Monday, February 28, 2011

Magic Tree House books

W has recently discovered the Magic Tree House series of books by Mary Pope Osborne and in the past couple of days he has read several of them completely on his own. I asked him a few questions about them for reading comprehension and it seems like he understands the story but he is a speed reader! This means a library trip will be in order very soon. We bought several of these books at the Christmas Tree Shop which offers them at dollar or more off of list price (yes, I love a bargain). He has read #1 Dinosaurs Before Dark (and study guide), 2 The Knight at Dawn, 3 Mummies in the Morning, 4 Pirates Past Noon, 11 Lions at Lunchtime, and 23 Twister on Tuesday.

This reading transition to chapter books is happening as I am planning W's curriculum for spring/ summer 2011 so now I am in search of similar book suggestions, if you have any please post a comment. As for other subjects, we ordered the next step of Math-U-See (Alpha student & teacher texts). I am slowly acquiring other first grade materials, and will certainly be on the lookout for local book sales. We have a few things already including a set of Flat Stanley books we got at a homeschool book sale last year. W was a little young for them at the time but now I think they would be up his alley. We will also keep going with Five in a Row books and some of the longer chapter books such as Little House on the Prairie for read-alouds.

Today besides reading W was working again with the Explode the Code 1 workbook, Math-U-See, and making his own mazes and drawings. It was raining and sleeting today, it will be nice when the ice is gone and we can start thinking about the garden.


Thursday, February 10, 2011

EcoTarium day trip

I forgot to post some photos from our visit to the EcoTarium in Worcester, MA last month. We met up with most of Jacob's side of the family so the boys enjoyed spending time with their cousins, uncles & aunt. It is a nice little museum which I think would be even more fun in the summertime when more time can be spent at their outside areas as well. We got to see the polar bear Kenda who was happily napping in the snow.

              Polar Bear! She was not too excited to her picture taken.

They also exhibit animals of the non-living variety. This used to be a mountain lion.

The iguana demonstration was neat, the handler put a bunch of unlucky crickets in the pen for a snack.

 The EcoTarium seems to be expanding as the upper level of the museum was closed and under renovations, so it would be fun to go back on a warmer day when there is more to see.

Mid Feb update :)

W finished reading Farmer Boy and despite both boys having colds we have been continuing our usual homeschooling routines the past week minus the whole playdate thing, hoping to see our friends again soon! We celebrated Laura Ingalls Wilder's birthday on Monday and made little maple cakes from the My First Little House Cookbook. The cake part was sweetened with maple syrup and W loved them. C loved the icing, also maple based. W also read a lot of the My First LH books that day. During our book club meeting a couple of weeks ago we watched the Almanzo Wilder documentary I mentioned in a previous post, which was produced by the multi talented Dean Butler who played "Manly" on the TV series. The kids ages 9-2 enjoyed it, and the Moms as well!

I am so so tempted to go to the Wayside Inn's ice harvesting demonstration this Saturday in Sudbury, MA. It would be very interesting to see the old fashioned way of "making" ice just like in Farmer Boy.

Last week we "rowed" Very Last First Time by Jan Andrews. It was first published in 1985 and is set in Ungava Bay, Canada. Upon looking up the map to give W a point of reference I was blown away at how far east Ungava Bay is (the link can show you the location on google maps).W made a booklet on the Inuit people and we found some printable resources online through I love that site.

W watched the NOVA special How Smart Are Animals? which aired last night on PBS and he was absorbed. He told me he especially liked the octopus and how it "blends in" to its environment to camouflage itself. It was fascinating to see how quickly it could hide from predators. I had tuned in to watch the show myself but I was happily surprised that W enjoyed it so much.