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Weekly Wrap-up ~ Maps

In our regular life this week…

I am going through a little period of discouragement right now which, unfortunately, leaks into everything I do. My walks have been really great. The exercise and fresh air helps a lot. I've just spent a lot of time in my Bible, praying, listening to worship music, and trying to look at the positive sides of everything, while giving it all I've got in every area. Still ....

Dawson is working hard at his new job. I heard (via my sister who read it on Facebook .. I hate that) that Kyndal will be running track at her school this year. She has never run track before, so I am glad to see her try something new.

A very exciting thing happened for Brynne while eating lunch at Co-op on Thursday ... her other front tooth fell out! I have officially lost my last baby. Once they lose their two front teeth, it's all over.

In our homeschool this week…

This was another great week with lots accomplished!
  • Bible ~ We moved from the nine plagues to the killing of the first born (which made Eli cry), and the exodus out of Egypt.
  • Reading ~ We have started The Spiderwick Chronicles series for our read-alouds. (It seems like only yesterday that Dawson was reading that series. See above comment about how fast they grow up after losing their two front teeth.) We read some really great books in studying about Maps, including a couple out of the ordinary: Show Way by Jacqueline Woodson and How I Learned Geography by Uri Shulevitz. Eli was forced to take a break from Captain Underpants because he is waiting for the third epic novel from the library, so he is reading an Arthur chaper book, and Brynne is still reading Noodle from The Puppy Place series. Since our library doesn't carry that series, I ordered her a box set of the first five books (she has read about five others in the series).
  • Math ~ This week we did it ... we finally started an introduction to multiplication! We will be focusing on multiplication the remainder of the year, and we just got another great product to review for the Schoolhouse Review Crew that I am really excited about!
  • Spanish ~ This week we learned the Spanish words for names of family members.
  • Geography ~ A big focus of our week was a Maps unit study. We learned about cartography, longitude, latitude, the international date line, the equator, the legend, compass rose, scale, political maps, physical maps, topographical maps, and road maps. 
  • Science ~ We continued learning about the parts of the bird, and ended our week making a Bird Map! It tied right in with our Maps unit study as we made a key/legend.
  • Art ~ We completed our second Artistic Pursuits lesson, and also made watercolor crayon topographical maps of the United States.

Places we’re going and people we’re seeing…

There was more fun at Co-op this week learning about St. Nicholas and St. Valentine in Holidays Around the World Class and about whales in Water World class. Of course, there were Valentine exchanges and yummies!

I did go to a Mom's Night Out with some of our Co-op ladies last night to paint pottery. I sat at a table with a couple of the board members and we had some nice conversations. I still felt pretty out of place, though. 

My Favorite Resource this week was…

Not so much a favorite resource as a favorite activity. We were learning about Maps this week, and in Apologia Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day we are learning about birds. The last activity of the week from the book was to make a Bird Map. The kids identified the body parts of a bird and created a legend/key to label them. It was a really neat conclusion to all of our week's lessons, and they learned a lot and enjoyed it!

A favorite thing this week was…

Brynne's favorite thing was creating the topographical map of the United States. Eli could only name his least favorite thing ... and that was trying new foods. I am really cracking down on their nutrition, and he is a little resistent.

Helpful homeschooling tips or advice to share ...

White boards are the bomb! We use ours in many ways every single day and it has been an invaluable resource for our schooling. I bought a stand-alone board for about $50 through a sale on Amazon. It was probably the best money I have ever spent on a product.

Things I’m working on…

* A cake plan for Eli's parent/son cake contest for his Blue and Gold Banquet this week. We are thinking WWE!

* I am also helping our den leader plan the theme and decorations for our upcoming Blue and Gold Banquet. The plans are made, now it's just time to put it all together.

* Proof of the work Dawson did last year homeschooling so his school will give him credit for his classes. I am almost done and even I am astonished at how much we covered. I think the administration at his school will be astonished, too. I don't think they'll be messing with us anymore.

* Two more reviews for the Schoolhouse Review Crew are coming out this week!

I’m grateful for…

my decision last year to keep good homeschooling records even though Oklahoma did not require any. Had I not kept good records, we would be in trouble this year with getting Dawson credits for his work. 

I rewarded my kids this week by…

cooking them healthy meals. They don't know they are being rewarded, but they are. I have been very inspired by the book Ending the Food Fight by David Ludwig, M.D., Ph.D. This time we are sticking with it! I figure that in 30 days they will be so used to eating more healthy and whole foods that they won't even miss all of those pre-packaged and sugary foods.

Things you might have missed at Journey to Excellence ...

A photo, video, link, or quote to share (silly, serious or both!)…

It was a Happy Valentine's Day for all! And, Yes, I was there, too!

We are happily linking up this week at the following sites:

Homegrown Learners


  1. Looks like you are doing great things in your homeschool. we also are using Flying creatures in our school. :) Don't worry about your baby loosing her school... She'll always be your baby. That's what I tell my 9 year old. ;) He's my only and will always be my baby.
    Stopping in from ihomeschool.

  2. I'm right there with you in cooking healthy meals for our kids. We have been doing this since January 1 and I think my kids do miss the junk, but I've noticed my oldest in particular making healthy choices now, which makes me really happy.

    Two front teeth gone :-( Yes, she's not a baby anymore.

    Thanks for linking!

  3. Nicole, I pray your discouraged feeling will pass. It sounds like you are using good tools and activities to help.
    And you are right about the healthy eating. We changed our diet over a year ago and the kids hated it at first. Tears even! Now they make better choices even when given unhealthy options at events. They have found they feel awful if they eat too much sugar.

  4. Praying for you in this season of discouragement! Keep your eyes on God and know you are being covered in prayer friend!

  5. Goodness Dawson is tall!! Love the picture. I'm sorry you are having a rough time. I'll be praying for you! Your weeks always sound so fun. I also think a white board is the best investment! We move ours around room to room, then have a big shower board in the school room that covers one wall...but rarely do school IN the school room so use the smaller one more ;) Hope you have a great week!

  6. I thought the baby was gone when they turned 5 and were officially "old enough for school?" I'm offically changing my stance and going with the tooth thing from now on because my baby turned 5 on Monday.

    Love the group shot!

  7. Looks like you guys had a good week. I'm glad you were able to make some connections at the moms night out. We really enjoyed our Apologia review too, even though Grace has kind of aged out of the series. We will finish Zoology 2 just at a quicker pace.


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