This Week in School (Jan 12-16, 2015)

Ms Action covered a lot of ground this week. I’ve come up with a plan to get her mostly done by the time the baby’s born, one that also makes sure she’s covering all the necessary material and remembering it.

-In Language Arts, Ms Action learned about adjectives, how to make a noun show ownership, adding suffixes, learned about simple diagramming (ie, the kitten / played.), synonyms, learned more about contractions,

-In phonics, we reviewed silent letters, what consonant blends make the f sound; she learned the sounds ea and ey can make, learned about the air, are, ear, and ere all can make the air sound, the many sounds y can make, and the many sounds ea makes

-She got 80% on her spelling test, used the words in sentences, and did a hidden word puzzle.

-We worked through half of the Life of Fred: Cats and learned what commutative is (something I’d never learned); reviewed some basic addition, patterns, and right angles; started working with fractions; learned that the Big Dipper isn’t an official constellation, but an asterism; learned what an obligate carnivore is; learned about the Pacific Ocean and why Magellan named it Pacific; learned about rabies and germs; and learned more about telling time. In the midst of learning all kinds of non-math things, we still learned quite a lot of math. Math has never been Ms Action’s favorite subject, so doing reviews and getting her up to grade level has been my goal. We’re getting very close, but, most importantly, she’s loving math. Life of Fred is making it fun for her.

-We read a story –un cuento – in Spanish and learned some new words.

-Ms Action read at least 20 minutes (herself) each day. She’s always been such a reluctant reader that this is huge! We’re using a reading program that has a reader and activity sheets to go along with each story, study words for each story, and stories that she’s interested in.

-in social studies, we’re reading the Felicity books from American Girl. We’re on the fourth book, Happy Birthday, Felicity. Ms Action stitched her name and made a small pillow, hand-stitched a small sachet we then filled with dried lavender to make her clothes smell good, she decoded a secret message, we discussed how war rarely solves everything. We went from discussing the Revolution, which divided families, to discussing the Civil War which really divided families to discussing child slavery (which was actually a subject touched upon in our night-time reading). We’re no longer going to be buying regular chocolate, but only chocolate of the fair trade variety, because most chocolate companies use child slave labor to harvest the cacao beans. Ms Action was rightfully angry about that, which led to a talk about one of the current Nobel Peace Prize winners, Kailash Satyarthi, and his efforts to end child slavery (We also talked about Malala Yousafzai and her bravery and campaigning for equal educational rights for girls). It was a conversation that was a bit all over the place and, I think, taught Ms Action more than any regular curriculum at this age would have. We learned about Governor Dunmore stealing the gunpowder from the magazine and talked about what we’d have done had we been there. (Ms Action said she’d have been mad and joined the march to the palace.)

-reviewed about animals and their habitats in science.

– we’re using a critical thinking curriculum called Building Thinking Skills that she’s loving. We do one page a day.

Ms Piggy did a bit of school this week. We reviewed colors (the only colors she has trouble with are red and purple. Half the time she gets them right , the other half she mixes them up). We counted animals in a picture of a zoo, 10 different animals, a different number of each, and we cut out numbers and pasted them next to the correct animals. Ms Piggy did all the counting herself and got them all right. She also drew a cookie for each member of our family, then promptly scribbled over the four cookies. She also attempted to do everything Ms Action did.

We had a full, busy week and learned quite a lot.

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