Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Middle Ages, Botany, and Olympics, Oh My!

Like Michael Phelps, here at Wonderwood Academy we are on a roll!

We have already had four awesome days of school for the 2008-9 year. We started on Monday, August 4th, so it would have been six, but I was attacked by a very feisty bug that knocked me off my feet for a few days. I am SO grateful, ornery bugs notwithstanding, for generally decent health. This time last year I was just home from a nearly two-week stay in the hospital facing a three-month plus recovery time. It goes without saying, but I will anyway – I don’t EVER want to do that again!

What I LOVE doing is watching Jelly’s and Doodle’s enthusiasm climb from general excitement to pure and simple joy as we delve daily deeper into our “Learning Adventures.” Each time we begin a new unit study, the 24/7 aspect of homeschooling and its influence on our lives is reaffirmed. The girls have a tendency to immerse themselves in whatever period of time we are studying. Our current focus is on Medieval Times – the Middle Ages.

So today for “Show and Tell” (We started this when the girls were little and they won’t let me forget to let them do it nearly every Monday after lunch! I thought they’d have outgrown it by now, but it has turned into a good opportunity for them to do oral presentations. Who knew? ;o) Doodle (4th grade) shared her Princess Minnie doll, who is currently studying to become a knight. Jelly (6th grade) presented her entire collection of Enchanted items, putting a Middle Ages twist on her explanations. She has also been consistently naming her main character during playtime, Giselle. I don’t fully understand how it works, but Giselle and Princess Minnie are definitely having Medieval Times time-traveling adventures these days. It so warms my mama heart to hear facts and fancies we’ve learned during “school” being developed into amazing scenarios for “after school” playtime adventures!

We continue to love Math-U-See, so other than needing a new level for Jelly pretty soon, no changes there.

Our basic curriculum this year is again based on Learning Adventures. We’ll be finishing A World of Adventure and moving into A New World of Adventure. I do have specific timeframe goals but as always, they are not set in stone due to our fondness for rabbit trails.

We’re reading The Door in the Wall, by Marguerite de Angeli, along with miscellaneous other books about knights, castles, cathedrals, King Arthur, Eleanor of Aquitaine, and plants. We’ve whittled Ivory soap, dissected a rose, watched most of the DVDs our library has on the Middle Ages (still a few to go – we like to watch them while we eat lunch), eaten porridge for breakfast and beef barley soup, with dark bread for sopping, for lunch. Pease porridge and bannock are on the menu for dinner later this week.

Lapbooking and notebooking are natural fits with our unit studies, and so we continue to do both. Currently the girls are working on lap/notebooks for both history (Middle Ages) and science (Botany). We’re using a combination of project packs from Hands of a Child and free resources gathered from all over the web. This week we’re adding Art (beginning with Medieval Illuminated Manuscripts) and next week when piano lessons resume we’ll add Music Appreciation.

I’ll post pictures and links soon. I’d do it now, but I’m too tired due to staying up late to watch the Olympics. We’d be lapbooking those, too, but there just aren’t enough hours in the day!

Go Team USA!

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At Tue Aug 12, 08:39:00 PM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds like you're off to a running start of Olympic proportions! That's very cool to hear about the girs' progress. Is everybody healthy? Aunt D :)

At Tue Aug 12, 08:40:00 PM PDT, Blogger woodnotes02 said...

I'm soo glad you're feeling better, and hope that Woody will follow along soon. I gather that he's about a day behind you. I love hearing about the girls' curriculum. We have a Medieval Zone at the library, which I've never visited but which sounds fascinating. I know a couple of the ladies that work there and they are so nice. We have some personal research time Friday afternoon so maybe I'll amble on down there and see if they have anything fascinating I can share with the Woodyettes. Did Greg get my letter about his priesthood lines?

Love you all!


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