Josiah wants to know which empires overlap and what order they came in. There's a long list of empires at Wikipedia. I've bought a couple of large (A2) sheets of graph paper. If I tape two together, I think I could quickly make a timeline of empires. Or maybe I should try to fit that information on our main timelines.
Both kids used the cuisenaire rods for maths. Tessa created times table problems then laid the appropriate rods end on end in a long line (e.g. for 6x7 she laid out six seven-rods in a line) then underneath laid out ten-rods and if necessary one other rod to “read” the answer from. So in the example I mentioned, four ten-rods and one two-rod fitted underneath the “problem” so Tessa could see the answer is 42. A variation on the Snake Game.
Josiah and I built the decanomial with the cuisenaire rods so that Josiah could transform it to the tower of cubes of each number. He loved it. Next week we will be looking at the algebraic decanomial. He's continuing to take time now and then to study the graph paper decanomial he filled in last week, looking for patterns.
For language the last few weeks, I've been going over each of the parts of speech in turn and giving the kids sheets of sentences with missing words. Where words are missing, the kids either write a word, in the appropriate Montessori parts-of-speech colour, or choose a word from a bunch of Montessori-coloured words I've written on stickers for the purpose. Now that we've gone over most of the parts of speech (just conjunctions and interjections to go) I've re-introduced the grammar boxes. The kids are both enthusiastic about all this work which contrasts greatly with their attitude to similar work in the past. I don't know what is different for them but I'm not complaining!
The science fair projects are halted because we need to purchase materials. Josiah and I are reading about the taxonomy of insects at Wikipedia. We are taking lots of notes because of all the new words we are learning (heterotroph, eukaryote, ventral, dorsal). Josiah dictates and I write.
The books I got from our library on critical thinking are not suitable to work through with the children (though ideal for me to learn from). So the kids are just having fun with books of logic puzzles and other puzzles for now.
We still haven't started the activities in Mona Brookes drawing book but I am finally ready – will start next week.
I am reading Holes by Louis Sachar aloud to the children. We are loving it; the kids beg me to keep reading. We will probably finish it tonight; I can't wait to find out what happens. A warning: there is some violence and suffering described in the book - I would recommend this book for age nine or ten and up, not for younger children.