Weekly Wrap-Up: The France, Week 1 Edition

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Well, we survived our first week back to school after a two week vacation.  Overall, it went well and we got a lot accomplished.  In addition to being our first week back, it was also our first week to study France in preparation for our homeschool group’s upcoming Around the World Day.


Photo from last year’s ATWD

This week, was basically an introduction, but we also focused a bit on the history and began a biography of famous Frenchman, Napoleon.  I’ll be sharing some of the things we’re doing as we go along, but I wanted to share two wonderful resources with you today.  First, I always use this basic country study outline each year when we prepare for Around the World Day.  We don’t do everything on it, but I do use it for brainstorming during my own planning session and for discussing ideas with the kids about what they want to do.

I like to use the Welcome to My Country series as our spine book for country studies.  They’re very simple books, but they provide good, basic information about all the things I’d like to cover (government, religion, animals of a country, etc.), provide a nice jumping off point and offer a sense of organization for the study.  We’ve also been reading Napoleon by Lucy Lethbridge and You Wouldn’t Want to Be an Aristocrat in the French Revolution! by Jim Pipe.

Our activities this week included coloring the flag of France, beginning a journal about our “trip” to France and beginning a paper mache map of France.  This is a deviation for us from our usual salt dough map.  A friend did a paper mache map at Around the World Day last year and I really liked the way it looked.  She had a kit, but I decided to wing it.  We used paper from our shredder (a unique way to recycle) and mixed water and glue to form a big gooey mess from which we shaped the map.  I’ll post more details when we see how it turns out.

Tuesday was an exciting day for me — I pre-ordered our tickets for the midnight premiere of New Moon!!  I am so excited!  I think I might actually be more excited than Brianna.  The movie comes out November 20 and, since we should be right in the middle of our Twilight unit study by then, it’ll make the perfect field trip. I’m kind of embarrassed to admit that I stayed up until 3 AM last night/this morning, finishing the series for the second time.  Even worse, that makes the third time I’ve actually read the last section of the fourth book and I still stayed up to finish it…and it still made me cry.  Sheesh!

Wednesday was music class and another really great nature studyI still can’t get over how much we’re enjoying our nature study time.  With the fall weather that we’ve been having, it was a great day for it.  I’m dreading the cold weather even more than usual this year since, if I know us, we’re not going to be able to brave the really cold days to get out and have a nature study time.  Who knows, though…maybe we’ll surprise ourselves.

We’re looking forward to a lazy weekend at home.  Thanks to my marathon planning session last weekend, I should be able to find some free time this weekend.  I checked out a couple of “how to draw” books from the library, so I’m hoping to make some time for my newly rediscovered love of drawing.  I bought my own art supplies this week.  I also discovered something surprising: having a box of nice art supplies doesn’t actually improve your artistic ability.  Who knew?

Art supplies

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  1. What a great first week back! Oh, France…I plan to live there one day you know. We spent two weeks way way south in St. Thibery. It was wonderful.

    Don't be embarrassed about your Twilight obsession. I think it's awesome. I haven't been that excited about a book since The Horse Whisperer.

    Good luck with your drawing. Perhaps one day your work will be hanging in the Louvre! 🙂

  2. *snort* The Louvre. I'd settle for most people knowing what it's supposed to be and not thinking that a Kindergartner drew it. lol

  3. Looks like France is going to be fun. I am borrowing a couple of your sites for our project. I hope we can get it done. I haven't even thought much about it. Guess I better get to it. 🙂

    Have fun drawing.

    Would you believe I have not read any of the Twilight books or seen the movie? *gasp*

  4. Looks like y'all have been busy. =) (I have enjoyed your nature walk posts, even though I haven't said so!) Gleaning ideas.

  5. Sounds like so much fun! I love the "You Wouldn't Want To Be…" books!

    I guess I'm going to have to break down and read the "Twilight" books and see the movie. I've been trying my best not to get sucked in, but I'm just too curious.

    I'm jealous of your marathon planning session. I totally need one. This year all I've done is a few mini-sessions and I SO need a longer block of time to get organized.

  6. That sounds like a wonderful first week back! We also touched on France last week with our FIAR book – Madeline. My older kids love studying France and are looking forward to our cooking lesson that goes along with our FIAR book next week for France.

  7. The ATWD stuff sounds so fun! We love to do geography stuff like that, too. I don't know how old your kids are, but I noticed that the Barney shows on pbs are about different countries each day now.

    Have fun at the apple orchard. Yay, we finished the last of them applesauce last night.

  8. Wow! Your France study is coming along. It looks fabulous!!!

    A Twilight unit study, I have a friend who might want to come over for that. LOL

  9. @ Calina — My kids are 14, 8 and 9 — the age where, unfortunately, they'd much rather make fun of Barney than watch him. 😉

    @ Giggly Girls — Send your friend on over. I plan to start our Twilight study in November and I'll be posting some of the things we'll be doing.

  10. What great ideas for the unit study on France. I've been to Paris and I loved it. There's nothing like a good baguette, especially with some butter and strawberry jam!

    Great idea about getting your own art supplies, somehow it does make a difference :).

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