Saturday, April 16, 2011

Weekly Update: April 11-14, 2011

Swimming season is over for now and so we have a bit more time to focus on academics.   Also, eight more weeks of school.   We all have the goal in sight of finishing school on time.  

History:   This week we moved on to the next three chapters of The Story of the First Americans.   My kids have asked me to read aloud our main text for history.   They really like that time all together.   Unfortunately, the focus on what I'm reading isn't always there.   So after a bit of a mom melt down, I decided to type up the questions at the end of each chapter to be answered while I read.   The answers they don't have at the end of reading time have to be looked up and ready for discussion time before we read the next chapter.  This seemed to improve focus immediately.

E has been reading the short articles at the back of the Almanac of World History about different world religions.   He takes notes, writes a summary, and takes a short quiz on Friday about the religion of his choosing.   this week he read about Baha'ism.

 E-R continues on in her workbook about the Renaissance and I-E read chapters  37 & 38  in SOTW II.  

E-R and I-E each picked a section from the chapters we read from The Story of the First Americans to  practice taking notes and putting those notes in an outline.

Our hands-on project this week was a WebQuest.   The scenario:  " You are a curator for the Smithsonian Museum and just got word that there is a possible air strike on Washington D.C. You and a group of workers must create a time capsule for all of the exhibits in the ancient civilization wing of the building. This means you must choose eight items from the Maya exhibit to put into the time capsule. It is essential, since this may be all we have left of the ancient culture, that you have certain aspects of the civilization represented. These aspects include: Social Organization, Language and Non-Verbal Communication, Material Culture, World View, and the physical place the civilization lived in. Along with each artifact you must include a written explanation for why you choose that piece of history." ( from the WebQuest website linked above).   Working all together, the kiddoes split up the work and found pictures of artifacts they wanted to include in the time capsule.   They defended  their choices and decided together as a group which articles made it into the capsule.   The final project was a slide show presenting their artifacts with the reasons for including them.
I was really thrilled with this project.   It covered research, note-taking, and public speaking.   I also informed my kids that grades would also be dependent on how well they worked together, and they took that to heart and did a great job working together.

Some of the things that made it into the time capsule. 

An Example of Mayan Building

 Mayan Calendar--- the most accurate one of the ancient world
 Image depicting the structure of Mayan society.
One of only three surviving Mayan codexes

Image depicting Mayan marriage

The Rest of our week was pretty common.  Nothing very interesting.

English;   I-E and E-R worked on punctuation while E covered adverbs and descriptive  writing.

Math:   I-E and E-R kinda lacked in this area this week.   I mostly had them work on review and a few chapters in Life of  Fred.   E continued on with ALEKs.   He needs to finish Algebra I by the end of the first week in June, if he wants to take Geometry next year at Foothill.

Science:   This week was a review week.   We reviewed the last 5 chapters of The Story of Science and took a test. 

Plugging along and trying to ignore the warm weather and stay inside during the day!   

Be sure to check out what other homeschoolers where up to this week.


  1. Sounds like a full week! The WebQuest sounds like fun. I think I remember those from my classroom teaching days.

  2. I enjoy visiting your blog :)

  3. That Mayan project looks like a lot of fun! Looks like you guys had a productive week.

  4. Now that you finished The Story of Science, how was it?

    And how do you ignore the nice weather?

  5. Karen, We haven't finished all of the Story of Science! We had a unit review. We still have two units( about 10 chapters) to go! And today it's raining, so that helps a little bit in ignoring the great outdoors!


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