Saturday, December 11, 2010

Weekly Wrap-Up ~ {Christmas and Crystals}

What an extremely productive and interesting week! I think this might be the first week that we didn't have one "down" day. We were into our lessons every day and got a lot accomplished. In fact, Dawson even had his best efforts shown on Friday when I wasn't even home!

Brynne ~ 1st Grade

We scaled back some on Brynne's 3 R's studies this week, except that we had a huge emphasis on Reading. My goal with her this week was to concentrate on learning about Colonial Williamsburg and in doing our Christmas Book and Activity a Day challenges. She did learn about the letter "I" this week (did her tracer pages and mini-book), but mostly we just read "I" books. We are gearing up for next week when we will complete our Felicity and Colonial Williamsburg lapbook on Monday and Tuesday and then make homemade Colonial Christmas decorations the rest of the week in anticipation of Christmas.

Some highlights from our week this week were in making the Game of Graces and Ball and Cup, two games children played in the 1770's. She absolutely loved doing this! She loves to play Graces and is really good at it! She's better than me!

She also participated in the Christmas Book and Activity a Day challenge hosted by Shannon at Welcome to our Wonderland. Here is a list of the books and activities she completed:
The most exciting part of her week, however, was when she received her first letter from her new Penpal! Her friend's mom made a laminated paper doll named "Maggie", and Maggie has a travel log. The girls take Maggie to different places and then write a letter to each other telling about Maggie's adventures. They will mail Maggie back and forth between the two of them with their letters. She is writing her first letter to her Penpal today.

On Friday we had Coop Music and P.E. She loves those classes! Stay tuned to hear what super fun things the kids are doing at Coop next week!

Like I said, next week we will basically shut down our studies and concentrate on creating an Old-Fashioned Christmas for our family, and finish our unit on Colonial Williamsburg. Our week will include making all of our decorations for our tree, making candles, making luminaries and preparing to get our Christmas tree on Friday.

Dawson ~ 8th Grade

Dawson's week was a busy one! He has been taking lots of notes on Ancient Rome, learning about education, clothing, parts of the city, food and recreation. He finished a spelling unit and started another one. His Grammar concentration has been on Editing. And he has steadily been working on his typing and Spanish online lessons.

In science he did several experiments surrounding rocks and minerals. In the first experiment he filled a plastic container with water (to overflowing), put the lid on it and put it in the freezer. The next day the lid was popping off. This demonstrated that solid molecules are larger than water molecules so take up more space. Then he ran water into the middle of the ice block, and blew hot air into the middle of it, to make a hole. He basically showed how erosion causes rock formations to change shape, i.e. caves.

He also made different types of fossils:

He set up two experiments that he will complete next week:

He is making needles (with epsom salt and water)

and he is making Stalactites (with baking soda, water and yarn)

He loves these hands-on experiments!

Dawson completed Life of Fred: Fractions this week and got an 87% on his final. He was really hating math when doing Saxon Pre-Algebra. But Life of Fred seems to be a great relief. And he's learning. He's now moving on to Life of Fred: Decimals and Percents.

We have decided to make next Tuesday our last day of school until the new year. On Tuesday we will conclude our viewing of Handel's Messiah, and it will be a good stopping point. He is going to help Brynne and I with our homemade Christmas decorations Wednesday - Friday.

We are linking up to Weekly Wrap-up at Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers.

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