Saturday, 3 December 2011

Weekly Wrap Up :: Week 16 and H.S. Unschool Week 4

December is here! Celeste has been waiting for this time to come! We wait until December 1st to decorate our house for Christmas and she was counting down the days since Thanksgiving (our Canadian Thanksgiving!). We spent most of Thursday decorating our house and tree. This year, I had three very helpful elves! I think they did a great job on our tree. Clara agrees and is really happy to have the tree skirt as her personal blanket again!

The rest of our week was quite productive. We completed our Math and Language Arts lessons.

We also did Ancient History, learning about Ancient India and reading Buddha stories. We are continuing with the Classical House Learning Literature curriculum (free here) . It uses Story of the World as a spine and since I still have the Activity Book from SOTW, I also use it.

Celeste and I finished the dolphin lapbook we had been working on for the last few weeks. We used homeschool share for the mini books. We read many books about dolphins! We all enjoyed the Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell. There is a great resource page for that novel here. Be sure to visit the Teacher's Page (link at the bottom of that page) for further instructions and resources. We haven't used this one yet, but we will on Monday.

On Wednesday evening, the kids and I attended a free presentation of the Mysteries of the Great Lakes documentary. This was an interesting documentary and even Celeste enjoyed it. We learned a lot about the Great Lakes, the lake sturgeon fish, and bald eagles. We were also shown how pollution and men affected the lakes. There are educational resources available at the Mysteries of the Great Lakes Educator Guide site. The guides are divided into primary, junior, and intermediate. They are available in English and French. All have printable worksheets, power point style presentations and suggested book lists. Next week, we will be doing a mini unit study on this subject with those guides. Our local library had most of the books suggested, what they didn't have I was able to find similar titles. I chose titles from all 3 levels since we will be doing this together. You can see a few of the books we will be reading in the photo below the video.

Adrienne's fourth week of her unschooling experiment went well. She is continuing to record her daily activities which really helps show her (and me!) what she spends her time doing. She completed three math and spanish lessons again this week, and continued with her makeup study. She started reading "Not Just a Pretty Face: The Ugly Side of the Beauty Industry" by Stacy Malkan. She also found out about making her own makeup, in particular lip balm. We'll need to find the ingredients so she can try making some.

We worked together on her career counselling course with "What Colour is Your Parachute for Teens".  This week, we worked on identifying her transferable skills. She had to make an inventory, with the help of three charts as well as thinking back on five projects she has done, of her skills with things, with information, and with people.

She exerciced every day and also read every day. She spent time drawing for Sketch Tuesday. She also researched recipes for her Africa and Australia culture and food project.

I think she is doing well with her unschooling experiment, but I am not sure if we could do this all the time. I would be concerned about what she is not doing. I do love how she is taking initiative about what she does want to learn though, and she is very independent learner so I don't need to remind her or encourage to do things. My hope is to come to a nice balance for her when the experiment is done.

How was your week? Did you start decorating for Christmas as well? Are you taking a long break in December?

You can visit Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers to read more weekly wrap-up posts.


  1. Your tree looks great. I noticed your cat grabbed the spot pretty quickly :-)

  2. We did so much unschooling this week that I couldn't even write a wrap-up. I told Ben today that we have to sit down on Monday and record all his learning experiences from the last two weeks just so I can feel better about things. He is doing lots of life learning-real stuff like visiting some housebound elderly friends of ours, washing cars for people who can't do it themselves, lots of cooking for me, etc. I am having a struggle with it all and it is interesting to read your experiences alongside my own.

    Did I tell you before that my husband and I went snorkeling in Hawaii in October and we found ourselves swimming over a resting pod of spinner dolphins? It was amazing. They sort of circle up in the water and rest and then all come up for air at the same time. They are smallish dolphins but amazing swimmers. We have seen them swim alongside the boat and it is awesome. Here is a video on YouTube that shows what it looks like:

    Anyway, thought of that when I saw your dolphin lapbook.

  3. Your unschooling experiment does sound quite productive, but I'm just like you--worried something will be missed. The dolphin lapbook turned out amazing!

  4. beautiful tree! your little elves did a great job! lol at the dog and cat. (our cat has decided our tree is HER domain too.)

    love the lapbook! isn't homeschool share a great resource? i'm planning a gingerbread lapbook for my youngest this weekend.


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