Saturday, August 20, 2016

Weekly Wrapup

We've finished week 5 and things are still rocking and rolling at a pretty good pace.  The kids have been working hard on so many different thing and getting adjusted to the more busy schedule and each week I have been adding one extra assignment to the schedule to ease them into the heavier workload.  We are still, for the most part, following a Charlotte Mason style learning structure and it has been such a blessing for us.  The kids have been working on reading and writing a lot more than they did in the past few years and while the first few weeks so a bit of tears, they've quickly come to expect and dare I say enjoy both much more.

For the month of August, we have been working on the folk song Loch Lomond, using the version with the vocals by Rosalind McAllister.  I chose this particular version of the song because we previously used McAllister's version of The Skyboat Song and Garrett really liked her voice. This week was spent learning the third verse.   For our hymn/worship song, I choose El Shaddai by Amy Grant.  They kids have done awesome on proper pronunciation of the Hebrew words in the chorus and we watched a clip of the movie "The Prince of Egypt" where the Exodus is shown as there is a section where the kids are singing in Hebrew and the word Adonai is used. We then looked up the Hebrew translation so that we could see what the children were singing.  (We had previously looked up the Hebrew translations in El Shaddai and discussed how there were various words and expressions used to name God).  Both songs are coming along well and I look forward to allowing the kids to sing both songs for their dad and older sister at the end of the month. I might even make a recording of it for family members to be able to see as well.

For our daily poetry selections we have been reading from A Child's Garden of Verses by Robert Lewis Stevenson.  On Monday we read "Marching Song" which the kids had lots of fun marching around the living room waving a flag made of a stick and a bandana while we read.  For the rest of the week we read "The Cow", "Happy Thought", "The Wind" and "Keepsake Mill". For Keepsake Mill we were able to do a short bit of research to see how a waterwheel works. Out of this weeks selections of poems, I think we all enjoyed "The Wind" the most.

Garrett's letter F's
In cursive writing, the kids have been working on the letter F.  Handwriting is coming along really well and the kids have been trying to write their names in cursive, improvising with the letters they haven't learned yet.   They really enjoy cursive lessons and this is one of the lessons they ask for us to work on before other subjects.

This week was a VERY good week for our math lessons.  We started Multiple Digit Subtraction this week and the kids aced their lessons and made really high marks on their weekly math test.  Ashleigh received a 100%.  Garrett received an 93% but did not miss any of the subtraction problems - on a review question on skip counting by 2's he skipped the number 12 as he was rushing through it.  We have 9 more weeks of our current math book so I will be purchasing Math U See Gamma next month to have it on hand for them to start once we're done.
Garrett's Spelling Test

Spelling was a HUGE surprise for me this week as the kids both did way better than I expected them to do with our current spelling words.  This week, they worked on the words certain, barking, thinking, kept, mouth, piece, night, thief and fierce.  For their spelling test, we did an activity where they watched a video that showed all their words, and then they had to write as many words as they could remember from the video, not necessarily in order, and try to spell them correctly. Both kids scored 100% on this activity!!!

For our sciences, we have been revisiting Geology with Science Shepherd as well as working through Apologia Astronomy. For Geology we discussed the Earth's layers, rocks, soil and landscapes.  This was basically a review for us.  In Astronomy this week, we discussed galaxies, the northern and southern skies, and constellations.  The kids had a blast going outside and looking up at the various constellations we've been discussing, even though viewing hasn't been the best due to the full moon this week.  However, this is an activity that we will be doing more and more in the upcoming months.  We also did a bit of writing involving life science as we discussed the life cycle of a ladybug and the kids had to write and illustrate a book involving the different cycles.

This week we combined two character studies into one: Grateful and Greedy.  For our study, we read
Bear Says Thanks by Karma Wilson and The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstien.  We had a very good discussion in regards to how being grateful is being happy for the things that we have and that being greedy is the constant want for more.  This was perfectly displayed in The Giving Tree as the tree was grateful for the friendship for the boy, but the boy was never happy with what he had and constantly demanded more from the tree, to the point nothing was left but the stump and still, the tree was happy to give that as well.  I had to laugh though, as on their written assignment on being Grateful, Garrett admitted that No, he doesn't display being Grateful because he constantly wants more stuff.

Learning about the Gutenberg Printing Press
For history, we read the Story of Regulus and then started our two week unit study about Ben Franklin.  During our discussion of Franklin's early life as a printer apprentice, we decided to see if we could find a video about how the Gutenberg printing press worked and were lucky to find a really great one on Youtube.  The kids got to see how the printer would use the ink balls to apply ink to the type and then use the press to transfer the ink to the paper pages.   If possible, I'm hoping to find someplace nearby that might have a press that they can see in person (fingers crossed). We also did a bit of mapwork to follow Ben's travels from Boston to New York to Philadelphia to London and back to Philadelphia.

In addition to the mapwork, we've also been doing both Everyday Geography from the Christian Homeschool Hub (where we also got the Ladybug book printout - review coming soon) as well as reading the book Paddle to the Sea.  This week with Everyday Geography, we covered lines of Longitude and lines of latitude as well as the Equator and the Prime Meridian.   With Paddle to the Sea, we discussed Lake Superior and have been following Paddle's route as he circles around the western side of the lake.

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