and John Brown's raid in The Great Republic completing an outline and summary.  This week they outlined another chapter on the 1860 election and summarized Abraham Lincoln by Colver.  Benny had both weeks off.


      Jessie has yet to work on her science assignments.

      Violet and Benny finished the first God's Design Chemistry book on atoms and molecules with a couple of fun experiments.

      We started with a bowl of milk with three drops of food coloring
      and then watched the food coloring spread out after we added a drop of soap into the middle.  We also drew marker lines on a paper towel and placed one side in water.  For some reason, the colors didn't separate as well as they should have.


      What art was accomplished is in the previous post.  Basically all of the extras were dropped this week.

      Poor Henry has been sick all week.  It's been mostly sleeping on the couch with Mom, watching television or videos, or just sitting and snuggling.  Still after a bit of medicine, the challenge of reaching the top of the stacked sofa cushions was quickly conquered.  Hopefully, he'll start to feel better soon.

    Thursday, November 29, 2012

    Creative Corner: Advent Wreath and Gingerbread picture

    With half the kids sick, art took a back burner this week.  On Sunday, we all worked together to make a new advent wreath for the table.

    I was going to construct gingerbread houses with the girls, but since Violet was sick, we postponed the houses until next week.  She decided to draw her own gingerbread house and man instead.

    Friday, November 16, 2012

    Week 13: Dragging Along

    Jessie's 8th Grade
    • Jessie is currently finishing up her algebra for today as I'm typing this report. She's been working on solving quadratic equations by making them into binomial squares as well as solving them using the quadratic equation this week. Today she is applying that to word problems involving the vertical movement of objects. 
    • She completed her fourth unit in R&S and her 11th vocabulary lesson.  I'm still waiting for the Ivanhoe paper that was supposed to be turned in today and hasn't even been started.  She has completed 4 of her 5 CW assignments for the week at this point.
    • In Latin, she has completed her 9th chapter which reviewed partitive expressions, time expressions, and the ablative of price and will take the quiz on Monday.  In Greek she has been working with deponent verbs in the future tense.

    Violet's 6th Grade
    • Violet finished reviewing the percentage chapter in the textbook and has moved back into the corresponding IP section.  She seems to have a much better grasp of the material at this point.
    • In R&S, she learned about verbs that can act as either action or linking verbs, completed an oral book report, did a little outlining, and finished off her unit 4 review and test.  She successfully completed another spelling chapter and read A Christmas Carol by Dickens for literature.  Her CW focus was on concision, and I had her edit the Pooh story that she had written a few weeks back.
    • In Latin, she studied the fourth conjugation of verbs while in EG1 she is still working on conjugating verbs in the present tense.
    Benny's 3rd Grade
    • Benny finished up his IP section that included long division and moved on to the next unit on multiplication with a focus on the facts from 6x6 to 9x9.  In Miquon, he's been working on problems that are similar to the Balance Benders from Critical Thinking.
    • In grammar, he began working with possessive pronouns.  His second try at the first chapter of SWO D went much better.  Having the words written in print seems to have made a huge difference.  In CW, he analyzed "The Fox and the Crow".  He continued to read Sea Star independently and listen to By the Great Horn Spoon for his read aloud.
    • The picture on the left is some map work from his Building Thinking Skills 1 book.  He did all of his regular critical thinking, copywork, etc.

    This week we covered Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth, and Frederick Douglass.  The girls read and summarized Freedom Train by Sterling, Walking the Road to Freedom by Ferris, and Frederick Douglass Fights for Freedom by Davidson.  Benny and I read books from the "Picture Book of..." series by Adler on all three.  Everyone completed summaries on all three.  We'll put together the pages the beginning of next week.


    Jessie and I made very little progress in science as she spent forever on basic tasks.

    Violet, Benny, and I finished up the last few lessons in Properties of Atoms and Molecules.  I pushed the final labs until Monday because I really didn't have the energy to work on them Friday.


    See the previous post for art.  We'll be doing lots of music and lapbooking next week. 

    HENRY'S CORNER Henry and I had a pumpkin theme for the week. We read The Runaway Pumpkin by Lewis, Too Many Pumpkins by White, Pumpkin Soup by Cooper, The Pumpkin Book by Gibbons, The Biggest Pumpkin Ever by Kroll, and Mousekin's Golden House by Miller.  My plan to make some pumpkin chocolate chip cookies with him was put on hold when he started running a fever at midweek.  The Pooh cards on the left I found at the dollar store.  Each set of three cards has one card with a number, one with the corresponding number of honey pots, and one with the number in word form.  Henry did a great job of matching up the first two on his own while I just supplied him with the final card.

    Thursday, November 15, 2012

    Creative Corner: Shaded Swans and Turkeys

    The girls project for the week was to practice their shading techniques with our drawing pencils by drawing a swan following these directions.
    Jessie hasn't completed her swan as yet, but Violet did an excellent job.

     Benny had his own art ideas this week and drew this large turkey which he has since cut out and put up as a Thanksgiving decoration.
    He also created a turkey centerpiece for our table.

    Wednesday, November 14, 2012

    WW: Escape Twarted

     I thought it would be cute to take a picture of Henry in my fleece jacket, but as soon as he saw the camera he took off like a flash.

    He had a great time being chased all over the house and managed very successfully to avoid a decent picture

    until I ambushed him outside the bedroom.  By then he was laughing to hard to escape.

    Sunday, November 11, 2012

    Ivanhoe - Book 27 of 52 in 52

    Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott takes place in England during the days of King John and Robin Hood where the noble knight Ivanhoe has returned from the Crusades to claim the lands given to him by King Richard.  Traveling in disguise, he assists a Jew named Isaac of York in escaping from the fierce Templar Sir Brian de Bois-Guilbert who wishes to kill him.  In return, Isaac loans Ivanhoe the armor and war horse that he needs to take part in the king's tournament at Ashby.  With these, Ivanhoe easily defeats all 5 of the king's challengers in the jousting match on the first day and receives the king's reward and the privilege of naming the lady to act as the Queen of Love and Beauty for the remainder of the tournament.  This he bestows upon his childhood love Rowena.  On the second day in the general battle, Ivanhoe's team is nearly defeated when 3 of the opposing knights move to attack him from all sides, but a knight in black armor steps in and takes out two of the opponents.  After the match the wounded Ivanhoe collapses and is whisked away from the tournament by Isaac of York at the behest of his daughter Rebecca.  She promises Ivanhoe that if he allows her to tend his wounds, then he will be able to wear his armor again within eight days.  The following day, as they journey to York, the Jews are joined by the party of Cedric, Rowena's protector and Ivanhoe's father.  The entire party is attacked by Normans masquerading as men of the forest and taken to the castle of Front-de-Boeuf, and all but two of the slaves are captured.  These with the aid of Robin Hood, the Black Knight, and Cedric's allies storm the castle and manage to rescue all but the Jewess Rebecca, who is carried off by the Templar knight.  She is placed on trial for witchcraft and sends a message to Ivanhoe requesting him to act as her champion in a trial by combat. 

    Although the story is not historical accurate, it is most certainly a captivating and enjoyable read especially for those who enjoy tales of medieval knights and chivalry.  I would heartily recommend this book for ages 13 and up and am looking forward to being able to read again in a couple of years with my second daughter.

    Miss Bianca - Book 26 of 52 in 52

    Miss Bianca by Sharp is the sequel to The Rescuers which I reviewed earlier in the year.  Miss Bianca, now chairwoman of the Prisoners' Aid Society, challenges the ladies guild to assist in a daring rescue of a young girl named Patience, who has been kidnapped and is being forced to serve the cruel, cold-hearted Duchess in the Diamond Palace.  When their bold plan fails, Miss Bianca alone remains behind to attempt to find an escape route for the young girl.  By the time Bernard arrives to offer his assistance, the Duchess has taken Patience (and Miss Bianca who is in her pocket) to her hunting lodge for a visit.  From there the two set off on a daring escape, but they must elude the Duchess' hounds and their master the Game Keeper in order to safely reach Happy Valley and hope that Bernard is able to find them in time to provide assistance.

    This is another very well written children's fantasy by Sharp.  I would recommend it for ages 7 and up with the caveat that parents with very sensitive children may want to preread the story for suitability.

    PIlgrim's Progress - Book 25 of 52 in 52

    Pilgrim's Progress by Bunyan is the classic allegorical tale of a man named Christian, who leaves his home and his family to set out on a journey to the Celestial City of the King.  Along the way, he finds himself bogged down by many troubles.  He must climb the Hill of Difficulty, battle the evil Apollyon, journey through the Valley of the Shadow of Death, and escape the Giant Despair.  With the strength of his King, he faces each of the trials as well as many others successfully and continues his journey to the King's city.  In the second part of the tale, Christian's wife, Christiana, sets out for the Celestial City with her four sons following in the path of her husband.  With the wisdom and strength of their guide Great Heart, they and those who join them along the path are able to make their way to their destination with far fewer troubles than Christian.

    This classic is a must read for ages 13 and up with several available children's versions for the younger crowd available as well.  There are a few times particularly in the second half of the book that read more like a sermon than a story, but overall the story itself is very well and an excellent starting point for discussions on a wide range of topics.

    Friday, November 9, 2012

    Week 12: Still trying to get back in a rhythm

    Jessie's 8th Grade
    • Jessie has been working on equations involving the absolute value of an expression as well as factoring and multiplying out binomial squares. 
    • Grammar consisted of working with substantives, writing from an outline, and identifying and diagramming verbals.  Vocabulary was our second scheduled review week between chapters 10 and 11.  She is almost caught back up in her CW lessons.  All of her daily lessons were completed, but she forgot to finish off the last couple of paragraphs from her unit 2 writing assignment, so those are homework for tomorrow.
    • In literature, I assigned her a five paragraph essay for Pilgrim's Progress.  This will be the first such essay that she has written outside of either her writing or grammar texts, so I got her started by providing the entire introductory paragraph with a topic sentence.  Her task is to write three supporting example paragraphs (along the lines of those she has written for CW) and then an appropriate conclusion.  She got off to a good but very slow start Monday but will need time over the weekend to finish up.
    • In Latin, she learned about comparative and superlative adverbs, completed her chapter 8 quiz, and began learning about partitive expressions.  EG3 introduced the future tense of verbs.

    Violet's 6th Grade
    • As promised, I backed Violet up to the beginning of the percentage section per her request.  We quickly zipped through the conversions between fractions, decimals, and percentages and got back into the work problems by the end of the week, which is where she had the most difficulty previously.
    • Violet also had some outlining in grammar this week as well as a review of predicate nominatives and predicate adjectives.  In SWO, she completed her second review lesson.  She finished reading My Friend Flicka and wrote a book report on it.  CW focused on adverbial elements, summarizing, and finishing her writing project from the previous week.
    • Her LfC lesson was her second review lesson in that book.  In Greek, she practiced translating Greek verbs in the present tense.

    Benny's 3rd Grade
    • Benny continued working on his long division this week, finished up the textbook and workbook, and moved onto the IP book Thursday.  As the picture illustrates, he still doesn't want to show his work.  In Miquon, he's been working with prime numbers.
    • He's continued working with nouns and pronouns in grammar.  He finished his SWO C book on Tuesday and began SWO D.  His first test did not go well.  I know he was having some trouble reading the words because they were written in cursive, so we're going to try again Monday with me giving him a printed version of the words.  If he still has difficulty, then it may be time to slow down our rate and spread the lessons over more days.
    • He wrote a narration for "Pandora's Box" in CW and completed his regular copywork and dictation.  He continued reading Sea Star for literature, and we continued By the Great Horn Spoon for our read-aloud.  His reading aloud is getting better.  He not longer mumbles although he still skips words or reads them out of order sometimes. 

    History topics for the week included whaling, Commodore Perry, the Pony Express, and the Underground Railroad.  The girls read Whaling Days by Carrock, Commodore Perry in the Land of the Shogun by Blumberg, Pony Express by Kroll, and a section of The Great Republic.  Benny and I enjoyed a portion of Seabird by Holling, John Tabor's Ride by Day, First Ride by Geis, The Drinking Gourd by Monjo, Allen JAy and the Underground Railroad by Brill, Freedom River by Rappaport, and Under the Quilt of Night by Hopkinson.  The latter two I actually assigned to him to read on his own while I was working on something else.  The girls wrote about whaling and Perry and outlined from Guerber.  Benny narrated about the Pony Express and the Underground Railroad.


    Jessie and I only accomplished one day of science this week.  We'll do a bit this weekend and add the rest onto next weeks assignment.

    Violet, Benny, and I read about perfumes, rubber, and Goodyear this week in science.  I skipped the perfume activity because I knew it would give me a headache.  The rubber activity involved drawing a face on a blown up balloon and then letting the air out.  Both Violet and Benny insisted they had done that often enough on their own that it didn't need to be repeated.


    Jessie began working on Asia this week in geography.  Violet began working on South America.  Benny and I covered Hawaii, but didn't get to Idaho.  For art, see the previous post.  No music.


    Henry's theme for the week was fall.  We read The Seasons of Arnold's Apple Tree by Gibbons, How Do You Know It's Fall? by Fowler,  The Ant and the Grasshopper  by Poole, I Know It's Autumn by Spinelli, and Mouse's First Fall by Thompson.  We added the letter Ll to our list this week otherwise, it was just review.  The owl stickers were just for fun one day when he needed a constructive activity.  I had picked up a 20 pack of them at Staples on clearance for fifty cents. 

    Thursday, November 8, 2012

    Creative Corner: Fruit, Chameleons, and Leaf Rubbings

    I gave Violet an assignment from Brooke's Drawing for Older Children and Teens to draw a fruit display based on a real pumpkin and apple.  She also added a leaf.  Jessie hasn't completed her project as yet.
    Benny drew a chameleon and colored it with marker.

    Henry and I did a couple of leaf rubbings.

    Friday, November 2, 2012

    Weeks 10 and 11

    Jessie's 8th Grade

    • Jessie spent the last two school weeks in algebra working on multiplying or squaring binomials and factoring polynomials in chapter 5 of Foerster's.  Friday she completed her chapter 5 test.
    • In language arts, she finished reading Ivanhoe and Pilgrim's Progress before break and has had the week off from literature this week.  She completed two more vocabulary units scoring 96 and 98 on her quizzes.  She also completed her grammar unit on mechanics before break.  This week she has been working with nouns and substantives as well as completing a couple of lessons on outlining.  For writing, she is still finishing up her second writing assignment which slid by the wayside before break.
    • Latin is chugging although well.  She completed a quiz from chapter 6 on comparative adjectives and a quiz on chapter 7 covering adverbs and comparative adverbs.  She is about half way into chapter 8 today.  Greek has continued to practice third declension nouns and review vocabulary.
    Violet's 6th Grade
    • Violet finished up her textbook section on percentages last week and has really struggled with her IP section this week.  She's asked to redo the section so we'll back up on Monday.
    • In spelling, she's completed two more lessons.  Her grammar has covered the perfect tenses in English, some outlining, and a few other topics related to verbs.  She is still continuing to read My Friend Flicka and should finish it up next week.  In CW, she's been working with adverbial elements, practicing different ways of summarizing, and starting a second two week creative writing project with an emphasis on credibility.  Again the project isn't from the book, but I didn't have an old piece of writing that I thought had an issue with credibility.  I challenged her to pick any animal of her choosing, think about what that animal is typically like, and write her own story.
    • In Latin, she worked on the pluperfect tense last week and the future perfect tense this week.  She memorized the present perfect tense Greek ending and began conjugating a few verbs in EG1.
    Benny's 3rd Grade
    • Benny really struggled before break with the topic of long division, so we agreed to start fresh this week and work through that section a second time.  I'm using some of the practice problems in the textbook as assignments for additional practice, and I'm glad to say that it is going much better this week.  His Miquon assignments have had a rule such as add 34 to the given number with several numbers listed, which have allowed him to take advantage of patterns in his calculations.  If the number goes up by ten, then the answer will go up by ten etc.  He also completed his CWP 2 review problems and began CWP 3 this week.
    • He finished reading James and the Giant Peach this week.  We finished Miss Bianca before break and starting By the Great Horn Spoon for our read-aloud.  He's getting much better at not skipping words or mumbling when I have him read aloud.  He has completed all of the spelling lesson in SWO C except for the last review lesson and will be ready to move on to the new book next week.  In addition to cursive copywork and dictation, he completed a narration of the tale of King Midas before break and has been analyzing the myth of Pandora this week.  In grammar, he's been working with pronouns.

    Before break, we had pioneer week.  The girls read Along the Santa Fe Trail by Russell, outlined portions of The Great Republic covering the Fremonts as well as the Mormon church, and enjoyed The Story of the Oregon Trail by Stein and Frontier Fort on the Oregon Trail by Steedman.  They had the week off from summaries.  This week they read and summarized Marcus and Narcissa Whitman by Daugherty, The California Gold Rush by McNeer, and Mr. Blue Jeans by Weidt.

    Benny and I read several fictional resources last week including:  Covered Wagon, Bumpy Trails by Kay, Bound for Oregon by Leeuwen, and Wagons West by Gerrard.  This week he did summaries of Narcissa Whitman  by Sabin, Levi Strauss Gets a Bright Idea by Johnston, and the first part of chapter 42 in SOTW 3 covering the gold rush.  We also enjoyed Snowshoe Thompson by Levinson for run.


    Jessie did better at her second attempt of the chapter 3 test in BJU science before break.  We ended up skipping science for the second half of that week.  This week we worked our way back through chapter 4.  I'm going to try allowing her to use her notes for the test this time.  Some of the questions are really things that I don't consider very important, and we may end up doing the tests open book.  I thought we would try open note first especially since she gets to compare my notes to hers and add in anything not included.  She is supposed to be taking the test today, but may end up doing it in the morning since she's running behind.

    Violet and Benny completed about a week and a half of science covering topics such as the nitrogen cycle, medicines, fertilizers, etc.  I honestly don't remember all of the topics.  They haven't done any of the activities because either I didn't think they were that interesting (drawing the nitrogen cycle) or they were longer term projects that I didn't want to do (like comparing the growth of a fertilized plant to a non-fertilized one).


    Art is in the previous post.  Music we'll start up again next week.  Jessie's been doing geography, but I'm not sure which continent.  Violet hasn't done any.  Benny completed his Georgia booklet and started on Hawaii this week.


    Henry spent a lot of the week before break following DH around while he was getting the fishing supplies ready for the trip.  Our theme was leaves changing colors.  We read Why do Leaves Change Colors?  by Maestro and Fletcher and the Falling Leaves by Levinson.  Most of the Halloween books were checked out this week, but I found The Berenstain Bears and the Ghost of the Forest  and The Berenstain Bears and the Spooky Old Tree which were close enough to call this Halloween week.

    Henry learned the letters Kk before break.  This week we just reviewed.  He's been learning the numbers, 8, 9, and 10 by playing Go Fish with regular cards but doesn't have enough confidence to try to name them yet.

    Thursday, November 1, 2012

    Creative Corner: Cats and Yummy Jack-o'-lanterns

    Jessie and Violet continued to work on basic shading for art.  This week in honor of Halloween we did cat faces based on these directions.

     Violet and Benny both decided that her picture resembles one of the stray gray kittens they play with each day.
     Benny completed this close up cat face using crayons for the eyes and nose, a sharpie for the lines, and black watercolor to fill in everything else.  Henry told him his panther was scary.
    Henry and I made these yummy jack-o'-lanterns.  He filled baby food jars with candy corn (while sampling the ones that fell out of the jar).  I cut out circles for the tops and squares for him to draw faces on.  Then we taped on the faces and used a rubber band to hold on the circles.