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Week 6, 7, 8

October 13, 2013

I hadn’t intended to go three weeks between school updates again, but apparently that’s how it goes.  (I’ll just blame it on concert prep; see previous post!)  I even took notes on week 6 but then never hit publish and here we are up to 8 weeks and our first real break  (which we are sorely in need of!)  I must say that we’ve seen some incredible work happening around here.  It’s like we all know we need to work hard before this baby comes or something . . .

Anyway, I almost hate to mention it; I don’t want to jinx whatever it is we’ve got going on around here!  But I am very pleased with what we’re accomplishing lately.  Not that we don’t have our bad days, by any means, and I’m sure I’ve said it before, but I’ve really seen a step up in maturity and willingness to work harder this year by everybody.

Here’s the rundown (and I’m sure I’ll miss something; that’s what I get for trying to sum up 3 weeks’ worth of work.)

D (3rd grade)

  • Learned about action verbs, linking verbs, and adverbs in grammar and began sentence diagramming
  • IEW key word outlines on paragraphs about seahorses and the first moon landing, then moved on to actual paragraph rewrites from IEW’s All Things Fun and Fascinating and completed two little stories with a lot of my help.
  • Worked on -ck, -k, -ed, -ing words in spelling
  • Math was working with measurement (kg, g, lb, oz) and capacity (ml, liters.)  He does great except when needing to borrow when subtracting and still needs more practice with long division.
  • Logic: comparing shapes and dividing shapes into equals portions, also completed a 9×9 sudoku puzzle
  • Latin: has memorized all the vocabulary, practical Latin, and Latin sayings up through lesson 6 (which is all I really expect in Prima Latina plus the few Latin chants towards the end of the book.)  He really likes being independent with this, watching the dvd lesson all by himself and faithfully going through his vocabulary cards every day.
  • Read The Water Horse and Mr. Potter’s Pet, both by Dick King-Smith
  • Of his own accord, made chocolate-chocolate chip muffins for our Primary program practice

C (5th grade)

  • Grammar: Learned about conjunctions, prepositions, interjections, and parts of the sentence
  • Latin: Finished lesson 2 and only missed a few words on the quiz which covered translating verbs in present and perfect tense.  Moved on to lesson 3 (past tense, I think?) and began diagramming sentences in Latin (which supposedly, in his words, “Makes my brain hurt.”)
  • Writing: Did the same two keyword outlines with D in IEW, then rewrote three paragraphs about the Mayflower crossing.
  • Math: Spent a lot of time with multi-digit multiplication (again!)  This is still not C’s favorite subject, but he is making progress. Then moved on to adding and subtracting fractions and converting equivalent fractions.
  • Logic: Also compared shapes and divided them different ways into equal portions
  • Read a book of French Canadian folk tales, Amos Fortune: free man, and Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver, retold by Martin Jenkins

A (7th grade)

  • Grammar: Finished an incredibly long section on verbs and did “verbisections” where he had to list 8 characteristics of the verb in a given sentence: tense, person, number, mood, transitive or not, voice, regular or irregular, and whether they are action, being, or linking verbs.  Then he sped through the sections on adverbs, prepositions, conjunctions, and interjections.  He’s still loving the book and I am learning so much about grammar that I never knew!
  • Writing: started literary analysis in Writing with Skill and analyzed two short stories: “Rikki-Tikki-Tavi” and “The Necklace,” defining protagonist, antagonist, and conflict
  • Latin: finished lesson 3 and only missed a couple of words on the quiz (out of the usual 40 or so answers) and is almost done with lesson 4
  • Math: Circumference and area of circles and semi-circles, including finding the area of various shapes that were a combination of squares, rectangles, and circles, semi-circles, and quarter-circles; then finished the bar graph section of Singapore 6B and is working on reviews at the moment
  • Logic: We’ve taken a break from Art of Argument and have been working through the first 8 or so lessons in Critical Thinking in US History for a change of pace.
  • Also read Gulliver and is almost through Madeleine Takes Command
  • Went to the Scout Jamboral in Tooele

History: We finished up Plymoth Colony by reading and analyzing the Mayflower Compact for the primary source section of their notebooks.  D read some books about life in the colony.  They colored the Mitchell Map, which was one of the earliest maps of the colonies.


We also read about the Middle Passage and slavery, Queen Nzingha, the Dutch settlement in New York, and Roger Williams in Rhode Island, and some books on colonial life, then went off on the Salem Witch Trials for a few days after I realized we’d never studied them before because they weren’t covered in Story of the World.  Then I started wondering what else we’ve missed that I might want to add into this history go-around, but haven’t made a definitive list yet.  Finally we went back to Story of the World and read about the Ottomans which is where we’ll pick up after our break.  Here are some of the books we’ve been reading:



Science: We’re loving The Elements and will probably continue on with Carbon Chemistry when we finish.  In addition to playing the Periodic Table game, we learned about elecrons, valence numbers, how atoms combine into molecules, and had fun with some very silly element riddles.


We did an experiment where we dissolved table salt in water, then evaporated the water in one small puddle quickly with a hairdryer and let the other puddle evaporate on its own overnight, and then compared the difference in the table salt molecules that reformed.  It was pretty interesting and if I’d only done it on a colored plate instead of on a white one it would have been a pretty photograph.  The boys just wish we had more experiments to do along the way with this program.  I’m quite happy with it the way it is (setting up experiments and having them actually turn out well has never been a strength for me) but for their sake, a good solid chemistry set will probably show up at Christmas.


Art:  Although I feel like we could spend an entire year studying his work, we finished up Leonardo Da Vinci, studying Madonna and Child, Virgin of the Rocks, and La Madonna Bernois.

Music: We really had fun.  Music is my thing and I don’t know why I’ve never been consistent with music history before, but it’s been fun to add to what the lessons already say to do.  We listened to the Pearl Fishers duet when we talked about tenor and bass vocal ranges.  Then we moved on to the different instrument families and the seating in an orchestra, which the boys are all familiar with since they come to my symphony concerts.  And in fact C and D attended my concert last weekend where they got to hear Brahms and Sibelius plus a piece by a local composer named Henry Wolking, the Salt Lake City Overture.

In addition to listening to each individual instrument with clips on the DSO website (they thought the contrabassoon was the funniest thing ever!), when we talked about woodwinds we listened to Mozart’s Serenade for Winds, for brass we listened to Canadian Brass clips on YouTube, and when we got to percussion we had a fabulous time watching parts of Stomp Live.  Here’s a look at what our lapbooks from Confessions of a Homeschooler are looking like now:


I think that sums up the big kids!  Then there’s the 3-year-old.  We do well to read some books, trace our letter of the week, and maybe do a small craft project or two.  Anything more than that just isn’t happening!  Although DH came home early one day and I sent him with the boys to the natural history museum for the rest of the afternoon as it was D is for Dinosaur week.




C bought a geode at the museum store and we had fun one night trying to break it open.



We also read or talked about Dogs, Dragons, Daddy, and big brother D, who helped E make a dinosaur from the letter D.

This past week was E is for Effalunts!  (Really Elephants, but the way he says it is so cute!)  And eggs, and elves, and E himself–he certainly knows his letter.  I couldn’t find very many books to read, but he loved making an elephant hand puppet.  


And that’s a good picture to end with. We’re on our way to a much needed break!
One Comment leave one →
  1. October 13, 2013 7:17 am

    It’s so great when you find that groove and things are going well, isn’t it! Your boys look like they are enjoying themselves. We really liked The Elements too – the games are very fun.

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