Week Thirty

Health and Wellness


Measuring for and whisking pancakes

Miles’ new culinary skill is making popcorn.  We have a hot air popper, so he measures the seeds first.  Then he puts the cover on, plugs it in, and then gets a large bowl for the popcorn to shoot out into.

Last family swimming of winter session.  This was the first time both boys dove after sinker toys!  Three weeks until spring session.



Miles using hand drill during Maple Syruping class


Checking the sap collection

Fort Snelling State Park Maple Syrup class.  It was below freezing, so the sap sort of drizzled out.  We learned how to identify a maple tree during the winter (branches are opposite of each other) and how to collect and boil the sap.  We saw many deer, wild turkey, and swans in the park.


Using string to measure the circumference of our sugar maple

Is our tree ready to tap?  It must have a diameter great than 10″.  Used WikiAnswers for the equation to figure out diameter when we know the circumference (last week we had a Pi day, which came in handy this week!).  Our sugar maple is 22 inches in circumference (then we divided by pi 3.14159) which tells us that its diameter is only 7″.  Bummer, maybe in a couple years we can tap it if the boys are interested.  Read Sugarbush Spring by Marsha Wilson Chall and made ‘The Story of Maple Syrup’ booklets.


Using tissue paper and starch to color a fish, then labeling basic body parts.

With spring around the corner, we begin exploring pond life with fish and tadpoles.  A Fish Out of Water by Helen Palmer, Pond Circle by Betsy Franco, and DK’s First Animal Encyclopedia.


Creating a pond mural, similar to Betsy Franco’s Pond Circle.

IMG_6390Everyone chose a creature to paint from a food web list.  The list read something like this:  0 snow piles, 1 owl, 1 garter snake, 1 pond, 2 frogs, 13 algae clumps, 1 nest, 3 eggs, and so on.


The boys illustrated and completed a sentence while reading Heller’s book Chickens Aren’t the Only Ones.


One of ten pages

Chickens Aren’t the Only Ones by Ruth Heller.


The tadpoles have arrived!


Getting them settled in


With fresh water, more room to roam, and food, the tadpoles seem pretty happy

A Tadpole Grows Up by Pam Zollman gives us some terminology for frogs’ lifecycle.

Math and Logic


Comparing and sorting rocks gathered from last summer’s road trips


Analyzing his rock selection in a non-fancy math notebook page

Reviewing basics about rocks and soil with help from Smithsonian’s site.  Also seeing if the rocks floated or sank (all of ours were sinkers).  If You Find a Rock by Peggy Christian helped us remember (rocks around our town have been covered with snow for quite a while) different non-scientific types rocks (chalk, skipping, memory, creek-crossing).


Measuring up with popcorn seeds. How many 1/2 cups are in one cup? How many 1/4 cups are in one cup?


Completing a pattern: AB or ABB


Crayon resist egg with an AB pattern down the center


Another round of Money in the Bank

Miss Brain’s Cool Math Games by Kelli Pearson.

Miles continues work on multiplication and division.  Parker wraps up his Singapore math workbook.



Which Composer? game

Playing the home made game ‘Which Composer?’ (either Bach or Mozart).  Using our Suzuki discs, I made a playlist of a few Mozart and Bach pieces.  Then, for example, I played Arietta by Mozart and the kiddos held up their sign.  The next game was ‘Name That Tune’.  I played a few notes of each Suzuki book one and two songs, and they guessed the titles.

Learned more about Johann Kuhlau, completed our group class worksheets, and listened to some of his pieces on Spotify.  Some favorites were Sonatina Opus 20 no. 1 and Sonatina Opus 99 no. 3.

Enjoying weekly lessons and daily listening and practice.  Our pattern of set practice times after reading/before lunch seems to work out for the boys, and they freely go to the piano during the day.  Ruby has been figuring out Jingle Bells and works on Hot Cross Buns (on white keys) and Mary Had a Little Lamb.



Learning about Joe Blajda’s oil pastel drawings, inspired by Art Lab for Kids by Susan Schwake.

Language Arts

Up We Grow!  A Year in the Life of a Small, Local Farm by Deborah Hodge, In the Sheep Pasture by Patricia M. Stockland, and Cattle by Lorijo Metz.    Animal Babies by Bobbie Hamsa was an easy review (until we got to what a baby fish is called…a fry).  Writing about farms, animals, and happenings in the spring.  Review singular and plural of farm animals, as well as terms for baby, male, and female animals.  Discuss how farm animals help us (products such as wool, milk, etc).

Social Studies


Tracing hearts to form a shamrock

St. Patrick’s Day by Anne Rockwell.  Looking at symmetry in shamrocks.

Hawk, I’m Your Brother by Byrd Baylor and reviewing characteristics of desert climate.  What is imprinting?  And discussing compassion and why the main character returns the hawk to its nest.  Listing words that are related to birds (such as nest, talon).   Using The Sibley Guide to Birds, illustrating a red-tailed hawk.

South America and the Galapagos Islands:  Lonesome George Finds His Friends by Victoria Kosara, Looking Closely in the Rain Forest by Frank Serafini, and Parrots by Valerie Bodden.  Drawing and labeling a few rain forest reptiles, mammals, and insects in social studies notebook.


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