We started out our week with an Ant-Man chalkboard quote!
Reading: It looks like we're carrying on our tradition of not sticking too long with any given reading/literature curriculum! Caleb told me he was bored with the literature-based reading activities, mainly because they involve "a lot of writing" (his words, not mine). I think he just doesn't like to write, but since he gets opportunities to write in other subjects I decided it was okay to just READ. So we got out the next reader in an out-of-print series (we did Six Ducks in a Pond and King on a Swing in first grade), which is called Kittens and Children. We read a poem or story out of it every morning after we do a word ladder.
English: This week we learned about shape poems and how they're different than the couplets we learned about last week. Caleb drafted, revised, and "published" a shape poem about a six-plumed bird of paradise! He took his Chapter 6 Test at the end of the week and did pretty well.
Spelling: This was our first week using Spelling You See. I went with Level B to start with, figuring if it was easy for Caleb we could just move through it faster and then get to the real meaty stuff. Right now, each week has a different poem or rhyme (the first week is "Jack and Jill"), and every day the student copies down a line from the poem and fills in letter sounds for three-letter words (the first week's vowel sound was short "a," as in "sat"). Caleb was kind of surprised at the simplicity, but I let him skim through the rest of his workbook and see that it will get harder. I told him we were going back to basics to make sure he gets it this time. I'm hoping the visual aspect will help it stick better; if we're still having spelling and writing problems by the end of the school year, we'll switch to something else.
Word of the Week/Journal: The word of the week was "zany." Caleb decided to act out his zaniness by crossing his arms inside his shirt and then putting them through the wrong sleeves, and attempting to do the same with his legs and pants!
Math: This week in math, his workbook introduced the idea of multiplication! It started out as arrays of items, and talked about multiplication problems like sets (4 sets of 2 = 8, 2+2+2+2=8, etc.). Caleb was nervous at first but got the hang of it!
Bible: We started Lesson 6 in our Who is God? curriculum, which asks the question, "If God created the world, why isn't it perfect?" We spent the week reviewing Creation and the Fall. One activity involved Caleb drawing things that we wouldn't need if it hadn't been for the Fall (such as locks on our doors, hospitals, etc.). Caleb drew a box of Zyrtec (his allergy medicine!).
Zoology: We ended our stay in China's bamboo forest this week, and learned about golden hair monkeys and mice.
Countries: This week we studied Germany. Caleb filled out a country fact sheet and we also listened to some German polka music and some Beethoven on Pandora. He helped me pound out pork chops for schnitzel one night for dinner, and I also prepared some dry spaetzle noodles I had found at Aldi (I boiled and drained them, and then added butter and salt and pepper). Then another day we made soft pretzels!
Extras: Caleb had requested to listen to Beethoven, so that reminded me that I had my SQUILT (Super Quiet Un-Interrupted Listening Time) "Meet the Orchestra" bundle. I had printed out and laminated flash cards that featured the parts of an orchestra and individual instruments, plus with the bundle you also get access to a website with YouTube links to videos and other activities. We watched the videos about the entire orchestra, and later on in the week listened to a few selections with the strings.
We also did a fun art activity inspired by Henri Matisse. He was a French painter who became bedridden when he was older and couldn't paint anymore. So he switched to paper cut-out collages and had a "second life" at art. We read a storybook about Matisse and then tried to make collages of our own. Caleb kind of did his own thing and made a constellation (he pointed out that he was an artist and that means being creative, so it was hard to argue with him). Mommy did a better job at following the directions. :)
Country Fact Sheet (Teachers Pay Teachers)
Pork Schnitzel Recipe (The Daring Gourmet)
Soft Pretzel Recipe (Sprinkle Some Sugar)
Henri Matisse Collage Instructions (Art Projects for Kids)
Here's what we did last week!
Reading: This week we continued starting with a Word Ladder every day. For literature-based reading, we read Arthur's Tooth by Marc Brown. For one of the activities, Caleb had to brainstorm about an invention he would want The Brain (the smartest kid in Arthur's class) to invent for him to solve a problem.
English: We started off the week with another cumulative review, then began Chapter 6, where the main focus is poetry. We learned about rhyming words and how to write a couplet.
Spelling: We took a break from spelling this week. The workbook approach was frustrating Caleb and he wasn't retaining what he had learned. I ordered a more visual curriculum called Spelling You See so we will start that once it arrives.
Word of the Week/Journal: The word of the week was "convince."
Math: We continued in his math workbook. He learned how to subtract with borrowing!
Bible: We finished Lesson 5 this week.
Zoology: This week, we switched back to the Australian eucalyptus forest and learning about owls and deer. Caleb completed his animal fact sheets as well as his habitat sheet. For our scientific demonstration, Caleb looked through two toilet paper tubes to get an idea of how owls see; their eyes aren't spherical shaped so they can't move them around like other animals can. Instead, they have to move their head to look around (good thing they can turn it about 270 degrees!).
Countries: This week we learned about Italy. We read some library books and Caleb colored a paper towel tube that I had cut at a diagonal to represent the Leaning Tower of Pisa. We ate spaghetti and meatballs for dinner one night as well!
Here's what we did for the past two weeks!
We took a fall break during the second week of October; we had completed nine weeks of school so I figured it was a good time to take a breath! The week after that, Grandma and Grandpa were in town so we did a lighter school week (Language Arts, Math, Science, and Countries).
Reading: We continued doing a Word Ladder every morning to start off our school day. Caleb is getting more comfortable with them and has even started attempting them on his own (though sometimes he still needs help reading a word). During the "light week," we didn't do additional reading, but the week after that, Caleb read Are You My Mother? by P.D. Eastman and completed several activities, including a maze and an opposites activity.
Language Arts: During this two-week period, we completed Lesson 5, which mostly focused on verbs. Caleb learned how to identify the verbs in sentences, how to write verbs that occur "now" versus "in the past," and about "special" verbs like tell, give, and sing that have different past forms. We also did a lesson about homophones which Caleb enjoyed the most. He took Test 5 at the end of the two weeks and did very well!
Spelling: We took a break from spelling during the light week but started on Week 10 during the second week. Caleb missed 2 out of 10 on his test.
Word of the Week/Journal: The word of the week for the light week was "colossal." The word of the week for the second week was "avoid."
Math: We continued in his math workbook.
Bible: We only did a few days of our Bible curriculum during the past two weeks. We're still learning about the Three Persons of the Trinity.
Zoology: The first day of our "light week" was the perfect time to release our butterflies! We got four healthy butterflies from our cup of caterpillars and it was time to let them go into the wild before it got too cold.
In our zoology curriculum, we completed Chapters 10 and 11. In the story, the twins gets separated due to a glitch in the program, so one sibling gets sent to a eucalyptus forest in Australia (Chapter 10) and the other gets sent to a bamboo forest in China (Chapter 11). The next two chapters will continue to switch back and forth between the two forests as the twins try to get their data so they can reunite at the next location. In Australia, we learned about koalas and rabbits. In China, we learned about giant pandas and golden eagles. Caleb continued to fill out his animal fact sheets and his food chart (which I expanded since we were running out of room!), and the day we learned about golden eagles Caleb did a "beak study" where he experimented with a variety of tools (which represent the different shapes and sizes of bird beaks and bills) to see which did better with a variety of small objects (which represent the different foods birds eat). We did something similar last year but Caleb loved it so it was fun for him to do it again.
Countries: During the "light week," we learned about Spain. We read a few library books, including The Story of Ferdinand, and Caleb made a bull out of a toilet paper roll. At the end of the week, I made a Spanish gazpacho. The boys didn't like it but I did, so I eat some of it and froze the rest.
During the second week, we learned about France. Caleb constructed an Eiffel Tower out of plastic straws and also helped me make crepes! We tried a recipe from a cute children's book called Crepes by Suzette, and I got some Nutella to spread inside.
Misc: The boys also painted pumpkins to put by the front door, and one evening before dinner we spotted a praying mantis on one of the tires of my car! Looks like it was laying eggs so we looked up how long praying mantis eggs take to hatch (given that they're on a tire, it's not looking good for them!). One site said several weeks, plus they do better in warm weather, so either way I don't think we'll see baby praying mantises any time soon!
Toilet Paper Roll Bull Printable (Crayola)
Gazpacho Recipe (Genius Kitchen)
Eiffel Tower Craft (What We Can Do With Paper and Glue)