Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Work Plans for the Week of October 19, 2015: World War 2 and Indiana

I'd actually decided to forgo posting my work plans for this week, our first week back after our three-week holiday, because I have so much that I'd rather say about Hawaii, but I've found that I miss referring to it! Apparently I review these posts a lot during the week to remind myself of my lesson plans and resources. I also outline specific lessons on the back of a hard copy of these work plans, and I note the supplies that I'll need on a given day in my planner, but writing out this online version of my plans, with links to my resources, also seems to be essential to my flow.

Memory work for this week consists of fraction terminology, the spelling words from chapter 2 of each kid's Wordly Wise, one page a day from their cursive workbooks, and Mandarin vocabulary for Will and ballet for Syd (Syd had to drop Mandarin for the rest of this semester, as one of her weekly Nutcracker rehearsals overlaps it). Books of the Day include some books on light aircraft for Will (she's currently on an airplane kick), the Magic School Bus book on volcanoes and Who Was Christopher Columbus? for Syd, a random children's biography of the Unsinkable Molly Brown for Will, and a few more books on volcanoes and Hawaii, as I plan to complete that unit study in the next couple of weeks, sigh.

I miss Hawaii!

And here's the rest of our week!

MONDAY: We were happy to see our fellow volunteers at our weekly shift at the local food pantry on this day! I got to tell loads of stories about our vacation in Hawaii, and the kids spent most of the shift putting address stickers on envelopes while listening to another worker tell about her time living in Africa ("Fruit bats would come to a fruit tree right outside her house! And did you know that if you see a lone hippo you should stay away from him, because he's probably an aggressive older male that's been kicked out of his group?").

The kids were not thrilled, unfortunately, to get back to Math Mammoth and cursive and other written work. Will has a handle on her fractions unit, at least, and so will eventually muscle through it, but as much as Syd loathes rounding, she loathes even more this current lesson that's asking her to round one or both factors in a multiplication problem in order to estimate an answer. I *think* it's the "guesswork" that bothers her, as she'd rather simply work the problem, but being able to estimate an answer IS important, so estimate I am making her, hour-long tantrums be damned. At least after my thorough rounding lessons she CAN round--she just doesn't want to!

On one of my homeschool group boards, another parent posted a link to an essay contest for fourth graders, on the topic of Indiana's upcoming bicentennial. The deadline is this Friday, but we've studied Indiana as a state enough that it's actually pretty do-able to bust this essay out as a review. I'm also requiring both kids to write an essay, although, of course, I'll only actually submit my fourth-grader's--mwa-ha-ha! On Monday, the children brainstormed the topic, on Tuesday, they outlined their essays, today they'll write them, tomorrow they'll revise them, and then I'll mail Syd's on Friday, exactly on the deadline!

We've been doing our World War 2 lessons in the evening, while Matt is home, to great success. I can provide a well-researched lecture on a World War 2 topic but Matt, who minored in history and for whom it's also a passion, always has more insight to add and knows all the best details to engage a child. This lesson on World War 2 propaganda went particularly well. We discussed propaganda and its purposes (to instill fear, to dehumanize the enemy, etc.), analyzed numerous examples, and then I had the children use this site to rewrite several propaganda posters. I'll talk more about this another time, and tell you all about how it eventually devolved, as everything does in this family, into a bunch of butt jokes, but for now, I'll just share with you one of Will's that's at least relevant to the war:

She's brought out the subtext of the poster quite well, don't you think?

TUESDAY: Tuesday's World War 2 lesson was meant to expand on our visit to the Pacific Aviation Museum in Hawaii. Matt discussed the evolution of aircraft in war, its uses, the different types of aircraft, and showed them how they were identified using spotter cards. We have one actual spotter card that was actually used during the war, and the activity book for Story of the World volume 4 has an entire sheet of recreations that you can use for matching and playing Memory.

Again, that took place in the evening, as we spent most of the afternoon at a homeschool group's playgroup, with me chatting happily about Hawaii and Girl Scouts and kids, and the actual kids playing in the leaves and on the playground with friends. Happy autumn days!

WEDNESDAY: This morning I only have Will here with me at the table right now, completing her page of cursive; Syd is having the worst time adjusting back to the Eastern Time Zone, poor kid. I've been waking her up around 9 am, but she's got ballet tonight, so I want her to be well-rested. 

We use these World War 2 timeline cards for our unit; today, not only will the kids be gluing the couple of 1942 dates into their notebooks, but I'll also be asking them to work together to pick out the most important dates from those we've studied so far--we've now got too many dates to ask the kids to keep memorizing them all, so they'll select the most relevant to focus on.

THURSDAY: As well as finishing their Indiana Bicentennial essays, the kids will have a lesson on the soldiers of World War 2--their differing characteristics in different countries, the branches of service, ranks, etc.--and I've got some paper dolls that show off the different uniforms that they can make.

While Will has horseback riding class, Syd and I will probably work some more on her dollhouse--the stairs apparently need stair runners made of red felt!

FRIDAY: This WAS going to be our day at home this week, but then I learned that Will has a podcast taping at the library and Syd has an extra Nutcracker rehearsal on this afternoon... oh, well! The kids will finish with their timelines through 1944 on this day--we'll have their lectures for these dates over the weekend--and hopefully we'll have time for most of the fun projects that I'd planned. We'll have a brief review of skeletal anatomy, then the kids will make this tape resist skeleton project--I plan to have them press their tape against a towel first, and hopefully that will take enough of the sticky off that it won't tear as much as it apparently did in the original project.

We never did get to the fruit decay observation that I'd wanted to do last month, but I know that Syd wants her Detective badge--just don't let me forget to take the kids to the store on Thursday and have them pick out fruit to observe!

SATURDAY/SUNDAY: On Saturday, we've got our local university's Science Fest, which is a HUGE favorite of the kids, and then there's just a string of ice skating, ballet, Mandarin, and ballet again before we can collapse back at home, play with the chickens, then eat take-out pizza and watch a movie. Lilo and Stitch, perhaps?

On Sunday, I want the family to go to the apple orchard, but they may want to just stay home all day and play with the chickens. That will be okay, too!


Tina said...

It's so nice to get back into a rhythm after being out of it for a while.

Right now I am just having Emma focus on her math (which she loves doing!) and getting ready for November's National Novel Writing Month. She's been working steadily through their workbook and she is actually excited about starting to write her novel on the first. Once November is over, we will work on editing her novel and I will probably start assigning her some of the books that came with the BookShark curriculum that we bought for this year. I doubt we will get to much more involved than that because there is a good possibility we will be moving (to a new job, not just in town) in February. So, I imagine we will also spend a lot of time researching our new location, once we know what it is.

My hubby use to be a crew chief (mechanic) on the Air Force's C-130, so we are partial to the heavier aircraft around these parts.

julie said...

NaNoWriMo is so awesome! I just checked out their lesson plans for the Young Writers program, and I think we might try it on a different month. Maybe it will make February more fun?