Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Just one of those days!

This is so you all can laugh today...

Ok, so when I got up this morning it started like normal, I had some quiet time, I listened to a lecture for my class and then I went to get on the internet and I get this message that Verizon has cut me off , which is strange because we use auto-pay. Oh well, call hubby, he'll handle it, after 45 min on the phone it's still not fixed they don't know why, call back later they say. Sigh and move on, get princess up, eat breakfast and go to do the dishes and there is no water because they are working on the plumbing in the building but failed to let us know that ! Ok, no water, no internet, we are taking the dog for a walk! Get home, do some school, then rush around to pack a picnic lunch and stuff for our nature study. We are on our way out the door when I call hubby to let him know that he can meet us at the pond for lunch. He asks, have you looked outside. I say no, why? It's raining he replies ! Ok change of plans, we decide to take lunch and meet hubby at work, as I drive up to his building I realize I left lunch at home . So we grab lunch at a sub shop around the corner. Go home and find that the dog has gotten a hold of my box of business cards and chewed them up , 300 card chewed up all over my living room. Thanks alot, princess and I clean it up. A few minutes later, princess and I are in the kitchen talking and we hear strange noises coming from her room , not good. The dog has gotten ahold of a grass nest that princess made in a plastic cup and now there is grass all over my princess's room . The dog gets a one-way ticket to her crate for the rest of the day because I can't take any more! I clean up the grass muttering tommorrow's another day, tommorrow another day, tommorrow's another day, tommorrow's another day, princess just stares.

I think that I'm just having one of those out of sync days , can you relate? At least it's kinda funny now that my internet works!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Education of Me Update

I didn't complete all I had planned from last week in reading but I am three lectures away from finishing my class!

What I did...
  • Read Book 1 of the Iliad--I found the language to be fairly easy to read and I'm not sure that I needed to read an easy version first, but that's ok. We will see how the rest goes!

What I plan for next week...
  • Read Books 2-6 of the Iliad

Friday, September 26, 2008

Weekly Report 9/22/08-9/26/08

We just finished week 7 and things are going well. Here's our week in review...

Language Arts--We are trying a new format with FLL. I have taken the definitions that we are learning and applying them to copywork. This is working so much better. In fact princess is able to identify several pronouns and most nouns well. This week she read two books(I have only planned one a week) so now she is three books ahead of my schedule. I'm going to have to add some more books!

Math--We spent the week reviewing addition with Singapore 2A. Princess is doing well and enjoying all the games that are scheduled in the home instructor's guide. She doesn't realize that she's doing math!

History--We studied Sargon and Hammurabi this week. Princess made her own seal and code of law. Both were fun projects. In the picture you can see her code of law and her seal at the bottom.

Science--We studied several animals and did an experiment on ear size. Here's a picture of the food chart that we have been working on. It includes all the animals we studied so far. Also be sure to check out our outdoor hour challenge post below to see about our nature study for this week.

Electives--This week we began our artist study with Renoir, one of my favorite artist. Princess seemed to really enjoy this, we'll see how it goes. We also did an art project in which we drew our favorite 5 objects with the most favorite being bigger and more prominent. Princess did a great job!

Hope you had a great week, too!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Outdoor Hour Challenge #31

I was really exicted when Barb announced that the next six weeks we would be studying trees! Princess has been wanting to learn more about trees. So I thought I would go all out this week and make our outdoor hour a field trip. Our local university has planted trees all over campus that you normally would get to see all togther. We printed out a map of 20 of the most notable trees and got on the bus to start our journey. 10 trees(only 4 of them were on our list!) and 2 hours later I realized that this would take alot longer than I originally thought! So I think that we will break this up over the six weeks. Each week we will focus on what Barb presents and then we will do some more tree identifications. I'm hoping to also put together a book of trees that she has identified. It should be fun! Anyways, here's some pictures we took today...

An American Beech

A Bur Oak Acorn

Today we focused on the parts of the tree and how to know if a tree is mature or not. Here's our journal entry sheets...

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Wordless Wednesday (with a few words!)

Even manatees can be princess's too!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Education of Me update...

I took a week off due to sickness so that's why there was not report last week. I'm hoping to get more work done this week, but I also have some classes that I need to finish for my master's, so we will just see how it goes. Even so I'm going to set some goals for the week!

Here's what I've done over the last two weeks...
  1. Read the easy child's version of the Iliad. This was a very easy read and I'm glad that I now have a backround knowledge of the story line. We will see over the next few weeks how much that helps me!

Here's waht I plan on doing this week...

  1. Read the full version of the Iliad--book 1 thru 6

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Chicken Mummy

So yesterday we went to our friends and did the first part of the chicken mummy (technically ours is a cornish game hen) but I forgot to take pictures!!! We had fun and it wasn't really that hard to do. Today we had to change the salt mixture because it was definately clumpy and wet, so I took some pictures.

Here's princess making the salt mixture to dry out the mummy...
Here's what the hen looks like after one day in salt...
Here's princess filling the cavity with the salt mixture...
Finally here's what the mummy look in it's salt bath...
This project so far has been really easy! I'll keep you updated, hopefully in six week we should have a cornish game hen mummy!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Weekly Report 9/15/08-9/19/08

What is this? I'm talking about the value of nature study and natural language learning (see yesterday's posts). I'm starting to sound like a Charlotte Mason fan. Have I gone over to the dark side?(ha,ha) I love the classical model as described by Susan Wise Bauer, it would have been the perfect education for me, but I'm not educating me, I'm educating my daughter. She's more creative, she learns quickly if she enjoys it, drill and kill doesn't work for this kid, not that the classical model is all drill and kill. I'm just saying that the more I learn, the more I am able to tailor her education to her interests. It's not about being a fan of Charlotte Mason, Susan Wise Bauer, Ruth Beechick or anyone else for that matter. It's about finding what works to give your child the skills to learn and to develop within them a love of learning. Just some food for thought!

In other news princess was sick this week so a few things got cut out. She's feeling better today so we are going to a friends to make the chicken mummy! Since we won't get much school done today, I'll go ahead and give you our week in review...

Language Arts-Princess read Mrs. Brice's Mice and we practiced spelling wordS with the short a sound. She only did one copywork this week, but we did make a book on ancient Egypt.

Math-We only got two days of math done this week. We talked about place value and comparing numbers within 1000. We did play some games like roll the hundreds on the days we didn't work in the book.

History-We read Tut's Mummy this week. We also made a book to review what we have learned over the past 5 weeks. Today we will go to start the chicken mummy project which princess and I are looking forward to! Hopefully I'll be able to post some pictures of it this weekend.

Read-Aloud-We finished Homer Price today. Both of us enjoyed this book and I'm glad we read it. I never would have picked it on my own, thank you Sonlight! Next week, we will start Mr. Popper's Penguins.

Science-We did manage a full week of science since it is princess's favorite subject! We studied pandas, polar bears and chimpanzee's. Princess was happy to put her first animal on the artic poster! Also, since I have scheduled day 5 light in my curriculum we are able to do nature studies, see what we did in the post for the outdoor hour challenge below. You really ought to check them out!

Hope you had a great week! Thanks for letting me share ours with you.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Language Arts...

This subject has been the thorn in my side since we started. I have never felt settled and I have always been looking for the next best thing, questioning constantly if I'm missing something. I have read what Ruth Beechick, Charlotte Mason, Susan Wise Bauer and the Bluedorns have to say about language arts. I have tried Sonlight, but dropped it fearing that it wasn't enough, even though my daughter enjoyed it and was having sucess with it.

This week princess has been a bit sick, so it has given me some extra time to evaluate the year so far. We are in week 6, so I'm beginning to see what's working and what's not. For the past several weeks, princess has rolled her eyes everytime I pull out First Language Lessons. So we tried speeding it up a bit, but still the eyes roll. Hold on to that thought a minute...

At the beginning of the year I tried some of the Sonlight LA2 I own. It's the older version, one day you do copywork, the next you look for grammar principles in the passage. Princess loved the circle, box and underline, for her it was a fun way to learn grammar, but I put it aside fearing it wasn't enough structure. Hold that thought a minute...

Last night I ran across a lecture by Cindy Rushton called "Language Arts the Easy Way". In it she details how she did LA and how her kids turned out. One thing really resonated with me was when she said that all the philosophies contain three main things, reading, narration and copywork. She's right, I know because I've read them all!

So back to the eye rolling and princess' love of Sonlight's LA, along with my goals of reading, narrating and writing daily and here is the LA plan. We are already doing reading, narration and copywork so those stay. My plan is to choose one of our copywork's every week and use the grammar principles laid out in the first year of FLL, then apply them to that passage(ie.circle, box, underline), but only once a week. On top of that Cindy inspired me to let princess choose some of her own copywork (shocking gasp!, I know!). I want to see what my daughter considers important enough to write down and remember. We will keep All About Spelling because I think it's a great program! It uses phonics to teach spelling, so it could fall under reading, right?

So from now on my LA curriculum choices are going to have three things, reading(aloud and to self), narrations(across the subjects) and writing daily(ones I assign and one's she has chosen). I think that what I already have will give me the tools to accomplish this.

I just wanted to publically say thanks to Cindy for her encouragement that Language Arts can be easy! I really feel like this is a banner year, when I am becoming more knowledgeable as a teacher of what's available and how princess learns. I feel a confidence and peace in my choices that I've never had before. So many people/authors have influenced my homeschooling journey and I am appreciative of the wealth of information out there! Just had to share some of what's going on in my head.

Outdoor Hour Challenge #30

This outdoor challenge was to read about weeds and find some seeds, we decided to focus on the seeds. We went for a walk this weekend and collected seeds as we went along, some of them we were able to identify. I was so pleased that princess was able to identify the maple tree! For the rest we collected a leaf along with the seeds and noted what the tree looked like. Yesterday we looked them up on the internet. (If you look below at my Wordless Wednesday post you can see a picture of the chesnut seeds we picked up.)

Next we looked for things in our kitchen that had seeds, here's what we came up with. I guess I should have waited until we went grocery shopping!

After we looked at different fruits in our kitchen, we talked about the purpose of seeds and the different types. Then, we sat down and made sheets for our nature journal. Princess didn't feel like writing yesterday, so all her sheet says is seeds! Anyways here's our sheets...

Just wanted to say that we are really enjoying the outdoor challenge. We have done nature study of and on, but Barb's plan helps me to focus on a topic and to make sure that we do nature study every week.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Friday, September 12, 2008

Weekly Report 9/8/08-9/12/08

Week 5 down and I cant' believe it! Here's our week in review...

LA: I thought I'd post a picture of princess doing All About Spelling. We are really liking this program, it's been a very gentle introduction to spelling and a great review of phonics. Also I can see that she is starting to pay more attention to the whole word while reading. I don't know if this is from AAS or not, but I'm pleased! We continued with FLL, completing 4 lessons and she read Hurray for Hattie Rabbit which was such a cute book!

Math: We began 2A and she's doing wonderful. We also started something new. I have been doing the Singapore unit and then the corresponding Miquon section, but after reading a post about the downsides of doing this I started to look at why I was using Miquon. I want it to reinforce Singapore, but I also want Miquon to shine. So we are going to do Miquon Fridays. This Friday we worked on the Red book, we have about one-third of this book left.

History: We talked about the New Kingdom of Egypt this week and we made bread statues. This was quite a messy project and I wasn't sure it was going to turn out, but here's the end result. I included the one I made in the picture. We finished the week with an archaeological hunt which was great fun for princess! I put together everything we had made over the last few weeks along with a few surprises and I wrote her name in hieroglyphics then made a map for her to follow. She had a blast! Also, I thought I'd show you a picture of our wall timeline now that it has some figures on it. If you click on the picture you can see it much better!

Read-Aloud: We started Homer Price and read up to my favorite chapter about the doughnut machine!

Science: We kept studying mammals and did an experiment on how the camels wide foot makes it easier to walk in the sand. Here' an update on her habitat diorama, we only have two animals in there right now, but we still have 15 weeks to go!

Hope you had a great week too!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

September 11th

I was going to post about where I was and how that day affected me so much. Even though that's true, I want to honor those who lost someone that day. My mom's best friend lost her husband in the World Trade Center. I can't begin to understand what that is like. So on this day, I want to say that there is one person out there still thinking about you and praying that God will comfort you on this difficult day. If you would like to share your memories, please do.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Outdoor Hour Challenge #29

Ok, so I've given in. I read about this on other blogs, but never paid much attention to it and never clicked on the link. Last night I stumbled across Barb's nature blog and the challenge was about sunflowers. They just happen to be one of princess's favorite flower and we just happen to have some in the field next door. So how could I pass it up! Last night I downloaded the Handbook of Nature Study and read the first 30 pages plus what I needed for the sunflower project.

Today we skipped science, usually our Friday's are light so we will just double up then. We gathered up a towel, markers, pencils, contact paper and a journal that I had been saving for something. I am feeling a bit under the weather today, so it was good to get out for alittle. We laid out our towel in front of a sunflower plant.

We talked about how the suflower is a composite flower and examined two flowers up close, they were at different stages of development. Here they are.

Finally we pressed some of the parts in our notebook and then drew what we saw. Princess wanted to add alittle more color! She also wanted to press in a dandelion she found. When we got home we printed out some of the pictures and pasted them in. Here's a view at our sheets from today.

All in all it was very successful and I think that we will make this a permanent feature! Thanks Barb for doing this for all of us!

New Yahoo Group!!

I started a yahoo group for Elemental Science last night. It's open for discussion of my curriculums, right now biology and earth science/astronomy, soon to come chemistry and physics! There are additional files pertaining to both curriculums and some other homeschooling stuff that I have done. Go ahead and join and check it out! http://groups.yahoo.com/group/elemental_science/

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

My first blog award!

Thank you Rhonda over at Living Waters! What a treat because I enjoy her blog also. I will pass it along, promise, but tonight I've got too much to do! Thanks again!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Education of Me update

I thought I'd begin by saying that this time has been worth it! We are in our 4th week of studying Egypt and I was able to add so much because of what I've read. When princess had a question about something for the most part I was able to answer it. I wouldn't have had the answers if I had not being doing this project. Self-education works! Ok, so back to the report...

What I did last week...
  1. I read Siddhartha. Not my favorite book and definately not appropriate for my child at this point, maybe in highschool, but honestly, I don't think that I will every expect her to read this. It did however give me some insight into Buddhism and make me very happy that I no longer have to search for truth and meaning in my life!
What I'm going to do this week...
  1. Since I have no experience with the Iliad and the big books scares me, I'm going to read an easier children's version first. It's the Kingfisher's Epic Series version of the Iliad. Once I finish that, hopefully this week, I will tackle the big, scary version(it's 600 pages!).

Friday, September 5, 2008

Weekly Report 9/1/08-9/5/08

Here's our week in review...

LA--Princess is a week ahead in reading and I was beginning to worry that I chose books that were to easy. This week she slowed down a bit and it finally being somewhat challenges in her reading. Other than that, we are loving All About Spelling and First Language Lessons. We also started memorizing Days of the week, here a picture of the sheet we have on the wall to remind us to work on it everyday!

Math--Princess finished Singapore's PM 1B! Congrats to her!

History--We spent the week focusing on the middle kingdom of Egpypt. Princess made braclets and a monkey doll (you can see from the picture it's not completely authentic, but she had fun!). We also did some notebooking and copywork. We finished the week talking about the Rosetta Stone and how it unlocked the mysteries of the ancient Egyptians

Read-Aloud--We finished Charlotte's Web this week. I admit it, I had to choke back the tears when Charlotte died. I never thought I'd be on of those Mom's who cried during read-aloud, but for some reason I did. Princess however handled it well.

Science--We continued our study of mammals. Here's a picture of one of our habitat posters with some of the animals in it!

Art--I am so excited about the art curriculum we are using this year, it's Art Adventures at Home. There are three levels and each level has three years of instruction in it, that's 9 years total. It has been easy for me and so much fun for princess. She has an outlet for her creativity and I feel like I am teaching her something about art at the same time. This week we talked about how we can use lines to tell a story that is in our imagination. Princess chose to draw her trip to space complete with a moon made out of cheese! Here's the picture (I have green alien ears and her dad has blue alien ears because that's our favorite colors).

Hope you had a great week too, thanks for reading!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Monday, September 1, 2008

Education of Me Update

Here's how it's going.

What I did last week...
  1. Read Mara, Daughter of the Nile--I loved this book! I ended up reading it in three days, I just couldn't put it down. Thankfully it's a Sonlight book, so we will read it again later. I really enjoyed how Ms. McGraw wove history in with the story. I learned a fair amount about Egypt, plus I got a more personal perspective on the events. I highly reccommend this book!
  2. Read The Golden Goblet--Because I loved Mara and I had some extra time, I picked up this book. It's by the same author and also a Sonlight book. I enjoyed it as well, though I wasn't a quickly drawn into it. Even so, I still highly reccommend it and I am looking forward to sharing it with princess in several years.

What I plan on doing this week...

  1. Read Siddhartha