Mar. 6th, 2011

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Even though Erika was sick for part of the week, it was a really good week of school overall.

Most notably, she finished the Math Mammoth Subtraction 1 book, which I considered to be the minimum I expected her to achieve this year in math. Of course we'll go on to do more math, but it seemed like a nice milestone.


Erika finished reading Little Horse on His Own silently this week, and Dinosaurs before Dark. She also read Cam Jansen and the Dinosaur Game silently, and started reading The Knight at Dawn out loud.

She also did a couple of workbook pages on spelling.


The best thing this week in math was that Erika finished the Math Mammoth Subtraction 1 book. She didn't even give me any trouble about writing the equations for the word problems, which has been a source of tension lately.

We also did some work on money, and some drills. She's not really getting any faster with drills, which seems to be a problem of focus/attention, rather than a problem with her knowledge of the answers. I am trying to decide whether to ignore it, or whether I should be doing something about it.

I was thrilled this week to get an updated (electronic) copy of the entire Math Mammoth Blue Series books; I had written to the author asking what her upgrade policy was for people who wanted the new books that she's added to the series over the last year, and she explained that if I paid the difference in price between what the series cost last year and what it costs this year, she'd give me a whole new copy of it. The graphics in the new version are much improved, so it was well worth the $15, even though I won't need any of the new books anytime soon.

Social Studies

This week I read out loud from Afrika and A School Like Mine. We also finished watching the second episode of National Geographic Africa and started the third. Erika is particularly excited about the third episode because it features Cameroon, the country in Africa she is most interested in.

We also continued our US History studies by watching two episodes of Liberty's Kids.


We did a science activity about classifying things at our homeschool science class. Both kids did a great job with it! I was actually particularly impressed with Karl's recounting of the classificiation system they came up with -- he explained it very clearly. Erika took great written notes about the exercise, too.

We also watched the fourth and fifth episodes of Walking with Dinosaurs.


Erika did some drawing this week, along with another Mark Kistler online drawing lesson. She thinks he's hilarious.

I really liked a giraffe Erika drew this week. Picture of giraffe )


All we did in music this week was listen to some Classics for Kids episodes on Beethoven.

Physical Education

Because Erika was sick three days this week, we didn't get out much. She was feeling well enough to go to Karate on Thursday evening, and had a great time.


At our co-op on Wednesday, the kids learned learned about the heart and about the effects of exercise on heart rate. Picture of heart rate graph )

We didn't do a great job of measuring everyone's heart rate accurately, but it was good enough to get the general idea.


I read the book, Der kleine Drache Kokosnuss kommt in die Schule out loud. Erika really liked it; I think we will need to get more books in the series.

Erika also did several pages in the fourth Einsterns Schwester 1 workbook. I was very surprised by page 50, where the kids were expected to distinguish between the sound represented by "ch" in the word "Buch" and the sound in the word "Ich." The thing that's so odd about it is that it's practically impossible to pronounce the wrong sound in an actual word. As far as I can tell from considering a variety of common words, which sound is used is determined entirely by the surrounding phonemes. Anyway, Erika had no idea there were two different sounds involved, and I had to draw on my own knowledge of phonetics to explain it to her. I really can't figure out why the curriculum authors thought German first graders would benefit from distinguishing those two sounds from one another.


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