Saturday, February 25, 2017

The Weekly Wrap Up (Week of Feb 20th)

Another week in the history books, which means it's time for the weekly wrapup.
Homeschool Coffee Break
Linking Up With...

Last week went well, but we did get a bit behind. I did not schedule in for the holiday on Monday, thinking that both my husband and my oldest daughter would sleep in anyway and I would have most of school done before they got up.  Of course, nothing ever occurs the way one plans and they were both up early and my husband decided we would head to town to do grocery shopping and go out to eat.  

We did, however, get some work done before we headed out, opting to knock out our math and grammar lessons out before walking out the door.  However, since we didn't get to certain materials, I opted to defer those lessons til next week so that we weren't trying to play catch up and over whelm the kiddos.

This week, our drill pages added a review for fractions, which we've only briefly covered but I am thrilled to say the kids had no problem recalling the information.  I did decide to take it one step further and show them now to reduce fractions to get them use to the process.

While we haven't formally covered multiplication or division, we have used "Time Tales" for a review last year and I am completely amazed how much the kids have retained from that.  We'll formally be starting these skills in our math book in a few weeks but they already have a head start and a pretty good grasp on what's going on, so I am thinking it won't be quite the challenge as it was for me when I was in school.  At least, that's what I'm hoping.. haha

Our grammar lessons continue to be Daily Grammar from and Eclectic Foundations Level B. This week, we began talking about Verbs, which honestly, is review material for us but I went ahead and continued with the lesson.   We also began talking about subject and predicate and the kids had to start diagramming their sentences showing both, as well as their verb.  Also included in this lesson was the "state of being verbs", which I hadn't taught before.   This made me very glad I went ahead and taught the verb lesson.   The kids are troopers and they pick up new information very well.

With the Eclectic Foundations Level B, we worked on reading and pronouncing words that end in "es" as well as possessive nouns.  We also worked to rearrange words in a sentence to alternate between a declarative sentence and a question. (ei: The water is safe.  Is the water safe?) For our cursive practice, the kids worked on the letters M through P.  I said it last time but I got to say it again, I am so impressed with how their cursive writing is coming along using this program. (Which I will talk about in great depth when I write my review next month).  I've seen such an improvement in both Ashleigh and Garrett's writing samples.  Especially Garrett.  He tends to write very sloppy (I don't know if this is a boy thing or if it's an autistic thing) and seeing how legible his handwriting is becoming is amazing to me.   I also had to laugh as earlier in the week, I was bragging about their writing and a friend of mine commented about how cursive is suppose to be our generation's secret language.  While it's quickly becoming a lost art - my kids won't be left behind. LOL

For math this week, we reviewed Column Addition and Adding Large Numbers.  This is something they are both very good at, so basically, it was a cushy math week for them ;)  

We  did hold off for most of our history this week.  We opted to wait til next week to continue with our unit study on Equador and the Waodani people since our scheduling was off, however, we did sit down as a family and watch the movie "End of the Spear" which was about Nate Saint and his son Steve and their lives (and death) with the Waodani people.  I was fortunate to find this movie on Pureflix streaming service, along with a short 30 minute documentary by Elizabeth Elliott titled "Through Gates of Splendor".  We also found " Beyond the Gates of Splendor", a documentary produced by Steve Saint, on Netflix which we watched as well.  We will continue with the "Walking with the Waodani" unit study next week. 

Since our American history text is broken into short bits, we went ahead and included it with this week.  This week's discussion was in regards to the Lost Colony of Roanoke, the settlement of Jamestown, and Pocahontas and John Smith.   Pocahontas is always a fun topic in our house as a few years ago while researching my husband's family tree, we found that he and the kids are direct descendants of the Indian Princess.  

Once again, Science reigned ruler in this week's classroom. I've mentioned before, we are using "Exploring Life Science" by Chrissy Martin as our text.  I didn't think about the fact that this particular text is written for upper elementary students and I'm glad I didn't.  These kids are eating up the information presented and learning so much.  

This week, we tackled fungi, bacteria and viruses. Some of the activities we did this week were making a spore print from a mushroom (which we looked at under the microscope), dissecting a mushroom, observing how yeast works, observing bread mold and observing bacteria both from our petri dishes as well as from yogurt

Prepared penicillin slide
We tried to grow bread mold but being in the desert, we weren't highly successful.  After spraying a plastic bag with water and then adding bread, we placed the baggie in the top shelf of a cabinet in the dark.  After a week, we pulled out the baggie and while there was plenty of condensation on the original bag, we had only one very small sample of bread mold.  Luckily, it was enough to draw and then to take a sample of to place under the microscope.

Hard to grow mold in the desert
Bread mold under the microscope

 We had much better luck with our yeast experiment.  After adding honey to warm water, the kids added some of our bread yeast to the bowl.  We let it set for 15 minutes and when we returned, we had an extremely large, foamy yeast culture.  We were able to view this under the microscope as well.  In addition to the yeast, we also took a small sample of greek yogurt which we mixed with water and placed a sample on a slide.  At 400x magnification, the kids were thrilled (and somewhat grossed out) to see that there were living, moving "critters" in their food.

Bread Yeast culture
 We also decided to make a bottle of homemade ginger ale this week, to show how yeast can be used to naturally carbonate drinks.  We made a syrup of fresh ginger, sugar and water, filtered it into a 2 liter bottle and then added champagne yeast to the mix.  We allowed the bottle to sit at room temperature for 48 hours.  Throughout that time, the kids would walk over and squeeze the bottle to check that it was getting harder.  After 48 hours, we released the pressure and placed this in our fridge.  That night, we all enjoyed a refreshing (and very bubbly) glass of some of the best tasting ginger ale we ever had.  I think our science experiment may become a weekly project ;)

Last week, we poured agar for petri dishes and then took swabs of a few things around the house, as well as a sample from the kids unwashed and washed hands.  For the last week, the petri dishes have been hiding out in a dark cabinet.  On Thursday, we brought the petri dishes back out and observed the growth.  Our control dish showed little to no growth while Ashleigh's hand samples came back absolutely nasty, including her washed hands.  This gave us a very good lesson on why it is very important to use proper hand washing techniques with soap.  

Sample from Door Knob

Samples from Roku Remove and PS4 Controller
 For whatever reason, both of Garrett's samples resulted in the agar completely liquefying. We can only guess that there was some sort of bacteria on his hands that broke down the agar as it grew.

Our final school work included an art lesson using Creating a Masterpiece.  This is a review item for us.  Dad has been switched to day shift for the next few weeks, so for this weeks assignment, Dad joined in on the fun.  We opted this week to play around with water colors (we've previously done oil pastel lessons and wanted to change it up a bit).

Here is our final "masterpieces"..  Personally, I love Ashleigh's work - her flowers remind me of Hawaii and Hibiscus flowers ;)
Top: Alyssa and Charles  Bottom: Mine and Ashleigh
While not exactly homeschool related, last night we went to a fundraiser at Alyssa's school.  Each year, the senior class hosts a "Senior Luau" which includes a dinner and dancers from the local Pacific Islander Heritage Association.  The kids got to try some yummy Polynesian food such as Kalua pork, Pancit Bihon,and Lumpia.  The dancers were neat to see as well and they put on a very nice show. 

Once again, we had a great week, even if a small hiccup in the planning due to the holiday.


  1. I love your paintings and all the science work you did! We're always looking for new things to look at under our microscope but I never thought to purposely grow bread mold.

  2. If you haven't looked at yogurt under the scope, I highly recommend it. Just a small bit, swish it with some water and put a drop. Very cool. Bread mold was neat as well, I just wish we had been more successful in growing some. Thanks for stopping by :)

  3. What a great, productive week! Love all the pictures and your beautiful watercolor artwork! Thanks for linking up at Homeschool Highlights

  4. you had a great week. So nice to see Dad joining in on the learning.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...