Week 18: Oh How I love a Good Routine

Our sweet Kaya, lying so quietly and patiently under my chair.

I love when we get into a good rhythm. Our time flows smoothly. We have time for all the things. Everyone feels good about our day. A good routine just makes life easier, right? I don’t mean a schedule. I am not a strict scheduling kind of girl. I like margin. White space. Time to just be. I feel like when I try to schedule our day, I always over schedule, never include enough time, and most always set myself up for failure. I end up rushing our read aloud time and boys’ creative activities. I feel like I must plan every single minute. And we never have free time to just be. I feel like a drill sergeant. Schedules aren’t bad! Some people thrive on a schedule. I prefer a routine. If we don’t get started right at 8am, that’s ok. We can still do the same things…just a little later in the morning. If we need to shift to the afternoon, we still have our routine…just later in the day. If everyone gets up early….you see what I mean. We simply follow our daily routine regardless when we begin. And when we get into our groove….it’s magical.

We had such a great week. A couple bumps in the road but mostly just a lovely week of learning. We began a moon study in anticipation of the coming lunar eclipse. The boys and I each did watercolor painting of a full moon, we read various books, and watched a wonderful documentary about the Apollo 11 landing. If you’re interested in reading more, I shared about our moon week in a separate post.

We had a few frustrations on Tuesday so instead of giving up the day (still remembering the wise words of Bob Schultz), we headed to a local lake for a quick nature walk. I wanted to see if the waterfall at the lake had any water flowing. It did not disappoint. In all we only walked about a mile, but it was pretty cold and muddy. We took time to pick individual trees for the new year. While we are relatively new to tree study, I like that some of the trees at the lake are labeled. We will continue our tree study into this week after we finish up our moon study.

I have to say…the rest of the week was pretty uneventful. My husband had to borrow my truck on Wednesday so it was just a full day of school and relaxing for us. The same for Thursday. That routine, you guys! On Friday, I took my teenager for his first sports physical. That was quite the experience for him!

Thanks to routine and a slow calendar, we had an awesome (but maybe a little boring?) week. Truth be told….I hope we have many, many more!

Week 17: A Lesson in Perseverence (for Mom)

A couple of years ago, I made a wonderful discovery. Someone on Instagram suggested a book by Bob Schultz. It was called Boyhood & Beyond. I’m not one to love gender-specific books but this one grabbed me. I always thought it was funny how I would read a chapter aloud to the boys….and realize the lesson was meant for me. Ha!

Fast forward to January 7th of this year. A lesson from another of his books, Created for Work. As soon as I read the first sentence, I knew this was for me. And it was timely. Sometime in 2018, developed this bad habit of giving up when things don’t go the way I planned. Or our school day gets interrupted by life. Or the boys aren’t listening well. Or I just feel cranky. What made it worse was that I knew exactly what the problem was (me) but I didn’t care. Last year wasn’t great. A lot of struggles…physical and emotional. And my attitude about a lot of things (all the things) stunk. Preparing for 2019, I seriously wanted to tackle this bad habit. I knew my attitude was one reason our homeschool suffered so much last year, and I didn’t want that for my boys.

So Bob Schultz reminded me that I didn’t want to live like that. When things get tough, keep going. Don’t crawl back into bed and pull the covers over my head. Don’t give up. Don’t let little things turn into big things. No matter what…keep going.

And like I said, timely. Ha! Our Monday did not go as planned. As soon as our morning group work ended, the struggles started. Boys fussing at each other. Not listening to me. Not doing their schoolwork. And I just wanted to throw in the towel. I remembered what I had just read to the boys about perseverance, and how I admitted to them that this lesson was just as much for me as them. I didn’t want them to think I was a hypocrite.

After a frustrating morning and lunch time, we all had some frustration to burn off. It was such a beautiful day and sunshine always makes me feel better so we headed outside for some yard work. Cleaning neglected fence lines is some serious work, you guys! After a couple hours, we were worn out, relaxed, and ready to restart our day. We loaded up into the truck to mail my teenager’s testing packet back to Seton, made a stop at Sonic for Happy Hour….we needed some happy, and then we hit the ground running as soon as we got back home.

Big lesson for mom: (and I know I already knew this…you probably do too) Mom ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy. My attitude sets the tone for our home, and can make or break our day. When I chose to keep going even when things stink, they are encouraged to keep going. When I bring my A game, they do too. They are learning how to act and react to situations by watching how I act and react. Gosh, I know this! But I guess I let myself forget it last year. Anyway so Monday wasn’t great but it was DONE. And I carried Bob Schultz’s words with me throughout the rest of our week.

After such a bad start to the week, I felt we needed a warmer, cozier start to our Tuesday. I prepped as much as I could the night before and then surprised the boys with a Poetry Tea Time breakfast. They had French toast and hot chocolate. We lit candles, and took turns reading winter poetry to each other. It was the BEST. They loved it, I loved it….and it set us up for a great day. Bonus: my dyslexic kiddo who never wants to read anything in front of anyone, including his brothers, read a poem to us!! It was such a sweet moment. His brothers listened quietly while he took his time to sound out difficult words and sometimes get Mom’s help. And then he re-read each line in a funny voice! So fun! We were all proud of him!

Wednesday was more of the same. Sweet, cozy school day. We did all the things, worked together, and enjoyed our day.

And again on Thursday, except I had a little surprise up my sleeve. The boys’ Nana gave them each a Chuck E Cheese gift card for Christmas. We had planned to go that Friday but I decided we earned an early treat. After completing most of our schoolwork that morning, we jumped in the truck and headed to town for some CEC fun.

Friday night brought another AH-mazing surprise. My dyslexic kiddo. He’s pretty stinking awesome! We didn’t get time during the day to complete his reading work so we tackled it after dinner. He sat and read all of his fluency words to me. I posted about it on Instagram. You’re welcome to pop over there and read about it.

We ended the week in a much better place than we started it. So thankful for a great week, authors who encourage (even those not in their intended audience), and so much grace. I hope your week is great….and if it isn’t, I hope you find the courage to persevere.

Week 16: Back 2 School…after the holidays

That first week back is always a doozy, you know?! To kind of help us get back into the swing of things after a long Christmas break, I decided to jump right back in the day after New Years Day. It was also the day Dad went back to work and only three days left in the week so a nice little transition for us. I tried to keep it super cozy and low key, although Drake’s math stress is pretty evident in this picture. He was not enjoying it!

We got back to our usual read aloud, The Magician’s Nephew. We only have a couple chapters left and boys have absolutely LOVED this book! I’ve never read The Chronicles of Narnia before so I’m loving it as well. We aren’t quite finished with our Christmas read aloud but we’ll finish that one up in the evenings.

A new learning adventure for me is the Instant Pot that I received from a friend for Christmas. It’s a little intimidating! I’ve had it since about the middle of December but finally decided this would be the week I would use it….at least once! I did the water test and that wasn’t so bad but I really just wanted to be done with it and fix dinner a different way. The hubs talked me into going ahead with some chicken. Seemed like an easy one to do. We just put four chicken breasts in the pot and topped with a Ranch Fiesta seasoning packet. The suggested time was a little misleading since it only shows the actual cooking time. I wasn’t expecting to wait an additional 10 minutes for it to build pressure. Makes sense…I just wasn’t expecting it. We all enjoyed the chicken though even the boy who usually refuses to eat chicken. I tried hard boiling eggs, using the 5-5-5 method. That was definitely easy peasy. I’m not sure how I feel about the Instant Pot just yet but I will definitely use it again soon….if for nothing more than to boil more eggs. Ha!

We managed to spend Monday afternoon to Friday morning at home. The boys and I literally went nowhere! Actually I think a boy snuck out with Dad to run some errands one evening. But I stayed in pjs all week long! I spent the time we weren’t doing school work putting away Christmas decor and getting the house back in order. And I read a lot. Two books down in 2019 already! So great. I’ll admit….it was a little tough, getting ready on Friday to pick up groceries. Ha! After I declared all the Christmas decor put away for the year, I walked out of my house on Friday and on to the Christmas welcome mat. What! I knew I’d end up overlooking something. Thankfully, the hubs hasn’t put the storage tubs in the attic yet.

My teenager spent his Saturday afternoon with his oldest brother tackling a standardized test. It isn’t required of homeschoolers in our state unless you want to play public school sports. He was a little nervous about it but after I glanced through the material, I had to assure him that he will do just fine. He doesn’t have anything to worry about. I just hope we get the results back SOON since public school here starts back on Monday. It has been a little bit of a rushed experience but I believe he will enjoy himself as soon as we get through all of the hoop jumping.

Our first week back to school wasn’t super structured but it was definitely a good one! Productive. Cozy. Laid back. I want continue the cozy school theme. Hot cocoa, warm blankets, and a lot of learning. A lot of reading! Maybe I can find some fun documentaries on history or something for us to watch. I want to move forward in our schoolwork but I still want to keep that super relaxed feeling from our break going. I know a lot of homeschoolers AND public schoolers starting back this Monday. I wish you the best first week back from break possible! I hope you get to carry that cozy, relaxed break feeling into your school week.

2018-19 Week 2: Composer/Artist Study

So I was crazy inspired by this set of videos by Sonya Shafer.  She pretty much broke down the Charlotte Mason education into five succinct points.

A little tangent:

Genius! I wish someone had done this for me back when I started reading about Miss Mason. I was incredibly lost when I visited Ambleside Online. I love and appreciate AO…but I froze when I saw ALL THE THINGS and wondered how in the world I could possible do it all with my boys.  Thankfully, I found other resources that made better sense to me. Oh, to have these videos though. If you’re curious about CM or wondering how to get started…where to start, you should seriously consider watching these five short videos. Don’t even watch them on the same day. Give yourself some time to digest each one individually.  And suddenly…..it won’t seem so intimidating.

Ok, back to my inspiration. Our composer and artist studies were found lacking this past year. It wasn’t fun. It wasn’t organized. It wasn’t encouraging or inspiring or really anything but a burden for me. I kind of gave up on both. Then I watched the video on adding five things to your weekly schedule. BOOM! It made perfect sense to me. Super easy. Don’t overthink it. And here we are.

This trimester’s composer is going to be Scott Joplin. I chose him for a few reasons. For one, he fits the time frame we are currently in (American history) while waiting for our ancient history materials to arrive. I think the boys will enjoy his music. They weren’t super impressed with last year’s selections. And I was inspired by my daugher-in-law’s American Literature high class. She’s making a great effort to share more than just the typical “dead white guys” with her class. I love it. I also want the boys to have a broader experience with American history and music. Plus when we do start the ancients, there won’t be a list of composers for us so we’ll just stick with modern composers for most of the year.

Same with our artist study. We are going to start the year with Jackson Pollock because who can pass up splatter paint art?! Seriously. I think this will be a much better introduction into art than some of my previous choices. We will have fun with it for sure.

We also added back a poetry study this year. We are going to stick with one of last year’s poets since we didn’t get far….Edgar Allen Poe. We watched a fun little video of The Raven as well as a short bio on video before listening to another video of Christopher Lee read the whole poem aloud. One of my boys immediately came up with a few lines of his own for a Minecraft parody of the poem. I can’t wait to share his completed work!

We used YouTube videos for much of our learning in these three areas. I’ll link a few of the videos we loved below.

Jackson Pollock:

Scott Joplin:

Edgar Allen Poe:

On to our weekly report….

You know when we’re getting back into our school routine? When I don’t have many pictures to share because we were just on a roll! Ha! I didn’t take many but we did have a fun field trip at a local pizza place on Thursday. The kiddos were able to make their own pizza…and while those baked, we had a little pizza dough fun. Then, of course, the kids ate their creations.

Other than that, it was business as usual.  Our busy season is starting up again…a lot of baseball and soccer and co-op classes. Summer has officially ended for us!

2018-19 School Year: Our First Week

As usual, my first week report is before my curriculum post. Ha! Why change things up at this point right? It’s almost like my own annual tradition. Also….we’ll see how long the blogging about school lasts this year.  I think I barely even started last year before I stopped. I’ll get back into the habit one of these years, right?!

So week one:

First of all, something new for our school year….I’m watching my little grand toddlers every day for the months of August and September. And I’m also watching my little grand baby 1-3 days a week. Just call my house Mimi’s Grandcare. Ha! The boys and I love having them, and we actually managed to have a pretty decent week while adjusting to the changes. There are challenges but we’re a pretty patient lot and it helps that they are so stinkin’ cute!! We will definitely miss having them around when this time comes to an end.

Another challenge….I decided to outsource our printing needs this year.  Our summer was full of all the things so I was quickly running out of time to do my once a year planning/printing. I ordered all of our PDFs to be printed back in the middle of July. We should have received it by early August but here we are….working toward the end of August and nothing has been printed yet. Sigh. Trying to show patience. That’s a good chunk of our schoolwork. Patience. Patience. Patience. If I repeat it over and over, will it help? Or only further annoy me?!

The highlights of our week…

Monday:

You know when the Bob Schultz book you’re reading to your kids….so they will become good upstanding adults…ends up convicting you instead of them? The book clearly says it’s for boys but there I was……totally convicted. So we spent the morning after our group work deep cleaning our bedrooms and bathrooms. Ha! Thanks, Bob. But keep in mind that your job is to teach my boys….not me. For real, man. Then math, reading, copywork, etc.  All the things that the boys did NOT miss over the summer. We’re sticking with American history until our ancient history shows up.  Digging a little deeper into WWI and WWII. Kaleb, the history buff, is in heaven. I feel like I’m crying every day. If you need a good resource for American history though, check out America: The Story of Us. So good! We watch on Prime.

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Tuesday:

So how do you get restless boys to settle down and work? Homeschool PE. YES! A little running, some jumping jacks, sit ups, push ups, and of course planks. Burn that extra energy! And I learned that if the baby of the family works harder and does better than his older brothers, those olders work harder themselves to show they are stronger/faster/better. Homeschool PE = some healthy, brotherly competition = extra burn. I like it. One of our new daily habits!

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Wednesday:

Finally the mom of this house got it together long enough to give the boys some fun NB2S gifts.  Of course she didn’t have it together enough beforehand to actually finish anything….so Dad saved the day! After a day of schoolwork, we all jumped into the truck and headed to a fun amateur hunting film fest.  First, Dad bought us dinner at a fave restaurant. Then we made our way to the event.  We watched several hunting videos (I’m not a fan usually but they were well done and fun to watch.) and caught some cool prizes. The boys each came home with either a hat or shirt and a dvd. We got home around midnight so I let the boys sleep in just a bit the next day.

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Thursday:

The homeschool mom is tired, ya’ll. It’s been a long week. A great week. But long. And I didn’t have the luxury of sleeping in like some people in my house. This one cup of coffee girl had two cups. Ha! We managed most of our schoolwork but not much else beyond that. The grands LOVE playing outside so the boys spent a lot of time in the yard with them.

Friday:

Happy FriYAY!!! We did it! Our first week of the school year is DONE!! We’ll get a little but of school work done and then…..it’s time to celebrate those birthday twins!!! Technically, their birthday is tomorrow but someone convinced me it was today, even though I knew I was right. Ha! So we did some fun things with them. It’s not everyday a grand is in your house on (or around) their birthday, right?! We definitely took advantage.

Hear that big ole happy sigh?! As much as I miss our summer break, it’s good to be back into our school routine. Settling my mind. Calming my heart. I love the spontaneity of summer, but oh that school routine….like a soothing balm to my soul. And the things we will learn this year. I can’t wait. So many books waiting to be read. So many adventures waiting to be taken. So many memories waiting to be made. My happy place.

Happy Not Back to School, my homeschool friends! Here’s to an AH-mazing year!!

Week 4: The One with NB2S Fun

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Happy Not Back To School Day!!!  Our local public school started back on Monday so, as per our tradition, we had a FUN day.  Just a day to celebrate being homeschoolers, not getting up to catch the bus, being able to schedule our day the way we like it, having fun with friends, and, well, being lazy if we want!

Our day started off with sleeping in as late as we want. Well, that didn’t work out quite as well as it has in previous years. Knowing that I traditionally have some NB2S goodies waiting for them in the kitchen on NB2S day, Gabriel was actually up at around 5am. He thoughtfully stayed in bed until the sun rose, thankfully.  I didn’t bother getting up with them…I knew they would eventually find their new things and have fun pouring over them without me.

Their goodies include a new fun shirt (for NB2S pictures of course!), some yummy snacks, school supplies, and whatever other little trinkety things I might find. Since fidget spinners are all the rage this year, they each received one in their school color. Well poor Drake got a black one. There just isn’t much in the way of orange school supplies/trinkets this year.

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So then our day continued with our traditional late breakfast.  All the stares from people as we walk into a restaurant around 9am on the first day of school. Ha! Everyone wondering what these schoolers are doing out of school. The boys love to tell people that it is our NB2S day because we’re homeschoolers!!!

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We spend the rest of the morning doing whatever we want….playing video games, watching tv, playing outside, doing laundry (well, me anyway). Just killing time until our NB2S party with one of our homeschool groups. I loved that one year when two of our groups planned their NB2S parties on the same day but different times. We spent the whole day with friends!!

Off to grab a bite for lunch before heading to the skating rink!  A local skating rink not only has the rink but also a whole other area with bouncy things, in-floor trampolines, and a place area similar to those McDonalds play areas. Fun for all ages!! I especially loved that I could skate this year since my youngest is now old enough to play on his own with his friends. He doesn’t need his mommy right with him anymore! Kind of a sad happy about that. In this case, happy…I skated for two hours!!! Some moms always “guard” the door to make sure no kids get outside and we all watch over each others kiddos. I declared myself the rink police/emt….”go the other way!” “Are you ok?” “Let me see that boo-boo.” “Watch out for littles!” …..as I went around and around and around. So. Fun.

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As usual, we left the skate party 30 minutes early….using, of course, my secret weapon. Happy Hour at Sonic!!  All of our skate parties end at 4pm.  The Sonic is just a few miles down the road so years ago I told the boys we could stop for happy hour drinks if we left the rink a little early.  We avoid the “I don’t want to leave my friends” breakdowns, the crowds leaving the building, the wait in the parking lot to pull onto the street, and we get a cool drink for half price! Win-win!! We’ve kept that tradition!!

That’s the end of our totally awesome NB2S day!!  Now on to the rest of our week…..

Tuesday was a terrible no good very bad day. I’m just going to be real with you all.  It was baaaad. Like everyone crying on their beds bad…including Mom.  Ugh. We just got off to a bad start and carried the theme all the way to lunch when I decided enough was enough and ended our day.  I laid (re: pouted) on my bed until the hubs came home.  It was a mess but we did have good conversations about it on Wednesday and came to an agreement. According to the “On this day” on facebook, we have a history of bad days after NB2S day so obviously I need to adjust my expectations and maybe ease back into school a little slower.

We had a great day of school on Wednesday. We had fun and accomplished a lot of work. Not a lot to say. Ha! We just worked.  I did re-arrange my “mom” chair area.  I have a wooden crate that holds most of our group work or “morning time basket”.  It holds our history, science, Bible study, current read alouds, etc.  All of the books that don’t fit into the crate (like the Brave Writer binder) go into a little shelving table that sits on the other side of my chair.  Neat, organized, and ready to go.

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Speaking of Bravewriter…we are LOVING The Writer’s Jungle.  I’ve gently added some of the suggestions from the first chapter. So far they’ve happily gone along with the additions. Then Wednesday we played the communication game. They LOVED it. Asked again and again if we could keep playing.

After a morning of schoolwork on Thursday, we ventured off to a local lake for our nature study.  We use Exploring Nature with Children as one of our nature resources and this week was all about pond life.  Our small pond gets quite nasty about this time of year along with many other available ponds in our area so a small lake was the perfect choice for us.  We took a picnic lunch….because food always tastes better outdoors, and I read to them from our nature books while they ate.

We took a little walk down the walking trail, out of the way of all the fishermen who were at the lake.  On our way, we saw a dragonfly lying on its back on the trail.  I thought it was dead and was kind of excited about taking it home.  Gabriel flipped him over with a finger and it flew off.  We went to where it landed….and it crawled right up on Gabriel’s outstretched hand!  It sat on his hand long enough for all five of us to get a good look at it and for pictures.  It must have been so thankful to have Gabriel flip him right side up!

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We found a little path down to the edge of the lake and each one took turns scooping some water from the lake into a mason jar.  We were hoping to catch some tiny lake creatures!

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We did in fact catch some kind of creature. I hoped it was a fairy shrimp but those are pretty rare in our area and it was a little too small anyway.  We brought it home and studied it under a magnifying glass. After a couple of pictures, we released it and added an entry to our nature journals.

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Friday was spent in town. I did have plans to do a little bit of schoolwork in the morning. Unfortunately, I developed a migraine over night so I did not want to look at tiny print on paper. My 8th grader had a student council event at the mall. They had a FUN photo scavenger hunt!  The rest of us did a little grocery shopping, stopped to visit a friend, and then met back up at the mall….in front of The Cookie Co.  Ha! We had a sweet treat and then headed out for the rest of our grocery shopping.  I was miserable after all of that and went straight to bed when we got home. So thankful for kiddos who know how to put away groceries and entertain themselves while Mama rests.

I am SO looking forward to week 5. Many fun things coming up.  I hope to take even more pictures as we get into a groove with our school days.  Our co-op classes start on week 6. Then we’ll have our first break during the week of Labor Day. I can’t believe we are that close to our first week off! I wonder if they’ll want to continue on…and if they do, should we go for it?! Ha!  The hubs is taking a vacation week at the end of October which falls on the end of our next 6 weeks AND the end of Term 1. Wow. I can see how this year is going to fly by with our new schedule!

I hope you all had great weeks as well.  If you blogged your week, please comment below and share the link! I would love to read about your school week!

Happy Not Back To School!

Week 1: The one with zero pictures

So week one. Success! But yeah…no pictures.  We were just trying to get stuff done. Ha!

We started off slowly with about a half schedule, finding a groove with our morning work. I’ll admit, I’m still a little unsure about dictation, recitation, etc.  I need to get a better grip on it before Monday. Also need to redo my afternoon loop schedule since I forgot to add typing and Spanish….I didn’t even realize until Wednesday. I did keep thinking that I was forgetting something so there’s that.

We rocked at history, science, math, and Drake’s phonics!  We’re actually finishing up last year’s history.  We’ll start our brand new exciting history next week!!  I can’t wait!

The boys LOVE their new science program from Sabbath Mood Homeschool.  Kaleb is especially excited about it.  He enjoyed tracking the weather this week, although he did say he was hoping one day would be different that “clear skies and super hot”.

I can see we need to work a little bit on our habit of attention with math.  We were doing so well in the spring! Too much time off. I know we’ll get back to it soon, though.  We covered some multiplication, scientific notation, and a LOT of graphs.

We finished up My Side of the Mountain….finally.  We just haven’t been reading together that much this summer.  Back to school routine means more read aloud time. I’ve missed it.  We also are still reading Little Pilgrim’s Progress. We are about half way through that book.  We will add On the Far Side of the Mountain and some living history books next week.

I finished the week with the monthly mom’s meeting of our local Charlotte Mason group.  We are going to work our though Charlotte Mason’s book one Home Education.  We discussed Out of Doors this month.  I love her description of a “typical” afternoon of nature study.  I can’t wait to implement many of her ideas into our nature study.

Boy quotes on week one:

  • “I really liked the weather science.” Kaleb
  • “I just like My Side of the Mountain.” Gabriel
  • “I kind of like my reading program.” Drake
  • “I don’t like school. Is it over yet?” Joshua

I am incredibly pleased with our first week.  It feels great to be getting back into a routine. Our days felt productive and peaceful.  I hope the following days, weeks, and months continue in the same manner.

I promise pictures next week!  We have some fun activities coming up and the boys will be starting their handicrafts soon. So many good things! See you next time!

 

 

Week 7: the one that actually included science.

Seven weeks in the books…wow! Time is FLYING!

This was a special week because DADDY WAS HOME!!!!  He had a little bit of work to do and of course he snuck in some humting, but was otherwise the perfect distraction….so it was kind of a light week. 🙂

This was also a super FUN week, filled with science. 

Monday-

  • All three boys did a fabulous job reciting last week’s verse, and we started on a new one–Mark 12:30-31.
  • Read about Joseph, his brothers, and his coat of many colors in Scripture Adventures, and added a picture to their faith journals.

Kaleb’s page.
 

 
      

      
    •  We read about the rain cycle, watched an online animation, and worked together to label the water cycle on the whiteboard. Then the boys drew their own version in their science journals.

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      Gabriel’s page.

       

Drake’s page. I did some of the drawing for him and then he colored it.

Kaleb’s page. sorry it’s turned sideways.
  • A little phonics, vocab, grammar, and math finished out the school day.
  • Gabriel had football practice.

Tuesday-

  • Heard Gabriel singing “…He will never, never, never let the righteous fall…” to himself while doing math. 🙂 Have I mentioned how much I LOVE Seeds Family Worship?
  • In SA, we talked more about Joseph…from his time as a slave to his jail time when he interpreted the butcher and baker’s dreams.
  • Answered the question “Does God sin?” in Who is God? 
  • Kaleb tackled compound subjects and predicates, and happily diagrammed a few sentences in R&S English.
  • Daddy came home from hunting and went for a run.  Then I went for a midday run and Daddy helped Gabriel finish up ETC and do a OPG lesson while Kaleb finished up English. {getting a little spoiled}
  • Covered time of the Great Canal and the “Golden Age” of China.
  • Kaleb had a football game. 

Wednesday-

  • I know we did a full day of school but can’t for the life of me remember what we did.  Apparently I didn’y take any pictures either. Ha!

Thursday-

  • Spent the afternoon at an insect festival.  The boys had SO much fun!!

    See the little sign right below Gabriel’s hand where he’s touching the cotton plant? It’s says “Do not touch the cotton.” *sigh*

  • Gabriel had a football game.

Friday-

  • No co-op today!!  The church secretary is getting married tomorrow so her family and friends decorated the church today. SO excited for her!!!
  • Kaleb and Gabriel were in the homecoming parade. 🙂 They were SUPER excited!

Science Sunday

Week 6–Sept 14-18

You know how as the day ends you think “man, we sure didn’t accomplish much today,” but then you look at the week on Friday and see just how much was accomplished? That was our week….or maybe things just went more smoothly than I expect. I don’t know but we did get A LOT accomplished this week!!

Nathan-
*Math-completed four lessons this week. He is getting back into those fractions that gave him such a hard time last year, but he is doing very well. I have also found some living math resources to help. A HUGE thank you to Jimmie and all of her resources. I enjoyed her links here too.
*R&S English-completed lessons 13-15 and many worksheets (both from the workbox and online printables).
*R&S Spelling-completed lesson 4.
*WW-completed lesson 4.

Kaleb-
*Math-continuing to do some fun math games. I printed off a wonderful math lapbook from File Folder Fun. We will start Saxon 1 next week.
*ETC-he continues to do page after page in his book. I require only 1-2 pages a day, and then let him do another 1-2 if he wants. He really loves his ETC!
*OPGTR-We are still on break from this as we work on cvc words. His reading is really coming along and I think we will be back to OPG after next week! We have been going back a few lessons and reading the stories. He is finally getting that those words actually are part of a story! He is also reading at least one BOB book a day.
*ABC lessons-We stuck with the letter Ee this week since we had so many projects to finish. I’m glad we did. We have been able to use the bible lesson in a couple situations this week.

Circle time-
I have spent a good deal of this week getting the school room put back together after we switched some rooms around. Everything is on it’s way to being much more organized and accessible! Our circle time has been very short as a result because all the materials are in the school room that has been in disarray all week. I breezed in with the littles, did a little calendar, and scooted everyone out.

Kaleb and Gabriel did start their Neighborhood activities this week though! They are LOVING it! Next week we will take a field trip with our homeschool group to a fire station. They are super excited about that!! Since the trip is next week and we haven’t moved along very quickly with the activities, we’re going out of order next week to learn all about the Fire Station while the field trip is fresh in their minds and we’ll do the home section the following week.

Together-
Astronomy-We’re finishing up Ch 4 Venus this week. We have enjoyed learning about Earth’s “twin.” The boys LOVED the lava experiment. They were all very excited to show Dad when he got home Tuesday afternoon.
MOH-completed lessons 11-15. We read my FAVORITE bible stories from Abraham to Joseph.

Coop-
Another GREAT week of co-op!
Nathan is loving his rocket science class. Today they made little hollow rockets out of paper and used straws to *shoot* them across the room by blowing into the straws. He is really enjoying backgammon! I am a little shocked by that because I truly didn’t expect him to like it so much. His CSI class is still a HUGE hit. They walked into a crime scene in their room today!! Now they are trying to find the guilty shoe!
Kaleb really enjoys his history class. His teacher is AWESOME and quickly developed a soft spot for my little man which I LOVE! She said he keeps the conversation going and gets the other children involved (when he isn’t busy hogging the spotlight). He brought home a bunch of little fun art activities from his art class! So cute!! They are doing some really fun things in that class. He had much more fun in his game class this week! I was a little concerned because he really didn’t enjoy last week. He played Candy Land and another game. Much better, he said! He is a Candy Land guy!!
I’m not sure what Gabriel did today! lol His classroom is right next to mine so I DO know that he did a LOT of talking today! I couldn’t make out what he was saying every time but he was definitely enjoying himself. When I asked him about his day, he said he played Tic Tac Toe….and that is ALL I have managed to get out of him so far! =)
Drake had a LONG nap during co-op. I had him and a baby girl today and both napped at the same time!! It was like a little mini-break for me! =) I read a magazine and cleaned up the room while they napped. Then we went outside to play for a long while. Drake didn’t want to go back into the room so we roamed the hallways until it was time to go.
Today was our day to help with clean-up. The three older boys were VERY helpful as I had to hold Drake the whole time to keep him from running off (I guess he wasn’t finished hall roaming!).
Our homeschool group had a WONDERFUL mom’s night out last night! We had tons of door prizes, pizza, and salad and dessert bars, AND each mom received a beautiful tote bag full of goodies. Then we brainstormed ideas for the upcoming year. It was GREAT!! I enjoyed the time with other moms!! I LOVE our homeschool group!!!!!!

Below is a slide show of our week:

Apple lapbook and shape lapbook ideas came from Mama Jenn.

For some reason, the apple file folder picture won’t show in the slide. Here it is:

Photobucket

Three weeks’ worth of review!!! Tons of pictures!!!

Backwards! I loaded these pics wrong but don’t have enough time to change them!! Our three weeks in reverse!

March 30 week.

Baseball practice started this week. Nathan and Kaleb are both playing. This is Kaleb’s first year of t-ball and I am his COACH!!! lol I’m so excited and he is too.

Here is a picture of Kaleb entertaining the crowd of parents with his air guitar while patiently waiting his turn at batting practice.

Gabriel had a hard time coming to terms that he wasn’t old enough this year so Daddy took him to the little park in front of the fields. A lady told him how cute he was and asked his name. He told her, and she said “JD?” Gabriel said, “NO! Gabriel! G-A-B-R-I-E-L! Gabriel!” lol

After two short weeks, we’re ready to get back at it. Nathan started the TLP’s Cricket in Times Square. Finally! A language arts program that is actually challenging him! I love it and he “kind of likes it.” lol

We took the whole two weeks off of math because he was just so stressed. We are slowly getting back into it this week. He struggles with fractions and right now he is learning how to add/subtract unlike fractions. Not fun. We’ll just work slowly through and make sure he gets it before moving on.

I think I mentioned that we dropped our history program. I didn’t enjoy it, Nathan couldn’t stand it, and Kaleb wasn’t interested in it. I finished typing out the schedule for the ancients and we’ll start that next week. I am very excited about it! I have many, many hands-on activities planned for the boys that I know they’ll love. Plus I LOVE our new history spine-MOH. I’ve been reading it for the past few weeks!

We’re putting off the rest of our human anatomy study until after Easter. I have the lapbook ready for when we jump back in there.

I also put together two lapbooks for Easter. They are here and here. We’re working on the second link right now. The boys LOVED doing the St. Patrick’s Day lapbook (I’ll share that later).

Tot School update-

We started week one of the LOTW two weeks ago, but didn’t finish due to our short week. We finished up A and moved on to B. We’ll finish up B this weekend so we can being C next week. I’ll admit, it has been fun and I will soon have pics to show off what the littles have done.

Kaleb has been working on reading cvc words lately and just struggling to blend those sounds together. He’ll get one every now and then, but I decided to just work on spelling the words which he loves. I’ve been letting him watch the LeapFrog dvd’s about once a day and we’ve recently been checking out the starfall.com website.

March 23 week.

Chuck E Cheese on Wednesday with friends.

Waving bye-bye to daddy.

Isn’t he too cute for words????


Birthday dinner at our favorite seafood restaurant.

We left Monday morning for the Little Rock Zoo. We spent the day there and had a great time. Then we went to Searcy where Daddy is working and spent the night with him in the hotel. We swam in the pool which was still a little too cold for my liking! lol Then we left mid-morning on Tuesday to get home in time for a quick rest before Drake’s first birthday dinner. We took the rest of the week off since all of the boys’ friends were out of school for spring , Chuck E Cheese time with some friends, and we were getting ready for Drake’s birthday party on Saturday.

Kaleb and Gabriel are feeding a bird.

Nathan feeding the birds.


Isn’t it pretty?

A picture with Daddy. lol Just kidding!!

The Little Rock zoo was under construction so a lot of the exhibits were closed. We still had a wonderful time. This giraffe was so fun!! He wanted his picture taken!!

It was lunchtime for the tortoises. The boys loved watching these big guys eat!


This elephant is retired from her cirus career, but she still loves to perform! We loved watching her do some tricks.

Gabriel made a friend…..

Two beautiful bald eagles. This one was ignoring me. =)


March 16 week We had a very easy week. We mostly worked on our St. Patrick’s crafts and lapbook (I’ll share that later). On Tuesday the boys and I left for Kansas City to visit some family. We went to the Science City and at lunch at Fritz’s on Friday. We discovered Kaleb is severely allergic to the dog in my bil’s house so we spent Friday night in a hotel and headed home a few days early.

Little conductor hats at Fritz’s.

Lunch at Fritz’s where a train overhead served us our food. So cool!!


Kaleb playing a little golf.


Gabriel trying out one of the space center activities.

Gabriel and Kaleb playing in the tot area with some bubbles.

Nathan in one of the optical illusion rooms.


Gabriel loved making music!!


Trinity shamrocks. I love this little craft!! St. Patrick asked the Irish people if the shamrock was one leave or three, and a man replied, “it is both.” St. Patrick’s response was “and so it is with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.” My boys totally got that!!!!


Snakes.

Shamrock wands.

Looking forward to a few *normal* weeks now! lol