ivey league academy: week in review!

This week's chalkboard featured one of Caleb's favorite scenes from the movie "Night at the Museum."  The exhibits come to life every night, and a huge Easter Island head keeps asking for gum.  Caleb thinks it's hilarious (and side note...no one says "dum-dum" to be mean, it's just the way the exhibit talks!).  I also added a quote from Robin William's character, the wax figure of Teddy Roosevelt.

We planted our container garden this week!  This actually happened on Sunday.  We transferred our blueberry plant to a bigger container, and then planted cucumbers, rainbow carrots, pattypan squash, rainbow bush beans, and cherry tomatoes in other containers.  I made markers for them out of craft sticks, and Caleb helped us plant the seeds and water them.  Now most mornings before breakfast, the two of us go outside to water our garden (except if it's rained the night before!).  Caleb is excited but has also learned pretty quickly that seeds don't grow overnight, so it's a good lesson in patience!

Reading:  Caleb and I continued to work on a-e words using free printable worksheets and phonics readers.  He successfully read his first story in his Hooked on Phonics book ("Blake the Snake") but some words still trip him up.  At the end of the week I wrote down a few mini-stories with some of the new words in them...Caleb liked this but also recommended that I type them next time since I guess my handwriting messed him up a few times!  I researched other phonics curricula this week as well.  I think things are slowly clicking with Caleb, but right now Hooked on Phonics alone isn't really getting the job done.  I've kind of used it as a guide these last couple of weeks, but I've had to supplement it with other things for practice so I thought, why not find something that includes more activities so I don't have to?  I ordered Books 2 and 3 of Explode the Code for this reason.  Caleb seems to be kind of in between first grade and second grade level reading so I decided we'd start at Book 2, even if it just reinforces what he learned in first grade reading.  It'll build up his confidence either way.  We can still use Hooked on Phonics as well, I just figured now is the time to really build up his reading skills and maybe even experiment since he's technically ahead in this area.

Spelling:  And speaking of curriculum switching...yeah we're going to have to do that here too.  It turns out while we love Horizons Math, their spelling curriculum is a bit crazy.  I feel like their word lists are too advanced for first grade and they're only getting more difficult as we go on.  I found a free 36-week spelling curriculum online (found here) that we're going to try instead.  It's similar to Horizons in that you present a list of words to the student every week, but in my opinion, they're more on first grade level.  I think this will help Caleb better.  The words will be ones he can already read (as opposed to some of the ones on the Horizons curriculum, like "gentle," "city," etc.), so he'll be better at trying to figure out how to write them down and use them in a sentence.  We're going to jump in to this new curriculum first thing next week!

Handwriting:  We continued Handwriting Without Tears this week.  Caleb copied more sentences and also practiced b, f, and q.

Vocabulary:  This week's words were "nature," "wild," "nibble," and "focus."

Math:  Caleb continued to practice adding with a number line and figuring out numbers based on place value.  He was also introduced to the concept of equal and not equal.  The workbook also re-introduced simple addition word problems and Caleb remembered how to do those immediately.

Bible:  This week's lessons were about discernment, honoring your parents, being an inspiration, having a happy heart, and being important even if you're young.  The lesson about being happy-hearted came in handy since Caleb had a bad attitude that morning and said he was too tired to do school.  The lesson stressed that feelings are very real, but we also can control them, so even if we don't feel happy about something, we can choose to change our attitude and feel happy anyway.  When we read the lesson about being young, we also read the story about Samuel and his "wake-up call" from God.  Samuel was young when God called him but He could still use him!

Science:  This week we learned about comets, meteors, and asteroids, and then gravity later on in the week.  We watched two episodes of "The Magic School Bus" and did a couple of experiments.  The first experiment was to see why the moon has so many craters.  I mixed flour with a little oil, patted it down in a cake pan, and then gave Caleb a variety of rocks and pebbles.  The flour mixture represented the surface of the moon and the rocks were asteroids and meteors.  First Caleb tried dropping them onto the flour, but quickly found that they made a bigger crater when he pushed them in (which makes sense because most space rocks have some kind of force behind them!).  The second experiment involved gravity and was to determine if heavy objects fall faster than light ones.  I got the idea from our book Hands-On Science.  Caleb assumed that heavy stuff falls faster, but when he stood on a chair and dropped two objects that were similar in size but different in weight (in our case, a bouncy ball and a cotton ball), he discovered that they hit the ground at the same time!  Of course the bouncy ball would bounce right back up, so we really had to pay attention to see that it initially hit the ground at the same time as the lighter cotton ball.  So he learned that gravity makes things fall at the same speed no matter what their weight is.

Social Studies:  This week we learned about Vermont and Rhode Island.  Caleb colored state pages for both states.  For Vermont, we learned about how maple trees are tapped and their sap turns into maple syrup.  We made oatmeal cookies and then dipped them into a maple syrup glaze.  Then for Rhode Island, we learned that Mr. Potato Head was first created there, which Caleb really got a kick out of.  We have a felt Potato Head set, so he played with that for awhile.  We also learned about Rhode Island's Animal Topiary Garden.  I couldn't find a book specific to this topiary garden, but I found a fictional children's book called The Night Gardener that was similar in theme, so we read that and then talked about what we would shape trees and bushes into if we could do that!

Read-Aloud:  We're still reading Ginger Pye.  Because of our other subjects and a dentist appointment one morning, we only got to two chapters this week.  But we're nearing the end of the book so I think we'll be done sometime next week and then Caleb can pick out what we read next.

A-E Words Worksheets (The Measured Mom)
Why Does The Moon Have Craters? Experiment (I Can Teach My Child)
Scientific Method Printable (Teachers Pay Teachers)
Maple Iced Oatmeal Cookies Recipe (Lovely Little Kitchen)
State Coloring Pages (USA Printables)

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