Saturday, December 4, 2010

Weekly Report: November 29 - December 3, 2010
Cabbage Juice and Nubian Gold

Back to the routine after a week off for Thanksgiving.  Monday required a Herculean effort to keep Bluebird on-task and cheerful about it, and then we settled back down into our normal school routine.  I noticed that she had a runny nose and was sniffling a lot on Wednesday, and when she woke up sounding hoarse I decided to call it good and give her the day off.  She added coughing to her list of symptoms this morning, so we're taking another sick day.

Regardless, we did manage to get some stuff done around here:

Language Arts:  We moved ahead in Grammar, Spelling, Phonics and Penmanship.  We're getting close to finishing Phonics Pathways, which is wonderful.  I've had her staring at the pages of it since she was three years old.  We're both a little tired of Phonics Pathways.  She'll get to move forward, but I just cracked it open for Penguin and am set to begin again.

We also wrote a letter to Santa, which I will have Bluebird copy next week when she's feeling better.

Math:  Bluebird played store and worked on telling time to the half hour.  Penguin learned how to graph counter bears and pattern blocks, and spent time on learning about circles and rectangles.

Literature:  We read Rimonah of the Flashing Sword, which is a "Snow White meets the Forty Thieves" sort-of tale.  It was pretty good.  We also read Temple Cat, which Bluebird and Penguin both loved.

History:  We studied the Middle Kingdom of Egypt, and Bluebird was obsessed about the gold in Nubia.  Her narration page showed this huge barge going down the Nile, stacked high with gold and animal skins.  (She thought it was rather nice of the Nubians to share their gold with the Egyptians, ha ha ha.)

We also learned about the Hyksos invasion of Egypt, and Bluebird was given a page of Hyksos jewelry to color.  Penguin walked by and pleaded for a page of her own, so I copied another for her.

Science:  Always the highlight of Bluebird's week.

I had to boil down a head of red cabbage to get a bunch of cabbage juice, which we used in this week's lesson and will also use for next week's lesson.  (Don't drink anything from the big cup of purple juice in the back of my fridge!)  We used the cabbage juice as an indicator and added it to various liquids to test whether they were acids or bases.

Bluebird was asked to taste each liquid before we added the cabbage juice, and note whether it was sour or not sour.

Acids turned the cabbage juice pink, bases turned it a bluish-green and neutral solutions simply diluted the cabbage juice to a lighter shade of purple.

I've made the decision to end the school day at 2:30 so I can have time to get other important things done, like laundry, washing dishes and other exciting things like that.  As a result, we'll be doing all our art and big projects on Fridays.  Unfortunately, Bluebird's illness escalated to a deep cough on Friday, and I was exhausted from having stayed up a bunch of the night with the newest addition to our family:

The newest tactic in our war against mice, this is Empress Quesnel.
I'm not a fun person to be around when I'm tired, and I've learned that it's counter-productive for me to try and push through the exhaustion because I'm just so irritable.  I'd rather lose a day of school than damage my relationship with my children because I flipped out over something in my grumpy state. 

Highlights of the Week:
  • Bluebird wanting to get through her math flashcards quickly.  She thinks it's great fun to blurt out the answer before I'm done reading the math fact on the card.  I'm all for it.
  • It's not exactly homeschool-related, but Bluebird has a bit of a reputation in our neighborhood as a smart cookie.  At church on Sunday, one of our neighbors was talking to her and turned to me and asked, "So, does she know Einstein's Theory of Relativity yet?"  It caught me off-guard.  I replied with, "We'll study that next year."  And he believed me.
Lowlights of the Week:
  • Monday was rough for all of us.  But we pushed through it, which is good.
  • The kids getting sick means that we can't go up to Idaho this weekend for our newest cousin's baby blessing.  Everyone's a little bummed over that.
Funnies of the Week:
  • Bluebird admiring the Nubians for so being so unselfish with their gold.
  • While boiling the cabbage down, I lifted the lid off of the pot and within about five seconds all three girls popped up from what they each were doing and exclaimed, "EW!  What's that smell?!?!"  It was like a Brooketopian version of "Meerkat Manor."
  • Anytime Bluebird discusses the cabbage juice experiment, she has to spend a few minutes to really drive home how "disgusting" most of the liquids were when she tasted them.
Hopefully we're all feeling better and can do a full week of school next week.


  1. We'll be doing the cabbage indicator test later this school year! Thanks for sharing your pictures! Hope your little one is feeling better soon! :)

  2. That cat better be as hateful to mice as he (she?) is to the camera. That is ONE hairy eyeball.

    And I wonder if BYU has a Physics Convention For Kids like they did at KU. Not only was there the cabbage experiment, but there was also fun with magnets and such. :D Your kids would have had a total blast!

    Feel better, all of you! *hug*

  3. Great picture of Bluebird tasting the liquid. OK, My DD would love to do this activity. This is what I love about weekly reports--the sharing. Like Carrie said, "Thanks for sharing your pictures!"

  4. This sounds like a great science project. We did one last year where we had to help Mrs. Clause decide which of the unlabeled bags contained the missing cookie ingredients. We tested the various bags of powdery substances using iodine, fire,vinegar, and water. It was great fun.

    Have fun,

  5. Hope y'all are feeling better. I love the tasting photo. The new kitten is too cute. Oh, and next year, when you begin teaching Einstein's Theory of Relativity, be sure to post about it! LOL

  6. Sorry you had a sick week. Those are always a bit rough around here! We're starting chemistry in Feb. Can't wait to do a cabbage experiment! Your photo of your dd's face is priceless! :-) I'm on my last child for Phonics Pathways! It's so slow, but effective! Truth be told I don't think anyone has made it all the way through... as soon as they are reading fairly fluently I drop it.. for both our sakes! :-)


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