ivey league academy: weeks in review!

Here's what we did during the past two weeks!

Reading:  We continued with our current reading/language arts curriculum.  Caleb learned about verbs, when to use past tense, and other things.

Spelling:  We did Weeks 15 and 16 in our spelling curriculum.  Caleb had difficulty with Week 16; to be fair, it had more challenging words on it (including "would" and "make"), but Caleb also messed up one or two of the easier words.  He got frustrated with his test, but when I looked ahead to next week, I saw that the words were a little easier.  I also decided to incorporate more hands-on ways to practice the spelling words, since I've noticed that just written activities (fill-in-the-blank, write three times, etc.) aren't helping Caleb retain the correct spelling.

Handwriting:  We continued in his workbook.  I'm glad more sentences have been appearing in his daily handwriting practice; he's great at putting spaces between words, but right now his letters are still on the large side and it's difficult for him to fit a sentence on the line, even if it's one he's copying from the line above.

Vocabulary:  Our words over the past two weeks were "jumbo," "dodge," "odd," "deed," "dangle," "equipment," "peppy," and "stroll."

Math:  Caleb completed Workbook 1 of his math curriculum last week!  So we are halfway through first grade math now.  He's doing well with the majority of it.

Bible:  We continued in the His Mighty Warrior devotional.

Read-Aloud:  We continued Peter Pan.  Caleb likes the story but I think he gets lost in all of the big words!  Our next read-aloud will be easier to follow, I hope!

Science:  Over the past couple of weeks, we learned about germs, the properties of sound, and the properties of smell.  I had forgotten to reserve library books about germs (oops!) but did get a couple of books in time for sound and smell the next week.  We watched The Magic School Bus and did a few experiments.  For germs, we sprinkled ground black pepper into a shallow pan of water and then coated Caleb's index finger with soap.  The pepper represented germs, and when he stuck his soapy finger into the water, the germs scattered away! 

We learned that sound results from vibrations moving through the air, so that experiment involved pounding a metal pan with a spoon very close to a bowl with some uncooked rice resting on it.  The rice jumped a little, so we were able to "see" the sound.

Then for smell, we did an "odor detectives" activity.  I set up four ramekins with "mystery smells" in them, and covered them with foil with a hole poked in the top (the activity suggested using film canisters with lids, but we haven't used film in at least ten years!).  I had Caleb smell each one, then write down what he thought it was (I helped him with spelling).  He also drew a line to a sign indicating how the smell made him feel ("yucky," "yum," "danger," etc.).  His smells were cinnamon, dried minced onions, mint extract, and orange juice.  He got everything but the onions right, but he did recognize that it was a yucky smell!

U.S. Geography:  We studied Kentucky and Ohio.  For Kentucky, we learned about Daniel Boone and The Kentucky Derby.  We watched the 2016 Derby on YouTube, then both boys made their own horse, including brown yarn for the mane.

For Ohio, we learned about the Hippoquarium at the Toledo Zoo, Thomas Edison, and buckeyes.  It turns out the Thomas Edison library book was a bust; too much text and it didn't really talk much about his role as an inventor.  Really I should have found a book about astronauts, since more astronauts have come from Ohio than any other state!  It had been awhile since we made any state recipes, so we made buckeyes (peanut butter balls dipped in chocolate so they resemble the nuts that gave Ohio its nickname).  They're so good!  We keep them in the freezer so they don't get soft.

Homeschool Group:  Last week we had a field trip to an apple orchard up in Elijay.  Even though we couldn't pick apples there were still lots of activities, plus we bought apple cider doughnuts and cold apple cider on our way out!

The next Friday, we were at the center and learned about volcanoes.  Each mom brought a different activity; I found a library book on Krakatoa and printed out volcano coloring pages, but I have to say the other activities were better.  The kids painted volcanoes by blowing through a straw to make the paint splatter like lava, made "lava lamps" with a water bottle (using water, oil, food coloring, and antacid tablets), watched a video explaining how volcanoes form, and went outside to watch a crafted volcano "erupt" with a baking soda and vinegar chemical reaction.  Both boys enjoyed it!

Germ/Soap Experiment (Deceptively Educational)
Seeing Sound Experiment (Cool Science Experiments Headquarters)
Odor Detectives Experiment (Scholastic)
Horse Printable (Learn Create Love)
Buckeyes Recipe (Chocolate With Grace)


  1. A fun read-aloud about Krakatoa is The 21 Balloons by William Pene Du Bois. We first read it when Maria was in 1st or 2nd grade, and loved it so much we read it again a few years later. I'm planning on reading it again sometime so the younger ones can enjoy it too.

    One of my boys started reading Peter Pan and commented that it was a hard read. That seems to be a common opinion of that book!

  2. We have a copy of The 21 Balloons! I've never read it so I didn't know Krakatoa was in there. Maybe we'll do that for a read-aloud soon!


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