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Jan 17

Weekly Wrap-Up

Posted on Friday, January 17, 2014

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This week all of our outside activities began and vastly changed our days compared to last week.  Our learning time at home was more rushed, our afternoons busy, and this Mama was beat.

Still, we had some highlights from the week.

Sketch Tuesday

Our four-year-old joined us for Sketch Tuesday this week.  I’m hoping to keep this tradition each Tuesday, as a way to spend relaxed time together as a family after a full day out of the house on Mondays.  Also, I’ve already seen the change in my son’s fear of drawing after sketching through various assignments over the past two weeks.  Slowly, but surely, with the regular practice of drawing, he’s gaining confidence. This week’s theme was “sketch something in a bottle”.

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Creative Writing

My two older girls started their writing class with author and friend, Jennifer Trafton.  This is their second year working with Jennifer for creative writing.  In their class this week they talked about the heart of a story, the important elements of a story, how to keep an idea box for stories, and then began filling up their idea box. They were overflowing with energy and imagination after class.

Jennifer offers local classes, but she’s also started online writing classes as well.

Here’s a sample piece of writing from their class last year, written by our 13-year-old:

The Shape of Me

I am a rugged silhouette
of the one whom I long
to be like.
I am a feathery column of compassion,
threatening to fall.
I am an interlaced tangle,
trying to find my way
out of the dark.
I am an eager blob,
exploring the boundaries,
trying to find
my true shape.

 A Ted Talk

We watched a Ted Talk, presented by a thirteen-year-old who calls himself a “Hackschooler”. The kids agreed with his approach to learning and it stimulated us to examine how our family is learning this year and what we want to change immediately or next Fall. But his message that our main goal in life is to “be happy” didn’t sit quite right with them.  They recognized from recent family discussions and sermons at church that our main goal is to glorify God and that can mean hardships and sacrifices.  I was glad to see that message taking root in their hearts.  As for our learning practices, there are some areas that we are happy with, and some that we’d like to tweak or overhaul altogether.

Animation-ish

Fueled by the desire to change up our learning a bit, I downloaded a trial of Animation-ish, a program created by Peter Reynold’s company.  We tried this program last year and loved how easy it was to use, even for our  (then) seven-year-old.  This week for history our eldest is reading about an American artist from the 1800′s and instead of writing a notebooking page, she’s going to try animating what she learned instead.  I’ll post some samples next week.

Have a great weekend,

Aimee
Jan 12

Weekly Wrap-up

Posted on Sunday, January 12, 2014

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The Gift of Snow

We had a surprisingly slow start back to school this past week.  I usually love a soft start to school, but since joining a new homeschool co-op this year, many aspects of our day have been out of my hands.

Our first day back to our homeschool co-op  was canceled due to winter weather, along with the first day back to choir and the first day back to Boy Scouts.  From my perspective, it was a beautiful thing and gave us the chance to ease back into school and experience the relaxed learning of our old days (before getting so busy).

Sketch Tuesday

For the first time this year, we participated in Sketch Tuesday together (the assignment was to draw hot cocoa or tea, we added in the cookies):

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LEGO School

My eight-year-old son jumped into Lego-themed Language Arts Worksheets. He liked them as much as the Lego Writing Prompts from last semester.

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 After he designed the Alien Minifig, he had to write ten adjectives to describe the creature.  I pulled out a handy source for interesting word choices and this is what he came up with (remember, he’s an eight-year old boy, what did I expect?)

My alien is(has):

  • gross

  • bloody

  • giant

  • powerful

  • fast

  • clever

  • green

  • leathery skin

  • evil

  • putrefied

The next worksheet was about verbs and he had to write five things his Alien could do and then draw a picture.  This week he’s supposed to write a short story about the Minifig.

Our four-year old enjoyed Signing Time while I taught her brother math, and when we ran into a deaf gentleman working at the grocery store, she remembered a few signs from the videos.

Extra Time for our Favorite Part

Along with adding in a bit of daily math, grammar, and copywork, we enjoyed the luxury of not having a destination to rush off to after lunch and instead I read Little Women while the kids made Rainbow Loom bracelets, created with beads, and built with Legos.  They were quite spoiled this week since their Dad read an hour of the first Harry Potter every night, too.

The week was not without challenges.  And next week the hectic schedule will more than make-up for the slower start this week, but I’m still thankful for how one snow day changed the course of our week.