Sunday, November 08, 2009

Month(!) in Review

Yikes, I really dropped the ball on posting. October was a very busy month for us, so I'll blame it on that. We've done all our usual work - Colwyn has about 8 pages left in his Singapore 2A workbook, so that'll get done this week, then we can start on the second half of his kindergarten math. He's pretty much done with Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons
, so we're moving on to using easy readers for his reading lessons (which we try to do for at least 10-20 minutes a day, in addition to our regular read-alouds).

We've been working a lot on science/history. We covered (the basics of) the formation of the Earth, composition of the Earth, plate tectonics, the start of life, early life, and evolution. Most of that was through the The Usborne Internet-Linked Encyclopedia of World History
. We used some websites for the composition of the Earth. Plate tectonics was covered in the Usborne book as well as through some Science Day hands-on activities with our homeschool group. To complement the Usborne book on evolution, we also read How Whales Walked into the Sea by Faith McNulty.

For Earth Scouts, we read When The Root Children Wake Up
by Audrey Wood. Then we brainstormed some ideas on how to take care of the Earth and used those to play "Mother Earth, May I?" It's pretty much just like "Mother, May I?" except the kids say, "Mother Earth, may I compost our kitchen scraps?" and then the kid playing Mother Earth tells them how many steps to take. They seemed to enjoy it, I think. We were supposed to go on a walk to look for creatures outside, but it was rainy, so I assigned that as homework. The week before, we had done a Recycled Art Day (which Dani planned and hosted), so the kids who participated in that got a Recycling Badge.

For book club, we read The Wind in the Willows
by Kenneth Grahame. We only read the first three chapters or so, but Colwyn (surprisingly) really liked it. I think a lot of it went over his head (due to the language), but it was so enjoyable to read aloud. Both boys participated really well during the book club activities and enjoyed playing outside with the other kids afterwards.

We also went on a field trip to the Aquarium, which was quite a lot of fun. The boys spent a lot of time exploring with Alex and Mila, which was nice. We toured the Beverly Fire Department last Tuesday and will do an encore tour of the Danvers Fire Department this Tuesday. That obviously led to many discussions on fire safety, but I think the boys were most excited about climbing in the fire truck.

Our homeschool group's Halloween Party was a big success, as well. We rented a room at Endicott Park and the kids played that "Guess the Body Part" game with cold spaghetti, a peeled tomato, hot dogs, lunch meat, etc. One of the dads entertained the kids with some acoustic guitar music, which was super nice of him. They played Red Rover and Duck, Duck, Goose - both big hits.

So, all in all, a pretty busy month. We also had various park days, playdates, and who-knows-what-else going on. I'm going to make a concerted effort to stay on top of the journaling, since it's a pain the butt to try to remember what happened over the course of a whole month. :)

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