• Author
  • #1879

    Class Summary for 2/4/2019

    Hello Upper Grammar Families

    Today’s copywork and mini history lesson was by Caesar Augustus. We talked about how important it is to understand that our Bible is an historical document. We discussed why Augustus might want to take a census around the birth of Jesus. The quote was “I found Rome a city of bricks, and I left it a city of marble.” He was very a interesting and important historical figure. This was the beginning of the Roman Empire.

    I wish I had much more time to devote to Rome. There is entirely too much to cover in 5 weeks. I think that there has been some interest sparked. At least I hope so.

    We had fun discussing the ending of our book! They really enjoyed that book! Remember that there is a sequel: The Mystery of the Roman Ransom by Henry Winterfeld. We’ve started it already. 😉 (Our two visitors got into the story as well, and I wouldn’t doubt it if they want to read it, too, based on the excitement of the class. 😆)

    We spent about an hour on our Roman presentations. You would have been very proud. I was as a mom, but also because of how much I love all of our students. We learned about the Coliseum, Roman Roads, and Roman numerals.

    We did not read our IEW paragraphs. It was not required, and having two students gone last week, I figured they need some time to learn more about a fused outline. Alecia and Shannon, please let me know if you would like me to go over it with you or with your kiddos again. We did go over the Bibliography (p.138). They are to put a bibliography together along with their 3 paragraphs.

    Just to make sure everyone understands the plan for IEW…
    Last week we did Lesson 16 outline, Lesson 16 paragraph, and Lesson 17 outline.
    This week we will do Lesson 17 paragraph, Lesson 18 outline, and Lesson 18 paragraph.
    They will read their 3 paragraphs as one paper when we return from our break.
    This 3 paragraph paper will include a Bibliography.

    GWTM: Lessons 61-64
    IEW: See above (and include -ly adverb opener)
    Literature: Please have them read the first 9 chapters of the next book: Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin. I will provide a study guide next week at symposium.
    History: This break could be a good time for your student to find some interactive sites or videos on Rome. Also, those videos on Amazon Prime “Kids Animated History with Pipo”


    Class Summary for 2/25/2019

    Hello mommas!
    I apologize for not getting out my updates sooner, but hopefully since we were all at the museum today and couldn’t really get your work done, you can forgive me. 😬 ❤️

    We started class with a quote from Plutarch, which led into a full discussion about Plutarch’s philosophical influence on the times and how Rome incorporated the good things learned from each dominated culture. Although we are Christians and Plutarch wasn’t, there is still some wisdom to be learned.

    We finished our Roman unit this week since we hadn’t reach the Roman history about Constantine (a pretty significant part of Roman history). We will start exposure to Asia’s history next week. Our IEW lesson (19) is about Constantine, so it worked out very well.

    IEW’s lesson (19) does not have anything new. It is the same type of Fused Outline that we did in lessons 16.17. and 18. There are no new dress-ups or decorations.

    We then had some time to discuss our book (always wishing for more). They all seemed to have a positive experience with the beginning of our book. I look forward to seeing them continue to enjoy it.

    This block’s symposium will be to memorize a poem. So, be on the lookout for a poem.
    Next block’s symposium will be to choose a character from ancient history to present. Lessons 25 and 26 in IEW will be about a character from ancient history, so it works out perfectly for us. I asked them to come to me with the ancient character that they choose. Actually having a back up would be helpful as well. Some ideas would be Julius Caesar, Constantine the Great, Alexander the Great, Cleopatra, Mark Antony, Hatshepsut, Ramses, Xerxes, Saul/Paul, and the list goes on and on. I will have more information later, but it doesn’t hurt to figure out their character now.

    IEW – Lesson 19
    GWTM – Week 18 (Lessons 69-72)
    WMMM – Read chapters 10-18 and study guide
    Pick out historical character or two


    Class Summary for 3/4/2019

    Hello Upper Grammar Humanities Families!

    We started our history unit on Asia. We started with a quote from Buddha. I asked if the quote might have any biblical truth in it. They didn’t think so…

    Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment. Buddha

    25 Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? ~Matthew 6:25-27

    18 Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. 19 See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. ~Isaiah 43:18-19

    We talked about while we are learning about the wisdom of ancient cultures (or any culture), we can actually glean wisdom, too. However, it is important that we line everything up with the Bible. We also talked about making the most of the present moment. 😊

    After sharing their IEW papers (all were perfect, by the way), we started on a new unit. Unit 7 is on inventive writing. We had some fun coming up with a sample on My Dog. Refer to page 49-54 (from Student Resource Packet) for help/guidance on inventive writing.

    Their assignment is to respond to the writing prompt found on page 148 (IEW). We brainstormed ideas that we are thankful for. They only need to write 2 paragraphs this week. They need to write individual Key Word Outlines from our earlier lessons for each topic. Then write a paragraph for each topic. Next week we will learn about introductions and conclusions, and then will will complete this writing assignment. *Don’t forget the Topic-Clincher rule.

    On page 151, there is a list a questions that can help generate ideas about which to write if they get stuck.

    We practiced with a new sentence opener: http://www.asia.wub. *Don’t forget the comma. (Page 148)

    I taught them the basics of Hinduism which will lead into the basics of Buddhism next week.

    We talked some about Where the Mountain Meets the Moon. Everyone seems to love how the author weaves in stories within the story. So do I. ❤️ There is so much beautiful imagery. I wonder if the author learned to write through IEW. 🤣

    IEW – Lesson 20
    – 2 paragraphs following writing prompt on page 148
    – include http://www.asia.wub opener
    Read pages 49-54 in Student Resource Packet
    Read p. 150 in IEW
    GWTM – week 19
    WMMM – Chapters 19-27 and study guide
    Choose poem for this symposium
    Choose historical character to present for next symposium and for future IEW lessons.


    Class Summary for 3/11/2019

    Hello Upper Grammar Humanities Families!

    We had an amazing discussion first thing about Confucius. We looked at several of his quotes and checked his wisdom against the word of God.

    We also continued to discuss the religions of Asia, including Buddhism and Confucianism. Next week I hope to introduce them to the history of the dynasties and how the religions influenced their history. I am also going to have them do some of their own research and investigating some topics to present. More on that to come. 😉

    We worked on IEW lesson 21. Last week, everyone was supposed to have written two body paragraphs. This week, they will be writing introductory and conclusion paragraphs for those body paragraphs. I wish we had time to write them in class, but we did a sample and then explained what was required for each. Read Conclusions and Introductions on page 155 as well as through page 159 of the IEW book. Then also read page 49-54 in the Student Resource Packet. It is suggested to write the conclusion first. They have already established what they wanted to communicate in their body paragraphs. So, they need to restate their topics and then explain what they find the most important/interesting/significant and why. Follow the models on the pages above. Then they do their introduction. They need some attention getter (like a quote, question, or a decoration). Then they give some background information and then mention the topics that are about to be discussed in the body of their papers.

    I imagine it will take them some time to get the hang of it all. We have more practice ahead of us. Just keep to the essentials. The creativity will come.

    When we return from break, we will be doing lessons 26 and 27 at some point (probably the second and third weeks of next block). They will be choosing an ancient historical character to research. They should be looking for resources now, so that they can enjoy the process of learning about their character before they have to write about them.

    Everyone will also be presenting on a historical character for the end of the year symposium. They will be way ahead of the game!

    Also, remember to find a poem that they need to memorize for this upcoming symposium. I really hope that they have fun with this!

    Everyone still seems to be enjoying our book this block. There doesn’t seem to be any misunderstanding in comprehension. It keeps their attention, which naturally helps with comprehension. 😁

    I apologize for the delay. I was hit with a head cold and nasty headache last night (and today), plus several appointments today. Here’s praying that I can sleep tonight. Please let me know how I can help.

    WMMM – Chapter 28-36
    IEW – Lesson 21
    Choose poem and memorize
    Choose historical character and begin finding resources


    Class Summary for 3/18/2019

    Hello Upper Grammar Humanities Families!

    We compared Psalm 37:8-9 and Buddha’s quote on anger. Apparently, everyone has a hard time with controlling their anger with their siblings. 😂

    Can you believe that your students are writing such amazing 4 paragraph essays??? They read them aloud yesterday. It was just incredible!! I hope they don’t forget to feel proud of what they have accomplished this year.

    The next assignments are lesson 22 and 23. They will be doing exactly the same type of assignment: inventive writing based off of a writing prompt. This week’s writing prompt is found on page 161. I only required 2 paragraphs for the body. The book says 2-3. If you or your student would like to do 3, that’s great. Next week’s assignment will be to write the introduction and conclusion for this assignment. On page 162, there are 3 types of examples that may help them for come up with their own topics. We generated a list of sports, music lessons, examples in literature like Aesop’s fables, and examples of history.

    We also recapped similes, metaphors, and alliterations. They were funny and creative! ❤️

    We finished learning about the basic parts of Asian religions and Chinese history. Since Chinese history covers about 4000 years, there is entirely too much to learn. However, I gave them a list of cultural topics that they can look into and research. I told them to look into about 15 or so topics and then choose 5 topics that they may like present on. I will ask them their topics next week, and then they will have a couple of weeks (over symposium/break weeks) to prepare their information for the class. For now they are just to explore and choose the topics.

    They are also to start their research on their historical character. I think everyone has chosen someone. They should choose 2-3 resources on their character (books, magazines, internet sites, etc.) and get familiar with who they are. Their research paper will also include a bibliography, so they will need to remember on which sites they found their information.

    In two weeks, at symposium, we will be presenting poems. Make sure they are memorizing them. I have been encouraging my boys to be expressive, but they are fighting me on it. 🙄 We’ll see how it goes.

    Our book continues to be as joy. They get to finish it this week!!

    IEW: Lesson 22 (at least 2 body paragraphs)
    Grammar: 2-3 lessons
    Research Chinese culture
    Research historical character
    Memorize poem
    Finish Where the Mountain Meets the Moon


    Class Summary for 3/25/2019

    Hello Upper Grammar Humanities Families

    Well, today was different. 😂 I was so thankful that both Luke and Brody were able to join us for class today. It is quite challenging to not feel lost missing even one day. I wanted everyone to feel as up to speed as possible. It’s not something we can continue doing, but it was a good day of review as well as a day of compiling all important assignments/tasks coming up. The two students in class were just giddy about watching their friends on the video. Understandably, but that was the biggest challenge. We worked intensely the whole time.

    Acts 4:12
    “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”

    With all of the religions and philosophies we’ve been learning, I wanted to bring us full circle back to our beliefs. We will be reading Little Pilgrim’s Progress for next block. I had been planning to do the block on Ancient Mesoamerica, but it was a very tough(and barbaric) time period. I will touch on it, but not commit the whole block to it.

    We spent most of the class reviewing IEW decorations and dress-ups. The students gave examples from their papers, and then we found examples from Where the Mountain Meets the Moon. It was such a beautifully written book. I personally am in love with it! 😂 We finished the book and went over some of the review questions. We didn’t want to spoil the ending for Brody, so we tried to keep the significant parts under wraps. 😉 They were so adamant about keeping it a surprise for Brody. That’s love! ❤️

    They will have several things to work on over the next couple of weeks. I really hope you all can get the work done so that you can enjoy some quality down time.

    For starters, they will be writing the conclusion and introduction for Lesson 23 for the paragraphs they wrote about last week. We reviewed what is needed for both.

    Then, they will go back to the paragraphs they wrote from Lessons 16-18 which were about Rome. Since they have already written the paragraphs, they only need to write the introduction and conclusion. They should have a completed 5 paragraph essay.

    Over the next couple of weeks, I want the students to begin researching their chosen historical character. At least 2 sources. When we get back, we will begin a research paper. It will be a whole lot easier if they already know the information so we can develop our topics. They do not need to write anything yet for their characters. Just read and familiarize.

    I gave the students a list of topics on Chinese history/culture. I asked them to do some initial research on several topics and come to class today with 5 topics that interested them. I thought for sure that many of the topics would be duplicated, but they really weren’t (other than Cricket Fighting 😂😂). So they are free to research any and all of their topics and be prepared to teach the class on those topics. I’m thinking about 5-8 minutes per student. They can make tri-fold boards, present pictures, show images on the laptop, etc. They can write out everything they are going to say or just use notecards. Whatever style they want is fine, but they are responsible to teach us. If they have plenty of information to share with just 2-3 topics, that’s fine, too. There is just so much to cover on China, and of course, it’s so much more fun (and real) to learn from their peers. I look forward to learning from them all.

    So, all of the above is for the day we get back from break.

    The only thing they need to prepare for symposium is to memorize their chosen poem.

    I handed out the study guides for Little Pilgrim’s Progress. Brody and Luke, make sure to get them from me next week. My plan was to go over the Pre-Reading questions in the packet, but I will ask that you do those on their own.

    IEW Lesson 23 (intro/conclusion)
    IEW Lessons 16-18 (intro/conclusion)
    Memorize Poem for Monday
    Read/research historical character
    Grammar assigned by you
    Little Pilgrim’s Progress Chapters 1-15
    Study Guide – Pre-Reading questions #1-4, 7-9
    Study Guide – Questions for Chapters 1-15


    Class Summary for 4/15/19

    Hello Upper Grammar Humanities Families!

    Copywork: Luke 18:16 and Proverbs 8:17

    Today was presentation day. Josiah presented on Chinese shadow puppetry and ancient instruments. Bailey shared her knowledge about silk worms and farming. Then Brody presented about rice and tea and brought some for us to try with real chopsticks and tea cups. It was so fun to watch them present on what they thought was interesting. Like I’ve said, there is so much to learn about China (or any ancient culture), maybe they will be inspired to keep learning more.

    We get to start on an actual research paper! Everyone has their characters picked out, and now it is time to pick 3 topics about which to write. We generated a list of possible topics and made them think about which ones they would use for their papers. Some examples are: young life, family, successes, failures, military experiences, government involvement, legacy, etc. They are to use at least 2 sources and create fused outlines for each topic. I made them clarify what they were to do, and I believe they have caught on. However, I want you to ask me for any clarification. I really want them to feel success with this paper. Their goal for this week is to create fused outlines for 2 of the topics and write the paragraphs for them. I will check their work next week and make sure they are on the right track. Next week, they will be assigned the third paragraph as well as the introduction and conclusion.

    So, we are going to dig into our book Little Pilgrim’s Progress next week. There are quite a few lessons to be learned about one’s Christian’s journey. We will be looking at/memorizing (up to you) scriptures. I sent home a list of scriptures for them to look up and write in their booklets that I gave them today. (Sorry, Shannon, I should have given that to you today.) By the end of the block, they should have a special booklet full of scriptures for their Christian journeys. I would suggest 4-6 a day. They can also beautify their booklets.

    I also provided a list of vocabulary that you can have them use as you wish. This list contains many (many) words that will help in their understanding of the book. If you would like them to look them up and write them out or if you just want them to “know” them or recite them, that is up to you.

    IEW Lesson 26 –
    1) Choose three topics
    2) Create fused outlines for the first two topics using their sources
    3) Write one complete paragraph for each of the first two topics
    4) Please bring both fused outlines and completed paragraphs for me to preview
    Little Pilgrim’s Progress
    Read up to chapter 36 (please remember that the chapters are very short)
    Study guide
    Fill out the chart in the packet of Positive and Negative Characters

    I hope I’ve covered everything. Let me know if you need any help with anything.

    Have a wonderful week!
    Love, Melana


    Class Summary for 4/22/19

    Hello Upper Grammar Humanities families

    Copywork: 1 Peter 5::8-9

    Luke presented about fireworks for his China presentation. Thank you, Luke!

    I collected papers and looked over them. I offered some tips, but I would say that their IEW skills are looking really good! We discussed what was left to do to complete their essay. First, Topic C. Second, the conclusion. Third, the introduction. Fourth, the bibliography. They will be presenting their completed papers next week.

    We spent the rest of class in a deep theological discussion as we discussed Little Pilgrim’s Progress. I wish you all could have been there to have seen their input and insights. They are RIGHT IN THERE questioning and thinking about their journeys as Christians. My heart still flutters thinking about it. We will continue to discuss the book and Christian’s and Christiana’s journeys to the Celestial City.

    I’m asking the students to think of the Bible as one of their greatest weapons. We looked up some scriptures and talked about really using it and knowing where to find verses. While the internet is a quick route to look up verses, it’s not even a close second to really “knowing” your bible. They are welcome to look up and write every verse from the list I provided last week, but I don’t think that it’s necessary and will become a burden. If they are behind, maybe just look them up and read them aloud. Then just choose a few each day. Some of the best to focus on are #12 (maybe just read?), #13 (again, maybe just read), #14, #17, #19-20, #21 (read?), and #23-29 (but maybe just read 28).

    Keep on top of looking up the meanings of the names from the book. It really helps comprehension. You can choose to just orally define the words or write them out. It depends on your goal. Knowing all of the above really contributes to our discussions.

    We will finish part one and start part two. I would rather wait to start part two until next week, but we will have too much to read for 2 weeks. So this week’s goal is through chapter 57. After chapter 49, which is the end of Christian’s journey before starting Christiana’s journey, pause and reflect on part one. Allow Christian’s journey to sink in and reflect on personally before moving on.

    – Finish 5 paragraph essay. See second paragraph as to what it needed. Do not forget to use the grading checklist.
    – Read through chapter 57 in Little Pilgrim’s Progress. Study Guide, vocabulary and scriptures.

    I warn you that I am very tired while I write this. However, since I will be on the field trip tomorrow, and really wanted to get it done tonight. I hope it all makes sense.

    Have a wonderful week. Let me know if I can help.
    Love, Melana


    Class Summary for 4/29/19

    Hello Upper Grammar Humanities Families!

    Copywork: Matthew 25:21 (Well done, good and faithful servant…) We related the verse to Christian’s journey in the book.

    Brody and Josiah read their 5 PARAGRAPH ESSAYS and ROCKED THEM! 😆 Next week, Bailey and Luke will share theirs.

    We started Lesson 28 which is Unit 9: Critiques. This week they will be writing the body of the essay (paragraphs 2-4). Next week I will teach them how to write an introduction and conclusion for a critique. This week’s assignment will be pretty easy because it is review AND because we did the outline together. That should definitely help with the workload this week.

    In the Student Resource Packet, be sure to read through Unit 9 (p65-70ish) to familiarize yourself with what’s being asked of your student. There is also a super wonderful list on page 68 labeled Critique Thesaurus. Have them read through the list to get a variety of vocabulary in their heads.

    We talked a bit about the book. Next week will be more in depth. I encouraged them to read Acts 7 and compare Stephen with Faithful from the book. It’s a clear parallel. I hope you have been able to have some discussions about the book.

    Some verses you may consider to include in the journals are: 32 (Read), 33, 35 (Read), 36 (Read or select parts), 38, 39, 41 (Read), 43, 44, 45 (Read), 46, 47

    Paragraphs 2-4 for Lesson 28
    Read up to Chapter 75 in Little Pilgrim’s Progress
    Study Guide


    Class Summary for 5/6/2019

    Hello Upper Grammar Humanities Families!

    Copywork: John 14:2-3

    We had Luke and Bailey read their 5 paragraph essays. These essays are intended for their symposium presentations. I encouraged (sort of insisted) that they convert their paper to 1st person for the symposium. There will be very little that they would need to change. Of course, if they want to start completely over and say something different, add to it, etc., they are welcome to. I am only telling you that. Their papers are fine for the symposium as it, with that switching to 1st person.

    Dressing the part is also an option. Hopefully they can!

    Last week they wrote the body paragraphs to their first critique. Yesterday we learned how to do the conclusion and the introduction. I got them thinking about what they liked or disliked as well as similar questions. Those questions and answers are found in their IEW books in lesson 28. We won’t be having any more assignments, so this is the last one. I know there is more to do, but maybe you can help them do that over the summer????? They have grown tremendously in their writing. There is no denying that!

    So next Monday, they will share their final paper which is the critique of “The Curse of the Sphinx.” It should be 5 total paragraphs. Don’t forget to use the checklist at the end of lesson 28. Also, don’t forget about those very useful resources in the Student Resource Packet (strong verbs, quality adjectives, -ly adverbs, etc.). In Unit 8, you will also find a Critique Thesaurus. It will really liven up their paragraphs, especially the introduction. We discussed it in class. Have them keep it open as they write maybe.

    Then we discussed Little Pilgrim’s Progress for the rest of class. OH MY GOODNESS. IT WAS AMAZING!!!! I had a whiteboard with Christian’s story mapped out on it. We walked through his whole journey and put our own life examples/experiences into his story. It was quite a sermon. 🤣 They will finish the book this week and then we will discuss Christiana’s journey next as well as compare. I just have to say, your kiddos are amazing!

    Finish Lesson 28, Conclusion and Introduction
    Finish LLP
    It’s up to you if you want them to do more with the memory verses. The purpose was to get them using their bibles, to have some scripture to discuss, and to relate to as the different biblical themes come up. I asked them to read Acts 7 last week, but…no one else did, so I had to retell the story of Stephen the Martyr. So, again, more scripture is up to you. Josiah and I have had really good discussions fro some of the scriptures while we were reading the book, so it’s just a tool for you all.

    One more week! Amazing!
    As always, let me know how I can help.
    Love, Melana


    Hello Upper Grammar Humanities Families

    Well, what a day! Our last day. It was a bit sad. But it was during Botany (our last class of the day) that I think it really hit everyone.

    We started our class with a sentence stretching activity. They added as many dress-ups as they could to the sentence “The boy fell.” That was good fun, lots of giggles.

    They read their last paper of the year. They all have become such great writers, especially since for many this was their first full year. I am proud of them. We all need to remember that they are young and that they will continue to grow. I know for myself, I am always critiquing Josiah’s writing (either in my mind or out loud). They have many more years of improving their writing, but they are lightyears ahead of where I was at this age even where I was in high school!!! Next year there will be even more improvement.

    We then discussed Little Pilgrim’s Progress. I think this book was an absolutely amazing book for all. We had THE BEST discussions and lessons about our journeys as Christians. What was funny though was that our conversations this time turned onto politics/current events. They definitely have their opinions about how they want this world to be. 😂 They all want a current events class next year. ❤️ I wonder how many of them went home and talked about current events with you all.

    Next week is symposium where they get to present on their historical character. They have done their research and written their papers…HOWEVER, please note that they don’t have to read those papers. I’m assuming they all will, but they can totally change it up to make it work better for a presentation. For example, Josiah and I were changing everything to first person in his paper, and then he wrote, “I am a remarkable man…” Well, we both thought it sounded really funny, so we just changed all that funny sounding stuff. If they want to add more, that’s fine, too. This is not an assignment for Humanities.

    I am so grateful for the opportunity to teach them all. I even got teary-eyed praying for the day. Thank you for all of your support to me and to them this year.

    God bless you all! And have an amazing, restful summer!
    Love, Melana

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.