Friday, April 8, 2011

Our Week: American Kingdoms and Stars

The Three Rs

Molly had lots of fun with her phonics lessons this week. One day she reviewed all the ways to say /A/. I wrote words on cards and she had to take them and place them on the items they named. Here she is with the ones she placed on herself.

I don't know what's going on with this crazy pose. I have a hard time getting a picture of her without her doing something silly.

Another day she learned that ea can say /E/. She had to read some cards with ea words. Four of them said, "Eat a Treat." When she read those correctly, she got to have a Hershey kiss. She thought that was great, but had to make it out to be even better since Colin was working across the table from her. She kept telling him how good they were.

Colin finished RightStart Level E this week. Now he's reading through Life of Fred: Fractions and doing the bridges until he gets back to where he was before we took a break from it.


We spent a little time finishing some projects from our Christopher Columbus unit study. You can see more about that here.

For the rest of the week, we learned about the American kingdoms of the Mayans, Aztecs, and Incas. I found quite a few books to go with each of them.

The girls used popcorn kernels to learn how the Mayan and Aztecs would grind maize into meal or flour.


The material this week seemed to be the most difficult of our astronomy study. We learned about stars, black holes, supernovas, and light years.

We used a balloon to demonstrate how the stars are moving farther apart from one another because the universe is expanding.

We made an astrometer to measure the brightness of stars. Unfortunately, it's been cloudy so we haven't had a chance to try it out yet.


The lesson was about using photographs to help you see details of the object you're drawing. The kids chose pictures from magazines.
By: Caleigh

By: Colin (of course, it's hockey themed)

By: Molly
Since it may not be clear, that's a deer on the left side.

Everything Else

Colin had hockey games on Sunday and Monday. There hasn't actually been anything else this week. I got sick as soon as we got home from KY and didn't feel well the whole week. I ended up skipping all of our activities. The kids didn't seem to mind and spent their free time skating in the driveway or sitting in front of our dining room window watching some birds build a nest on our front porch. When we moved here a year ago, we discovered a nest with eggs very close to where this one is now and the kids loved watching it until all the birds flew away. They're excited about getting to do it again.

Here is the mama bird in the nest. She's been working hard building it.


Laurie said...

Oooh! How fun that your children get to watch the mama bird - and hopefully the babies later in the spring! We had a nest right outside our schoolroom window last year, but so far this year we haven't seen any.

Lora @ my blessed life said...

I love those bookshelves with the front-facing books. I'm curious, what are they made from?

Sarah said...

Lora, they are made from rain gutters. My husband just cut them to the right size and hung them on the wall. We love them for displaying books for whatever is the current week's topic.

MommyKuehner said...

Wow!!! What a wonderful week. I love the popcorn idea. Making a mental note for future studies:) You have a wonderful family!!!

Hopping over from the blog list at Unsocialized homeschoolers:) New follower!

Have a great week
Visit our mayheim at

Deb Chitwood said...

I always love reading about your unit studies - so many great activities! And your phonics activities were great as well. I like the activity of reading words and placing them on the items they name. I hope you're completely well again now and having a great start to the week! Visiting from HHH. Deb @

Becky said...

We love to watch birds, too! How wonderful to have the nest so close!

Zelda said...

Looks like you had a great week. Really liked the phonics game and the grinding idea.
Visiting from HHM.

Mary said...

You had a great week! I love your blog - so many good nuggets here :)

Anonymous said...

Great blog! I love your bookcases! Visiting from HHH...

Tiff said...

Looks like you had a fun week! Stopping by from HHH.

Meg said...

I'm visiting and now following you from HHH! What a great blog!!!

Lora @ my blessed life said...

Thanks, Sarah!
I wondered if that's what it was--I love that!

Time4Mommy said...

They look like they are having a blast!

I found you via the homeschool hop. Happy to meet you~ ~Mandie

The Adventurer said...

Thanks for linking up to the NOBH. Looks like a busy week