Week 9, 2017 – Calm Before The (Soccer) Storm

This was a nice, calm week. Pretty soon soccer season starts up and everything gets crazy.

LA

Their grandma is helping them with their handwriting — getting numbers the correct direction, understanding the way fractions and things are supposed to look, forming letters in cursive, and things like that.

We played Balderdash. It’s a game where you get a date, an initialism, a movie title, or a strange word and the players try to write a description of what the word means (or the initialism stands for, or the significant thing that happened on that date, or what the word means). And the player whose turn it is just copies the correct answer. Then everyone votes on which they think is the real answer and points are awarded. It’s a fun way to get kids to unintentionally do some copy work and practice writing things in a more proper-sounding voice. (If you don’t sound like a game card in your answer, no one will be fooled by it.)

We played another game called Happy Birthday Robot. It’s a fun game where you collectively write a story (it doesn’t have to be about a robot) and you are limited in the number of words you can use. This is helpful for teaching kids how to be efficient with their language. They quickly learn there aren’t enough words to use filler words like “very” or to start each sentence with “and”.

And, of course, we finished the second Harry Potter
and started on the third.

We also watched the first movie of the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

Kid #1 spent some time planning his inn in Druidawn, based on an inn from a book he read a few months ago. Not sure if the airship ever got made, but it’s nice to know he buys virtual property.

Science

The weather turned warm, so we spent time watching the birds in the feeders in the backyard. Different birds are showing up and some are even changing into their summer colors.

We talked about the weather and the changing of the seasons, particularly about the difference between meteorological seasons and astronomical seasons. (It’s now meteorological spring, but it isn’t astronomical spring until the spring equinox.

And we posed interesting questions we tried to answer… such as the physics of bird flight, and could a penguin fly if it swam really fast and jumped out of the¬†water.

Math

We played one math game this week, a game called Tsuro. The idea is you are a dragon flying around and you’re just trying to not fly off the edge of the board or run into another player. There’s no reading required, so it’s a great game for groups of people that include young kids. It’s also good for mental math skills, particularly the ability to rotate shapes in your head and figure out which way to play a piece.

In addition to that, Kid 1 did some work in Khan Academy, and the littler kids did a placement test for Teaching Textbooks. Sadly, they scored really high on the tests (surprise!) so I need to make them take another test to see if they place in a higher level. I’ll probably promise them ice cream again because it’s a pretty long test.

Social Studies

I don’t have anything written down, but I remember talking about some civics during the week, as current events came up.

PE

There was a lot of foursquare, plus the kids went to open gym at the gym nearby. We’ve been here close to two years and there’s a gym seven minutes down the road… and that was nice. I’m sure they miss their old gym.

Health

Mostly just “growing up” stuff with individual kids.

Art

There was nothing special planned, just the regular drawing and stuff.

Music

The kids practiced their instruments several times this week, and I can definitely hear improvement!

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