Wednesday, April 10, 2013

An Artsy Kind of Week

This week started out with our yearly Achievement Tests.  Though these are not required in our state, I like to give them as we are finishing up our year just to make sure we are staying on track.  We use the California Achievement Test (CAT) which we buy through Seton Homeschool.  Monday was all about!

I decided the rest of the week should be a little more relaxed than usual.  We would throw in some fun stuff and leave off some of the not so fun stuff.  Artsy Girl will still be learning about Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War and Soccer Boy will still be learning all about the letter "X".

So, today I let Artsy Girl do a little art review of all the artists we have learned about this week.  Her favorites are O'Keeffe, Degas, Monet, Van Gogh and Pollock.  She decided to sit outside on this beautiful 75 degree day and do a little painting.  So, I got out some new paints, paintbrushes and a canvas.  She was super excited to have "big girl" art supplies and not the ones she has to share with her younger brother.  She painted a very lovely fruit bowl which will now be hanging somewhere in our home.  We have lots of her art pieces framed and hanging around the house.  No, they are no Van Gogh's.  But, they are priceless to us.  She loves seeing her art around the house and it gives her self confidence a boost.

We also celebrated a big accomplishment today too.  Soccer Boy has learned to count to 100!  We celebrated today by having pizza, cookies and popcorn.  Artsy Girl made the pizza dough all by herself using her Pearables Home Economics book.  She then made a "100" out of pepperoni...super cute.  Soccer Boy loved the special snacks and is eagerly ready to start counting higher.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

A Little Home Economics please...

So, I have been reluctant (aka...lazy) when it comes to teaching my daughter her way around the kitchen.  I have been researching different Home Ec type courses to use with her and my son too when he is a little older.  I came across The Pearables and have found it to be quite user-friendly.  It has about 30 lessons.  We will be doing one a week to help introduce her to cooking, baking, sewing, etc.  I skipped the first few lessons, as we had already covered the basics.

We jumped right into the lesson on baking  (# 6) and I let her make her very own batch of chocolate chip muffins.  Of course, the recipe calls for plain muffins.  But my sweet girl wanted to add a few chocolate chips...chocolate DOES make everything better!  I walked her through it, but let her do all the measuring and mixing.  I did place them in and out of the oven for her.  She did the cleanup too.  She was sooo excited that she had made her very own muffins all by herself.  I like the fact that each lesson is layed out for us.  I do a lot of cooking and baking myself, but having a specific lesson plan is great.

More posts to come on the wonderful food creations she makes!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Our Easter Gardens

I decided to take some time this Easter holiday and reflect upon the true meaning of our Savior's Resurrection.  I have seen several variations of an Easter Garden, so I decided to make our own too.  I let both kids make their own.

We gathered two large saucers, 2 paper cups, 2 large stones from the backyard, potting soil, grass seed, small bag of pebbles, 6 small sticks for the crosses,  and a spray bottle of water.
I would definitely recommend doing this little project outside, but since it was cold and raining, we opted for inside.  As the kids put their gardens together, we talked about why we were planting this garden.  I told them the story of Jesus' crucifixion and resurrection and how important it is to not only at this special time, but each and every day thank God for sending Jesus to us.  This helped them to really understand the empty tomb (large rock and empty cup) and the meaning of the three crosses (glued sticks).  We planted our gardens one week before Easter and luckily we had the first sprouts on Easter morning...perfect!

We used the spray bottle of water and sprayed them each day and here's the results after only one week.
These look beautiful on our table and the kids just love looking for new sprouts each has become a little bit of a competition.  All in all, a very easy but messy project.  I would definitely recommend this to anyone to help kids remember the importance of this wonderful time of year.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Another great week of homeschooling has come and gone!

Soccer Boy spent his time this week learning about rocks, raccoons and ropes.  Letter "Rr" has made an appearance this week.  He is moving right along with his sight words and now we are starting some very simple addition.  We have been counting and counting like crazy!  We also painted our "Rock" quilt piece and our "Zebra" piece that we forgot to paint last week.  Only 6 left until I begin work on his "Kindergarten Quilt".  The very last thing we do each day of school is curl up on the couch and read a book.  I let him pick out most of the books and each day he always wants to read a Berenstain Bears book.  I grew up reading these cherished books and now they are a favorite with him around here too.  We have purchased many of them and they continue to delight him even though we have read each of them several times.  It is so nice to find books that children find enjoyable, but at the same time are Christian focused.

Artsy girl spent her week learning about Samuel Morse and the Telegraph.  She even wrote her name is Morse Code.

 She also learned about the states of Florida and Texas.  I really enjoy the Road Trip USA printables to go along with our study of American History.  She loves coloring and decorating the pages.

We also have made a board with all the state animals and state birds which we classify using the Animals of the USA printables.  This is a great way to learn how to classify the animals and review along the way.  We try to remember which animals go with which state...very challenging!

Next week she will be learning all about the California Gold Rush and Soccer Boy will be on to letter "Jj".

Friday, March 15, 2013

Spring is in the air!

I am so excited to see the daffodils peeking up from under the leaves!  As a very busy homeschooling family, we are not at all thrilled about spending day after day inside hiding from the cold.  But Spring is in the air and we are so very anxious.  We have been slowly taking the bikes, sidewalk chalk, scooters and kites from their hiding places in the garage and savoring every bit of warm, sunny weather.

This is also the time of year when I order our new curriculum for the next school year. We are staying with My Father's World.  We are especially enjoying this if it ain't broke, don't fix it!  We will be using the new My Father's World First Grade with Soccer Boy and Exploring Countries and Cultures with Artsy Girl.  We are continuing with Teaching Textbooks 4 for Math, Language Lessons for Language Arts and BJU Press Homeschool Spelling 4.  We also add in World' Greatest Artists 2 throughout the year for our art studies.  I am contemplating adding a foreign language.  I am currently scouring message boards looking at reviews of various foreign language products.  As far as I can tell, no supplementing is necessary with the First Grade curriculum...easy peasy!

Since we homeschool year round, we officially end our year at the end of May.  We take June off and start back in July.  By July it is soooo very hot here, so air conditioning is a must!  We usually spend the mornings in our pool, have lunch, and then do school in the hot afternoons. Then, it's back outside after dinner for more fun.  Year round homeschooling allows us the opportunity to enjoy each and every beautiful season that God gives us.  We take a week off every 5-6 weeks (this really helps keep moral up and helps with my sanity:) and then we take December and June off.  We may tweak it here or there, so we are very flexible should things come up.

Take a few moments today to thank God for his abundance of blessings, for tomorrow just like the brief appearance of the daffodils...they may be gone!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Week #23

We had a very nice, little week of school. Everything seemed to flow this week, which makes this Mommy very happy.

Soccer Boy finished up "P" by painting a cute, little penguin. He humors me when it comes to art projects, but he doesn't find it very fun. This is just so different from my little Artsy Girl as she begs to do art each week. This is just one more great reason why we love homeschooling. I can tailor to each child's strengths and interests. We spent Thursday introducing the new letter "K" and will continue on with kangaroos next week.

Artsy Girl learned about Robert Fulton and his great contribution of the Steam Boat and submarine. We also learned about Mississippi and Indiana and the importance of traveling by the Mississippi River.
She also completed her 3rd grade Teaching Textbooks curriculum and moved right into 4th grade math. We also finished observing her Petri dishes that we started last week. She came to a major conclusion: hands.are.dirty! We grew lots and lots of colonies in the dishes with the hand swabs. Yuck! She came to realize jut how important soap is and why Mommy continually says, "Go wash your hands" at least 50 times a day. Nothing like a little bacteria colonization to show that I do "sometimes" know what I'm talking about.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Happenings of the past three weeks...

I have not posted in the last three weeks...shame on me! No excuses, just life.

Soccer Boy is moving along with his letters and sounds. He is now working on the letter "P". We have been studying all about penguins. We even practiced being Emperor Penguins by balancing an egg on our feet to show how hard they work to protect their babies and to keep them warm.

Artsy Girl has learned about Daniel Boone, Kentucky, our state of Tennessee, Ohio, the Louisiana Purchase, Louisiana, Eli Whitney and the Cotton Gin.
We have spent the last couple of weeks using the Magic School Bus World of Germs as our Science study. We made a replica of a animal cell out of jello, grapes and beans. We have also put several specimens in our Petri dishes to test the growth of several different kinds of microbes. We will monitor the results this week.