Weekly Review 10.29.10

This week we did a mini-block on the Salem Witch Trails.  The Peeps have been curious about it but we haven’t really delved into it much.  I figured we would explore it in high school, but since they were interested I decided to give them an age-appropriate introduction to the topic.  That was challenging!  I did find a couple of good books aimed toward younger kids:  Witchcraft in Salem Village and Witch Hunt: It Happened in Salem Village.  (In addition they read The Witch of Blackbird Pond–we are still working on that).  We focused more on the concepts of conformity, prejudice,  problems with the trials from a legal standpoint (logic), and colonial life.  They each wrote a report on what they’d learned and for a project we kept it light– they each started their own herbal tomes that they will continue to work on through out the year, and we cooked some traditional colonial fare.  Here are a few excerpts of the week:

Peep #1's Map

Colonial Life and a Vintage Map of Salem

Peep #2's Main Lesson Book and Herbal "Grimoire"

Peep #2's Report

And here is a sample from their herbals:



We also made the traditional colonial dish, “Pompion” (stewed pumpkin).  It was really good!

Scraping Out the Pumpkin Seeds

Chopping Up the Pumpkin After Roasting

I should have taken a photo of the finished dish, but alas…

For Language Arts/Writing, in addition to a couple more Unjournaling exercises, we continued learning about verb tenses.  This week it was the Present Perfect:

I don’t normally post pictures of their Saxon/Oak Meadow math work… they really don’t make the most exciting photos!  But I thought I’d throw one in this week.  Also, Peep #1 had a Saxon investigation on Compass Drawing, so it seemed like a good time to give him this and have him do one of the pjojects:

A Saxon Math Lesson

Compass Drawing Exercise

Meanwhile, more Land of Pome for Peep #2:

Land of Pome Mazes

She also made a few multiplication flash cards to help reinforce her tables, using blank index cards and watercolor paint.  We focused on the ones she has the most problem with:

Multiplication Flash Cards in Watercolor 🙂

For handwork, we did a little more sewing (Peep #1 sewed up a hole in his pillowcase, Peep #2 sewed a face on the monkey she knit).  The unicorns are still in progress!

Peep #2's "Lily"

We also started making our own autumn banner as described here:

Autumn Banner, Step One!

We’ll continue with the next step (painting) next week.  It was a busy week in general… on Monday we went to a corn maze, and on Friday to a Spooky Pumpkin Walk.  Both were a lot of fun and really got us into the Halloween spirit!

Lost in the Maze...

Enjoying Some Post-Maze Ice Cream!

Spooky Pumpkin Walk

Alien Invasion!




...and more pumpkins!

Recycled Milk-Jug Skeletons-- I love this idea!

And that’s it for now.  Hope everyone has a safe Halloween!

Weekly Report 10.22.10

It was a good week, despite two really light school days.  On Wednesday the weather was so beautiful… warm and sunny.  We have so few left before the cold weather sets in, so I set the Peeps free in the afternoon to play outside!  Thursday we spent the day at my sister’s visiting.  I did bring a few things for them to do, but mostly they just enjoyed visiting with their aunt and grandparents.  🙂

That said, we did finish up their two current blocks.  Peep #1 did the last four Egyptian god/dess pages.  Here are a couple of those (sorry for the blurry photos this week; I had to use my camera phone!):



He did a little tie in to math with learning about how the Egyptians used the length of fingers, palm, and forearm as a tool for measuring:


Another math sheet.  He learned about different polygons in Saxon this week, and I had him do a page to help reinforce it.  Some of them were challenging for him to draw, so I pan to have him repeat this exercise next week.


Peep #2 finished up her Botany block– for now.  We’ll do another week or two in the spring.  Here are some examples of her work this week:


Copywork: "Trees", and more Conifers

We are learning about different herbs and their medicinal qualities (this will extend past the Botany block), so she did a page on Lavender.  The second page shows the spore prints we did for mushrooms last week.  She also did a sun print of a fern leaf which was so pretty, but by the next day it had faded away.  We must have done something wrong!

Bye Bye Botany (for now!)

Another example from the Land of Pome math activities:

Pick up Pennies

A painting lesson on symetry:


And we also read about the origin of numbers and counting in The History of Counting.  We made our own Sumerian counting beads out of baked clay:

Sumerian Counting

Sumerian Counting Beads

I’ve been wanting to teach the Peeps to sew for a long time, so this week for handwork we made bean bags.  I was surprised at how quickly they took to it– especially Peep #1.  His stitches were so neat and straight!  He keeps surprising me with this stuff!

Sewing 101

Bean Bags!

Peep #2 and I finished the first side/half of our knitted unicorn.  I’ll update that photo on the Needles page later today.  For art we worked on some water color painting, blowing the colors around with straws to see what we got:

Painting with Straws!

Spridery, Ghostly Prints, Just in Time for Halloween

We also played around with our beeswax block crayons, working on a lesson from Coloring with Block Crayons.  In this one, the goal was to draw the sky at different times of the day using different colors for the sky (i.e. yellow for dawn, purple for evening):

The Changing Sky- Peep #2

Peep #1's Changing Sky

That’s it for this week.  Til next time!

Weekly Review 10.15.10

Busy week!  On Monday we went on a field trip to Devil’s Hopyard in East Haddam, CT.  The scenery was spectacular as the leaves are starting to peak now.  We talked about the local geography of the area, the lore surrounding the name “Devil’s Hopyard,” and the importance of Chapman Falls to the local mill industry.

Chapman Falls at Devil's Hopyard

Chapman Falls

There were also lots of interesting rock formations that we saw and later read about, including glacial puckering, rock shelters, folds and mineral deposits (biotite and quartz crystals).

Brimfield Schist


At home the Peeps wrote and illustrated the legend of Devil’s Hopyard, which says that the Christian Devil, while passing through, got so mad when his tail got wet in the falls that he stomped the ground leaving the huge pothole formations the falls are known for.  They’re actually caused by rocks getting caught and spinning in the current.  I tried to get pictures of them but unfortunately they didn’t come out!

Meanwhile, Peep #1 continued with his Egyptian God/Goddesses pages:



He also made a canopic jar, which didn’t turn out as well as his Anubis.  He still liked it though. 🙂

Canopic Jar

Peep #2 continued to work on her Botany block.  She’s enjoying it so much that she wants to do one more week.  I had planned to do two weeks in the fall, two in the spring, but since she’s having so much fun with it we’ll continue.  Here are some examples of the things she did this week:

The Seven Plant Families

Sprouting Beans to Chart Growth

Chalkboard Drawing: Metamorphosis


Making a Spore Print from Mushrooms


Creating a Terrarium

Watercolor Echinacea

She also did some more Math activities from Land of Pome, as well as some illustrations to reinforce the “Time and Measurement” lesson from Oak Meadow Math 5:

Wheel of the Year

In Grammar, they both learned about the Present Perfect, Past Perfect, and Future Perfect tenses.  We will be exploring this more next week:

Peep #1's Halloween-Themed Tenses Page

Finally, we finished our leaf garland and strung it above the kitchen chalk board! (Don’t look too closely; you’ll see our mistake in one of the leaves. ;))

Leaf Garland

We also made these really pretty window leaf transparencies using dried leaves and wax paper.  We framed the first one but then decided we liked them better free floating, like leaves being blown about wildly against the windows…

Ironing the leaves between sheets of wax paper

Peep #1's Turn at the Iron

Cooled and Ready to Be Cut Out

All Done!