Sunday, September 9, 2007

First Week of School

Our first week of school went very well. The boys were actually quite excited to begin. So far I am pleased with our choice to do use My Father's World: Exploring Countries and Cultures as our main curriculum. The first two weeks focuses on maps and globes.
We learned that globes are the most realistic world maps. Because globes duplicate the true round shape of the earth, globes are true to scale. Other maps artificially flatten the real round world, so mapmakers have to cut, stretch and distort some parts of the earth to get it onto flat paper. The worst distortion is at the top and bottom. Greenland looks bigger than all of South America on a flat map. A globe will show you that South America is actually eight times bigger than Greenland. This activity showed how distortion happens from a globe to a flat map. With a marker, I drew (very poorly) the continents onto a tangerine. I had only one chance to do it, this little tangerine cost $.85. I refused to buy more than one. Then we peeled the tangerine and pushed it out as flat as we could. The far left section of the peel shows how we cut into Greenland, and by pressing it out, enlarged the continent. Scribe asked a good question, "Why don't they just draw it smaller on the flat map then?" (Of course the teacher's manual didn't have answers to possible questions, so I had to come up with my own.) "Well, if they drew it smaller, the distance of the borders of Greenland to the borders of surrounding land masses would not be accurate." Scribe said, "Oh, I get it now!" (Whew! Score one for mama!) Then we ate the contents of the tangerine--2 segments per person. (Cheap mom--lose a point!)
Here are Squire and Scribe doing some of their book work. Notice the smile on Squire's face. He told me this week, "I really like all the stuff you chose for school this year. I don't think it will make my cry like last year." (I didn't know if I should have laughed or cried.)
Duchess loves being in Kindergarten. I set a schedule for her to do one lesson per week in her math book. She kept begging to do more. She ended up doing three week's worth in three days. I hope she will continue to be enthusiastic about school all year. Maiden did not want to be left out. I had to come up with "school work" for her to do. Here she is improving her sorting skills. She calls it her "sorting math".

Stay tuned, we will be sharing more throughout the year...


  1. Looks like a great first week! It's wonderful to start with so many smiles! :-)

  2. The best thing is they look so excited to be learning!

  3. "Amazing grace" is what comes to me as I read and see the lovely photos of your dear children...may you all continue to be creative and interested in discovering and learning each day!


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