Friday, January 13, 2012

Weekly Wrap-Up ~ Lessons Learned

We had another excellent and very productive week with great attitudes ... well, almost. We were away from home on Monday, had book school at home from Tuesday through Thursday, and then were off school today (and again Monday) because the public schools are off again. (Didn't we just come off a two-week Christmas break?) I should have never told Dawson and Brynne we were going to be off school again, because by Thursday they were checking out already. We made it through, though, and here's what we did.


Because the public schools were going to be out, we were unable to use our Co-op facility today because the church has a daycare that meets there on school breaks. Follow that? Anyway, we made up our regular Co-op day on Monday. Brynne had Choir and P.E., and Dawson volunteered with the P.E. teacher. 

Afterwards we grabbed lunch and went to the zoo. The temps were in the low 50's that day, and they have $1 admission on Mondays in January and February. We have season passes, but many don't, so we took advantage of the cheap day and nice weather.

Because the temps were colder than when we usually go, we got to see some animals we don't normally get to see. Our favorite were the white foxes. Beautiful! And, as Brynne pointed out, they are Canines. She had been learning about Canines last week. We also spent about an hour in the Chimp house. Love those chimps!! So funny and so entertaining and remind me so much of my own kids. Fun time!

I forgot my camera that day (unheard of), but it was nice to just enjoy ourselves instead of worrying about taking pictures of us enjoying ourselves. Do you ever do that??

When getting Brynne's assignments together for Tuesday, I noticed the difference between her handwriting from the first week of school to now. Thank you, copywork and Handwriting Without Tears!


On Tuesday we were at home and back in the books, er, electronics. Brynne has discovered the wonders of the iPad and spent much of her day playing Stack the States and then playing her daddy and me in Words. She did get the rest of her regular schoolwork done, too. Our unit study we were planning to start on Dogs was giving me fits on the computer, so we decided to just give up on it until next week. I realized I could download it on my iPad as an iBook and it worked much better.

Dawson worked on memorizing The Gettysburg Address, and did some vocabulary about it, answered questions, and did a text puzzle, in addition to his other regular daily studies. He also was learning about Fermentation in Biology and after watching a video about Louis Pasteur, we decided to camp here for a while because he announced that Louis Pasteur is "cool".


A doctor's appointment of mine, that I had to end up canceling, put us behind on Wednesday. But, Dawson did rush downstairs to tell me that he learned what "!" means in Algebra. I didn't know it. He was happy to show me that he knew something I didn't. He continued to work on The Gettysburg Address.

I learned a very valuable lesson: Just because a video that you check out from the library about dogs is a cartoon DOES NOT mean that it is appropriate for children. Yikes! My Dog Tulip is not a children's movie. Really, I just had to laugh. Again, we are putting off our study of dogs until next week when I can be more properly prepared.

We did gather together at the end of the day and learn about Henri Matisse and the kids did their notebooking page about him.


This was the day that attitudes weren't as good. We had a small amount of snow fall in the night and I had to repeatedly remind Brynne that for every moment she was uncooperative, another snowflake melted. And then she melted. So, we got her basic stuff done and I sent her outside with the dogs for a bit.

Dawson and I read a great book called When Were the First Slaves Set Free about the Emancipation Proclamation. He then did a notebooking page about it, researched some facts on Robert E. Lee and did a notebooking page about him. He also worked more on his Gettysburg Address.

In Biology we did an experiment about Fermentation. Somehow, our results turned out completely opposite of how they were supposed to. Our corn starch fermentated first, then the regular table sugar, and then the corn syrup. It was supposed to happen the other way around. We just aren't too good at experiments. But, we did understand what was supposed to happen, and the experiment was easy enough that Dawson was able to easily write a lab report. And that is something that I am wanting him to work on.

This week Dawson also read Chapter 2 of Slaughterhouse Five and answered the literacy questions about it.

We ended our week making our own colorful musical collages by "drawing with scissors", as Matisse put it.


And today we are off school for teacher's meetings. Brynne went to a bowling party for one of her friends and the boys just hung out at home. Tonight Dawson is going bowling with some of his friends. And I actually got my house clean.

Eli had a great week in public school. Kyndal also had a much better week this week at her new school, although she has an Upper Respiratory Infection. When she gets stressed, she gets sick.

Hoping for another great 4-day week next week!

We're linking up at Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers. I'm going to spend some time this weekend reading about others' weeks. You should too!


  1. I bet Dawson would love to make Amish Friendship Bread! The "fermented starter" would go right along with his science lesson and you would have some great tasting bread when your done. :)

  2. Looks like a nice week! That is really great to see how Brynnes' handwriting has progressed so nice. Good for you for keeping copies to compare it to. I need to start keeping some of my kids papers for this purpose as well. Their collages turned out great! I bet my oldest would love learning about Lousis Pasteur as well. Love the experiment!! Thank you for sharing.

  3. Yes! Sometimes I decide NOT to bring my camera and FULLY participate in whatever we're doing. Sometimes WITH the camera I feel like I'm doing something else some of the time. It's nice to have a break occasionally!

    Great improvement on Brynne's handwriting. She's been working hard, huh?

  4. Sounds like a great week to me!
    If your son is still hooked on Pasteur, (M is very "into" Pasteur this year too), we found a mini-unit notebooking set on for under $5 that's a fun go-along.


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!