Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Homeschool 4th Grade Week 2

This week was kinda tough thanks to the long weekend. We managed to get everything done!

Language Arts: We continued working on character traits and motivations with a focus on biography. We read from her book a story about Jackie Mitchell. A girl ballplayer who may or may not have struck out Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig. But my favorite part of language arts this week came from vocabulary words. The word list was: legendary, muttered, gaped, flinched, snickering, glared, stunned, fluke. We try to encourage her to use her new words in real life. A day after we studied the vocab this happened....

Louie, being Louie was throwing her doll up in the air. It hit the ceiling fan and flew across the room and landed perfectly in the corner of the window curtains and was stuck there. The girls came running out to us and Phi used almost all her vocab words....

"Louie's doll landing there was a total fluke. I was stunned and stared at it with my mouth gaped and I muttered to myself 'legendary'."

Math: Ugh! I am so scared that math is going to be a complete nightmare this year. This week we reviewed rounding and using tables and graphs to answer questions. It sometimes feel like we are teaching her the concept all over again. It seems like there was little to no retention. It did not help that Math was given to us a day late so we had to squeeze on all 11 pages in 2 sessions. With math the more spaced out the better. I have also found that she really needs undivided attention when working on math, but at the same time she gets so frustrated when I have to explain the same things over and over. It is a battle this damn math. Her teacher will be offering tutoring time on Fridays and I think starting this Friday we will have her stay for 30 minutes just to work on math.

Social Studies: We are continuing learning about California and this week the focus was on the 4 different regions, desert, mountain, coast and central valley. This YouTube video that the teacher linked to is a good one...

For this lesson we took a stab at our first triangle diorama. Phi made a triangle section for each region and listed 2 different things we get from each region. Here is her final product. You can tell with this project that we were rushed for the week. She hit all the requirements but this project could have been a lot more fun and creative.

Science: Last week was all about consumers and producers and this week  we talked all about decomposers. Well of course we didn't just talk about them. Phi answered the questions from her worksheets. A second assignment was to compare and contrast 2 different decomposers. She chose mushrooms and earthworms. How stinking cute is her worm!

We also decided to take this lesson a step further and Phi and Poppa went on a mission to find live worms. Lo and behold Wal-Mart had them. Yesterday Phi and Poppa made a worm farm with newspaper, soil, worms and leaves.

I couldn't resist the dumb and dumber reference
Now we get to see these guys do the decomposing thing that they do. 


  1. Oi, those worms. I loathe worms. That's still cool that you built a worm farm. I think it's awesome that Phi used almost all of her words in one sentence, and correctly too! Win!

    I understand what you're going through with math. With my eldest we would be going over what a stupid dime was for 2 freakin' years and it was like he'd never even heard the word before. He's a bit behind because he couldn't get simple addition and subtraction. We switched curriculum finally and he understood it this summer, just in time for us to start multiplication. Kill me now. I really really hope that we don't have to battle it like before. I'm hoping it was the curriculum switch that did the trick and not the fact that 3 years later it finally sunk in. Good luck with math this year! Here's hoping both our math years go much much better than last year :)

    1. I am not a huge fan of those worms either. Notice it was Phi and POPPA who did that project! So glad to hear I am not alone in struggling with math. When we did multiplication last year it was so difficult. I used every trick I could find and what finally worked for her was picture association. For example "door times sign equals dirty sticks. (4X9=36) The website ( and there was a short story that helps them remember.

      Good Luck!!


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