Friday, June 24, 2011

Summer School Week In Review ...

Summer School is in full effect.  

The girls are LOVING it!  Nothing but fun stuff.  Awesome.

Let me share with you some of the stuff we did this week.  Pretty much all activities were "As A Family", so I'll just write them instead of designating. 

In addition to the fun stuff below, I did spend 15 minutes with the Princess a few mornings this week on her reading lessons.  We've covered short vowels, long vowels, the silent "e" and blends.  She also went ahead and colored her "Word Book".  We will start the "real" lessons next week with "Rain is Falling All Around". 

The Hippie completed several lessons in her Queen Language Lessons book.  She is currently copying Robert Frost's poem, "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening", two lines per day.   

The Hippie also read some in her Reading Literature Second Reader book this week (whenever she finished something else before I was ready to start).  On Monday when she was reading a poem to me, she came across a word she didn't know the meaning of (a drake).  I didn't know what it was either, so I showed her how to look it up in our old fashioned Webster's Dictionary.  Funny thing ~ she mentioned how it was SO OLD ... I had her look up the copyright ... only 1987.  Haha ~ I guess that IS old to her!  Anyway, in case you didn't know it, a drake is a "male duck".  We kinda figured so from the context of the poem, but we wanted to find out for sure.  She's also been reading Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle on her own time ~ she's on chapter 7, I believe.  And, she started Pippi on the South Seas on Wednesday and finished it Friday afternoon!

We finished the James Herriot's Treasury for Children.  This was such a lovely book!  And, thankfully, it is one we own, so they girls can read it over and over (the Hippie has already read many of the stories on her own after we read them together).  We are still working through The Black Stallion at night, but are almost finished. 

What about the fun stuff?


This week we studied Monet's painting "Cliff Walk at Pourville".  It is now hanging on the cork board with the others.

We also read and narrated The Magical Garden of Claude Monet.  

The girls watched Linnea in Monet's Garden on Monday.  I have the book and we are going to read it as well, but I was pretty excited to find the DVD at my library.  It was cool to see the real footage of Monet's actual garden!  

** Side note ~ We decided that we wanted to see how far Monet's Garden is from Nanu's house (my mom lives in Germany), and if it's reasonable, the girls want to go there whenever we get to go visit her next year! 

Science/Nature Study:

On Monday we read "The Century Plant's Wish" out of our Outdoor Secrets book.  The girls narrated it to me then and also told Daddy about it at dinner that night.  

On Tuesday we looked at this website to see pictures of a real Century Plant growing.  We then looked around the internet at other pictures of Century Plants.  We just happen to have an aloe plant at home, so we also took a look at that and compared it to the pictures of the Century Plant.  After all of this, we came inside and the girls drew pictures of the Century Plant in their Nature Notebooks.  The Hippie also copied a small quote from Shakespeare, "How poor are they who have not patience!" into her Nature Notebook.

On Thursday, we read A Desert Scrapbook and talked about all of the life in the Sonoran Desert.  Afterwards, we all drew pictures in our Nature Notebooks.  The Hippie chose to draw a desert tortoise and the Princess and I both drew a Saguaro with a desert sunset in the background.

Here are some pictures of our Science & Nature studies this week ...

The Hippie's

The Princess's

The Hippie's

The Princess's


We've had such a fun time with this this week!  And, I am quite impressed with my ability to make this a group activity and just adjust the level of difficulty for each child's ability.  

On Monday we read Polly Plus and spent some time practicing adding up jewels.  The princess added single digit amounts of jewels to get sums no greater than 10; the hippie added up double digit jewels, starting with the ones.  After some fun practice, we went to the table and we all drew pictures of Polly Plus in our Math Main Lesson Books.  The Hippie also added an equation to show how it is done.  She then did some more practice problems that were written out vertically (I just slid the practice sheet into a page protector and let her do them with wipe-off pens).

The Hippie's

The Princess's
Tuesday was the best.  After we'd finished up our fun with the Century Plant, I had the girls go dress up as Polly Plus and grab a basket.  I set out a jewel treasure hunt around the house (it's too hot and smoky due to wildfires outside or we would have done this outside).  I set out single jewel piles for the Princess to find (sums no greater than ten) and I set out bags and singles of jewels for the Hippie to find (bags contain 10, so each bag equals 1 in the tens place).  I gave them each a clipboard, a pencil and a blank practice sheet with the following all the way down it:

_____ + _____ = _____

We went on the hunt and each time they found jewels, they counted the first pile, wrote the number in the first blank, counted the second pile, wrote it in the second blank and added them together.  Sometimes they could do them in their head and sometimes they just counted their jewels.  They had SO MUCH FUN!  The Princess kept saying "we'd never get to this in a school!" and the Hippie (much to my surprise since she is older) really got into her role as Polly Plus.  She brought them all to King Divide at them end ... Then, they each counted jewels to make sure that we again had 10 in each bag and they stuck the sheets they had filled into their Math MLBs.  Such a fun day!

 On Thursday, I had the Hippie copy a little poem into her Math MLB to remind her to start with the ones when she does her addition.  She also worked on some practice problems that I made up for her.  She did use her jewels to do these, but then I showed her how it worked on paper, too.

** Another side note.  It almost seems as if the Hippie read somewhere that she would begin to love cooking when she approached the "9 year change".  She has never really cared much about helping me in the kitchen (though her sister has always loved to help cook), but suddenly she is ALL ABOUT COOKING.  No joke.  The girl is hooked.  She has somehow gotten hooked on Giada at Home and wants to watch it every afternoon with her snack (it comes on at 4:30 here on the Food Network).  She also wants to make SOMETHING in the kitchen like several times a day.  I've had to reel her in just a bit ~ we can't afford for her to use up all of our food, nor can we afford for her to make some of the concoctions she's run by me ... if they didn't turn out to be edible, we'd have to toss them and we simply can't have that!  The girl does NOT want to follow any directions or recipes; she wants to be creative and make up her own things.  So far lately, she's made us a peach & mango cobbler, and apple pie dessert, a fruit salad, some little cucumber, cheese and herb snacks, a berry-aid slushy, a cherry-almond crunch smoothie, an apple cobbler, peanut butter/banana/chocolate chip cobbler  ...

Our summer Library event took us to China on Tuesday.  We went to the library and watched Kung Fu Panda and did Tangrams.  This led to some Tangram play at home on Wednesday morning (we have a set of wooden Tangrams at home).

Wednesday morning met us with sneezes, sniffles, a few coughs and still terrible smoke outside due to the nearby wildfires.  We were all tired and just didn't feel like doing much, so after our morning walk, we snuggled up on the couch to watch Kit Kittredge: An American Girl Movie.  We had popcorn and watched a movie ... at 9:00 in the morning.  Ahhhh, nice.  And, hey, it was set in the depression era, so that could count for history, right?  LOL  Other than that, we did some cleaning, some reading and just sort of took it easy.

A Pioneer Sampler also arrived in the mail on Wednesday.  I ordered it to use in planning my third grade year, but the Hippie was tickled pink to spend some time reading it.  She LOVES the Laura Ingles Wilder books, and this book was a perfect supplement, showing her how people of the 1800s lived.  She eats that stuff up.  I'm gonna have to pry it from her hands to get any planning done!  :)

Friday was another relaxing day.  I'm not sure if it's cold symptoms, allergies or just all the smoke from the wildfires, but Momma was just feeling a little blah.  Oh, and that time of the month thing ... aahhh, being a woman.  

Anyway, even though we did not do "official school", the Hippie still managed to fit in "the three R's", as they say.  She did a page of math practice (two digit addition), finished reading Pippi in the South Seas, did some Tangram puzzles and baked (again) a banana, peanut butter, chocolate chip cobbler ... YUM!  As usual, the measuring spoons needed were not all clean, so she easily added fractions on the fly to figure it out.  She's gonna make me fat(ter) with all this baking!

Three full days and two relaxing, yet educational ones ... not bad for a week of SUMMER SCHOOL!

And, I'll leave you with some other pictures from our week ...

The Hippie made Gnomes
The Princess made Momma & Daddy


  1. Love the drawings! Good job, mom. I need some more math ideas since that's what flopped with us (well, me) so terribly for 1st grade. Thanks. :o)

  2. What lovely girls you have :).

    I love your idea with hiding the jewels and then finding them to add. I think I may um use it for my littlest(if you don't mind). My 10-year-old was looking over my shoulder while reading and gave your choice of books 2 thumbs up. She loved them for third grade, and yes that is when cooking on her own kicked in for her too.

    Many Blessings !

  3. Thanks to you both! The girls LOVED the "Treasure Hunt" ... and it was quite easy to modify for the two levels ... I just hid like 6 jewels and then 3 jewels down the right side of the walk (for the little one) and 37 jewels and 21 jewels down the left side of the walk for the older one ... it was a real hit!

    So nice to meet you, dkjsv05 (not sure what to call you, LOL). I check your blog DAILY and have used a lot of it for inspiration. I realize you were much more "into" Waldorf dogma in 3rd grade and have since "relaxed", but I love your recommendations for 3rd grade! I have been reading the Family Treasury of Jewish Holidays and am LOVING It ... I'm really looking forward to putting the year together OUR WAY ... using Farming and Old Testament and Native Americans as a base, but doing our own thing ~ I agree with just about everything you say about relaxing and following YOUR OWN family's needs instead of dogma associated with any one philosophy! We'll see how it goes.

    Blessings to you both! I love having "blogger buddies" :)

  4. Love, love, love it! The pictures are great too! I was just reminded this weekend of the flamenco dress I bought Michaela in Spain last year, and there she is in it! It fits perfectly!!! Loved the picture of the family of four sith "Cook" spelled down the middle of Mama!!!


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