Day 121

Two weeks ago was The Great Stomach Bug of 2016.  We’re now in the throes of chest colds. But, mean mom that I am, I’m still having the kids do school.  I’m allowing them to do school in their beds, though. I gave them the day off from music. Here’s the rundown for our “sick day”:

N (age 11):

  • Math: N had an assessment today.
  • Spelling: N practiced her “ai,” “ay,” “oa,” and “ow” words. She’s definitely a little foggy-headed today.
  • Writing: N is continuing her written description of our house.
  • Reading: N read another chapter of I am Malala.
  • History: N and C learned about the ancient civilization of Crete.  I was able to apply their recent lesson on tsunamis to the lesson (isn’t it great to make connections in learning?), and they recalled the videos they watched of the Banda Aceh tsunami of 2004. They learned about bull jumping and about the legend of Theseus and the Minotaur. They located Athens, Crete, Thera, and the Aegean Sea on a map. They colored a picture of bull jumpers and traced their way through a labyrinth to the Minotaur. N did supplement reading and note-taking on ancient Crete.
  • Logic: I put this off for the day.  I’ll make it up on another day when she’s feeling a bit better.

C (age 9):

  • Math: I skipped the usual story problem and times tables practice with C in an effort to quickly finish the only class that requires the classroom whiteboard. C learned how to divide a three-digit number by a one-digit number.  We used play money at first, and then she practiced with just pencil and paper.  While she understands the concept, my right-brained girl needs a little practice solving it on paper. She’ll have ample opportunity to practice in the future.
  • Spelling: C practiced her words using hard and soft C and G. She’s also a bit foggy-headed, but I think she’ll be ready for an assessment pretty soon.
  • Writing: C was introduced to the idea of organizing information in a logical way.  She wrote two lists.  The first list was of all the classes during the day that she enjoys.  The second list was of all the extracurricular activities she does during the day (eating, playing with the neighbor kids, watching movies, doing independent work, chores, etc.).
  • Reading: C read another chapter of Moby Dick (abridged).
  • History: Combined class with N. C didn’t do the supplemental reading or notes.
  • Manga: C asked if we could do this later during the week.

S (age 6):

  • Math: S and I practiced counting to 100.  I dug out my 100-number chart so that I could point to each of the numbers as we counted.  This should help with her number recognition. Then, S learned how to copy different patterns (e.g., ABB, AB, ABBC, etc.) and to identify and read the AB patterns.
  • Reading: S reviewed G by using a printout from The Measured Mom on the letter G. She colored in all the pictures that began with the soft or hard G sound.  We sang the alphabet song together.  She identified the letter H on our alphabet poster. I read her a poem about hippos, and she located all the capital Hs in the poem. Finally, we played a rhyming game. I said a sentence, but left off the last word; she had to find a rhyme to complete the sentence (e.g. “I saw a purple bunny, and he looked very ___________” [funny]).
  • Writing: S copied a worksheet page of capital Hs.
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Day 120

Saturday was a make-up day for any work that N and C didn’t finish on our extremely unproductive Monday.  It turns out it wasn’t quite as unproductive as I thought because the longest subjects were finished on Monday and I doubled up the kids’ work a bit on Tuesday.  So, Saturday was a pretty light day.

N (age 11):

  • Reading: N read a chapter of I am Malala.
  • Spelling: N practiced her “ai,” “ay,” “oa,” and “ow” words.
  • Spanish: N finished up the independent work she had left for her current lesson.

C (age 9):

  • Reading: C read a chapter of Moby Dick (abridged).
  • Spelling: C completed the workbook practice for her new spelling lesson focusing on hard and soft C and G sounds.
  • Math: C completed an unfinished worksheet.

S (age 6):

  • Math: Flashcard review for number recognition.
  • Reading: Flashcard review for letter recognition.  Then, I read her a chapter of Charlotte’s Web.

Day 119

“Fun Friday!”  Projects and movies and art!

N (age 11):

  • Reading: N read two chapters of I am Malala.
  • Science: I performed an experiment for N and C. for the experiment, I was supposed to pour blue-colored, salt-saturated water into a clear container of plain water the deeper blue salt-saturated water was supposed to settle at the bottom and not move as much as the lighter blue water on the surface when the bowl was agitated.  The experiment would have been a dismal failure (the water didn’t separate like the book said it would) but for the fact that the clear container I poured it into had a white film on the bottom of it from being microwaved.  The kids thought the white film was the salt water which, of course, didn’t move when the container was agitated.  Score! The girls also watched Jacques Cousteau’s “Voyage to the Edge of the World.”
  • History: N and C researched artists’ renderings of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon and then drew their own interpretation of it.
  • Geography: N and C filled in their South and Central America maps, and then filled in all the countries they’ve learned so far on their Middle East maps.
  • Art: N and C practiced intermediate contour by drawing crooked steps and floating pencils.
  • Music: N is continuing last week’s song.  I worked with her on her timing.

C (age 9):

  • Reading: C read a chapter of Moby Dick (abridged).
  • Science: Combined class with N.
  • History: Combined class.
  • Geography: Combined class.
  • Art: Combined class.
  • Music: C began a new song.  It’s in G Major and is in 3/4 timing.  That particular timing has proven to be very tricky for my kids.  I think it’s time to break out the metronome next week.  C does better with a metronome.

S (age 6):

  • Math: S and I counted to 100 together.  Then, we made a pictograph of each family member’s favorite winter activity, grouped as “indoor activities” and “outdoor activities.”  We interpreted the pictograph.
  • Reading: S completed a coloring sheet review of the letter F.  We sang the alphabet song together and she located the letter G. I read her a poem about goldfish. She colored a picture of the letter G in a goldfish bowl and glued construction paper seaweed around the letter.  We played a physical rhyming game today: We sat together on the floor.  I said pairs of words.  If the words rhymed, she stood up; if the words didn’t rhyme, she stayed seated. I read S a chapter of Charlotte’s Web.
  • Writing: S copied the capital letter G on a worksheet I made for her.

Day 118

It was a pretty standard day.  It wasn’t spectacular and it wasn’t horrible.  It was a day.  And if it’s not a bad day, it’s a good day!

N (age 11):

  • Math: N did some mental math and completed a worksheet on fraction simplification.  Then, she learned how to us a scale factor to solve a ratio problem.  It’s basically a real-world application of fraction concepts that she’s been working on for weeks now, so it was an easy lesson that she completed quickly.  It was followed by the standard 30-problem lesson review.
  • Spelling: N practiced her words with the vowel pairs “ai,” “ay,” “oa,” and “ow.”
  • Writing: The second paragraph of the body of N’s descriptive paper about our house describes the functions of the rooms (who spends time in them and what’s done in them).
  • Reading: N read another chapter of I am Malala.
  • Science: N and C researched Jacques Cousteau’s contributions to science and wrote a paragraph or two about him.
  • Geography: N and C filled in all the countries they know so far on their Middle East maps.  Then, they learned about the country of Georgia.  They loved looking up pictures of the rustic villages that were such a contrast to the futuristic looking cities in places like Bahrain and Kuwait.
  • Spanish: N read a selection in Spanish, translated it into English, and answered comprehension questions about it. She also completed her workbook activities for the current lesson.
  • Music: The usual. This lesson introduced eighth notes, which are still a bit tricky for her. I’m going to have her continue the same lesson for at least another week to ensure mastery.

C (age 9):

  • Math: C figured out a story problem and a function, she practiced her 7 and 9 times tables, and reviewed the perfect squares to 100.  Then, she learned how to identify lines of symmetry.  It involved a lot of cutting and folding and drawing, so my right-brained girl really enjoyed the lesson.  She completed a lesson review worksheet and a division problem worksheet.
  • Spelling: C had an assessment.  She misspelled a word that she’d gotten correct every time we practiced.  I had her write the misspelled word five times correctly.
  • Writing: C rewrote her story about a child playing a practical joke, but this time she included the characters’ thoughts and feelings.
  • Reading: C read another chapter of Moby Dick (abridged).
  • Science: Combined class with N.
  • Geography: Combined class with N.
  • Music: The usual practice routine.

S (age 6):

  • Math: S practiced sorting.  I gave her four construction paper shapes (squares, triangles, circles, and rectangles) in three colors each (red, yellow, and blue).  I told her to sort them any way she wished.  She sorted them by shape.  Then, I had her explain to me how she sorted them.
  • Reading: We did a flashcard review of A-F. Then, I read S a chapter of Charlotte’s Web.
  • Handwriting: I made S a custom worksheet of the letters she’s learned so far to copy.

Day 117

Like all Wednesdays, today was pretty heavy on the independent work.  And like most Wednesday, the kids were pretty heavy on procrastination – ha ha!  The oldest two have been picking away at their work periodically.  Most likely, they’ll end up finishing tonight after the younger three go to bed or in addition to school tomorrow.

N (age 11):

  • Math: N worked on mental math and a problem sheet about converting measurements.  Her lesson was on finding the area of a triangle.  It was quick and easy, and she was able to finish her 30-problem lesson review with ease.
  • Spelling: N did her workbook exercises for her new lesson on words containing the vowel pairs ai, ay, oa, and ow.
  • Writing: N began the body of her paragraph about her house.  She described the layout of the house, but she had to do it in a way that sounded descriptive rather than like a tour of the house.
  • Reading: N read another chapter of I am Malala. She’s been reading it aloud to C, and C wants it to be the next book she reads for class.
  • Science: N and C copied the definitions of words related to the ocean, along with their Latin and Greek derivatives.
  • History: N and C learned about the rise of Babylon after the death of Ashurbanipal, the madness of King Nebuchadnezzar, and the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. They located Babylon on a map and found the cities that were destroyed when Babylon conquered other empires. N did supplemental reading on Babylon and took notes.
  • Spanish: N watched her new DVD lesson about a noisy cat.  She practiced the new vocabulary and answered some comprehension questions about the readings on the DVD.
  • Music: The usual.

C (age 9):

  • Math: C began her lesson by solving a story problem, practicing her 6, 8, and 12 times tables, and completing two worksheets (one on subtraction and one on division).  Her lesson introduced her to exponents.  She’s having a little trouble with the concept, but some reviews through the next few lessons should solidify it in her mind.  She completed a lesson review sheet.
  • Spelling: C practiced her words with one and two syllables.  She’ll take an assessment tomorrow.
  • Writing: C wrote a short story about a child playing a practical joke, but she made sure not to let the reader know what any of the characters were thinking.
  • Reading: C read another chapter of Moby Dick (abridged).
  • Science: Combined class.
  • History: Combined class.
  • Music: The usual.

S (age 6):

  • Math: S and I counted to 100 together.  Then, she learned how to create and read an AABB color pattern using her linking cubes.  She does very well with patterns.
  • Reading: S reviewed the letter E using one of her printables from The Measured Mom. We sang the alphabet song together, and she identified the letter F.  I read her a short poem about fat frogs, and she identified all the capital Fs in the poem.  She colored a picture of a capital F draped in frogs.  We played the rhyming game where I show here three pictures, two of which rhyme, and she has to pick out the non-rhyming picture. I read her a chapter of Charlotte’s Web.  The girl loves bugs and she’s really enjoying the story.
  • Writing: S copied a custom worksheet of capital Fs.

Day 116

Yesterday just didn’t pan out.  Every plan I had went awry.  It was just one of those days that didn’t work.  For my sanity, I called the day a wash after attempting a couple of classes.  We’ll make the day up on Saturday.  Now, for the record, I would typically take this week off because of our “Sabbath Schooling” schedule.  But, it’s been so dreary out since Sunday that the kids are at each other’s throats with the slightest provocation, and I’m currently motivated to start summer vacation early.  So, school it is!

N (age 11):

  • Math: N did her mental math and a worksheet on simplifying fractions.  Then, we studied liquid capacity.  This, admittedly, has always been a bit of a tough concept for her, even when we used hands-on methods. I think it will have to just be something she memorizes. Then, she completed her lesson review.
  • Reading: N read another chapter of I am Malala.
  • Spelling: N completed a review of the previous five lessons.  Tomorrow, she’ll begin work on a new lesson.
  • Writing: N wrote the introduction to her descriptive paper about our house.  It contained information such as where it is situated, when it was built, how many rooms it has, how many people live in it, etc.
  • History: N and C studied the re-emergence of the Assyrian Empire under Asherbanipal. They located the Assyrian Empire and its capitol on a map. N did supplemental reading on the Assyrian Empire and took notes.
  • Science: N and C learned about the ocean floor and how it expands, the tides, ocean currents, and waves.
  • Geography: After filling in the countries they already know on their Middle East maps, N and C learned about Azerbaijan.
  • Social Studies: The girls reviewed the first six amendments.  I stressed the importance of knowing their rights, because not knowing their rights could make it easier for someone to take them away. I’ll continue to review the amendments even after we’ve finished our study on the Bill of Rights to ensure that the girls have memorized them. I told them about the Seventh Amendment and we talked about why it’s important.
  • Logic: N learned about generalizations, and about weak generalizations versus strong generalizations. Then, I gave N hypothetical scenarios to help her identify generalizations from facts.
  • Music: The usual.

C (age 9):

  • Math: C did a division worksheet and practiced measuring distance on a map using a scale. Then, she learned about telling time using minutes to the hour (e.g. “quarter of …,” “five minutes to …,” etc.). She finished up her math class by completing a lesson review worksheet.
  • Reading: C read another chapter of Moby Dick (abridged).
  • Spelling: C practiced her one- and two-syllable words.  I’ll give her one more day of practice before the next assessment.
  • History: Combined class.  C didn’t do the supplemental reading and notes.
  • Science: Combined class.
  • Geography: Another combined class.
  • Social Studies: Yet another combined class.
  • Music: The usual.

S (age 6):

  • Math: I played store with S again.  All the items were priced between 1 and 10 cents.  I gave her ten pennies, and she bought as many items as she could before she ran out of money.  Then, she organized the items from the most expensive to the least expensive.  I saw some improvement in number recognition.
  • Reading: S began by reviewing the letter D using one of the printables from The Measured Mom. Then, we sang the alphabet song and she picked out the letter E on the alphabet poster. I read her a short poem about elephants with flappy ears and eyes as big as eggs who begged for peanuts. Next, she played Memory with 8 pairs of rhyming pictures.  This time, I turned the pictures upside-down so that she had to remember the rhyme and its location. Finally, I read her the next chapter of Charlotte’s Web.
  • Writing: S practiced writing capital E on one of the custom worksheets I made for her from Worksheetworks.com.

Day 115

The weather was so nice over the weekend that the kids spent a lot of time outdoors.  We spread out school over the weekend.

N (age 11):

  • Reading: N read another chapter of I am Malala.
  • Science: N and C created a tornado in a jar using water, vinegar, and dish soap.  We’d done this experiment before, but they were still excited to do it again. Too bad we’re a glitter-free home, because that could’ve represented the debris in the tornado.
  • History: N and C baked Assyrian sebetu rolls from a 3,700 year old recipe.  Of course, there were a couple of substitutions. They weren’t thrilled with the flavor, but they got an idea of what the ancient Assyrians used to eat. The recipe was found in a book called Ancient Egyptians and Their Neighbors: An Activity Guide.  This is a great book, because (as I’ve mentioned previously) it’s unbelievably difficult to find kid books about the ancient Middle East.
  • Geography: N and C completed maps of South and Central America, and filled in all the Middle Eastern countries they know so far.
  • Art: I let N and C do their own art project this weekend.  They both did some Manga, and N did a picture with her oil pastels.
  • Spanish: N finished up her Spanish homework and reviewed this week’s DVD lesson.
  • Music: N is still working on last week’s lesson.  She hasn’t yet mastered the piece.

C (age 9):

  • Reading: C read another chapter of Moby Dick (abridged).
  • Science: Combined class.
  • History: Combined class.
  • Geography: Combined class.
  • Art: Combined class.
  • Music: C is still working on last week’s song to get her timing just right.

S (age 6):

  • Math: Flash card day for number recognition through 11.
  • Reading: I read S a chapter of Charlotte’s Web. S read one of her favorite B.O.B. Books, Mat, to me.
  • Handwriting: S practiced writing her name.