Friday, December 29, 2017

Year 1: Week 23

We're nearing the end of our second term of first grade. Here is some of what we did this week...

*listened to the waltz from Tchaikovsky's Sleeping Beauty
*drew a picture of Sleeping Beauty, the ballerina
*watched 2 Horrible Histories videos about Alexander the Great (so funny)
*read Alexander & Bucephelas and Diogenes (from 50 Famous Stories Retold)
*played the singing game "Rise, Sally Rise" (Thank you, Children of the Open Air!)
*read Bible passages, including Early Works of Healing
*completed 2 chapters of Life of Fred: Liver
*played some multiplication games on
*read Andersen's "The Ugly Duckling"
*practiced piano - began learning Kum Ba Ya and hymn Holy Holy Holy
*read CM's Elementary Geography (ch. 12) about the earth being tilted on its axis (We also watched a video about earth's orbit around the sun. It's quite a complicated idea for a 6 year old. The picture in CM's Elementary Geography - as in many books - is wrong, and  children's models of the solar system show the earth orbiting the sun in a circle. Books show the earth orbiting in an ellipse with a sun in the center of the ellipse. While earth's orbit is elliptical, the sun is closer to one focus than the other. In January, at perihelion, the earth is 91.4 million miles from the sun, 3 million miles closer to the sun than it is in July. In July, at aphelion, the earth is 94.5 million miles from the sun, 3 million miles farther from the sun than it is in January. 
*read poetry from Nature in Verse. We had to skip some autumn poems to start the winter poems. Our verses this week were about Christmas, cold weather, and the holly plant.
*bought a hyacinth bulb in a vase at Trader Joe's, and continued to observe and enjoy our amaryllis bulb. One of the outcomes of educating using CM methods has been that I have an impossible time saying no to purchases like amaryllis and hyacinth bulbs. 

*read a chapter in Plant Life in Field and Garden about the plants we eat as food (carrots, onions, potatoes, etc.). This chapter went so nicely with our bulb observation. We talked about how onions are bulbs, just like the amaryllis and hyacinth, and how bulbs store food (which is why the amaryllis can be coated in wax and still flower, and why the hyacinth's roots can be in water only and doesn't need to take in nutrients from soil). We also looked up images of onion flowers (have you seen the flower of the Persian onion - beautiful!), and pulled a potato out of the dark cabinet to examine its eyes.
*looked at Van Gogh's 🌻 
*read Hercules and the Carter
*practiced cursive
*currently reading (as our bedtime read) Detectives in Togas
*read 3 pages of As You Like It
*read The Burgess Seashore Book about jellyfish young (and looked at images of jellyfish polyps), sea cucumbers (and watched a short video about sea cucumbers), and sea spiders (and watched a short video of a sea spider walking on the ocean floor). Did you know male sea spiders carry their eggs until they hatch?
*sang Alouette, Des Colores, and All Creatures of Our God and King
*for handicrafts - sewed a leg of doll & stuffed it, but then Gemma lost the big needle, so that project is now on pause

And finally, an update on my dollhouse lighting project...

Monday, December 18, 2017

Year 1: Week 22

Sometimes you just have to call it a week.

This week, we got to travel and celebrate Christmas with family. We did a ton of school-related this-and-that, but we didn't do everything.


Here is some of what we did...
*completed 2 chapters of Life of Fred: Liver
*read The Stag Looking into the Water
*practiced piano (Gemma was having a tough time with one song - Toymaker's Dance - but I sat her on my lap and bounced her while I sang the melody, and it started to make sense to her. Those pesky eighth notes.)
*read some poetry from Nature in Verse (not every day, but some, and some is better than none)
*did some Duolingo
*read some Bible passages, including "The Call of the First Disciples"
*listened to our Maestro Classics CD of The Nutcracker
*read about Coriolanus, Alexander the Great (and located Macedonia in our atlas), and sculptures like Venus de Milo & Winged Victory of Samothrace
*added Charles Dickens, Queen Victoria, and Tchaikovsky to timeline book
*read The Bremen Town Musicians
*went to dance class

*read two chapters of The World by the Fireside. The first was about sugarcane. We located Jamaica in the atlas and watched this YouTube video about how sugar goes from cane to the sugar we buy in the store...

...The second was "Where Does Cocoa Come From?" For Mother Culture, if you're interested in how cacao became a product of West Africa, check out this:
*read 3 pages of Lamb's As You Like It & watched the animated As You Like It
*Gemma independently read several books, including Betsy-Tacy and Tib, For Biddle's Sake, and Betsy-Tacy Go Over the Big Hill.
*decorated our Christmas tree


*read about sea anemones and how plants store food
*spent a day playing with friends at Temescal Canyon

For Christmas, Gemma received the lighting kit I bought two years ago (40% off!). She received lots of wonderful presents, including lighting fixtures and a dollhouse family. So, I've spent eight hours over the past couple of days learning (by doing) how to wire her dollhouse. (What was I thinking?!) I have one room - of six 😳 - done.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Year 1: Week 21

While my public school students were having their last-day-of-school-before-Winter-Break party, my homeschooled daughter was in jail...

Gemma and Daddy took a field trip to the Los Angeles Police Museum.

This "week" (11 days), we read so many things: poetry from Nature in Verse, East of the Sun and West of the Moon, The Baptism of Jesus (Matthew 3:13-17, recitation passages, Aesop's The Gardener and his Dog, Plant Life's chapter about vines, The Burgess Seashore Book's chapter about jellyfish, 3 more pages of Lamb's "As You Like It," The World by the Fireside's chapter on cotton, "Poles & Axis" from Mason's Elementary Geography, a chapter about Romulus & Remus (and identified Greece, Italy, Sicily, Mediterranean Sea in our atlas), and "How Horatius Kept the Bridge."

Gemma had her in-class dance recitals.

Unbeknownst to me, Gemma decided to do her cursive with red colored pencil...

Christmas pageant songs (including A Maid Engaged to Joseph and O Come All Ye Faithful) were practiced, as well as this term's hymn and foreign language songs.

In math, Gemma did assorted pages of Mathematical Reasoning E and a chapter of Life of Fred: Liver.

On piano, Gemma practiced Toymaker's Dance.

We revisited Van Gogh's First Steps, After Millet. 

She drew these pictures:

So, I'm reading her Burgess Seashore Book about jellyfish, and the fox compliments the seagull, telling the seagull that he would know what the weird jelly on the beach is because he knows everything. I say that the fox is being humble and the seagull is being humble. Gemma says, "But what if someone is only pretending to be humble?" And I say, "That's false humility." And she says, "That's like Uriah in David Copperfield. Look, I'll show you." She pulls out her Usborne Illustrated Dickens, and shows me. Uriah Heep is a great example of a character who demonstrates false humility.
Her independent reading this week included Betsy-Tacy, Henry Huggins, The Courage of Sarah Noble, 3 Gail Carson Levine books, etc.
We finished one of our read alouds - The Year of Miss Agnes. Gemma asked if there was another Miss Agnes book. There is, so I'm sure we'll be reading that one in the not-so-distant future.
Two of the funniest things she said this week:
1)"I don't like it when I'm being bidden to do something."
2)(Of Romulus and Remus) "That was so mean of him to kill his brother. He should have just said, 'Hey! Get your own hill!'"
Masterly Inactivity: Gemma spent TWO HOURS cutting and duct taping a cardboard box into a carriage for some dollhouse dolls.
We went to see A Christmas Carol at the community college. It was a very strange production, but I liked some of the strangeness. Modern dancers as spirits and clock gears danced to 19th century hymns.

Our giant amaryllis is opening up!😊