Friday, January 17, 2014

My homeschool journal: Jan. 17

Love watching the birds on the dreary winter days.  It really brightens my day.

In my life this week...

Life has sort of been put on hold right now for a time.  I feel like we are just waiting.  I don't like waiting, but I'm trying to be patient.  We are waiting to see what's next.  Waiting for surgery for Michele's back, and to see if it helps him.  Waiting for all this to hurry up and happen.  In the mean time he goes to work, and comes home to lay down to let his back rest.  We can't really do anything as a family so we have no plans for anything, and probably won't for a while.  It's not much fun, but it's life right now. 

In our homeschool this week...

We actually had a pretty good week relatively speaking.  It definitely wasn't a full week of good solid school, but we got an art lesson in, some science, math, geography, and definitely reading.  I decided it would be penguin week this week for a theme/unit.  So we weaved that into some of our subjects.

We went to see the penguins at the zoo on Thursday which was a great addition to our week.  We got lucky and walked into the penguin exhibit right before the keeper talk, so we got to listen to some interesting things about penguins we were looking at and watch them get fed.  I love it when things come together like that!  I think we watched the penguins for a good 15-20 minutes, they were so playful and interesting.  I also didn't know that there are warm weather penguins which is what our zoo has.  They live off the coast of Chile and Peru.  Maybe I'm slow and everybody already knows that, but I was happy to learn something new!

To kick off penguin week I made some penguin pancakes one morning.  This was pretty stellar for me as I'm not usually very creative in the kitchen.  The little boys loved them.


For math with the boys we made some penguin shapes.  This was so fun, and we will use them for making a little penguin math book next week.  The boys surprised me, they really liked this.  Which is why they each ended up making their own set.

Aaron decided he wanted his to be standing.


These are Aric's shapes.  He petered out about halfway through them, so I had to do a few of his.  These did take 2 days of math sessions to make.  I'm looking forward to using them for math next week!


For some penguin science fun we learned about how Emporer penguins keep their eggs warm.  The male penguin keeps the egg in a "brood patch" between their feet and the blubber that hangs down.  So we tied long pillow to the boys' tummy, and their task was to keep the "egg" on top of their feet between the pillow to keep it warm.  Not an easy task!  That would explain why the Emporer penguin doesn't move to eat for the whole time.
They had fun trying.

Trying to get the baseball egg on top of his feet.

Gotta keep the feet together!
Okay, now I can't move!
Then we did an experiment with ice and ziploc bags.  We had one bag filled with ice, one bag filled with air, and one bag just flat.  The boys saw the difference when the bag of ice was on their hands with the flat bag, and then with the air bag.  The air was like the penguin's "feathers" that keep them warm.
Then they all wanted a bag of ice to play with...

IMG_5409 IMG_5410 IMG_5411

For art this week we had a Georgia O'Keefe lesson.  We read about her from Getting to know the world's greatest artists.  I love these books.  They are so kid friendly, and have allowed my boys to become familiar with so many great paintings and art.


Then they all painted giant flowers from this lesson, getting kids to draw big okeefe flowers.  The 3 older kids did this, and they all enjoyed it and did pretty well.  I love how they all turned out.

April's flower.
Aaro's flower.
Aric's flower.

Some reading moments this week.  I love to see pictures of kids reading, so I wanted to included some moments in our house this week.

She almost protested me taking this picture.

These two reading together is a rare sight, but becoming more frequent lately.  Aric was reading this one to Aaron.  He is doing really well in his reading.
They love Elephant and Piggie.  Aric can read those books really well.
What we are reading...

I'm reading 3 books aloud to the boys.  This is the most we've been doing at once.  They are reading Harry Potter book 1, Mr. Popper's Penguins, and A good night for Ghosts magic treehouse book.  April is reading several, but one I know for sure is Sea of Monsters.


Helpful homeschooling tips or advice to share...

Be realistic about what you can get done with your kids in any given day/week.  I always have great expectations that we can get tons of stuff done at the beginning of any given day or week, and then find that we really can only get through half of what I have planned.  Keep it simple.  You know what your kids will be able to do.

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

We went to our Life academy co-op on Wednesday, but have since decided we will no longer be going to that one on Wednesdays.  It's just too far, and too many commitments we can't do right now.  So, that was our last Wednesday there (although I hadn't decided that at the time).  I'm relieved though to be done with it for now.  Thursday was the zoo and Costco shopping.  Friday we headed to the library for our local homeschool group's activity, and library time.  I'm excited to be able to come to our local group again.

My favorite thing this week was...

Making some changes to our living room.  I finally got our ikea curtains up, and took down our old broken blinds.  I love being able to open up the curtains and let some light in.  I still have to paint the pole white, but I just needed to get these up NOW!  I also re-dyed one of the couches a darker brown to see if I would like it better.  It is SO much better the darker brown.  I'm much happier with that color.  The cocoa brown was to purple-y to me and was driving me nuts.  I don't have a picture of the couch, but I'll get one as soon as I get the other one done.  My recommendation, don't plan on dying couches, just buy what you like :-)


My kiddos favorite thing this week...

Getting catterpillars in the mail.  I surprised the kids by ordering caterpillars for a little winter pick-me-up for school.  They are all excited about them.  It will be fun to watch them.  We have ants coming sometime too for Aaron's ant farm.  Those aren't here yet.


Things I'm working on...

Re-organizing our school.  I'm re-organizing everything.  I'm looking for a new plan, and I'm going through and sorting things out.  As I'm doing this I'm trying to figure out a new way of "getting things done" each day for school.  I'm trying to figure out what we really need and what we don't.  I have too much stuff going on both physically and mentally that I've got to clear out the clutter so we can be more effective each day.  So, I need a new game plan, and I need some organization.  I started around new years, and I'm still going.  I'm hoping to have a good solid weekend this weekend of going through things.  Hoping it all comes to me as I do so!

I'm cooking...

Well, I'm the main cook around here now, so I've been cooking a lot!  But, not necessarily noteworthy things :-)  I'm also trying really hard to eat out less, and be better about that.  It's been going really well.  I made tacos tonight for dinner, pancakes a few times for dinner and breakfast, french toast, no bake cookies, and a few costco pre-made meals.

I'm grateful for...

The ability to change anything in homeschool anytime I feel we need to.  I'm grateful that I felt good this week about making some of the minor changes to our curriculum plans that just weren't working or not getting us anywhere.

I rewarded the kids this week by...

Buying them a chocolate cake from costco.  That thing is huge!  Not sure that was a good idea because now we have to eat it.  Anybody want some chocolate cake?

Something I am ogling or have my eye on...

A new kitchen table.  I am so tired of having a picnic table for a dining table.  It is not conducive to doing school work with all it's bumps and spaces between slats.  I also can't keep plastic on top of it because the kids keep tearing it up, and I'm tired of spending  money on plastic covers.  I was hoping hubby could build me one soon, but now that's not going to happen.  Hoping one to buy (that's not too outrageous) that I like will make its appearance soon!

I hope you all had a lovely week!  Thanks for reading!

I am linking this up to The Homeschool Mother's Journal at So you call yourself a

So You Call Yourself A Homeschooler?


1 comment:

  1. Oh my, those little penguins the kids made are cute!! Great job on the Georgia O'Keeffe artwork as well. O'Keeffe is one of my daughter's favorite artists. :-)

    Visiting from the HMJ - have a great week!!


Please leave a comment, I love to hear what you think.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...