Saturday, January 23, 2010

Weeks 13-18 Mongolia, Russia and Beyond

Hard to believe that we have just finished up our 18th week of school and it is time for another update of our favorite things from the past six weeks. It has been a bit longer than six weeks because we did take a breather during the Christmas season to study the Advent. But for the last three weeks we have been hard at work and have "visited" some very fun places. Including four of my children's homeland RUSSIA! Yippee!!!

James was excited about finishing up a book we started when we were studying China called the House of Sixty Fathers. It is a story of a small boy who gets swept down river in his family's sampan during World War II. He ends up having the adventure of his life while he tries to make his way back to his family. With the help of some very kind American military men who are also in China fighting the Japanese he succeeds. James enjoyed learning about the extreme lengths that people went to to get food in this time of history and some of the interesting things that they ate when they were hungry to include grass. He was also excited about our study of Genghis Khan during our study of Mongolia. He was intrigued with the fact that coming from such humble roots this man became such a powerful if not brutal ruler.

Peter has been enjoying our study of his homeland Russia. He has especially enjoyed seeing all the changes that have happened there over the years and particularly some of the information that he learned while studying Alexander the I. Russia has had such a difficult history but through it all the people have persevered and survived some very difficult periods. I think Peter has enjoyed getting to know more about where he came from.

Emma was thrilled with our most recent read aloud The Wolves of Willoughby Chase. This engaging book kept us all coming back for more. It is a bit of a mystery and chronicles the lives of two cousins who find themselves at the mercy of a wicked cousin who comes to care for them while the one little girl's parents are out of town. They are quite brave and creative in their approach to the situations they are put into. It was very well written and easy to read which compared to some we have read this year was a blessing for old mom as well!!

Daniel has been enjoying the reading books he is working on. He has finished up the Beginners Bible and is now having adventures with Frog and Toad and Mouse Tales. He has amazed me with how well his reading is coming along and that he loves it. He is always asking me if he can read a few more pages. Who can resist that??? He is also getting a bit better with his math and he is liking the Touchmath that I have been doing with him. He is beginning to get the hang of using the dots and seems to be getting more answers correct every day.

Ana is liking her I Can Read It stories as well as doing much better with her math. She is loving to use the FlashMaster and is getting pretty good at her addition facts. Whoopee!! She also mentioned our science that we have been doing which is on Weather right now. We have been studying the different types of clouds as well as air pressure.

I have to say I have been loving our unit on Russia as well. There was an activity at the beginning of the unit that involved figuring out how long a trip would take on the Trans-Siberian Railroad. I thought it was a neat activity but it also made me think of how much fun it would be to actually take a trip like that. I told Robert I would like to do that some day. I think he thought I might be loosing my mind :). It has been interesting to see how things have changed over the years in this largest country on the planet and see how the people have persevered through so many trials. We even watched Fiddler on the Roof yesterday, one of my favorites!

As you can see we have not been letting any grass grow under our feet. We have one more week in Russia and then we are off to Central Asia who knows what new adventures we will have there?? I love homeschooling!!


the dwellers said...

Congratulation on all of your progress this year. Sounds like you guys are enjoying lots of great books this year.

And if you travel to that distant part of the globe... please take photos of the yurts for me :)

Joyful Friends said...

Thanks for the recommendation of the Flash Master! Matthew loves it! Math is actually fun again. I have been looking for a new read aloud so it looks like I'll have to check out The Wolves of Willoughby Chase! Thanks.

Krystal Bickel said...

Sounds like you are having a good run at it! I am anxious to get back to our schooling -- I'm hoping Monday is the day!

Miss you!