Math - I thought Chicklette had finished her Practice 2A last week. Turns out, she had finished half of Practice 2A and half of Practice 2B. So, today, besides Xtramath, she finished 2A and tomorrow we'll finish 2B. She takes forever to finish her math. It's not that she doesn't understand it. For the most part, it looks like she does. She just whines, gets distracted, sucks her thumb and doesn't enjoy math. Racer, as usual, finished his Review 1, only missing two questions, and also worked ahead and did Exercise 17. He missed three on that exercise because I hadn't explained how to reduce fractions to their simplest form. After I explained it, he seemed to get it. We'll check over the next week to make sure. I did Turtle's reading lesson during math also. At first he was pretty resistant to getting the book and sitting by me and getting it done. I was getting frustrated with him and I told him he lost his school point for the day. Then I remembered how I had asked him two days in a row if we were going to have a good day or a bad day. So I said, "Turtle, I forgot to ask you if we were going to have a good reading lesson or a bad reading lesson." He started giggling which I took as a good sign. I continued, "So are we going to have a good reading day or a bad reading day?" He just laughed and told me, "A good reading day." And lo and behold, after that we had one of our best reading days we've had. He recognized more sight words, he knew all his letter sounds, and he found all the words he was supposed to find except one. This is a tool to remember.
Science - This is one of our biography weeks where we study a famous scientist and write a short paper about his life and accomplishments. This week we will read a biography of the scientist Sir Isaac Newton. I decided to have the kids read different biographies because one is much shorter than the other one. I'm reconsidering that decision now because they might have more to talk about if I read the same one to them. Oh, well. Racer started filling out his scientist questionnaire which Chicklette and I will fill out tomorrow. Chicklette and I read the shorter biography today.
After we finished up our science I had Racer do his piano practice. He hadn't done it earlier this morning because we had some guests who were sleeping. While Racer did piano, Chicklette and I did spelling. We reviewed the "Floss Rule" and practiced words that ended with double L, double S or double F.
History - After lunch, we started reading What's the Big Idea, Ben Franklin?. I really like how the author Jean Fritz portrays these larger-than-life, heroic people as regular people with bad qualities and good qualities. We read about half of the biography and then did a graphic organizer showing that adding -er or -or to a word makes it a person who does __________. For example, a printer is a person who prints. It's an easy concept but it also allows us to review some facts from the book, like Ben Franklin's father was a soap and candlemaker. We finished our graphic organizer and then finished up about New Hampshire. We read about the Old Man in the Mountain that collapsed in 2003. That was pretty sad. We also read that E. E. Cummings and Robert Frost were both poets that lived in New Hampshire. We read a couple of Robert Frost's poems and I offhandedly asked the kids if they wanted to write a poem. Chicklette declined, but Racer(!) decided he wanted to write a poem. He came up with a bunch of rhymes and rhyming couplets and over the course of the day wrote a poem that he said had to do with the Revolutionary War. He kind of came up with the rhymes and then put them together into a poem form. I told him that usually you decide what you want to write about and then you come up with the rhymes. I was really surprised and his poem isn't great, but it isn't that bad either. I was just surprised that he picked up that idea and ran with it. We put our animals (spotted newt, Karner blue butterfly, and purple finch) on our board, reviewed our other states and capitals, and read from If You Lived at the Time of the American Revolution.
Latin - We have a big review in Latin this week. We are reviewing the five previous weeks and all their vocabulary and we will cap it off with a test. We'll see how much is actually sticking with them. I expect Racer to do well, but I am not sure about Chicklette. She took forever again with Latin today. All she had to do was copy the vocab words and their translations. I know, I know, there were 25 words but still, there's no thinking involved. She did finally finish though and got her piano done after she did all her Latin.
Grammar - Chicklette and I were able to get two grammar lessons done so that we were caught up to Racer. We talked about how first, last and middle names are proper nouns and must be capitalized. She practiced writing her full name in cursive. Racer's grammar lesson was a dictionary skills lesson. We bought a dictionary at the Dollar Store and, while it's not worthless, it's not as great as I would like. I know I bought a dictionary and a thesaurus at our local thrift store that would be good ones, but I. cannot. find them. It's driving me nuts.
Writing with Ease - Because Chicklette took so long on her math and Latin today, we didn't get to Writing with Ease for her. I'm ashamed to say that's two lessons we've fallen behind now. I need to make sure that that gets done tomorrow. Racer's Writing with Ease was a narration lesson and he did well with hitting the main points of the story without any extraneous detail.
We watched an episode of Liberty's Kids tonight. I think the kids liked it and I hope they understood it. It was about the Boston Tea Party and we've talked about that before. I like the different perspectives that Liberty's Kids gives. They've got a kid that's a Patriot, an English blueblood girl, and a French orphan. You really get a taste of what most people were thinking.
Now I've got laundry to finish. I didn't keep on top of it today so I'll probably be up for about another hour getting it done. And tomorrow is another busy day. Racer has Lego Club and soccer practice tomorrow. I think we'll take egg burritos to the park for our picnic dinner. They're pretty portable and they taste good.