Wrap-Up of Week Twenty-Five, Week Twenty-Six and Week Twenty-Seven of Seventh and Fourth Grade

I am trying to post a little wrap-up of each week of grades seven, four and five year old kindergarten year throughout the 36 weeks I have planned for school this year.  I hope this will encourage mothers that are homeschooling multiple children (or who want to but are worried!), and  encourage mothers that even homeschooling children of multiple ages who are far apart in age is doable.  You can find week twenty-four here   and further in the back posts you can find a post pertaining to the first two days of school this year which gives insight to our general daily rhythm.

Living With The Seasons:   Spring has sprung here!  The first weeks I mention in this post included cold weather, but it certainly seems in this Holy Week that spring is here.

And with all the events of life and Holy Week, it seems as if things have been very busy outside of our home and not as much with school.  I feel as if we are swimming in molasses trying to get school done.  This third week covered in this post, Holy Week is a most important week.  I usually try to take some of this week off as there are many things at church to attend, but I feel as if almost every week has been days off as of late, so this week we went ahead and did four days of school.

Next week, the first week of Eastertide, we were supposed to take Spring Break but events did not conspire to have our whole family together doing something, so I imagine we will do at least a few days of school and I may work on planning some of the other days.

Homeschool Planning:  I have the block rotation for fifth grade planned out along with about three full blocks that still need tweaking. I hope to finish up fifth grade soon so I can get started on eighth grade.  That will be much more involved with a lot for me to read and digest!  I finally got the block rotation for eighth grade pretty much done, but I have revised it a hundred times I think.

Kindergarten:  We are back to Suzanne Down’s “Old Gnome Through The Year”.  We have been doing a “Springtime Circle” and the story of “Old Gnome and the Fairy Cradle”.  We have done some spring painting and nature crafts.  We have also been working hard on life skills – dressing oneself, good manners, cleaning one’s room and making one’s bed with help.

Fourth Grade:  We have spent a good amount of time looking at the reptiles and amphibians in our state.  Our state is particularly rich in this area.  We have over eighty species of amphibians, including over thirty kinds of salamanders.  Some of these salamanders are found no where else in the world.  We have five kinds of sea turtles, and our state reptile, the gopher tortoise is a keystone species.  The American Alligator found in the southern part in our state is another keystone species.  We modeled a sea turtle and did some beautiful paintings.  This week we have talked about mammals, including the opossum (a common sight in our state), the beaver, the sixteen kind of bats in our state, including the yellow bat and the Rafinesque Big-eared bat and coyotes.  The Rafinesque Big-Eared Bat really lends itself to a diorama, and we got into a discussion about tupelo trees in regards to the yellow bat.  Next week I hope to finish up mammals, review watersheds and  will talk about the oceans off our state’s coast and our state whale.    I am planning a math block and then a block on insects, bees and herbs as our very last block of the school year.

We finished reading “Thorkill of Iceland” and have been reading Isabel Wyatt’s “Norse Hero Tales” by Isabel Wyatt.

There has been a lot of musical and play practices for two plays, along with horseback riding.  Our fourth grader also took a “Climb and Clay” class where one week was pottery/clay and the next week was climbing trees (in harnesses to go up into the tree canopy).  It has been fun for her, and I think a good experiential foundation for Botany in fifth grade.  We have also been playing a lot and not doing very much in the way of handwork. 

Seventh Grade: Week twenty-five has seen us jump into the Renaissance – we started with building up a picture of the geography of China, Genghis Khan and Mongol ways of life, the Silk Road,  Kublai Khan and Marco Polo, and reviewing the Magna Charta is depth.  We have also talked about  the life of Chaucer, The Hundred Years War and Joan of Arc, and the beginning of the Renaissance in Italy through the biography of Lorenzo di Medici and some of the artists under his patronage.  It has been a busy time of painting and drawing.  I have assigned a project to pick artwork from a Renaissance artist and re-create it, so we shall see how that goes.  We finished “The Hidden Treasures of Glaston” . Our daughter is reading Chaucer’s “The Canterbury Tales” by Geraldine McCreaghean and has “A Proud Taste For Scarlet and Miniver” next on tap to read (review of Eleanor of Aquitaine).  I am reading aloud the book “The Magna Charta” by James Daughtery.

We have been doing quite a bit of math as well – algebra mainly, along with review of fractions, decimals, percentages, and geometry.  We started the year with a combined algebra/geometry block, but I hope after Renaissance and then Latin America and explorers, we will have time to touch on algebra again.  Next week our daughter starts a physics class with a trained Waldorf teacher for a month, so that combined with the physics we did in the very beginning of the year should take care of our physics this year.

We are still busy with horseback riding, musical and choir practice at church, and this coming week our seventh grader will be doing a little camping with friends.  It has been such nice weather this week so we are all glad to go out and play.


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