Friday, September 28, 2012

Weekly Wrap-up: 6th Week

Phew! This first 6 weeks has flown by at a ridiculous speed. This is the first chance I've had to do a weekly wrap-up. This was a fabulous week for Duncan. He spent two days recently learning about  Japan's history & culture in a special camp by a fellow homeschooling mom, who went all out.

She made yukata and obi (robes and sashes) for all of them! Amazing! I can't believe all the topics they covered in these two 5-6 hour classes; here are just a few—and I do mean a few—of the things they did/learned about:
  • samurai weaponry & armor 
  • how the civil war in Japan had left many samurai masterless, turning them into ronin. 
  • the most famous ronin, the 47 who avenged Lord Asano from Lord Kira 
  • William Adams/Miura Anjin, the only foreigner to become a samurai and the loyal friend & advisor to Ieyasu (& inspiration of the character of John Blackthorne in James Clavell's book, Shogun).  
  • the impact of Christianity on Japanese culture
  • years of isolationism (1638-1854)
  • Painters and poets
  • role of women in Japanese society
  • traditional tea ceremony or chanoyu
  • visited koi ponds
  • Matthew Perry & how his "black ships" broke open the door to Japanese trade
  • made lapbooks 
  • received a custom yukata & obi ("dresses & sashes"), and kanji of their names on washi (mulberry) paper along with a pronunciation key & meaning of the syllables & entire name. 
Needless to say, it was a fantastic opportunity. Duncan and I had spent several weeks last year studying Japan and made a fantastic lapbook on Japan, but this took what he learned last year to a whole new level.

We finished reading Beowulf: A New Telling for the literature circle class I'm co-teaching at our co-op. The kids are absolutely loving this gory re-telling of the epic poem. I highly recommend this version as an introduction to the real thing! It is so fantastic. Gory, but fantastic.

We put our WWII study on hold this week but look forward to getting back to it next week. We've been keeping up with both Teaching Textbooks math and Duncan's pre-algebra class at co-op, which is awesome. Taking that extra class is really keeping him on his toes with math. Besides that, he's doing drama both on Mondays and Tuesday at two different co-ops, as well as a knot-tying class and  flags at co-ops. Seems like I'm missing something that he is taking, but I can't remember what!

Laurel is keeping up with all her co-op classes—ecology, American Lit, American history, geometry, drama, dance, ACT Prep and government—although it is challenging at times. This week both government and geometry were cancelled because of teacher sickness, so she has a tiny break. She's also trying to study to get her driver's permit, but that always gets pushed to the back!

Tonight I am getting together with my American Lit class to watch The Scarlet Letter, which we just finished reading. I managed to cut the 4-hour PBS version down to about 3 hours, but we are still in for a long night! The kids are looking forward to it, though. Actually, so am I.

That's what's been happening this week! We're headed out to grocery shopping and fencing, and then we'll be ready for the weekend. Tomorrow Duncan has an all-day service project for Boy Scouts, and Laurel and I have a Stars and Stripes ceremony for one of our American Heritage Girls troop's members (equivalent of Boy Scouts Eagle Scout award), so we'll look forward to actually relaxing on Saturday evening.

Linked up with the Weekly Wrap-Up at Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers


  1. Sounds like such an enriching week! Love it! Have fun watching your movie.

  2. that is just fabulous! they all looked amazing!

  3. I love The Scarlett Letter. Looks like a great week!

  4. Oh what a great Japan study! I'll have to look up the Beowulf book. My son surprised me by picking Beowulf to read as his independent reading book. He enjoyed it but admitted that he didn't understand some of it. He may like this as more explanation. :-)

  5. So so busy!! Silly that we thought we'd have MORE time when the kids got older.


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