Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Work Plans for the Week of August 25, 2014: US History, US Geography

MONDAY: We had a lovely volunteer shift yesterday--I fetched and carried lots of things, and the kids repackaged lamb's quarter and Panera bread to offer to the shoppers. Syd also ate an entire half of a watermelon with a spoon; that kid lives on watermelon these days.

Math didn't go as well, since Syd's perfectionism made our three-person game of Multiplication Touch a little... tense. I didn't want to give Syd any hints, because she should have her multiplication facts memorized by now, but I do admit that Multiplication Touch can be tricky--at one point, Syd had FOUR "24" tiles, and freaked out about where they could all go--so I eventually, after tears and a tantrum, I told her that Will would help her, and then the game went well. It's a dice roll, because often Will's help is the last thing that she wants, but the odds were in our favor this time, sigh. It did give Will a good review of multiplication, at least, which was the point of the assignment.

Syd also threw a fit during her spelling test, although really she did quite well, and it was Will who should have thrown a performance-based fit, since she did a terrible job! They both completely immersed themselves in Spelling City afterwards, however, with their edited spelling lists, so I have higher hopes for next week's test.

The kids each had a horse breed to research this week (Palomino and Appaloosa) and to compare to the Knabstrupper, so I didn't ask them to also research the breed's geography, as I usually do (Will did so anyway, because she loves Culture Grams). The kids can always find the information that their riding instructor asks for in this horse encyclopedia, and we usually also look for Youtube videos, as well--I've been surprised about what interesting things we've learned about horse breeds on Youtube!

We're still reading through all the wonderful Oregon Trail living history books that I found at our local public library; both kids have books in journal format for this week's assigned reading. Makes me wonder about assigning them fictional journals as writing assignments, as well... I'll think more about that. Syd also read me A Book for Black-Eyed Susan, just because she thought that I'd like it, and it made me cry so much! Syd thought that was pretty excellent, and Will thought that it was hilarious, the rotter.

TUESDAY: Our local newspaper is hosting a children's art contest to design an "I Voted" sticker (does your community give you a sticker prize when you vote? I ADORE sticker prizes!). It was a great chance to talk about the responsibilities of US citizenship, especially for Will, who's still got a couple of activities left for her Girl Scout Inside Government badge, and then the kids designed their stickers as this week's art. Will sort of blew through hers just this side of acceptably, but Syd's currently deep into her fifth or sixth version. I may never get Will to like doing art, but I WILL make that child practice enough that she's competent at it! If she wants to draw something when she's grown, by gawd, she'll be able to.

Math Mammoth today will be a catch-up lesson; every now and then, if a kid is struggling and taking a really long time at her math, I'll take away any pages that she hasn't finished and set them aside for later. Later has arrived today! The reading journal from Barnes and Noble is also a catch-up; I collected these for the kids at the beginning of the summer, but if they don't fill them out and turn them in this week, they'll miss their prize!

Will has been interested in pterosaurs lately, so that's where today's paleontology lesson will take us. The kids have a reading assignment that I plan to use to teach them how to highlight important facts, and then we'll finally whip out the Pterosaurs Phylo deck! I have been promising Will that I'd teach her how to play Phylo for months, the poor kid.

Another mom at our homeschool group's Park Day reminded me that First Language Lessons have something like 100 lessons per grade, so I've given up my plan to blow through both books 3 and 4 this year. I'll just reassess after we finish book 3 to see what I want to do next.

WEDNESDAY: Horseback riding lesson!

THURSDAY: This is the last week that I'll have the kids working on the summer postcard swap that they're a part of. They ended up disappointed with this swap, since we've only received four postcards through it, although we're still sending out postcards, so maybe we'll get a few more? The kids map each postcard we receive on our big wall map, and so far they've gotten two from Florida, one from Missouri, and one from Canada. Send us postcards, you darn swappers!

For cursive, I'm still asking them to write the cursive alphabet, and having them complete a Startwrite copywork page on the first forgotten or incorrectly formed letter that they come to. I may have to get meaner about this, though, and assign copywork on several letters each time, because this could not be going more slowly!

FRIDAY: We didn't get to the fun activity with the cardstock covered wagons last week, so we'll do it this week, as well as watch a documentary on the Oregon Trail. We've almost accomplished everything that I wanted from this short unit study, and then we're moving on to Ancient China. We're going to see some real terra cotta warriors!

The Girl Scout badges are currently in chaos, with each kid working on random badges randomly, and Will even repeating a bunch of activities last week, because she'd forgotten that she'd already done them--whatever, still educational. I do need to enforce better organization, however, especially now that all the Girl Scout programming is starting up again in this fresh school year, and I know the kids want to have plenty of patches on their uniforms.

SATURDAY/SUNDAY/MONDAY: This is our last totally free weekend before Syd's ballet class starts for the semester, and it's a long holiday weekend, to boot, but considering that we'd like to have a housewarming party at some point, and we need to be unpacked for that to happen, I imagine that we'll spend our relaxing-ish weekend here at home, putting up shelves, varnishing bookcases, painting deck furniture, and creating the all-important s'mores-making fire pit.


Tina said...

I think I might try to get back on the ball with Emma's school stuff next week. This week is all about sleep- waking up every 4 hours to administer pain meds is kinda killing my sleep.

We did play around with the multiplication chart today and that seemed to go well. Jared taught Emma the trick with the 9's (that I still don't always remember/understand) and she thought that was cool.

What is this Culture Grams thing?

Maybe I should have Emma start doing those horse geography sheets again. Then the girls can all write to each other about it. Which reminds me, we need your new address :0)

julie said...

Ooh, you should totally check to see if your library has a Culture Grams log-in. It's a kid-oriented geography site, with country information that's great for reports, but also all kinds of enrichment resources, as well, such as musical excerpts, kid biographies, etc. We use it weekly!


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