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Weeks 7 and 8

October 14, 2011

Week 7–

Last week was my symphony’s first concert of the season so I spent a lot of time at rehearsal and practicing late (11:00ish) the other nights of the week (and then sleeping in the next morning.)  I was kind of hyperfocused on music, hence no weekly report.  We were also in charge of history club, and if I had remembered I had a concert, I would have realized it was a bad week to host history club.  But I didn’t remember and then I forgot to take all the stuff for our activity so had to drop the boys off and run back home for it.  And the whole week went kind of like that.

Then there’s week 8.  We’ll call it week 8 anyway.  We really only had two normal days of school this week and that was it.  Things were kind of weird.  And that’s not to say we didn’t do any learning, it just didn’t look like our normal.  At least we’re finally over the sickness we were passing around.

Monday we essentially spent reading the book for our boys’ book club since I pretty much forgot about book club!  We read scriptures and practiced piano, but other than that I read out loud.  And got pretty hoarse.

Tuesday morning I had a meeting with two other people, one of which forgot to come and wasn’t answering her cell phone.  So the other person and I sat and talked homeschooling for a couple of hours since she is seriously considering it for next year and had lots of questions.  Then we went home and finished our book club book (We will not leave it till the last day next month!  We will not!) and then went to book club after lunch.

Thursday we got up, ate breakfast, then went hiking up one of our favorite little trails.  It was really the first time we’ve gotten up into the canyons this fall and a lot of the leaves are already on the ground.  I’ve been meaning to go on a fall foliage drive for weeks, but like book club, I kind of forgot about it.  I really think our trip back East threw me off; I still don’t feel caught up and fully on top of things at the moment.  But I’m digressing.  The hike was nice. We’re loving the cool crisp fall air.  Then it was a full afternoon of piano for the boys and cello lessons for me.  On our way home, we stopped off in Provo to see an exhibit at the BYU library.

Wednesday and Friday we worked.  Hard.  Maybe I can remember what we did.

Some weeks I try to keep up on skill subjects (reading, writing, math) when we’re short on time.  This week I felt like we should stay caught up on our content subjects (history and science) so that’s what happened.

Science:  Last week we studied the skeletal system and this week was the muscular system.  We’re still working on memorizing 14 major bones.  The boys labelled skeletons and A labelled a muscle diagram.  C and D worked on lapbook parts and all three boys added bones and muscles to their paper bodies.  A is way too tall for the cutouts, but is still too skinny in the legs for the muscles to fit.  Same as our last go-around!  We also read several books and they watched a video about the skeletal and muscular systems.

Then we got on YouTube to find a video of Dem Bones being sung and came up with a cute animated version of the book we read.

History:  We wrapped up Egypt last week and made some tigernut sweets for history club.  D helped me mix chopped dates, cinnamon and walnuts together.  Then we rolled it into balls and dipped them in honey and crushed almonds.  They were really pretty good.  At least the moms thought so.  We decided food at history club is mostly for the moms.  We’re much more adventurous than the kids are.  We also had bread and some lentils.  The boys made sugar cube pyramids again with the group and everyone had a good time.

We also read about ancient Africa last week and the boys did some mapwork.  This week we read about Sargon and Sumer on Wednesday and the Code of Hammurabi today.  We’ve had fun exploring the British Museum’s website on Mesopotamia.  C and D colored the ziggurat of Ur and did a crossword puzzle.  A wrote a paragraph about Hammurabi after reading the relevant chapter in Ten Kings by Milton Meltzer.  It was a very short paragraph; I should have supervised a little more. I’m still working out just how to do logic stage history this year, but we did have a good discussion about Hammurabi’s code as we answered the questions about primary sources listed in The Well-Trained Mind.  I’m really enjoying this book I bought called The Ancients in Their Own Words which contains primary sources from history along with a translation and a few paragraphs about the historical background, along with photos.  I’m also being much more consistent this year with having the other two do narrations on just about every chapter.  I really want history to be more than just reading this year.  I’m also really grateful for naptime as history seems to entail covering the living room carpet with books, maps, timelines, and art supplies, and that just doesn’t mix well with an almost-two-year-old.

A's history work: Notes about the Sumerians, Hammurabi, and his code

C's work: crossword puzzle, ziggurat, narration, and mapwork

Literature: The boys read some more Egyptian stories and some African Anansi tales on their own.  This is not by design, it’s just because they are too quick for me and start in on the books before we’re barely home from the library.  I can’t complain though.  We read The New Adventures of the Mad Scientists’ Club for book club.  It was really funny.  Now we’ll have to look for the original Mad Scientists’ Club book.  We’re also listening to Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm.  They say they’re enjoying it, but I think our next book needs to have a boy as the main character.  It seems like we’ve read a lot of the ”girl” classics lately.  We need to get back to our scheduled literature program as well.  That’s been way down on the priority list lately though.

Language Arts:  Not much to report on here.  Grammar and reading are going well for D.  C has almost finished reading through Grammar Island, but we’re behind on Grammar Town with A.  Their various writing programs are going well too.  A is definitely being challenged by Writing with Skill so we’re going a bit slower, while also trying to incorporate some of the writing techniques learned in history and science.  He did a very nice outline on the skeletal system last week with (a lot of) my help.  I also need to tweak some of our scheduling.  His writing, history, and science programs all seem to schedule a big writing assignment at the end of the week, so more often than not, we just skip some of them when we’re feeling overloaded.  I need to work on rearranging things so those writings are staggered throughout the week.

Math:  We’re in a happy place with math at the moment. A finally finished the multiply/divide section in Singapore 5A so is taking some time off to work on challenging word problems only. C is working on the money section in 2B and is doing so well.  D is cruising through 3-digit addition and subtraction.  His little brain just gets math.  It’s really fun to watch him at work.

Somewhere in all of the craziness A also completed his Latin lessons 4 and 5.  He has now officially left me behind in the dust.  I do have plans to catch up with him, but realistically…

We’ll see.  I have a lot of self-education goals at the moment that are just kind of…sitting there.  Maybe blogging about them would be the kick I need to get working on them again.

Next week is a short week.  We’re taking two days off so I can go to the Utah Shakespeare Festival for my birthday.  I’d say life will get back to normal after that, but…it won’t.  I don’t even know what normal is anymore!

Here are some pictures from our hike up the Grotto Trail:

E was much more interested in the stream than in looking at the camera.  I mean, who wouldn’t be?

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. October 15, 2011 8:35 am

    I too am having a hard time stepping things up for Sophie since this is her 2nd time through the history and science. Luckily the Science notebook that goes along with the Apologia Anatomy is pushing her a lot. Without it she would get to skate through science without much writing and thinking. History is where we are falling short a bit. We read a lot of books and I know she reads even more. She is reading all the longer books that I bring home but never get around to reading aloud or that I know the boys wont sit through. But I really need to get her to write more. But she does writing every day and she thinks that is enough. Why should she have to write more for history and science? I do like the note booking pages and we did do a number of them with Egypt but I need to have her do more of them. Maybe that membership to Notebooking pages would be a good idea!

    The hike looks fun. We took a hike last week but nothing as beautiful as what you saw. We haven’t been out for hikes or nature study in a long time. It is hard to fit everything into our schedule.

    Keep up the good work. You are doing an amazing job!

  2. October 15, 2011 10:39 am

    Sounds like a fabulous couple of weeks, even if they weren’t “normal.” Our week this week was way off, too.

  3. October 16, 2011 12:29 pm

    What a great couple of weeks! I love seeing weeks that are not “normal.” Frankly, I wish we had more of them especially if they included hiking to such a beautiful location. :-p I’m still waiting for the temps to get below 90.

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