Friday, April 15, 2011

Our 30th and 31st weeks: April 4-15

I was soooo busy last weekend with Older Sister's musical performances (she was fab as Ursula in Bye Bye Birdie!) that I just couldn't find time to post a weekly update.  I didn't even read other blogs...

Spring has sprung and attention spans have suffered!  Daisy spent some of her birthday money on Lego Harry Potter for the wii and miraculously, her attention and motivation returned.  School started earlier and went quicker this week than in past weeks so that she would have time to play.  I wish every day would be like the last few days!

On the teacher side, I'm very excited to take part in the Royal Fireworks Press/Peacehill Press mini-convention in Valley Forge PA in June!  This replacement for the canceled Northeast Great Homeschool Convention will be more relevant to me, as this will truly be an education-focused event rather than a "homeschooling as a lifestyle" convention.  Michael Clay Thompson and Susan Wise Bauer are two fascinating writers and speakers and I can't wait to hear them in person and peruse their curricula. 

I'm most looking forward to getting to know WTM board members with whom I'll be staying in dorms and eating communally---so much nicer than separate hotels and a gigantic convention center.  Sure, I'm sad about missing the book fondling opportunities at the vendor hall but our proposed "curriculum show-and-tell" will fill that slot nicely :)

I finally did something I had been meaning to do since the fall!  I posted a "look inside" review of Daisy's vocabulary program, Vocabulary Workshop from Sadlier-Oxford publishing.  You can view the separate blog post right here.

Topics covered during these weeks include:
  • multiplication and division of exponents
  • negative exponents, multiplication/division of negative exponents
  • zero as an exponent
  • scientific notation (as a review)
  • addition/subtraction of fractions containing monomials
We didn't do any "fun" math at all.  Next week I'll pull out Zaccaro's Challenge Math and have Daisy choose a new chapter to start.

  • read and discussed the second half of Chapter 12 in CPO Earth Science
  • watched Bill Nye Volcanoes
  • watched National Geographic Volcano: Nature's Inferno.  Daisy did not enjoy this dvd.  I had to skip over the parts about volcanologists killed in the field :(
  • took the Ch. 12 assessment orally
  • started bulding a volcano
It was a family project.
ready for plaster of paris strips
Who decided to do this on a windy day??
And of course, the weather turned cold and rainy which drastically slowed the drying process.

Minerals and rocks!
  • completed Investigation 13A: Mineral Identification (no pictures)
  • read and discussed section 13.1, Composition of Rocks
  • watched Bill Nye "Rocks and Soil"
  • painted the volcano (happening right now so no picture yet)
  • completed Investigation 13B: Igneous Rocks

Chapter 7 (Part 4) of Human Odyssey Vol. 1 "Of Land and Loyalty"
  • discussed the feudal system, chivalry, castles, life in the city vs country vs castle
  • watched David Macaulay's Castle dvd
  • read from Kathryn Hinds's wonderful medieval history collection, The City, The Country and The Castle (from Marshall Cavendish publishing; out of print).  There is a fourth book in the series, The Church, which our library system doesn't have.
We enjoyed the reproductions of medieval paintings, tapestries and other art works throughout the books.
When we study the Renaissance next fall, we will use the Marshall Cavendish series also authored by Kathryn Hinds.

Chapter 8 "An Age of Faith: The Church in Western Europe"
  • discussed the hierarchy of the church in those days
  • watched David Macaulay's Cathedral (fascinating!)
  • looked at cathedral pictures online...discussed future vacation plans...
  • read Chapter 6 in The European World
  • discussed The Crusades
  • discussed pilgrimages
covered progressive and perfect tenses, adverbs of various sorts, adverb phrases and clauses

units 11 and 12 in Vocabulary Workshop A

We waited in vain for El Cid by Geraldine McCaughrean to be sent to our library branch.  Daisy read My Guardian Angel by Sophie Weil (about an 11th century Jewish girl in France during the First Crusade) and The Road to Damietta by Scott O'Dell (about the life of St. Francis of Assisi).  She enjoyed the first but only tolerated the second book.

We are working our way through Chapter 5 of So You Really Want to Learn French 1 (Galore Park), covering
  • the verb aller
  • means of transportation
  • days of the week
  • school subjects
  • adjectives
  • masculine and feminine endings for adjectives
  • colors and their endings
Daisy wrote her first translation without my help!  It was a twelve line dialogue between students discussing favorite classes on different days of the week.

I plan on posting a similar "look inside" for SYRWTLF as I did with Vocabulary Workshop, so stay tuned :)

Other stuff
Last week we were crazed with Older Sister's musical rehearsal schedule.  Luckily Daisy had spring break for ballet or I would have been driving all.the.time.  The weather has been very spring-like, either beautiful and warm or rainy and cool.  We've been enjoying the flowering trees, the return to green grass and the multitude of birds.  Later sunsets mean later dinners which mean later bedtimes for Daisy---almost like summer.  We need Easter break!

The best of the weeks: playing with rocks, discussing castles, flying through French

The worst of the weeks: rain ruining outdoor plans, tears over math when forced to (gasp) actually expend effort

Looking forward to: Easter break!  Older Sister will be at home all next week and the first few days after Easter, Older Brother will be at home starting next Wednesday but all of the following week.  Both siblings will be studying hard for upcoming AP exams.  While they work, Daisy will do light schooling during those times---most likely a bit of math and French each day with history and science scheduled in blocks.  We will definitely take off from Holy Thursday through Easter Sunday!  We attend all Triduum services in the evenings at church, which forces us to eat earlier than usual during a holiday break and stay up a bit later.

Have a great weekend everyone!


  1. My daughter really liked My Guardian Angel too. I haven' seen the Scott O'Dell book but we like him as an author. Maybe I'll hunt for it. Great week in review!

  2. Another wonderful week! Isn't it amazing how fast our children can do their work when they are motivated? I have to admit that even I love Lego Harry Potter, and if I was a kid it would have definitely motivated me!

  3. Oh enjoy your time with SWB and MCT! I would really love to get my hands on MCT's materials. Looks like an awesome week. Funny what motivates kids, huh?!