Friday, August 29, 2014

Wrapping Up Week 2

Our second week of school hit a few scheduling snags.  My mother-in-law was hospitalized on Monday and had surgery on Wednesday.  Meetings had to be changed, and a few lessons had to be rushed, but that’s just how the homeschool cookie crumbles sometimes.

The girls finished their 3rd week of ballet intensives.   Regular classes begin next week.  We’re already gearing up for Nutcracker too!  I’ve incorporated some to the girls stretches and strengthening into our daily lessons as well.


I’m already preparing for winter (because we all know how accurate those weather predictions are, ahem).   This week we had a huge load of wood delivered.  Stacking it was counted as P.E., life skills and family time.  Grins.



Here’s a look at our academics for the week.

Language Arts:  Everyone’s loving the Learning Language Arts Through Literature program.    I’m seeing a big improvement in Lindsey’s retention of what she’s read.   Olivia is really getting into her first book Carry On Mr. Bowditch.

Writing:  Olivia is working through Jump In, and is really enjoying the amount of personal input she has in her writing assignments.  This product has really been a big confidence booster where her writing is concerned.   You can read my full review here.   Lindsey, who failed to work diligently on her writing over the summer, is now paying the price.   She’s currently doing 3 lessons a day in her 3rd grade Abeka writing curriculum.  

Math:   Horizons is working well for both girls.  They are both enjoying the colorful graphics, and the added teacher involvement.  I’m seeing that Olivia is weaker in geometry than I’d expected.  But looking back, last year’s program didn’t cover much geometry at all.

History:  During our second week of our Wild West Unit, we’ve been studying outlaws and lawmen of the old west.  We’ve learned that there was often a very thin line between the two.

Science:  The experiments in our Chemistry and Physics curriculum are a huge hit.  This week we made homemade lava lamps.   This experiment really did work correctly, it just didn’t show up well in the photos.


Poetry & Art:   Our poet this week was William Wordsworth. The girls enjoyed his poems much more than Browning’s last week.  We used the book Poetry for Young People William Wordsworth; by Dr. Alan Liu for our study.  I wish we’d had this book last week as the illustrations would have gone much better with our chalk pastel project.

Our artist of the week was Botticelli.  Our core text was Getting To Know The World’s Greatest Artists – Botticelli; by Mike Venezia. Since Botticelli was known for his art “in the round”, we worked on our own round art this week.


I realize that the blog has been a bit slow lately.  That should be changing over the next little bit.  I have several reviews and give always coming up in the next couple of weeks. 

In the meanwhile, pop over to the Weekly Wrap Up and Collage Friday and see what’s going on in the homeschool world outside your own front door.



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Friday, August 22, 2014

Weekly Wrap Up - SUCCESS!

This was our first week back to school and it was a HUGE success!  You can read about, and see photos of our first day by going here.  The girls and I are so happy with our new curriculum choices!   Rumor has it this year is 400 times better than last year, grins!

The girls have had ballet class ever day at 4pm.  This has been an intensive week of conditioning for them.  I’ve had them tell me what exercises and stretches they are doing, and I’ve written them down on index cards to incorporate into our day.


Our scheduled of M/W for science and T/Th for history is working well.   In history we’ve started a unit study on the wild west.  In science we’ve been learning about matter and worked on a few fun experiments.


Thursday as we left ballet, there was this cute little flower arrangement sitting on the sidewalk in front of our van.  The little card said “The Lonely Bouquet – Adopt Me Please.  I’m alone and looking for a new home…perhaps I can live with you or a loved one?”   It was the absolute sweetest part of our day.


Friday is our short day.   We still doing math and L.A., but then we study poetry and art. Our artist this week was Robert Browning.  He’s not the easiest poet to read and understand, so in hindsight, I with I’d picked someone else. 

In art, we read about the life of James Audubon and studied some of his bird paintings, and then worked on our own little birdies with chalk pastels.  They need work, but it was fun.


Once art was completed, we had our first Friday afternoon tea of the new school year.  We discussed our school week and whatever else came up during conversation.   It was a lovely afternoon.


I hope you all had a great week, and can’t wait to share with you again next week.

Linking up with the Weekly Wrap Up and Collage Friday.

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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

One Homeschool Day–Back to School Edition

School is back in full swing and I decided to share our first day back to school (August 18) with you.  Act excited, wink.

4:00am, the husband gets up to get ready for work.  His lunch and breakfast were prepared the night before, so all he has to do is remember to eat the breakfast and take the lunch.   At 4:00am, this can be harder than it sounds.  I roll back over and sleep another couple of hours (score!).

8:00am, I’m up showered, dressed and waiting for the beloved coffee pot to do it’s thing.


Coffee in hand, I meander out to the sun porch to spend time in the scriptures.


8:30am The kids are awake and have had their morning milk, it has the same affect on them as my morning coffee does on me.  Then they  both get dressed and ready for the day.  Olivia feeds the dog, while Lindsey tends to her morning trash detail.   I work on sorting the laundry, again…it’s job security I tell you.


Time for school work to start!  I just love my cute new classroom clock, so you’ll see it throughout the rest of the post, grins.


We took our “first day of school” photos, complete with gratuitous fake smiles.


We then worked on getting the girls familiar with their new student planners and got them filled in for the upcoming week.  Friday afternoon they will update their calendar for the next week.


Olivia started working on her writing, while I went over Lindsey’s language arts with her.   You can tell she was deeply in thought on this one (and that wasn’t a posed photo, she really had that look on her face while looking up words in the dictionary).


Somewhere around here, I swapped out a load of laundry.  By the time I was back Olivia was ready to start on her language arts.  Both girls are REALLY liking Learning Language Arts Through Literature so far.  By the time I had Olivia started on LA, Lindsey was ready to start math.  Finishing up math led her into her handwriting, and Olivia of course did her math after LA.

Lunch break!


The girls fixed their lunches while I swapped out another load of laundry.  Then I fried myself of couple of eggs and added some fresh tomatoes out of the garden.   This was a super yummy lunch for me!


11:30am (I forgot to photograph the clock, tsk tsk) we were ready to dive into our chemistry & physics.   We read our textbook, and a couple of extra library books on matter.   Then we worked on our first experiment of the year. 

If you look closely at the bud vase below, you’ll see a blue marker line.  This showed where the water level was before we inserted the rock (the white lump in the bottom).   We were learning about the displacement of matter when another object is introduced to the matter.


I did find it a bit disconcerting at this point when I heard the 8 year old say “So when do we get to blow up stuff?”

Schools out!


With our academics out of the way for the day, Olivia went to work on her piano DVD curriculum.  She’s learning to play “Let It Be” of Beatles fame.


Lindsey curled up in her room to read, waiting for her turn at the piano.  (I’m still folding laundry folks.)


3:30pm Time to head out to ballet.  The girls have lessons for an hour every day this week and next..


5:15pm We’re back home from ballet and I’m ready to make dinner out of these lovely acorn squashes from our garden.  


At this point I totally forgot to take photos for the rest of the evening.  I washed and cleaned the seeds from the squash and then sliced them into fry size pieces, drizzled olive oil over the fries and then put a heavy sprinkling of parmesan cheese and garlic powder on as well.  Baked this at 425 for about 30 minutes will I fried up some chicken breast tenders (rolled those in nutritional yeast and used coconut oil to fry).   This was a really yummy, filling meal!

By the time dinner was over and the kitchen was cleaned up it was close to 7pm.   The husband who had worked until 5:30pm, took a shower and collapsed on the sofa with the newspaper.   The girls played Little House on the Prairie and I sat down with my new book “The Storm Inside” by Sheila Walsh. 

Around 8:30pm the girls and the husband all headed to bed.  I sat up for another couple of hours reading and listening to a Joyce Meyer CD.  I’m so glad I found all my teaching CD’s when I rearranged the house.  I’ve missed Joyce’s in your face teaching.

Somewhere around 11pm I went to bed.  Only 5 hours until the alarm clock goes off…gah!

Linking up with One Homeschool Day and the Not Back To School Hop.

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Monday, August 18, 2014

Meet My Girls

Olivia is my oldest child.  She’s officially “middle school” this year as she heads into 6th grade.  She loves animals, and enjoys music and art as well.  She also enjoys cheerleading.


Olivia’s true  passion is ballet. She is in her 7th year of classical ballet.  She carries herself  totally different when she’s on stage, and it’s a truly beautiful thing to watch.


Lindsey is my 4th grader.   She has the most vivid imagination of any child I’ve ever been around.  She loves building with Lego’s and is  in her 6th year of classical ballet.


Although Lindsey is naturally gifted where ballet is concerned, her passion is basketball.   She attends every basketball clinic I can find for her, and her goal is to make the middle school girls basketball team at our local private school.


Interestingly enough, the basketball and cheer photos were taken the day before the ballet photos.  It’s amazing how different a person can appear, just by the outfit and a little make up.  Regardless of any of that, they are mine and I’m so proud of each one of my girls!

Check out everyone else’s back to school photos, at Student Photo Week.

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Friday, August 15, 2014

Weekly Wrap Up–The Last Week of Summer Break

This was officially our last week of summer break.   I just can’t wrap my mind around the fact that “summer” is gone.   Interestingly enough, it’s been cool, grey and raining here this week, and the leaves have started to change already.  I guess summer really is gone, sigh.

Over this past weekend, Olivia took part in her very first youth group lock in. She seems to have quite a good time, but hasn’t quite caught up on her sleep yet.


Olivia and Lindsey had their ballet intensive camp this week. We also added an extra ballerina to our mix for the entire week. They have all worked many long hours with Merle Sepel, and you can tell the difference this week has made.

Truth be told, there’s also been a lot of playing going on too. Lots of time has been spent with baby dolls, Barbie dolls, dress up clothes and even building a fort to withstand the harsh winters of the 1800’s.


While the girls have been at camp, I’ve spent a great deal of time this week finalizing our homeschool classroom, ordering library books and making sure we have all of our science lab supplies.

Tonight, we’ll attend an outdoor showing of the Lego Movie in our city park.  Oddly enough we’ll have to wear coats, even though it’s August, as the temperatures here have been in the low 50’s at night.  Very odd indeed.

I hope you all have a lovely weekend!

Linking up with the Weekly Wrap Up.

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