With pumpkin math and apple tasting, not to mention the rain, we’ve had an autumn-filled week at the McGaugh Academy! Here is a bit of an overview of subjects Katie covered this week:

Math: addition, review of geometric solids

English/Language Arts: fiction and nonfiction texts themed around apples, The Silver Chair, Halloween books, reading comp passages and accompanying questions (she is mostly an independent reader with respect to these passages, which are beyond K level), and fact vs. opinion work. She LOVED our fact vs. opinion work this week.  We were constantly evaluating and discussing various statements, and then on Thursday night we tried to listen for facts and opinions in the vice presidential debate (one of her special interests).

History: Johnny Appleseed, history and science of apple varieties and growth

Science: states of matter (identifying, classifying, how we change states of matter); apple growth, varieties, and pollination

Art: she worked on an entry for a Music Together competition (had to draw a picture of her family making music at home), plus there was plenty of free art, music time, and the putting on of plays (acting out our favorite stories is one of my kiddos’ favorite hobbies).

She is still working in Explode the Code, too, to help solidify her phonics foundation. It’s all well and good that she can read most or all of what I put before her; I also want her to be able to understand how the words are put together. She needs to be able not only to use the tools (even innately), but to know what to call the tools. I am one of those English teachers who believes every student needs a formal grounding in phonics, grammar, and word origin. Poor Katie. 🙂

I also have been doing my share of learning this week, enrolled in two classes (Philosophy of Teaching; and Brain-Based Learning) through River Springs for a Parent Certification program. Although I have a credential, I think it is important to participate in this program. I’ve been writing mini-essays and doing various assignments this week. All four courses as well as a couple of “electives” (these could be a range of assignments, from reading books and writing reviews to attending conferences) and a final project are due June 14th. I’ve whittled away at much of this, but between these concerns, my cold, a full week of homeschooling and extracurricular activities, and life…well, this week has been very busy! Still, it is Friday now and we’ve made it. Placing one foot in front of the other and working hard always gets us to where we need to be, right?


Ready to taste test our eight varieties of apples! The kiddos had to assess for color, texture, crunchiness, juiciness, and seed count. We also ranked our favorites and least favorites. We took pictures of each apple, and then we made a huge poster with our results.



Eric counts the seeds… He is able to say, “One, two, three, four” now in order. Sometimes his “two” almost has a bit of a “three” sound to part of it, but he is now making the distinction more regularly.



Katie works on her Music Together submission.



Watching the first part of the vice presidential debate with my dad. She said later that it was challenging to keep track of all they were saying, but she did notice their behaviors. As I have good friends and dear family on both sides of the political spectrum who read this blog, I will try to keep my comments neutral here. Still I will say that, entirely on her own, she did have some critique to offer regarding rates of interruption and more.



We love Kara, our music teacher, so much. Katie was excited to turn in her artwork this morning.



Kara is always so interested in the kiddos and how the kiddos explain what is important to them.



Eric (brown cords, blue knit sweater) helps with the “Hello Song.”



“Here is the Beehive”



Playing bells



Drumming for “Mississippi Cat”



Sister and Brother drum



More instrument time

And here is one from last Friday:



We have been excited to visit the local pumpkin farm again this season. It is a natural place for fun and learning. Eric took his first ride on a “neigh” last week and has been asking and asking to go again!