Sunday, September 9, 2012

School Report: Week 4

History: So we're really digging into trench warfare, zepplins, U-boats (always wondered what that phrase meant), and life on the Western and Eastern Fronts.  We are reading a couple very interesting books that are great WWI resources:

Where Poppies Grow: a World War I Companion

Where Poppies Grow: a World War I Companion

This book is similar to the set up of DK resources, but with less visually busy pages.  Illustrations -- maybe just 4 or 5 -- are large and text boxes easy to read.  Its two-page spreads cover distinct topics, such as homelife, spies, front line daily life, air warfare, sea warfare and such.  It was first published in Canada, and has reference to those from Canada who served in the Great War moreso than American troops (a nice perspective).

In Flanders Fields

In Flanders Fields

This book integrates the poem by John McCrea (accompanied by beautiful illustrations from Janet Wilson) with Mr. McCrea's biography, details about the war in Belgium and the Western Front; and it's publication and reception outside the war theatre.  

The last book that the boys have fallen in love with is a picture book:

War Game: Village Green to No Man's Land

War Game: Village Green to No Man's Land 

This story of WWI is told from the perspective of four young British pals who love to play soccer.  Caught up in the patriotism of the war effort, the young men join up and we follow them through their training, life on the Western front, and the miraculous armistice on Christmas Eve, 1914.  {Thank you, Canton Library for withdrawing it from your library.  Your loss is my gain.}

I'm not sure, but it is possible that my 13 year old has picked up War Games to read himself. 

Science:  We talked about the layers of the earth today, and the boys were estatic to have a good hour painting the layers of the earth on a foam ball cut out:

We added in math this week.  Luke is finishing up the review product, Math Made Easy to learn his multiplication facts.  We're on week 4 still (a long break since I wrote up the review).  He's really getting it! Levi is reviewing addition and subtraction with Wrap Ups, worksheets made from Math U See's website and a few apps.  Ben is just barely 1/2 way through pre-Algebra.  He's taught me Mr. Demme's cool trick for celsius to farenheit conversion!

Speaking of conversions, Ben is learning about conversions in the first chapter of Physical Science this week.  He asked me some tough questions about why we use them, and I tried to explain it.  I wasn't sure I was successful, so I told him I'd find some info online -- and I did!  They actually explain it the same way I did, but sometimes Ben needs to hear what I said from someone that isn't me in order to believe it.  

We also started grammar, which is not horribly exciting, but no tears for any of the boys!  Ben is really going to flourish with Fix-It! combined with IEW's Level B continuation Course.  I'm excited to see what his writing looks like by the end of the year! Today, Luke said, "I like grammar!" (Did I mention that we're using Winston Grammar?  He likes the colored cards he uses to label sentences). 

Luke and I are reading aloud The Railway Children for his literature assignment as well as for reading practice.  We laughed this week when Bobbie (a girl) affectionately called her brother a "brick."  Apparently, this idiomatic expression does not translate well in 2012, as both Luke and I decided that being called a brick as not a good thing!  

Levi and I are going to read all the Pathway Readers that I own -- I think I have up through the middle of third grade. He really loves these sweet stories, and I love any excuse to cuddle my not-so-baby baby.  He'll be 7 in less than a month now!


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