Friday, September 17, 2010

Week 3: 9/13-9/17

I was so busy this past weekend that I did NOT get all the planning and prep done for the week that I had intended.  Never doing that again!  I felt scattered most of the week, sigh.

Continued review of pre-algebra topics, focusing on manipulation of decimals (word problems) this week.  Daisy definitely prefers to do her problems on the whiteboard, just an 12x18 one, instead of on paper.  It works for me!  Her older sister has taken to doing Alg 2 problems on the whiteboard as well.

(Monday) Read and discussed the final section of CPO Earth Science Chapter 1.

(Tuesday) Visited a few local state park sites with Daddy (the small zoo and a historic barn turned into a local history and folk art museum) to cross off some of the items needed in the state park scavenger hunt.  If we complete 12 or more activities, we'll earn a free state parks parking pass for next year!  I was at a monthly coffee with a great group of friends.  Some of us have been together for 17 years :)

(Wednesday) Chapter 1 activity/demo on observation of two identical liquids, Chapter 1 assessment (orally), and started the Chapter 1 project which involves observing an object in nature for 10 days.  In the afternoon, we attended the open house preview for the year's science classes through the most-local of our state parks (3 miles away!).  If she signs up for at least 10 classes in advance (at $5-6 per class), we're eligible for a 10% discount.  The schedule sheets are all marked up now!  Daisy was a little disappointed in the open house activity as mainly much younger children were participating.  Hopefully, the age-separated groups for the science classes will be more to her liking.

(Thursday) Moved onto Chapter 2--measurement.  Discussed length, weight and volume in both English and SI units.  Measured random stuff because that's fun to do.

(Friday)  Section 2.2, time and temperature.  Time took only a few minutes (hahaha),  but we spent an hour on temperature.  I found all the various thermometers in the house (candy, meat, big one for lab), we discussed the differences between F and C, then we worked conversions between F and C on the whiteboard.  Math and science together, part of my evil plan.  Then we watched Bill Nye Measurement for reinforcement and extension.

Sumer---daily life, religion/gods

We used Human Odyssey chapters 3 and 4, Ancient Near Eastern World chapters 5,9,12,13, and 15, various two-page spreads from Eyewitness Mesopotamia, one reading from Outrageous Women of Ancient Times (Enheduana), and two activities from Hands-on Ancient People vol 1.  Right now Daisy is finishing the painting for the Babylonian mosaics from the Gate of Ishtar and the papier mache is drying for a ziggurat (base is a styrofoam cone---the styrofoam blocks were too expensive).  We watched Bill Nye Archeology on Monday.  Today she read the first literature selection to go with our history studies----The Golden Bull by Marjorie Cowley.  I aksed her to read about half, but as you can see

she enjoyed the book and finished before eating lunch.

Grammar studies in Voyages in English 6 centered around nouns, with possessive nouns, nouns showing joint and separate possession, appositives, words used as nouns and verbs and words used as nouns and adjectives.  Some concepts were new which was good as Daisy was feeling like everything was just boring review.

For writing, we discussed revising sentences and chosing more exact descriptive words.  Next week we'll begin the beta-testing of the new writing curriculum from Susan Wise Bauer.  Daisy is motivated to begin because after we work on the first two weeks, she gets to start the activities in the Young Writer's Program workbook for NaNoWriMo!

Reading/literature is so far informal.  She reads at least one book daily.  We'll work on literary terms and such as soon as the new-to-us Figuratively Speaking arrives.

Other activities:
Back to the usual three-days-a-week ballet schedule, plus rehearsals for an in-studio performance each Saturday.  The Girl Scout activity for this Sunday fell through, so they won't meet until next week (I think---better go read that email again!).  I do need to figure out what to do about instrumental music.  Daisy is going to participate in the National Mythology Exam this winter, so she's checked out a lot of mythology books from the library and enjoys reading those during her free time.  I think we might buy the higher level Greek mythology book (listed on the contest bibliography---Grueber?) because she has our copy of d'Aulaires almost committed to memory.

Best of the week: history and science discussions over piles of books at the kitchen table

Worst of the week: having to wait an very long time for library requests!  The library system switched to new software, enabling inter-county requests and a much better database search.  Unfortunately the implementation and learning curve (poor librarians!) slowed down all the requests I had in the system.  It took some items 10 days to be sent from one branch to ours, after the requests were shown as "in transit."  Some things haven't even been pulled yet after 2.5 weeks from requesting.  Oh well, I'm just going to plan way ahead and request the remaining Egypt resources instead of waiting until half-way through that topic.


  1. Great week! I think white boards may just be my #1 homeschool supply. We can't live without them. My daughter loved The Golden Bull also!

  2. Sounds like a great week! Kudos to your dd for undertaking the mythology exam! I love the way you pick the best and worst of your week. I'm trying to figure out how to make my weekly wrap ups shorter and more interesting, so I might borrow your idea.

  3. I understand how you feel about needing to plan in advance. I always admire people who can just pick up and go! But I still think your week sounded wonderful--even for someone who HAD been able to plan it all out! :)

  4. Great post. I like the best/worst too, good idea.
    I hate it when I either don't finish planning or it somehow goes awry, a bad link or some such thing that just throws me off.
    Your dd sounds like mine, we are actually moving to Bullfinch because she pretty much committed to memory all the younger mythology versions. We are doing the National Mythology exam this year too.

  5. Love your blog background!! I'm hoping to take a picture similar for mine. :)
    Earning a state parking pass sounds great!
    Lee (5wolfcubs)

  6. I am so glad I stopped by. I want my DD~13 to do the NaNoWriMo this year too. What is your daughter's projected word count goal? How are you preparing? What is "beta-testing?" The National Mythology Exam? I'm going to look in to this. Ditto on feeling scattered when all the planning prep done for the week doesn't get done, but still, it sounds as if your week went well. Thanks for sharing.

  7. Wildiris, she hasn't yet decided on a word count. We're going to use the middle school (or is it called junior high?) workbook posted on starting sometime around October 1.

    Beta testing is trying out a new program/book/system before it is released to the general public. I saw a post on WTM during the summer asking for 5th grade writers of various skill levels and interests.

    The National Mythology Exam info can be found at She'll be taking the exam through a local homeschooling group but I see that individual students can participate as well.

    Thanks so much for stopping by! It's very exciting to have readers :)

  8. The color of ur couch is awesome. I love the bright color

  9. White boards make everything better, don't they?!?

    I am definitely borrowing your best of/worst of idea, too.