Friday, August 18, 2017

Weekly Wrap Up - Summer Break Week 11

This past weekend gave us a couple of new opportunities.   We went to an outdoor event, hosted by a local church.   There were various displays and workshops.  Everything from fly-fishing to archery and BB guns.    Both girls are quite good at archery, but the BB guns were a new experience.  Interestingly enough, they both took to rifles just as quickly and accurately as they did to archery.
The local K-9 unit came in and did a demonstration with both their blood hound unit and their attack dogs.   Olivia camped out on the front row for this one.  The bloodhounds are used to track lost children and Alzheimer's patients, as their noses are incredibly sensitive and the dogs are not aggressive when they find their missing person.  The first dog below is riding the edges of retirement. He's been known to track a 36 hour old trail with success.   While not active, if an event arises where a child or elderly person is at risk, he'll be brought back in.
This second blood hound is younger and also an expert tracker and a little more quick and nimble that the first dog photoed above.   He is used for both child/elderly and criminal in rural areas.
Olivia's favorite, as always, is the German Shepherd.   This animal was beautiful, strong, intelligent and incredibly obedient all rolled into one.

Just when Olivia thought the day couldn't get any more interesting, it did!  The Virginia Game and Inland Fisheries had captured a bear that very morning and brought it to the event (still in the tubular trap).   Once they estimated the bear's weight, he was tranquilized and then when they were certain he was completely sedated he was brought out.   They had hoped to capture a female bear to tag for a tracking program, however this was a male, approximately 250 pounds.   The program was VERY informative, Olivia sat on the edge of her seat the entire time taking in every bit of information as they explained about the bear, their program and what they were doing.
Later that evening we went to our church picnic.  It paled in comparison to the whole bear thing, but it was a nice evening to sit by the lake and relax with the church family.

Sunday and Monday were pretty typical, without much to report.   Tuesday evening we crazy busy for me.  I had to drop Olivia at volleyball at 4:30, then drive Lindsy and I to our volleyball.   We worked on evaluations for 66 girls starting 5:30.  Tom picked Olivia up at 6:30 and brought her by my volleyball site, helped with the remaining evaluations, then he took both girls home with him around 8:30.  Our coaching staff stayed after everyone left and we worked on dividing everyone up into equal skill level teams.  Not an easy task, at 11pm we called it a night.

 The rest of the week was pretty average.  Still no refrigerator, and now the van is in the shop. 

How was your week?

Linking up with the Weekly Wrap Up.

Pin It!

Friday, August 11, 2017

Weekly Wrap Up - Summer Break Week 10

The heat and humidity broke this week, and we've actually been able to get outdoors and enjoy ourselves a bit.  Monday we had heavy rains all day, so we stayed in, drank hot tea and read books on the sofa.   It was lovely!   In the evening, Lindsey had her first 4-H sewing class.  She had several homeschool friends in the class, and really seemed to enjoy it.
 Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, people sitting, child, grass, tree, outdoor and nature

Tuesday was the first day of public schools in our area, and pretty much a repeat of Monday for us, with the exception of  a trip to the Y in between downpours.   Olivia's volleyball practises moved to 2 days a week, 2 hours a day and today was the first practice for the week.  They are still working on the schedule and uniforms....I think their first game is the week of August 28, so it's getting close now.   We left volleyball and met my husband and Lindsey at the local park for live music and free pizza (it was youth night).  The two bands were really good, the pizza was delish....but there was hardly any teens in attendance.

Wednesday we were back at the Y early on.  Then we came home and enjoyed a day of leisure.  Truthfully, I was working on product reviews and washing bed linens, and the girls were reading in the sunshine.   While it's not like we were being pampered at a spa, it was a nice day to be home, and we even had afternoon tea together.

Thursday was back to school scheduling and planning, and laundry day for me.   Reading and relaxing for the kids early in the day, followed by two more hours of volleyball practice in the evening.

Friday (today) we'll go out our monthly chiropractor appointment early on.  Then it's off to the grocery store to restock the pantry.   We still don't have a working refrigerator, which we are getting more used to. 

Linking up with the Weekly Wrap Up.
Pin It!

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

No-Nonsense Algebra (Review)

If you're looking for a straight forward, easy to understand algebra curriculum, then No-Nonsense Algebra from Math Essentials may be just the thing your looking for.  I'll be sharing our review experience in today's blog post.

First, I'll say that Olivia almost choked when I told her another algebra review product showed up in the mail.   She was thrilled to find that I bypassed her and went straight to her sister on this one.   Sometimes you just have to know when you've reached your child's limit on a given subject.   With that in mind, I gathered my new algebra victim, grins.

This algebra curriculum is pretty simple to use.  The text itself is paperback, with relatively short (1-2) page lessons.   There are a total of 10 chapters, with anywhere from 4-22 lessons per chapter.  Just to let you know the 22 lessons is in the first chapter "Necessary Tools for Algebra".  Most other chapters are 10 lessons or less.  (For a total of 222 pages of lessons.)  In addition to the text, you also get access to free online video lessons that coincide with every single lesson.

The long story-short behind this math program, is that your student watches the online video (10 minutes in length, give or take), and does the lesson on paper along with the video.   The student then goes to the text and does all the examples on paper, copying each step as they go.  Once this portion is complete they then do the exercises (20+/-) and the review (4 per lesson) on their own paper.   The solutions are in the back of the text, along with a glossary of terms.

Lindsey liked that the videos were short, and that they showed the work as they went without a lot of distraction.   Writing the problem and working it along with the video really was a big help, and once she moved on to the text she could go back to the video if she had questions.   The text was self explanatory, especially after watching the videos and it really didn't require any work on my part.   We worked through the first chapter "Necessary Tools for Algebra" since she'll only be going into pre-algebra this year, but we plan on using this as her 8th grade math the following year. 

I like that the lessons were relatively short, yet thorough.   I also liked that it was explained in a way that made it less intimidating and more user friendly that some other programs I've looked at.   Additionally, I love that the product is non-consumable and can be used by more than one child, making it a more economical choice as well.   Too bad I didn't know about this one before child #1 started algebra, maybe she wouldn't hate the subject so?

On a side note, this would also be a great algebra refresher course for students who are preparing to take the SAT and ACT.    For a student who knows algebra, but hasn't used it as much after moving onto geometry or another math, this program could move pretty rapidly as they could pick and choose how many problems to work on once they refreshed on the concept.

To read other Crew member reviews of this product, click here.

Pin It!

Monday, August 7, 2017

Life Outside the Box

Lindsey is a gadget girl.   She's smitten with any new gadget that comes out.   That doesn't mean she owns any of these gadgets, but she finds out about them and then pines away hoping to one day be the proud owner of said gadget.  

My husbands company, in an attempt to promote healthier employees, started a walking program complete with free pedometers for employers and their families.   Imagine Lindsey's glee when she was handed her own gadget.   It's not the Fit-Bit she's been salivating over, but it'll do.   She's been wearing it every day, tracking her steps and feeling a bit superior to her sister, who has yet to remove hers from the little box it came in.
Last week there was an interesting conversation between the two.  Lindsey was really giving Olivia a hard time over not using her pedometer.   Then Olivia said something profound, "My life doesn't fit inside your little red box."   I thought that was pretty deep and I've been thinking on it ever since, identifying areas that need to be freed from the box.

Even in our homeschooling we tend to think inside the box.  Today I encourage you to resist the urge to box your child into a certain curriculum,  method of schooling or career track.   Allow for room and life outside the box in their lives, and yours!  Watch the beauty of a life lived unfold, with or without counting each step.

Pin It!

Friday, August 4, 2017

Weekly Wrap Up - Summer Break Week 9

I know this is our ninth week of summer break, but I swear it seems like June and July never even happened!   It's been a good summer, but it's just moving too fast!   I know some of you have started your new year, and our public schools start back on August 8, but I'm just not ready to move on quite yet.  

The girls were gone part of last week and the weekend.  They spent time with my best friend and her husband and got to see what it's like living in a more urban area.   They had a lovely time, ate incredible amounts of junk food and did some sight seeing.   Everyone was thoroughly exhausted, so we'll say it was a good time for all!

Monday I spent the day transporting a family member to doctor appointments.  The girls stayed home, slept in and then worked on summer reading.   Olivia was finally roused from her slumber around noon.

Tuesday we went swimming with friends.  The weather was perfect and this will be the last week pools are open here, due to the early return to school.  Humbug!

Wednesday night we headed off to our county fair.  This is always a fun time, and the girls ran around with their little group of friends and just had fun.  One of the great things is that Wednesday night is family night, which means there's always a large homeschool population in attendance.  My husband and one point lost the kids and was starting to panic and a mom he didn't even know saw the look on his face, tapped him on the shoulder and said "Your girls are over there, on that ride."  It's good being in a community where you have extra eyes watching out for your kids, and we were doing the same with those we knew.
Thursday we worked in the gardens and flower beds, and pulled weeds that had popped through the brick on the back patio.  The patio was a thorn in my flesh and had gotten way ahead of us, but the girls did a great job on it and we were able to enjoy the fruits of our labor in the evening as we sat out there after the sun went down.

Friday (today) I'm venturing out with a gal pal to try our local Indian restaurant.   I've heard lots of great things about it, but can never get the husband to go with me to try it.   I can't wait to see if it's as good as I've heard.

There is no Weekly Wrap Up linky this week, but it will return next week.

Pin It!