Saturday, December 24, 2011

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Christmas Break!

Christmas is but a week away!   I am taking a blogging break for the next three weeks.   I look forwarding to spending time with family celebrating Christ's birth.    Have a wonderful Christmas and holiday season--and see you next year!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Week 13

Last Saturday we got to watch the lunar eclispe.    It was pretty awesome and a great start to our weekend.
My photog skills aren't up to the task of documenting this awesome event.

Our school week was spent wrapping up lose ends before our Christmas break. 
We worked through chapter 3 of Rod and Staff 7 which covered verbals and substantives.  After break we’ll cover the writing from that chapter and review before taking the chapter test.  Ideally we could have covered the entire chapter, but it didn’t work out that way this time.   We’ll make sure to take lots of time to review before taking the chapter test.

Mapping the World with Art covered the voyages of Christopher Columbus.  I-E and E-R learned to draw The Greater Antilles and The Lesser Antilles Islands.   They then combined them together in an antique style map. 

In Math we covered proportions and rates.   In addition to our Singapore work, we had fun realizing how important proportion is when working with photos.  
3 girls now
I-E also used proportion to enlarge our template for gingerbread houses.  She had to scale back her original creation so it could fit in the oven to bake!   We’re looking forward to decorating our gingerbread house with cousins during break.

Spelling took more work than planned.   After flying through the first word list in Mega Words, I expected the second lesson to be just as easy for I-E and E-R.   Turned out not to be the case!    Those schwa sounds at ends of words were killers for my girls.   We added some neat activities from our new box of Spelling Power task cards.
E-R chose  to spell out her words on the keypad of my phone, while I-R used toothpicks to spell out her words.   And the test was finally passed!   We will move onto the third word list after break.  

In history we learned about Renaissance music in Rats, Bulls, and Flying Machines.  


    We also took an unplanned detour to the holocaust.   While scrolling through our TIVOed shows, I found two show that recorded in 2009!    Who Do You Think You Are which aired on NBC showed the journey a celebrity took in tracing their genealogy.   Lisa Kudrow’s father’s family were Eastern European Jews.   Her journey back to the village of Ilia in Belarus told the story of how all the Jews in the village—including her Grandmother—were shot and burned.   The story ends happily though when she finds her father’s cousin, who was believed to have been dead, alive and well in Poland.  Before watching the show, we looked up Hitler and the Holocaust in our history encyclopedia.  E-R remembered Number the Stars which we read two years ago and made the connection between that book and our new information.   I highly recommend the show.   It was a great way to show how “ancient” history affects us today.   After further investigation I’ve found that a new season of this show will air in February of 2012.   And the episode we watched along with others are available to watch on NBC’s website

A great week and the perfect ending to our second term.   Happy Holidays everyone!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Week 12 Is it Christmas Break Yet?

A lot of our time this week was spent on memorizing Winter Tale’s  lines for Shakespeare.
“One that gives our himself Prince
Florizel, Son of Polixenes, with his princess,---she
The fairest I have yet beheld, ---desires access
To your high presence.”
In Geography we learned about Spice Wars and the Barbary pirates.    Taking the role as sailor or pirate E-R and I-E
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sailed around the Mediterranean, Northern Africa, all the way to Constantinople.  
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We continued on with studying the Reformation for History. 

I also had the girls use their timelines to make mini timelines of what was happening during Martin Luther’s lifetime.
It was a great way to review our past studies and put into perspective all the different people and events we’ve studied. 

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Wednesday, A-M had a performance for her drama class which we had a lot of fun watching.  
We’ve also been busy getting ready for Christmas—my favorite holiday!  I’ve finally figured out out how to have the advent calendar I’ve been thinking about for 18+ years
Are you still working on school or has your Christmas break begun?

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

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Christmas Advent Count Down

I always hope to get an advent calendar ready to use for Christmas, but so far in my 18+ years of being a mom, I haven’t gotten it together to do so.  
This year I decided to let go of the perfect picture in my head and make an advent calendar as we go.  
Each night in December our Christmas devotional is comprised of a Christmas scripture, story, and song.   The scriptures start with Isaiah prophesying of Jesus’ birth and move through the story of his birth in the Gospels.  
We have strung a ribbon across our window with other Christmas decorations.   As we read each scripture, we write it on a Christmas shape the kids cut out, and hang it on our ribbon. (I picture hanging the scriptures up with cute little decorated clothespins, but since I’m letting go of perfect, we’re using binder clips!—maybe next year!)
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By Christmas, we will have the Christmas Story written out across the top of our window.   Not quite Pinterest worthy, but special in its own way.

ETA:   My dear friend Lennie read my post and made these marvelous clothespins for my Advent!  

Don't they snazz up my Advent?!  I'm am blessed to have such wonderful people in my life.

I’ve written this in response to Savannah’s Homeschool Writing Prompts.   Be sure to check out her other prompts for this week and join in the fun at  Hammock Homeschool.  I have also linked up to Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real  

Monday, December 5, 2011

We Got to See the Gutenberg Bible

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Turns out we didn’t see THE Gutenberg Bible, but rather one of the 47 remaining copies of a Gutenberg Bible.   After studying Johannes Gutenberg and learning about the religious wars taking place during the Reformation, it is pretty amazing that any copies still remain 500 years after their creation.

We were also surprised by the largeness of the book!   About three feet by two feet closed, it is a hefty book.  The copy at the Huntington Library was purchased in 1911 for $50,000—an unheard of amount for a book at the time.

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Johannes Gutenberg had art added to all of his books because he didn’t feel anyone would want to buy a book without handwork.  All of the artwork is still colorful and beautiful. 

To prevent damage to the book from sitting in the same position, the pages are turned once a week.   How cool would that job be?  

Just as impressive as the Gutenberg Bible is the copy of the Ellemeres Chaucer Manuscript.  An early 1500s illuminated manuscript of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, it  was gorgeous! 
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This book was also huge!  And the art work—unbelievable!

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Another book that caught our eye was the first edition of Micrographia by Robert Hooke.

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This book was the first presentation of the microscopic world to the general public.  There is so much we take for granted now days.   It takes us seconds to look up a microscopic picture of anything online.   Many people own microscopes.   Imagine the brand-new world that opened up to after books like these were published.  

In addition to the wonderful library at The Huntington Library the property houses some amazing art work.

We were able to view the charming Blue Boy

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and the lovely Pinkie.

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This gentleman gave us a little smile.

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And we all agreed we secretly wanted to be this lady.

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The Huntington Library was pretty amazing.  We also enjoyed ourselves in the gardens and can’t wait to return to see some more of this impressive place!

 Hip Homeschool Hop Button 

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Week 11

We’ve hit the books hard though our focus has been a bit swayed
by sorting through Christmas boxes to get ready for Christmas. 
In Language Arts we started a new spelling program, Mega Words. 
mega words
I’m impressed with the program and thrilled with the reading help that comes with it.   Both E-R and I-E have struggled with reading accuracy when it comes to multi-syllable words.   Addressing both spelling and reading, Mega Words seems to be a good fit for us.   This week we sped through the first word list and have moved onto the second list.    In our grammar studies, we covered common and proper nouns, irregular plural nouns, and writing with specific details. Practicing our vocabulary skills  at stretched our minds.  This link has a neat crossword puzzle that can be completed online or as a printout.   Another activity that is offered tests your knowledge of Latin and Greek roots of holiday words—both Christmas and Hanukkah.  
Geography kept us in Europe.    We learned about the changes the printing press brought to map making, as well as how to draw France.  Next we added France to the Iberian peninsula.  
E-R’s map of France
I-E’s map of France
The Reformation is what we are studying in History. We read these books in addition to our history spines..
Dates were added to timeline books.


Winter’s Tale will be set in the United States during the 1950s and 1960s, and all the actors are required to take their characters out of the script and create lives for them, so off to the land of poodle skirts, drive-in dinners, and the beginning of the Cold War as well as the land of hippies and tie-dye we went for our Shakespeare studies.

Singapore Math covered ratios and proportions this week.   In the real world of math, I-E wondered how long people live.   So after careful research about life expectancy around the world, she created this graph.  She was a little sad to see how low life expectancy is in South Africa and India.  
Over-all a great week, but we are looking forward to Christmas break.  Only two more weeks!