Saturday, July 23, 2011

Our Week in Review July 22, 2011

Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers

What a always.  The heat has been killer.  Fortunately we have a cool house (due to 3 window air conditioners) to stay warm in.  Brayden's allergies are so bad though it would have been nice to just give him an allergy med IV to keep him breathing ok.  The girls of course wanted to play outside constantly, and it was 99-103F most of the week....WAY TOO HOT!!  They swam some, but in small amounts.  I tried to limit the outside exposure to not only keep them safe, but protect my allergies also.  I spent half the week with a headache from the heat and allergies. 

We did some science experiments that involved the heat.  We built a solar oven out of aluminum foil and a small book box.  We weren't successful though because our hot dogs didn't really cook.  But the dog enjoyed the bounty when I ran in the house for a minute.  I ran inside a moment and heard Lydia screaming at the dog.  Miya discovered a box full of hot dogs:(  Here's a pic of our oven, any suggestions would be appreciated.

We also attempted to fry an egg on concrete.  I read it is very messy so they said to use aluminum foil that had been sitting in the spot for a while. 

No success, but the first egg I opened was a double yolk....thought that was cool!!!

For regular school now:

The kids finished 23 hours of reading in the Summer Reading program.  I am very proud of them for that.  Of course, that's a lot of work for me since Lydia and Caty do not read on their own yet.  We've read a lot this summer though.  They will have another 8 hours to log on Tuesday when we go back to the library.  So they will get another prize out of the treasure chest.  Brayden got a water bottle (he collects them), Joey got silly framed glasses, Lydia chose a library necklace and Caty got a Clifford book.  I was also happy that I just finished reading the 10th book to fulfill my goal of 10 books in the Adult reading program.  That is the most books I have read that does not contain silly colored pictures in years!


We worked on expanding our multiplication skills.  We are multiplying 2 digit numbers by 1 digit numbers and carrying (regrouping).  There is some struggling remembering the steps, but then I found worksheets on graph paper and it seemed to help a little.  We worked problems together and then I had them work on their own with me at the same table.  They could ask about the steps then.   The boys are also making their own multiplication chart to use along with their math workbooks.  When they are done, then I will laminate them.   We actually worked on Grammar together, more work on when to use singular and plural.  I have noticed that Brayden is struggling in this area.  For fine motor and critical thinking, I allowed them to work with the cuisinaire rods and alphabet sheets that the girls use also.  They needed to fill out the worksheets, unlike what I require of the girls, and show me their completed work.  They enjoyed them and actually got a little frustrated at trying to figure out the different measurements.  This will work for them for a few weeks, just a bit extra help.

They worked on this big floor puzzle together.  We are working more on puzzles to get our brains working with our fingers.

For History we started our unit on Ancient Egypt.  We talked about the Nile and the White/Red Crown kings.  We then created a salt dough map of the Nile River area.  For History we will be studying Ancient Egypt for the next 7 weeks.  We are expanding beyond Story of the World curriculum and will be using History Pockets and an Ancient Science Experiment book.

Brayden wouldn't touch the dough, but he finally volunteered to mix it (and yes that is a lot of sugar in the background....they tried to make rock candy.)

Even Caty helped paint the map.

One of the experiments for this section in the Ancient Science Book was making Rock Candy.

Don't use bamboo skewers....Don't.  They dissinegrated in the mixture.  We at least saw crystals, but didn't get to eat anything.

But this experiment opened up more learning.  They got out the microscope and examined what sugar crystals looked like.  Lydia drew me a picture of what they looked like.  She thought that was really great!

For a literature unit this week, we read Bedtime for Francis.  We created quilts for Francis to sleep with.  We used mini-fabric scraps and school glue with paint brushes.  The kids made their quilts while we watched the video of Bedtime for Francis on Netflix.  It was a nice evening.

Our finished quilts.

With Lydia we worked a lot on number recognition.  We need some incentives to get her to increase the number she is counting to.  She keeps skipping 7, 17, and 27.  Then she says 100 instead of 30.  So I found this fun Bubblegum game on Amazon and got it.  And then reinvented our Twister Game with the help of Mama Jenn's Educational Cube inserts.  She really likes both games.  I like the Bubble gum game because we can do single digit numbers and just keep adding place values each time.  Today while at Barnes and Noble I grabbed some Kumon Fun Number books to help out her interest.  We are also working on more Dot to Dots.  Her favorite was Twister.  We did it as Twister and a hopping game (to wear off some of her energy).

We worked on two poems this week.  Fuzzy Wuzzy...and we made pom-pom caterpillars.
This is Caty's...

This is Lydia's

Still working on Phonics, and chugging along.  Another Amazon find...Sequence for Letters.  She liked this also.  Definitely worth the money!

Our other poem was The Swing.  Lydia loves to draw and she drew herself swinging in the backyard.

I will do a separate post about our Volcano unit when we are done.

Next week we will continue Ancient Egypt and talk about their religion.  We will finish our volcano study and build our volcano.  Our literature unit will be on Chicka Chicka Boom Boom...I let the kids choose from two books.  We are also going to read Goodbye Mr. Chicken and work with some poetry from Language Lessons that go along with chickens.  At Lydia's request, we will be studying not only Ladybugs, but Giraffes and Elephants.  Basically about 3 animals we will look at.  Not completely in depth, but scratch the surface about each animal.  In Math, the boys will continue with their multiplication charts and work on their Teaching Textbooks.  Lydia will continue with number recognition and so will Caty.  We are hoping to get our first TOS Crew product to review.  It's a nature game.

Linking up with Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers, see what others are doing!


  1. From my reading about solar ovens, it's better to reflect the sun into the bottom of the box. So, using a small pizza box, prop open to reflect the light into the bottom of the box where the food is supposed to cook. Lined with shiny tin foil of course. I haven't tried this though. Beautiful quilts!

  2. WOW you have accomplished so much in a week! Wonderful activities for the kids. You have read ten books that is so wonderful. I am on my fourth book and still need to read one more before I can collect my library prize, a library canvas tote bag which I so want:) Keep up the amazing work with the kids, hope the heat eases up for you.

  3. How lucky your kids are to have a parent who cares so much about their education. They seem to engaged in their learning with all of those wonderful activities.

    Sorry the solar cooker didn't work, but you do have one lucky dog. Hope he/she enjoyed the hot dogs. :)

    I wish your family continued success with your homeschooling.

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