Day 20

It was a very full day. N, S, and H had their first full soccer practice in the morning (C had declined to play, but changed her mind today; she’ll start next week). It was terribly hot and muggy, but the girls had a great time. When we got back to the house, I gave them all twenty minutes in the pool to cool off and freshen up a bit before school. When they finished swimming, they delivered a hand-written manifesto of why they should have the rest of today off and make it up on Saturday. Normally, I would work with them to hammer out some sort of compromise, but we have weekend plans that I don’t want to interrupt with a make-up day. So, they put on their best faces and did school.

N (age 11):

Math: N warmed up with mental math and a worksheet on equations (solving addition and subtraction problems with missing numbers). Her lesson introduced writing and solving equations from story problems using comparison and elapsed time. It was another easy lesson. Her attitude was great until she got to the dreaded lesson review.

Spelling: N practiced her words with the prefixes pre-, pro-, re-, and ex-.

Reading: N read a chapter of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Since she and C watched the movie last night (which they didn’t like as much as the book), I didn’t read them The Witch of Blackbird Pond .

Bible: N and C reviewed all their memory verses (2 Timothy 3:16-17, Exodus 20:1-17, Psalm 1:1-3) and recited the books of the Bible.

Science: N and C copied definitions relating to the classification and life cycle of stars.

Social Studies: N and C completed their group project on Massachusetts.

Music: N practiced her scales (G major and C major) and her new song. She’s doing better with her new song and the frustration is wearing off.

Community Sports: N, S, and H had soccer practice.

C (age 10):

Math: C completed the first part of a three-part investigation on decimal numbers. No mental math, worksheets, or lesson review on investigation days.

Spelling: C practiced her words with S, L, and R consonant blends.

Reading: C finished up Little House in the Big Woods  and started Little House on the Prairie.

Bible: Combined class with N.

Science: Combined class with N.

Social Studies: Group project with N.

Music: C practiced A, B, C, E, and all her chord transitions. She played while reading music.

S (age 7):

Math: S warmed up by counting to 100 by 1s, 5s, and 10s, and by counting backward from 20 to 1. Then, since we’re still awaiting workbooks , we worked on number recognition and writing through 10.

Grammar: S continued working on memorizing “Work.” She continued to learn about common and proper nouns naming persons. She learned about surnames.

Reading: S and I sang the alphabet song. I showed S a card with the letter “g” and a goose on it. We practiced the hard /g/ sound. Then, I showed S a picture of a meadow scene. S picked out all the pictures that started with the hard /g/ sound. Then, I gave her four cards, three of which had pictures that started with the hard /g/ sound. She glued the three /g/ cards to a paper with the letter “g” and a goose on it. I read S three riddles whose answers began with the hard /g/ sound. I’m very encouraged about how well S is progressing with her letter recognition. All the repetition appears to be paying off, and she is getting much better at recognizing the names and sounds of the letters. She is also getting quite a collection of sight words under her belt, thanks to the Dick and Jane books. I read S and H a chapter of Ramona and Her Father.

Community Sports: N, S, and H had soccer practice.

H (age 4):

Math: H warmed up by counting to 20 and singing the “Days of the Week” song. H practiced sorting her pattern blocks by shape and color. Then, she arranged them on a graph and interpreted the graph.

Reading: H continued to review the vowels for letter recognition and short vowel sounds. I read S and H a chapter of Ramona and Her Father.

Writing: H practiced writing her name and the vowels, all in capital letters, using a custom worksheet I made at HandwritingPractice.Net.

Community Sports: N, S, and H had soccer practice.

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Day 19

Everyone, including yours truly, appears to have woken up on the wrong side of the bed today. So, grumpy kids and an equally grumpy teacher slogged through the day until the prospect of an afternoon playdate for S and H brightened moods considerably.

N (age 11):

Math: N warmed up with mental math and a worksheet on equations (solving addition and subtraction problems with missing numbers). Her lesson introduced writing and solving equations from story problems. She found the lesson to be very easy and got through it quickly (but grumpily). She completed a lesson review.

Spelling: N practiced her words with the prefixes pre-, pro-, re-, and ex-.

Writing: N completed her final draft on organizing sentences in a paragraph with a flow of ideas, making corrections to spelling, capitalization, and punctuation.

Reading: N finished Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, so her reading class today will entail watching the movie and comparing it with the book. I read a chapter of The Witch of Blackbird Pond  last night. Two chapters to go!

Bible: N and C reviewed all their memory verses (2 Timothy 3:16-17, Exodus 20:1-17, Psalm 1:1-3) and recited the books of the Bible. They learned the story of Balaam and his donkey.

Science: N, C, S, and H learned more about the life cycle of stars. They also learned about  black holes and reviewed Einstein’s theory of general relativity (which we learned about in physics two years ago).

Geography: N and C filled in their Middle East maps and all the countries they know on their Southeast Asia maps. Today, we learned about the tiny sultanate of Brunei. There wasn’t a whole lot of information available geared toward kids, so we read the overview of Brunei from the National Geographic (not the one for kids) website and did an image search on the country.

Social Studies: Since last week was short, N and C didn’t finish their group project on Massachusetts. So, they worked on it today.

Music: N practiced her scales (G major and C major) and her new song. She’s doing better with her new song and the frustration is wearing off.

C (age 10):

Math: C warmed up with some mental math. Then, she reviewed her lessons on even and odd numbers, and on using multiplication on addition problems with the same addends (e.g., 5 + 5 + 5 as 3 x 5).

Spelling: C practiced her words with S, L, and R consonant blends.

Writing: C finished writing her dialogue, making corrections to capitalization, spelling, and punctuation.

Reading: C read a chapter of Little House in the Big Woods . I read a chapter of The Witch of Blackbird Pond  last night.

Bible: Combined class with N, S, and H.

Science: Combined class with N, S, and H.

Geography: Combined class with N.

Social Studies: Group project with N.

Music: C practiced A, B, C, E, and all her chord transitions. She played while reading music.

S (age 7):

Math: S warmed up by counting to 100 by 1s, 5s, and 10s, and by counting backward from 20 to 1. Then, astute and observant mother that I am, I opened the math book and realized that she is done with Saxon Math Homeschool K. I, of course, have none of the worksheets that I need for Saxon Math Homeschool 1, so I had S practice writing numbers. And I ordered the workbooks to begin first grade math. They should be here on Thursday.

Grammar: S recited “The Caterpillar,” and then was introduced to her new memory poem, “Work.” She learned the meaning of the word “anonymous.”

Reading: S and I sang the alphabet song. I showed S a card with the letter “f” and a fish on it. We practiced the /f/ sound. Then, I showed S a picture of a pond scene. S picked out all the pictures that started with the /f/ sound. Then, I gave her four cards, three of which had pictures that started with the /f/ sound. She glued the three /f/ cards to a paper with the letter “f” and a fish on it. I read S three riddles whose answers began with the /f/ sound. I read S and H a chapter of Ramona and Her Father.

Bible: S and H learned the story of Balaam and his donkey.

Science: Combined class with N, C, and H.

H (age 4):

Math: H warmed up by counting to 20 with me. We also sang our “Days of the Week” song. S identified learned about circles and rectangles, and she identified them throughout the house.

Reading: H continued to review the vowels for letter recognition and short vowel sounds. I read S and H a chapter of Ramona and Her Father.

Writing: H practiced writing her name and the vowels, all in capital letters, using a custom worksheet I made at HandwritingPractice.Net.

Bible: S and H learned the story of Balaam and his donkey.

Science: Combined class with N, C, and H.

 

Day 18

We took an unscheduled break for the remainder of last week. Wednesday’s soccer practice threw us off our schedules a bit, and Friday was C’s birthday (we always take off for birthdays). So, we took Thursday off as well for good measure. We’ll subtract this from their scheduled break. So, instead of taking a five-day break starting at Day 30, we’ll take a two-day break starting at Day 33.

N (age 11):

Math: N and I reviewed the investigation on fractions that she did independently last week, and I helped her find strategies to do some of the more difficult problems that she’d skipped. Talk about bad attitude. I mean, she came into the class with a bad attitude and then wallowed in it. That provided us with a teachable moment about how attitude affects work.

Spelling: N practiced her words with the prefixes pre-, pro-, re-, and ex-.

Writing: N continued her lesson on organizing a paragraph. She worked on the draft of her paragraph.

Reading: N read a chapter of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, and I read a chapter of The Witch of Blackbird Pond  every night, even though we didn’t have school. We have two chapters left.

Bible: N and C reviewed all their memory verses (2 Timothy 3:16-17, Exodus 20:1-17, Psalm 1:1-3) and recited the books of the Bible. They learned about the Israelites complaining about manna until God finally sent poisonous snakes to the camp as a disciplinary measure. We talked about the bronze snake being a foreshadow of Christ.

Science: N and C learned about the types of stars and the typical life cycle of a star.

History: N and C learned about the Hagia Sofia and Saint Nicholas of Constantinople.

Spanish: N and C watched the third lesson on DVD again.

Music: N practiced her scales (G major and C major) and learned a new song. She’s doing better with her new song and the frustration is wearing off.

C (age 10):

Math: C warmed up with some mental math. Then, she reviewed her lesson on rounding numbers to the nearest ten and rounding money to the nearest dollar.

Spelling: C practiced her words with S, L, and R consonant blends.

Writing: C continued writing her dialogue.

Reading: C read a chapter of Little House in the Big Woods , and I read a chapter of The Witch of Blackbird Pond .

Bible: Combined class with N.

Science: Combined class with N.

History: Combined class with N.

Spanish: Combined class with N.

Music: C practiced A, B, C, E, and all her chord transitions. She played while reading music.

S (age 7):

Math: S warmed up by counting to 100 by 1s, 5s, and 10s, and by counting backward from 20 to 1. She had an oral assessment today. She named the days of the week, counted by 10s to 100, and identified a penny, a nickel, and a dime.

Grammar: S continued to work on memorizing “The Caterpillar.” She continued learning about proper nouns as they apply to persons. Today, we talked about middle names. I wrote the middle names of family members on the board, and S identified the capital letters at the beginning of each name.

Reading: S took a break from the alphabet to read some of her Dick and Jane books. I read S and H a chapter of Ramona and Her Father.

Bible: S and H learned about the Israelites complaining about manna until God finally sent poisonous snakes to the camp as a disciplinary measure. We talked about the bronze snake being a foreshadow of Christ.

Science: Combined class with N, C, and H.

History: Combined class with N, C, and H.

H (age 4):

Math: H warmed up by counting to 20 with me. We also sang our “Days of the Week” song. S used counting bears to act out addition and subtraction problems. I love that the lessons are short enough to keep her interest.

Reading: H continued to review the vowels for letter recognition and short vowel sounds. I read S and H a chapter of Ramona and Her Father.

Writing: H practiced writing her name and the vowels, all in capital letters, using a custom worksheet I made at HandwritingPractice.Net.

Bible: S and H learned about the Israelites complaining about manna until God finally sent poisonous snakes to the camp as a disciplinary measure. We talked about the bronze snake being a foreshadow of Christ.

Science: Combined class with N, C, and H.

History: Combined class with N, C, and H.

Day 17

Today is H’s last sick day. She got over the chicken pox and broke out in her customary post-viral rash. But, I think she’s back to herself again. There was a lot of excitement today, as we gathered gear for our first local homeschool league soccer practice tomorrow. S spent the majority of her day cleaning her disastrous bedroom with H to find her elusive shinguard, which she found on her bed under a pile of stuff. Right next to her visible shinguard. At least the room is clean now. S didn’t have class today, so she’ll have to make it up on Saturday. I spent my time between instructional time with N and C looking up how to referee soccer. Because I’m a referee. With absolutely no idea how to referee. I hope the other parents are merciful.

N (age 11):

Math: N and I reviewed her math test. She had a couple mistakes in performing some operations, but no confusion over concepts. She asked that she be allowed to teach herself the investigation on fractions. She said it was easy. I’ll review it tomorrow with her to be sure she understood. One of my goals is for the kids to be self-taught by the time they enter high school, so I’m always happy to let them try to work more independently.

Spelling: N practiced her words with the prefixes pre-, pro-, re-, and ex-.

Writing: N continued her lesson on organizing a paragraph. N wrote a paragraph using the sentences she wrote yesterday. She will have her final draft completed by Thursday.

Reading: N read a chapter of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, and I read a chapter of The Witch of Blackbird Pond  last night.

Bible: N and C reviewed all their memory verses (2 Timothy 3:16-17, Exodus 20:1-17, Psalm 1:1-2) and recited the books of the Bible. They learned about Moses losing his temper, costing him the chance to enter the Promised Land.

Science: N and C continued learning about the universe and how it is expanding. We talked about light years.

Geography: N and C learned about North Korea. We talked about socialism versus the free market, and about political indoctrination.

Social Studies: N and C continued to research Massachusetts for their group project.

Spanish: N and C watched the third lesson on DVD.

Music: N practiced her scales (G major and C major) and learned a new song. As always, she was very frustrated. She’ll get over that relatively quickly in the next few days.

C (age 9):

Math: C had an assessment today. There were a couple concepts on which she was a bit fuzzy, so we will spend the next few days reviewing previous lessons to be sure she has the material mastered. I love being able to do that in homeschool.

Spelling: C practiced her words with S, L, and R consonant blends.

Writing: C wrote the dialogue between her characters.

Reading: C read a chapter of Little House in the Big Woods , and I read a chapter of The Witch of Blackbird Pond  last night.

Bible: Combined class with N.

Science: Combined class with N.

Geography: Combined class with N.

Social Studies: Group work with N.

Spanish: Combined class with N.

Music: C practiced A, B, C, E, and all her chord transitions. She played while reading music.

Day 16

H is still not feeling well. She’s spent the day alternating between being miserable out of bed and being miserable in bed. This makes S, with whom H shares a room, a bit frustrated because she has to clean the whole bedroom herself today. And it’s a mess. A big one. So big that she was happy to have school today and is currently choosing to keep miserable H company to get out of cleaning.

N (age 11):

Math: N warmed up with a multiplication worksheet. She had an assessment today. Assessment days and investigation days (she has one of those tomorrow) are her favorites because they don’t involve independent lesson review.

Spelling: N practiced her the prefixes pre-, pro-, re-, and ex-.

Writing: N continued her lesson on organizing a paragraph. N thought of something at which she excels. She wrote six steps down and turned those steps into six sentences with information that flowed from one sentence to the next.

Reading: N read a chapter of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, and I read a chapter of The Witch of Blackbird Pond  last night.

Bible: N and C reviewed all their memory verses (2 Timothy 3:16-17, Exodus 20:1-17, Psalm 1:1-2) and recited the books of the Bible. They learned about the Israelites wandering the desert for 40 years as a result of their disbelief that God would help them conquer their promised land.

Science: N and C began learning about the formation of stars and the vastness of the universe. They watched a video on YouTube to give them a sense of the earth compared to the rest of the universe.

History: N, C, and S learned about the beginning of the Byzantine Empire, Emperor Justinian, and the Empress Theodora. N and C mapped out the Byzantine Empire.

Logic: N learned the propaganda techniques of “tradition” and “hi-tech.” She identified different propaganda techniques from examples given in the book.

Music: N practiced her scales (G major and C major) and practiced her lesson.

C (age 9):

Math: C warmed up with mental math and a worksheet on multiplication. Her lesson was an overview of metric and US Customary capacity. Future lessons will go into more detail about this. She completed a lesson review.

Spelling: C practiced her words with S, L, and R consonant blends.

Writing: C continued character development and setting the scene for her dialogue.

Reading: C read a chapter of Little House in the Big Woods , and I read a chapter of The Witch of Blackbird Pond  last night.

Bible: Combined class with N.

Science: Combined class with N.

History: Combined class with N, S, and H.

Music: C practiced A, B, C, E, and all her chord transitions. She played while reading music.

S (age 7):

Math: S warmed up by counting to 100 by 1s, 5s, and 10s, and by counting backward from 20 to 1. We played Dominoes today up to double sixes.

Grammar: S continued to work on memorizing “The Caterpillar.” She worked on reading/listening comprehension with the story of “The Lion and the Mouse.”

Reading: S and I sang the alphabet song. I showed S a card with the letter “e” and a boy listening to his echo on it. We practiced the short /e/ sound. Then, I showed S a picture of a boy in the mountains listening to an echo. S picked out all the pictures that started with the short /e/ sound. Then, I gave her four cards, three of which had pictures that started with the short /e/ sound. She glued the three /e/ cards to a paper with the letter “e” and a boy on it. S filled in a color-by-letter picture of a shark (she loves sharks). I read S and H a chapter of Ramona the Brave.

Writing: S did copywork of upper and lower case “e,” and practiced writing her full name on a custom worksheet I made at HandwritingPractice.Net.

Bible: S and H learned about the Israelites wandering the desert for 40 years as a result of their disbelief that God would help them conquer their promised land.

Science: Combined class with N and C.

History: Combined class with N and C.

H (age 4): Another sick day!

Day 15

One kid (H) down with a mild case of chicken pox, so she’s having a sick day. N, C, and S all participated in “Fun Friday.”

N (age 11):

Reading: N read a chapter of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, and I read a chapter of The Witch of Blackbird Pond  last night.

Bible: N, C, and S learned about the Israelites reaching the land of Canaan. They learned about the conflicting reports from the spies about whether or not they could take the land, and about the talks of rebellion in the camp.

Science: Once again, it’s overcast. On the next clear night, N, C, S, and H will learn about Ursa Major and locate it in the night sky.

Spanish: N and C watched lesson 2 on DVD one more time.

Art: N, C, and S learned the technique of blow painting. I have a feeling this technique will get well-used in this house.

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Filmmaking: N completed her first Quest in her Jam animation class.

Music: N practiced her scales (G major and C major) and practiced her lesson.

C (age 9):

Reading: C read a chapter of Little House in the Big Woods , and I read a chapter of The Witch of Blackbird Pond  last night.

Bible: Combined class with N and S.

Science: Combined class with N and S.

Spanish: Combined class with N.

Filmmaking: C completed her first Quest in her Jam animation class.

Art: Combined class with N and S.

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Music: C practiced A, B, C, E, and all her chord transitions. She played while reading music.

S (age 7):

Reading: I read S and H a chapter of Ramona the Brave.

Bible: Combined class with N and C.

Science: Combined class with N and C.

Art: Combined class with N and C.

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H (age 4): Sick day!

Day 14

With two unexpected field trips this week, the book work is a bit behind, but spirits are definitely up. And tomorrow is “Fun Friday.” N has created an independent work schedule to try to conquer her tendency toward procrastination. We’ll see how that works. She doesn’t like doing without electronics for the majority of her day.

N (age 11):

Math: N warmed up with a multiplication worksheet and some mental math. Her lesson was a review of simplifying improper fractions and mixed numbers, and of writing division answers as mixed numbers. She was more interested in staring at the monk she drew on her knee (during history class, when she studied monks) than in listening to the lesson, so I had to teach the whole thing to her again during her supervised lesson practice. She paid more attention the second time around. She completed a lesson review.

Spelling: N practiced her the prefixes pre-, pro-, re-, and ex-.

Writing: N continued her lesson on organizing a paragraph. N was given six ideas, and she used them to write six sentences that flowed together to make a coherent story.

Reading: N read a chapter of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, and I read a chapter of The Witch of Blackbird Pond  last night.

Bible: N and C reviewed all their memory verses (2 Timothy 3:16-17, Exodus 20:1-17, Psalm 1:1-2) and recited the books of the Bible. They learned about the time the Israelites complained because they didn’t have any meat, so God gave them meat but was pretty angry about it. They learned that sometimes getting what you complain for is not a good thing.

Science: N and C didn’t have a scientist to research this week, so they copied definitions relating to galaxies (and the roots of those words in Latin and Greek).

History: N, C, S, and H learned about book-making in the days before paper and printing presses. N did supplemental reading in The Kingfisher History Encyclopedia and took notes.

Spanish: Since we lost two days of Spanish class this week due to field trips, N and C just continued to review vocabulary they’ve learned. They had a chance to practice the little Spanish they do know when we went to the local Mexican restaurant.

Music: N practiced her scales (G major and C major) and practiced her lesson.

C (age 9):

Math: C warmed up with mental math and a worksheet on multiplication. Her lesson was on measuring to the nearest quarter of an inch. Despite working extensively with number lines recently, she still had a bit of trouble with the concept once it was applied to tick marks on an actual ruler. She completed a lesson review.

Spelling: C practiced her with with S, L, and R consonant blends.

Writing: C continued character development and setting the scene for her dialogue.

Reading: C read a chapter of Little House in the Big Woods , and I read a chapter of The Witch of Blackbird Pond  last night.

Bible: Combined class with N.

Science: Combined class with N.

History: Combined class with N, S, and H.

Spanish: Continued vocabulary review.

Music: C practiced A, B, C, E, and all her chord transitions. She played while reading music.

S (age 7):

Math: S warmed up by counting to 100 by 1s, 5s, and 10s, and by counting backward from 20 to 1. Today, she created a pictograph of indoor and outdoor summer activities that she enjoys. She interpreted the graph.

Grammar: S continued to work on memorizing “The Caterpillar.” She continued to learn about the difference between common and proper nouns as they apply to persons.

Reading: S and I sang the alphabet song. I showed S a card with the letter “d” and a deer on it. We practiced the short /d/ sound. Then, I showed S a picture of dogs eating donuts and wearing dresses. S picked out all the pictures that started with the /d/ sound. Then, I gave her four cards, three of which had pictures that started with the /d/ sound. She glued the three /d/ cards to a paper with the letter “d” and a deer on it. I read S three “What Am I” riddles whose answers started with the /d/ sound. I read S and H a chapter of Ramona the Brave.

Writing: S did copywork of upper and lower case “d,” and practiced writing her full name on a custom worksheet I made at HandwritingPractice.Net.

Bible: S and H learned about the time the Israelites complained because they didn’t have any meat, so God gave them meat but was pretty angry about it. They learned that sometimes getting what you complain for is not a good thing.

History: Combined class with N, C, and H.

H (age 4):

Math: H warmed up by counting to 20 with me. She practiced sorting counting bears by color. Then, she put her sorted counting bears on a graph and interpreted the graph.

Reading: H reviewed the vowels and their sounds using flashcards. First, we went through each card and said the name of the letter and its short sound (e.g., “A says /a/,” etc.). Then, I laid the cards on the desk and made a short vowel sound. She had to identify the letter based on the sound I made. I read S and H a chapter of Ramona the Brave.

Writing: H did copywork of her name and all the vowels (all upper case) on a custom worksheet I made at HandwritingPractice.Net. This is her least favorite school activity.

Bible: Combined class with S.

History: Combined class with N, C, and S.