Sunday, December 26, 2010
TOG is a classical curriculum which means it follows a cycle of set topics. For instance in history it is Ancient Times, Medieval, Early Modern, and Modern. You would start with a general overview for younger students (grades K-4), then in the next four year cycle (grades 5-8) you would build upon the earlier knowledge, and finally in the high school years you would get in to more details. There is more to this but that is the basic overview.
What I like about TOG at this point is the ability to study the same topic with all of my boys at the same time. Obviously Lego-Man will be doing things in a bit more detail than say Happy but we'll all be on the same topic which will (hopefully) make it easier to do school work together.
Things will definitely be changing around here and I'll be taking this next week to put together all of our material. See you back on January 3rd!
Friday, December 17, 2010
Thursday, December 16, 2010
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Monday, December 13, 2010
- Read about the oboe in Story of the Orchestra
- Listened to the music selection and picked out oboe
- Created mini-book
- Read some information found on the Internet about the clavichord
- Watched a YouTube video of someone playing one
- Created mini-book
- Read about Handle in Meet the Great Composers
- Read from the "Young Composers" book and did student review pages
- Created mini-book
- Created paper nativity scenes.
Thursday, December 9, 2010
- Read Library Books
- Who's That Knocking on Christmas Eve by Jan Brett
- First Snow by Kim Lewis
- Snow Dog's Journey by Loretta Krupinski
- Marmalade's Christmas Present by Cindy Wheeler
- Max's Christmas by Rosemary Wells
- How to Raise a Dinosaur by Natasha Wing
- Watched "Clive & Ian's" 12 Questions of Christmas
- Watched some links on Jan Brett's page about polar bears
- AWANA verses
- Simple Schooling Freebies - Arctic Animals (Conductor & Lego-Man)
- AWANA Club
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Friday, December 3, 2010
We headed to our favorite museum today for the model train exhibit. We also did walk around (despite the protests of my oldest son) for about an hour. I'll let the photos tell the train story. We did discover that one of the local model rail clubs has a "junior" membership and I'll be looking in to that a bit more for Conductor's upcoming birthday in April. He just wants to drive the trains when we come to these exhibits. Being a member - junior or not - would allow him to.
After the museum we headed back north to meet up with our 4-H group. This was our first official meeting of the new year and we worked on creating "theater journals" to record what we do this year. The kids had a great time working on them and did a great job!
Thursday, December 2, 2010
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
After we went to the Nutcracker we surprised the boys with a visit to the mall. Why? Because this was set up in the middle of it....
Monday, November 29, 2010
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Monday, November 22, 2010
Our focus today for music was on the celesta, tubular bells, and Tchaikovsky. (Tomorrow we're going to see a performance done of the Nutcracker.)
On the drive to my sister's house (it takes about an hour) we listed to "Tchaikovsky Discovers America." We really love these Classical Kids stories and listen to them often.
Here is a breakdown of what we did:
- Read about the celesta in Story of the Orchestra and listened to the track
- Created a mini-book about this instrument
- Each boy gives me one thing about the instrument and I write it on the wipe board. They then choose three to copy in to their mini-book.
- Read about tubular bells in Story of the Orchestra. No track to listen to
- Created a mini-book about this instrument (same process as above)
- Read Famous Children: Tchaikovsky by Ann Rachlin
- Read about Tchaikovsky in "Young Scholars" book
- Answered "Student Review" questions as we went along
- Created a mini-book about Tchaikovsky (same process as before)
- Watched Lesson 4 in "God & the History of Art" on the "Byzantine Period." (This is a great series with Barry Stebbing. I purchased it here.)
- Discussed the video
- Watched the next section of "Beginning Drawing" (purchased it here)
- Read about Claude Monet in Art in Story (great book!)
- Watch "Linnea in Monet's Garden" (via Netflix streaming)
Saturday, November 20, 2010
Lego-Man sold three computer games. However, we discovered that many of the disks he burned were not working. (Update: I have been trying to burn replacement disks but they just aren't working. It shows they are burning but when I go to test them after it shows they are blank. We need to get some burned in order to replace ones that we know aren't working. Any ideas?)
Conductor again made roughly $6 in sales. I'm so amazed at this little guy! He is very happy at the table. He greets everyone there and is eager to show off his product. A born salesman perhaps? I have said he's never met a stranger and that is a great selling point at the fairs.
Friday, November 19, 2010
Thursday, November 18, 2010
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Julienne shared a story of a recent trip when they were traveling through a village. They stopped and asked a woman there to cook them some rice to eat in exchange for payment. She replied that she had no rice. They then asked her to direct them to someone else in the village who might be able to help them. She replied, "You don't understand. There is no rice in the entire village. There is nothing to eat here at all." Can you even imagine?
Julienne spoke for about an hour and then left to get ready to actually fly out to the Dominican Republic that very night - well early morning. The last I saw on the Facebook page for their mission trip, she had successfully made it in to Haiti. Please keep them the mission in prayer.
After this was all over, the children did some activities about Thanksgiving.
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
The first sculpture was created with 14 gauge artist wire and river rocks. The children were given five strands. They twisted them together in the middle....
Then they spread them out - "like a spider"....
The next step was to plop a river rock in the center (on top of the twisted area) and then begin to fold the wires around the rock. Once that was done, they again twisted the wires together...
Then they began to create wire trees.
Friday, November 12, 2010
- Piano lessons - postponed from earlier in the week due to Happy having strep throat
- 4-H meeting
- We discussed our upcoming year. Taste-tested our fundraiser (cookies and candy bars) and handed out order forms.
- Discussed banking issues and resolved those
- I'm really looking forward to the upcoming year! Our focus will be theater/drama/puppets. FUN!
Thursday, November 11, 2010
Saturday, November 6, 2010
Lego-Man was selling computer games he created. He used GameMaker to create them having bought the pro version but they do have a free version. He also used a free trial of Tektoma (a review product from last year) that shows how to use GameMaker. He had planned to make four games to sell but only managed two - a maze game and a platform game (think Mario Brothers).
Lego-Man was patient and didn't give in to discouragement. It took a bit before anyone bought one. He ended up selling three total at this craft fair.
Conductor surprised me when he announced he wanted to sell paper airplanes. He was very specific that was what he wanted to do so I let him. He sold $6 worth and he only charges $0.50 for a standard plane (not a standard design though) and $0.75 for a "catapult plane." It's a standard paper airplane with a hole punched near the front. A rubber band is added and it's launched using an unsharpened pencil.
Overall "Money Camp" has been great for the boys. They've learned a lot about business and how to market and such.
Thursday, November 4, 2010
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
Monday, November 1, 2010
- Mission to India study
- Twice Freed (this is a review product we are using)
- H&H and Conductor and Happy spent quite a bit of time coloring fall pictures while I read.
- Trees are Terrific - awesome link! Check it out. I chose the one that did the reading for me.
- Leaf Rubbings
- Fall Pattern page
- Lego-Man did his research and paper for his co-op project
- Conductor - ABC sorting page and a fall story page
- Conductor - He is working on his blueberry research for his co-op project.
- Happy - practiced writing his numbers
- Lego-Man is working on computer programming - making his games for his 4-H project.
- Conductor & Happy listen to Adventures in Odyssey in their room during H&H's nap time.
- Practice Piano
Thursday, October 28, 2010
- writing journal
- independent reading
- own interests (computer and paper airplanes and trains and outside time)
- AWANA club
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
- Mission to India study
- Piano practice
- Piano lessons
- Calculadder drills
- Regular math
- Worked one-on-one with Happy (Get Ready for the Code, Math Drill, handwriting)
- Writing journals
- Independent Reading
Monday, October 25, 2010
- Read in Story of the Orchestra about cellos and listened to the track
- Created a mini-book about cellos
- Read in Story of the Orchestra about organs and listened to the track
- Created a mini-book (To create these each boy lists one thing about the instrument and I write it on a blackboard. They then pick three of them - there are four boys - to copy in to their booklets.)
- Read from Meet the Great Composers about Haydn
- The boys answered some fill-in-the-blank type questions while listening. We reviewed the answers when done.
- Read from A Young Scholar's Guide to the Composers
- The boys answered the Student Review pages while listening. We reviewed the answers when done.
- Created a mini-book about Haydn (done in a similar fashion to the instrument ones)
- Listened to the CD track from Meet the Great Composers with Haydn's work. Had the boys pick out cellos and organs.
- Took a walk on our lunch break
- Watched Lesson 3 in "God & The History of Art" about "Early Christian Art" by Barry Stebbing (I really like these videos)
- Discussed the video
- Watched the rest of Lesson 1 in "Beginning Drawing" and the boys did the lesson
- Read about da Vinci in Art in Story
- Viewed some of da Vinci's paintings online and in books
Friday, October 22, 2010
Conductor has really become interested in planes lately. He has a book with different airplane patterns in it. We are constantly making copies of them and he has created quite the collection. He spends hours at time constructing his planes.
Lego-Man is computer focused lately and working hard on getting his games done. This is part of his 4-H Money Camp project. He plans to sell these at upcoming craft fairs.
Adventures in Odyssey CDs (love these!)
Even a bit of math drill thrown in for good measure.
Thursday, October 21, 2010
The boys read today. Played with H&H - always a good learning experience! Listened to lots of Adventures in Odyssey stories on CD.
Lego-Man is working on learning how to make computer games. He spent quite a bit time on this task.
Piano Practice - of course.
We ended the day with two hours of AWANA club.
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Today was also our last class at LC Bates museum. The younger children did printing. They created their own stamps and used an old printing press to make cards. The older children finished up on the printing class from last time and then did a short class on school. We've really enjoyed these classes. (1pm-2:30pm)
The boys ended the day with piano practice.
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Monday, October 18, 2010
This tied in very well with the Maine studies we've been doing at homeschool co-op.
Friday, October 15, 2010
Thursday, October 14, 2010
- India Study (we are really enjoying this and it's free!)
- Piano Practice
- 4-H Money Camp
- The kids have been working on prototypes of their products. We are signed up for at least one craft fair at this point and looking at doing a couple more. The kids had a chance to show how they would present their product. We talked about customer service, manners, and professional dress. I think it was very good and I'm very thankful we chose to do this camp. The kids have had a great time with it.
- AWANA (2 hours)
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
- The Narrow Way (Bible study)
- Personal Help for Boys (Bible/character study)
- Hymn Study (Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing)
- Poem Memorization (each boys is learning one appropriate for their age)
- Read Aloud (continuing on with our Little House books)
- AWANA verses (Happy & Conductor)
- Spelling (Conductor & Lego-Man - pretest on their levels)
- Phonics Drill
- Writing Journals
- Science (Astronomy Study)
- Worked with Happy one-on-one (Math, handwriting, Get Ready for the Code)
- Fun School (Played "Set")
- Practiced piano
- India study
- 4-H Money Camp planning
Friday, October 8, 2010
He was very knowledgeable and, more importantly, enjoyed sharing that knowledge with us.
He had brought a birch bark canoe he had made using traditional skills. It had no nails or screws in it and used no adhesive. It was made from one large piece of birch bark. It only weighed 55 pounds but could carry up to 700 pounds.
A close up of the details.
Soon after we headed down to the village that was being built near the water. During the course of the program they have a number of schools and homeschoolers who come through. At the village, they teach the children how the Native Americans had lived and they participate in finding food and helping to build a wigwam. The frames are up, but the children help make grass mats to shingle them.
The kids are heading down to the village carrying bundles of hay to be made into mats for the wigwam construction.
Our first view of the village. It’s hidden by some trees so you walk around a bend and there it is in front of you. It was so very cool.
A partially finished wigwam. Every year they do this program and construct these since the winter elements destroy them. These would have been summer homes for the tribes living near the coast.
After the kids had spent some time exploring and helping to build the wigwam, we headed back to the main instruction area.
David talked about etchings done on birch bark and showed us some examples that he has made.
Then the children were all given a small 1x1 square of birch bark and allowed to make their own etchings. David had even made some stencils that they could use to create their designs.
Lego-Man is contemplating what he’s going to make.
They sketched out their design in pencil or pen first. Then the bark had to soak for about five minutes in a bucket of water to soften. Once it is softened they could scrape their design out. Here is Lego-Man’s finished etching:
All the kids seem to have had a great time. I could easily see us going back next year or even going back for another of their programs.
Thursday, October 7, 2010
In the afternoon we had Money Camp. We are really having fun with this. Today we talked about marketing and packaging. Debra had some cookies there in a couple of different packages - just local grocery story bakery cookies. The kids talked about which type of packing worked better and why.
They she broke them up in to four groups. Each group was to take two cookies and create a package and a name for them. There was a bunch of craft things there such as markers, tape, containers, doilies, and plastic wrap plus a lot more. They were given only fifteen minutes to come up with their completed concept.
It was a lot of fun to watch them work on problem solving this. We will be meeting next week as well plus bringing a working prototype with us. We are going to work together to help troubleshoot and problems and give some tips on improving the product, package, and marketing of it.
The kids will then have a table at some of the local craft fairs to sell their goods. This all counts as part of their 4-H program as well.
We ended the day with our AWANA club.
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
We also had one of the men from church (his granddaughter is in the co-op) offer to come and do a tree study with the kids. He took each group of students in to the woods nearby and helped them identify different types of trees that grow in Maine.
The older children once again wanted to play kickball. They were able to play for about 15 minutes before we were done for another week. Next time they will be doing presentations on books and/or authors from Maine.
We found it was too difficult for the younger children to do the reports. It was really a "mom-activity." It was really crazy as many of the children that attend our co-op have moms that attend MOPS (which is why we meet when we do - so the older homeschool children have something to do while their moms are at MOPS). These moms wanted to help their younger kids with their reports and it was a rush of in and out to help.
We eliminated all that this week by having the younger group work on a lapbook. It seems to be working well. We're keeping all the elements at the church until they are completed and in the lapbook. They are doing on about Blueberries for Sal and are currently working on a study about bears. We'll see how much we complete between now and November 3rd when we will be switching gears a bit.
After lunch we headed once again to LC Bates Museum for our Maine studies class. I would share some photos, but after taking only four my camera battery died. It's the second time it's done that at the museum classes. Today the older children learned about printing and were able to make their own plates and print them using old fashioned methods. The younger children learned about chores. Their hands on bit was using an old washboard and basin to wash clothes. They all thought it fun!
We only have one more museum class left. I need to make sure my camera battery is fully charged!
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
- Read Aloud (current Little House on the Prairie book)
- Personal Help for Boys by Pearables - two sections (I really like this so far)
- The Narrow Way by Pearables (Bible) - character study. We're working on "brotherly kindness."
- Christopher Columbus lapbook - read information & the boys created their vocabulary booklet
- Piano Lessons (2 hours total for all four of us)
- Conductor played with Legos while waiting for us to be done (he went first)
- Conductor & Happy played outside on the swing and watched "animal life"
- All three boys were able to play some pool during my lessons
Saturday, October 2, 2010
Today we headed about two hours north to Leonard’s Mills a living history museum. We’ve only been there once before about two years ago. The boys assured me they didn’t remember a thing!
**Warning** This post is photo heavy.
This museum is unique in that it hosts “living history” days. There are a large number of people dressed in costume doing chores and living as if it were 1790. They also now have a small encampment from the 20th Maine Civil War unit camping just outside the gates. I find things like this a lot of fun. Lego-Man – who begged me to leave him home today – enjoyed himself immensely. I’m pretty sure the two younger boys did as well. Sometimes it is hard to tell.
First we checked out a new mill they have added since we were here last. It’s a small sawmill that cuts cedar shingles.
Before we could cross the covered bridge to get to the village, we came across the 20th Maine camp. We stopped to check out a few things and chat with the men.
They were great about explaining things, answering questions, and letting us poke about.
This is actually paper coins that were printed during the war. The gentleman here knew a lot about all the artifacts he had displayed and was more than happy to share his knowledge.
There were oxen pulling logs and horses pulling wagons. The horses were huge draft horses – well, tall ones at least. The boys and I took a ride around the village in the wagon.
I was talking Little House on the prairie to them the whole time. We are currently reading through the series and I hoped visiting would help make some things more understandable. Although, having the guy driving our wagon chatting on his cell phone kind of brings us quite quickly to the modern time.
We then headed over and let the boys have their hand at tossing a hatchet. Happy almost took out the back of his head, so I stopped his attempts at getting it in the target, but Lego-Man and Conductor were both successful.
From here we headed to the blacksmith shop. It was a pretty busy place today. We sat for a good ten minutes here watching the blacksmith make pot hooks.
Our walks then took us past some nice and scenic areas. I snapped lots of nature photos on this trip as well. We then headed to another new exhibit – the smokehouse. This was an Eagle Scout project and the boys built it all by himself. There was a very nice lady there smoking sausages and we were able to taste some – well Happy & I at least. It was pretty yummy!
The next stop was the “drinking fountain.” It is really a hand pump with a trough attached. Conductor found out the hard way that controlling the stream of water isn’t that easy – especially with your six-year-old brother pumping.
The boys favorite place was the sawmill. It is powered by the water wheel outside.
All-in-all it was a fun field trip. I just hope the boys learned a lot. We’ll be doing a report about it on Monday so I guess we’ll find out!