Day 154

Today was a flurry of activity this morning because of birthday preparations for my Dad. The kids are very festive and love making a big deal out of every possible holiday and event. I almost gave them the day off, but decided to push through after we finished lunch and “the grumpies” were setting in.

N (age 11):

  • Math: N caught up on some of her math homework and then applied her knowledge of measurements and temperature to bake a cake with no assistance or supervision.
  • Spelling: N did the workbook exercises for her new lesson on the vowel digraphs “ou,” “ow,” “oi,” and “oy.”
  • Reading: N read a chapter of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.
  • Bible: N and C recited their memory verses and the books of the Old Testament. S and H (age 4) joined in. The girls learned the story of Joseph and Potiphar’s wife. We talked about how God kept His promise to be with Joseph. Even though bad things happened to Joseph, God was there and caused him to succeed even in less-than-desirable circumstances.
  • Science: N and C got a break today because there were no scientists to research this week.
  • Geography: N and C filled out their Middle East maps. The filled in all the countries they know in Southeast Asia. The lesson was on the country of Bhutan. It’s very difficult to find information on Bhutan. It was much easier to find photos of that very picturesque country.
  • Music: The usual.

C (age 9):

  • Math: C warmed up with her mental math and a worksheet on addition. Her lesson reviewed subtracting two-digit numbers using regrouping. She finished her lesson review.
  • Spelling: C did the workbook exercises reviewing the last five lessons.
  • Reading: C read a chapter of Goddess Girls: Pheme the Gossip.
  • Bible: Combined class with N.
  • Science: Free time!
  • Geography: Combined class with N.
  • Music: Chord transitions.

S (age 6):

  • Math: S did the counting warm-ups by herself today, with me correcting the few errors that she made. Today, she surveyed my friends on FB to learn the different types of pets that people have. She made a pictograph of the information, and then she interpreted the information she had graphed.
  • Reading: S reviewed the letter Y with a worksheet from The Measured Mom. She and I sang the alphabet song together, and she located the letter Z on the alphabet chart. I read her a short poem about a zebra with zig-zag stripes. She colored a picture of the letter Z with a zebra. We looked at picture cards and practiced saying the words of each picture slowly and at normal speed (e.g. “aaaaannnnnntttttt” and “ant”). I read some more My Side of the Mountain.
  • Writing: S copied the letter Z using a custom worksheet.

Day 153

I bribed the girls into doing school quickly so we could have some time at the park in the afternoon. N ended up doing some of her work at the park, but it was a pretty effective bribe overall.

N (age 11):

  • Math: N and I spent some time reviewing concepts that are a bit sticky for her. She still needs some work on memorizing geometric formulas.
  • Spelling: C gave N her spelling assessment. She got one word wrong, and copied it correctly five times.
  • Reading: N read a chapter of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.
  • Bible: N and C learned recited their memory verses and the books of the Old Testament. They sang the song about the twelve tribes of Israel. The lesson was on Joseph’s fancy coat and on Joseph being sold into slavery. We talked more about sibling relationships and about Reuben being the voice of reason. We talked about how they would feel about having Joseph as a brother.
  • History: N and C learned about the Punic Wars and Hannibal. They located Carthage and Rome on a map, and traced Hannibal’s path over the Alps on elephants. N did supplement reading on the Punic Wars and took notes.
  • Science: N and C copied definitions for words related to sedimentary rock.
  • Music: The usual.

C (age 9):

  • Math: C warmed up with mental math and a worksheet on addition.  Her lesson was on two concepts. The first was subtracting two-digit and three-digit numbers. The second was finding missing two-digit addends in a problem. She finished her lesson review.
  • Spelling: N gave C her spelling assessment. C aced it.
  • Reading: C read Goddess Girls: Pheme the Gossip until her Kindle ran out of batteries (a little longer than 20 minutes).
  • Bible: Combined class with N.
  • History: Combined class with N. C didn’t do the supplement reading or notes.
  • Science: Combined class with N.
  • Music: C practiced chord transitions.

S (age 6):

  • Math: S and I did the usual counting exercises to warm up. We used the hundred-number chart for number recognition. Her lesson continued what she learned yesterday by teaching her to arrange objects by length (from shortest to longest).
  • Reading: S did her review sheet on the letter X from The Measured Mom. She and I sang the alphabet song, and she located the letter Y on the alphabet chart. I read her a short poem about yaks knitting sweaters. She colored a picture of the letter Y with a knitting yak. I read a short story to S and left off the beginning sounds of some words so she could correct me (e.g. I said, “Last night, I couldn’t -leep” and S said, “Sleep!”). I read her some more of My Side of the Mountain.
  • Writing: S practiced writing the letter Y on a custom worksheet. Y is notoriously tricky for my kids.  Like K.

Day 152

Tuesday was pretty easy for me because there wasn’t a lot of instructional time.  I like this “kids getting older and doing their work independently” phase, I must say.

N (age 11):

  • Math: N did mental math and a worksheet on linear measurement conversions. Her lesson was on transversals.  She learned how to identify corresponding angles, alternate interior angles, and alternate exterior angles. She learned how to find the measurements of angles when the transversal crosses parallel lines. She did her lesson review.
  • Spelling: N practiced her words using “ie” and “ie” as vowel pairs and vowel digraphs.
  • Reading: N read a chapter of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.
  • Bible: N and C recited their memory verses and the books of the Old Testament. We sang the song about the twelve tribes of Israel. Their lesson was on Joseph being Jacob’s favorite, and how that theme played out again and again in his family from the time of Abraham. We talked about Joseph’s character flaws and his relationship with his brothers.
  • Science: N and C learned more about sedimentary rocks and their formation. This new schedule of splitting the reading between two days worked out really well this week. Successful tweaking!
  • Geography: N and C filled out their maps of the Middle East and all the countries they’ve learned so far on their maps of Southeast Asia. They learned about the country of Nepal and about Sir Edmund Hilary.
  • Social Studies: N and C reviewed the Bill of Rights. They learned about the presidential campaign once the nominees are chosen, and about the evolution of the date of inauguration. They learned about all the pairs of presidents who were related.
  • Music: The usual.

C (age 9):

  • Math: After warming up with mental math and worksheet on addition, C reviewed adding two three-digit numbers using regrouping. She finished a lesson review.
  • Spelling: C practiced her words using different spellings of the long “i” sound.
  • Reading: C read Goddess Girls: Pheme the Gossip for 20 minutes.
  • Bible: Combined class with N.
  • Science: Combined class with N.
  • Geography: Combined class with N.
  • Social Studies: Combined class with N.
  • Music: C practiced chord transitions on the ukulele.

S (age 6):

  • Math: S practiced counting to 100 by 1s and 10s using the hundred-number chart to aid in number recognition. She counted backwards from 10 to 1. Her lesson was on comparing length, and identifying “shorter” and “longer.”
  • Reading: S did a review sheet on the letter W from The Measured Mom. She and I sang the alphabet song together, and she identified the letter X on the alphabet chart. I read her a short poem about an exploring fox, and she pointed out all the Xs she could find in the poem. She colored a picture of a fox and the letter X. We played a game called “Copycat.” I said a word and she said the word without the beginning sound (e.g. I said “mouse” and she said “ouse”). I read her some of My Side of the Mountain.
  • Writing: S practiced writing the letter X on a custom worksheet.

Day 151

Monday started late because N and C had to clean their room, bathroom, and bonus room. It was a disaster.  Seriously. After the cleaning, the kids still had to do school and their regular chores.  It was a busy day.

N (age 11):

  • Math: N warmed up with mental math and a worksheet on fraction simplification. Her lesson was on finding the rule for a function, solving the function, and then graphing the function on a coordinate plane. It’s not as difficult as it sounds, and she got through it pretty quickly. She was assigned a lesson review that she put off completing.
  • Spelling: N practiced her words using “ei” and “ie” as vowel pairs and vowel digraphs.
  • Reading: N read a chapter of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.
  • Bible: N and C started memorizing a new verse (Exodus 20:8-9) and recited the books of the Old Testament. They learned about the rivalry between Leah and Rachel, and they learned about the death of Rachel. And then they started learning the Twelve Tribes of Israel (to the tune of “Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer”).
  • Science: N and C began learning about the three types of sedimentary rock and how they are formed. Dividing up the science reading seems to be paying off. The lesson was faster and kept the kids’ attention.
  • History: N and C learned about the Roman gods and about the life of a gladiator. They located Sicily on their maps and learned how to quickly identify both Italy and Sicily (the boot kicking the rock). N did supplemental reading about the Roman gods and gladiators, and she took notes.
  • Logic: N learned to define and identify the Proof by Lack of Evidence fallacy. She practiced identifying fallacies she’s already learned.
  • Music: The usual.

C (age 9):

  • Math: C warmed up with mental math and a worksheet on subtraction. Her lesson was on the different methods for finding a missing number in a subtraction problem. It was a little tricky for her at first, but she caught on and completed a lesson review.
  • Spelling: C practiced her words with different spellings of the long “i” sound.
  • Reading: C read Goddess Girls: Pheme the Gossip for 20 minutes.
  • Bible: Combined class with N.
  • Science: Combined class with N.
  • History: Combined class with N. C didn’t do the supplement reading or notes.
  • Music: C practiced chord transitions on the ukulele.

S (age 6): Mondays have unofficially become flashcard review day for S. I find that it helps to give her a little refresher course at the beginning of the week. I also overheard her teaching the alphabet and handwriting to H (her four-year-old sister), which is a great assessment!

Day 150

After a busy weekend, I’m just now getting to blogging about “Fun Friday” while N and C do some independent work on this lovely Monday morning.

N (age 11):

  • Reading: N read a chapter of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.
  • Bible: N and C practiced their memory verses and recited the books of the Old Testament. They learned about Jacob being tricked by Laban, and both of the girls decided that Jacob deserved a taste of his own medicine.
  • Science: N and C concluded that the rock flower bloomed best in vinegar because vinegar is an acid and the minerals on the rock must be a base.

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Then, I cracked open a geode so N and C could look at the crystal structure formed inside of it.

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  • History: N and C removed the chicken that we mummified five years ago from its salt mixture, and we got a good look at the end product of mummification, right down to the little feather bristles that were still on the chicken’s skin.

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  • Geography: N and C filled in maps of South and Central America for review.

C (age 9):

  • Reading: C read Goddess Girls: Pheme the Gossip for 20 minutes.
  • Bible: Combined class with N.
  • Science: Combined class with N.
  • History: Combined class with N.
  • Geography: Combined class with N.

S (age 6):

  • Math: S counted to 100 by 1s and 10s using the 100-number chart for number recognition. She counted backwards from 10-1. For her lesson, she had an oral assessment using blocks to identify ordinal position up to fourth.  She did very well.
  • Reading: S completed a review sheet on the letter V from The Measured Mom. S and I sang the alphabet song together. S located the letter W on the letter chart. I read her a short poem about a waddling walrus. S colored a picture of the letter W and a walrus. We played the game where I gave a starting sound to a word, paused, then said the rest of the word (“Ffff …. lag”). S then guessed the word. I read S another chapter of My Side of the Mountain.
  • Writing: S practiced the writing the letter W on a custom worksheet.

Day 149

Today was surprisingly short as far as instructional time goes.  The oldest two both had quite a bit of independent work to do, but my school day was unexpectedly short!

N (age 11):

  • Math: N had an assessment today and had two worksheets with linear and liquid measurement conversions.
  • Spelling: N practiced her words with “ei” and “ie” vowel pairs and digraphs.
  • Writing: N completed her paragraph written in the first person. We discussed the use of past, present, and future tense, and the importance of verb tense agreement throughout a composition.
  • Reading: N read a chapter of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.
  • Bible: N and C recited their memory verses and the books of the Old Testament. I read them the story of Jacob’s Ladder. We discussed the way that God kept reaffirming the same promises to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. We speculated as to why God worded the same promise differently for each of them, which led to a discussion on learning styles and individuality.
  • Science: N and C researched and wrote about the contributions of Friedrich Mohs, Thales of Miletus, and William Henry Bragg and William Lawrence Bragg to the field of geology. They also checked on their flowering rock garden experiment.

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  • Geography: N and C filled in their Middle East maps for review. Then, they filled in all the countries of Southeast Asia that they’ve learned so far. Their lesson today was about India. We talked about how similar people are despite the sometimes glaring cultural differences.
  • Music: The usual.

C (age 9):

  • Math: C did some mental math and a worksheet on addition. Her lesson was about finding the missing addend of an addition problem written as a story. We talked about how being able to form “fact families” was useful for the finding the answer to problems with missing addends. She completed her lesson review.
  • Spelling: C practiced her words with different spellings of the long “I” sound.
  • Writing: C wrote a list of items found in her bedroom, and then organized the list alphabetically.
  • Reading: C read Goddess Girls: Pheme the Gossip for 20 minutes.
  • Bible: Combined class with N.
  • Science: Combined class with N.
  • Geography: Combined class with N.
  • Music: C practiced chord transitions.

S (age 6):

  • Math: S and I counted to 100 by 10s and 1s using the 100-number chart. S counted backwards from 10-1. And then we played store.  Have I mentioned that I hate playing store? Because I do. This time, S used dimes to pay for items up to $1.00. S practiced writing the cents sign.
  • Reading: S reviewed the letter U with a worksheet from The Measured Mom. She and I sang the alphabet song together, and then S found the letter V on our alphabet chart. I read S a poem about a snail named Violet. S colored a picture of the letter V and Violet the Snail. Next, we played “Hop To It.” S picked a card with a picture of something either one, two, or three syllables long. S tamed the picture and then hopped onto a piece of paper that said either 1, 2, or 3. In lieu of My Side of the Mountain today, S wanted to read her Usborne book of Sharks. She loves sharks.
  • Writing: S practiced writing the letter V on a custom worksheet.

Day 148

Even with unexpected company, we managed to get things done. The attitudes were quite good, chores were done enthusiastically, and the kids all got along for most of the day.

N (age 11):

  • Math: N warmed up with some mental math and a worksheet on simplifying fractions. Her lesson was on reducing units before multiplying (miles per gallon, kilowatts per hour, etc.). Since it was a continuation of a previously learned skill, she finished the lesson quickly and didn’t procrastinate with her lesson review.
  • Spelling: N practiced her words using “ei” and “ie” as vowel pairs and vowel digraphs.
  • Writing: N’s still procrastinating on her assignment, so I’m going to have to hover over her today in order to get her to finish it. The good news is that she’s currently doing creative writing on her own about “the tween experience thus far.”
  • Reading: N read a chapter of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.
  • Bible: N and C recited their memory verses and the books of the Old Testament. I read them the story of Jacob stealing Esau’s blessing. We talked about dishonesty and about the results of unresolved anger.
  • Science: N and C learned about rocks, minerals, and gems. I have to rethink the way we do the book portion of science. The girls are often very distracted and I wonder if they’re listening to anything that’s being read. Maybe I should split up the reading into two days. Right now, we don’t have science scheduled for Monday, instead using that day as a “make-up” day for any science overflow from the previous week.  I may need to change that, however, and do half the reading on Monday and half the reading on Tuesday. I’ll try it next week and see how it works. But, I digress. The girls began an experiment to see if minerals will create “flowering rock gardens” better with water or with vinegar.
  • History: N and C learned the legend of Remus and Romulus. We talked about the significance of legends surrounding ancient leaders. We talked about the history of the world repeating itself (i.e. strong nation conquers weak nation, strong nation eventually weakens, another strong nation conquers that nation, and so on). They located Rome and the Etruscan Empire on a map. N did supplemental reading and took notes.
  • Music: The usual.

C (age 9):

  • Math: C did an investigation (a section of the Saxon Math Homeschool book with a focus on a particular skill and its application) about negative numbers. She learned about comparison symbols, and comparing positive and negative numbers with and without a number line. There was no mental math, no worksheet, and no lesson review.
  • Spelling: C practiced her words using different ways to spell the long “i” sound.
  • Writing: C finished her children’s story about a duck who couldn’t swim.
  • Reading: C read Goddess Girls: Pheme the Gossip for 20 minutes.
  • Bible: Combined class with N.
  • Science: Combined class with N.
  • History: Combined class with N. C didn’t do the supplemental reading or notes.
  • Music: C practiced her chord transitions on the ukulele.

S (age 6):

  • Math: S and I counted to 100 by 1s and 10s using our hundred-number chart. She practiced counting backwards from 10 to 1. She learned how to fill in predrawn shapes using her pattern blocks.
  • Reading: S reviewed the letter T using a printout from The Measured Mom. We sang the alphabet song together, and S located the letter U on the alphabet chart. I read her a short poem about penguins sliding down snowy hills in upside-down umbrellas. She colored a picture of the letter U with a penguin in an umbrella. We played a game segmenting the first sound of a word. I said, “Ffff …. unny” and she replied, “Funny,” and so on. I read her a chapter of My Side of the Mountain.
  • Writing: S practiced writing the letter U on a custom worksheet.