Friday, October 31, 2008

Blog Award

Rhonda at Living Waters Academy gave me this award last week and this is the first time I've had to post about it! First of all, thank you Rhonda for the award and your kind words! Here's the details of the award:

"This blog invests and believes, in ‘proximity’ [meaning, that blogging makes us 'close' - being close through proxy] "They are all charming blogs, and the majority of them aim to show the marvels of friendship; there are persons who are not interested when we give them a prize, and then they help to cut these bows; do we want that they are cut, or that they propagate?" Then let’s try to give more attention to them! So with this prize we must deliver it to eight bloggers that in turn must make the same thing and put this text.”

It turns out that all of the homeschooling blogs I read have already received this award, so I won't get the joy of being able to pass it along! Thanks again Rhonda, I really appreciate it!

What we've been doing on vacation...

Just wanted to give a peek into our vacation week. Hope you had a great week!

Monday: We finished reading The Talented Clementine together. Princess gave me a makeover. She did my hair and painted my nails (blue, light pink and hot pink). We made sweet potato bread using Rhonda's recipe, it was delicious!

Tuesday: We missed school last Friday, so today we caught up. It was a bummer, but necessary!
Wednesday: We played littlest Pet Shop. Yes, I played too, that's what you do when your a mom of an only child! We read almost all of Sarah, Plain and Tall. I was able to plan out our Thanksgiving week study and organize my menu plans for the next few weeks.

Thursday: We played on the playground, had lunch with a friend and spent over an hour at the library reading. I was able to tentatively plan out the books and general flow of our Christmas studies. I will have to put some more work into this later, but a least I got a start!

Friday: We went to play with friend where we also painted pumpkins. Then we went trick-o-treating downtown. Princess wore a frog costume that her dad wore over 20 years ago, thanks grandma!

The thing is that I am more exhausted after a week off than I am at the end of a school week, go figure that one!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Weekly Report 10/20/08-10/24/08

Today is my hubby's birthday and he is coming home early, so we are not going to get any school done. So I'm just going to give my weekly report now...

LA-Princess picked up speed in her reading this week, she completed two books and started on a third. My original plan called for one book a week increasing in difficulty as we go on. Well, I can see that I'm going to have to change that. We hit a bit of a snag with step 12 is AAS, so we are going to camp out here for awhile to make sure she understands how to spell words with th, sh and ch. Copywork and grammar are going well.
Math-We wrapped up addition with renaming this week, which went very well. We also started subtraction with renaming this week. We will have to spend some time here. Princess is having a hard time with this and I'm constantly having to remind her that if the top number in a column is smaller, it means we need to rename. We have been using a hundreds/tens/ones chart to "draw" the number, this has really helped. We will keep at it as long as it takes for her to understand it before we move on! On the other hand, she's doing great with her math drills and I'm seeing a real improvement in her speed overall.

History-We wrapped up our study of ancient Africa with making date chewies from the SOTW AG. She chose this recipe and we had alot of fun making them, they are very messy! Here's a picture of princess hard at work.
We also began our study of ancient Israel, it was interesting to look at Biblical stories in the context of history. It helped princess to make the connection that the stories she reads in the her Beginner's Bible are about real people and they really happened. That was really nice to see!
Science-We started birds this week and princess was excited to start this. We made our own bird feeder and have been observing it each day, but we haven't really seen any birds yet. The one we did see, got close, but didn't use the feeder. I guess it will just take time, or maybe we will have to change the seeds we have in there.
Electives-We have been reading Mountain Born this week and we still enjoy it. It's not a book I would have picked on my own, but I'm so glad we are reading it! Thanks Sonlight! We also studied "La Loge" by Renior. We both agree that this painting is our favorite so far.

We have been going strong these past 11 weeks and I think it's time for a break, so next week we will take off from official school. We are going to take a field trip (hopefully), do some more nature study, play math games, read and wrap up our chicken mummy (literally!). I'm going to spend some time planning our holiday studies. Hope you had a great week, thanks for reading about ours.

Why I love Sonlight..

I recieved the recent Beam issue to my email today and it included a letter in it from Sarita. She was telling the story of how Sonlight got started, here's the part that hit me...

"While at the Center, I learned that the second most common reason people come home from working overseas is because they don't know what to do about their kids' education. I thought, 'If I could keep a person on the field for one more year by making their education easy, that would be a good thing.' And that was the original goal of Sonlight. And it remains a strong core value to this day. Our delight is to facilitate and care for our friends who live and work overseas."

This morning this just reminded me why I love Sonlight. This subject is near and dear to my heart and I want to support/promote a company that feels the same. Just wanted to share with you all what a great company Sonlight is!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Outdoor Hour Challengs #35

I'm just getting to post this even though we did our nature study yesterday. I feel like our live is going along at Mach 20. I do appreciate taking the time to slow down each week and study nature, thanks again Barb for giving our time purpose! This week we studied apple trees. Although we don't have one near our building, there is one on our daily walk. So, we stood on the sidewalk and talked about the shape of apple trees and how they are shorter than other trees. We also looked at the bark and discussed how it was gray and smooth. Here's the tree we looked at...
I was bad and plucked a leaf from the tree so that we could examine it and then take it home and do a leaf rubbing. We also picked up two apples from the ground so that we could do a closer examination. I'm hoping the neighbors understand, they weren't home for me to ask! So now you all know that I'm not perfect :-). Here's a picture of the apples on the ground...
Once we got home, we cut the apple in half vertically and transversely and examined the differences. We talked about the carpels (seed chambers) and counted the number of seeds in them. Then we tried to do an apple print, but it didn't really turn out as planned. Anyways, here's our nature journal entries...
Hope you've had time this week to get out and enjoy nature!

Wordless Wednesday

Monday, October 20, 2008

Education of Me Update...

Today I learned two valuable lessons which I consider to be a great part of my education...
  1. Always look where you put your plastic spoon on a flat top oven, it might be on a burner that is hot and this will cause it to melt.
  2. Always look before picking up a spoon, it might have accidently been put on a hot burner, thus beginning to melt. You might end up with a second-degree burn and some plastic on your hand as a reminder not to do it again! This will also cause alot of pain and general make it difficult to type, write and use said hand.

Still working on the Iliad!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Weekly Report 10/13/08-10/17/08

We had a great week! I can't believe that we are already done 10 weeks of school.

LA: Princess has completed Step 11 in All About Spelling and I am pleased with her progress. We began dication this week and she did great! She is finished another Hattie Rabbit book this week. I am so proud of how well she is reading.

Math: We started addition with renaming and princess caught on quickly for which I'm very grateful. We also worked on skip counting (she almost has by 3's down) and drills. The math drills have really helped her pick up speed in Singapore.

History: We finished up Ancient China with our Ming Bowl project. I learned a valuble lesson, use plastic wrap with air-dry clay when shaping it around a bowl! Here's our completed project...

We also started Ancient Africa with the Anansi tales.

Science: This was our last week of mammals, next week birds! I thought I'd share an updated picture of our habitat posters.

Other: We did crayon rubbings for art and listened to La Mer by Debussy for our music study. Princess decided that Debussy was her favorite to listen to, this is our first composer study so we will see how long that lasts. Also we started Mountain Born this week. I was alittle nervous about this book since so many people seem to have problems with it. Great news, princess likes it! I slowed down my reading a bit to give her more time to absorb it and that has really helped.

Hope you all had a great week!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

Muffins! Muffins! Muffins!

This morning I was making my blueberry muffins when princess decided that she wanted to make her chocolate marshmallow muffins too! About a month ago we had a muffin contest, each of us made up our own muffins using a basic batter and then adding our choice ingredient. Princess made chocolate marshmallow muffins, I made cherry vanilla muffins and my hubby made blueberry spice muffins. Surprising the chocolate marshmallow muffins won, they were really good! So I thought that I would share some recipies today.
My basic blueberry muffin recipe is hands down the best blueberry muffins I've ever had. My music teacher in middle school gave this to my mom so I can't take the credit for it. It makes 16 muffins.
1/2 cup butter, at room temp.(we use margarine)
1 cup sugar (I use 3/4 cup)
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 1/2 cups blueberries (mash 1/2 cup with fork)
2 cups APS flour (I use 1/2 cup wheat flour and 1 1/2 cups APS flour)
1/2 cup milk
1 TBSP sugar mixed with 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

Heat oven to 375. Grease muffin tin. In a bowl, beat butter unitl creamy. Beat in the sugar until fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Beat in vanilla, baking powder and salt. Mix mashed berries into batter. Fold in half the flour, then half the milk. Add remaining flour and milk. Fold in remaining berries. Scoop batter into cups. Sprinkle with nutmeg sugar. Bake 25-30 min.
For Chocolate Marshmallow Muffins, just make the above recipe, omitting the blueberries and adding 1/4 tsp of cinnamon, 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips(or shaved dark chocolate) and 1/2 cup marshmallows. Don't fill the cups more than 2/3 full or they will bubble over! Top with sprinkles instead of nutmeg sugar. They don't look pretty and they are not the easiest to get out of the muffin pan(use plenty of spray oil), but princess loves to make them and they do taste good!
Hope you enjoy!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Outdoor Hour challenge #34

We got right on this challenge since most of the maples in this area are changing colors and losing their leaves, plus it was a really nice day out yesterday. We had no problem finding maples as they are all over town (a fact I found out last week when looking for oaks!). Most of the maples in this area are silver or black maples. We laid under a maple that had lost most of it's leaves and talked about how many branches there was and how this was the reason that maples are known as great shade trees. We then chose a maple with it's leaves still on to do our study.
We look closely at the leaves and then did a leaf rubbing.

We also examined the seeds, which are called keys. We talked about why the wings are beneficial for the seed. We did a bark rubbing and princess drew the tree.
Then we went inside and worked on our nature notebooks.
We have loved doing our nature study once a week. If you want to include this in your day, but your not sure how, please check out Barb's blog. It's where I get my plans for nature study and ideas on how to do nature study in general.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Education of Me Update...

I'm having a hard time with the Iliad. It's not drawing me in, but I am determined to finish it. As for my progress, it's not great, but it good be worse. So my previous goal remains.

I did however read the Princess Academy by Shannon Hale. I had purchased this book used at a book sale and I was reading it to see if and when it was appropiate for princess. I loved this book! It had great characters, decent writing and a great storyline. I think that we will add it as a read aloud for next year.

Hope your self-education went better than mine this week!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Weekly Report 10/6/08-10/10/08

I didn't get a chance to do my weekly report before we left for the weekend, so here it is now. We had a good, but very busy week.

LA-Princess has taken off in her reading this year so this week we adding in some books from the library so that we don't get too far ahead. We also finished two steps in All About Spelling. For grammar this week we tried a combo of FLL and grammar in copywork. It seemed to go well so we will try another week of that.

Math-Princess had a math test this week which she passed with flying colors, so we moved onto addition with renaming withing 1000. She seemed to catch on, but I'm glad that we will spend some more time on this.

History-We started to study ancient China and princess has learning about the Yellow River Valley. We drew our own pictograms and here there are.

Science-We are continuing our study of mammals and princess is enjoying it

Others-We finished Mr. Popper's Penguins this week and princess declared it to be another one of her favorites! We also enjoyed another picture study and learned about texture through crayon etching.

Hope you all had a great week, too!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Outdoor Hour Challenge #33

First of all for extra credit, we have an Oak Lane and a community named Maple Leaf.
Now that out of the way, our attempted study of oaks. I had always thought that our area had equal number of oaks and maples, I was sorely mistaken! We actually had a hard time finding multiple oaks to look at. In the end I was able to find several oaks in the white oak family and one in the black oak family. Princess easily picked up how to tell the difference between the two and for that I am grateful. Here's some of the acorns we collected, the top left one is from a black oak and it's already sprouted, princess thought that was really cool!

We ended up sitting down studying this bur oak tree...

We noted how the branches weren't all straight like a pine and how the light filtered through the tree. We also determined that the bur oak is part of the white oak family. We did bark and leaf rubbings for our nature journals. Here's what we did...

On the way back we ran across a public garden in which princess insisted on drawing several of the flowers. At first I wanted to say no because we still needed to find a few more oaks, right? But then I realized that the whole point is to get her interested in nature and if she wants to stop and draw flowers, it's ok! We don't have to study every oak in town. Thanks again Barb for giving me a framework for nature study and the freedom to let my daughter explore her interest in nature! Looking forward to next week!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Education of Me update

I have to say, I don't enjoy the Iliad. I doubt that I will ever assign this book to princess. I'm going to finish it though because maybe it has some redeeming qualities ahead. Anyways, here's what I've done...
  1. Read Book 2-5-this is one book less than I planned to read, but this has been a very tough read for me.
Here's what I plan on doing...
  1. Read Book 6-12-this will put me back on track.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Fall Tree Project

Hot of the presses, here's our fall tree project! I got this idea from Crafts for Fall by Karen Ross, which I got from our library. The plans called for buttons, but since I had felt it seemed like a better idea. Princess used the glue gun all by herself for the first time. I think that it came out great and it's now the centerpiece for our kitchen table!
From the top so you can get a better view of the nest. Princess had the idea of using a magnoia seed for the egg and adding a small flower so it's not lonely!

Weekly Report-9/29/08-10/3/08

I'm going to go ahead and give my weekly report this morning. Later today we have some friends coming over to do a fall tree project, so I don't anticipate getting much work done today. That's ok though because we only need to wrap up a few subjects today! Hopefully I'll be able to post some pictures from our project later today or tommorrow. Anyways, here's our week in review...

LA: reading, copywork and narrations were all done, not much more to report here.

Math: Princess worked on addition without renaming within 1000. I'm amazed at how well she is doing with this. It's like something has clicked. She has sped up and now does her problems in her head. I don't know why, but we are enjoying 2A so much more than level 1. Here's a sample of her work.

History: We studied ancient Assyrians, Gilgamesh and touched on ancienct India. It was a projectless week so nothing to show! That said, princess is really enjoying history this year.

Science: We are still studying animals, specifically mammals. Princess was happy to add two more animals to her coniferous forest. We also had a short but great nature study which you can read about in our post below.

Electives: We had a our first composer study and princess found the music boring the first time around. I played it during lunch, so she had no choice but to listen. By the third time around she was making up a story to go with it. My goal here is to expose her to classical music and hopefully get her to appreciate it. We'll see how this goes! Also I thought I'd share our leaf print project for Art Adventures at Home. Princess choose cool colors and her's came out great!

Hope you had a great week, thanks for reading about ours.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Artist & Composer Studies

I have been researching artist and composer studies so that we can add art and music appreciation to our week. The more I study it, the easier it seems. At this age, 6yo, my goal is exposure to great artists and music. This year we will study three artists and three composers this way princess will have a chance to become familiar with their works. I am getting all of this off the internet for free, can't get better than that! I'll share what I have put together, with a great deal of help from AO Artist and Composer lists, in hopes that it will help someone. (Our terms are not all 12 weeks because we only had 30 weeks of school left when I put this together, next year it will be!)

Ok, so it wouldn't cut and paste well. I'll post pictures of the pages and you can click to enlarge. I may post this over on my yahoo group later on.

Update: These are now posted at the yahoo group in the files under other homeschooling helps.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Outdoor Hour Challenge #32

We did manage to take a walk yesterday and we talked about the pines in our neighborhood. I hope to get over to campus later on this week to take pictures and study pine trees for our tree book. We talked about the pine tree we saw and pointed it's central stem, whorls and the leader. Princess go a real kick out of pointing out the leaders! We did find one tree with a split in the trunk and now it had three central stems. We talked about how this tree had been damaged at one point and that's why it looked that way. What a great teaching opportunity! Thanks Barb for giving us the pages in the Handbook of Nature to prepare or I never would have known how to answer her question about that tree! I forgot my camera on our walk, so we had to go back to get the picture of this tree, a Virginia Pine.

We took samples of the needles and a pine cone from this tree. Once we got home, we cut the needles and examined them. We also took apart our pine cone. All the seeds were gone, but we could see the pockets where they went. Here are our nature journal entries.

Wordless Wednesday