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Weekly Report 10

October 15, 2009

Does this even count as a whole week?  Monday was pretty shot after I spent half the day at the doctor and having another ultrasound and DH had to work (on his day off.  Again.  Bleh…)  So the boys didn’t get much done except some reading with me in the late afternoon.  Tomorrow we’re taking off–the boys are staying with my aunt while DH and I head to southern Utah for some scenery (without anyone saying, “Are we there yet?” or “I’m too tired to hike.  Do I have to get out of the car?”) and one final play at the Utah Shakespearean Festival on Saturday.

In the three in-between days, our supposed “light week,” here’s what we accomplished:

Science: We read about hydrogen and attempted some more definitions, which is trying.  It’s been so long since I’ve had chemistry and I’m trying to explain things in language the 6-year-old will get.  He did link arms with me at one point and said to his brothers, “Look guys, we’re a molecule!”  Even still, it’s a little over our heads at times, but in reading back through the science section of The Well-Trained Mind today, I was assured that even attempting our curriculum this year will result in more knowledge of chemistry than 98% of American third graders.  So we’ll keep plowing on. 

The boys started putting together a periodic table on colored paper.  This week we added the alkali metals.  We waited for DH to help us do an experiment with electrolysis and splitting hydrogen atoms from the oxygen in a bowl of water.  I looked over the list of supplies needed and knew I was out of my element (no pun intended.) 

Our first set-up before we switched to a smaller bowl of water:


We were very thankful for DH’s help and it’s so great when science experiments work!!  Sorry for the giant photo, but it was just so exciting to see the hydrogen and oxygen bubbles being attracted to opposite electrodes.  (Yes, I’m easily entertained.)


I was also grateful for remembering what I heard Susan Wise Bauer say this summer about science experiments with elementary-age children.  Don’t ask them what they think will happen in an experiment in this stage.  They really have no clue.  Just do the experiment and let them watch and that way they’ll gain knowledge about how things work which will help them hypothesize down the road.  Good advice! 

History: We read about the 30 Years’ War in SOTW chapter 9, played a review game, did the mapwork, and read some folktales from Germany.  We also watched a Schlessinger video about a girl in Sweden and made Swedish apple cake from the SOTW Activity Guide.  It was a hit!


I really wanted to do a formal geography program this year, but decided to just do what geography we can along with our history.  I haven’t been nearly as diligent as I had hoped, but the boys are fairly familiar with the countries of western Europe and they like maps so we’re doing ok.

Art:  We read about Leonardo da Vinci in several books, watched a video about him and his many different inventions (the boys really liked his armored car) and examined our art prints of Mona Lisa and The Last Supper.  We also experimented with Mona Lisa and found that her eyes really do look right at you no matter where you’re standing in the room.  We never got around to an actual art project, maybe next week. 

Latin: We watched the dvd lesson for lesson 5 and began memorizing the first declension noun endings.   

Writing: A finished his last writing assignment from last week that we just never got to.

Memory Work: We are diligently reviewing all previous memory work and added 2 Nephi 2:27: Wherefore, men are free according to the flesh; and all things are given them which are expedient unto man. And they are free to choose liberty and eternal life, through the great Mediator of all men, or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil; for he seeketh that all men might be miserable like unto himself.

We also began reading How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World for FIAR and cut apples in half cross-wise to see how the seeds form a star.  We have a lot of apples here at the moment, so we’re going to be eating apple everything for the next few weeks.  Any favorite recipes?  I’ll take them.

The apple cake from SOTW was really yummy, although the butter/milk/brown sugar “topping” sank down through the cake and was very gooey.  It was the perfect dessert for a cool autumn day, but I think I want to make the cake again without the topping.   

Other than that, we’ve done a lot of reading.  C has turned into a bookworm and read about 5 chapter books this week.  A is reading From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler.  We also started another Freddy book on cd in the car.  We just love these, they’re so funny.  I read Murder on the Orient Express for something brainless before I dig back into some of my heavier books, and I remembered why I don’t read fiction very often.  I have a really hard time putting it down so I can go to sleep at a decent hour. 

Some of the history and literature books we’ve read (and a few videos we’ve watched) in the past two weeks:


I neglected my cello practicing as well as our Wednesday and Thursday household chores other than dishes and laundry, but we did go to the playground three days in a row and got to see our little one again, looking a little less alien than he did 9 weeks ago.  I still need to upload the ultrasound pics and details from the dr., but for now, I’m out of here.  Be back in a couple of days!

4 Comments leave one →
  1. October 16, 2009 7:22 am

    Have a great trip! I think you accomplished a lot for just three days!

  2. October 16, 2009 10:36 am

    We are right around the same spot in SOTW 3. Hope you have a great time. I bet Utah is just gorgeous this time of year.

  3. October 16, 2009 8:46 pm

    You did accomplish a lot this week! We’re doing Chemistry next year ~ thanks for letting me tag-along and get a sneak peek at all the fun in store for us next year!

  4. October 17, 2009 9:13 am

    Thank you for pointing out that SWB said this: ” Don’t ask them what they think will happen in an experiment in this stage. They really have no clue. ”

    I have long struggled with science and my notion that the kids should be coming up with their own questions and hypothesis versus the reality that they just don’t have a clue.

    Every now and then somebody will naturally have a question that we can test ourselves. That’s always exciting. Sadly, we don’t always have the equipment. For example, when we did chemistry last year, my son wondered if salt could melt. We put it in the oven on the highest possible temperature and it didn’t melt. However, after some research we learned that it will melt at around 800 deg C. Our oven isn’t that good. Hopefully we’re giving them a taste of what is possible and sparking an interest for later in life.

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