Saturday, January 19, 2008

Lately we've been......

BUSY! But having a good time with school. The kids don't like the textbook work like math and spelling, but they all agree they are happy with science and history and even some of the religion lessons (not the Catechism so much, but the saint stories they seem to enjoy). We are learning about:


1. Vikings, focus on Leif Ericson

We spent all of last week charting his course on a map (how HE discovered America way before Christopher Columbus, and brought Christianity to the Vikings in Greenland), reading a book about his life, drawing pictures of a Viking ship and we briefly talked about his father, Erik the Red. We also discussed how Vikings were not just total barbarians as previously thought. New discoveries around 1960 proved this. All of this went into the girls' book of Centuries as will all of the rest of their history projects. BTW, I'm only doing this with T & S. Although I brought Alexa in to do a coloring page of a Viking ship.

2. Explorers, esp. Christopher Columbus

Next week.

3. Pocahontas (not the Disney Version, though I might show them that movie after they know the truth and get them to point out the fact from fiction).

Next month.

4. George Washington

Next month. At that time, I'd like to work on getting some patriotic things going, like listening to some songs, doing a craft or 2 and getting Alexa to learn the Pledge of Allegiance.......Maybe her cousin Kyra can teach her ;)

Science: Jan. focus Birds/Animals in our backyard, Feb. focus winter/snow

1. Cardinals (last week, but finished up today) Map of where they are in US, drawings, discussion and a fact sheet.

2. The rest of the month (and at least 1/2 into next) we'll be doing Black Capped Chickadees, Bluejays, Doves, Dark-eyed Juncos and a few birds we have yet to identify. I hope to touch on squirrels, too, since we have so many. (Evan finds them very entertaining!) Alexa does do this with us. We watch the birds out the schoolroom window, read bird stories and the kids each have a bird poem to memorize. Skylar's is called The Early Bird. If you know Skylar's sleeping habits, you'll see why I picked that for her.

3. Though it wasn't on the schedule, we did a brief "snow day" lesson last week since we got an unexpected 4 inches! We did an experiment, made snow icecream and put up snowflake window clings. I also read them 4 snow books including one about the life cycle of a snowflake (the water cycle), and The Snowy Day. They also got to play in the snow and have hot chocolate when they came back in.

4. By the middle of February, I plan on finishing Birds and diving into the science of snow. I'll have books, more experiments, crafts, discussions and a few interesting You Tube videos about snow. I'm sure we'll also do a Teatime around "snow". I want to touch on animal hibernation and migration also.

Love to all!

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