We are seriously counting down the days now. We are finishing up our math books. Writing classes are complete. We are reading a book on World War I right now which we should finish up in the next two weeks. Hands on biology is happening all around us. Our monarch caterpillars are growing like crazy. We have chicken eggs in an incubator that should hatch in the next couple of weeks. We went on a field trip to an educational forest where we saw a beaver dam and pond, forest progression, and learned about forest ecology. We went hiking where we saw wasp eggs (at least we think that is what they are), spider nests wrapped up in ferns, turtles, and lots of beautiful plants. Oh, I almost forgot. We also rehomed to our house two black racers. Our friends did not want them to stay at their houses, so we boxed them up and released them in our yard!
Spring is here! We are loving the weather. Things are winding down Sawyer and Parks had their last writing class on Tuesday. Parks had to present his research paper on the history of snowboarding.
Wednesday, we headed on a hike to Boone’s Cave. We saw lots of critters and beautiful flowers. Later in the afternoon, a friend of mine came over to bring me some milkweed plants. We decided to run down to Latta Plantation to check on our butterfly garden that we planted there a few years ago. While we were there, we found some monarch eggs! Let the fun begin!
We ended the week with our end of year testing, planning for the summer and the end of Sims’s second Brave Writer Class-Essay Prep for the Research Paper. This class was tough. There was a lot more work than in the Dynamic Thinking class. I think he would have benefitted from another two weeks of the class. He learned a lot, and I think he needed more time to process all of the information inorder to properly complete the paper intended. We are learning! Now we are off to play on the lake.
The last two weeks flew by! We didn’t go anywhere. We didn’t do anything crazy. We just hung out at home, swam in the lake, enjoyed the lake, and celebrated life! We started the break off with Sims’s birthday and ended it with a concert! Over all, we had a terrific two weeks. The pictures show it all!
Are you looking for a writing class for a reluctant writer? Or do you want your child’s writing class to be different/better than the typical writing class? I was!
We have been through a TON of writing programs-IEW, Writeshop, Essentials in Writing…..They are all great and teach the basics of writing a 5 paragraph paper. The result was….well, a boring five paragraph paper.
My oldest just dreads writing. DREADS it!! However, he is a pretty creative writer and comes up with good ideas. Getting those ideas on paper is extremely tough and takes some work (this is the dysgraphic brain kicking in).
For years, I have been reading the Brave Writer blogs and using the book club packets from Brave Writer. I have the Writer’s Jungle Book and have done several activities through it, but that was about it until this year. I looked at the online classes and decided to take the plunge. The classes are pricey in my opinion which was my biggest hesitation.
Thankfully, the class was AMAZING! We started with an essay prep class even though he can write a five paragraph paper. I wanted my oldest to be completely independent with getting his thoughts down (I wanted to be out of the picture completely-although, I did keep up with the class on my own). The class had generally 3 writing assignments per week and reading everyday. None of the assignments were overwhelming or crazy time consuming. The best part for my oldest was using a timer to write. I have suggested this time and time before, but when it was actually part of the assignment, he loved it.
I am looking forward to the next essay prep class on research. He starts that one next week.
(FYI-I do not receive any compensation or anything for writing this. It is simply a review of a class that we took)
I promise-we are still around. It was February. February is a rough month for me so I don’t get to all of my extra stuff. I have to really focus to just get through life. February remained fairly simple.
We finished up our first two courses in 4H for the year-financial planning and sculpture. I wrote a blog on financial planning. The sculpture class turned out amazing as well. We (the administrators of our program) were worried about doing an art class because we did not have an art teacher. Lucky for us, one of the parents popped in. He casually mentioned that he has a degree in sculpture! He did an excellent job. We ended the block with a field trip to Davidson College. The college has a nice collection of outdoor sculptures. I put together a scavenger hunt requiring the kids to find each one and answer a question about it. I was a little worried initially, but it turned out perfect. Actually, it turned out even better than I had imagined. The kids took their time and studied each sculpture. They came up with some fantastic thoughts on each one.
Our next block in 4H was cooking. The kids learned about chemistry in cooking (fermentation and using bacteria), leavened vs unleavened bread, and how culture/geography influences cooking.
Back at home, we started back in on US history looking at westward expansion. Everyone is working away at math, writing, and science individually. Maybe now that February is over, I can get back on track with the weekly wrap ups!
As usual, it has been nuts around here. School is winding down for the holiday break, which means that we are out of our rhythm. No rhythm means increased stress for some in our crew. In addition to the holidays, we also had snow!
Overall, we finished up “Midsummer Night’s Dream” and started a new book called, “Roses and Radicals.” (Personally, I am thinking this book is a must read for those of you with high schoolers doing US History this year. It is pretty awesome.). Sims finished up his first semester of Geometry and is working through the break on note taking and more study skills as he moves into more advanced classes. Sawyer is still working on Physical Science and writing through the break. Parks is working on writing as well.
Sims also had the opportunity to go climbing this week at Rumbling Bald and Stone Mountain with some friends.
We also celebrated our winter spiral with several families and are now getting ready for the holidays!
Dressing up, candy, more dressing up, more candy, beautiful fall weather…that sums up the week. 😉
We did get some school work done-actually, a lot more school work than I expected with a holiday in the middle of the week. I found a new version of Striker Jones for business math. It is SOO much better! The kids all researched charities and how the donations are collected, how the money is used, and all types of interesting information on marketing. In 4H, the kids worked on building a typical dwelling seen in the country that they are each representing, and they learned some Spanish dancing/conversational Spanish. It was a really fun day.
Sawyer has been on a creative streak lately. This week she finished up her wings for her costume, up cycled a very large t shirt she got and did some drawing.