Friday, October 8, 2010

Show & Tell: Adventures Week 9

Today we wrapped up our 9th week of school.  Since there are 7 days in a week, I'm guessing that no fewer than 70 times this week I said to myself, "If you were using the year-round schedule, you'd be getting 4 weeks off right now!"  I think we're gonna try it next year.  It's a 9-weeks-on/4-weeks-off schedule, so you get a one-month summer break (mid-June to mid-July), fall break (mid-September to mid-October), winter break (mid-December to mid-January), and spring break (mid-March to mid-April).  But back to this year and Week 9, which will not be followed by a four-week break . . .

This week in history we studied George Washington, Paul Revere, and the Boston Tea Party.  Whoa, Nellie!  That's a lot of important history in one week!  (And it's probably a good thing we're not doing the year-round schedule this year.  I would have filled up our "off weeks" with history!)

I started out the week by holding up a dollar bill and asking the kids if they knew whose picture was on it.  Four-year-old Millie swallowed hard and said, "It's George."  I honestly think my jaw dropped open!  Then she rolled her eyes up to the ceiling, got this great "thinking look" on her face, and said, "George Washington."  I asked her how she knew that, and she said, "I just figured it out."  Um . . . okay . . .

This week we focused on George's early years and the beginning of his military career.  We read about a time when he rode his mother's favorite colt, which was untamed.  The colt tried to buck George off, putting up such a furious fight that it burst a blood vessel and died.  When confronted by his mother, he told the truth.  Hannah said, "I wish it was always easy to tell the truth."  That led to a pretty neat conversation about things that make it difficult to tell the truth (such as fear of getting in trouble) and how we can handle those situations.

For our hands-on history project, we made tricorn hats. 

We read that the hats were sometimes made of felt, so we cut a piece of felt to match our paper templates.  Typically, they were either brown, black, or navy blue; however, Millie would not wear one unless it was pink, and when Hannah saw Millie's pink felt, she wanted purple.  So I wonder if this would be called Colonial chic?

I had been erroneously telling the girls all week that we were going to make "trihorn" hats.  As I read the teacher's manual on project day, I said, "Oh, they're not called trihorn hats.  They're called tricorn hats."  Hannah said, "See how they have three . . . corners?  Get it?  Tri . . . corn?"  It's not a good thing when the student is smarter than the teacher. 

Hannah had already had a little exposure to both Paul Revere and the Boston Tea Party.  She encountered Paul Revere in one of her Hooked on Phonics readers, and she read about some people throwing tea out of a ship in one of the American Girl Felicity books.  However, this week she was able to put those events in their proper place in our nation's history, so they make a little more sense to her now. 

When we read about the Boston Tea Party, I was concerned that she might think the men poured pitchers of tea off the ship.  When I asked her about it, she said, "No, I think the tea came in boxes."  I said, "But tea is a drink.  How could they keep it in boxes?"  She said, "Well, I think it was like a Kool-Aid powder that you mix with water."  I told her it was more like coffee and let her and Millie see what tea leaves look like.

First they smelled the tea, then opened the pouch and poured out the contents.  It looked a lot more coffee-like than I expected.  I thought the leaves would look more like dried parsley.
Yeah, it looks all sweet and innocent in this picture, but what you don't see is 15 seconds later when it turned into a game of let's-see-who-can-pour-more-tea-on-the-other-one.
In science, we focused on seasons this week.  The girls drew and painted a tree, which they will do three more times throughout the year, once during each season.

This is the girls along with the pin oak tree they chose as their subject.  They used colored pencils to draw the trunk, branches, and ground near the tree.  Then they painted the foliage when they went inside.

Here's Millie's finished product.  She worked so diligently and even thought to paint the sky.
And here's Hannah's finished product.  I love the wind she added to remind her of the fall breeze we felt that day!
We did another activity using the leaves from the tree they drew.  The girls drew the leaves, did a leaf rubbing, painted around the edges, and then pressed them and taped them onto their pages so they could be added to the science notebook.

Millie's is on the left; Hannah's is on the right.
Greg got in on the action one night and helped us with a science activity.  In order to show how the earth's revolution around the sun causes seasons, we set up a lamp in our living room and moved the globe around it.  We had already done this activity in 1st grade, so it was really review.  Greg held the "earth" and moved around the "sun."  As he moved, Hannah looked at the "earth" to observe how the sunlight was hitting it.  Then she put a label on each side of the coffee table to show whether that location was summer, fall, winter, or spring.

Here's Hannah identifying summer.  We did have the lights off, but apparently I had my flash on!
This is more like what it actually looked like.
And here are the labels she put down to show where the earth was for each season.
Things are continuing to go well in the 3 R's.  Rod & Staff grammar has been a great fit for her so far, and she still loves Singapore Math.  I've noticed one spelling rule that we keep having to go over, which is to double an f, l, or s after a single vowel at the end of a one-syllable word (such as dress, shell, stiff, etc.).  For whatever reason, that rule hasn't "stuck," so we keep repeating it every time I see it violated—even in Christmas lists and notes to friends.

I realize that I haven't posted many pictures of Millie's pre-K lately, so I'll try to focus on that in the next couple of weeks.  She's doing such a great job!  She can count by 10's to 30 and has even read five or six words so far!

This week I'm making a separate post for co-op (which includes our beekeeper field trip!).  I do consider it part of our school week, but it makes for one. long. post. when I put it all together like I have been.  I'd love for you to read about it here, but if you'd rather not, you can always head over to Kris' Weekly Wrap-Up at Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers to see what others did in school this week!


Mom said...

I'm still smiling at the fun ya'll have while learning....and that Greg is involved! Maybe Millie will be a designer someday:) The trip to Kinder looked like fun too. Love the new background!

Carrie said...

Looks like another great week, Jennifer! I love Hannah's wind ... she's so creative!

Cajunrose said...

We are going to be studying George Washington this next week. I'm not finding my daughter is getting a huge amount out of the lessons...I don't know if it's how I'm presenting or just her maturity level...but I keep pressing on. I am reading her tons of library books that are written more on her level than the spiral history book. I just hope I'm doing a good enough job that she is at least getting SOMETHING out of it.

phillips4658 said...

I sure wish you still posted. I will be sad to see it come to an end.