If we value the pursuit of knowledge, we must be free to follow wherever that search may lead us. ~ Adlai Stevenson

Friday, January 27, 2012

Weekly Wrap-up... 1/23-1/27...

A better week than the last!
In Language Arts...
Bug is reading through his beloved Percy Jackson series yet again. I also assigned a book, Homer Price, and Bug read 2 chapters.

Bug worked on copywork, choosing Shel Silverstein's "Recipe For A Hippopotamus Sandwich", which he will also attempt to memorize. We did spelling in context this week rather than something formal and separate. After a lot of reading, I think I'll stick with Ambleside Online's recommendations for language arts, mixed with Brave Writer suggestions, so I'd like to move Bug into doing written narrations. In February, we plan on starting his first major writing project, the topic of which shall be dragons!

Cricket worked hard on phonics this week. She picked back up her daily lessons over at ClickN' Read, getting 95-100% on the 4 lessons done, and read aloud every day from a leveled reader. The ClickN' Read Phonics program is based on the same methods as Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons, and seems quite thorough. She likes the computer visuals more than the book. After she finishes this program, I plan to move her into Funnix Level 2. Funnix, by the way, will be free for download during the first few days of February! I also hope at that point that I can make use of the lovely Elson Readers I have stashed away.

In Math...
We are continuing with Math Mammoth at the moment. Bug worked on a review in multiplication, and division, while Cricket was introduced to beginning multiplication. I love how straightforward and simple the Math Mammoth workbooks are! Cricket took to her new topic like a duck to water. Bug enjoyed finding patterns in multiplication, between the 2's, 4's, and 8's, then 3's, 6's, 9's and 12's.

We had some fun in math too, watching a video I hadn't seen since childhood...

After watching this, the kids spent a while playing pool on Cool Math Games, and drawing various geometric shapes. Bug asked about the "square roots" Donald Duck mentioned, so I started teaching him about squaring (and cubing) numbers, and then how that relates to square roots. This tied in nicely with his multiplication review as well! Then, the relationship between music and math came in handy at his piano lesson as well.

In History and Science...
We started exploring the Cambrian period, learning about fossils, early animal life, and so on. The kids watched a video...

And we read/browsed through a few books...

We'll be making these super-cute trilobite cookies this weekend, but, hands-down, the best part of history/science this week was the fossil kit...

Otherwise in science, we're going to start fresh with The Magic of Reality next week.

We read the first few pages of this book, and really liked it, but then set it aside to try BFSU again, which, as much as I want it to work, it doesn't for us. My children (and I) prefer to dig deeply into a topic, rather than going from one to another. I do plan to keep my digital copies of BFSU Volumes I and II for reference materials, and suggestions of topics to peruse. In the meantime, we're going back to reading living books, supplemented with shorter books, hands-on activities, and videos/documentaries.

Bug also read the first three chapters of Great Inventors and Their Inventions on my Kindle. This is an Ambleside Online recommendation for year 5, and Bug was caught up by it right away (well that, and getting to use the Kindle!) I looked in the Kindle store and found most of the science-y books AO recommends for free! Free, and vintage, is always exciting to me!

Again we didn't get to the outdoor hour challenge, but will try again next week.

Over at their Nonna's house in the mornings, the kids have been watching 1900 House, so that when I go to pick them up, they are full of fantastic narrations for me about what they saw that day!

In Art and Music...
Bug moved up a level in piano, and is now learning proper use of the pedals in music. He really loves the song he was assigned this week, which is great because then he's eager to practice! I am thinking of having Cricket maybe take lessons too, if she has any interest.

We listened to some more music from Franz Schubert, our Composer of the Month. And we meant to, but didn't, get around to an art project based on Wassily Kadinsky's Squares with Concentric Circles, so I think he'll remain our Artist of the Month for another month!

In Literature...
We are about halfway through The Hobbit, and almost done listening to Half Magic. One thing we very much appreciate about Half Magic is that they used more than one actor to do the audio book, so all the children have distinctive voices. Unfortunately, our library does not have an audio version of Magic by the Lake (the second book after Half Magic), so I think I'll do that as a read aloud after The Hobbit. And for our next audio book, I have The Phantom Tollbooth on hold - I imagine David Hyde Pierce will make a fantastic narrator for that particular story! We also read a few folk tales and fairy stories this week, as usual, and I read aloud several pieces of poetry from Walter de la Mare, Robert Frost, and Emily Dickinson.

In Other News...
We had a good play day with friends Thursday, which involved a lot of trampoline time. And Park Day Friday, with a clear, cold, sunny sky.

Friday night, M was gone at a friend's (so that they could take off early for a fishing Saturday), so the kids and I watched Mr. Hobbs Takes a Vacation. And Saturday is Library day, plus a little make-up work since we didn't get anything much done on Thursday.

And that's our week! Drop by Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers to read about other people's homeschooling adventures!


  1. Hey-

    Just visited your blog today and wanted to say great job... I'll be back! That cookie link looks very cool. Now if I can just find that old cookie press I used to have....

  2. I simply LOVE that Nature Company Rocks and Fossils book! We used it extensively the last time we studied geology....


  3. What a great looking week! It's inspiring me to do a bit more with my own children!

  4. Looks like a full week. I've been looking at bravewriter classes. I think we may take one this coming semester.

  5. Can I come be homeschooled at your house? lol

    You can find some of the chapters of Homer Price in old-movie form on YouTube. Michelle at Delightful Learning posted the links under BYFIAR on her blog.

    The film version, unlike modern movies,. sticks exactly to the written chapters so it's a fun addition.


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