Friday, January 13, 2012

Homeschool Weeks 17 and 18

It was not easy getting back into the groove after Christmas breakSince I was sick a few days the first week we started back, I was thankful the library had videos in some of the subjects we were covering!  Nicolas and Seth were both under the weather a little this week, but seem to be on the mend as I write this.

The older three covered the fall of Jericho, the conquest of Canaan, the death of Joshua, and the Judges Gideon and Samson in Bible.  We also began memorizing Psalm 23.  This is pretty easy for Nicolas and Anna as they had already memorized it at OCCS, but this is the first time for Lydia so we are all studying it together with the help of the book A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23 by W. Phillip Keller.

The first week in social studies we finished up our study of Ancient Egypt as we reached the end of the New Kingdom with the Pharaohs Akhenaten and his wife Nefertiti and Ramses II.  We also studied the discovery of King Tutankhamen's tomb and the mystery surrounding his death.  The girls did a mini-book unit using the book Tut's Mummy...Lost and Found by Judy Donnelly.   The video we watched on the mystery of King Tut was quite recent and informative.   The second week we began looking at some of the other civilizations in the area including the Canaanites, the Hittites, and the Philistines.  Nicolas is currently reading the book Hittite Warrior by Joanne Williamson which takes place in the time of the Judges and incorporates Biblical facts with what we have been studying in these ancient civilizations.

We continue to make progress in English, math, writing, handwriting, and science.  We finished up creation Day 4 (Sun, Moon and Stars) in science.  The last few lessons were on the moon, and we didn't have much for experimentation.  We did go to the planetarium at the GR Public Museum on Tuesday night this week to see "Solar System Safari" which was a great review of the planets, sun, and moon.  A fun way to finish out the unit!

I did help Nicolas put together a DNA model

Art lessons focused on learning about complimentary colors and learning how to shade with color.  We were also thankful for good weather as the kids were to go outside several days and draw things from God's creation, practicing blending colors and shading.   Once again, we listened to the music of Bach while doing our art.  This time we tuned our ears to three of Bach's Brandenburg Concertos and some of his violin Concertos. 

Seth had "E" for elephant and "P" for penguin these last two weeks.  The first week was pretty minimal as mom wasn't feeling so well.  I did find an interesting documentary on Echo the elephant on the PBS website that the kids and I watched.  Since elephants are known for their good memories, the words for the week were "I will remember what God has done for me."   We enjoyed the following books:  Elephants by Kate Riggs, Elephants of Africa by Gail Gibbons, Elephants by Sydnie Meltzer Kleinhenz, Horton Hatches the Egg by Dr. Seuss, and The Elephant Who Couldn't Forget by Faith McNulty.

For penguin week we did a few more crafty things.  Seth traced a penguin all on his own one afternoon, and later in the week he drew and painted one free-hand.  Anna, Nicolas, and I also helped him make a little family of penguins.  They are made from toilet paper tubes, and since Seth wants to make more he has been on toilet paper tube patrol in the bathrooms.   When studying about penguins we focused mainly on the Emperor Penguin and how the mom and dad both take such good care of the egg and baby penguin.  The words to remember this week were " I will show love to others, especially my family."   Along with the books listed below we also watched "March of the Penguins".    I could tell the movie was a good review for Seth because he kept saying, "I already know that," or "We already read about that."  Glad he is listening.   He also continues to do a great job with sounding out words and sight-reading.  We add a group of five sight words to his list each week, and are now on our eighth group.  We just need to make more time for him to practice his reading.  I think that is a great job for dad when he comes home from seminary...

Traced penguin

Penguin family.  Looks like Dad is missing a foot.

Painted penguin. 

Penguin books we liked:  Face to Face Penguins by Scholastic, Penguins by Alice Twine, March of the Penguins: The official Children's Companion to the Movie, and some fun books about Penguin Pete and Tacky the Penguin.  We also rummaged through our magazine stash and found issues in both Ranger Rick and Your Big Backyard devoted to penguins that we read through.

BSF, piano, cello and violin lessons all resumed this week.  Nicolas had homeschool orchestra both weeks.  This semester I have to fulfill my volunteer duties at the Homeschool Building  (HSB) by sitting at the information table from 8:30-10:00.  The younger three have been doing a good job of getting school work done on their own in the gym area.  The girls help Seth with some of his, but fun coloring books and library books also keep him busy.

Wednesday night was the first Boys and Girls Club of the new year at the FRC.  The kids were looking forward to a sledding outing, but, alas, there was no snow.  They had a gym night instead.    Wouldn't you know, one night later we are watching the snow come down in buckets.  We expect to get about 5-6 inches of lake effect snow before all is said and done. 

Nothing new on Russ and Caleb.  Caleb is back in the swing of "normal" classes and Russ still has one more week of this "easy" schedule.   When the new semester starts he will be in OT Exegesis, Greek II, OT Theology, Foundations of Biblical Counseling, Homiletics II--Experiential Preaching, and Practice Preaching.   Right now he has been busy comparing prices on the books he needs for this semester to try to keep book costs down.   

I realize I am a little late in mentioning that Russ joined me in the "40s" on January 2nd.   Since this was such a milestone I, as the wife, was probably supposed to plan a big shindig and invite a bunch of friends over for a 40th birthday party.   Or, I was probably supposed to post a blog on his birthday telling everyone what a great guy he is and why I love him.  But he would have hated a party and, well,  I've already told him the other.  So, he just gets a little addendum at the end of "Homeschool Weeks 17 and 18."   Since his actual birthday was on the day after we came home from our holiday trip, we were in recovery mode and didn't do anything special.  Russ did receive a free birthday rental at Redbox and rented a movie of his choice (i.e. not a chick-flick) that night for me to watch with him.  In the middle of the week Caleb and I went out clearance shopping and found a few items to give Russ to help out his wardrobe.   Over the weekend when I made his favorite--strawberry cupcakes--I joked that this extended birthday was better than having just one day.  The kids picked up on that and have had lots of fun "extending" dad's birthday.  When we went to the planetarium on Tuesday was for dad's birthday.  When we went skating downtown at Rosa Parks Circle on Wednesday was for dad's birthday.  And when Russ took them swimming at the YMCA on Thursday, you guessed it, it was for dad's birthday.  They promised him he could have the entire month up to Anna Grace's birthday on the 31st.  Wonder what else is in store for the birthday boy?

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