Friday, September 17, 2021

Homeschool Update: Week of 9/13/21

Weekend Activities (9/11/21 - 9/12/21) 

On Saturday, C. and E. practiced riding their balance bikes around the playground while M. helped me with the babies on the playground slides. Then all three girls played together on the playground. On Sunday, we attended an outdoor Mass for homeschoolers followed by some outdoor playtime with friends old and new.

Morning Time 

Music: I read aloud the rest of Chapter 2 and beginning of Chapter 3 of Ludwig Beethoven and the Chiming Tower Bells by Opal Wheeler (E. P. Dutton & Co., 1942), and played recordings of the following pieces mentioned in the book: 

Singing: The girls learned to sing "Lift High the Cross." We concluded morning time each day with Salve Regina. On Friday, we practiced their previously learned songs in a family sing-along. 

Poems: From Favorite Poems Old and New, edited by Helen Ferris (Doubleday Books, 1957), I read aloud: "Me" by Walter de la Mare, "Song for a Little House" by Christopher Morley, "Frolic" by A.E. (G.W. Russell), "Feather or Fur" by John Becker and "Puppy and I" by A.A. Milne. 

Art appreciation: Using questions from and, we discussed The Marriage at Cana by Veronese found in The Louvre Art Deck: 100 Masterpieces from the World's Most Popular Museum by Anja Grebe and Erich Lessing. Late in the week, we compared it to The Marriage Feast at Cana by Juan de Flandes. . We also watched a YouTube video showing the painting hanging in the Louvre

Catechism: We reviewed the first seven lessons in The New Saint Joseph First Communion Catechism. On Tuesday, we prayed the Collect Prayer and the Holy Cross Prayer for the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, found in The Catholic All Year Prayer Companion by Kendra Tierney (Ignatius, 2021). On Wednesday we used the same book to review the Scripture readings for the seven sorrows of Mary and to pray the Collect Prayer and "To Mary in Honor of her Seven Sorrows" for the Memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows. On Friday, we listened to the episode of Saint Stories for Kids about St. Hildegard of Bingen. 


First Grade: C. learned about the importance of the discovery of fire, and about the Bronze Age and the Iron Age. We read the sections of Builders of the Old World called "The Fire Makers" and "Buried Treasures." On Thursday, she filled out a short timeline of Early Human History, showing the progression from Old Stone Age to Iron Age. On Friday, we read the first few pages of They Lived Like This in the Old Stone Age by Marie Neurath, stopping before the section on cave paintings, which we'll cover next week. She also watched When We Tamed Fired from PBS Eons.

Third Grade: M. read (with Daddy) these sections from The World of Captain John Smith by Genevieve Foster: 

  • Little John Smith
  • To and From Holland
  • Mary Stuart and the Honest Man 
  • James
  • Lord Roanoke and Virginia Dare
  • Spanish Armada 
  • War of the Three Henrys
  • The Lost Colony 

On Friday, they read The Lost Colony of Roanoke by Jean Fritz, and M. wrote a narration about John White. 


First and Third Grade: This week, we worked through Lesson A-6 in Building Foundations for Scientific Understanding Vol. 1: Matter II: Air Pressure, Vacuums, and Earth's Atmosphere. My husband demonstrated how to use a pressure gauge using a tire pump and a rubber playground ball. The girls also puffed up their cheeks to feel how air pressure increases inside their mouths. 

From Fun Science Demos, I showed the girls Exploring Air and Air Pressure, Weather: Measuring Air Pressure, and What is Air Pressure - Egg Demonstration. We also watched Air Exerts Pressure ExperimentWeather Barometers: How Does a Barometer Work?Weather Maps (Isobar Fronts); and How a Vacuum Cleaner Works

Pre-K: E. and I read about animals in The National Geographic Little Kids First Big Book of Why. She fell in love with the photo of an axolotl, so I showed her a YouTube video of axolotls yawning


M. and C. love their Mad Libs workbooks. This week, C. worked on pronouns, adjectives, conjunctions, and prepositions. I went to explain prepositions to her, and she immediately started singing Busy Prepositions, which we then watched together. M. worked on adverbs, abstract nouns, conjunctions, and irregular past tense verbs. 

 On Tuesday and Thursday, I read aloud to M. and C. from Three Children and Shakespeare. We are well into The Merchant of Venice now, and the girls beg me to read more each time we finish a chapter. At lunch we're still listening to Then There Were Five by Elizabeth Enright. At dinner, my husband is still reading aloud Polly and the Wolf by Catherine Storr. Grandma started reading aloud Hickory by Palmer Brown over Skype on Thursday. 

E. recorded her video reading of Ann's Hat. She needs some more instruction before the next book we have for her, so now she's just working out of The Ordinary Parents' Guide to Teaching Reading. This week, she learned to read words ending in -ck, -lk, and -nk. 

M. read I Will Adventure by Elizabeth Vining Gray and started Alfred Hitchcock's Solve-Them-Yourself Mysteries. C. finished The Mouse and the Motorcycle, then read The Story of Doctor Dolittle by Hugh Lofting and Jenny's Moonlight Adventure by Esther Averill. To Gran over Skype, M. is still reading Ol' Paul by Glen Rounds and C. is still reading A Brother for the Orphelines by Natalie Savage Carlson. 

I read aloud a bunch of picture books to the babies too: In the Diner by Christine Loomis, Mama Cat Has Three Kittens by Denise Fleming, Bruno Munari's Zoo, Some Dinosaurs Are Small by Charlotte Voake, One-o-Saurus, Two-o-Saurus by Kim Norman, B is for Baby by Atinuke, Stanley's Fire Engine by William Bee, and Brown Bear Brown Bear What Do You See? by Bill Martin, Jr. and Eric Carle.

M. recorded her video recitation of Oberon's Speech from A Midsummer Night's Dream Act II Scene 1. C. is still working on memorizing "My Shadow" by Robert Louis Stevenson and E. is working on memorizing "If I Had A Cardboard Box" by Aileen Fisher. 


M. spent most of the week working on an algebra test on Khan Academy. It was very challenging for her, but a good challenge. She will go back and work through the algebra unit tests in the coming weeks and then attempt to take it again. M. also worked on Review 2 in the Singapore 4A workbook, but she will need to revisit some of the word problems to correct her mistakes. 

C. has been struggling to add and subtract with renaming on the soroban. My husband made her some "cheat sheets" to help her stop panicking at every step of the process. She now says the problems in Singapore 2A are fun. She especially likes the exercises where the answers help decode a secret message. 

E. learned to count to nine on the soroban, and she continued to work on moving the beads up and down with the correct fingers. She did some simple addition and subtraction up to 4 to help her practice. 

M. drilled multiplication and division and C. drilled addition and subtraction using the Flashmaster app. 

Physical Education

M. and C. did their morning exercise routine daily. They were also taken out to ride their bikes on Monday afternoon. 

Instrumental Music

M. and C. practiced piano and recorder daily.


M. copied a question and answer from her Catechism in cursive each day. C. worked on cursive each day.

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