Friday, April 13, 2012

Weekly Happenings: Highlighting Our Books

It was back to business this week after taking a week for spring break. Our daily activities of Bible/devotion, poetry (Paul Laurence Dunbar), math, piano, copywork, foreign language, Latin roots for Miss Priss, critical thinking, grammar, and spelling clicked along as usual.

I'm still pleased with Daily Grammar for our grammar studies. This week, we reviewed nouns. What I particularly like about Daily Grammar is that the first lesson is quite rudimentary, and the lessons afterward pick up in complexity. Today's lesson, for example, highlighted collective, mass, and count nouns.
  • Collective nouns: class, group, choir
  • Mass nouns: gasoline, water, oil
  • Count nouns: arena, girls, bus

We made good progress in our readings, as well:
  • Oliver Twist: read through chapter three. We are all enjoying this story, but Tiny Girl does not comprehend many of Dickens's ironical descriptions (which are laugh-out-loud funny to me).
  • Harriet Tubman: completed. Both children liked this.
  • Sea Clocks: The Story of Longitude: completed (Read my review here.) We thought this was very interesting.
  • George Washington Carver, by Suzanne M. Coil: read through chapter two. Both children are enjoying this thus far.
  • Lilias Trotter: A Passion for the Impossible: read through page 43. Miss Priss and I are enjoying this more than Tiny Girl, who wasn't thrilled with Abigail Adams: Witness to a Revolution, either.
  • Story Book of Science: read the chapter "The Velocity of Sound," which discusses the differences in speeds of light and sound in a thunderstorm. AO added this to Year 4, and I thought it looked good. So we're reading it this year in our Year 5.
  • Abraham Lincoln's World: manifest destiny and westward expansion.
  • This Country of Ours: the Civil War, particularly the battle of the Monitor and the Merrimac. I've noted that Miss Marshall's overall tone is decidedly pro-Federal; it's especially noticeable in this chapter, wherein the Merrimac is described as a "black monster" and "ugly" more than once, while the Monitor is a speedy, clever machine. I was a tad surprised, since she was able to keep a more balanced tone while writing about the American Revolution.

Next week will be different for us, since Miss Priss will be taking the CAT5 exam. I ordered from Seton Testing Services, and they offer the short form of the test. Ergo, it won't be a tedious exercise of leviathan proportions, like our state's own standardized test.

Here's a lovely poem by Paul Laurence Dunbar, written in 1901:

The rain streams down like harp-strings from the sky;
The wind, that world-old harpist sitteth by;
And ever as he sings his low refrain,
He plays upon the harp-strings of the rain.

I'm linking up with the Homeschool Mother's Journal and Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers. Pop over to both, do some blog-reading, and refresh yourself!


  1. Good stuff! We enjoyed Sea Clocks - I learned a lot myself!

  2. I came here to look for your hamburger bun recipe and also found a new testing service to try. Thank you, cousin!

  3. Hope you found the recipe, Melinda! And you're welcome! I've used both Family Learning Organization and Seton Testing. Both are good, but I prefer Seton's short form of the CAT5 (and its lower price!).

  4. I did find the recipe and we enjoyed the burgers!

    I have used and recommended FLO in the past also, but I think I will try Seton next year. I'll have 3 tests to give and the short form (and lower price) sound fantastic!

    Thanks again!



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