Monday, November 1, 2010

The Great Pumpkin

We had friends over this weekend. It was so much fun to spend time with those that you just love to hang out with.  We started our evening with all of the kiddos carving pumpkins.  A few of the pumpkins did not make it to the photo shoot..

We ate lots of yummy food.  Watched The Great Pumpkin outside.
After the show the kids played Ghost in the Graveyard and Football.  At the neighbor kids request, we will do this again next year.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Eight Weeks of School!

I totally lost track of time on that one.  Here is what we have been working on the last eight weeks. I feel like I am missing a few things, but here it goes...

History ~ During our Egypt Unit we have made pyramids, food, colored, read a variety of books, watched a few shows on the pyramids, did an archeology dig, painted hieroglyphics on a cave wall, wrote our name in curtian and map work. The boys are also in a class at co-op where they have made a few projects about Egypt as well.  

Spelling ~  We are trying a new curriculum.  On the Homeschool Success blog she mentioned Sequential Spelling.  I downloaded the sample lesson from their website and found what I have been looking for.  I am super excited and the kids are too!  We do a spelling test each day and by the end of 8 days they should be able to spell 20 words.  The kids have not complained once about this which is a huge blessing. I can already see improvement with Ryan's spelling - yahoo!

Science ~ We are working on water animals and the solar system. Currently, the boys are working on a lapbook for the water animals, learning about water currents and air pressure.  We have fun experiments we have been doing. The boys are also in a class at co-op where they are learning about the Earth, rocks, etc.  We have also gone on field trips to The Works Museum and Underwater World.

Math ~ We just ordered the Teaching Textbooks math program for Jacob.  This is an on-line math program that teaches the problems, test, and grades.  Ryan is still in the Horizons 2 workbook and would love to be doing the Teaching Textbooks, but he needs to wait until next year.

Writing ~ We use the Writing with Ease program for both boys. I read a short story and ask the boys a series of questions. With this program Jacob’s comprehension has improved dramatically in such a short time. This program is helping Ryan more with putting his complete thought down on paper and using the correct punctuation during the writing segment since he already has a strong comprehension level.

Language ~ We use First Language Lessons. The boys memorize poems along with language rules, punctuation, look at art and I also have short stories to read and have the boys answer questions. Jacob says this is his favorite subject.  

Phonics ~ Both boys do the on-line Explode the Code.  I love this program. The kids have to type, spell, read and answer questions and ace the sounds.  The program grades them so I do not need to worry.  If they are having issues in a certain area the computer keeps adding that section back into the program until it is mastered.  

Reading ~ Ryan has read his first chapter book!   Jacob has quit complaining about reading and ask to read– progress!

Bible ~ We have been working hard on our morning routine.  We have our calendar time where Jacob looks up the bible verse on his own and each boy reads the verse from the bible.  We are also working hard on the Awana memory verses for their Wednesday classes at church.  

Handwriting ~ Ryan has his A Reason for Handwriting book and he does a page a day.  He also works on his handwriting with the Writing with Ease program.  Jacob has an Abeka cursive handwriting book where he does two pages a day along with handwriting in the Writing with Ease program.

Art ~ Artist Pursuits.  We had done the water coloring lesson. Our history and science classes seem to incorporate many art type projects.  At co-op the boys are in a Cub Scout class doing a variety of projects for pins and beltloops. 

GYM~ Jacob is in a Gym class at co-op where they play baseball.  At home, they are outside a lot playing kick ball, football, catch, bikes, skateboards, scooters, etc.  This is one area I do not need to ‘plan’ for.

Music ~ Jacob actually practices his drums now that he has the new set.  Ryan is in a music class at co-op and he has his piano lessons.  We have also gone to a few musical kid plays with the homeschool recess group.

Check out what other home school families are up to at Jamie's this week.

weekly wrap up

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Edible Meteorites!

Dirt and Rocks left by comets and planets are floating in space.  These are commonly known as meteoroids.  Once these meteoroids enter the earth's atmosphere they burn up.  We now call them a meteor (shooting star).  It does not matter what it was called or what it was in space once it falls through our earths atmosphere it is called a meteorite.  Most of the time these meteoroids burn up or land in the ocean.  Every once in a while they land on land and can range in size from very small to very large.  

What are meteorites made from?  The easiest way to describe it is into three classifications of stony, iron and stony-iron. We decided to look at stony meteorites with chondrules (mineral deposit) and stony meteorites that do not contain chondrules which are called achondrites.

Our meteorites were made from marshmallows, chocolate and pecans.   We made some yummy 'rocks' to eat after our school work: Rocky Road, Brownies with large chunks and Pecan Clusters. 

We sliced them so we can observe the inside of each 'meteorite'.  

Next, we drew pictures of our cross-section of the meteorite and labeled if the stony meteorite had was a chondrule or achondrites.

Once we were done with our drawings - we ate the meteorites!  Our favorite was our Pecan Clusters.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The study of our solar system

We did a few visual's today to grasp the concept of how small we really are.  We took our basketball and a peppercorn and put them side by side.  The basketball is our SUN and the peppercorn is EARTH.  The kids as well as Mom were blown away about how ant like we are.  Next, we used the basketball and a marble.  The basketball is now JUPITER and our marble is EARTH.

For fun, we measured the planets our onto our driveway.  Jacob has the acromin below memorized so he was able to let me know which planet came next.  He was more interested in the size of the planet.  Ryan was intrested in how far away from the Sun each one was.   We used the book The Planets in our Solar System by Franklyn Branley for the distance in our driveway model.  We started with the Sun, of course.

My (Mercury) 36,898,000 miles from the Sun --- 2 inches
Very (Venus)  67,084,000 miles from the Sun ---3 inches
Excellent (Earth)  92,752,000 miles from the Sun ---4 inches
Mom (Mars)  141,298,000 miles from the Sun --- 6 inches
Just (Jupiter) 482, 546,000 miles from the Sun ---1 foot, 9 inches
Served (Saturn) 884,740,000 miles from the Sun ---3 feet, 2 inches
Us (Uranus) 1, 779,152,000 miles from the Sun ---6 feet, 5 inches
Nine (Neptune) 2, 787,892,000 miles from the Sun ---10 feet, inch
Pizza'a (Pluto)   3,658,000,000 miles from the Sun ---13 feet, 3 inches

Yes, we realize Pluto is no longer a planet.  But, we like Pluto.


Sunday, October 3, 2010

Blogger Award!

I am very grateful to Busy Bees Are We to nominate me for the Versatile Blogger Award. It was so sweet and thoughtful of the Queen Bee to think of me. She totally made my day!

To accept the Versatile Blogger Award the rules are:

•Thank and link back to who gave you the award.
•Share 7 things about yourself.
•Pass it along to 15 blogs you've recently discovered and enjoy
•Leave your recipients a note, telling them about the award

Now 7 things about me:

1. I have been married to the most wonderful man for 12 years and he and the good Lord have given two wonderful boys.

2. Since I was a little girl all I wanted to be was a Wife, Mommy and a Teacher.

3. I never thought I would become one of those home school families. However, God had a different idea on what my husband and I should be doing.

4. I have tendencies of being a control freak - home schooling has tamed me a bit. I am still a work in progress.

5. I obsess to much. Like what to put down for the 7 things about me and the 15 blogs. UGH.

6. I LOVE sweets. Pepsi is my drink of choice, even though its recipe is very close to battery acid.

7. I LOVE coconut milk. I do not like coconut.

And here are the 15 blogs that I am passing the love on too...So in no particular order here are several worthy blogs.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Science - Swimming Creatures!

We are currently on an adventure of the underwater world!

In our first chapter we learned about the various types of mobility. Both the boys and I were having problems trying to remember the technical names for the various types of mobility. For a visual we used SpongeBob for the animals that swim, crawl, sit and drift.

Nekton: Squidward (swim)
Benthos: Mr. Crabs (crawl)
Benthic: Patrick (scoot)
Sessile: SpongeBob (sit)
Plankton: Plankton and Jellyfish (drift)

On Wednesday we went to the local aquarium for their home school days. We were able to see fresh water animals and salt water animals. On our behind the scenes tour we learned how the aquarium makes salt water for the animals on display, what they eat, how they arrive at the aquarium, how and when they are fed, if ill how they are taken care of and our favorite part was walking on TOP of the tanks. The Sea Turtle swam right up to us at the top and boy is he a big fellow! We were not able to take pictures of the tank area behind the scenes due to security. However, here are a few pictures of the animals we saw while walking though the tanks.

Ryan touching a starfish!

A few small sea horses.

A Stingrays beautiful old man face!

A freshwater turtle

The boys in front of a real beaver dam! Check out how tall the dam is.

The boys in the behind the scenes tour - kitchen.

While we were at the aquarium we were able to see all of the various animals with the different types of mobility's we are learning. We all had a great time and hope to do it again later this year.


Thursday, September 30, 2010

Scripture Study On Positive Thinking

I enjoy reading Norman Vincent Peale's book The Power of Positive Thinking, almost yearly. I can easily move my thoughts towards negative thoughts rather quickly. Unfortunately, it is more natural for me than those nice positive thoughts. I have noticed that one of my sons seems to have this same dilemma. So, we are going to try a Scripture Study on Positive Thinking for the month of October. Each day the boys will have a scripture to look up and read based on recommend bible verses from Mr. Peale's book.

With our Scripture Study, the boys will:

Learn how to look up bible verses

Read the bible verses

Color the square on the calendar

Copy bible verses to a note card

At the end of the month if all of the squares are colored in on the calendar, the boys can earn a book from the used bookstore in town.

Today, we made a trip to store to purchase a bible for Jacob. He was so excited to finally get his own bible!

We also took the time today to learn how to look up the bible verses. Jacob got it on the first try! I remember as a kid that it took me a long time to understand chapter and verse. I can't help but think he was actually paying attention to what I was doing and saying!

If you are interested in the bible verses we are doing for the month of October, see the link below.

Monday, September 27, 2010

I made a blog button!

I am so proud of myself, I made a blog button! I figured I was not that techie but I found directions and I was able to do it all by myself {pat on the back}. This kind of celebration deserves some sort of treat -- ummm Chocolate maybe.

For those who would like to know how to make a button you first find a picture. Upload it to photobucket where you can then edit the picture. Finally, Shabby Blogs has directions on their site for the html code for the blog.

So, go ahead and grab the button. If you do not have a button I suggest you give it a try. If I can do it, I know you can!


Monday, September 20, 2010

Questions, Questions, Questions

We all have questions. Silly questions, inquisitive questions and some that make you go huh? questions. Being a homeschooling family some questions can easily get you off track for the day. Especially in the middle of a math lesson when someone wants to know how earthquakes happen. Makes me wonder - is this question for real or do you just not want to do math right now? My boys also seem to ask questions when we are driving down the road and these seem to be the questions I cannot answer, we must look up the answer. Is it bad timing or maybe they just want to know exactly how smart is my teacher anyway?

The boys and I decided to put our questions in a box. Once a week we will pick a question out and research the answer on the internet or the library. Now wait a minute, what if one of the boys needs to know the answer right now? Well, as with all things in life, exceptions will be made. Now, the tough part -- trying to remember to bring pencil and paper in the truck to write the questions on!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

We went on a week long field trip!

In our History class we have been studying the nomads from our book: The Story of the World. The boys learned that a nomad wandered from place to place, looking for food {animals to hunt or berries to pick}. These families lived in tents or caves, they did not have the fancy houses we have today.

On our field trip we visited South Dakota. We learned about Indians and Mammoths.

The hut pictured above is a replica of a house in the plains of the Ukraine. More than 30 dwellings have been discovered in the area - preserved nicely do to a flood. This replica shown in the South Dakota Mammoth Site is made from 121 Mammoth bones, 8 bison hides, a variety of poles and raw hides. Some researchers believe that these huts were semi permanent - they believe the individuals would of followed the animals migration patterns throughout the year.

We went to the Mammoth Site off season. Unfortunately, our kiddos did not get to participate in the Junior Paleontologist Program. We did managed to stay for 3 hours! The tour was 30 minutes and the exhibit room would be about 30-45 minutes to view, so we could of been out of there in an hour and a half. However, my kids were so excited to see, feel and touch things we lost track of time! Not a bad thing when you are learning...

The site has about 20 more years of excavating before it is complete. Some bones are left in the site so you can see how they were found. Paleontologist are also there working as you tour the area.

If you give a kid a Mammoth what about all the rest of the Dinosaurs? So, starts a mini study on Dinosaurs...We are reading The Great Dinosaur Mystery and the Bible by Paul S. Taylor. I highly recommend this book. This book answers questions that children as well as adults have about dinosaurs, how fossils are made and the Bible.

Thursday, August 26, 2010


I am starting with the schedule below. It will be tweaked within the next few weeks to see what runs smoothly in our home.

I teach both kids History and Science at the same time. Language and Phonics might seem like they are also at the same time, but they are not. One of the boys will be doing the On-line Explode the Code while I work with the other boy on his Language Lesson, then we will switch.

Workboxes are work at your pace and feel free to ask Mom questions we you need to. This will help the boys with independent learning and self starting. They will each know what to expect each school day and what is expected of them. This system also allows for me to be even more organized. When I put the Science project in the box, I will also put all of the supplies in the box so we are not wasting time during learning hours looking for items. I can also put the educational games we have laying around the house into the boxes for a nice break in the day. What I enjoy best about the workboxes is that it takes pressure off of me. It will keep the kids motivated to complete their work and complete it in a timely manner. Our school is closed at 3pm, workboxes must be done. This way the boys can rest then hang out with the neighborhood kids {once their homework is done}.

6:30 wake up/quite time for mom

7:00 kiddos wake up/eat/clean kitchen/make bed/start laundry

8:00 school starts with History and Science

9:30 start workboxes

10:00 – 11:00 snack and recess if weather permits

11:00 Language and Phonics

12:00 make lunch/eat/clean kitchen

1:00 Math and finish workboxes

3:00 school out or earlier no later --- time to be with friends!

6:00 dinner/clean kitchen

6:30 fall sports

7:30 start getting ready for bed

8:30 bed for kids --- time for me to hang with my man J

Fridays – we are at co-op. The boys will be expected to do Language and Math at home before co-op starts. At co-op they are taking a Gym, Science, History, Art and Cub Scout Beltloop/Pin class.

I also decided that I should try to do a monthly meal plan. I have a lot to figure out with homeschooling two young boys {last year I only had one home} schedule wise. I do not want to be standing in the kitchen at lunch time wondering what to fee the four of us. Why four? The love of my life is working out of the house in September. {Yahoo!} I made my schedule including snacks and how our schedule works for co-ops and such.

Not Back to School Blog Hop

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


The past few weeks the boys and I have been doing some morning school but not too school-ish. We are not doing a huge list of subjects, it is more for us to spend time together and get a feel for the various subjects we will be doing this school year {Okay, so I get a feel for the subjects!}.

A few weeks ago we focused on a geography lesson from A Child’s Geography. The style is very similar to The Story of the World series that we use for History. The publisher of A Child's Geography offers a free sample of the lesson right here.

For the activity the boys made a Paper Mache globe. The boys went outside and dipped newspaper strips into a mixture. The craft took much longer than I anticipated due to the humidity. It took a few days for each layer of strips to dry. So we only did 2 layers of newspaper. { I forgot to take the camera out for this messy project.}

Here is a picture of the globes – drying.

The boys enjoyed painting the ‘world’. We still have the globes laying around the house, I guess we need to find a home for them. Maybe they could be Christmas presents for the Grandparents!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


Check this out! If you choose to, you can register at the FREEBIE OF THE DAY website. Each week The Homeschool Freebie will send you an e-mail with all of the resources that will be available that week. Each resource is only available for a day so you need to go to the website and download the materials that you would like on the day it is available. Some examples are unit studies, lesson plans, classic books and much more.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Our School Room?

Not Back to School Blog Hop
I would rather call this the Family Room! We just happen to have a couple of desk and a bar full of my teaching supplies down here. The school room is really all over our home so we have a School House! Part of the day the kids will be in the family room, kitchen and outside. I noticed some other blogs that have all sorts of school items hanging on the walls and special rooms. We are not able to do that at this end of the block!

Here are the desks the boys set up. The cart system is new to us therefore I have not had the time to make the tag system for the outside of the cart. I need to get a move on with that!

Here is my storage area in the bar. Do you like how I used the old workboxes as subject dividers for myself? I still need to sit down at the computer and make some pretty tags to hang on the boxes.

So that is it. A small School House to enrich my boys lives. To see other school rooms hop on over to the Heart of the Matter.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Dirty Coin/Clean Coin

Ryan found a very dirty dime. In fact, it was so dirty the rest of us thought it was a penny! After cleaning it up, Ryan was correct - it was a dime.

Want to clean your coins?

What you will need:
Dark colored coins (up to 6)
1 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoon vinegar

Put coins on plate, if using more than one coin, make sure they are not touching each other. Sprinkle salt on top of coins. Pour vinegar on top of the salt. After a little while they will start to look cleaner. You can also rub the coins around in the mixture.

Why and How?
The coins are not dark because they are dirty. They are dark because they are tarnished. The “dirt” is really a chemical that forms on the surface when it comes into contact with oxygen/air.

Vinegar is a chemical called an acid. Acids also react with metals. The vinegar dissolved the coating on the coins exposing the clean metal. The reaction can happen without salt but the salt speeds up the reaction.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Dead Sea Scrolls

Friday we went to see the Dead Sea Scrolls at the Science Museum. We were each given a hand held listening devise. There was a kids channel and an adult channel. Okay, I admit it - I enjoyed the kid’s channel! Every once in a while I would flip over to get additional information on my adult channel. Why did I listen to the kid’s channel? Nosey, I just wanted to know how they could present this information to keep the kids interest. The museum did a wonderful job at accomplishing that!

There were displays set up so we could see the pottery that the scrolls were found in, shoes, money and jewelry. I learned how and why the archeologist record there information and why they leave part of the excavation unearthed. It was so intriguing to me to just learn about the way of life over 2,000 years ago and actually see the items. They boys enjoyed the money cup and the story about a robber on the kids channel {I missed that story, I must of actually been on the adult channel}.

On the kids channel they made a big deal about walking around the corner to actually see some of the scrolls after we had gone through most of the exhibit. My boys are running up begging to go around the corner so they could see the scrolls! I was shocked. They were actually having fun at a Museum! Once around the corner the boys were shocked. The scrolls were small pieces. But, they enjoyed looking at them. When asked what their favorite part was – it was the money and the scrolls.

Overall, our family had a fun afternoon at the Museum.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

2010-2011 Curriculum Blog Hop

Not Back to School Blog Hop

Heart of the Matter is hosting the Not Back to School Blog Hop this year. What a cool way for homeschoolers to get excited about school starting! We get to share our families choices for curriculum and various resources over the next 4 weeks.

Week 1 is Curriculum Week
Week 2 is School Room Week
Week 3 is Student Photo Week
Week 4 is Day-in-the-Life- Week

Well, this it it! After planning and planning and some more planning this is what we are doing for our 2010-2011 school year. Why so much planning? Well, like you, I have a strong desire for my children to enjoy school.

2nd Grade

Complete Writer Level 1
Reason for Handwriting
Spelling Workbook Level B

Explode the Code (on-line)
Daily Language Review
First Language Lessons for the Well Trained Mind

Horizons Level 2, book 1

Piano, SpongeBob Typing, Sign Language

Subjects we will do together

Story of the World


4th Grade

Complete Writer Level 2
A Beka Cursive Handwriting

Explode the Code (on-line)
Daily Language Review
First Language Lessons
for the Well Trained Mind

Horizons Level 2, book 2

Drums, SpongeBob Typing, Sign Language

Take care!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


Challenge #4 - We need to focus on a subject. The boys chose Ants.

Did you know that Ants have pets? I had no idea and it never even occurred to me! Ants are like farmers, they milk their pet Aphid. Yes, they have aphid's as pets. Those pesty things that eat my garden. So here is the scoop, the ants keep the aphid's in their nest during the winter months. In the Spring the ants move them to a plant. The ants eat the honeydew that they milk from the aphid. How do they milk them? The ants rub their antennae on the back of the aphid and the milk or honeydew comes out of the tummy or if you want to be techinical the aphid's abdomen.

Also, the pet aphid is protected by the ants. If you are not a pet and you are a FREE APHID, the lady bugs are gonna get you!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Free Museum Day 2010

Free Museum Day 2010 is quickly approaching! Mark your calendars and participate this year. On September 25th, you and a guest will get free general admission to hundreds of museums and cultural spots around the country. Important note! You can’t just show up and get in for free. They won’t let you in. You need to visit the Free Museum Day website and download a free admission card.

Smithsonian magazine is the organization you have to thank for this annual event. If you aren’t lucky enough to live near the plethora of free Smithsonian museums in Washington, D.C., this annual free museum day is the next best thing.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Washington D.C. Part 3

Washington D.C. is a city that I do not think you can ever visit and say you did it all! The main goal of our trip was to visit Grams and Gramps. We had loads of fun with them. The kids did not complain once about all of the walking. Unlike their Mom who had a hard time keeping up with everyone.

Earlier I mentioned Ryan was looking for a snowcone at the National Zoo. None were to be found at the Zoo. However, when we went back downtown D.C. Ryan hopped off of the Metro and found a snowcone! {see him eating it in the picture above} It was 10 am, but who cares, both boys enjoyed their treat as they took the long walk across the Mall.

We also saw Mount Vernon. Ryan was learning all about George Washington before we went to D.C. so this was his field trip.

We learned about how George looked to the Bible for planting his fields. He had outhouses for his slaves, gutters along the walking paths, and his slaves became free men, women and children when he died. He is also buried on his property -thinking ahead he put in his will that he was to be buried at Mount Vernon. {Smart man!}

This is the view George Washington had from Mount Vernon. Doesn't it just calm your soul?West Virgina has made a pack with Virgina not to disturb the landscape that is seen from Mount Vernon.

Mr. Washington also had various kinds of livestock.

We all enjoyed our trip and would like to go back soon.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Washington D.C. Part 2

We were in Washington D.C. for Ryan's birthday. Ryan loves, I mean he LOVES animals. We decided we had to go to the National Zoo for his birthday. He was also on the look out for a snowcone the entire day {more on this later}.

At home we do not have elephants at our zoo so for our family it was a huge treat to see a elephant up close. Isn't she pretty?

Check out the Panda! We watched her for a long time. She just walked all over the place - pausing to pose for pictures. Then she would move on. I loved watching the kids get so excited to see the panda come close to them and pause for a picture then move on.

It was a fun day at the zoo. Ryan did not get his snowcone, but that is for another day.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Washington D.C.

And we are off, to Washington D.C. that is. We were all excited to take a family vacation, something we had not done since 2005. We get to go hang out with my parents and see all of the fun 'Living History' school type stuff.

We went to the Natural History Museum. There we saw a Right Whale, Dino's, Mammoth and a bunch of other really cool stuff. At the Museum, it surprised me that it took the stance on Darwin's Theory. After all, we are a Christian Nation or at least those were the principles we were founded on.

For lunch we ate at the Museum, I really wish I would of taken a picture of my meal. Jacob and I shared a sandwich and drink for $15. This was not anything fancy either. I surprised myself by telling my kids to load up on the free refills of pop to make up for the cost of the lunch. Can you imagine?

We went to the Air and Space Museum at the airport. There we got to see the Space Shuttle and WOW! Is it ever big.

Don't you think that this flower is pretty? I do. I loved the Tulip Tree. If they could survive in the harsh winters that we have - I would have one in my yard. They were at the entrance to the Tomb of the Unknown Solider.

This was on the top of Jacob's go see list. He had so many questions about the tomb. The really cool thing was he got to see the changing of the guard and the changing of the wreath. Here are a few of the pictures of the tomb that Jacob took.

Stay tuned for more of our exciting vacation!