Friday, September 29, 2006

Week 2

Week 2 school report:


This Country of Ours ch 6

Michelangelo by Diane Stanley

Minn of the Mississippi ch. 2

Story of Inventions end of chapt. 1

Science Lab in a Supermarket pg 16 Why is Food Packaged?

potato chip experiment to show importance of packaging

Parables of Nature ch 77

The Princess and the Goblin ch 4-6

poetry from William Blake

MUS Beta

Italics handwriting practice



An Island Story ch 23

Child's History of the World ch 47

The Little Duke end of ch. 1

Burgess Animal Book ch 3-4

Understood Betsy ch. 1

poetry from Walter de la Mare


R (and everyone)


Daniel's Duck  We learned about TN, ducks, carving, cabin life, climates - comparison between long winters to our long summers.  One of the fun things we did this week is to make our own carvings using soap.  I'll post pictures once I download them.


Exploring Creation w/ Zoology 2

We're on chapter 2 learning about whales this week.  I have to share what happened today as I tried to make this a "fun" holistic learning day.  Since we were discussing whales and how they communicate I told the girls for quiet time I'll put in my tape of San Juan Suites which has beautiful piano music accompanied w/ many nature sounds, some of which are whales.  My girls are all in their room w/ the lights dimmed and resting in their beds listening to the tape.  I think what a perfect way to end our week.  Weelllll, my 3rd dd, age 5, comes out maybe 15 min. later in tears.  She's telling me how scary the sounds are.  I grab Baby Gill and head off to listen to the tape w/ them trying to allay her fears that that really is how whales sound and they are just talking to each other.  She would have none of it.  She wouldn't even come back into the room. *sigh*   So much for trying to have a nice peaceful end to our school week.  I instead have popped in a cd of irish hymns that are really soothing and pretty.  I don't even know where I got this cd from, but I know there are no whale sounds on it anywhere.  LOL


That pretty much wraps up our school week.  We're looking forward to Daddy being off this weekend!


Thursday, September 28, 2006

New Season

New look!


Now that it says it's fall on my calendar (see I have to look at my calendar to tell me it's fall because our weather is anything but "fallish") I thought I'd change my blog.  Some of you may remember that I don't know anything about computers so changing my template is a huge deal for me. LOL  I did remember to save my previous template coding and then attempted to just plug it back in w/ this new template.  Of course, life doesn't work quite that easily.  


I did manage to get most of the things back in their proper places but my verse of the day isn't showing up for some reason.  I've tried to figure out what I did wrong by looking at my saved html code?  Nope!  I cleverly tried to fix it by going to the verse of the day site and looking for the code to add to your blog.  Smart aren't I. roflol  But, that didn't even work.  I couldn't find the code!  Not so smart afterall. ;-)


I even changed my song.  This song will stay here until my kids figure out that I've changed it and plead (aka whine) for me to put back the old song.  They really, really like that song.  If you don't remember the song it's Casting Crowns "Who am I?"


I hope you all enjoy fall!  I need to rummage through my pictures of when my kids were younger and we lived in a place that actually had fall.  I can just remember crisp cool days and cold evenings.  Beautiful colored leaves falling down all around and the smell of smoke from bonfires wafting through the air.  Ahhhh.  At least I have the memories. :)

Saturday, September 23, 2006

First week of school

We just finished our first week of school after taking off for an incredibly long amount of time, one week!   We worked all through the summer.  Even with all of the extras the kids did, we managed to stay on track and get things done.  Summers here are so hot that it's really a great time to be inside where it's nice and comfy.

This year I have a third grader, second grader and a K'er.  Not to leave out my little preschooler and of course the resident drooler, baby Gill.  But they aren't my “formal” students.

My K'er, R, was so excited to finally be starting school!  We actually started her reading lessons earlier in the summer because she wouldn't stop bringing me the book!  When Monday came and I pulled out her new Math book you would have thought I just handed her a chocolate fudge sundae.  She was in absolute heaven as she pored over the pages of her mathbook, not her sisters left-over grocery store math workbook.  No, this is her very own Math book.  She has been going like gang-busters all week.

I have to have an aside here and ask, does anyone know what is a  gang-buster?  Is this something I really want my  5 year old dd to be emulating?

This is what our week looked like:


Started year 3 of AO.  Wow!  The readings have stepped up a notch from last year.  And from what I understand next year it's an even bigger jump.  I had placed all their books for the week on the table in three respective piles for them to wake up to in the morning.  My plan was to take a picture of it all but my camera was acting up.  (Turns out the camera really wasn't acting up.  No, someone put the batteries in upside down.  Now who could've done something like that!) Dh instead video taped it.  It's the old fashioned vhs, so no digital upload/download whatever the load may be for us.   Anyway, E's, pile for the week reminded me of my college days!   The readings really weren't as bad as it seems, half a chapter here, a couple of pages there.  The daily reading really didn't take much time at all.  It just looked rather impressive (intimidating) all sitting there for the first day.

Here's what she read last week:

An Island Story ch 62 Henry the VIII  The Story of the Field of the Cloth of Gold

Child's History of the World Ch 63  Fortune Hunters

Trial and Triumph ch 19 Martin Luther Father of the Reformation

Michelangelo by Diane Stanley (reading is spread throughout the next 12 weeks)

Minn of the Mississippi by Holling C. Holling ch 1

Story of Inventions ch 1 James Watt & the Invention of the Steam Engine (pgs 1-10)

Science Lab in a Supermarket Is What You See What You Get? (pg 15)

American Tall Tales
  Sky-Bright Axe:  Paul Bunyan

Heroe's by Kingsley Perseus Part 1 – How Perseus and his Mother came to Seriphos

The Princess and the Goblin ch. 1-3

Poetry by William Blake a couple of poems a day

Devotions in the morning

MUS Beta

Italics handwriting

The books she really is itching to get back to next week are The Princess and the Goblin and Minn of the Mississippi.

A, my 2nd grader is in year 2 of AO.  This is my second time reading through these books.  I tell you I'm getting more out of it this time around, especially in the history department.  The British history is so convoluted and confusing that the first time around I couldn't keep straight who were the Saxons and the Normans.  Now wait, who has control of Britain now?  The Romans? Saxons?  French?  Is Scotland under British rule now?  Oh wait, now they're not again.   ARGH!  Especially since I'm reading from two different time periods w/ my two oldest.  I get confused where I am in history!  I think I need to keep a flow sheet handy to keep track of all the cousins, brothers, nephews, etc.  who all vie for the throne!  But, this time around it's sticking, a little more, than it did the first time.  If I keep at AO by the time my #5 is ready for AO, I'll be able to tell him from memory.

Here's what A. read last week:

An Island Story
ch 22 Harold

Trial and Triumph ch 10 Charlemagne Protector of the Church

The Little Duke first half of chapter 1

Marco Polo spread throughout the year

Burgess Animal Book chapter 1-2

Peterson color in guide go along for the animal book

Lamb's Shakespeare The Two Gentlemen of Verona

Poetry of Walter de la Mare read a couple of poems every day

daily devotions

MUS Alpha

Italics handwriting

Pathway readers grade 2 (readers only as read alouds to me)

R is AO year 0.  Which means I do a lot of reading w/ her.  We still use our beloved Five in a Row.  Even though R had been involved in our FIAR studies in the past, this year she is really part of it.  I'm really focusing on her for our stories.  The others are listening in and participating but this is something that I wanted to focus mainly on R with.  She needs a little something that is hers (or at least she feels is hers even though everyone else is right there with her).  Being the middle child and the 3rd girl, she gets a bit squeezed and left out of things often.  She loved doing our FIAR study this week.

Here's what was on the table for R last week:

MUS Primer


Italics Handwriting

Daily Devotion

FIAR Truman's Aunt Farm  We learned about Texas (where one of R's aunts lives), homonyms, mailing letters and how much stamps cost, stylized art and of course ANTS!   We didnt' do an ant farm as was suggested in the FIAR manual.  We didn't do an ant farm not because I'm a big ol' mean mommy (even though I am  ), no we didn't do an ant farm because we did an ant farm over the summer and it was an utter failure.  We tried a couple of times and each time met with utter disappointment and failure.  The first two times we gathered our ants from our backyard into our cool space aged gel ant farm.  The ants immediately got to work, doing nothing!  They congregated in one big heap and promptly died w/i the week.  There were no tunnels, just a big black mass of dead ants.  Not to let that failure deter us we gathered some more ants.  This time we didn't put in quite as many.  They too died w/i a few days.  Again, not to be discouraged, we went outside and gathered up a different type of ant (we have all sorts of ants around our house, gee how fortunate  )  These ants were big and black and looked like they'd do some great tunneling.  The ants were gathered and put into their new home.  When we awoke the next morning, not one ant was to be found.  They apparently made a break in the middle of the night and hightailed it on out of here.  We have yet to find one of those ants.   Poof, gone w/o nary a tunnel to be seen.  I decided enough of this crazy contraption.  I'm done willingly bringing these little creatures into my home.  I mean I spend a good portion of my time trying to keep them out of my kitchen, why on earth am I willingly bringing them in?  If my kids want to study ants they can go outside and watch them.

For our reading time I'm alternating between AO's year 2 and 3 free reading selections.  We just finished Brighty of the Grand Canyon and now we're reading Unknown to History a Story of the Captivity of Mary of Scotland by Charlotte M. Yonge.

That was our busy week of school.  It's going to take me some time to figure out how best to budget our time now that I have a new student in the mix.   But, R is so excited about learning and having school time that the challenge is a worthy one.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Our summer vacation

Last week was our big break from school.  We were finally ready to actually take a summer vacation!


We spent an incredible week in the White Mountains of AZ at a working cattle ranch.  It was a beautiful place and a wonderful week.  The ranch property is 35,000 acres.  Yes, that's 35 THOUSAND acres.  It also borders the national forest which gives them even more space.  The history of this place goes back to the 1880's.  The trail guide for our horse back riding is the 5th generation to live & work on the ranch.  She'll be inheriting quite a legacy one day.





There was horseback riding



An Archeological dig site that dates back over 1,000 years..  The ranch has an on-site archeologist who takes people to the dig site and teaches them how to properly excavate the site while teaching about the area.



A beaver home...



and the busy beavers dam



There were fields full of grasshoppers begging to be caught, wild flowers to be picked and endless running.  There were ponds full of fish waiting to be caught (catch and release only) and the Little Colorado River winding its way through the property.  The nights were incredible with a gazillion and one stars twinkling in the sky.  The Milky Way could be easily seen winding it's way across the night sky every single evening.  It was awesome!


Everyone enjoyed the week immensely.


Tomorrow we hit the books again!  That will be another post.