Thursday, October 3, 2013

Camporee - Growing, Thriving Boys

Honor - second year Webelos
Got it!
Justice - a hair from First Class rank

   Ask our boys, "Who's better?" Hold your ears. Every boy in the troop will proudly shout, "NONE BETTER!!" loud enough to raise the roof.

   Having our pack and troop fold, saying goodbye to boys, going through the whole troop/pack shopping thing, settling into a new one, and finding where we fit in, all over again, wasn't our idea of how our summer would go. My boys have landed on their feet now. They have new friends, they walk taller after meetings, and they proudly wear their new numbers. We're looking forward to great growth and conquering. =)

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Week 6: Spring Cleaning, Down Time, Museum

    A clean house and actively homeschooling seem to be mutually exclusive.

    The house is much cleaner.

    The school books never left the shelf

    We took a fun museum fieldtrip with four other homeschooling families.  I read ahead in a few school books, and immersed myself in an AHG charter packet until it made sense.

     Joy started crocheting cuffs and headbands for a craft fair. Grace cracked the crochet code and left umpteen chains of various sizes all over the house. Faith couldn't figure out why they were spending their time messing with string when they could play. They painted daily.

     Justice read tons, and wrote a bit too. Honor built gobs of Lego creations. They ran the RC ATV in the yard. Valor tried to do a little bit of what everyone else did.

Honor checking out a display
Gobs of old movies were filmed in this area
Assayers tools - Love the microscope!
The nature display really caught the attention of the kids.
So much so, the gentlemen working on the display wanted
to know how we made kids respond like that. As we left he
kept saying, "Keep working that magic, ladies!"
Elvis chapel
Faith is the first to charge into a new exhibit,
has to be at the front to see everything, and
isn't afraid of climbing anything to prove
her point. Fiercely independent.
Justice was a great big brother. He pushed Valor's stroller
the whole way, helped him out and in countless times,
and took care of him for the whole tour.

Rail cars to haul away the smashed rocks
Native American flour grinders, typically ran
with hands instead of used as a seat.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Weeks 4 and 5 of 2013

Two week catch-up in one post. Ready, set, go!

Grace's sun on her solar system poster, complete with
solar flares

Empire State Building
The harsh season is coming to an end, and the palo  verde
trees have sweet, little yellow blossoms.

Honor has connections.
Justice's desk
Solar prints on construction paper
Grace turned 8!!
Popcorn selling Webelos scout

Faith started Legends and Leagues
Hobbiton Across the Water
American Heritage Girls admiring fossils at a community
expo event

Sweetest pirate ever

Pretty girl
Desert puddle dwelling crustaceans we found growing
in our backyard

And there was a dance show in there somewhere too.
Faith and her instructor dancing mambo

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Week Three of 2013-2014

Week Three: September 2nd through the 6th

        Doesn't everyone do their kindergarten work while wearing the crown they made at Sunday School??? Faith had a great week, though we've learned not to bother doing seatwork anywhere near her naptime. She's beginning to take pride in getting her handwriting done well and tries to erase messy letters before I can see them. Math and reading are moving along nicely. The "I could conquer the world if you'd just LET me" side of her gets easily cramped by too many instructions. She's learning to put up a halt hand when she needs me to stop.

Third Grade

    Grace called it her best week yet. She's really getting a good groove started for the year.
Grammar: For awhile I thought she should be in the 5 book instead of the 4 book, but 4 hasn't been too light. Forward, ho!
Spelling: She aced the first two lessons in the 4 book.
Writing: She outlined, analyzed and immitated, and rewrote The Town Mouse and The Country Mouse.
Literature: Narnia has become a family event. We read chapters 9-12 this week. Love!
Math: Strong week. She's officially over the new curricula learning curve, and loves the little riddles Horizons 4 puts in.
Latin: Finished her second week on lesson 2, and got a perfect score on the quiz.
Science: She dug into The Sun chapter and did a few notebooking pages. She's enjoying this in spite of herself.
History: Cain and Abel card this week. She read the Genesis chapters herself (full translation, not a children's), drew illustrations in her notebook, and filled the front of a notebook page with her summary.

Fifth Grade

         That expression pretty much sums up Honor's opinion of this week.
Grammar: Strong start. The 5 book doesn't stand a chance.
Spelling: He hit a snag near the end of last year's 4 book, and powered right over it.
Writing: He's still in the grammar review portion of Wordsmith Apprentice, and made it through the poetry section.
Literature: His only Narnia complaint is reading a mere chapter a day. "But you're just getting to the good part!"
Math: Another strong week. He really enjoys Horizons.
Latin: Finished chapter 6, and is doing great on the grammar

Reading Father Christmas Letters by J.R.R. Tolkien,
after the Father Christmas chapter in Narnia

Science: He learned about the Woolworth Building, and did a couple projects to use what he's learned about steal beam structures. Thus the marshmallow toothpick building. ;-)  
History:  Cain and Abel card. He's making noise that history isn't moving fast enough. This is toned down on purpose so he has more time to get carried away with Narnia and Architecture. I reminded him of that, and for now we're sticking to the plan.

Eighth Grade

     Joy also said it was the best week yet of this school year.
Grammar: Part of chapter 2 tripped her, but I think it was summer brain rust related.
Writing: She could not be happier with Jump In. On Fridays I have her pick one writing she did during the week to edit and rewrite.
Literature: She finished up chapter 1, read chapter two in The Annotated Hobbit, and spent a day focused on Tolkien's dragons, which included some pre-LOTR poetry, drawing, and internet research. She's reading The Wind in the Willows on the side. Think about it. Compare Wind in the Willows to hobbits. Seriously.
Math: 89% or B+ on her first chapter test, in spite of summer brain rust
Latin: She's still averaging two chapters a week.
Architecture: She fell in love with the Woolworth Building. The gothic cathedral elements had her swooning over the pictures. She and Honor were both yelling out names of the skyscrapers they recognize while the younger girls were watching Home Alone 2. It was hilarious.
Astronomy: Finished chapter one of Astronomy in the 21st Century, and watched the first episode of Experiencing Hubble: Understanding the Greatest Images in the Universe
History: Lessons 5 and 6 of Ancient Egypt this week - She mentioned that she hasn't really covered any new ground yet, but she is enjoying the Beautiful Feet format and the mapping assignments particularly. Another history to keep an eye on...

Ninth Grade
(Kindly ignore the pots. I can homeschool five kids or
I can keep the house very clean, but never both at the
same time!)

    Justice started this week strong, but still has some time management issues to conquer. Summer rust gets those too.
English:  Sticking to those page goals and working strong.
Tolkien Literature: We attempted getting through all the Mythgard Institute Hobbit lectures.
Math: He's starting to gain some confidence.
Greek: Phonics, that look much like Faith's! Say the letter, say the sound/s, write the letter. Lather, rinse, repeat.
Science: He's getting more comfortable here, and getting closer to microscope work and hearing the word dissection made it seem less like a just-get-the-box-checked subject.
History: Finished the Mesopotamia section in Human Odyssey, wrote about it, and did some mapwork.
Mythology: Researched and read various flood myths from around the world.

    Little Valor was his quirky, fun, adorable self. Though, if you look away for two seconds at Half Price Books, he helps himself out of the toddler seat and into the narrow basket instead. O_o

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

'13-'14 - First Two Weeks

    Faith had a great first two weeks of school. You can see what an average day looks like one post down from this one.
Phonics: I can see a huge difference in her reading confidence already. She's leaping ahead daily.
Math: She's working through two lessons a day, and was offended when I suggested she only do one. Her comprehension of the math facts blows me away.
Goops/manners: She adores these. They've stuck with her, and she tries to catch real life examples.
Charlotte's Web (read aloud): She was apprehensive about a read aloud just for her, and thought it was silly to read it when she's already seen the movie. Two weeks in her tune has changed. She looks forward to hearing it read aloud, and picks out the differences between the book and movie without prompting.

     Grace is soaring. She loves school.
Third Grade
Grammar: She's blazing through the review portion of the book. Only one lesson made her pause and really work at it.
Spelling: The little portion left of her 3 book has been devoured, and she is ready to eat the 4 book for breakfast.
Writing: She finished rewriting Town Mouse and Country Mouse. Highlight of her week.
Literature: Narnia is going great! We're 8 chapters into The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe.
Math: Horizons covers some more volume of topics than her last book did, so she's needed some taught on the fly. None of that has slowed her down much. She'll do the first test today.
Science: Win-win. The pre-made notebooking journal has made all the difference. Chapter 1 is done.
History: First two cards are done. She filled an entire notebook page with her summary for card 2
Latin: She spent the first week reviewing old material, and the second week plunging into a new lesson.

Fifth Grade
     Honor has started strong!
Grammar: Two weeks in. Not a burp.
Spelling: He also had a little bit from last year's spelling book. He's working hard to get out of it as quick as he can.
Writing: Wordsmith Apprentice for the win! He calls it a favorite subject.
Literature: 8 Narnia chapters. Going awesome. He's reading When the Sirens Wailed on the side.
Math: He had some summer brain rust to scratch off, and a few *facepalm* moments when I pointed out the obvious. He's on the upswing now.
Science: He covered the history of skyscrapers, learned gobs about the Reliance Building in Chicago, and began construction on a cardboard city block.
History: Two history cards down. His notebook is full of great illustrations.
Latin: He spent the first two weeks reviewing old words and grammar. Today he'll start a new lesson.

Eighth Grade
     Joy looks like she's having way too much fun to call it school. ;-)
Grammar: Summer brain rust. She's getting it scratched off.
Writing: Flying ahead. She enjoys it, and at the current pace she'll finish it pretty early.
Literature: Finished the Tolkien/Hobbit introduction work, and started the chapter 1 trails.
Latin: Runaway freight train! She did four chapters in two weeks. That's double-time.
Math: Strong start. First subject of the day. "Start with the best!"
Architecture: Same as Honor's science. Her favorite Reliance Building fact was finding an Old Navy across the street.
Astronomy: Strong start, but she's itching to get out of the introductory chapter.
History: This one lagged a little bit, because of scheduling snafus. We worked on daily amounts and long term goals.  

Ninth Grade
     Justice is solidly on the upswing from summer.
Grammar: homestretch! He'll be done with the subject in a little more than a month
Writing: He's not a fan of the Killgallon book he's working in, but he's made a daily page amount goal to get it out of the way quickly.
Literature: Tolkien. 'Nuff said.
Greek: He ate Code Cracker for breakfast, and is practicing with a vintage text until his main text gets here in the mail.
Math: His least favorite. It's starting to get some momentum going...
Science: This took awhile to get off the ground, but he's moving nicely now. The notebooking journal pages from Knowledge Box are working well, and we'll use them for the whole book.
History: Very nice. He read Genesis as literature, and the Mesopotamia section of Human Odyssey (Spielvogel)
Mythology: He researched various creation myths and wrote a contrast/compare paper on them.

The Baby

     Little Valor just turned 3. He doesn't have a lick of academics to report. He spends our school days driving trains on a track, playing with his toy cars, watching cartoons, climbing the furniture, doing something ridiculously silly to make the whole kitchen of kids working on lessons bust out laughing, and eating. Occasionally he'll climb up at the table between two kids, comment on their work, offer hugs, get tickled, and go off on his merry way. ♥

Friday, August 30, 2013

Kindergarten Binder - Win!

   The kindergarten binder has been a winner! It's efficient, keeps little things from getting forgotten, and Faith loves it. 

   When it's time for Faith to start school she pulls her kindergarten binder off the shelf and brings it to the table. The first cardstock page has a chart with 93 squares. The Child's Story Bible New Testament by Catherine Vos has 93 chapters. After we read and discuss one chapter she colors a square. Since then she brought home an early reader Bible from Sunday School that she wants to read instead. The 93 boxes won't line up anymore... but that's okay. =)

After coloring her square she turns the page to find her memory work. Bird Talk by Aileen Fisher is her first poem this year. She practices it three times.  

And the beginning of The Lord's Prayer, which is part of her homework from American Heritage Girls this week. That zigzag page underneath the memory piece is a book log. I put it in the daily pages to remind us to write down any titles she's finished.

Then she makes a tally mark for tracking how many school days she's had. 

  The days of the week, today's date, season, and place value with school days page is in a page protector. She does this with a dry erase marker, and cleans it off for tomorrow before turning the page. This was printed from Mama's Learning Corner. I skipped all the kewl weather tracking sheets one typically finds for kindergartners. Somehow marking that it's sunny for 350 days just didn't seem worth it. Areas with normal seasons probably enjoy those more than we do. ;-)

There's a clock on the backside. Faith checks the clock above the refrigerator and fills it out accordingly. 

Then we get into the tabbed sections. The first one is phonics. When she practices her Spalding phonogram cards she can color a square. (I made this one with a free empty 100 chart)

Under that is a pile of premade handwriting pages that coordinate with her phonogram cards. (Made on the Zaner-Bloser copywork generator thingie-ma-bobber.)

 She reads one short, phonetically controlled paragraph aloud. These are fairly easy for her, but I made her start at the beginning anyway. This is Blend Phonics Decodable Stories by Elizabeth Brown. You can download it for free at Don Potter's blend phonics page.

  Then she reads one of the Veritas Press Favorites books to me, and does an activity page to go with it. This day she read about 12 pages of Sammy the Seal, and did a seal dot-to-dot I found on the internet. (Sammy the Seal is her last Kindergarten Favorites title to finish, and she'll start First Favorites volume 1 next week.)

The math tab reminds her to get her Horizons 1 math book off the shelf and do the next lesson. Under the math tab she finds pages from MEP math practice book 1. She pulls those out as she feels like it, usually when all her daily work is done and she's not ready to give up school time. The Goops tab has Goops coloring pages to do after we read that section in her Goops book. When she completes the Goop book that divider will say maps, and have the Legends and Leagues activity pages tucked behind it instead. The little pocket in the back of the binder has random activity pages such as color by number/word/sum/difference, mazes, cutting practice, paper crafts, and other random pages I found free on the internet. When her daily work is done she can get those out anytime she feels like it.

Faith loves kindergarten!