Saturday, January 18, 2020

My Weekly Homeschool Mother's journal

Life this week...

This week was fast. So fast that I'm trying to look back over the week, and all I can think is where did it go? And, what did we do? It feels like not much. I spent a lot of time getting the big boys' curriculum ordered and figuring out how our school will look now with all our new stuff. Oh, I guess I should update you all on that...we are with a new charter school, joined in November-ish. Joining after the school year started, and right before the Christmas break means that we are just now getting our curriculum for the school year. So, yeah, a little late of a start, but it's going to be so nice having all the holes and gaps filled in for curriculum. I got all 3 boys the Timberdoodle complete curriculum packages. Alex has the 3rd-grade kit. Aric the 6th, and Aaron the 8th. It feels like a lot of work/stuff/books right now. It all looks great though. I'm excited to dig in.

I only have pictures of Alex with his 3rd-grade curriculum since his arrived first (last weekend). The big boys' boxes arrived yesterday and we haven't opened them yet. So, here is one very excited 3rd grader with his new Timberdoodle curriculum!

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Timberdoodle 3rd grade curriculum kit (non-religious, and minus a few items that we didn't need)
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More of his Timberdoodle 3rd grade kit.
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The rest of his Timberdoodle 3rd grade kit.

Homeschool this week...

We are currently doing a winter unit study, so we've been doing a lot of fun things involving winter including reading a lot of books about winter, learning about the seasons, weather, severe winter weather, vocabulary, science, and so much more. It has been fun.

YouTube has provided many great videos of winter-related learning and weather. It also provides great background noise of winter snowstorm sounds, or just calm peaceful snow falling by a lake. I just turned this on while we worked through our unit study lessons. So helpful to keep us on track and focused. Also very calming!

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Alex also had a lot of fun checking out new curriculum items this week. His first Mobi math game was a little bumpy as we tried to figure it out. He was having a hard time understanding how the equations had to match up in all directions, and they had to be equal. We'll be playing this a lot! This is a great way to get some algebra skills!

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All 3 boys are working through a cursive book of some sort. This is Aric's Cursive Logic book that he's still working through.

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The 2 younger boys have also started a 3D modeling and design class through our charter. It was a doozy getting them both set up on the computer with cameras and sound, but it was fun for both of them to participate. It'll be fun to see what projects they create with this class.

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Helpful homeschool tips and advice to share...

If you have a fidgety kid get some of this amazing stuff pictured below. Thinking putty. This particular kit came in Alex's new curriculum kit, but the "crazy Aaron's" brand thinking putty comes in all kinds of colors and glitters. We have been buying this stuff for years. It gives them something to do with their hands during lessons, read-aloud time, or anything where they have to sit and be still but need something to keep their hands occupied. This kit was fun, but most of the putty that we have bought before is just a tin of putty, no mixing required. I've even seen them at Target, but you can order it online from a lot of places too. It lasts for a long time and can be used over and over. That's my tip for the week!

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Places we're going and people we're seeing...

This picture is from last week, but Alex and Aric went for their 2nd week of homeschool parkour class this week. They both have a good time, and it's SUCH great exercise. Full body workout for sure!

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Random things the kids worked on...

So, I decided to invest in a Crayola marker sprayer airbrush kit when I saw them at the store recently because I hoped it would get the boys excited about something artistic and the price has come way down on them. I was also just really curious about how well these things work. I also have a ton of markers that we just need to use up. So, I picked one up. It actually works pretty amazingly. The boys pull it out at least daily now, and they create some cool pictures like this:

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Something I accomplished...

I made some journals for the boys for our new scripture study program. Come Follow Me is our church's new home study program.  I wanted a place for the boys to put a reading chart, and any notes or thoughts. These were easy and cheap to throw together (made with a cheap sketchbook and scrapbook paper). I need to make one for myself too.

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What we're reading...

We're discovering a lot of cool winter books and stories. I have a whole stack that we are still trying to make our way through, but I thought this story Hans Brinker or the Silver Skates was just lovely.

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There are a lot of these ones too. Just the basics about winter. These can be pretty entertaining as well.

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I'm cooking...

Let's just say I wanted to eat these ice cream snickers bars for dinner on more than one occasion this week. Not a lot of great cooking this week, but we survived! And, no, we didn't have Snickers bars every day. They are still happily residing in our freezer for a special treat.

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I'm grateful for...

Planners, trackers, and calendars. I really would be lost without them. Lists too!

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Top 9 from 2019

It was hard to pick just 9 things from 2019 that I felt were some high points for our family. But, these are the big ones.

Baseball
Graduation
Basketball
Snowshoeing
cub scouts last year/pinewood derby
Hawaii trip
Hippie Chick quarter marathon
Ice Skating Competition
Great Wolf Lodge

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2019 had its highs and lows, but overall it was a great year.
 Happy New Year!
 

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Zoolights

Our local zoo has an amazing Christmas light display every year. It's been a tradition for us to go almost every year. We began this tradition years ago when Mike's company would have their holiday dinner there, and we'd get to see the lights too. They did that for only a few years, so now we just go on our own when the opportunity/we have a membership allows. We learned very quickly from those first few years that it can be busy, so this year we chose to go on a Monday evening early in the month, on December 9.

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Alex was just so excited and happy the whole night. He couldn't get enough of the lights, and anything fun like this eagle ready to pose in a picture with him.

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While the train costs a little extra, I couldn't say no to this very excited boy. So many good memories of riding the train at the zoolights.

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All aboard! The train is ready to go.

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Alex was so thrilled that we were on the steam train this time. It looked pretty cool!

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At night there aren't really any animals to see, but this polar bear made out of plastic stuff was pretty cool all lit up.

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I gave the phone to Aric who wanted to take pictures during the train ride. He pretty much took a picture of everything. It's fun to see what the kids see when they take pictures.

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They have so many cool scenes all made from lights!

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I love how this picture came out of these lights on the train! I think we were in a tunnel of lights.

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Another picture of the train...

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I told Aric to stand in front of the snowman to make it look like he was wearing the light-up hat. It worked pretty well!

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These trees looked amazing...

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The turtles were fun...

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Alex saluting with the snowman.

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The big field has all kinds of fun animals to find. This giraffe in the background was fun to watch. He put the heart on the tree.

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Alex wanted to make it look like the toucan was on his arm.

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We tried to get a good picture of all of us that came, but we ended up having Aaron take the picture because we just couldn't get us all in a shot with the space we had. I need to get better at selfies with lots of people! Oh well, at least we got one!

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The Zoolights were just as pretty as I remembered them (it's been a few years). So thankful we at least got that tradition in this year. I feel like we didn't get around to doing as much as I wanted to, but this was a fun memory.

Saturday, November 30, 2019

My Homeschool Journal: Thanksgiving Journal

Life this week...

Another busy week getting ready for Thanksgiving and just trying to enjoy time with family which meant getting things done before the long weekend. We had our Thanksgiving dinner at home with just the 6 of us, Mike's brother Marc, and Mike's parents, so it was nice and quiet. Again I forgot to take pictures of anything. Oh well, it all happened so fast. How was your Thanksgiving?

Homeschool this week...

Since it was Thanksgiving we spent a lot of time prepping for that, and just doing cool stuff like playing with this Sphero robot that we checked out from the Library. This thing is pretty cool. There are lots of opportunities to do some coding, playing games, and scaring the cat with this thing. We only have it for a week, so it'll be a sad day when we have to take it back (PS: if you are local to me we didn't get this from our local library. It's from a different library system we are a part of that has a new program called "The Library of Things")

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Reviews we are working on...

None! I am no longer doing reviews! The review crew year has ended and I have chosen not to continue. It's bittersweet, but mostly I am just relieved. I am excited to focus on what the kids really need to be working on and not switching things up all the time. I will be happy to remove this writing prompt!

Helpful homeschool tips and advice to share...

Don't forget about learning for yourself! I often forget to keep discovering and learning the things I find interesting, or that might help me as a homeschool teacher. It's important for you to learn and grow as well. 

Places we're going and people we're seeing...

We braved the mall/shopping on Friday after lunch. So crazy, but we really wanted to catch some deals for church shoes and clothes. We went to the LEGO store and dreamed...

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We found this very festive display in JCPenney tucked away around the corner from where we were looking at suits. We weren't exactly sure what it was there for, but it was pretty for a photo op...

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On Wednesday (the day before Thanksgiving) we were all feeling pretty restless. We just needed to get out of the house for a bit, and I knew I needed to make a stop at WinCo for some final Thanksgiving dinner food purchases, so we headed up north. At first, I was thinking we'd go for a walk somewhere, but it was mighty cold. So, before we headed out I looked online to see what indoor thing we could possibly do that didn't cost too much. I stumbled across the event for the Pittock Mansion decorated for Christmas, and thought that is perfect! We have wanted to go see the Pittock mansion for a few years now, and it being decorated for Christmas was a bonus. I knew we could get a pass for it at the library, so I quickly reserved that and we headed out. There are so many pictures from this outing that it needs a whole post of its own, but here are a few for now.

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Alex walking up to Pittock Mansion


Each room was decorated with a literary theme from a popular children's book...

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Pittock Mansion--Christmas in the Woods room


My favorite thing this week was...

Seeing Frozen 2 and eating a Frozen 2 themed birthday cake made by my girl April. It was my birthday last Sunday, and all I really wanted was to see Frozen 2, so we did that on Friday evening before, and then on Sunday, April made me a beautiful Frozen 2 cake.

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We will pretend that the number of candles that ended up on the cake is close.

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I received this gift from my mother-in-law. Some hand lettering pens. I am so excited to use these.

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I also picked up some fuzzy socks from Costco. They look funny, but they are oh so warm!

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My kids' favorite thing this week was...

Painting ceramic. This was actually last Friday before we went to see the movie. The boys have been begging to go paint ceramic ever since I went for a Mom's night. I had a coupon so I took them!

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Alex chose a snake to paint
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Aric chose a cat to paint.

I had a hard time getting Aaron to pick something to paint, so I offered to paint this nativity scene with him. It was a joint effort and would be added to our nativity collection. I really enjoyed this time painting.

Aaron and I painted a nativity together
I let him pick all the colors and how he wanted to do it. I just did what he told me.
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Aaron and I worked together on a nativity
It turned out beautiful!

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Things I'm working on...

Focusing on the positive. My first thoughts are always negative lately, so I'm trying to change that.

Random things the kids worked on...

Aaron has been working hard to get the 3D printer we got last Christmas up and running. He finally got his first successful print. This movable bug.

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Alex wanted to make cookies all by himself one night, so I let him pick a recipe and with my verbal help he made them pretty much on his own. The only physical part I had to do was a little mixing and helping with the rolling part.

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They were supposed to look a little less dark. More like these galaxy cookies that are streaked light blues and purples and reds. He may have gotten a little too much food coloring in the icing. They were still pretty delicious though!

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Alex decided one morning to link an insane amount of paper clips together to make this long chain. It kept him busy for a while! April used to do this when she was his age too.

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I'm grateful for...

Books! And the many books that are available to us from different sources including 2 library systems that we have cards for.

That wraps up our week! Time to get on with my Saturday and prepare for a new one!

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