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 January 4-8 {week 16}

We explored lenses and mirrors, prisims and rainbows. Lots of self discovery learning terms such as concave, convex and transparent, translucent and opaque and sharing discoveries. We looked at a drop of water in a whole new way. We read about the planet Mercury with its hot and cold sides. We saw it had a lot of craters, which we remembered meant that there was little atmosphere to burn them up like the Earth has. We read about the Canaanites and the Philistines and Quentin wanted to draw the Philistine soldiers because he noticed that the helmets looked a bit like classic pictures of Viking helmets with thinner horns. After lunch, we got in the car and headed to the library to restock our supply of reading material.

Twelfth Night
A time of celebration was felt throughout the day. Katie played an alphabet hunting game with Quentin She gave him a card with a letter on it and he would search around the house for something that started with that sound. There was also writing about Egyptians, playing Sight-Word Bingo, working in a Greek workbook, and other such activities. Then the UPS man left a box with a big smile on it for me.
"On the Twelfth day of Christmas my true friend gave to me. One small computer with a booklet of safety instructions." You see, last month a drink was spilled into my old laptop, causing it to fry.
Final preparations for the Twelfth Night festivities were completed. After dinner, the bean cake was cut and the black bean was found, and so, with the Master of Ceremonies having been determined, he declared that it was time to find the pickle and the prize given to the winner. Quentin decided that James would really like a marble game, and so gave it to him. We all felt that this was such a generous gesture, and since the white bean was yet to show itself, we declared Quentin the King of the Evening.  And so, with chestnuts roasting over an open fire the King of the Evening determined the play for the evening. Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

EpiphanyWe started out Epiphany day with some discoveries in refraction and sketched them. We reviewed the Canaanites and Philistines and then talked about the Hebrews and made a puppet of the Hebrew's leader, Moses. Quentin then got out all his puppets from his history notebook and reenacted the Hebrews exodus from Egypt and then the imagination took over and all sorts of people from different ages began interacting together. Meanwhile I helped James with some writing and sorting words with "ow" and words with "ou", and then Sam joined us for a digraphs-go fish game. By this time Quentin was ready for some math. I left him for a minute with these instructions to build "14" out of the Math-U-See blocks and the above photo was the result. It is interesting having creative children. He has gotten very interested in painting in great delicate detail.  He said that he learned to use the little detail brushes from his big sister so he was anxious to show her his paintings. She was appropriately impressed and flattered. We then went on for a reading of a favorite book -a math book, no less, and then on to a project with Katie in practicing cutting skills, and making an octopus. Sam worked on his Astronomy Lapbook and wrote about Egyptian taxes. Alex worked on his Language Arts, math and then we played a grammar game. James and Quentin spent the rest of the afternoon playing elaborate games with math manipulatives, while for the rest of us it was time for chores and making new cleaning supplies.

I spent some time playing with my new toy until dinner, Kielbasa with peppers and onions for the kids, fresh tomato soup and Gouda for the adults. And then we undressed the tree, and packed away the Christmas pretties and little gifts from a friend in Tennessee were given out, just as the Magi gave gifts to Our Lord this day.
Today Sam explored Lord of the Rings, played with angles of triangles, measuring the degrees, wrote in his journal. Alex worked on his language arts, math and copywork and then we played a grammar game with adjectives and nouns. James worked on reading and separating "ow" words, some like "brown" and some like "crow" and he enjoyed making up a story to go with it. He worked on determining area in math and he drew in his journal. Quentin worked on his handwriting and painted some pictures, did some dot-to-dot pictures and of course we played with his favorite book. It is a really nice book because it has a wheel for each page and the child can turn the wheel to determine how many cookies he will give to each of the storybook characters. Each has a different response, so the story changes some for each change the child makes. It also asks him to count how many cookies he now has left, which is great for counting backwards, subtraction. Speaking of great math learning ideas, we have been having a lot of success at our house with Partial Product Method for multiplication. It is so much easier for the student and easier for the teacher to find the mistakes. Katie helped Quentin make some "Marvelous Munchies,"  a combination of seeds, nuts, cereal, marshmallows and honey.

Sometime, in the middle of the night snow began to fall. In the morning there was a beautiful frosting on everything. We began our morning by putting a mirror in a glass of water, and adding the light of a flashlight to produce a rainbow. After much patience, we were rewarded with one. To finish our studies of the Hebrews, we planned a Hebrew Feast. The first project then was Challah bread which needed mixing and lots of kneading. Katie helped Quentin draw a rooster out of a lower case "r." The little boys amused themselves for hours building and pretending with the blocks. Once the bread had finished rising, it was shaped and poppy seeds were sprinkled on top. Then it was put in the oven to bake. We made a casserole and some soup and before long the bread was finished and it was time to feast just as the Hebrews did centuries ago.

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