Archive for January, 2012

Here’s a little look at our “row” of Mirette on the High Wire.  Printables are from HomeschoolShare or EnchantedLearning.  Here’s the inside of our lapbook.  We still need to add in some photos, but otherwise, all the projects are here.

Life Skills – Chores/Cooking

Unfortunately, I didn’t manage to get photos of any of this.   The first day, Autumn learned how to make an omelet!  We had fun and we each got our own yummy omelet.  I think I need to get her to make them again for breakfast tomorrow – yum! 🙂

Mirette’s mother is a boardinghouse keeper and Mirette spends most of her time doing chores to help her mother.  Autumn tried lots of chores Mirette does in the book, including scrubbing floors, washing windows, chopping vegetables, washing sheets, etc. She decided that running a boardinghouse would be too much work.  I agree!

Eiffel Tower

This was visit number four to France with five in a row, so we decided to focus on the Eiffel Tower instead of the broad look at geography/culture we usually do.  We watched The History Channel’s The Eiffel Tower movie on Netflix streaming while Autumn practiced taking notes.  Then she narrated her version of the history for this report.

Vocab, Drama, French Words

We have been making drama cards for each unit, since Autumn so enjoys acting out the stories. Vocabulary cards and French color word cards are from HomeschoolShare.


Geography – Bellini’s Career, Circle Map

We pulled out Autumn’s new globe (the main thing she wanted for her birthday) to trace the career of Bellini the high wire walker all over the world.  We marked each place mentioned on the map.

I’ve seen this idea for “me on a map” all over the internet, but adapted it to our book.  We have been studying the continents in geography, but Autumn has a hard time with getting continents and countries mixed up.  This helped her with the concept – the continents fit in the planet, the countries into the continents, the city into the country, etc. We may add this as an element for upcoming units as well.


Our topics this unit were “practice makes perfect” and boasting.  Both printables were from HomeschoolShare.  The practice makes perfect mini is a cool pull tab that Autumn wrote on, adding a list of things at which she wants to excel.  Love that there are lots of school things on there. 🙂

Language Arts – Compound Words

Autumn loved learning about compound words, especially since it involved a timer!  We used the printables from HomeschoolShare and played a game to see how fast she could match them up. Forty-three seconds!


Art – Complimentary Colors

The coolest part about this activity, was the fact that we got to pull out our Papa Piccolo lapbook and use the color wheel we made in our last unit to figure out which colors are complimentary.  Love it when the learning builds like this, especially when you are not doing the units in order!


Science – Ears/Balance

Delightful Learning (one of my favorite homeschool blogs) used experiments on balance from Usborne Science Activities Vol. 3, so I ordered it from the library.  My mom and little sister were in town (helping me out while I had surgery), so Autumn and Miriam got to do these projects together. Glitter in a jar of water to show how we get dizzy…

Feeling the vibrations as you talk against a balloon…

Diagram of inside of ear, finding the parts that help with balance.

Art – Renoir

We did Renoir for this unit.  We read Mike Venezia’s book and then did an activity from Discovering Great Artists.  Autumn collected various items from the yard and the house and arranged her own still-life and painted her impression of it.

Rowing Papa Piccolo

I had never read this story until we started studying it.  What a sweet picture book!  We used lots of printable resources from HomeschoolShare and Enchanted Learning for this lapbook, as well as lots of ideas that other homeschoolers shared online. Here are pictures of part of the inside of our lapbook.  (And yes, I just noticed one of Autumn’s beloved chick-fil-a sauce tubs made it into one of those pics!  lol.)

And now, in no particular order, some of the things we studied:

Science: Salt Crystals

In Venice: Birth of a City we learned how Venice began and gained wealth based on the salt harvested from the seawater marshes.  So we made salt crystals!  I was surprised by just how easy this was and how much A enjoyed it. We made several colors.


Art: Michelangelo

After reading about Michelangelo, we did an activity from Discovering Great Artists.  Autumn did some “ceiling painting” using paper taped to the bottom of a card table.  She decided that this would have been a horrible job and that she does NOT like painting upside down at all.  (Gotta love the concentration though – watch that tongue!)


Social Studies: Venice

We read about Venice and also watched an A&E video on netflix streaming about the Canals of Venice.  Autumn colored this little mini-book, and we used it to record her narration of the history of the city.

Art: Drawing Cats

A google image search led to a kid’s tutorial for drawing cats.   Autumn drew TONS of them and then added Piccolo, Marco, and Polo to her lapbook.

Science: Eyes, Peripheral Vision

In the book, Piccolo sees the kittens as a blur from the “corner of his eye” so we used this as a jumping off point for discussion of peripheral vision.  We did a few activities related to this, as well as reading about how the eye works and identifying various parts.  (more on this later)

Language: Italian Words

Autumn had fun learning new words for colors, family members, numbers, etc. with this mini book.  Then we printed out a picture dictionary which she has enjoyed coloring.  She loves finding words in it, so we’ve used it to work on the most basic of dictionary skills as well.


The Fox and the Grapes

This fable is illustrated by Piccolo’s actions at one point in the story.  Autumn leaned the fable and moral and then colored the front of this mini book.  In our geography book, she was learning about volcanoes the day we did this lesson. Later, as I was gluing this into the book, I cracked up as I noticed that she had turned the background mountains into volcanoes.

Drama Cards

Autumn enjoyed this activity so much, that it may be one we add to other units.  Each card lists a different action word or phrase drawn from the story.  I read them aloud, and she acts them out.  Great entertainment! 😉

Gondolas and Gondoliers 

Autumn made this little gondola from a Crayola coloring page online.  Then made her own gondolier and several little cats as well (which I couldn’t find for the picture), so that she can play out the Piccolo story.

Language Arts: Vocabulary

We used vocabulary words from the story, as well as others we added from our rabbit trails.  Autumn illustrated each card.

Science: Cat Eyes

Using online resources, we read about the differences between cat and human eyes and then made a little flip book.  Autumn wrote most of it out herself, with a little help towards the end.


Geography: Italian Map Activities

Another printable activity sheet.  She identified various points on a map and colored accordingly.

History: Marco Polo

We found another animated video on YouTube which Autumn watched.  We then read a bit about Marco Polo and wrote a little report using notebooking pages from HomeschoolShare.

Art: Color Wheel

We both enjoyed making our own color wheels using watercolors. It’s fun to watch her do “magic tricks” changing the colors by mixing them.

Pussy Cat

Autumn memorized the classic nursery rhyme for this little mini.


Big Project – Eyeball Dissection!

I am forever grateful to have in-laws near by who can handle more of the gross science stuff than I can!  Autumn and her Aunt Miriam had a great day out with Autumn’s “Pop,” taking apart an eyeball.  (And I stayed far away!)