Monday, January 5, 2015

Changes . . .Tme Flies

     It has been over 2 years since I posted last! How is that possible?? So many things have changed in our homeschooling lives. Fanny and Freddy are both in school now. When each of them started school, they were beginning to read, knew all their colors and shapes, knew all of their letters and sounds, could count to well over 100, could do double digit addition and subtraction, knew how to write their letters and numbers, and generally loved learning. Sarah also is in school now and I am so impressed by the things her mom posts related to her school work. She has grown up so much! I miss all of their little faces!!

     Scout is 14 now and has started high school at a charter arts school. She is loving it and doing well!  I was worried about her being "behind" in math, but she ended up the first semester with a high B in Algebra! I am very proud of all of her hard work, and glad she is having a positive experience, although Jem and I do miss her during the day. As usual, she continues to do theater nearly constantly and loves all the friends she has made there.

     Jem is my last homeschooler! He is in 5th grade now and is doing well. I am looking forward to having at least 4 good years left with him (in case he decides to go to high school too) and hopefully more. As usual, I have changed my plans a few times already in regard to curriculum and schedule choices, but that's what's great about homeschooling. You can change things to better fit your students, your own preferences, and life in general. We are doing a co-op again this year which I haven't done in many years due to co-op burnout, lol. We are using the Beautiful Feet Geography unit.  Hopefully it will be a positive thing for all of us.
Learning about Autralopithecus

Whatever it takes to get that math done!

Looking at pond water samples from our nature study
at Hassayampa River Preserve

Co-op: Canoes we built during our Paddle to the Sea unit

Working on our Paddle to the Sea maps

Friday, November 30, 2012

Weeks 11 - 14: Fall Leaves, Pumpkin Seeds, Letter H, and Oranges

Wow! Too much time has passed since my last post. Too busy I guess. With Scout in one show and Jem in another I have been scooting between two rehearsals every night, and between sickness make-up days and holidays, I have had Sarah on odd days and Flossie for a few longer days. Throw in trying to clean our garage, take down Halloween decorations, put up Thanksgiving, take down Thanksgiving, then put up Christmas, and we're just spinning over here! Oh yeah, and then there's school! Not enough awake time in the days. I've been trying hard not to let myself stay up too late as I usually am apt to do since that's my only alone time to get any work done. But I just have to get some sleep in, so I've been trying to go to sleep by 1:00 at the latest. So, no posts.
But, here you go. Better late than never!

Pumpkin Seeds
After Halloween, we decided to try to sprout a few of the pumpkin seeds. We hung them up in bags in our windows and waited and watched. Within the week we started to see some roots growing.  after that, the seed leaves popped out and the stems started growing pretty fast. Everyone was excited to check their seeds' progress each day and each others' seeds. Once they began growing out of their bags, we replanted them in some small pots and put them in the window sill. They don't honestly look too happy, so I don't know how they'll do. I warned the kids that this wasn't really the time to be planting pumpkin seeds, so we were just going to see what happened, so that's exactly what we're going to do. They might not make it, but it has been fun watching them grow so far.

We read a book called Oranges! by Zack Ragow. And then . . . we went crazy with oranges  :)
 We washed them

 We counted them

 Two ways to do the same math: Counting and writing numbers.
  And counting and using tally marks - in this case dots.
You can find the Counting Oranges page here.

Made orange playdoh birthday cakes!

Put orange sprinkles in our yogurt

Made orange collages

                  Looked                                                                   Cut



Logged our orange study on an Exploration Page 

And finally painted with what was left!    

  Here is a great video of Sarah using the Counting Oranges page!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Weeks 8 - 10: Pumpkins and Halloween

The past three weeks were filled with lots of Halloween art and activities (and school) during the weekdays and theater auditions and shows on the weekends. We got to have fun with Freddie who had Fall break and visited for a few days! Jem finished up his run of Music Man. He was very sad to see it end. After his good byes, we headed for the car. Then he wanted to go back and give "one more hug"  to everyone. When we got back to the car and started to drive off, he just burst into tears. It's hard to leave a show family when it has been a good run, and this one was really good. He'll have great memories. The very next day he had an audition for The Velveteen Rabbit. He ended up getting the part of the Boy which is what he was going for. So rehearsals started at the end of the week, and we are right back into it :) .  Meanwhile, Scout auditioned for The Best Christmas Pageant Ever and got the part of Beth who is a main character and also the narrator. At the same time she is still rehearsing for her Kids Alive performance which is coming up. Sounds like way too much right? But the kids are perfectly happy with it. They love doing it, and it fulfills a social need for them that they don't get during the day. Plus, they both say it's what they want to do when they grow up. I know that will probably change, but what if it doesn't? I feel like I should give them the opportunity to pursue what they are passionate about if I can. So meanwhile, our schedule is crazy, but we make it work. :)

Here's what our days have looked like over the past 3 weeks:


Cutting Practice

                   Drawing Ghosts and Shapes in Shaving Cream   

    HOW  MANY GHOSTS   page and ghost counters from Target

      G IS FOR GHOST                                       GHOST NUMBER CARDS      

                         Ghost pancakes
           MAGNET PAGES

                                            SPELL YOUR COLOR WORDS WITH
                                                        THREE GHOST FRIENDS


                                           ROLL AND COVER THE PUMPKIN

                       Making Glitter Pumpkins - have I mentioned that I HATE glitter? 
                                         How did I get talked into this one???

                    Pumpkin Color by Number for Sarah and by Math Problems for Flossie.

 Pumpkin Exploration. We used our NOWVILLE EXPLORATION PAGE and this PUMPKIN INVESTIGATION WORKSHEET.  Flossie got right in there and cleaned out all of here seeds all by herself. Sarah did NOT like the feel of the inside of the pumpkin. She said it was GROSS! Both girls were very surprised when their pumpkins floated. Sarah was sure her pumpkin would sink even after seeing Flossie's float. Flossie hated the taste of the pumpkin seeds we cooked. Sarah loved them! I let the girls count their seeds by themselves without any help just to see how they would do. They did this together. They counted perfectly up to twenty and then they asked for help. I told them what came next and then they started counting on their own again. Somehow they came up with something like 35 seeds. There were clearly way more than that, but that was ok. We haven't really worked too much on higher numbers. I was busy printing out their pictures for their lab sheets and was just listening with one ear :)  The talk between the two of them about what number should come next was funny. There was lots of giggling going on.

Pumpkin Shapes and Symmetry

From a seed to a pumpkin using HOW A PUMPKIN GROWS sequence cards 
and these PUMPKIN LIFE CYLE printables.


We used  HALLOWEEN PATTERNS  from Learning Planet and  HALLOWEEN SORT cards from Three Ghost Friends to practice patterns.


Sarah's had painted nails :)

                                                   KIRIGAMI SPIDERWEBS

Eyeball Sorting

                                                    PONY BEAD SPIDERS

 Other Preschool Activities

                               Using our  SEE IT, BUILD IT, WRITE IT page to work on names

                                                      Water Play Tub
 A   Waterfall at the Library

                                                         Sara's 4th Birthday!!

                                      Having fun waiting in line at the craft store
Pink glitter glue!
Making bead bracelets

                                                       Cutting practice - Fall leaves

                                                            Q-TIP COUNTING

                                                  Fold and rub fall colors paintings

                       Daily Calendar Notebooks - The new page on the left is from
                                           Confessions of a Homeschooler.

 Big Kids


                                Making a haunted mansion and some glitter pumpkins

Even Bella couldn't resist a pink glitter pumpkin!

            Mummy pizzas                                                              Bead spiders

                                                                 The Joker

                                                           Harley Quinn

Our past 3 weeks ended with this years' JDRF Walk for the Cure. As usual it was a crazy rush to get our team shirts made and get ourselves organized at the last minute. I did manage to get a WALK VIDEO made to help get donations. It was really hard to make! Brought back a lot of memories. Most not so good. But I was reminded of how far we have come and how well we are doing, how much we have learned. Each day brings new challenges, but so far, knock on wood, we have been able to handle them. Anyway, walk day was physically hard (the walk is so darn long!), but fun. Jem is always excited to have everyone come out for his special day. It makes having Diabetes a good thing for that one day. Thanks to everyone who walked with us in person and in heart!

On to November!!