Friday, September 24, 2010

"This Week in Review" Thursday {Posted a Little Late}

I have learned a lesson this week: When Dawson has a big project to do, that will be time consuming, I need to consider taking some things out of his curriculum so he has time to work on it. The rough draft of his Desert Book was due at the end of the day yesterday. But, on top of the other work he has had to do it's not going to end up being as well-thought-out and complete as I had envisioned. It's really my fault more than his because of my quest to get things done and checked off a list! And who has been the one stressed out? .... Me!

Hopefully, I will remember this lesson in the future.

What else did we get accomplished this week?

A World of Adventure ~ Lots of subjects and predicates! We completed The Golden Goblet today. The story has been good, and it has provided us with tons of new vocabulary words. Dawson has been putting them on notecards, writing them into sentences and taking tests over them. We compared and contrasted two of the main characters of the book and the main character with Dawson. And he wrote an expository paragraph, using the comparing/contrasting chart of him and the main character.

Social Studies ~ With the extra work that has gone into Dawson's book, we have mostly just been reading the Social Studies material and taking notes on it. We've discussed Pharaohs, customs, did a map study of transporting goods and read a line chart.

Science ~ We started an experiment on Monday ... mummifying an apple.

We cut two apples into 8 "equal" pieces. Then we weighed each of them with a kitchen scale and recorded it on the lid of the container in which it would be placed. (Tip: If your apple isn't heavy enough to hit a measurable weight on the scale, put a heavier object in there with it. We put in a small ceramic "Holy Grail" that Dawson made in public school. It helped us get an accurate weight.)

After we had all of the apples weighed and placed in their proper containers, we started putting in combinations of salts. The first one had all baking soda (natron). The second one had all Epsom salt. The third one had all iodized salt. The fourth one had 50:50 baking soda and Epsom. The fifth one had 50:50 Epsom and iodized. The sixth one had 50:50 baking soda and iodized. The seventh one had equal parts of all three. The eight one had nothing. It was our control.

We put the containers upstairs on our bookshelf (out of sunlight) and will empty them on Monday. We will weigh the apples again (with the "Holy Grail" again, too) to see which one lost the most moisture.

The purpose of this experiment is to see what substance or combination of substances did the best job of mummifying the apple, of drying it out.

We can't wait to see them Monday!

Pre-Algebra ~ We actually came upon an assignment in our Saxon curriculum this week that we could not understand based on the instructions and examples given. It was on Least Common Multiples and it was!!!  I did a search and came upon It had a completely different explanation for how to figure the LCM (that was so much easier to understand and actually made sense!) and then had unlimited problems for him to do. We skipped our Saxon lesson for that day and did the online lesson instead. I will definitely be relying on this website in the future.

Fine Arts  ~ This has definitely had to take a back burner this week, with the book project. But today we are going to make papyrus paper.

Other ~ Dawson's Spanish curriculum is Realidades by Prentice Hall. He also uses a free online program called LiveMocha. It has a lot of cool features. And we experienced one of those this week. Part of his assignment was to write, in Spanish, some descriptions of six people. A couple of days later we had an e-mail from LiveMocha telling us that we had a message from another member. She had corrected his sentences, like a teacher would, and given him encouragement about future assignments. (Good thing, too, because I don't know a lick of Spanish!) He read her corrections and sent her a message back thanking her. In Typing Dawson successfully completed Lessons 1 and 2 of Good Typing and will be moving on to Lesson 3 next week.

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