Week in Review - HOD MtMM - Unit 4

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Aloha and welcome to our week 4 update! It's so fun when our history studies bump into familiar places in our own personal history. Hawaii is near and dear to my heart as this is where I have family roots.

The first person we learned about this week was Ka'iulani who was the last princess of Hawaii. She was the last royal leader of Hawaii before it was annexed to the U.S. in 1898. My grandparents on my dad's side were both born and raised in Hawaii. My dad also spent most of his childhood and adolescence there. Much of my childhood was spent listening to Hawaiian music and enjoying my grandma's Hawaiian cooking. I looked for a picture of her to share here. She looked like a Hawaiian princess too. My dad was born in 1944 and he can remember finding Japanese airplane parts from the Pearl Harbor bombing.

So much was happening during the period we studied this week. We read about the annexation of Hawaii, the beginning of cattle drives, and the Spanish-American war.

I love that HOD uses a variety of history spines throughout the year. We read All American History for the first time. I felt it was easy to read and understand.

We read about "Yellow Journalism" and how journalists often inflated stories to sell newspapers. Some would say that the Spanish-American War was a direct consequence of this kind of false journalism. I also typed up an oral narration on Ka'iulani. Every other week Aedan narrates, and I type his narration. This is a good opportunity to work on how important it is to choose words carefully when speaking. It definitely helps if the parents read the selection on these days.

Era of Long Cattle Drives - 1865-1885

Aedan's written narration was about the cowboys on cattle drives.

We learned about the "Wild West" and the kinds of sights and sounds you would have experienced during that period.

Hawaii is Annexed to the United States - July 7, 1898

Our history project was to make a paper lei. We normally attempt most of the projects because I think they are a great visual picture of our studies. I actually didn't make Aedan do this one. I think making a floral lei might be the death of a 13 year old boy. This week because Hawaii is so close to my heart I made our project. I say you can never be too old to make something too! I followed the directions HERE. There are instructions in the guide that give instructions on how to make a different kind of lei. I thought this one might be prettier. It's not for the faint of heart unless you or your kids like paper projects. I think cutting paper can be relaxing if you have the time :)

Of course I had to make my grandma's Hawaiian bread for the occasion. My mom actually worked and worked to make a recipe that would only make one loaf. She and my God sister (my godmother's daughter) looked until they could find one. This was gobbled up in 2 seconds flat as always!

Spanish-American War - 1898

I really love the "Worthy Words" element of this year's plans. Each week we read source texts from people of the period.

This week we read the Apache chief Cochise's speech where he gave up the fight to keep native lands. The way the Native Americans were treated during this period always breaks my heart.

We studied the lives of James Madison and James Monroe. We are really enjoying the weekly DVD and book study of the presidents!

Serendipitously, my mother in law was in Washington D.C. This week.

She brought back this really fun box of presidential chocolates. Yum!

We started our new read-aloud Factory Girl. I adore HOD's read aloud choices. While we won't remember every single event and figure that we study, we will remember well those things that we lingered on in these kinds of books. This book is about the lives of child laborers during the second industrial revolution in the early 1900's. So heartbreaking! It's hard to believe children in our country lived this way only 100 years ago.

Aedan started a new extension book about the life of Henry Parsons Crowell who was the founder of the Quaker Oats Company. The good Lord knows how much cereal is consumed in this house!

Aedan is loving Treasure Island. The reading load in Lightning Lit is heavier than last year. We are taking a little more time to more slowly read through this book, so he actually gets to enjoy it.

I am still loving IEW. However, I'm starting to see how I may need to do a different themed writing guide. We may switch to U.S. History Based lessons after we get through a few more of these lessons. In order to get the most out of this particular guide you need to be reading the Narnia books alongside the lessons. We have already read most of Narnia, but it's not as fresh in our minds as it needs to be. I'm definitely not going to make him read them again, and we wouldn't have the time anyway even if I was that mean.

This week Aedan's paper was on what would have happened had Jadis not spoken the Deplorable Word. I really appreciate how IEW teaches in incremental steps. I wish I had stuck with it earlier. I realized with this lesson that he would have been able to have more insight had he been reading the book this week. He still did a great job anyway.

At some point I need to write a post on why we continue to use Rod & Staff grammar. This is one of the few programs that we have used and never switched.

We are still enjoying Math U See. How I wish I had found this sooner for Aedan! It took us a while to sweep through and fill in all the gaps, but we are finally where we need to be. If he had been homeschooled from the beginning he may be farther than this, but we are doing math without conflict now. For me that is far more important than being ahead. We still like each other at the end of the math lessson, and there were days I can say that wasn't the case. I am so thankful for MUS!

This week for nature study Aedan had to frame a page with an element outside. He chose to draw this bit of prairie grass (I think) and copied our poem of the week alongside of it.

Science is going along swimmingly! Aedan is enjoying the experiments he gets to do each week.

This week we learned about acids. We added litmus solution to one test tube and divided it among 3. We added vinegar to the first one, and the purple litmus solution turned pink.

We did the same thing with tartaric acid and lemon juice. We discovered that all three were acids. 

How are your weeks going so far?


  1. Lovely Hawaiian lei! Unlike your son, my girls would love doing that craft :)

    You are soooo good at documenting your weeks. I'm sitting here with pictures on the camera and just don't know if I want to start posting all that stuff again...but I love looking back and seeing it all when it's done.

    1. Usually he enjoys the projects. This one was one I knew would be better enjoyed by me :) I could definitely see girls enjoying this one way more. I feel the same way you do. Sometimes I think I'll set aside our updates, but then I know I would miss looking back. I do think this is probably the last year I will blog Aedan's weeks. He is getting to be far more man than child. Time is flying too fast.


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