Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Time for an update!

What's up with us?

Our school year has been going along well.  I use the word "well" because I admit that it has been a struggle at times.  Overall the boys are doing very, very well in their studies and I feel like we are moving through the material at a good pace.  I have added in a few things since the new year and I think it is working out well. 

I admit our curriculum, schedule and methods are constantly changing.  I have found that the boys get tired of repetition, as do I.  I like to change things up from time to time, keep it fresh and keep their heads in the game.  This also works well with Red because I haven't found what works "best" for him just yet.  I just keep praying that I am following God's plan.  I am consistently inconsistent...but I find that is possibly the key to good homeschooling (for me anyway).

We are still working our way through the Apologia Zoology "Flying Animals of the 5th day" using the lapbook set I found at currclick.  I really like this lapbook - it works well with the book and it adds in an extra layer of learning for the boys. 

Here is a look at the lapbook for our Zoology study (complete with a Minnie Me!).

I have added in another science curriculum for Bug.  I picked up some other science - a lifepac set - Bug.  I like the layout and I think it's a good way for him to work on some extra "science" stuff on his own. 

I also added in some more "science" stuff for Red - his is a  bit different though.  Currclick had a great sale a while back and I picked up several lapbook/mini book sets about various science subjects.  So using these in a spiral, I have set up a "science notebook" for Red.  He picked a set about tornadoes to work on first (surprise, surprise) so that is where we started.  I picked up a few books at the library for us to look at as well. 

Red's science journal:
Our history study has been moving along really well - I really like this curriculum.  We began talking about the continents and oceans, so I expanded that part on my own.  The boys have "continent work" each school day - they answer three questions about the continents - name some animals, countries, interesting facts, etc.  This will go into their history journals as part of the continent section.  We are forming "books" for each continent.  We are also learning about the oceans.  I have picked up several books about each ocean and we are learning all kinds of interesting facts about them.

Continent Work:

Here is a look at the continent mini books we've been working on.  The "continent work goes into this part of their history journal.  As each mini book is opened, they can find various facts and info about the continent.
Along with our mini books I am using a lapbook template about the seven continents.  We are researching each one, learning facts, locations, etc. and adding them to our history journal - I made a special section for continents and oceans at the back of the journal to keep all this work.
I've also added a "morning warm-up" to our routine.  I put up a few math things and some language arts stuff each day.  The boys work it all out in a daily warm-up journal.  I like this approach because it practices writing (Woo-Hoo!) and it reinforces skills that we are currently working on.
Morning Warm-up:
Have you ever played Quirkle?  I picked it up last year at Antique Alley, but we never took the time to learn it.  Well a few weeks ago we broke it out for the first time and I have to tell you WE LOVE IT!  It's so fun - yelling "QUIRKLE" and trying to figure out your strategy.  Tons of fun!
The boys and I have started a study of the 10 commandments.  We are using Grapevine Studies Stick Figuring Through the Bible.  The boys are making a book.
The triangle represents God and the figure is Moses and you can see the tablets off to the right.
The boys are enjoying all of their ECCHO classes.  I am enjoying leading the group this semester.  We have a very large group of families attending this spring.  It's such a great group.  Bug loves his chain reactions class.  He spends the week after class coming up with chain reactions at home.  Messy was helping him out this time.  Sweet girl that she is!

Baseball has started up again...we love it.  Bug is a Marlin and Red is a Dodger again.  They both won their first game.  We are all so excited, we love baseball! 


First Bat - Dodgers take the W - 11 to 6.


I have started a new "study" of my own - Exploring Creation through Biology (Apologia).  I love it!  I have always been a fan of learning.  I love to learn, I love to read, I love to study.  I generally have a study of some sort going...a book, a bible study, something.  As I was digging in one of my curriculum boxes, I came across this set.  I actually picked it up at a sale last fall.  Since Apologia is one of my favorite sciences and it was a GREAT deal, I grabbed it up!  I am so glad I did.  I finished module 1 in 2 days and made a 103 on my test.  My hubs and kids laugh at me as I spout out various tidbits that I learn.  I took biology in both high school and college and I don't really remember learning much.  I guess the older I get the better a student I come.  (Which gives me hope that there is light at the end of the tunnel with my Red!  I just hope it doesn't take three decades to get better!  ha!)  I got the lapbook set for Biology from currclick and it has been making my study so much more interesting.  I am putting them together in a spiral - I figure it will be a good resource for the boys later on.  Some of Bug's current unit coincides with what I am studying, so that is neat.  I think it will definitely help me to understand what he is learning better and hopefully I will be able to better help him! 

Here is a look at my science notebook:

Other go-ings-on...

If you look VERY closely at the middle of the picture - hovering over the green flowering plant - well you can see a gorgeous hummingbird moth!  I was out in the garden with Hubs and caught a glimpse at this special wonder!  He buzzed around several plants for about five minutes or so - it was the coolest thing ever!  I was so excited. 

Messy the cat is very much at home these days.  She loves Bug's HUGE dog, his name is Burt.  She will seek him out to sit on him - it is the funnies thing.  I love her.

The "Henitentary"

My sweet friend Karen has chickens...and she had one that was being a bully to the others.  I've been wanting to get chickens for a while, but Hubby kept putting off building me a coop.  Well Eve (the evil chicken) was the perfect excuse!  Haha!  My sweet man built the Henitentary for Eve!  We brought her home last weekend, in the middle of a wild and crazy storm no less! 

Here is Miss Eve...I have to tell you I think she is quite sweet!

Hubs says this is her "mugshot"

Inmate 001
Going into the "Big House"

The Lookout

Lucky is checking on his prisoner


 The kitties are quite fascinated by Eve - see Lucky checking her out on the other side of the run?  :)
I got Eve a "salad ball" as Red calls it.  (Cabbage) - I attempted to hang it using string but it didn't hold well - so Hubs found me some wire.  I think Eve is enjoying it - she spends a lot of time out in her run pecking at it. 

Well I had better get the boys off to until next time...  we-

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