Thursday, September 27, 2012

School Update - Days 21-30

So I did really good on updating weekly for about three weeks, right?  I am so proud!  LOL But as expected life has been very busy and filled with lots of things that keep me away from blogging.  So tonight you get a nine day update!  

I am excited about my post-it planner and record journal because it has really helped me keep up with our school work as well as keep myself motivated.

Here is what we have been working on:


We have completed two more articles and activities from the Lad Magazine.  The boys are well on their way to earning their next lad badges.  We have to come up with a few mission projects, I better start thinking about that!  We also worked four more lessons from our Stick Figuring Through the New Testament curriculum.  The boys learned two more verses. 1 Peter 4:10 and "Encourage One Another" 1 Thessalonians 4:18.  Fitting, right?  :)

We are working on sorting laundry for our life skill.  The boys are not so excited about it, as you can imagine.  LOL  But they do it and they do it well.  Hopefully they will live their lives free of pink undies!  ;)

Nature Study:

I love nature study...I admit science is not my favorite subject, but I do enjoy nature study.  Our back neighbors put horses in the pasture and let me tell you they have been a hit with the boys!  :)  They were up near the fence, so the boys and I went out to get a closer look.  We ended up spending an hour out there petting and feeding them grass. 
While we were out there we found the coolest caterpillars.  Check them out!   
Datana perspicua - He is going to become a moth it 
seems...I am hoping that we get to see some of them emerge.   
We have continued reading in our nature reader as well.  We continue our study of crabs, what they eat and how they live.  We also had a discussion on camouflage.  The boys remembered the octopus at the aquarium that was so well camouflaged, we couldn't even find it!  


We did the glider experience again using paint stirrers instead of straws.  Daddy helped us build our planes.  While I don't think it was completely accurate or that the boys really understood lift and drag - they had fun.  That's what really counts, right?!?!  ;)  We also did some reading about instincts and had a great discussion about various instincts not only in animals, but also in humans.  We discussed habitats and they journal-ed a bit about what they remembered.  

Texas History:

We had a discussion on the state capital building and colored a picture for our journal.  Then using the Texas symbol drawing book we drew our own capital building.  :)

 We also discussed the Texas State quarter and the state gem...did you know the state gem can only be found in one county in Texas...interesting!


Draw Write Now Book 2...we are currently working on the weather portion and started with a plane in the clouds.  This sparked a discussion on clouds and what they are made of.  We also drew a log truck in the rain and sledding in the snow.  Of course snow reminded us how much we'd like to see some this year.  ;)

We also studied our first artist - John James Audubon.  We read about who he was and what he did.  We looked at several examples of his work and talked about what we saw in them.  We also discussed similarities of the pieces.

The boys have been attending a Spanish class with a fellow home schooling mom in town on Tuesdays afternoons.  They are working on animals right now.  So we have been working on those animals using their workbooks here at home.  It is so funny to hear me and my little Texans trying to roll "r's" and speak Spanish words with a twang.  LOL  Fun times!

Just this week, we have added poetry study.  We started very slow.  I introduced them to Jack Prelutsky and we discussed his work a bit.  We read several of his poems.  Have you ever read him, he is so stinking funny.  I love his work!  We talked about whether the poems rhymed and how many lines they had.  I had Bug go ahead and look for a short poem to memorize.  He is going to recite it for us.  What did he pick you ask?  My brother is totally bonkers by Jack Prelutsky.  Of course, right?  LOL

Literature Study:
We have finished up The Wizard of Oz and began 5 Little Peppers and How They Grew by Margaret Sidney.  We are about halfway through and the boys seem to be very very interested in it.  The kids have just gotten over the measles and Bug and Red are excited to see what happens next.  (Of course we had a discussion measles as well.)

Bug's Work:

Math:  We started out strong and he completed three lessons scoring 100% on each and then the laptops' CD Rom went "caput". more thing right?  Since the dino PC (that hasn't been turned on in months) sits in the corner of the very messy "official" school room - turned storage right now - we haven't dug it out.  (Looking sheepish right now.)  I have all my ECCHO class stuff laid out on two tables and various piles of curriculum, books and such that I have been de-cluttering.  So I will just admit that we haven't done much TT math this week.  We have been concentrating on math facts.  He is currently on the 4's - just finished them up this week.  He took a whole minute off his time and only missed one on his test Tuesday!  Woo-Hoo!  Go Bug!  He also took 1:03 off his time for his addition fact test and scored 100%!  Yippee!

Language Arts:  Nothing new there, he has been working on the usual - Explode the Code, Daily 5, Reading - he's completed two more stories in his pathway reader level 3 and he has also completed another unit in spelling.  He is really a very good speller.  This last week was compound words, some of which have to be hyphenated.  That can be pretty tricky, but he studied hard and did very well.  I am so proud of his spelling progress.  We have also continued our study of verbs.  He doesn't like to write very much, but he does understand what a verb is and how to use it.  I am hoping he will develop a love of writing as we continue to delve into it further.

Red's Work:  

Math:  We continue our journey through Saxon Math 1 and he is doing so very well.  He can actually read numbers into the thousands place (I was pleasantly surprised!); he has a great understanding of light and heavy.  When I asked his to hypothesize which item would be heaviest, he actually reasoned it out on his own using the balance and the three items.  So before we even began he had them in order from lightest to heaviest.  :)  He understands the concept of 0 and has a great grasp on graphing (thank you Thursday MOW graphs!).  He scored 100% on his last assessment.  Yeah!

Language Arts:  My Red is becoming a really good reader.  While he does not seem to love it yet, my prayer is one day that love will click in and wah-lah - he will!  But in the mean time, just listening to him reading so very well warms my heart.  He continues to work through ETC and word study.  He is also doing his spelling book - he is a good speller like his brother.  Yeah!  We completed two more units of short vowel words and he made a 100 on both tests.  We have worked through several more phonics lessons and while he doesn't really seem to enjoy them much, he is doing well.  We completed another story in his pathway reader - I am excited to say he does seem to enjoy this reading.  YEAH!  He will actually ask if we are going to do it!  

Computer:  Red is getting a little bored with the Time For Learning Program, so I have put it on hold for now.  I will have to find something else to do on the computer for them.  I really want to get Red started typing...I suppose Dance Mat Typing will be coming soon!

On 9/11, we took some time to do a little research on 9/11.  We watched some youtube videos and read several articles about what happened on that day.  We listened to a few different survivors accounts and discussed what 9/11 meant to our nation.  

Aquarium Field Trip:

We took a field trip with our home school group and boy did we have a blast.  We went to the Children's Aquarium at Fair Park and had a great time seeing all the aquatic animals.  The boys got to "pet" stingrays and various other water creatures.  It was a great experience.
Check out this ray!
The kids, diving hands into the water to pet the rays.  Bug ended up with half his shirt wet before we left this area!
Here is one of Red's favorite animals - a zebra shark, which is funny because he has spots instead of stripes!
Check out this horseshoe crab - isn't he great!  He goes perfectly with our nature study reading on crabs right now!  He is actually turning himself around right here.  Very cool animal!

ECCHO Co-op Classes:

We attended co-op classes last Friday again.  The boys have so much fun - Lego of course is very exciting - all that building!  In sand art our theme was animals - that produced some very interesting pictures!  In Astronomy they discussed the Milky Way and actually made a spiral galaxy - COOL!  PE of course was a hit...even Red told me that was his favorite class.  He said he likes it because they get to play dodge-ball ..leave it to my kid to like it because they get to chunk balls at others.  Sigh...boys!  ;)

Well look at that...all updated for now...boy does that feel good!  :)  Until next one another!  we-

Sunday, September 09, 2012

Rising Star Week 3 In Review

I can hardly believe that week three has come and gone.  What a great week it was!  We started the week with an impromptu trip to Dallas (which we turned into a field trip)!  We had to run to Dallas to pick up a load of bricks and decided to make a stop at the downtown branch of the Dallas library.  We were so excited!  The boys and I checked out all eight floors, via the stairs, so I got in some workout time too!  LOL I had an armload of books before we even made it off the first floor!  Love it! 
We also got to see the Shakespeare display while we were there.  It has the First Folio in a case with dimmed lights and everything.  Very mysterious!  
They have a used book store inside the library - how cool is that!  Oh my goodness I was in Heaven!  I found a old copy of 20,000 leagues under the sea to buy!  Cool! 
I also checked out a copy of How to draw Texas's sights and symbols.  What a great addition to our Texas History Study!  Woo-Hoo! 
So that was our first day of school this week...Sunday...field trip!  

Which we followed up with a day off!  LOL - Can't beat that, huh?  Since it was Labor Day and the neighbor's grandson was visiting, we decided to take the day off school and have some fun!  

We worked hard this week and I have to say we got quite a bit accomplished.  Our first day of Co-op classes was Friday, so we only worked in the "classroom" for three days.

This weeks work:

Bug worked on Teaching Textbooks and completed two lessons and quiz 3.  He scored 100% on each!
He also shaved several seconds off his addition fact test and worked on his fours times tables.  

He began Unit 18 in his spelling curriculum.  This unit works on compound words.  It introduced hyphenated words as well.  We will continue working on this unit next week as well. 
Bug neatly writing sentences with his spelling words.

Bug completed the next story in his reading curriculum.  For English he worked on explode the code, daily grams and we also did a punctuation lesson from Easy Grammar.  I have to say that I did not remember their being so many rules about abbreviations and their punctuation!  
We added some more contractions to our list that we are working on.  Bug is really doing well with these.  He remembers them so easily.  I am so excited about that!
Bug's Cozy spot

Red worked on counting backward, adding one, time of day (morning, afternoon, evening, night), some some more stories and some some went away stories.  
He also used pattern blocks to cover various shapes and practiced the doubles facts - which he knows!
See the top of Red's work - he was doing a some some more story and decided to make people in a pool.  Complete with ladders so that they could get out and the one on the left with the circle is in a floater!  LOL

Red also completed the next story and workbook pages in his reading curriculum.  He also started unit three in his spelling book, worked on word study, and explode the code.  I introduced suffix -ed this week as well.  He understands what it is, but figuring out which of the three sounds it is making is  little tough.  We will be working on this concept more next week.
Reading a book
Red working on the computer...odd and even is tough stuff, but he got it!
Some some went away with the bear family.
Red wrote about breakfast in his journal and drew his favorite cereal - Captain Crunch!  ;)

Subjects we do together...

Art - for art this week we did some sand art.  I wanted to try out my ideas before we got to Co-op class on Friday!  We tried out q-tips and paintbrushes to see which worked better for spreading the glue.  Well the paintbrushes definitely worked better - less "stringiness"!
We did our sanding using spoons because I hadn't been to wal-mart yet to pick up the shakers. I new right away that the shakers were going to be important for class!  LOL
The boys really enjoyed trying out the sand and did a few different pictures.
Bug created our house on a hot sunny day!
Red sanding his pirate ship.
Red made Bug's birthday party - the yellow things are balloons and the blue is his cake.

Bug's pirate ship out in the ocean.
Red's completed pirate ship.

Nature Study - this week I sent the boys on a scavenger hunt.  I gave them each five different colors, and sent them outside to find items for each color.  They were so excited, it was fun to watch!

Bug's scavenger hunt.  I had him write out each item that he found as well.

We started our science curriculum last week - we are using Apologia Exploring Flying Creatures of the 5th Day.  I am very excited about this.  Last week we did some reading about classification, so we began by reviewing what we remembered and talked about the mnemonic for remembering the kingdom to species breakdown.

After we read about how birds fly, the boys narrated what they had learned.  Then we added the information to our nature journals.  Bug drew a picture of a birds wing and talked about how the air pressure affects the lift of the bird.
Red drew a bird as well and you can see the air coming off his back.  ;)

We did an experiment to help us understand how the air pressure helps the air to lift.  Plus we got to spray water all over each other!  LOL
Then we made gliders.
Each of the boys made two gliders.  One with a short wide wing and one with a long narrow wing.
Then we took them out to the yard to conduct an experiment.
Smokey decided to come be a part of our testing process.  
Red throwing his plane.
Bug marking the distance with a tape measure.
Bug throwing his plane.
Each plane was thrown three times and we recorded the distance each time so we could compare the distance.  We started the project by coming up with a hypothesis.  Bug thought his long narrow winged plane would go farther and Red thought his wide narrow winged plane would go farther.  Each of them ended up being right.  
And here was the table at the end of our experiment.  LOL  Messy!  And I was so tired by the end of our day that I left it until dinner and then I cleaned it up.  

Friday was our first day of Co-op classes and the boys (and I) had an absolute ball!  I am teaching three classes this semester, so I was certainly busy getting everything together and packed up this week.  I actually used a large suitcase to pack up all my stuff for my classes.  LOL  It worked well!  

The boys are taking all the same classes this semester.

1st period - Lego (they loved, loved, loved this class!!!)
2nd period - Fun With Sand Art (I am teaching this class)
3rd period - Jr. Astronaut Training (They were very excited about this class too!)
4th period - P.E. (This was also a big hit!)

I am teaching Cutting Skills for 4-5 year olds 1st period (so precious).  2nd period I am teaching Fun with Sand Art - so fun!!!  3rd period I am not teaching, so I get to go to Jr. Astronaut training with the Bubbas.  4th period I am doing a Cards for Soldiers class - the kids are writing letters and making cards for soldiers.  It was so cool to see their thoughts and imaginations come to life in their letters.  

Well that was our, busy and exciting!  

And now I am tired just reviewing it, so until next time...we-