Sunday, August 31, 2014

Meet the students 2014-2015

These are the cute kids that fill our one room school room!


8th grade
 This year is her last before high school! Yikes!  Her favorite subject is science. She loves horses (still), playing her violin and the piano, camping, logic puzzles, and art.


3rd grade
This boy is at such a fun age!  Aaron's favorite subject is science or art.  He loves fishing with his Dad, going on mountain bike rides, building things out of random stuff, and cooking.



1st grade
This guy is a big ball of energy!  His favorite subject is geography and science.  He loves LEGO's, swimming, playing games, and camping.



This kid says some of the funniest things.  He makes us all laugh a lot.  His favorite subject right now is playing, anything.  He loves car washes, the beach, doing anything is older siblings are, riding his bike, and Daddy.



Here's to a new school year with new adventures!

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Homeschool weeks 1 and 2: the ones with pizza!

We have had a great first few weeks of being back.  We had pizza week, which we finished. We've had 2 park days with homeschool friends, on Fridays.  We've explored a little bit of our Zoology 2 science, and made it about halfway through the first chapter.  We've played some new and old games.  We have done a nature study. We have done art, and some quilting.  And, we've also received most of the boxes of new curriculum!  (sorry, this will be a little long, with 2 weeks)

Top: Aric holding his rigatoni noodle flag of Italy, one of the fun projects. Middle: left-leaning tower of Pisa, right-Aric's lapbook, and some pages he worked on from the study.  Bottom: left--the inside of Aric's lapbook, right--a pizza fractions game we played.

I'll start out with PIZZA WEEK.  We had a lot of fun with Amanda Bennett's download and go unit study: Pizza party.  If you want a really laid out unit study with lots of interesting things to learn about italy, cooking pizza, people and projects this is really a fun one.

I didn't get pictures of everything.  But here are the things I thought were totally fun, and useful to have shots of.

This is what it looks like in the middle of a "pizza party" unit study day.  We would spread out each boys' lapbook, and new papers for the day, and have the laptop right there to watch any fun videos for the day.

One of the favorite music videos was the song Funicili Funicila...believe me we had this song stuck in our heads for days!  Here you go, you can get it stuck in your head now :)

We explored the science of yeast, and watched it while it "came alive."


Then we made bread...

There were some coloring pages...


We made english muffin pizzas one day for lunch.  This was one of my favorite "projects" because I love cooking with my kids, and I love that they made their own lunch!


Each kid had 2 halves of an english muffin to make and eat...


The sauce...


Eating some of the sauce (seriously, he loved just eating the sauce straight up!)...


Alex was preparing his and mine.  I was nice and let him...


Ready for the oven!... He was so excited to put it in.


Some of the fun pizza books we read.  There are a lot of fun pizza books!


We ended this weekend with a family lunch out to pizza.  We were thinking about trying to get up to an authentic pizzeria (which we may still do someday), but instead decided to keep it simple and go where we know the kids like it, Round table.  It's pretty good pizza.


Alex not wanting to leave because he couldn't get a bouncy ball from the vending machine provided a great opportunity to get a picture!


My favorite subject!  Yet, I don't really have a solid plan for art yet, so we are just doing whatever we find that's interesting or fits in with our current studies.  

Aaron did this fun project from Home Art studio.  It's one of the freebie projects from the website, optical illusion art.  I was considering getting this art program for him, so I had him try one of the lessons out.  He really enjoyed watching the video, and doing this project so much that he did 2!



A few times the boys asked for the draw, write, now books.  I captured them on this day.  They drew quite a few pictures.  It made me happy to see how good and confident they are getting at drawing.


I love that Aric chose the creatures from the ponds, oceans, and rivers because it went right along with our science reading.



A hermit crab!

Aaron's completed pictures.
There's too much more to share in one post, I think I'm going to have to break it up.  I will share about the science, history, play and games in other posts.

Hope you had a good week! 



Queen Anne's lace (nature study)

I read this great post at Petra School about being intentional in nature study.  It was a good reminder for me, and something I had been thinking about this summer as well. I had already been thinking of ways to make our nature studies more intentional, but not completely mama led.  My kids are usually pretty curious outside, so I don't often have too much trouble getting them to love and appreciate nature.  We love the outdoors, so I think that's just the right phrase for us in our nature study:  "more intentional" in learning just a little bit more detail in things around us.  It's amazing what the kids pick up, and remember from the few nature studies that we've done, and I'm looking forward to getting out more this school year.  I love the little stories of things they learn about in nature, and how well they connect everything together. 

Outdoor hour challenge of Queen Anne's Lace.

We headed to one of our favorite close nature parks while in Wilsonville, Graham Oaks Park.  There are a lot of wildflowers there, so I was happy to see that there was definitely some Queen Anne's Lace.


 I asked them why they thought it was called Queen Anne's Lace.  The boys answered very logically "because the queen likes to wear lace!"


 We found the purple floret in the middle, and we talked about how the clusters of flowers make up the larger pattern making it look like one large flower.


If this weren't such an obnoxious weed over here it would be quite beautiful.


April said, "I think this is also called wild carrot!"  It sure is!  These are the clusters of Queen Anne's Lace after the flowers wither, and the fruits begin to form. 


There was a lot we didn't talk about, but it was just enough.  You can't over-do with children in nature.  Let them lead.  They looked long enough for us to discuss the important points of the flower, and when they were done I called it good enough.  


Two stalks of the Queen Anne's lace from the same root in different phases of their growth, so much like the children, all at different stages in their journey!


We had to get going to violin lessons so I had the children work on their notebook pages in the car.  I printed up the one with the challenge at Handbook of Nature study.  Even the 3 year old was pretty excited about drawing his "flower."


Aric's sketch of Queen Anne's lace.  He wanted to draw in his paper bag nature book.  Love it!
Alex's drawings of Queen Anne's lace.  He even made a green stalk!
This is Aaron's (age 8) sketch of Queen Anne's lace.
April (age 13).
I have since cut all of their drawings out of these pages and put them in a nature book.


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Fun with the book: The Yellow Ball (BFIAR)

We rowed Yellow Ball by Molly Bang last week.  We had a lot of fun with rowing this book.  It amazes me how a simple book can come alive with just a few simple activities, and reading it over and over again.   We did mostly simple things, nothing real big.  Just some fun memories with a yellow ball, a book, and a 3 year old. I love Five in a row.

Before we even started rowing, the Friday before we went to the park, and the yellow balls that I had just purchased for this row were in the van.  I kind of got excited and got several balls :-)  Mostly because yellow is his favorite color.

So, at the park he played with them in the river fountains first, then he played with the big playground ball when he was dry.  We had a blast bouncing that thing back and forth, as evidence in the pictures.

Chasing the ball down the fountain...

That ball was pretty popular, all the kids had fun chasing it down the stream.  Good thing I picked up 2!

Now he's dressed because he wanted to play with the other yellow ball.  This one quickly became his favorite.  I love that I just happened to put him in a yellow shirt, and his shoes had some yellow too.  It looks like it was all planned, but it wasn't.  Looks really cool though!


We had fun bouncing the ball back and forth, and all over the place!

He did a lot of running!

and some falling...

The excitement that this kid has for everything he does makes me smile everyday.

Just right for sitting on too!

We started out the week with a craft.  He made a construction paper yellow ball on a blue background.  This was all him, he loves cutting with scissors lately.


He really thought it was important to cut the ball in half, not sure why.  But here it is!

The next day after we read we decided to pretend we were at the beach.  We looked at the copyright page as suggested to see what kinds of things would be at the beach, then we got our beach bag out to see what we could pack.

This picture cracks me up!


Lets see...2 yellow balls, check.  At least 5 sun hats, check. Sunglasses, check. Sunblock, check. A sand bucket, check.

He loved this, and packed and unpacked things several times.  He would also carry the bag around the living room after he packed it.

And, in case you were worried we didn't have enough sunblock, worries!

After he was bored with that it was time for some action!  He had fun being swung around in the towel with April.

He didn't know a beach towel could be so fun!

The next day we did some cooking.  He loves cupcakes, so I thought he would just love to make them "yellow ball" style.


We had yellow cake mix...

as many yellow cupcake liners we could find...

some yellow frosting, and viola we have a tasty treat!

We painted with yellow sponge balls one day, but he was not as excited about this as I thought he would be.


He did his one page, and he was done.

It was fun though.


His letter of the week was also B for ball.  He did lots of letter b activities too.


Some other books we read...

It's getting close to soccer time, so we read a few soccer books.  He wanted to read Froggy plays soccer everyday.  It quickly became his favorite too.


We read Pete the cat at the beach, and a few other beach themed books that I didn't get pictures of.  I don't really remember the names either.

It was a fun week!
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