Saturday, March 24, 2012

Week in Review

Signs of spring ... leaves that were not there only a few days ago.  
Oh yes, oh yes, it's Spring Time (in the words of Little Einsteins to Vivaldi's Spring The Four Seasons). This week was Spring Break for the local school kids. We did manage to squeeze in a bit of school, but the girls also got a lot of opportunities to play with their friends on our street and I was happy to allow it. It also allowed Momma a major teacher planning day yesterday (more on that in a future post). Anyway, here's a peek at what we did accomplish this week. For some reason, I did not break out my camera very often.


We read the story of how Joseph was sold this week for our Old Testament story. Of course, the girls already knew the story and it was a beautiful moment when the Princess's face lit up and said "I know this story. We used to have this book" (I think she was referring to a library book I'd checked out before about Joseph). I kind of glossed over the fact that Jacob had many wives and many children from various women (didn't really want to get into that with my 7 and 9 year olds), but I did have to mention it briefly so that they understood the reason that he loved Joseph more than the others ~ because he was the son of Rachel, the only woman he truly loved. Anyway, the Hippie drew her picture and did her copywork from the story.

She tells me this is all of the wheat bowing down to Joseph's wheat. 

The Hippie started a couple of new books this week. She read the first five chapters of The Children of Noisy Village by Astrid Lingren. She also checked a book out from the library about a cat that someone dropped in the book return at a library. It is called Dewey and it is based on a true story (she loves true stories and she loves cats). She is on chapter eight at the moment.

The Princess and I read "The Bremen Band" together in her Reading Literature First Reader book. She giggled the entire time. It was written like a play, so I had to read some of the parts to make it more interesting. It was true to the actual fairy tale. I decided that we will use the fairy tale "The Bremen Town Musicians" in a couple of weeks. I'm sure she'll get a kick out of realizing that it is the same one we already read together. She has also been reading another book about the same cat, a picture book about Dewey. In addition to that, she checked out about five or six books about cats and has been reading through them.

As for the rest, the Hippie learned to write "S" and "T" in cursive this week. Her cursive is getting so beautiful! She only has a few more lessons and she will have learned all the letters. Then it will be time to just practice and get better and better. Eventually, we will transition her copywork into cursive, but not just yet. In her Language Lessons book, she's been working with capitalization and the days of the week. The Princess and I worked with a new phonics rule this week ~ when the letter "c" makes the "s" sound (when it comes before i, e and y, in case you wondered). This took some practice, but between the reading and the copywork, I think she got it down.

Last, but not least we read (well, Daddy read) several more chapters in Black Beauty this week.


The Hippie and I only did math one day this week, but she blew through four lessons in one sitting. I have a feeling that she will blow through most of the lessons in this first book, but again I'd rather her build confidence and understand than to start at something more difficult and have her struggle and dislike math. So far, she tells me she LOVES this math program. "It combines TV, toys and only a few problems", she says. Anything to make her realize that math can be fun.

The Princess and I also started Math U See this week. Since she is only in first grade, I'm in no rush to move her along (unless it's clear she needs to move faster), so we took it slow. We spent some time on lesson one and playing with the blocks. She also did some practice pages this week. Next week, we'll move on to lesson two.


For our fairy tale this week we read Six Swans. The Princess drew a picture and copied a short sentence about this story.


We are currently working with the Opera for our music studies. We've been listening to the Opera station I created on Pandora a lot. The girls really like Opera. I wonder if I can find an Opera to go to that would be appropriate for their ages? Anyway, this week I found an animated production of Mozart's The Magic Flute Opera presented by the BBC on youtube. You can find it here (there are three parts, this is part one ... just click on part 2 and then part 3 when you are ready). They really liked it. The Princess even requested to watch it again. We also checked out this book from the library and the Hippie has been reading it on her own time.

On a side note, I have discovered that our local Symphony has some Beethoven productions coming up. Naturally, I rearranged our terms so that we are doing Beethoven next (our second term starts in two weeks). I will have to see how we can attend one! I also discovered some other great shows they have coming up and they have a pass that kids can get for $25 that allows them to attend any production for FREE and their parents only have to pay $10. You know THAT is on my wish list!


We did another bird study this week. This is the Hippie's favorite part of school. I choose a bird (this week was the Woodpecker and it just so happened that the day before the Princess watched a Little Einstein episode that was all about Woodpeckers ... and Bach), we look at pictures of real ones online, listen to their song and watch videos of them. We check out where they live in various seasons and the girls choose a picture to look at while they color one true-to-life. Then, they color their picture while we listen to a few chapters of the Burgess Bird Book being read (on librivox). This week they listened to chapters 10, 11 and 12 while they colored pictures of Woodpeckers. Then, they paste them into their Bird Books and the Princess copies the name of the bird while the Hippie copies a sentence from one of the chapters in the Burgess Bird Book. Here are their pages from this week.

The Hippie's

The Princess's
 And here are a couple of pictures of them at my computer, coloring their birds.

The girls and Daddy went over to our little nearby park to attempt catching those tadpoles I told you they wanted. They took their jars and screw top lids and tried and tried, but were unsuccessful. Maybe it's not quite the right time?

In other Nature news, we spent Thursday with our Homeschool group celebrating the Spring Equinox. The kids played, the moms talked and then the kids planted. The Hippie planted some basil, cilantro and mint for Momma and also some acorn squash. We'll see how the seeds do.

Other than the above, the girls played A LOT this week. They started some perfume (they are trying to make it based on a recipe in a Fairy book using alcohol and flowers from the yard). The Hippie made a Cool Caribbean Crush from another recipe in the same Fairy book. She made some parfaits, using fresh, local organic strawberries, plain organic yogurt, agave nectar and crumbled up rice cakes. They watched more TV than usual, but it was all "educational" ~ Mythbusters, Little Einsteins, Wild Kratts and Zooboomafoo. They played A LOT with their friends on the street. I even caught them acting out the poem "Rain" by Robert Louis Stevenson one day with a friend on the street. It was very entertaining, but I didn't get any pictures. And, of course there were Legos ~ there's always legos! Here's a peek into some of the rest of the week.


And, that, my friends, was our week. How was your week? Isn't it great to be a homeschooler?

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