Adding in our Sonlight reading is always fun - it's our favorite part of school. I'm reading History/Bible/Literature B (https://www.sonlight.com/BC1R5.html) to B7, with H5 listening in, and this week we started Charlotte's Web and The Usborne Book of Peoples of the World. It always makes me happy when both boys clamor for another chapter! We've also enjoyed the internet links that come with The Usborne World of Animals, exploring bird calls and enjoying videos of baby animals. And after watching the science video, the boys ran off to experiment with how effectively various magnets could still pull through various materials (notebooks, the table, etc.).
I pulled out the I Can Read It series for H5, because he seemed to feel the Reading Lesson was getting a bit tedious. This series is really perfect for him. It starts out right at his level ("Nat the cat sat on Pat the rat. Nat is a bad cat!") but looks like a "big kid book": the pictures take up half the page or less, and there are several sentences per page; the stories are divided into chapters, and each book is 90 pages long. He was so excited to be able to read from the first book that, for the past two nights, he has asked to take a flashlight to bed with him so he can continue reading after lights out.
B7, after we watched The Tale of Despereaux on DVD over the weekend, checked out the book from the library and has read it twice through. Once H5 tired of doing his own after-bedtime reading last night, we heard voices from their room: B7 was reading Despereaux to H5 by flashlight. It's really neat to see B7 taking care of his little brothers like this - finding himself temporarily in the position of being the oldest shows up facets of his character I hadn't noticed before.
Yesterday (Friday) was really fun. I'm still doing math club for our homeschool group every 2 weeks, and lately we've been making our way through Camp Logic (http://naturalmath.com/camplogic/). But with P13 and E11 out of town, I decided to review some of the ideas we've explored in the past at the intersection of math and art, inspired by the artwork of B7's I posted last week. We had more people attend than ever before - 8 different families in addition to us - and most of the children were really engaged, drawing and coloring mystic roses. I challenged them to use as few colors as possible, and one girl managed it with just 2. Others used as many colors as possible, which yielded a different, interesting artistic effect. Something that I love about math club is that because we have it at a local park, when the lesson is over the kids all go off and play, leaving the adults to chat. It's actually become a de facto homeschool support group, where we share what works and what doesn't, and remind each other that there are actually a lot of us who do this crazy thing called homeschooling. And we do it in many different ways, and all our kids seem to be turning out pretty well so far.
The letters and texts we've received from P13 and E11 show that they're also learning a lot and having a great time. They started in LA, and among other things have seen Death Valley, Bryce Canyon, and the Grand Canyon. P13 sent a letter describing E11 climbing down to a big rock and yelling to his grandfather, "Opa, I think this is iron silicate! It's odd on such a pale rock." Thank you, Oma and Opa, for taking over homeschooling the older 2 for a few weeks - we're all gaining from it.