Thursday, December 16, 2010

It's a Wrap!

And I don't mean presents ... I haven't started that yet! No, I mean this semester! I can't believe we have completed a semester! We officially ended school on Tuesday to prepare for the Christmas season. My public school children do not finish until tomorrow, but since we are preparing for an Old-Fashioned Christmas this year, as part of our studies on Colonial Williamsburg, we have had lots to do.

Here is a recap of our semester:

Dawson, 8th Grade: In Social studies, Dawson has completed in depth studies on Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece and is half-way through Ancient Rome. Included in that has been Science studies on deserts, the human body and rocks and minerals. After about 6 weeks of Saxon Pre-Algebra, we switched to Life of Fred. He has completed the Fractions book and is now on Decimals and Percents. Language Arts has had him working on sentence structure, nouns and doing lots and lots of writing. His Spelling has come from his social studies and science units, primarily. We have done a gazillion art projects and science experiments. Dawson has done lots of independent reading, we have read a lot orally and done lots of Bible reading. He has worked steadily on typing and Spanish using online resources. But the highlight of his semester was definitely in realizing a passion for cooking and baking.

My observations: Dawson is a really smart kid who does really well when he applies himself. I am really good in the preparations, but terrible in the follow-through. This next semester I want to be better at grading his work at night and giving him immediate feedback. I also want to make sure we are cooking every week.

Brynne, 1st Grade: Brynne's studies have been a little less structured. We do study a different letter each week (although she more than knows her letters.) We do a tracer page, a coloring page, a mini-book and usually a word search. She also does her letter bag and ABC Journal. We check out books about that letter each week and read every one we can get our hands on. That takes us to reading which we do tons of! We read every day. Sometimes I read to her, sometimes she reads to me. She can read really well! She loves math, so we do math pages most days. She has completed a unit on 1st grade addition and is now moving onto subtraction. Brynne has a new Penpal, which will be a fun way to keep her writing, although she writes independently everyday just because she wants to. For history we have been reading the American Girl series and have completed units on Kaya and the Nez Pierce Indians and Felicity and Colonial Williamsburg. She completed lapbooks on each of these units. We are also doing nature studies as much as we can. Brynne is in a Coop that has P.E. and music class, public speaking, field trips and Fun days. She has made some new friends.

My observations: She is going to always be a fun student and I am going to have to work hard to keep her challenged. We will likely just continue doing what we are doing the remainder of this year, the 3 R's and an ongoing history unit with lots and lots of reading! We will also be starting a Bird unit when we resume our studies in January that will carry us through the end of the year.

Next Semester: To me it seems that Dawson may be leaning toward going back to public school next year. With that in mind, I need to make sure I have him prepared to go. That will be my emphasis on the remainder of the year. Brynne and I will just continue to have a great time learning together!

Until then, we will just be doing a whole lot of this ...

Making handmade Christmas ornaments.

Until next semester .. have a wonderful holiday season!

We linked up to Weekly Wrap-up at Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers

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