Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Weekly Report: Week 4

I should have written my weekly report last Friday or Saturday but I just haven't had time. I still want to have a record so I'm writing it now even though it is late. I'm also changing the format of my report a bit. I want to write what we are doing using the course titles I've submitted to our virtual academy. If I do that, I'll be able to use my posts to help me write my monthly reviews for the academy.

So, here's our week:


Math: Mika's math lesson was super easy this week. It involved determining equivalent fractions. Math-U-See, being very visual, does this by giving you a fraction in picture form which you cut in half, then thirds, then fourths so you can see the numerator and denominator change. We worked five more contest problems this week. Mika had no problems completing her Venn perplexors this week.

Life Skills: This week's cooking lesson was baking from a mix, specifically bisquick. Mika wasn't all that thrilled about the bisquick muffins Sam made last week so we opted not to repeat them. Instead, she made a cake from a box with store bought frosting. She did the entire process completely on her own.

Health and Fitness: Riding bikes and playing is the bulk of Mika's PE this year. As the weather turns, we'll rely more on the Wii for exercise.

Film Making: Without the video editing software, we weren't able to start this yet.


Language Arts: In addition to what I wrote below for language arts, Sam also had some grammar reading. Our curriculum covered articles and the concept that all sentences have two sides to them. It didn't specifically name those sides as the subject and predicate; it gets to that in the "writing" book which we will read after the grammar book.

Math: Sam completed Math-U-See Epsilon lessons 15-17 and a unit test this week. Concepts covered were changing mixed numbers into improper fractions, changing improper fractions to a mixed number, determining length to the nearest fraction of an inch (ie. 3 3/4 or 2 5/16), and adding/subtracting mixed numbers when the denominators are the same. The tests also had questions covering previous material from earlier lessons and last year. We worked five more contest problems together and did four Venn perplexors. Sam needed help on a couple but he's getting them more and more.

Health and Fitness: Sam was recovering from a cold that ended with a cough so he missed most of his taekwondo classes this week.


Language Arts: Using Teaching the Classics, we discussed the plot structure of Hilda Must Be Dancing. We talked about introduction, rising action, climax, denouement, and conclusion. We defined these both generally and for the book, though the denouement and conclusion were pretty much the same in this book. We've been listening to Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix on CD. We've really enjoyed this series on CD; the narrator did a great job. Both kids continue to read the Warrior and Seeker series on their own.

History: History this week covered the Byzantine Empire at the time of Justinian and Theodora. The kids listened to/read the stories in the storybook and completed a map page that included attaching pictures of major churches where they belong. We'll be doing a craft that goes with this lesson this week. The kids also began the next chapter on the Gupta Dynasty of India.

Science: We finished up our arachnid chapter, covering millipedes, centipedes, and a few other critters. One really neat thing happened this week with science. On our way out to the car, we noticed a spider building an orb web. The kids and I stopped to watch it for a minute and noticed it was working adding the concentric lines. It was neat to see the silk coming from the spinnerets and watch how the spider attached each segment before moving to the next segment. We enjoyed watching the "daddly longlegs" and knowing that they were harvestmen rather than spiders. We looked closely to see that they only had one body segment unlike a spider. We also did a experiment with woodlice (aka pillbugs, rolly-pollys). The experiment showed how scientists estimate insect populations. We were to look for and capture woodlice within a specific area. Then we counted them and marked them with a dot of paint before returning them to the area they were found. The next night, we repeated the process only. This time we were interested in the number of new bugs we found and the number that were repeat finds. Using all these numbers and a formula, we were able to come up with an estimate population. It's been pretty dry (and these animals need moisture to live) so we didn't find many. We only found two the first night and two the second night. One of them the second night was a repeat find. We may redo this experiment later in the year to try for better results.

Social Studies: Our social studies learning plan includes visiting area resources. Going to the Puyuallup Fair and it's parade counts as this. Another component of our social studies plan hasn't been started yet.

Fine Arts: We were waiting for our art supplies to arrive so we didn't start this yet.

Field Trip: We opted to take Friday off of formal lessons and go to the Puyallup Fair opening day because we wanted to see the parade and it was free. Going to the fair can count as social studies and science for our schooling.

Here's Mika holding Josh and making a goofy face for the camera while waiting for the parade to begin. The parage included a cattle drive down the street, horses (especially draft horses), tractors, and a couple of local marching bands amoung other things. At the end of the parade is a sign that says something along the lines of "follow me to get into the fair for free." Because we were at the very beginning of the parade route, we essentially become part of the parade which Mika was not thrilled about...especially with three goofy adults acting like dorks all the way. hehe

The first thing we went to see where the new piglets. Here you can see my friend, Susan (green shirt on the left), Sam (red shirt), Josh (striped yellow/black shirt), Mika (hot pink shirt with white sweater tied around her waist), and Deanna (adult in dark shirt behind Mika). Notice that Josh is climbing the walls of the pig's pen.

Here's Sam holding Madelynn for a bit while waiting for The Coats concert to begin. We love The Coats which is a local a capella group consisting of four men. The part could also count as fine arts because I included developing an appreciation for performance arts through attending various plays, concerts, etc.

Finally, here's Mika with her oh-so-stylish 3D glasses. We made sure to stop at Al's Brain exhibit by the Pacific Science Center. This exhibit consisted of a short 3D movie about the brain. It was cute, fun, and pretty basic. Afterwards, there was a hands-on exhibit area where you could touch a real human brain. They also had some goggles the simulated being intoxicated. It was shocking how hard the googles made walking the line.

So, that was our week!

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