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.
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 study. I 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?
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