2015-16 School Year–Weeks Twenty and Twenty-One

The last two weeks have been insanely busy! I think that’s going to be the norm from now until the end of the school year…

In math, Turkey and Bunny are still being immersed in geometry. They’ve been working on so many things that I don’t remember studying until high school…I can’t tell you how much that scares me! Ladybug has been working with equivalent fractions, which seems tame compared to the junior high math I’ve been teaching…it’s the little things that make you thankful!

While Ladybug continues to work her way through Charlotte’s Web, Turkey and Bunny have finally finished The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. No is sadder than I am that the book ended! I can’t believe I never read it before, but I kind of wish it could have kept going forever! Next week, we start on The Trojan War.

In history, we’ve learned about Catherine the Great, the creation of the cotton gin, standardization, and opium trade in China. We’re going to be learning about Napoleon soon, which I’m looking forward to!

Ladybug has been learning about bats in science. While I understand how important they are, they completely freak me out. While the children really like them (and even think they’re cute?!?), I’ll be glad to move on! Turkey and Bunny have been comparing and contrasting uniformitarianism and catastrophism…they have a test on these topics next week.

We had a fun time celebrating Leap Day this week. We made origami frogs, which was a new activity, and much more challenging than I was expecting, and we played leapfrog, which is always fun.

We have another two weeks of school (I think), and then it’s time for spring break!

Third Grade: Week Twenty-One Wrap-Up

I’ll be honest…my energy for and interest in school is waning as my due date approaches. We still have two more weeks of work that I’m determined to get through before Chickadee’s arrival, though, if only because I don’t want to look at schooling all summer long. We’re still doing all of the “important stuff,” but some of our electives are a little on the overlooked side right now. On the other hand, the local public school is going to be spending the next two weeks on standardized testing, and anything we do at home will be better than that major waste of time!

I continue to be astounded by what Turkey and Bunny are learning in math. They’re doing measurements of area and volume, adding and reducing fractions, and working on simple equations. When I was in third grade, I remember the big thing being division tables, but that’s old hat around here. Turkey and Bunny are working on division with remainders, though, and they’re both doing really well with it, for which I’m very thankful. I dread the day long division enters this household…as far as I’m concerned, that’s what calculators are for!

Adventures in My Father’s World is still our favorite thing about any school day. This week, we learned about Robert Fulton and his inventions, (more than “just” the steamboat), as well as another couple of states, and continued to study the “Star-Spangled Banner.” I say study, instead of memorize, because Turkey and Bunny already know the first verse, (thank you Cardinals baseball games), and I don’t think they need to know any more than that by heart. We did use the first and fourth verses for our dictation this week, however, which led me to realize that Bunny has also memorized at least the fourth the verse, if not two and three, as well. It’s strange what children pick up on, and she seemed quite amused at my surprise when she was saying the dictation before I could!

In addition to our regular schoolwork, we’ve been getting a lot of P.E. time this week. The weather has been unusually nice for February/March, so we’ve been walking, (some of us slower than others!), kicking around the soccer ball, practicing swinging a whiffle ball bat, and riding bikes, (although I haven’t been doing that last one). Physical education is still important, even in homeschools, but it can be hard to remember to schedule it in. I try to make sure we get outside on nice days like we’ve been having, because fresh air and exercise are so important, both to health, and to performance in other school subjects. We’ve even been known to do our schoolwork outside on particularly nice days, to really benefit from the fresh air!

The real fun this week came from celebrating our first Leap Day since we’ve been homeschooling. It’s funny that this is our fourth year of homeschool, and it’s just now come up, but we didn’t start school until Summer 2008, so we just missed it the last time. Four years is a long time, anyway, so I’m guessing Turkey and Bunny wouldn’t really have remembered anything we might have done back then, and Ladybug wasn’t even one yet, so I know this is all new to her! I’m looking forward to other special days coming up before Chickadee arrives, including St. Patrick’s Day and the First Day of Spring–I just hope I still have the energy for the activities I have planned!

Leap Day!

Somewhat surprisingly, (to me, at least), this is our first Leap Day since we started homeschooling back in 2008. I guess it just seems like we’ve doing this so long, I had a hard time believing at first that we’ve never had school on this “holiday” before. I knew I wanted to do something fun and special, but I wasn’t really sure what–there aren’t too many dedicated Leap Day crafts/activities out there, at least not that I could find.

I decided that since I couldn’t find Leap Day specific activities, we’d go with a frog theme…after all, frogs are known for leaping, right?

At first, I thought we’d make those origami frogs that actually hop. But paper-folding is not one of my strengths, so instead, we made paper plate frog puppets. Paper plate crafts I can handle!

We also read a favorite story, “The Determined Frog,” from one of our favorite story books: The Lion Storyteller Bedtime Book. It’s a cute, funny, story, with a good message about not giving up.

Of course, we couldn’t celebrate Leap Day without playing a game of leapfrog. And we even got to play outside, because it’s unbelievably nice outside for February!

Leap Day was a huge hit here…too bad we have to wait four more years to enjoy it again!