Monday, February 27, 2012

Week in Review

Sorry about the delay, guys. We had quite an eventful weekend and I just never found the time to write. Have you been wondering how we spent last week? How was your week? Did you celebrate Pancake Day / Shrove Tuesday? What about Ash Wednesday? Does your faith recognize Lent? Did you give something up?

Here in our home, we did recognize Pancake Day, just for fun. But, that provided an opportunity to discuss the history behind it. I explained what Lent was and we all talked about the kinds of things that we would give up if we recognized that in our family. The girls tried to convince Daddy to give up chocolate, which he (of course) said he would NEVER do. I said that I would give up Facebook (again, IF we did this in our home, which we don't). Daddy suggested that the girls would/could give up t.v. Their reaction was similar to that of his to the chocolate. And, they don't even watch much. But, they do like to watch their library movies (Benji, Lassie, Pet's Dragon, that sort of thing) when it's raining or their little shows (the Hippie loves Mythbusters, the Princess still loves Little Einsteins) in the mornings if Momma's moving slow. We talked about the reason for Pancake Day (it started as a way to use up ingredients that would not be used during Lent) and a little bit about other faiths. We talked about Lent symbolizing the sacrifice of Jesus.

This week has been sort of more relaxed. No wait, we've been relaxing steadily. That's right. I already knew that. And, I already decided that it was okay. Slow and steady. Thanks for the reminder.


Seriously though, I have been suffering from some severe allergy symptoms (yes, already). It's a catch 22 situation for me. Either I cannot function because I cannot breathe ... or I take a benadryl and then I cannot function because I am drugged and dopey. Needless to say, that makes for an interesting teacher. We did manage to squeeze in four good school days this week, even with my "condition". I didn't have real plans laid out this week. I just went with it. And, for whatever reason, I woke up Monday morning in the mood for a "math block". So, that's what we did.

So, what exactly did we accomplish this week, you ask?


The Princess learned that when two consonants come together at the end of a word, the vowel before them generally says its short sound. She got several opportunities to practice this rule through copying words and sentences that use it as well as reading words and sentences that use it. We also talked about short words with one vowel at the end and how the vowel will generally say its name (like go, be, my). I think she already knew this one inherently. She and I did a little picture study with the painting "Playing With Baby" by Francis David Millet.

The Princess read three more stories to me from her Reading-Literature The Primer book by Harriette Treadwell. This week she read "Chicken Little", "Three Billy Goats Gruff" and "Little Tuppens". She has only one more story to read and she will have finished the entire book. She's pretty stoked about that! In all honesty, she is reading pretty fluently, but I want to continue to have her read to me. I didn't really do this with her sister and I think she may have skipped along too quickly because of it. Plus, I enjoy the time the Princess and I spend together on the couch or in my bed.

The girls finished their thank you cards this week as well. If you're someone who might be expecting to receive one, please know that it is MY fault they haven't been mailed yet. The girls did their part (though I only ask them to do one per day ... I wouldn't want them to get sloppy and careless), but I have not yet addressed and mailed them.

The Hippie learned to write Hs, Js and Ks this week in cursive. She needed a little one-on-one time with the lower case k, so we took some extra time working on those together. By the end of our one-on-one session, her lower case k's looked good. On a side note, I have a vivid memory of my own elementary school experience with the lower case k in cursive. I remember clear as day doing an entire practice page incorrectly and feeling SO DEJECTED because of it. I had worked so hard, only to get that paper full of RED INK the next day. I'm so grateful to have the opportunity to sit with my daughter, one-on-one and make sure she gets it right the first time.

She finished copying the poem "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening" by Robert Frost this week. She was beyond excited about that! And, of course, she has inadvertently memorized the poem as well. She recited it for me and again for Daddy at dinner. In addition to the copywork, she worked with capitalization this week ~ capitalizing at the beginning of sentences and names.

She read a couple more chapters of The Family Under the Bridge this week and narrated each one to me. She also read "Lost! A Dog Called Bear" by Wendy Orr (in one sitting). We checked this out from the library on Thursday. It's the first one in a new series about shelter rescues. She finished Nim's Island for the bzillionth time.

I started a new book with them this week that we are LOVING! If you haven't read Twig with your children, you must. We started it on Monday and the Hippie immediately decided that she must build a Fairy House. So, she spent her "quiet time" that day building a Fairy House, complete with Fairy Furniture and a Fairy Garden. She made a sort of "For Rent" sign and placed the house and sign in my open window. She says that a family (the Carsons) moved in almost immediately.

We also continued to read Black Beauty at night. Daddy is reading this one at bedtime and I am reading Twig during the day.


The robins continue to raid our yard these days. I've enjoyed watching them ... my husband asked if I was going to become a "bird watcher". What can I say? The past few years of homeschooling have awakened a newly discovered appreciation for nature in me. I love to watch the birds and the squirrels and just admire the handywork of our Creator. As for school, we didn't "do" much in the way of Nature this week. I did read "Two True Stories about Robins" from our Outdoor Secrets book on Tuesday. I found it amusing that when I asked if they knew what state Philadelphia was in, neither child knew (don't judge ... we haven't done US Geography yet). But, when I asked if they new what football team was in Philadelphia, the Hippie didn't skip a beat before answering "the Eagles" ... like "duh". Guess that says something about my family. I'm cool with that.  :-)

While we're on the subject of geography, I guess I'll go ahead and mention that we read the chapter about Agoonack the little Esquimo girl this week in that lovely book I discovered, The Seven Little Sisters Who Live on the Round Ball that Floats in the Air by Jane Andrews. We read about the time when there is no sunlight at all (way up in the super cold north). We read about life in an igloo and what they eat and wear and do. We read about the Northern Lights and I was happy when the Hippie told me that was what was being described. I can't say enough great things about this book. It is just a lovely introduction to the geography of our world!


We decided to take a break from Dreambox this week and just do some actual math lessons together. I did these lessons separately with each child for the most part and made them fun, physical and artistic. It was really nice to see the light in the Hippie's eyes. She just eats up that one on one attention! Let me break down for you exactly what we did. I'll start with the Princess.

The Princess and I worked with the numbers one through three this week. She already has a good understanding of numbers and addition and math in general, but I still wanted to spend the time on the quality of numbers .. for the fun of it.


We talked about the things in the world that come in only one ~ there's only one me, one God, one sun, one world, one Human Family, one nose, one mouth, one moon (for Earth anyway). We talked about Unity  and listened to the songs One Love by Bob Marley and One Day by Matisyahu and One by Badda Skat. I told her a story about a shepherd who was trying to keep track of his sheep. He didn't have any paper or writing utensils, so he used what he had on hand ~ twigs. We used this story to illustrate how to use Roman Numerals. I wanted to go outside and draw a big ONE with chalk to have her hop, but my allergies were really bothering me, so she made a ONE with a blanket instead and jumped it ... in one hop. After all of this, she drew her ONE picture and wrote the number, the Roman Numeral and the word.


We talked about the things in the world that come in pairs ~ two eyes, two parents, two dogs, two cats, two sisters (all in our family). We talked about pairs and opposites. We revisited our shepherd story and made the Roman Numeral II with two twigs. We also used two jewels to demonstrate the only ways that TWO can be divided ~ 2 is 2+0, 2 is 1+1 and 2 is 0+2. After all of this, she drew her TWO picture and wrote the number, the Roman Numeral and the word. She also wrote out the equations for ONE and TWO.


Today we took our work outside into the beautiful day. First of all, the Princess and I tossed an orange back and forth while reviewing the math facts for ONE and TWO and we went ahead and added in the ones for THREE (as I said, she already knows this stuff). We looked around the yard for things that came in threes ~ three palm trees, three robins in the yard, etc. She collected three leaves and three rocks and we talked about the things in the world that come in threes ~ three sides to a triangle, three leaves on a clover, three primary colors. We drew these things on the driveway and the Princess drew a giant ONE, TWO and THREE. She hopped them forwards and backwards and we spent some time marching and clapping our way down the driveway, counting by fives and tens to a hundred. We also counted forward and backwards up to ten. We revisited our shepherd story and made the Roman Numeral III with three twigs. Finally, we used three rocks to demonstrate the ways that THREE can be divided ~ 3 is 3+0, 3 is 2+1, 3 is 1+2 and 3 is 0+3. After all of this, she drew her THREE picture and wrote the number, the Roman Numeral and the word.

The Hippie and I moved a bit more quickly, just reviewing.

On the first day, we worked with 1-4. We talked about some of the same things I mentioned above (with the Princess). We used four jewels to show the ways we could make up ONE, TWO, THREE and FOUR. She drew her pictures for the numbers one through four and wrote out the addition facts for those four numbers. Easy Peasy.

On the second day, we tossed an orange back and forth while we reviewed all of the math facts for 1 through 4. Of course, we spent most of the time chasing the orange around the kitchen. After we'd reviewed the previous days' numbers, we talked about and made all of the possibilities for FIVE and SIX. We used jewels to show all the possible addition facts and then she drew her picture for FIVE and SIX.

On the third day, we headed outside to review what we'd covered for ONE through SIX and to work with the number SEVEN. We tossed that orange back and forth some more, chanting addition facts to each other. She gathered up some rocks and we used them to also work through the multiplication facts for 2, 4 and 6.  After all of the review, we talked about the number SEVEN and what significant things come in sevens ~ Seven days of creation, Seven days of the week, Seven colors in the rainbow. We used the rocks to determine all of the addition facts for SEVEN and wrote them out on the driveway in chalk. The Hippie drew seven objects on the driveway and then hopped them while counting forward and backwards from 1 to 7 and 7 to 1. After all of the fun, she came inside and drew her picture for SEVEN.


We enjoyed the book and audio this week for The Orchestra by Mark Rubin. The girls sat on the couch together with the book while I played the audio CD of the same book, a dramatic telling done by Peter Ustinov. It really does a good job of introducing all of the instruments and the terminology. We also played classical music on Pandora all week when we were doing "schoolish" things.


As I said at the beginning of this post, we did celebrate Pancake Day on Tuesday. After our normal school day, we read aloud If You Give a Pig a Pancake together and then made .... drumroll ... you guessed it ... PANCAKES for lunch. Here are a few pictures of the fun.

We finished off our week with our homeschool group at the library. The moms got the next six months planned out while the kids worked on their scrapbooks and played together. After we were finished, we headed into the children's section and checked out some more books.

That about sums up our week. Have a wonderful week. I'll leave you with some random pictures that didn't make it into the rest of the post.

1 comment:

  1. Hi! I saw your link on charlottemasonhelp's Yahoo group and wanted to check out your blog. I enjoyed reading this post. It looks like a fun school week. I'm looking forward to reading some more of your posts as time allows. Come by to my blog neighborhood and say hi. :-)


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