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Showing posts from April, 2011

Weekly Wrap-Up ~ Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

I didn't get last week's wrap-up done until this past Tuesday. And I'm getting this week's done a day early. You never know how things are going to go. Dawson ~ 8th Grade This was another week where Dawson was just chugging along, with not much excitement to report. I think it gets to that this time of year. It's all business, for the most part. He has written some great essays, and is enjoying his personal reading time for the first time all year. So, things are certainly being accomplished. He has informed me that he thinks he needs a more challenging math program, so we will finish Life of Fred this year and start on Teaching Textbooks . I am excited about that switch, and I think he will enjoy it, too. We are four chapters away from finishing up The Swiss Family Robinson . He is currently working on an ocean diorama of sorts. I think he's still in the planning phase. Really, he's just ready for summer break. And I can't say I disagree. B

NEXT Year's Curriculum

You would think that with the end of the year approaching, and my energy and enthusiasm waning, that I would be thinking of anything but not thinking of curriculum. However, with payment from my most recent contracted job I was able to order some of next year's curriculum. And, it's started arriving. It gets me so excited because, although we will be following the same basic structure in our homeschooling, the subjects will be so much meatier. Plus our main focus will be American History and I can't wait to dig deeper into it (since I snoozed through most history classes in my life.) Even Brynne's 2nd grade curriculum will be American History based. I can't wait to have my 9th grader and 2nd grader studying the same topics (at their own levels, of course.) Those two minds working tandem ought to make for an interesting year! I'm also pumped up about Dawson switching to Teaching Textbooks for Algebra. He has been doing Life of Fred , and it was totally nece

Weekly Wrap-Up ~ {Thorns}

Okay, really, it's Tuesday and I am just now doing last week's wrap-up. I was just so absolutely behind all last week so our schooling was a sporadic mess, to say the least. Dawson spent the majority of his time doing his independent work. I did make an intentional effort, however, to make sure Brynne and I got through some of our Easter Nature study. Brynne ~ 1st Grade Last week was all about Easter, and specifically Jesus. We read the wonderful folk tale "A Tale of Three Trees". This book seemed to help her really grasp the important things about Jesus. She loved it and retold it to me a couple of times during the week. We also learned about the importance of the crown of thorns placed on Jesus' head, and how he carried the thorns of our sins all the way to the Hill of Calvary. We went on a thorns nature hike and touched them. She then spent some time drawing them on her notebook page. We also went on a color scavenger hunt. We completed our Hil


Before we pulled Brynne out of public school, she had a little boy in her kindergarten class named Joshua. He was struggling and for various reasons, and after much prayer, his parents decided to pull him out of public school and homeschool him. I talked with them at length on the day they were pulling him out. They had that "terrified" look parents get (especially moms) when faced with the daunting task of schooling their child. They had questions. I had few answers. But the one thing I could give them was encouragement. Over the course of the next couple of weeks Heather and I corresponded by e-mail. Again, she had questions and I had encouragement. I know that I felt such a deep connection to her through our recent shared experience. I found out today that while driving home to take her out on a date last Friday night, her husband was killed in a car accident. I am sure that she is more terrified right now than she has ever been in her life ... the uncertainty of her

Time and Money Tabletop Pocket Chart by Patch Products {Review}

Several months ago I received an offer from CSN to review the products of my choice. I couldn't resist getting some free homeschooling resources. I have already reviewed some of the things I purchased, and you can read those reviews by going here (the Your Backyard review was for a different company). This time my review is for the Time and Money Tabletop Pocket Chart by Patch Products . Brynne has loved this! After she used it the first time she said, "That was a fun math program about time. It was so fun!" We have only used the Time components of the pocket chart. We will start using the Money components next week. Here are some of the ways we used it ... I inserted picture cards into the pockets representing her typical school day schedule. She chose digital times for when she does those activities and then the analog time that was the closest. I put analog times in the pockets and she had to choose the digital times to match. I mixed up the digital and

Weekly Wrap-Up ~ Better Late than Never

We were out of town this weekend and I have been behind since we got home. Therefore, our wrap-up from last week is late and we weren't prepared to start this new week! Ughhh! I hate that! Here is a short synopsis of what we got done last week. Dawson ~ 8th Grade We are knee-deep in the Age of Exploration . We were learning about Christopher Columbus this week and went to the driveway to draw out the measurements of the Nina, Pinta and Santa Maria with sidewalk chalk. You can't see the lines, but they were basically about the size you see here. Not very big for all they were trying to carry. In science we discussed the different ways water freezes depending on the amount of salt in the water. Water definitely does not freeze as fast or as solid when it has salt in it. The Swiss Family Robinson has actually been boring to Dawson. I think what is frustrating for him is that they basically had everything they needed to survive. And they always seemed to find exactly w

Weekly Wrap-Up ~ Wild {flowers and ocean life, that is}

This was another great week! It seems our studies (and the beautiful weather) have been getting us out-and-about the last couple of weeks. This week we went on a field trip and a hike, and called it all "school". Dawson ~ 8th Grade Dawson and I began reading The Swiss Family Robinson and skipped ahead in our A World of Adventure Curriculum to the Age of Exploration . This was totally selfish on my part because I have never read The Swiss Family Robinson and since we are running out of time I was fearful we wouldn't get to it. In fact, we are only doing 17 days of the Age of Exploration, to read the book and do all of the lessons surrounding it, and then will be finishing our year going back to The Renaissance. Since this Age is mostly about just reading about adventure, I have Dawson doing LOTS of vocabulary words from the chapters. I like the "flashcard method", so have him writing the words on one side and the definitions on the other for easy self-qu

A Wildflower Nature Walk

Brynne is doing a nature study from NaturExplorers called "Nature Study Through the Holidays: A Mini Book of Nature Studies for Easter" by Cindy West and Melissa Leach. This week's focus book was The Parable of the Lily by Liz Curtis Higgs. One of the activities for this week was to go on a nature walk and find flowers in the same family as a lily, dissect them and compare them. We were also to to find wildflowers and measure them. Because we didn't get a lily purchased, and didn't have any growing nearby, we opted out of dissecting and comparing. Instead we just went on a wildflower (aka weeds) hunt. Brynne rode her scooter and I took Crusoe on his leash. When we saw a wildflower we would stop, take a photo and try to identify it with the Usborne Spotter's Guides Wild Flowers of North America . We are not the best identifiers in the world, especially because we were looking at drawn pictures, but I think we got all of them pretty close, if not cor