Friday, October 19, 2012

Weekly Wrap-up: Session 1 Week 7

In My Life This Week
We lost our first hen this past weekend. Cheeper was our the only chick to hatch from our first clutch of incubating eggs in May 2011. The others arrived 4 weeks later during our 2nd try of incubating. She was very attached to us and we were attached to her. Her passing was unexpected and quick. She will be missed.

On a happier note, we're mostly ready for winter. We raked up the leaves and did a final mow, cleaned out the remaining withered plants in the gardens, and started putting away warm weather outside toys and furniture. We've made a pile of sticks to burn some cool evening in Balsam Fir's fire pit and another pile of bulk waste (i.e. broken bikes, siding, etc.) to be disposed of at the Transfer Station. But we need to clean out the gutters and snow-proof the coop and run soon.

Homeschool High School
Guess what? I finally took photos of SOMETHING high school. ::grin:: White Pine did a Succession experiment to show how living things change over time in a soil, aged H20, decaying leaves, and dead grass habitat.  For those of us who might need a Biology review - Me! ::laugh:: - succession is a "series of predictable changes that occur in a community over time..[as] older inhabitants gradually die out and new organisms move in" (Prentice Hall, 2002). And just to make this experiment more challenging interesting, Sugar Maple and Balsam Fir joined in! ::wink:: We'll be checking out the habitat under the microscope again in 2 weeks. Wonder what we'll find?

Oh, and my White Pine was elected as Patrol Leader for Boy Scouts on Tuesday! Such a GREAT opportunity in leadership for him as well as becoming a responsible, encouraging role model for younger Scouts. Go, White Pine!

Thoreau Creative Writing Essay, Emerson Approach Paper, Grammar: Prepositions Acting As Verbs and Adverbs Modifying Adjectives, Algebra:, Biology: Populations and Humans in the Biosphere and Succession and Plant Competition Labs, World History: Australia Geography and History, Basketball, Soccer, Boy Scouts

Homeschool Elementary
Sugar Maple and Balsam Fir made us a much needed warm crockpot jambalaya dinner over the weekend. We're not a "spicy" family so they toned it down a little by omitting some seasonings and adding a little corn (because they decided it need a "splash of color"). It wasn't a pretty dish, but smelled and tasted fabulous!

The Saplings also rolled newspaper to construct a Geodesic Dome structure for our handicraft project this week. (We still need to finish the coasters as SOMEONE got the wrong size hot glue sticks...) It was quite a learning process to construct a dome with paper triangles! Their finished domes were, um, interesting! But it's the learning that happened that's most important, right?

We also started a new science review - our last with the TOS Review Crew as we have decided not to continue - and did a really neat hands-on lab with Activities in a Bag. (Check back at the end of the month for our full review.) This week we made an earthworm habitat to learn and observe how they behave and enrich soil. Our worms were found in our bean and pea garden! ::grin::

Did you notice Balsam Fir's sneakers? Well, not HIS sneakers! ::wink:: He was in such a hurry to hunt worms that he slipped on ONE of his big brother's sneakers and ONE of MY sneakers! ::laugh::

And we delved into the election and voting process in preparation for the presidential election next month. I'm reading aloud See How They Run: Campaign Dreams, Election Schemes,and the Race to the White House (Susan E. Goodman and Elwood H. Smith). The Saplings completed these mini books for their lapbooks: election vocabulary, voter registration card, electoral college, election parties. (Want to do your own lapbook? Click over the Homeschool Share here! ALWAYS a FAVORITE RESOURCE!) We also watched this School House Rock video on You Tube about the electoral college.

Sugar Maple's Accomplishments:
The Penderwicks, Spelling with Samson,Cursive, Reading Comprehension, Vocabulary, Math: Multiplication, Lines, Tally Marks, Fractions, Factors, %, and Solve for N, Handicrafts: Knitting Potholders and Geodesic Dome, Worms, Election Lapbook, Cooking: Jambalaya, Soccer, Girl Scout Sleepover, Library

Balsam Fir's Accomplishments:
Nate the Great Goes UndercoverStarfall Calendar, Sight Words and Spelling with Samson (on-line), Handwriting, Coin War, Mancala, Math: Tally Marks, Place Value, Addition, and 5/10 More Than/Less, Puzzle, Handicraft: Geodesic Dome and Potholder Loom, Worms, Election Lapbook, Cooking: Jambalaya, Soccer, Cub Scouts, Library

Helpful Hint
Do you use Saxon? Frustrated with the repetition? Well, here's what we do: Sugar Maple takes the exam BEFORE doing the lessons. If she scores an 85% or higher, she moves onto the next exam, skipping those lessons covered inbetween. When she gets below an 85%, she does the lessons between exams, retakes the exam, and then moves onto the next exam. Now, this won't work if you're a "gotta do every problem" homeschooler (which there is nothing wrong with), but for Sugar Maple this moves her along to more challenging problems and cuts down on the tedious repetition she doesn't need.

Something to Share
Wow! Wouldya believe it?! MAINE had an earthquake on Tuesday! 4.5 magnitude! It was the first time I/we had ever felt an earthquake and it was, um, both exciting and a little scary. Unfortunately, a friend and her family DID experience some damage that left them without hot water and gas for cooking, but we're all relieved that it wasn't anything too awfully serious.

Thanks to all the wonderful ladies at these blog hops! Why not head over and join up! See you next week!

Favorite Resource This WeekHomegrown Learners
Hip Homeschool Hop ButtonDown Home Blog Hop3Boys&aDog DEALS!


  1. Your earthquake pic is funny! You are all doing such fun stuff for school. It's all great. I like your Saxon math idea. Unfortunately, my son doesn't do too hot in math, so it wouldn't work. He is finishing up Saxon.

  2. I think your Saxon idea is very good -- especially with the first 40 lessons or so in a book, because it seems that is a lot of repetition from the previous level. Both of my children breezed through the first 1/4 of their books... I'm not making my son do every problem by any means. He would be BORED STIFF.

    Thanks for linking with Collage Friday -- love all of the hands on activities you do!

  3. So sorry to hear about Cheeper. I always love reading your weekly posts. So much fun stuff going on! We are getting ready for winter too. Our leaves haven't nearly finished falling so we have to wait awhile for that part. The science experiment looks very cool. Kei LOVES Science Experiments! So great about White Pine's Patrol Leader position. WTG!! Love the picture of Balsam's tennis shoes. That is too cute. Saxon idea is great! I agree, there is a lot of repetition in Saxon. [We use it too] And finally..the earthquake picture is AWESOME. I called Keilee in to see it. hehe. Happy weekend Jessy!

  4. What a great week- cooking, experimenting, reading, building (we've got to try that!), lapbooks... I am impressed.

    So sorry about Cheeper! I hope your kiddos are okay. I know losing a pet is hard.

  5. Looks like you all had a fun and full week. Love the earthquake photo. I remember feeling one here in East Tennessee several years ago. It's very eerie. Have a great week!

  6. Oh so sorry to hear the bad news about Cheeper. Love all of the fun election work going on, and the picture of your high schooler doing some science is awesome! His experiment looks very serious:) looks like another great week, despite the sad lost. Thank you for sharing.

  7. I am so sorry about Cheepers:(
    I didn't feel the earthquake, but a guest at our house said later she felt it, but thought it was my hubby walking around, lol!!! Old camp, heavy steps:-D

  8. Sorry to hear about your hen. I love how you write each child's accomplishments out. Great way to see what they've done over the week. You do some great things!

    That picture of the chair fallen, and the "we will rebuild" cracks me up! I used to live in CA, and have been through a few earthquakes (even big ones).

  9. Congrats to White Pine for being elected SPL!

  10. I love your newspaper model. It would be an incredibly useful activity to do when my children need something to fill their time. I think they'd really like doing this, and it has endless possibilities. Thanks for the idea!

  11. Very cool week! We spent some time on Earthworms and Chickens this week too! Sorry about Cheepers :( I too love the Accomplishments parts.

  12. packed full of smart goodies - thanks for sharing! pinned and sharing

  13. Sounds like a good week, but I am sorry about your hen :( I especially like the geodesic domes made from newspaper.
    Many in our area also felt the earthquake.
    Thanks for linking at Favorite Resources.

  14. You do the coolest stuff. We experienced our first earthquakes in Guam. Mackenzie used to call them "rock and roll" because the house was "rocking and rolling." lol

  15. Hi, I’m Anne from Life on the Funny Farm (, and I’m visiting from Tilly’s Nest.

    So sorry to hear about Cheeper! That's always so sad, but part of life, esp when you're raising lots of animals.

    Anyway, it’s nice to “meet” you! Hope you can pop by my blog sometime to say hi…

  16. Love the election colorful! There is so many good things you do in a week. I think your math solution is an interesting one. Thanks for linking up to the history and geography meme.


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