Friday, April 18, 2014

Weekly Wrap Up–Holy Week

Happy Good Friday!   I hope you’ve had a good week and have had the opportunity to contemplate all that this week entails as we head up to Resurrection Sunday!

Monday we headed to the orthodontist for Olivia to finally get braces.  She has been counting down the days as if she were going to Disneyworld or something.  In honor of Easter she picked a lovely pattern of light lilac and neon pink braces…they are lovely in person but the color doesn’t show up in the photo.   Can you tell she’s happy?

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Tuesday we were supposed to go on an outdoor field trip.  However we had horrible storms and several inches of rain falling throughout the day.  We opted to stay inside, safe and dry and work on wrapping up our Civil War lapbooks.

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Speaking of Civil War, we went on a wondeful field trip this past Saturday to the American Civil War Museum in Richmond, Virginia.

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Wednesday was a normal day, with the exception of no Awana because of spring break.    We finished up math and spelling early in the morning and then worked on end of year projects for co-op.

Thursday was our monthly Activity Day with our local homeschool group. Since it’s Olivia’s birthday month, I volunteered to make snack for Olivia’s class.  I baked cupcakes and took soda.  Yes, lets sugar them up and send them home!

Today, Friday, is of course a holiday.  My husband works for the only factory I’ve ever known to give Good Friday as a holiday.  Since he was off we went out to have fun together as a family.  I’m sure photos will follow in the next few days.

Happy Resurrection Weekend!  I pray that God makes Himself known to each of you in a new way!

Linking up with the Weekly Wrap Up and Collage Friday.

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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Summer Schedule–How We Roll

We only have one more week of this academic year.  Woohooo!   While others are gearing up for a long summer break, I’m working on my summer school plans.  Yes, really, I am that mom.  

Language Arts: 

At the beginning of the 2013-2114 year, I somehow overlooked purchasing the writing curriculum that I typically use.  Then I just kind of kept forgetting about it, until I saw Lindsey’s handwriting getting more and more sloppy.  This summer she will be working her way through the Cursive Writing Skillbook from Abeka.    Olivia will be working through Penmanship Mastery II (she completed Mastery I in 4th grade).

Reading will continue to be a main focus.  Over the summer I’ll be adding a new routine of finding 5 new vocabulary words per chapter and writing the word and definitions out on index cards.  This will help their vocabulary, reading comprehension and handwriting.

Math:

Lindsey will work through several of the Math Mammoth individual worktexts in her grade level.  She will focus mainly on multiplication, division, fractions and geometry.

Olivia will be following the same routine, working with integers, ratios, geometry and percent's.

Science:

The goal here is to do a lot more nature walks.  In addition we’ll be working our way through Evan-Moor’s Planet Earth.   I think this is going to be a lot of fun, and very hands on!  Olivia is also taking a one week robotics class at our local community college.

History:

We plan to continue our study of the Civil War with field trips to Gettysburg, Bull Run, Fredericksburg and a few local small battlefields.  In addition, the girls will also be attending a Civil War Reenactment Camp.   Lindsey is also taking a one week American History class at the local community college.

Physical Education: 

Bike rides, back yard volleyball, swimming at the local pool and long nature walks fall under my “P.E.” heading.  However, it will also include several weeks of ballet intensives and a basketball camp for Lindsey.

Music:

Both girls will continue with their piano lessons over the summer months.  In addition we’ll go to some of the free local concerts and let the girls enjoy (or critique) some of the local talent.

Finally, since Olivia will officially be “middle-school” come fall, I decided to have her spend some time this summer learning about research papers, and actually doing one.   She’ll work through the Christian Light Education, Research Paper 1 worktext, and then I'll let her pick her own topic for a paper.

Lest you think I’m absolutely no fun at all, we’ll only be doing school work three days a week, mostly during the blazing hot part of the day.  We’ve just entered the world of year around schooling (6 weeks on, 1 week off) and it’s worked wonderfully for us over the cold months.  Now we’ll giver it a whirl during the blazing days of summer in the south.   We’ll still have lots of time for sidewalk chalk and chasing fire-flies in the cool of the evening.

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Sunday, April 13, 2014

Civil War & Emancipation Day–Field Trip

As I’ve mentioned before, we are fortunate to live where we do, as it’s incredibly close to SO many historical places.  This past weekend the girls and I made the trip to the capital of the Confederate States of American - Richmond, Virginia.  Although there are over 25 Civil War museums and sites in Richmond participating in Civil War & Emancipation Day, we only had time to visit The American Civil War Museum at Tredegar on this particular trip.

There were lots of hands on activities, history camps and reenactments taking place throughout the day.   The girls quickly signed up for the Junior Ranger Program and we spent several hours touring the museum, finding interesting facts and completing a few scavenger hunts, earning their Junior Ranger Badges.

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One of the biggest thrills of the day was watching the cannon firing.  The team went through each step, showing everything that took place in preparing the cannon to fire.  Although the presentation took a good 20 minutes, he said a real cannon crew could fire a cannon every 30 seconds.  That’ incredibly fast!

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There are two main buildings at the museum, one houses 3 floors of information and the other houses 2 floors, with lots of video presentations.  

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The grounds are huge, with lots of left over equipment from Tredegar’s Gun Foundry days. I don’t claim to know what it all is, but I thought I’d share photos anyway.

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There are lots of underground tunnels and roadways on site as well.  Olivia found this especially interesting as the whole “spy” idea has her enthralled.  She wasn’t happy about not getting to go through the tunnels, until I mention potential spiders and snakes…then she was content to look on from a distance.

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There is a lovely statue of President Lincoln onsite.  He visited Richmond shortly after it’s capture by the Union Calvary.

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The James River flows directly in front of Tredegar.   There are lovely walking trails and gardens along the river, as well as monuments such as “The Headman”.

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Three Days in April is a bridge monument dedicated to those who were in Richmond during it’s fall to the Union.
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Along the boardwalk are quotes from people, both Union and Confederate.

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You can also look out over the James River and see the remaining pilings, from the original bridge that the Confederates burnt as the fled the city.

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We saw and did lots of things on this beautiful spring day in Richmond.  It was hard to wrap our minds around all that took place  on this ground.  We wrapped up our day watching the Stavna Ballet perform a piece called “Angels of Our Nature”.

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This was the perfect field trip for my girls, it combined their love of history with their love of dance.

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Friday, April 11, 2014

Weekly Wrap Up–Box Week

This was box week at our house.  You know what I’m talking about, the week that UPS starts showing up daily with new school items for the upcoming year.  

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The kids weren’t quite as excited as me at first, but the sight of the science curriculum changed their thinking.  (Yes, really there IS a blog post coming about curriculum choices for the new year, I promise!)

Monday we finished up our Word Roots for the year.  This was one of those items that I won in a giveaway, and the purchase another one so both girls would have a copy.  This proved to work against me as there were several differences between the two books, even though they were the same edition.   In any event, it’s another thing knocked off of our list for the year.

Tuesday night our local support group elected me as the President of the group for the 2014-2015 year.  We currently have about 130 families in the group, so needless to say, this new office will stretch me!

Our state requires that yearly proof of progress be turned into our local school superintendent.  This can be done through standardized test, submitting a portfolio of work, or having the child evaluated and then a letter sent in from the evaluator.  I take the easy way out and just do the testing. We skipped regular lessons on Wednesday morning to complete the tests for the year.  We knocked it out pretty quickly, then ran by the post office to return the package.  We should have our results back next week.  If your state requires testing, (or if you just want to make sure your kids are tracking ok), I highly recommend Seton Testing Services.

Thursday was a pretty standard day.  After ballet we came home and had a quick dinner, then met friends a the bowling alley to take advantage of Kids Bowl Free

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Friday was once again the dreaded co-op.  Only three more days to go, and yes, I’m counting them down!

Linking up with the Weekly Wrap Up and Collage Friday.

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Friday, April 4, 2014

Weekly Wrap Up–Birthday Week

It’s official, I’m closer to 50 than 40 now.  Sigh.   Yes, I turned FORTY-SIX this week…that sounds so much older than 45, I don’t know why that is.   I was showered with  goodies from friends and family.  It’s no wonder I battle my weight!   I posted all kinds of cool photos and stories in a post titled The Birthday Week, over on my other blog.

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Despite lots of cake, this has not been a stellar week (although there was cake…and that fixes a lot of woes).  Anyway, this was the official week that both of the offspring turned into “children of the zombie apocalypse”, or at least a zombie sucked their brains out.  Does that ever happen with your kids?  You DO know what I mean, right?  They go to bed normal, and  wake up one morning and it’s like someone rewired their little brains and forgot to connect a few things?  PLEASE tell me it’s not just my kids???

Having said that, both girls finished up their math units.  They will be repeating those units, unless the zombies return to finish them off before next week.  Ahem.

We did however make a totally amazing salt dough map to go with our Civil War Unit.  This is a map of our general area, and the major battles that took place nearby.

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This week,I ordered our year end testing kits, and believe it or not the curriculum for next year.  I guess there’s no changing my mind about what we’re using now, huh?   I’ll be sharing a post about our final picks soon!

Typically we don’t have co-op on the first Friday of the month.  However, because of Good Friday being mid month, we had to go today.  Boo-hiss!  Only 4 more Friday’s to go!  (Fist pump!)

That’s the highs, and low’s for the week.  Just keeping it real folks, it’s not always rainbows and butterflies up in here.   I hope your week was a success, if not there’s always next week, right?

Linking up with the Weekly Wrap Up and Collage Friday.

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