Two Week Review, 11.19.10

Busy couple of weeks!  Our little cat Luna came home with a broken leg a couple of weeks ago and that has been taking up a lot of our time.  We’re also nursing a sick hen… when it rains, it pours!  But here’s a little taste of what we’ve been up to in our Native American block:

Still reading lots of stories and making illustrations:

Thirteen Moons on Turtle's Back

Should be, "The First StrawberrIES"!

The turtle activity didn’t come out as I’d hoped.  The crumpled paper is supposed to give the illusion of water.  To me it just looks like, well… crumpled paper!

We also read about Sitting Bull:

Sitting Bull

And explored the world of Navajo blankets in conjunction with their weaving projects.  Peep #1 sketched out a design he’d like to try.  A bit advanced at the moment, but he’ll get there! 😉

Navajo Blanket Design

We’ve been reading/listening to Native American poetry:

From Thirteen Moons on Turtle's Back

More Poems...


And for copywork writing about different culture areas:

Native Americans in the Northwest

Learned more about sage and its healing properties:

Sacred Sage

The Peeps also made wrapped feathers for smudging.  Plenty of chicken feathers in the hen house to choose from!  The ends were wrapped in leather cord:

Wrapped Feathers

We discovered the meaning of many of our local landmarks (streets, rivers, towns, etc) and learned a few words in the Pequot language.

Peep #2's Sun and Moon

Pumpkins and other squash were vital to Native American culture in our area (along with beans and corn), so Peep  #2 used pastels to draw a whimsical pumpkin patch in her art class this week:

Pumpkin Patch

On Thursday we went on a field trip to our local Native American Museum.  This is one of the best museums we’ve been to!  They have an entire Pequot village exhibit you can walk through and see every aspect of daily life while you listen to the audio guide (hand held) describe and explain each scene.  Unfortunately no photos were allowed inside the museum.  But we took a couple outside and from the observation tower.

Pequot Museum

On Friday we rose early to see the morning star, then read an Iroquois tale called “So Son Do Wah and the Morning Star”.  We discussed Venus as the morning and evening star,

Peep #1's Morning Star Illustration

We’ve also been listening to Native American music (drumming chants and flute primarily) whenever we’re in the car or doing quiet work and especially when they’re weaving.

Finally fished up our fall banner, too.  I really love the way this came out!  We’re going to do one for Yule as well.

Autumn Banner

This coming week is a short one for school, so I will probably combine it with next week’s report.   Happy Thanksgiving to those who celebrate!

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!

Weekly Review 10.1.2010

Some of this week’s goings-on:

For math, Peep #2 has been working on multiplication stars.  She loves creating these, and since it’s reinforcing her times tables I let her run with it.

Okay, the last one isn’t strictly multiplication, but I thought it was clever and included it anyway!  Also, she’s been having a little trouble remembering rounding up/down with place value, especially with the bigger numbers.  So, inspired once again by something I saw at Our Little Nature’s Nest, I made her a place value game.  Using three large sheet of paper, she drew three trees with three holes in them each.  The holes represent each place value from one to one hundred million.  I made some “fairy stones” for her numbered 0-9 (hard to see in the photo) and put them in a twinkly silver-white pouch along with a die.  Finally, I constructed a basic game spinner:

Fairy Woods Place Value Game

Fairy Stones

First she rolls the dice and fills in the spaces with the numbers.   Then she uses the spinner to round that number “to the nearest”.  I left out ones since she doesn’t really need practice with that.  🙂

In Writing/Grammar, we learned about the origins of Drama, read about William Shakespeare, and re-read some favorite “younger” versions of Mac Beth, The Tempest, Romeo and Juliet, Twelfth Night, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream.  I had them illustrate a page for the Tempest, but forgot to take photos of those!  Peep #1’s pages:

They both copied an Autumn poem into their books and illustrated it; and Peep #2 made a review page for the 8 parts of speech:

Autumn Poem/8 Parts of Speech Review

In History, I gave Peep #1 an oral “quiz” on what he’s learned about Ancient Egypt so far and was very impressed!  He did an Eye of Horus fraction activity from Great Scott! and illustrated a page about it, made pages on the Sphinx (including another  “stained glass” picture) and the Great Pyramid at Giza.  Next week he wants to move on to Egyptian gods and goddesses.

Peep #2 is wrapping up her Prehistoric Era lessons, so she didn’t do much this week related to that.  She did make another fossil page and then worked on excavating her “Dino Dig” project:

Excavation! Budding Archeologist at Work...

Next week she starts part one of the Botany Block.  We’re both excited about this– I have some fun things planned!