Sunday, August 27, 2006

Winter Promise American Story Week 5

We started full-time school two weeks ago. Over the summer, we had completed the first 3 weeks of just Winter Promise American Story 1. These last two weeks we have done it all - math, reading, spelling, etc. I am so surprised how smoothly it is all falling into place. Yes, I realize it has only been two weeks. I know from the last 7 years of homeschooling that things could change at any minute, but for right now... it has been really great! I had hoped to post her American Story highlights each week, but that just didn't happen. Weeks 1-3 had us reading The Birchbark House. We absolutely loved this book. When it was finished, Savannah was so sad because she was going to miss Omakayas (the little girl in the book). It was a big hit and made me feel a little more secure in my Winter Promise choice. Weeks 4 and 5 have us reading Pedro's Journal. This book is about a shipboy that sailed with Columbus. I would not say we are liking this nearly as much as The Birchbark House, but we are enjoying it. It is a good story for her age and really gives you the idea of what it might have been like to sail with Columbus. It also has great sketches that are supposed to be the work of Pedro. This week was full of activities. I took another Winter Promise user's advice and whited out the activities I knew we wouldn't be doing. If they are out of my sight, then I don't stress over not doing them. This week we chose a lot of the Colonial America Activity Book projects. We did the map of 13 colonies. This is actually a work in progress. Each time we do a project for one of the 13 colonies, we are supposed to find it on the map, label it and color it in. She really enjoyed trying to find two of the colonies this week. Next we read about the Lost Colony of Roanoke. I am ashamed to say that I didn't even know about this! Once again proving that I am learning more as a homeschool mom than I ever learned in school. If you don't know the story of this, click here and read about it. After we read about this, we made a scroll where she got to fill in what SHE thought happened to the colonists. Her version went something like this - "The Indians came to cook the people and then they ATE them!" I know... YUCK! Next she made a diorama about the men who found the only clue to where the colony went. The last hands on thing we did was really cool. We made a 3-d diorama of Jamestown. This was a lot of fun and she was particularly excited because we are going to actually visit Jamestown in October. It really made it interesting. I would say we learned a lot about these things this week and the activities were definitely helpful in cementing the facts into place. So far, 5 weeks into Winter Promise, I am really, really pleased with everything. The rest of school has gone really well too. Savannah has taken off with reading and just keeps amazing me each day. She loves her new spelling program (Spelling Power) too. When we were coloring and cutting out the Jamestown diorama together, I couldn't help but think how lucky I was to be able to do this with her. It so much more fun than helping with homework like did when Tim II was in 3rd grade. I am so excited we get to travel to Williamsburg to see what we are studying. I guess that is feasible now, but I don't think we will be able to travel to Egypt when we study that in a few years! Maybe I need to start saving my pennies now. The pictures show all the projects she made this week.

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