Friday, January 16, 2009

Weekly wrap up -- January 16

A very full week this week with outside activities, but still amazingly productive.

Monday co-op, Tuesday home all day, Wednesday gym and swim, Thursday trip to my parents, and Friday we hosted Keepers Club (a small group -- but we had a great time learning about American Sign Language) and amazingly managed to finish a full week's worth of schoolwork.

Thursday we enjoyed a trip to my parents' house to meet another homeschool family from their church with kids around our kids' ages and to try out a game my mom put together about the life of William Carey.

This game could be easily adapted to a variety of topics. It challenges memory, listening skills, and teamwork. Here's the gist of it (sorry, no pictures, I didn't think to bring my camera):

She took each of the letters of William Carey's name and wrote them on a piece of paper (this gave us about 12 options which was a stretch, but doable). On the back of the paper she wrote the answer to a question (some were numbers, some were short phrases). Then she hung them on a wall so we could not see the answers.

We divided into two teams (although this could be done as a non-competitive group learning time as well) and then she explained the rules and began to read an intro to William Carey's life referencing the book she had taken it from. After a paragraph she got to a question, "What did William Carey's family own that most other families of the time did not?" The first team had to pick a letter in response.

The first few guesses are just blind guesses because we don't know what answer is under any letter. The other team did happen to guess the right letter(!), but after that we won some and lost some. However, as the game goes on you learn more of the answers and have to keep them straight, and figure out what answer goes to which question.

After one team misses a question it goes to the other team (without revealing where the right answer is still hiding). If it is missed twice in a row, it is skipped and repeated again in the next round. The game continues until all the questions have been answered correctly.

Some answers were humorous, especially when put to the wrong question (What was the second foreign language he learned? While Greek is the right answer we turned over "His wig" before later finding the correct response).

In between each question is a paragraph or two of description from the life of Carey and this would be read gradually throughout the game to reinforce the answers to the questions. The kids had a good time and learned some new information about the Father of Modern Missions. This would be a great activity for a homeschool co-op, a family review of a recent school unit, or just for fun about other great Christians. You just need to come up with questions, answers and put together the paper with the letters and answers on them. Our game lasted about an hour and worked well for our kids that fell between the ages of 6 and 11.

We enjoyed (using that term loosely) a serious bout of cold weather near the end of this week and got to see seriously cold weather at work. With forty below windchills we had to stay safe, but we still saw the power of the cold in a variety of interesting formats.

Favorite moments of the week:

- Faith came to me asking for more Scripture verse to memorize to combat her scary dreams. Amazing to watch her tender faith flourish. Here's some from her list: Psalm 23, II Timothy 1:7, I Peter 5:7, Psalm 56:3,4

- Finally opening the sewing machine the kids got for Christmas. They were all over that thing! They all have big plans, and my five year old couldn't stop giggling. She was so excited to get to really sew.

My son (11) made this with some scraps of fabric and ribbon (and no help from me). It is perfect for a purse for my daughters' American Girl Dolls!

This is my first attempt sewing doll clothes. I have hardly done much sewing in my entire life, but kind of enjoy it. We just read the patterns carefully, cut and followed directions. My girls are excited about the possibilities. Even with my slim to none knowledge of sewing these pants took me only about 30 minutes!

Challenges faced:

- Staying warm!

- Staying active enough to keep energy levels manageable -- Spring is still sooo far away.

Favorite passages in our books :

- Farmer Boy -- we talked a lot about the week that the kids spent home alone. Obviously, they were older than my kids are, but none of us could imagine handling all the jobs of managing a house and farm for a week while the parents spent a week on "vacation" at a relative's house. It would be one thing nowadays when we are a phone call away, 911 is always on hand, and neighbors are right next door. But, when they had no phones, the nearest house was about two miles away, and transportation was slow horse and buggy -- wow! I think that sometimes our modern conveniences help us forget to trust God, and even still worry is such a normal part of life.

- Little Cloud by Eric Carle -- I have read this about a dozen times in the last week. Nathan loves it right now and gets more animated with each reading. A great book just for reading, or leading into some simple cloud activities. And, it reminds me of warm afternoons lazing on the grass watching the clouds roll by. ahhhh, I can dream!


Kris said...

I like the game idea. I may have to borrow that one. We've got science review on the schedule for next week, so I'll have to keep that in mind.

Nekey said...

WOW! You guys ARE freezing. Here the daffodils come up in March and I always look forward to that. I loved the cold weather experiments, nostly the one about the bubbles. I cannot imagine being that cold.

Julie said...

40 below??! And I thought it was cold here at 12 below! Wow!

Sound like you had a very busy week, too. I love the doll clothes. Very cool. That purse is great too!