Wrapping Up Week 4 (2016-17)

weekly wrap-up
Coming back to school this week was a little challenging.  We’d just come back into town on Sunday, and between unpacking, laundry, and all the other chaos that follows a vacation, I ended up staying up far too late getting ready for this week.  I know I could have just taken a day or two off, but I felt like we could handle it.  And we would have, if we hadn’t taken time off for a family birthday and a play day with cousins from out of town.  So we pressed through.  And actually, we got a lot done, considering.


As a follow up to last week’s camping adventure, I printed out several pages from the Camping Preschool Pack from Homeschool Creations and put them in plastic sheet protectors for Arianna and Nico to work on with dry erase markers.  They both loved having “schoolwork” to do, and I’m glad my printer issues before vacation prevented me from taking these pages along with us, because they were the perfect easy activity to give my little ones this week.  There were pages that were simple enough for Nico to do, as well as some that challenged Arianna a bit, so it was a great fit.

Preschool Camping Pack 1  Preschool Camping Pack 2

That pack also went well with We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, which I pulled out of our Before Five in a Row collection and enjoyed reading it with them several times throughout the week.  They loved the repetition of this story, as well as doing hand motions with me through each stage.  I also had several activities printed, laminated, and all ready to go in a file folder from when I rowed Bear Hunt with the older boys.

bear color patterns   Preschool Camping Pack 3



We didn’t officially do a biography this week because my plan this year is to use the read biographies for three weeks each month and then write a paper about one of them in the fourth week.  However, I decided to read Pocahontas by Ingrid and Edgar Parin D’Aulaire since it went along with the topic of Jamestown, which was what we read about in Chapter 4 of The Light and the Glory for Children. While I read, the kids did a Pocahontas coloring page and a maze from the Jamestown Rediscovery website.  We also watch a couple movies on Pocahontas (though not the Disney version this time):

A Lion to Guard UsMy main goal for history this week was for the boys to remember Jamestown as the first (somewhat) successful English colony in the New World.  To help get that in their heads, we also read A Lion to Guard Us by Clyde Robert Bulla, about three English children who go to Jamestown to find their father after their mother dies.  The boys could probably have read this on their own, but I enjoyed reading it aloud to to them.


As I said, my plan this year is to have the boys create outlines throughout the month and then choose one from which to write during the last week.  Unfortunately, we didn’t get off to a great start with that in July, and they each only had one outline so they both had to write about Columbus.  Still, I’m glad they had at least one, and it was good to get back to following the structure they had learned in their IEW class last year.

This year I want them to stretch a little bit more, so I made them do more of the actual writing.  (Last year I just let them dictate to me and I typed it up for them).  The boys wrote out their rough drafts (though I helped Elijah with the end of his since it was a lot of writing for a 6-year old), then I wrote in changes as we went through their checklists, and then they both typed up their final drafts, which was a great learning experience in and of itself as they had to learn how to double space a document, center text for the title, and use spell-check.


I wasn’t planning to do any formal science this year, but we were asked to review the new addition of Exploring Creation with Astronomy from Apologia, so we dived into that this week.  We had already covered the first five lessons when we did this curriculum before, so we spent most of this week reviewing by listening to the audiobook in the car, though we couldn’t resist jumping into Lesson 6 as well because the boys were really excited about starting their beautiful new notebooking journals.

Apologia Astronomy 2nd ed.
In addition to all this, the boys kept up their independent work in Bible, math, spelling, and grammar, but there wasn’t much worth noting there except to say that I like Fix It! Grammar more and more each week.  It introduces concepts so gently (this week they learned about quotations) and gives the students a chance to practice them in context.   It’s just enough for me to feel like they’re getting some systematic instruction without overwhelming them with worksheets.  I’m really glad we gave it a try!

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