Thursday, April 28, 2011

Weekly Wrap-Up ~ Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

I didn't get last week's wrap-up done until this past Tuesday. And I'm getting this week's done a day early. You never know how things are going to go.

Dawson ~ 8th Grade

This was another week where Dawson was just chugging along, with not much excitement to report. I think it gets to that this time of year. It's all business, for the most part. He has written some great essays, and is enjoying his personal reading time for the first time all year. So, things are certainly being accomplished.

He has informed me that he thinks he needs a more challenging math program, so we will finish Life of Fred this year and start on Teaching Textbooks. I am excited about that switch, and I think he will enjoy it, too.

We are four chapters away from finishing up The Swiss Family Robinson. He is currently working on an ocean diorama of sorts. I think he's still in the planning phase.

Really, he's just ready for summer break. And I can't say I disagree.

Brynne ~ 1st Grade

Brynne, on the other hand, is smokin' along! We have been learning reviewing money (why does it seem she knows everything I try to teach her?) She has been doing Eli's 1st grade homework phonics pages from school as her phonics work and speeds right through those, too. And she is reading a couple of books a day.

In reading she has almost completed all 26 letters of the alphabet. As a review, each week she does a tracer page, makes a mini-book, does a word search, and reads 3 or 4 books about the letter. Our public library carries letter books from four different publishers. We counted today that she has read, independently, about 75 of those books this year. She is five. That just amazes me.

This week we have been focusing on Earth Day and living green because last Friday was Earth Day. We wanted to stay focused on Easter last week, so we moved our green studies to this week.

We read several books, of course.

The first one we read mentioned donating your outgrown clothes to others. I had just happened to go through her dresser that morning and bagged up two bags of clothes she won't be able to wear next year. They were on my front porch for a homeschooling friend to pick up to give to her sister. I went and showed them to Brynne. The book we were reading about was about a little girl trying to come up with an idea for a poster. So Brynne decided she needed to make a poster to attach to the bag.

Her sign says, "Someone can have my small clothes I can't wear. Love, Brynne"

We also learned a lot about composting. We made a small composting bucket to use in our kitchen for food scraps, and we made a compost area out by one of our raised beds to do our actual composting. She told me this morning that she found a pinecone and put in there.

Then yesterday we made new recycling tubs. We already recycle paper diligently, but really nothing else. We decided to recycle plastic, cardboard and aluminum cans (although we don't usually have a lot of cans). I will continue to recycle our regular paper in the house because that's where I dump all of the kids' school papers that we inevitably need at a later date.

The last thing we did this week was make May Day Baskets for her neighborhood friends. We used white paper lunch sacks and pipe cleaners for the baskets. She decorated them with stickers and markers. Then we filled them with recycled Easter grass and post-Easter-clearance candies and lip gloss. If you plan to do May Day Baskets, run to Walmart the day or so after Easter and snag your goodies for the baskets at 50% off, or more. Each basket only cost me about $3.00, with some really good goodies (not just cheap candy!) We are going to be out of town on May 1st, so are going to go deliver them in the morning.

And that was our week!


And, shoot, I just now remembered that I do not have a plan for Brynne for next week. Maybe I'll record the Royal Wedding and follow my friend Stacey's lead and do a princess theme. Oooohhh, that could be fun!

Have a great weekend, and spend some time seeing what other homeschools are doing at Weekly Wrap-Up hosted by Kris at Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers.


  1. I love reading blogs where the kids are in similar grades as my kids. I love your story about your son Dawson and bravo to you for jumping in and doing what you had to do to get your son back on the right track. Similarly, I took my daughter out in the 2nd semester of her 7th grade year and winged it as well and the journey has been great. We just finished her 8th grade year and looking forward to 9th grade. It wasn't so much careless, uninterested teachers and counselors but unmotivated students that left my child as the only one in her class really wanting to learn. She was discouraged and the negative social pressure was just too much. Great wishes for your 9th grade year and visit us at to check out what we are doing as well. I'll be following you to see what your 9th grade looks like as we are using a few similar resources.

  2. I spy a Braum's ice cream bag. I haven't had that in YEARS!

    Thanks for your comments about Teaching Textbooks today -- I am buying a used copy from another person in our homeschool group (for $45) --- do you think that is worth it, or should I splurge and get the full version?


  3. Looks like a fun week. I agree with the part about being ready for summer break.
    Janet W

  4. I need to get better at posting these wrap-ups every week...I've gotten lazy this spring! (well lazy and CRAZY busy!) We had fun with the princess-knight thing...thanks for the shout-out!


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