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Catching up

November 5, 2012

This was to be the week where we settled down to some serious schoolwork.  So naturally, A woke up Monday morning feeling just miserable and spent most of the day prone on the couch.  We rearranged our normal schedule so we could do all of our reading in the morning while he listened.  After lunch, I took the other three dog walking, then to the library, the dollar store, and the grocery store so A could rest in peace before we came home and finished their written work for the day.  Not quite the strong start I would have liked for the week.  I was sick the Saturday night before though and C woke up feeling yucky today and stayed home from church, so something is going around.

I also decided to throw a new unit study into the mix for history, but hadn’t yet had a chance to sit down and figure it all out due to making a last minute costume for a certain 11-year-old Monday and Tuesday nights.  Thursday night I was finally able to print out all the lessons and get some activities organized for Friday and that was primarily what we worked on that day.  Considering we had some Halloween activities in there as well, I’m amazed we got as much accomplished last week as we did.  I’m confident that we’ll get back to a good routine soon . . . just in time for the holidays.  🙂

Considering I’m failing at the weekly report writing gig, once again I’ll just catch up on the past several weeks here–

Math: C finished Singapore 3A!!!  This was a huge accomplishment for him and he is such a hard worker.  He’s still behind (being in 4th grade) but his understanding is increasing and he’s moving forward, so I am happy!  A finished his 6A section on percents, and D is doing great with long division in 3A.  Nothing to complain about there.

Language Arts:  Not our favorite subject, but everyone is doing well.  D did his first dictation exercise and didn’t like it.  I had to remind him that it’s just like spelling a word, only there’s more than one word in each sentence.  He’s also been learning about adjectives in First Language Lessons.  C has been reviewing adjectives and adverbs.  A is on the last section (on clauses) in Grammar Voyage and will start Practice Voyage this week as well as jump back into Writing with Skill (if all goes well.)  In spelling, A and C are learning the different kinds of syllables.  Killgallon sentence exercises have been rather nonexistent lately; I’m not sure why.

Latin: A is ready to take the big review test tomorrow for lesson 28 in First Form covering the five declensions he’s learned in units 3 and 4.  C is also doing great and finished lesson 12 of Latina Christiana this week, although he still needs more flashcard vocabulary review.

Geography: We finished Seabird this week!  They actually finished labelling their maps a few weeks ago when they were in the mood so this week we just had to finish reading the last few chapters.

We’re going to wait until after Christmas to start Minn of the Mississippi and use our geography time to get caught up in science for the next little while.  Because we’re behind in–

Science: I’m not quite sure where we’re supposed to be, but I know we’re not there.  One good thing we have going is that we don’t get hung up on science experiments.  Other years we’ve gotten stalled for weeks (sometimes indefinitely) while the boys wait for me to obtain one crucial item for an experiment.  This year, if we’ve missed something, we just keep going.  Some experiments get done later, some don’t.  That being said, we’re still behind.  But we have talked about the sun, all of the inner planets, and the moon.  They did an experiment with yeast and balloons to see which planet would best sustain life.

We wouldn’t want to live on Venus.

Here are some samples from the boys’ science notebooks, from left to right: D, A, and C:

After labelling the phases of the moon, we replicated them with oreo cookies.

Literature: D is reading so well now, but I keep forget to have him read “real” books, at least with me.  He’s read a few Poppleton books to both of his grandmothers recently.  I need to pull out my Frog and Toad treasury and all the other great Lobel books for him.  C just finished Collum’s Nordic Gods and Heroes and A is in the middle of The Fellowship of the Ring for the second time.  We finished a James Heriot book in the car and read The Hobbit aloud for literature club last week where we had a great time.  Everyone brought a question to ask the group, then we had a treasure hunt with riddles for clues.  The treasure was a gold ring so everyone could say, “My preciousssss.”  We also discussed where we think Peter Jackson will break up the book for his movies and then we had a grand hobbit feast.  It was one of those days I wish I had remembered to take my camera.  For November, we’re reading The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan.

History: Our history club topic a few weeks back was Islam.  All of the children give a presentation.  A and D talked about Islamic art and Moorish architecture, and C, as usual, showed something relevant from his Battle At Sea book.  I think we may need to branch out a little from naval history.  He always does a great job though!  For an activity we made edible oases.

Not that tigers would be found in an Arabian oasis, but the animal cookies we had didn’t contain any camels!

We also brought Ali Baba “Open Sesame” biscuits to eat, which would have been really yummy had A not used baking soda rather than powder.

Then on to the Vikings and the early kings of England.  History club on the Vikings is still 10 days away though and we’re having a hard time moving on.  I find myself not pushing the boys to finish projects and such because “we’ve got until history club to finish this!”  We’ve gotten a little lazy.  The Vikings are fascinating though!  We’re listening to a nonfiction book on Vikings in the car and have enjoyed quite a few other books at home.

We’ve slacked off on writing about history for the past few weeks, but A is caught up on his timeline and has done some nice mapwork as well.  All three have made Viking ships which are waiting for sails.  Hopefully I’ll get back to the fabric store this week and can take pictures of the finished product soon.

I finally remembered to order the brand new Project Passport: The Middle Ages unit study for the boys.  We’ve enjoyed all the units we’ve done from Homeschool in the Woods so far and I was excited to see a middle ages project was coming out this year, just in time for us as we travel through Story of the World 2.  It’s arranged topically rather than chronologically though and I still need to take some time to map out just how to get through it all along with SOTW for the next 6 weeks or so, but I think we’ll have fun with it.  We spent Friday getting our suitcases, passports, and a few other notebook/lapbook elements put together and we’ve already read the lesson on the Vikings and listened to a tour guide take us to a Viking long house.  I like the audio component so far.

This week it’s on to the Battle of Hastings and the Bayeux Tapestry.  Oh, we also talked about King Alfred and made Alfred cakes, and burned them!  I was being so careful (and honestly I think my oven’s being wacky because that’s not the only thing I’ve burned recently) but they were still really yummy.  We’ll try them again for history club in December.

We burnt the cakes, we’re as bad as King Alfred!

Now for the photo dump (I’m catching up on pictures for all the activities we did while Nana was here visiting.)

Dressing up at the natural history museum:


Digging for dinosaur bones:

A is trying to match up the tiles on the wall with the fossil exhibit beneath the glass floor.  Never can a puzzle be left undone!

E playing in the water.  He’s a happy kid, really he is.

E watching the new otter exhibit at the aquarium:

Hiking around the lake (probably for the last time this fall, it was so cold up there!)  The forest service was hard at work clearing out trees so they can widen the trail next spring.  We decided to only go halfway around the lake for safety’s sake as we could hear the sounds of chainsaws and “Timber!!!” on the other side.

Hiking in Little Cottonwood Canyon:

“Mom, pick me up!  Mom, mom, mom…”

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