Summary Saturday: Natives, Storms, and Veggies

It’s been a loooonnnngggg time since I’ve written up our week in review {since March!}. Not because we haven’t been schooling, but because 1) I have no camera other than the one on my phone and 2) I have gotten out of the habit of taking pictures while we are schooling. Later I’ll think, “Ugh! I should have taken a picture of that!”


Math: We started Beast Academy 3A this week. I schedule it between our chapters in Math in Focus. Chipette really loves this math program. I was worried about her reaction to it because the books purposefully try to make you think about the answer and fail a few times before getting it right. Chipette generally does not do well with failure or having to work for an answer, but she enjoyed this a lot. I’ll be honest: I had to look in the back at the answer key for almost every problem. In my defense, though, it starts out with geometry which is my weakest math area. She (we!) completed pages 7-23 in the workbook and read pages 12-33 in the textbook.

Language Arts: So our language arts love this year has been Michael Clay Thompson Language Arts. We are using the Island level this year. It has been a fun and challenging program that has made Chipette a grammar guru. This week she completed five sentences from Practice Island. She does four-level analysis on these sentences which is basically like diagramming a sentence without diagramming. Here is a picture of one of her completed sentences:

We also read from Sentence Island (she loves Mud!) pages 31-51 and from Music of the Hemispheres (poetry book) pages 98-105. In writing, we did four lessons in Writing with Ease 3. In spelling, she took a level test and passed, then completed two and a half more levels.

Literature: We finished Unit 6 in K12’s Third Grade Literature program (the dark horse of our lineup this year) and started Unit 7. Both of us love this literature program so much. It’s fabulous!

Read Aloud: I finished reading Journey to Jo’burg and I started A Long Walk to Water. These coordinate with our World Geography studies that we stopped doing for right now. I want to finish up one subject before we pick those up again. Anyway, we are supposed to be studying Africa right now, so that’s why these are our books for now.

Independent Reading: Chipette finished reading Henry and Ribsy and started reading The Secret School.

The New Stuff: To finish out our school year, I wanted to do a Native American study with Chipette before we jump into the colonial period of American history next year. We won’t start a new school year until the calendar year, so that gives us plenty of time to dive into some of the major tribes. This first week we have studied the Inuit and also a little of history of how people came to be on the North American continent. We also read a bit about the mound builders of the central United States as well. Here’s Chipette’s completed notebook pages:



Math: We are working our way through Singapore Essentials A at a pretty fast clip since most of it is review for Magpie. This week she did pages 103-122. Once we get to Book B, I will slow things down quite a bit. Here is a picture of her working on making patterns using our linking cube set:

Magpie’s favorite math is working in her Miquon Orange book using Cuisenaire rods which is why she calls it “block math”. We use Miquon here and there. I usually do a lesson or two with her after we’ve done a unit of Singapore Essentials. Here is Magpie figuring out an answer for Miquon using the rods:

She did pages A-13 and A14 this week.

Phonics: Magpie’s reading is coming along very nicely. She has made a seamless transition from letter sounds to cvc words and now to consonant blends. This week she completed three lessons in Logic of English Foundations A and two lessons in Reading Made Easy. These programs have two very different approaches to teaching reading, but I like both of them for different reasons. We alternate a different program each day. By far, my workbook loving girls favorite phonics program is the one she does on her own: Explode the Code. I use these workbooks as a refresher course over what we’ve already covered in our other phonics programs. This week Magpie did pages 63-79 in Explode the Code C.

Literature: Our book study this week was One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish by Dr. Seuss. We focused a lot on rhyming words, including made up rhymes. At the end of the week I let Magpie design her very own Dr. Seuss character and then she had to tell me about it, what it ate, where it lived, etc. Very fun and probably my favorite childhood book!

Science: I was using Elemental Science’s Exploring Science with Magpie, but I couldn’t do it anymore. There was something about that program that didn’t jive with what I wanted for her. While she enjoyed it, I dreaded teaching it. So much so, that I would skip over it even though I had it written in our plans. Finally I broke down and bought The Berenstein Bears’ Big Book of Science and Nature while I had a free trial of Amazon Prime. Once I had it in my hands I knew that this was what I wanted to use for her science, so I made out a lesson plan and started making notebooking pages to go along with the book. I supplement the topics with science videos (Magic School Bus is a big hit!) and both fiction and non-fiction books. This week we studied summer, thunder, lightning, and storms. Here are Magpie’s completed homemade notebook pages:

The New Stuff: I picked up some Veggietales lapbooks for Magpie that were marked down super cheap. We finished up our first one this week on Sweetpea Beauty. We talked about what true beauty is and how that’s what is most important to God. I love the way Magpie’s lapbook turned out:

And she liked watching Veggietales for school!

That was our week in a nutshell.  

Be sure and stop by this week as the iHomeschool Network’s “Not” Back-to-School Blog Hop. My big experiment of going on my own using a very Charlotte Mason inspired curriculum line up will be revealed!

Assessing and adjusting in the tree house,


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