Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Wonderwood Academy 2007-8

Jelly – 5th grade
Doodle – 3rd grade

Learning Adventures – A World of Adventure
Hogwarts Correspondence School Yr. 4
Typing Instructor Deluxe
Rosetta Stone Spanish
Piano Classes
LOTS of library books on LOTS of topics,
because we’re still quite partial to Charlotte Mason and her living books!

Our main course of study:
Learning Adventures – A World of Adventure
Finishing Greece
Middle Ages ?

We started this school year almost a month later than we usually do, but still started when “most” public schools do – the week after Labor Day. Due to my recuperation, we started off with only half days, but it didn’t take long to work back up to our usual school schedule. The girls got used to taking impromptu breaks, as we didn’t always know exactly when the home nurses were going to come. It’s nice to be back to “normal” now. :o)

A typical day looks something (we are not at all rigid, but do function better with a basic plan) like this:

* Wake up, breakfast, get ready, and chores done by 10:00 a.m.
* 10:00 – 10:45 a.m. Devotional and Scripture Reading/Study (On Mondays, we also do the Nat’l Anthem or another patriotic song, and the Pledge of Allegiance.) Sometimes this includes the Bible portion of the Learning Adventures curriculum.
* 10:45 – 11:15 a.m. Copywork and Memorization
* 11:15 – 11:45 a.m. Math-U-See
* 11:45 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Lunch and “Recess”
* 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. Learning Adventures or other Unit Study, including Language Arts, Social Studies, Science, and Fine Arts – It isn’t really a non-stop, two-hour block, because it includes reading aloud together as well as our notebooking, lapbooking, hands-on, and sometimes extra Hogwarts classes or projects. (We used to do “Show and Tell” every Monday right after our lunch break, but it isn’t a regular thing anymore – I hate to think that the girls are growing out of it. Maybe I need to call it something else, and get us going again. It is great practice for giving talks, speeches, or presentations.)
* 3:00 – 4:00 p.m. Typing and Independent Reading (While one dd does a lesson on the computer (Typing Instructor Deluxe), the other reads silently. (Sometimes Doodle likes to go in Mama and Daddy’s room to read “out loud” to one of her dolls.) Then the girls swap places. We’re also planning to add Rosetta Stone Spanish into this time slot, but I still haven’t figured out the Management software yet, so for now, Spanish is informal, with an occasional bit of notebooking.

We go to the library as a family quite often. The Learning Adventures curriculum relies heavily on living books, which is one of the reasons it fits us so well. When the girls were little, we went once a week at Storytime, and just checked out books then as well. We don’t really have a regular day anymore, but still are VERY faithful library patrons. The girls were thrilled earlier this year when they got their OWN library cards. Now they use the self-checkout machine like seasoned veterans. :o)

We meet with our local support group, Liahona, on Wednesday afternoons. If we have a field trip, we may not “do” any other school that day. If it is a park day, we try to get in our usual morning stuff before we go.

We officially finished our study of Ancient Greece in November by sponsoring a field trip to the Getty Villa, in Malibu, CA. It was a bit last minute, but some of our homeschool friends were able to join us.

A wonderful time was had by all - even when it sprinkled on us a bit it did NOT dampen our spirits. We also had a Greek feast at Daphne’s Restaurant, in Anaheim Hills, CA. The girls want to go to Getty Villa again, so we have plans to celebrate there when we finish our study of Ancient Rome - we’ll just change our focus from Greek to Roman exhibits, tours, and presentations. No problem. :o)

For the 4th year in a row we participated the Sunday after Thanksgiving in the Yorba Linda Messiah Sing-Along at the Nixon Library. Daddy Woody is the tenor soloist. The girls are already VERY familiar with some of the Christmas selections, so it has been easy to add a study of Handel and the Messiah to our study of Rome. The life and ministry of Christ occurred within the timeframe of the Roman Empire, so studying the oratorio now is working out well.

Since Doodle’s birthday is in December, and since our family loves trains, it was just a natural for a very special party theme – a Polar Express Pajama Party! I’ve already blogged lots of details about it, so you can get more info here.

Polar Express Pajama Party
Snuggled in and ready to watch the movie,
with their stockings full of movie-watching goodies.

At Christmastime, we continued to work on the Symbols of Christmas lapbook we started last year. We listened to music, sang, read LOTS of holiday stories, crafted, and baked. We did a LOT of gingerbread, in honor of our Mawgs.
The girls each put together and decorated a house from a kit.
One was a Wilton, and the other was from Trader Joe’s. I think they both turned out great!

Because we were actually at HOME on Christmas Eve, we had a special celebration. The girls received Owl Post, with directions, supplies, and gifts for “A Hogwarts Holiday – Christmas in the Great Hall.” They had fun decorating 12 mini trees with different themes after a breakfast of cauldron cakes and other British breakfast items. Lunch was pumpkin pasties and butterbeer, and we had Quidditch Players Pie for dinner, washed down with pumpkin juice, of course. During the course of the day, the girls brewed potions, made treats from Honeydukes recipes, and played games including a variation on Wizards chess and Harry Potter Scene It.

A magical holiday.

Our focus this year was to have a JOYFUL and peaceful holiday. We attended two Christmas Around the World celebrations - our plan is to make that our holiday theme next year! So cool!

2008 started out with a bang! For three years now the girls have actually stayed up playing family games and listening to Daddy Woody read aloud (Inkheart) until midnight to welcome in the New Year by banging on pots and pans, blowing horns, and pulling “poppers” that explode with bursting confetti streamers. Good, um, not-so-clean, fun! ;o) Those things are messy like crazy, but not too bad to clean up. Especially if the girls decide to pick up all the streamers and decorate Daddy! Everyone gets a big hug and kiss at midnight, and this year we toasted with Martinelle’s Sparkling Cider. Yum.

In January, we celebrated a milestone event. Doodle and two of her cousins have all been baptized within the last six months. There is another picture of these three as babies, each in a car seat – three in a row in the middle of Grandma’s living room. If I had a digital copy, I’d post it here. Hmm… maybe we can scan it.

This one was taken at the celebration party after Ben’s baptism.
(His was the last of the three.)
Definitely cute cousins.

February fun has included making and delivering chocolate rocket valentines for friends and family. We got the idea a couple of years ago when some friends launched and landed Livesaver rockets at our house. We adapted the idea, making ours from Rollos, Hugs, tissue paper, tape, and a bit of hot glue to hold the nose cones in place.

These are the lapbooks (all from Hands of a Child) we’re working on right now. They coordinate with our Learning Adventures – A World of Adventures. We’re in the Ancient Rome unit, with rocks, minerals, and volcanoes as our science topics.
Ancient Rome
Rocks & Minerals/ Rodney Rockhound

The plan is to finish Rome by the end of March, and start the next unit, the Middle Ages, at the beginning of April. It probably won’t happen quite that way, though – we enjoy rabbit trails and extra projects too much!

We also have plans to do these lapbook studies in HOAC coops this spring:
Cinderella Stories Around the World
Mythological Creatures Around the World
Art Appreciation
Music Appreciation

We continue to add timeline figures and other entries to our Book of the Centuries. The girls really enjoy looking through them and at their finished lapbooks.

Home and school, for us, together are most definitely a magical adventure and a winning combination.

I can’t wait to see what adventures await!

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At Tue Feb 19, 08:13:00 PM PST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I truly believe your girls are the most blessed students in America. Love these posts, and I really, really love all the photos. When I think of what you've accomplished over these last few years I am staggered. You're a miracle!


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