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Weekly Wrap-up ~ Loads of Learning

In our regular life this week…

This has been just a quiet, uneventful week. And sometimes we just need one of those! We have had a good, easy-paced schedule, have been into our regular routines, and getting in lots of rest. I have gotten in some extra reading and have been really working on our eating habits, including the kids in discussions and planning. Yesterday we went shopping and bought lots of fruits (that the kids picked out) and I chose vegetables that I can add to their meals (some hidden). Last night was Kyndal's basketball Senior Night for cheerleading. Brynne and I went to the basketball game to see her and walk with her at half-time.

I have not felt very good the last few days. I have been very tired and with no energy. I have no other symptoms except exhaustion, and I am a little short of breath. I am wondering if maybe I'm anemic. So I've been in bed all day today trying to rest up.

In our homeschool this week…

This was another great week with lots accomplished!
  • Bible ~ We have been learning about The deliverance of the Israelites from the hands of the Egyptians, focusing on the Plagues.
  • Reading ~ Our read-aloud is The Storm by Cynthia Rylant. We also read Sagwa by Amy Tan (because we were studying China this week). Eli is reading the second epic novel of Captain Underpants and Brynne has started Noodle from The Puppy Place series.
  • Writing ~ In WriteShop Primary A, the kids wrote five sentence paragraphs about personal experiences.
  • Math ~ We have done some extra work on subtraction with regrouping and borrowing, with much success. They got up to subtracting three-digit numbers from three-digit numbers.
  • Spanish ~ We spent the week testing over the first four chapters of Song School Spanish. They also reviewed the first 9 songs on the accompanying cd.
  • Spelling ~ We reviewed plurals.
  • Geography ~ We studied China with a map study, learned about the Chinese New Year and the Great Wall of China, and did a great art project about Pandas.
  • Science ~ We learned about "What Makes a Bird a Bird." This included the anatomy of birds and field marks.
  • Nature ~ We watched Your Backyard as part of our bird science studies (and just because it's fun to watch!)
  • Art ~ We made newspaper torn panda pictures, and we did our first Artist Pursuits lesson!
  • P.E. ~ We started doing 10-12 minute Youtube videos of Billy Blanks, Jr.'s, hip hop exercise routines. FUN!

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

Other than Co-op, we didn't go anywhere this week! The kids' studies at Co-op involved Canada (Victoria Day) and North America (Mardi Gras) in Holidays class and then Coral Reefs in the Waterworld class. 

I have to say, I am not overly impressed with our Co-op. So far, we have met no one. The kids have neither one made any friends. And other than the teachers in the class where I help, I haven't talked to one woman. It's all about the classes and not enough socialization for me. Isn't that the point of a Co-op ... to get out and socialize? I can teach all of what we are learning at home. I was hoping we would make some new friends and find some support. So far, there isn't much. I am going to a Mom's Night Out next week, and we are going on a field trip in March. We'll continue to give it 100% and then we will see.

My Favorite Resource this week was…

Art Class Works that gave us the idea for our panda newsprint art project. I think they turned out really cool!

A favorite thing this week was…

On Tuesday afternoon, when Dawson got home from school, he jumped up and said he had something for me in his car. He ran out to get it and brought me a rolled up piece of paper with a ribbon. I opened it and it was a letter to Dawson telling him that he is academically eligible to apply for admittance into National Honor Society. I was so proud of him! And he was proud of himself! He said, "Mom, didn't I tell you that this was my goal for this year?" Now he has to fill out the application, and his lack of extracurricular activities may preclude him from being admitted. But, he said he didn't care. He just wanted to be asked.

Helpful homeschooling tips or advice to share ...

Don't give up! There are days that I wonder if the kids will ever get a certain thing I think they should get. But with perseverance, all of a sudden, one day, it just happens. I experienced that a few different times this week and it gave me encouragement to keep on instilling those principles in them.

Things I’m working on…

* Unit studies for the next several weeks: A week of Maps, then Abraham Lincoln, then Electricity, and then a long-term unit study (and book club with our neighbor) using the book Paddle to the Sea by Holling C. Holling.

* I am also helping our den leader plan the theme and decorations for our upcoming Blue and Gold Banquet. Shiver me timbers ... it's gonna be fun!

* Proof of the work Dawson did last year homeschooling so his school will give him credit for his classes (a little annoyed, I am).

* Lots of reviews for the Schoolhouse Review Crew. My first one went up this morning!

I’m grateful for…

  • watching Eli smile while he was reading his newest Captain Underpants book.
  • seeing Eli work hard and do a beautiful job coloring a picture of birds. (He hates to color.)
  • realizing how Brynne keeps working until she learns things ... like the different Animal Classifications (Kingdom, Phylum ... etc.) and all of the Spanish words and phrases from the first four chapters of our curriculum. She never quits until she gets it.
  • witnessing the creation of two beautiful paragraphs about personal experiences. Eli wrote about our trip to City Museum in St. Louis last summer, and Brynne wrote about our new Homeschool Co-op. They created their paragraphs from beginning to end all alone. They came up with their own topics, made story webs, and wrote their paragraphs with an introduction and conclusion. I saw a half-year of writing lessons come together this week.
  • watching Eli and Brynne each raise their hands to answer questions at Co-op.

I rewarded my kids this week by…

Thursdays are "3R's Thursdays" and then we drive 30 minutes to our Co-op. They provide a pizza lunch (for $1 slices of pizza) the hour before classes start. We have to get up early and start school earlier than normal so that we can get our 3R's done before we leave. If they get going on time and get their work done early enough, then I reward them with pizza for lunch. If they grumble and complain and don't get their work done, then we just make sandwiches to eat in the car on the way there. So far, we've had pizza every week! 

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

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

Yes, I was there too! ... at Kyndal's senior night at school.

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


  1. Is that their cheerleading outfits? I love the idea of shorts! We went to a high school basketball game a few weeks ago and sat near the cheerleaders. My friend and I were AMAZED at the SHORT skirts they wore! It was very tacky and inappropriate!

    Congratulations, Dawson! That's wonderful news about NHS!

    Awesome on the pizza incentive! And it's not even that expensive! Woot!

  2. Wow- what a full week! Congrats to Dawson for a job well done!

    The panda newsprint thing looks cool, and your China study is making me want to do one too!

    Regarding co-op, hang in there. Be willing to start a conversation with someone - they may be introverts or shy. Our co-op is a mix of both learning and socializing. I sign Noodle up for stuff I rarely get around to doing at home - with co-op he gets art, formal P.E. and time with firends. Our park day is the same day so most of our socializing happens all in the same day!Praying it will get better for you!

    Also, feel better soon!

  3. We started Write Shop A in the fall and it wasn't clicking at all. My daughter was 5 and I thought it was too early. She's writing better now and I think we will pick it back up over the summer. Do you like it?

    And girl, I hear you on the co-op! I've tried 2 and neither worked out for what I was looking for. One was very cliquey and new people weren't made to feel very welcome and the other was brand new and very scattered. My daughter enjoyed both a little but mostly because of playground time! We just signed her up for one next year that is a small group that does a lot f subjects around a farm theme. They get to do hands on farming and the leader works that into writing, math, science and a couple other topics. I've already gotten to know the lady leading it and love her. Hoping to meet some other moms too!

    Keep looking! You'll find something great!

  4. Wow, you don't look any older than your daughter in that last photo!

    I had a similar experience with the Montreal homeschool cooperative when we lived there. Everyone had their cliques and they weren't open to new friends. Not much fun.

    I hope you're feeling better soon. When my iron count is down, it gives me an excuse to make spanakopita (for the iron in spinach, of course....not because I could eat the whole tray myself in one sitting given the opportunity). :)

  5. PS D, 5, is in love with your panda art and is sitting beside me tearing up paper. Thanks for sharing!

  6. hope you get to feeling better soon. Congrats to Dawson I was in that in high school and I didn't do tons of extracurricular activities mainly just AFS, Future Teachers of America: still working on making that a reality :), and volunteered a few hours at the local Y day care center. So not much at all. I'm sure he will get in and even if for some reason he doesn't (which I think would be sad since he earned it) He can be proud that he was asked!!! :) Getting great grades is great and helps getting scholarships and aid for college later if he decides to go that route!

    Hope you can find the documents for his homeschool classes and all my friend had real problems a few years ago

  7. Sorry you haven't made any friends yet. Wish we lived closer and you could come to our cooperative. Lots of friend making going on here.


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