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Weekly Report 7

September 28, 2009

It was a very busy week!  Besides a very full week of school, I had two orchestra rehearsals and a concert, we had homeschool park day, did an outdoor hour challenge on cattails, drove up the canyon to see autumn leaves, played with some friends, and also got to meet up with our penpals from Texas who were in town for a wedding.  We’ll have to wait for photos from them since I forgot to put the camera battery back in the camera before we left!  But we had a great time meeting them and playing together. 

Other highlights:   Science, definitely!  We began chemistry and we made ice cream!  And it worked!  It was really fun too, though tiring.  We had to shake it in the bags for about 20 minutes to get it to freeze.  It was really cool watching it turn to ice cream after adding the salt half-way through.  Salt really does make the ice colder.  D thought it was too noisy though.



Oven mitts are essential when shaking bags of ice


One science experiment we were happy to eat! P9210031

I’m trying to follow the 5-day guide in our syllabus so we spend less time on science but on a more regular basis, instead of doing it only once or twice a week for longer periods.  I think I like it better this way, but we’re already a day behind going into this week, so the jury’s still out.  I may also put A in charge of getting the experiments ready each week for me so hopefully we’ll be more likely to do them.

Other good things we’ve done:  We’ve been really consistent with our memory work this week, including the review of past pieces, and working on Latin flashcards at the same time.  This week I want to get in the habit of reviewing our current memory piece before every meal as well and I want to add in math flashcards to the morning memory routine. 

Bad things (other than general craziness, stress, and pregnancy aches and pains):  I’m having a great time working with C, but having a hard time with A and getting to all of his work every day.  His work takes a lot longer than C’s does, and if I’m not right there next to him, he dawdles.  That might just have been last week though, but I do need to keep better track of him and what he’s doing and especially how long things are taking him. 

History:  It was actually a pretty boring week for history.  We kept having technical difficulties with our projects.  A finally finished his colonial rope bed though and began the sampler cross-stitch.  Yes, my 8-year-old boy likes to cross-stitch.  I think the pattern is like a puzzle for his brain.  He’s actually pretty good at it.  I had planned to do more history reading, but with some shortened school days because of outings, we spent more time on science this week getting used to a new curriculum.


Art: We read a lesson about Jan Van Eyck from Artistic Pursuits vol. 2, but didn’t do the project.  I have a hard time with that book sometimes, the projects seem random and disconnected.  It talked about how wonderful his paintings were from using oil paints.  Then it asked us to do a watercolor picture.  That bugged me, so we didn’t do it.  Maybe some other time.

Music: C and D both had Kindermusik.  A was really spacey one morning and completely forgot (among other things) to take his piano books when we went to Grandma and Poppa’s house so had to skip his lesson this week.  But we’ve been listening to Dvorak’s New World Symphony so they were prepared to come to my orchestra concert last night.  D told me afterward, “It was very long and I got tired a few times.”  I told him I did too, but I also told him he was very lucky.  Not many 5-year-olds get to go hear Kodaly and Dvorak performed live.

Literature:  A finished reading Our Strange New Land: Elizabeth’s Jamestown Colony Diary and has started to read Squanto, Friend of the Pilgrims.  C is reading Jenius, the Amazing Guinea Pig by Dick King-Smith.

D (Preschool)
We finished rowing Mr. Gumpy’s Motor CarI’m so glad I decided to take two weeks on each book.  If we miss a few days, it’s ok, I feel like we still have plenty of time to enjoy each book.  We read a lot this week.  We read about clouds, rain, and the water cycle. 

We looked at old-fashioned cars in books and then actually saw a car like Mr. Gumpy’s (and five other very old cars) that belongs to some friends of ours.  We also read Mr. Gumpy’s Outing by the same author, which was hilarious as well.  We learned about cross-hatching for art and C and D both tried their hand at some cross-hatching. 

For language arts, we talked about the animals’ excuses and compared them to The Little Red Hen story.  D also traced the title for handwriting practice.  For math we learned how many are in a dozen and read several counting books.

C (1st grade)
Math: We primarily worked on number bonds up to 10 using file folder games that I made last weekend.
Reading: Lessons 222-226 (5 more lessons to go!)
Growing with Grammar: 3 lessons on types of sentences (questions)
Writing with Ease 1: 4 lessons from week 7 on Peter Rabbit–His handwriting continues to improve and I think he may even like it!

A (3rd grade):
Exercise 31 and practice multiplying and dividing by 6 with much feet dragging and dawdling
Spelling: We continued with 1-syllable words from the Webster 1824 American Spelling Book.  I have him spell about 25 words out loud a day and so far, so good.  No problems yet.  Eventually we’ll have a spelling rule and associated words for the week.
Grammar: 3 lessons with more diagramming of sentences–I may have to start studying his book to stay ahead.  I can’t even remember the last time I had to diagram.
Writing with Ease 2: 4 lessons from week 29 on The Story of Mankind (which incidentally sounds like a great book for our next history cycle.)
Latin: We finished lesson 3 and he got 100% on the quiz.  All that flashcard review is working.

This week will feel strangely empty.  I have the week off from orchestra and the boys don’t have Kindermusik classes.  In fact, we only have to leave the house once this week for my cello students.  It will be kind of nice.  I’m a little burned out from last week’s activities and concert stress.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. September 28, 2009 6:12 am

    Glad to hear you guys enjoyed the ice cream, it’s always fun! Looks like you guys accomplished alot this week. Thanks for sharing!

  2. September 28, 2009 9:06 pm

    If you’d like a refresher on sentence diagramming, see

    It has free lessons and exercises for you to use along with a diagramming index.

    🙂 Elizabeth

  3. Stephanie permalink
    September 29, 2009 1:00 am

    That sounds like a very busy week to me.

    Lately I’ve been working on opposites flash cards with my 2 year old, he is getting better with adjectives; I just need to keep my 1 year old, who now walks, from hiding all the flash cards all over the house 🙂

    As for science my 2 year old has learned the names of a few planets, but his favorite right now remains Saturn because of its rings.

    I have been trying to get into a routine, but it’s still a little hard to maintain one with the little one requiring so much attention, they compete for attention so much. I try to keep the little one busy, but they both get distracted with what the other one is doing.

    I know they are not too young to learn, maybe I just need to be more patient. Any suggestions?

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