Saturday, February 9, 2013

Week of February 4, 2013

I have been really focused on the girls' writing.  I assigned them to each write an essay about any topic they chose.  Piper chose The American Girl doll company, the history of the company, how it started, why it started, when it started, what the first dolls were, where they got the idea for it to be a historical company, etc.  Yes, it is quite in depth, but she is fascinated by it all.  Allie recently saved the money from her part-time job to buy herself goldfish, she had spent DAYS researching and teaching herself all about the care and keeping of goldfish.  Now she wants to get a small pet that she can hold.  She has been researching small pets and writing a compare/contrast paper about several small animals: lizards, hamsters and guinea pigs.

The girls spent several days last week researching these topics.  On Monday, my mom had jury duty, so the girls came to work with me and worked on their papers.  On Tuesday, I helped them to better organize their papers and encouraged them to "flesh" out some details.  On Wednesday we did more editing.  Thursday we spent the day at a Valentine and Craft party at some our new homeschool friends' home.  Friday the girls and I went over the papers again and although I didn't require them to write down where they got the information for this essay, we talked about bibliography.  The topics have been chosen for their next essays and they will be citing information and writing a bibliography.
Piper has gotten into the habit of staying up very late writing a script for a play for her friends to all act out and film.
The girls saved the money from their jobs to buy the paid version of Minecraft.
We learned some more Latin & Greek roots & reviewed previously learned roots.
We all love Pet Shop Math--learning to make Ledger entries!

We also went over some Latin and Greek roots, I gave them some Dictation so I can assess their spelling, punctuation and grammar; we completed February and began March in our Pet Shop Math program.  We also did some art journaling and learned a little bit more about Winslow Homer, the great American artist.  I impulsively bought Reading Comprehension workbooks at Barnes & Noble during their Teacher Appreciation Days, I had the girls do a few exercises in there and realized it was a waste of time.  First of all, the girls can easily do the exercises.  Secondly and more importantly it makes us all feel penned into a box and stifled.  What a waste of money!  ugh!
Art Journaling

Completely on their own, the girls:

watched videos about water in space

Allie has become a HUGE fan of Chris Hadfield and has watched many of his videos this week on, yes?

There was blog posting of the essay Piper wrote on the History of American Girl Dolls.

There was another blog post by Allie about Small Pet Choices.

There was a day spent making Valentine crafts and exploring our friends' 6 acres of awesomeness: a pond, a creek, and hills and hills and hills for kids to run and explore.

I was a Discovery Toys rep when we lived in Connecticut.
The girls recently pulled out Super MarbleWorks again.
There was a super cool Super Marble Works marble maze with a jump that was constructed and played with.

There was a snowy day spent reading in bed with a BIG bowl of air-popped corn and some tea!  (my favorite way to spend a day!)

Each of the girls now has a part time job:  Allie tutors a second grade girl once week and Piper walks our neighbor's dog three times a week.  They are both required to put half their earnings in the bank.

There was saving of money from the girls jobs walking dogs and tutoring and the girls each purchased the paid version of Minecraft -- so there was a whole day of exploring what is different about the paid version versus the free version.

There was Mandala design drawing and background painting and song lyric writing.

There was also play writing going on and emails sent out coordinating when everyone can get together for a rehearsal of said play!
I must admit: I LOVE getting snowed in!!
Jason was in the Poconos with friends, so we dragged Allie's mattress into my room and all snuggled up and read books and watched movies!

There is something about snow that makes me want to bake and cook!
We LOVED the book Pictures of Hollis Woods by Patricia Reilly Giff and were THRILLED to find the movie at the BIG library this week!
Last weekend, we hosted a SuperBowl party.  The adults watched the game downstairs, while the kids had a dance party upstairs!  Cha cha slide, anyone?
I am really enjoying cooking vegetarian meals.  It's a bit of a challenge, but it's really not as difficult as I thought it would be.  Since we don't eat meat as often, we splurge on higher quality meat when we do eat meat (or, when Jason and Allie eat meat) and they enjoy Prime cuts of beef and grass-fed chicken from a butcher a few times a month.  Otherwise, we are all quite happy with tortellini soup (this time I omitted the zucchini and add cannelini beans for protein and wilted in some spinach at the end) , vegetarian shepherd's pie, asparagus-mushroom & swiss crepes, chard & goat cheese frittata was another fave this week!  
In the event that you are considering a more meatless diet,
please check out my Vegetarian pinterest board :)