Monday, February 15, 2016

Weekly Wrap-up ~ TWO Weeks of Good Schooling Catchup

Alright, let's wrap up the last two weeks. I've been sharing my computer with a Minecraft maniac, so when I've been in the mood to blog she seemed to always have my computer. Then when my computer was available, I didn't feel like blogging. Know what I mean?

But, this blog is my way to prove to the world (and sometimes even myself) that we actually do spend 30 or so hours a week educating like we are supposed to do.

Two Weeks Ago

We had one of those glorious boring weeks in our schooling. We read, wrote, and mathed, primarily. I love those weeks sometimes.

Dividing improper and mixed fractions takes some time with all of its conversions, higher level math facts, and simplifications. Because I would rather the kids "get it" than do multiple problems, quality versus quantity, they spent the week doing a lesser amount of problems, but more difficult ones, each day. I didn't want to pack in a bunch of activities to complete because I wanted them to feel the freedom to take their time and complete the problems correctly the first time.

We are doing some massive reading. It's just that time of year for all of us. The kids are both absorbed in their book series, and we are reading some good literature as read alouds. If I accomplish nothing else in these years of homeschooling except that my kids enjoy reading and good literature, then I have been immensely successful. So, if either of the kids say, "I want to finish this chapter." or "Can we read for a while longer?" or "Will you please read the next book in this series instead of us moving onto something else?" then I am hard-pressed to grab up an activity for us to do instead.

One of my favorite things the kids have been doing this year is reading out of McGuffeys and then copying paragraphs. I know that they do not see the immediate benefits of this, but they are getting some massive practice in reading and writing good grammar, and getting in some good old wholesome character stories. I feel as though a strong language arts education is important at their ages (5th and 6th grade), so we make this and formal grammar and spelling lessons a priority and will at least through the next year or two. It makes for comfortable, enriching days.

CNN Student News always gives us topics of discussion first thing in the morning. That week we discussed the Iowa Caucus and Ground Hog Day and various other topics of current events. We do this each morning cuddled up in blankets with a cup of coffee and it may be my favorite thing we do all day.

WWII studies had us wrapping up the topics surrounding the war on the homefront. We did a photo analysis of a family listening to a radio program during the war while we listened to a radio broadcast of The Lone Ranger, we watched the first episode of Bomb Girls to show how the women went to work during the war, and we watched A League of Their Own. It's one of my all-time favorite movies, so it was a great excuse to introduce the kids to it. I even recognized some things referencing the war and topics that we have studied that I have never noticed before.

In our weekly hosted enrichment class, the kids received their Level 1 prizes from the WWII Museum's Get in the Scrap program and then decorated switch plates with permanent markers to remind them to shut off the lights when they leave a room.

We had a week off from basketball games, so the kids were able to focus on their bowling league on Saturday. They both bowled really well! State tournament is in a couple of months, so they are getting prepped for it.

Last Week

We got a little more hands-on last week with some science related activities from Prince Caspian by C.S. Lewis. We did some studies about soil and erosion. We learned about the levels of soil by watching a video and doing an edible soil activity.

Then we learned about erosion from Bill Nye and did an erosion activity, incorporating our recent studies about landforms.

Our basic studies continued with spelling, grammar, McGuffey's, CNN Student News, and math. I made up some additional fraction word problems from our previous week's lessons to make sure we had those concepts solidified before we moved on to the next topics.

We finished Prince Caspian and On the Far Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George and then watched "Prince Caspian" as a family.

In our WWII unit we started our studies on the Holocaust by learning about Kristallnacht and the Kindertransport. We watched excellent videos, especially "Into the Arms of Strangers: Kindertransport". It was very powerful and an excellent lead-in to what is going to be a very serious and difficult topic.

While finishing up On the Far Side of the Mountain we read about Rensaelarville, New York, and the Rent Wars, so we found a documentary about it and finished off our week learning more.

At our Victory Garden Enrichment class the kids did a maze activity with Get in the Scrap and completed another level for more prizes!

Brynne got back into basketball and had an excellent game on Saturday. She had a fan club.

We had a nice Valentine's weekend.We spent some time listening to our grand baby's heartbeat on the home dopplar Collin and Kyndal purchased.

Dawson had a special someone come for a visit from Oklahoma for the weekend. Rick and I opted out of a night on the town because the temps were frigid, so we went up to our little small-town Chinese restaurant and had dinner together Saturday night. Good food and great company!

On Sunday we just hung out at home like any other regular Sunday watching movies, napping, playing with friends. I made dinner for the whole family Sunday evening. We had filet mignon, baked potatoes, heart-shaped pasta, corn, and rolls. It was a great night together!

This week we are moving on with more great studies. The longer I homeschool, the more I love it!


2015-2016 Hours Logged - 623 1/2 hours out of 1,000 required hours (212.5 hours outside home)
Plus 83 Summer Hours

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