Thursday, August 26, 2010

Weekly Wrap-Up

Twenty days down and 160 to go for the 2010-11 school year! We started school at the end of July because we knew we would be taking time off here and there to travel in August and September. We're using Story of the World for history this year and, honestly haven't gotten very far. We spent some time last week putting togethere our family history books and personal timelines then moved on to archeology this week. I set up an archeological dig sight in the backyard and told the kids to pretend they were scientists from the year 3010 looking for clues to human civilization in the year 2010. Before starting the dig, we read this book by Kate Duke:

Archaeologists Dig for Clues (Let's-Read-and-Find-Out Science 2)

Sport and Spice had a fun time digging, once they finally came across the first artifacts. For awhile it was a little iffy and both kids decided there was way too much work involved in being an archeologist. Here's a tip if you do this activity: Draw a treasure map for yourself to remember what's buried where. I was sure I'd remember from one night to the next morning, but as it happened we actually did not get to complete this activity until 4 DAYS LATER! By then I could hardly remembered what I'd buried, much less where. At least I had kept the dig site contained to a small area.

I had the kids mark off their dig site with string and sticks then draw a diagram on graph paper showing what artifacts were found in each cell. After everything was found, along with a bonus bottlecap that Sport unearthed, we talked about each item and what kind of clues it could provide...pen and can showed they had a developed alphabet and knew how to write; the skaterboard dude and army guy showed what kind of clothes they wore and that they had weapons and wheels; the Mardi Gras doubloon could have been a form of money and the fork showed they had highly developed eating utensils (and perhaps worshipped frogs?) They had a good time with this and of course wanted to stay out digging afterwards which is why I planned this as the very last project of the day.
In math, Sport is humming along with Teaching Textbooks Math 4 this year. This is our first year with Teaching Textbooks and so far it seems to be a good fit. We started around Lesson 40 though because the first part was way too easy and I didn't see the point of spending the entire year in review. He is still reviewing, but he could always use more help with multiplication facts. Spice, meanwhile, is having a blast with Math-U-See Alpha. She loves Decimal Street and has asked everyday this week, "Are we going to go back to Decimal Street today?" So of course we do. Yesterday we used Mrs. Bear, one of her purple bear counters, to go from door to door asking how many units, tens, and hundreds were home. Spice has quite the imagination and can tell you a story that goes on for hours so this was right up her ally. I finally managed to tear her away after about 5 different number stories and two tornadoes on Decimal Street.

In just about every other subject, we've been studying John James Audubon. I'm employing more of the unit study approach this year and so far we are having a really good time with it. It has been much more relaxing for me too. Planning out 2-3 weeks at a time seems so much more managable! Sport has always loved birds, but his interest was piqued again during a recent trip to Avery Island in Louisiana. I promised him when we got back from our trip we would study birds. Next week we will focus on two bird units I picked up from Currclick. I thought learning about John James Audobun would be a nice way to ease into the unit. This week we read The Boy Who Drew Birds by Jacqueline Davies.

The Boy Who Drew Birds: A Story of John James Audubon (Outstanding Science Trade Books for Students K-12)

Then followed many of the unit study ideas from Homeschool Share. Today we recreated some of our favorite Audubon prints using this idea from Incredible Art Lessons. Spice drew a mallard.

Sport, the bird afficianado, used the ceramic birds he just had to have from the thrift store as models. He drew a cooper's hawk and a Florida Jay.

Here's a look at the finished products. (That's my Carolina wren in the middle. I can't resist getting in on the art action.)

That's pretty much a wrap on our week in homeschooling. Tomorrow we'll go to morning Mass, do some math, head to art class, and then enjoy an afternoon at the park with our homeschool group. Hope your week was as fun as ours. To find out how others are homeschooling, check out Weird Unsocialized Homechoolers Weekly Wrap-Up post.

Posted by Picasa


Jack's Place said...

I love the art. They did a great job. So did you mom:)Love to be in on that.Love,Mom

See Jamie blog said...

Love the bird art!

Elaine said...

What a great week and super fun ideas! I am really loving the dig site!

Marbel said...

John James Audubon is one of our favorites. We have been able to visit his house here in Pennsylvania which is now a little museum and a center for rehabilitating injured birds.

Love your dig site too! What fun projects.

Tiffany said...

Stopping by from workboxes (Yahoo!). Love the dig site! My daughter wants to be an archaeologist and this is on my to do list. Good idea about the treasure map!

Giggly Girls said...

You are a groovie mom! The bird art is awesome!

Nichole said...

What great activities! My kids would love the archaeological dig.