Week Twenty

Happy New Year!

Health and Wellness


Ringing in the new year with lots of sledding and ice skating.  We continue our afternoon park trips, but have been ice skating with buddies instead of playing on the equipment.

Continue discussion and stories from E is for Ethics by Ian Corlett.  This week’s topic was generosity.  Looking for opportunities to be generous as well as reflecting on gifts of generosity from others.


Continue listening to Suzuki Book 1-3 discs.  We are adding some Haydn to the mix (topic from most recent group performance class) as well as the Schumanns and Brahms.  Enjoying Haydn’s Surprise and Farewell Symphonies.  We made up a fun baseball on paper game (like the one we played in class) where teams took turns answering serious and wacky questions about composers, notation, and sometimes named Suzuki songs in two to three notes.  Enjoyed details about 1800s (Romantic period) composer Brahms from Mike Venezia’s Johannes Brahms.


During our anual conference, our piano teacher inspired us to make a couple enhancements to our home music program:  learning the recorder and adding daily review chart.  We are currently using Carnegie Hall’s Recorder Basics.  This week’s focus is on rest/play positions, breathing, and playing Hot Cross Buns.  We are also learning where G is on the recorder and then finding it on the piano.


Used Ruby’s toy to practice and compare ‘birthday’ (as in blow the candles out) with ‘slow and steady’ breaths.  Then, using a real birthday candle they blew ‘slow and steady’ breath to make it flicker and then a ‘birthday’ breath to blow it out.  Discussing where breaths can come from (chest vs diaphragm).   Slow and steady breaths are more useful in playing the recorder.IMG_5128

Adding a new daily practice sheet.  The boys will review these songs after working on Hanon exercises and Suzuki book focus songs.



Snap Circuit projects galore

What Makes the Light Bright, Thomas Edison? by Melvin and Gilda Berger.  Mike Venezia’s Thomas Edison.


Static experiments (his hair is usually flat on top) and discussion of electrical charges from DK’s I’m A Scientist Kitchen by Lisa Burke.

Math and Logic

The Gingerbread Cowboy by Janet Squires.  As we read the book, the boys drew a gingerbread cowboy and included various shapes (for example 2 circles, 3 rectangles…).


Shape bingo with coins.  We used coins as bingo markers and reviewed the values.  When someone got bingo, they added up their coins used.  For example, when Parker got a bingo after using a nickel to cover the blue oval, his total was seven cents.

The Pizza That We Made by Joan Holub.  We assembled paper pizzas and practiced fractions by adding toppings.  For examples, I put this fraction card out and Miles put pepperoni on half of the pizza.

Language Arts


Story Cubes.  Everyone took turns rolling the six picture dice and making up a story using each picture.  Then the person gave the story a title.

 Silly Milly and the Mysterious Suitcase by Wendy Cheyette Lewson and compound words.  Comparing gingerbread stories with Gingerbread Friends by Jan Brett, The Gingerbread Man Loose in the School by Laura Murray, and  Lisa Ernst’s The Gingerbread Girl Goes Animal Crackers.

Brown Bear Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin and activities for all from Homeschool Share.



Georges Seurat by Mike Venezia and Pointillism.  Chosen because he lived in the 1800s (like others we’re studying: Thomas Edison, Brahms, Schumann).  Seurat was interested in science’s discoveries about how color, lines, and shapes influence our emotions.

Social Studies

IMG_5159Adding more names and faces to our history timeline.  To the far right (not in this picture) are names and important events in America.


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