Weeks 18-20

We wound up taking time off after President’s Day, owing to a combination of surprise trip for the grownups, surprise midnight ER trip for Dash, followed by exhaustion and then a cleaning frenzy. Fortunately we’d caught up beforehand, so we are still only out a week and should finish the term by the end of March.

So collectively, we have done:

Year 1: CHOW, Ch. 22 (Rome Kicks Out Kings), Ch. 23 (Greece v. Persia), Ch. 24 (Fighting Mad); BBB, Sparrows, Bluebird, Robin; PTTS, Ch. 14-15; D’Aulaire’s Greek Myths, Hera, Hephaestus, Aphrodite; JSS, Armadillos; Nesbit’s Shakespeare, “Winter’s Tale”; 50 Famous Tales, “Sword of Damocles,” “Damon and Pythias”; BFSU, Kinetic and Potential Energy; D’Aulaire’s Abraham Lincoln.

We’ve been really enjoying the history. Rather than doing the narrating in turns, they have enjoyed drawing illustrations/diagrams of the history story and then telling about it. We are all eager to find out what happens once the great Persian army finally reaches Greece.

I haven’t done most of the 50 Famous Tales but I’m trying to put in a few that go with what we are reading. They are nice quick reads and good stories.

I was a little nervous about doing Winter’s Tale since this is the first Shakespeare we have done without a picture book, but we took it in a couple of chunks and illustrated it with Lego figures and it was great. It’s very fairy-tale like in its structure, too, which helped.

Abraham Lincoln was a last-minute emergency substitution when I realized our library doesn’t have Buffalo Bill. (It’s a free read in a later year.) They really loved it, and since Lincoln is a hero of DOB’s, I thought it good to spend the extra time on him.

I did finally get the picture switched out, but we are behind on picture study and haven’t been doing music at all. And poetry has been spotty (though we’ve read the poems before, so it’s not THAT critical).

They’ve been watching Spanish videos lately; they thought they had finished Salsa, then discovered a whole new row of episodes they haven’t seen. They also enjoy watching segments from Los Pimpollos, a Peruvian children’s program, on YouTube.

We did a high-energy lesson on potential and kinetic energy at the playground one morning.

We had some very cruddy weather (mid-30s and raining/snowing) for awhile, so we have not been out much. We could, but we didn’t.

The time spent organizing the kids’ room and living room has paid off–we are doing much better at keeping it picked up, so that on housecleaning day I could get right into cleaning instead of picking up for two hours first.

I have been having Deux try to do copywork from a printed sheet onto a separate sheet of ordinary lined paper. It was a real challenge for him to figure out where to start, and he kept getting distracted. He would prefer to just trace, but I decided instead to print out some first-grade lined paper (with dashes and space below the line for descenders) and write out the words for him to copy directly above. This has proven to be a more accessible task, while still challenging him.

Math is still going well. They have addition facts pretty much down and are doing well with the transition to two-digit addition and subtraction. Multiplication facts are taking a bigger role as the numbers we study get bigger, and those are definitely much rougher. I want to spend more time just playing around with the quantities. I also wrote the more difficult ones we’ve already studied on the board for them to see often. I’d like to play some games to drill, but I don’t know any game that organizes multiplication facts by size of product rather than by fact family.

The twins have been listening to stories: Beatrix Potter, Robert McCloskey, Narnia and Patricia Wrede’s Enchanted Forest series (with the big kids, on CD). And playing.

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