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

Friday, September 14, 2012

Week Two... We're Getting There...

This week, I worked on making some adjustments. Even though we had a great week one, I felt overwhelmed by some of my own choices for the year, and so I decided to readjust a bit.

What Worked This Week

Math is still going well. The Boy is moving right along in Teaching Textbooks, and The Girl loves her MCP Math, as do I. I think I found the perfect math workbook for a girl who really wanted a math workbook this year! The Boy worked on estimating, rounding, adding, and subtracting with three digit numbers this week, while The Girl finished a review of addition and subtraction, finishing up with two pages of word problems, which she seemed to enjoy!

Language Arts
A definite highlight was reading Ruth Heller's beautiful book Merry-Go-Round: A Book About Nouns. We did not get to Latin this week (not that I am hugely worried about that), but The Boy did work on spelling, and started a unit in Word Roots regarding suffixes. The Girl made great progress this week! I've noticed that she is writing a lot more too... she's constantly asking me how to spell this or that, and she's proud that her handwriting is improving. I think for now we will continue with our mix of Explode the Code and Reading Pathways.

Science and History
In science this week, we studied a bit about energy (BFSU) - how it transfers from one thing to another, how it is created/where it comes from. We smashed one Hot Wheels car into another to show the transfer of energy. We discussed solar power, wind turbines, and so forth. We played around with both microscopes some more. We read a bit in Moon of the Deer, and spent time examining bug, rocks, and more in our backyard.

In history, we continued reading through The Wright Brothers. We learned about the construction of a printing press by Wilbur and Orville, which got the kids interested in the history of printing. I have a book for us to read today called Breaking Into Print: Before and After the Printing Press. This is what I am trying to encourage... following the rabbit trails that pop up from somewhere else! We also read a section in Builders of the Old World after watching Night at the Museum. We may or may not continue with Builders next week, since The Girl still wants to follow the Wright Brothers with Sacajawea!

I still find myself trying to cram us into a box a bit with history. I know, I know... I said I would let the kids follow their interests this year, and am really trying to do that! I will learn to let go a bit!

And finally, Literature
We dropped a lot of the books from A Picture Perfect Childhood this week. While I love the idea, the practicality of it for me just isn't there. Instead, we moved forward with our Narnia literature study! We read The Aunt and Amabel, a short story by E. Nesbit in which a girl,  sent to "Coventry" in the Spare Room finds a magical world inside a big Wardrobe. Sound familiar? It was from this story that C.S. Lewis drew his inspiration for the wardrobe in The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe. We also started reading The Snow Queen.

We read about Claude Monet, and discussed his art, using the Artchive to look up a few pieces.

Other books for the week included continued reading from In the Beginning: Creation Stories from Around the World, a few short stories from Grandmothers' Tales, and more of The Lightning Thief in the car. The Girl and I enjoyed beautiful versions of The Tale of the Firebird and King Midas after her reading lessons. I think I ill continue to read a short story/fairy tale to her after each lesson. I found this book that looks like it will work well for this, and am waiting for it to arrive at the library. Until then, we have a stack of other, gorgeously illustrated fairy tale books on hand.

We also finished up The Marvelous Land of Oz as a bedtime book. Next up: we decided to go with Pippi Longstocking since I think both kids will enjoy it!

What I'd Like To Work On Next Week

With The Boy: I'd like to start reading through Breakthroughs in Science with him. I'd like him to do a little more writing next week as well - we didn't really get around to it this week.

With The Girl: I can't think of anything we need to change right now, except making sure that I read her a story after her reading work!

With both: Art project(s) definitely. Finish The Wright Brothers. Start some poetry work with Pizza, Pigs & Poetry. Continue the Narnia study. Listen to some beautiful music. Bring in Greek myths (to replace creation myths), and some Celtic fairy tales to replace Grandmothers' Stories.

Hope everyone else had a good week! Next week I'll get some pictures in my recap as well!


  1. I have so much trouble getting to Latin. Not sure why, b/c I actually really enjoy it-but it tends to get lost among all the other stuff!

  2. I kind of like this idea of blogging about "what worked this week" and maybe, "what needs changed" or to be honest, "what didn't!" Writing things out always seems to help clarify them for me -- and with the right feedback from readers, it's even better!

    My week was so-so. Wednesday & Thursday went well, but Monday and Tuesday were a mess! :(

  3. We like MCP math around here too. Straightforward, clear, does the job!

    Looks like a book rich week. I am always trying to let go and let the kids follow their own rabbit trails too. It's an adventure to see what you learn! I did not know that little fact about C.S. Lewis' inspiration. I've got to tell my 11 yo dd about it. She loves Narnia so much. I bet she'd love to read that story by Nesbit.

    Looks like a good week.


What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.

Thanks for stopping by! I love comments :)