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[personal profile] entirelysonja
Well, I seem to have gotten really behind in posting weekly updates!

The last two weeks, Karl has been at home on spring break, but we have continued to do school anyway. Partly, this is because we are going on vacation to Arizona this coming week, and partly, so that the kids could understand what it would mean for Karl to be at home during school next year. Both of the kids had lobbied to have Karl at home next year, and we eventually decided that if he really didn't want to go to preschool next year, we weren't going to make him go. We hope that not having our schedule dictated by taking Karl to and from preschool, which takes 3 hours a day, will make things better for the whole family.

During this three-week period, I also took Erika on her first solo trip to Boston. She doesn't know enough about American History for it to be worth visiting the historic sites, but we did go to the New England Aquarium and to the Children's Museum.

English

Erika finished two Magic Tree House books, The Knight at Dawn and Mummies in the Morning. She also started reading Dick King-Smith's Aristotle and Pirates Past Noon, the next Magic Tree House book.

In non-fiction, she finished reading Antelope by Melissa Stewart, read the entirety of Monkeys of Central and South America by Patricia Fink Martin, and started reading Llamas Emilie Lepthien. All of these are part of the True Books series.

She also wrote a letter, did some copywork, wrote and performed a puppet show, and went to a library storytime.

Math

Erika finished pages 25-36 of the Math Mammoth Addition & Subtraction 2a book. This section of the book covers adding two numbers where the answer is more than 10, for example 6+8 or 9+7. I think Erika is starting to get the hang of decomposing the smaller number in these examples to change the problem into 4+10 or 10+6.

I've also had her using IXL for practice with other topics. She's been primarily focusing on time and measurement there. She's been using the LÜK first grade math book for arithmetic practice, too.

Social Studies

We started transitioning from our study of Africa to a study of South America. We watched some more of National Geographic: Africa, but also read from Children Just Like Me and A School Like Mine about kids in Brazil and read from the atlas about South America.

On our trip to Boston, we went to the Children's Museum, which has many interesting exhibits related to both Science and Social Studies. There is an entire Japanese house inside the museum, so kids can see how people live in Japan. Erika particularly enjoyed shopping and playing cashier in the pretend store.

Shopping at the Boston Children's Museum

Erika the cashier

Science

In our usual studies, I continued reading out loud from Der Regenwald, a book about rainforests worldwide. When Erika was sick for a couple of days, she discovered Beakman's World on TV, which both kids have really taken to. We've also been watching the BBC Atlas of South America, and we watched bald eagles feeding their chicks on one of the bald eagle cams.

Probably the coolest science thing we did during these three weeks was visit the New England Aquarium, where Erika got to see penguins, sea turtles, sharks, etc. We also took a particular interest in the Amazon exhibits, since they relate to our current studies.

The Boston Children's Museum also had a lot of great science stuff. Erika particularly enjoyed the bubble area, where she got to make a huge bubble sheet.

Sheet of bubble

Erika also visited the science museum in Harrisburg during these weeks.

Art

Erika did a lot of drawing on her own during these weeks. During our co-op this past week, the kids did some collaborative storytelling, made paper puppets on popsicle sticks, and put on a puppet show using their puppets. The kids did a great job of coming up with a story for their puppet show that incorporated everyone's ideas.

Music

I'd say music was a weak point during this period. Erika listened to some episodes of Classics for Kids, had a recorder lesson with me, and played the piano on her own.

Physical Education

We had a lot of nice weather, and consequently, a lot of time spent outside. We went to playgrounds a lot, the kids scootered, we went swimming, Erika had Karate and Soccer... lots of PE. Erika also had some fun experiences in Boston, both at the Children's Museum and at playgrounds.

Climber Girl

This was at the Boston Children's Museum

Cool spinny playground toy

This very cool piece of playground equipment rotated, so you could balance with other people, or walk around it and have it moving underneath you.

Health

Not all that much going on in the health department. We worked in the garden growing food. Bacteria and allergies both came up in conversation.

German

Erika ALMOST finished the fifth book (out of six) in her German curriculum. She left the last two pages, which are pretty easy, for when we get back from vacation. She went to Saturday school once, did homework, and read two easy readers: Ein ganz besonderer Ferientag and Ein Bär reißt aus. She wants me to buy her the rest of that particular series of books.
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