Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Wordless Wednesday: A Fall walk

The weather and the leaves have been so beautiful here that I just had to get outside last Friday. Especially since it was just a hard day after a long week. Walk location: Sunset Blvd in Sherwood Oregon...

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"A Canada leaf"

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 Then we played at the park afterward.
 

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Science fun: focusing the sun

We are learning about the solar system in our co-op class. This past week our topic was the sun, and each week we'll focus on a different planet for the rest of the semester. One of the projects from the Apologia Elementary Astronomy book is focusing sunlight with a magnifying glass onto a leaf to burn a hole in it. This was an object lesson to prove a point about why it's important we don't look at the sun because our eyes work the same way. My class full of boys LOVED this, and they could have done it all day, I'm sure. I had to drag them away when it was time to go back inside to paint our suns.

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We were pretty successful with our leaf burns. Some of the boys had said they've never been successful at doing this, so it made me happy to see all of them burn at least one hole. Most of them several.

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 The regular magnifying glass worked pretty good...

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 But, the best and most surprising tool was this magnifying sheet from the dollar store. I stopped on the way to class hoping to find some regular magnifying glasses. They didn't have any magnifying glasses of the traditional style, but they did have this magnifying sheet. I just grabbed one thinking there was no way it would really work, but was curious to try anyway.

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It turns out the sheet was the best, most effective at getting the sun to focus on the leaf. This became the favorite tool among the boys, and we had to take turns.

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In case you are wondering what it looks like...

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So, if you're planning to do some science fun with leaves and burning holes this is the best tool! A magnifying sheet from the dollar tree. Be cautious, this does get very hot, and supervise your children when they are doing this science experiment!

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Wordless Wednesday: A violin!


Introducing our newest violin player!

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His first time playing it when we got home...

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His second time pulling it out within the hour of the first time. This is before he had started any lessons yet.

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Lets just say, he's excited!

Saturday, September 29, 2018

My weekly notebook: outdoors, hot pot, and paint chips

Life this week...

I am suddenly very interested in the colors of all the houses in the neighborhood. I found myself looking around several times this week. We even drove around today (on a whim) after we had tentatively decided on a color, and found that we don't really like that color (or one very similar) on a whole house as much as we thought. This is a hard decision! And a first for both of us.

Reviews we are working on...

I just found out that we'll be doing a violin review. We haven't started yet, and I have yet to obtain a violin for the student, but I'm pretty excited for this one!

Places we're going and people we're seeing...
It was another busy week of running around. We had our usual co-op on Wednesday. You can see pictures of something they did this week in my last post. We also do Thursday's out at the charter school for some class time, and a check-in. The 2 big kids have classes and study hall that they both want to be at. The 2 younger kids don't dig it as much so I only make them go to the first class and for the 2nd week in a row we went to a local park to enjoy some outdoor time. It was lovely weather, and this park is just amazing. There are picnic benches, a river, a playground, lots of trees, and it just feels like nature. There is even a volleyball net! I brought some things to work on and read, but I wasn't prepared with as much as I wanted to be. I would have loved to do some of the boys' lessons, but couldn't get the books together in time. So, they did whatever...

Played in the river, and did some rock jumping..

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 Ate lunch, played a new game that we picked up at the school that morning.

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I sat down and looked at some paint chips. Being outside with all the natural light was awesome. It helped me sort some colors out and definitely elminate some.


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My favorite thing this week was...

Enjoying some hot pot for dinner with the family (and 2 of April's friends) on Saturday night. Yum!

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My kids' favorite thing this week was...

Aaron was so excited all week for a fun trip with his co-op Life Science class. They went to hike Smith Rock, the lava tubes, and geode hunting. He came home, and said it was awesome. I'm pretty sure it was his favorite.

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I'm grateful for...

The extra days of sunshine and warmth we've had as fall has set in. I needed a little extra dry days to get the pool down, and the sunshine has just been wonderful.

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That wraps up our week! I am linking this up to The Homeschool Blog Link Up with the review crew.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Wordless Wednesday: Co-op class today

Starting Solar System lapbooks in our co-op class today

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Poor Jupiter disappeared behind the white board. Note to self: Don't let kids throw magnetic planets up on the white board. It gets out of control, and they get sucked in...

Friday, September 21, 2018

My Weekly Notebook: horses, OMSI, and a new park

Life this week...

This is what I wanted to do all week. Just curl up in a ball like the cat and sleep. I don't know why, but my exhaustion hit me pretty hard all week. I persevered, and pushed through, and I'm thankful I did.

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No matter how hard he tries he'll never be able to hide on my bed.
Homeschool this week...

We finally received our school books that I ordered last month, so we'll really be able to dig in to our studies next week. It'll be nice to officially have more than math and science to do. Although, we've been getting along okay. I really love learning outside of the books, so we've been doing some unit studies, and playing games. I don't know exactly what we've been doing, but we sure are filling up the time!

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Actually, the boys have all been doing their math pretty consistently, and so are on Lesson 20ish. It's great because we've never been that far in math books/curriculum this early in the school year. Of course, this is about the time I get some push back too. Alex is already complaining about doing his Teaching Textbooks. The excitement and newness of this new to him curriculum has definitely worn off.

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It was fun to finally pull out our new to us Sequence game that we picked up at Goodwill a few weeks ago. It was in excellent shape for $2! We did this for math instead of the books one day.

Helpful homeschool tips and advice to share...

When the excitement of the new school year/new school books wears off it's time for some motivation. That's where we are at, already. I don't know how long it takes you to get there. Hopefully longer than us, and hopefully not too soon. I found this article on the Sonlight blog very helpful: 3 Clever Incentives to Motivate a Homeschool Dawdler. I love the ideas in that post. Some of them I have used several times. I only use a rewards system once in a while, just to get things jumpstarted if needed. Maybe this will help you now or in the future. Sometimes a prize is just fun, and lightens up the tension all around.

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

Last Saturday we got to try out horseback riding. Some for the first time (the 2 little boys), and some just refreshing old skills (April). One of the library's summer reading coupons was a free horse party day, at a local equestrian center. It was super fun.  April was a natural of course. (She took riding lessons for about 3 years previously). They even let her ride bare back (notice no saddle in the picture!). Thankfully she was up for the challenge. Horses are amazing creatures.

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She helped lead horses around with kids on them, and then she got to ride around for quite a while. It was like she was at home.

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They had all the kids get the horses ready for riding. Alex got to brush a bit.

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Then he got on the horse! He had no fear, and actually wanted to ride more than once.

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This kid on the other hand... It took lots of pep talk to even get him to try to get on the horse, and when he finally got his leg over he immediately wanted to get off.

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He didn't even want to ride around a circle. He was truly scared, and had a hard time getting off also. He was afraid of falling off. That horse was so patient! I was afraid he was going to fall off just stressing about getting off, or that he just might never get off the horse.

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We went to OMSI one day...

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The Chemistry lab...

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Playing a game of connect 4 with robots... (Aric plays this every time)

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My favorite thing this week was...

Getting outdoors and discovering a new park out in Eagle Creek/Estacada area. Doing some drawing outside. I'm not very good at it, but I'm trying!

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My kids' favorite thing this week was...

Making a Minecraft Steve paper project from Art For Kids Hub. This is a great art website. This particular project was free. We did have a subscription, but we quickly found out it expired, so the boys picked the Minecraft project.

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The YouTube video lessons are great...

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One finished Minecraft Steve...

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Things I'm working on...

Picking a color to paint our house.Yikes! This is going to be hard.

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What we're reading...

We started listening to Around the World in 80 Days in the car.

I'm cooking...

I didn't cook this, Mike did, but we had some delicious wings and fries and veggies for dinner last weekend. So yummy! It's like Buffalo Wild Wings, but even better!

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I'm grateful for...

Vitamins and medicines that keep me going. I take so many each day because my body is very confused about how to work right. So, I am thankful for all those things available to me.

 That wraps up this week!

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