Week Twenty-Eight

Health and Wellness


Snow day!

Family swim night…good, splashy fun.  Enjoying the huge snow piles and buddies at the play park.


The sights and sounds we see before and after piano lessons make being at MacPhail even more enjoyable.  Before some lessons, we are greeted by music of a choir practice or studio recital (sometimes harp or piano) as we enter the building.  Last week we were drawn to the entry way (which is also a performance space) after lesson by the booming voices of a ensemble singing a Cabaret (Wikipedia link) tune.  We also enjoy guessing what instruments other students are carrying or wheeling (yes, some huge cases have wheels!) to their lessons.

A couple thoughtful Suzuki quotes from last week’s Gavotte Newsletter:  “If you have the spirit of a young child, you never age.”and  “Music is the language of the heart, without words.”.


Chant Arab with hands crossed!

The boys enjoyed Bach’s Big Adventure by Sallie Ketcham, a story of Bach’s childhood in Germany and how he meets Johann Adam Reincken.


Listening to Lola’s Fandango by Anna Witte.  Enjoyed seeing Susana di Palma and Zorongo Flamenco perform and tell us about flamenco dancing at The Cowles Center.  We got to practice palmas (two different ways to clap), arm and wrist movements, and say ‘Ole!’ and ‘Guapo’ when we saw something that we enjoyed.  Musicians and singers played guitar, cajon (Wikipedia link), and castanets.


Wood from the land

The above project is from Susan Schwake’s Art Lab for Kids.  We learned about Amy Rice, a Minneapolis artist, and looked at her mixed-media ‘Zinnias’, which is a painting on a piece of wood.



Clay dough desert scenes: barrel and seguaro cacti and gila monster on sand paper squares

Desert ecosystems and some of the mammals, birds, reptiles, and invertebrates that live there and food webs of the desert.  ‘Desert Monster’ by Gerry Bishop from Ranger Rick for details about gila monsters.  Desert by Sean Callery, Cactus in the Desert by Phyllis S. Busch and Show Me Reptiles by Megan Cooley Peterson.


Our plant “pink splash’ before clipping


After clipping

The scientific method and hypothesis about what will happen to the plant after clipping .  Discussing basic needs of plants.

Math and Logic

Introduce division and basic terms (divisor, dividend, quotient) and three ways to write equations.  Review adding, subtracting, and multiplying facts.  Continue Singapore math workbooks.

Language Arts

Baa, Baa, Black Sheep by Moira Kemp and looking at wool products in our home (blanket, socks, yarn).  Measure and cut yarn to make a cat’s cradle (wikiHow link).

Using Audubon Guides to the National Wildlife Refuges and Field Guide to the Southwestern States for book skills such as using the index and table of contents.

Miles has been enjoying a Star Wars paperback and Reading Rainbow Readers’ Silly Stories to Tickle Your Funny Bone.  Both boys are nearing completion of their Explode the Code and phonics books.

Social Studies


Peach tree with tissue paper blossoms

Learning about Hina Matsuri in Celebrations! by Anabel Kindersley.

Ancient Sonoran desert people of Arizona and Casa Grande from the Nation Park Service.

DK’s A Life Like Mine:   How Children Live Around the World’s Home section.  Discussing types of homes, where people live, and how homes differ in the world.  Marveling at different types of places to live in Homes Around the World ABC by Amanda Doering.


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