Friday, November 11, 2011

Weekly Wrap-Up ~ E is for Effort

We have had a great couple of weeks. The greatest thing has been the Effort that has been given by both Dawson and Brynne. We haven't gotten everything done that I have planned each week, but more times than not it's been because the two of them have gotten involved in something else that could arguably be considered educational. It's been a joy to see.

Dawson and I finished our Westward Unit from America: The Story of Us. We took six weeks to dig deep into this era so as to cover everything we could. The last two weeks he has been learning about The Trail of Tears, the invention of the Steamboat, Abe Lincoln's and we have read The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. I had never actually read it, so it was so much fun. Dawson said he really enjoyed it. I must say that I'm exhausted because it was a hoppin' book with the necessity to read in several different dialects. Sometimes I would have to take a break for us to do some other work and then come back to it. That Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer were rascals!

He has been working on his IEW lessons, learning to take notes from references and rewriting in a summarized three-paragraph report. He finished a report last week on Colonial Medicine that turned out pretty good. We were able to see that he needs more practice on writing introductory and clincher sentences. He will get that chance with his current lesson on the French and Indian War.

In Biology, we are finally through the introduction of The Way Life Works. We have taken several weeks on this, making sure we covered all of the web exercises associated with each of the common patterns of life. Because Thanksgiving Break is coming up, and we don't want to launch into our first big unit on Energy, we are going to review the 16 patterns of life this next week and watch the movie, The Andromeda Strain.

His other subjects of Algebra, Critical Thinking, Typing, Personal Reading, Grammar, and Guitar are all going well. Like I said, his attitude has been amazing and made my days very easy.

Brynne has been working on some Autumn assignments from an Amanda Bennett Download-n-Go unit. It always seems, though, that if I am focusing on a unit with one of the kids, the other kid's main unit gets put on the back burner. That has happened with Brynne the past couple of weeks.

Every morning she does some computer work or watches a Super Why! episode while Dawson and I are doing his read-a-loud. Then she jumps right into her Easy Grammar, Handwriting Without Tears, and Copywork for Little Girls. She has gotten to where she can do these assignments independently, with minimal guidance.

We have been doing Sequential Spelling assignments every day. I don't personally feel like she needs formal spelling lessons with all of the reading and writing she does every day, but SHE WANTS TO DO IT! So, that's what we do. I purchased her a dry erase board, with writing lines. I read her the word and she writes the way she thinks it's spelled. She shows it to me and I either tell her that it's correct (which it is most of the time) or give her the correct spelling and she corrects it. I don't know if this is how you are supposed to do Sequential Spelling, but it works for us and she's happy.

After Brynne is done with these assignments, she takes a book and goes into my bedroom to read to our dogs. She has read 40 books so far! She doesn't believe she can independently read 100 books this year. I have assured her she can!! She is an amazing reader for a 6 year old. She reads a variety of levels of difficulty.

After lunch is when we usually do her math and history and science units. Math this week has involved doing math fact worksheets. They have been 50 and 100 problems long and she rarely misses any. We studied Oklahoma in preparation for our trip to the Cherokee Heritage Center to learn about the Cherokee Indians and The Trail of Tears. This week we did not study a state. I don't think we will next week either. We have something else altogether planned. And it's going to be a fun and exciting week! We will try to work more on our Autumn unit, leisurely. But we also have some pre-Thanksgiving studies to do because right after the holiday we are going to travel to Muskogee, Oklahoma, to tour life-sized replicas of the Nina and Pinta. I can't wait!

We did happen to get through our Henri Rousseau art projects this week. But I don't have pictures of them yet. Let's just say this: Artists during Rousseau's time chided him saying that his art was so "simple". First of all, he did mostly tropical paintings and he had never been to the tropics. So the fact that his art was so tropical shows how good he was. And, his methods were anything but easy! Dawson and Brynne had to each sketch their tropical pictures three times before they got them "right" and ready to paint. Then painting wasn't too easy, either. His art was not simple.

Like I said, the past couple of weeks have been full of Effort! I feel like we have just stuck our noses to the grindstone and worked hard. I haven't taken any pictures. You'll just have to take our word for it.

We are linking up with Kris at Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers.


  1. What a wonderful wrap-up because you not only told us what you did, but how you did it and how you felt about it. Wonderful lessons.

  2. I've been missing your posts! I'll have to click on "older"!

    Lots going on this past week for you guys!

    Jake will be starting Episode 6 in America: Story of Us on Monday or Tuesday. Are you doing the Saturday American History still?

    Thanks for stopping by! I like the tree names too! (A family member was opposed to our other names...) We decided to go with Prentice Hall Biology. (You can find it on Amazon.) He's using Prentice Hall Earth Science this year and enjoys the more "traditional school" approach (although we're notebooking instead of testing). Thanks for the virtual lab suggestions!


We all know that in this crazy world of homeschooling, we need all the (adult) support we can get. Please leave a comment if you so wish!