Monday, May 8, 2017

Homeschool Week 34: Racing to the Finish Line

We are in the last stretch of the school year.  We took a few days off at the end of April to celebrate our anniversary and then had three weeks to go before we finish up.  Last week we completed week 34.  We will be doing week 35 this week and will do week 36 next week.  Typically there are 36 weeks in a school year or 180 school days.  My target finish date is Friday, May 19.  I am planning a little celebration party for that day.

Cruz's language arts curriculum (Sing Spell Read and Write) has a race car theme for 1st grade.  I used that idea for decorating our door and school room for the month of May.  We are "racing to the finish line" and excited about the summer break ahead.

In Bible class we finished up our Life of Jesus series by learning the story of The Ascension.  We then began a Life of Paul series that we will continue for the remaining weeks of school.  We began learning a new song "Books of the New Testament" and in learning that song we are also learning to recite the books of the New Testament.  So far they have memorized up to 2 Timothy.

In Math Cruz learned the last of the subtraction facts -3 and -4.  We also spent a few days reviewing telling time. 

using his math blocks to review the clock

Ben's math lessons were mainly review.  He is counting to 100 and recognizing and writing 0-25.  He is skip counting by 10's, 5's, and 2's.  He began some basic addition this week.  So far we have covered +0 and +1.

learning to add

In language Cruz has focused a lot on contractions.  He also learned about silent letters. So far we have covered silent k, w, l, b, g, and h.  We have been reviewing compound words.  He took his next assessment test.  

Ben learned the letter X.  His memory verse for the week was "Exceeding great and precious promises are given unto us."  2 Peter 1:4  His nursery rhyme for the week was Baa Baa Black Sheep.  

In History we learned about Davy Crockett and Pecos Bill. 

Our activity was to make a "possibles bag".  We learned that people used to carry with them a possibles bag that held various items that might become necessary out on the open range.  We used large brown paper sacks and yarn to make our bags. 

We cut the bags into two long rectangles, punched holes along the edges, and then laced yarn in the holes to sew the paper back together.  The boys especially liked the lacing part. 

here they are with their finished bags

They quickly got busy filling their bags up to head out on a journey.

Cruz took his binoculars to try to spot wild animals. 

They came back with a lot of interesting finds and then pretended to build a fire in our carport.  They cooked fish and bread because they said they were starving after their journey.  They got the fish and bread idea from the story of Jesus cooking breakfast on the shore for the disciples.  I love their imaginations!

We learned about the States of Arizona and Alaska.  We have almost completely covered the U.S. map.  We only have two more States to go!

Cruz pointing to the State of Arizona.  We especially enjoyed watching videos about the Grand Canyon and how the Hoover Dam was constructed.  I hope to get to visit those sights one day.

In Science it was reptile week.  We watched several videos and read a few books on different reptiles.  We began the week by doing an experiment called "Cold Blooded".  The idea was to show how some animals body temperature can change depending on if they are in the sun or the shade.  We used a toy alligator as our prop (because thankfully they couldn't find their black rubber snake at the moment!).  We sat it out in the open sun with a thermometer to see how hot it would get.  After several minutes we moved it to a nice, shady spot and watched the temperature go down some.  Science experiments are their favorite part of the week.

watching their alligator heat up

it was warm that day so it didn't take it long to get pretty hot

Another activity we did was make fingerprint snakes.  They love painting so this was fun.

Cruz's fingerprint snake

He ended up painting another one just like it except the second time he added some real grass to it.   

Cruz's "snake in the grass"

Ben's snakes

For a snack one day we made chocolate snakes.  We used peanut butter, powdered milk, honey, cocoa powder and mini M&M's (our curriculum gave us the idea and recipe).   I think they had just as much fun making them as they did eating them.

 snake snack

In Art they drew a baby elephant.

Cruz also did an activity from his Abeka Art 1 book that had him draw a rabbit.  I thought he did very well.

Another thing they love to do is draw/ paint with these watercolor pencils.  It is definitely one of their favorite things.

In Health we finished up our series on manners and learned to write a thank you note.  Cruz chose to write his to a neighbor friend that he plays with regularly. 

"Dear Mateo,  Thank you for playing.  I had fun!  Your friend, Cruz"

We did a complete review and finished our Health for the school year.  It was such a fun study and we look forward to starting book 2 in the fall.

Here are Cruz's journal entries for the week-

Three little workers. "Three little workers whose names were Tom, Timmy, and Billy.  They worked and worked and worked.  They worked on houses every day.  The End."

Things I would need on a camping trip... "food, clothes, tent, bean bag, wood, matches, flashlight, games, bicycles, snacks, drinks, science stuff."

Write about a blue fox who lives in a castle.  "One day a blue fox who lives in a castle.  He liked to play his fiddle.  He liked to eat beef.  He liked to play in the creek.  The End".

We began our last read aloud book for the school year- In Grandma's Attic

Lastly, we made a chain to count down to the end of the year.  Here is Cruz last Friday cutting off a link.  That left us 10 school days to go.  I am hoping that they are very productive and super fun days.

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