Weekly Report February 3rd

This is my first weekly report. I love reading about other families homeschool weeks, so it seemed like a good thing to start doing:).

We had a bit of a slow week due to kids being sick off and on, doctor’s appointments, and the ongoing work on the house…you know-life getting in the way;) No pictures, due to my camera and computer not cooperating;(

Literature

We read a few chapters of The Wind in the Willows. This is definitely a step up reading-level wise from our last read-aloud, Little House on the Prairie. I am finding that I can’t always finish a chapter due to certain wiggily boys. They understand what’s going on though, and the antics of Toad usually get a chuckle out of one of them. The kids all read a chapter or two from books they chose each day. Grace is reading Detectives in Togas, Christopher is reading Childhood of Famous Americans: George Washington, and James is reading Usborne’s Greek Myths. It’s surprising sometimes, the things that they choose!

Writing

We signed up for the Bravewriter Lifestyle emails and have been starting out slowly. This week we only did copywork once (as per her suggestion). The kids each chose a Benjamin Franklin quote to copy. Christopher started a letter to his uncle, but has yet to finish it. We also did the Friday Freewrite, which was a HUGE success. Everyone, even Rose, sat down and wrote quietly for 10 minutes. They were so excited when I said they could write whatever they wanted! I did it alongside them and also enjoyed it;).

Math

We plugged along in our various RightStart levels. Grace has been learning about decimals and sales tax, Christopher has been reviewing multiplication (and not enjoying it, I’m sorry to say) and beginning fractions. And James learned to play Corners this week, plus Go to the Dump with 11’s. They all love the math games and complain about not playing them enough, so I need to fit this in more. We also played a game of Dino Math Tracks, a great game for reviewing place value.

Poetry

We read some more Robert Frost from Poetry For Young People series, the same poem every day. We talked a little about the meaning of the poem. I usually read the poem at snack time. Captive audience, and all that.

History

We read a few sections from George Washington’s World,  about the Spanish and English in America. We also started our go-along book, Colonial Days. The plan is to work our way slowly through both books, doing the projects in Colonial Days as desired. This week, we made model weathervanes to decorate their rooms.

The kids continued their biography reading. Grace is reading Poor Richard, and the boys are reading this George Washington Book.

Science

We read about wool and cotton in The Storybook of Science. The kids found this pretty fascinating and wanted to look at all their clothes to see where they were made. They also continued their independent science readings. James finished up his DK Weather book and started on DK Space. He loves these books. They have great photos. Not much narrative, but I did say he could pick whatever he liked! Christopher has been reading First Encylopedia of Seas and Oceans, and looking up the internet links whenever he gets a chance. And Grace has been reading  Everything Kids’ Astronomy Book, after complaining that all we had were “baby science books”. Guess I’ll need to add to our collection soon!

Nature Study

We printed out The Outdoor Hour Challenge newsletter and began working our way through it. The kids all started the bookmarks provided in the newsletter, a list of birds they see this month. They also drew birds for their nature journals and we read the section on crows from Handbook of Nature Study. We are planning on participating in a local bird count this weekend as well.

Art, etc.

The kids rolled simple candles using a candle kit for Candlemas. And of course we watched the groundhog to see if he would see his shadow. Six more weeks of winter!

And that was our week, thanks for stopping by!

Poinsettia Cookies

Today’s Advent activity: making poinsettia cookies! For detailed directions go here. I did follow the instructions  pretty much exactly, including buying the sugar cookie dough- a first for me! I much prefer to make cookie dough from scratch and my Yankee frugality was hollering the whole time…but these cookies were so easy. And a breeze to clean up.

First, we mixed the sugar cookie dough with red food coloring (using the mixer made this much easier than combining the food coloring and dough in a resealable bag, as suggested in the recipe). Then we rolled 1- inch balls of the dough in red sugar….

placed the balls on a cookie sheet…

And then used a knife to cut each ball into wedges, being careful not to cut all the way through…

The wedges separate very nicely when baked and they really will look like flowers! Pop the cookies in at 350 degrees for about 12 minutes, until just set and lightly browned. Quickly press a large gumdrop in the center of each….

and there you have them! They just need to set up for a minute or two on the baking sheet before you transfer them to a cooling rack. I think they’re just so darn cute.  And of course the kids are anxious to try them out for our dessert tonight. I’ll be sure to let you know how they came out:)

Snowman Bagels

Continuing in my effort to do something festive with the kids each day this Advent….. today we made snowman bagels for our morning snack. This idea was inspired by a recent issue of Family Fun magazine.

We used plain mini bagels for this project, plus baby carrots, sliced black olives , and diced tomatoes. First we spread each toasted bagel half with cream cheese (for “snow”). Then we added personal touches with care…

Each one ended up a little bit different….

I didn’t take a picture of my bagel snowman, but I did make one! And it tasted great! We are already planning to do this project again next year.