Friday, September 20, 2013

Week 8 ~ A Graduation, a Graveyard, and Geography

In My Life ~ We had an enjoyable week with lots of fun learning and our schedule is working pretty well so far. I really worked hard on making our schedule more organized this year. Our days are taking on a predictable feeling, which is good for everyone. In about 5 weeks or so when the freshness of new classes wears off, then we'll know if we are too busy. Ha!

7:00 am to 9:00 am ~ Time to do their "Just Five Things" (brush hair and teeth, eat breakfast, make bed, put on clean clothes and watch CNN Student News) plus free time. Tom Sawyer is the only one that is up with me at 7:00 am. Most of the kids show up around 8:00 am.

9:00 am to 12:15 pm ~ Main school time

12:15 pm to 1:50 pm ~ Lunch and media time

2:00 pm to 4:00 pm ~ Chores, errands, doctor appointments and outside play

4:00 pm to 7:00 pm ~ Dinner, out of the home classes (cheer leading, gymnastics, dance and math tutoring)

7:00 pm to 9:00 pm ~ Time with Daddy, bath, snack, bed
At the park
Graduation from Physical Therapy ~ Tom Sawyer graduated from PT this week. He could use more, but our insurance only pays for a certain number of sessions each year. Our physical therapist made a long list of exercises to hand on to our special needs gymnastics coach, who has agreed to incorporate the PT exercises into his gymnastics lessons. It looks like Tom Sawyer and Goldilocks will qualify this year for the Special Olympics and will be doing gymnastics. I was surprised that Tom Sawyer qualified because his IQ is normal. However, his ability to meet his fullest potential is hindered by having Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. As his doctors, therapists, and coach all pointed out to me, he does as well as he does because of the one-on-one tutoring that homeschooling affords.
Tom Sawyer doing a back stretch with his physical therapist
Geography ~ Our "Color Chart United States of America" map arrived this week. The kids are enjoying coloring in a little bit here and there whenever they pass it in the hallway. I keep hearing information drift down the hallway while they are coloring, "Look, here's the Wright Brothers' plane at Kitty Hawk," and "Did you know that Armadillos are from Texas?"  I was going to put down rules about what states to color first and how to go about doing this project. However, I realized those rules would decrease the fun of just enjoying the map. So, I let them do it the way they wanted. I am so glad I did. I love it when learning happens naturally.

Math and History at the Graveyard ~ We took our learning to a graveyard this week. Since we are currently learning about the 1918 flu, I thought a concrete way of understanding this topic would be to do a bit of research at the cemetery. The cemetery manager helped us find out about the 12 local people who had died of the 1918 flu epidemic that are buried in this cemetery. Thankfully, the manager was as much of a nerd as me and had already pulled together some great statistics so we also could make a math day of it. Even so, we did not have much luck finding most of the grave sites. Our local cemetery is 100 acres and has over 15,000 graves going back to the 1840's. While we managed to find the family of one victim, the victim's marker was gone. We also found Thomas Wolfe's brother who died in this epidemic. Our statistics ended up being similar to the national statistics. One thing that made the 1918 flu so unique was that most of its victims were killed in their prime. The weak, elderly and young children usually did not die from it. In this cemetery the victim's average age was 36. The youngest and only victim in our graveyard who was under 20 was just 10 years old. Yes, my son is walking barefoot around the graveyard. He is that comfortable! I have been taking them to various cemeteries since their infancy. As always, the kids got side tracked by looking at the graves of babies. We were working in different sections than usual so they found lots of different graves of infants that they hadn't seen before.

Speak Like a Pirate Day ~ Little Red Riding Hood was listening to the radio this week and heard that Krispy Kreme Donuts was giving away a dozen donuts to anyone dressed up like a pirate on International Talk Like a Pirate Day (September 19). The girls made costumes for themselves and Tom Sawyer. For fun, we went to Krispy Kreme and practiced our best pirate brogue. Ah, mateys, they feared us so much! Krispy Kreme turned over the treasured donuts faster than we could say, "Shiver me timbers!" We rarely eat donuts, so this was a huge treat.

Books We Read This Week ~ 
  • Freaky Friday
  • War Horse
  • Helen Keller's Teacher
  • The First Teddy Bear
  • Life of Fred Farming
  • Girlfriends Exploring Women's Relationships in the Bible (me)
  • The Last Runaway  (me)
  • Camping with the President
  • Garfield several books
  • Girls are reading different Animal Ark books
Super Finds ~ I found a really cool deal at a yard sale recently. I found this nearly new word processing typewriter for only $5. It is still sold on Amazon for over $100. The kids love typing on it, and I love that I don't have to worry about a certain kiddo sneaking onto the Internet when she is supposed to be doing a book report.

I am joining ~
Homegrown Learners

Blessings, Dawn


  1. Dawn -- so many great things going on in your house this week! I really like that Tom Sawyer has made great progress because of HOMESCHOOL. I bet that was affirming to hear. I admire everything you do with and for your children. The trip to the graveyard sounds VERY interesting - something my kids would have really loved!

    Have a great weekend, my friend!

  2. Oh, Krispy Kreme. How we miss you. That wa quite a bit of lucky treasure your pirates found!

    It looks like you had a good week, and such great affirmation of all you do with your children.

    Happy weekend!

  3. Homeschooling is such a blessing for our special needs kids, isn't it?
    I love your colourful map. And the typewriter - great idea!!
    Blessings, Lucinda

  4. I love the pirate day, but we don't have a Krispy Kreme anywhere around here. We have had lots of fun learning in the graveyard, too. LOL

  5. Looks like a fun and busy week! Great find on the typewriter, too.

    Enjoy your weekend!

  6. Fun week. We LOVE cemeteries and just visited an old one with my brother last week. I saw the Pirate day but we don't have a Krispy Kreme in our town. :) I love typewriters. I would love to find one for Keilee.

  7. Yay! for the type writer. What a find!
    I had never thought to take my children up to our local church, yet we have grave stones dating back to the very early middle ages. Definitely something to do one day.
    Have a lovely week this week.

  8. Oh that is good to combine the physical therapy with the other stuff. Looks great!