Sunday, August 21, 2011

Homeschooling Wrap-up // Two Weeks Worth! (Aug 1-5 & 8-12)

Playing catch-up already on my weekly wrap-up posts. : ) We are back from a quick family get-away so I'm hoping my delay in posting our school news from August 8-12 isn't too choppy. I debated putting this into two posts, but I'm going to plow ahead with one and then I might flesh out some of the details of week two in further posts ... I should say I would like to do that, but we'll just have to see how time goes. : )


Bible: reading in our Catherine Vos Children's Story Bible. We managed to hit it every day the first week, and once during our week of travel. Oops. Back at it again hard this week. We have two more weeks before our Awana program starts - I'm hoping to use this time to set up a memory work binder for the girls that we can use during our circle time in the mornings. However, all this work pales into comparison of our most exciting news from Bible time - when our sweet B asked Jesus into her heart.

Math: N1 completed lessons 6-9 in her Saxon 2 book the first week. She also started timed math quizzes as part of her daily work. This has been a good thing - she knows the addition facts that we've learned so far, but having to recall them quickly and under pressure instead of dawdling through her work? I like this. : ) N2 and I completed her lessons 6-9 also this week - more work with manipulatives and familiarizing ourselves with them. We didn't do any math during our second/travel week - I just didn't want to haul the manipulatives and gear associated with it on the road and spend half my time trying to fish them out from under hotel beds.

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Language Arts: N1 worked steadily in her Explode the Code all of the first week and some the second week. Over the two weeks we also finished up lesson two in Writing with East, Lesson 1 in Wordly Wise, Lesson 2 in A Reason for Spelling, and a couple of her First Language Lessons. I did take some of this work with us out of town, but we really only ended up with one day in our hotel room where I had time to get our books out and get some work done. Better some than none, and we had LOTS of other fun school-ish activities that filled out time. N2 continues to work on her handwriting, but I've put the hold on her Explode the Code for the time being. I didn't realize that she needs a little more reading ability to really take off with Book 1, so we are spending a little extra time on our Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons. She is definitely moving at a slower pace with her reading that N1 did, however, that makes me so thankful for homeschooling because we can move at her pace, even if that means sitting here for a while. : )

Social Studies: We tackled chapter 1 of Story of the World learning about nomads and their lifestyle and how many eventually ended up settling in the fertile crescent in Northern Africa. We completed a map during this chapter locating the Tigris and Euphrates River. On Friday (of our first week), we spent some time in the afternoon making a cave painting. Using paper bags, we crumpled and crumpled and CRUMPLED them, making them look wrinkled and worn like an old cave wall. Then we used black, red and some reddish brown/black paint and drew our own cave paintings on the paper bags. This was our first art project of the year and I was worried that it might not be "flashy" enough for the girls but they loved it.

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Our finished art from top left going clockwise: N1, a giraffe and a tree; N2, a squirrel; mine, Mama and baby elephant (the only thing I know how to draw); and B, a road. Yes, there WAS black paint everywhere!

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Also this first week, we tracked Grandpa's travels and he and a friend drove out to the Grand Canyon for a photography trip. We marked on our US map where he was as he sent us text updates and it gave the girls a little U.S. geography in action as Grandpa was on the road.

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The photo below compliments of my Dad and copyright Dasyas Photography.

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Science: We read the next chapter in Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day and started getting into a little more detail on birds. We learned the definitions for "instinct", "habitat", and "extinct." We also spent a day making field notebooks for some of our outdoor science activities.

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On Friday (the 12th) we took our first nature walk of the year and had a scavenger hunt page from our science notebook to give us some prompts. I admit - I learned some things from this first outing. The main one was for our nature walks, it is best to NOT go to a park with a playground. I thought it would be easier to go to a local park (that was close) because it had a one-mile trail loop and I was semi-familiar with it. However, the lure of the GIANT playground that was in sight at all times was a sore trial to my children, as were the exercise stations around the track. Oh well, a little more P.E. and a little less science on that outing. : )

Five-in-a-Row: N2 and I read and "rowed" Make Way for Ducklings this week using several of the lapbook elements from Homeschool Share. She loved the putting her file folder together.

Now ... if you have made it this far, this is where the fun stuff is. Over the last two weeks, we through in a boatload of extra little trips and activities!

Tuesday (Aug. 9), we joined a new-to-us homeschool field trip group and went to the Tennessee State Museum. They had a visiting Egyptian exhibit and we thoroughly enjoying seeing replicas of some artifacts as well as learning about the hyrogliphics that the Egyptians using for writing. The girls participating in a craft making their own cuneiform of their name with Egyptian symbols. This tied in perfectly with chapter 2 of Story of the World, where we are beginning to learn a little more about the early Egyptian culture.

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King Tutt's cuneiform below.

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 Wednesday: We were in Chattanooga! We left Tuesday afternoon (immediately after our field trip) and took the opportunity to tag along with Daddy on a business trip and spent Wednesday, Thursday and Friday walking around downtown Chattanooga and taking it all in. Wednesday was spent walking across the largest pedestrian bridge in the world and enjoying a neat park on the other side. That was a fun and very hot activity and I confess, after that long hike with the four kids, I went back to the hotel and vegged in the a/c for the rest of the afternoon. : )

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Our big outing on Thursday was a trip to the Children's Discovery Museum, located conveniently right next door to our hotel.

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This was full of hands' on activities - a water area, a music area, electricity, inventions, pre-historic/dinosaur area, and others. We enjoyed this although it was best geared for B and N2 (preschoolers/Pre-K/K ages). N1 enjoyed it, but she was ready to move on a lot faster than the little ones.

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Friday was spent at the Tennessee Aquarium!

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We spent a good two-plus hours in the morning exploring their river (fresh water) building and an hour and a half in the afternoon at their ocean building. They have some incredibly unique exhibits - lots of different varieties of sea horses and, my favorite, the jellyfish!

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Some of their tanks are incredibly large which makes it neat to see how different fish interact in the water together - some stay near the top where the light and warmer water are and some love to stick to the bottom areas. The girls and I absolutely LOVED this and while it was a pricey activity, I think it would be neat to do this in a few years when the boy is around 4 or 5. The aquarium has volunteers located all through the buildings and they are eager and ready to volunteer information and answer questions about many of the exhibits. My inquisitive animal loving second grader made great us of these volunteers and I appreciated their obvious knowledge and training. We give two thumbs up to this as an outing if you are in the area.

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World's largest turtle shell.


I think I'm going to stop here although we did do a couple of fun outdoor activities with T on Saturday now that his conference was done. I'll leave you a little teaser of a picture and will hopefully get time in the next few days to share that outing with you as well. : )

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2 comments:

  1. What fun! The Chattanooga aquarium. Love, love, love. Miss it. When we lived in Crossville, we took the trip to Chattanooga probably once a quarter. The kids were still free at that point. When the movers came to pack and load our stuff, the kids and I headed to the aquarium for a goodbye. If/when we move back to Crossville, we plan on having a yearly pass.
    Thanks again for your post on your planner. I've been putting one together for the last 2 weeks. :-)

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  2. Oh , I'm so glad you posted this! It looks like you've had a fun and extremely busy couple of weeks! We've been to the Chattanooga Aquarium many times! It is a lot of fun. Have you been to the Atlanta Aquarium? We went for the first time last year and LOVED it. Love the pics of your little guy in the water! We took the DLM to the splash pad for the first time on Thursday of last week and he thought he was big stuff!

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