This week was quite busy, though a tad disjointed because we did so many different things! I won't even try to summarize everything here because that would be tedious, but here's a bit of what we did...

For History, we had to juggle some things around in order to be at the correct starting point for next week's lessons. That mostly entailed reading a lot from "Mara, Daughter of the Nile" since we needed to have thirteen chapters completed. The kids aren't enjoying this book quite as much as the last, though I'm enjoying it immensely! I'm hoping that next week we'll be able to follow the Sonlight IG as scheduled, that would be such a relief.

We had a bit of a disaster with our timeline books. Due to everyone's overly generous use of glue, several of the pages in each book became stuck together. Naturally, this resulted in ripping when we tried to separate them. Major bummer. Now I know why Sonlight uses timeline stickers, however, I seem to have misplaced the stickers we received from them and can't find them anywhere!

Language Arts: We did more work on sentence diagramming in R&S English, learned about paragraphs and started on our new CLE Reading Units (so far, so good - they're enjoying them). We also had our first dictation exercise - a passage from "Mara." For some reason, dication stressed the boys out to a ridiculous degree, while Maddie breezed right through it. The entire exercise took nearly 40 minutes (for one short paragraph!), so I think we'll be sticking to to copywork a bit longer.

Thanks to Maria at Eclectically Yours, I discovered a fantastic book that I've decided to use this semester, before starting on a roots program for vocabulary. The book is called Excavating English and is described as a "hands-on dig into the multicultural roots of English from 4000 BC to the present." Though it is intended for grades 6 to 10, I believe it can be adapted easily enough for my younger students, based on the sample chapters I've reviewed. It will go quite well with our history his year so I can't wait until it arrives!

Incidentally, the author of the book also has a chemistry book entitled, The Elements: Ingredients of the Universe. The curriculum, designed for grades 4-8, uses cooking and many other hands-on activities to introduce children to the Periodic Table. There's even an elements fairy tale, "The Periodic Kingdom." A review of the curriculum can be found at Rainbow Resources. Now I'm not sure when or how I could work this into our schedule, but I really, really want to and I don't even like chemistry!

Yikes, but back to our weekly report...the kids continued to work at their own pace in Math, doing at least one lesson per day from the Singapore textbook and workbook. For the most part, they're not finding it too difficult, which is nice.

We also began reading "Philosophy for Kids" and it was a great success...they really enjoyed debating what was just and fair! In addition, they started on "Grid Perplexors" Book A (for the 4th graders) and Book B (for Dominic/6th grade). Initially they were quite resistant, but after the first puzzle they were hooked and begging for more.

In Science we started our Geology unit by learning about plate tectonics, earthquakes and volcanoes. A friend brought us an enormous rock with salt crystals, which prompted us to schedule a field trip tomorrow at The Underground Salt Museum.

I had hoped to begin studying rocks and minerals before the field trip, but that didn't exactly happen. However, we did spend some time looking at our fluorescent mineral kit again and examining the tub of rocks and minerals we'll learn how to test and identify next week. The boys also read from our DK Rocks & Minerals book, among others, looking for information on salt. Finally, we found some good information on How Stuff Works.

Aragonite, Hackmanite and Scapolite:

Lastly, the boys had fun with this Amusement Park Physics site, testing some of what they'd learned with our Quadrilla Marble Run and some wavy wooden blocks.

All in all, it was another good week. Nearly all of my recent curricula additions have arrived, so I'm looking forward to a more complete schedule next week.


  1. Chucki the Parrothead said...
    Cool rocks! Sounds like you were busy this week.
    Robin of My Two Blessings said...
    Great pictures. Sounds like a good week. We have the philosophy book but haven't started it yet.
    cellista said...
    Those chemistry books look interesting. I need to start planning something for next year's science. Your salt mine fieldtrip looked interesting too. We have the salt flats out here (UT) to go look at. For miles and miles and miles...

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