Saturday, January 15, 2011
the week in review 1/10 - 1/14
K enjoyed a typical week of blocks, play-do, coloring, and playing with her siblings. Her favorite read aloud this week was 'Python's Party', a book she checked out of the library. She is also enjoying hearing 'James and the Giant Peach' with her sister.
J read a story from her first grade reader, "Up and Away", this week and also read a story from her phonics reader. She wrote thank you notes to her family members who sent her Christmas gifts. We played War to work on comparing numbers 1 - 10 and worked on simple addition. After finishing up our unit study on North America we made a southern-style meal of hoppin' john, cornbread, and collard greens. The cornbread was a hit! But the kids feel they could gladly live without hoppin' john and collards. J and K both did some art with quilting squares. We read about fish this week and watched some Brainpop movies about sea life. J practiced violin every day (except Friday when she had a random low-grade fever) and is still working on the Happy Farmer and reviewing her Minuets. We read many books aloud, including 'James and the Giant Peach'. J did a lot of drawing this week and all the kids built elaborate pillow mazes and an obstacle course in the playroom. J went to gymnastics this week. At Monday Funday she took a KEVA class and gym.
After a month of math neglect during our uber-busy December I realized that D really needed a week to review some of the concepts that we glossed over a bit. So we reviewed division facts, how to find the area of a square, rectangle, parallelogram, trapezoid, and triangle, and coversions using ounces, pounds, pints, quarts, and gallons.
We reviewed compound sentences, using commas, conjuctions, antonyms, and the suffix -er as well as -ful. We also reviewed homonyms, the prefix mis- and positive, comparative, and superlative adjectives. It was a review-filled week here at the GB house! Our favorite find of the week are Story Cubes, a cute little game I picked up at a local toy store. There are many ways to use them, but this week D rolled the cubes and wrote a story linking the pictures on all 8 cubes together. It was a lot of fun and made for some funny stories! I like that you can interpret the pictures in many ways to make it fit your story, too. For example, a moon can mean that your story takes place on the moon, or at night. D also wrote thank you notes for his Christmas gifts, and addressed the envelopes as well. He is reading the second book in the 'Guardians of G'Ahoole' series, and is also reading 'David Livingstone, Foe of Darkness' much to his chagrin. He is not crazy about the book, but I am encouraging him to stick with it by reading one chapter a day. He rolls his eyes and grumbles under his breath every time he takes the book out, but I don't want him thinking that we just drop a book the minute it gets dull or challenging. Books are like friends - it takes time to develop a relationship with them and you never know when they might just surprise you with something wonderful.
D learned about the House of Representatives and the Senate and researched his Massachusetts state senators. We talked a bit about the shootings in Arizona. It was impossible to avoid this week, fully saturating the media as it did, and I wanted him to know the facts and have an honest discussion about it. He listened to Story of the World and learned about the Russian Revolution and the end of World War I. For geography he made a map showing the allied and central forces in Europe. D also watched part of 'The History of US' and learned more about westward expansion following the Civil War.
We decided to take a break from Physics and spend some time on D's favorite subject, biology. He wants to research several New England marine species (Atlantic cod, flounder, American lobsters, and sea clams) and make a poster outlining different facts about each one. He has taken a special interest in their conservation status and fishing requirements/restrictions, and has learned quite a bit about how much of our seafood is harvested. This has led to discussions about sustainability and environmentally friendly fishing practices (or more often than not, the lack thereof). I'm glad he decided to do this project. I can see his passion for science whenever we talk about the ocean and the creatures that live there!
This week I made the executive decision to scrap our Latin program. We have been using Prima Latina and recently began Latina Christiana, which takes Latin to a new level. They are both wonderful programs, but I'm not sure that D will really need an in-depth knowledge of Latin at this point in his education. If he were passionate about Latin that would be one thing, but he doesn't care for it all that much and frequently complains about it, though he doesn't want to drop it all together. So instead we will begin learning Latin and Greek vocabulary using root words and he will choose a different language to study. We're thinking German, because my dear friend from Germany is coming to visit this summer with her husband and children!
D played hockey several times this week, practiced his drums, went to art, and had a great time playing with friends for much of the week. We all went sledding on Monday and enjoyed an electricity-free day on Wednesday when we were hit with a blizzard. We hunkered down in front of the fireplace, read books, played games, and took naps. It was a nice week.