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.
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!