Week 30: March 22-26

I have to say, not a whole lot going on here. I took care of my mom last week as she was sick and needed help.  Then on Saturday we took a quick overnight trip to Tulsa, OK to visit the Tulsa Aquarium and Bass Pro Shop.  Monday was a day of recuperation from the week before and our little trip.  We went to the zoo with friends on Tuesday.  Our little man turned TWO YEARS  OLD on Wednesday.  We had a nice family dinner with the grandparents.  His party is this Sunday afternoon.  I spent the majority of Thursday doing some spring cleaning.  I’m not finished but got a good start!  Co-op today was great as usual.

I have pictures from our trip and zoo day to post, but I gave the SD card to my friend on accident.  🙂  I’ll add those to the birthday pictures next week. 

I have been reading and reading about AO’s art and music appreciation.  I plan to add both to our homeschool starting with this year’s 3rd term.  Also I would like to add hymns and folksongs the list.  We will definitely start art and music though.

I have been suffering from seasonal allergies and have yet to find something (anything!!!) to help….Thus the very short and boring weekly report.

Happy weekend to you all!!

Taking the AO plunge.

In our homeschool, I have yet found the time, energy, or organized resources to put together a solid art/music study for my boys.  I looked through Ambleside Online last year and was SO overwhelmed with everything on that website that I immediately decided against it.  However after looking through just the resources link, I have now decided to do art appreciation and music appreciation.  I am considering the Shakespeare schedule although I think we would start with a previous year, as well as hymns, folksongs, and poets.  Ok I guess I’m considering all of the subject resources! 🙂

I was just given this link to help with the music appreciation.

Anyone use the subject resources from Ambleside?  Any thoughts or suggestions?  Links to homeschool blogs with AO experience?

Preschool Accountability

It seems like most days my poor little boys spend most of their time doing their own thing.  I try to get at least 3 or 4 crafts in a week, plus a few preschool activity games.  Still I’m not using even a fourth of what I have available for them.  There are so many cool things I want to do with my little boys but without some strict organization (like the workbox system), I have very poor follow-through.

I set up these up for the older two boys’ workboxes a while back.  I like them much better than the hanging file folder system (I’ve converted those folders and storage tubs into my own organized system, all of our ABC activities, seasonal activities, and misc stuff).  I didn’t get any of those storage drawers for the littles though.  I didn’t think I’d need them.  Well guess what…..I need the same accountability for my little ones that I need for my older boys (duh…) only on a much simpler level.  I have one set (one unit of three drawers) for Gabriel and will get one set for Drake this week.  Gabriel’s drawers are simply labeled phonics, math, and art/craft.  I plan on putting at least five activities in each drawer for the week (four during co-op), probably more phonics activities as we can easily do two or three things a day (puzzles, flashcards, games, coloring pages, etc).  Kaleb will of course do the same art or craft as Gabriel so that saves having to use one of his drawers for art/crafts.  Drake’s labels will be books, shapes and colors, and fine motor skills.  The these drawers will actually be for both Drake and Gabriel.  His drawers will have at least five days’ worth of activities and we’ll just pull one a day, except for the books drawer.  I’ll fill that one daily with several books that we will read throughout the day.  In all Gabriel will have six scheduled activities a day, Drake will have three, and Kaleb will have one extra (Gabriel’s art/craft drawer) than the six he already has.

As we empty the drawers through the week, I plan on putting the reusable materials in a separate storage tub so I know we work our way through all of our materials.  Its the only way I know to take advantage of the many resources I’ve acquired over the years. After we’ve used all of our resources, we’ll just start over.  I may keep favorites out to use more than once a week.  We’ll follow the same workbox system as the older boys do with the number grid.

With the same system as the older boys, I’m sure I can keep the little boys on track with their own *schoolwork*.   Now maybe I’ll be more consistent with Tot School and Preschool Corner blog updates too!!  🙂

Week 27-29: Mar 1-19

I’m loving these last few weeks! I’m going to sound like a broken record, but Nathan is doing SO well in math and Kaleb is doing SO well in phonics! Great weeks!!  All three have been short weeks, though.

We started co-op on the first Friday of the month.  It has been pretty fun so far!!  The boys actually missed last Friday due to a short stomach bug.  Daddy watched them while I taught my class and then we snuggled on the couch for the rest of the day.

Kaleb participated in our homeschool group’s history fair this month.  It was a lot of fun for him.  He didn’t place, but still learned a lot about his topic and the history fair process.  He is already planning for the science fair in the fall.  

This week was crazy.  My mom got sick and had to come stay with us for three days.  The boys were crazy with her watching from the couch.  She, being used to the peace and quiet at her house, didn’t get much rest.  She did, however, get many hugs, I love you’s, and watch this Nana’s.

The boys are loving their co-op classes!  Nathan did drop the horses class.  It turns out most of the students were girls and about half his age.  The whole class was a little young for him so he will spend his last co-op hour practicing the guitar.  He has really taken to it.  He was playing a pretty little something today and I asked the name of the song.  He said he was just playing.  I was a little blown away.  After co-op, I will definitely have to find somewhere for him to continue lessons or maybe he’ll be far enough along to teach himself.  Kaleb loves his classes, especially the worms class.  Gabriel is enjoying the animals class. They learn about a different animal each week.  Of course the play-doh class and building blocks class are big hits as well. 

School work at home continues along at a decent pace.  This week was a little off, but we did get a good amount of work completely.  I have slacked in my organization and it is beginning to show.  Honestly I haven’t even kept track of what has been done.  We have been literally just *doing the next thing*. I’m going to get back on track for next week. We get more accomplished and I feel more relaxed when everything is planned.

 Kind of some crazy smiles, huh?  Happy Friday!  Enjoy your weekend!!

Wormy Week 1

One of Kaleb’s co-op classes is all about worms.  When I signed him up for the class, I was thinking how COOL it would be.  It is cool…..for the boys.  Its just kind of gross for me (you know, the one who has to remember to check on the little guys, cut up their food, make sure their newspaper stays moist, and dig around in the newspaper, dirt, food, and—I’m more than aware of the—poo).  Gotta love those worms!!  Oh and the teacher told us that if we keep them in the house with us, they will grow faster and most likely have BABIES before the end of co-op.  YAY! not…. (ok, that is a little exciting, but I’m having worm-filled nightmares already)

I just decided to pretend to be the cool mom who loves nothing more than digging around in a plastic shoe box storage full of…….fun. 

We are doing a photo journal because we don’t want to miss one tiny detail.  We’re actually starting on day two because I forgot about taking pictures on day one.

Anyway without further ado, please meet our new small friends, The Worms:

Day two-

Day four-

Can you tell the growth from day two and four?  That is pretty neat!!

We had a small food problem.  We’re apparently overfeeding.  There was some mold in the box today so I’m going to clean it out tomorrow and put in less food.  The crushed eggs is supposed to help with that though.  I may need to do some googling to find out more info.

Despite the fact that I think worms are icky, I think it will be a fun project!

Library book sale score.

For a small donation, all of these books became ours!  Perfect for my new little reader and future readers.  There were a few more but I kind of felt obligated to let someone else have a few.  If they are still there next Tuesday, we’ll snag those too!!

Incidentally, I like AR Book Finder for determining reading levels.  Do you have a similar website you like?

(a couple real posts coming soon……I hope!)

Kaleb’s first history fair.

Kaleb participated in his first history fair with our homeschool group.  He had such a great time!!  His topic was King Tut.  We read books, did several internet readings, and watched some videos.  He dictated to me what he wanted on his board and then I typed it all up for him.  He picked out some pictures online that I printed and then we worked together to assemble his board.  The highlight for him was making the death mask.  He had so much fun and it was super easy to make.   I linked the instructions for the mask below the pictures. We added the beard by taping on an empty paper towel roll to the back of the face.

King Tut mask