Sunday, March 20, 2011

Weekly Accomplishments - Welcome Spring!

After a couple of very busy project packed weeks it was comforting to return to our normal pace, focusing on our lessons and staying close to home.
Math:  This was a great week for Grace.  She tackled two new concepts, prime numbers and prime factorization.  I am so thrilled that my girl, who cried tears daily over math all fall, now loves it again.  It is never a bother.  I never have to beg and plead.  Lilah on the other hand is now at a challenging point.  She has mastered the topics in which she already had been exposed to, like calendar skills, addition, subtraction and simple graphing.  Now she is moving onto harder concepts like rays, lines and angles and complex multiplication.  She is struggling a bit and I have to catch her when she is most open and willing to accept the challenge.  
Vocabulary:  While Lilah has been struggling this week with math, she has been excelling in vocabulary!  She keeps a dictionary tucked away in a special spot and daily she throws out a new vocabulary word to see if I can catch it.  So far she has added vile, innundate, famished and obstinate to her word bank.  I love it!  I try to use her new words as often as possible.  Our friends would like her to email her word of the day to them.  So far she is reluctant to share.......
What we are reading:  Lots of reading going on in my home!  I love it.  I finished Nefertitti, Grace finished My Last Best Friend and Truly Winnie and Lilah finished her Phantom of the Subway book.  This is what we are reading now:
Grace:  Frindle

Lilah:  Percy Jackson #2

Me:  to be determined.......
History:  SOTW gives me the warm fuzzies.  We finished reading about the Olmec civilization of what is now Mexico.  Thanks to youtube we were again able to see the giant head statues and have a better understanding of what the ancient people must have had to do to move enormous boulders hundreds of miles to swampy areas where they were chiseled with carving tools made of stone.  Both girls got A’s on their online assessment.
Writing:  I began a new read aloud with the girls.  We read the first two chapters of Ralph Fletcher’s Writer’s Notebook.  I want them to start thinking of themselves as writers and begin capturing their thoughts and feelings in a journal.   Writing is more than writing stories, it encompasses our entire life, from blogging to letter writing (which we do regularly to our Save The Children friend), to writing stories, to essay writing, to poetry....  This week we focused on just writing whatever is taking up space in our brain.  Grace wrote about an upcoming trip and Lilah wrote about an image she had of a man in a dessert.  Lilah has also been writing poetry lately.  She is typing, printing and creating a lapbook of her poems.  It is lovely and I hope she continues with this project.  In another quirk of how learning happens all the time, everywhere, Grace was asked to bring her notebook/journal to her Girl Scout meeting this week.  Her Junior Troop is working on a new badge, about writing!  Today they created a heart map based on Georgia Hurd’s work.  Grace was very inspired and looks forward to finishing this on her own time.  She will use her writer’s notebook the next few meetings and her work from home and Girl Scouts will be truly interrelated.
The flowers are beginning to bloom. Our tiny crocuses have pushed their way up through the soil.  Grace picked her first one of the season.  I am very excited to tie Botany into the spring season.  We will look at our garden, identify our flowers, which type of flower they are and research what to plant in our community garden.  Having our botany-buddies of the country has slowed us down.  Doing this text with another family kept us very focused and scheduled.  Without that structure we struggle to get to our reading.  We must finish the chapter on pollination because I would like us to learn more about beekeeping from a local expert.  We still have to visit our friend for a lesson on carnivorous plants.  I will set this up for the week we return from our road trip......more on that later!
But spring is not truly spring until these beauties arrive, gathered by an amazing girl who resides over at Frog Creek:

Aren’t they lovely?  This inspiring child at Frog Creek is starting a small business of her own, gathering the eggs and selling them to friends.  She will have a steady customer in me!  I long for these eggs all winter waiting for the sun to set more slowly, stretching our daylight hours so that her hens will begin laying once again.

  Welcome Spring.  How I have missed you so!


Theresa said...

P has read & LOVED all of the "Best Friend" books at Lilah's recommendation.

Both of my girls LOVED "Lightning Thief" & at Chapter 12 they didn't have the patience to wait for us to read together so they finished it on their own. We have Sea of Monsters on hold at our consortium, but right now they both have books to read for co-op.

karisma said...

Oh I wish we were welcoming Spring! Its getting colder down here!

When ever maths gets too much for my boys I always turn the learning into games and fun for a while. Zak still has a multiplication table in full view at all times. I figure that if he can look for the answer to help him out its just as good as the concept of repetitive reading. It all comes in good time when we are ready to learn it.

Karen said...

Love your weekly updates. We are starting The People of the Americas this week.

Thank you for putting up book lists too! I always jot them down for Kei to check out and never read. :p Oh well, one day.

Welcome Spring indeed! Isn't it amazing.

H-Mama said...

Awww... Thanks for coming to my lil' bloggy. Nice to "meet" ya! Our girls must be close in age, right? Precious. Yes, this time goes by all too quickly. Looks like you're doing a fabulous job. :)

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