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, September 12-16, week 2

James worked on rounding numbers to the nearest ten, hundred or thousand. We also reviewed place value to the millions place.
Quentin and Alex worked on addition and subtraction.
Sam is working on the properties of equality and inequality.
This week's postcard geography I left as a mystery for them to figure out.
I gave James a worksheet with the clue "What state is called the First State?" and he had to decode the answer to find out the state we were to study this week.
Alex colored in the coloring page for Delaware and made the scrapbook page.
We talked about all the items on the coloring page and the postcards. We learned a lot about the state from just doing this.
James has been enjoying playing solitaire and building things, of course. He is using Unifix cubes mostly this week.

Alex is progressing with his reading with Steven in the evenings.
James and I worked on apostrophes. We looked for them in books and then determined whether they were contractions or possessives. We talked about adjectives and how they are used to compare things. We discussed adding adjectives to his own writing. We discussed the use of "a," "an" and "the."
Quentin and I discussed what verbs were and how every sentence must contain one.  We talked about present and past tenses of verbs. I would say a verb and he would give me the past tense of it. We started with verbs like jump and print and then went to irregular ones like eat and run.
Quentin reviewed the short e sound with one syllable words. He still has trouble remembering all his letter sounds.
Quentin and James enjoyed their copywork about Columbus. Quentin loves to write and they both love to draw.
We practiced our spelling words with scrabble tiles.
Sam is reading the Lord of the Rings trilogy.
Quentin enjoys drawing and cutting out paper people. This week he has made a number of aliens and skeletons.

We talked about and experimented with comparing the weight plastic bottles. We also weighed balloons with and without air, which led to a discussion of air pressure.
We completed an experiment showing the effect of concentration.
We read about aquatic animal mobility and oceans.
I was pleased Alexwas able to sketch examples of animals that can swim, crawl and drift. The drifting "animal" is zooplankton.

I was also pleased that he was able to answer these questions on his own. He answered "no" to the first answer and I helped him form that into a complete sentence. He favors the one word response, however, so I let him just write one word for the second answer.

There was lots of creating with clay this week...

and lots of pretend play, of course!

Foreign Languages
Sam completed Visual Latin Lesson 10: Present tense verbs. He is now able to translate about a page of Latin, which is really fun to see.

Favorite Resource This Week

The concentration experiment came from this science book, which I am using this year with my older students. I have used it before with Katie, and taught it at a co-op, so we are familiar with it. The experiments are pretty easy and usually use materials you have around your house already. The text is very readable, so my students can read it on their own. I used the accompanying study guide questions and tests with my daughter, but I am trying narration and journaling with my boys this time around instead.

What We Are Reading
This has been a family favorite for a long time. Even though we have passed this period (it is set in 1601) in our history studies, Sam working on Hamlet, so it goes with it well. The main character of the story is hired by a rival theater manager to steal the as-yet-unpublished Hamlet. It is wonderfully written and a very fun read.
And the little boys are reading about the Salem witch trials, as well as...
"In 1707 young Sarah Nobel and her father traveled through the wilderness to build a new home for their family." (from back cover)
Based on a true story of a family that moves from Massachusetts to Connecticut. The father and daughter go ahead to build the house and the rest of the family is to meet them later. It talks of meeting Indians and the other uncertainties of moving through unknown areas.

Household Ways
We have tried a few new recipes this week...
Fiesta Rice, which was really good,
Penne with Sun-Dried Tomato Cream Sauce, which was also very good.
The absolute hit of the week, however, were these Cheesy Garlic Breadsticks which were out of this world.
This Cinnamon Brown Sugar Cheesecake was a close second place winner of the week.
We also had some old favorites such as St. Joseph's soup, and some yummy sandwiches.


  1. I love the mystery & suspense of giving the kids a clue to lead into the postcard study ... great idea! Thank you too for the book suggestion. We love Shakespeare and were not familiar with "The Shakespeare Stealer"

  2. What an absolutely fun and full week! We are going to have to try those cheesy breadsticks. Love all the pretend play, clay creations and skeleton drawings! Fabulous.

  3. I love seeing all your hands-on fun !

  4. It looks like another great week, Phyllis :) Thanks so much for linking!!
    The food looks delicious!
    A friend recently asked me about "The Shakespeare Stealer" because she had ordered it through our library system to read with her daughter. I hadn't heard of it at that point, but it sounds like a good one.

  5. I remember reading Shakespeare Stealer in college, I claimed it was for a class........

    Quintin and my boys would get along quite well making a mound of paper armies and skeletons to fight.

  6. I love the creativity going on in your house, especially the skeletons! And I am definitely going to try out the breadsticks - thanks!

  7. Sounds like you had a great week! And now I'm really hungry after all of those yummy food pics:)


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