Monday, September 14, 2015

Work Plans for the Week of September 14, 2015: Hawaii!

School last week went reasonably well, even though Syd did spend one entire afternoon melting down over rounding to the nearest thousand. I'm starting to think that these meltdowns are a short circuit of her brain working in the background, however, because when Matt sat down with her in the evening to work on the concept with her some more, she had it completely mastered.

The kids happily read their Books of the Day--

--didn't fuss too much over their memory work, spent the evening in our bomb shelter while air raid sirens blared, and tried out my pattern block stained glass template idea, which, while it worked okay, in the end the kids preferred simply playing with the pattern blocks:

We also managed to spend the last reasonably warm afternoon of the year at the lake, which was just what we all needed.

This week, we're focused on Hawaii, because a vacation isn't fun unless you study for it! I'm also introducing 1941 events in World War 2, finally, so that next week we can immerse ourselves in Pearl Harbor. Memory work for the week consists of the spelling words from last week's Wordly Wise chapter (I think it's going to take us two weeks to complete each chapter--one for grammar, and one for spelling), bee anatomy, the eight major Hawaiian islands, Mandarin numbers 1-5, and, for Will, fraction terminology. I should have included multiplication terminology for Syd, but I didn't take a look at her Math Mammoth for the week until after I'd written the kids' memory work onto our chalkboard, and I'm too lazy to redo it.

New for memory work this week are cursive workbooks for each kid. Syd has New American Cursive book 2 (the secular version), and Will has Teach Yourself Cursive. I'll be asking them to complete one page every day, and neither seem too bummed about it... yet.

Books of the Day consist of books on volcanoes, caves, a couple of animal biographies, and a graphic novel for Will about a Holocaust survivor. Other than a few children's biographies, I'm planning to go very light on the Holocaust, and even then, that reading will be mostly for Will.

And here's the rest of our week!

MONDAY: Math Mammoth should be pretty straightforward for both kids this week, with Will starting a unit on fractions and Syd starting one on multiplication. They've studied these concepts before, of course, so hopefully they won't struggle too hard to extend their knowledge. If something does trip them up, however, we can do the hands-on enrichment of it next week.

The kids' Mandarin class starts this weekend, and while I don't expect that we'll always be working ahead like this, the extra review involved in making flash cards ahead of class can't hurt.

Last week, the kids got a good foundation of what volcanoes are, and why and how they work. We'll be doing more reading/viewing on the subject, but the last volcano activity before our trip is to research the location of the Ring of Fire and mark it on our big world map. Alternately, I actually have a map with volcanoes and earthquake sites already on it, so if we're low on time, we might just put that on the wall and then discuss it. After all, we'll be getting some hands-on knowledge of volcanoes soon enough.

We've got our regular volunteer gig at the food pantry later today. I won't be dropping Will off at the library afterwards as I usually do, as she's in trouble for leaving a library book outside (again), so she'll instead be spending the afternoon doing chores to pay it off. Mwa-ha-ha!

TUESDAY: I mostly want the children to understand that Hawaii once had a monarchy, and that it was overthrown (by non-native citizens), so on this day, we'll be reading and discussing this infographic on Hawaii's monarchy, and watching this documentary on Hawaii's last queen. In Hawaii, I'm hoping that we can visit at least one royal site.

This day is a short one in terms of our own schoolwork, since we've got our homeschool group's playgroup and the kids' evening robotics class. But if you consider that the children are going to be spending two hours at a ROBOTICS CLASS, then you can understand why I'm keeping our own work short. They've got to have time to play!

WEDNESDAY: I messed up my spreadsheet here, when I tried to copy and paste something, so you can't see that Syd has a Friday Zone taping on this day. It's Halloween-themed, so she and I have been making her Halloween costume early, in preparation for it. I'm sure that I'll be happy next month to have it already done, but right now it's kinda stressing me out! She and I will spend the entire afternoon on campus, then, since she's also got ballet there a couple of hours later and a couple of buildings over, making this another short day for our own schoolwork. Good thing that being part of a television production is so educational!

And no, Will wanted no part of that television production. Sigh...

Although we're mostly focused on Hawaii and World War 2, I wanted a couple more enrichment activities to cement our experience visiting the Nina and Pinta, so the kids and I are going to attempt to make these cardboard models. I printed one set of instructions at the regular size, and another set 10% larger, so hopefully we'll be able to muddle them together with lots of cardboard and even more hot glue. Wish us luck!

THURSDAY: The last extra activity that I want the kids to do for Will's Girl Scout Cadette Comic Artist badge is to create a week's run of comic strips, just like they read in the newspaper every day. I'm going to suggest that they collaborate and make it a funny version of their own lives, as many comic artists do, but I won't insist.

We'll be continuing--and ideally finishing!--our cardboard models on this day, and the kids will research and put Columbus' voyage on our world wall map. They've read descriptions of his voyage many times by now, but really being able to see it in context is always the best.

FRIDAY: The kids will put the 1941 timeline cards in their World War 2 notebooks on this day, and then over the weekend Matt will give us a history lecture that unpacks those events. Next week, we'll focus on Pearl Harbor!

That papier mache unicorn head that we began last Friday probably won't be completely dry until this day, so we can work on the bottom of it and perhaps smooth the sides a little more. It might be ready to paint next Friday?

I want the kids to become experts on a few different Hawaiian plants and animals that they can then be on the lookout for during our vacation, so I'll have them doing a few of these infographics in the next couple of weeks.

As for me, I'll be spending my week completing a Fluttershy costume, starting on the whopping seven Crafting a Green World posts that I need to write and schedule before our vacation (as well as the three that I need to write for this week!), working on a commissioned project that I also need to finish before we go, working on Girl Scout registrations that I ALSO need to finish before we go, and deciding if I'd rather spend the time sewing more shorts or the money buying more shorts for Will, who has already grown out of all of her summer clothes.

It's okay to be stressed out, though, because I'm going on vacation pretty soon!

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