Wrapping Up Week 29 (2014-15)

weekly wrap-up
 The weather feels like summer already in Southern California, and between the heat and the time change last weekend, it’s been really hard over the last few days to remember that we still have several weeks of school left!  Now that we’ve finished up with history, I’m thinking we need to just plow through and finish up a few other subjects so we can make the last month of school pretty light.

Math

This week was our last week with CTC Math, but I’m pretty sure we’ll be back.  Both boys covered fractions this week, and Ian blew me away.  We haven’t touched on the concept at all (though my husband tells me they’ve encountered fractions in some of their favorite games on abcya.com), so I was wondering if this was going to be challenging.  I couldn’t believe how quickly Ian was throwing out the answers about halves and quarters.  I think it’s because he seems to be grasping multiplication concepts really well.  Whatever the reason, I’m glad fractions aren’t a battle at this point!

I’m really going to miss CTC Math, which provided a great balance of structure and flexibility when it came to covering the full math curriculum.  In the meantime, Ian will continue working on his lessons in  GPALOVEMATH (review coming next week!), as well as his facts practice on xtramath.org.  He’s been doing so well with the addition facts, I’m changing his settings to start working on subtraction flash cards for a bit.

Literature

http://i1.wp.com/www.rainbowresource.com/products/thumbnails/012450.jpg?w=960One of the books we’re reading that I haven’t talked much about is Paddle-to-the-Sea by Holling C. Holling.  It traces the journey of a small carved wooden Indian in a canoe that travels through all the Great Lakes over the course of a couple years.  Each chapter covers a small part of the trip, teaching about the geography and industry of the Great Lakes region.  The Ambleside Online, Year 1 schedule spreads this book across the entire school year, and while I understand the reasoning behind that, it really hasn’t worked for us.  The chapters are so short we barely have time to get into them before the week’s reading is done. I’ve ended up intentionally skipping a few weeks in order to save up several chapters to read at once.

This week we made it through chapter 23, where Paddle goes over Niagara Falls and ends up in the mists at the bottom.  Ian looked at the pictures of the Falls and said, “They don’t look very big,” which surprised me, since we’ve seen videos of them before and I thought he understood how huge they are.  So we watched the episode of 19 Kids and Counting where the Duggars visit Niagara Falls (“Duggars Over the Edge“), as well as an interview with Roger Woodward, the youngest person to ever go over the Falls (at age 7!) and survive.  He describes what it was like and gives a beautiful testimony of God’s grace.

History Cycle

We finished up the last series of Friends and Heroes and are now taking a break from history until Ian starts the self-paced history course on the Middle Ages, Renaissance and Reformation from Veritas Press.  (On sale only until tomorrow, March 14, so don’t wait to check it out!)

Veritas Middle Ages
I have to admit, the history lover in me wanted to jump into the Veritas Press program right away.  For one thing, I think Ian is really going to love studying this period in history.  I also think he’s going to enjoy the format of this course.  However, since Veritas Press allows you to delay the start of the 12-month course, I fought against my own nerd nature and forced myself to give Ian a well-deserved break.  I set our starting date for July, which is when we usually begin our school year.  That way he won’t be forced to finish up the work before the end of our school year next spring.

Science

We’re still plugging away through our last term of God’s Design for Life.  I have to admit, The World of Plants was the book I was least excited about out of the three that make up this year.  I have one of the blackest thumbs of anyone you’ll ever meet, and I’m horrible at remembering the names of different types of trees and flowers.  Plants just aren’t my thing.

Still, I’m really pleased with this curriculum.  It’s making a subject I find boring a little less so for Ian.  All the kids have really enjoyed watching the seeds we planted a few lessons ago grow.  In addition to the beans and popcorn kernels we planted back in the lesson on monocots and dicots, we also added a little jar with some sweet pea seeds I had lying around.  They’ve all grown SO much this week, which has been fun for all of us to observe (especially this mama, who somehow manages to kill succulents, which I mistakenly thought I could handle, given how I’ve heard they’re one of the easiest things to grow).

Anyway… here’s our little mini-garden.  On Monday we took the seedlings off their wet paper towels and planted them in soil.  I’d love to move them from my kitchen counter top to a planter outside where they’d have more room, but I’m sure that will be the end of them so I’m holding out a little longer.

seed garden

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