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Showing posts from August, 2010

Building Pyramids

Our lesson today called for building a pyramid out of blocks, legos or cans. Over the years our block and lego supply has diminished so dramatically that we didn't have enough of any of these products for Dawson to build one.

So, he attempted to make one out of mini marshmallows and toothpicks. And he attempted to make one out of K'NEX. The idea was to have one that looked ancient and one that looked modern.

Neither one worked.

The marshmallow one collapsed. The K'NEX one never would take proper shape.

What did we learn? First, if you do not have a solid foundation, your building will fall. And second, building pyramids is H.A.R.D.

Can you even imagine building one in the blistering heat with no real tools or equipment to help you?

Hieroglyphics Scavenger Hunt

On Thursday I wrote about the $30 gift card I won to the Philbrook Art Museum gift shop.

I read on another blog (and I can't remember which one so that I can give proper credit) about making a hieroglyphics scroll. That gave me a great idea!

I made a hieroglyphics scroll for Dawson and put it on his chair with a hieroglyphics key. He had to decipher the code to find the gift card. The scroll said "Look n the Nile for reward."

I hid the gift card under his Nile Diorama that is out on our patio table.

He was really excited about us winning the gift card! He has his eye on a really cool owl puppet. He wants to name it Dexter and use it to tell stories to the kids in Eli and Brynne's classes at school.








Notes of Encouragement

I left Dawson a sticky note on his planner last week telling him how proud I was of how hard he had been working since we started school.

The next day I had a sticky note on my chair that said, "U R A DOOFUS!" with a smiley face.

I feel so encouraged.

At least it wasn't a tack in my chair.

Another Win!

Look what I won from Nikki at The Painters 5 in the Curriculum Clean Out.



This will be a great addition to our library! And, Dawson is planning on holding some kids camps this summer at our house, and a science camp is one he wants to do. This book will hopefully give him some great, age-appropriate ideas!

Thanks, Nikki! And thanks, Homeschool Creations, for hosting the giveaway!

Weekly Wrap-Up ~ Dawson Says {Week of August 23rd}

Hey, it's Dawson again, doing my weekly blog post. :( Well some of the things I enjoyed about this week are: I made a diorama of Egypt; I made tomb paintings; and, I just got to free draw one day. You can see pictures/purchase my drawings on my mom's blog. :) I also got to bake fig and date bread. Turns out I'm a really good baker. I'll ask my mother/teacher if she'll post my recipe on her blog. One of the things I'm not enjoying is ALGEBRA!!! I have to do 30 problems of questions I don't always understand! And today I have to go over the 13 problems I missed yesterday plus the 30 I have to do today!!! That's 43 problems!! (at least I know how to add).

-Dawson

PS. My drawings are each $49.95, plus shipping.


** To see mom's perspective on the week and get specifics about projects we completed, go here.

"This Week in Review" Thursday

What have we done this week? So much!!!

We are continuing our studies of Ancient Egypt and the desert based on our reading in Genesis about the story of Joseph.

Doing lots of art and projects is very important to Dawson.

This week he made a tomb painting, using this idea from Samantha at To Be Busy at Home (thanks a million, Samantha, for the great idea!) His tomb painting depicts the things in his life that are important: his dog Crusoe, his girlfriend Tess (her picture is turned on it's side on the bottom), him riding his skateboard, and the symbol of "life".

First he laid a piece of paper on the tile on our kitchen table and rubbed it with crayon to get a textured look.

Next he free-handed pictures onto construction paper depicting things in his life that are important to him.

Then he laid the cutouts under his textured paper and did crayon rubbings of them.


He also finished his diorama of the desert and Nile river. It flooded and ran onto the banks. That's why the grass…

A Winning Attitude!

While at Philbrook Museum last week, we entered into a random drawing for a gift card to the museum's gift shop. As you remember, Dawson really enjoyed the museum that evening, making amulets and doing the scavenger hunt. As we were getting ready to leave the museum, we stopped by the gift shop and he found several things he really wanted.

Well ... we won the $30 gift card to the gift shop!!

I was so excited because I thought this would be an awesome reward to give Dawson for working so hard this first week of school and, above all, for having a great attitude!

A Day in the Journey {so far}

This month I have been participating in a blog hop called the Not-Back-to-School Blog Hop. It's been so great to get inspiration from others' school rooms, to read about all of the many curriculums being used and to see pictures of the great kids who have the pleasure of being schooled by their biggest supporters.

This final week of the blog hop we are asked to present "A Day in the Life" of our homeschooling day. This has been the first full "normal" week we have had. So, I will do my best with what we have done so far.

5:15 a.m. ~ *gulp* ~ Between then and 7:00 a.m., I go for a run, get in some coffee and computer time, shower and get ready for the day.

7:00 a.m. ~ Dawson starts his morning (semi-begrudgingly). During this time I am taking our sophomore to school and getting our other little two up and ready for their school. He showers, eats breakfast, tidies his room, makes his bed, gets dressed, fixes his hair, brushes his teeth, does his daily devotion a…

Si Senorita!

In the 6th grade Dawson took Spanish from a teacher he absolutely loved! He loved her personality and her style and he retained a lot from her class.

Since Dawson has a continued interest in the Spanish language, I immediately turned to Senorita Johnston for help. Not knowing anything about Spanish, I didn't want to spend a ton on a curriculum that might or might not be a good fit. And, I knew that Dawson loved her teaching style.

Senorita Johnston was so sweet and helpful! She recommended some curriculums I could purchase and then told me that she would be more than willing to loan us some materials.

Last Friday we picked up those materials.


They included a textbook (that she would like to have back at the end of the year), two workbooks that we can use and keep, and a VHS tape (the first of many in a series) and its' companion booklet. She said when we are done with this tape to return it for the next one. She even threw in a piece of candy for Dawson. How sweet is she?

She also …
This is us today. We tried a healthy snack and some hydration. We've decided to do our tough work now so we can relax with a documentary and art projects this afternoon. I guess these days will happen too.

Out of Egypt ~ More Philbrook Museum

On Thursday night we went back to Philbrook Museum to hear Dr. Kara Cooney, a famous Egyptologist, speak. She had a series on The Discovery Channel in 2009 called "Out of Egypt". She spoke primarily about the 21st Dynastic mummies, and it was very interesting.

Before she spoke we had the opportunity to make amulets. Amulets were buried under the clothing of the dead before they were mummified.

Dawson chose to make a Scarab which symbolizes rebirth.


I made an Eye of Horus which symbolizes protection.


And then he made an eyeball which symbolizes nothing, but reminded him of the regeneration of the mummy in the movie, The Mummy. So he made it.

Then we went on a scavenger hunt of the To Live Forever exhibit. We found every item on the list, and some were hard! We had a good time doing it! We had gone to the exhibit previously, but the scavenger hunt made us dig deeper into the exhibit and made it more exciting.



That day Dawson had drawn a map of Egypt, labeling the geographical featur…

A Day of Egyptian Documentaries ~ September 3rd

For those of you studying Ancient Egypt, National Geographic Channel has five back-to-back documentaries playing on Friday, September 3rd.

* The Scorpion King, 8:00 a.m. ~ "The Scorpion King likely united kingdoms of ancient Egypt."

* The Real Ramses, 9:00 a.m. ~ "Fresh interpretations of existing evidence reveal secrets behind the success of Ramses II."

* The Pyramid Code, 10:00 a.m. ~ "Experts trace the development of pyramids from flat mud-brick structures to the giant masterpieces still standing today."

* Secrets of the Valley of the Kings, 11:00 a.m. ~ "Archaeologists unravel the secrets of the Valley of the Kings, the sacred tombs of the Pharaohs in Egypt."

* Mystery of the Screaming Man, 12:00 p.m. ~ "Over 100 years ago an unidentified mummy was found lying alongside some of the most famous pharaohs in Egyptian history, with his face contorted in a scream."

I think we will arrange our schedule to conclude regular studies on Thursday o…

Record Keeping

There is always the possibility that Dawson will re-enter public school at some point in his future. Even if he doesn't, and we decide to homeschool him through high school, record keeping is a necessity! This is especially true if he decides to go to college.

Although Oklahoma does not have any specific homeschooling laws that we must follow, record keeping is still a good idea for many reasons.

I want to be able to show what we have done and to track Dawson's actual progress with his school work.

We are, in fact, running our homeschool like a "school". It's just a school that caters to its student's strengths and areas of interest. But at the same time it is a school that is preparing him for further education outside of our home, either in high school or college.

I desired to keep an actual grade book of his assignments and assign values to his work. But I really didn't want to manually do it in an old-time grade book.

I found the coolest FREE website calle…

Weekly Wrap-Up ~ Mom's perspective {Week 1}

As you can see, he's a teenager of many words.

We are using this weekly blogging tool, of Dawson writing a weekly wrap-up post (go here to read it), as a writing assignment for him. He typed it. Then he and I sat together while he looked for his grammatical and spelling errors.

He is right ... he doesn't type much. So, we'll be starting his typing curriculum next Monday.

This week we started our A World of Adventure curriculum and Saxon Pre-Algebra and just tried to get into somewhat of a groove. I think we were very successful at that.

I posted about our first day of school here and will be posting on Monday about one of our field trips.

Some highlights of the week for me were:

* He didn't give me attitude about school even once! One time, when I asked him to do something I knew he wouldn't like, he sighed. But then he stopped mid-sigh and completed the assignment without any protest. And he did it well.
* I have been very impressed with the neatness and quality of his w…

Weekly Wrap-Up ~ Dawson Says {about Week 1}

Hey, this is Dawson. I'm not sure what to say. My mom's just making me do this every Friday. I don't even know what to put on here! :(. Okay, she wants me to talk about my week. So, this week I got to go to Stone Canyon Elementary to be a teacher's helper for my old kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Morris. There wasn't any work for me to do so I played with LEGOS. :D. Another thing we did was go to Philbrook Art Museum yesterday for a scavenger hunt and to listen to some lady talk. The bad thing about home schooling is that I don't get to see my girlfriend Tess. I only get to see her on the weekends SOMETIMES, so that really STINKS. A good thing about home schooling is I'm the most popular kid in my school / house. Well, I feel like a Hot Pocket so I'm logging off.


Sincerely, (whatever that means)
Dawson :)


PS: I've never typed this much in my life.

First Day of School

Well, I don't want to jinx it, but if every day goes as well as today .. we are going to have a great year!

Here are some before-school photos .. and he thought he was going to get out of the paparazzi-fest just because he wasn't going to public school today like the other kids. Yeah, right! He should know me better than that!



Dawson and his teacher

Dawson and the principal

Do you know what I like about homeschooling? Where can you go to school and get away with kissing your teacher? And even better, where can the teacher get away with kissing her student? I did that lots today!


He thinks I'm the cutest teacher he has and I think he is the most popular student.

If I am good at nothing else, I am good at planning! Our schedule went along perfectly today! We got a little bit of a late start because we had to take our little two to their elementary school this morning. Dawson got to go with us. That's one of the perks of being homeschooled! He will also be volunteering in thei…