Home School Life Journal

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

Snapshot Summary, November 7-12, week 10

Snapshot Summary, November 7-13
Steven went to his doctor's appointment and we were delighted to learn that he can now begin to walk. Physical therapists will help him to learn how much he can do and how fast, but we were excited to reach this new point in his recovery. At home, we learned about...
Patterns and Number Order
I made a pattern with tiles, and invited him to predict and build the next step.
"See how many steps of my pattern you can make with your tiles without checking each new step with me. Keep adding steps until you have run out of tiles.
Then I cleared our tiles away and began a new pattern. He watched while I made a few patterns and then he could predict the next pattern.
Patterns do not have to grow. It may change direction, or it may grow to a certain height and then decrease in size in an equally predictable manner.
I find it much better to give my students experience in construction and checking their own division problems than to buy a book of already made problems. This method, however, requires that you introduce the concept of remainders from the start.
We have already done some work with beans and cups and have learned that we could determine the number of beans altogether with a particular number of cups and the same number of beans in each cup. (multiplication) This time we start backwards, for division is just backwards multiplication.
We take a handful of beans or macaroni and we see how many beans or pieces of macaroni we can put in each cup, making sure we end up with the same number in each cup.
We started out with 27 and after playing around with different combinations, we ended up with 6 in four cups but we had three left.
The answer, then, to this problem is six (beans) in four cups with three leftover.
So, we begin a new chart that has a heading for beans, cups, beans in each cup and remainder columns.
At this point, he can begin making up and recording his own problems, deciding the number of cups and beans to be used. At some point I encourage him to try to predict the answer to a problem before he works it. This encourages him to look for relationships between each problem and its answer in a search for patterns that will permit him to make more meaningful predictions.
To facilitate the search for patterns, I suggest that he keep one factor a constant, such as cups and change another factor, such as beans/macaroni in regular increments, such as 1 to start with.
When he has gotten all he needs out of this pattern search, we then look at a new way to write the remainders. The remainder beans are recorded as the top numeral of a fraction and the bottom numeral is the number of cups used. For example, if we have 5 beans/macaroni distributed equally in four cups with one bean as a remainder. The remainder can now be looked at as a fraction or 1/4 (1 bean left from the distributing in 4 cups.)

photo by Quentin
Monday was also my 50th birthday, and we had sundaes instead of a cake to celebrate...
and I received a lovely package of books from my best friend in TN.
On Tuesday, Steven took Sam to get the procedure done to stop his nosebleeds. I don't want to go into any details about it, but Sam has had a difficult week. While they were at the doctor's, at home we...
Silent e rule
For practice with reading using the silent e rule, Quentin worked on a little booklet I found and printed out from Relentlessly Fun, Deceptively Educational. The story features a magician's wand which makes a stuffed animal bear cub transforms into a cube and similar adventures. It is cute and funny and kept his interest.
I went over the rules of syllabication with James, and we talked about how that in every word (with more than one syllable) one syllable receives more stress or accent. I had him tap out the syllables of some words, and to tap louder on the accented syllable. The idea for the drum at Relentlessly Fun, Deceptively Educational, but we made a much simpler version. I just covered an empty oatmeal box with colored paper and had James use a pencil to tap out his beats. We moved on to writing out the words and adding accent marks, but James benefits from a more hands-on introduction to an activity.

Wednesday and Thursday
Revolutionary War: taxation, The Boston Massacre, Boston Tea Party, First Continental Congress, Paul Revere's Ride and the Minute Men
We have been reading and learning about the beginnings of the Revolutionary War.
Boston's North Church, reconstructed by James
 We learned about Revere's watching the church tower for lanterns, and they spent some time reconstructing the towers, adding lanterns and having figures race to awaken the Minute men.
 Then we had the idea of a tea party for our teatime.
Quentin went to work making placecards with scenes of Revere's ride on them.
 James made a map, which he turned into a game for us to play.
 Katie made caramel popcorn (or sweetened parched corn, they would call it) for our snack...
 but the highlight of the teatime was the reenactment of the Sons of Liberty dumping the tea...
 but in our case, it was a bowl of hot water, which provided the tea.

I didn't think about it until afterwards, but I probably should have reminded them that they disguised themselves as Indians.

We also made poppy pictures for Veteran's Day.
We decided not to work on our postcard geography album this week.

Friday, being 11-11-11, I had the idea of celebrating with an Elevenses, instead of afternoon teatime.
 with eggs...
 with cardstock and water...
and with a plastic bottle.
We also began making instruments for our weather station.
We began our study of sharks by playing Shark Attack. With this game, we learned odd and interesting facts about sharks as we played the War type game. It has the added interesting feature of cards that make players add, subtract, and multiply their scores throughout the game - all while trying to avoid becoming extinct.
We also enjoyed snacks of gummy sharks "swimming" in blue jello oceans while we read about sharks and rays.
We weren't able to make lanterns and take a Martinmas walk this year, like we did last year, because of colds...but there is always next year...

I want to take a moment to thank you for nominating All Things Beautiful
for Best Homeschool Mom blog and
Best Crafts, Projects and Plans blog.

What We Have Been Reading
The story of the skirmish on the way to Concord, when the British soldiers were going there to see if the Colonists had a stock pile of ammunition, is told from boys on both sides in these two lovely early readers.

 A book about a little sister of the Boston Tea Party, the Chestertown Tea Party, which our local town commemorates every year with a reenactment.


  1. Happy late birthday! Your OK postcards will be in the mail soon--really! We are going a couple of places next week and I am hoping to find some good ones to send. : )

  2. Happy belated birthday! I hope everyone gets to feeling and doing better soon.

    I love all of your pictures. Your boys are adorable. I especially liked the picture of the air pressure eggs! That one is so sweet!

    You had a VERY busy week. I love all the pattern work. Thanks for sharing your week with us :)

  3. You always have such a full week of learning and living...thanks for sharing your fun stuff Phyllis.

  4. Happy, happy (belated) birthday! :)

    I like so many things in this post, but I especially like the math ideas (and will be using them soon...especially the hands on division), and the tea party.

    Hope you're having a good weekend!

  5. You sneak an important thing like Steven being allowed to walk again into a post like that.

  6. Happy birthday to you!!! What a wonderful family you have and they have an amazing mother!!! May God bless you with His abundant graces throughout this next year and always :)

  7. Great post. (And I agree with Ticia.) I appreciated your division ideas because we haven't begun that yet with my 11 year old, and I have been wondering if it's going to be hard for him. And we're studying through the same things right now in our Abeka history, so I love those ideas and will try to use some of them.

  8. Oh Happy Birthday!! I like the idea of sundaes instead of cake. Or both, really :) Steven walking!! Hooray!! What a road to recovery. There is so much wonderful learning going on at your house. Well, just sheer fun. I love the birthday picture of you!!


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