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Weekly Wrap-Up ~ Books and Bookends

We jumped right in this first week back after the Thanksgiving Break. We started and ended our week having some fun outside the house. And sandwiched in between was three days of good 'ol fashioned schooling.

On Monday, we went on a super cool field trip to a nearby town to see replicas of the Nina and Pinta sailed by Christopher Columbus. I have a full post about this field trip scheduled to post tomorrow on Study America Saturday. Check back because it was really something to see!

On Tuesday, Brynne started her Christmas unit. My intention during this time is to read a Christmas book every day, do a Christmas activity related to the book, and do as many Christmas themed reading, writing, and math projects as possible. I gave her a new set of spelling words with a Christmas theme which she wrote two times. Then I drew a Christmas tree with markers and she wrote her spelling words inside the ornaments. Her book for the day was Snowbear's Christmas Countdown and we made our annual Paper Countdown Chain.

Dawson focused primarily on a new unit about Energy in Biology (he read about atoms, learned their parts and took a couple of comprehensive quizes online) and Harriett Tubman (he did a web hunt and an interactive activity on The Underground Railroad). He and I are still reading Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beacher Stowe (about 40 pages a day, which takes us quite a bit of time) and he has started reading the How to Train a Dragon series. He started working on an essay (summarizing extensive resources) about the French and Indian War.

We dug in hard again on Wednesday. Brynne worked on grammar in her Easy Grammar book and then did a noun activity. I drew a snowman on a piece of paper with markers and labeled the three snowballs "person", "place" and "thing". She took the book she was reading, I Broke My Trunk by Mo Willems, and sorted every noun she read by writing it in the appropriate snowball.

She then plotted coordinates on a graph and followed the legend to color the blocks specific ordered colors and ended up coloring a Gingerbread House. I was honestly doubtful that she could complete this worksheet, but she proved me wrong as usual.

Her book for the day was Snowmen at Christmas and we made Snow Playdoh for some playing fun. She used winter cookie cutters to make angels and stars. Then her and Dawson made some snowmen. They had a good time.

Dawson worked steadily on Algebra, his IEW essay, grammar, and Critical Thinking. In Biology, he moved onto learning about ionic, covalent, and metallic bonds, and about the second law of thermodynamics. Our Uncle Tom's Cabin reading took us quite a long time, so we simply read a poem about Harriett Tubman and discussed character sketches.

Thursday was another book school day, but I was feeling the beginnings of a cold and Brynne was feeling the effects of the one she has, so we were a little slow. Our book was A Wish to be a Christmas Tree. We did easy drop sugar cookies (instead of rolling and cutting out trees) and decorated them. We intended to decorate our pine tree in our backyard, but just never got outside to do it.

We saved some cookies for Eli to decorate when he got home from school.

Brynne actually spent the majority of her time "playing school" upstairs in the playroom while completing some Christmas worksheets on Capitalization and math game called "Santa's Sleigh Drop" with her students.

Dawson finished strong in his independent daily assignments. We made some more headway in Uncle Tom's Cabin. Dawson is not enjoying it much, but I am! It doesn't have enough action for him.

The majority of his day was spent completing his IEW essay. It turned out so good because I saw some incredible progress. It was obvious that he was using his sentence starters, quality verbs and adjectives, appropriate uses of introductory and clincher sentences, and just really applying what he has learned in the past few lessons.

He ended his Biology lessons this week learning about Enzymes and doing an experiment with an apple. We all know that if you apply lemon juice to a cut apple that it won't brown. But do you know why? We now do. The high ph of the lemon juice destroys the co-factor that is necessary for the enzyme to work.

At this point in our week we were feeling extremely productive.

So, on Friday (today) we enjoyed ourselves by attending our Homeschool Co-op's Christmas party. The kids ate, played games, did a craft, and just played with their friends.

This afternoon we had one more activity. Dawson and Brynne were the "Mystery Readers" for Eli's class at school. This is always fun because the kids don't know who is coming to read until they walk in the door. Eli was shocked to see that it was Dawson and Brynne! This was the first time siblings came to be the Myster Reader. That is what is so beautiful about homeschooling. We can do these things. Dawson and Brynne read I Broke My Trunk by Mo Willems, with Brynne reading the part of Piggie and Dawson reading the part of Elephant. Brynne was adorable because she read the part in a high, squeaky voice. Then I read Moosletoe to his class. We enjoyed some hot chocolate and the smiles and excitement of Eli.

I love how Eli is captivated in the lower left corner of this picture.

This was really a week full of reading. And, personally, I like weeks like this.

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


  1. Looks like an incredible week! I love Brynne's snowman, and the cookies look like they were a lot of fun. We will be reading Uncle Tom's Cabin soon - I love that book.

  2. What a great week! We're going to try to catch the Nina before it leaves town...I guess we aren't too far from one another:) It looks like the ships are docked about an hour or so from our home.

    Love the snowmen and the cookies too! What great family fun. Thanks for sharing:)


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