Friday, September 23, 2011

Week 4

What a full week!  The official school week is over, but both kids have work to be completed over the weekend because we ran out of time...for good reason.  Here's what we did:

Language Arts

Mikaela finished part one covering the parts of speech of her grammar book.  She also covered a section covering punctuation, usage, and grammar, covering things like how parts of speech effect punctuation and common usage errors.  In vocabulary, she finished the second lesson and passed the cumulative test with a perfect score (actually a perfect score plus an extra credit point).  In poetry, she read about meter and foot.  In writing, she took notes from two sources for each of her first two topics of her current essay assignment.

Samuel read part three of his grammar book, covering phrases.  He read about prepositional, appositive, gerund, infinitive, and participial phrases.  He also read about misplaced modifiers and split infinitives.  He finished lesson 4 in vocabulary.  In poetry, he read about onomatopoeia and meter.  In writing, he took notes from two sources for each of his first two topics of his current assignment.


Mikaela finished Math-U-See Zeta with a chapter on different types of angles.

After talking to Sam about it, we made the decision to drop the math I had chosen for him.  The new curriculum teaches in a different way than we are used to and does more difficult problem solving type work rather than plugging numbers into formulas.  We decided to drop down to the prealgebra curricula because it covers some topics we haven't covered, and the move will allow us a chance to learn the new methods and become more adept at problem solving.  So, this week, he enjoyed getting acquainted with Khan Academy's practice and videos.


The kids learned about Catherine the Great this week.  They read Story of the World and a library book about her.  They completed the map, discussed the chapter review questions, and took the test.


Sam began chapter 2 in his science book.  He loves this chapter because there's all kinds of math in it.  It covers things about light and telescopes; I don't know the details because I haven't looked at it yet.

Here's a page out of his book this week.  I caught him working (or trying to work, I'm not sure) equations on the white board.

Mika finished her chapter on the sun and will take a chapter test as soon as I write it up for her.

For our lab this week, they tracked the azimuth and altitude of the sun using shadows.   The azimuth was read but reading a shadow across the compass.  It took a couple of demonstrations to get them reading it correctly.  For altitude, they used their quadrants, which have a straw attached to the top.  They lined up their quadrant until the sun's light shown through the straw, making a circle on their other hand.  They were then able to measure the correct altitude.  They took measurements every hour throughout the day. We learned that both measurements had to be taken from the same location to get correct readings and that obstacles like trees make some of the measurements more difficult.  We're waiting for another sunny day to finish up this lab because we need morning measurements before plotting them all on a circle graph.

We totally forgot meteorology this week because I haven't gotten it scheduled into Homeschool Tracker (therefore it wasn't on their assignment sheet).

Geology was kind of neat this week.  First, we discussed two ways igneous rock forms and what they are called (plutonic vs. volcanic).

This is our whiteboard from that discussion.  It also gives them the parts of our lab.

Then we did the lab, which involved evaporating drops of a saturated salt solution at different rates to see the differences in the crystal sizes.

First, we balanced a pie tin on a beaker.  Then we placed a candle under the edge of the tin so that the flame just touched the tin.  This required figuring out which combo of items and type of candle would make it the right height.  Then we placed drops of salt solution across the tin like Sam is doing above.  After the drops were in place, I lit the candle.  Then we waited.  The first drops evaporated almost instantly, while the ones clear on the opposite side took awhile.  I won't tell you which drops how smaller crystals and which had large crystals so you can enjoy the experiment, if you wish (TOPScience Rocks and Minerals Task 4).

While we waited for the lab, we examined basalt and granite samples, looking for the crystal sizes to determine which was plutonic and which was volcanic.

We find that our big 3x magnifying glass works really well for some labs while our little 10x pocket lens works better for other labs.  Mika is inspecting basalt under 10x magnification in this photo.

Foreign Language

Mika and Sam are both using Rosetta Stone.  Mika is 53% done with Spanish 2, and Sam is 73% done with Korean 1.

Fine Art

We missed doing fine art formally again this week.  Again, it's not in Homeschool Tracker so it didn't get on their assignment sheets to remind us.  However, Sam drew a couple of illustrations of planets, Mercury and Venus to be exact.  Mika made a bracelet for her friend's birthday and a homemade card based off an art project from last year.

This is the bracelet Mika made.


Sam went to tae kwon do like usual.  Both kids started flag football today.  Sam loved it.  Mika was less enthused, but she's great at catching the ball.  Below is a slideshow of 9 photos I took today.

We also went on a field trip to Lattin's Country Cider Mill and Store which I blogged about, with photos, here.

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Jenn said...

Hi. I found your blog while searching for CVA. We are new to it and just starting out. My daughter is in 6th grade and it's her first year homeschooling. Any suggestions or tips?