Thursday, October 11, 2012

Weekly Wrap-up: Session 1 Week 6

You will find something more in woods than in books. Trees and stones will teach you that which you can never learn from masters.
- Saint Bernard

In My Life This Week
Do you have a specific day that you plan school? Or are you like me and take the time when you can? ::wink:: On Monday, Blue Spruce took Sugar Maple and Balsam Fir to a 19th century history museum with the Cub Scout pack. With 2 of the kids gone and White Pine working independently, I had a quiet day to catch up and plan some special stuff coming up. Whoop!

Maine requires portfolios and I find spending a little time throughout the year on them much better than doing it all at the end before assessments. ::wink:: So, I went through completed papers, added Post-its with additional information to the corners if needed, and organized them into 3 ring binders. I'm quite happy with where we are in our studies!

L to R: Slipping Math into Sugar Maple's Portfolio, Mini Gourds From the Last of the
Garden, and Folded Mini-Books for our Election Lapbook

I printed out an Election Lapbook from Homeschool Share and cut and folded the mini-books that the younger Saplings will work on next week. And then planned our first LITERATURE TEA of the year! Instead of poetry, we'll be sharing famous presidential speeches and patriotic music to go along with our unit study and having All-American food. So, help me out, what says "American" to you when it comes to food and drink? (Something besides Coca Cola and hot dogs! ::laugh::)

Homeschool High
Thoreau. He's just not White Pine's favorite author. So, we decided to have him skip the next Thoreau book and move onto Emerson this week. Aren't we compromising homeschool parents? ::snicker:: White Pine does need to finish his Thoreau writing though, and he's finding Self-reliance only a tad more enjoyable than Walden. Sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do...and then move onto the more enjoyable stuff.

Self-reliance (Emerson), Thoreau Author Profile/Creative Writing, Grammar: Prepositional, Adjective and Adverbial Phrases, Algebra: Factors and Coefficients, Distributive Property, Exponents, and Volume, Biology: Aquatic Ecosystems, Lab: Observing Succession, and Populations, Australia Mapwork/Geography, Boy Scout Court of Honor, Soccer

Homeschool Elementary
Sugar Maple has a friend who has experienced a lot of teasing from peers because she stutters. Compelled to support her friend and other kids, she wrote a letter to the newspaper editor, asking others to stand up against bullying. I'm quite proud of her for deciding to take a public stand...and her letter is going to be published!

She learned to crochet potholders when Nannie Lobster visited this weekend. She'll be making a bunch of these to give out as Christmas gifts. And Balsam Fir finished up the drink coasters from last week, spraying them with a shiny clear coat and gluing on felt. Adding handicrafts has been a HUGE POSITIVE this school year!

Have you seen "The Lorax"? It's a cute animated movie with a good message, and Balsam Fir LOVES it! So, I was able to download a creative writing page from Suesstastic Classroom Inspirations and Balsam Fir answered the question "If I was the Lorax, this is how I would help our Earth...". He had his first lessons in the writing process!

L to R: Balsam Fir with his Lorax 'Tache, His Writing, and His Lego Lorax Tree

Oh, and I did you know that in 1972 an animated show of The Lorax came out?

We also finished Botany Chapter 4 on pollination with our mini-books and our look at phototropism with our Plant Maze Box, and reviewed our SOTW readings with our timeline cards. (Yes, we ultimately decided to continue SOTW and save CHOW for another year.) We'll be taking a break from these studies to focus on our Science in a Bag review and the election unit study.

L to R: SOTW Wall Timeline and  Bean Plant Finds Light
in our Plant Box Maze

Sugar Maple's Accomplishments:
Percy Jackson and the Olympians: Sea of Monsters (Riordan), Percy Jackson and the Olympians: Titan's Curse (Riordan), Published Letter to the Editor (Bullying), Soccer, Crochet: Potholders, Willowbrook Historical Museum, Mapwork, Sensory Writing, Samson Spelling, Multiplication, Cursive, Spanish (Feelings), ZooWhiz, Library

Balsam Fir's Accomplishments:
Nate the Great and the Snowy Trail (Sharmat), Willowbrook Historical Museum, Origami Animals, Creative Writing, Handwriting, Samson Spelling/Sight Words, Proper Nouns, Addition/Subtraction, Measurement (cm), Coin War (FAVORITE RESOURCE), Spanish (Feelings), Calendar, Library, Mapwork

Something to Share

Well, that's a wrap from Our Side of the Mountain! Oh, did you miss our field trip on the Kanc? Click here to see some beautiful waterfalls. As always, thanks for visiting! We'll see you next week!


  1. I'm like you...I have to find the time to get caught up. I am so thankful I don't need portfolios...though I do keep some records.

    1. Rachel! I tried visiting your blog, but I get an "author has deleted this blog" message. Is your blog gone? ::sad::

  2. We are required to keep portfolios in PA, as well. I agree that it is MUCH better to keep up with them throughout the year!
    I LOVED your daughter's letter to the newspaper--and how awesome that they are publishing it!!

  3. We do not have to keep records at all and this post has reminded me of how lucky I am. I enjoyed reading this, though. If you would consider adding it to my new end of the week link up - Its a Wrap.

  4. Thanks for reminding me that I need to get on top of those transcripts! We've been too busy harvesting to focus on big jobs like that.

    Good for your daughter!

  5. This is my first year of having to do the portfolios. :) I am working on it each month putting the items in it. So far so good. I don't like to wait till the last minute and I know if I don't go back and write down what we did and put his work in I will forget LOL So proud of your girl! That is a beautifully written letter!!

  6. You all do so many great things that I need a POST to comment on it all! :)I LOVE the Literature Tea idea..tell me more. American food..I just asked Keilee this and she said, "Hot dogs, french fries, mac and cheese, hamburgers, chicken and dumplings". I am cracking up. Aren't we Americans healthy eaters! hehe. YAY for Sugar Maple for getting her letter published and for standing up for her friend. That is awesome. I love the Australia map. Great job! We love "The Lorax" :) Happy weekend.

    1. I'll be sharing more about our Literature Tea in upcoming posts. They started off at POETRY English Teas, but we've revamped them to include other non-traditional English Tea foods/drinks and other literature genres. Each person in the family chooses 1+ poems, stories or quotes to stand up and present to the rest of us during our tea. This time will be presidential or political speeches (such as Lincoln or King, Jr.) or sing a Patriotic song (which might be easier for my youngest). This tea time usually takes about 2 hours PLUS time to make the foods/drinks and choose and prepare presentations. The kids LOVE it!

  7. Another wonder week at the mountain! A literature tea sound so wonderful. When we buy a new house, I will have to host one of those!! Beautiful map!!! Love the timeline and the plant maze. Great activities all over the place at your house! I LOVE the true!

  8. We also have to turn in a portfolio on a quarterly basis here in Alaska. I have been slipping things into my binder for that purpose as we go along and you're right it is so much easier to do that way.

    I have to say I agree with you. Take those moments, allow the education to go or at least that's wonderful. Did his love of reading come naturally or how did you foster that? Just curious.

  9. The Presidential tea sounds like SO much fun! I can't wait to hear more about it. Your children are so lucky to be in your homeschool. Can we join in? lol. :-) Your activities are always so well planned. It is always awesome to read your wrap-ups. I could write a whole paragraph telling you about everything I love in it! We do portfolios here in PA, as well. Luckilly, since I still hold my teacher's license, I don't need to have it evaluated, but I still need to submit it. Thank you for the reminder to get more material in my kiddos' portfolios! :-) Thanks, also, for asking about Kiddo #3's finger. It is feeling much better. Not looking a whole lot better, but I guess that comes in time. :-) Have a super weekend!

  10. I'm a newbie as far as the homeschool journal posts goes and you've inspired me as to how it's really done! Thanks so much for your post - I love it. I'm only teaching my 2 youngest who are in grades 8th and 11th. But I can do better about how I present their week. Thanks again!

  11. LOVE that quote thank you so much for sharing it. I have been on a journey of learning to teach and allow Sir N to discover all by himsel rather than me spoon feeding him the whole time. Great journal thank you

  12. WTG C!! I'm proud of her for taking a stand.

  13. I must admit that I am not a big Thoreau fan either... Love the mapwork of Australia! Also love the letter to the editor!

  14. That's awesome that your daughter wrote that letter about bullying, and that it will be published...good for her!
    As for American food...what about meatloaf and mashed potatoes? Just a thought..or pot roast?
    The Lorax is a great movie, and I did know about the animated one from the 70s :)
    We don't have to do portfolios in NY state, but we do have to do a report each quarter.
    Thanks for linking up at Favorite Resources!

    1. Great idea about the meatloaf and mashed potatoes! I have a recipe for mini meatloaf with mashed potato "frosting" that would go wonderful for "tea" food.

  15. I wish I were the type to prepare early- I tend to plan the night before or while the kids have breaky in a kind of panic. Sigh. I keep thinking I'll get better at this. Lol. We live the Lorax too- great writing work! A really american food... Hmmm.. meat and potatoes? It's hard not to think regional! Chicken pot pie? Idk! Ha! Good luck! Have a great week!

  16. Oh, I'm so glad I don't have to compile portfolios!

    I love your Lorax ideas. I think we need to do some of these at my house. :)

    Thanks for linking up to HomeSchool High! I enjoy reading about what you all are doing each week.

  17. I love the quote at the end of this post. Thanks for sharing at Its A Wrap and I hope you'll return this week.


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