Sunday, January 30, 2011

Weekly Accomplishments

Lots of things have been happening here.  For starters a home improvement project we have been dreaming about for 12 years is finally being brought to life.  Our home was built in 1931.  The woman we bought our house from lived here for 50 years and raised six children.  I marvel at her organizational skills given our kitchen is the size of a modern day closet!  When we bought the house in 1997, the market was on fire.  Homes in our neighborhood were selling (with bidding wars) the day they went on the market.  We walked in our home, loved it, offered to buy it, and were blessed that our offer was accepted.  This was before we had children and realized how critical an efficient kitchen is.  We are finally taking down the wall between our kitchen and dining room and building a breakfast bar between the two.  Our kitchen will be larger, more efficiently organized and as a result, the quality of our home life will be greatly improved.  I hope the quality of our homeschooling does not suffer in the meantime!

this is the wall that is coming down....

So rather than having a three week time frame to prepare as was our original estimate, the contractor was actually ahead of schedule and the work is beginning tomorrow!!!!!!  Despite this, we had a very productive week and accomplished many things.
Lilah completed the trial of Aleks math.  She loves it as much as Grace does.  I did not plan to switch from Singapore but she was feeling like she wanted to learn at a faster pace than Singapore was moving and she wanted to have the same computerized experience as her sister.  She did more math this week then the past few combined.  She now has her own graph paper notebook for her paperwork and her own account.  She has her own pie chart and is proud of what she already knows.  She is looking forward to learning more about perimeter, area, and fractions.  
“I love my new math program!” ~ Lilah
In history the girls wrote about which Greek city they would prefer to live in; Sparta or Athens.  Grace was required to write a 5 paragraph essay.  Lilah was also given the framework of an essay but her writing was less detailed.  Both girls decided Athens was their preferred city.  I had to agree with them!  I ordered The Sorcerer’s Apprentice from Maestro Classics.  We talked about the composer Paul Dukas, the original author Lucian and the German poet who wrote the poem on which Dukas composed the music.  All three were put in the Book of Centuries.
Lilah's book of centuries

We met at our local library for botany this week.  All six girls and the three of us gathered around a table and pulled out many children's books on gardening, herbs and flowers.  I printed about a spoke concept wheel to help organize their thoughts.  Our purpose was to find herbs they wanted to grow in their light hut.  Based on medicinal purposes, uses for cooking and crafts and beauty, they decided which herbs to purchase.  This week we also did some journaling on our own.  We researched angiosperms, gymnosperms, vascular and non-vascular plants.  They sketched pictures of each in their journals.  I am enjoying the process of combining book learning with journaling and weekly cooperative learning.  We have completed chapter 1 and will be moving on to chapter 2 this week.
“I really want to plant mint because I want to be able to make my own tea.” ~ Grace
“I want to try to grow vanilla to see if I can make vanilla extract.” ~ Lilah

six spoke concept wheel

Lilah's journal

my journal

Grace's journal

Back in October we began a cooperative story telling project.  My girls plus 10 of their friends took turns writing a story via email.  Grace began the story and it was passed around to each child, who added on, and emailed it to the next person.  It took months to complete the story.  This week the final email was sent!    Our next step is to have a publishing party.  Each child will illustrate their picture on an index card.  12 copies will be made.  I will provide each child with a report cover.  They will illustrate their own cover and paste the illustrations into the story.  It was a fun project that I hope to do again.
That wraps up the highlights of our week.  Next week will be interesting as we try to homeschool while demolition and construction is underway...... 

6 comments:

  1. Have fun with your home remodel!! Be sure to show the "after" :)

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  2. I am soooo tempted by that Science program. I am afraid to show Jason because he will want to start it ASAP since he LOVES plants.

    How did you set up the framework for Lilah's essay? We are starting the Greeks and I am planning to use a lot of your ideas--two copies or Percy Jackson are waiting at the library for us! And I love the idea of an essay about which city the girls would prefer to live in!

    Reading about your kitchen...we would LOVE to have you come stay with us for a couple of days. I believe we can add walking around Liberty Science Center to our tickets for a few bucks and make a day of it Tuesday and you and the girls are welcome to stay over Tuesday night! We would love to have you! And I would love the opportunity to chat!!

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  3. I can't wait to see the finished room!! I know it will be a pain at times but it will be worth it.

    Love looking at the girls and your nature journals. Kei said, "I wish I could draw like Grace" :)

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  4. That is so exciting! I can't wait to see the "after" photos!

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  5. I agree with Lilah - I like vanilla in everything!
    Janet W
    http://homeschoolblogger.com/wdworkman/

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  6. I am so super excited for you and your new kitchen. School will happen, even in the middle of a construction zone. I can't wait to see the end result.

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