Friday, September 24, 2010

Weekly Wrap-Up - Week 6

We started off our Week 6 with a trip to our town festival.  The kids had a great time and the day ended in face painting.

On Sunday Michael scored his first goal of the season in soccer and did an excellent job as goalie, stopping at least one shot from being scored.

Our school week started with a review and then Unit Test in History on Egypt.  I was very impressed with the information that the kids retained and extremely proud of Megan's 99.5% and Michael's 100%!  This was huge for me because it made me realize that I can do this and do it well.  The kids are learning and retaining so many new things, what an exciting time for us!  

After our test we moved on and learned about the first Sumerian dictator, Sargon, and Hammurabi and the Babylonians.

In Science I did decide to switch things up and shelve Exploration Education for now.  So this week we began learning about cells.  Michael's favorite part of a cell is the Golgi Bodies, because of their silly name.  The kids were surprised to learn that the size of a cell in a whale is about the same size as the cell in a mouse, there are just many more of them!

In Geography we started to learn a little about the places MamMom and Granddaddy are going on their cruise and colored the flags for Spain and France.  We will be following their trip on our map and are looking forward to hearing all about and seeing all the wonderful pictures of their adventures in the Mediterranean.

In Grammar we continued learning about prepositions (this is one they had some trouble with) and did a bunch more sentence diagramming on the blackboard.

Shawn continued reading to them from The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe.  Michael and I also read Vikings Don't Wear Wrestling Belt's, Megan read The Moffett's, and Allie and I enjoyed Go Dog, Go!  :)

For Home Ec we learned how to make chocolate chip cookies.  Unfortunately we had to to scrap the first batch due to Red Flour Beetles.   Guess it was a good lesson in things don't always go the way you plan!
"Mom this is sooo much better than sitting at a desk all day!"

Not only was week 6 a good week for learning but it was also a good week for playing.  All 3 kids spent the week working together to build Lego buildings and set up train cities.

Check out others weeks here and enjoy this first weekend of Fall!!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Weekly Wrap Up - Week 5

Week 5 turned into another short week for us.

Michael & I spent Sunday night/Monday morning in the ER with him doubled over in pain.  After 8 hours, lots of tests that all came back normal, 4 CC's of Morphine, and 30 mins of sleep for Mom the pain had subsided and we were sent home with no diagnosis.  Followed up with the pediatrician on Monday who, within 5 mins of pulling the hospitals reports, was able to say "I know what he has."  Mesenteric Lymphadenitis, a virus also known as the appendicitis mimicker.  I was so relieved to know that it was nothing serious but very frustrated that the ER docs had no clue.  I'm sure the bill I get will not reflect their lack of knowledge.  Needless to say I was not able to teach on 30 mins of sleep Monday so our school week began on Tuesday.  I'm really enjoying this flexibility!

In math we continued to learn adding/subtracting 4 digit numbers with carrying/borrowing, beginning algebra, and fractions.  Both kids got 100% on their tests.

I am however starting to wonder why Michael's 3rd grade work seems to be more difficult than Megan's 4th grade work.  I am also getting frustrated that 30+ lessons in and we haven't seen any multiplication and am contemplating supplementing with Math Mammoth for multiplication & division.

In Language Arts we learned that we can use the acronym FANBOYS to remember the conjunctions.  For, and, nor, but, or, yet, so   We also started learning about prepositions and continued to diagram sentences.  Both kids got 100% on their spelling tests.  We have dropped Writing With Ease for writing (but are using it for reading comprehension) so I am on the prowl for how to teach creative writing.  We have also started reading time, at least 30 mins a day.  I made up book baskets for each of them and one  that everyone can choose from.  
Pink = Megan   Green = Michael

Everybody bins

We didn't do much for science this week.  The more we get into Exploration Education the more I think it's above the kids heads and I'm not a big fan of how superficially it teaches some deep topics.  I found Otter's Science that Guest Hollow was nice enough to share for free.  Our library has most of the books needed so the outlay wouldn't be too much.  I'm going to really look at it this weekend and may give it a try.  Check next weeks update for my decision.  :)

In Geography we focused on learning how to use an Atlas.

Megan had her 2nd week of art class and Michael had his 1st.  They both really enjoyed it, I'm so glad I stumbled on Ms. Molly and her art classes.  

In History we began our review of Egypt by starting our lap books.  The kids really had fun with this and I can't wait to see the finished product at the end of the year.  Big thanks to Run of the Mill Family for making her hard work on this wonderful lap book available for free!

We also made Egyptian death masks...

Day 1
Day 2 we added eyes, noses, and mouths
Day 3 we added another layer of paper

Finished products

We also flooded the Nile for the last time today.  The kids are excited to see how much the grass has grown.

Tonight we will be feasting on Mummy dogs (hot dogs wrapped in biscuits) for dinner and Monday will be our unit test.  Today Michael told me that we needed to take a vacation to Egypt so I feel like I've done my job.  :)

Mummy Dogs  :)

Check out others weekly reviews here.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Wrapping up Week 4 or The One Where I Question My Sanity

Week 4 has been an interesting one here!  Michael and Allie have not been sleeping well which means that neither is dealing with life well.   Megan and Michael have been doing their schoolwork at a snails pace, pushing their boundaries to see what they can get away with, and just generally making me feel like I've been herding turtles all week long.  These things along with the fact that evening classes started this week at the college I work for (read new teachers that need their hands held about everything) have made me question my sanity daily but when I finally lay my head down on the pillow at night I know that tomorrow is a new day and I just keep praying that it's a better one.

Despite it all we did manage to get some things accomplished during this looooooooong short week. 

In grammar we learned about conjunctions and sang along to some Schoolhouse Rock!

In history we learned more about the Middle and New Kingdoms of Egypt and made sock monkeys.  What does a sock monkey have to do with Ancient Egypt you ask?  Well it's representative of the items the Nubians brought the Egyptians as gifts - gold, jewels, and monkeys.  

In science we learned about Newton's 3rd law of motion - for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.   We also went to the Lancaster Science Factory for a field trip today.  We had a great time and were literally the only people in the place.  It was nice, we got to do everything we wanted to do as many times as we wanted to do it!

Flying our paper airplanes

Building a roller coaster

and testing it out.

Working hard to figure out how to get the Dam to work.

After much trial and error she finally got it!

Building a magnet sculpture

Checking out the color change up


The kids favorite activity - the parachute launch

Check here to see if others had an easier week than I did!!  :)


Sunday, September 5, 2010

Back to School Pictures and a Surprise Visit

We decided to take our back to school pictures today, it amazes me how many pictures you have to take of kids to get that one good one!

Imagine our surprise when in the middle of taking pictures up the road comes a galloping horse!!  The man was nice enough to stop and see if the kids wanted to sit on the horse.  Megan jumped at the chance.  :)  He told us all about how traditionally you would get on the horse from the left because during the Revolutionary War you would be carrying a sword and if you climbed on from the other side you would stab the horse.  Funny how we find learning experiences everywhere!  

Megan & George the horse

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Wrapping it Up - Week 3

We've had a roller coaster of a week this week.  All of our friends went back to school Tuesday.  This is the first year we didn't join them so I had a very emotional 9 year old on my hands (Michael couldn't have cared less).  We made it through though and celebrated not having to get up early and run out the door by making homemade chocolate chip waffles for breakfast and staying in our PJ's all day today!

In math we continued to review as well as began to introduce some new ideas like basic algebraic equations. (n+15=42)  Shawn also taught Michael the Associative Property of Addition and explained to him that he already knew the Communicative and Identity Properties but just didn't know that that's what they were called.

In LA we learned about adjectives and adverbs, started a new list of spelling and vocabulary words, practiced our reading comprehension, and worked on our writing skills by summarizing short stories.

Shawn has almost finished reading them  The Magician's Nephew and will start on The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe sometime next week.

In history we continued our study of Ancient Egypt, learning about the Pyramids and the Middle Kingdom of Egypt.  We built our own pyramids out of sugar cubes and made scented oil like the egyptians used in the mummy making process.  We were also very excited to see grass beginning to grow on the banks of our Nile river!!

In science we learned about Newton's first and second laws of motion and conducted experiments to prove them.

At Shawn's suggestion we also started Home Ec lessons.  Our task this week was learning how to make a cake from scratch. (this was a first for me too!)

Everybody got a turn, even Allie
One very important thing that my amazingly brilliant husband pointed out to me this week is that we don't have to do everything for every subject everyday.  While I realize that this is just basic common sense for some reason it was eluding me and I was stressing about not getting enough done.  I can't tell you what a relief this realization has been to me.  I am now able to be happy with the things we did accomplish rather than worrying about the ones we didn't.  

Finally I wanted to show off my new words of wisdom that came in the mail this week.  :)  This is one of my favorite sayings and I love having it by our bookshelf.
We are taking a much needed day off tomorrow to enjoy the start of the holiday weekend.  It is my last Friday to work and then we are headed to MamMom & Granddaddy's for an afternoon of relaxing and swimming before the weather turns cool.  :)

Have a wonderful weekend!!!

For more ideas and inspiration check out more weekly wrapups at one of my favorite sites!  :)

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

What's on Our Bookshelf - Ancient Egypt Version

As we venture through our year I thought I'd put up a booklist from time to time of what we're reading.  I'm hoping this will be especially helpful to those of you doing Story of the World 1 with older kids.  Most of these are books the kids are reading on their own during their free reading time.  I've included links but be sure to check you're local library first!

Bill and Pete Go Down the Nile - Tommy DePaola
History News: The Egyptian News -Scott Steedman
Kat and the Secrets of the Nile - Emma Bradford
The Lost Diary of Tutankhamun's Mummy - Clive Dickinson
Mummies in the Morning - Mary Pope Osborne
You Wouldn't Want to be an Egyptian Mummy! - David Stewart
Mysteries of the Pyramids - Anne Millard
Mummies Unwrapped: The Science of Mummy Making - Grace
Tut's Mummy Lost and Found - Judy Donnelly
Egyptian Myths - Gary Jeffrey
You Wouldn't Want to Be A Pyramid Builder! - Jacqueline Morley
Amazing Facts about Ancient Egypt - James Putnam & Jeremy Pemberton
Egyptian Tombs - Jeanne Bendick
The Egyptians: Investigate and Understand Ancient Egypt - Neil Grant
Ancient Egyptian Culture - Sarah Halliwell
The Mystery of the Ancient Pyramid - Carole Marsh
Technology in the Time of Ancient Egypt - Judith Crosher
Ancient Egypt Revealed - Peter Chrisp
Secrets of the Mummies - Harriet Griffey

Wordless Wednesday - Soccer