Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Day #23/175 Days

Reading Time:

Leaf Trouble by Jonathan Emmett
The Clever Apple Pie by Francis Moshley
Fairy Houses by Tracy Kane
The Train by David McPhail

Math - MUS

AWANA verses

Writing journal

Little ones:
colored books on new table

(short & sweet since I didn't remember to finish this up & make it pretty until a week later)

Monday, September 28, 2009

Day #22/175 Days - Apples!

We spent the morning at a local apple orchard. This orchard makes apple cider right on the premises so we were able to get a tour of those facilities as well as where they store their apples for the winter.

I had all the kids with me. Mr. H started out in the stroller but it was easier to plop him in the Snugli for the tractor ride so he was carried for most of the morning.

They unfortunately were not pressing cider today but we did get to see where it is made & it was explained how it worked. Here is some cider left in the holding tank after their last batch was made.

After our tour we hopped on the trailer for a ride out to the orchard. I think the kids liked this part the best. We didn't have long there to pick - about 15-20 minutes tops - but long enough to fill our bags up. Even Miss H picked 1-1/2 bags. They were tiny bags but just right for little hands.

Conductor filling up his bag with apples.

On the ride back we all sampled an apple (or two). Even Miss H liked hers. They were Macouns and very tasty.

At the end of the tour we were all treated to some apple cider. Miss H really liked the "juice" & drank down a whole cup - more or less. A lot of it ended up on her shirt & pants so we did have to do an outfit change but she was happy nonetheless.

We ended our day at the orchard with a picnic lunch. There was a great climbing tree near where we were sitting and Conductor promptly scampered up it - mud boots and all. I, of course, had to grab the photo op.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Day #21/175 Days

Every September in Unity there is the Common Ground Fair. This is a very old-fashioned style agricultural fair with a strong environmental vibe to it. I love it personally. My biggest reason - I don't have to worry about the rides and fairway enticing the boys since there isn't one!

On opening day they let in school groups as well as homeschoolers for free - which is why we go that day. I did spend $5 to park because we didn't get there early enough but it's worth missing the horrendous traffic jam of cars getting in to the fair. As it was, it still took us about an hour to drive from the center of Unity, park the truck, and walk into the fairground. Nuts I tell you - but worth it.

I never feel like we see enough but by the time we arrived on the fairgrounds it was 11am & we stayed until 3pm. We met up with my sister & her family & spent the day together. The extra adult help was nice since I had five kiddos with me. The two younger boys spent a lot of time off with Auntie & Uncle -thanks guys!

When we first got there we headed to the folk art tent. Did I mention how cold it was! It was about 50 degrees out with a gusting wind. It was extremely cold & two of my boys managed to get out of the house in shorts. My first order or business was trying to find them some affordable hats (I spent too much money for little fleece hats but they were cheaper than the all wool ones for $30+ each) to help keep them warm. It wasn't until we were leaving that I remembered the extra clothes packed in the truck which included pants! Sheesh!

Lego-Man was again my roving photographer & did take most of these photos. I'm not sure what this first was is of but he took it while in the folk art tent.

Okay - I mentioned how cold it was right? This guy was outside the folk art tent demonstrating how to tan hides (he's working on a deer skin). You can see the long sleeves, the hat, and even the chaps to help protect him from his sharp knife. I'm not sure you can see that he's barefoot. He wasn't the only one either. It made me shiver every time.

I had Miss H & Mr H with me as well. They spent most of the day in the stroller but Miss H was able to get out & move around quite a bit. Mr. H stayed in there for the most part but I did carry him some...

Did I mention how cold it was? I started the day with him in a Snugli facing out & my fleece jacket zipped up around him. I did think to grab one of Happy's hats for Mr. H - thankfully. He was also in a very warm fleece one-piece outfit - with footies. I think he was probably the warmest of everyone there. Oh & the looks I was getting with him like this was pretty priceless.

The fair has a wonderful children's area. One thing they had there this year was a display called "winter kids." The kids did a relay race wearing snowshoes. It was a blast to watch.

Happy racing against his cousin.

Conductor had a "moment" at the relay race. I had just arrived & he was pouting & had been crying. Apparently he tried to do the race with snowshoes on that were too big. We had a chat & he decided to try again with ones that fit. Check out his form.

And I, of course, grow "locally grown" kids. ;-)

Another really fun part this year was the hay jump. In years past they have just had a bunch of loose hay on the ground for the kids to jump & play in. This year they still had the loose hay, but they had a bunch of hay bales stacked behind it for the kids to climb up on top of & jump off. They loved it.


He was great & brought Miss H up 2-3 times for her to have a turn. It was a bit too much for her, but they had a volunteer there helping little ones off. Miss H kept wanting to go again so I'm pretty sure she liked it.

Happy - this kid LOVED this!

There was also a "Mudmobile" at the children's area. They handed out a glob of clay/mud to each child & then they could make it in to something. All of the older kids (all except Mr. H) tried it & made something. Okay, I did a lot of helping with Miss H. I let her carry a small piece of it until she started chewing on it. blah!

There were also boards full of nails for the kids to pound in. I felt sorry for the volunteers here who had to keep banging them back out for the kids to bang right back in again.

One more locally grown kid. ;-)

At one point I took Mr & Miss H & Lego-Man over to the amphitheater. There was a group there playing Irish music. I bought a large popcorn on the way (yummy - organic popcorn with safflower oil & sea salt) & Miss H, Lego-Man & I all shared it while we listened to the music.

I took this photo of Mr. H while he sat in my lap.

Don't let this photo of Miss H fool you - she spent over half her time here - after she was done eating - she danced to the music. It was fun to watch.

After we were done at the amphitheater we went to find my sister & the rest of the boys. They were on the other side of the hill doing this.....

I convinced Lego-Man to take Miss H. I think she liked it. ;-)

I'm pretty sure they could have all stayed here for the rest of the day sliding, but we moved on. Mr. H had not napped as well as I had hoped. Our next stop was the sheep dog demo. I love this part of the fair & we typically start our day here. These dogs are really amazing at what they can do at just a whistle. They had goats this year for the first time & the dogs did as well with them as they did with sheep (which they had too).

Our day ended by quickly checking out some bunnies and the poultry barn. There was so much we missed but we'll be back next year!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Day #20/175 Days

Today was our second LC Bates class. It was all about "pond life." The boys & I had actually taken a two hour class of a similar title this summer but it was a very rainy day & we never made it to the actual pond. Today we never made it in to the museum. I'm pretty sure the boys enjoyed this more. At least these two did....

This is Happy with one of his friends. Whenever we get together these two want to play together. They are about 1-1/2 years apart (maybe 2?) but get along very well - usually.

The biggest excitement when we got down to the pond where two large snapping turtles (pretty sure they were of the snapping variety) were, well, um, "wrestling" in the middle of the pond. At least as far as we could tell - they may have actually been fighting but we were too far away to tell for sure which was probably a good thing.

There were tons of little frogs hanging out on lily pads. There were nets for all the kids to share & they went & scooped up some water or mud or muck or all the above & then went through it to see what they found.

I want to publicly thank my sister & Happy's little friends mom for taking on two of my boys as I held Mr. H & Miss H & Lego-Man was my roving photographer (he took most of these photos). Thanks everyone! I couldn't do this class without your help.

A couple small crayfish were also found. One of them (I think the smaller one) actually shed it's exoskeleton while it was in the container & Serena was passing around other critters for the kids to look at. That was pretty neat to see.

We ended the class with all the critters in containers & Serena explained what each one was & what their role in the ecosystem of the pond involved. We had asked Serena what the biggest find might be - that elusive critter that one doesn't always get to see - and she said it was a water scorpion. About five minutes later my nephew caught one in his net. That was interesting to see!

We found LOTS of frogs. That big one in the front is about two years old (according to Serena) but most were frogs hatched this very year. The kids also caught tadpoles, damselfly nymphs, dragonfly nymphs, whirligigs, and more!

The kids left happy and muddy so I call that a good day.

After the class we headed to one of the local parks & let the kids play. I didn't grab the camera & Lego-Man was too busy playing to snap photos. We stayed for about an hour & then headed home for nap time for Mr & Miss H.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Day #19/175 Days

Today was a "Happy" day it seems. I'm still trying to figure out what type of schedule will work best for us. I worked with Happy first thing this morning on his school work. We completed:

  • Handwriting page "b"
  • Phonics - I'm switching to Alpha-Phonics as it's worked with the older boys & I know this program.
  • Scissor work
  • Logic - we used Mind Benders from Critical Thinking
  • Workbook fun - I have a kindergarten workbook that we'll use just for fun & easy skill building
  • MUS Primer
For the rest of the boys, we only did:

  • MUS
  • Writing journal
  • Literature (independent reading)
  • PE
Conductor finished out his day with soccer practice.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Day #18/175 days

Each evening I'm writing down what I want to accomplish in a notebook & now I'll have a written record if I need it as well. It's working so far.

One thing I tried today was to give Happy some one-on-one time which he sorely needs. So we did some Kindergarten work first thing this AM.
  • I found some cute handwriting papers on-line which I found HERE. I'm just not sure who pointed me there in the first place. I like how simple they are. Happy definitely needs to work on his handwriting so my plan is to do this daily with him.
  • Scissor practice was next. This is a freebie I found at CurrClick. But when I was figuring out where I found it, I discovered the blog of the woman who developed the scissor pages. It's called Midday Snack & it's got tons of resources on it.
  • We ended by using a free phonics book I downloaded from Homeschool Freebie of the Day a few weeks ago. However, I did find it at another site as well & it can be downloaded HERE for free. I like it as it has him reading small words (man, ran, etc.) within the first lesson.

Then together today we did:

Circle Time
  • Popcorn Prayer
  • Star Spangled Banner
  • Pledge of Allegiance
  • Sang the first verse of "Amazing Grace"
  • Continued learning "Blessed Assurance"
  • Recited our poem "A Thought"
  • Continued working on signing John 3:16 (I'm really enjoying this.)
  • Read Sarah's Wish (TOS Crew item)
  • Read Farmer Boy
  • Worked on 24 Family Ways (Way #2)
  • Worked on AWANA verses
Literature time. Lego-Man continues reading The Hobbit & Conductor is reading The Stolen Train.

Since I ran out to do some quick errands this morning we got a later start to our day. At this point we took our Lunch Break. The boys watched Jelly Telly while they ate. Tuesday is history day and today they learned about George Washington. Jelly Telly uses Drive Thru History videos which are well done.

After that they asked to watch a Magic School Bus episode. I've been taping them on the DVR (we now have 20 on there) & the younger boys in particular really like them. Lego-Man liked them at that age as well. I made them all watch it today. It was the "Mussel Beach" episode & I get to count it as science.

Then I gave them "recess" which meant they needed to go outside and play for a bit. Of course, that counts as PE.

We did another Mad Libs today (language arts) & the boys really love this. I think we'll continue with this as long as they enjoy it. It's a great way for them to learn the different parts of speech. Here is today's version (their words in bold):


The most important game you will play at camp is tennis. Tennis is
popular with young people, slimy people, and even
with elderly soccer balls. Playing tennis gets you out in the
bloody air and is really little exercise. You
can wear special calendars made especially for the court.
The most important part of tennis is the serve. To serve, you throw
the season high in the air and hit it into your opponent's
crazy Jack. Then you rush up to the
house and fall. The various strokes in
tennis are called the "overhand fan," the "big
volley," and the "back-belly-button return." And, if you win, you
must remember to run up and leap madly over the
book. Then slap your opponent on the palace
and say, "New!"

Math was next. Nothing exciting about math. Two pages in MUS.

Then we tried out two TOS Crew materials. The first is a neat little book called Over Our Heads in Wonder put out by Bright Ideas Press. This is a science/Bible curriculum. Today we talked about the sky & everyone (including Miss H) drew sky pictures. Lego-Man drew a night picture (black paper & white chalk), Conductor drew a day photo with clouds (blue paper & white chalk) & Happy drew a rainbow (with a bit of help from Teach). Miss H just drew with the white chalk on green paper and loved it!

We ended (badly as the boys were just too tired at this point - as was I) with another book I've been eager to try by Bright Ideas Press called Young Scholar's Guide to Composers (music). We've started at the beginning & I do like this program so we're going to try it again tomorrow.

Conductor ended his day with soccer practice which seems to be what he does quite a bit lately.

Miss H did the following today:
  • puzzles
  • coloring
  • Aquadoodle pad
  • Blocks
  • paper and chalk
She slept through part of the school day.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Day #17/175 Days

We may be limping along but at least I'm consistently limping. This is good for me. "Afternoon school" is going well which is also a new and good thing. We're still working on attitudes and poor Happy is being sadly neglected but it's starting to slowly come together and for that I am happy.

Today we covered the following:

Circle Time
  • Popcorn prayer - it's still a struggle for some but they are getting it. I'm sure the more we do it, the easier it will become.
  • We sang the Star Spangled Banner. (side note: Miss H stood right up with us & put her correct hand over her heart - proud Teach moment there.)
  • We then recited The Pledge of Allegiance
  • We sang the first verse of "Amazing Grace" (and will probably continue to do this as a reminder to the song).
  • Starting learning our new hymn "Blessed Assurance" and listened to it on YouTube
  • Continued with learning our poem "A Thought"
  • Working on our signing of John 3:16
  • Began working on Family Way #2 from our 24 Family Ways while everyone colored the page from the coloring book
  • Read a chapter from Farmer Boy
  • Read Yellow and Pink by William Steig (goes along with our science)

Completed Lesson 3 from 106 Days. This lesson discussed evolution vs. creation. Loved the book Yellow and Pink it helped show the boys the difference between the two. Then we completed pages from Considering God's Creation which I felt were fun. They cut out ten boxes that represented the steps to creation. They had to mix them up & pick one at a time & record the order. They did this three times to show the randomness of evolution and how it really couldn't work that way. Then they glued them on the page in the correct order. I'm liking these hands-on activities & it helps break up the talking I do. ;-)

Language Arts

I saw this idea over on my friend Suzanne's blog & knew my boys would love it - Mad Libs. Here is what they came up with today (their words are in bold):

Once again, it is the time of year when parents can get rid of their
big kids by sending them to a gooey
summer camp. Today they are mostly "theme camps." There are football
camps, computer camps, boy camps, blowing camps,
and special camps for children who like to make ceramic
boxes with their eyes. These camps
have classes in playing and in remedial machine.
But all summer, camps feed the kids skittles and
make them sleep in dogs or rickety girls. Every
kid has a counselor who is a big 1 million-year-old scooter
who doesn't know his funny bone from his basketball.
But kids crazily put up with these indignities because
they love camp and hate to go back to their own bike.

This is something we'll definitely continue doing. They loved it.

Lunch Break
(what can I say - we got a late start today)

During our morning school time, I received a call from a new homeschooler who needed some help getting started. I'm a county rep for our state association so this happens from time to time. I didn't want to loose momentum so I called her back after our lunch time. I set the boys to do some independent work while I fielded this call.


I bought each of the boys handwriting books at the convention this past spring. Conductor & Lego-Man both needed to do a page today.


They all worked in their MUS books today. Happy did about four pages I think while the older boys did two.


They boys also worked in their writing journals. We then began Level 2 of Understanding Writing. This is really a fantastic curriculum & I do highly recommend it. It's one volume that covers K-12 so don't let the price scare you. There are usually copies to be found on eBay for around $30 which is less than half the cost of it new.

Today we worked on "The Naming Game" which is all done orally. It's to help teach nous. I gave a category (farm) & the boys spent about five minutes working to name all the words they could think of that would fit in this category.


We worked in our Grapevine books today. The boys really like this study as do I. I've started using Sumo Paint to do up the lessons right on the computer which eliminates the need for a chalkboard. It's fun. Think of the Paint program on your computer but with more options. And it's free.

TOS Crew/Science

We continued working on the reptile lapbook we started a few weeks ago. This got to be a bit crazy as Mr. H didn't want to nap this afternoon. We have a few more booklets to make but I expect to be done by the weekend - hopefully.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Day #16/175 Days

Today was easy & hard all rolled in to one. I'm teaching my first ever class to other homeschooleres. I'm teaching photography. Not sure how it's going to go but we survived our first class together. This is for kids 10 & up but I am letting Conductor take it. We meet only once a month & are not meeting in December & January.

Today we learned about:

  • The history of photography
  • The history of camera - had a pinhole camera, a No. 3 Brownie Camera, a film SLR camera, and a digital camera there for everyone to look at.
  • We used a pinhole camera to take photos
  • We reviewed the timeline of photography
  • We talked about some famous photographers. Everyone picked one to do a report on for next month.
  • I went over the different icons on a camera & what they mean (i.e. a "running man" is used for sports mode, a flower is used for macro photography)
  • Discussed briefly the "Rule of Thirds."
  • Talked about framing/composing a photo briefly
  • Went over their pre-class homework - each constructed a photo collage of pictures from magazines. They explained why they picked them. I then used these to show how they were composed (i.e. using lines, rule of thirds, natural framing, etc.)
  • Gave out homework for next month - photographer report, vocabulary words, photo scavenger hunt (15 things to find) & reviewing the timeline.
All in all I think it went okay. We'll see how next month goes. I'm not sure we'll need the 90 minutes I've planned for. Next month though everyone will have their scavenger hunt photos to share so perhaps we will.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Day #15/175 Days

We started the day with Circle Time.
  • popcorn prayer
  • calendar with Happy
  • Sang "Amazing Grace" - we'll move on to a new hymn Monday
  • Sang the "Star Spangled Banner" & recited The Pledge of Allegiance (cute side note - Miss H put her hand over her heart without me saying anything when we started to sing.)
  • Each of the older boys read our new poem "A Thought" by Robert Louis Stevenson
  • Continued with Our 24 Family Ways - working on Way #1 "We love and obey our Lord, Jesus Christ, with wholehearted devotion."
  • While they colored their picture from Our 24 Family Ways, I read a chapter in Farmer Boy.
  • We began working on learning John 3:16 in sign language. I loved this & I think the boys did as well. John 3:16 is the first verse Happy needs to learn for AWANA & I truly believe the signs are aiding him in this. Even Miss H was doing them as best as a 2-year-old can although she refused to show her Mom later. We'll definitely be keeping this in our Circle Time. I'm using a book called Sign & Say: Bible Verses for Children and it's very easy to follow.
  • Happy & Conductor worked on their AWANA verses. Happy's is the same as the one we are signing so that worked well for him. Lego-Man helped Conductor with his verses. Lego-Man is a LIT or Leader-in-Training at AWANA this year. Our group only does up to the 6th grade. He helps with all the little Cubbies & does well with it. I am going to have him do a book as well but we keep forgetting to get his entrance booklet to get started.

The boys then moved on to Math. Lego-Man & Conductor worked in their MUS books. I picked up a preK math book at the Dollar Tree the night before & started Happy on that to see if it would help him with some of the writing issues he's having. He did okay but I really need to carve out some time just for him. He needs some help on writing numbers and such. We'll get there though.

I then sent them off to do private devotions in their rooms while I prepared lunch. (Bible). They continue to use the ICB Illustrated Bible books I have since we still can't find their Bibles. Guess what I'll be doing Sunday afternoon? Yup - hoeing out boy rooms trash bag in hand.

Lunch Break

While the boys ate their lunch, I had Jelly Telly on the computer. Thursday is Science day. They learned about woodpeckers.

Science continued after lunch & nap time with the reptile lapbooks we are creating. I'm really enjoying these lapbooks & can't wait to share them with everyone.

We ended our day with journal Writing & Literature reading.

Thursdays nights find us at our AWANA club meeting which lasts for about two hours. I typically get their earlier since I'm the Cubbies/Sparks secretary & hubby is the Game Director. The boys enjoy this. Happy is now in Sparks (grades K-2) & Conductor is in T&T (grades 3-6). Lego-Man, as mentioned above, is a LIT for Cubbies (ages 3 & 4). It makes for a busy night but it's always fun & I love watching the kids put those Bible verses into their hearts. (Bible)

Miss H worked on the following during our school time today (she napped for a lot of it as well):
  • puzzles
  • coloring (new color wheel crayon that I bought for $1 at The Dollar Tree along with some new coloring books too)
  • stickers and paper

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Day #14/175 Days

Today is a mish-mash of a day. I stayed up far too late. The little ones I watch do not want to nap today & that's added another element to the day we don't normally have, but we're managing.

This morning I just vegged a lot which is a nice option for homeschoolers I think. Lego-Man made a double batch of chocolate chip cookies. I count this as a Life Skill but it could easily be included in a home economics option or even math since he doubled the recipe.

After lunch - when I though the little ones were napping - we began on a lapbook I'll be reviewing in a couple of weeks. I like how it's set up a lot. The boys did okay. We did about four elements today. The lapbook is on reptiles so we'll count this towards Science.

While we waited for Conductor to finish up his last little bit, we watched some fun videos on YouTube.

Meet the Elements by They Might Be Giants (Science)
Why Does the Sun Shine? by They Might Be Giants (Science)

It is definitely later in the day than we typically do school, but since the boys had the morning off we'll keep going a bit more.

They each worked on their Math books from MUS. I only ask them to do two pages (well, with the new books it's four pages, but it's the same number of problems as the old books).

We read a bit today about the nervous system in the nutrition book we're trying out. We also watched about half of a video recommended from the book. You can find it HERE. It was very interesting but I was fast loosing the boys interest and the noise level was a bit too distracting. (Science)

The boys finished their abbreviated day today by writing in their writing journals. (Writing)

But then I changed my mind and made them both go read for 30 minutes. I'm making Lego-Man read The Hobbit and Conductor is reading The Stolen Train which is a story we've heard on the Your Story Hour CDs so he's familiar with it. (Literature)

Conductor has soccer practice again tonight so he'll be set for PE. Lego-Man does a lot of walking/pacing outside during the day so he's good too.

I don't have a lot that Miss H did today since she was napping for the first part of our day. I did take an old pringles can & cut a hole in the cover & gave her a handful of straws. She is loving this. She is asking about the colors & getting about half of them right. She is putting them in & taking them out.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Day #13/175 Days

Today was Park Day. We love Park Day. We head out & meet up with other homeschoolers and let the kids play. The moms get a chance to chat. It's a win-win situation. It also counts as PE.

Miss H had a great time playing on the little set they have at the park for little people. She did make a break when I wasn't paying attention to the big set & I did have to do a retrieval from the very top of the play set but it was all good.

I think Conductor had a great time. Lego-Man took the next two photos (and a bunch of other photos of other people's kids). Conductor doesn't usually smile this big for me. Hmmm.....

Yesterday I made mention of making these "brain hats." They really only fit Mr. H so I took some photos with him sporting them. Aren't they cool?!?!?

After Mr. & Miss H went home for the day, I did manage to squeeze in some fun learning. We watched Jelly Telly. I need to remember that Tuesday is History day & Thursday is science day. The boys love watching Jelly Telly & today they learned about Benjamin Banneker. I like that Jelly Telly used clips from Drive Through History - we like that program.

We read four eBooks that I need to review for the TOS Homeschool Crew. I liked them. The subjects were varied but all presented well - earthquakes, bones/skeleton, nouns/adjectives, and flamingos. The boys liked them too so that was good.

We ended the day with the older boys working on their writing journals. It's short & simple but I want to continue to have them get used to writing daily. Right now they only have to do three sentences about a single topic. I'll increase that by a sentence each month.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Day #12/175 Days

The schedule continues to be tweaked and played with. Right now what seems to be working best is jotting down on a 5x7 note card the night before the things I want to cover & using it for a guide - for the most part. Here is what we accomplished today:
  • We took our first fall walk. I asked each of the boys to point out two things, and they each had to be different, that showed that fall was coming. Along the way I gathered some pretty leaves, flowers, rocks, and a pine cone for later use. We went about 1/2 a mile. Conductor rode his bike while the rest of us walked - well except Mr. & Miss H who got to ride in the stroller. PE
  • We listened to a chapter from a new book called Sarah's Wish. I'll be posting a review of it soon for the TOS Homeschool Crew. It's excellent. History
  • I sent them to do their "morning routine" which they typically do before we start school but I forgot. I added it in here. Life Skills
  • As an extension of the above, each boy was sent to their respective room on a mission - to find their misplaced Bibles. Unfortunately, after about 30 minutes searching and cleaning they came up empty. Now that we are back to AWANA, they need to have these each week - aside from the fact that they just need them! We'll try again tomorrow OR I'll end up in there with a trash bag and they'll loose stuff. Life Skills
  • I read a chapter from Farmer Boy - our current read aloud. While I read, the boys colored their "brain hats." Photos tomorrow - my camera battery died today. Science
  • The boys continued to color while I read a chapter from Volume 2 of Story of the World. We've never finished Vol. 2 - this is our 2nd try - and I am determined to do so. We are just reading it and doing nothing else at this point, but we're now one chapter closer. History
  • All the boys worked on their MUS lessons & Conductor & Lego-Man each had a turn on Quarter Mile Math. Math
Lunch break

  • Since the boys can't find their Bibles, I had them each read for 30 minutes from some books I purchased earlier this year. They are The Illustrated International Children's Bible which looks like a comic book but has the complete Bible text (with chapter and verse numbers in it) but makes it a bit more appealing to the boys. Even Happy was given his choice of one to look at for that time. Lego-Man choose to read Genesis, Conductor picked Mark & Happy is looking through John. I also have Matthew. Click the link above & you can check out the John book free of charge at the website. Bible
  • The boys worked in their writing journals. Writing
  • I set up the nature items I picked up on the walk earlier in the day & had the boys draw them. This was hard for them as we haven't done much of this type of drawing. The all struggled but did well in the end. We'll try to do this more often. Art
  • We ended the day playing a game of Life while Happy had a nap which he sorely needed. Conductor won the game & was pretty happy.
  • Conductor ended the day with soccer practice.
Today Miss H did the following:
  • coloring - her absolute favorite thing to do - but we used BIG coloring books (about 2 feet tall)
  • puzzles - her 2nd favorite thing to do
  • Aquadoodle pad
  • stickers - probably her 3rd favorite thing to do - I give her a blank piece of paper and small stickers and she fills the paper with them
  • Fisher Price binoculars - these keep her busy a long time

Friday, September 11, 2009

Day #11/175 Days

Today we began a series of five classes are are taking at the "local" natural history museum. I say "local" because it's about 40 minutes away, but that's local in rural Maine. We really enjoy this museum & we've been able to get quite a group of homeschoolers together for this series.

The class today was on birds. We gathered upstairs in the "bird room" and Serena - the museum guide - talked about birds with the kids & the watercolor murals of their habitats.

Their assignment was to find a bird & study it. Then draw it & color it. Serena showed the kids how to draw with a pencil & then add color watercolors.

Gratuitous photo of Mr. H (he was in a Snugli facing out & did fantastic!)

Miss H loves to draw and color so I made sure to grab her a piece of paper and pencil (I decided not to try watercolors) and she did great.

Can I just point our her grip? She's two! She just turned two in July.
Look how she's holding that pencil. That's great!

Conductor is sketching out his bird. He started to get frustrated and then I pointed out that everything is made up of straight lines or curved lines. Just find the lines and copy them.

Lego-Man is already adding color to his drawing.

Happy had a great time with the watercolors.

He spent the whole morning with his friend. They have a great time together. His mom is always great about taking on Happy when we do stuff together. Miss H even took to her as well & wanted to be carried around by Sarah. Thanks again, Sarah!

This is Conductor's final drawing. I was duly impressed since we have not done a lot of art instruction yet.

Lego-Man's final drawing.

I didn't take a photo of Happy's final drawing but he just added a lot of watercolor lines to his paper. It's very pretty though.

On the way off the campus, we drove by the pond. I was telling the boys that the next class will be about pond life. That's when Lego-Man spotted this guy above. I backed up, jumped out, grabbed my camera, and snapped this photo. My sister had come up behind me & I think the heron got tired of the "paparazzi" & took off. I didn't get a photo of him flying away either but it was very impressive.

It was a great Friday here & we're already looking forward to the next session on the 24th.