Friday, September 16, 2011

Week 2

Our week was filled with learning moments.   We learned about honesty, trustworthiness, and accountability.   So needless to say, it wasn't the most enjoyable week.   At one point I whined to a friend on the phone that I just wanted to be the fun mom and the mom having fun, but I pulled up my big-girl bloomers and trekked on doing what needed to be done.

I am quite proud of my girls and their history work this week.   I am really glad we decided to follow the suggestions in the History Portfolios.   As a visual person, I like to see what we've accomplished and here it is all laid out organized and pretty.   We've covered the beginning of the Renaissance, the differences in world view between the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, the city states of the Renaissance, and  Filippo Brunelleschi and Giotto's art.

In English we learned more about punctuation marks such as: colons, semicolons,quotation marks, apostrophes, hyphens, and italics(not technically a punctuation mark, but thrown in for good measure anyway!). The girls also worked on adding prepositional phrases to their writing with their Sentence Composing books.

For literature this year, I had grand plans for using History of the Horse by Hilary Berg.   My oldest daughter completed this study when she was about E-R's and I-E's age.   She finished up with a beautiful notebook all about horses filled with original artwork, a glossary, poetry, and scripture verses.   Well guess what!   E-R and I-E could care less about finishing up with a neat notebook.   They just want to read the books about horses. And after thinking about it for a bit I'm okay with that.   After all they are working hard on their history portfolios which will provide the writing practice they need, and I do really want to foster a love of great literature more than I want them to complete the notebooks.   So they will complete the notebook work for the first book, King of the Wind, (see first paragraph for why) and then I will pull out Independent Reading Management Kit: Literary Elements for the rest of the books scheduled.   

Last week while we were traveling, the girls finished The Key to Fractions book 1, and this week they started work on Key to Percents book 1.    We also watched a video on BrainPop about equations with variables and played Equation as well as working in Singapore Math with equations with more than one variable.

The beauty of what a zero can do!

Spelling this week involved words with ish endings.   Some of our words were as follows: foolish, accomplish, purplish, snobbishly, parish, and perishes.

We started Atelier Art, and I am even more excited about the program than when I first discovered it.   The DVD lesson is well done while the projects are new and interesting.   This week we created a color wheel and drew a picture of a tropical bird scene that will be painted in next week.   I love that the program insists on large creations.   Many children tend to create on a small scale which makes learning art skills more difficult.   The paper that came with this program  is 18" by 24" inches -plenty big enough to make large creations.    One of the concepts this week was using the whole paper and creating paths for the viewers' eyes to follow so the whole artwork is enjoyed.

We started using A Young Scholar's Guide to Composers.   I will have a complete review of it this coming Tuesday.  I'm still undecided as to whether we will continue to use it.

Our Much Ado About Shakespeare Class started today.   This is a faboulous program that takes seven months to delve in-depth into one Shakespeare play.  At the end of that time period the children produce that play.   The first few class periods are get-to-know each other periods.   The teachers and students play games so the students can get to know one another and the teachers can get to know the students and the group, so they can pick a suitable play to match the group.   We won't know which play has been picked for our class for a few more weeks, but that is part of the fun and builds anticipation for the day the play and parts are announced.  

Nature Study was a new subject this week.   We completed the first two Nature Study Challenges on   Harmony Art Mom's wonderful blog, Handbook of Nature Study.   The first challenge involved simply getting outside and seeing what was out there.   E-R complained that she "hated" walks, so we simply sat outside on our front stoop.   We were able to watch a bird that we then looked up in our Birds of California Field Guide.    The bird right outside our front step was a female tri-colored blackbird.   Our second challenge involved getting outside and listening to nature.   We were able to listen to the wind not only rustling the leaves, but also  blowing between the buildings.  This didn't end with beautifully crafted journals or involve hour long walks as I had envisioned, but it got us started and did provide some time outside.   I'm learning to let go of some of that perfectionism after all!  

Be sure to check out other homeschooling weeks at 




  1. Looks like a good week. Love the history pages. I may have to look into those.
    Have a good weekend,

  2. I love History pages as well and yes those Biblical topics are very hard to teach, but oh so important.

  3. Looks like fun! We just started History Portfolio based in part on your recommendation (I'm WishboneDawn at WTM)and I think it's just what we needed. We made our own binder (shipping to Canada was scary expensive) and I've added a few things like a glossary and bibliography but it's been a blessing to my planning impaired self.

  4. It looks like you had a good week. Thanks for the peek at Equate- I am adding that to my wish list.

  5. I always love reading about what you're learning. Do you like the Equate game? I've considered it in past, but haven't gotten far in reading about it....

    Also, do you think the Atelier art is easy enough for a totally non-artistic parent to present?



  6. Off to check out History Portfolios! I'm looking for notebooking resources to go along with TOG.

    Looks like you had a great week!

  7. It sounds like you accomplished a lot this week, especially in math!

  8. This year we are taking Art Lessons. But last year we worked on a little DVD and the girls really enjoyed it and although it was not a complete program their art improved a great deal. I looked at Atelier Art and it looks wonderful if we cannot afford lessons I think that is what we would use. Frankly with 5 kids and more coming there is going to be a time when we cannot afford to take art lessons. I hope you write a little more about Art as you get deeper into the DVD's I'd love to know what you think. K

  9. What a great week! I've always thought Atelier looked good. I'll have to check it out more closely someday!

  10. I know this is an older report (I'm catching up on blog reading after being gone) but I just had to say that Much Ado About Shakespeare class sounds fabulous! What a great opportunity.

    You also reminded me that I need to get back to nature study. We use to do all the nature study challenges with Barb but for some reason quit. I think morning sickness may have had something to do with it. :) So now that the baby's almost two...


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