Saturday, August 28, 2010

Week 3 and 4

Another two weeks has gone by already.  It was my intention to do a WEEKLY  report not a every two week report.  Maybe I'll figure out our schedule some day and have more time on my hands, though I wouldn't get my hopes up.

Language Arts

In grammar, Mika covered subjects, predicates, fragments, and pronouns.  While most of this is review for her, she did cover pronouns in greater depth and reading about different types of pronouns (demonstrative, possessive, interrogative).  She is two-thirds of the way through her grammar book; when she is finished she'll begin analyzing sentences.  She also completed another two lessons in vocabulary, covering five more Latin stems and five vocabulary words.  Sam is basically on the same track as Mika in his grammar book; there are just a few things in her level that isn't covered in his level.  One new thing for him is verb tense.  Both kids also wrote a poem about Native Americans seeing the explorers for the first time.  The emphasis in the poem was using strong verbs.  Mika did well on it, but Sam failed to follow his check list which lists all of the requirements.  He'll be redoing it this weekend.


Mika's first math lesson in her new level covered exponents.  She's doing okay in math, earning a B grade.  She keeps getting mixed up.  On questions where the exponent is left blank for her to fill in, she gets confused and multiplies instead.  She'll get it.  Sam, on the other  hand, is reviewing negative numbers and combine like terms.  We've also walked through five Math Olympiad problems together.


We started history this week.  Chapter one was a review of the Roman Empire and Charles V.  They read the chapter, discussed review questions, completed the map page, made "Spanish doubloons", and played a strategy game using the doubloons.

In the game, one player was the pirate and the other player was the Spanish fleet trying to get gold and silver back to Spain.  They enjoyed the game and played several rounds.


We finished our first chapter of Zoology which covered some basic aquatic information.  As part of that chapter, we completed a simple demonstration showing the effect of water pressure on a diver's lungs.  The kids completed two notebooking pages with this chapter and a simple experiment that didn't work as well as I would have hoped.

For chemistry, we completed lesson 2 which covered molecules.  We read about covalent and ionic bonds and learned that different atoms tend to create specific shapes when bonding.  To demonstrate molecules and bonding, we completed an activity with marshmallows, toothpicks, and a food marker for labeling marshmallows.

Mika is holding up a model of a water molecule.

Sam is constructing NH3 in this photo.

I try to get Josh involved when I can.  This was a perfect opportunity to let him do school with us.  It didn't matter that he didn't understand what we are doing; he just enjoyed making things with the marshmallows.

We also took a day off to go to Woodland Park Zoo with a friend.  We had given him the gift of a zoo trip for his birthday so we needed to fit that in before he returned to school next week.  We had a slightly cold and rainy, but good day, at the zoo.

Our year long study of flying creatures meant that we were more interested and more aware of the birds within the zoo.  We saw quite a few of them.

Foreign Language

We started our foreign language studies this week for the first time.  Sam has been begging me to learn Korean, and I finally got it together for him.  It was the first thing he wanted to do each day.  After a frustrating first day (Korean is hard to pronounce!), he started to get the hang of it and passed his first lesson.  Mika and I, meanwhile, started a textbook Spanish.  She spent two days on some cultural and historical background in the text before we started our first lesson on conjugating -ar verbs.  We're thinking about adding Rosetta Stone for verbal/audio practice.

Fine Arts

We completed another great project from Art Projects For Kids.   

In this project, we traced around some shapes and colored them with water-soluble markers.  Then we dripped water onto the shapes and rolled it around so it ran color over the water areas.  When it was dry, we used a thin black marker to trace around the shapes made with the water.

I'm doing all of the art projects, too.  They are really fun.  We weren't sure if the water was working the way it should, so I also completed a second one using watercolor paper (left).  The effect, as you can see, was completely different.

We also read about the Baroque period and Vivaldi and listened to Vivaldi in Story of the Orchestra.


I've also been working on making some file folder games using a book that I have.  I never got around to coloring, cutting out, and putting them together.  It's on my priority list this year. He likes the two that I finished this week.  The one in the photo involves counting to twelve and matching them to the number.  The yellow one you see in the bottom corner is matching shapes and sizes.  It has 7-8 different-sized circles and 7-8 different-sized squares to be matched. 

It's been a decent two weeks.  We're getting used to the schedule.  The kids are having a little trouble adjusting to stricter standards we decided they needed this year.  But we are moving forward and getting it done.

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Mommy to One said...

Looks good! I love how the zoo trip meant so much more after your flying creatures study.

I've got a couple file folder games you can have, if you want them.

Sydni said...

I enjoyed seeing the pictures of your children learning!

Carrie said...

Yea!! We're studying chemistry this year ... and I can't wait to break out the marshmallows and toothpicks!! ;)