A test of faith – This past week we completed our “Religions of the World” unit, using an Usborne book as a reference. It was time to test and see what my son had retained. I set up the iPad for a multiple choice quiz, and presented him with 30 questions regarding Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, and Sikhism. Chalk up another A+. Yay!
Incidental learning: Thermometers – While we were driving around the other day and the car thermometer read 37 degrees, I wondered if my son knew about temperatures. So that night, we began a small study of temperatures and thermometers. We found a neat website: www.metric-conversions.org, offering loads of interesting facts with brief, understandable explanations. We learned the difference between Celsius and Fahrenheit and how to convert from one to the other. We learned that only the Bahamas, Belize, the Cayman Islands, Palau (Palau? We had to find this on the globe), the USA and its territories use the Fahrenheit system. Consider us informed on the matter.
New academic unit – I am sorry to write that the chemistry unit we began crashed and burned by night number three. Darn book. When I don’t know what the author is talking about on page one, I start to think that this is not a book for us. After shunning the chemistry book, we tried out a book on “Oceans of the World” and found conflicting sentences in the first paragraph, so we bypassed that resource, too. This does not mean we are through with these units, it just means we are seeking the right books. (So many, many sub-standard learning materials out there. How do they even get published? Sigh.)
Not to be discouraged, we read through a few pages of “A Young Reader’s Shakespeare: A Midsummer Night’s Dream” by Adam McKeown. Excellent! We are loving this book. We are going slowly so we can keep all the characters straight.
Novels – Two worthy Newberry award recipients: “Hatchet” and “Flora and Ulysses”
- Continuing on with “Hatchet”, by Gary Paulsen. There is nothing original I can say about this important book. There is a reason it is on so many reading lists.
- “Flora and Ulysses”, by Kate DiCamillo (everything she writes is so great). Things we’ve had to investigate while reading this book: CPR, near-death experiences (seeing the “white light”), the words “malfeasance” and “cynic”. I love books that push us into further learning.
Our music theme last night focused upon the work of French composers – I provided my son a list of compositions by the French composers that we are familiar with: Bizet, Debussy, Delibes, Gounod, Offenbach, and Saint-Saens. He selected:
- “The Infernal Galop”, (the “Can Can”) by Jacques Offenbach, what’s not to like?
- “Clair de Lune”, by Claude Debussy, the soothing music we needed.
- “March of the Toreadors”, (from “Carmen”) by Georges Bizet…a rather unusual rendition with bottles and a guy on skates. Why not?
Welcome to the best part of my day!
– Jane BH