Tag Archives: weekly wrap-up

Weekly Wrap-Up: Bill of Rights

For the month of February, we’re learning about the Bill of Rights. Last year we learned about the Constitution, so we’re sticking with the theme and doing the Bill of Rights. Seems a rather important topic with all the news these days.

Mr. Curiosity is reading Our Constitution by Donald Ritchie. It’s a project of the Annenberg Foundation Trust, whose website we’ve used for videos on the Constitution and Bill of Rights. The book does describe and explain the parts of the Constitution, but it also goes through each of the amendments. For each amendment, the book states the amendment, explains what it means, and then provides some key Supreme Court cases addressing the amendment. It’s definitely meant for an older audience (at least middle school) since it is more in depth and could overwhelm a younger child.

That’s why Miss Adventure is reading The Bill of Rights by Karen Price Hossell. The book starts out by discussing historical documents and how they are preserved. It then goes into the creation of the Bill of Rights and it’s ratification. This book is more appropriate for younger audiences, with one topic for every two-page spread.

Another option for Miss Adventure to read is Constitution Translated for Kids by Cathy Travis. Again, it covers the whole Constitution, including all the amendments, instead of just focusing on the Bill of Rights. Each page is broken into two columns. For each part of the Constitution, the original words are printed in the left column, and an explanation of the words is printed in the right column.

And those are the books we are using to learn about Bill of Rights. Linking up with Weird, Unsocialized Homeschooler’s Weekly Wrap-up.

f 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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Weekly Wrap-Up: Physicists

We’re continuing to learn about physics, splitting out time between physics and physicists. Mr. Curiosity finished How to Teach Quantum Physics to Your Dog and found it hilarious, and full of good physics ideas. Now he knows all about about evil squirrels and bunnies made of cheese. I’ve also had the kids learn about physicists, and here’s the books we’ve used.

I found a graphic novel of Richard Feynman called, appropriately enough Feynman by Jim Ottaviani. The book covers Feynman’s whole life, jumping back and forth to different periods of his life. It’s definitely targeted toward an older crowd. For one thing, there’s the physics and tricky mathematical equations mentioned. For the other, the pages are pretty dense with blocks of talking heads and little action showing on the page. Feynman was an interesting physicist who certainly had a way with words, but it’s not like he did exciting-looking activities.

The other book I found is Headstrong: 52 Women Who Changed Science-and the World by Rachel Swaby. It covers women who made significant contributions in medicine, biology, genetics, physics, geology, astronomy, math, and as inventors. Within each category, the scientists are presented in chronological order. The author devotes three or four pages to each scientist and her breakthrough research, often discussing how the woman had to fight against discrimination to get her voice heard. Miss Adventure is enjoying reading this one. The books reminds people that women have been involved in science just as much as men, even if our achievements are often ignored or co-opted.

And those are the books we used for physics this week. Linking up with Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers.

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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Weekly Wrap-Up: Science Overview Books

My daughter’s gymnastics team is hosting a meet this weekend (Stars and Stripes, a big meet with 1800+ competitors over four days), so I’ve been busy at the convention center all weekend. Team parents are expected to work a couple of sessions to help the whole thing run smoothly. I still have time to review a couple of books, though. I found two interesting science books I want to talk about today:

Let me start with the more general book, The Science Book (Big Ideas Simply Explained) published by DK. DK does some great overview books, so I’m not surprised they are the publisher. This also seems to be one of a series of books focusing on big ideas simply explained (I need to get The Politics Book next for Mr. Curiosity). The book is organized chronologically and for each major scientific breakthrough, you see the chain of observations that lead to the conclusion, what people thought before and after the breakthrough, a biography about the scientist, and some explanatory information. The book has great graphics and is designed for minimal scientific knowledge. It certainly would be an asset to a homeschooling library.

The second book is BODY: A Graphic Guide to Us by Steve Parker and Andrew Baker. As you would expect from the name, each page is a large graphic about a part of the body. The book walks you through the different organ systems and explains how they work with simple graphics. I would just flip open to a page and immediately be drawn into fascinating little details about the body. Miss Adventure spent the entire drive home from the library going, “huh” and then having to read me some tidbit. Be aware that this was published in the UK, so there are some alternate spellings (oesophagus, for example) and the measurements are all in metric.

And those are the new books we flipped through in school this week. Joining up with Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers.

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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Weekly Wrap-Up: Explorers

With a new month, we start a new topic. I decided we should learn a bit about explorers. We’ve done this topic before, but there are so many explorers, I figured we’d be able to find something new to study. We’re still starting with So You Want to Be an Explorer? by Judith St. George. The book provides an overview of many explorers from different time periods. There’s not a lot of detail, but it’s a good place to start to find someone you’re interested in.

Another overview book is DK Eyewitness Books: Explorer by Rupert Matthews. This book focuses more on why exploration occurred, moving through the ages. It doesn’t name too many explorers, but it does provide maps of some of the major exploration routes.

If you just want information on European exploration, try The World Made New by Marc Aronson and John W. Glenn. The subtitle lays out what the book is about “Why the age of exploration happened and how it changed the world.”

And finally, if you want more detail about some explorers, try Explorers Who Got Lost by Diane Sansevere-Drehel. This book focuses on explorers who accidentally made big discoveries. The author provides some in-depth descriptions of the lives of the explorers, and their discoveries.

And those were the books we used this week. Linking up with Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers’ Weekly Wrap-Up

Weekly-Wrap-UpIf you’re interested in purchasing the books, 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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Weekly Wrap-Up: Native American Mythology

Every year we’ve homeschooled, the kids (and I!) have learned about some traditional mythology. We started with the basics (Greek and Roman) and have slowly been expanding into different pantheons. This year, I decided to stick close to home and do some Native American mythology. This involved reading different myths, and then writing up either about different deities (My. Curiosity used Godchecker.com as his starting point) or constellations (in Miss Adventure’s case). Since they had a different focus, each kid used a different book.

Mr. Curiosity mostly read from American Indian Myths and Legends, selected and edited by Richard Erdoes and Alfonso Ortiz. This is a fat book (527 pages long) organized based on the subject of the myth (like creation myths or trickster myths) and then labeled based on which tribe told the story.

Miss Adventure, on the other hand, was all about Stars of the First People: Native American Star Myths and Constellations by Dorcas S. Miller. This was another adult-oriented book. In this case, it was organized based on region, then tribe, and then told the stories of different constellations and what those tribes saw in the sky or named different features (like the Milky Way or the Morning Star).

If you’re looking for something written for kids, try either The Woman Who Lived with Wolves: & Other Stories from the Tipi or The Boy & His Mud Horses: & Other Stories from the Tipi, both written and illustrated by Paul Goble. These are two-page versions of the myths, with illustrations on each page. He focuses on myths of Western tribes.

And those were the books we used this month. Linking up with Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers’ Weekly Wrap-Up

Weekly-Wrap-UpIf you’re interested in purchasing the books, 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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Weekly Wrap-Up: Biomes

Sorry the blog has been quiet lately. Not only has school started for myself and the kids, but our show has entered the final push for performance. We’re doing “To Kill a Mockingbird”, with Miss Adventure playing Scout, Mr. Curiosity playing Jem, and I am the narrator, Jean Louise (Scout all grown up). Opening night is Friday!! We’ve really enjoyed the experience, but we’re also starting to get tired of being out every evening. Good thing it’s almost done, but we have a full week of rehearsals before two performances this weekend. No promises how many posts I’ll get up this week. But, while I’m waiting to leave for my hockey game, I thought I’d put up the resources we’ve been using in our first topic of the year – biomes.

Miss Adventure has been reading Earth’s Biomes by Donna Latham. The book is full of lovely pictures and information in short paragraphs surrounded by colorful graphics. The author covers all five of the biomes, including comparing some specific types like a tropical rain forest vs. a temperate deciduous forest.

Mr. Curiosity, on the other hand, has decided to step up his level of reading. He’s been using Biomes of Earth: Terrestrial, Aquatic, and Human-Dominated by Susan Woodward. This book is more like a textbook. After introducing each biome, the author went into more detail on each biome. She covered characteristics of that biome’s climate, vegetation, soils, and animal life and then talk about specific examples of that biome.

To emphasize the variety of life on Earth, I’ve also had the kids watch episodes of the BBC show Planet Earth. This is an absolutely gorgeous documentary series that covers everything from the deep-sea to deserts, mountains to caves. It shows off the amazing scenery and animals we can find throughout the various ecosystems on Earth. If you’ve never watched the series, do yourself a favor and find a copy. As a bonus, it’s streaming on Netflix!

The kids have also been drawing pictures of each of the biomes, and we plan to make Venn diagrams of characteristics of each biome to see how they interact.

And, those are the resources we’ve been using as we learn about biomes. Linking up with Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers’ Weekly Wrap-Up

Weekly-Wrap-UpIf 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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Weekly Wrap-Up: The Cold War

Things have been crazy, but we still manage to squeeze in some schoolwork. We had an American History Club meeting on the Cold War. With as important as the Cold War was, and the long time it lasted, there were few historical fiction novels set in that time period for a younger audience that I could find. It wasn’t a total bust – we managed to scrape together two, and they were both excellent.

First off, there was The Apothecary by Maile Meloy. This added a fantastical/magical component to the fears of the Cold War. It is set in England, just after WWII, and you see all fears associated with the Russians and the nuclear bombs, played out in young, teen-aged kids. The book brought up all kinds of discussion point about the Cold War, and kept two nearly teen-aged boys interested in the topic.

The other find was The Loud Silence of Francine Green by Karen Cushman. This book is set in Hollywood, but still in the 1950s so you still get quite a bit about McCarthyism and atom bomb scares. This is aimed at a slightly younger audience (which was perfect, since it was read by a couple of just about 10-year old girls). You also see some strong character growth and development in speaking up for wrong things. The ending doesn’t wrap all the plot lines into a neat little bow, which lead to some discussion of “What do YOU think happened?”

We’ve used some other books recently, but I want to keep this post thematic. Linking up with Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers’ Weekly Wrap-Up

Weekly-Wrap-UpIf 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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