It’s Friday and I am still not sure what happened to Wednesday or Thursday. Oh well. Friday hails a long weekend for us, with no school again until Wednesday! Somebody in this house is turning eight on Monday, and there are many preparations to prepare and celebrations to celebrate.
In the meantime, we did a full week of school this week by actually having school on a Monday for the first time all school year. This meant skipping our family adventure day, but we did get to go out for lunch and check out new books at the library, so all was not lost.
I am moving Squeezy’s tot school activities to a separate post, so I don’t have nearly as many pictures this week! But that doesn’t mean we haven’t been busy.
In history, we studied the birth of the Roman empire. Our studies this week led us through the story of Cleopatra, the rise of Herod the Great in Palestine, the Battle of Actium, the rise of Augustus Caesar and the Roman Empire, and the life of John the Baptist. We have only six more lessons in Mystery of History 1, and I have found it so fascinating to read about the way God so dramatically set the stage for the birth of His Son.
In science, we made suet to attract some feathered friends to our yards, following the recipe in Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day.
The recipe called for lard. The boys were pretty grossed out.
Bubs manned the stove, melting the lard and some crunchy peanut butter together.
All three kids helped with measuring and dumping in ingredients.
Stinky showed his strong muscles by stirring it all up,
and then the boys filled sandwich baggies with the mixture, which then had to harden in the freezer.
Which is where it still is.
Because I keep forgetting to put it in mesh bags and take it outside and hang it from a tree.
We also learned a whole bunch of stuff about feathers.
The way God designed them is truly amazing.
In Bible, we studied the character quality of diligence this week. I have to admit it was convicting for me!
Bubs is currently delving very deep in to addition still in math, which he thinks is ridiculous because of course he learned how to add a million years ago. Bubs is very literal and analytical, and is firmly entrenched in the logic stage of development. He also kind of thinks he knows everything. He really doesn’t understand the concept of review. I think it’s good for him; if he were flying through it I would let him skip it, but it is definitely providing a challenge, so we just keep trucking along. This week he spent a lot of time doing estimation. A lot of time. I’m kind of tired of it too. Stinky is reviewing in math as well, but this year they expect him to write word numbers. Hence this addition to our schoolroom decor:
Let’s just say that spelling isn’t his strong suit.
Speaking of spelling, on Thursday I played a game with both boys to review their words for their test. We threw a ball back and forth, taking turns saying the letters of the words. Both boys thought this was great fun and I do think it helped them remember. Not that our spelling tests were super successful today. Both boys successfully spelled words yesterday (multiple times) that they missed on their tests today.
I kind of hate spelling.
In grammar, Stinky is still learning about nouns. I’m kind of sick of nouns. But he does seem to be mastering the material. So I guess spending a month on one subject maybe isn’t completely stupid. Bubs has been working with tricky words, including the dreaded to/too/two and the also dreaded there/their/they’re combinations. He has had some frustration with these, but I told him that there are a LOT of people who struggle even as adults with these words, so he should just keep practicing until he gets it. I also made him a wall chart for there/their/they’re. I need to make him one for to/too/two, too. (See what I did there?)
I also took this very blurry picture of said wall chart. I apologize for the horribleness of it. I am too lazy to get up and take another picture. Maybe I need another week studying diligence.
The “her first turn” chart is for Stinky, who in phonics recently studied the sounds -ir, -er, and -ur, much to everyone’s frustration. Honestly, I’d really love it if he would just remember to put ANY vowel in before the r in these situations! But the point of the chart is that most words with the er sound have an -er; fewer words have an -ir, and even fewer have a -ur, so try them in that order. Stinky and I have a new-found hatred of the crazy and arbitrary rules of English phonics. They’re so confusing!
In reading, Stinky is about five stories from the end of his first grade book and is very excited to jump into his second grade reader. At that point we’ll probably slow down to one story every two days or so; but we’ll have to see. He’s been doing one story a day very easily for several weeks now. Bubs just finished Johnny Tremain and is doing a nontraditional book report. I believe he is building the Boston Tea Party out of cardboard boxes, but I decided to keep my hands off and just see how he does. He is excited about this project; it has definitely sparked his interest and creativity. We’ll see how it comes out.
Speaking of creativity, we finished our artist study of Paul Cezanne and The Blue Vase and have moved on to painter Henri Rousseau. He was a self-taught French artist who didn’t receive much acclaim during his lifetime but whose works became popular after his death. He is known for his jungle scenes and his masterful use of perspective. We studied the painting Surprise! (also called Tiger in a Tropical Storm), and talked about how artists show perspective.
The next day I happened upon this blowing leaf painting project, and I thought it was an easy and beautiful way to practice using perspective in our work. The whole family pulled up around the kitchen table and worked together, which was messy and lovely.
(Our table after everyone but Stinky was done).
I’m not sure the boys really “got it” about perspective, especially since when I told them to make one leaf BIG they made it just a little bit bigger than their small leaves, but they did good work and really made the projects their own by adding mountains, fences, etc. to the landscape.
Since Stinky didn’t finish as quickly, I did get one picture of someone actually painting, but then I forgot to get a shot of his finished product! Bad mama.
This is my finished painting. I probably stuck the closest to the original idea, partly because I was trying to show the boys what to do. Not that they were actually paying attention. All of these paintings look better in real life, because we added details with crayon before we painted that you just can’t see well in the pictures.
This should give you an idea of who is the artistic one in our marriage. My husband amazes me with what he can do. He did this using a pencil, a sharpie, some crayons, and a box of cheap watercolors just like the rest of us used.
Bubs was very pleased with his brilliantly-colored painting. He suffers from none of his parents’ issues in that regard. (Me: “Mine is all right. I wish I had put the tree further over.” Art: “I’m not sure I like the Sharpie on this. Or the grass.” Bubs: “This turned out awesome! I think it’s the best painting I’ve ever made!”)
I drew Squeezy’s and then she painted it. She rocked that tree; I think we can all agree about that. She also is convinced of the awesomeness of her own work. “My picture is so beautiful!“
Here is the display of all five paintings in our school room. You can see Stinky’s there, second from the bottom. I kind of love his curving fence.
And that’s our week! I swear I started this on Friday. But obviously I didn’t finish it right away. I also have a post or two about Squeezy on the way. She has had an eventful week of practicing letter A and reading lots of books!