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Weeks 31, 32, and 33

May 16, 2011

Yeah, I’m a little behind on these “weekly” reports.  But I thought I’d try to sum up the past few weeks.   I know I can’t remember every detail, but school has most definitely been happening around here…along with a million other things.  I always say we should take May off, but it never works out that way.  One more week of craziness though, then my calendar is free and we can finish up our school year in peace!

Highlights of the month?

Math!  D finished Singapore 1B last Thursday and was so excited.

(He was also excited to get up early today and start 2A.)

He’s also had fun with Five in a Row.  We finished up Grandfather’s Journey and learned about Japan and California, talked about different modes of transportation, colored flags and maps, memorized “How Many Seconds” by Christina Rossetti that tied in, talked about different landforms in America, and tried some origami.  Rather, I did origami for D–pine trees, a house, a cicada, an envelope, and paper airplanes.

Books read:

We also went through A New Coat for Anna which tied into our study of the aftermath of World War II in Europe.  We’ve also been studying the Berlin Airlift and the Berlin Wall in history which coordinated with this book.  We learned about Germany and its flag and map and watched a short video about a German boy.  We also read all about sheep, used the title for copywork, learned how to weave a placemat, and measured D like Anna was measured for her coat in the story.  There are also some great go-along books that we read about other children and their patience in waiting to get a new suit or a shirt.  Then there is Farmer Brown Shears His Sheep about sheep and the lengths they go to to get their sheared wool back.  It was absolutely hilarious and we thoroughly recommend it!

We picked out our last two FIAR books for the year, and I can’t believe that we won’t be using FIAR next year.  We’ve had someone doing it since A was in preschool in 2005!  Snuggling on the couch together with a great book has been a hallmark of our school ever since. I really credit FIAR with fostering a love of learning in my boys.  I will miss it next year, although we have enough else planned including more great books that I think we’ll be ok (not to mention busy enough) without it!

History, as always, is the other highlight.  They love it, even when we’re racing around the 20th-century world and much of its history is rather grim.  We’re not doing much more than reading and mapwork, but already we have learned more about 20th-century history than I had up until AP history my junior year in high school.

In a nutshell we’ve read about:

  • Partitioning of India and Palestine and the establishment of Israel
  • The Suez Crisis
  • The Marshall Plan
  • The Berlin Airlift and the Berlin Wall
  • Africa and China after WWII
  • The Korean War
  • Ho Chi Minh and the Viet Minh
  • Freedom in Belgian Congo
  • Juan and Eva Peron
  • Cuban Missile Crisis and the Space Race
We’ve read just a few extra books.  I’ve been so busy that I haven’t even had a chance to get to the library the past couple of weeks, but we enjoyed what we did read.
We also watched a video about the Berlin Airlift and Night Crossing about two East German families who attempt to cross to the west in a hot air balloon in 1979.  We highly recommend it as well.  Thanks to Google, we were also able to find an archive of the films made in the 1950s to promote the Marshall Plan and show the American people how the money was being used to rebuild Europe.  We watched The Extraordinary Adventures of a Quart of Milk and the boys absolutely loved it.  They’re still laughing about “the wall of death.”  (Watch the link to know what in the world they’re talking about!)  It reminded me of films I used to watch in elementary school which I’m sure were produced in about the same time period.  I love the things you can find on the internet!
Geography:  We have been faithfully working our way through Tree in the Trail and have three lessons left.
Latin: A has two lessons left and C has four.
Poetry: We’ve been memorizing meters and learned about quatrains, couplets, and sonnets last week.
Language Arts: A should finish Practice Island in the next 3 weeks and we’ve been reading through Sentence Island, but haven’t kept up with the writing exercises.  They’re a little too open-ended and creative for us, I think.  Writing with Ease is going well though.  A is in week 24 of level 3 and C is on week 14 of level 2.  I’m looking forward to Writing with Skill which is coming out next fall although I’m not sure if I’ll skip WWE 4 and go to that with A or not.  C is on step 23 (of 24) in All About Spelling 1 and A should finish his Sequential Spelling book soon.  I’d show you C’s beautiful cursive, but he’s been working on his full name so you’ll just have to imagine it!
Math: A is working hard to finish Singapore 4B, but I think that will be carried over into the summer (which is not a bad thing) and C has finished 2A except for the subtraction with regrouping (or borrowing or decomposing or however you want to word it) so we’ve added some Math Mammoth back in to help him with that concept.  Math does not come easy for this kid, but he is such a hard worker and is really accomplishing great things.
Memory: We’re being consistent with memory work again and it is awesome!  We memorized “The Voice of Spring” and “How Many Seconds” and are now learning “A Calendar” by Sara Coleridge in addition to scriptures and the Articles of Faith (of our church.)
What else do we do?  I think that covers it.  Science is a giant failure and probably deserves its own post one of these days.  3 more weeks…there’s a light at the end of the tunnel!
One Comment leave one →
  1. May 19, 2011 10:08 am

    You guys have been busy. We’ve had Singapore 2b sitting around the house for a long time now….hopefully we’ll get to it this summer. Congrats on finishing 1b and moving into the 2’s.

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