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We had a really good week of school, particularly in the areas of reading and German. Erika seems to be reaching a new level with reading, and I'm cautiously optimistic that she may start reading for pleasure sometime soon.

I spent the last two days of the week working on Erika's costume for the Shakespeare play during school time. Erika really wanted me to work on it, and agreed to do her schoolwork mostly independently so I could sew. That actually worked out surprisingly well!


Erika read all of Little Horse and Young Cam Jansen and the Missing Cookie, as well as finishing Lions by Ann Squire. She also started reading Dick King-Smith's The Invisible Dog.

The most notable thing was that she kept volunteering to read more than I required, and on Friday inserted reading in between German and Math. I've pointed out to her a couple of times that reading would be a good thing to put in between two kinds of written work, to break things up, but up to this point she's always wanted to put reading off until the end.

She also told me this week that reading was her second-favorite thing in school, after math.

I'll be interested to see how this develops!


We started work in Math Mammoth Addition & Subtraction 2a this week. Right now Erika is learning about two-digit addition and subtraction (without regrouping) in more depth.

She also did some workbook pages on clocks.

Social Studies

We didn't spend much time on social studies this week. I read out loud from Afrika für Kinder erzählt, and we watched part of National Geographic's Africa series.


Science was another weak point this week. All we really did was watch the Life episode about Primates.

This section has been edited to reflect Sunday's happenings.

Erika participated in her Shakespeare rehearsal and did some drawing on her own.

We went to the Stories in Art program at the National Gallery on Sunday, where Erika learned about David Smith and made her own metal and wood sculpture.

At Stories in Art

Making art at Stories in Art

This section has been edited to reflect Sunday's happenings

At our co-op on Wednesday, Erika learned a bit about the physics of sound, and listened to different musical instruments. The kids made a chart showing which instruments were most popular in our group.

We also listened to some Do Re Mikro, a German music program, and Erika had a piano lesson with John.

Physical Education

In addition to swimming and karate, Erika spent lots of time outside this week, taking advantage of the nice weather.


Nothing, nada, zilch.


I usually expect Erika to do 9 pages in her Einsterns Schwester workbooks during the week. Typically, this is not one of her favorite parts of school, because it involves a fair amount of writing. This week she did half again that many -- 14! She also finished book 4 and moved on to book 5.

Erika also did her homework for German school and attended class on Saturday.

Edited to add: This week we also discovered that a German children's news program, Logo, is available as a podcast on our AppleTV. This makes it super-easy for us to watch it as a family in the evenings, so we've made it a post-dinner routine. I think it's a good program, and would probably be good for German language learners, too, because it explains all of the cultural context that a news show for adults wouldn't.
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August 2014

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