Monday, July 25, 2011

Year 4 Summer Update

I've been planning this post for a while. Finally found the time! We've been having a productive summer so far. We took a 2-week break for our Colorado visit and decluttering our home a little but are now back on track. Some of our activities this summer:

Yes, latest and not-so-latest flicks are very much a part of our summer curriculum! We watched Kungfu Panda 2, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, and Captain America: First Avenger. Kiddo watched The Green Lantern with his dad too. At home, the boys have completed their Stargate journey through Netflix instant streaming and are now watching Star Trek Voyager.

Juicing: This is a newer pursuit so I can't say we've been doing it all summer :). I blogged about our inspiration here. About a week ago, a friend lent me her juice extractor and I'm really loving drinking freshly juiced fruits and vegetables every day. Kiddo likes eating/ drinking the results too.

Physical Education:
Kiddo has been taking 30-minute, twice-a-week swim lessons since late April. His swim coaches have had to be extremely patient, believe me. While he could swim enough to save his life, he wasn't doing it efficiently. Lessons have helped him learn to breathe correctly and cut through the water more smoothly.

From taking ages to learn to position his arms and then pivot his head properly for air, the boy has now progressed enough to earn praise from his instructor for his freestyle technique. He finally moved on to the backstroke last week. He's also gaining more stamina on the bicycle now. Every couple of weeks, dad and son cycle to the grocery store and back, and this gives kiddo at least 10 miles of cycling a month. And oh, he has finally learned to climb a tree! (A short one, but still, it's a tree!) :)

M. C. Escher ® Kaleidocycles: An Illustrated Book and 17 Fun-to-Assemble Three-Dimensional ModelsAmazing Paper Pets: 6 Animated Animals to MakeCreating: We bought a small Zome kit while in Colorado. He's using it to make cool structures. His dad has been taking advantage of the cheaper model airplane kits in Korea (he flies there for business often) so both the guys have been painting parts and assembling them. Kiddo and I made a number of kaleidocycles from the Escher book pictured on the left and one paper pet (a goat) from the Rob Ives book on the right. The boys tried woodburning last year; experimenting with woodcarving now!

From L to R: painting the parts of a Hawker Seahawk airplane, Scowly the paper pet goat and a Zometool creation.
Homeschooling: I had planned for some summer learning to bridge to what he'll learn in the fall. So he's been spending some dedicated time on Ellen McHenry's Excavating English (to better appreciate his German studies) as well as the following books:

Hands-On Geometry: Constructions with Straightedge and Compass, Grades 4-6Map Reading, Latitude, Longitude and Time, Grades 5 - 8+ Answer Atlas (Rand McNally)
Since we have done very little of formal geometry and geography, the two workbooks on the left have been useful to prep him in these subject areas. The Answer Atlas is a good supplement to the Map Reading workbook as it provides more detail than our kitchen table map and Smart Globe.

He's also been playing with more number patterns and has been watching The Great Courses' The Art and Craft of Problem Solving for fun. Here's a snapshot of what he and dad doodled on the whiteboard in early July (we're calling it hexagonal numbers exploration for now). I'll write separate reviews of the homeschooling resources he's been using when I can!


  1. Looks like lots of fun, esp the Zome :)

    Yay on the swimming!

  2. I love reading your posts. I get so many great ideas from you. :)

    Sounds like you are having a fun and productive summer. I hope you enjoy the last few weeks before the new school year starts up!

  3. Kerrie he's almost got the head to the side for air part perfect...keeps forgetting and looking up instead of the side though lol. Jill, thanks! :) We plan to have fun these last weeks of summer enjoying our new picnic table in the backyard (bought a hefty one from Home Depot a week+ back). It gives us a nice spot to observe our yard life. Can't believe I can now name all the varieties of birds that visit our yard (hurray!).


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