Thursday, November 17, 2011

Washington DC Excursion

The highlight of the week was taking the metro into Washington, DC to the Natural Museum of Natural History and the National Building Museum.

Waking up at 6 in the morning, catching the 40 minute train ride at 8:30 and walking in the rain for blocks lends itself to an exhausting day. But it was all worth it.

The kids got to solve a Mystery of unidentified bones found in Yorktown, VA by examining her bones in the Anthropology Lab at the Natural History museum. I learned a lot to say the least about what our remains tells us about how we live.
Can you tell how excited they are to touch human bones?
We had 30 minutes to explore the rest of the museum before heading over to the building museum. If you've ever seen Night at the Museum starring Ben Stiller, this is truly what the museum looks like. However, it is my understanding that the film was not shot here. I couldn't help but notice the overt Evolution message all through the exhibits. That was a bit annoying.
The building museum offered a great lesson on geodesic design (which I had never heard of) and the kids actually got to work together as a team to build one out of aluminum poles. We then explored the Lego exhibit and other exhibits on the buildings and city plan of Washington, DC.

This was definitely one of our best trips. Reminds me of the great privilege it is to homeschool and I enjoy every minute of it - Well most of the time.

What went on in your homeschool world this week? Join the weekly wrap up by visiting the weird, unsocialized homeschoolers blog and sign up and see what other homeschooling families have been doing this week.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Several weeks rolled into two

Is it possible to do a 2 month "weekly wrap up?" Probably not so here are the highlights:

* having new friends over for baking. DD12 idea. She wants to open a bakery, and is an avid watcher of DC cupcakes which is based on a business in Washington, DC called Georgetown cupcakes. She is overjoyed at the prospect of visiting and purchasing their $2.75 cupcakes. Yikes!

*Took a detour in curriculum to focus on writing essays for HSLDA's essay contest. The cash prizes for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place entries are a serious incentives for my tween girls. The youngest finished first. Her entry went out yesterday.

*Is it too early to look at colleges? We purchased a state prepaid college contract when DD14 was 2 year's old. That was one of the best decisions DH and I have made as a couple. College is 3 years away and even though the tuition numbers and entry requirements may change, I've been researching options for her major of interest. I'm determined to find scholarship money so the contract we purchased can be spread out between the 3 girls.

*any one other than me not know which week of school they are in? I realized today that I am about 2 weeks off of my lesson plans. I guess that isn't too bad. I've had to make pit stops and pull together resources for what my DC need.

For example, we did IEW SWI A last year and I purchased US Based Writing Lessons to accompany our history studies for this year. My kids do really well with IEW but if you put a writing prompt in front of them they are a little lost. Even though I will continue to use IEW resources (it's great when I need to assist the kids with "style") but I had to pull together different sources to teach free writing. I had WriteSource 2000 on the shelf, Writing Strands Level 3 & 4, Writing with Skill (20 week sample) to teach these skills. I guess this is what it means to tweak and there is no such thing as one resource that teaches everything. By the end of the year, I pray I have competent writers.

* found a great way to teach vocabulary from a teacher of high school English. Vocabulary Videos. I am creating a word wall with the new words to keep the words in DC mind to incorporate in their writing assignments. I also took his idea of using writing blogs to encourage kids to write and to bring technology into the "classroom." Love this idea! It is motivating to my youngers who want to share their site with others. You can take a peak at her first two entries at

*Won some curriculum from BrightIdeasPress for entering a sweepstakes. I'm so excited! Can't wait until it arrives.

What went on in your homeschool world this week? Join the weekly wrap up by visiting the weird, unsocialized homeschoolers blog and sign up and see what other homeschooling families have been doing this week.


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