Thursday, October 28, 2010

Day #34/175 Days

Similar to yesterday. I'm working on figuring out what will work best for us this year. It's been difficult with such a large age range. Tapestry of Grace is looking very interesting.

  • math 
  • writing journal
  • independent reading
  • own interests (computer and paper airplanes and trains and outside time)
  • AWANA club

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Day #33/175 Days

A quiet unschooling day:

  • AWANA verses
  • Piano practice
  • math
  • reading
  • writing journals
  • Conductor - paper airplane construction

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Day #32/175 Days

Today we did the following:

  • 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
At piano lessons today I began looking at Tapestry of Grace. We may be changing how our homeschool looks in the very near future.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Day #31/175 Days - Fine Art Co-Op

My sister and I have been having a hard time getting together to do our co-op. Today was our third meeting. We covered all of the following:

  • 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
Photos from the day:

Friday, October 22, 2010

Day #30/175 Days

Today was another "unschooling" type of day.

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.

Independent Reading
Adventures in Odyssey CDs (love these!)
Even a bit of math drill thrown in for good measure.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Day #29/175 Days

H&H or "They Dynamic Duo" were here today. That limits a bit what I do with the boys as five children ages 18 months to 14 is a bit much for me now that I don't have H&H on a regular basis.

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

Day #28/175 Days - Co-Op

Today was our co-op days. The middle group (Conductor) and the older group (Lego-Man) did reports on either books set in Maine or written by Maine authors or Maine authors. The younger group is working on a lapbook based on the book Blueberries for Sal. (9am-11am)

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

Day #27/175 Days

  • Worked with Happy one-on-one 
    • AWANA verses
    • Handwriting
    • Math
  • India Study
  • Piano Practice
  • Fun School (played Monopoly, Jr.)
  • Book reports for Co-Op
  • Piano Lessons
  • Math
  • Writing Journals
  • Spelling

Monday, October 18, 2010

Day #26/175 Days

We had a neat opportunity come up that sort of threw our day off. Late on Sunday I heard of the chance for the kids to talk to a Maine author.

The Mountains of Maine: Intriguing Stories Behind Their Names

Steve Pinkham was intriguing and engaging. The kids seemed to really enjoy talking to him and were full of questions. This is his first book published but he shared the ideas for his next three books. His second book will be coming out very soon. 

This tied in very well with the Maine studies we've been doing at homeschool co-op.

I also had my nephew for the day. Instead of doing school, I let the boys play. 

The boys did practice their piano and we took a two mile walk. I love Maine in fall.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Day #15/175 Days

Today has an "independent" school day.

  • Read for 30 minutes
  • Math for 30 minutes
  • Writing Journal
  • Practice Piano

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Day #24/175 Days

  • 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

Day #23/175 Days

Another full day - I know!

  • 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)
  • Math
  • Spelling 
  • Writing Journals
  • Worked with Happy one-on-one (Math, handwriting, Get Ready for the Code)
  • Fun School (Played "Made for Trade")
  • Practiced piano
  • India study
  • Piano Lessons
  • Library visit


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Day #22/175 Days

Our first full day! Yeah!

  • 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)
  • Math
  • 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
9am ----- Noon

Friday, October 8, 2010

Day #21/175 Days

We headed south today to the coast for a program put on every October by the Damariscotta River Association. It is about the Native American culture found in Maine. David Moses Bridges was our instructor. He is a member of the Pasamaquoddy Tribe.


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

Day #20/175 Days

Today the boys did their piano practice in the morning.

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

Day #19/175 Days - Co-Op

Another Co-Op day has come and gone. Today the older and middle groups of students (the ones that Lego-Man and Conductor are in) did reports on "famous people from Maine."

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

Day #18/175 Days

What we did today.....
  • 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
We finished the day watching our first episode for My Passport to India.This is a free five week study on the country and culture by India being put out by Mission India and Sonlight Curriculum. It started today but you can still sign up. We watched a five minute episode about traveling from the US to India by plane (25 hours). There was a lot of bonus material about the country that was linked below the video. I read this to the boys as well. We are waiting for our Welcome Kit to arrive to add even more fun.

Subjects covered today:
  • literature
  • Bible
  • history
  • music
  • geography
  • PE

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Day #17/175 Days – Field Trip

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.


blog 0

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.





blog10They had just thrown some small pieces of green wood on the fire and the wind was blowing the smoke straight at us.


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!         

Friday, October 1, 2010

Day #16/175 Days

Today was pretty much a repeat of yesterday.
Unschooling at its finest.
The boys read some books.
They listened to more Jonathan Park CDs.
They played video games and the Wii.
They worked on their co-op projects.

Again - short and sweet.