It's been a few weeks since I posted, not because we haven't been doing school (we have) but because I've been out of commission, flat on my back for the last few weeks. It would seem that I decided to take our experiments regarding the Law of Gravity a bit too far and decided to make an introduction with the concrete outside our house, resulting in a sprained back. So for the last two weeks, I've been on pain killers, muscle relaxers, and heat therapy in bed. Next Monday I start physical therapy. Let me tell ya, getting older isn't all it's cracked up to be.
But even with that, the kids have been working hard with reading, writing and arithmetic. They are a bit behind in science and Latin, because I'm not downstairs to help them with that right now, but they have done a great job getting everything else done.
They have been reading "The Magicians Nephew" independently (yes, even Garrett is reading his chapters like he's suppose to be) and doing writing assignments in regards to that. This week, they learned the main elements of a story (characters, setting,plot, conflict, climax and resolution) and then had to take a passage from their reading and identify and make a key word outline for the passage highlighting those elements. They also had a test over their reading and I was really shocked how well Garrett did - sometimes I just don't give him enough credit when it comes to reading and writing. This coming week, we will also be adding the book Redwall by Brian Jacques to their reading as they do a unit study over that (upcoming review item).
The kids have also been working thru Vocabulary Virtuoso from The Thinking Company (another upcoming review item) which focuses on mastering middle school vocabulary. This has led us down some interesting rabbit holes - for example, this week they had the word "legerdemain" and a question in regards to David Copperfield, the magician from the 80s and 90s. Granted, David Copperfield was way before their time but thanks to YouTube, we watched him make both a leer jet and the Statue of Liberty disappear. The kids were pretty impressed and it was a neat rabbit hole to explore.
For history this week, we discussed the Separatists and their move to Holland from England and eventually their trip across the Atlantic to the New World. They learned about William Bradford, Miles Standish, John Carver and the Pilgrims who came across on the Mayflower. We discussed the Mayflower Compact, the brutal conditions that the Pilgrims faced their first winter in Plymouth, and about how Squanto and the Wampanoag tribe assisted them. We also discussed Henry Hudson and his tragic third voyage to the new world while trying to find a northwest passage.
Both kids are still working thru Teaching Textbooks on their own and I believe both are currently studying how to work with mixed numbers. I'll be honest, all I've done with their math is make sure that the assignments are completed and check their grades.
Finally, they have been both working hard practicing with their musical instrument. They have been taking live classes thru Practice Monkey (review to come soon), although these last two weeks, they have been using the recorded classes simply because I've been out of commission. Ashleigh is working on Piano, Garrett is working on violin, and both have been doing Self Defense together. Both should resume live classes this week and Garrett is probably going to see if he's ready for an assessment on Wednesday to see if he can move up to the next level.