Sunday, November 27, 2011

Five in a Row: Weeks 5-12

We are finally caught up after missing a week of school in October due to two bouts of stomach flu - not pretty. So I wanted to update you on all our goings-on in our little schoolhouse. We've enjoyed many books through Five in a Row and have really enjoyed using our world map on a regular basis. Some weeks we do a lot of activities inspired by the books we read and some weeks we do the minimum as our schedule allows. Without further ado here's what we've been up to. :)

Week 5 - The Rag Coat
This was the week that Asher was sick so we did the minimum. We enjoyed reading about the Applachian experience through reading The Rag Coat. The only activity we did during this week was quilting. Yep, I let my little boy use my sewing machine - with LOTS of supervision. Plus he was terrified of getting stuck with a needle so he was pretty respectful of the machine. We took old scraps of fabric and sewed them together and added a piece of fabric to back it. It worked out well but I don't think I'll scare him with the sewing machine for a while. :)

Week 6 - The Glorious Flight
 We really enjoyed this book and learning some French names was a highlight (Blair-You). The boys loved laughing like French men, "Hugh, hugh, hugh!" :D Made me laugh!! We colored paper and made them into paper airplanes flying them across the yard. We also took a trip to the local airport to watch planes land and take-off but since this is a relatively small town, there wasn't any action. The boys were disappointed but were equally distracted by the McDonald's we picked up on the way. We also took a little trip to the grocery store and bought a French baguette. They thought it was so fun to be able to just rip off a chunk. If I had really been on the ball, I would have made this airplane as a craft, but again, some weeks are better than others.

Week 7 - A Pair of Red Clogs
 This was a book that interested my boys as they were so interested in the little girl's clogs. We talked about taking care of our things and being responsible - even with our shoes. I was preparing them for winter when they have to keep their tennis shoes out of the snow. We tossed our shoes to "predict the weather" and then we waited til the next morning to see if our "predictions" were right. I had him draw the Japanese flag in his journal along with drawing different facial expressions. Overall it was a good experience and I would recommend reading this book again.

Week 8 - The Clown of God
 This book, on the other hand, I had a little more trouble with. I found some activities but I had a difficult time explaining the meaning of the book. I talked about how important it is to be a light everywhere we go. And that our light shines to show Jesus' love as the monks showed love the the clown. When the clown dies in the end of the book (sorry to give away the ending) I explained out important it is for us to do our best for God all through our life. That we can give glory to God until the day we die. And I left it at that. I didn't want to go into the details of the statue changing its face and I'm glad they didn't ask for an explanation. :) I got a kit from the library with a CD and different color scarves so we danced and jungled along with the CD. The boys had a lot of fun with that. I had him draw pictures for the vocabulary words: juggle, eggplant, zucchini, torches, and monks (brothers). I don't know that I would necessarily teach this book again, but after reviewing what we did I think it was sufficient and they seemed to enjoy the activities we did through the week.

Week 9 - How to Make Apple Pie and See the World
 We really enjoyed this book as we had been on a field trip to the apple orchard a few weeks earlier. We enjoyed "traveling" around the world for all the ingredients to make and apple pie since the grocery store was closed. I printed out a world map and we used a ruler and red marker (like Indiana Jones) and drew out our trip to each country. We also journaled all the countries and the ingredients we picked up while we were there. I found pictures of each mode of transportation, each country, and each food item. We pasted them into the journal and recorded the details of the trip. We made apple crisp on Friday to enjoy as dessert. It was a great week and we had so much fun traveling the world together.

Week 10 - Sick Week
 This is the week I had the flu, so needless to say, we didn't get much done. We rearranged some things so that I could rest and the boys could play instead of having school. Lots of books were read while cuddling on the couch. Also, dad cooked dinner almost every night. :) That's looking at the glass half-full.

Week 11 - Papa Piccolo
 This was not what I expected at all. I expected this book to be about music, but it was about cats as the cover easily displays. And my boys LOVE cats (I am very allergic so I don't really enjoy them too much). We found Venice, Italy on the map and looked at pictures online of their "roads" which are really a series of canals. We talked about how much fun it would be if we traveled by boat instead of car. Or if we had to walk nearly everywhere. They thought that sounded like a great idea. We journaled drawings of the vocab words: canal, sardine, chime, carnival, glum, and gondola. We made a color wheel and practiced our addition using kitten counters. The boys loved talking about kittens and next time I would like to take them to the Humane Society to visit some kitties and cats.

Week 12 - Grandfather's Journey
We didn't really get into this book. It was a little more difficult as the timeline of the book moved quickly and I don't think they realized that the character was the same because he aged so quickly through the book. We did take another look at Japan and made some hats out of paper - origami. We talked about days in a week and months in a year to note how time passes. We also discussed family generations - Great Gramma, Grandpa, Dad and them. And how each one has their own experiences because of the years they lived. We didn't really get into WWII but did discuss how each generation has ties to different parts of history.

And last week we played catch-up from the week when I was sick. So, we are back on track and that feels so good!! :) We've had a lot of fun incorporating other fun activities into our school days including:

Hi-Ho Cherry-O!
The Farming Game Kids

Star Wars
Read, Build, Write
Super Mario Brothers

site word games and counting lots of objects.

It's been a great experience so far and we are really looking forward to our next books: Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel, Katy and the Big Snow and Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening.

What are you learning in your homeschool classroom? What are some good books that you recommend?

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