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

Friday, April 19, 2013

Weekly Report: Science, Books, & Kites...

Wow! What a good, solid week we had! It just goes to show that when we set the time aside, turn of the computer, television set, etc.,  we can get a lot done without feeling stressed.

Language Arts:
We did a little more work in The Complete Writer this week, with narrations/summaries, and some copy work. Both kids are continuing to enjoy this program, so I think it is safe to say, we have found a winner! I am much more confident in my language arts/writing plans for fall now.

The Girl finished up chapter one, and started chapter two, in Reading Horizons. She actually just did the Skill Check for the first lesson in chapter two, and scored 100%! She's looking forward to trying the skill check for the next lesson as well. She is, I think and hope, beginning to believe me when I tell her she has better reading skills than she realizes!

We've been enjoying the story of Perseus in A Wonder Book for Girls & Boys, reading a section each day. Hawthorne's language use in this book is marvelous--not too challenging for the kids, yet not at all dumbed down. The kids laugh every time we get to "Medusa with the snaky locks", because we all find it funny that he nearly always refers to her that way, only very rarely simply saying "Medusa"!

We're also enjoying Linnets & Valerians. Yesterday, I started introducing literary elements with this book, explaining foreshadowing to the kids. They immediately picked up on it, citing examples from other books, like The Titan's Curse (another chapter or two of this in the car this week as well), and The Sea of Monsters. They are looking forward to see what the foreshadowing in Linnets & Valerians is hinting at.

The Girl and I are just over halfway through Ramona the Pest, and The Boy is probably two-thirds of the way through The Restaurant at the End of the Universe. And we started reading Harry Potter & The Sorcerer's Stone at bedtime.

Science has been a blast this week! I started off the week meaning to cover energy (BFSU), but instead we read another chapter from You Are the Earth, and then everything flowed from there! The chapter was technically on soil, but we also learned a bit about nutrition, fungi, bacteria, rocks, and more! We watched a Bill Nye video to go with it, on Rocks & Soil, and started not one but three science projects! Here's two of them, and I'll take pictures later of the third...

First, we're sprouting peas, to try this project/experiment

And these are bread samples for growing mold. One dampened piece and one dry piece per kid, sealed up nice and tight!

Our third project comes from You Are the Earth. We took a few of the peas we had soaked overnight, and the kids planted one each in topsoil and subsoil. They are keeping them damp, and will be watching for growth.

While we didn't do exactly what I had planned for the week in science, I realized we did cover/are covering threads B-4, B-10, B-11, A-10, D-10 and B-12 in BFSU! [Plant and earth sciences]. I plan to continue in this next week, since we're enjoying it so much, with my copy of Life in a Bucket of Soil, and Bill Nye: Plants, as well as a project involving epsom salts from this week's Bill Nye video, and/or the fairly similar Epsom Salts crystal garden project here (BFSU A-9). And of course, we'll be continuing the projects above!

History was good this week, though not nearly as exciting as science! We read another chapter in the Pharaohs of Ancient Egypt, all about Cheops and the Great Pyramid, and we read You Wouldn't Want to be an Egyptian Mummy! We've decided to spend one more week on Egypt. I'd like to finish up Pharaohs of Ancient Egypt, and there are a couple of documentaries we'd like to watch. Plus, I have Pyramid on hand, and we'd like to enjoy that as well!

The Girl took a break from Saxon this week, as we felt she needed some review with telling time, so I pulled out some Math Mammoth worksheets and our practice clock. The Boy started testing through Saxon Math 6/5, and was able, so far, to skip 6 lessons, as he scored 97% on the test he took.

Other Stuff:
We worked in the garden some more, transplanting broccoli this week. Our apple and cherry trees are in full bloom, and the limequat has little white buds all over. The Girl cut a sprig off the apple tree and is seeing if she can get it to root in a small pot of dirt.

The kids are building popsicle-stick houses at my mom's, in addition to all the other crafts they do with her.

And we wrapped up the week by taking advantage of the wind and gorgeous weather!

Kite-flying is always a lot of fun! (In the bottom picture, that is The Boy to the right.. I had to back up quite far to get both him and the kite in the picture!)

Hope you all had a good week too! And enjoy the weekend, before we have to start all over again.


  1. Sounds great! Lots of good stuff going on at your house. :)

    Our mantid have hatched here -- so we are getting ready to release them this afternoon.

  2. I always look forward to your weekly updates! This week looks great, and I'm trying really hard not to be jealous of your weather...although we finally saw some crocuses this week.


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