Last week I shared my notes and records for what Raven had accomplished in her 7th grade year. Today we will look at Denna, who would be in 3rd grade in school.

Her major interest, and thus our major project this year was studying countries and cultures around the globe. We started this past summer with Bali and New Zealand, and our curiosities  just grew from there. Whenever we met a new foreign friend, we studied their country. Whenever we came across a cultural reference, we went digging!

She ended up with an entire binder just for her country notebooking pages.

As you will see, we also touched on a little bit of everything else this year.

Delight directed 3rd grade

Language Arts

One area that Denna really improved in this year was her reading. She started out the year reading pretty simple books like Baby Mouse and picture biographies into heftier chapter books. 

She completed her Charlotte’s Web lapbook after we read it out loud as a family. I brought home plenty of picture biography books about famous men and women. Two of her favorites were The Life of George Washington Carver and Electrical Wizard about Nikola Tesla.

This week, she will finish reading Little House on the Prairie, which she considers the biggest and hardest book she has read so far. She is quite proud, and we have had fun looking up videos about the prairie and indians referenced within.

Social Studies and Geography

Showing off her country study lapbook

Showing off her country study lapbook

For her lapbook and notebooking pages we used the Expedition Earth World Geography curriculum, along with pages from Enchanted Learning. Here are the countries she has asked to study so far:

  • Bali
  • New Zealand
  • Japan
  • China
  • South Korea
  • Nigeria
  • Cameroon
  • France
  • Russia
  • Brazil

We also found a geography workbook to study states that we have lived in or where family and friends live:

  • Texas
  • Oklahoma
  • Kansas
  • Nebraska
  • Wisconsin

states worksheets

And of course, we read and learned a lot about Korean culture and geography this year. We found several great picture books at the post library written by Korean authors. And we made a Korean notebook to share our experiences.

Korea culture notebook

Science

Denna is my little scientist! She earned the botanist badge on diy.org, and she is working towards the mycologist badge right now.

Other topics we explored:

  • Basics of atomic theory (Greek origins)
  • Atoms, molecules, and chemical compounds
  • The periodic table
  • Plant and fungus life cycles
  • Animal life cycles
  • Wildlife in the pantanal of Brazil
  • Electricity and circuits with Snapcircuits experiments
  • Magnetism with our magnet kit
  • DNA and RNA transcription

Atoms and RNA notebooking

One of our favorite science discoveries of the year was a YouTube channel called Songs For Unusual Creatures. This “show” combines some of nature’s weirdest animals with music compositions that fit their style.

Mathematics

Like Raven, Denna also enjoys playing on Sokikom. She is also a huge fan of Roblox and Minecraft. Many of her projects in those games involve advanced math concepts such as perimeter, area, fractions, multiplication, and more.

She has proven to be quite good at managing her money and paying in Korean won. She also helps me look at the currency exchange rates and determine when we should change our money to make the most out of each dollar.

And recently, she asked how we got the number system we use. So we found a video to explain that:

Philosophy, Foreign Language, and The Arts

Denna prefers to create art when it relates to another topic, so most of her art this year has been made in relation to our country and science studies. She did enjoy using chalk pastels with tutorials from A Simple Start in Chalk Pastels.

She also loves to draw using fashion design stencils. She has several sets and mixes and matches them to create different fashion outfits.

As for philosophy, she is my best buddy. We read and discuss things all the time. Lately, we have been reviewing a book on Epistemology for kids. She also read about Rene Descartes.

Denna is a lover of languages. She has dabbled in Japanese, dug deeply into Korean through a tutor and her own books and apps, and now she is interested in learning Spanish. I set her up with an account on DuoLingo.com and she has been exploring on her tablet for the past few weeks.

A true lover of culture and language

A true lover of culture and language

A budding interest in computer programming

I’m not really keeping track of credits or anything for Denna. I keep a notebook with a reading list, artwork, notes she writes to me, and other interesting things throughout the year. She also has her Minecraft folder where she keeps all her notes and print-outs. And of course we have our life experience notebooks and her country studies binder.

Recently her Minecraft folder has gotten a bit thicker as her interest in command blocks. What are command blocks? Well, I’m glad you asked, because I had no idea either until she explained it to me. Command blocks are blocks that run a command when they are powered by redstone.

Ok – so that may not be a helpful explanation.

You can program a command block to give something to a player. Kind of like programming a computer! So recently, Denna created a “printer” that when you pressed a button it lit up and dispensed a piece of paper to the player standing nearest to the printer.

You can make all kinds of cool things with command blocks – like a trampoline.

Anyways, her sudden interest has me all excited because – this is coding! It’s simple programming for sure, but with her scientific-slanted brain I think she will enjoy sites like CodeAcademy and Scratch in the near future.

So there you have it – Denna’s year in a nut-shell!

What interests and rabbit-trails have you taken this year?

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