Saturday, February 16, 2008

Wonderwood Academy 2006-7

Jelly – 4th grade
Doodle – 2nd grade

Typing Instructor Deluxe
Learning Adventures – A World of Adventure
Hogwarts Correspondence School Yr. 3
Medical, Magical, and Marine Science
MANY library books on MANY topics, because, because, because!

Because of the girls extreme fascination with pioneers, and the virtual Oregon Trail trip we made last winter, we started our school year off with an “Extended Field Trip.”

After attending a temple open house in Sacramento, visiting Donner Memorial State Park, a family reunion, and visiting with extended family along the way, we met up in Montpelier, ID, with the "Neighbor" family, at about the half-way point along the Oregon Trail. (We actually got a personal tour that started in Cokeville, WY, -a tiny town where my mom was born- from a dear history-loving uncle and aunt, before we met up.) Together, our two families followed the trail, with many stops along the way, to the End of the Trail Museum, in Oregon City, OR. Though we began with a good base knowledge, we gained new respect and admiration for those amazing pioneers AND the country they traveled and settled. We also had an incredible time!

SwimChick, Doodle, & Jelly, "Pioneer Girls"
at the Nat'l Oregon/California Trail Center, in Montpelier, ID

Fort Hall Replica, Pocatello, ID

SwimChick's grandma made her pioneer costume, but we got Jelly's and Doodle's from Kelly's Costumes. The quality is great and the girls still wear them - sometimes for dress-up and sometimes just because they like the dresses so much. :o) As we traveled, the girls worked on their Pioneers lapbooks. (They didn’t do much on them, though, because we kept them too busy! Next time around for this study, we’re planning to do a more complete lapbook on the entire Oregon Trail.) As we made our way home at the end of our vacation, we did a mini study on the California Gold Rush, with stops at Sutter’s Fort and Mill, and a boomtown (Columbia, CA). Again, we’ll be more thorough when we study US (and California) History, but it was a great introduction.

Travel for a family wedding later in the fall gave us a chance to see some great fall colors up close and personal – a great science class! On our way home, we focused on LDS history in Southern Utah. We visited Cove Fort and several historic points of interest in St. George. We love LIVING history!

Our main course of study for the year:
Learning Adventures – A World of Adventure
Finishing our unit study of Ancient Egypt and beginning Ancient Greece

To kick off this year’s studies on our unit on Ancient Egypt, we sponsored a field trip for our local homeschool support group to the Bowers Museum. They had a great Mummies exhibit called Death and the After Life in Ancient Egypt, on loan from the British Museum.

We also did some great projects that the girls really enjoyed. We had an Egyptian feast (great all except the figs, but we do like Fig Newtons!), made sugar cube, Lego, and Math-U-See block pyramids (andfigured out the total number of cubes/Legos/blocks used for each), made not-so-scary mummies (complete with sarcophagus), and read the Egyptian Cinderella and the Golden Goblet. Doodle especially liked making paddle dolls using the Hands and Hearts Ancient Egypt Discovery Kit.

We focused on our Hogwarts classes around Halloween, even correlating support group field trips to Sea World and the Aquarium of the Pacific with our study of Magical Creatures.

We finished our Hogwarts Halloween by assembling the lapbooks the girls worked on for about a week. Both Jelly and Doodle are very proud of the way they finished up, and rightfully so. Jelly especially was excited to show her origami ghost to her origami-loving friend.

The Halloween lapbooks were only our second attempt at “from scratch/on our own” folder projects. We used a different technique for assembling the base folders than we’d ever done before, and it worked out really well. We had three main topics and so the girls’ work showcased the studies we did in these three areas: History of Magic(al Holidays - Halloween); Herbology (Pumpkins and how they grow); and Halloween Celebrations and Customs Around the World (anthropology and geography). We used three folders, with the second and third inserted into the first so that when completed, it opened like a regular book rather than being shutter-folded. Of course, we also included jokes and riddles, pumpkin poetry and a concentration game, and a build-a-skeleton game (Science - Body Systems) played like the classic game of Beetle/Cootie. It was based on this free lapbook that I got from the Seiler Clan's website, and then we added stuff I’d collected over the years from ALL kinds of sources.

Halloween Lapbooks - Front Covers
Notice the tabs on the right-hand side. They are labeled with the three main topics.

First Folder Open - History (and some Botany!)

Second Folder Open - Herbology (Pumpkins)

Third Folder Open - Halloween Around the World

Halloween Lapbooks - Back Covers

Wasn’t it nice of nature to provide such a great transition into the Christmas holidays? The rainbow arched almost from one end of the world to the other!!

And yes, we DID add an impromptu study of light to our science classes. How could we not? :o) It was Christmastime, and the LIGHT of the World was a perfect topic.

The girls’ grandma/Mawgs/my mom was gravely ill during the holiday season, and passed from this life to the next on New Year’s Eve, after a long battle with cancer. We focused what time we had for school on the Symbols of Christmas and Christmas Cheer, again joining the HOAC co-op. We were able to keep our projects with us easily as we traveled back and forth from home to be with Mawgs. It was exactly what we needed during a stressful time – it really helped us keep the spirit and joy in the season in spite of our sadness and grief about Mawgs. We had a wonderful time, and we will be working on that lapbook project for YEARS of Christmases to come!

The girls loved showing their almost-finished Egypt lapbooks to their paternal grandparents, who came for a visit from Texas in mid-January.

Ancient Egypt Lapbook - Front Cover
Included minibooks from HOAC project packs for Ancient Egypt, Mummies, Pyramids, and Desert Habitat, as well as some other projects we did.

Ancient Egypt - First Folder Open

Ancient Egypt - First Extension Flap Up

Ancient Egypt - Left and Right Flaps Open

Ancient Egypt - Vocabulary Book Open

In addition to formal school, we learned a lot about life, and how it goes on even when you’re hurting. A local homeschool support group field trip to the our county’s chapter of the Red Cross helped – we saw how people help people in times of challenge. Extra cool field trips (including a whale watching trip on a sailing ship and a port tour on a modern boat and even a trip to Disneyland!) and lots of hands-on projects kept us not-quite-busy-enough. We still missed Mawgs/Grandma a LOT!

We made a HOAC lapbook about Disneyland as a thank you gift for Daddy’s boss’s wife. She works there, and with a friend, arranged to get us all in FREE!! We loved making it, and she loved getting it!

Hands of a Child Disneyland project pack - Two folders, shutter-folded

Our study of Ancient Greece actually began in the Spring of 2007. We had the following lapbook/notebook projects from Hands of a Child: Ancient Greece, Healthy Bodies, Human Body, Five Senses.

As we had done with Egypt, we combined our studies of Ancient Greece into our Book of the Centuries and intended one large lapbook and some notebook pages. Our science unit was anything related to the human body – anatomy, biology, health and nutrition, and the five senses. One of our first activities was about fingerprints – the girls LOVED investigating!

That sums up the school year pretty well - we had lots of great adventures as we spent time investigating together!

Our Family Vacation, during the Summer of 2007, included Owl Scout Day Camp (where the girls earned four badges each) and a Northwest Coast Lighthouse Tour.

Owl Scout Camp - a la Hogwarts; Making Magical Memories!

Little did we know that the end of the tour would include an injury that would change our lives for the next four months. It was still a wonderful vacation.

But that is another story.

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At Sun Feb 17, 05:02:00 PM PST, Blogger holly K said...

What happened that changed your lives? I would like some info on this Hogwarts' Academy. I haven't heard of it before. I love your activities. Your blog is both informative and fun to read. Keep it up!! cookiecutter72 AT hotmail DOT com


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