Friday, March 22, 2013

2 Week Wrap-up

Although this is a two week wrap-up, it’s actually only slightly more than a weeks worth of work.  We had a couple of social activities last week which kept us from getting as much done.  I kind of love that we actually have an amount of work that is typical now.  Our more structured schedule is really working well for all of us.

We learned about the Circulatory System in Science.


We continued to work on numbers in Spanish.  Vicki continued to work on the numbers one to ten, but George learned numbers up to 39.

We continued working on my cell phone number for memory work.

Both kids are continuing to work on the map sections from Evan Moor Beginning Geography.  George will finish first and I will wait for Vicki to catch up before we start Landforms, since there are more projects I want to do in that section.

Art this week was more appreciation than application, although the theme was still lines.  We looked at and discussed the paintings The Purple Robe by Matisse and People and Dog with Sun by Miro.  We discussed the various lines used in each painting.

Purple Robe Art Print

Vicki also discovered our color paddles which I had stuck in the drawer with our art books, and spent some time playing around with different color combinations.   She called combinations like orange and purple “mud".


Our read-aloud for this week was James and the Giant Peach.   The copy we have of this book was originally Stephanie’s, yet I don’t think I’ve ever read it before.  George is enjoying the read-alouds way more than I expected him too.  He would cheer when I would get the book to start reading, and groan and ask for more when I wanted to stop.  Although, unlike when we did Dr. Doolittle, he never asked to read more on his own.  (I’m glad since I really wanted to see how the story ended).  I tried to do the song parts as more of a spoken poetry, but George told me I had to do them “more song-ey”.  I’m not sure what our read-aloud will be for next week.

We spent a little bit of time outside this week looking for signs of Spring.  Vicki did help me replant some crocuses that keep coming up in random places instead of the flower beds.


But a few days later we were able to look for deer tracks in the snow.


Spring is really slow coming this year but we have had a few birds…..


the hyacinths started to come up…


but the rhododendron buds are still tightly closed.  I’ve been planning nature studies lately and I’m glad to see we have these broad-leaf evergreens right in our yard.  One of the things I’d like to do is look at the same areas of the yard once each month and see how they change.


One of our social activities was 4-H Cloverbuds.  We learned about Sewing and Quilts (I haven’t done a full post about this yet since I’m waiting until after our field trip next week).  For our craft activity, they used scrapbook paper cut into triangles, squares and rectangles to make their own quilt patterns.


There were also St. Patrick’s Day stickers for anyone who finished their quilts early.




Vicki finished uppercase letters in HWT and moved on to lowercase.  She seemed excited by the switch for the pages on c and o, but s gave her a lot of trouble.  Her last uppercase page was the entire alphabet and she did a great job with all the letters.  She is now exactly 1/2 way through the kindergarten book.

She made a mistake in her ETC and said to me “I’m sorry teacher.  Can I call you teacher?”.  She’s starting to get better at the spelling sections of ETC.

She has been playing with some of our foam stickers each morning and has started writing stories to go along with her pictures, the way George always does.  She used some jungle themed stickers with snakes, monkeys, vines and trees.  Her story:  “Once up a time, there were snakes and a crocodile in the jungle.  One snake was climbing a hill and one was in a tree.  There were three monkeys on vines that they were going to have for dinner, dessert and lunch.  The only thing the snakes eat is monkeys and elephants but there were no elephants there.”

Vicki is up to Lesson 48 in OPGTR and we’ve started reading through some Dr. Seuss books together.  This week we alternated reading in Fox in Socks and Great Day for Up.  She also read many of her TAG books this week.



George is continuing to do fairly well with spelling.  This week’s lessons taught about contractions.  He did get two words wrong on this week’s test – they’re which he spelled there, and together which he spelled togheter (which is probably closer to how he pronounces it).  We will go over those words again next week. 

George had comic strips to write in his Spectrum Writing book this week.  He had so much fun with these, I may print out some paper with blocks on them for him to do more.  He is almost finished with this book and I don’t plan to get another workbook since we are moving into doing more Brave Writer activities.

“Weedman is stuck on an island in the ocean.  Super Build comes and brings stuff and builds him a house.”


“Weedman’s (a different Weedman) house is on fire.  Super Water comes and puts out the fire.”


George decided to also get creative with his handwriting this week, until I explained to him the purpose of handwriting was to write the letters correctly.   Between all the embellishments he did here, and on many of his other worksheets this week (drawing people on the maps in Beginning Geography) it’s no wonder his hand was hurting a lot this week.


George is still really enjoying The Wand activities.  This week covered a couple more irregular verbs, and homophones.   He is doing a great job with the copywork (much better than his HWT) and doesn’t complain about it at all.   I spent a lot of time trying to decide if I wanted to use the French Dictation for memory work or for listening.  Since memory isn’t something that is a problem for George, I decided listening may be the way to go, since that seems to be more of a problem for him.   So, even though we were doing Week 3 using Frog and Toad Together, I used the copywork from Week 4 as our French Dictation.  He was able to fill in all the blanks on the harder selection with only two readings.

He is continuing to do well with Evan Moor Reading Comprehension 4th Grade.  This week he learned about bombadier beetles, The Copper Scroll, and Canberra and Washington DC.  He’s never gotten more than one question wrong and if asked can correct himself.



Vicki is still working on Addition in MM1A.  She is definitely starting to have some of the facts memorized and is starting to answer much faster, without looking at the numbers on her bulletin board.   We did start doing some drill using playing cards.  I printed out a page with a card size square on top.  I gave her all the black number cards (Ace through 10) and I put one red number card in the box.  She would then put down all the combinations that added up to the number in the box.  The second day I pulled it out, she declared “I LOVE this game!” so hopefully it will help cement some more of the facts.

She’s also enjoying the Evan Moor Skill Sharpeners Math 1st grade.  These pages usually have much fewer problems per page than MM so I’m more likely to have her do the writing herself on them.  The exception is when MM has number lines.  She really enjoys writing the little jumps on the number lines.


George has almost finished the multiplication table chapter from MM3A, and we just added in the place value chapter from MM4A and the fractions chapter from MM4B.  He thought both the new chapters were “too easy” but he is still at the parts that are mostly review, so we’ll see how they go.

He’s enjoying the skip counting chapter in Beast Academy and actually chose to do a couple pages on his own (those are something I usually sit with him for).   He did get the correct answers but definitely not in the intended way.

He has almost finished the Scholastic Algebra Readiness Made Easy 3rd Grade book so I’m hoping they will have another Dollar Days soon so I can pick-up some more logic puzzles for him.  We’ve done a few grid puzzles from Evan Moor and he seems to like them but there aren’t many.

He’s also almost done with his Scholastic Math Riddles – Addition and Subtraction.  He usually does well with these but if there’s too many days in between, he forgets all about how to borrow when doing subtraction.



  1. I have to say, it certainly seems like there is a steady progress of learning. We so often loose our structure in homeschooling but when we pull it back in again wonderful things take place. Great hands on happening!

  2. Thank you BethAnne. Structured is not my normal state-of-being but I'm definitely seeing the benefits for the kids.