Weekly Report (with Listening LacyDog)
With wrapping up this week, we are two-thirds through our school year.
Time flies, friends. Truly. I think I’m getting old and sentimental.
A few instagrams from our week: Kathryn finally lost a stubborn molar; I made a crumb cake for a little homeschool moms’ get-together here at my house; and a visit from my dad, with notepad in hand (since he has lost the ability to speak).
We read about John Gutenburg this week. Although we knew he was the inventor of the printing press, we had no idea of all the struggles he went through to finally create a successful version. In reading The Story of Inventions (by Frank Bachman) this year, we’ve learned that making a living off being an inventor is hard to do, and many died poor before their idea or invention finally caught on. And anyone who has ever invented something great had to fail numerous times before he or she finally got it right. Persistence is a good thing! In a time when a daily wage was just 15 cents, a full Bible would’ve cost $150 or more — until the Gutenburg press, which brought that price down to a far more reasonable rate of about $4. Just think what our lives would be like, for instance, if the printing press had never been invented! Kathryn and I both shuddered at the thought of not having books to read and love!
Kathryn is learning about simple machines in her LEGO class, and thanks to a timely tweet from Jolanthe, we discovered a fun interactive learning activity on EdHeads.orgs that taught us even more about simple machines! This week in LEGO’s class, the kids made a tapping machine, like the hammer in a piano. Next week, Kathryn is looking forward to building windshield wipers!
We began our Civil War lapbook, and finished reading Abraham Lincoln’s World, another Ambleside Year 5 selection, and a horizontal approach to the history of the world during the lifetime of Abraham Lincoln. This has been Kathryn’s favorite of our history readings, but we’re eager to start on the next one soon.
Yes, yes, I promised a Teaching Textbooks review. Kathryn is helping me with that, and I’ll post it early next week. Other than being tired of adding and subtracting decimals this week, she is still liking it.
Oliver Twist is still a hit. I was remembering back to high school, when I was assigned A Tale of Two Cities in high school, and I didn’t even make it through the first paragraph. It was the only time I ever used Cliffs Notes in my school career. I don’t know, looking back now, if it was really all that painful, or if I was just entirely unfamiliar with Dickensian language. Either way, I’m happy that I can now understand this sort of thing — and even better, Kathryn can, too! When we come across an extremely archaic word, we do sometimes pause to look it up on my iPhone dictionary, but mostly, we can figure things out in context, and only very rarely have to clarify something going on in the story. Yay for good literature!
Also this week, Lacy the WonderDog turned five years old! We don’t know the actual day of her birth, but we know it was in February, so we decided to call it Valentine’s Day. Though she rarely cooperates for photographs, she humored me one day this week, so I took the opportunity to capture a few shots of her attentive head tilts when she is closely listening to a person speak.
I’m telling you, the dog is a genius — and a great listener. I’ve had more than one friend completely stop mid-sentence to say, “I think your dog is listening to me.” Yes, she is. But she’s great at keeping secrets.