history (books in brackets):
emma was introduced to the Spanish explorers Ponce de Leon, Hernando de Soto, Hernando Cortes, and Pizzaro [child's history of the world], and their discoveries in the new world. we reviewed the places discovered on the map, and also identified some of the native peoples that were already inhabiting those areas (aztecs, incas and maya peoples).
i am still behind in getting things ready for emma's improved timeline. i'm mostly trying to gather some pictures of people we read about last year, and pinpointing the dates. i'm not going to print out a picture for every single person we read about last year, just a handful is enough, i think.
emma read another chunk from marco polo. according to her narration, marco polo has been introduced in the story as a boy. i found she was a little distracted during her narration, but maybe it was because i had her do this while we were waiting for gibson's swim class to be done. next time, i think i'll save this reading for when we aren't going places.
i couldn't resist throwing in a few episodes from travel with kids this week. they had a couple of episodes in mexico, and one in peru, which tied in nicely to what emma had read in history about the spaniards discovering mexico and peru, and the aztecs, incas and maya peoples.
emma and i had a brief discussion on latitude and longitude lines as we were finding the places the spaniards discovered on the map. we also talked briefly about time zones, the prime meridian and the equator. i'm thinking that the next time we buy an orange, i can tie in the discussion on latitude and longitude lines somehow.
this week's cultivated crop was the pumpkin. we managed to harvest 1 pumpkin from our little garden, before the rest of the pumpkin leaves got taken over by powdery mildew. boohoo. this week, emma decided to use the oil pastels to do her drawing, and taped a leaf sample in her nature journal. she also recorded 5 things she observed from the pumpkin plant. side note: i only asked for 1-3 observations to record, but she had "too many, so how about 5?" ha!
pagoo came in during the end of week 2, and just as i thought, we are already caught up for week 3. emma is in love with the story of pagoo the little hermit crab, and reading 2 chapters worth didn't take long. she also enjoyed narrating what she read, and was very detailed. you can tell she really likes this book. i'm looking forward to visiting the beach and the aquarium to observe the tide pools (again), so i can tie in what she's learning from pagoo with real life experiences.
it's worth to note this week, that emma did copywork all 5 days. i ordered the 2nd grade level handwriting without tears workbook for her, and we will alternate between that and regular copywork once the workbook comes in. she has legible penmanship, but it's been kind of sloppy these past few weeks. i'm not sure why. so, i think it's worth investing some extra time to re-examine the basics again. she'll be starting cursive this year as well, so i'd like her to have a good hold on print writing before she takes on cursive.
emma did another two days of review, which included telling time and putting larger numbers in numerical order.
her life of fred book came in at the end of week 2, and she immediately planted herself on the chair and began reading. she won't officially start the book until this week (week 3), but she likes to read it for the story. have i mentioned how i love life of fred books? i love how the book incorporates math concepts within a fun to read story, and that students have the opportunity to do all the lessons in the book independently.
we did better in week 2, and emma read 1 poem each day. on one of the days, we had a great discussion about race, martin luther king, junior, biracial parents (and mixed kids), and how God made each one of us unique, after reading a poem titled "the little black boy." it's moments like those, that are like an encouragement for my heart. teachable moments can happen at any time, and i'm so glad i get to be a part of it.
emma read chapters 7-9 from princess and the goblin, and narrated what she read with ease. did i already mention that she has fallen in love with this book. i'm pretty sure she's going to go back and re-read this story again, kind of like what she did with the book, the little duke (part of her history reading from last year).
i forgot to mention from week 1, that emma will be continuing pilgrim's progress by john bunyan this year. it's a lengthy and heavy (in the figurative sense) book, and the kids aren't expected to finish it in one year. we do an audio version of this book, and she listens to about 10-15 minutes of it each week. i'm actually pretty surprised by how much she understands, but i think it's been helpful to take it in very small chunks.
ballet (p.e./performing arts):
emma started her first week in ballet. she's actually going to the studio where i sometimes used to take class when i was in college. it's a funny feeling to come back as a parent and not as a student.
she's now past the pre-ballet age, and she's at the age where a little bit more formal ballet training will be starting. she had a great first class, and said that it wasn't all review for her (that's a good).
this week's letter is the letter "j." he completed the "j" notebook page to add to his alphabet binder, and he practiced writing both the upper case and lower case "j." i ordered him the kindergarten level of the handwriting without tears workbook, so i can keep all his letter printing practice in one place. i also like the handwriting without tears method (though we're only using the workbooks at home...no slates, right now), and the lessons are short and simple.
the workbooks have kind of gone by the wayside, and gibson has shifted much of his attention to drawing and coloring. but he did do one activity, which had him identify pictures with a "j" sound. he seemed to enjoy that one, and actually did pretty well. i was surprised, because i haven't spent much individual time with him working on letter sounds aside from when he's working on his notebook page. there was something i read in charlotte mason's volume on home education that talked about how a child will retain whatever information they feel is important to them at that time (isn't that still true for adults too, though?), and that they will naturally make their own connections. i feel like that idea can be illustrated in how gibson managed to automatically know how the letter "j" sounds like. i didn't need to spend any extra time working with him on letter sounds, because he was making connections in his head about all these things.
gibson started his first week of swimming class. despite his sometimes shy disposition, he was not at all shy about being in a new class environment, and happily participated in class.
CASH and LANI
these two "worked" on their letter j coloring sheet, and a dot sheet with pictures that started with the letter "j." sheets were sourced here and here.
cash has been really into drawing things too, just like gibson. and his drawings have started going beyond the regular crazy scribbles. there are specific stories/things/creatures in his drawings, and it's so cute to listen to him explain it to me.
we read exodus 2:1-10, Acts 7:17-22 and Luke 1:26-45. i printed out a few activity sheets for the kids to do while listening to the scripture reading, but they were more into playing with legos which worked fine too.
our memory verse was genesis 1:27. we are using this system for scripture memorization so we also reviewed last week's memory verse on the odd days. i am really liking this method of memorization. it's simple and only takes 5 minutes a day (at the most) to do...which means i'm more likely to do it consistently.
we had a very enjoyable walk/bike ride around our neighborhood this week. while it was not a nature walk, per se, it was nice to be outside, breathing in the fresh air, seeing the lake and some of the mountains.
we also spent saturday exploring a couple of local farms, which tied in perfectly with this term's nature study them of cultivated crops (that will be saved for a later post). i love when i don't have to plan things, and they just kind of fall into place.
we also spent some time playing in the beach, and taking a quick stroll while we waited for emma to finish ballet class. there was lots of sand playing, climbing and running.
we did some lessons from muzzy on our home days, and the pimsleur CD on our "errands/outing" days (we've "graduated" to lesson 2...woohoo!). words and terms we learned this week (that the kids actually retained!): "qu'est-ce que c'est," "c'est une ___," "bonjour," "est-ce que vous ette american," "merci," "mademoiselle," "oui," "comment allez-vous."
our hymn for the week was actually one we've sang at church, so the kids recognized it immediately: "abide with me" by henry francis lyte.
our folksong this week was "barbara allen," an american folk song, which (from what i read) originated in England and brought over to america early european settlers. the kids don't seem too interested in this one. maybe it's because it's a ballad? i don't know. i play it daily, but they're just not into this one.
we had a very full week with gibson and emma starting extra-curricular lessons. i'm sure it will be even more busy once emma starts swimming class again in october. i will be looking forward to our month long school break in december!