Weekly Wrap-Up: Starting a New Year

College classes started for my husband and I on Monday, so I thought it would be a good day to start full-time schooling with the kids again. (We’ve been doing a couple of days a week during the summer to build up a buffer, but summer school is more relaxed.) We’re doing some botany this month, while we still have plants to go out and observe. As such, the books in this weekly wrap-up are all general introductions to plants.

The kids used The Visual Dictionary of Plants, a DK Eyewitness Visual Dictionary, to learn about the different phyla of plants. I then sent them out to sketch any of the phyla we could find in our neighborhood (they found lichens, mosses, ferns, conifers, and flowering plants and couldn’t find algae, horsetails, and club mosses). The book is set up with a paragraph description of something about plants, and then a two-page spread of photographs about the item on the page.

Eyewitness Plant by David Burnie is another DK Eyewitness book with a similar setup to the visual dictionary, but a slightly different focus. There’s more information on the parts of a plants and how plants get energy. You probably would only need one of these books since there’s a lot of overlap between the two.

Finally, an unrelated book: Little Red Writing by Joan Holub. It’s a take on the Little Red Riding Hood story, with the main character a pencil who is threatened by the Wolf 3000, an evil pencil sharpener. The main purpose of this picture book is to inform the reader how to tell a story. According to Ms. 2, the teacher, the story path is the following:

  1. Ideas, characters, setting
  2. Trouble
  3. Even bigger trouble
  4. Fix the trouble

After introducing the concept, Little Red experiences the story path in the story. It’s a great introduction to story writing for younger (and not so young) kids, with lots of details in the background to pick up on as you read the book over and over.

And those are the books we used this week in school! Happy to be linking up with Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers again.


If you’re interested in purchasing the book, you can click on the cover image or title to follow an Amazon affiliate link to the book and thanks for supporting my blog!

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