Regardless of the reason, even though this was our first week of school, it really feels like we've been in the school routine for quite a while. My husband even remarked today that I don't seem stressed - busy but not stressed. Since I can clearly remember very difficult back-to-school transitions, I'm thankful that this week has been a smooth transition for all of us here.
My 8th grader started Biology this week and Algebra 1. So far, so good - she seems to be enjoying both of the classes and there have been no complaints about the increased work load. I have also been teaching her how to write a literary analysis essay using the teaching unit from Analytical Grammar. On Monday, we listened to the Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allen Poe (creepy!) and we've been working on writing a literary analysis essay about Poe's short story this week. We are spending a few weeks focusing on writing literary analysis essays before Amber begins her Literary Analysis course.
At the last minute, I decided to schedule in a beginning sewing course for Amber that we are doing together twice a week. I purchased a lovely curriculum, Sew Teach Me, while I was at the Midwest Homeschool Convention. I think the hands-on and practical nature of the class will be a nice break from some of the harder courses that Amber is taking this year. So, I dusted off my sewing machine this week and we focused on learning the parts of the machine.
In addition to my boys' independent work, we are working together in several subjects this year and I have enjoyed our time together this past week. Here are some of the highlights:
- Spanish is a lot of fun and I find myself singing the Spanish vowel song in my head quite a bit!
- I adore Ancient History Writing Lessons from IEW! This week, we worked on quality adjectives while writing a poem about the Ancient World.
- In our special language arts topics time, we learned about onomatopoeia and alliteration - two very fun figurative language topics.
- In science, we focused on atoms and the Periodic Table. Our focus for the first 10-12 weeks of the school year is on Chemistry. We watched Physical Science in Action - The Periodic Table from the library. By far the most fun for the boys, though, we are charting the growth of a "grow your own alligator" and a "grow your own fish." They are made of polymers so it fits with a Chemistry focus.
Winter Promise Quest for the Ancient World for history together this year. I have to admit, it does feel weird not planning my own unit studies for history but I also have to admit I am enjoying having everything planned out for me. We work together on history after lunch and this week's lessons were fairly low-key. I did a lot of reading aloud to the children and we watched Birth of Civilization from National Geographic which I highly recommend for older children.
Our art project this week focused on cave art which fit perfectly with our Ancient History studies! First, the backgrounds of the pictures were prepared. We used unwrapped crayons in earthy tones like browns and yellows to make a textured background by rubbing the crayons on the paper over the tile in our basement.
Then, the children practiced contour drawing by drawing some animals in the same style of ancient cave art.
After the drawings were completed, the animals were cut out and placed beneath the textured paper. By rubbing all over the animal with a darker earthy-toned crayon (or black), the animal appeared on the paper.
Weekly Wrap-Up at Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers.