Day 112

We were able to start a bit earlier today. And it turns out that there was a lot of independent work today as well, so my instructional time finished pretty quickly.

N (age 12):

Math: N had an assessment today. She put it with her stack of independent work that has to be done before she can play with the neighbor kids.

Bible: N and C reviewed their memory verses (2 Timothy 3:16-17, Exodus 20:1-17, Psalm 1:1-6, Psalm 23:1-5, and Isaiah 53:1-5) and the books of the Bible. They learned about King Josiah and the discovery of the scrolls containing the Books of the Law. We talked about his reaction to the scrolls and how it benefited Israel.

Reading: N read a chapter of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. I read a chapter of A Gathering Blue to N and C last night.

Spelling: N practiced her words with contractions and possessives.

Geography: N and C filled in all the countries they know so far in Europe. Then, we studied Belarus. We read information on the National Geographic Website. Then we spent time talking about Chernobyl and looking at photos of the abandoned city. We talked about the effects of the accident decades later.

Social Studies: N and C learned about life in Brazil on the next episode of Families of the World.

Spanish: N and C watched the video of their next lesson introducing the vocabulary used when going to a concert.

Writing: N and C learned about the importance of using the correct tone for their intended audience when writing. Then, they began a persuasive writing assignment. I think this will take at least a day or two.

Science: N and C learned about atomic numbers, atomic mass, and isotopes. We performed two experiments. The first examined how quickly molecules travel through gas. The second examined permeability of molecules through a seemingly impermeable surface.

Music: C continued practicing her scales. She continued her new lesson.

C (age 10):

Math: C warmed up with mental math. She learned how to mentally calculate multiplication problems when one factor is a multiple of ten. Her lesson was on division problems with a quotient of zero. At one point, both N and C (and C still occasionally does this) would stop writing the quotient before completing the problem if the quotient ended in zero. It reinforced the concept of completing the problem before moving on to the next one. I think I’ll throw in a few of these problems for review over the next few days to make sure she understands.

Reading: C read a chapter of On the Banks of Plum Creek. I read a chapter of A Gathering Blue to N and C last night.

Spelling: C aced her assessment today.

Bible: Combined class with N.

Geography: Combined class with N.

Writing: Combined class with N.

Social Studies: Combined class with N.

Science: Combined class with N.

Spanish: Combined class with N.

Music: C continued working on her chord transitions, playing individual notes, and reading music. She continued her drumming lessons.

S (age 7):

Math: S counted to 100 by 1s, 5s, and 10s using her hundred number chart. She counted backwards from 30. She recited the days of the week and the months of the year.She learned how to write the number 30. Her lesson was on writing subtraction number sentences. She completed a worksheet and an addition fact sheet.

Reading: S continued her unit of All About Reading. She warmed up by reading some flashcards (including the sight words “the” and “a”). S started reading words that will be used in the next story she reads.

Grammar: S continued memorizing “The Months.” She reviewed the growing list of pronouns she’s learning. Then, she learned four more pronouns: “we,” “us,” “our,” and “ours.” She practiced replacing nouns with these pronouns in sentences.

Writing: S copied her name and the new pronouns she learned using a custom worksheet from HandwritingPractice.Net.

Day 111

N, I’m convinced, is going through a growth spurt. Her internal clock keeps her in bed until about noon lately. So, C has been taking a little extra free time in the mornings. I use playing with the neighbors as blackmail (er, incentive) for N to get her schoolwork done. So, aside from some theatrics at the beginning of every math class, she’s been quick and had a good attitude during class time. S’s reading and number recognition continue to improve, and I’m very encouraged at her progress.

N (age 12):

Math: N warmed up with mental math. Her lesson was on unit multipliers and unit conversion. While she seemed to grasp the concept, I’m going to toss in some review problems on it over the next few days to be sure it’s quite ingrained.

Bible: N and C reviewed their memory verses (2 Timothy 3:16-17, Exodus 20:1-17, Psalm 1:1-6, Psalm 23:1-5, and Isaiah 53:1-5) and the books of the Bible. They learned about the legacy of idolatry left by King Jeroboam that eventually led to the Assyrian invasion.

Reading: N read a chapter of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. I read two chapters of A Gathering Blue to N and C last night. I was initially only going to read one chapter, but the cliffhanger ending prompted requests to read one more.

Spelling: N practiced her words with contractions and possessives.

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

History: N and C began to learn about Marco Polo. Sadly, Netflix no longer has the Marco Polo cartoon for kids, so I’m on the hunt for an age-appropriate Marco Polo video for the kids to watch on Fun Friday.

Writing: N and C finally finished their assignment on expressing a command in ten different ways. It proved much more difficult for them than any of us anticipated. They did well, however.

Music: C continued practicing her scales. She continued her new lesson.

C (age 10):

Math: C did an investigation into surveys today. We talked about samples. We talked about different types of survey questions. We talked about the importance of wording in survey questions to avoid bias. We talked about the importance of consistency in questioning to maintain accuracy for the results. Then, she conducted a survey on Facebook of favorite lunch drinks. Since we don’t have a classroom full of students to survey, Facebook has become a very important tool in our homeschool. Friends are more than happy to participate, and we get a nice sampling from around the country (and sometimes even from outside of the country). In less than an hour, C had almost fifty responses to her survey question!

Reading: C read a chapter of On the Banks of Plum Creek. I read two chapters of A Gathering Blue to N and C last night.

Spelling: C continued to practice words using the consonant digraphs “th” and “sh.” I think she’ll be ready for an assessment tomorrow.

Bible: Combined class with N.

Geography: Combined class with N.

Writing: Combined class with N.

History:

Music: C continued working on her chord transitions, playing individual notes, and reading music. She continued her drumming lessons.

S (age 7):

Math: S counted to 100 by 1s, 5s, and 10s using her hundred number chart. She counted backwards from 30. She recited the days of the week and the months of the year. I had her complete a worksheet, and then we had one more Uno day. I love having the freedom to go off curriculum sometimes. It helps to maintain enthusiasm, it works well as a reward for hard work, and it shows the kids how the things they learn are useful in the real world.

Reading: S continued her unit of All About Reading. She warmed up by reading some flashcards (including the sight word “the). S read a story today about a yak who had a nice lunch with a girl named Pam.

Grammar: S continued memorizing “The Months.” She reviewed the growing list of pronouns she’s learning. She practiced using all of the pronouns she’s learned so far in sentences by repeating a sentence I say, but replacing the emphasized noun with a pronoun.

Writing: S copied her name and all the pronouns she’s learned so far using a custom worksheet from HandwritingPractice.Net.

Day 110

“Fun Friday”! I wanted to get some other subjects in there as well, though, since we missed a day earlier this week because of errands and picking up eye glasses and such.

N (age 12):

Math: N warmed up with mental math. Her lesson was on adding mixed measures. No problem. I threw in a couple problems on fraction/decimal/percent equivalents for good measure.

Bible: N and C reviewed their memory verses (2 Timothy 3:16-17, Exodus 20:1-17, Psalm 1:1-6, Psalm 23:1-5, and Isaiah 53:1-5) and the books of the Bible. They learned about Hezekiah’s dedication of the newly reopened Temple.

Reading: N read a chapter of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. I read a chapter of A Gathering Blue to N and C last night.

Spelling: N practiced her words with contractions and possessives.

Science: N and C performed a little experiment to see how quickly water molecules moved. They put a drop of food coloring in a clear jar of water, observed the movement, and recorded how long it took the food coloring to permeate the water. We talked about the movement of molecules in gasses, liquids, and solids.

Music: C continued practicing her scales. She continued her new lesson.

C (age 10):

Math: C and I finished up the review of her assessment today by going over some calculating errors she’d made on the assessment. She recognized where she made her mistakes and was able to correct them.

Reading: C read a chapter of On the Banks of Plum Creek. I read a chapter of A Gathering Blue to N and C last night.

Spelling: C continued to practice words using the consonant digraphs “th” and “sh.” She’ll be ready for an assessment soon.

Bible: Combined class with N.

Science: Combined class with N.

Music: C continued working on her chord transitions, playing individual notes, and reading music. She continued her drumming lessons.

S (age 7):

Math: S counted to 100 by 1s, 5s, and 10s using her hundred number chart. She counted backwards from 30. She recited the days of the week and the months of the year. She walked around all day carrying the Uno cards with her, playing with anyone who sat down for five minutes.

Science: S and H sat in on the experiment and joined in on the discussion of the movement of molecules.

Day 109

Today was rather spread out. The kids wanted to play with neighbors, so they did some of their “together classes” at night before bed. That situation works well most of the time, as long as bedtime for N and C isn’t disrupted by S, H, and Baby R.

N (age 12):

Math: N warmed up with mental math. Her lesson was on calculating fraction/decimal/percent equivalents. N enjoyed it because she was able to fill in charts. It took her a few tries to go from fraction to decimal and vice versa, but she caught on.

Bible: N and C reviewed their memory verses (2 Timothy 3:16-17, Exodus 20:1-17, Psalm 1:1-6, Psalm 23:1-5, and Isaiah 53:1-5) and the books of the Bible. They learned about the reopening of the Temple under King Hezekiah.

Reading: N read a chapter of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. I began reading A Gathering Blue to N and C last night. We compared and contrasted the community in this book with Jonas’ community in The Giver.

Spelling: N practiced her words with contractions and possessives.

Geography: N and C filled in the European countries they knew. Then, they learned about Estonia on the National Geographic website. We Googled images of Estonia and its traditional dress.

Writing: N and C continued the exercise designed to stretch their vocabulary, this time expressing the same command in ten different ways. It seems to have stumped them a little bit. After a couple sentences, they began to have a hard time finding ways to express the command.

Science: N and C learned more about the physical make-up of an atom. They learned about subatomic particles, molecules, and chemical reactions.

Spanish: N and C answered comprehensions questions on the short story they read in Spanish.

Music: C continued practicing her scales. She continued her new lesson.

C (age 10):

Math: C and I continued to review the story problems that gave her a hard time on her assessment yesterday. We went over solving story problems that involve fractions of a group. I gave her quite a few review problems to cement the concept.

Reading: C read a chapter of On the Banks of Plum Creek. I began reading A Gathering Blue to N and C last night. We compared and contrasted the community in this book with Jonas’ community in The Giver.

Spelling: C began to practice words using the consonant digraphs “th” and “sh.”

Bible: Combined class with N.

Geography: Combined class with N.

Writing: Combined class with N.

Science: Combined class with N.

Spanish: Combined class with N.

Music: C continued working on her chord transitions, playing individual notes, and reading music. She continued her drumming lessons.

S (age 7):

Math: S counted to 100 by 1s, 5s, and 10s using her hundred number chart. She counted backwards from 30. She recited the days of the week and the months of the year. To continue with number recognition, I introduced her to the game of Uno. She’s obsessed!

Reading: S continued her unit of All About Reading. She warmed up by reading some flashcards (including the sight word “the). She continued working on the sounds /h/, /k/, and /r/. She read words that we made using letter tiles. S practiced reading more phrases that will be used in the story and that contain both new and familiar letters.

Grammar: S continued memorizing “The Months.” She also continued to memorize the growing list of pronouns she’s learning. Today, she reviewed all the poems she’s memorized so far.

Writing: S copied her name and a short poem she memorized earlier using a custom worksheet from HandwritingPractice.Net.

Day 108

This was probably one of the best school days that S has ever had! Her attitude was wonderful, she was cooperative, and she did her work quickly and efficiently. The others were cooperative and interested in learning today as well, but S really stood out. It was nice.

N (age 12):

Math: N warmed up with mental math. Her lesson was on the powers of ten. The work included calculating exponents and expanded notation using the power of ten. It was building on several previous lessons, so she got through it pretty quickly and easily. She kept saying, “Didn’t I already learn this?”

Bible: N and C reviewed their memory verses (2 Timothy 3:16-17, Exodus 20:1-17, Psalm 1:1-6, Psalm 23:1-5, and Isaiah 53:1-5) and the books of the Bible. They learned about the rebuilding of the temple under Joash, and about his assassination.

Reading: N read a chapter of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. I finish reading  Shiloh to N and C last night.

Spelling: N practiced her words with contractions and possessives.

Geography: N and C filled in the European countries they knew. Then, they learned about Latvia on the National Geographic website. I really wish Time for Kids had a more expansive list of countries.

Writing: N and C did another exercise designed to stretch their vocabulary, this time expressing the same command in ten different ways.

Science: N and C learned about the physical make-up of an atom. They watched a Ted Ed video on the size of an atom and played a computer game building their own atoms.

Social Studies: N and C watched another episode of the Families of the World series, this one focused on growing up on a farm and a city in Australia.

Spanish: N and C did their La Lectura today, which is oral reading of a short story in Spanish to help with pronunciation.

Music: C continued practicing her scales. She continued her new lesson.

C (age 10):

Math: C had an assessment today. As usual, she did very well on the straightforward problems, but struggled with the story problems. There were two key concepts that I felt needed review, so I reviewed the first of these today. I went over how to solve story problems with equal groups (multiplication and division). We talked about “clues” in the story that told her what operation was needed.

Reading: C read a chapter of On the Banks of Plum Creek. I finish reading  Shiloh to N and C last night.

Spelling: C completed the workbook for her next lesson, continuing words that use y as a vowel.

Bible: Combined class with N.

Geography: Combined class with N.

Writing: Combined class with N.

Science: Combined class with N.

Social Studies: Combined class with N.

Spanish: Combined class with N.

Music: C continued working on her chord transitions, playing individual notes, and reading music. She continued her drumming lessons.

S (age 7):

Math: S counted to 100 by 1s, 5s, and 10s using her hundred number chart. She counted backwards from 30. She recited the days of the week and the months of the year. We took a little break from the usual grind to play a game of dominoes as a reward for catching on to the patterns in number sequences. I’m hopeful that discovering the patterns will help her with number recognition.

Reading: S continued her unit of All About Reading. She warmed up by reading some flashcards (including the sight word “the). She continued working on the sounds /h/, /k/, and /r/. She read words that we made using letter tiles. S practiced reading phrases that will be used in the story and that contain both new and familiar letters. Although she still expresses some frustration, she is reading more quickly and confidently. I read S and H a chapter of Amelia Bedelia Means Business.

Grammar: S continued memorizing “The Months.” She also continued to memorize the growing list of pronouns she’s learning. Today, she learned the proper usage of “he,” “she,” “him,” “her,” “it,” “his,” “hers,” and “its.”

Writing: S copied her name and the pronouns she’s learned so far using a custom worksheet from HandwritingPractice.Net.

Day 107

No one slept really well this past weekend, so Monday started a bit late. Attitudes weren’t horrible until kids started realizing that their normal afternoon activities were being replaced with schoolwork that didn’t get done this morning due to our slow start.

N (age 12):

Math: N warmed up with mental math. Her lesson was on calculating rates, unit price, sales tax, and tips. I kept reiterating the importance of mastering these concepts, because I use them all regularly. The lesson was a bit longer than usual, and I wanted to make sure she mastered each of the concepts. She was slightly exasperated by the end of the lesson.

Bible: N and C reviewed their memory verses (2 Timothy 3:16-17, Exodus 20:1-17, Psalm 1:1-6, Psalm 23:1-5, and Isaiah 53:1-5) and the books of the Bible. They learned about Queen Athaliah killing any potential heirs to the throne, followed by a revolt that resulted in Joash being crowned king at the age of seven.

Reading: N read a chapter of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. I read a chapter of  Shiloh to N and C last night.

Spelling: N practiced her words with contractions and possessives.

Geography: N and C filled in Middle East and Asia maps for review.

Writing: N and C did another exercise designed to stretch their vocabulary, this time writing a guided paragraph without the use of several common adjectives.

Science: N and C began their chemistry unit today. I read to them about the scientific method, explaining each step. We researched various scientists who broke the mold of stereotypical scientists in white lab coats (e.g. “glue-ologist,” “toyologist,” “mudologist”). We watched a short cartoon about the scientific method in action.

History: N and C began to learn about the Mongols and Genghis Khan. They mapped out the extent of the Mongol Empire.

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

Spanish: N and C continued to practice their vocabulary about the rollerskating rink. They read a series of statements and then answered comprehension questions. Then, they watched the next section of their video lesson.

Music: C continued practicing her scales. She continued her new lesson.

C (age 10):

Math: C warmed up with some mental math. Her lesson was on solving story problems involving a fraction of a group. It helps her comprehension to draw charts or pictures to illustrate the concept.

Reading: C read a chapter of On the Banks of Plum Creek. I read a chapter of  Shiloh to N and C last night.

Spelling: C aced her assessment.

Bible: Combined class with N.

Geography: Combined class with N.

Writing: Combined class with N.

Science: Combined class with N.

History: Combined class with N.

Spanish: Combined class with N.

Music: C continued working on her chord transitions, playing individual notes, and reading music. She continued her drumming lessons.

S (age 7):

Math: S counted to 100 by 1s, 5s, and 10s using her hundred number chart. She counted backwards from 30. She recited the days of the week and the months of the year. She completed a warm-up worksheet on the doubles addition facts. She learned how to write the number 29. Her lesson was on putting the numbers 1-20 in order. She also learned how to add one to a number. She completed a worksheet.

Reading: S continued her unit of All About Reading. She warmed up by reading some flashcards (including the sight word “the). She continued working on the sounds /h/, /k/, and /r/. She read words that we made using letter tiles. S continued reading a list of words that will be used in the story and that contain both new and familiar letters. I read S and H a chapter of Amelia Bedelia Means Business.

Grammar: S continued memorizing “The Months.” She learned the pronouns “you,” “your,” and “yours,” and their proper usage.

Writing: S copied her name and the pronouns “I,” “me,” “my,” “mine,” “you,” “your”, and “yours” using a custom worksheet from HandwritingPractice.Net.

Days 104-106

What an educationally significant weekend! One of the reasons I love homeschooling is that it gives me a chance to apply real life current events to things we’ve studied, and gives me a chance to shift focus from academics to history-in-the-making events like Donald Trump’s inauguration.

Thursday: We watched the pre-inauguration festivities and listened to the speeches. We talked about the amazing, peaceful transfer of power that takes place every four or eight years. We compared it with the majority of world history, which shows political leaders routinely murdering or imprisoning any threat to their power. We talked about the symbolism shown by the opposing political party in attending the festivities, demonstrating by their actions that the peaceful transfer of power is worthy of celebration, even if their candidate of choice didn’t win. We also talked about the members of Congress that decided to boycott the inauguration, and looked at past incidents of inauguration boycotts.

Friday: We watched the inauguration. We discussed the historical significance of a businessman who had never held public office being elected to the highest office in the land. We parsed his speech, discussing his criticism of all the politicians present at (and those absent from) the ceremony. We talked compared and contrasted the spiritual aspect of the ceremony to that of previous presidents, and talked about the message they thought was conveyed, both to the country and to the world (in particular, a rabbi giving the first prayer and what that said about US/Israeli policy going forward).

Saturday: We watched the swearing-in of the White House Senior Staff. We talked about the protests (why these particular groups were protesting, why people protest, how protesting can affect both the protestors and national policy, my past protesting activities) and about the importance of the First Amendment.