Summary Saturday: Floating Needles, Shining Sun, and Paper Pizza


Math: We did a chapter out of our Math in Focus book this week and the corresponding workbook pages. I also let Chipette take two of the upcoming chapter tests because I really thought she could pass the tests without doing the work. I was right; she made 100% on both. That’s two chapters out of the book we get to skip! Yipee!

Language Arts: We are still working our way through Sentence Island, Practice Island, Music of the Hemispheres, and Building Language. I can’t believe how quickly Chipette is able to find all the parts of speech and parts of a sentence now. It was such a struggle at the beginning of the year I was afraid I’d made a mistake using Island level for 3rd grade, but it’s been the perfect fit.

Our most exciting news is about writing. We are using Classical Academic Press’ new writing program, Writing and Rhetoric: Fable. It has been exactly what we needed for writing. While I loved Writing with Ease and the skills it was teaching Chipette through narration, copywork, and dictation, she is such a natural writer that she was wanting more and a chance to really work on some creative writing. Writing and Rhetoric: Fable is the perfect blend of a classical writing program like Writing with Ease, but with a fun creative writing flair thrown into the mix. Perfect for kids like Chipette who enjoy writing, especially creative writing.

Here is Chipette’s rewrite of the fable The Mouse and The Lion. 

Her instructions were to chose an animal smaller than a mouse and write the story from the experience of the smaller animal helping the mouse.
Literature: We finished Unit 8 in K12’s Third Grade Literature program. This unit was all about Greek mythology. A great warm up for our 4th grade study of ancient Greece.

Read Aloud: We finished A Long Walk to Water this week. It was such a wonderful story! Next up we are reading Children of the Longhouse to go along with our study of the Mohawk and Iroquois nations.

Independent Reading: Chipette finished The Secret School and is starting Freckle Juice this week.

Natives and Nations: I caved in to the girls’ demands, reworked our weekly schedule, and started back our world geography studies by finishing up Kenya and starting South Africa this week. Here are the completed Kenya notebooking pages:

For her own personal study Chipette and I are studying Native Americans two days a week. This week we focused on the Chippewa or Ojibwa people who lived in the forests around the Great Lakes area.  Here are our completed Chippewa notebooking pages:

Did you know that almost all of the wild rice that is harvested in the United States is still harvested by the Chippewa people and in almost exactly the same method that their ancestors have used for hundreds of years? Well now you do!

Science: Currently Chipette is doing two science programs, Sassafras Zoology and Apologia’s Flying Creatures, but this will be changing soon since she is only one chapter away from finishing Apologia. This week we did an experiment to see how a water strider was able to walk on water by making a needle float.

In Sassafras we have gotten WAY behind. Since I tied it to our world geography studies when we stopped world geography, we stopped Sassafras. Unacceptable according to Chipette since she LOVES Sassafras! This week we finished chapter two about lions and cheetahs and next week we’re moving on to chapter three. 

Math: She did pages 123-136 in Singapore Essentials A and pages S-1, S-2, S-3, and S-4 in Miquon Orange.

Phonics:  This week she completed three lessons in Logic of English Foundations A and two lessons in Reading Made Easy. She also finished Book of Get Ready for the Code. She starts Explode the Code Book 1 this next week and is SUPER excited!

Literature: Our book study this week was The Three Pigs by David Wiesner. I had never read this one before and it was such a FUN book! Definitely put this one on your list for your next library stop. I even caught Chipette reading it on the sly! Here’s Magpie doing a piggy math activity:

I’m still trying to find a chapter book that will grab Magpie’s attention enough that she doesn’t need a picture on every page. This week I’m checking out Gooney Bird Greene by Lois Lowry to give that one a shot.

Science: This week for our Bernstein Bears’ science program, we studied the Sun. We learned some basic facts about the sun, and then we talked about how the sun makes daytime and nighttime, our years, and our seasons. Lots of work with the flashlight and our globe! Magpie works hard on her notebook pages and here are some that she completed this week:

Language Arts: I’m branching out into something different for Magpie this year for first grade. We are using Language Lessons Through Literature Level 1. I had never heard of this curriculum until a couple of weeks ago, but it was exactly what I wanted for Magpie, a very gentle introduction to language arts using copy work, picture study, poetry memorization, and fables. This level focuses on writing mechanics, and the next level for second grade focuses on parts of speech. Our first week to use it was this past week and she loved it! So far I’m pleased with my purchase as well.


I try not to be one of those mothers who thinks that everything their little darlings do is soooo advanced, but I have to say that Monkey’s fine motor skills for a three year old boy are AMAZING! Check out this pizza and toppings that he cut out and glued while I was doing school with Magpie.

He wanted something to do so I gave him a page out of this old cut and paste book. When I looked over he was cutting like a champ, so I told him I’d pick up a new cut and paste book for him. It was actually really cute.

Monkey: I school too, Mommy?
Me: Sure, I’ll buy you some cut and paste books like this and you can do those.
Monkey: You be my teacher?
Me: Of course.
Monkey: *Huge hug* Dank you, Mommy!

So that’s a major selfish reason that I homeschool, it doesn’t get better than that!

Lots of ciphering, reading, and writing planned for the upcoming week in the tree house,



  1. Writing and Rhetoric sounds very intriguing and I liked your dd's story. :) Hope you continue to enjoy LLATL. I concur: that is some fabulous cutting from a 3yo!

    Also, I had no idea that the Chippewa grew wild rice. :D

    1. Glad to know I'm not the over-exuberant parent!

      The Chippewa don't actually grow the wild rice. They just harvest it where it grows wild around the Great Lakes region. Sorry, I didn't make that clear. It's cool to know anyway!

  2. I was just curious what resources that you used for your Native American study. We would like to do one with our HOD studies, and I have absolutely no idea where to begin to pull resources. Thanks.

    1. Meg, I'm combining some different resources that I've collected. I'll share my plans on the blog in a few weeks, but for now you can check out my Pinterest board where I have almost all of my resources.