Saturday, September 11, 2010

Week 5 and 6

We took last week off from formal schooling to prepare for and go on our camping trip.  Despite the last of formal schooling, there were still plenty of learning opportunities that presented themselves while we were in Cannon Beach.  From witnessing the mass migration of meadowhawk dragonflies to feeding seals, from exploring tidal pools to panning for gold, it was a fun time.

This week, we were back into school full time, including making up for the lost day on Monday by finishing up today (Saturday).  Here's a few of the things we covered.

Language Arts
Both kids read about phrases in their grammar books.  Mika is covering them for the second time while Sam is just learning about most of them for the first time.  The types of phrases that they covered were prepositional, appositive, gerund, infinitive, and participle.  Mika also covered misplaced modifiers, split infinities, and subject/verb agreement.  They both covered five more vocabulary words. Finally, they wrote a poem about the early explorers using a model to which they had to add a predicate to each line using a strong verb.  Then they were to add adjectives and adverbs to make it more interesting.  They are both doing well with language arts so far.

In math, Mika learned about exponential notation.  She picked it up well.  Sam covered order of operations, which he thought he knew because he covered it before.  He forgot that the multiplication-division and addition-subtraction steps were worked from left to right.  He also hadn't done order of operations that included parenthesis, exponents, and absolute value all in the same problem  However, after making mistakes on the first two pages, he allowed me to teach him the lesson.

We worked on Chapter 2 which covered Mary Queen of Scotts and the Eighty Years' War/Siege of Leiden.  They read the chapter, completed the map page, made up questions for each review question in the AG on index cards (we are working towards creating a history game with all of the chapters), and did an activity that illustrated how dikes work and how the Sea Beggars used them to free Leiden from the Spanish.

While multi-colored play-doh isn't very realistic, it got the point across and the kids had fun with it.  We used Jr. Monopoly houses and Life people to create the town of Leiden.  There were even a couple of Sea Beggars in our boat.

We also began reading The Broken Blade by William Durbin which takes place in Canada during the early fur-trading days.  While it isn't the time period we are studying currently, it's an area we've learned about with the explorers and will cover again later.  The kids and I are all enjoying the story.  I found a couple of study guides to go with this book, which cover both vocabulary and reading comprehension.  We're reading two or three chapters a day and doing the corresponding study guide pages.  I'd read it more slowly but our library system only has one copy.  It's due back on the 21st, and I can't renew it because someone put a hold on it.


We started this chapter of science before we left to Cannon Beach and finished it this week.  It was all about whales, and boy did it include an enormous amount of information.  We learned all about whale anatomy, whale behavior, whaling, and a large variety of whales.  We completed an activity that showed that salt water has a lower freezing level than fresh water; our salt water got slushy around 8 degrees Fahrenheit.  Another experiment was the old cup and string phone.  We saw the difference between just speaking to each other from 30 feet away, using the cup-string phone with a slack string, and using the cup-string phone with a taut line.  The point was that sound travels alone the string much like it travels through the water.  The kids also completed a couple of notebooking pages.  

After discussions about doing our best to put out quality work, Mika completed these lovely drawings for her science notebook.  I love how the humpback whale looks like it is waving with a huge grin.

We have several of these spiders building webs around our back fence.  Today as we left to run errands, we noticed one of them had caught some grub.  Two bees were wrapped up in its web.  Ever since learning about spiders two years ago, we notice things like more often.  It's always nice to see the practical application of our studies.

Foreign Language

Sam works on his Korean with Rosetta Stone online every day for about half an hour.  It's a subject that he looks forward to.  He tells me he's on lesson 3.  Because the reports go to the account administrator (at CVA), I have no way to track his progress.  I need to talk to our advisory teacher about getting those reports.  We've decided to use Rosetta Stone for Mika's spanish, too, and are waiting for our login information.

Fine Arts

We completed a leaf-based art project this week that emphasized patterns and contour lines.  It was a quicker project than the others we've done.

This is Mika's.  She tried having the contour lines cross after they intersected.

This is Sam's.  He got a little confused about what to do when the contour lines intersected but I think it turned out okay anyway.

I completed two drawings so that the kids could see how different it would look if you used more subdued colors.

I forgot to take a photo but Josh completed line art leaves also.  I traced the leaves where he wanted them and he colored a different color in each section.  He likes to display his artwork on the wall.  I leave two up and replace them when he does something new.

We also read the pages and listened to the samples for Bach, Haydn, and Mozart in Story of the Orchestra.  I'll be playing more works by these composers through the week using a collection that I have.

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Mom31257 said...

I love the art pictures. Thanks for adding the link where you got the idea. It sounds like a great week!

Mommy to One said...

Looks like a great couple of weeks! How cool that you found a spider's snack in the web! Oh, and the dragonfly migration too! I love it when learning happens even when you're not trying. :-)

MissMOE said...

What a neat week. Your vacation sounded great also. The curriculum you're using all looks really neat.