Wrapping Up Week 19 (2014-15)

weekly wrap-up
 I was planning on letting this be a light week and not worrying about catching up until after Christmas, but somehow we ended up doing more than I planned.  No complaints here!

Bible/Circle Time

Walk With Me to the Nativity: A Journey to Bethlehem by Karen HarperFor the two weeks before we break for Christmas, we’re going through the ten lessons in Walk With Me to the Nativity: A Journey to Bethlehem by Karen Harper.  This week we covered the time from Isaiah and Micah’s prophecies about Jesus’ birth through Mary and Joseph going to Bethlehem.  This was a book I’d added to our library a couple years ago, and I think it’s a good fit for us right now.  It has some great information without going too deep for a first grader.  I also love that most of the lessons incorporate picture study with classic paintings.

We also used our morning circle time to read the Advent books the kids unwrapped each day.


Ian worked through lessons Mathematics Enhancement Programme 81-85 (Year 2).  With Elijah, I switched over to the new version of Year 1, which has less pages in the practice books because the Friday revision lessons are separate.  Since Elijah is really quick at math, I’m going to skip the revision pages unless it looks like he really needs them.  He often wants to complete 2 lessons in a day.  My hope is that eventually he’ll catch up with Ian so we can work together on math.


We were weeks behind on Ambleside Online, Year 1, but this week we managed to get caught up on most of our books.  (Woohoo!)  I’m hoping by the time we start school again after Christmas break that we’ll be back on track.

History Cycle

I’ve been trying out some of the Magic Tree House books by Mary Pope Osborne.  I’m not entirely comfortable with them (due to the light treatment of magic and elements of pagan religions), but for now I’m willing to give them a chance with a lot of discussion.  We checked out some audiobooks from the library, and Ian is loving listening to them in the car (though I won’t let him take them into his room to listen by himself).

Ian’s a good reader, but he’s usually reluctant to read on his own, so I was pleasantly surprised when he decided to read through Stallion by Starlight, about Alexander the Great (which is next on our schedule for history).  That’s one of the reasons I’m sticking with the books for now, though I think we’ll only use them as related to things were studying for school.

We also read 2 chapters about Alexander the Great in A Child’s History of the World by V.M. Hillyer.  Ian liked knowing so much of what was going on in these chapters since many of the details had been included in the Magic Tree House book.


God’s Design for Life is the one curriculum I’m using that is structured enough to make it hard when we get behind.  This week we did science every day to catch up, making it through lessons 13-21 in The Human Body, covering the brain, reflexes, and the five senses.  Ian completed the pages on the senses in The Usborne Human Body Sticker Book.

P1040967xThe boys really enjoyed these lessons and the activities that went along with them (although Ian keeps asking if any of the lessons will let him build a model, like we did in the animal lessons).  We tasted bitter cacao powder, which wasn’t nearly the treat they thought it would be until we added some sugar.  They also checked out how pupils adjust to let in just the right amount of light.