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

Friday, April 6, 2012

Weekly Report... 4/2-4/6...

Such a good week! Things flowed, we learned a lot, had room to expand on ideas and explore new topics, read good books, and more! I have learned a lot this week about letting go and just being, although I still need to work on this, and probably always will!

Language Arts
The copywork jars were (and still are) a big hit! Both kids worked hard to make their copied quotations look really nice.

Cyrus worked on spelling, alphabetizing his words for the week one day, writing sentences over another two days, and taking an oral spelling test in the car (which he aced!), and he worked on his alliterative piece.

Cassia worked through a total of 16 pages in Phonics Pathways. The segmenting and blending approach is working really well for her. I've dropped ETC, and all readers for the moment... just focusing on reading skills.

We started a unit on fractions. Math Mammoth is working so well for us! I had printed up placement tests for Teaching Textbooks, and Saxon, but the kids want to stick with MM, so stick with it we will.

Cricket worked in Intro to Fractions, starting with halves, then moving in quarters, fifths, and sixths.

Bug worked in Fractions 1. He learned about improper and mixed fractions, and comparing and converting, and said he really enjoyed this!

We read from Knight's Castle, and listened to more of The Cricket in Times Square.

Bug finished The Lost Hero. He then started The Flight of the Phoenix (thank you farrarwilliams!) He then read Latin Phrases Every Boy Should Knows in The Dangerous Book for Boys. I read to him from Abel's Island. Lots of laughing out loud with this one - Bug thinks it is terribly funny how pleased snooty Abel is with every little thing he does.

I read from All of a Kind Family to Cricket, as well as some short stories we picked up at the library, including The Korean Cinderella, The Woman Who Flummoxed the Fairies (really good!), and The Legend of the Indian Paintbrush.

Poetry at long last! We read The Owl and the Pussycat, and The Duck and the Kangaroo, by Edward Lear. We also started reading The Jumblies (same Author), but that is a longer piece, and we have a way to go. Cricket noticed the references in both The Owl... and The Jumblies to the color "pea green," so she's wondering if that was one of Lear's favorite colors. Bug liked the format of the first two poems, and I think I may try to have him try writing his own poem! Instead of tea time, we had smoothies with our poetry. Whatever works!

We were reading Johnny Tremain, but it just didn't resonate with us, at least not right now. Maybe when they are a little older?

We also started watching Little House on the Prairie (the 2005 Disney mini-series version.) They've seen episodes of the TV show too. This is grimmer in comparison, a tad more realistic... mud halfway up the wagon wheels and all over the characters, death, danger, etc. While I don't like some things about it (I doubt Ma would have ever worn her hair down that much, and why isn't Jack the right kind of dog?), I will say that I like the resulting discussion! Cricket has asked if we can make this a focus for a while. I also picked up The Birchbark House at the library - while it is not directly related, it relates... if that makes any sense! Bug says he's okay with studying some Little House too, as long as I "add in some boy stuff!"

Bug also read the Declaration of Independence in The Dangerous Book for Boys.

We hit up the local garden center/home improvement store that was having a 50% off sale on vegetable and herb starts.We planted seeds as well. And talked about seedlings, what plants need, and gardening in general.

There was some rock collecting from around the yard, and subsequent reading from Rocks and Fossils.

Bug read to us about cloud formations from The Dangerous Book for Boys. He and Cricket then spent some time identifying clouds as they passed far overhead.

They have been watching episodes of America The Wild at my mom's house in the mornings, and then they come home with all kinds of great animal facts and information!

We worked out in the garden a lot, for probably a couple of hours. We weeded, and collected caterpillars and grubs to look at, discussed snails (of which we have far too many), looked at roly-poly bugs, made some simple and fast terrariums, checked out the tulips that are blooming, and then the kids discovered... wait for it... bird watching!

We promptly pulled out our bird identification guides. Bug is keeping a list of the birds he has spotted in a little notebook, with both common and Latin names. Cricket wants to know how they all sound, so we spent some time online with Cornell's Ornithology department. I'm going to get out my copy of the Burgess Bird Book for Children, which at least Cricket will enjoy, if not Beetle as well.

We also started a very loose botany study (to go with gardening), with reading about nonflowering plants in a couple of our science encyclopedias. The kids then each drew a nonflowering plant of their choice from said encyclopedias (Bug's is the top picture, Cricket's the bottom)...

Bug continues to work hard in piano. He has two songs to master this week. He is also experimenting with the songs he already knows... turning the entire piano book upside down and playing it that way, or playing just the left hand, and then just the right hand, or moving it all up or down an octave.

And there was park day! The weather this week has been incredible... clear, deep blue skies, a little chilly, but hey, the sun is out and about! We're enjoying every moment of it after a few weeks of damp and gray skies. The kids played ball tag for about two hours, bringing a nice rosy glow to their cheeks.

Cricket helped out in the kitchen again this week. She chopped veggies for her dad when he made omelets, she measured dry ingredients for me, helped make some super delicious smoothies, and is going to help me make a coconut cake for Easter. She watched Whale Rider again--truthfully I am surprised at how much she loves this movie--it is not all happiness and brightness, but instead complex and a bit dark, though triumphant in the end.

There was art, and music, laughter, and some arguing (when is there not arguing with kids?) We're looking forward to next week!


  1. Thank-you for sharing your week. I've found quite a bit of inspiration. I love the labeled pictures from the botany study.

  2. A goodly week, for sure!

    I know I've said this before, but I think it is amazing you take the time to link to so many wonderful resources--I know I appreciate it!


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