Friday, October 29, 2010

WEEKLY REPORT - Week 8 - October 25-29 Happy Halloween!

We only did four days of school this week, as it was Husband's birthday on Wednesday. It was fun to be able to give him all of us for the whole day. Almost the whole day, that is, as the kids still had taekwondo and ballet. Daughter 1 had a Halloween party at her ballet class, and Husband didn't want her to miss it. She had so much fun. Son is practicing for his yellow belt test coming up soon, so missing class would have been detrimental to him as well.

We did themed Halloween word search and a word scramble printed off Enchanted Learning. Son enjoyed himself as well as learning inadvertently how to spell Halloween words like skull, pumpkin, ghost, etc. On Friday we did a lesson in PLL where he had to explain, in correct English, how to take care of pets.

We covered Lessons 18 and 19 in Tanglewood Phonics review.

Tales of King Arthur continues as thrilling as ever, getting darker as Morgan Le Fay carries out her evil plan to have Arthur killed by his own sword. It's a challenging read for Son, but the plot is so exciting he hardly notices. He reads it aloud while I explain vocabulary pertinent to the story, but otherwise he's improving greatly. There are some big words in there for him! We started on page 67, and ended at page 79 this week.

Instead of Pinocchio, we read The Legend of Saint Nicholas by Demi this week. We revisited the Byzantine Empire as well as explored the legends that have immortalized St. Nicholas into the Sinterklaas we cherish and celebrate each December 5-6. Even though I've been putting out my shoe for gifts for as long as I remember, I didn't know exactly how the legend came to be. The book was very interesting. Some of it was over Son's head (I had to explain what patron saint was even though we're Roman Catholic), but the beautiful drawings managed to hold Son's interest, especially the relevance.

We went to Early Medieval China this time, where we explored the Great Dynasties (Chapter 8 of SOTW2), specifically the Sui and the Tang Dynasties. Son was fascinated that gunpowder was accidentally discovered by Chinese scientists attempting to make gold. This is what he narrated. It's interesting what children take from the story. Son really likes narrating now. He even has titles for his narrations. I would like to include some of his narrations here when I get the chance. He also colored the Tang warrior page and did the mapwork.

Not Son's favorite subject, as he has to think. I like it, as he has to think. Still practicing place value, albeit in more subtle ways, number charts and patterns, from p. 29-34 Math Mammoth 1B. He has these lightbulb moments where he sees the big picture. I like this program. It is everything I was looking for in Asian Math, except that it's a heck of a lot easier for me to teach. In addition, Son is learning gradually to take control of his own education as the directions are written to him.

Continuing with our theme of wildflowers, we did the experiment about insects and colors as mentioned in Kingfisher's Young Discoverers' Flowers, Trees, and Fruits. I cut out four squares out of cardboard, then four squares out of colored construction paper: one blue, one white, one yellow, and one red. Then I let Son and Daughter glue the construction paper squares onto the cardboard pieces. I helped Daughter fill empty bottle caps with sugar solution from a dropper. Son was able to do it himself. We placed each filled bottle cap on each colored square, and we set the squares on the outside porch to observe. We observed that the ants (the only insects we saw) went for the white one first, to our surprise, then the blue one, the yellow one, and the red one last. We think we're going to repeat the experiment and try this in another location, perhaps the backyard. Son also drew the parts of a flower (including stamen and stygma), and we went on a Nature Walk to find pink flowers. He sketched it in his sketchbook (as did Daughter in hers), and we identified the specimens we found as Blackbead (ubiquitous in the Florida Keys), but we could not find the second one, which was extremely tiny. It may not be pink after all. I suspect it's in the red/orange family, to be explored later. We found no other pink wildflowers. Son found one, but it was from the purple family from last week. We also were witness to the pollination process, I believe it was a cicada that was flying from one Blackbead to the other. Blackbead has a pleasant fragrance, but we found the plumeria (not a wildflower, or native if I'm not mistaken), has a beautiful fragrance. I do love plumeria, or frangipani, as it's more commonly called here. It reminds me of leis in the Hawaiian islands.

Son spelled short 'e' words this week, and completed his lesson in Spectrum Spelling. No dictation this week.

We read aloud The Trickster Tricked, as poor Jacob was tricked into working seven years to only marry Leah instead of his beloved Rachel. He still had to work another seven to marry Rachel! At least he became rich and successful, and Son was excited to learn of Joseph's birth. Rachel had finally conceived a son.

Son finally recited Afternoon on a Hill by Edna St. Vincent Millay. Two weeks in the making, but Son got it down pat. This is the longest poem he's ever memorized. Three four-line stanzas.

Son watched Muzzy, copied a two sentences from the Muzzy Storybook and decided to copy "Me gusta Ben 10" as well, which means "I like Ben 10" (his favorite TV show that he only watches on DVD).

We continued reading about Giotto's life.

In reading about Tchaikosvky, we find out how he incorporated folk songs into his music, and although he wasn't the only one to do it, that he had a flair of doing so.

In keeping with the Drawing with Children, the children drew horses this time, not an easy feat and not bad first tries. Afterward, they wanted to do their respective heroes: Son drew Humongosaur (from Ben 10, what else? ;)), Daughter drew a princess.


Mandy in TN said...

Happy B'day to your dh! How fun that you did Halloween themed English!

Gifts for Girls Academy said...

It sounds like you all had a great week! I love all of the natural science you accomplished. This is definitely one area I want to improve.