I wasn’t home the first part of this unit in Bigger Hearts for His Glory, so my Mom took over some of the teaching. We read about the gold rush this week. Kevin learned about Dame Shirley and her trip to California in search of gold. He did a fun activity where he pretended to dig for gold and then had to use up most of his money that he earned to pay for food and drink. This gave him an idea of how hard it was to make money in the gold rush.
We also learned about Kit Carson. This was a bit of a hectic week so Kevin did some of the readings this week by himself. He read about how Kit Carson was a good hunter and guide and how one time he fought off a bear. For Artistic Expression he made a bear mask.
We also read about Mary Sloan’s travels on the Sante Fe trail in Journeys in Time. Kevin enjoys following along with the numbered journeys as I read the text.
Kevin also made a history notebook page that shows the three different routes people used to get to California during the gold rush. He kept saying he didn’t know how to draw the map so I modeled it for him and told him he didn’t have to get things perfect.
Kevin also added to his history timeline. It’s getting quite full.
Kevin has been making vocabulary cards each week and storing them in an index card box behind dividers labeled with the alphabet. This gives him practice with dictionary skills (we use this dictionary) and he also gets practice putting the cards in alphabetical order as he puts them in the box. By this time he has quite a few cards behind some of the letters, so sometimes he has to look at the second or third letter of each word. He is also learning this skill in Cheerful Cursive.
For Science, we read about how the pioneers depended on the food they caught. One of ways they supplemented their diet was by fishing. We studied why it is so hard to catch a fish when it is in the water. We taped a tin foil fish to the bottom of the cup and then Kevin backed up until he could no longer see the fish. When we poured water into the cup, it looked like the fish moved and it came into view. We learned that the water caused the light to refract and it made the fish appear to move.
We also did an experiment showing why fish can hear so well under water. We used a bag filled with water to see how sound waves travel better through water than air. The particles in water are packed more closely together, so the sound can travel more quickly through water.
We also have been learning about the states so we made index cards with the states and their abbreviations. We practiced memorizing the abbreviations using the index cards. Then we used Seterra to practice finding the states’ locations. Seterra is a really neat free geography program that we discovered a few years back. The boys love using it. It tracks their time and percentage correct, so they can compete against each other to see who can find the states the fastest. (I find a little competition can make anything fun.) You can also use it for state capitals or countries if you like.
The character trait was hopefulness. This was tied in with the settlers hoping to find gold in California and with the verses in Psalms that say that “blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord.” These verses are beautiful verses to meditate on at this time in our nation’s history.
Behold, the eye of the Lord is upon them that fear him, upon them that hope in his mercy; To deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine. Our soul waiteth for the Lord: he is our help and our shield. For our heart shall rejoice in him, because we have trusted in his holy name. Let thy mercy, O Lord, be upon us, according as we hope in thee. Psalms 13: 18-22
That’s all for this week. Thanks for stopping by. How did your week go?