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Weekly Wrap-up ~ Normal, Normal, Where for art thou, Normal?

Normal doesn't seem to be in our vocabulary anymore. How I long for a full week where we are on our regular schedule, touching all subjects each day, with no drama or disruptions. Maybe next week? Maybe not. Only time will tell.

This week had us starting our school week in Oklahoma. We had to make a trip back there for various reasons. On Monday we went to the Tulsa Zoo for some fun. While there, we used an activity assignment from our Indonesia study and observed specified types of animals. Then we discussed their environments and ecosystems. We got a REAL education in tactics chimpanzees use to urinate. Oh. my. goodness.

This guy got up close and personal with Brynne. His name is Bernsen and we have been visiting him since he was a baby. He kissed Brynne through the glass and touched his hand to hers. Adorable.

For the first time in YEARS we located the sloth in the Rainforest. He is my favorite animal, and I have missed him!

We spent Tuesday learning about the election and voting. We sat in our empty house in Oklahoma and watched "Election Day" from Learn About History. I was amazed at how much the kids learned from this video. I was skeptical, at first, because I thought it might be too complicated for them. But they really enjoyed it! I would pause it to discuss things with them in more depth, as needed.

Our favorite thing to learn about was the Electoral College. I had received this map free from C-SPAN Classroom and I laid it out on the floor for easy observation. Then we answered questions on a worksheet I printed. I think I might now even have an understanding of what it takes to be elected as President.

We read several books (LOVE Grace for President), did a graphic organizer to decide who in the book we would vote for, and ended our studies at the polls. The kids worked on an Election word search while Daddy and I voted. We didn't do all we had planned that day, but what we did accomplish was significant and meaningful.

We had planned to travel home on Wednesday, but decided to come home late Tuesday night instead. I found myself cleaning, doing laundry, organizing, and many other things on Wednesday so we never did get to any schoolwork. Honestly, I never heard from my kids all day except to eat. At the end of the afternoon, Brynne told me that they were sure to be quiet in their room all day so I wouldn't remember that we needed to do school. Smart girl!

Thursday was still a little disjointed, but we did move through more of our study on Indonesia learning about cultures. We talked a lot about their culture versus ours and even how our culture differs from some in our local community .. the Amish. We have a large Amish community in our town and see them every single day. It was a great discussion.

It was also a beautiful day! The sun was shining and it was warm with a nice breeze. We took advantage of the day by walking/scootering to the library so that the kids could play on the computers there and I could prepare for our next geographical unit on Japan. Eli has really been wanting to study Japan, and we are having a Ninja birthday party for him right after Thanksgiving. It will all work out perfectly.

Last night Kyndal came home after another doctor's appointment for a severe sore throat, exhaustion, and fever. They tested her for mono and we'll have the results on Monday. She has been ordered to not return to school for two weeks, at a minimum. So, she'll be doing schoolwork at home for at least the next couple of weeks while I doctor her back to health.

And today? Why launch out on a bunch of serious studies today? We got back outside and just concentrated on Nature instead. The weather was absolutely beautiful, and we just couldn't pass it up. We went to the park to study squirrels. Wouldn't you know that we didn't see even one squirrel ... at the park? Luckily we have lots of squirrels constantly scurrying up our trees at home. So, we learned all about them today from the Handbook of Nature Study by Anna Botsford Comstock, so this next week we'll be on the lookout for them to observe what we learned.

We also finished our studies on Indonesia and learned a bit about icebergs? In Indonesia? It actually had to do with some symbolism. I will be posting a review about the incredible product we have been using for our study of Indonesia, so I'll reveal more about it then. Here is our iceberg floating in the sink.

I am bound and determined that we are moving on to a more normal week. We are moving from Indonesia to Japan. I am looking for us to have lots of fun!

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


  1. You have me very intrigued about your Indonesia study. I can't wait to hear more. I love your week...the zoo, the election...I think this is more important that getting all the boxes checked!

  2. UGH I wish Kyndal all the best if it's mono I had that when I was younger: so eons ago :) Hoping it is a fast speedy recovery.

    Have a great weekend


  3. Nicole, I am with you on lookning forward to a normal week. After 3-4 weeks of sickness and visiting relativs etc., I am over it!

    I love the zoo pictures!!

  4. Didn't you just love the Indonesia study? We've had such a good time with it!

    I keep giggling over your chimpanzee urination observation; I have a distinct memory of my brother and I spending a lot of time at the Toronto zoo as kids, watching the orangutans fling their feces.

  5. It may not be "normal" but it sounds like there's a whole lot of learning happening over there. Good job!

  6. I agree, Nicole! Even when you have disruptions to your week you fit in so much learning. It sounds like focusing on geography as your core is working so well for your kids.

    I hope Kyndal feels better soon!

  7. Normal? What's that?! ::wink:: I think I know what you mean though...Normal for here would be a week mostly at home with a few outside activities and lots of learning without complaining. Not a normal week here either! LOL

    How fun! The zoo! I wish we had one closer! ::sigh:: The nearest is over 3 hours away...through Boston. ::cringe::

    I find the Amish interesting! I would love to live with them for a little while to experience their culture first hand. Something about the simplicity of it is intriguing. I wouldn't want to do it forever though!


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