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Friday, March 19, 2010

Weekly Report 3/15 - 3/19



This week is a semi-bust with it technically being spring break. But here's what we did do.......
Noodle put together this "Under the Sea" floor puzzle since we are studying the ocean habitat. It is a 4 ft puzzle.....there he is for size comparison.


The boys ripped out the carpet, padding and tack strips so we can start installing the new flooring. Isn't my concrete *lovely*?






Thursday, March 18, 2010

When plans don't pan out......

Well, this week has basically been shot. It is spring break at the public schools so Bear insisted on having the week off. I let him because it is giving him the opportunity to hang out with friends and the weather is basically beautiful. *I* am the problem. I just can't stand when what I plan doesn't happen. I really want to be done with our curriculum by June 1st so that through the summer all we are doing is Math.

Noodle is a different story. He has no idea it is spring break, but because I am out of our routine he hasn't done much either!

Add to the spring break thing the fact that I am preparing for a garage sale on Saturday. I put an ad in the paper and now guess what? Forecast says RAIN and WIND for Saturday. Nice. Additionally, we are walking around on concrete in the family room because yesterday Super Duper and Bear ripped out the carpet, padding and tack strips for me. We bought faux wood flooring from Lumber Liquidators on February 20th and they have just been sitting around. DH has been working almost every weekend except this past weekend he spent at the rodeo with Bear. I am PRAYING that the floors start to go in this weekend. I just feel so out of sorts with all the chaos of no routine.

In spite of my whining, I do praise God and I am thankful for so much!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Weekly Report 3/8 - 3/12


Bear
Math: Continued drilling on fractions and decimals. TT7 lessons are now about Angles and Lines.

Science: On Module 11 which is a basic overview of the human body. We've discussed bones and muscles so far. We did an experiment with a chicken bone and vinegar to find out what part minerals play in maintaining our bones, but I forgot to take a picture of it.

English/Literature: Moving right along on Wordly Wise and Vocabulary Vine. Up to Lesson 54 with Keys to Good Language. Finished Adam of the Road finally. We continue to cover literary terms and probably will focus on those through May.

History: Wrapping up our look at the Black Death aka The Plague. We only did history 2 times. This week Bear is on a spring break, except for math. When we return from break we will go back to every day history and will start our study of the Crusades.
Boy Scouts: He didn't attend this week because he had his first baseball practice. Practice was 2 1/2 hours! Ugh. He also didn't attend a minor overnight camp out this weekend because he went to the rodeo with Dad. Aren't they handsome??

Noodle
I have been working with Noodle on memorizing our phone number and address. He also has the Pledge down pat.
He started his Speech Therapy at the public school. He will be going for 30 minutes two times a week. I really dislike being in "the system" but I am not equipped to handle the speech problem so prayerfully this is the solution. The good news is that when he meets the speech goals outlined for him we can walk away from the school district and be done with them. I had to attend something called an "ARD Meeting" and it was fine except for one condescending woman who couldn't help herself from making comments about homeschooling. Here's me rolling my eyes. @@
Math: Smoothly cruising through Saxon 1, but it isn't enough for him. He loves to do flash cards so we do those almost every day.

Language Arts: We read some small booklets this week and are focusing more on sounding out words. He did Starfall only a couple of times this week. He tends to memorize the stories on there so I am backing off of it a little. I am becoming kind of a hard nose about the Handwriting now. He prints nicely, but his sizes aren't consistent and he is mixing upper case with lower case. He also HATES writing lower case and is fighting me on it. I am having him do a lot of tracing of lower case letters so he can get used to them. The Reason For Handwriting K is just too slow for us so I have dropped that and am using free printable from online or making my own worksheets for him.


Science: We put some more pictures on the ocean mural. Here is what we have so far.

Unlike his brother, he is not on spring break this week.....he doesn't know any different......so we are going to wrap up the ocean unit this week so we can move on to the next habitat. We have watched a couple of DVD's from Netflix about Sharks and Dolphins. Fun stuff!

Planning

I love lesson planning. Until I am in the midst of it that is. It's *funny* how I go back and forth from year to year. This current year and the year before I went with Sonlight and Winter Promise because the planning was "done for me" but I ended up tweaking things so much that it really wasn't- well SL I didn't tweak, but WP I definitely did.

So now for the new school year coming up in the fall I am back to doing my own planning. Only this year will be a little different because I am going to buy as little as possible and use things I already have on hand. I guess you could call it an experiment of sorts. Don't get me wrong, I am still buying stuff, but not a ton. I will buy used as much as I can and visit the "Half Price Books" store nearby.......and I may make a day trip to Austin and hit all the "Half Price Books" stores there to see what I can find on my list.

The reason I have so much on hand is that I am a curriculum junkie. Recovering, I should add. I am also a saver. Yeah, that's the ticket...I am a "saver" and not a pack rat. I am also addicted to downloading free e-books, printables, lesson plans etc. I would venture to say that I could homeschool for the next two years without buying a single thing.....if I really wanted to! I must buy SOMETHING it just wouldn't feel right. Hehehe.

As for the planning I have always struggled with formats etc. I have used regular teacher planners, donnayoung.org forms, Master Planner forms, made my own forms etc. I have also done the 180 file folders system for the kids. Inside the file folder was their assignment sheet and any handouts they needed. This was a nightmare for me as far as getting the stuff in the folders. This time I am going with "make my own forms" again and I will keep a huge 4 inch or more binder with the lesson plans and handouts in the binder, one for each child.

The problem I had with most planners was not having enough space to write in. I made a form this weekend that is simple and has 5 days on a page for just one subject. That way I only need 36 pages for each subject. I need so much space because I write kind of big and I like to be specific. If I have something I want to write on the white board then I need it indicated on the form because I have all sorts of fabulous ideas when I am sitting down planning, but if I don't write it down it will be gone by the time that day of school arrives.

I learned also to never put a day or date on anything. The last couple of years I just number from 1 to 180 and if we finish day 180 of school on day 240 that is OK. It keeps me from feeling guilty about taking a break or "not being on schedule." I figure I have 365 days a year to complete 180 of schooling so now I don't stress. I run our school year from August to July. August is the month we start new curriculums or advance a grade level.

I must have ADD. Back to the form. So, the form is simple. The top of the form just says Week ________ and Subject ___________. Then I have five big blank rectangle boxes for me to write assignments in. The forms will go into the large binder one behind each numbered tab 1-36 for 36 weeks in the school year. I will then put all the handouts (maps, grammar sheets, crosswords or whatever) in the corresponding week. It will all be in one handy place. If I can fit both kids in one binder that is what I'd prefer because I would actually like to have all my school stuff in one binder, but we'll see. When my plans are seriously underway I will take a picture of it all to post here on the blog. I know you will just be waiting on pins and needles. Ha!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Week in Review 3/1 - 3/5


It's been a long time since I have done a week in review. I will refrain from doing a "catch up" post like I have before....trying to cram a month's worth of news into one blog post complete with pictures. Instead, here's what we did last week:

Bear ds 13

Math: We are continuing on with Teaching Textbooks 7 and are now on Lesson 80. At this point we are about half way through the curriculum and beginning to see light at the end of the tunnel. I purchased some Fractions and Decimals review books from http://www.teachercreatedresources.com/ (TCR 8630) and we have been using them for review. For some reason this child cannot understand that .25, 25% and 1/4 are the same. If I ask him to change 1/4 to a decimal he gets frustrated and says he doesn't know. When I ask him how much he has if he has one quarter he quickly says 25 cents, but he cannot make the connection. If I had a picture of me tearing my hair out, I'd put it right here.


Science: We wrapped up Module #10 "Classifying Life." We observed an experiment for a week. It was "Yeast is a Decomposer." Here's the banana with yeast sprinkled on it. For some reason our after pictures disappeared, but here is the before.


English/Literature: We have been discussing and reviewing definitions of literary terms and trying to identify them in "Adam of the Road" which is the book he is still reading. We need to finish this book already and move on, but the analysis is dragging it out. Bear is still plugging away with Vocabulary Vine and Wordly Wise. For Grammar we are on Lesson 53 of Keys to Good Language.

History: We didn't really get to history this week, except for a video from Netflix. Braveheart. He loved it of course.

Boy Scouts: Court of Honor was Tuesday night. He received 6 new merit badges and about 4 other badges for attendance at certain events. He finished his term as Scribe and is now the Librarian for the next 6 months. Next time he will move up to First Class for sure, possibly Star.



Noodle ds6

Math: Saxon Math 1 is going quickly. He is really good at Math. His memorization skills are serving him well.

Language Arts: He is almost finished with Go For the Code Book C. He hates handwriting and at this rate we will still be doing Reason For Handwriting K in the third grade!!! For reading he insists on memorizing what words look like and fights me more on sounding things out. I am not giving up. We still use http://www.starfall.com/ but I am also mixing things up a bit by using a Vowel workbook from http://www.teachercreatedresources.com/ (Vowel Sounds TCR8066). We aren't writing in it we are just doing it verbally at about 4-6 pages a day. I also found some "Word Wheels" here. He is reading 2, 3 and some 4 letter words.

Science: We are working on a Coral Reefs lapbook from http://www.homeschoolshare.com/ and we started a new mural- The Ocean. So far we have painted a whale onto it and he has colored several pictures of ocean animals. We are also reading through One Small Square: Coral Reef.


Noodle loves to do puzzles. Here he is with a 100 piece puzzle we did together.




Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Simple Woman's Daybook

I just discovered this today and it looks so neat!! http://thesimplewomansdaybook.blogspot.com/


FOR TODAY.....March 3, 2010


Outside my window...it is a cold morning, the birdies are busy with their morning routine in the birdhouses we put up for them.


I am thinking...Why can't I be more creative?


I am thankful for...my husband, our boys and our home.


From the learning rooms......I am stressing out that we aren't further along in our study of the Ocean. I keep reminding myself that teaching him to read is more important that science right now.....because if he can read we can have a lot more fun with science down the road!


From the kitchen...tonight I am making my husband a big juicy double burger with all the works and a chocolate cake. Yesterday was his birthday, but ds13 had Boy Scouts Court of Honor that postponed the dh birthday celebration to tonight.


I am wearing...PJ's from Walmart!


I am creating......probably a mess somewhere. Seriously, I don't create much.....I copy.


I am going.....to a fitness class tonight. 2nd time.


I am reading...Things We Wish We'd Known (about homeschooling)


I am hoping...to feel accomplished when I hit the pillow tonight.


A few plans for the rest of the week: Attend fitness class 3 times, finish de-cluttering and gathering items for a garage sale and start ripping up carpets for the new faux wood floors.


Here is a picture thought:
The little white dots.....snow in Texas.

Wordless Wednesday


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