Friday, April 22, 2011

"Spring Term"

We're currently on hiatus.

Our overall plan has always been to do structured lessonwork September through November, January through March, and May through July.  However, we also put life before seatwork so we haven't always accomplished that framework--but, life and homeschooling is a work-in-progress and we've been better honing both over the last couple of years.

Today I laid out our "lesson plans" for our "spring term."  We'll be completing our current World War II studies (Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes; Japan; a WWII overview) and doing lapbooks for dinosaurs, fossils, and volcanoes.  Our aspiration to also accomplish a photography unit (once a week), and an astronomy unit (while the evenings are pleasant though insect-ridden), will not be realized due to time.  We have weekly activities laid out: scouting, nature study/science, correspondence (HA!), library, art, museum trips, karaoke, baking, etc.  Zoo trips with Papa still need to be sorted.

I also managed to sketch out next year loosely!  Currently our "fall term" will be an overview of the 17th Century, Jamestown, Pilgrims, and Thanksgiving.  "Winter term" will be Founding Fathers, George Washington, and the Declaration of Independence; as well as a pause for the Iditarod--a custom from my childhood.  Next "spring term" will be the Revolutionary War.

It's exciting to get things to see how well follow-through goes....

Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Flower Bed

MIL is visiting us for a few weeks (waiting for this bun in the oven to finish baking) and she decided to do a flower bed with the kids.  They loved the project, but Wee-one didn't want to do the work of prepping the bed.  Part way through we got brilliant and put up the pop-up so the sun wasn't so hot.  I sat on the sidelines with my puffy feet up, but couldn't stand spectating any longer once the flowers were laid out for planting.  I paid dearly for my foolishness of planting about a third of the bed, but it was nice to get into the dirt!

Digging the bed.
Digging the bed in the shade.

Removing some of the mud to make room for the soil to be
mixed in.

Wee-one laying down on the job.

After planting: snapdragons, gerbera daisies, african daisies,
dwarf marigolds, petunias, "fire plant," and something else
I don't recall the name of.

Finished product--the kids ferreted out large rocks from
the yard to hold in the mulch.

Friday, April 15, 2011

WWII: Number the Stars

Eldest drug his feet through this portion of the unit.  He took off with the book and read it straight through-- and he's disappeared to listen to the audiobook for it as well--but the associated assignments have been like pulling teeth from a cranky crocodile.

It was finally completed (mostly).  I need to check on the diary entries, and the pamphlet is only a rough draft, but we're moving on for the moment.

The neat thing about it, besides his finishing off the book on his own, is the interest he's developed in Denmark.  Our Christmas celebrations this year are going to involve a lot of Danish traditions if we're able to pull it off!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

WWII: Europe

We could not locate a lapbook for Denmark (we might make one ourselves), so we opted to do a lapbook for Europe in conjunction with our studies for Number the Stars.  This one had the option to write the answers yourself, trace the answers, or utilize pre-printed answers so Wee-one was able to participate more fully in the activities for this lapbook.

The Front Cover
We didn't do all the activities with the HOC-Europe lapbook
so were able to trim it down to a two-folder event.  This is
with the cover opened.
The section about the European Union.
The section about language and geography.
The back.