Monday, December 8, 2008

Okay, it's been awhile!

Here's what we've been working on daily:

--reading through Catherine Vos Story Bible
--finished Prince Caspian and are nearly through The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
--reading through Favorite Poems Old and New (ck title?)
--piano--Mr. D
--math: Saxon 87, 1/2 lesson a day (SD)
--math: Saxon 54, (Mr. D)--we are flying through the beginning lessons and he is doing selected problems from each lesson; we are also doing the mental math exercises.
--reading--SD is in Brisingr; Mr. D is in the Harry Potter series
--writing--haven't been writing as much as I want--only once or twice a week, a few paragraphs


--SD prepared a monologue, auditioned for The Matchmaker and got the part of Malachi Stack; has been going to two rehearsals a week and has to memorize all lines over Christmas break
--both boys have worked up a musical audition and practiced almost daily for the past three weeks, plus learning all the male voice Schoolhouse Rock songs.
--laser tag outing
--SD has been learning guitar chords from uncle, friend and other friend; has gone online for songs to teach himself
--Mr. D plays RuneScape online, also lots of games with younger bro and sis

Monday, October 27, 2008

--read Catherine Vos Story Bible
--Mom read two sections from JC Ryle book and discussed (on obedience and love)
--read Prince Caspian
--practiced mult. and div. facts
--more double digit mult. problems
--SD practiced guitar
--Mr. D practiced piano
--Mr. D and Mom played Flip It with Chicklet
--Mr. D gave Chicklet a reading lesson
--SD and Mr. D did dinosaur books with Chicklet and B3
--SD and Mr. D went to friend's house to skateboard and play guitar
--Mr. D had piano lesson
--SD wrote two email thank you notes
--Mr. D wrote paragraph

Friday, October 24, 2008

--watched carpet go in to newly constructed bedroom
--watched trim and towel bar, toilet paper holder be put up
--cleaned house
--played Trivial Pursuit with Grandma and Grandpa
--SD prepared for his Christian BarMitzvah
--had the service and a party afterward for SD
--SD practiced guitar; played with friend
--hung out with friend from Germany
--Mr. D practiced piano, played for relatives

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Enrichment classes:

Mr. D & Chicklet learned about chemical reactions in Discovery World Science; made their own white glue and Slime.

Mr. D and SD practiced figure-drawing in sketching class; learned tactics and battled in foam swords class; discussed optical illusions in Critical Thinking

(The Critical Thinking teacher sought Mom out to say the boys were a pleasure to have in class--they are very mature and B13 takes such a helpful leadership role with those who are less inclined to stop talking and listen...!)

Chicklet and Bantam 3 enjoyed their Playtime class, and Bible Stories and Crafts class.

Chicklet made ? in her Crafts class, and B3 played ball with a friend in open gym, played Concentration with Mom in the Game Room.

At home Mr. D practiced piano, SD practiced guitar, Mom read Little House to Chicklet.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

--read Prince Caspian, Catherine Vos Story Bible
--reviewed mult facts
--SD read Eldest; Mr. D read Harry Potter
--Mom gave Chicklet a reading lesson
--Mom read Little House to Chicklet
--watched trim and doors go up in basement project

--SD attended a play, The Diary of Anne Frank

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

--gym classes at Carthage X 1 hr.
--theater classes X 2 hrs.
--boys practiced guitar and piano
--reviewed mult facts
--read Prince Caspian
--read Harry Potter
--watched the ongoing construction in the basement: tile was laid today

Monday, October 20, 2008

--practiced math facts
--boys read Harry Potter
--Mom gave Chicklet two reading lessons; Mr. D reviewed and continued two more lessons with her
--SD did one DVD guitar lesson and practiced one hour
--Mr. D practiced piano, had piano lesson and practiced more
--read Prince Caspian
--read D is for Democracy and discussed concepts
--observed ongoing construction projects in basement--drywall finishing and priming; painting
--wrote paragraphs on Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH

Mrs. Frisby and the rats of NIMH really got me thinking. After I read the book I thought that the rats should've stayed at the laboratory a little longer so that docter Schultz could see what they were capeable of doing. Because in a way I kinda felt bad for docter Schultz. Also later on in the book all the rats move to a new home. I think the author should've explained a bit more about how they liked it and where it was. At the end of the book there was two rats that died and I wanted to know which of the rats died because I thought they were heroes. I think this book is worth reading again. (SD, unedited)

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Wed--Fri. Oct 15-17

--continued to read aloud: Prince Caspian
--practiced mult and div facts daily
--boys practiced piano, guitar, magic tricks
--SD went running (twice?)
--boys continued reading Harry Potter series
--Mom gave Chicklet reading lessons
--watched the continuing construction project in basement--framing, electrical, drywalling

Thursday--enrichment classes X 4 hrs.

Friday--attended The Legend of Pocahontas musical and cast party afterwards

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

--read Catherine Vos Story Bible
--read Ch. 3 & 4 of Prince Caspian
--reviewed X facts and opposite division facts, added new X facts; reviewed multi-digit X and long division with 2-digit divisor
--Carthage College PE classes--one hour (SD played volleyball; Chicklet and Mr. D played gym games; B3 had a preschool "class" taught by a big sister
--we discussed Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH some more (study guide): Was technology a good or a bad thing in the book? Who were the bad guys and why/good guys and why? (complex plot with several ways of looking at these questions)
--theater classes X 2 hrs.
--SD practiced guitar
--Mr. D practiced piano
--both boys read Harry Potter books
--watched a Harry Potter movie
--read another chapter of The Endless Steppe
--SD practiced guitar again

Monday, October 13, 2008

On Sunday, SD attended a ceremony for a new Eagle Scout (friend of Blondechick's) and learned what all is required.

Monday evening an exchange student from Germany came over and hung out with SD; they talked music, bands, guitar, cultural differences, etc.

--we started Prince Caspian (including Chicklet)
--read Catherine Vos Bible Storybook
--practiced multiplication facts and their reverse (division)
--the boys practiced magic lessons
--SD practiced guitar
--MR. D practiced piano, had a lesson
--Mom gave Chicklet a reading lesson and we did 9 pgs in her workbook (Get Ready for the Code)
--Chicklet and B3 watched Eyewitness: Cat
--Mr. D played Axis and Allies with himself (and with a friend a week ago)
--SD went for a 3-mile run

(on the weekend) we watched Speed Racer, looked up the old cartoon on Wikipedia and talked about Japanese anime

Friday, October 10, 2008

The Usual.

Except we finished Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH, discussed it and then the boys each wrote a paragraph about it.

And Mr. D practiced sketching, and sketching, and sketching...

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Today we had enrichment classes--see last Thursday.

The boys are really excited about sketching--came home and practiced drawing human faces.

Chicklet painted a flower pot; she and B3 made a Noah booklet and craft pg.

--we practiced mult. and subt. facts

--Mom read picture books from library: Probuditi (about a magician/hypnotist and two boys who hypnotize their little sister) and The Piano Man (about a silent movie piano player)

--Mom gave Chicklet a reading lesson

--Mr. D practiced piano

--both boys practiced magic tricks

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

--read Catherine Vos Story Bible
--read Mrs. Frisby
--practiced X facts with flash cards
--practiced problems with missing addends, factors, subtrahends, minuends
--Chicklet and B3 watched You're a Good Man Charlie Brown
--boys practiced magic tricks with new book
--boys finished paragraphs from yesterday
--Mr. D and Mom edited two of his paragraphs from before
--we published one here and one here
--SD practiced keyboarding first half of his essay on foam swords
--Mom gave Chicklet reading lesson
--SD and Mr. D babysat for the M's, performed magic tricks for them! and played Axis and Allies with P
--Chicklet and B3 watched Eyewitness: Horse
--Mr. D practiced piano

A Visit to the Water Treatment Plant

Today I went to the water treatment plant. There were a lot of machines. Some were cleaning; some were sending clean water through pipes to the city. What was really cool was the sand filtering room. One of those things that isn't cool but interesting is the laboratory. The control room looked like the inside of a starship! I learned lots of things I didn't even know.

by Mr. Diner

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

--both boys read Harry Potter all morning--for HOURS. Mom let them.
--we reviewed multiplication facts and our vocabulary--addend, sum, minuend, subtrahend, difference...etc.
--we read 6 more pgs of homonym riddles, with the boys figuring them out and spelling them.
--Mr. D wrote paragraph about second Harry Potter book
--SD started paragraph about foam swords
--SD pored over his new book of magic tricks
--Mr. D practiced piano
--Chicklet practiced singing You're a Good Man Charlie Brown and Happiness Is (along with YouTube videos)
--All three attended theater classes X 2 hrs.
--Mom gave Chicklet a reading lesson
--Chicklet did two lessons in Get Ready for the Code
--SD practiced magic tricks
--the boys searched diligently for a missing hamster; SD came up with an idea to figure out what room she was in by putting out a few grains of seed overnight in each upstairs bedroom. He figured whichever pile was missing seeds would indicate that she was in that room! But she appeared, on her own, before we could put his sleuthing to the test.

Monday, October 6, 2008

--added 6 new multiplication facts; reviewed all 18 several times
--reviewed tricks for nines
--reviewed missing addends, factors and subtrahends/minuends, how to solve and check
--read Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH (2 chapters)
--read first 10 pgs of Eight Ate: A Feast of Homonym Riddles (Mom read the riddle and the boys guessed and spelled)--SD and Mr. D read aloud together (each taking one paragraph) first story in True Stories of Wonderful Deeds
--SD selected an article about lasers in Discovery Magazine back editions and read it to Mr. D
--Mr. D practiced piano
--Mr. D had piano lesson
--both boys read their Harry Potter books; SD finished sixth book
--boys played Uno with Chicklet
--Mom read from My Book House Vol. 1 & 2--nursery rhymes/poetry and Aesop's fables--to Chicklet and Mr. D
--Mom read Chapter 15 of The Endless Steppe to SD, Mr. D, Blondechick and Bantam17
--SD bike riding with friends
--SD practiced guitar
--SD and Mr. D helped carpenter move 2X4's, drywall
--whole family watched The Inheritance (DVD) based on the book by Louisa May Alcott

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Try not to become a man of success but rather to become a man of value.

If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research, would it?

Put your hand on a hot stove for a minute, and it seems like an hour. Sit with a pretty girl for an hour, and it seems like a minute. THAT'S relativity.

Teaching should be such that what is offered is perceived as a valuable gift and not as a hard duty.

Do not worry about your problems with mathematics, I assure you mine are far greater.

— Albert Einstein

All men who have turned out worth anything have had the chief hand in their own education.
— Sir Walter Scott

HT: Mental Multivitamin

Friday, October 3, 2008

--read Catherine Vos Story Bible
--read Mrs. Frisby
--boys read Harry Potter
--SD, Mr. D (with Mom) practiced multiplication facts, went over extended notation, reviewed how money amounts are written and lined up, what to do with parentheses, counting numbers, whole numbers (and not-whole numbers), reviewed addend+addend=sum, minuend-subtrahend=difference, factorXfactor=product, dividend/divisor=quotient, and did problems using the vocabulary sum, difference, product, quotient. (All from Saxon 87 first couple lessons.)
--observed crystal growth
--used an old calendar with photos of weather events (hurricane, tornado, volcanic eruption, Northern lights, eclipse, etc.) to discuss those phenomena
--Mom gave Chicklet a reading lesson; read Little House in the Big Woods
--boys made breastplates from cardboard, decorated with duct tape and electrical tape, staged battles
--we cleaned whole house in record time
--SD practiced guitar
--Mr. D practiced piano
--SD performed magic tricks for company
--we watched 4th lecture of Do Hard Things

Thursday, October 2, 2008

First day of enrichment classes!

Mr. D & Chicklet learned about magnets and electricity in Discovery World Science; made their own circuits which light up a Christmas tree bulb.

Mr. D and SD enjoyed a sketching class; made foam swords and fought in a battle; wrote a paragraph in Critical Thinking
Chicklet and Bantam 3 enjoyed their Playtime class, and made a Creation Book in the Bible Stories and Crafts class.

Chicklet made a caterpillar and a butterfly in her Crafts class, and B3 played with a friend on scooters in open gym and later built quite a set out of Duplos in the Game Room.

At home Mr. D practiced piano, SD practiced guitar, Mom read Little House to Chicklet.

SD researched, selected and ordered book on magic.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

--read Catherine Vos Story Bible--about Elijah and the chariot of fire...reminded us of John Fawcett, Mendelssohn's Elijah, what he said to Dad and what Margie saw
--read two ch's of Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH
--SD helped our carpenter building basement bathroom X 45 min.--learned some basics of measuring/sawing/measuring again/framing
--Mr. D, Chicklet & B3 studied pieces of Holy Land Treasure Box. Dressed paper dolls of Egyptian, Crusader, nomad. Put stickers of famous landmarks on map, read about them. Read about history of Holy Land, religions, Crusades, etc. Mr. D used decoder to figure out his name in Hebrew and print it with printing blocks. Looked up Hebrew alphabet online to figure out why there are no vowels in it.
--dinosaur workbooks--all 4 looked up "code" to spell meanings of dinosaur names
--spelling test for SD and Mr. D--triassic, jurassic, ankylosaurus, etc.
--practiced new multiplication facts
--reviewed math concepts from first couple lessons of Saxon 87 with both boys
--talked about Holy Land kit, the Crusades, Christianity vs. Judaism, evidence for Christianity...
--Mr. D wrote paragraph: (STILL NEED TO EDIT W/ HIM)

When I read Harry Potter it feels like you're in Hogwarts in the dormintrees on the quadiich feild even into secret rooms. It's hard to put the book down cause it's really adicting. My mom was going to have only one kid in the family that would never read until I started Harry Potter, now my mom sort of wishes I didn't read so much cause now whenever we are just about do math or something I dissapear then she finds me upstairs in my bed reading harry Potter. Whoever starts reading Harry Potter can never stop reading.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

--SD, Mr. D, Chicklet and B3 did their dinosaur workbooks together
--reviewed subtraction facts, added 6 new multiplication facts
--practiced mental math from Saxon book--adding and subtracting twenty, ten and nine to numbers 11-89, adding/subtracting even multiples of ten, completing numbers in a series (skip counting) forward and backward
--Mr. D practiced piano
--SD practiced guitar
--Mr. D finished Harry Potter #1
--SD typed (practiced keyboarding) his essay from Friday
--we proofread, discussed grammar/editing choices
--the final result
--read Mrs. Frisby & the Rats of NIMH
--read Little House to Chicklet
--read nursery rhymes from My Book House Vol 1 to Chicklet and B3
--theater classes X 2 hours

Monday, September 29, 2008

--SD went running with Dad
--Both boys practiced piano
SD wants to drop piano to focus on guitar. Mom and Dad decided okay. Piano teacher broke foot and cancelled lesson!
--SD practiced guitar
--SD practiced magic tricks
--Both boys read Harry Potter and watched 4th? movie
--We practiced +, - & X facts
--Mom started reading Little House in the Big Woods to Chicklet
--Boys read two Magic Schoolbus science books, including At the Waterworks (because of our field trip on Friday).
--We got into a discussion regarding our nation's use of oil--could oil supply run out?--could water supply run out?--what about alternative sources of energy? I explained about nuclear energy, solar power, wind and water energy, ethanol, electric and hybrid cars...

Saturday, September 27, 2008

SD went to IKEA with Dad, helped select bookshelves, load up, unload, and assemble them.

Chicklet helped Mom cook supper and get ready for company lunch on Sunday; Mr. D helped clean house, entertained Chicklet and B3 with puppet shows.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Visited water treatment plant for 1 hr. tour with the A's, the M's and the H's
Both boys wrote paragraphs about it:


Today I went to the water treatment plant. There were a lot of machines Some were cleaning Some were sending clean water through pipes to the city What was realy cool was the sand filtering room. one of those things that isn't cool but interesting is the labrotory. the control room looked like the inside of a starship. I learned lots of things I didn't even know.

On the way home, we ran errands and saw a booth with child ID fingerprinting; Mr. D, Chicklet & B3 got their fingerprints done and we all discussed fingerprints as unique ID
Reviewed + & - math facts, added 6 multiplication facts
SD practiced guitar and piano
Mr. D practiced piano
Both continued reading Harry Potter books
Read Catherine Vos Story Bible
Read Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH
Mom read to Chicklet and Bantam3
SD gave Chicklet a reading lesson
Mr. D helped Chicklet with her numbers workbook
Mr. D, Chicklet and Bantam3 played with puppets, made up shows
SD practiced magic tricks

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Wrote paragraph together on Statute of Liberty, based on info we learned yesterday:

The Statue of Liberty, one of the most famous American landmarks, stands tall and proud in New York Harbor. The creator of this monument was French sculptor Frederic Auguste Bartholdi. To support the sculpture's massive body, he enlisted the help of Alexandre-Gustave Eiffel, the engineer who constructed the Eiffel Tower in Paris. The completed statue stands 305 feet tall, including the base, and her copper exterior weighs 32 tons. The monument was unveiled in 1886, and to this day, she stands for liberty and freedom for all Americans.

First we brainstormed details we could share about the topic. Then we narrowed it down, that this would be a descriptive paragraph that also told about the men who built it. Mom helped significantly by suggesting phrases that combed several details into one sentence (vs. short choppy sentences with one detail in each) and by suggesting word choices and phrases which the boys chose from.

--addition & subtraction flashcard review, added 6 multiplication facts
--SD typed paragraph he wrote yesterday onto his blog. (still needs proofreading/editing/link here)
--Mr. D wrote "how to" paragraph:

First draft:

This is how to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich first you get two pieces of bread then you put some jelly on one piece and then peanut butter on the other. You're done!

Final draft:

This is how to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. First you get two pieces of bread. Then you put some jelly on one piece and then peanut butter on the other. Then you put one piece of bread on top of the other piece, with the peanut butter and jelly in the middle. You're done! Now...EAT IT!!

--SD and Mr. D "taught" Chicklet and B3 about dinosaurs in their dinosaur workbooks
--All 4 kids "designed" their own dinosaur coloration/pattern and colored in with colored pencils, while Mom read nursery rhymes from My Book House Vol. 1
--SD gave Chicklet a reading lesson in 100 Easy Lessons
--we read two chapters of Mrs. Frisby
--both boys practiced piano
--we reviewed music note names on treble and bass clefs
--SD practiced guitar
--SD started Harry Potter #6
--Mr. D read HP #1
--Boys re-watched movie of HP #1

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Read two chapters of Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH
Read Catherine Vos Story Bible
Read Naming Liberty, a picture book that tells parallel stories of the creation of the Statue of Liberty and a family of Jewish Russian immigrants.
Got online and looked up pictures of the interior of Lady Liberty, found out whether you can still go up into the crown (you can't, since 9/11).
Next we looked up pictures of the sculptor's other sculptures...
Next we talked about the NY City skyline and looked up the world's tallest buildings...
Then watched YouTube videos of 9/11
Researched who the terrorists were and why they attacked the Twin Towers

SD finished fifth Harry Potter book and wrote paragraph on why the series is so appealing

Mr. D started first Harry Potter book; continued The Battle for the Castle; finished paragraph from Monday:

My mom, my brother and I are reading a really good book called Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH. What's exciting is that some rats have a big secret but nobody knows their secret. Mrs. Frisby is the only one who finds out. I'm really glad my mom picked out the most amazing book ever!

Both boys helped carry in lumber for basement construction project; observed the beginning of the process

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

--SD went running 4 miles with Dad; said Morning Prayer
--SD expanded his paragraph from yesterday and practiced keyboarding by typing it up for his blog. We went over spelling, punctuation, grammar and keyboarding errors, discussed and fixed. He suggested accompanying pictures, which we took of him on his bike. (Will download later.)
--SD practiced piano and guitar
--SD read Harry Potter all day, trying to finish

Together, we drilled addition and subtraction flashcards. They are getting much faster!

Spontaneously, SD said to me, "I am learning more this year than I ever have before." He mentioned math and Harry Potter, especially how he gets into the story and doesn't even notice time passing or feeling tired.

--Mr. D read, practiced piano, did math, played piano, talked with me about yesterday's paragraph, played piano!

Chicklet and Mom worked on her part for her song for her theater class.

Mr. D, Chicklet and B3 read with Mom in the first two volumes of My Book House. In The Little Red Hen, each had a part to say: "Not I, said the Duck" or Not I, said the Mouse, etc. In The Little Gray Horse, Mr. D read all the man's parts and Mom read the rest. They loved it; begged for more, but we had to leave for theater class.

All: Theater class X 2 hrs each.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Both boys:

--practiced piano
--read their books
--wrote paragraphs (first drafts)
--practiced math facts
--listened to Mom read Catherine Vos Bible Story Book
--also Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH
--did chores
--had piano lessons

Mom read to Chicklet and Bantam3 (Walter the Baker); did numbers workbook with Chicklet; read The Clown of God (DePaola) to Mr. D and Chicklet

Field trip: To the dentist's office, where everyone had check-ups, flossing and brushing lessons

Cooking lesson: Cream puffs!

Friday, September 19, 2008

--drilled addition and subtraction flashcards, discussed tricks and memory aids
--reviewed place value to billions and thousandths
--read two chapters of Mrs. Frisby
--Mom helped SD with piano; SD practiced alone
--Mr. D practiced piano
--SD read Harry Potter
--Mr. D read Battle for the Castle
--Mr. D wrote paragraph:

A few days ago I found a magic book. I started to learn tricks. A little later I performed one of my own little magic shows. I was pleased with all that I had learned.

--Mr. D learned to fold t-shirts
--Mr. D caught a huge toad which we all admired
--Chicklet still learning words and tune for You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown
--Mom read to Chicklet & Bantam3: Yertle the Turtle, Gertrude McFuzz (again)

Thursday, September 18, 2008

--we drilled addition and subtraction flashcards; reviewed number families; reviewed families that add up to 10 and "built" up to 10 with MathUSee blocks; also subtracted "teen" numbers using blocks to show how to subtract down to 10 and then more, from ten, to find the answer; reviewed how you add up to check subtraction
(I was surprised at how shaky the boys were on these basics. So glad we're spending the time getting this down.)

--we discussed the writing they've been doing and how they could make their paragraphs sound better. I gave them a start: I went shopping with my daughter yesterday. We brainstormed ways we could rewrite that sentence to make it more interesting and creative--decided DETAILS added a lot.
--I taught them metaphors and similes and we practiced recognizing the difference and making up their own.
--each rewrote a paragraph to make it more interesting, including at least one simile or metaphor

My Sword (SD's first effort)
(he was told to write a descriptive paragraph about his new sword)

Ever since I saw Narnia I became glued to Peter's sword. So I looked up the sword on the internet and decided I should order it. The sword has a maroon and gold sheath that came with it. The handle has the same colors. The actual blade is stainless steel, which makes it twice as good.

(I told him this started out well, but got boring and has a wimpy ending.)

My Sword (SD's next effort)

Ever since I saw the movie Narnia I became glued to the sword Peter used. So I looked up the sword on the internet and decided I should order it. So I did. The sheath is red as blood. But the actual blade is as shiny as a newly minted coin. Whenever I grasp my sword I feel like a royal knight in Aslan's army.

(I told him this was much better, except for the part about ordering it. The reality was much more interesting, so we re-worked that section together:)

My Sword (final draft)

Ever since I saw the Narnia movies, I became glued to the sword Peter used. So I looked up the sword on the internet. After looking at several websites and dozens of other swords, Peter's sword still stood out to me. The price was within my range, so I decided to buy it.

When the Fed Ex man rang the doorbell, I grabbed the box and yelled "Thank you!" I opened it as soon as I shut the door, and I held my sword for the first time. It looked just as I imagined. The sheath is red as blood. But the actual blade is as shiny as a newly minted coin. Whenever I grasp my sword, I feel like a royal knight in Aslan's army.

Castle in the Attic (Mr. D's first effort)

I think almost every boy would like this book. What I liked about it is that there is knights and dragons. Its in the mideval times. And that's why I like it. (uncorrected)

Castle in the Attic (Mr. D's rewrite)

A few days ago, I finished the most amazing book called Castle in the Attic. What is really cool about it is that it is in the medieval times! It has magical dragons and evil wizards and castles and knights with sparkling armor and royal kings. It's all about an ordinary boy who turns into a great hero and saves a kingdom from an evil wizard. Those are some reasons why I think almost every boy would like this book!

(We discussed the need for a comma and an apostrophe, but otherwise, it's all his work.)

--SD practiced guitar
--both boys practiced piano (Mom helped Mr. D learn new song)
--SD read Harry Potter
--Mr. D started Battle for the Castle
--Mom worked with Chicklet to learn the words to "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown" for her theater class. (Man, this is a hard melody for me to retain, let alone a six-year-old!)
--Chicklet practiced along with a YouTube video
--we all put together a floor puzzle of the USA and located states where we know someone lives; how far it would take to drive there; etc.
--Chicklet and B3 worked puzzles, colored, played
--Mr. D read pop-up books to C & B (Big Red Fire Truck, Little Red Plane, Little Orange Submarine)
--B3 and Chicklet watched Eyewitness: Dinosaur one day last week and I forgot to write it down then...
--We read two chapters of Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Today SD and Dad slept in a bit, since Dad had a late-night business event and since the high schoolers were home today with no school! Strangely, Mom woke up an hour early.

--observed the plumbers at work, putting in drains for our new bathroom in the basement
--read from Catherine Vos Story Bible
--read three ch's of Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH
Now that we have borrowed a scale:
--we learned about calibrating it
--we practiced measuring weights of various items
--we measured water and talked about water tension, the meniscus and how to measure liquids accurately
--we measured rocks to find the right size rocks for our containers
--measured water and 8 g. of crystals; boiled water and dissolved remaining crystals; poured solution over rocks in containers; noted time
--discussed options and decided how to dispose of remaining solution; cleaned up work area and utensils
--3 hrs later added remaining "seed" crystals
--both boys practiced piano
--Mom read "The Ugly Duckling" to Chicklet and Bantam3
--Mr. D, Chicklet and B3 watched Rapunzel (well-done Barbie movie)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

--SD worked out, said Morning Prayer with Dad
--We read Catherine Vos Story Bible and discussed
--We read two chapters of Mrs. Frisby &...
--SD read Harry Potter for an hour
--Both boys practiced piano
--Mr. D finished The Castle in the Attic
--Mr. D wrote paragraph on Castle in the Attic:

Castle in the Attic

I think almost every boy would like this book. What I liked about it is that there is knights and dragons. Its in the mideval times. And that's why I like it. (uncorrected)

--We reviewed place value out to millions' place and down to thousandths place, using MathUSee blocks for illustration; zero as a placeholder; negative numbers and their uses, especially temperature, money, and distance
--Mr. D read to Bantam3
--B3 and Chicklet watched Eyewitness: Seashore
--Chicklet, Mr. D and SD attended theater classes for 2 hours
--Read to Chicklet and B3: The Story of Ferdinand, Tasha Tudor's Five Senses, Gertrude McFuzz
--SD received the sword her ordered and wrote a descriptive paragraph: (see Thurs. Sept 18)

Monday, September 15, 2008

--SD went running, said Morning Prayer with Dad
--We read Catherine Vos Story Bible and discussed
--We read two chapters of Mrs. Frisby &...
--We discussed all the subjects and activities to be fit into the day and whether we should schedule them...decided that at least SD should not go back to bed after Dad leaves, and the rest of us need to get up and join him at 8:00 a.m. (a stretch for Mr. D). Which means going to bed on time!
--We reviewed basics of note reading (All cows eat grass, etc.)
--Mr. D labelled a staff with the notes
--SD read Harry Potter for an hour+
--SD practiced piano
--Mr. D read The Castle in the Attic (30 min?)
--Mr. D practiced piano
--Mr. D played reviewed math facts on FunBrain
--both boys had their first piano lesson with their new teacher and liked her very much!
--SD reworked his paragraphs on magic, after discussion about what his main idea really was:

Ever since I saw my first Criss Angel episode, I've been hooked on magic. It's just fascinating that an easy card trick can blow someone's mind! When I perform a trick, people become puzzled and surprised. A simple magic trick can really impress an audience. I keep practicing in hopes that one day, I'll be a professional magician.

--SD practiced magic tricks
--Mr. D read to Chicklet and Bantam3

Sunday, September 14, 2008

What did we do Friday??

Oh, I remember now.

--watched Bobby McFerrin's music video on YouTube until Robin Williams wandered into it
--watched YouTube clips of Mork and Mindy--cultural literacy and vocabulary! (na-noo na-noo; shazbat)
--located boys' suit coats, neckties, shirts, pants and shoes that fit, to be ready for Sunday
--discussed the appalling state of affairs in their bedroom and how they could better rearrange and use their space, especially to contain Mr. D's Legos in one of the dormer areas
--SD begged to begin the project right away. "Couldn't this count as school? Isn't a project like this something I could learn a lot from doing by myself?" I couldn't argue! He got the whole room into great shape (except for a few boxes of Mr. D's stuff that he shoved into the closet as a temporary holding place).
--SD spent about 25 minutes on FunBrain doing math facts
--SD practiced guitar
--SD picked out two new proverbs to email his dad about; read and digested Dad's lengthy emails back
--SD went mini-golfing with the homeschool youth group
--Mr. D read to the youngest two
--Mr. D taught Chicklet6 how to write 1, 2 & 3--and how to practice
--Mr. D continued reading his chapter book
--Mr. D wrote another paragraph about hamsters:

Hamsters are easy pets to take care of. Because they stay in their cage. And when you play with them they can't get away. And they don't eat so much so the food lasts. The only thing that is a little bit hard is cleaning there cages so they don't stink. (uncorrected)

On Saturday, SD ran a fast two miles--and loved it
Mr. D played creatively with Chicklet and B3 all day

Thursday, September 11, 2008

--SD worked out with Dad (pushups, etc) and they did Morning Prayer together
--at choretime, we had to have another discussion about doing their very best...
--we discussed what the boys are reading, since they spent a good part of the day yesterday reading:
--SD says he's really enjoying Harry Potter #5, and noticing that he can read for longer periods of time without getting bored or sleepy
--Mr. D is enjoying The Castle in the Attic. "It's really getting exciting, Mom!" Then he spontaneously narrated a couple chapters' worth of events to me.
--Mr. D spent nearly 1.5 hours on FunBrain today, playing math games to reinforce addition and subtraction facts
--SD read Harry Potter that whole time
--Chicklet and Bantam3 played happily in the basement that whole time
--Mom got everything together to go sign up for Enrichment Classes today, and the boys got in to the classes they cared most about!
--while Mom was gone, SD gave Chicklet a reading lesson "and I taught her another lesson, too, Mom." At lunch, she was causing a big fuss because she didn't get the pretty spoon she wanted, so he sent her to her room. Later he followed her there, sat down with her and explained that there are kids in Africa who barely have food to eat, let alone even one spoon--they eat with their hands, and they eat what we would throw in the garbage, and their ribs show "when they're not even sucking in" and they're sick all the time from dirty water and bad food. Apparently this made an impression and she came down to lunch and made no more fuss about her spoon. --What wisdom, diplomacy and compassion he displayed!
--SD and Mr. D looked at swords online, SD ordered Peter's sword from Prince Caspian
--SD read Proverbs 1, emailed Dad one verse that he liked, and why, and one verse that he didn't understand.
--Mom taught SD to make Taco Casserole

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

--SD ran 4 miles, said Morning Prayer with Dad
--we decided to do chores first, since we'd put them off so long; when they were done, I checked and they had to re-do them; we discussed why it's important to do it right the first time, to do your best always. We talked about future employers and who will get a pay raise or get promoted--the one who does a sloppy, adequate job, or the one who goes a little bit above and beyond
--SD reminded me of the MLKing quote (full speech here) which he had read in Do Hard Things:
If it falls your lot to be a street sweeper, sweep streets like Michelangelo painted pictures, sweep streets like Beethoven composed music, sweep streets like Leontyne Price sings before the Metropolitan Opera. Sweep streets like Shakespeare wrote poetry. Sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will have to pause and say: Here lived a great street sweeper who swept his job well.
--Mr. D read Ch. 9-11 in Castle in the Attic
--SD read Ch. 10-11 in Harry Potter #5
--SD practiced magic tricks
--Mom read to younger two: Marguerite Makes a Book, Alexander and the Wind-Up Mouse, Rabbits and Raindrops
--Mom worked with younger two to organize their toys and clean up bedroom
--Mr. D made plans for a video he's going to produce

Here is Mr. D's 5-sentence paragraph from yesterday. I assigned the topic and gave him the first sentence:

A hamster makes a great pet. You can pet them. They're cute and cuddly. You can play around with them. That's why the furry little hamsters make great pets.

Here is SD's 5-sentence paragraph from yesterday--first effort:

Magic is a great hobby. Magic makes people surprised and happy. When you're a magician, you never reveal a secret. I think magic is great because you can make people enjoy you. That is why I love magic.

We talked about how the third sentence doesn't really fit the main idea of the paragraph, also why certain activities make great hobbies or not. He's going to rewrite.

--Mr. D went through Lessons 1 & 2 on this keyboarding site

--Mr. D and SD "filmed" his spoof on Criss Angel's "Mind Freak" magic and stunt show, with a GI Joe, a Ken doll and two Barbies as Criss, Criss's brother and an audience to "ooh" in high-pitched voices. The show centered around a very klutzy Criss who either failed in each attempt or did the trick with someone getting badly hurt--usually tossed down the stairs, off the countertop or out of the picture. Mr. D provided all voices and dialogue; SD filmed, tried to stifle laughs and occasionally inserted a new character, a little boy doll who whispered in other character's ears or to the camera.

(Mr. D wants to post to YouTube, but Mom says way too long, and too boring to those who don't get the jokes.)

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

--Read Grandad's Prayers of the Earth
--Read Catherine Vos Bible Story Book
--Read Five-Minute Devotions for Children--about Frogs, Tadpoles and Polliwogs
--Read two chapters of Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH
--Practiced math facts with flashcards
--Polished and published final draft of Mr. D's essay "My Girl"
--Polished final draft of SD's narrative essay, "Junk to JUMP!"
--Took picture for it; sort of learned how to upload through Lightroom...with Dad's help--and published post
--SD assembled all items needed for magic class today
--went to St. Vincent's for silk scarf for magic
--SD gave Chicklet a reading lesson in 100 Easy Lessons
--SD and Mr. D both write 5-sentence paragraphs
--Mom and SD discussed his; he'll rewrite tomorrow
--SD attended magic class; Mr. D attended jazz class; Chicklet attended Peanuts Gang
--boys read their chapter books
--Mom read to Chicklet and B3
--Mr. D had to do two more pages of language arts and took a spelling test

Monday, September 8, 2008

Super Dude was up and running 4 miles with Dad at 6 this morning; they said Morning Prayer together, and then SD went back to bed.

So instead of starting school first thing, I wrote a blog post, started laundry, wrote some emails, tried to place an order, and read today's Psalms and copied some sections into my personal blog/journal.

By the time SD got up, it was pretty late in the morning, and we agreed that probably that wasn't a good idea most of the time!

But we still got in a fair amount of learning:

--Mr. D. read some more in The Castle in the Attic

--I read the Catherine Vos Bible Storybook; we reviewed the kings of Judah and Israel and the boys narrated sections of the days' reading to me. Today's chapter was full of murder and wickedness!

--we reviewed math facts with flashcards and Bingo

--both boys finished rough drafts of posts they are writing for their personal blogs

--we observed our Rock Candy crystals, still growing as the sugar solution evaporates

--we set out the rain gauge from our weather station again (since it is raining today--we are watching the grass literally green up before our eyes!)

--SD read Harry Potter

--Mr. D read to Chicklet and B3

--Mr. D did two pages of Language Arts workbook (as a--ahem--consequence)

Friday, September 5, 2008

--cleaned house
--went to McDonald's Playland for Chicklet's birthday party!!!! SD and Mr. D played on the equipment with the twins, while Chicklet and her little girlfriend painted their nails and played tea party and Polly Pocket. B3 and buddy3 bonded and had a blast.

--went to pet store, guitar store, and grocery. Learned that strings on SD's guitar are fine.

--finished cleaning house, but the expected IL friends had to cancel

--attended auditions; on the way home, discussed individual performances, good and bad song choices, what made an audition stand out, possible song choices for their auditions for the next show, etc.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

--SD worked out with Dad (push-ups and pull-ups); prayed the morning office together

--took way too long getting chores done; decided that tomorrow we'll try putting chores at the END of the day, when they're more motivated to do them quickly

--read from Catherine Vos Bible Storybook; discussed mono-, bi-, poly-, as in monogamy, bigamy, polygamy (Solomon and his wives), also polytheism and monotheism

--read three chapters from Mrs. Frisby while boys tried drawing mice

--SuperDude researched more magic tricks and practiced two

--we observed our Rock Candy experiment: crystals are growing not only on our sticks but also all over the bottom and sides of the glass. Decided to take the liquid that is left, boil and try again, as one website suggests

--at 1 p.m. we put out the Weather Station rain gauge

--Mama Hen and Chicklet did several workbook pages together while boys read to themselves (SD--Harry Potter, Mr. D--The Castle in the Attic), and Bantam3 watched Charlotte's Web

--read directions for crystal growing activity kit and listed supplies we need to buy/find (mainly, a way to measure 8 grams of "crystal growing powder")

--discussed number families, rehearsed examples; had addition flashcard races, discussed strategies for nines, doubles + 1, etc.

--SD and Mr. D worked on posts for their personal blogs, practicing keyboarding

--Bantam3 invented a new superhero; he calls himself "FasterGuy"

--at 6:20 p.m., we checked the rain gauge; there had had been rainfall of 1 1/20 inches; emptied it and put it back outside

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

--SD ran four miles with Dad; Morning Prayer

--read Catherine Vos Bible Storybook

--began math discussion; tabled till tomorrow!

--caught a giant frog in the backyard; observed

--Read Mrs. Frisby & the Rats of NIMH, Ch. 1

--made French Toast with Mr. Diner

--Super Dude researched magic tricks online and learned one

--SD researched and re-did Rock Candy experiment

--discussed and figured ratios between two different Rock Candy “recipes”

--looked up Wikipedia article on crystals, discussed definition and the three dimensions

--SD gave Chicklet her first reading lesson in 100 Easy Lessons

--Mama Hen helped Mr. D do a pre-writing exercise to begin an essay about his hamster

--SD babysat for the M's

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

--SD worked out with Dad; did Morning Prayer
--discussed plans for new school year, what it means to "learn"
--discussed household budget
--discussed new chore assignments and expectations
--SuperDude and Mr. Diner skimmed science experiment books and picked an experiment
--did experiment: supersaturating a sugar solution and observing crystal formation
--Sd & Mr. D read three chapters of Norse Gods and Giants
--Super Dude quizzed Mr. Diner about the book
--Mama Hen started Get Ready for the Code with Chicklet and did shapes page with Bantam3
--read to Chicklet and B3 (Madeline & Sleeping Beauty)
--Super Dude attended magic class, learned how to sniff a rubber band up his nose. Likes teacher.
--Mr. Diner attended jazz class, learned jazz steps.
--Chicklet attended pre-theater class, learned to sing words to You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown