Saturday, November 28, 2009

Weekly Report-Week 15

We ended up doing a full week of school, despite the Thanksgiving holiday. They don't celebrate the holiday here, so it made it easy :)! Here's a look at what we did...

Language Arts: Princess finished reading an abridged version of Black Beauty. She decided in that end she really liked the book, for which I am grateful! Once again she's seen the value of finishing a book and not giving up on it too early. A skill I'm sure she'll use throughout her life. We also finished another week of Writing with Ease which went much better this week.

Math: We began 3A this week, our topic was numbers within 1000 this week. It went well, so we'll keep on going!

Science: We continued to study constellations and thier stories again this week. We been using a book that my mother-in-law gave me awhile back called Heavenly Zoo. It tells the stories behind the animal constellations in the sky. It such a good book, but unfortunately it's out of print. If you find this book at your library, I really recommend it, princess loved it and learned quite a bit!

History: We talked about knights and samurai's this week. We made our own coat of arms, which I'll post more about later, for now, here's a picture of hers...
Other: We studied another of Boticelli's paintings and we listened to more of Vivaldi's Four Seasons Concerto. We also read more of a children's version of Merchant of Venice. For art this week, we made some Thanksgiving crafts.

Education of Me: Still plugging away at Piers Plowman. (I got a bit distracted by Squanto and Johnny Tremain this week!). Maybe this weekend :).

Thanks for reading about our week, hope you had a great week too!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Weekly Report-Week 14

Ok, I'm alittle late in writing this, but by the time this weekend got here, I just crashed. I forgot how much fun it is to be pregnant (said with quite a bit of sarcasm). Be sure to check out others at the Weekly Wrap-up. We had a great week of school though, here's what we did...
Language Arts: Princess finished reading Viking Adventures and we started reading Castle Diary together. She continued to practice her cursive and phonics. However, we had a melt down over writing this week though. Princess felt that the dictation was too hard. Which lead into a nice discussion about how school is going to be challenging, that's how we learn. We disscussed the reasons I want her to learn dictation and how it will help her in the future. After she understood the purpose, she was willing to give it another go. We adjusted the way we are doing dictation to challenge her, but to still give her the confidence that she can do it. Let's hope that next week goes better.

Math: Princess passed her final exam for 2B this week! Some of the things she missed I wasn't completely surprised as we are working on them already. Others I was really surprised as they were things that I knew she had down cold. I'm thinking that she just got anxious because it was a test. So now I'm looking at adding a few more tests in to reduce her anxiety over them. If you've got a better suggestion, please leave a comment! I just don't want to send her off to college dreading having to take a test. I realize that we've got plenty of time before that, I'm just trying to be proactive :).

Science: We began studying constellations this week. The plan was to make a shoebox planetarium, but since I don't have a shoebox or index cards or a flashlight, we decided to make a book about them instead! Here's a look at that...
History: We started talking about medieval England this week. We learned all about nobles, serfs and castles. We made our own model of a castle, here's a picture, but you can also read more about it below.
All and all it was a great week for history!

Other: We completed our artist and composer studies this week. Our composer right now is Vivaldi and we have been having alot of fun listening to his Four Seasons Concerto. We also began reading Lamb's Tales version of Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice. So far, so good and I'm really glad that we are back to our Shakespeare studies! We didn't do art this week because I figured that our castle project was enough :).
Education of Me: I haven't been the best about keeping up with my reading this week, my brain just hasn't been able to handle it. Maybe next week will be better.

Hope you had a great week, thanks for reading about ours!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

History Project: Building a Castle

We started studying castles this week so we decided to make one of our own. I've been saving toilet paper tubes and paper towel tubes for weeks so that we would have enough for towers. I would have saved cereal boxes too, but cereal is kinda expensive here, so we don't eat it regularly, instead we used cardstock. We started by laying out the design.
This was so that we knew how many pieces we needed to paint :). Next we mixed some black and white paint to make grey and then we started to paint.
And we painted and painted, I really recommend spray paint for this step, as we painted for nearly an hour! Once all the pieces were done, we let them dry.
Then we started to assemble our castle. It was at that point that I realized that we should have painted both sides, but since we were out of paint there's not much we could do. We used masking tape to put it together, but again I recommend that you use a hot glue gun. It would make the job much easier!
Our castle had 4 towers, with two more guard towers outside, a peasants house, a peasants jail on the other side, a king's great hall and a moat.
We were both very pleased with the finally product, plus we had alot of fun making it!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Next Year Plans

I know, you're thinking, ALREADY???? One of the benefits (or downsides depending on how you look at it) of living overseas is that it costs alot to ship books, so if someone is coming to visit and they are willing to bring books, you jump on the opportunity! Our friends are coming in January, so that means that get a whole six months with my new stuff before I actually get to use it! It also means that I will have lots of time to become familiar with the material and have time to plan out next year before the baby comes. Because of the holiday mailing season I decided to order now to make sure they receive it before they leave. So, since the orders have been made I thought I'd share what we plan on doing.

Language Arts:
  • Writing: Classical Writing Aesop A-I am so excited about this one because I have been drooling over this the last year and a half, hope it doesn't disappoint!
  • Grammar: We'll just use what's in Classical Writing and from our Latin program
  • Spelling: Spelling Workout B & C-I'm learning that princess needs a more systematic workbook style approach to spelling, so we're going to try this one out.
  • Reading: Books that tie into history (mostly) for both readers and read-alouds.


  • Singapore Math: Don't fix what ain't broke! This program works for us, so we are sticking with it.


  • Chemistry for the Grammar Stage: This one was easy to figure out :)!


  • Story of the World 3 with the Activity Guide: Another if it ain't broke, don't fix it. SOTW just really work here! We are going back to having the activity guide, not sure why I didn't order it this year as I really missed having it. I'll post my plans after I finish them.
  • 50 State Notebook Study: I'm working on putting this together. I plan on doing this over the next two years. I'll post what I have when I'm done.


  • Latin using Prima Latina: I'm also excited to start this, but alittle nervous about adding another language to princesses studies.
  • Chinese with our tutor: Not a choice, she's got to learn to communicate.
  • Art with Art Adventures at Home: I've got it so I'm going to use it.
  • Artist/Composer Studies: We'll be studying famous artist and composers from the Late Renaissance. I'll post our plans when I get a chance.
  • Music: Recorder-I'm going to better about this next year!
  • Shakespeare: This is just a continuation of what we have been doing for the last two years.

It looks like alot all laid out, but it is her third grade year and we've been gradually stepping up.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Weekly Report-Week 13

I'm acutally writing this on a Friday night (it's 8pm here), amazing! We had a tough beginning healthwise to our week, but a decent ending, so no complaints. Here's a look at what we did...

Language Arts: Princess read half of Viking Adventure this week. I had to crack up because I asked her to tell me what she read about, she claimed she didn't remember any of it. So I asked her what happened to Sigurd and she launched into a five minute summary of what she read about. I guess that it's all about asking the right questions :). We also read Viking Tales together and she completed another week of Writing with Ease.

Math: We spent part of the week on review and the other part on geometry and area. Princess is flying through the end of this book. I suspect that we will get to the final test by the end of the week, then onto the next one.

Science: We learned all about stars this week, thier life cycles and about galaxies. We also actually did our experiment this week. Lately I haven't been the best about getting those done, but I'm going to give myself a pass on it given how things have been lately.

History: We continued studying the Vikings and made our own paper Viking longship. Princess was upset that it didn't have a flat bottom since all Viking ships had flat bottoms, oh well, here's a look at the finished product...
We also talked about Alfred the Great and William the Conqueror this week.

Other: We completed our artist/composer studies and we did an art project this week. I'm telling you, I was on top of it this week! We finished the week off with a trip to the local snake farm. The principal declared a field trip day today because it's probably the last day he'll feel normal in awhile. He's got to take some nasty meds to get rid of a digestive pest that just wants to hang on. While we were there we got to see a demonstration of snake milking.
I can't believe how those guys handled the snakes, I would have been freaking out!

Education of Me: I am continuing to work my way through Piers Plowman and enjoying it. I'm thinking that it's going to take me another week and half to finish it and then I'll try my hand at writing a review.
Hope that you had a great week also! You can read about others at the Weekly Wrap-up.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Science Corner: What about lapbooks?

We have used lapbooks in the past for science with great success. They are a wonderful way to review what you have learned and to create a quick reference guide to use in the future.

So what are lapbooks?
A lapbook is a record of what your child has learned in scrapbook form. You can make one after a field trip or as a form of notebooking or to review what you have learned. Lapbooks are extremely versatile and can be used for any subject.
How can we put one together?
You begin by deciding what information you want to include. For example when we did our solar system lapbook, we started by looking back through her notebook to see what we could include. Princess decided that she wanted the Sun, all the planets-Pluto included and some information about the other stuff out there-meteors and so on. I decided that the poem we have worked on memorizing also needed to be in there. Next you decide into what you will put your information. Usually you use a file folder to for this, but I have found that two pieces (or more) of cardstock taped together also do a great job. Then you decide how to fit it all in and what types of mini-books and flaps we would use. There are websites with free templates, but once you get the hang of it you'll be making your own mini-books and flaps. The next step is to add the information to your mini-books and flaps. This can take several days or an afternoon depending on how much your child wants to do. Finally you glue all your mini-books and flaps into your lapbook and your fantastically beautiful resource is finished!
Some websites to look at for ideas...
Getting started is sometimes the hardest part, so here are a few places to look for ideas.

  • Homeschool Helper: This website has lots of free mini-book templates and directions for lapbooks that you can make.
  • Jimmie's Collage: This is another homeschooling mom's blog. She has some fantastic resources to share, plus she has some great post on lapbooking that are sure to inspire you.
  • Finally do a google search. There are so many homeschoolers that do lapbooks and lots of ideas out there. So do a search and see what you find :).
My daughter has treasured each lapbook we have taken the time to make. She looks back at them often and reads what she wrote. It's a sneaky way of reviewing, but more than that lapbooks give her an educational resource she can enjoy for years to come.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Weekly Report

We had another good week here. I'm constantly amazed at the flexibility of homeschool! All the things that we have been through in the last two months and yet my daughter is still getting an education. I am truly blessed to be able to homeschool. Ok, off my soapbox, here's a look at our week...

Language Arts: Princess read Eric the Red and Leif the Lucky this week. The first day she looked at me after she was done reading and told me she didn't understand a thing she read. So we went back and team read it, explaining the words she didn't understand as we went along. The book had alot of new vocabulary for her! The rest of the week she was able to complete her reading on her own. She was pretty proud of herself when she finished the book! I knew that the book would be a challenge for her, but I had no idea how she would handle it. I'm pretty proud of her too!

Math: Princess breezed through the remaining graphs and then we started to work on the geometry section. She is loving the last half of this book, but she is also excited to finish it :).

Science: We studied asteroids, meteors and comets this week. We also made a lapbook about our solar system. I'll try to post more detail about that later this week, but for now, here's a picture from the inside of it...
History: We started learning about the Vikings! Princess is quite interested in this because she actually has some Viking blood in her. We mainly talked about Eric the Red and Leif the Lucky, but we also discussed some of the Norse gods.

Other: We completed an art project and our artist/composer studies this week. However the highlight of the week was at a park we went to Friday. We happened to run into a bit of nature that gave me quite a fright...
I thought this big guy was a Komono Dragon, but it turns out that it's a monitor lizard. They are actually quite common in the parks around Bangkok, a fact I never knew about! Maybe we need to start up our formal nature study times again :).
Education of Me: I have continued to read Piers Plowman. I'm really surprised how much I am enjoying this book. It's a well written allegory and it's definately going to be on our list to read in the future.

Hope you had a great week, visit here to read other weekly reports at the Weekly Wrap-up.