Monday, February 25, 2013

Week In Review - A milestone!!

We had an awesome week of school last week!!!  It was very exciting because of the fact that Aaron read the first story in his firs Pathways reader!!!!  And he did such an awesome job!!  Reading is clicking with him!  In fact we were able to read the first two stories last week!  It was a very exciting week indeed!

And I couldn't help but remember back to the "fortune" that Aaron got in a fortune cookie back at the end of October that said his goal would be met in two months.  This was when we had first decided to start the Pathways route because he really wanted to learn to read.  Due to a 3 week Christmas break and him being sick for an entire week a few weeks was longer than two months...but it was less than 4 months when it happened!!!  :-)  (but you take out the amount of time that we weren't in school and it was very close to the 2 month mark!!)  

Here are some other fun highlights from our week!!

We did some fun stuff to meet Seth's cub scouts wolf requirements!  :-)  One day we had an art day!

He had to draw a freehand picture of a person, place or thing.  He drew a tree.

He had to tell a story by drawing 3 cartoons.  Here is his story. The first picture is a man inside a house that is on fire.  The 2nd picture is the firemen coming in the firetruck.  The last picture is a fireman holding the guy, rescued from the burning house.

Of course Aron drew about the same story :-)  But I liked how he added red fire!

Just a picture of them drawing.

We also made a stencil, cut it out and then painted it onto another piece of paper.

Seth's stencil was a car.  His painted picture is on the left - stencil on the right.

Aaron's stencil was a tree.  The painted picture on the left and stencil on the right.

Another of the art requirements was to help paint scenery for a skit, play or puppet show.  Well I do once a month puppet shows for the Wednesday night kids classes at our church.  So I thought Seth could make some scenery for the upcoming puppet show in March.  One of the skits is about gardens so we are making a garden by painting on poster board.  We got that started last week.  Here is a picture of us working on it.  (I will post a completed picture when we finish it, either this week or next).

I had to throw this picture in.  This was during one of our readings of Farmer boy.  Everyone had their feet on their desks!  :-)

This was from the week before - our first day of co-op.  We were all wearing our ECCHO shirts so I got a picture of all the kids before we left for co-op.  Don't they look sleepy???  I have to wake them up on co-op days early because we have to leave the house at 7:30.

And lastly I wanted to share a poster I made (from Pinterest).  I took it the first day of co-op to my mad scientist class.  And now we are going to hang it in our schoolroom!

We have a short week this week because we are going CAMPING at the end of the week!!  YAY!!  We are going to Oklahoma to take the kids to see the indians   Seth has been completely fascinated with indians due to our early American History studies this year.  So this is part of his birthday!  We are all so excited and ready for the break and some good quality family time!!

Of course I will have all kinds of pictures to share when we get back!

Until next time,

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Week In Review - (well make that 2)

Hey!  Once again I am two weeks behind on our Week in Review post!!  We have been super busy!  We are having a lot of fun in school right now.  We have extended our days to include more science, art and nature study!!  We are doing those fun things in the afternoon now.  It is making our mornings a lot more relaxed because we are not having to try to fit everything in before lunch,  and giving the kids some good structured fun in the afternoons as well so we are not having as much problem with the "I am bored" whining!

So here are some photo highlights of our last two weeks.  Enjoy!

So last week we did an extensive bird study!!  Our MFW curriculum has a lot of bird study stuff, plus Seth's cub scout Wolf handbook has a lot of stuff on birds.  So we thought we would combine the two, and also incorporate putting everything we are doing and learning into a nature journal that we can turn into the zoo for nature points!!  (therefore we are killing 3 "birds" with one stone, LOL!!)

So one day last week we went on a bird walk.  Unfortunately our good binoculars are missing :-( so I took my camera.  But I don't think the zoom of the camera is quite as good as our binoculars were, but we were able to take pictures too.  (but after I got these pictures Daddy decided to loan us one of his cameras with a bigger zoom lens!  YAY!! Thanks Daddy!)

Anyways, here are some pictures from that walk.

A nest we saw along the way.  It was way high up.  We think it was probably a crow's nest - because of the many crows that were in that area. 

 The kids took a break to draw the nest in their journals.

One of those big crows that we saw.

Some song sparrows we saw in the backyard.

Another cool thing about having the camera is that we took some video of bird sounds we heard.  The next day we listened to the videos again and compared them to audio clips of birds that we found on the internet to determine what we were hearing.  We figured out we were listening to a crow at one point and song sparrows at another time!

Also, one of the things in the cub scout handbook was to record how many birds you saw in a week and where you saw them.  So we put our journal in the car and the kids watched for birds while we were out at different places all week.  We spotted 16 different kind of birds!!

We also made bird feeders and set them out (just didn't have the camera out that day) and we cut up some string and yarn and left it out for the birds to grab for nesting material.

Another item in the cub scout handbook was to make a birdhouse so I found a kit on the scout store site and we made it today.  While we were in the shop we went ahead and completed some other items in the handbook that dealt with recognizing different tools and what they are used for, along with knowing how to use a screwdriver and hammer!  

 Seth screwing a screw into a piece of board

 The boys and their birdhouse

Our completed birdhouse.  The kit only called for gluing the pieces.  We are going to get Daddy to help the boys put a few nails in it with the nail gun to make it more secure and then we will paint it and put it out so a bird or birds can have a new home!  :-)

We have started working on The Magic School Bus World of Germs science kit this week as well!  Yesterday I prepared the agar for the petri dishes that we will use next week to watch bacteria grow.  This week we played with yeast to see what it does.   We mixed it with cold water, warm water alone, and warm water and sugar.  

We also mixed some with warm water and sugar in a test tube and put a balloon around the top.  It took a while to get the balloon to expand.  I was sitting in the living room and saw it finally start blowing up but by the time I got the camera into the kitchen the balloon had flew off the test tube.  (I stuck it back on and got the picture below...don't know why...I guess just to document that we did do it  LOL!  But it really did work!)

We also have a piece of moist bread in a test tube in the pantry and one in the refrigerator and we are going to watch them for about a week to watch the mold grow!    So we should have some cool pics of that next week (along with our petri dishes of bacteria - fun fun!)

We also did some nature study!  We did a couple of experiments that I found on Pinterest!  (I just love Pinterest!!)  We made it rain in jar and we also created a cloud in a jar!  Both turned out pretty cool!  (especially the cloud - kids were so excited to see that!!)

 Kids watching it rain in the jar

Kids watching the cloud form in the jar

We pulled out the bananagrams this week!! Aaron used them to spell his words that he is working on learning.

I made another item I found on Pinterest - texture balls for Seth!  Seth is a kinesthetic learner and does better if he has something to fidget with.  So I took about 5 balloons and filled them with flour, rice, beans, playdoh, and gooey gak and tied them off.  He can choose one at a time to fidget with while he is reading or working!  It has so far worked out well!

Seth's texture fidget balls

Seth had a lot of fun in math this week!!  We introduced division this week!!  So two or three days this week I gave him a white board and some of our counting pigs.  I would make the dividing lines on the whiteboard and give him a certain number of piggies and tell him to divide them up in equal groups (for example - take 20 pigs and put them in 4 equal groups).  He had so much fun and it really did help him grasp the concept of division!  

Daddy has been gone a bit lately :-( so we have been saving our read-aloud time for right before bedtime.  We are reading through Farmer Boy.  So we have been reading a couple of chapters each night.  The kids thought it was so funny when Daisy jumped in my lap the other night while I was reading and Seth wanted to get a picture.  So here it is :-)  (it is blurry and I don't know why I look sad but oh well)

Speaking of Daisy, she has brought home another hog skull!!!  The kids were so excited!  I want to know where she is getting these from!!  This one was almost identical to the first one!  In fact the molar growth shows that this was a 4 year old hog too!!  And the front of the skull is missing as well.  But we have learned that their snot is made of all gristle so that is real easy for dogs, other other wild animals, to chew off.

But I guess we will get this one to the zoo too LOL!!  Crazy!!

 Of course pictures do not cover everything that we do!!  We are having a lot of fun in school though and hopefully these pictures give you a glimpse of what our life is like!!  :-)  I wouldn't trade it for anything!

We are so excited that tomorrow is our first day of co-op classes for the spring semester!!  It is going to be a crazy fun day!!  I just hope we can all sleep ok tonight though! LOL!!

Until next time,

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Week in Review - Catch Up

Oh wow!  It is crazy how time will get away from you!  I have not updated for the past two weeks on here!!

Well two weeks ago we had a very interesting week of school.  Daddy had the flu :-(  so we spent most of the week avoiding Daddy and trying to keep well.  Thankfully no one else got the flu, but Alyssa did come down with a stomach bug in the middle of all of that (thankfully it was only a 24 hour bug...but we missed a full day of school getting her to the dr, thinking it was the flu).  But we did the best we could and got in as much school as we could.

This week was much better.  Everyone was well, thank goodness!  We had a full 3 days of school and then on Thursday we went to the Dallas Zoo with some friends.  Remember the hog skull?? Well we took our skull and other bones and our research journal to trade in the nature exchange program and got 4,300 points for our first trade!!!  Seth was so excited!  He was able to get the quartz geode that we wanted.  We also got a small rodent skull and banked the rest of our points!  Our next project we are going to do is a bird journal!  We are starting that this week.

Oh - and we found out some  more facts about our skull.  We were right in thinking the hog was about 4 years old!!  The zoo keeper helping us said that the hog was probably about 300 pounds, and not even full grown yet! WOW!  Plus he had a hole in the top of his skull that matches that of a butcher's tool...very interesting!

Then on Friday we went and spent a big day with Daddy!!  Daddy is going to have a very busy February at work and will be on several trips so we made sure to get in some good quality time with him before all his work stuff hits and don't see him.  We went to the Ft Worth Stock show and while we were there found out our stock show admission got us into the Ft Worth Museum of Nature and Science for free so we went and spent a couple of hours there as well!!  It was a lot of fun!!!

Ok - so enough talk - here are picture highlights from our last couple of weeks!  Enjoy!!

Alyssa watching a show on the ipad while the boys do school work. 

 Seth writing spelling words on white board
 Aaron practicing handwriting on ipad
 Aaron's uppercase alphabet written on ipad
 Aaron's lowercase alphabet written on the ipad

Oh - I forgot to put in summary - I got Alyssa a pre-k workbook because she has been saying that she wants to do school!  She was SOOO EXCITED!!!

Here is our weather vane we made in science!

Here are some pictures from our zoo trip!




 See that perfectly round hole in the top of the skull - that is what is believed to be from a butcher's tool.

I didn't get a lot of pictures on Friday - just these of us waiting for our 4-D show on energy to start.

And we got to the planetarium too late to see any shows - but I had to get a picture of this astronaut hanging from the ceiling!!  I wish I had him for my Jr Astronaut training class I am teaching in co-op!

And I had to throw this picture in - this is my mad scientist outfit for the mad science class I am teaching at co-op!! That is going to be such a fun class!!!  :-)

This is going to be a super busy week for us!!  It is our first week of co-op!!!  I am praying that we will all be well!  Aaron is battling a bit of a fever today :-(  but that is his only symptom so I am keeping the others away and hopefully he will be over it quickly so he doesn't have to miss the first day of classes.

Until next time,