Monday, April 13, 2015

Weekly Wrap-up ~ Lots of Little House

As our school year comes to a close, we feel almost in a panic because we know we are coming to the end of our Little House on the Prairie studies. To say that we have enjoyed Prairie Primer would be a vast understatement. The activities have been rich and fun, but the best part has been getting to know the Ingalls family (and friends) and the discussions we share about them and their lives. We have laughed and cried. We have learned so much about good character and simple living and contentment and the love of family and community through the books and television series. As of now we are finishing Book 6 of 9, Little Town on the Prairie and will move on and finish These Happy Golden Years before we officially conclude our 2014/2015 school year. We have also watched Seasons 1 and 2 of the television series, and will finish up Season 3 by the end of April.

Each day we buckle down to get through our Bible lessons, current events, math, grammar, and personal reading time so that we can concentrate on Little House. I have a feeling this is how we will spend the remainder of this school year. Other subjects seems to have been replaced (or at least overshadowed) by our love for Little House, as well as the additional physical education we are getting now that the temps are warmer. In other words, we just can't get enough of it.

Although we will be taking off for the month of May, we will resume our summer studies in June and July. Our summer studies always consist of a daily math and grammar page and personal reading time. The kids participate in a book club at the library, so they read their assigned chapters and attend their class one afternoon a week. They also participate in gardening class at the library where they plant and maintain a community garden. But in addition to this we will finish the Little House books, Farmer Boy and The First Four Years. We will also watch Little House episodes on those hot afternoons that we don't go to the pool. The kids want to finish all seasons of the series. They are dying to see Laura meet Almanzo and get married.

So, for now our days all pretty much look the same. I do plan to have a pioneer review week the last week in April to finalize what we have learned about this time period, about the great journey and settlement westward. We will conclude our school year on May 1st when we go to a Pioneer Days festival near our home.

School is coming to a rapid close for this school year. Part of me is ready, but part of me is sad to see it end. It's been a fun year.

The kids did decide that they would like to switch from Math U See to's Mastering 5th Grade Math. We did many introductory fraction lessons from the Volume 1 dvd as part of the Schoolhouse Review Crew. When we finished our most recent level of Math U See, we went back to the Mastering 5th Grade Math Volume 1 DVD to brush up on fractions. They just seem to "get it" with Jason, the instructor. There are four more volumes and they said they really want to continue with this series. So that's what we are going to do. There are only 3 worksheets per lesson, so we will do one lesson per week on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and on Tuesdays and Thursdays we will throw in some Life of Fred: Fractions.

On an unrelated note, on Saturday I went to the garage to get the bird seed and saw movement in the butterfly keeper. I was astonished to see a Black Swallowtail! This is so crazy because we have not put new caterpillars in the habitat since the fall of 2013! We previously learned that the chrysalis stage is typically between 2 weeks to 4-5 months as some remain coccooned through the winter and emerge in the Spring. But a YEAR and 4-5 months? That is just crazy!! I am so glad I happened to see it in there or it would have died before I could have released it.

And on another unrelated note, Eli and Brynne's bowling team has had more success! They participated in our district tournament a few weeks ago against 4 other towns. In their division, their team won first place!

Eli and his friend won first in doubles.

And Brynne won first in female singles.

State bowling tournament in the second week of May so we are hoping for more wins! Way to go Cobras!

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