Skip counting/multiplication tables continue this week with 3’s and 4’s. We have been using a lot of the strategies I outlined in my earlier post on how to teach Multiplication. (CLICK HERE to read that post.) Our favorite, by far, has been Skip Count Catch. But we have also done some writing down of multiplication tables (boring but effective) using the dry erase pockets that I bought (so that we don’t go through worksheets so quickly). This really is the best solution for multiplication work. I use a website called “Worksheet Genius” to create a worksheet with exactly the facts that I want on it, pop that worksheet into the dry erase pocket, and have my kids complete one per day. Easy Peasy! I prefer dry erase pockets to sheet protectors because they are more sturdy and last forever. I can also assign a color to each child so that child can be responsible for their own. Here’s a link to the worksheet generator I use: Worksheet Genius And here is the best deal I was able to find on the dry erase pockets:
CLICK HERE to Add Dry Erase Pockets to Your Amazon Wish List
For our English memory work this week, we began the list of prepositions that the kids must memorize. I have to say that I’m thrilled with the way we’ve decided to approach this. We are learning the prepositions two ways:
First, we began writing a “Preposition Story” together as a family. I started with my youngest and asked her to make up a sentence to begin our story. The only requirement was that the sentence had to include the first preposition in this week’s memory work: about. I then moved to the next oldest child who dictated a sentence that continued the story and also contained the next preposition: above. This continued until we had used all the prepositions on this week’s list. While the children dictated the story, I acted as scribe and wrote it all down. The children were then given the assignment of copying the story and underlining all the prepositions. They placed the copy in their binder so we can continue the story next week. I loved this exercise because by using the prepositions as the single requirement, it helped the kids understand the function that prepositions fill in a sentence.
To help you visualize how this worked, here is the story that my kids have invented so far:
So, full disclosure here, I know that as a Foundations tutor I am supposed to love all the CC material, and I do love most of it, but I don’t love the Preposition song. I bought the CD to use with my kids to memorize the prepositions, but I just feel that the song moves too quickly and there isn’t enough coordination with the music to really aid much in memorization. So, instead of using the song, we have begun chanting the prepositions using hand motions that we are making up as we go along. I know this isn’t unique and a lot of people do the same, but making up our own hand motions seems to really be helping my kids to remember the list. Maybe we will post a video in a few weeks to show you what we’ve done.
This week continued our study of the 10 Commandments. My daughter has now watched all of the videos from this series and really enjoyed them. For $13.99, including free shipping, I think they are easily worth the price:
CLICK HERE to Add Kids 10 Commandments DVD Set to Your Amazon Wish List
We’ve also had a blast playing 10 Commandments Steal the Bacon. I explained how to play this game in my post for Week 1. CLICK HERE if you’d like to read it.
We began our study of Latin a few weeks ago with the Latina Christiana series from Memoria Press. So far, we are really enjoying it. The lessons are short, easy to teach, and easy to understand. I decided to add some Latin beyond just the memory work for two main reasons: First, I wanted to offer a framework for my kids that went beyond just memorizing declensions. I wanted them to begin to learn and experience the actual language. Latina Christiana does a good job of this by introducing Latin words immediately as well as little prayers and sayings in Latin. Second, the one concern I’ve heard from multiple moms of Challenge students is that their children have struggled with jumping right into Henle Latin. I wanted to give my kids a bit more of a Latin framework to help ease this transition to Challenge. If you are interested in purchasing Latina Christiana, I found a great deal on Amazon that includes everything in the complete set except the DVDs. I have not missed the DVDs, and by giving them up, I was able to purchase the set on Amazon for less than half of what it would have cost me through Memoria Press. And the Amazon version still contains the CD, which is what I need to be able to teach pronunciation since I am learning Latin for the first time along with my kids. Here’s the set I found on Amazon:
CLICK HERE to Add Latina Christiana to Your Amazon Wish List
Of course the Latin memory work for this week continues to focus on memorizing the ways that nouns can be used in a Latin sentence. I used English sentences to help my kids understand Nominative, Possessive, Direct Object, Indirect Object, and Object of the Preposition. I don’t think that they absorbed everything, but that’s OK. The information that they did understand will also serve them well in Essentials, especially my daughter who is beginning her first tour this year.
This week was exciting because I finished a big project I had been working on for a couple of months: I completed an entire set of maps to be labeled (and answer keys) for Cycle 1 Geography. If you haven’t downloaded your free copy yet, you can do so here: Complete Geography Map Work for Classical Conversations Cycle 1.
I am also trying to create a new Seterra quiz for each week of Geography work. If you haven’t heard of Seterra yet, it is a website (also available as an app) that allows students to take Geography quizzes online. What most people don’t know is that Seterra has a feature that allows you to create your own quizzes and share them with others. I created a quiz that incorporates as many features of Week 1 and Week 2 as were available. Some readers have mentioned to me that the map I used for the quiz displays the area of the Fertile Crescent as only a small piece of a larger map. Unfortunately, I am not able to change the frame size. However, I did find that when I zoomed in, it made the features much easier to locate. This worked on my iPhone and on my lap top. Here is the link to the quiz I created for CC Cycle 1, Weeks 1 & 2: Seterra Online Quiz for CC Weeks 1 & 2
Last week, we introduced the idea of taxonomy and the classification of living things by reading an excellent book on Karl Linnaeus. CLICK HERE to read my post recommending that book.
This week we dove into an exploration of the six different Kingdoms of life. I was able to find three great books to explain the different kingdoms. We read all three, and while they do contain a lot of the same information, they had enough different details and illustrations to keep my kids interested, and I appreciated the repetition of the key points between the books because it helps reinforce the concepts as we read.
The most thorough of the three is from the Come Learn With Me series. It explains how and why scientists classify organisms and gives a brief description of each kingdom of classification along with examples of lifeforms that fit into each classification. What is most impressive about this book, however, is that there is absolutely no mention of evolution, nor is there a timetable given for the ages of particular organisms. This is a nice benefit for a lot of families. I highly recommend the book:
CLICK HERE to Add “Come Learn With Me: The Kingdoms of Life” to Your Amazon Wish List
The most entertaining of the three books was definitely “Let’s Classify: Organisms.” The text was easy to read, fast paced, and had lots of colorful illustrations. It is written at a lower reading level than “Come Learn With Me” so it is more engaging for younger kiddos, although my older kids enjoyed it as well. This book also does not make mention of evolution or dates of origin.
CLICK HERE to Add “Let’s Classify: Organisms” to Your Amazon Wish List
We also purchased and read “Tree of Life: The Incredible Biodiversity of Life on Earth.” This book has a lot of good information but there is also a good bit of talk about evolution. Since my son completed Apologia’s Biology course last year, he is well versed in the difference between micro and macro evolution and the disparity between the evidence (or lack thereof) for each. Because he has this background, and we have already discussed evolution, I decided to read the book out loud to my kids. I purposely skipped a few sentences and then we discussed others. I recommend that you read the book first before sharing it as a family. One upside to this book is that it also breaks down the Kingdom Animalia into its different Phylums. This means the book can pull double duty for Week 3.
CLICK HERE to Add “Tree of Life: The Incredible Biodiversity of Life on Earth” to Your Amazon Wish List
Because I am tutoring Foundations, I am required to have a copy of Mona Brookes’ “Drawing with Children”, but now that I have it, I can highly recommend that parents grab a copy as well…especially if your art ability is anything like mine. (I failed Stick Figures 101 in college.) The lessons are so well explained and the tone so relate-able that I’m actually excited about trying to learn to draw myself!
To go along with the first two weeks of lessons, which focus on drawing simple shapes and completing sketches when half of the drawing is given, I downloaded some worksheets. Here are my favorites:
This website has several step-by-step drawing projects using simple shapes and lines…like the bat pictured below. CLICK HERE to visit the site.
This site has a bunch of simple animal faces, and some other “cartoonish” items that kids can complete using the first half of the drawing as a guide. CLICK HERE to visit the site.
Kids who are a bit more advanced may enjoy working on the other half of this spider. CLICK HERE to Download the Half Spider Drawing Activity.
Thanks for hanging out with us for another week! As in previous posts, there are a few Amazon affiliate links in this post. Adding products that interest you through these links allows me to make a small referral fee and doesn’t cost you any extra. Thanks for your support.