Wrapping Up Week 5 (2016-17)

weekly wrap-up
In my original schedule, this was going to be a week off, but several fun opportunities came up last week that made me give the boys a few days off and allow them to finish up their work as they were able.  So we took advantage of homeschooling flexibility and spread a week’s worth of work over two weeks.


Royal Dance CampArianna spent every morning last week at “Royal Dance Camp,” so I didn’t do any planned preschool activities at home.  And this week all the little ones have been having a fantastic time just playing, so I didn’t feel it was necessary to pull them away from that to do anything else.  Some of their favorite activities this week were:

Playtime collage
For a more extensive list of preschool activities, check out “Entertaining Elijah (tips for toddlers).”


I felt a little guilty as I planned this week because I had lots of videos scheduled to go along what we were studying.  However, Ian ended up getting sick, and I was thankful to have something quality to watch that also helped us get through my lesson plans on those days when he wasn’t up to much besides lying on the couch.


Light and the GloryWe read four chapters in The Light and the Glory for Children, finishing the settlement at Jamestown, moving onto the Separatists who started Plymouth Plantation (a.k.a. the Pilgrims), and then beginning learning about the Puritan settlers who followed a few years later.

We’ve studied the Pilgrims quite a bit during Thanksgiving time over the last few years, but Ian was more than happy to revisit his favorite books and movies.  We pulled out all of Kate Waters’ books about children in Pilgrim times (all with beautiful color photographs of people in period clothing):

As I said, Ian watched several videos related to our history lessons:


Since we stretched this “week” of school over two weeks, we actually focused on two different people, both Olympic athletes.

Gabby Douglas

Raising the BarAs we looked forward to the Olympics starting, we focused on Gabby Douglas, who won the gold medal in the individual all-around for women’s gymnastics (as well as a team gold medal) at the 2012 London Olympics.  Her book, Raising the Bar has lots of information about her childhood, training, faith, and inspiration.  After reading it, we watched The Gabby Douglas Story, as well as several video clips from various competitions.  Then we had so much fun watching Gabby and the other members of the “Final Five” win the gold medal in the team final in Rio!

Eric Liddell

Then this week we went back in time to meet an athlete from the 1924 Olympics in Paris.  Eric Liddell is most famous for choosing to honor God by not running the race he had trained for because it was going to be held on a Sunday.  There is much more to his story, however, and we enjoyed learning about his work as a missionary in China as well.  We read two books, Eric Liddell: Running For a Higher Prize (Heroes for Young Readers) and Eric Liddell: Are You Ready? (Little Lights), and watched the Torchlighters: The Eric Liddell Story DVD (both the animated feature, and the documentary featuring his daughter and the author of Eric Liddell: Pure Gold, which I read a few years ago and pulled out for the boys so they could look at the photographs).  I didn’t think even Ian would want to sit through Chariots of Fire, so I enjoyed that one by myself.

Eric Liddell resources


Read Write and TypeIan finished up all the lessons in Read Write & Type this week, and I’ve been impressed with how well his typing skills have been developing.  He’s also benefited from the emphasis on spelling rules, so I decided to get him a subscription for the “sequel” from Talking Fingers, Wordy Qwerty.  That way he has something “fun” to go along with the spelling activities he’s doing in Essential Skills Advantage.

I have the boys spend time on each program twice a week.  Both of these were programs we were given to review that have proven to be really helpful for our family.  I’ll have to see what Ian thinks of Wordy Qwerty before I decide whether or not to get Elijah a subscription as well.  He doesn’t need the spelling practice quite so much, but he still has several lessons to go on Read Write & Type so I’ve got time to make that decision.

Upcoming Reviews

We’re enjoying several products right now, so watch for these reviews in the next few weeks (may contain affiliate links):