Weekly Wrap-Up ~ Another Birthday, Iditarod, and WWII

We had another great week here, even if it looks like winter is determined to stay! We celebrated another birthday on Wednesday so we took the day off.

Every morning, I work with Celeste while Andre and Adrienne complete their independent work. This week, Celeste asked to start again at the beginning in the Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading. I think this would be a good idea since lately she seems to get confused with her vowel sounds. A review will be good. We started First Language Lessons this week too. The first lessons are all done orally and we'll take our time with it too.

She spent some time playing on the 1st Grade Jump Start this week, sometimes with Andre's help. You can see  both of them in the photo at the top.

We continued our Poetry Memorization and started a new poem "My Shadow" by Robert Louis Stevenson.

In World Geography, the Trail Guide suggests a review before starting Asia. We had talked about it last week and had decided to take some time to look over our notebooks and Adrienne suggested we test ourselves with the maps. I photocopied blank maps for each continent we studied so far and we started this week with the maps for North America, the USA, Canada, and Central America. I participated too and the kids thought it was pretty funny that I remembered less than them!! We took some time colouring the maps, after we corrected any mistakes.

In Science, we learned about energy chains, energy resources (fossil fuels and renewable) and momentum this week. We used a few of the links suggested in the Usborne Science Encyclopedia. This one from BBC was a great review. We also played with a virtual Newton's Cradle and we also converted a town to renewable resources at this link.

In History, we are now studying World War II. On Monday, we read an interesting book about Pearl Harbour. "Attack on Pearl Harbour: The True Story of The Day America Entered World War II" is written by Shelley Tanaka. This book recounts the events of that day through the eyes of young people that were there. An eleven year boy, a young Japanese on an underwater attack mission, and an American sailor. There are many illustrations and actual photos throughout the book, as well as maps and diagrams.

We watched The Boy in Striped Pajamas. Out of all the World War II movies, this one is very different. It is seen from the young boy's point of view. He is the son of a german commandant at a concentration camp. It is a very moving film and you should preview it before showing it to your children. My two oldest watched it with me, but not Celeste. We talked after the movie and some of the discussion we had was inspired by questions I had seen on this site.  

We also watched the World War II in Colour documentary we found on this site. Adrienne and Andre took the quizzes and did some of the puzzles. We will revisit this site again next week. We are continuing our study of World War II for one more week.

The Iditarod Sled Dog Race started last weekend. We have been following this race since 2008. Each year, the kids picked their own musher to follow and keep track of their race statistics. This year, Andre chose Lance Mackey again (he's been picking him since our first year!), Celeste chose Kristy Berington, and Adrienne started off with Zoya DeNure but she scratched early on, so she chose Dee Dee Jonrowe and Michelle Phillips. We also do other activities related to this event every year, some years more than others. This year, we will be reading several picture books and one or two novels. I started reading aloud "Black Star, Bright Dawn". While I read, Adrienne and Andre were sculpting sled dogs out of clay.

We used the literature questions for Black Star, Bright Dawn (thanks Carol!) found here and here. I will be sharing a couple of the books that I read very soon on Book Sharing Monday. You can also see a selection of the books we are reading at the top of this blog in the librarything widget.

We watched a great documentary from the Discovery Channel about the Iditarod 2008. I was able to find this at our local library! It was really great to see the actual check points and listen to some of the mushers.

I hope you had a good week too! If you would like to read more wrap-up posts, visit the Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers blog.


  1. Hi Alex!
    I really enjoy reading your weekly wrap-up!
    I'm starting to think that this might help me get back to blogging without taking time away from things on a daily basis. Thanks for sharing!
    Have a good one!

  2. Great week!! Love the little dogs, we're working on some today.


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