Friday, April 30, 2010

Weekly Report...Week 34

This week wasn't as rough as the previous 3, but still not where it should be. School is definitely winding down for us and I am wondering if that may have a bit to do with it. We've finished some major units and have started some less intense work in those subjects. We have 5 weeks left with a welcomed interruption of grandparents visiting.

History (Both)
We finished up our Revolutionary War unit with a look at our Constitution. I read A More Perfect Union by Maestro and the boys watched the final episodes of Liberty's Kids. We're in the process of putting their Lap/Notebooks together. Next week we'll begin an easy study of US Geography using a fun book I found. You'll have to come back next week to see what we're doing.

Magnus...Read through his collection of Nature Friend Magazines (thanks Poppy and Nana!). If you are not familiar with this particular publication, I highly recommend looking into it. The articles are well written and full of information. I personally enjoy the incredible photography flooding the pages. It is written from a Christian perspective and doesn't include any advertising.
He also worked on his wolf lapbook some more.

Thane...Finished his Giant Panda lapbook! He is very proud of it. We'll be starting a new lapbook next week, but we haven't decided which one. Homeschoolshare doesn't make it easy to choose! These women have created many great lapbooks.

Language Arts (Magnus)
Writing...He read through a paragraph about Peter the Great, completed the keyword outline, wrote his first draft, edited it, and is in the process of writing his final draft. He isn't used to using the checklist yet and had to make some changes in his rough draft. He wasn't too happy about that.

Spelling...He finished up list 15 and will move onto list 16 next week.

Grammar...He completed some worksheets I printed off about proper capitalization.

Language Arts (Thane)
Whew! I have spent so much time reading, researching, and asking questions about dyslexia and various curricula. I plan on writing a separate post about all of it soon. I am pretty sure I have most of it figured out though.
In the mean time, he read from the Beehive Reader 1 from All About Spelling and completed several different assessments while I tried to figure out the major issues to help him with.

Math (Both)
I used to dread teaching this subject. Dread. I've changed it up and it is working more smoothly.
*The boys are working together now, at the same level. Magnus it a bit behind (my fault) and Thane is a bit ahead (his fault).
*I switched from a real teacher intensive curricula (Right Start) to a less teacher intensive curricula (Math Mammoth). Don't get me wrong, I LOVE Right Start and will probably use Level D (along with Math Mammoth) next year with the boys. It just wasn't working for us at this time. The boys have mentioned on several occasions that they like doing the MM worksheets. I about fainted.
*I broke it up into two different times during our morning. First thing we do is learn our new concept using manipulatives and complete a couple of worksheets. After working on some other subjects we come back to math doing our estimation jar, playing some games or reading a math influenced book, completing anther worksheet or some story problems, and doing their timed math facts assessments from Right Start. (Like how I avoided using the term "test"!)
*We play a lot of games. Our current favorite, taking the spot of Zeus on the Loose, is Count Across. These are a great way to work on math facts.
*I try to add in more "living" math throughout our week.

Fun Day Friday
We read an very entertaining math book called Sir Cumference and All the King's Tens. We discussed it being easier to count things grouped by "tens" then individually. It was a cute story and I'm looking forward to reading the others in the series.

We're continuing our study of Claude Monet and his Impressionist style. We read a book called Sunshine and Waterlilies by Steven Packard.

My favorite part of the book was the two page spread showing Monet's painting of La Grenoulillere next to Renoir's. These two Impressionist painters had different priorities when it came to painting the same scene. "Monet tried to paint the feeling of the whole place", while "Renior seemed more interested in painting the people and their clothes."
The boys like Monet's better.

I like Renoir's.

We studied Monet's painting titled "Blue Water Lilies" and used it as an inspiration for our art project. I saw this idea on another homeschool mom's blog, Follow the Tumbleweed. There are so many creative mom's out there and I love getting ideas from them.


Monday...Winnie the Pooh Rehearsal (Magnus), Library
Wednesday...Fencing (Magnus), Rock Climbing (Thane)
Thursday...Winnie the Pooh Rehearsal (Magnus)
Friday...Fun Day Friday, Gym and Park Day with Homeshool Friends

Friday, April 23, 2010

Weekly Report...Week 31-33

I can sum up the past 3 weeks in just one word...rough. And that is all I am going to say about it.

History (Both)

We're finishing up the Revolutionary War. I had grand plans, but fell short. Remember, rough. The Liberty's Kids DVDs have been a real blessing. We've read some books, completed a map of the battles, and finished our timeline. I feel, in spite of the last few weeks, we all gained a greater understanding of freedom, loss, and liberty.

Science (Both)

We finished NOEO Chemistry. I chose not to do the rocks and minerals part because we will be doing an extensive unit on them next year. We did have a first-hand experience watching the life cycle of a butterfly. If you missed our pictures you can see them here. This week, Magnus worked on his Wolf lapbook from Homeschool Share while Thane and I completed some of his Giant Panda lapbook.

Language Arts (Magnus)
Well, remember the "roughness" of the past three weeks?
Grammar...I have decided to put MCT aside for the remainder of the year and pick up with it next year. He doesn't have a great knowledge of punctuation, so I found a great site and printed off some worksheets.

Writing...IEW is working wonderfully. He has been inserting his own ideas into the stories he is supposed to rewrite, and I like that initiative.

still working through Phonetic Zoo. He is on list 15.

Language Arts (Thane)
Without going into great detail, I have been investigating and researching the possibility of dyslexia. Nothing severe, but things I am concerned about nonetheless. I am in the process of revamping his entire language arts program. In the mean time, we'll continue with WWE and reading through the All About Reading Beehive reader.

Math (Both)
We're almost through Math Mammoth Subtraction 1 in the Blue Series and will immediately go into Addition & Subtraction 2A. We've been playing a lot of games to aid in our quick retrieval of facts...Zeus on the Loose and Count Down are among the favorites. I've decided to continue with Math Mammoth next year and will have the boys work through the Light Blue complete curriculum. I may also have them doing Right Start Level D, but I haven't yet decided. Oh, and our estimation jar activity continues to be a big hit!

Not doing it anymore. At least not this year. There. I said it.

Fun Day Friday
We met with our charter school adviser and that takes up most of our morning. She brought a big box of goodies I had ordered which included art supplies from Dick Blick and more math games and a few books from Rainbow Resource. The boys wanted to use their new watercolors and brushes so that was our school day. Then we headed to the park with our homeschool group.

Monday...Winnie the Pooh Rehearsal (Magnus), Library
Wednesday...Fencing (Magnus), Rock Climbing (Thane)
Thursday...nothing :o)
Friday...Fun Day Friday, Park Day with our Homeschool Group

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Birth of a Butterfly

If you'd like to witness the miraculous changes that take place, I'd encourage you to check out Insect Lore. If you'd like to see a fellow homeschool mom's field trip to the Insect Lore company, you can read her blog post here. According to her post, Praying Mantises eat Black Widow Spiders. I think we'll order those next!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

I'm Cruisin' in Style

We are fortunate to live in an area that has great weather most of the year. We are also fortunate to live in a city that is extremely bike friendly (understatement of the year!). I am not exaggerating when I say there are more bikes than cars or people in our town. We have over 100 miles of paved bike trails (with turn-a-bouts and signals) in 8 square miles. Needless to say, when my bike was stolen a few months ago (which is the highest incident of crime in our little town) I was not a happy camper. But, after I saved up some Christmas and birthday money, I was able to finally buy a new bike! I LOVE it!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Zoo Trip

The weather was great so we headed to the zoo with some friends...

Friday, April 2, 2010

Weekly Report...Week 30

Wow! The year has flown by! I can't believe it is week 30 already! As far as our Charter School is concerned, we only have 6 weeks left. As far as I am concerned, we have more than that. As far as the Charter School is concerned, this week was Spring Break. As far as I am concerned, it wasn't.

History (Both)
We continued learning about the Battles in New York during the Revolutionary War. I'll admit it, the Liberty's Kids videos taught the boys again. I did read The 4th of July Story by Dalgleish and we added many items to our timeline. Magnus read, and reread, and reread Toliver's Secret by Brady. Needless to say, he really liked it.

Science (Both)

We suspended a solid into a liquid creating a suspension that acted both as a liquid and a solid. That's just a fancy way of saying...we mixed cornstarch with water and made a huge mess!

We also created a polymer and ate it!

And finally, we created a thixotropy concoction. It stays put until you apply some sort of pressure, like your finger, and then it acts as a liquid.

We only have 3 more weeks left of our Chemistry unit. The boys are pretty sad about that. We have had a great year learning about all kinds of properties and phases and changes and such. For the remaining weeks, I let the boys choose an animal to research and a lapbook to complete from Magnus will be studying Wolves while Thane and I learn about Giant Pandas.

Language Arts (Magnus)
Grammar...Well, we are going back through our MCT Grammar Island Level book. I dropped the ball and did not have him working through the Practice Island workbook consistently after we finished the grammar book and I want to make sure he has an extremely thorough understanding of what he needs to know. It has nothing to do with a weakness in the program. It was all me. I may actually take a step back from it next week and see what I can do as far as creating some sort of mini office to go along with it. I don't know. Just brainstorming and typing as I think. That is one of the main reasons I have a blog. Helps me think.

Writing...He wrote a rough draft from one of the stories in IEW SWI A, made corrections with me, and wrote the final copy. Complain, complain, complain. "I hate writing"..."I don't want to do this"..."Do I have to write my final draft today"...blah, blah, blah.

Spelling...He completed list 12 and is working on list 13 of Phonetic Zoo.

Language Arts (Thane)
Phonics...He completed some episodes of Heasdprout. I am a little sad as he is almost finished with the program. I feel it was completely worth the money and has helped him learn to read.

We started reading through George the Drummer Boy. He is doing real well.

Writing...We did Week 8 of WWE. He really likes least he did this week.

Spelling...He spelled all of his words correctly! All About Spelling is the perfect fit for him!

Math (Both)
We're continuing to work through the Math Mammoth Blue book on subtraction and they are both doing very well. I am so glad I made the decision to have them working together. It's a lot easier on all of us.

We did our Estimation Jar and Thane won the prize (Reeses Peanut Butter Cup) for estimating the closest. In case you missed the explanation of the Estimation Jar, you can visit this post.

We played a number (HA!) of games of Zeus on the Loose.


Giving this some thought. No action. Just thought.

Fun Day Friday
We're starting our artist study of Monet but I wanted to give the boys an idea of what the Impressionist style is. I read the book, Katie Meets the Impressionists by Mayhew, to the boys. They both really enjoyed the book. However, if they are ever blessed to see Renoir's Girl With a Watering Can in person, I have a feeling she will get a lesson in honesty from Magnus. He didn't care to much for her in the story.

We worked through a really fun math book today. It's called Math Adventures: Firefighters to the Rescue. Thane, who wants to be a firefighter, really liked it. I really liked it because of the different operations and kinds of math the boys had to work through. It included word problems, addition, subtraction, picture graphs, telling time, multiplication, ect.

For art today we messed around with our science concoction.


Monday...Winnie the Pooh Rehearsal (Magnus) and the Library
Tuesday...No AWANA :o(
Wednesday...Fencing (Magnus) and Rock Climbing (Thane)
Thursday...Winnie the Pooh Rehearsal (Magnus)
Friday...Fun Day Friday

Thanks for stopping by! See you next week! :o)