It’s the end of another week and we are back to sub-zero chill here in Minnesota, at least for the day. I think by next week we’ll get above freezing again. Meanwhile, I am sitting warm inside while
not looking forward to (eta) having survived bundling everyone up to go to Miss M’s guitar lesson this afternoon. I’m comforting myself with the fact this might be the last below-zero cold snap this winter, if we’re lucky!
Here are a few of our school work highlights for this week:
1. History: Miss M (age 8.5, 3rd grade) loves our current history unit — We are studying the time period of US History between about 1815 to 1860, with a focus on the pioneers and westward expansion. Our history book basket is full of books she is excited to read. I didn’t get as much history read aloud done with all the kids as I had hoped I would, but I did finish a bedtime read-aloud with Miss M faster than expected. Look for a review of Birchbark House next week!
2 and 3. Mr. E (age 5.5, Kindergarten) and Mr K (age almost-4, Pre-K) loved the new Angry Birds printable packs from Homeschool Creations — so much so that they did almost all the activities on Monday, the day I printed them out!
4. Science: Miss M asked me on Monday, “Mom, why haven’t we done a lapbook in a long time?” I reminded her that the last time we were working on a lapbook (near the beginning of the school year), she told me she was tired of lapbooks and didn’t really like them so much any more. She had no memory of telling me that, and asked to do a lapbook for history or science. We decided together that she would do a science lapbook first to go along with our current unit on Rocks and Minerals (conveniently enough, I already had a Hands of a Child lapbook on that topic just waiting to be used!).
5. and 6. – Math: We played a couple of RightStart math games this week. “Rows and Columns” was suggested in one of Mr. E’s lessons for RightStart B (Miss M asked to take my place as his game opponent), and Miss M asked that I find a new multiplication game to try from the RightStart game book, so I found one called “Ring Around the Products” that was pretty fun. We didn’t finish either game — it would have taken a couple hours! (I guess that means we started with too many cards in our stock!). I love math games but even when you cut them short, they are time consuming.
Besides the games, Mr. E worked on lessons 76-83 in RS level B (we didn’t do all the exercises in all those lessons — he was catching on pretty fast, though we may go back and do some later for further practice and review). Miss M worked through a lot of the Geometry chapter in Math Mammoth 3-B (she is currently on a “break” from RS level D) — a lot of it was review from RightStart, but I am finding some of the same concepts are presented differently, so it is good for her to see things from this different angle.
7. Spelling/Phonics: Bigger boys working on the table…little boy playing under the table. Mr. E is working on a Logic of English worksheet here. He worked on lessons 54-58 of Foundations — a number of the concepts here were review, with some new. I didn’t do as much Foundations work with Mr. K this week. This is a beta- test product and new teacher’s manual files were released for lessons 1-20. I tried to jump in where we should have been with the new file in lesson 11…but the order has changed up a bit, so I had to back up and figure out what was new. So, I worked on a couple of new phonograms with Mr. K, but I guess we are still somewhere around lesson 9 or 10? Miss M did the next lesson in Logic of English Essentials this week, Lesson 24.
8. My mom, Grandma Karen to the kids, comes to visit once every couple weeks. When we don’t have a field trip planned we often try and incorporate Grandma into our school day. Here, Mr. E is practicing reading with Grandma. He read a level 1 book he picked out for this week called, “Space Cat.”
9. Everyone gathered around the table with Grandma — the two older kids playing Corners (a RightStart math game), Mr. E coloring and stickering, Baby J eating a late lunch after nap.
More “Just for Fun” Highlights:
1. We made Maple Sugar Snow Candy at the beginning of the week — read more about that here.
2. Given our success with that project, we started some Rock Candy on Tuesday…hopefully we will have something positive to report about that project in a week or two!
3. Siblings having fun together!
4. After a weekend snowfall, we had nice (above freezing!) weather for a couple days early in the week — perfect for snowballs and snowmen. This potential snowman got too big, too fast (no one could lift the midsection on to the base), but the big snowball in the backyard makes a nice…leap frog obstacle?
5. Baby J is now 15 months old, and inching ever closer to being a toddler. He takes a few steps now before falling down, but definitely prefers scooting to walking. Here he tells me, “all done” — he put all his fabric scraps back in his fabric fun box.
6. This is Mr. E’s favorite Lego accomplishment of the week. He loves Star Wars legos and we have several sets — but not very many Jedi or Sith. He spends hours pouring over his Lego Star Wars Character encyclopedia. This is his “homemade” version of some of his favorite Jedi and Sith — made from pieces we already own.