It's been a long time since I've done a real week in review. I keep meaning to do a summary of our whole term (quarter, whatever you want to call it) along with my somewhat nebulous plans for the future, but weeks pass and there is no giant review posted on my blog. So I am just going to try to jump in with one week. This in itself may be difficult, as at this very moment one of my five year olds and my three year old are running in and out of the house filling up containers (and a squirt gun) with water to pour on our multitude of swarming, stinging ant nests. I cannot think that this is a good idea, but we have had the "stay away from ants" discussion ad nauseum and they have even been stung before, but they are boys. 'Nuff said.
So... what did we do this week?
Well, the weather made a bit of a statement. We had our first trial run tornado warning on Tuesday morning. The historic Midwestern storm arrived at our house just as I was leaving to bring the baby to the doctor for a well-child visit.
Katydid took a picture of the approaching front, about twenty minutes before the storm arrived and the sirens went off.
I'm not sure if there was ever a tornado actually spotted, but the rotation passed several miles south of us. Andy worked from home in the morning so I wouldn't have to haul all 7 kids to the doctor's office (which turned out to be a blessing, since I waited for an hour and a half in a small, windowless waiting room much like a tornado shelter), and he and the kids dragged all of the stuff out of the wide but narrow hall closet in preparation for riding out the storm. Katydid and Gareth remember tornado warnings from living in St. Louis, but we had a basement there. One of the first things I did after we moved in here was to think about where we would go in case of tornado. (I have a "thing" about tornadoes. Really, I'm much better now.) Due to the quirky nature of our floor plan, we have no interior rooms in this house. We have two places to go: a long, skinny cedar closet in the hallway, and Katydid's walk-in-ish closet (which is piled high with craft stuff... etc., etc.) So I am just praying that we have no actual tornadoes!
On the same day, we received via UPS the highlight of Farmerboy's week...
A couple of rock collections!
The Deluxe Introductory Earth Science Collection at Home Science Tools is about $25 off right now. Their Stratigraphic Fossil Collection is about $20 off. I don't know why we haven't collected any formal rock collections until now, considering the high levels of interest I and all the kids have had in the subject. What pushed me over the edge this time were the discussions Gareth and I have had recently about high school earth science. Because Gareth was more interested in history than science last spring and summer, I had planned for him to do a survey course based on A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson. I had planned for this to be roughly equivalent this year to a course in physical science. But when we were unpacking, Gareth discovered The Eternal Frontier by Tim Flannery and started reading it. The Eternal Frontier is a history of the North American continent beginning with the meteor strike 65 million years ago. He left off that book around 1492 and picked up The Future Eaters, which takes the same approach to Australia and its surrounding lands. (He's reading The Future Eaters right now.) So we started talking about paleontology again, and upshot of that is we are now planning to cover the four traditional areas of high school earth science: Geology (including paleontology, unless we get SO much paleo by the end of high school that it can be broken out as its own course); Oceanography; Astronomy; and Atmospheric Science. More details to follow (hopefully).
I read the boys a Let's Read and Find Out science book, Let's Go Rock Collecting! and we found more rock and fossil and dinosaur books when we went to the library. Farmerboy and Katydid also set up an experiment to grow salt crystals up a string.
Halloween/Fall picture books read this week:
Other Picture Books:
School Books for K-2:
- Reading lessons from Phonics Pathways
- Narrations from Aesop's Fables (Farmerboy, grade 2)
- Read aloud from One Small Square: Backyard
I bought a whole bunch of Kumon books for the boys to use independently. The Mazes and Cutting books were big hits. Farmerboy then asked me to order a Mazes book for him, too, so I got him the Around the World mazes book. Some of those are really hard!
I'm actually quite happy to see them working with these mazes so much, given our past history with vision and occupational therapy.
Read-Alouds (Chapter Books):
- The Book of Saints and Heroes
- Mattimeo and The Bellmaker, Redwall books by Brian Jacques (Farmerboy and the twins)
- Finding the First T. Rex (ch. 1, Farmerboy)
- Finished Sun Faster, Sun Slower and Greek Myths
- Started A Wonderbook for Boys and Girls (Nathaniel Hawthorne) and Outlaws of Ravenhurst
- Made a walking stick and sewed a fabric bag
- Continued work on her tropical birds notebook
- Started dictation and copywork with Spelling Wisdom
- Read and narrated from Glory Of Christendom: History Of Christendom Vol 3 (History of Christendom Series ; Vol. III) , The Future Eaters, and The Golden Thread: A Novel About St. Ignatius Loyola
- Started dictation and copywork with Spelling Wisdom
- About halfway through the One Year Adventure Novel curriculum
(I'm not saying anything about the dailies here: math, Latin, grammar, copywork for Farmerboy. I do hope to make some general "curriculum" posts, though.)