Saturday, February 19, 2011

Weekly Wrap-Up ~ {Post Snow Days Catching Up and Exhaustion}

We took off 9 days because of the biggest snowfall in Oklahoma history (35" outside our doors).

So this week, we were back at it in a major way! We also had two field trips, so to say this week was a calm one would be a total lie! In fact, it was exhausting! But, we got tons done and learned a lot! So, we're all happy (although I had to go to bed at 8:00 last night because I was wiped out!)

Here's what all we accomplished ....

Dawson ~ 8th Grade

We are getting right into The Middle Ages in our A World of Adventure curriculum. We are really concentrating on note taking. Up to this point I would read Dawson the information and then he would take notes. Then I would attempt to prepare a study guide from his notes so that he could take quizzes. It became increasingly difficult for me to read his notes. And he told me that he couldn't make sense of them when he went back to review them. Now I am reading him the information and writing the notes on the white board so he can see how to take several paragraphs of information and compile it into a small, well-organized area.

We have started The Door in the Wall by Marguerite de Angeli. Dawson has done a charcoal sketch of his interpreation of a door in a wall. He has written an essay about a friendship in the book. He has researched the Punch and Judy show, as it is referenced in the book. And he has started writing a mystery/miracle play. He is currently working on adjectives.

The science unit we are doing in conjunction with The Middle Ages is plant science, because of the use of the excessive use of herbs and plants during that era. So far Dawson has dissected a flower and drawn a diagram of it, studied the parts of plants, planted some herbs, learned about germination, photosynthesis, fertilization and pollination, and has some lima beans soaking and hanging out in the sun to chart their growth.

In Fine Arts, Dawson completed his charcoal sketch. And he is currently working on a stained glass project. Due to ease, we chose to do faux stained glass that we read about here. So far it is turning out really cool and I can't wait to see the finished product.

Dawson is just about to finish his second Life of Fred textbook, Decimals and Percents. Today I ordered Pre-Algebra with Biology that he will complete by the end of this year. He has really enjoyed this curriculum and I never have to beg him to do his math assignments. We will continue with Life of Fred next year. If you have a child who loves stories and adventure and can't stand repititious busy work, then your child will love this curriculum and will learn a lot!

Dawson is still working steadily on his spanish and typing assignments and is improving in both areas.

He finished The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick this week and loved it!

Brynne ~ 1st Grade

I realized this week that we had completed all of Really Reading 2, a free reading download by The Tanglewood School. And guess what, she is completely reading. For the first time this week she went to the library, perused the shelves, chose a book she wanted to read, checked it out, and read the whole thing in the car, cover-to-cover.

This week we kind of completed our study of adoption and the letter "N" from the week before, and combined a couple of weeks by moving on in our For the Birds study and learning about Oklahoma for our field trip to our state capitol.

Since Dawson was coming back from snowboarding on Monday, Brynne and I had the day to ourselves. It was Valentine's Day, so we worked on our Valentine books and activities (The Day it Rained Hearts by Felicia Bond) before we headed to Eli's Valentine party at school:

It's raining hearts!

We did our last Valentine book and activity on Tuesday reading Adeline by Bobby Strickland and Kathryn Rathke and making a heart and straw "God Loves You Too" necklace.

On Monday morning we also watched the movie Stuart Little to wrap up our study of A Mother for Choco and the topic of adoption. Brynne loved the movie and it helped her see how you can love someone as your own child, even if they don't look like you.

Our focus book for For the Birds was Stellaluna by Janell Cannon. We did some comparisons of birds and bats, comparing Stellaluna with The Ugly Ducking. We made a chart of their specific characteristics and then circled the characteristics that were the same. Of course the biggest characteristics were that bats are nocturnal and hang upside down from trees. To demonstrate nocturnal, I took Brynne into my dark walk-in closet and had her take five steps forward. She was scared and reluctant. Then I held a small flashlight next to her ear and turned it on to demonstrate how nocturnal animals can see in the dark. I also held her and hung her upside down. She finished the sentence: "When I was hanging upside down I saw ... a dog." (One of our puppies was under her, looking up at her.) Then she drew a picture of him.

For math Brynne and I played a game called Fat Bat. We modified the rules a bit and played it like this: We each rolled a dice and wrote down the number we rolled. We kept doing this until one of us rolled a "1". When that happened we added up all our numbers and the one with the highest number won. The coolest part about this? She said, "I want to add them all up." She counted on her fingers and added up 7 numbers in a row to get 29. I was so impressed!

The other big project we did this week was studying the state symbols of Oklahoma. We were going to be going to Oklahoma City to our state capitol on Thursday for Homeschool Day. I made her a little notebook containing color sheets of the state symbols with a manilla folder cover bound with yarn. We took it with us to the capitol so she could easily identify items. I also prepared a scavenger hunt for her (and made copies for the other kids at the last minute) and our tour guide used it to make sure we found all of our items. You can read all about our trip to the capitol here.

To finish off our week we finally had our Coop Valentine's party that had been postponed due to the weather. You can read all about it at Taulman Times: Special Edition found here.

Whew! See why I went to bed at 8:00 last night???

It was a crazy, crazy week, but so much fun! We are all thrilled to be sitting in our pjs today just chilling out and resting (and getting caught up on some housework!)

We are linking up to Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers. Thanks Kris for hosting every week!


  1. Your kids are completely. adorable. I know you must be proud of their talents and accomplishments. :)

  2. Sounds like an awesome week, and your kids are absolutely gorgeous. And what a lot of snow!

  3. Looks like a great week. I love how you integrated so much into your study of the Middle Ages. I'm a new follower--thanks for sharing.


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