Thursday, September 6, 2012

Weekly Wrap-up: And We're Off! Session 1 Week 1 (9/1-9/7)

In My Life This Week
Kitchen Chaos! Over the weekend we made 6 Chocolate Zucchini Breads (me), 1 quart Sweet Zucchini Relish (White Pine), 1 Chocolate Chip Banana Bread (me), 3 quarts Bread and Butter Pickles (White Pine and Blue Spruce), 1 2-layer Chocolate Oreo Cookie Cake (Sugar Maple), and enough Chicken Noodle Soup (that I just made up "on the fly") for 2 dinners. (Click on the highlighted names for recipes.) Phew!

I'm reading The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson. It took about 150 pages of what I'll call "background drudgery" before the story took an interesting turn. I almost gave up on it - a RARE thing for me - but I didn't and I'm enjoying it.

Anyway, we started Week 1 off with a rainy trip into the city for a Portland SeaDogs AA baseball game at Hadlock Field.  It was Field of Dreams Day so the kids were able to walk around the field (before the rain delay and the game started) and the players came out through the corn stalks before playing. The SeaDogs lost, but that's OK.

And we ended out week with a Back-to-Homeschool get together at the lake for swimming and picnicking and a free curriculum swap with a small group of homeschoolers. 

Homeschool Elementary
My revamp of our work binders are working like a charm! (Did you see my post on the workbox cards here?)  The grumbles were at a minimum, and Sugar Maple and Balsam Fir had a productive first week! I know - it's still early, right? ::laugh:: Now, was it perfect? No complaining? No whining? Well...

Parts of our return to Charlotte Mason have made the Saplings very happy. Sugar Maple really likes having breaks this year and shorter, more focused chunks of learning, and Balsam Fir is digging handicrafts. This week he learned to use a paper template to make a bi-plane from a TP roll and empty cereal box. (I would share the link to the bi-plane, but the website carries a "malicious" something or another that my computer security picked up on and stopped.)

Sugar Maple
✔ English - Main Idea/Topic, Supporting Sentences, Punctuation, Proper Nouns, Spelling (root -/in/), Vocabulary, Dictionary Use, Cursive, Paragraph Writing
✔ Math - Sequencing, Odds/Evens, Place Value, Money
✔ Science - Taxonomy, Binomial Nomenclature (Scientific Classification)
✔ History - Family Tree, Nomads, Fertile Crescent
✔ Extras - Latch-hook, Making a Tin Foil Dinosaur Model, Spanish, Computer, Salt (History/Geography), Word Processing, Kayaking

Balsam Fir
✔ English - Sight Words, Oral Reading, Sentences, Nouns/Verbs, Punctuation, Questions, Wrote a Chicken Story, Spelling
✔ Math - Sequencing, Before/After, Greater/Less Than, Calendar (Months/Days/Date), Tally Marks, Place Value
✔ Science - Taxonomy, Binomial Nomenclature (Scientific Classification)
✔ History - Family Tree, Nomads, Fertile Crescent
✔ Extras - Built a Cardboard Bi-Plane and Submarine with TP Rolls, Computer, Scouts, Spanish, Salt (History/Geography), Kayaking

Soccer started for Sugar  Maple and Balsam Fir on Wednesday. Let the goal-tending begin!

Sugar Maple read Matilda by Roald Dahl and started D'Aulaires' Book of Greek Myths by Ingri and Edgar Parrin D'Aulaire. And Balsam Fir reluctantly read Nate the Great and the Lost List by Marjorie Weinman Sharmat. Someday my little boy will enjoy reading!

Homeschool High School
White Pine started his Excellence in Literature II focus book this week: Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe. He's read it before so it's been a quick, easy one for him. Perfect to start off the year! He wrote up his author profile and wrapped-up Honors English with 15 lessons on English Grammar 101. He worked through 4 lessons of Saxon Algebra 1, and got a GREAT start on his Biology and World History studies. His days were long, but he had a positive attitude about it.

✔ English - Robinson Crusoe, Author Profile, Grammar (Verbs)
✔ Algebra - Fractions, Lines/Segments, Angles, Polygons, Perimeter, Circumference
✔ Biology - What is Life, Scientific Method/Designing Experiments, Redi's Experment, Branches of Biology, Matter, Elements
✔ World History/Geography - Africa
✔ PE - Walking, Soccer, Kayaking
✔ Extras - Boy Scouts, Computer

Soccer also started for White Pine. 

And I'm doing OK too. I know you were wondering. ::wink:: It's been REALLY hard for me to sit back and not micro-manage his schoolwork. Really hard. ::sigh:: It's time he learns to set goals, manage his own time and reap the benefits or the consequences of meeting or not meeting those goals.

What's Working/Not Working?
I broke poor Balsam Fir's heart this week. ::sigh:: Why? Well, I had him write lines for a disrespectful action towards his sister. Time-outs have never worked for him nor taking away personal items, but I've discovered that writing lines does the trick for "big no-nos". So, he had to write "Spitting is nasty. I will not spit on my sister."  5 times. Yes, he spit on his sister! ::sigh:: And does he loathe writing lines! Even just copying the rule 5 times is enough to deter him from a 2nd offense.  But, alas, he did not appreciate the punishment and drew me a picture on the back of his paper of a broken heart.  (I'll admit that a chip broke off my heart seeing his drawing though. Sometimes it's hard being a Mama! Fortunately his discord didn't last.)

Waste not, want not, right? Having chickens and ducks definitely cuts down on food that we would throw away. After chopping up some celery sticks, I saved the tops and bottoms and made Duck Soup. What's Duck Soup? Throw some grass clippings, pumpkin blossoms and celery bits into a plastic container of fresh water...and watch them them munch! You'd think it was GOURMET! ::laugh::

Blog Hops
Favorite Resource This WeekHomegrown LearnersScience SundayHip Homeschool Hop Button3Boys&aDog DEALS!Photobucket


  1. Duck soup, that is clever! Ducks look happy with it.

  2. I always love reading your wrap ups. They are so well organized and fun to read! Here's to a great school year!!

  3. Love all the pictures! It sounds like a good week and I hope the kids all continue to do well this year. I'm excited to see how your return to Charlotte Mason goes. I'm trying to incorporate those ideas more, in our already planned and started school year. Hah!

  4. I love the lines and the picture. Some times a broken heart is necessary even if it's rough on the momma. I've had a hard time keeping my hands off my high schooler's work, too. I think me not helping has been the best and hardest part of high school

  5. SOunds like you guys are off to a great start for the year! I love the pictures!

  6. What a couple of lucky Ducks! Beautiful and fun photos. I laughed out loud at the spitting incident...I shouldn't have. It just sounded so familiar! I enjoyed your journal very much. Have a great weekend!

  7. "I will not spit on my sister" -- I can tell you that I can relate to this 100%. My son has thought spitting on his sister has been fun - after I took his LEGOS away he quit. Yes, {sigh}. I understand!

    Your post is making me very hungry for oreos and zucchini bread!!

    All in all, looks like a wonderful week. Thanks for linking!

  8. I really love all the photos! Great job on working through your urge to micromanage your eldest! :) I know he will do great! :)
    And Phew! Lines! LOL That is one of the BEST things to make kids do LOL hahahaha it really works! Have a great weekend! :) looked lik a chock filled week!

  9. Glad everyone's enjoying the new school year (except maybe the spitting part). That's a lot of cooking for one weekend!

  10. Duck soup, yummy for the chicken = yummy eggs f0r you :)

  11. ROFL you must keep those lines and that drawing forever. For his future children.

    Wonderful week!

  12. I'm falling more and more in love with Charlotte Mason's philosophies, too! I'm glad to follow along with you in your return to her style. I also like "reading ahead" as you homeschool your high schooler. I'll have one of those before I know it and I'm trying to take baby steps so she and I will be ready for me not to micromanage!

  13. Great wrap up! I like that you started with food ;)

    Have a great year!!!

  14. What is it with boys and spitting? It has happened here too, unfortunately. I read the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series and I didn't love it. My mom and sister read it and loved it. Saw the movie, the dutch (?) version, while it was okay - there are some disturbing parts that made it not worth while. Maybe you will like it more than me!

  15. Love all the cooking going on at your house! Very cool! Looks like your HSing got off to a great start Jessy! That picture would have killed me too. It is TOUGH being a Mama at times. Keilee's little pitiful face, especially when she was younger, just about did me in. Re. the boy reading..Keilee always HATED it. Broke my heart just into. I always read to her, we listened to audio books but I had just about accepted the fact that she would never love it. This summer, she became a reader. I have no clue just happened. Now she reads one book after another. In fact she just now finished a book and immediately picked up another. Hang in there Jessy. It can happen!

  16. Your work binders look great. I also love Charlotte Mason's ideas.

  17. You do a good job of recording everything. I love the Ponderings, and the spitting sentences plus the picture totally reminds me of my 7 year old son. Have a good week!

  18. Wow, that was SO much baking! I am impressed! Can we come over and have some? ;-) What a wonderful week and such awesome photos! My older two are doing the Saxon Algebra I this year, too. So far, so good. It is a bit daunting with my oldest starting high school this year, but I am really pleased with how it is going so far. Hope you have a great weekend!

  19. I think my heart would have melted seeing the drawing of the broken heart. Aaaawwww. Glad you found something that works!

    And yes, it's hard to not micro-manage those high school age kids!! o.O

  20. I doing some extra baking with zucchini right now, too--your Chocolate Zucchini Bread sound yummy!
    And a broken heart... well, at least you know you did the right thing. ;-)


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