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Week 30, only 6 more to go!

April 22, 2011

It was a very history-intense week.  The boys are sad that we are wrapping up World War II, but you know, we still have 50+ years of history to get through in the next 6 weeks.  We’ve had a great time with WWII though.  We have a few books to read and a stack of movies we still want to watch, so we’re not leaving it completely behind.  (Oh, and a reconnaissance mission to complete for the resistance.)

We finished our scrap metal drive.  It was very successful!  Several of our friends helped us out by donating scrap metal.  When we collected it all, we came up with 15 pounds of scrap.  (A is appropriately decked out in his B-17 shirt.)

Now imagine if 10 million other children in America collected the same amount.  Each bomber that flew weighed about 40,000 pounds, much of which was metal.  So we can see how every piece of scrap was needed.

Have I mentioned how much we’ve loved the World War II for Kids book?  It has the most fascinating and fun projects.  Our victory (herb) garden has also sprouted so we’ll have basil and oregano later on this summer.

I forgot to write up a report last week (we were too busy with field trips) so here are the books we’ve read in the past two weeks.  The boys really liked the WWII Pilot and Spies books.  If there is a shipwreck to be found, C will be all over it so of course we had to study the Bismarck.  We also watched a documentary about the Bismarck and one about WWII airplanes.

A wrote a really great summary about D-Day.  I had him read it aloud because he needed a 3-minute report for scouts.  It took just under a minute.  So a great majority of our writing time this week and last was spent trying to expand it into a 3-minute talk.  It was hard work.  We’re just not up to that amount of writing right now.  Sentences…great.  Paragraphs…we’re getting there.  3-minute reports?  Not so much.  He worked really hard though and I am proud of him.  And I’m pretty sure no other scout gave a report on D-Day in Normandy.

These six story books were our favorites for the week.  Lisette’s Angel is about a little girl who helps hide a paratrooper in her barn on D-Day.  Mercedes and the Chocolate Pilot is about Gail Halvorsen, the Candy Bomber during the Berlin Airlift.  We saw Halvorsen’s plane a few weeks ago at Hill AFB.  One Thousand Tracings and Boxes for Katje are both about families in America sending aid to people in Europe after the war and are both wonderful stories.

I steered away from Holocaust books that were along the lines of “what we endured in Auschwitz” and was actually amazed to find so many books about ordinary people who did extraordinary things to help others survive because they knew it was the right thing to do.  Especially interesting was the book The Grand Mosque of Paris, which was about Algerian Muslims in Paris who helped Jews escape the Nazi occupiers.  Passage to Freedom was about Sugihara, a Japanese diplomat in Lithuania who signed visas for Jews trying to escape the oncoming  Germans.  One More Border was a true story about a Lithuanian family that was able to get to Canada because of one of Sugihara’s visas.  We watched Miracle at Moreaux, an adaptation of Twenty and Ten, but much preferred the book.  We also watched The Scarlet and the Black, The Man Who Never Was, and a Nova episode about excavating the prison camp and tunnels featured in the movie The Great Escape.

We really did more than just read and watch movies!  A and C also worked on their WWII timelines.  C is adding pictures to his.  We’ll finish it up next week.  They also have been looking up WWII internet sites from the Usborne Quicklinks page.  C was kind enough to share the sound of an air raid siren with us…about 37 times.

We also did scripture study every day and memory work most days.  We’re still getting back into that habit.

A and C continue on in their spelling and should both finish up their books soon.  We read some in Sentence Island, but didn’t do much more in language arts besides narrating for history, although C has been working on the letters in his name for cursive practice and we started a new copywork project that I’ll tell about in a later post.

D is still slowly making his way through his reading book.  This week was TH and THR words.  He finished up All Those Secrets of the World as a Five in a Row unit.  Besides the WWII aspect of it, we talked about the Chesapeake Bay and found Maryland and Virginia on the map.  He copied the title for handwriting and we talked about how things look smaller the farther away they are.

C is up to lesson 19 in Latin and A is working on lesson 21 so they’ll both finish in the next month or so.  And math is going splendidly.  A is doing great with decimals and after a brain freeze and subsequent review lesson on multi-digit multiplication problems, he can do those again too.  He’s also up to chapter 18 in Life of Fred fractions.  C is doing multiplication in Singapore 2A while I read Liping Ma’s book on teaching elementary mathematics.  Then we’ll go back and tackle the subtraction section.  D is still cruising right along and should finish 1B in the next few weeks.

Geography–yes!  We read chapters 6-8 in Tree in the Trail and worked on our maps.

And we can’t forget music!  I keep forgetting to mention music of WWII because it’s nothing new.  We always listen to music of WWII.  Big band is a huge hit around here–Glenn Miller, Tommy Dorsey, the Andrews Sisters, you name it, we love it.  I think “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” is now the most played song on iTunes on my computer.

So, there’s the last two weeks.  I can’t believe we only have six more to go.  Things are starting to wrap up.  It’s exciting.  I’m about ready for another break.  We have some big projects to finish around here, not to mention a pile of books to read, and new curriculum to delve into for next year.  Fun, fun!

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Stephanie permalink
    April 23, 2011 3:13 am

    Buona Pasqua.

    Love,
    Stephanie

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