The Learning Room

Week of January 4 – 9, 2009

Our week was a little shaky getting started but, for the most, we accomplished everything I had wanted to get done – school-wise anyway.  I am still in the process of reading “Managers of Their Homes” when I can (mainly while nursing and eating) and I am starting to realize just how much we DO need a schedule (no matter how much I buck against such systems with my innate hippie unschooling ways).  It is not that I’ve been against scheduling.  I see the need – even typed up a school schedule to use for the week.  It just seems the moment that I put it onto paper then everything goes wrong to sabotage the plan. I have suspicions as to why this is but I digress…scheduling is a post for another day.  On to our week.

Family Time

  • Read daily from The Children’s Bible (Golden Guide) and discussed obedience and consequences.
  • Practiced memory verse: Matthew 7:12 “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
  • Worked on learning the calendar year and seasons, especially for Lily and Luc (see reading listed below).



  • Discussed Betsy Ross, the Colonial Flag, the American Flag, the Pledge of Allegiance, the 13 colonies, what a colonial school was like
  • Worked on memorizing: The Pledge of Allegiance (inluding Pledge etiquette) and 13 colonies
  • Mapwork – 13 colonies
  • Reading – See Above.  I wasn’t sure about our topic of choice this week as the kids showed very little interest (perceived by me from the throwing themselves dramatically on the floor, rolling eyes, swaying arms while sighing loudly).  I was discouraged until we started the Betsy Ross chapter book.  It starts with Betsy, at age 6, being taunted by her 5 year old brother.  THIS got their attention.  Ever since they’ve been captivated by the story and much more interested in the activties.  Have I mentioned how much I LOVE living books?
  • Narrations – did narrations of first three chapters of Betsy Ross (will be posting soon about how narration works in our homeschool)
  • Watched an episode of Liberty Kids (kids were disappointed because the new library DVD edits out the games which is their favorite part of this series – will have to return to the old school VHS tapes)
  • Watched This is America Charlie Brown: The Birth of the Constitution (the kids loved this – may have to own this series)
  • Art – made colonial flags and attempted (rather poorly I’m afraid to say – even my attempts) trying to make a simple Betsy Ross 5-pointed paper star
  • Music – listened to the Pledge of Allegiance and the Grand Old Flag (Kids loved this one – made me play it over and over again while marching around the living room.  Guess this will have to be added to the history compilation CD mix.)

Lily’s Formal Work

  • Phonics – long a/silent e, ‘ai’ and ‘ay’ words; ‘m’ sounds; reading practice; Kumon flashcards
  • Spelling – at, ate, mad, made, hat, hate, tap, tape, back, bake
  • Penmanship – capital and lowercase A (proper strokes); copywork in Language Lessons book
  • Reading Practice – read Bob books, Fox’s Best Trick Ever (a We Both Read Book), Bear Hugs (a Step-Into-Reading book)
  • Reading Comprehension – history narration of Betsy Ross
  • Composition – history narration of Betsy Ross
  • Math – number recognition 1-25, addition work with flashcards and abacus
  • Science – using blubber to insulate heat
  • Practical Life – tying shoelaces

Gabe’s Formal Work

  • Grammar – adjectives, adverbs, homophones, proper use of ‘to, too, two’
  • Penmanship – cursive work on letters L, M, N
  • Spelling -unable, until, unusual, unlucky, unfair, unkind, unknown, unlock, unlikely, unhappy, unwilling, unload, burlar, popular, similar, calendar, grammar, familiar, nickel, angel, level, dislike, disuse, disgust, disobey, disorder, distrust, discover, distance, disease, dishonest, disappear, discourage (had trouble only with the word unusual this week)
  • Reading Comprehension – history narration on Betsy Ross
  • Composition – acrostic poem, history narration on Betsy Ross
  • Latin – new words: aqua, est, femina; practiced flashcards
  • Math – multiplication of 3 family
  • Science – using blubber to insulate heat
  • Mentoring – reading to Luc and Lilah


  • Math/Logic – Lily worked through the Math-terpieces book with dad; Gabe worked on drawing fractals in triangles and read several books on math; everyone played with Magformers to build different geometric shapes
  • Language Arts – Lily and Gabe wrote, illustrated, and bound stories; Lily wrote an additional story about Pippi Longstocking which lent to lots of extra spelling practice (which I find amusing because she was sure she was going to NOT be interested in hearing Pippi at first when I introduced the audio CD!); Spelling Bee practice for both Gabe and Lily; vocabulary asked about this week (that I can remember – maybe need to write this down during the week): usher, liberty, pledge, unto, sup and dine (referring a supper versus dinner discussion – actually pulled out the dictionary on this one and discussed Old English), sourdough, thee and thy,
  • Science – everyone read lots of Magic School Bus books, Gabe spent time working on his new Snap Circuits (electricity)
  • Lily’s Independent ReadingPish and Posh, The Scariest Monster, Fancy Nancy book series, Dancers
  • Gabe’s Independent ReadingG is for Google (math), Go Figure (math), Mathemagic (math), Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great, SuperfudgeRamona and Her Mother, Ramona and Her Father, Ramona Forever, Henry and Beezus, Harriet the Spy, Magic School Bus: Gets Programmed (science & technology)
  • Practical Life Skills – cooking with dad; manners (specifically saying “Yes M’am” and “Yes Sir” and obeying first time asked)
  • Art – drawing with dad, Lily worked on scrapbooking, Gabe made own gameboard

The Littles

  • Luc – played number matching game with mom, painted, colored, discussed how dinosaurs differ with mom, reading time with mom and Gabe, watched Leap Frog phonics series
  • Delilah – played number matching game with mom, painted, colored, watched Leap Frog phonics DVD series, reading time with mom and Gabe and Lily
  • Ivy – can now sit up on her own; practicing having each of the older three take turns playing with her

Additional Notes – Looking back over the week it looks like we accomplished quite a bit.  I guess sometimes I don’t realize how much we actually got done until it gets written out.  This is encouraging!

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