Tuesday, August 19, 2008

1st Day(s) of School

We started school Monday and are off to a pretty good start... though we are having to work around a house painter and running errands to Home Depot.

I meant to get our house painted during the summer, but we just got it arranged to start on Monday. So, we're living in kind of a mess... but an exciting mess! We've always had white walls and we are going to a fairly dark brown. I'm loving it!!! The first 2 rooms to be done are our master bedroom and bath. So, we're sleeping in the spare room and sharing Alexandra's bathroom.
So far, we've had 2 pretty full days of school. For history, we are reading 3 books about Benjamin Franklin. They are a Time for Kids biography, What's the Big Idea, Benjamin Franklin? and Ben and Me. We are enjoying and learning from all three. While I was reading, Alexandra drew a picture of Amos from Ben and Me.

Since we are studying about Benjamin Franklin, I thought we should study electricity for science. I actually have a book of experiments about Ben, but I just couldn't get into it. But, I found one of my science kits (I seem to collect them!) about electricity that we hadn't finished, so we got it out. We started by making a battery... and it worked! Then, we tried an electromagnet... and it didn't. I think it is because we used pennies that were post-1982. Did you know that "U.S. pennies made before 1982 are 95% copper, but newer pennies only have a 2.5% copper coating!" (from this website)

Alexandra has 2 new favorite subjects: Latin & composition.

She is really enjoying Latin for Children - especially the chants. And, she loves finding derivitives for the various vocabulary words. For example, we had the word "terra" which means "earth" and she came up with "terra cotta" and I came up with "terrestrial sphere" and "extraterrestrial." For "porta" which means "gate", she came up with "portal" from Cyberchase... the "gate" which takes them into Cyberworld.

For composition, we're using Andrew Pudewa's Teaching Writing: Structure & Style. So far, it is working great! We both think it is a lot of fun... and effective! For this first step, you basically write an outline and then tell the story back from the outline. I'll share a story she did today. I got the story from a sample of a Scholastic Magazine.

How Many Hurricanes? (retold by Alexandra)

Hurricanes are some of the biggest storms. The hurricane season is June 1 to November 30. Weather experts say that nine could occur this season.

Their winds have to be faster than 74 miles per hour. They can knock down trees, destroy and flood.

Each hurricane gets its very own name. More than one can happen at the same time. People like knowing their names so they can see which is on the news. Hopefully, not all the names will get used this season.


Rhonda said...

Looks like lots of fun learning already and you have only just begun. I am sure that it is hard to have a painter around and have school at the same time. It will all be worth it once it is done. I love that color!

Marsha Marsha Marsha said...

Sounds like you are off to a great start on your year! We are actually (hopefully) maybe probably starting on the 25th. :-) I've been meaning to check out Andrew Pudewa's IEW-- thanks for the reminder!

Have a wonderful week!

SingingMamaDee said...

Hi Dana,
I love Alexandra's drawing of Amos! He is so cute. I am an Andrew Pudewa groupie...my kids (14 and 15) have been using IEW for years, and they are both excellent writers. In fact, you might want to hear an interview that I did with Andrew where he talks about how his family progressed from a classical school in Idaho to a leadership style of homeschooling.

The Classical Scholar

PS. I think the brown walls look so cozy and warm.

Melissa Telling said...

Great first day. Ours was pretty disorganized, but it went well anyway.

I love the color of the paint.

Carrie Thompson said...

awesome, awesome stuff! We have NO mushrooms or I would absolutely spore pain, we might go hunting on Friday????

School work looks very fun and imaginative, I love, LOVE, LOVE BEN and Me, it is on our list and I just picked it up at Half Price books last week. There is a cartoon of it and I FELL in love with it when I was little!

Freakmom said...

That is a great drawing of Amos! We loved that book! Have you read Mr. Revere and I yet by the same author? Also really good.

Robin said...

Oh, the color on the walls is beautiful! I'm so glad you posted a picture. I don't envy you putting your house back together, though. But hey! That's one way to get a clean house, right?

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