Thursday, January 31, 2013

Creative Corner: Negative Space and a Winter Cardinal

Violet completed a positive-negative space drawing of the back of one of our dining room chairs.
Benny followed these directions to make his cardinal.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Friday, January 25, 2013

Week 20: With a Little Snow

Jessie's 8th Grade
  • Jessie continued working with exponents and powers in Foerster's algebra learning how to combine exponents with the same base in multiplication and division, how to use negative exponents, and the basics of scientific notation.
  • Jessie finished her grammar section on verbs after working on active versus passive verbs although she does still own me a story from the writing assignments.  The next section is on pronouns and began with a review of the characteristics of personal pronouns.  In vocabulary, we covered lesson 17.  In CW, she has caught back up and completed her 4th writing assignment.  We began two new literature books:  Oliver Twist by Dickens and Children of the New Forest by Marryat.
  • In Latin, she finished the grammar portion of chapter 13 covering the perfect passive indicative case and the related ablative of agent.  She completed her 18th EG lesson as well.

Violet's 6th Grade
  • Violet continued to work on division with fractions this week as well as a few word problems.
  • Her grammar has covered demonstrative pronouns, interrogative pronouns, and relative pronouns.  She successfully completed another spelling lesson and finished her last week of CW Homer!!  Next week we'll move back into Poetry for Beginners.  For literature, she began reading National Velvet.
  • In Latin, her grammar was focused on forming singular and plural commands with a brief review of how to form questions as well.  She actually did her Greek lessons independently, but I believe she continued working with second declension neuter nouns.
Benny's 3rd Grade
  • Benny completed his money section in the textbook and workbook and began working on the corresponding IP section this week bringing him closer to completing his 3A books.  In Miquon, he did a review of subtraction with borrowing.
  • Reading was a continuation of last week:  Pinnochio by Collodi for independent reading and The Black Cauldron by Alexander  for a read aloud.  To work on his reading aloud, we have moved on to the McGuffey 3rd grade reader.
  • He only missed one word on this week's spelling test.  We covered direct objects in grammar, worked on proper capitalization and punctuation of direct quotations in dictation, copied a portion of a Psalm for cursive practice, and narrated the tale of "Mercury and the Woodman" for CW.

We began our week of history with David Livingstone reading Hearts and Hands by Withrow.  The girls covered the TruthQuest commentary on Charles Darwin, and then we shifted our focus to Europe.  Benny and I spent two days covering all the chaos in France after Napoleon I until the ousting of Napoleon III plus the rise of Prussia, the Franco-Prussian War, and the Second Reich using SOTW 4.  The girls read the chapter in one day, outlined the section on Prussia, and moved on to read a chapter from This Country of Ours covering the presidency of Andrew Johnson.  Finally, we briefly touched on prairie pioneers.  The girls read Grasshopper Summer by Turner.  I also put A Lantern in Her Hand by Aldrich in their library crate to read on their own time.  Benny and I  read Clouds of Terror by Welch on the grasshopper plagues and Sod Houses on the Great Plains by Rounds. 
He seemed to think it was funny that a snake might fall down in the middle of dinner or a cow might wander onto the roof and crash through one of the houses built on a hillside.  We also did our first hands on activity in awhile.  I made a large pan of brownies which we cut into one inch by two inch rectangle blocks and then assembled to make our own "sod" house.  It would have been more realistic to add shredded coconut into the mix to simulate grass and to leave off the icing and use toothpicks to hold the house together, but since we also wanted to eat the results, we left out the coconut and used icing simply because it tastes better.


Violet and Benny completed their second unit in Properties of Matter after studying buoyancy this week.

We compared the buoyancy of a piece of clay shaped in a ball to one flattened into a raft
and noted the difference in the buoyancy of cooking oil in water and rubbing alcohol.  On Friday we began unit 3 by learning about the difference between physical and chemical reactions, but since the kids had already seen the hands on activities, we just discussed them.


For art, see Thursday's post.

Henry and I continued his calendar activities, worked on identifying numbers up to 30, added Rr and Ss to our current alphabet magnets, and read books about snow in addition to various other books of his choice. He was very proud to help me in the kitchen on Thursday by unloading the silverware from the dishwasher for the first time.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Creative Corner: Jars, a snowman, and a snowflake

Violet completed this shading project from Brookes' Drawing With Older Children and Teens.

Benny's skiing snowman came from our favorite online site
and Henry made a classic paper snowflake which is now hanging from the dining room chandelier.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Week 19: Very Slowly

Jessie's 8th Grade
  • Jessie completed chapter 8 in Foerster's algebra this week covering topics related to probability. Friday she began chapter 9 reviewing prime numbers and exponents.
  • Much of her grammar this week focused on the active versus the passive voice of verbs.  In CW, she worked on moving clauses around in sentences, but also has some lessons to catch up on over the weekend.  She completed her regular vocabulary.  We discussed Pride and Prejudice during dinner on Monday, and she is currently working on a paper.  We also decided to scrap The Count of Monte Cristo for now and move on to another work.
  • In Latin, she completed chapter 12 covering the imperfect and future tense of active, indicative verbs; translated the chapter reading, and took her chapter quiz before moving on to the vocabulary in chapter 13.  She also completed chapter 17 in EG3.
Violet's 6th Grade
  • Violet spent the week working on division involving fractions. As long as she wrote out the step where the sign changes to multiplication and the second term is flipped, she did very well.
  • She finished reading The Phantom Tollbooth by Juster on Friday.  Grammar covered friendly letters, business letters, demonstrative pronouns, and differentiating pronouns functioning as adjectives from those functioning as nouns.  She again did very well on her spelling unit.  Her CW model for the week was "The Tailor of Gloucester".  I had her use her history essay on Victoria to edit for the writing project.
  • In Latin, she learned how to form questions, to conjugate possum in the present tense, and to recognize complementary infinitives.  For EG1, she learned to decline neuter nouns in the second declension.
Benny's 3rd Grade
  • Benny spent most of his math time working on place value in Miquon and money related math in CWP and Singapore.
  • We worked on recognizing helping verbs and verb phrases for grammar.  He completed another spelling lesson, used the first stanza of the Blake poem about tigers for copywork, and analyzed "Mercury and the Woodman" for CW.  For dictation, we focused on sentences with possessive nouns as well as some direct quotations.  He began reading Pinocchio independently and continued The Black Cauldron as a read aloud.  For practice reading aloud, we began working in the McGuffy 3rd Grade Reader this week.

Our history studies for the week focused on Victorian England.  The girls read Growing Up in Victorian Britain by Ferguson for some cultural background, ten chapter of Our Island Story covering the main events of that time, and Florence Nightingale, war nurse by Colver.  The completed summaries of the latter two.  Benny and I read the first chapter of SOTW 4 as well as the section on the Crimean War this week.  We also read A Picture Book of Florence Nightingale by Adler.  Everyone completed a map of the British empire during the time period.


Jessie has yet to get to science again this week, but Violet, Benny, and I started back up.
We discussed the English and metric systems and measured the living room with a meter stick,
read about mass and weight and made our own balance.  We also learned about volume and conservation of mass as well, but opted not to complete the activities for those lessons.


For art, see the previous post.


Henry is having a great time with his magnetic calendar.  At his request we read a Larryboy chapter book this week (but the title escapes me at the moment).  He also did some very colorful watercolor as you can see. 

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Creative Corner: Our Gingerbread House

Everyone had a hand in this project.  Despite the fact that the icing was starting to dry out and the icing bag burst when we finally started decorating it, I think it turned out fairly well.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

WW: Henry's Spider Web

Friday, January 11, 2013

Week 18: Staring Up for the New Year

Jessie's 8th Grade
  • Jessie spent 3 days working on word problems involving 2 variables, scored a B on her chapter 7 test, and began learning about linear functions, independent versus dependent variables, domain, and range in chapter 8 this week.
  • Grammar has been mostly easy reviews of troublesome verbs, but she also spent some time looking at characters in stories.  It was a review week in vocabulary.  Her writing has included writing citations, sentence analysis, and manipulating clauses within a sentence.  She had the week off from literature other than continuing to read The Count of Monte Cristo.
  • For Latin and Greek, we simply took a week to do some vocabulary and grammar review and will resume regular lessons next week.  There were also regular logic lessons from Building Thinking Skills 3 Verbal and Traditional Logic 1.
Violet's 6th Grade
  • Violet spent her math time completing her 6A workbook and working on the semester review in her IP text this week. Next week she'll be ready to move into the 6B books.
  • She began reading The Phantom Tollbooth by Juster for literature, completed a review lesson in spelling, analyzed a story about Caedmon for CW, and working with pronoun cases in grammar.
  • For Latin and Greek, we had a week of vocabulary review.
Benny's 3rd Grade
  • Benny completed his workbook section on multiplying by 6, 7, 8, and 9 and spent most of the week working on the corresponding IP section.  He started his Miquon purple week with several pages that deal with place value.
  • Benny finished independently reading The Cricket in Times Square and reading aloud from The McGruffey Second Grade Reader this week.  We began The Black Cauldron as our read aloud.
  • Spelling was a review, and grammar focused on choosing the correct verb forms.  For dictation, I gave him sentences with possessive nouns and as many fs as I could to correct his tendency to always write a capital F.  For CW, he retold the fable about the tortoise and the hare, and we focused on finding synonyms for the word said during our editing.  He also completed his regular cursive copywork and logic.

We finally finished up the Civil War this week. YEAH! We also covered the assassination of Abraham Lincoln.  The girls completed the chapter on the Civil War from The Great Republic.  They also read and summarized Mary Todd Lincoln by Anderson and The Story of Clara Barton by Kent.  Benny and I read portions of The Story of Sherman's March to the Sea by Kent, Clara Barton by Grant, and Anderson's Mary Todd Lincoln.  Everyone also completed a map of the Confederate States although I labeled Benny's map for him and just had him do the coloring portion.

We took the week off from science and will resume next those lessons next week.


New to Henry's school this week was the addition of a calendar.  Right now we are simply putting up the next number each day and then I sing through the months of the year song.  He's on a counting spree right now, so most days he also counted all of the number magnets on our calendar.  Henry and I read random books this week.  We added the letter Qq to his magnets on the refrigerator.  He finished his Kumon Let's Cut book and began a new Kumon book.  He also decided that he wanted to try roller skating and did fairly well at his first attempt.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Creative Corner: Clay Animals and Shells

We didn't do formal art lesson this week, but Violet and Benny decided to take some of Benny's Sculpey from Christmas and make some more additions to his ocean box.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

WW: Free time projects

Violet decided to spend part of her free time this week building her new 550 piece puzzle from Christmas with some help from me.
Benny and DH decided to take some scrap wood and build a bird house one afternoon, which they will paint and put up once the weather begins to warm.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

WW: Dinosaur Fun

One of these things is not like the others, but Benny had fun building it.