Friday, October 15, 2010

Our seventh week in review: October 11-18

This week has been an unusual mishmash of full, accomplished-feeling days with unsettled half-days. 

Tuesday morning was my monthly coffee with long-time friends, when we meet sans kids (except for infants) and talk about everything under the sun.  Mike wasn't able to work from home that morning as he had to meet with clients, so Daisy went down the street to play with her youngest cousin for a few hours.  She began work on her NaNoWriMo workbook while there.  We only "did" school for two hours that afternoon as we also prepped for hosting Girl Scouts that evening.

Wednesday was PSAT day.  Older Sister took it this year as practice, so we had to get her to school by 8am as usual and then pick her up at 11:30.  Way to mess up the day!  No organized schooling was accomplished after 11am.

Word problem torture continued, with more percent of and percent off and rate problems.  I am so mean.  But Friday we did do some MOEMS contest problems!  Patty Paper Geometry has been ordered.

Stupid supply order hasn't yet arrived today (Friday---ordered last Wednesday----it's on the UPS truck in town somewhere), so that threw off my entire schedule for the week.  We spent this week covering the water cycle (Chapter 4, CPO Earth Science), watching a fab Bill Nye dvd on Monday, reading and discussing section 4.2 and the chapter connection on caves.  We obsessed over Investigation 4A, the slowest ever water cycle simulation.   A combination of not enough sun and cool house temperatures teamed to produce v.e.r.y.s.l.o.w. evaporation and condensation of water in our salt and fresh water GeoBoxes.  Possibly unexciting pictures to follow.

Another fun week of Egypt!  We studied Hatshepsut, a female pharoh

Amenhotep aka Akhenaten and the family including Nefertiti

and his boy Tutankhaten/Tutankhamen

The resources pictured above were used in conjunction with K12's Human Odyssey Vol. 1 (chapters 8 and 9) and Oxford Press's The Ancient Egyptian World (chapters 11, 13, 14, 15, and 16).    That DK Tut book is fabulous, btw.  Daisy has been reading bits and pieces to me for the past hour.

We also revisited the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archeology and Anthropology's website at to explore their collections online.  Daisy thought it was so cool to see the artifacts pictured in her books on their website.  We'll be visiting them in person hopefully before Thanksgiving!  I also need to book our timed tickets to see the touring Cleopatra exhibit at the Franklin Institute (see )

Language Arts
In Voyages in English 6 (2006 edition), we covered the use of sensory language in writing, simile and metaphor, and misused words (lie/lay, sit/set, your/you're etc).  We moved into adjectives in grammar---descriptive adjectives, definite and indefinite articles (yawn), numerical adjectives (ditto), adjectives as subject complements and comparative and superlative adjectives.

Daisy began reading The Golden Goblet Thursday and should be finished today.  She is not enjoying the storyline nor the writing style but is slogging through.  She would prefer a female protagonist.

We started meter in Building Poems and spent an afternoon trying to fit normal speech into iambic pentameter.  Seriously. 

As I mentioned at the top, work has begun on the NaNoWriMo workbook.  She is a braver person than I.  The thought of creative writing makes me twitch.

Sigh.  This is hard!  Reading in French is coming much easier to both of us than speaking it.  Older Sister laughs at our accents and attempts to help us correct them.  I expect we'll improve with practice.  Right?  This week we continued talking about items in a classroom and the verb avoir.  I'm having the dickens of a time trying to remember genders of nouns as I keep getting them mixed up with German genders...

Other fun stuff
At Girl Scouts this week, the girls started and completed the Earth Explorers badge.  We have the perfect backyard for that badge, the reason I volunteered to host and plan, with a creek at the bottom and 30' or so of native plants/trees before the grassy part.  They used that portion of the yard for activity 1 (Be an Ecologist) and activity 8 (learn how to ID 5 native plants).  We discussed how the space had changed from the past and how it might change in the future (activity 2: Traveling Through Time).  For activity 4 (Reading the Ringes) Mike cut slices from a small fallen tree as we didn't have a stump nearby.  Once back inside we discussed adaptation of plants and animals in extreme climates (activity 7).  Finally, the girls played a food web/food chain game I made using index cards (activity 5).

For exercise, Daisy had a in-studio ballet performance on Sunday and her usual three classes.  The Nutcracker cast was posted this week and rehearsals begin on Saturday.  Production week will be a little hairy as it is also tech week for Older Sister's high school production of A Christmas Carol!

She and Older Sister played flute together.  Daisy also started making Halloween crafty decorations for this year.  We picked up some pumpkins ($1 and $2 each!) on the way home from the RenFaire last week, and Mike and Daisy have been making their plans for carving.
Best of the week: definitely the history discussions we have as Daisy does her reading (including the one we're having now!)  I probably should have her writing more, though I'm afraid that would slow down her thoughts as she makes connections and draws conclusions. 

Worst of the week: stupid PSAT day in the middle of the week!  In frustrating college news, Older Brother spent his day off school (seniors are off on PSAT day) with Mike visiting Johns Hopkins and American University.  No change expressed in college preferences as of yet.  No headway made on the Common Application.  Mike will be bottling his latest homebrew this weekend...

Looking ahead to next week:  We'll do Investigation 4B and a Ground Water and Wells activity (done as a lab), plus probably Investigation 5A whatever that might be.  It looks like we'll be wrapping up Egypt, unless more Cleopatra resources on request come in at the library.

By the way, I posted the pictures from last Friday's field trip to the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire yesterday :)

Have a great weekend everyone!


  1. So you must live near the Wash. DC metro area? So do I. Why is your son interested in Johns Hopkins and American U? My 15 yo had took the PSAT this week as well.

    I loved the book The Golden Goblet! Great reading!

  2. I'm interested to hear what you think of Patty Paper Geometry. I have it set aside for my oldest. Geom. is NOT his thing (he's a numbers guy all the way). I'm hoping when we get to it this will be a fun supplement. Do you have a good outlet for patty paper?

  3. Good luck with the college thing and I hope the guy in the brown truck shows up.

  4. I also hope your brown-clad friend showed up sooner than later!

  5. It looks like you had a great week!
    We liked Cleopatra by Diane Stanley.
    I'm interested in the Patty Paper Geometry also. I think I may add that in next year.

  6. How do you like CPO science? I looked at CPO, but I wasn't sure how well it would work at home since it seemed more like a school based text calling for labs with esoteric ingredients and equipment not found at home. Perhaps this isn't true. Does CPO work well at home?
    "This week has been an unusual mishmash of full, accomplished-feeling days with unsettled half-days." I know the feeling all to well.

  7. I can relate to the full vs unsettled half-days...unfortunately they are the norm for my weeks, it seems. The Earth Explorers badge sounds great, as does your yard! :)
    You asked about the Teaching Company lectures we're watching -- this is our first (Great Battles of the Ancient World) but our library has lots! :) It's a bit over my girls' heads, both the level of the subject matter and the speaker's style but I'm really enjoying it! Plus I have the guidebook, which is helpful even if it isn't an exact outline.