The Learning Room

Week of January 16-22

Taking more time then I thought through our colonial and Revolutionary jaunt of history. I had a plan (don’t we all!) and we are suppose to be finishing up Thomas Jefferson and moving on to Lewis and Clark. But I figure with the weather as it is, Lewis and Clark will be much more fun to study as spring is approaching. Right now we are enjoying really letting our book reading settle in through music.  And I am fine with that. I suppose the Constitution should not be rushed over. I know there will be a lot they won’t retain just because they can’t possibly have a perspective yet, but there is much to be exposed to – beautiful words and ideas in the Constitution and Preamble – that can be soaked in now through memory and recalled later as the understanding clicks into place. I may actually segue into a civics rabbit trail as we finish out the winter quarter.


  • Matthew 2 – story of wise men and King Herod
  • Psalm 139 – along with a theological discussion on how big God is and can we keep secrets from him

Literature & Poetry

Language Arts

  • Latin – Gabe practiced flashcards and new words: insula, sunt, laudo
  • Spelling – Gabe is going above and beyond this week preparing words on (our fave spelling site!) for the upcoming spelling bee (post coming soon); Lily has also been working at it (mainly phonetic words and the etiquette of participating – the two biggest concerns for her first year) but more slowly then Gabe
  • Grammar – Gabe worked on creative writing this week (harder for him then Lil) with picture study narrations and working contractions into his story; practiced breaking down poetry to a basic understanding; and worked with the proper use of its and it’s
  • Phonics – Lily did a lot of reading practice (including a lot on her own) and we worked on b/d recognition through a phonics game; read from the We Both Read Book series: The New Red Bed and The Well Mannered Monster
  • Penmanship – Gabe: cursive letters R, S, T; Lily capital and lowercase C, D and b/d recognition practice
  • The Letter Factory – Luc and Lilah have been craving this video and I couldn’t be more thrilled. This series is what taught Gabe to read at age 3 without any help from me! Lily wasn’t interested in it at all (which is why we have a heavy emphasis on phonics practice with her) but Luc and Lilah have wanted to watch it every day this week and are now going around singing “The A says ‘aahhh’, The A says ‘aahhh’, Every letter makes a sound, The A says ‘aahhh’!” Luc is also picking up books around the house pointing out letters and practicing their sounds. He is asking about words on pages as we are reading. I am so happy  that we are traveling down this road. Now…if we could just get the potty training conquered!


  • Music – listened to my America: Revolutionary Freedoms CD with an emphasis on memorizing states and the Preamble of the Constitution
  • Read We the Kids: The Preamble to the Constitution of the United States by David Catrow
  • Gabe is working on memorizing the Preamble and Lily is working on memorizing Jonathon Sprout’s song Washington’s Hat (click here to listen) – both of their own accord – and both are memorizing Fifty Nifty United States
  • Read more of Betsy Ross (chapters 4-6)
  • A discussion between Gabe and Dad on Indians and what happened to them (based on a picture study done in Gabe’s Grammar book)
  • A discussion between Lily and Pop on what actually happened with Washington at Delaware’s Crossing (based on Lily’s singing the song and Pop’s recent viewing of a Discovery Channel special on that event)


  • Gabe – worked on chapter 14 of Math U See (still working w/multiplication of 6) and took Unit Test
  • Lily – worked again with Math-terpieces and regrouping addition; finished learning to count to 100 and practiced number recognition and ordering to 100; practiced addition with Math U See manipulative blocks
  • Luc – practiced counting using How To Dinosaurs Count to Ten book


  • Gabe – reading through all the Magic School Bus series again
  • Watched Magic School Bus: Creepy Crawly Fun (discovering sound waves, nocturnal creatures, spiders and web spinning)
  • Everyone watched Here Comes Science – a wonderful DVD full of songs (much like School House Rock) that goes over all kinds of science topics from the elements to cell function and photosynthesis to learning the planets. We only had to skip 2 songs (about being the brothers of monkeys). This watching spurred the kids into listening to our wonderful old school collection of Science Songs (click here to listen – especially to the kids favorite of the Ballad of Sir Isaac Newton!).
  • Dinosaurs galore!!! Some of our wonderful reading for the week:
  1. Brachiosaurus by Rupert Oliver (may have to own this series!)
  2. Pteranodon: The Life Story of a Pterosaur by Ruth Ashby (a great living book!!!)
  3. Usborne Beginners: Dinosaurs (Luc’s favorite recheck at the library due to the Parasauralophus pictured on the front cover!)
  4. Jane Yolen’s series: How Do Dinosaurs… (the only kid fiction dinosaur books Luc will read and only because they are illustrated realistically and have the actual dinosaur name listed in tiny print by every picture)



  • Dad bought a 24 pack of playdo (every color of the rainbow) and gave the kids a mission of making something w/their imagination and then telling him a story about it later. This turned into a lesson about what colors mix to make what other colors (after a toddler disaster), which gave us a nice unschooling moment about primary colors and black and white and how they function in this scenario. The older two had quite a good time finding out what made what. I may actually let them continue this study next week (since we’ve accomplished daddy’s mission) and then further that with actual paints down the road.
  • Luc and Lily practicing drawing dinosaurs. All I can say about this is see the picture below. A picture says a thousand words right???

The rendering of a Brachiosaurus drawn on flannel sheet.

4 thoughts on “The Learning Room

  1. I was thinking maybe sometime I could come and observe you with the kids schooling sometime…that is if you don’t mind. Of course this would require me trying to find a day to take of work. But I do believe it might be a good learning experience for me. If this sounds like something you would be willing to do with me, let me know. Love ya!

    • You certainly may…but be forewarned – the posts of my learning room sound MUCH nicer then what actually happens! We are pretty loose and unstructured (although I am working out kinks in areas of this realm). I know Lily would love practicing her reading with you! Let me know when a good time would be. Our main days of “school” are Monday, Thursday, and Friday mornings.

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