Friday, September 30, 2011

A mix of things, end of Sept. projects

This week was not as productive as I would have liked but we did what we did and the week is over. I have been more structured with my oldest and less structured with my little ones.

My 10 year old memorized Where the Sidewalk ends by Shel Silverstien this week for his memory work. My goal is to have him memorize 5-6 poems a year this was his first poam that he picked out.

We made frescos but they did not turn out so well. We will try repeating them again next week.

Our science experiment for the week was making a mini city and testing how a city near the desert would be best protected by wind and sand

small shrubs (we used short pipe cleaners)20 ml of sand in the city
tall trees (tall pipe cleaners)40 ml of sand was in the city
and a fence (craft sticks broken in half)5 ml of sand was in city
with out any protection from the wind 80 ml was in the city

we used a blow dryer on high for 30 seconds

The 5 yr old made this for her big brother out of modling clay and she wanted me to post a picture of it.

State study Georgia
We learned about all things GA and how peanuts were planted there. We also read about George Washington Carver then of course went out side to eat peanut.
Playing in the peanut shells were just as fun as eating them

even the squirrels were happy we had nuts out.

My son has been very into Naruto and asked me if he could watch an episide for his free reading time because its all subtitles and he has to read everything because they speak japanese. I told him NO! but it was a nice try!

This is Kiba his favorite character.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Homeschool Mothers journal - 15

In my life this week…

I cut off 14 inches of my hair to donate to Locks of Love an organization that makes wigs for children with cancer. I wanted to cut a few inches off my hair but then I thought if I cut a whole lot more off then I would be doing a great thing for someone else. I teared up when I cut off 2 ponytails of my hair in the bathroom on Wednesday morning but I just kept thinking at least I have hair and that I was thankful I could grow it back. My 5 yr old daughter was very shocked by my hair when she came peered around the corner. I explained to her why I did it and what it was for and she looked a little sad. A few hours later she came to me and said with teary eyes "Mommy I want you to cut my hair off too, so that kids who don't have hair can wear mine" I was deeply moved by my daughters response but as selfish as this was I convinced her to keep her hair. I would have had to cut it above her chin to get the required 10 inches. I then reminded her that we will are are raising money for Alex's Lemonade stand, (a foundation to raise money for Pediatric Cancer) and she will be helping them when we do our lemonade stand.

In our homeschool this week…

I have been a little less organized. Well I take that back I have a plan for the week and we have been getting that done. I just have not done as much paperwork type stuff with my 5 year old as i would have liked. We went on many walks in the rain this week looking for spiders we did find a very cool one under the window AC unit just outside my bedroom. I sprayed it with a light mist of water to get a better view of it. This kids were excited to see bugs stuck in it too. I will be writing a separate blog post on our week long spider unit this weekend.

Helpful homeschooling tips or advice to share…
Relax, learning is life ....take the time to let your kids explore their interests and fall in love with learning.

Things I love...
All my kids like this 2-10 we have had it for a year and they still ask me to play with it.

I am inspired by…
The courage that the children with pediatric cancers have.

Places we’re going and people we’re seeing…
We went to the orchard on a very cold muddy day to pick apples that way we could make some apple butter with this weekend.

My favorite thing this week was…
Finding the really cool spider web, I was so afraid that we wouldn't find a cool web during the week we are studying spiders.

Questions/thoughts I have…
Wondering if there is a Van schooling blog hops because we do so much school in the van going from place to place that I often wonder what other creative homeschooling parents are doing. I know they are also doing cool stuff. If I knew how to host a blog hop I would do one for this.

Things I’m working on…
Finalizing our destinations and activities for national parks camping excursions.

I’m reading…
Nothing yet but I did just check this book out from the library recommended by my friend. Yes, I believe it is a teen series.

I’m cooking…
Gluten free pumpkin muffins and all things apples as we now have 5 very large cloth grocery bags full of apples.

I’m praying for…
My best friend from high school, he was arrested last week his bond was set at 300,000 which no one could put up. He is there awaiting trial until next week. He is a good man but unfortunate things that I cannot go into have happened. Nobody was hurt just hoping he is okay and that things will turn out for the better.

A photo to share…

Holding my hair just after I cut it off!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Good, Bad and the Crazy!

Some weeks are productive some are not. I am not even sure where this week falls, somewhere in the middle I suppose
IN my life this week...
We went to the zoo specifically to get my daughter a pink flamingo she saw there 2 weeks ago. I told here that if she helped around the house and studied all about flamingos then I would go back and buy it for her. Well she fulfilled her end of the bargain so we headed out one hour before closing. I have never been to the zoo this close to closing time but I will be doing it again. Parking was a breeze, it was empty and all the animals were very active some even enjoying their dinner. The hippos came right up to the glass, the baby elephant was running around, the wolves were eating right at the glass window. The lemur's were jumping around it was fun right up until I got very sick and needed to leave quickly thought I was going to pass out and was vomiting. So not fun to do in a public place with 4 kids running around the bathroom wanting to leave because they were bored.

After I was home and still feeling bad my 7 year old lab bit the 2 year old I thought I was going to have to take him to the ER meanwhile I am still vomiting and my husband is out of town AND I have no one to watch my kids I would have had to take them all. Fortunately the bleeding stopped and I stopped vomiting as well.

In my Homeschool week
My Son has been reading chapters from the American Girl book Felicity at lunch time. He is a VERY good reader, maybe even better than me. Having him listen to many books on CD over the years has really helped him become an awesome narrator. We are reading Felicity as a history study for my 5 yr old.

I bought her the Felicity paper dolls and we have been acting out scenes and discussing life in those times and what all the accessories are that the paper dolls came with. I have to play with them with her though because she cannot get the clothes on and off with out ripping them. Its a blessing in disguise because we sit and talk about all the history. She also went to an American Girl club in our homeschool group and they made coral bracelets and mob caps.

Our overall theme this week was fall and we are doing a state study on Georgia.

What is working for us...
Well for my son Teaching textbooks math this is our 2nd year using it and we love it. For my 5 year old I am loving LeapFrog Leapster Learning Game Mr. Pencil's Learn to Draw and Write. It has really helped her with her lowercase letters and overall drawing skills LOVE IT!

What am I reading...
NOTHING! My son However is reading ...

To go along with our ancient history.

What was I cooking...
Crustless pumpkin pie, so yummy and carrot bread.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Praying Mantis and the Bean Stalk

Very busy week. I try to only schedule only 2-3 outside events each week but this week was full.

Monday and Tuesday were great productive days we stayed home all day and got a lot done.

The rest of the week was crazy. It was full of events, errands, doctors appointments and so much more.

The color of the week for my littles is green.
We read Jack and the bean stalk then sprouted our own beans which will be ready for planting this weekend. The worksheets came from Enchanted learning.

This week we tried growing bean plants and not giving one air to see if it would sprout. The experiment came from this book.

We also read Thumbelina

My daughter made these cool pens at her homeschool girl scout troop. It fit nicely to our theme week of green and plants. All they did was take the stem of the fake flower and wrap it with florist tape with the pen. My daughter loves hers and we will be making more very some more next week. These may become holiday gifts for people as well.

My daughter has just started doing school with her babies and stuffed animals. I love that she does this it is great repetition of her daily studies. Here she is teaching her horse and unicorn about the seven continents.

An exciting event in our school week was the visit of a praying mantis I was just closing the shade to put my 2 yr old to sleep when I noticed a praying mantis stuck in-between the glass and the screen. So I yelled "everyone come in here quick we are so lucky" I never thought those words would come out of my mouth when referring to a big bug. I always hated bugs but since my 5 yr old is afraid of bugs now I have to put up a strong front for her. We had a lot of fun looking at it but then I wondered what I would do with it. I didn't want to kill it but I surely didn't want that bug crawling on me or loose in the house. I never thought I would see the day that I would y and save a bugs life instead of killing it. I teach my children not to harm any living thing so I couldn't very well smash the big bug. I was able to get him outside safely when I went out side to make sure it was okay and that dang bug flew right at me after I saved it. I thought it was going to land on my head I was running backwards with this big praying mantis flying just inches in front of my face I finally ducked and it flew over me into a tree. Thank goodness my daughter didn't see me running from the bug I just told her would not hurt her. My daughter was very happy to know that the bug was free to go be a bug and go back to his bug family.

I have a lot of exciting posts lined up for the next 2 weeks so please check back often

Linking up with

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Constellation cans

We read this for our study on Greece and my daughter wanted to have a Pegasus constellation in her room so we made constellation cans.

We used oatmeal cans to make these.

First choose the constellation you want, my 5 year old choose the Pegasus and my 10 year old Canis Major.

Second they drew out their constellation on black paper that was cut to fit around the oatmeal container. Then they traced it in white and used dots as stars. Next draw around it to the shape the the constellation. I helped the 5 year old with this.

Third they drew the constellation on the top of the can then used a bamboo skewer to poke holes through it.

Finally take your can into a dark room and shine a flashlight through it.

I was unable to get a good picture of our stars on the wall the batteries in my flashlight was almost dead due to the children playing in a dark room for hours with their cans.

This project would make a great indoor camping craft so you could sleep under the stars! I plan to do an indoor camping unit in the Winter and will be making more of these for that project. If you make some be sure to post a link to me so I can see your projects. Happy Stargazing!


Canis Major

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Homeschool mothers journal- 11

In my life this week…
My little kids have a cold so getting school work finished without the little ones bugging me was an extreme challenge. Lots of crying and meltdowns and tantrums. My husband and I also cleaned out the unfinished side the the basement to be a game room.

West view- we had to cut the USA rug to fit but it was free from a friend and 20+ YEARS old. It is very worn and fraying but it serves the purpose here. This would have been an awesome rug brand new.We just had to cut off!

East view, the dresser is filled with homeschool supplies like glue, binders, notebooks, etc.. and we have stored strategy games for ages 10 + on the dresser the little kid games are upstairs.

In our homeschool this week…
As a family we are working on Greek studies for a homeschool event I co-host called World Travelers. Each month a new month is chosen and the kids can study anything they want about it. Then we all meet together at the library to stand up in front of others and tell about what you have learned.I created this group to get the kids used to public speaking, something many adults have issues with. We all also made constellation cans will do a separate blog post on that on Monday.

My 10 yr old chose to speak about the battle of Marathon and discuss the Pincer technique that help defeat the Persians.

My 5 year old is talking about Flamingos that are found on the coast of Greece and on the Greek islands. She has been obsessed with Flamingos since we were at the zoo earlier this week and wanted me to buy a stuffed flamingo. I told her if she helped with chores and learned all about Flamingos I would go back and buy it for here. As soon a she got home she logged right on to and spent 2 hours learning about them. She also made an Athena toilet paper roll doll.

Helpful homeschooling tips or advice to share…
Well this may seem like a no brainer but, my younger children really need to be engaged in new projects often. They have problems just going to the toy room and finding something FUN to play with. I repeatedly told them to play but they would just keep bugging me. This was
the first week that they have been stuck in the house almost the whole week because of the rain.I Need to get more indoor stuff planned to
keep the littles occupied now that the weather is getting rainier and colder.

I am inspired by
My dad, he has Cancer and is going through radiation while my brother is cleaning his house (my dad is a hoarder) so that my brother can move in with him to help him out.Getting rid of all his junk has been very hard on him but he knows it needs to be done and is coping well. He has also lost 30 lbs by changing the way he eats to the Paleo diet I told him to try to help fight his cancer.My husband has also lost 25 lbs by getting rid of processed foods ...YAY!

Places we’re going and people we’re seeing…
We went to the last minor league baseball game of the season, and to the zoo to sketch Giraffes.

I’m cooking…
Not really cooking but I will be trying a pumpkin smoothies recipe tomorrow for breakfast.
I did cook a delicious roasted steak and peppers with Italian seasoning it was so savory. My mouth is watering just thinking about my leftovers for tomorrow.

My favorite thing this week...
Listening to my 5 year old having circle time with her dolls this week and telling me that she couldn't do circle time with me yet because she had to read 2 stories to her girls (dolls and stuffed animals) first...... It was soooooooo cute.

link to share...
WE LOVE FREERICE.COM my son has been earning Rice while learning for 4 years you should check it out. They have many other subjects: basic math, algebra, grammar, world capitols, chemicals symbols etc..

APlay Freerice and feed the hungry

linking up with
The Homeschool Mother's Journal

Friday, September 2, 2011

FIAR story of Ping and Pond studies.

This week I worked on the story of Ping with my 3 littles. In addition to reading Ping we read many duck stories like:

Duck and Goose
Duck Soup
Pond Babies
A trip to the pond
Ducks, how we grow

A few pages from the story!

Duck soup was a very funny story about a Duck making soup and when he disappeared his friends thought he was in the soup. This tied in nicely with Ping because Ping was almost used as duck soup. We talked about how ducks are a delicacy in China then we made our own duck soup.

We talked about Migration and why some animals do it. Including the Monarchs we are learning about as well.

We also discussed bouency and did the projects in this

In the van this week the kids watched Magic School Bus at the Waterworks on our trips around town.

Here is our 3D pond project

This project came from this book

You can actually see the pond project on the cover.
Great art book with fun easy projects.

We are also studying butterflies (monarchs specifically) here are the the 2 middle kids looking through pictures of caterpillars on the ipad.

My oldest had a week off so nothing of note to say about him.