What we are using

03 February 2012

Week 20: Do you like my hat?

History meets Mythbusters - duct tape boats Ancient Egypt style

RS Geometry is a perfect fit for our change of direction

BB is taking a class this semester on computers and society.  Here is a link to his homework.  It reminds me why I quit giving real grades on his work when he was in high school.  At some point in his education, I quit being objective and just started reading his assignments then giving a big, proud sigh and saying, "Wow.  That was good, baby."  It wasn't very good feedback which meant I had to outsource at least  his writing.  btw - I'm not allowed to leave comments like that on his college homework blog so I don't comment at all.

First Grade.

Dad read Mummies in the Morning to LB which is the Magic Tree House about Egypt.  I don't know how he manages to read those, but he does. I remember CC used to love them too.  They do a great job first as an easy chapter book for read alouds then again as easy chapter book readers.  I know they serve their purpose, I just don't like them.  It is a good thing the kids have many choices of people to read to them.

We read See Inside Ancient Egypt which is a terrific flap book.  She finally got to open her Ancient Egypt Fun Kit from Dover.  I think we're going to be doing lots of coloring in the near future. She's also been admiring the projects in Great Ancient Egypt Projects You Can Build Yourself.     If she walks away from this knowing  the story of Osiris and Isis, where Egypt is, why they were famous, and what happened to them, I'll be thrilled.  Of course I'll be satisfied if she simply decided that history isn't boring.

We read Animals Alive over breakfast Monday Morning.   We read Magic School Bus Gets All Dried Up and watched the episode with the same name about desert habitats.
Earth and Space -
We made a planetarium in LB's room with some glow in the dark planets and stars and watched Magic School Bus Gets Lost in Space.  She collected and sorted rocks at school.

Phonics and reading:
I've decided that I really like the Spectrum Reading workbook for part of our daily reading assignments.  I've always had trouble with how much reading to assign to emerging readers and had trouble gradually increasing the length and complexity of the assignments.  The workbook is doing a great job of what I've failed at, twice.  In addition to the reading workbook, LB chooses an easy reader each night to read from.  I've relaxed on the complexity of these and let them be for fun and fluency which seems to be working much better.   In addition to her reading, she's still working through ETC.  She's most of the way finished with book 4 which has her reading much more complex words than are in her reading practice.  I think we've found a good balance in her work.

This week she read a pair of pages from Spectrum everyday, did a pair of pages from ETC everyday, and read Go Do Go and Fox in Socks just for fun.  She's also doing a page of cursive handwriting practice daily.  One cursive sentence a day is a good rate for her and when's she's done with this workbook it is on to WWE.

She learned about Ground Hog Day at school and made a little ground hog and a ground hog house.

I like our combination of MiF1 and Saxon 2.  The topics never correlate, and they aren't taught in the same way at all, but since they are so different I'm certain LB is learning math and not just learning to work a program. This week she's working on place value in MiF and some geometry plus ways to make 10 in Saxon.  No matter what math program we use, the RS abacus is still the best single math manipulative I've ever bought.

She did a lesson from Saxon and 4 pages from MiF everyday.

Fifth Grade:
CC enjoyed her enrichment school on Monday, but had a terrible time concentrating after that.  I'm pretty sure she's been thinking about the expected announcement from the classical school which was due Wednesday or Thursday.  Luckily we received our call Tuesday that we have a spot in the sixth grade next year.  Which just meant that CC spent the rest of the week thinking about going to the school instead of just worrying about it.

We made a math change this week.  It is motivated by her current resistance to everything along with the fact that the new school doesn't do any academic tracking so she'll be in 6th grade math next year with pre-algebra the following year.  We changed from AoPS to Right Start Geometry, which I've had sitting on the bookshelf since summer waiting for just the right time.

CC read Julie of the Wolves, Flotasam and Jetsam, a good portion of The Art of the Catapult and started the Cartoon History of the Modern World after finishing the Cartoon History of the Universe.  Of course she read another three Warriors books; it really is a series that seems to have no end.  In addition to this, she worked on writing, art and continued to diligently practice her cello. 

On Wednesday which is my busy day, I don't have time to help the girls with school until the afternoon.  This week they spent the morning cleaning, decorating, cooking, and setting up a lovely tea which they served during my lunch.  We all dressed in formal dresses for the occasion.  I really do love being able to be home with them to share moments like this.

Just Me:
I read Life of Pi.  I knew before I was halfway through that I would be disappointed in the book, but I persevered.  It could have been much better.  I can vividly picture how wonderful the story would have been if Melville had written it instead.    I'm reading Sense and Sensibility just to freshen up after Pi, but I intend to try out Omoo next.


Regena said...

What cool duct tape!


My name is Tiffany said...

I've had The Life of Pi on my reading list for years. I always choose another selection.

I love your history and science selections. How are you enjoying the Dover resources?

Karen said...

The Dover set is perfect for my younger daughter. She loves coloring books and sticker and such. My older daughter loves art, but never liked coloring books so I don't think she would have liked them at that age.