ivey league academy: week in review!

Here's what we did the week of 12/4-12/8!

We ended up taking a sick day on Monday; Caleb especially was very congested and was coughing a lot, and I was still getting over a sinus headache.

Reading:  Because our printer was out of ink and we didn't get a cartridge until later in the week, Caleb only had to do one Word Ladder! (I copy them out of the book in case I want to use the book again.)  He also only read out loud on Friday; before that, he would cough a lot if he had to use his voice.

English:  Caleb had his Chapter 7 review and test this week, and we also did a cumulative review.  We're almost halfway through his curriculum (there are sixteen chapters total), so I think we'll hold off on starting Chapter 8 until after New Year's.

Spelling:  We continued in his Spelling You See curriculum.

Word of the Week/Journal:  Our word of the week was "clench."  Caleb wrote about clenching his play-doh!

Math:  We continued in his Horizons math workbook.  He had a test in this subject as well, and did great!

Bible:  We only got to Bible one day this week.  We started a new lesson in which we'll answer the question, "Does God really supply all my needs?"

Zoology:  We started our study of the ocean habitat this week.  We learned about king penguins and codfish.  The scientific demonstration in the teacher's manual seemed a little confusing to me, so I looked up another experiment on Pinterest.  Caleb mixed a little bit of coffee grounds in water (it was supposed to be dirt but I didn't want to go dig any up!), then slowly poured it through a coffee filter wrapped around a plastic cup.  He saw that the filter (representing the fish's gills) allowed the water to pass through but "caught" the grounds.  Similarly, the fish is able to breathe underwater because its gills "catch" the oxygen out of the water and allow the water to then pass through again.

Countries:  We learned about The Netherlands this week!  For our craft, Caleb made a windmill out of a toilet paper tube.  For our recipe, we tried hagelslag, or "hailstorm" in Dutch.  Apparently this is a popular breakfast in The Netherlands.  They probably have better chocolate sprinkles over there, but it was still an interesting food to try.  Caleb thought it was too sweet to be a breakfast food, but I pointed out he likes doughnuts and Cinnamon Toast Crunch and those have a lot of sugar too!

Extras:  On Wednesday night, our church's small group got together for Christmas and played Hedbanz (it was the grown-up version but Caleb still participated).  Caleb loved it, and I pointed out to him that we had the kid version at home but hadn't played it yet.  So the very next day we got it out once we were done with school.  Micah still gets confused with it so he usually prefers to watch, but Caleb thinks it's awesome!

On Friday morning, it started to snow.  We were expecting just an inch or two at first; the snow was very wet and slushy but Caleb still went out in it.  It started snowing more and more later that evening and by Saturday most areas around us got six to eight inches at least!  Many people lost power but thankfully ours only cut in and out a couple of times on Saturday morning.

These snow pictures are from Friday afternoon, before the "real snow" happened!  :)

How Do Fish Breathe? Demonstration (Preschool Powol Packets)
Windmill Craft (DLTK's Growing Together)
Hagelslag Recipe (Serious Eats)


ivey league academy: week in review!

Here's what we did the week of 11/27-12/1!

Reading:  We continued with doing a Word Ladder a day as well as reading out of our Kittens and Children reader.  Caleb is doing so much better with reading out loud.  I can tell he's really trying hard not to rush, because it's when he goes too fast that he makes mistakes or skips words completely.

English:  We finished the last part of Chapter 7, which focused on practical skills.  We learned about how to use a dictionary (guide words, entry words, how to see if a word has more than one definition, etc.), library skills (fiction versus nonfiction and how they're organized on the shelf), and even how to use a phone book (a dying skill, admittedly.  We covered the basics and skipped the lesson on how to take a phone message...we don't have a landline so if we ever do get one then we'll cover how to take a message!).

Spelling:  We did Week 3 of his Spelling You See curriculum.  I noticed this week's lessons were different in the teacher dictation part.  Rather than tracing the simple three-letter words, starting this week he had to listen to the words I called out.  They still have the same vowel sound in common, but it's a good way to teach Caleb to listen for the letter sounds as well as how to group similar words together.

Math:  We continued in his Horizons workbook. 

Word of the Week:  Our word of the week was "ransack."  In his journal, Caleb wrote that he would "ransack" his room if he ever couldn't find his game ball from baseball!

Bible:  We continued Lesson 7 and learned about what our purpose is and why God created us (spoiler alert...He created us because He wanted to and we're to give Him glory).  :)

Zoology:  We played catch-up on Monday and finished Chapter 14.  Caleb filled out information on the snow goose and I also copied a map out of a library book that shows geese migration patterns.  We pasted it into his logbook.

After we were caught up, we continued to Chapter 15 (the second part of the Arctic habitat section).  We learned about polar bears and mountain goats.  For the scientific demonstration, Caleb learned about how polar bears can walk on the ice without slipping; they have special fur on the bottoms of their paws that helps them grip.  To demonstrate that, we put two small cans (one wrapped up in a washcloth) on a large baking sheet and tilted it.  The wrapped-up can represented a polar bear's paw, and it didn't slide down as easily as the regular can did.  I also reminded Caleb that we did a very similar experiment last year when we learned about friction!

Countries:  This week we learned about Ireland.  We read library books and filled out a country fact sheet as usual.  For our recipe, we made Irish soda bread.  It uses baking soda instead of yeast to make it rise, and hearkens back to when many people in Ireland were poor and found ways to make nourishing food without a lot of ingredients.  For our craft, we made shamrocks using bell peppers as stamps!

Extras:  One day we had a little extra time, so we got out our SQUILT cards and I pulled up the videos for the brass family of the orchestra.  We had a nice quiet listening time as the videos featured works like "Pictures at an Exhibition," "The Ride of the Valkyries," and even the theme from Superman!  We still have the percussion family to go and after that I might look into purchasing another SQUILT set, maybe composers this time.  Our read-aloud was Chicken Squad by Doreen Cronin.  It's a very quick read as a read-aloud (as opposed to Caleb reading it by himself), and very silly and entertaining!  I put the rest of the series on hold at the library because I could tell we'd go through them quickly!

Irish Soda Bread recipe (Let's Dish Recipes)
Shamrock Stamp craft (Crafty Morning)


ivey league academy: week in review!

We took almost a week off for Thanksgiving (used the Monday before for catch-up), so here's what we did before then....

Reading:  We continued with a Word Ladder a day and reading out of his Kittens and Children reader.

English:  We started Chapter 7, which so far has focused on listening skills, finding the main idea of a paragraph, and how to use a title page and table of contents.  We also worked on listening to directions.

Spelling:  We did the second week of his Spelling You See workbook, which focused on letters with the short "i" sound.  It's too early to tell if this curriculum will be a good fit but so far it hasn't frustrated him so that's good!

Word of the Week/Journal:  Our word of the week was "chatterbox."

Bible:  We finished Lesson 6 and started Lesson 7, which answers the question of why God created people.

Math:  We continued in his workbook.  This week he learned the multiplication rules for zero and one.  I printed out little anchor charts I found online and laminated them as a reminder.  We also watched a fun compilation of "Schoolhouse Rock" number videos I had found at Goodwill a couple of years back.  Many of the songs include tricks on how to multiply by different numbers so it might help Caleb as we go further.

Zoology:  We began our study of the arctic habitat, focusing on the musk ox and snow goose.  We still need to fill out the animal fact sheet for the goose though.  We read books from the library and watched a Wild Kratts episode about the arctic tundra and the animals that live there (including the musk ox!).  For our activity, we made a snowstorm in a jar; I poured baby oil into a jar until it was about two-thirds full, then put in watered-down white paint.  Caleb added some blue food coloring as well.  Once everything settled to the bottom of the jar, Caleb put in an Alka-seltzer tablet and we watched our very own "blizzard."  I also got out mini-marshmallows and toothpicks and let the boys try to construct igloos.

Countries:  We studied England.  Caleb was very excited about the prospect of having tea!  I put on my electric kettle and a couple of teacups and saucers, along with some sugar cubes and tea bags.  He tried both raspberry and lemon tea and didn't care for either...we decided that for now he's more of a hot chocolate person!  We also made apple cinnamon scones from a mix, and had a little tea party while watching "Mary Poppins."  For our activity, I put together a fun word search of British vocabulary words ("torch" instead of "flashlight," "flat" instead of "apartment," etc.).

Extras:  We learned about the woodwinds in the orchestra using our SQUILT curriculum.  We also watched a Spanish children's DVD from the library.  Our library system recently acquired PBS' Salsa series, kind of like Sesame Street but in Spanish.  It's repetitive but not in a bad way; the first few short episodes focused on the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears, and covered numbers (uno, dos, tres), family members (mama, papa, bebe), and some adjectives (grande, pequeno).  Since they're free and easily accessible, we'll keep watching them and maybe by third grade start something more concrete for a foreign language.  And lastly, the boys got their Kiwi crates! Caleb's was space-themed and Micah's was bug-themed.  So far we've only had time to do one activity out of each.  I helped Caleb make a pom-pom ("meteorite") launcher, and Micah made a ladybug pouch for the provided insect memory game and "bug viewer" (it looks like a toadstool, and when you hold it up to your eye you seen everything like a fly would!).

Snowstorm in a Jar (Growing a Jeweled Rose)
Word Search Generator (Super Teacher Worksheets)


ivey league academy: week in review!

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)
SQUILT Website
Henri Matisse Collage Instructions (Art Projects for Kids)
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