Saturday, February 18, 2012

Weekly wrap up - an exciting week!!

This has been a super busy, super fun week for us!! :-)

Our week started on Monday with a Valentine's Party with our homeschool group at Chuck E Cheese. Alyssa stayed home with Daddy and Papa because she had a cold (which ended up being a good thing for this momma because I was able to relax a bit and not worry about chasing her around everywhere.)

Here are some cute pics from that day.

Since Alyssa wasn't able to go, on the way home we stopped and got her a special Valentine's gift, which she LOVED!!

On Tuesday it was back to normal...I guess. The boys really seemed energetic...I think they were still over excited about their fun at Chuck E Cheese.

Seth was having trouble concentrating on reading his story due to his brother and sister not being quiet with their playing so I had an idea! I took Seth into the attic of the school room to read his story!! This worked out perfectly and he loved it. The only problem is that the attic is not it can get really cold...and really hot...depending on the weather. I would love to insulate it so that we could making a reading nook up there. I just don't know if we an talk Daniel into it.

On Tuesday night I made the family mailbox that I talked about in this post.

I introduced the mailbox to the kids on Wednesday morning and they loved it! I had a letter for Aaron and Seth. Seth wrote both Daniel and I a letter back. All mine said was "I love you" but that's ok because he wrote Daniel a really good one! I was very proud of him writing it by himself, spelling all the words himself, with no help from me!! (and he spelled most of them correctly!!)

For Thursday and Friday we got to change scenery a bit :-)!! We have been trying to take our RV out since January and something seems to come up every weekend to keep us from going. Well this week was no exception...or so we thought. Hubby had his sales meeting that he had to be at on Friday at his office in Grapevine. He also had to be up there for a bit on Thursday as well. Well, he had heard about a campground on Lake Grapevine that was suppose to be really nice so he checked into it! It is FULL hook up for $45 a night and is less than 10 minutes from his office! So he had a grand idea on Tuesday for us to come up there Thursday morning. He could drop us off and get the camper set up and then go to his meeting and then come back to the campsite. Friday morning he could just go to his meeting from there. We all thought this was a GRAND idea!! I figured the beauty about homeschooling is that you can do it from just about why not in the camper?!?

So that is what we did!! Thursday after we got settled in (and since it was a bit on the chilly side) we got in some school in the camper!

Here I am with my small dry erase board doing our bible lesson :-)

Seth is hard at work on his reading workbook while Aaron plays a game on the ipad!

Here is a view of our can see it is right next to a very nice playground!! The campground was very nice! It was so clean and well kept!

After we got done with school and lunch we decided to go walk the nature trail. When we first got on the trail Seth mentioned treasure hunting so I thought I would just check my geocaching app on my phone just to see if there were any caches in a close enough distance. Can you believe there was one less than 300 feet from us on the very trail we were walking!?! The kids were ECSTATIC!!! It was right off the path. We were all looking around for it and Aaron goes "That's a treasure box!!!" Sure enough it was the ammo box that was the geocache!! AWESOME!! They are all standing around the cache in the picture below (but Alyssa is right in front of it so you can't see it.)

Daisy enjoyed the nature walk as well :-)

The kids loved playing on the playground there! Like I said, it was VERY nice!

On Friday morning we did a little bit of school as well (a much abbreviated day of course...just did a reading, english and bible exercise). At one point I looked over and this is what Alyssa was doing during the lesson. She said "the floor dirty. I clean it."

After school we went and fed the geese. These geese ate right out of the kids' hands! They thought that was just too cool!

Then after that the kids had fun playing on the playground while mom was able to get a little bit of reading in. :-) One of the good things about camping is that life just slooooooows down. That was something I was needing pretty bad lately! :-)

For lunch we decided to take a picnic! I remembered seeing a nice clearing just off of the nature trail! So we loaded up the picnic basket and headed out for a very nice picnic!

Until next time,

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Our New Mailbox

Several weeks ago I saw on a blog where a mother writes a letter to her son every morning. She uses it as a reading exercise trying to include words that they are working on. I fell in love with this idea and have been thinking about it ever since. (sorry...can't remember where I saw it...I read so many homeschooling blogs and I didn't save the post).

Anyways, today I got my latest Family Fun magazine and saw this picture.

The article didn't actually have directions for making the mailbox but I figured I could figure it out somehow. I also decided that I wanted to do it TODAY!! I have been thinking about the letter idea too long - it was time to actually do something about it!! And I thought that having a mailbox would make it that much more fun!! :-)

So here is the mailbox I made... (not near as good as the one in the pic but oh well...I did the best I could with what I had!)

The first picture shows the red flag up (I attached it using a metal brad)

Here is the flag down.

Here is a front view of my sad looking mail box - LOL!! (maybe we can get the right materials to make a better one later)

For a closure I taped a picture hanger to the top of the mail box and I unfolded a paper clip a bit and taped it to the inside of the door. To close it you just hook the paper clip onto the hanger.

It is long enough to fit a standard size business envelope.

Here is the first letter to will be waiting in there for him tomorrow morning.

Just another idea to help with reading and provide more handwriting practice :-)

Of course I have many more ideas in my head to use it for. I have thought about telling the kids that they need to keep an eye out in the mailbox because if they have a really good day at school they may have a treat show up in there for them :-)

Here was another one of the cardboard items in the Family Fun magazine that actually had directions on how to make!! Oh my boys would love this! I am going to have to save the magazine and do this for them one day!!

Until next time,

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Weekly Wrap Up (for last two weeks)

As you can probably guess things have been a bit crazy around here. I'm sorry I did not get last week's wrap up post up. I just never found the time to do it! So now I get to update you on two weeks of stuff :-) (I think I will just stick to the major highlights - LOL!)

Last Thursday school was a bit interesting for Seth. We had the monthly preacher's fellowship hosted at our church on Thursday. Bro Gary had begged choir members to be there so he could show off his choir and hubby was going to be able to be there to run the I thought - hey! Seth can do some school work during the preaching (they have 3 messages by three preachers during the meeting - awesome messages by the way!) So that's what he did. He sat by me in the balcony after I finished in the choir and worked on school! Of course we didn't get everything in because it had to just be stuff that he could do quietly without much instruction but we were still able to get quite a bit in. :-) (and mommy got a bit of a break and was able to soak in some good preaching!)

I did want to share what we started working with last week along with our reading. My mom got me several good workbooks for Christmas for the kids - one was alphabet puppets. There is a puppet for every letter of the alphabet (which I will be making to use for Aaron and Alyssa next school year...have some neat ideas for that)... but they also have blends and digraph puppets!! :-)

The supplemental exercises of the Pathways program is starting to introduce these so I thought it would be fun to make Seth the puppets to help him learn them.

I scanned the pages into the computer so that I could "color" them with Paint and print off the colored copies (less work than manually coloring them).

Here's the cover of the book - THANK MOM!! :-)

And here are the puppets we used last week. (actually there wasn't a puppet for th so I made my own). Seth really liked them!

We are also talking about vowel blends so I made some "walking vowels" (from the saying 'when two vowels go walking...the first one does the talking').

Here are my vowels...

Seth really liked these and apparently they are working because several times now he has seen a word and has said "Mom - two vowels are walking - so first one is talking".

Well it has come to the point in our MFW science to start the science with water book - :-( I am just not liking it and have been really wishing we had a better science curriculum at this point! Monday I was at my desk and I noticed a Magic School Bus science kit about space over at the bookshelf. This was given to us by my in-laws. They got it on one of their vacations. I put it up thinking it would be a couple of years before we could use it. I decided to take a look at it on Monday and realized that we can be doing this now and started getting really excited!! It has 12 experiments/activities dealing with space and it came with all the materials that you need to be able to do the activities!! YEAH!! So we started this week! We are going to take about the next 3 weeks completing this kit! FUN!! FUN!!

I also found out there are more magic school bus kits and they are about $20 each (which since they come with all the supplies that is NOT BAD at all in my opinion). I think we may end up ordering a few of these to finish out our science for this year! I have already started researching curriculums for science for next year and have found a few I am very interested in seeing more of...but if we really enjoy these kits we may have to do some more of these as well next year! My kids LOVE Magic School Bus so they were very excited to have started this kit this week!

This week we talked about why you can't see stars in the daytime - we compared using a flashlight in a dark room vs. outside in the sunshine. They also colored on white and black paper with a white crayon. We also used red cellophane (that came with the kit) to turn our flashlight into a night vision light! FUN! FUN!

Speaking of curriculum I have made the definite decision to not go with My Father's World next year and just piece my curriculum together. I have started doing some research and can't wait for the homeschool book fair in May! :-)

Seth has almost completed memorizing Matt 6:9-13 - we will finish it next week. This is the passage that he is memorizing for his Sunday School class to get a nice prize!! I will get a video of him reciting it once we have the entire passage memorized next week.

He also only has a couple of books left to memorize the entire old testament! Hopefully we can get that nailed down next week as well. The minor prophets have been tough - even for Mommy!! LOL!!

Aaron and Alyssa have been getting along really well in the school room lately!! They have been having fun pretending that they are going on a vacation to the beach! The only problem is that they sometimes get a little loud and it is hard for Seth to concentrate, poor thing, but I am just happy that they are getting along for once! (they have always been oil and water and fight with each other quite a bit).

Remember me telling you about Seth writing thank you notes to the family for his Christmas gifts? Well his cousin Sarah (who is a student at A&M) wrote him back and made some really cool drawings of all of the kids names! They were all so excited and we put the signs on the doors to their rooms!

Seth wrote Sarah back this week and made a really cute drawing of a cat (from his Draw Write Now book). I forgot to get a picture of it though! But Sarah - if you are reading this - keep a look out in the next few days for a letter in your mailbox!! :-)

Seth also wrote a letter to his cousin Joey (who is 2 years older than him). They have become pen pals!! (who needs a handwriting curriculum when you have pen pals, right?!?!)

Well we got Daisy to the vet last Monday and everything went well! We found out that she is not a puppy. The vet estimated her to be about 4 years old!! But she was very healthy and the vet was quite sure she had been fixed. But we quickly realized that was not true when she went into heat the very next day!!!! UGH!! Looks like we will be making another vet trip soon to get her fixed because I for sure don't want to go through another heat cycle and definitely do NOT want puppies!!

Here is the cute girl at the vet!

Here she is in her bed in the school room. She will spend most of the morning sleeping in her little bed.

Well I think that covers the major highlights! LOL! We have co-op classes tomorrow. Kids are super excited! Then Monday we are having a valentine's party at Chuck E Cheese with our homeschool group (kids are more excited than this mom is - LOL - but I am excited for them! We have an awesome group of friends to do fun stuff with!!)

Until next time,