Thursday, September 16, 2010

"This Week in Review" Thursday

Is it Thursday already?? Are we almost done with a full four weeks of school? Are we exactly two weeks away from finishing our first unit study? Has Dawson almost completed reading three novels? Is this day going to be the first day we have to cut some things out because of an emergency situation {sick pet}? Am I tired? Is Dawson?

The answer to all of those questions is .... Yes! .. a resounding Yes!

What a week! It seems that our week has been heavy with Language Arts, so much so that Dawson has been getting up at 7:00 a.m., starting school around 8:00 a.m. and not finishing Language Arts until at least lunch time. That's left us with Pre-Algebra, Social Studies, Science, Fine Arts, Typing (one day a week), Spanish (two days a week) and personal reading all to do after lunch!  We haven't finished school until at least 3:30 p.m. every day and Dawson has done his personal reading before bed. {He wants to know what happened to my assurance that we would be done with school by 2:00 p.m. every day.}

Yesterday I planned the next two weeks and noticed that the load lightens up dramatically. Although things get kind of project-heavy, the busy work seems to be much less in the next two weeks. That will be much-welcomed, I think!

Here's what we've done this week, so far {We've got something fun planned for tonight, and he's finishing up on a project tomorrow, so I'll probably have a separate post about that also}:

A World of Adventure: We are deep into The Golden Goblet, which brings with it tons of vocabulary words, similes and metaphors. Our work has been heavy with it. Add scripture memorization, Bible reading, vocabulary sentences and tests, grammar worksheets {antonyms, synonyms and combining sentences} and a new spelling lesson, and we have been busy busy!!

Social Studies: At the beginning of the week we had our lentil disaster. Since then we have been discussing and taking notes on imports and exports, classes of people and adding Egyptian History dates of interest to our living timeline {I'm hoping to have them all posted up there over the weekend.}

Science: The biggie right now is the Desert Book Dawson will be working on over the next two weeks, until we conclude our unit on Ancient Egypt. The curriculum called for him to make a book with facts about deserts, illustrating it as he wanted. I decided to have him take it a couple of steps further. First, I gave him the option of either making it a non-fiction book, or making it a fictional story {mystery, humorous, whatever} and including the necessary facts about the desert. He is to do all of the research, writing and illustrating. Then second, we are going to use Blurb.com to actually make it into a printed and bound book. Check back tomorrow when I tell you what he has decided to do!!

Fine Arts: Dawson has worked all week on a really cool project ~ making a raised Relief. Here's how he has done it ...

He mixed Plaster of Paris and poured it into a shoebox lid sprayed heavily with cooking spray.


Once it was almost completely hardened, he used sculpting tools to carve in the outline and major lines of a picture of Osiris. Once it was carved he brushed away all of the excess plaster and let it dry over night.


Then the next day he used sandpaper and sanded down all around the outline of the picture to raise the picture of Osiris.


Then he painted the whole thing with strong tea to give it an antiqued/weathered look.


Tomorrow he will be painting on the details with vibrant paint colors. So, you will definitely want to check back to see how it turned out!

We skipped Sketch Tuesday this week because tonight we are going to Philbrook Museum to do clay sculpting. Again, I'll have more on that tomorrow!

Pre-Algebra: We have been moving along. Although we have not been successful in moving it to earlier in the day, we have reduced the problems to just doing 2-30, evens, instead of 1-30. If we had done them all this week I think we would have been doing school until dinner. If he misses a problem, I have him redo it and then do its odd equivalent. That way he's getting extra practice on the things he is missing.

Other: Dawson has finally completed Lesson 1 of Good Typing. He was thrilled! Now he moves on to Lesson 2. He has been working on his Spanish lessons and putting in some time on LiveMocha. And he is just a couple of chapters away from completing the second book in The Guardians of Ga'Hoole series. Book 3 is waiting for us at the library. We are heading up to the elementary school to volunteer this afternoon, and tomorrow afternoon is "real life school" while we grocery shop.

Like I've said many times in this post, check back tomorrow for updates on several things we still need to complete and to read Dawson's next enthralling blog post about how he feels about this last week.

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