Friday, October 1, 2010

Week 8 and 9

I was going to post last week's report last week.  Really, I was.  But then it was this week, and well, by then it might as well get lumped together with this week.

If you've been reading my blog regularly, you know that we are moving this month.  I need time to pack and otherwise prepare to move so I decided to bump any school work I could until after we've moved and settled in the new place.  I went through my lesson plans in Homeschool Tracker and bumped any would be finished early.  So, rather than finishing that curriculum in March or April, we'll take a month or two off now.  I love having that flexibility!  We have some curricula that go too long and have no room to bump, though, so we are moving along normally in those.  

Here's what we've been working on the past two weeks:

Language Arts

In grammar, both kids studied some sentence analysis examples.  They are both done with their grammar text.  We'll begin using the practice book and analyzing sentences after we move, referring back to the grammar text as needed.   Both kids completed an even-numbered chapter in vocabulary.  The even chapters cover 5 new vocabulary words.  The kids also took a vocabulary quiz for the vocabulary words covered in our writing curriculum.  They each spent the last two weeks working on the rough draft of a three paragraph story of the Mayflower.  Each paragraph had to contain an adjective, an adverb, a strong verb, a vocabulary word, and descriptive words.  When we revisit this assignment in two weeks, they'll have to add sensory words and various sentence openers to their final drafts.


Mika completed a lesson on adding decimal numbers.  It was pretty easy.  However, the review questions has made it clear that she's forgotten much of what she learned about fractions last year.  To remedy that, I bought her Life of Fred: Fractions to review.  She LOVES it.  She says, "I love math now."   If it works out, I just may have to continue with Life of Fred for her.  Meanwhile, Sam and I did some catching up on prealgebra (we started it late last year and didn't finish).  He also completed a lesson on graphing on a number line and Cartesian plane.   As always, we worked through a few Math Olympia problems as well.


In history, the kids read about the French in the New World and Henry Hudson last week.  I think we ended up skipping any activities to go along with it.  This week, they visited Japanese history and learned about Hideyoshi, the first Tokugawa ruler.  Again, we skipped on the activities.  They did complete the maps and tests for both, though.  Unless you consider Dr. Who a valid study of history, that's all we got around to these past two weeks.  (Tonight's Netflix episode visited William Shakespeare!)


We're slowly fitting in the remainder of the previous zoology chapter.  It's one of the subjects that we are bumping until after our move so we have plenty of time to finish it up.  We did the experiment which showed the effectiveness of blubber in protecting marine animals from extremely cold water.  It was quite funny to watch Mika's response to having her gloved hand smeared with a huge amount of Vaseline before covering it all with another glove.  Then they stuck one hand with just gloves in ice water to see how long they could stand the cold.  Afterwards, they stuck the Vaselined hand in the water and found that they could stand the cold at least twice as long.

This week we worked on a Chemistry chapter about acid base reactions, and today we completed an experiment in which we created an acid base indicator and tested various solutions to see if they were acidic or basic.  The kids really enjoy Real Science 4 Kids.

 First the kids boiled red cabbage until the distilled water was deep purple.  Once that was done, they dripped the solution on coffee filter strips cut to size.  After they were dry, we were left with this:

A bowl full of "litmus papers".

Mika ran our first control...testing vinegar, a known acid, to determine the results.

Sam ran our second control...testing ammonia, a known base for its reaction.

As you can see, our controls had very different reactions to our indicator strips.

Here's a shot of the kids creating different solutions to test.

If it was too difficult to see results on the papers, the lab manual said you could add a bit of the cabbage indicator directly to the solutions.  Here, I showed the kids what that would look like.  The green is dish soap (a base).  The bright pink is vinegar (an acid).  The center bowl is neutral.

Foreign Language

Sam was having trouble with Korean.  He had spent at least an hour on a single page that was nothing more than saying hello and goodbye, two things he passed on previous screens without a problem.  I finally called Rosetta Stone only to find out that the rep at the homeschool convention should have told me to get a USB headset.  So, we bought a new USB headset to replace our new analog headset, and he was back in business.  I think he's doing really well.

Mika finally go her Rosetta Stone log in information for Spanish.  She LOVES it.  She quickly caught up to the same lesson Sam is on.  I find her writing Spanish words on the white board, and they are correctly spelled and everything.  Yea!  I've had to reassure Sam not to be bothered by Mika catching up so quickly; Korean IS a much harder language to learn.  It took some persuasion and logic to get him to accept that.


Last week, we completed abstract projects featuring numbers.  The artist we discussed was Charles DeMuth.  You can find the project at my favorite new blog: Art Projects for Kids.  Here's are numbers: Mika's, Sam's, Josh's and Mine.

We completed another project this week with some friends.  It's fun to get together for stuff like this, and we had a good time with them.  We completed our first project using our new liquid water colors (liquid watercolor is awesome!).  We were following these Joan Miro inspired directions

I love Mika's happy and cute.

Sam stuck with darker colors despite the directions to the contrary.

Josh wanted me to draw his person laying in bed.  He didn't color within the lines at all...LOL...not that I expected him to.  He loves painting, and it was all I could do to keep him from completely drowning his paper in paint.

And this was mine. It was challenging to complete with Madelynn sitting in my lap.

We also completed a couple of pencil drawings from Draw Squad.  One of the drawings was of a cake on a table with a little cartoon dude coming out of it.  He's looking down at the dude that's squished under the table (hands sticking out).  It's a funny little drawing with plenty of foreshortening and shading practice.  This week's drawing was of a telescope.

The kids got ahead of themselves with Story of the Orchestra.  We were suppose to do Mozart today and Beethoven next Friday but they've done both already.  Maddie always gets a little smile and starts bopping her head when we turn on the classical music.


The kids are doing great in swimming.  They are going weekly though I'm not sure if we'll be able to keep them up after we move.  It's a 30 minute drive from the new house with no traffic, and our class time would have us coming home during the worst of the evening commute. 

Sam tested for his next belt in taekwondo and passed.  He's now on his last belt before black.  He'll be at this level for 6-12 months and earn his junior black belt at the ripe old age of 9.  Knowing he's so close to his goal has helped remotivate him a bit.

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Karen said...

I enjoyed looking at all the science and art pictures---thanks!

Sydni said...

I love the art pictures. I go to that blog often for inspiration too. I had seen both of those projects on her blog, but yours turned out really neat. Mmm... maybe I'll have to think about doing those sometime.

Laurie said...

Love the art pictures! Thanks for the link to the blog.

Heather said...

I'm so impressed by all you're getting done while you're getting ready to move! Sounds like a great week!