I have missed several weeks of blogging, but trust me, we have been plugging along with the basics – reading, writing and math, and filling in the rest with snuggles and good books. But – there is a reason behind why we took a break from our unit studies: Our new baby girl estimated to arrive in August 2014! I am just past half way into this pregnancy and finally feeling back to normal. This has been a much rougher pregnancy physically than my others, but so grateful for another healthy little girl.
The last two weeks we have slowly began adding things back into our school time routine, and as I feel up to it, we have been exploring the area and partaking in local field trips.
Elizabeth has finished up the basic addition and subtraction fact portion of her book (values up to 20) and is now beginning to work on problems up to 40.
Libby has finished all her letters – capital and lowercase, and is now working on short copy work and reviewing number formation.
We only have a few lessons left in the first level of the All About Reading program. It was been wonderful, and Libby really enjoys reading. She has learned compound words and plurals.
Learning through Literature: A New Coat for Anna
“A fresh and moving story of a mother’s dedication to acquire a coat for her daughter in post-World War II hard times. Anna’s mother decides to trade the few valuables she has left for wool and for the services of a spinner, a weaver, and a tailor. Lobel’s pictures do a tremendous job of evoking the period. Insightful and informative, this may make children consider how precious the ordinary can become in times of turmoil.”–(starred) Booklist.
We know the story took place in a European country affected by the war, so we chose to focus on Germany. Each day Libby pointed out Germany on the map.
We learned basics about World War II and watched BrainPOP videos about the war. Libby and I discussed how war affects a country and the people within it.
Anna’s mother had no money to purchase a new coat, so she had to barter. We watched a Reading Rainbow episode called Saturday Sancocho and learned about bartering.
We learned the process of using wool to make yarn and clothing. We visited a local historic site for a kids day focusing on wool and spinning. There Ian and Libby were both able to have their own pieces of wool to pull, card and twist into yarn. We watched as the wool was spun and weaved, and then we made our own sheep crafts with our wool. It was a fun trip into the past!
Elizabeth used her new loom to try her hand at weaving.
We also dyed our own wool yarn. I really wanted to boil berries and use them to dye the yarn like Anna’s mother did, but I couldn’t find any berries to pick and the grocery did not have any cranberries in right now – so we used red, blue and purple Koolaid. We followed this tutorial. I hope to knit the yarn into a hat for them.
We were also able to travel into Washington DC the last two weekends while visiting with family and friends. The Cherry Blossom Festival was going on and it was gorgeous – and so much fun!
We have also spent nearly everyday visiting one of the many local parks. Elizabeth has now mastered pumping and the swings are both of their favorites.
Overall, we are back into full swing these days. Looking forward to revising our old friend Peter Rabbit next week as we Hop into Easter 🙂