Week 16

17 Dec

Abby changed the name of our school this week to Bloom Prep. It suits her preferred style of learning much better & I love it. Chris likes it too, obviously.

Science this week was the typical BFSU melange. We did some work on nutrition labels for her Girl Scout Staying Fit badge, and then talked a lot about the difference between matter and energy. The painting is her abstract representation of what the world would look like without energy, and then without matter. We also did a brief overview of bones and muscles.

This is ELA, I guess? The first picture is an Idaho history diary entry, and then two Tudor lapbook entries, and finally our word list from the week.

I got a ProClick binding set and spent a very pleasant three hours binding all my curriculum. (I have a curriculum problem.)

We finished the third Zoey and Sassafras book and did a bedroom poetry teatime.

Silas did his very first logic puzzle! We also made apple muffins, and he continues to love his “reading lessons”. We slowed down a little once we hit Lesson 23, so each lesson is taking us two or three days. No rush.

Our house! Maybe it’ll actually be finished before 2021.

Week 15

10 Dec

This was a fairly typical week with an atypically small number of pictures.

This water cycle demonstration was pretty neat, but it would have worked better on a day that got over 35 degrees.

I hauled out the math book to hit the “Numerical Expressions” Power Learning Goal.

The book of the week, a sort of updated Narnia.

“Nature” study: they’re looking at mule deer in the strip of land between our apartment building and the river. They come down from the hills every morning along well-worn trails and leave tracks (and scat, so much scat) by the river.

A finished Falcon!

This is my current reading. It would be a lot easier to get through if everyone weren’t named Mary or Henry.

Thanksgiving Week

10 Dec

This wasn’t an official school week, so it involved a lot of lying around under blankets with various snuggleable beings.

I continue to buy thrift store games that my children mostly only tolerate playing.

This week’s cooking project was a berry crumble that Silas enjoyed making–shirtless, of course–but refused to eat.

RightStart A.

Our little science museum got a fancy new dinosaur exhibit with a delightful display of coprolite.

This is the first time Silas has spontaneously wanted to write his name.

The biggest event of the week was the Costco Millennium Falcon. Silas is eerily good at Legos, which is both fun to watch and unfortunate for our bank account.

Week 14

25 Nov

Week 14! Or 12! Or whatever. I haven’t told Abby yet, but I’m not planning on knocking off school just because of some arbitrary date in May :DD

But I did come up with a list of fourth grade goals, and I’ve promised that I’ll promote her to 5th grade once she checks them all off.

Most mornings I manage to get them both to the table to do some informal morning basket-y things. We read a couple pages in this neat art history book, a couple of chapters in a Zoey and Sassafras book, and do a little geography study. Currently we’re doing Nepal for no other reason than I have a Faces magazine about Nepal. Most days I also remember to do a short mindfulness meditation from Breathe Like a Bear.

…. And then some days are morning choir days and everyone stumbles out of bed fifteen minutes before we have to leave.

I’m getting the hang of BFSU. I read the relevant lessons a couple of times (it takes me a couple of times to fully understand it), bang out a few worksheets, and then we’re generally good to go.

Abby’s working on the Inside Government Girl Scout badge, which coincides nicely with the most exciting mayoral election Boise has had in decades. Last weekend she went to a listening session held by the 16-year incumbent’s challenger, and she also emailed a bunch of very patient relatives and asked for their thoughts on being an active citizen.

Our expansive–which is to say somewhat erratic–history continues, with a slowly compiled Tudor lapbook and a Who-Was-based Outschool class. I’m thinking of signing her up for a modern history class at a more rigorous online “school” next semester. Not pictured: yet more Idaho history.

Math! We truck through RightStart D. I love it; Abby tolerates it. We should be able to start E by end of February.

Here she is at a workshop at the Reusuem, a local electronics recycling nonprofit that we’re partnering with for our e-waste recycling project. Not pictured: many other Girl Scouts.

The final performance of her homeschool musical theatre class was on Tuesday. She had a solo for the very first time: Baloo in “Bare Necessities”.

I found Make n Break Jr at the thrift store a few months ago and it’s been a steady favorite.

We made applesauce for our kitchen project this week, and I promptly let it burn.

We continue to dutifully read through the Torchlight PreK books. I love the layout and general look & feel of Torchlight curricula, but Level 1 didn’t work at all for Abby and the level is geared a little high conceptually for Silas. Plus, he hates most crafts and drawing.

He does, however, absolutely adore reading as of the past couple of weeks. He’d read BOB books half the night if I didn’t insist on turning out the lights. His ability varies from day to day depending on how tired/ wound up he is, but he read the book pictured almost all by himself. His phonemic awareness is A+.

Unfortunately, he’s also super into this terribly constructed world map.

Week 13

19 Nov

Week 13! We’re a bit off because it’s week … 11, I think, for her “school”, but I’m just going to roll with it for now.

Over the weekend we tried a nighttime nature walk that, like so many of my ideas, was a bit less idyllic in practice than in theory. In other words, the kids wouldn’t stop shining flashlights in our eyes and at one point Abby stalked off, sat down, and refused to move.

Abby finished a big book project: creating a new cover for Raina Telegemeir’s Guts. It was a great chance to practice old-school cut-and-paste editing.

I finally got RightStart Level D, which is a bit below where she is based on their placement test but is already helping her number sense (and taxing mine <grimace emoji>).

She finished her Junior Musician badge this week by 1) writing a few more conductor bios, 2) attending a wildly age-inappropriate performance of Waitress, 3) having a conducting lesson with her aunt, 4) making a shaker, and 5) performing in a Veteran’s Day concert with her choir. Below is her conducting lesson. I love roping in friends and family 😀

She’s been taking a chill Outschool class that focuses on a different Who Was book every week. We’re getting quite the pile.

Up to their usual Latin antics.

Our troop is doing an e-waste drive for their Citizen Scientist Take Action Project. We’re holding it at our local library branch, and they’re being so awesome about working with us. Here they are meeting with her to talk about planning and marketing it–or rather, here Abby is, since I cropped out the rest of her troop.

Look at me being ambitious and hauling out BFSU again. My goal is to get through the lower elementary one quickly this year so we can start with V2 in 5th grade, but somehow I’m not really selling her on it.

So much Idaho history.

This is a cat science experiment that our subject refused to carry out.

Silas was extremely proud of reading the second BOB book this week.

He’s also condescending to actually do math lessons instead of pretending he’s a radioactive spider. (Although that would also be fine for now.)

We finished the first Zoey and Sassafras book, and he did a little sorting project. He’s quite the little naturalist. His first favorite animal is still the peregrine falcon, closely followed by the vampire bat, but he’s currently very taken with aye-ayes and is busily planning a trip to Madagascar.

Week 12

9 Nov

I got this little letter box half price at the grocery store the other day and now get to spend many unnecessary minutes trying to get the kerning right. Meanwhile, Pounce really wishes Abby would go back to school.

The math part of our Halloween math.

Abby enjoys trying to identify which parts of these books are going to make me want to throw them across the room, but she loves them, and I can put up with a little propaganda if she learns to love math. Plus they give me lots of opportunity to indoctrinate her with my liberal feminist agenda.

We switched Latin curricula and this one is going a lot better. I was a little afraid we’d get kicked out of the library when Abby and her friend started wailing “eheu” at the top of their lungs last week.

We weren’t able to go to Girl Scout cybersecurity event so we’re making up the work at home. Pictured: binary and networks.

Silas spent a very focused thirty minutes building all of these puzzles.

He also wrote a book about his current second favorite animal, the vampire bat. Stay tuned for his first favorite (“best”) animal.

Look, I’m learning, too! This book covers the history of math from ancient times to modern. I followed it pretty well up until the Renaissance started, and now it’s getting complicated.

This is what working from home and schooling from home look like when they take place at the same time.

Look! The unwrapped one is going to be our house! New estimated closing date: February 27.

4th Grade/ PK Week 11

6 Nov

I picked up a few of these books to cover the economics “learning goals” on our social studies list, and we started with this one the other evening. Since I’m working from home during most of the day, it works well to sneak in half an hour of school before bed. I found business plan worksheet for kids and we started working on filling it out. Abby’s business idea is called Creative Classrooms, and her service is helping teachers set up their classrooms.

Abby wrote a biography of Vivaldi in her journal the other day–just because, I guess?–so I typed it up and we worked on reorganizing and revising it.

Halloween candy math! Worksheet to come; we just finished it today.

Some ordinal pairs and yet another ill-conceived worksheet from TpT. The idea was good (Halloween surprise pictures), but the graphing was too complicated and the worksheet too long.

Copying Macbeth in honor of Halloween.

More Idaho history (we’re using this https://idahoptv.pbslearningmedia.org/collection/idaho/), and I added some supplementary reading about the recent discoveries at Cooper’s Ferry, ID: https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/article/coopers-ferry-first-americans/ .

Silas built a backwards stegosaurus with these very cool Magna-Tiles cards that they immediately started fighting over.

Aunt Ricky sent a Lego set straight from Legoland, and Silas built it almost entirely by himself. He’s better with Legos at age four than I was at age 10.

We Are Grateful and Balloons over Broadway were the winners of Torchlight PK Week … 12? 13?, although Silas didn’t like We Are Grateful–probably because the first time I read it I had a very hard time pronouncing the Cherokee words lolllll.

4th Grade, Wk 10

29 Oct

Background for our Tudor unit turned into an art history lesson.

Word tickets: fun for us, maybe not so much fun for the animals.

Impromptu lesson on mixtures and compounds to check off one of the state learning goals.

It turns out Abby loves copywork. She’s been copying poems from her poetry folder, and I’m working on my Spanish.

Do we have two big sets of largely ignored Magnatiles at home? Yes. Did they fight over these at the Discovery Center? Also yes.

Onto Silas! We made some butterflies that would have been more symmetrical, if the paint hadn’t dried so fast.

Sleeping Queens, or some variant thereof.

Math lesson with hungry giants, chocolate chips, and ten-frames.

And finally, a somewhat last-minute poetry teatime.

4th Grade, Week 9

22 Oct

We started the week with a trip to the Bruneau sand dunes. Despite the campfire, there was no camping involved. We stayed until the sun went down and then packed up and went to the observatory. There was a nearly full moon, so poor visibility, but we were able to see Saturn, rings and all. So cool!

This week’s math involved fractions at a donut shop and Life.

We continue our slow march through Idaho history.
I’m sure there’s a way to rotate this image, but Silas is just about to get out of the bath so I’ll figure it out later. We’re working on comparing brain size to body size. Pretty proud of myself for finding the avg brain size of red pandas and siamangs.
Another Girl Scout event from two weeks ago–a coding class for the Digital Game Design badge.
On Monday, Abby and Chris went to the Apple store for an iMovie class–totally free, and so much fun!

4th grade, week 8

12 Oct

Also I guess unofficial preschool week 8. Silas goes to a wonderful Montessori program but I just can’t help myself.

Abby is off-camera nursing a stomach ache while I read. I should probably clean Silas’s room 🤔
World center for Birds of Prey, Fall Flights
Fall Flights failed to keep his attention, so we left and found 100 rocks (and a v strange facial expression)
Of course I had chalk in my bag. Someday I’m going to pull a lamp and a coat tree out of it.
Not her favorite subject, but she wants to know “why people like different things”.
Be Naturally curious DNA
Baking at the Ronald McDonald House
Studying Idaho history at our gym
Riverside Latin
Measuring to prove that two 3/4 cups is the same as 1 1/2. She did her own makeup.
This cat does not want to be doing word pools.
Kitchen classroom: pancakes
Torchlight PK week 9! Silas loves bats, but I do not love Stellaluna or Nightsong. A Place for Bats was good, though.