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Weekly Report–4 weeks down

September 23, 2012

And just like that, a month of school has flown by.  The days are sure long though.  I need to do a post about our schedule, but for now I’ll attempt to summarize the last two weeks of school and other various activities.  Once upon a time I was quite regular about writing up our weeks.  As I told someone today, when we’re busy with “bloggable” activities, I don’t seem to have time to write.  Or maybe I just don’t have the mental energy by the end of the day to put thoughts into words.  Anyhow, here’s what’s been going on around here.

Field trips!  Both real and virtual–

We studied the Byzantine empire last week and took a virtual tour of the Hagia Sophia.  I know we did this four years ago, but no one remembered, so we did it again.  Then in anticipation of our study of the Islamic Empire beginning this week, we went down to the BYU Museum of Art last week for their “Beauty and Belief” exhibit which was a collection of arts of Islamic culture.  Daddy had a free afternoon and was able to go with us and we all thoroughly enjoyed the exhibit.  There were so many beautiful pieces of artwork, sculpture, manuscripts, and other artifacts in a style that we don’t normally see.  The museum also had a hands-on exploration room that we spent some time in and where I was able to get some take home cards with activities on the back that we look forward to using, as well as a fabulous book list.

Afterwards we enjoyed some yummy ice cream at the BYU Creamery and drove by both apartments I lived in while I went to school there.  (It may be the last time I see Harris Hall–most of Heritage Halls has been torn down and is in the middle of reconstruction.)

At home for history, we read all about the Byzantines in our Learning through History magazine and Story of the World.  I was this close to buying Famous Men of the Middle Ages when I realized we already own it, so A read about Muhammad in that and did a notebook page on him.  He also outlined from an essay on the Byzantines in one of our almanacs of world history.  We’re slowly ramping up the writing output.  He and C did mapwork on the Byzantine Empire, and C and D colored the Hagia Sophia.  They also learned about the 5 Pillars of Islam and made a notebook page.  I was so impressed with D’s work.  For years now, he’s been the little brother (in schoolwork)and I haven’t expected as much from him as from the other two, but I looked at his 5 Pillars, neatly colored and cut out and realized that he has really come a long way.

Here are some more books we read:

D began a poetry copywork book this week on Sara Coleridge’s poem “A Calendar.”  He copies each couplet and then draws a picture to go with it, or something like that.  February’s is a picture of Daddy and a birthday cake because Dad’s birthday is in February.  It makes sense to his mind, even though it has nothing to do with the poem.  (I need to check his copywork a little more closely though as I now notice a few errors.)

We also added in spelling!  I love All About Spelling, but it has so many different parts and pieces, cards, and letter magnets.  I just can’t deal with it.  I’ve had How to Teach Spelling with the accompanying workbooks sitting here since last fall which I never implemented because I couldn’t seem to wrap my head around how to do it.  I finally gave each kid a workbook and had them get to it. A doesn’t really need it; he’s a natural speller, but I want him to learn the spelling rules.  C has terrible spelling after not doing it for over a year, and D just needed to start somewhere.  I think it will be a good thing.

Other language arts: D is reading so well.  I just need to remember to pull out actual books for him to read once in a while.  Grammar is going well for everyone and we have played with prepositional phrases in Killgallon this week.  In poetry, we learned about stanzas.

Memory work has been less than stellar this week, but I think the boys are proficient at Matthew 5:14-16 (Let your light so shine…) and “Afternoon on a Hill” by Edna St. Vincent Millay.  Latin vocabulary is coming along nicely but I need to add science vocabulary to our memory sessions.

Speaking of Latin, C finished lessons 7 and 8, and got 100% on the one quiz I remembered to give him.  A finished lesson 24 and only missed 2 or 3 words on the quiz and is one page away from finishing lesson 25.

And speaking of science, we’ve been learning about stars and constellations.  All three boys had the same experiment last week, which was figuring out why stars twinkle.  We were supposed to make shoebox planetariums this week, but I have yet to track down a suitable shoebox.  A and C labelled the life cycle of a star and the stars’ names in Ursa Major while D and I read about different constellations.

Math is going well, thanks to Khan Academy.  D has remembered how to subtract with borrowing.  C is still a little shaky on long division, but it’s coming along, and A finished his section on ratios and is working on a review.

We got to geography two weeks in a row as we read about Seabird and labelled our maps.  And decided that working on a 19th-century whaling ship would have been a revolting and smelly job.

For literature, A and I finally began Beowulf together and learned about allusions (as opposed to illusions) when the author referenced Cain and Abel.  So far we’re enjoying it but we don’t have a set time for reading together and I’ve forgotten about it more days than I care to admit.  And apparently we’re supposed to read The Hobbit by Oct. 16. My understanding was we’d have it read by December because it’s long.  And I always forget about reading aloud.   That’s what I get for missing book club.  I couldn’t even find our copy so I had to go buy a new paperback.  Every library copy and the audiobook is checked out with a long waiting list.  You’d think the movie was coming out or something and everyone’s trying to read it ahead of time.  

So we missed book club–

One of DH’s . . . colleagues, shall we say, (oh, if I could only talk about DH’s job here, I’d have blog fodder for months) called Monday afternoon and asked if he could borrow A and C for a photo shoot Tuesday afternoon.  Wearing winter clothes.  So after heading to a Constitution Day picnic (or what we thought was a picnic until we got to the park and found no people and no food, and if you’re going to call it a Constitution Day picnic why can’t you hold it on Constitution Day instead of the Friday before for  idiots like me who don’t read emails too closely but just see the words “Constitution Day?”), after that, and dinner at Five Guys instead, we ended up scrounging through all the winter clothes and trying to figure out whose coats were too small (A, E) and who needed long pants without holes in the knees (everybody) before hitting the stores.  And it’s really too early to buy winter coats, in case you were wondering.  But DH found a coat for A which then didn’t even end up being used for the shoot (color coordinating and stuff like that.)  But now he’s set for winter.  And next winter.  And maybe the winter after that.  DH buys things big.

And the photo shoot was kind of fun, except people looked at us funny as we were walking into the building on a hot sunny afternoon wearing long sleeves and pants and carrying parkas and hats.  They had lots of treats for the kids though after it was over so naturally the boys thought it was a fabulous experience.  (And we probably have enough sugar in our system to get us through Halloween.)

And we went to scouts and orchestra and a family history conference and a baby shower and D started piano lessons.

Oh!  I almost forgot E’s learning time.  I can’t seem to do a theme in one week, so last week we continued with the horse theme and then began sheep.  There were many more books read about sheep than horses (and stars?)  I may have gone overboard a little.  He sure loves Sheep in a Jeep though.

We also added diamonds, the letter C, and the number 3 to the learning poster.  He is so proud of his wooly sheep.  He really loved gluing the cotton balls on. He also had fun cutting out shapes with playdough and playing a shape matching file folder game.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. denise gonda permalink
    September 23, 2012 10:26 pm

    I haven’t been blogging much lately and haven’t seen yours for months! It is great! You are amazing! I love to see the start of the new school year! I wish I could send my kids to your school 🙂

  2. October 1, 2012 10:46 am

    You guys sound so productive! I just love reading Weekly Wrap-up posts; I should write one more often. I’m with you though: bloggable stuff takes up the blogging time. I used to post nearly every day. I can’t imagine being able to do that consistently now. There’s just so much to do

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