Friday, January 14, 2011

Weekly Wrap-Up {Pigeons, Eruptions and Decisions}

The internet is cooperating for the moment, so I thought I should get my Weekly Wrap-up done while it is.

We had another great week! By being more organized on the weekends, (getting all grades inputted, lesson plans for both kids complete, all copies made and workboxes filled) we are hitting the ground running and I don't feel behind all week. It's been nice. Now I'm going to implement the "science experiments basket" recommended by Samantha at To Be Busy at Home. Scrambling to locate materials for experiments and projects is my biggest weakness. So this week I'll get all supplies and materials ready and in a basket so it's all ready for the first day of school.

Brynne ~ 1st Grade

What a fun week! Our focus book this week was Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus by Mo Willems.  We did the following activities:

A "shapes" bus with the pigeon driving

A storyboard where Brynne is trying to convince me that she should get to continue playing video games instead of doing school work. (Pay not attention to the video game she is wanting to play. She just plays a "clean" level that Dawson has created.) In the book, the pigeon spends a couple of pages trying to convince the reader to let him drive the bus.

Bus snacks made with graham crackers, frosting, mini oreos and Crispix cereal.

We also continued reading out of Meet Josefina from the American Girl series and added some Spanish words to the list of words we are learning in this unit.

In writing Brynne wrote a thank you letter to her Great Aunt telling her what she bought with the Christmas money she gave her. She also took some dictation ("Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."), did a story book page about her favorite game (checkers) and made up a sentence using "K" words, our letter of the week. She is really taking to writing.

Math just consisted of subtraction workbook pages, at which she excels. We will continue with our 1st grade math workbook pages, and I hope to do a full lesson on time and money with the materials I review from CSN.

Dawson ~ 8th Grade

Dawson has been taking tons of notes on the movement from the Roman Republic to the Roman Empire and the many, many governmental conflicts that ensured during those times. There is a lot of information about Ancient Rome!

The real fun happened in science! Dawson made a volcano pie ...

1/2 gallon vanilla ice cream
mixed with 1 cup peanut butter and 1/2 cup chocolate chips
form into a volcano and freeze in a graham cracker crust
when frozen, hollow out the center
fill with hot fudge
sprinkle with Nestle Quik powder and powdered sugar

He also made an exploding volcano (The little kids loved this!) ...

Form potting soil around a small soda bottle
Pour 1 tablespoon baking soda into the bottle
Add 1 cup vinegar mixed with red food coloring
Stand back!

Dawson had a good week in all of his other subjects. He did a great job with his independent work, and watched several videos on the Roman Empire. He read Earthquake Terror by Peg Kehret and worked all week on an egg shell mosaic, that he is still working on.

Dawson has been experiencing turmoil about whether he wants to go back to public school next year (starting high school) or to continue being homeschooled. Although I was not shy with him about the fact that I thought homeschooling was the better option for him, I have let him weigh his options and make his own decision. He was feeling a lot of pressure from his friends about going back to school. Ultimately, at least at this time, he has decided to continue homeschooling. (I'm glad about that!)

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