Friday, October 15, 2010
Monday, October 11, 2010
sta·tion·ary adj \ˈstā-shə-ˌner-ē\
1: fixed in a station, course, or mode: IMMOBILE
2: unchanging in condition
sta·tio·nery noun \ˈstā-shə-ˌner-ē\
1: materials (as paper, pens, and ink) for writing or typing
2: letter paper usually accompanied with matching envelopes
As spelling bee coordinator for our homeschool association, I spent a good chunk of today reviewing our word lists, checking for unmarked homonyms or other confusing words. I was shocked to find out there are two different spellings for these words. I told Marc about it at dinner and he had no idea either, and I consider him a pretty good speller. Even Anna, our super-speller and three-time spelling bee winner, didn't know.
I've learned my something new for the day.
What word do you commonly misspell?
Friday, October 8, 2010
My dear bloggy friend, Dawn, is starting a new monthly series, Round about the Table. She plans for it to be interactive, so to kick off the first month she has invited her readers to answer three icebreaker questions.
- Do you prefer coffee or tea? Hot or cold? Sugar, cream, etc.?
- How did you meet your husband?
- What is your favorite subject to teach? Why?
Monday, October 4, 2010
Here are our favorite geography read-alouds for the month:
We're starting up our study of Matthew with ECC. We read about Dwight Moody and Harriet Tubman in Hero Tales. I like how ECC incorporates praying for missionaries and peoples around the world, using Window on the World. Not part of our ECC studies, we going through our church's Jr. Catechism course. It's normally done at the church, but my kids were the only students this year, so we're doing it at home. It's normally for 4th graders, but I thought maybe Grace could handle it. I was wrong. It's a little too difficult, so I'm really having to adapt it for her. Both kids needed more than one week for the memory work (and my kids are great at memorizing). So I'm going to give it another couple of weeks and then decide if we should continue.
We spent the month finishing up our Exploring Creation with Astronomy from last year, or at least we tried. There are still a few more activities I'd like to do, so we'll spend one more week on it and then move on with Zoology I - Flying Creatures. I can't believe I have no science pictures to share!
Art & Music
We learned about lines, primary colors and secondary colors. Coincidentally, when we went out to eat Friday night, Grace pointed out that her crayon packet had the three primary colors and Ryne's had the three secondary colors! Our main art activities for the week, however, are on Fridays, which I will tell about in a minute. The instruments we studied were the clarinet, saxophone, bassoon, and trumpet. Our composer for the month was Franz Schubert, which I wrote more about here.
Following the ECC schedule, we are working on Cameron Townsend. I love it, but I'm having to stop and explain things quite a bit. The kids do seem to be mostly enjoying it though.
We spent the month finishing Song School Latin and going through Latin Words Sticker Book. I'm so sad to be done with SSL. We dragged it out as long as possible, because it was so much fun. For those of you who've been around a while, remember this?
Last year math went so amazingly great for Ryne. That is until he hit Lesson 24 in Math U See Gamma: Multiplication with Regrouping. We've been on this lesson since spring. And at this rate we might still be working on it next spring. I'm at a loss. Ryne knows how to do the steps -- he can explain it to me. If we work a problem out together he gets it right every time. He knows all his facts, so that's not the problem. He just can't focus long enough to do more than a problem or two correctly. And, yes, I'm keeping the lessons short. I'm going to be reading Knowing & Teaching Elementary Mathematics in hope of finding some inspiration in getting over this hurdle.
Grace too is in a holding pattern. She has not completely mastered her addition and subtraction facts, so we're holding off on Beta will a little bit. In the meantime, while we work on her facts, she's been completing some worksheets from some math workbook that's been sitting on my shelf for years. It has lots of supplementary-type lessons that were not covered in Alpha (ex. - symmetry, simple fractions, graphs, etc.). She also spends a few minutes each day doing different activities for telling time. Our favorite has been this chart that I picked up in the dollar section of Target.
Grammar, Reading & Writing
Ryne's transition from First Language Lessons to Rod and Staff is going great, thanks to some advance planning. Grace continues with FLL and Adventures in Phonics. She is also reading through Paths to Adventure. And now I get to admit my biggest failure for the month. I had planned to watch the IEW DVDs this summer, but didn't. And I didn't get it done in September either. So other than some copywork and journaling for astronomy, there has been very little formal writing for Ryne. I'm pretty sure he's okay with that too. : )
This year we are excited to add a mini co-op with a family from our church. We meet at the Blue House where my friend Casey leads art and I lead math games and nature study. You can follow our nature study adventures here. Casey has been coming up with some great activities for art. Two weeks ago the kids put together some modern style self portraits (pictures coming soon) and this last week they made cute paper owls and decorated owl cupcakes while listening to White Owl, Barn Owl.
Franz Schubert and His Merry Friends by Opal Wheeler & Sybil Deucher (1939) *****
We are working our way through the Opal Wheeler composer series. The stories are delightful (the kids beg me to keep reading) and we love being able to listen to samples of the music, using the companion CD. I even find the books to be helpful in teaching the kids how to read music, since the music is printed in the book. I didn't realize this the first few times we used the CDs, but they also contain coloring sheets for each chapter. I found the coloring sheets to be a great addition to our study because it gives additional opportunities for review and narration -- plus my kids like to color! We gave this book 5 out of 5 stars.
Franz Peter Schubert by Eric Michael Summerer (2006) ****
This non-fiction book had some helpful pictures and a few tidbits not included in the previous book. It is a perfect review book for the younger elementary student.
The Life and Times of Franz Peter Schubert would be good for the older student.
We're big fans of the Beethoven's Wig CDs, so we always listen to the songs that correlate with our current composer study. Schubert can be found on volume 2, tracks 6 & 17.
You Tube videos were a big part of our Schubert study. Sometimes I had to put Post-it notes over the comments, so be sure to look out for inappropriate language if you watch on You Tube.
Here are a few we watched:
I never posted a couple of our Mozart and Beethoven studies from last year, so I will try to get those posted too.
Sunday, October 3, 2010
This is the story of four kids, a snake, and two chickens. But no geese.
It was our second attempt to do OHC #2: Geese, but we weren't really sure where to go about looking for them. The weather forecast indicated it was going to be a perfect day, so we decided to take our nature study on the road and go for a picnic. Our quaint little suburb has a nature sanctuary that, embarrassingly, neither of our families had ever visited. Who knows, maybe we'd find some geese there.
We were stunned. The nature sanctuary is amazing. It's been nine years since we moved into the Blue House -- how is that we're just now discovering this treasure?
All but a few acorns had fallen to the ground.