Week 16

Year 1: CHOW, “The Other Side of the World,” Aesop, “Leap at Rhodes,” “Wild Boar and Fox,” BBB Ch. 45, Goshawk and Great Horned Owl; Coville, “The Tempest.” Math: cubic measurements, combinations to sixteen.

Twins: The Story of Little Babaji, The Story about Ping, coloring pictures of Great Horned Owl.

Coincidentally, our day to read about China in our history book was also the first day of the Chinese New Year. So the meal of Chinese food the Duchess helped plan was doubly appropriate (we made baked chicken, stir-fried vegetables, rice, and almond cookies. Everyone helped with the cookies; I did the rest mostly by myself). I felt almost like one of those crafty moms with all the hands-on activities. Fortunately it didn’t last long.

To prepare for reading about two predator birds, we did an activity from Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding about the food chain, with discussion of how energy is transmitted up the food chain (and therefore why there must be far more plants than herbivores, and far more herbivores than carnivores), reviewed terms, etc. I hope to keep discussing and looking for examples of ways different animals are adapted for their particular diet.

We spent a lot of time outside playing this week–the weather was quite nice compared with last week. Duchess and Deux especially have been just taking themselves outside and climbing and fort building without encouragement. Dot is pretty averse to going out, though.

We built boxes of different sizes and shapes from inch-square graph paper and calculated capacities. We also spent some time looking at graph paper made with equilateral triangles and finding differently-sized rhombuses.

Dot has made a leap in mathematical understanding since the beginning of the year. She was making a beautiful, symmetrical pattern with the pattern blocks and started counting her soldiers–which she managed successfully up to 11 before she got muddled. Then when she went to get her boots she pointed out that there were four loops on her boots because each boot had two.

The Tempest was a hit, as expected. Except Duchess had already read it, which was revealed when I asked if they wanted to get stuffed animals and she assigned one to each role before I had said a word.

We did not do nature notebooks this week. (Although we did do some sewing!) Duchess and I saw an example of a young girl doing a painting in a nature notebook, which seemed to inspire her–maybe we will try combining the two this week. (Of course, this is not the most exciting time of year for that. It’s hard to find anything a color other than greenish-brown and brownish-green.)

In spelling we did adding the -ing suffix to words. Since they like to think of as many examples of our spelling pattern as they can, and since every verb in the English language gets -ing added to it–it was a long lesson. And it continued on Friday. Duchess seemed quite excited to realize she had an easy way of identifying verbs, which she has been doing for her Wacky Web Tales.

One really fun resource we found this week: The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra. They were quite engrossed by it, and I was pleased with the way it was designed to draw attention to the different design and sound of each instrument. I hope to follow up with some good library resources next week.

On our way to one of our park excursions we played the question game and I was pleased to hear that they could tell about such things as a story from George Washington’s life; the attack of the Persians on Babylonia; the names and patronage of the key Greek deities; and of course, lots about Peter Pan. So they are retaining. I may just try to do some well-rounded questioning rather than a separate exam week, at least for this year.

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