The Week Before School 'Officially' Starts

...a weekly wrap up

We have had a great last week of summer break!  Though I wouldn't be honest, if I didn't add that I am sad to see our summer break end.  We will spend next week slowly easing back into our school schedule.  Which means, we'll probably do half days of academics and half days of 'phys ed' - ya know, the kind that requires a pool. {wink, wink}

1.  Our free* field trip to Brandywine River Museum to see Summer Sojourns: Art on Holiday.  Though it was a wonderful exhibit, the boys like the illustrative works of Howard Pyle and N.C. Wyeth better.  Our oldest son has a copy of Treasure Island which features Wyeth's illustrations, and the boys had fun pointing out all the pictures.  The girls liked Andrew Wyeth's Night Sleeper and Master Bedroom, both of which feature his dog napping.  We decided on a 4" by 6" picture postcard of Portrait of Pig, by James Wyeth (original is 48" by 84" - it is huge!) to send to a five year old child we sponsor through Compassion.  It was my daughter's favorite picture when she was five.

{*On Sundays, before noon, there is free admittance.}

2.  Tuesdays, in August, are dollar days at the Natural History Museum.  I hope to share more about our trip sometime next week.

3.  Monday, we were at the library so our youngest, who had finished 30 hours of reading/being read to, could get his bag.  Now, he has one just like his older siblings!

4.  Our two older children finished Andy Stanley's Five Things God Uses to Grow Your Faith video series with my husband facilitating their learning.  My husband and I had been through the materials earlier this summer and wanted to share it with our older children. 

5.  I have fond memories of using sign language as a child.  My second grade teacher taught us the alphabet, and I loved spelling words on my fingers.  {She also taught us Braille, but I completely forgot that.}  Later, when my children first began to speak, I taught them a few simple signs for 'more,' 'please,' and 'thank you.'  We also used signs for 'yes' and 'no.'  As they aged, we have gotten away from using any sign language.  Truthfully, I miss it.  So when I saw a few resources at the library for teaching sign language, I borrowed them.  This past week, all four children watched Signing Time! Practice Time, Level 1 ABCs and 123s as a brief, but thorough introduction to sign language.  We are now spelling things and counting with our fingers.  It also brought back memories of the simple words we signed when they were toddlers.  My eleven year old daughter was signing 'more' and 'please.'  Which led my oldest son to sign 'thank you.'  Neither had signed those words for more than eight years! 

6.  With the Olympics being aired everyday this week, we were, of course, watching!  We picked up Field Events in Action, by Bobbie Kalman and Queen of the Track: Alice Coachman, Olympic High-Jump Champion, by Heather Lang at the library to go along with this past week's Olympic obsession track and field. {My small confession: I love the Olympics! In fact, we were almost late to church because I was watching the marathon...ahem.}

7.  And, because we keep returning to Shakespeare, we listened to Greathall Productions, Inc. Shakespeare for Children, as told by Jim Weiss.  This CD contained "A Midsummer Night's Dream" and "The Taming of the Shrew."  Oh, how the children and I laughed!  {"The Taming of the Shrew" has become my new Shakespeare favorite.}

8.  We spent most of the afternoons beside in the pool. 
Hot temperatures + Hazy skies + Humid air = Pool {for our family!}
The children also tried speaking under water with sign language (#5).  What fun to play and learn!

Before I return to cleaning the house and preparing the school room for our official start next week, I want to share two quotes from signs we passed on the way to the art museum...

One was in front of a church.  On it, we read:

 "Experts built the Titanic, Amateur's built the Ark"

The other sign was in front of a local high school.  It declared:

"Read a BOOK, not fb or twitter."

Both made me laugh, and hopefully you share the humor.
Happy Friday!

Find more weekly wrap-ups at:
Homegrown Learners


  1. Dorie - I'm so glad you linked your week with Collage Friday.

    I learned a lot from your post - Shakespeare resources being one of them! We are starting Shakespeare next month - right now I just have Beautiful Stories from Shakespeare, but I'm going to investigate the audio you mentioned, too.

    Looks like you've really been enjoying the Olympics! ;-)

  2. What a great week you had. I am visiting from Mary's Collage Friday and love the things you did. I am with Mary, love the audio book you mentioned. We so love anything Jim Weiss reads. My daughter is very interested in sign language too. She knows the alphabet and a few words. "Nice to meet you" and I will be back to visit. :)

  3. It sounds like you all had a great last week of Summer. We are studying N.C. Wyeth this quarter. That exhibit sounds great.
    Blessings, Dawn

  4. That sounds like a whole lot of learning for a week of summer vacation! I love that part of homeschooling.

    Andrey Wyeth's Master Bedroom print is one of my favorites--I think my dog wishes that's where she got to sleep.

    Home Schoolroom


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