Day 171

N and C were out late on Sunday night, so we took yesterday off to sleep in and straighten up the house. The plan is to make it up on Saturday. It may be spread out through the weekend. We’ll see how it goes, play it by ear. Summer fever is upon us with only nine school days left (not counting today). It’s hard to stay motivated.

N (age 12):

Math: N warmed up with mental math. Her lesson was on implied ratios. She solved the story problems using either the rate method or the ratio method. She practiced both, and prefers using the rate method because she can reduce the fractions before solving the problem. She completed a lesson review.

Bible: N and C reviewed their memory verses (2 Timothy 3:16-17, Exodus 20:1-17, Psalm 1, Psalm 23, Isaiah 53, Isaiah 9:7, and Micah 5:2) and the books of the Bible. The girls finished up their study of the Sermon on the Mount and moved on to Jesus’ healing ministry and how it fulfilled prophecy.

Reading: N read a chapter of her library book and a chapter of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. I read N and C a chapter of The Case of the Bizarre Bouquets last night.

Spelling: N had an assessment for her lesson on three-syllable words.

Science: N and C learned about the six types of metal and their properties.

History: N and C learned about the life of Martin Luther, the significance of his Ninety-Five Theses, and its impact on the power of the Catholic Church.

Geography: N and C filled in their maps of South America, Central America, and Europe for review.

Music: N continued practicing her scales and her new lesson. She reviewed her musical notation flash cards.

C (age 10):

Math: C warmed up with mental math. Her lesson was on solving two-step word problems. Word problems have always been a bit sticky with her. She seems to have understood the concept, but I’ll continue to review it with her for the rest of the school year. She completed a lesson review.

Reading: C read a chapter of Farmer Boy. I read N and C a chapter of The Case of the Bizarre Bouquets last night. 

Spelling: C practiced her words with consonant clusters containing “s,” “ch,” and “th.”

Bible: Combined class with N.

History: Combined class with N.

Science: Combined class with N.

Geography: Combined class with N.

Music: C practiced her ukulele.

S (age 7):

Math: S warmed up by counting to 100 by 1s, 5s, and 10s. She recited the days of the week and the months of the year. She learned how to write the numbers 39 and 40. Because S is already proficient at counting by 10s to 100 and that’s what her lesson was on, we also did the next lesson, which was on subtracting one from a number. It took her a while to get used to the idea of thinking in terms of one less than a number rather than one more than a number, but she was able to complete the lesson and a review worksheet. She also did a problem sheet on subtracting one from a number.

Reading: S continued her unit of All About Reading. She warmed up by reading some flashcards (including the sight words “the” and “a”). S learned about periods, question marks, and exclamation points. She began reading words and phrases that she’ll see in the next story she reads. I read S and H a chapter of Rush Revere and the First Patriots last night.

Grammar: S reviewed the poem “Hearts Are Like Doors.” She learned about the parts of a telephone number and began to learn my phone number. We talked about when it is not okay to give someone personal information such as phone numbers and addresses. She reviewed nouns and actions verbs, and identified nouns and action verbs in simple sentences.

Writing: S copied some of the words she’s been learning to read on a worksheet that I made from the Writing Wizard website. She also practiced writing periods, question marks, and exclamation points.

Day 170

Homeschool gym class! It was a fun day today. The kids played street hockey with what looked like giant q-tips and a dodgeball. The kids played hard and aggressively, using some of the skills they learned in soccer during the year. There’s only one homeschool gym class left for the school year. It will be a great last day of school for the spring! They’ll start classes up again in August, when we start our next school year.

Day 169

Library Day! Story times will finish by the end of May. The library takes a month off in June for other kids’ programs, but story time will start up again in July. We’ve really enjoyed making use of the library’s educational programs, so we’ll continue to go throughout the summer, participating in various art and reading programs.

Day 168

Even though we didn’t need to get up early for soccer practice, we started relatively quickly in the morning. The day ran a little long because I had to help N and C with their math lesson reviews. They were done with great reluctance, but they were done. I call that a win!

N (age 12):

Math: N warmed up with mental math. Her lesson was on finding the whole group when a fractions is known. She worked through some initial confusion and finally understood the concept. I think attitude had a lot to do with the difficulty she had picking up the concept. We worked together to finish her lesson review. I had to keep refocusing her on the task at hand. Her mind tends to wander.

Bible: N and C reviewed their memory verses (2 Timothy 3:16-17, Exodus 20:1-17, Psalm 1, Psalm 23, Isaiah 53, Isaiah 9:7, and Micah 5:2) and the books of the Bible. The girls continued their study of the Sermon on the Mount.

Reading: N read a chapter of her library book and a chapter of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. I read N and C a chapter of The Case of the Bizarre Bouquets last night.

Spelling: N continued practicing her lesson on three-syllable words.

Science: N and C learned more about the different properties of metal and its prevalence throughout nature.

Social Studies: N and C watched a video on life for kids in Japan.

Geography: N and C learned about their final European country: Iceland. We used the Time for Kids website. We talked about geothermal energy. We had a good laugh trying to pronounce different phrases in Icelandic.

Music: N continued practicing her scales and her new lesson. She reviewed her musical notation flash cards.

C (age 10):

Math: C warmed up with mental math. Her lesson was on estimating multiplication and division answers. We talked about why it’s important to know how to estimate in every day life.

Reading: C read a chapter of Farmer Boy. I read N and C a chapter of The Case of the Bizarre Bouquets last night. 

Spelling: C practiced her words with consonant clusters containing “s,” “ch,” and “th.”

Bible: Combined class with N.

Social Studies: Combined class with N.

Science: Combined class with N.

Geography: Combined class with N.

Music: C practiced her ukulele.

S (age 7):

Math: S warmed up by counting to 100 by 1s, 5s, and 10s. She recited the days of the week and the months of the year. She learned how to write the numbers 39 and 40. Because S is already proficient at counting by 10s to 100 and that’s what her lesson was on, we also did the next lesson, which was on subtracting one from a number. It took her a while to get used to the idea of thinking in terms of one less than a number rather than one more than a number, but she was able to complete the lesson and a review worksheet. She also did a problem sheet on subtracting one from a number.

Reading: S continued her unit of All About Reading. She warmed up by reading some flashcards (including the sight words “the” and “a”). S read the next story in her storybook. She’s reading more quickly and easily now. S and H were bored with the slow pace of Five Little Peppers and How They Grew. I set that book aside and started reading a guaranteed favorite: Rush Revere and the First Patriots. I love these historically accurate, non-partisan history books, and the kids love the characters (especially Liberty, the talking, time-traveling horse).

Grammar: S reviewed her list of pronouns. The lesson today continued practicing action verbs.

Writing: S copied some of the words she’s been learning to read on a worksheet that I made from the Writing Wizard website.

Day 167

No one, and I mean no one, wanted anything to do with school today. We powered through, but sheesh.

N (age 12):

Math: N did an investigation on solving balanced equations. She’s been solving for missing numbers for a while now, but this is the first time the “balanced” concept was introduced. She had a bit of trouble at first with fractions (isolating “x” by finding the reciprocal of the coefficient), but she had a tenuous grasp by the time we finished the investigation.

Bible: N and C reviewed their memory verses (2 Timothy 3:16-17, Exodus 20:1-17, Psalm 1, Psalm 23, Isaiah 53, Isaiah 9:7, and Micah 5:2) and the books of the Bible. The girls continued their study of the Sermon on the Mount. It’s a lot of information, but we parsed it as much as possible.

Reading: N read a chapter of her library book and a chapter of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. I began reading them the next Enola Holmes book, The Case of the Bizarre Bouquets. This book was the most suspenseful of the series so far. The author very successfully established Enola’s character in the first two books, and was able to focus more on the mystery in this book.

Spelling: N continued practicing her lesson on three-syllable words.

History: N and C learned about Cortez and the legend of El Dorado. We compared the movie to the actual historical accounts.

Science: N and C learned about the different properties of metal and its prevalence throughout nature.

Geography: N and C reviewed their maps of South and Central America.

Music: N continued practicing her scales and her new lesson. She reviewed her musical notation flash cards.

C (age 10):

Math: C and I worked together on her mixed practice from yesterday’s lesson. She was pretty frustrated throughout, highlighting the need for more review for her.

Reading: C began reading Farmer Boy. I began reading them the next Enola Holmes book, The Case of the Bizarre Bouquets.

Spelling: C practiced her words with consonant clusters containing “s,” “ch,” and “th.”

Bible: Combined class with N.

History: Combined class with N.

Science: Combined class with N.

Geography: Combined class with N.

Music: C’s thumb has healed sufficiently to get back to ukulele practice!

S (age 7):

Math: S warmed up by counting to 100 by 1s, 5s, and 10s. She recited the days of the week and the months of the year. She learned how to write the number 38. Her lesson was on geometry. She found four different ways to use her pattern blocks to fill the same shape shape. She finished up with an addition worksheet and a lesson review worksheet.

Reading: S continued her unit of All About Reading. She warmed up by reading some flashcards (including the sight words “the” and “a”). S finished reading the sentences she is likely to find in the next story she reads. She continued being frustrated during the lesson, but was very proud of her accomplishments once she’d finished. I continued reading Five Little Peppers and How They Grew to S and H.

Grammar: S reviewed her list of pronouns. The lesson today continued practicing action verbs.

Writing: S copied some of the words she’s been learning to read on a worksheet that I made from the Writing Wizard website.

Day 166

Last soccer games of the season today. The muddy fields made it a bit iffy, but the high winds, although making it difficult to hear anything on the field during the games, dried things out enough to play. We rushed through most of the classes and hit the fields for some fun.

N (age 12):

Math: N finished her assessment, but was admittedly lazy about it; rather than doing the work, she skipped half the problems. So, I made her redo the assessment under my supervision, and I helped her with the problems she genuinely didn’t understand.

Bible: N and C reviewed their memory verses (2 Timothy 3:16-17, Exodus 20:1-17, Psalm 1, Psalm 23, Isaiah 53, and Isaiah 9:7) and the books of the Bible.

Reading: N read a chapter of her library book and a chapter of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. I finished reading The Case of the Left-Handed Lady to N and C last night.

Spelling: N continued practicing her lesson on three-syllable words.

History: N and C learned about the beginnings of the slave trade (starting with Muslims and African tribes in north and west Africa, and expanding to the West Indies and South America through Spain and Portugal. They learned about the enslavement of the Native South Americans, and about the Midwest Passage.

Science: N and C learned about liquid crystals and LCD technology.

Music: N continued practicing her scales and her new lesson. She reviewed her musical notation flash cards.

Phys. Ed.: Soccer games.

C (age 10):

Reading: C read a chapter of her library book. I finished reading The Case of the Left-Handed Lady to N and C last night.

Spelling: C practiced her words with consonant clusters containing “s,” “ch,” and “th.”

Bible: Combined class with N.

History: Combined class with N.

Science: Combined class with N.

Music: C continued her drumming lessons and played the piano a bit.

Phys. Ed.: Combined class with N, S, and H.

S (age 7):

Math: S warmed up by counting to 100 by 1s, 5s, and 10s. She recited the days of the week and the months of the year. She learned how to write the number 37. Her lesson was on adding zero to a number. She was thrilled with how quickly the lesson went. She finished up with an adding-zero worksheet and a lesson review 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 began reading sentences that she was likely to find in her next story. She started getting upset simply because of the length of the sentences. I had her work in very small bites, and she got through some of the work, but she was unhappy about it. I began reading Five Little Peppers and How They Grew to S and H. I have a vague memory of my fourth grade teacher reading that book to the class, so I thought I’d give it a try with my youngers.

Grammar: S reviewed the poem “Work.” The lesson today introduced action verbs. We took turns naming different action verbs and acting them out.

Writing: S copied some of the words she’s been learning to read on a worksheet that I made from the Writing Wizard website.

Phys. Ed.: Combined class with N, C, and H.

Day 165

An abdominal strain took me out of commission for the rest of the week, but the girls were able to go camping and explore the new wetlands trail at the local state park, so they still got some educational time in! 

Elephant stag beetle

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Nocturnal orb weaver

The campsite

​Huge earthworm


Snapping turtle laying eggs