I forgot to do a week in review for two weeks ago, and then last week we had a weird schedule (took Monday off due to visiting grandparents, did all subjects Tuesday and Wednesday, only did a few subjects on Thursday afternoon due to a morning appointment and a sore arm from a flu shot, and went to a park day with our homeschool group on Friday!). So here are the last two weeks in review!
The "No Stinking Thinking Allowed" chalkboard came from a recent day of school when Caleb was constantly putting himself down for making mistakes. He'd struggle with a challenging word in his reader and say, "I'm terrible at this!" Or if he made a mistake in his math book he'd say, "This is too hard! I can't do it." I told him that was "stinkin' thinkin'" and he thought it was funny but I think it got the point across. :)
Reading: We continued to work in his Language Arts workbook; right now we're still in the parts of speech unit, so we did lots of practice with nouns, when to use "I" and "me," etc., and then moved on to verbs. We also started a new reader called A King on a Swing for further reading practice.
Spelling: We did Week 14 of his spelling curriculum the first week, and started Week 15 the next week, but only did half of it, so I decided to start over on Week 15 next time.
Handwriting: We continued to work in his Handwriting Workbook.
Vocabulary: During the last two weeks, our words were "fuss," "explore," "jolly," "snicker," "aim," "patient," "creep," and "drenched."
Math: We continued to work in his Horizons Math Workbook. He is almost done with the first workbook, so that means he's almost halfway done with first grade math!
Bible: We continued in His Mighty Warrior.
Read-Aloud: We started reading Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie. It's the original version of the story, so there's some big words in there and other things I have to explain to Caleb, but overall he's enjoying it.
Science: During these two weeks, we learned first about cells, then about molecules. The episodes of "The Magic School Bus" on these topics are fun and easy to understand. Since Caleb is in first grade and I didn't want to get too bogged down in these potentially confusing topics, we did a coloring page for the cell (though Caleb insisted I print out the page with the names of the parts of the cell on it!), and then for molecules we constructed simple models with mini marshmallows and toothpicks.
U.S. Geography: We learned about Tennessee. Caleb colored his Tennessee coloring page and we read a couple of books. One book was a story about the parade of ducks at the Peabody Hotel in Memphis! After we were done reading it, we looked up the history of the duck parade online to find out what was true and what was fiction. We saw photos and videos of the ducks, and also listened to the John Philip Sousa march "King Cotton" (that's the march the ducks waddle along with!).
We didn't get to Kentucky the second week, but it's just as well, since while I have library books checked out, I still hadn't nailed down a craft or activity to go along with Kentucky. I feel like lately I've been short-changing Caleb in our geography studies; I know I just need to make it fun and memorable for him, but the last few states might have been a little underwhelming for him. I want to get back to at least doing a craft or following a recipe or something!
My parents are visiting next week, so I think we'll take the week off and get back into it after that. I feel good about it, since we're technically ahead in our "important" subjects (reading and math), and following a pretty good pace for the others. I think worst case scenario, we'll get to April or May having a few states or "Magic School Bus" episodes leftover, and in that case we could still finish those over the summer since Caleb finds those subjects more fun than anything (he really only thinks of reading, math, handwriting, etc. as "school"!).
Cell Coloring Page (Homeschool Clipart)
Molecule Printable + Inspiration for Toothpick/Candy Molecules (One Project Closer)
This week is our "fall break" so I thought I'd write about what we did last week! The movie "Muppets Most Wanted" is free on demand right now; both boys love it, and one of Caleb's favorite scenes is where the imposter Constantine (who looks almost exactly like Kermit) is watching clips of Kermit the Frog and trying to imitate him better. He gets the words to the song wrong and Caleb thinks it's hilarious!
Reading: This week we finished Six Ducks in a Pond! Caleb was very proud of himself, and asked if we could leave the book in the living room for now in case he wants to read to Micah. I found the next few books in the series (no small feat since it's out of print!), thankfully for reasonable prices through Ebay and Etsy, believe it or not (these books are considered vintage!).
We also started working in a language arts workbook so Caleb can learn more about parts of speech, grammar, punctuation, etc.
Spelling: We did Week 13 of our spelling curriculum and Caleb got 6 out of 8 correct on his test.
Handwriting: We continued in our handwriting workbook.
Vocabulary: This week's words were "hush," "daring," "speck," and "tour."
Math: Caleb had a test this week and did very well! (He wanted to go back and fix the problems he got wrong.)
Bible: We continued in His Mighty Warrior. One day we discussed the idea of being strong in the Lord and "powering up with prayer," so I helped him fill in a simple "spiritual muscles" page.
Read-Aloud: We finished Encyclopedia Brown near the end of the week.
Science: This week's topic was digestion. We watched the "Magic School Bus" episode about digestion; Caleb thought it was kind of gross since the bus literally goes through the digestive system of one of their students (well most of it...they realize they don't want to go south anymore, so they drive back up and make him burp them out!). We did a fun activity with bread to demonstrate what food goes through as it's digested. First Caleb ripped the bread (in this case, a couple of stale hamburger buns) into small pieces to represent chewing. We also dribbled water on the pieces to represent saliva. Then we squirted lemon juice on the bread to represent stomach acid (the original source used vinegar, but I figured lemon juice would be less stinky). Finally we wrapped the mushy bread in a towel and rolled it up to demonstrate the intestines; when we were done we were left with a log of bread! So yes, we made "bread poop," which is pretty much perfect for a first grade boy! I pointed out the liquid and small bits of bread left on the towel to Caleb, saying that the towel absorbed some of the bread, much like our stomach and intestines absorb vitamins and nutrients from the food we eat (then gets rid of what we don't need!).
U.S. Geography: This week's state was Alabama. Caleb colored his state page and we read a couple of books from the library. We learned that Alabama has some caverns, and attempted to make our own stalagmites and stalactites using water, baking soda, string, and paper clips (we also colored the water to make it more interesting). By the end of the week we had definite build-up, so Caleb opted to leave the experiment out to see what else would form during the next week.
We also learned about Rosa Parks and segregation. I cut out several pictures of children out of a magazine, making sure I had diversity, and drew a bus on construction paper. Caleb then glued the children on the bus, and he said they could sit wherever they want!
Homeschool Group: This week we met at the center and learned about mammals!
Here's what we did last week!
Reading: Caleb finished Explode the Code 2 on Monday! We have the third workbook but I'm going to hold off on that since it's more second grade level. We also continued reading in our Six Ducks in a Pond reader.
Spelling: We did Week 12 of our spelling curriculum. Caleb got 7 out of 8 right on his test!
Handwriting: We started a handwriting workbook for extra practice. Caleb admitted that he still has trouble with some lowercase letters so he was fine with starting at the beginning of the workbook, which at first just has the student practice lines of letters.
Vocabulary: Our words for this week were "compete," "cluttered," "victory," and "frisky."
Math: We continued in our Horizons 1 math workbook.
Bible: We finished our Growing With Jesus devotional and moved on to another devotional called His Mighty Warrior. It has 50 "letters" from God, and since it has a treasure map kind of theme I made a map out of a brown paper bag as decoration. I borrowed from the treasure map picture at the front of the devotional, but also added in Bible verses and 50 "paces" as we head toward our "treasure."
On Friday we did a fun art activity about how God chooses His children, just as He chose David. Caleb painted with olive oil (to represent Samuel anointing David) to reveal a golden crown! I was inspired by a similar activity on Pinterest, but the colors of the crown were feminine (especially when I printed it out since our printer is currently running out of ink!), so I found a free image of a crown and colored it yellow since Magic Markers don't usually bleed through paper. The outline of the crown was on the front, and when Caleb painted with the oil, the golden crown popped up!
Read-Aloud: We continued reading Encyclopedia Brown.
Science: This week's topic was the circulatory system. We watched the episode of "The Magic School Bus" about how the heart pumps blood through the body, and learned that oxygen-rich blood is red as it leaves the heart, and once it reaches the muscles, it turns blue before returning back to the heart. I helped Caleb find his pulse on his wrist so he could feel his blood moving, and we also discussed how when we exercise, our heart beats faster since our muscles need more oxygen-rich blood to do their job. We read a couple books from the library and did a simple model of the heart using a Ziploc bag, pipe cleaners, and straws.
U.S. Geography: This week's state was Florida. We didn't get to our Georgia craft the previous week, so on Monday we made Georgia peaches out of a paper plate and colored tissue paper. Micah wanted in on the fun so he made one too!
For Florida, Caleb colored the state page and we also made a manatee craft.
Homeschool Group: Friday was a park day for our co-op; we did the last little bit of work that morning before we left for the park.
Oil Heart Activity Inspiration (Jesus Without Language)
Heart Anatomy Model (Kids Activities Blog)
Giant Peach Craft (Activity Village UK)
Manatee Craft (Learn Create Love)
This past week was a little strange, since we took Monday off for Labor Day and then had our first co-op meeting on Friday. We still got most of our work done though!
Reading: We continued in Explode the Code 2 and our Six Ducks in a Pond reader. We're pretty much done with ETC 2, and are about a week or two away from finishing Six Ducks. Rather than jump into ETC 3 or go back to Hooked on Phonics, I decided we would move to the next reader in the series, King on a Swing, since I did some research and it's on a first grade reading level too. I also ordered a simple Language Arts workbook for first grade so Caleb can start learning the fundamentals and grammar, such as correct capitalization, punctuation, and parts of speech.
Spelling: We did Week 11 of his spelling curriculum. Unfortunately we didn't get to his test! After our co-op Friday morning I had a pretty intense headache so we took the rest of the day off (I had planned a very light afternoon anyway, so we didn't miss anything else important!). Since I'm the one who added in the test element anyway, I decided to just move on to the Week 12 list next week and plan for the test to be Thursday instead.
Handwriting: We didn't do anything formal for handwriting this week, but a new handwriting workbook came in the mail on Saturday so we'll start experimenting with that!
Vocabulary: Our words for the week were "handy," "dine," and "present" (the verb). We didn't get to the fourth word, which was "poky," on Friday because of my headache. I've planned our future weeks accordingly.
Math: We did 3 lessons in his Horizons workbook.
Bible: We're almost done with our Growing With Jesus devotional!
Read-Aloud: We finished Henry and the Paper Route and Caleb chose the first installment of the Encyclopedia Brown series to read next.
Science: We started a unit on the human body, and this week's topic was muscles and bones. We watched an episode of "The Magic School Bus" where the students learn about the function and purpose of bones, tendons, and muscles, and also read a couple of library books about them. I read Caleb a paraphrased version of Ezekiel's vision of the dry bones, and painted lines on his hands and feet to represent his bones, which he then pressed onto black paper to look like an x-ray. When I had a bad headache on Friday, Caleb opted to draw his own skeleton on a small piece of posterboard, using a couple of printouts I had put in his science notebook for reference.
U.S. Geography: Our state this week was Georgia. Caleb colored his state page and we read a few books about Georgia. We still have a peach craft that we didn't get to on Friday, so we'll probably do it early next week before moving on to Florida!
Homeschool Group: This first meeting was more of an orientation, "getting to know you" type thing. The kids (preschoolers through first or second grade) filled in their faces in a drawing activity and also answered questions about their families, likes/dislikes, etc. Caleb knows a couple of the kids from church so he didn't feel too uncomfortable. We're small right now but hope to get more members as word spreads!