Saturday, December 9, 2017

Our Exam Week Celebration

We had our Term 1 exams about a month ago. I'm itching to discuss that process here, but for now I thought I'd just jump in to share our Exam Week Celebration in case any of you are looking for a simple way to incorporate some festivity into your exam experience.

The school-aged children each got part of the table on which to lay out their completed exam work as well as a few other visual pieces they wanted to showcase (their completed art pieces from the term, as well as Weekly Paintings and other illustrations).

 Each child had a chance to show Daddy their work, and he read through their exams.  Then we munched on some cookies while the children did recitations, singing, and piano.

Our tradition is to gift a stack of books for the free read shelf at the end of each term, all of which tie into the kids' school reading in some way.  I don't actively seek out particular books, usually -- I just hold back ones I have come upon use to give at end-of-term rather than setting them out right away.  So it's always a bit of a hodge podge!  We go through the pile and the kids try to guess whose studies the book correlates to. Often it's more than one year. :)

Spier's The Sailing Ship (Cate is reading about the Age of Discovery in Year 3, and we found several of the explorers from her studies in this book)
Morrison's Armor (dwells on the ancients, which we're covering in Year 6)
Coolidge's Men of Athens (another Year 6 tie-in)
Selsam's Underwater Zoos (I thought of Pagoo when I thrifted this one!)
Fox's The King's Falcon (Xavier's Year 2 readings like The Little Duke cover falconry)
Musical Instruments (I thought this one would just be great Book of Centuries inspiration)
One Day in Shakespeare's England (Cate is reading Bard of Avon this term)
The Costume Book for Parties and Plays (for the kids' many theatricals :))
Some Tunis books: WeaponsOars, Sails, and Steam; and Wheels (Book of Centuries stuff)
O'Neill's A Nursery History of England (ties to Our Island Story)
two from the Smithsonian collection: one on manatees and one on seals (relevant to our Jungle Book chapters)
Castle Diary (a supplement to Xavier's Year 2 history)

Like I said, a mish-mash!

Let me show you inside just one: A Nursery History of England. This is one I actually did pick up on purpose to gift my middles, on the suggestion of Wendy over on Instagram, and I'm so glad I did. I recognized the author, Elizabeth O'Neill, as the writer of The World's Story, a Mater Amabilis history selection. My copy unfortunately has some foxing, but it's still such a neat find.

I am so pleased with its charm. :) And it is perfect drawing fodder for my kids since the illustrations are lovely but simple. I see it being the inspiration for many other Weekly Paintings in the future as well as timeline entries and such.

(I'm planning to recap our Term 1 exams, but it won't be until at least the New Year. In the meantime, I have every other term archived here if you'd like a peek at our process. :))


  1. All so lovely!

    I own a nursery history of england too! I first saw it being used in the CM-ish school run by Susan Schaeffer Macaulay's daughter.

    Thanks for sharing

  2. So special and fun! These are the traditions our kiddos remember when they are grown and gone from home. I bought a book from Wendy's recommendations too. The Atlas of British History. I thought my husband and Caleb would love it. And I think it will bring England's geography to life a bit better for my less geographical inclined kiddos. =)

    Virginia Lee

    1. I just bought that book last week, VL! It hasn't come yet though. I am looking forward to it because we do SO much work with England. I can't imagine it won't be fun for everyone! :)

    2. Our copy came a couple of days ago. So far my husband has monopolized it. Ha! But Caleb grabbed it this evening and then Cale was looking at it over his shoulder. It actually inspired much discussion just over history from previous years. And here I thought we'd be using it in conjunction with certain lessons. So far it's been a popular free read. =)

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  3. When you gift books to your children like this, are they building their own future library? Or are the books still part of the family collective? When a sibling advances to a year do they gain access or do they have to ask if they may read the book from whomever it belongs to? I love the idea of gifting books like this, but unsure of the dynamics of ownership and if it would make my life harder. ;)

    1. For now, they are part of the family collective. I don't keep track of any of that -- the kids do. They are free to take their books when they leave our home. :) But in the meantime, they are required to share. The owner gets first dibs, and then siblings can borrow and read. I have told them that if a sibling breaks a book, that sibling will replace it. But ultimately we're trying to cultivate a generous spirit when it comes to books we love. :)