Home School Life Journal

Home School Life Journal
"Let us strive to make each moment beautiful."
Saint Francis DeSales
painting by Katie Bergenholtz

Snapshot Summary, March 1-5 {week 24}

We began our day's work reading about Pythagoras and playing with his A squared + B squared = C squared with Math-U-See blocks. Sam wrote in his math journal while Quentin and James took turns at time on Explode the Code Online. Since Quentin has finished his phonics work with basic letter sounds and has begun work with Explode the Code Online, I decided it was time to do assessments all around for him. I determined that one of the areas that he could use work is matching upper and lower case letters, and I passed this information on to Katie. I started math assessment with him as well, but this will take some time to complete. Then the package came in the mail a day early (the one that Quentin has been counting down the days for) and then they were off in another time and place. While Quentin and James playing imagination games with their new toys, Katie came up with a matching upper-and-lower case letter activity for Quentin, which went very well. The task of making White Bean Chili and cornbread was shared by Steven and Katie, while I worked on new materials for Alex's notebook.

Today James played with tiles to determine area, and to create a multiplication table. I left him to work on this while I showed Quentin a story with pictures made out of tangram shapes so that he could use tangrams to make pictures from the shapes too. Then we worked more on math assessment activities and watercoloring and handwriting. I came back to check on how James was doing with his math table and this is what I found. He had finished and started building with the manipulatives. He said it is a water park...perhaps he is longing for warmer weather. James and Quentin took turns with their reading program on the computer. Sam took a math quiz, a Greek quiz, a Grammar assessment and worked on vocabulary words. Quentin learned about pterodactyls and added one to his dinosaur mural. Then Katie played "I spy..." with Quentin as a phonics game.  "I spy with my little eye something that begins with C." Then Quentin had to guess what she was thinking of. We completed a few experiments, one to do with the scientific method, and one to do with planetary orbits. We also experimented with rocks displacing water, thus raising the level of the water inspired by the Aesop fable, The Crow and the Pitcher. Our tribute to Dr. Suess, whose birthday is today, was fun with Oobleck An excuse to play with something that acts like a solid sometimes and a liquid others was a fun way to applaude the man who coined the word "Oobleck." Now, dinner must be made before Square Dancing lessons tonight.

Math fun.  Science experiments. Picture Study (the Parthenon), Art (Greek columns),  history,  art and fine motor skills with finger paint and alphabet games.

Quentin and I played with adding and subtracting (more assessment activities) and he played with combining letter sounds on the computer. He played a game with Katie in which they took turns being the one blindfolded and the other would pick an item and describe it. The blindfolded person had to guess what was being described. James is such an interesting person. He understands math concepts naturally. The connections between addition and subtraction; between additon and multiplication and the connections between multiplication and division are as natural to him as breathing. He views everything in mathmematical terms. He has breakdowns, however, at what most people think are simpler concepts, all because of how he percieves things. His dyscalculia makes it difficult for him to switch back and forth between the reading of numbers, which starts from the left and the computation of numbers which starts from the right. Switching back and forth for him seems impossible. We worked on this some today, along with reading on the computer. Sam worked on his Greek work, learning a new vocabulary word (he had gotten a 100% on the quiz he took last time), some reading comprehension questions, and order of operations in math. Then Quentin was ready to do some handwriting and watercolor painting, some more math and phonics worksheets. Alex worked on some General Science questions, his language art work. He also had some refresher practice in math symbols, vertical and horizontial formats and addition/subtraction relationship. All a complicated way of saying we played math games. This afternoon Quentin has already planned for us to played Othello and 20 Questions...and making brownies.

The morning was filled with a Doctor's appointment and then errands to run. Katie stayed home with the boys and played games with them. Fridays are baking days, so that was first on my list after lunch. I thought I would try an unusual new bread this time: Greek bread.  Quentin kept me company, arranging toy soldiers while I mixed the dough an unusually wet dough, full of feta cheese and black olives, that looked like chocolate chip cookie dough before adding the last of the flour and kneading.  By the time the dough was ready to rise, he had set up all of his soldiers. While the bread baked, we made Medusa heads out of paper. Steven had read the Greek myth to them last night. Once the Medusa heads are dry we will play a game a modified version of one of the games they played with Katie this morning.

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