Friday, February 3, 2012

Weekly School Summaries - Africa (January 16-February 3)

I respectfully ask that you not pin pictures of my children to Pinterest. Thank you!
 The school days are just flying by! We just spent three weeks studying Africa with MFW, and it was over in a blink.  I also spent some time planning out their lessons for the rest of the year, updating their report cards and portfolios after the end of our second quarter, and thinking about next year's curriculum. Here's what we did:

Math: Same as usual. They each had 4 days of lessons and 1 day of math games on the computer Soprano is extremely frustrated with having to go through the Saxon 'meeting' part of each lesson especially the skip counting so we're going to reduce the number of times we do the meeting each week.  We're going to cut back to one meeting per week and keep counting 4 days but only doing half the counting on 2 of those 4 days. If she was 100% solid with her counting, I'd cut it altogether but she still needs to practice. She said that this compromise would work for her. We'll start that next week. She's also been fussing about doing flashcard review before her drills. Right now, the only way she'll do them is if I do them with her using a foreign accent. We've had French, Kipper (from the Nickelodeon TV show aka British), and Russian. I've only got Midwestern U.S. and really bad Irish left. We might be in trouble.....
Getting some help from our resident math expert

Reading and Language Arts: Soprano finished 'The Tale of Peter Rabbit'  from 'Across the Centuries' with a scarecrow activity and an evaluation. Then she read 'Amelia Bedelia' and did a couple worksheets and some funny activities about Amelia's mix-ups.
She's trucking through her second Phonics book and is doing great with it. In English, she's learning about adjectives, while spelling and handwriting are continuing well. We're up to Vv. One of her English assignments was to make a greeting card. Here's what she wrote: "Dear Mom, I am real glad your my teacher. I love MFW and don't like counting. Thank you for crecting (correcting) our work, you are soooo much fun. I love you lots."{sic} I laugh that she had to tell me she likes our My Father's World curriculum and doesn't like her skip counting with Math. I kind of knew that already! 
Tenor continued with his 'A Reason for Handwriting C' and finished 'Writing Strands 2.'We'll start his new writing workbooks next week. He's excited to try a new approach, as am I.
He finished Homer Price from 'Across the Centuries C Level 1'. He did everything from worksheets, to a mouse catcher diagram, a maze activity, and drawing a cartoon. Next up is Misty of Chincoteague, one of my favorite childhood books.
Tenor's mouse catcher

English (learning the differences between lay/lie, raise/rise, let/leave) and Spelling (Rod and Staff Level 4) are going well. 

Typer Island for their typing instruction and continuing with SOS Elementary Spanish. I'm not sure what I did in SOS Spanish but I just cannot get the computer scheduled lessons to match what I print on their weekly logs. Oh well.... they're still getting the right amount of lessons in each week.

They did several health worksheets: one of first aid kits, on how to be a good friend, and stop, drop, and roll. Do they still teach that in public school, too? I remember stop, drop, and roll from my elementary days. We also talked about the PA state insect (lightening bugs!) and how veterinarians are community helpers. I also caught up on previous community helpers by getting books from the library. I sort of slacked off on the supplemental reading for the past few helpers we talked about. Now we're caught up. And I discovered that I have enough Community Helper cards to do the same thing next year for our Civics studies.
PA's state insect --- love these little guys! They remind me of summer.

Phys Ed.: They're really enjoying Tae Kwon Do each week and gym with our homeschool co-op. They also love to exercise with me each day.... we've done a lot of Zumba and some walking (Leslie Sansone tapes.) At least they don't make fun of me huffing and puffing.

Bible: The past three weeks included:
Reading about the Riffi Berbers, Kal-Tamashaq, and Pygmies
Reading Matthew 13:31-16:4
Memorizing Matthew 6:20-21, 24-25
Reading about Mary Slessor, Samuel Morris, and David Livingstone.
I found some notebooking sheets that I printed for the kids to write down their thoughts about David Livingstone. You can find them at Practical Pages, Activity Village, and Homeschool Helper Online.

We've traveled on to a whole new continent...Africa.Things we did included:
Coloring the Kenyan flag and writing down interesting facts about it.
Reading interesting facts about Kenya and reading about their language.
Playing a popular African game, Mancala. We actually have a Mancala set so we didn't need to make our own using the MFW instructions.

Making African animals with Play-Doh. We didn't let them dry out to be painted though.
We skipped making a mural because we made African lapbooks. I found some fantastic resources at several different websites: Hebrews 110 Kenya Lapbook; National Geographic for country cards; Homeschool Share; and Squidoo (you might have to dig through this site to find what you want.)
Tenor's front cover

Soprano's cover
Soprano's page 1 and 2
Soprano's page 1 open
Soprano's page 2 open
Soprano's and Tenor's back cover

There are also great teaching ideas at Homeschool Creations.
We watched this video on Morocco:

We also watched an Arthur episode called In My Africa on

Illustrating notecards for grassland, plain, plateau, cliff, and palisade

Playing the geography game with just Africa and then adding North and South America and Europe.
To help us remember the countries in Africa, I came up with some mnemonics.
*Africa is MALE in 2 ways. #1 Mauritania, Algeria, Libya, Egypt and #2 Mali
*Niger, his little sister, Nigeria, and their friend, Chad, went to Sudan in their CAR (Central African Republic)
*DAN'S Big Zoo Makes Money To Keep Elephants Safe
Dem. Rep of Congo, Angola, Namibia, South Africa (DAN'S)
Botswana, Zambia, Mozambique, Madagascar (Big Zoo Makes Money) 
Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia, Somalia (To Keep Elephants Safe)
Mommy's winning! :)

Tenor's Africa pages from World Geography were Physical Features, Rivers, Bodies of Water, Islands, Climate, Animals, Population, Cities, Languages, and Religion.

Science: Discussion on Grassland Plants and Animals, Survival on the Grasslands, and Life Underground.
We used the world map worksheet to color where grassland areas exist. We somehow skipped the elephant and sweet potato activities though. Perhaps because we were busy lapbooking.
Soprano completed all of the African Animals pages from The Complete Book of Animals.
Other MFW: Wee sing: Tue Tue, Bebe Moke, and Kanyoni Kanja. I played music by Miriam Makeba and other similar artists via Pandora too. Her song 'Pata Pata' was used for a car commercial a little while ago. You can listen to it on youtube.
Art: We used Global Art to make the Central African decorative necklaces and the Ilukeres (fly whisks.) Week 3 nothing in Global Art was really speaking to me so we made African tribal masks using this tutorial that another MFW user blogged about.

Fly whisks
Tenor's tribal mask

Soprano's tribal mask

To supplement, we read other books about African countries and animals and borrowed DVDs from the library.

We're on to another continent already. My kids are most excited about studying China in a few weeks.

Linking up at and

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