Saturday, August 20, 2011

Weekly Wrap-Up: First Week Back

We stuck to our goal of beginning on Aug. 17, the same day the University of Tennessee, where Dr. H. teaches, started back. It was terribly tempting to wait until next week, when our oldest heads back to Belmont University, but we maintained our UT starting date tradition.

Here are my students. Duncan is in 5th grade and Laurel has begun her high school journey. (You can read all about what they are doing this year on this post.)

Our first day is all about tradition. We head to our growth chart and measure. We love seeing how much they've grown since last year and how they compare to each other at the same age. Duncan has grown a whopping 3 inches since last year and is now 2 inches taller than his (tall) brother was at the same age. (Jesse is now 6' 1", so I suspect Duncan will be about 6' 3".) Laurel at 5'5" is now exactly the same height as I am. I suspect that, at nearly 14, she's about done growing. Duncan (10.5) is only 2 inches behind us.

The next task is to do the annual "About Me" page.

These include height, weight, lists of favorites (books, movies, food, activities, etc .) and whatever else they decide to add.

After these are finished, we get out our Big Box of Books and spend awhile perusing. You can read all about our Big Box of Books here.

And then… we did math. I know. What a let-down after all the morning frivolity. They are both doing Teaching Textbooks: algebra for Laurel and pre-algebra for Duncan. (He's a math kind of guy.)

We only do a half day for our first day, so we were finished at noon.

The rest of the week, I added subjects in bit by bit. My Starting Year 12 post explains that. Laurel is actually only doing math and working on an American Heritage Girls badge, since the rest of her classes she is doing through our co-op, which begins next week. She did manage to get 5 lessons of math done, so that was awesome.

Duncan and I began Sonlight's Core 5 (or whatever the letter equivalent is now). We are reading Island of the Blue Dolphins, one of my all time favorites, and he is reading Call It Courage. Duncan's absolute favorite thing is his Mind Benders book (Critical Thinking). He would happily do brain teasers all day. I added in grammar (Easy Grammar 6) on Thursday and a reading comprehension book (Spectrum 6) on Friday. We're also going through a wonderful art book called The Art Institute of Chicago: 100 Masterpieces. I have this vague fantasy that we'll go to Chicago this year and see all these masterpieces.

I haven't yet added in spelling and handwriting for Duncan. That would require my finding the books. Duncan's science will begin when co-op classes start after Labor Day.

Next week, Laurel begins all her co-op classes: physical science, Excel and Powerpoint, health, art history, British Literature, and European history. She also has 2 drama classes and her international dance class. Duncan also has a drama class and creative worship (flags) class.

This week we've been doing school in our living room and dining room. I am reminded of how much I love our school room, which we will reclaim when Jesse heads back to college on Tuesday.

I'm linking up with Kris for the Weekly Wrap-Up.


  1. Your kids are so beautiful! Duncan's hair is to die for! Here's to a great year!

  2. I was thinking what good looking kids you have also lol!

    My dd is almost 15 (next month) and she is just barely 5'4". Poor girl, she's always wanted to be TALL lol I'm 5'6". I don't think she'll get there. All the women (and most of the men) in my husbands family are petite :) In my family, I am the shortest!
    Sounds like Duncan will be tall! My son (12) is about 5'1", I think. His dad is only 5'9" ;)

    Love love love the school room! We are moving soon and will actually have one room dedicated to being a school room...but I suspect that it will take a while before we get out of the dining room-living room mode. It's been that way for 2 years. Old habits die hard :)

    Have a great weekend and a great next week!

    I would say I'm stopping by from WUHS, since I saw your link up there yesterday, but no, I just stopped by just because today :)

  3. I love how the all about me pages reflect their ages & interest. Chloe turned her nose up at those pages last year. (I guess she felt like she was too old to do them.)
    My husband is teaching her Microsoft Word; an all about me page would be a great assignment!

    You have the best ideas at preserving memories. The girls pick out a new journal each year, & they write in it most of the year. I could add their journals, lapbooks (limited though), and other special school memories to our box.

  4. What a wonderful start for the new year. I love the idea of getting measurements at the beginning of the school year!

  5. I love the idea of doing books about themselves on the first day!

  6. I LOVE the idea of doing the About Me pages! How fun! (I still need to take our new school pictures, but we're not starting up until 9/6.)

    Sounds like a GREAT start to your new year! 12 years!? Wow!

    We just measured the kids here too. My oldest is 12 1/2 and 5'5". (He grew 5 inches this past year!) My daughter is 9 1/2 and 4'10". (She grew "only" 3 inches this past year.) And my youngest is 6 1/2 and 4'2". (He "only" grew 2 inches.)

    Stopping by from WUHS' Weekly Wrap-up!

  7. We took the boys to Chicago last August. They loved it! I highly recommend it. We traveled by plane and one of our goals was to take as many forms of transportation as possible while there. We did not rent a car. We did a long weekend, and it was one of the best vacations we have had.


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