Wednesday, January 11, 2006

poetry term 2

Our poet for Term 2 Year 6 per Ambleside Online is Carl Sandburg. I have found an abundant supply of books at our local library to help us in this study such as the book pictured at left, Carl Sandburg Adventures of a Poet by Penelope Niven. We have really been enjoying this book which has biographical information about Sandburg's life on one page with a poem pertaining to that area/time of his life on the opposite page.

Some of the other books of his poetry that we have include:

Poetry for Young People Carl Sandburg


Grassroots Poems by Carl Sandburg

This book, The Huckabuck Family and How They Raised Popcorn in Nebraska and Quit and Came Back is another that I happened to find which is actually a picture book of one of his famous Rootabaga short stories. Don't you just love the title alone? lol

Carl Sandburg's home in North Carolina is a National Historic Site and the National Park Service has a fabulous website about the home and they also have activities that children can do relating to some of his poems which also includes a teacher's hub section.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Happy "Word Nerd Day"

In honor of Word Nerd Day, also known as National Word Day, today we are starting a "Word of the Day" plan for our own nerdy family. :) Very timely for us as even my daughter who is a sophomore in a local high school will benefit. She has started her own "Five New Words Each Day" program with a friend as they practice vocabulary studies in preparation for the SAT test they will be taking within the next few months.

Thanks to here's our word for the day:

ineffable \in-EF-uh-buhl\, adjective:1. Incapable of being expressed in words; unspeakable; unutterable; indescribable.2. Not to be uttered; taboo. was a great find this morning, as besides giving the definition of a new word each day (you can go online or have it emailed to you), they also give you the history of the word and give you quotes from books, magazines etc where it has been used in a sentence.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

fiction to go along with our art

The artist we are studying this term is Jan Vermeer (1632-1675). I found a fiction book to go along with our study of this painter. We are listening to it on audio and enjoying it immensely so far. The book is Chasing Vermeer by Blue Balliett.

One of the main characters is "into" the puzzles known as pentominoes. Scholastic who is the publisher has a great site where you can try your own hand at these. Just click on the name. You can play online and they even have printable ones. Josh was much more successful than I was as he was able to get to the hardest level. I got stuck on the middle level but we both had alot of fun with them.

The book is a mystery dealing with a Vermeer painting and in the book illustrations there are clues given. You can check out your solutions on the Scholastic site mentioned above.

I have also gotten some writing assignment ideas from the book such as in Chapter 2 when Ms.Hussey has the class debating whether writing is the most accurate way of communicating. Somehow I think Josh will agree with Calder lol.

Term 2

Our formal studies will include:

Ambleside Online
Term 2 2006

Artist - Jan Vermeer
Composer - Henry Purcell
Poet - Year 6 - Carl Sandburg
Nature Study - Year 6 Astronomy (along with birding of course)
Plutarch - We will be continuing on with Demetrius as we have not finished this study yet.
Shakespeare - We are actually going out of sequence and studying Winter's Tale this term instead of Term 3

For other subjects we are very eclectic:

American History - Roaring Twenties/Harlem Renaissance
World History - as yet undecided
Math - living books and some worksheets covering such things as fractions, geometry, as well as Julie Brennan's Living Math site
Language Arts- Julie Bogart's Bravewriter's Lifestyle, Cay Gibson's House of Literature, as well as Elizabeth Foss's 4 Real Learning
Science - Chemistry study with experiments
Birthday Wall - includes current events and celebrating birthdays of famous people and events during the year

Looks good on paper huh? lol We will do our best to immerse ourselves in these fields and see where they lead us for the next few months.

the new year

This past Tuesday our "back to school" formal studies were well... not so formal. I had every intention of starting right back, gung ho only to be pre-empted by none other than C.S. Lewis. Hey if I have to take a backseat to anyone at least it's behind a great writer. :)

Josh is into ALL things Narnia. He is now reading his 6th book of the Narnia series, The Horse and His Boy, and has only The Magician's Nephew after that. He has read them in an order that made sense to him and LIVES in the world of Narnia it seems. He received some Narnia action figures for Christmas, numerous Narnia and Narnia-related books and the Playstation game which he has played just a few times. The books, for now, taking precedent. He has seen the movie twice and begs to go again. He tells anyone who will listen about it and professes that it is wayyyyy better than the Harry Potter movie which he loved.

I don't have the heart to pull him away from these wonderful books just so we can "do our studies". For now THESE are HIS studies. You see, this is the same boy who in the summer after "second grade" was still reading at a Kdg level. Within the next six months he was reading "at" level and 6 months later "well beyond" his so called grade level. Doing things in "his own time frame" and not some time frame dictated by a "system". That's why this homeschooling thing works for us, formal studies or not :)