Sunday, May 31, 2009
I am up now. See me up?
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
What happens when toddler baby brother decides to mangle the 'control' tomato plant. (I think this one is self explanatory...)
Here is her picture of Alice in Wonderland, which is the theme for her birthday party we are planning for July (Notice the card men paiting the roses red. We just finished the book last week.):
The beauty of homeschooling for me is that it can be a fluid education. A running conversation that happens between Marley and Me, the Hawk we saw dive for a catch on the side of the road, and the blessing of our garden by bringing beans in for dinner. You don't have to sit at the table to learn. You don't have to have the perfectly structured day to make sure they are learning the things they need to know. Sometimes the best 'educational jumps' they get come from happenstance watching the cat eat bugs and Bill Nye the Science Guy videos on the same day. The running tally of the things I HAVE to teach my kids gets shorter and shorter as I realise, all they really need to know is how to read and that learning is fun as all heck... and whatever they need to catch up with in between... well I am sure they will be alright.
He has been more and more interested in 'doing school' in the last few weeks. So much so that I have started to make a list of very early ed activities and I think I will add him into the homeschool schedule so he has his own time for 'writing' and doing his school work.
Sunday, May 24, 2009
Saturday, May 23, 2009
This picnic basket is complete with mugs of hot tea covered with plastic bags. Fully 7 yr old style.
Of course, after all that work was put into it, how could I say no? So we headed out to the park and abandoned the regular menu for tonight, eating PB&J sandwiches, carrots and humus, Tim's potato chips, chocolate cookies, and hot tea.
Cyan stepped in a puddle with no shoes on, she is not happy in this picture. Alex took the pic though and I thought it was a good one aside from the sad look Cyan has on.
Friday, May 22, 2009
Today we went to the Trees N Bees farm. They sell Christmas trees in the winter and honey and related products in the summer. We got a guided tour of the place, along with a slide show of a bees live and how the bee keeper keeps safe and does her job.
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
When you let these cool, they will start to pull away from the sides of the pan all by themselves. When they were completely cool I just turned the tin over and all but one fell out instantly. The other was a bit more stuck, so I stuck the tin in the freezer and it popped out in less than 20 minutes.Logan was pretty thrilled and he and Cyan decided to color while Alex was taking his test. It was a great way to use the old crayons, and a fun activity to offset the drab testing day stuff.
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
First I wandered around and picked up tiny things. I have an obsession with tiny things so it took all of about 4 minutes to gather the things up for this jar. In there I have tiny things like carrots, milk jugs, and wooden books from their doll house stuff (anyone who wants to see my craftiest crafts... check out the doll house pictures), tiny shells and stones from the nature table stuff, small rocks and heart shaped glass pebbles, a tiny clothes pin, a couple of glass marbles that had peace signs and quotes on them (for the older kiddos), and a sweet little glow in the dark frog. Then I filled the jar 3/4 of the way with short grain rice. At first I over filled it, thinking that it would be better, but it really doesn't uncover the stuff quite as well when there isn't a bunch of headroom, so if you try this, bare that in mind.
Logan had a blast with it. He spent about a half an hour just turning it and looking for the frog. He would find the rock and I swear he called it three different things. One was "a bug!". lol! It certainly was a perfect Eco-friendly craft.
Monday, May 18, 2009
Sunday, May 17, 2009
Saturday, May 16, 2009
More and more lately, this is where I find Logan. I think it is just so sweet!
Thursday, May 14, 2009
The binder method that is used in the Well Trained Mind is something that I have always thought was a great idea.... but for me, it lacked the usefulness of a portfolio when looking back on the year. Right now each of the kids have three binders (FYI; I LOVE binders!) filled with their work in different subjects. But by the time the year is over, I want to have it all condensed into one portfolio... this slide show is mostly Cyan's portfolio for last year (1st grade) and shows how well you can see the years work when it is all in a personal binder: (My personal favorite is how well you can see her handwriting improve!)
There are other pictures in there too... Alex and Cyan do have their portfolios started for this year. Each one is a 2 inch three ring binder. Armed with a Costco pack of page protectors and a recycle bin I go through their work quite often (declutter modes come and go), taking out the gems and adding them to the portfolio. All major projects go in there if I can make it happen. If I can't (like Alex's clay map) then I take a picture or print out the blog post about it and add it in to the portfolio. I try to make as accurate a picture of their year as I can. The kids and I both love looking through them and show them to just about anyone who is willing.
Then, honestly, the rest of the stuff goes into the recycle bin. If there are 12 units in one subject, I try to take a bit of each of them (like their botany drawings from each lesson, shown in the last picture) so that shows what they learned or at least how much they did on a subject, but for the most part, if there is a repeat project, it goes. If they had to do the same math lesson a couple times, I don't keep both of them (I don't keep much of their math, it is awfully sequential and shows what they have learned quiet easily).
That is pretty much my system. :) Do you have a successful way to store your kids finished school work? Please leave a comment and let me know. :)
Monday, May 11, 2009
At first, my plan was to make a lot of gum drop bees. But I sent Don to the store for spice drops and he came home with Dots. Out of two boxes of Dots, there was ONE (no kidding, one) yellow Dot. So I printed out these cute little wasps and Cyan put them on toothpicks to eat our pasta with.
Top row: Jam sandwiches (Of course... lol!), wheel shaped pasta (for the carts and wagons it took to get the bread to the field) with grass from the field (spinach cut into ribbons).
Middle bit: Jam spreaders (pretzels with a marshmallow stuck on the end, covered in jam and frozen. All Alex's idea!)
Bottom row: More wheels and 'grass', and a birds nest for the birds that came to take the sandwich away (and ate it for a hundred weeks). Made by Cyan and complete with left over dark chocolate eggs from Easter.
Saturday, May 9, 2009
One of our mamas (Sarah) is reading a book called The Workbox System. Honestly, I only know what she has told me about it.... but when I heard the basics of the system I was instantly on board and it fit right in with my current obsession. I quickly finished my current list and moved on to declutter my homeschool stuff. For a couple hours and $60 I had a brand new, organized and spotless, homeschooling space.
I also did something that I have wanted to do for the last 6 months in this house. I set up our Nature Table. I can't believe I waited so long to do it. The kids were THRILLED when I told them what I was doing and instantly ran outside to collect bouquets of flowers, rocks, acorns, and other nature things unique to Spring. The set up isn't perfect, but it works (it's two boards on top of the new homeschool drawers) and I am happy to say that even Logan was intrigued and excited to add the things he had found.
More about the boxes: Of course, the best part about the boxes is the way they organize the homeschool stuff. They are not for storing anything in this system, they are for setting out a schedule to our day. The first box (for the past two days anyway) has held the kids chore charts. They check off their chores as they go through their morning (which range from 'brush your teeth' to 'vacuum the living room') and after that they *get to* move on to their first homeschool assignment. Every assignment is broken down into it's smallest components, so for science yesterday we were working on botany, and we had a drawing, a dissection, and a reading section. Each were in their own boxes, complete with every material that they would need to complete it and instructions on a post it note letting them know how to do it, and when to get me for assistance. Very similar to how Alex's math was set up today:
It says "Get mom for lesson #2, activity 4. GAME!"
It says "Read to Dad."
These boxes were made for holding scrapbook papers, so they are slightly larger than 12X12X2. Each one locks closed and is it's own box. So, if we have to take a nature notebook somewhere, along with some pens, and a specimen jar, it can all be there, in this sturdy little lap desk sized tote! It already seems like a wonderful investment. The kids were excited to see me filling the boxes last night... and that is always a good sign. :)