Friday, May 28, 2010

Day #141/175 Days

Ditto yesterday’s post…..

  • I “rowed” Mike Mulligan with Happy & Miss H. I’m really still enjoying this time with both of them.
  • Conductor worked on his train unit study.
  • Lego-Man worked on his Narnia study.


Thursday, May 27, 2010

Day #140/175 Days

(It’s been too long for too many details to make it in to this post.)

  • I “rowed” Mike Mulligan with Happy & Miss H. I’m really still enjoying this time with both of them.
  • Conductor worked on his train unit study.
  • Lego-Man worked on his Narnia study.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Day #139/175 Days (Co-Op)

We had a visit today from Fireman Rick. He was fantastic with the kids. He talked to them about fire safety & what to do in case of a fire - even crawling on the table to show them how to do it! Loved it! Then he put on all of his gear & talked about what each piece does. Considering it was still a really hot day, this was above and beyond I think. He did mention it felt a bit like having a snowsuit on at the beach. He didn't stay in all his gear long. Here are a few photos of him talking and in his gear.

Then the older students came in to give the younger students a presentation on ecology. As part of the ecology class each student (or pair) put together a presentation on a "community." For instance, Lego-Man did one on an "air community" and a smaller one on a "forest community." These kids did a great job.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

No School...why?

I was trying to remember what we did today. Then it dawned on me - a week later - it was a sweltering 90+ degrees today. So we had NO school because it was TOO hot! The joys of homeschooling...

Monday, May 24, 2010

Day #138/175 Days

I just realized I'm a week behind. Uh-oh....

This week we started "rowing" Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel with Happy & Miss H. They are really a lot of fun to do Five in a Row with.

Using resources at Homeschool Share we did:

  • discussed steam power and put together this mini booklet (I let them color to their heart's content and then I cut and add glue while they stick it all down.) I wrote "What made Mary Ann go? Steam" on a sheet of card stock. They then glued this mini booklet on there.
  • we put together this booklet too on different construction vehicles. This is a nice touch as Miss H's Dad works in construction.
  • they colored their story disk and we added it to this map
  • I read them a book called Construction by Gallimard Jeunesse & Philippe Biard (a fun book with overlays to show the construction process).
  • I also read I Am a Dump Truck which Miss H took out of the library last week.
  • We also did these vocabulary cards. I cut them out & we pasted them on a sheet of card stock. I wrote "Mike and Mary Ann used to dig canals for big boats." Then they pasted the canal photo. Then I wrote "They ended the book in the cellar of the Town Hall in Popperville." Then they pasted the cellar photo.
I don't remember if Conductor actually did school today. Based on his notebook I don't think he did his train study. And now that it's a week later, I can't remember what else he may have done.

Lego-Man started his "Further Up Further In" unit study. He wasn't all that pleased with the vocabulary section which occurs at the beginning of each new chapter. Today he did:
  • vocabulary - wrote out definitions for about ten words
  • read various Bible passages that went with the study (talked about temptation)
  • began memorizing 1 Corinthians 10:13
  • did the first lesson in the video Sequential Spelling (it was a freebie from Freebie of the Day a few weeks ago - we're just trying it out)
  • Math-U-See
  • Mathletics
  • Grammar (found a new workbook I'm going to have him work through)

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Day #137/175 Days

"Rowing" Ping with Happy & Miss H - we finished our notebooks today.

We did math......
They each colored all the members of Ping's Family different colors.
Miss H's is on the right (the neat one!) and Happy's is on the left.

We added a map with the story disk on it....

We did science...

We did a "sink or float" experiment. I asked each of them what they thought and then we put it in and recorded what the item actually did. They loved this.

Yes, they each have a hand in here. I finally had to put them all in & out of the water. Sometimes they act a lot like siblings!

Finally I had them watch some YouTube videos about ducks using this playlist I found there. Then we finished up by making a "different types of ducks" page. This page originally had a bunch of duck shapes (like the one with words on it) & they we all put together in to a shape book about ducks. I cut out only one and then the different duck photos that were also there. They colored the white duck yellow and then added all the different photos of various ducks. We circled the white "Peking duck."

Miss H coloring her duck.

Final pages:

We'll be "rowing" Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel next week.

No together school today.

Train study with Conductor:
  • Copywork with today's quote.
  • WOW Words
  • Looked up information on the Erie Canal and watched this video and this video.
  • Discussed what locomotives do and their purpose. 
  • Conductor correctly labeled this entire locomotive with no help and no prompts and not even reading the story that went with it.

  • We also designed another notebook page in MSWord about the three different types of locomotives.
  • Conductor colored a very colorful photo of a locomotive for his notebook.
Lego-Man did Chapter 2 his Narnia study. He is reading The Magician's Nephew.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Day #136/175 Days - Co-Op

Today in co-op we studied Australia - the land down under. We had a wonderful lady come in (the mom of the lady who started the co-op) who had been to visit a few years ago. She had some wonderful things to share. Above are Conductor's notebook pages and below are Happy's. I'm thrilled with how well Happy is progressing with his writing. At the start of our co-op just a few weeks ago he refused/couldn't write something like "Australia" at all.

In the ecology class - Lego-Man and the rest of his classmates played "Ecology Jeopardy." They had a blast and the boys were thrilled to win. They did start polling all the adults though as to what "plankton" really was - as that was a question. A couple phones came out and the internet was consulted for the final answer. As one mom pointed out, it's doubtful any of those kids will ever forget the answer. 

Conductor's baseball game was cancelled and H&H were here for an extended period so I packed everyone up around 3:30 and we headed to the library. The kids love picking out new books and our little small town library (actually in the next town over) is wonderful

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Day #135/175 Days

Happy & Miss H "Rowing" Ping

Today we discussed literature, fiction, and stories. Yeah, I talked and then said "What's next?!" It was fun. I printed each a set of story sequencing cards and had them color them (another HomeschoolShare resource).

Then the fun began. I laminated each page and cut out the cards. They had only heard the story twice so wasn't really certain about putting them in order, but that didn't stop Miss H from lining them up.

Our Ping study will be condensed into three days as we have co-op on Wednesday and I'll be gone on Friday. So today we tackled what I had planned for Wednesday. We talked about the pictures in the book and the illustrator. Then I read the kids a poem and had them "illustrate" it. Here are the results:

Miss H on the left & Happy on the right.

Together School:
  • Popcorn Prayer
  • Pledge of Allegiance
  • America the Beautiful
  • Poem
  • Read aloud
  • Matthew Chapter 25
  • Devotional - Family Walk
  • Hymn Study - sang "Trust & Obey" again

Train study with Conductor:
Day 2 of the study had us again doing copywork and WOW words. He's doing well writing these and doesn't complain at all which is nice.

Today we looked at Scotland and located it on a map. This is where James Watt is from and he is the person we looked at yesterday. We also talked about different train cars or "rolling stock." I went online and searched images of the various types. We put together a notebook page using MSWord. 

The photo below is of Conductor while working on his project today. He is cutting out train cars and we then glued them to a piece of cardstock.

Today Lego-Man started on his Narnia lapbook. I am planning to have him use Further Up and Further In next year but may start him early. For now we're using a lapbook from (where else?) HomeschoolShare. Right now I only have him doing one chapter a day but that will probably change.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Day #134/175 Days

I began something new today. Here is how our day went....

8am - School with Happy & Miss H
I decided to try Five in a Row. We're "rowing" The Story About Ping. It's interesting as I'm doing this with an almost three year old and a 6-1/2 year old but it seems to be working.

We put together the fronts of our notebooks. I found lapbooking elements for all the Five in a Row books over at Homeschool Share and I am adapting them for use with the kids.

Miss H is on the left & Happy's on the right.
I photocopied the cover of the book and had them add a colored picture to it as well.

We discussed geography and talked about the Yangtzhe River today. I had them color a small graphic for the flag of China and let them watch some videos on YouTube about ducks and birds used for fishing in China. We watched Elmo's Ducks and and Five Little Ducks plus birds fishing (just like it was mentioned in the book). 

Here is a photo of the first page in their notebook:

Miss H's elements are open and Happy's are closed. 

They both seem to really be liking this so I plan to continue and see how it goes. Homeschool Share makes it super easy to do this. 

About 9am - Together School
  • Popcorn Prayer
  • Pledge of Allegience
  • America the Beautiful
  • Poem - almost got it - maybe one more week
  • Read Aloud
  • Matthew Chapter 23
  • Family Walk - "Mercy"
  • Hymn Study (to go along with FIAR) "Trust and Obey"
  • History reading
About 10:30am - Train Unit study with Conductor
~As Conductor has grown, so has his love of trains. Some little boys like them when they are little. They love Thomas the Tank Engine and as they grow, that love moves on to other things. Not Conductor. He lives, eats, and breathes trains. He has read through encyclopedias of trains that we have numerous times. He just loves them. I had bought an Amanda Bennett Unit Study on Trains last fall so I pulled that out to do with him. I think he really likes the one-on-one time with Mom. We sit at the table since we need the computer for most of it.

Each day has copywork and "WOW" words (Words of Wisdom) plus "Interesting People & Places" followed by "Read and Discover." The study came with notebooking pages as well so I printed off some and Conductor happily began writing out his copywork - yup, happily.

Then we moved on to the WOW words. Each word needs to be looked up in a dictionary and the definition written out. While there were some links to dictionaries on line - including the Websters 1828 one - I chose to have him use a regular book and used the time to teach him how to use it. He is doing fine with this as well. This is the only writing I ask of him - the copywork and the WOW words. I let him dictate the rest to me and I write it.

His "interesting person" today was James Watt so we created this page for his notebook:

I didn't have any special project lined up yet for Lego-Man but I will have that in place for tomorrow. The kids seem to be enjoying this way of schooling for now and so do I. We'll continue this until our special projects are done. And then re-evaluate.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Day #133/175 Days (4-H)

We recently joined a 4-H club. I've been wanting to do this for a bit but it's never worked out in the past. This time we jumped in and we're just participating as we can. Today was a big bake sale fundraiser for our club.

It was held at our local Tractor Supply store. We took up a large spot near the front of the building. The red tent is 10x20 and we had a smaller one next to it as well. 

We sold lots of cookies, brownies/bars, and muffins. Our big seller after lunch though, was homemade ice-cream. Here's how we made it:

Conductor pedaled enough to make at least two batches. We sold two and the last batch was for our 4-H group. Lego-Man had a blast selling.

Our grand total was $120 plus change. Not bad for a few hours work on a rainy/overcast Saturday.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Day #132/175 Days

The boys were at AWANA tonight for two hours. Our club goes from 6-8pmish. It typically goes later. We're on the home stretch of our year. 

And yes, this is all the school we accomplished today. I spent most of the day enjoying the Schoolhouse Expo - an on-line homeschooling conference. That is my plan for tomorrow too so the boys will have it off.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Day #131/175 Days - Co-Op Day

Today the younger crowd studied Mexico. Last week we touched on this country a bit with the discussion on Cinco de Mayo. Today they delved into the country facts and such further.

Every week the children get a "fact page" on the country. We learned after the first week to fill out everything but the top three lines. Then we talk about it and give the children photos to glue on it. Here are snapshots of both Conductor's & Happy's Mexico pages.


He wrote "Mexico" but someone older wrote the rest. 

Lego-Man's class worked on their ecology projects. I'll add photos of those later.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Day #130/175 Days

Together School

  • Popcorn Prayer
  • Pledge of Allegiance
  • America the Beautiful
  • Calendar time with Happy
  • Recite poem "The Moon" (almost there)
  • Matthew Chapter 23
  • Grapevine
  • A Child's Story of America
  • Understanding Writing (reviewing Level 1)
  • Peterson Directed Handwriting
  • Devotional - A Family Walk
Lego-Man & Conductor
  • Writing Journal
  • Math (flashcard game with Conductor)
  • AWANA verses
  • Ecology Project (Lego-Man)
Happy & Miss H
  • Initial assessment from Ideal Curriculum
  • AWANA verses (Happy)
  • Read Winnie-the-Pooh to both
Miss H
  • Coloring
  • Lacing buttons
  • Blocks (a favorite)

Monday, May 10, 2010

Day #129/175 Days

Together School

  • Popcorn Prayer
  • Pledge of Allegiance
  • America the Beautiful
  • Calendar time with Happy
  • Poem "The Moon" 
    • Lego-Man is still reading from the page.
    • Conductor recited it from memory with only a few prompts.
    • Happy recited it from memory with many prompts.
  • Read Aloud - switched to a book I need to review for the TOS Crew
  • Matthew Chapter 22
  • Grapevine Studies
  • Devotional - Day #3
  • Peterson Directed Handwriting (TOS Crew product)
Lego-Man & Conductor
  • Math-U-See
  • Writing Journal
  • Assigned Reading
Happy & Miss H
  • Initial Assessments for Ideal Curriculum (TOS Crew product)
  • AWANA - Happy only
  • Read aloud (working through Winnie-the-Pooh)

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Day #128/175 Days - Field Trips

Today was a long but fun day of field trips. We started out with a tour of the Maine State House. This week is Maine Home Education Week. We had a really wonderful tour with a bit of Maine history thrown in. Since the legislature was not in session we were even able to go in to the House and Senate chambers.

Our tour only lasted about an hour. There were a few school groups here today as well. It rained pretty hard in the morning and ruined our plans for a nice lunch in the park across the street. We improvised by eating in the foyer of the Maine State Museum-Archives-Library building. We had a generous two hours in between our tours so that gave us plenty of time for the kids to eat and work off some energy before heading to our next stop.

I have to say that our next step was a well-hidden treasure - something I would have never thought to go check out - so I'm very happy my friend Amanda suggested it. She was running a second group doing all these same tours today and had set this one up first. I copied and boy, I'm glad I did!

Our second stop was at Camp Keyes. It's a National Guard base near the State House. Our former pastor is now the full-time chaplain here and the contact we used to do this. It was fantastic!!!

We started the morning at the military museum. The curator was full of knowledge and when he found out we were homeschoolers, he told us he also does three hour classes on either the Revolutionary War or the Civil War for grades 4 & up. We'll definitely be looking in to that once we get to that point in history.

Then we headed in to Camp Keyes (the military museum is located just outside the entrance). We started out in the "arms vault." The kids were able to enter it and hold some real weapons. I should say that this is probably a boys dream field trip. LOL Every solider we met and that helped out on the tour was wonderful and willing to take the time to help answer questions any of us had.

From here we went to the highlight of the day - the simulator. This is where the soldiers are trained to shoot M-16s. They are real guns that have been retrofitted to be used with air and computers. There was only a very slight kick to them and even Happy fired them. Each child got 2-3 turns. I kicked Happy off at the end and took a turn myself. Conductor out-shoot me by one - he hit all ten shots and I missed one. Lego-Man met the standards set for the soldiers.

From here we headed over to the mechanics area. We saw the tool shop, the workshop, and so much more. We even got out in the "yard" and saw some of the big vehicles they use. Here's a couple shots to show just how big some of them really are:

"The boys"

More silly boys

and some silly girls this time

We were here for 1-1/2 hours and I'm sure we only scratched the surface of what was here. It was a lot of fun and I'm sure we'll try to do it again some day.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Day #127/175 Days - Co-Op/Field Trip

At co-op today we had a Registered Maine Guide come in to class. He taught the kids about how to use a compass - how to read it, how to find direction, and how to use it to travel. He discussed this quite a bit inside the classroom and then we headed outside. He showed the kids what a "pace" was and each was handed a nickel with a different year printed on it. Each child placed it on the ground and then proceeded to walk ten paces south, west, east, and then north. They were to end up back by their nickel. Most did. Some didn't, but it was a lot of fun. The Guide was a retired military man and it showed when he taught the kids how to "fall in" and line up. 

Conductor: My favorite part was using the compasses to track our steps walking back and forth between the clumps of grass. (I think he's referring to when the Guide showed them how to figure out their pace. They had to walk between to two clumps of grass and count how many steps they took.)

After this we had snack. Since today is Cinco de Mayo we had chips and salsa. The older kids went in to their science class to find out what their assignment for this week would be. The younger kids gathered and heard a bit about what Cinco de Mayo is and why it is celebrated. Then they made maracas out of plastic cups and also made tissue paper flowers.

We were short on time today since we were heading to see a play immediately after class. The play was held at the Waterville Opera House. They do school productions four times a year. Today it was "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory." It was put on by a troop of actors who also sign the plays. There were at least two actors who were deaf. All the voices were pre-recorded (I think) & sent over the loud speaker system as the actors mouthed them and signed. It was an excellent production and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Lego-Man: My favorite thing about the play was when the actors started saying "chocolate! chocolate!"
Happy: I loved it! My favorite part was when the guy went in to the river and said "I can't swim!" (I have such bloodthirsty kids!)

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Day #126/175 Days - 4-H meeting

Meet Cash....

Cash is currently in training to be a "guide dog" for the blind via a program called Guiding Eyes for the Blind. He began training with his current trainer when he was only eight weeks old. He's now about 17 months old and only has a month left. He will then journey back to New York to the Guiding Eyes for the Blind training institute for six months of intensive training to round out what he needs to know to be a service dog for the blind.

Our 4-H group has picked "service dogs" for our group project and this was our first meeting to revolve around that topic. His trainer, Carol, brought Cash and showed us some of things she had trained him for, how the program works, how people are matched with their dogs, and more. It was very informative.

One thing Carol showed was how much the dogs have to be used to people handling them - from nose to tail really. She dressed Cash in a T-shirt and socks....

Yes, he looks a bit silly but once it was explained why this important, it made sense. The socks are to get Cash used to wearing protective booties. This will be helpful if he is sent some place really hot or really cold and needs to have his paws protected while working. The T-shirt is for a similar reason. He tolerated it all very well but the look in his eyes was pretty funny. Poor thing.

Carol shared how she taught him to learn to sit and stay and all the typical doggie commands. She even showed us his newest lesson...sitting under a chair.

Cash is a big dog though and Carol hadn't realized there was a bar under the chair so he couldn't fit. This is important if he is going to a restaurant or some place where he'd be required to sit out of the way while his owner was doing something.

I found it completely fascinating to see the training that goes in to these dogs. They, of course, have to be this well trained in order to help the people they are being trained to help. 

I asked each of the boys what their favorite thing was about meeting Cash and what they learned that they hadn't known before.

Lego-Man: When he was dressed up the shirt and socks - because it was funny. I learned about the pet raisers - that they exist.
Conductor: Petting him cause I like dogs a lot. You can only train the dogs for a small period of time and then they had to be sent back for more training.
Happy: I liked him because he was cute.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Day #125/175 Days

I assigned a few things today. We lost power mid-day and the boys spent a lot of time "learning" in the afternoon as we read books and they played games.

Writing Journal
Assigned Reading
Reading aloud (Winnie-the-Pooh)
Sum Swamp
Hi Ho Cherry-O