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

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Finding Our Groove...

I haven't been too good lately with the weekly reports, have I? Never fear though, we are keeping quite busy over here in our little corner of the world! And I'm posting this week's "review" a whole day early! Things are falling ever so nicely into place right now.... (we're almost unschooling... shhhh)

And here's what we're up to these days!


On Monday, we played several rounds of Pizza Fraction Fun, and then I had The Girl work on writing down equivalent fractions while The Boy  worked in his Zaccaro Challenge Math book. The Girl loved figuring out all the combinations that could equal a whole, a half, a third, a quarter, and so on. She's been practicing verbally ever since! 

On Tuesday, we watched Donald in Mathmagic Land. It has been quite a while since we watched this, and we really enjoyed it. The kids asked if we could explore some of the ideas in it in more depth, so I'm getting a copy of String, Straight-edge & Shadow: The Story of Geometry, and we're going to have Geometry Thursdays. I may add in Janice VanCleave's Geometry for Every Kid for practical application.

On Wednesday, Life of Fred Fractions arrived in the mail, and The Boy settled right down to work in it! We read it aloud, together, and The Girl asked if she could "do some Fred too", so I've ordered Farming for her. In the meantime, she had more fun with fractions.

And today, I plan on working through a lesson or two in Waldorf geometric drawings. I have a guide a friend passed on, so we'll try that out! I think I might have the kids work in Fred and Zaccaro a little too, just one problem set apiece, or something along those lines. I'll try to remember to post some pictures if we make anything good!

Reading & Writing

On Monday, we did some work from Hot Fudge Monday, this time working with nouns. I've basically decided that we'll rotate through the chapters in the book by doing an exercise from verbs one week, nouns the next, prepositions the week after that, and so on. In this lesson, the kids each had to take three short, boring sentences with very general nouns, and make them much more specific. The Girl read out loud to me as well.

On Tuesday, the kids chose to do some free writing. The Girl wrote a story about a frog in a pond full of lily pads, and The Boy wrote some lines of dialog for two completely silly robots. The Girl read to me again too - I am so glad to see her building more confidence in this area!

On Wednesday, we played You've Been Sentenced! Then, during The Boy's fencing lesson, The Girl played Thread Words on my Kindle, and wrote a very short story in "Notes" on my phone. She's getting quite familiar with the typical keyboard layout already!

Today I plan to have The Boy work in Write With the Best, and I think I'll have The Girl work in a lesson from Emma Serl's Language Lessons.


We decided to backtrack a little, so we're reading through The Early Human World - I really do love this series, so am happy to read a volume aloud! I think we'll add in a re-viewing of Walking with Cavemen, and as we work through the book, I am sure other applicable documentaries will pop up. We're lucky too that there is an active archeological dig site not too far from here, and I'd love to get the kids out there to see it!


The Boy is reading his way through The New Way Things Work, keeping a notebook too in which he is sketching and labeling diagrams from the book. I need to remind him that the videos are on you tube!

The Girl has been watching animal documentaries all week, mainly David Attenborough ones.

Today's plan is to watch The Greatest Places, and to start reading through The World in a Bucket of Soil with The Girl, then work on some applicable hands-on.

Literature & Everything Else

We're almost done with Harry Potter & the Chamber of Secrets at bedtime. I'm not sure if we'll go on to the third book in the series right away, or pick something else from my gigantic list. The Girl and I are very much enjoying The Story of Dr. Doolittle, and will probably follow that up with The Voyages of Dr. Doolittle. The Boy is really liking the Dark is Rising Sequence, and, during The Girl's derby practice this week, he read all of The Son of Sobek (which combines two of his favorite book characters!) on my Kindle. Since it is October, I plan to start working in some good Halloween literature: The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, and Tales of Terror & Fantasy (Poe).

Our movie of the week, so far, was the classic version of The Miracle Worker. The kids were amazed that Patty Duke was not really blind or deaf, and they were impressed by the whole story. I'm slowly working on a list of movies I would like to watch with them - some happy, some sad, some musicals, some drama, historical pieces, comedies, etc. Interesting connection the kids made with this one - the terrible place that Annie Sullivan grew up has similarities to the poor houses and such that Dickens railed against in so many of his works.

And in art, The Girl spent Tuesday applying paper mache strips to an old coffee can from Trader Joe's. On Wednesday, she painted it, and now has a new pencil holder for her desk! The Boy worked on many diagrams (see Science above), and is currently working on a pen-and-ink car drawing.

Also, on Saturday, The Boy participated in another in-house fencing tournament. This one was a team tournament, which he hadn't done before. On his first round, he managed to narrow the gap between teams down to only 2 points, scoring 6 points himself. Unfortunately, they got behind again shortly thereafter, and ended up losing, but he still had a blast!

So that's what we're up to! Of course there's baking, cooking, derby and fencing, playing at the park, watching TV shows together, and more! I'm satisfied at the moment with what we're doing, and how they are learning.


  1. It all sounds so glorious! You're so creative. I am awash with jealousy of your awesomeness.


  2. Your line up this week really does sound fun! Tons of great stuff without a bit of tedium!

  3. Anonymous8:01 AM

    Patty Duke was an amazing little actress! Have you seen the newer version of Miracle Worker?

  4. We've been doing fractions this week too and playing lots of games. Your math time sounds like fun! My daughter is reading through the New Way Things Work too. I love the idea of keeping a notebook as well.


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