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Wednesday
Nov162011

End of Semester

As I sit here looking at the calendar, it is already the end of the semester. As of friday we had completed 47 days of school. Most days went as expected, though a couple were a bit more unschoolish than I had anticipated, but we are so happy with our decision.  It has proven to be what we expected. That was a bit of a gush wasn't it?

I was thinking we were behind, but according to our school calendar we not only have thanksgiving off, but we have a few days to play with this week also! Really, I do love school but, who doesn't like free time also. I have a good reason for loving this break.  I am taking advantage of the shortened week to learn all about Thanskgiving and some dance/music history we have been neglecting. I ccould use a week-long break to get the house back in order and figure out how all 11 family members, including two little ones are going to fit in my kitchen on Thursday. I also hope to get ahead of DD in lessons since she's always surprising me on what she accomplishes. DD takes it much more seriously if it all magickly appears in her boxes over night instead of Mom handing it to her as we go.

Ok I rambled enough.  Here was last week's fun boxes.  I am always looking for more ideas so, please leave a comment with your ideas or blog links.

We did a large amount on Veterans Day:

 

 Including some coloring pages, wordscramble  as well as making this poppy to remember the field so many sodiers died in.

 

We also did some reading because, if nothing else, homeschooling has taught me how much I do not know. This book was so well laid out I will be looking for others in the serious.

 

My mom was great in picking up this puzzle globe that has become a family project. Little secret: the inside is numbered, so if you get confused you can go back and check.

 

 We  read about Albert Einstein and filled out a notebook page for him. Did you know he hated high school and normally didn't match his socks? My personal favorite?  Apparently, it is believed he didn't speak untill he was three.  Our discussing him led my husband to bring home The Evolution of Physics  from the library. BTW, this is another serious of books (Who was...?) we enjoy to the point DD is begging for them on the rare book store trip.  

You will likely notice that we have not been doing any science projects lately. We are slowly working our way through the human body.  While I still love our book, and for most children the experiments would work, DD was getting frustrated because, with her sensory issues, our charts were not coming out how they where supposed to. An example being she uses more energy sitting still and her reflexes are not always accurate, so grabbing a ruler as it drops does not always get better.  Sometimes it just doesn't happen at all. Instead of pushing through and aggravating her, I took a short break from the subject and we will finish up the reading on the human body without anymore human experiments.

 Disclaimer- these are not affiliate links. I live in a state amazon no longer deals with.   I do support blogs who do use them, as far as I am concerned they put much time and there own money into running the site the least we can do is buy through their links.  But I will be honest, 90% of our books are from within our library system, for us this is the only way we can afford the variety we use weekly. We put them on hold online and when we get there later in the week they are all sitting at the front desk. Either way I hope you find some books you enjoy.

Saturday
Nov122011

A Spooktacular Week - I believe. 

We had so much fun last week. Halloween has to be this family's favorite holiday, and having trick or treating be pushed til saturday gave us another week to play. DD took full advantage digging through her closet. I know I didn't capture half her holiday outfits.

All decked out doing our math problems.

 ...and our resident witch checking her work. 

Getting ready to carve the pumpkin. She drew out the design all by herself. I have to say I have never used a carving kit before, but picked this one up in a really good sale last year and it was well worth the buck or so I paid for it. You do have a lot more control over these tools than a kitchen knife.

 

She removed most of the innards herself. I was planning on making this a pumpkin learning experience, but she just dug in and who was I to stop the fun.

And here it is all lit up for trick or treating. I stole all the cut out pieces and put them in the crock pot.  It made 1.5 cups of pumpkin puree.  Not bad, considering I normaly just junk them!

 

This would be a sassafras leaf.  We learned all about how you can make tea from them in nature class this week. They also learned about the tulip tree and how to start a fire.

Of course we couldn't skip trick or treating. A bit wind blown, but so much warmer than last year. Due to the storm delay. her haul was about half of normal, for which, as a mom I am thankful, but she still had great fun with her baby cousin who stole the show.

Of course we did some more work off the camera including learning about different halloween traditions and reading about a young girl whos parents are wiccan.  I have to say one of my favorite parts of homeschooling is being able to work in all different cultures and backgrounds without worring about how it's going to come across to a class mate or teacher.

Wednesday
Nov022011

October snow storm and week in review

We did have school last week. I just honestly didn't have anything fun to share. We had a filled week with emergency vet appointments and a wake to go to along with book work fit in.

This week was a lot more fun for all of us. 

The week started off with some fun with my niece who was down for a visit. She joined in trying to figure out what this school bit was all about.

  

 We also joined her for a trip to the park to enjoy the nice weather. I am so happy we did considering the weather didn't last for long.

We used some dice to work on our multi digit addition, which turned into two digit addition with carrying. Amazing what they come up with on their own.

We also spent a day with a friend of mine. Some days it is nice to not be the only "teacher" in the room. Here is our "giant" that helped us learn about blood and oxgen moving through the body.

 

This bingo game is all about Time. It was another Target $1 find and she has oh so much more fun than playing with just mom.

 

Can you believe this is October? See, the tree is still green. I might be a New Englander but this was just a bit much! Some areas received up to 30 inches from this Nor'Easter, but we don't normally see snow until after Thanksgiving at least.

 

To pass the time we made some carrot cake in our PJ's and put up the fall decorations we had yet to get to.  

 

Wednesday
Oct192011

Our week on Columbus

We took it easy this week with extras since we had a couple bugs run through the house. While the book work was done, we spent a lot of time reading biographies and state books in bed.  As it was Columbus Day, most of the extras we did revolved around Columbus.

 

We read a couple books on columbus and learned many bits of information. Did you know he didn't find America? He landed south of us. Also, many people think he was not very nice since he captured natives to bring home as slaves. Columbus also traded unfairly by giving away less valuable commodities in exchange for cotten and parrots. While we did discuss this, we decided it is better to celebrate the good in someone, in this case the brave exploring of an unknown ocean and country. This was a great opportunity to also pull out the world map and find where he came from, where he was headed along with the difficulty navigating without landmarks or gps. DD remembered our trip to see the Nina and Pinta replicas we visited earlier this summer. She pulled out her postcard to use as a coloring guide. It was also a reminder on how small the ships were to have carried so many people that far.

 

We had a poem that we wrote on the white board and them memorized.

Her first memorized piece.  In front of the camera she's fine.  In front of people? Well... everyone has stage fright, right?

 

Just to prove our whole week was not about columbus, here is a cool science experiment. DD make a model of blood using lentils (platelets), lima beans (white blood cells), craisins (red blood cells)and karo (plasma). Wasn't Daddy supprised when he had a jar of "blood" shoved in his face when he came home.

 

Wednesday
Oct122011

Week in Review

We had an almost normal week!! Friday ran over into saturday do to some impromtu park time and over sleeping. Also we saved our science lab to share the fun with  Daddy. AKA I am horrible at getting pulses, especially on a 7 yr old chatter box.

Friday was the monthly Nature class with our meetup group. I totaly forgot my camera, and the lack of reception killed my phone, so, hopefully, next month I'll grab a few pics. It was so fun! I totally recommend it to everone. The kids learned all about seeds and pods. They saw how different seeds spread in different ways and even helped spread some milkweed for the butterflies. I think if DD had her way we would have a milkweed garden just like "Lanie" does in her American Girl book.  The kids also had plenty of free time to play, and the parents to trade ideas and have some adult time, which is always appreciated.

You will notice we stepped away from our curriculum this week as we focused on strengthening our skills and vocabulary.

Practicing math facts. For some reason this seems to be a complicated idea for my DD. The addition and multiplication facts come easy, but relating them does not.  This "mini white board" is actually just a piece of printer paper slipped into a sheet protector.

Grammar was held outside due to the terrific weather and to keep daddy company while he transplanted some peonies. Step 1) create 3 sentences: Declaritive, Exclamatory, and Interrogatory.  Step 2) change 2 words in each scentence.  On paper this exercise was a total failure, but using a white board helped the creativity process a lot. I am not sure if it is the size or the lack of permanency, but I took to letting her copy them onto paper after we were done. You can also see we were labeling part of the sentence so we knew what type of word we needed to replace them with.  

Multiplication practice.  Can you tell I fell in love with the white board?  Makes it so easy to show the groups with counters.  Making mistakes seems a lot less traumatic when you can rub them out with a finger.  There is also a ton of space to help the grouping process.

We combined a couple of subjects on this one. Health, science and PE. DD did some push ups, walked and ran in place as well as sat still (that had to be the hardest part) before measuring her pulse.

Then Buddy joined in to help fill in pulse rates and find what activity caused her heart to work the hardest.

 

Friday night started Yom Kippur.  This is the most important Jewish holiday. We talked about fasting and repentence. Some big topics for a 7 year old, and the dictionary was put to good use. She's finally getting the idea that not everyone has the same idea of "god" and not all celebrate the same holidays.

  Vocabulary was such a focus this week it deserved its own post