Madelyn has finished 1st grade math (in four months) and is now in 2nd grade. We started her behind on purpose since the early 2nd grade math curriculum included concepts she had not yet seen (despite having been a public school 2nd grader). Nate continues working through 3rd grade (a year back, same reason), which has included forays into geometry. He has used a protractor and compass. Rob got out his little plastic kit of tools and spent an hour explaining the hows and whys, helping Nate with his work and going off on other uses for geometry. His next unit is measurement (cm, in, lbs, oz, etc). I bought a kitchen scale in anticipation. Finally! Math I use!
Nate completed a story: self-conceived and modified many times. He's a natural with the action and dialogue. He typed the thing himself and made several corrections over many days. I doubt he'll let anyone read it this decade, but it's saved on my hard drive, at least. Madelyn continues to tinker with her story (she likes to change the story and embellish as she goes). We don't have a typing curriculum, but finding one's way while writing is a good start. Nate is learning parts of speech because he'd rather spend ten minutes on sentence structure than five minutes creating another story.
The ear: the anatomy of it, how it works, and experiments in the sounds around us. They sat on the patio for five minutes and wrote down everything they heard. We played the Mean Kitty Song (YouTube) and stood across the room, cupping our hands around our pinnae (outer ear) to better pull in the sound waves.
In real life:
We're tending chickens and ducks for a friend. Every day we "scratch" the poultry (throw out feed), change water, scrape poop off the roosting ledges, and toss lettuce for the ducks.
One day, Nate didn't watch the yard door and most of the chickens got out. Rob and Madelyn chased chickens while Nate held the door open/closed. Madelyn loves to collect the eggs and doesn't seem phased when they are sometimes found with poop residue. We wash them off, of course, but it's good she knows that life (and food) comes from dirt and generates some filth.
Sunday afternoon, we found one of the ducks dead in the duck coop, her companion lingering over her. We believe it was the female. There have been no duck eggs this whole week. We joked that the ducks were angry that they were left behind, but it must have been an illness or age.
Nate will chatter away if he has an audience of one. While I weeded the garden, he told me he likes to be home because he "doesn't have much in common with kids [his] age." (This after visiting a former neighbor--a homeschooler--and finding their interests have deviated). He also told me he wants to invent something so that blind people can see. Then he asked what I thought if he never found a job because he "doesn't know what to do." This kind of meandering conversation was a rarity when he was in school. He was gone all day, there was homework in the afternoon, and then evenings were full of soccer or neighborhood kids or maybe TV. Nate would want to talk right at bedtime (my worst time of day, patience-wise). Now he can snag a talk whenever we're alone for a moment, or in the car, or walking the dog.
Madelyn starts little phrases and keeps them circulating around our home vernacular. After watching Of Mice and Men several weeks ago, she still says, "I don't have nuthin' in my pockets, George," mimicking the dopey speech of the mentally impaired character, Lenny, who is prone to picking up dead mice and petting them in his pocket.
In the car, Rob recounted having been in a bar--as a young man--where there was usually a fight among the drunken customers. He said many times he was asked "To got outside," which he always declined.
Madelyn chimed in with her Lenny-voice: "Do ya wan tuh go outside and see whut's in my pockets?"