On Monday we decided to take a walk after lunch at the park down the street. I took pictures of things they thought were interesting, and afterwards I let Sassafras and Z-man pick one of the pictures to draw. Sassafras chose the flowers, and Z-man chose the mushroom.


I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that we are participating in an enrichment class about Africa once a month. One of the books that the class uses is GeoDeo’s Journey into Africa. I found a used copy of the book, so we’ve been able to review the lesson to help with retention. During lunch this week, we read some Africa-based read-alouds and picture books, including Lions at Lunchtime, Rick-a-chee and the Littlest Puppy, and A is for Africa. Also, Sassafras and Z-man worked on the Africa & the Middle East GeoPuzzle.

Today the weather was beautiful, so we decided to go outside and let Sassafras do school at the patio table while the younger ones played. Things started out peacefully until the Z-man screamed that there was a huge spider in the sandbox. Sure enough it was a black widow spider. I had looked through all of the sandbox toys before they got in to check for them specifically. We have found black widows in the sandbox and other parts of the yard before. I guess I missed the sorry rascal. Well, shortly afterwards, the Z-man spotted another spider with suspicious markings crawling on the patio, and authoritatively declared, “This is a spider habitat!” I commended him on his use of the word habitat, and we packed up our stuff and went back inside. Sigh. I did manage to get a picture of them playing happily in the sandbox before the chaos erupted.

Sassafras (2nd Grade):

Sassafras studied John Wycliffe, John Hus, and Johannes Gutenberg in history this week. I was quite dismayed that there was NOTHING in our Tapestry of Grace history readings about Wycliffe or Hus. NADA. Everything was about Gutenberg. I don’t understand this because the history thread for lower grammar said the goal was to learn about these three men. We ended up watching John Wycliffe: The Morning Star (which was a bit much for Sassafras) on Netflix and the segment on Hus from the video Reformation Overview. I didn’t receive the latter from Netflix until today or we would have used that one DVD for both men. Oh well. In the end, I think she learned something. This marks the end of our first unit in history for this year, so she finished up her unit 1 lapbook this week.

For language arts, Sassafras completed two steps in All About Spelling 3, learned about adjectives in grammar, and did narration/dictation exercises from The Jungle Book. In math, she finished the lessons leading up to multiplication in both Rod & Staff 3 and Singapore 2A. (I’ve decided that starting next week, I’ll put Rod & Staff on hold while we work with multiplication in Singapore Math, as I feel the latter does a much better job of teaching the concept.) In Latin, we learned how to count to five and learned another line of the Doxology.

In science this week, Sassafras finished up earthquakes and started on volcanoes. We watched National Geographic’s San Francisco’s Great Quake and Volcano: Nature’s Inferno. She also read Usborne’s Volcanoes, whichI bought for a quarter at a used book sale. (grin) This afternoon we did the typical baking soda/vinegar/red food coloring volcano demonstration. Let her rip!

In art, Sassafras and the Z-man each made a watercolor calendar page. Sassafras’s picture is of the neighbor’s house across the street. In music, we continued our study of Johannes Sebastian Bach.


Z-man (Kindergarten):

The Z-man just kept plugging away this week in his school work. In math he worked on addition facts that add to four. In reading, he started learning about vowel pairs that have a long e sound. For our read-aloud this week, we read The Light at Tern Rock. His science focused on living things and differences between mammals, reptiles, amphibians, etc. His science activity (which, btw, had absolutely nothing to do with what he learned about in science) was making craft dough, forming it into shapes, baking it, and painting it. I don’t know if he learned anything, but at least he had fun, and it kept him occupied while I did history with his sister.

The Z-man’s watercolor calendar page is supposed to be of our house…with a gigantic bird flying overhead. 🙂


Little Man (3 yrs old):

Little Man is coming along great in his fine motor skills, both in tracing and coloring. He even did his cutting activity all by himself this week. For our reading this week, we covered Our Animal Friends at Maple Hill Farm and Eloise Wilken Stories. I had to convince him that one reading of Jack and the Beanstalk would suffice for this week. I have to keep my sanity intact. Fee-Fi-Fo-Fum.

Little Man continued to work on sm- blends in speech this week. I’ve decided to drop his speech down to once a week because he has made so much progress. I really think he’s ready to be done with all of it, but I don’t want to make that decision in haste. So, we’re going to stick with it a while longer.

Doodlebug (18 months old):

Doodlebug spent the week refusing to share the goldfish crackers, insisting on having me read The Lady with the Alligator Purse again….and again….and again, dragging paint brushes out of the storage bins, stealing pencils off the table, and, in her downtime, perusing a Lego Duplo building guide.



I’m totally bummed that Netflix took Sherlock Holmes off of instant streaming on Thursday. Maybe with all the extra money they’re charging everyone these days, they’ll buy it back.

In piano practice this week, I continued to work on “Fur Elise”, dominant 7 chords, and some sight-reading. This coming week I’m supposed to work on the blues scale in the keys of C and F. It should be interesting.