Friday, December 2, 2011

Weekly Happenings: A Few Beginnings and Advent

The house is very quiet. Himself and the girls have gone on an overnight trip out of state to see Himself's alma mater play in football play-offs. Although I've been looking forward to some quiet time alone, and I enjoy my own company, I have to admit the quiet is deafening. This must be how the dogs feel when we leave them behind.

We began two new AO Year 5 readings this week: Abraham Lincoln's World and Of Courage Undaunted: Across the Continent with Lewis & Clark. We said goodbye to Abigail Adams last week; you can read my thoughts on that here. Other readings we enjoyed included King Arthur and His Knights, This Country of Ours, Gods and Heroes, and "Poplicola" from Plutarch's Lives.

Much to Miss Priss's revulsion, we learned about spiders and silk in Storybook of Science this week. I was so intrigued that I hopped online to find a video and more information. I blogged about my findings, and you, too, can learn more by popping over to that post. And in A Child's Geography: Explore His Earth (which is a tweak of mine; AO schedules volume 2 for Year 5), we tried our hand at a project that depicts the moon's gravitational pull on the ocean tides.

Gravitational pull project.
Our geographical study of gravity nicely coincided with our recent readings from Sir Robert S. Ball's Great Astronomers and its biography of Sir Isaac Newton. While we'd been following along quite adequately until last week, Ball's writings on Newton's gravitational studies are too esoteric even for me. We managed to understand that Newton proved mathematically Kepler's laws of observation regarding planetary movement in our solar system; but I felt we needed a bit more explanation. Turning to the online world once more, I found what I was looking for at Physics4Kids. Here's the link to the article we found most helpful.

Miss Priss has been making strides with Math Mammoth, but then I found (via Blossom at North Laurel Home & School; thanks, Blossom!), the home of "customizable, free, curriculum-aligned content for K-12." So we did some work in their sixth grade math program, which was a review for her. I only wish they offered a teacher's edition of this flexbook! It would save me some time. Tiny Girl began a geometry segment in MEP math, working with perimeter, area, and volume of solid figures.

We also got a handle on direct objects with our new grammar program. Read my post on that here. And we also began a new online and free French program, provided by our library system.

But it's not all been work, work, work! We managed to get in some Christmas decorating. Our tree is in all its glory, the Christmas village bedecks the top of the piano, the stockings are hung, and the nativities are gracing our foyer dresser and bookcase. Both Tiny Girl's advent garland and our advent candle, a gift from our friends from Germany who visited for Thanksgiving, add to our time of preparation.

My first nativity, a gift from my mother many years ago.

A smaller, funkier nativity, another gift from my mama.

Our Christmas village, a mix of Dollar Tree finds and handpainted treasures from Michael's.
Miss Priss, still sporting her purple cast, decorating the tree.

Today was our second morning of hard frost. Miss Priss was so taken with the hoary world that she ventured out for a few photos.

A sweet gum ball leaf in the grass, both silvered with frost

Look at the lacy edges of these tiny leaves!

Tonight I will be cutting out and baking Christmas cookies for our Girl Scout troop to decorate at Sunday's meeting. We each eat one or two, but we give the majority to a local charity for women and children. A double batch of dough chills in the fridge while I type. Perhaps this will be the kick-off to my Christmas baking bonanza! If you need something to get you started, I'll post the recipe in the next couple of days.

I'm linking up with:

Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers


  1. Thank you so much for sharing all your ideas. You make good use of other sources when you need them. Something I am not that good at because it involves using the computer at times. I will use many of your recommendations. I will also try to follow you (if I can figure out how).

  2. You have been busy! It's very interesting to read about your studies and your home looks so welcoming. Glad to see Miss P is on the mend.

  3. I can't believe there is FROST! We live in FL and it's still high 60's during the day !!

    thanks for sharing the photos

  4. Love the piles of lovely books everywherein your home! We too found the spider silk chapter interesting. I learn so much from teaching Jemimah. Love it!

  5. These are wonderful ideas!!! Would you please share this with our readers for Fun Stuff Fridays?

  6. Looks like a fun, busy week!! I can't wait to see the recipes you post =-) I love finding new Christmas cookie recipes!! Thanks for linking up to TGIF! Can't wait to see what you do this week,
    Beth =-)


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