Sunday, October 28, 2007

A Great #8

This week SO did not go according to plan!

Monday started off with our regular bike ride and swim. Then we hopped into our book work. We're working on multiplying decimals and they're both forgetting to count the decimal places when they finish their answer. We started read A Wrinkle in Time and K is still reading Dragon Rider and J is reading It's All Greek to Me.

Tuesday we went for a ride and a swim even though the air was really cold. The water felt great though! We did workbooks and read from A Wrinkle in Time. And then I spent the remainder of the afternoon making an Emeril recipe (yes, in my RV!) to take to our small group meeting.

Wednesday is where things totally switched up on us! I was invited to join a home schooling group that was just getting started and Wed. was the first meeting. Turns out more than a few ladies at our church are homeschoolers! So instead of our normal morning we decided to join the group. I go out to the truck and start it up and wouldn't you just know it? No brakes! I drove it yesterday and it was just fine. Apparently I sprung a leak.... so I told the kids our only other option was to ride our bikes to the meeting, which, luckily enough for us was at a park on the bike trail we ride every day - just in the other direction. They agreed so we got our morning bike in anyway!

At the meeting we had "gym class" and played kick ball all morning - moms too! :D it was great! The kids were all running around and having fun and all the moms were trying to catch their breath! After the meeting we rode home and hopped in the pool to cool off, so we got our daily swim too. The only other "school work" we did was read from A Wrinkle in Time. And then it was time for the kids to go to choir practice.

Thursday and Friday were just workbook days. I just totally spaced and couldn't get myself motivated to put things together.

Thursday DH had the day off so we took the truck to get fixed (yes he drove it with no breaks - unbelievable!) and then did some shopping. His boss bought him a 50" TV as a bonus gift but we can't use that in the RV! So we took it back for store credit. While dealing with that the kids discovered a Wii actually on the shelves so we used some of the credit and let them get it. I have to say, I played a couple rounds of tennis and it's pretty fun - and I don't like video games much!

Friday we took it easy. No bike ride or anything. We pretty much took the day off. I only had them do their spelling. DH got home from work around lunch time so we went our for chinese and played at nothing all day.

Saturday we did our laundry and took my sewing machine and materials and stuff over to the lounge. So while waiting on the laundry I gave the kids a sewing lesson. (to sort of make up for lost school time!) We went over the pattern, separated the pieces we'd need and got them layed out on the fabric. I let DD cut some of the pieces, but DS wasn't really interested. He likes picking out the stuff but he's not interested in putting in all together. DD really wants to learn and has already picked out some patterns she wants to make. So that's exciting. One of my kids actually likes something I like! They're too much like their dad! :D

And that's our week. This upcoming week was supposed to be a week off, but since we've been taking it easy, I think we're just going to keep going. And I'm going to try to get motivated! I started putting stuff together for our butterfly books and our state study books, I just need to print some more. You'd think I'd have the energy for that at least!

I think I need to put Wheaties on the grocery list...

Monday, October 22, 2007

week 7

Last week was a whirlwind of activity. I'm sure if I didn't write things down I'd not remember half of the fun we had together as a family!

(Monday was posted on the last blog entry.)

Tuesday we took another bike ride, another swim. Seems to be a new habit now. Then worked in our workbooks and read some stories about Germany, finished reading Haunted Waters. And we started our 50 State Study this week. We're beginning in Maine. I have a bunch of WhichWay USA books from Highlights for Children. They include a map of the state and all kinds of info with the puzzle book. As we study each state we'll put together a lapbook style book to hold all the info, short reports, pictures and tidbits we come across. The back of the lapbook will list all of our resources. I'm 3-hole punching the folders so that we can hold all of our lapbooks in a binder (more likely several binders!)

Wednesday we went as a family for our daily bike ride and swim. After lunch we went to the Orlando Science Center. We had a lot of fun! They have a special section on the first floor for kiddos under 48" and even though my two are taller than that they just had to see what was going on in there. We looked at Florida's water system, a replica of a sink hole, (scary thought), saw some sea turtle eggs buried in the sand (fake of course) and listed to the ocean in some shells. On the way out they have this wonderful water table set up to play with. DH and the kids played there for about 30 minutes! The table was set up with a slight decline to aid the flow of the water from one end to the other. DH challenged the kids to come up with a way to make the water flow in such a way that it went against gravity, back up the table. It took them a bit and a little help from dad, but they did it! I finally had to drag the three of them away. :D On one of the other floors they had a hurricane simulator. I couldn't stay in it for very long, the wind made it difficult for me to breathe. But they all had fun with it.

Thursday we got up and had our ride and swim. When we got back DH made his special breakfast for us. This is a weekly event and our kids look forward to it. This week instead of omelets, we did scrambled with some steak, hash browns and biscuits with jam. They ate up every scrap! We spent the day doing some shopping and went to Coldstone Creamery for a treat. What an experience! If you haven't been to one you really need to take a field trip. If they have exceptional employees the experience is well worth the cost.

Friday was our anniversary and DH had arranged to trade with another guy at work so he could be at home with us. We took our morning ride, but this time took the truck and hauled the bikes to the beginning of the trail and rode our bikes home (about 6 miles) and then picked up the truck later. We went for our quick swim and DH tested the kids on their surface dives. DD is like a fish in the water, but DS needed some extra practice. He still doesn't like the feeling of the water going up his nose. Can't say I blame him, really. :D Then we pretty much spent the day watching season 10 of StarGate SG-1 and just relaxed.

DH went back to work Sat and the kids and I stayed home and just played around. We didn't get our ride/swim because of rain. But we still had a pretty good day. I worked on costumes for Halloween, the kids played some video games, watched some movies, read magazines. A pretty normal, lazy weekend.

Sunday night after church we took some friends and their kids to Coldstone Creamery for some fun. Their kids were entranced with the oodles of choices for them to put in their ice cream! It was so much fun to watch them flit from one side of the line to the other trying to decide. :D

And now we're back to Monday! What a week! :D

Monday, October 15, 2007

What a Day!

It's been an adventure. What a day!

We kicked off the morning with a bike ride to the butterfly garden. A quick trip, really, but a little harder today since the wind was blowing pretty hard right into our faces.

While zipping down the path we discovered a really big turtle in a puddle near an over-flow drain. He was a little scared of us and disappeared rather quickly. Which led to a discussion of why animals are afraid of us, which then led to the topic of turtle soup. K&J were pretty disgusted by the notion of eating a turtle.

Off to the butterfly garden. I remembered to bring the camera this time. So we walked around and K wanted to take the pictures. Since K was taking pictures J had to take some too. We had a quick lesson on composing a picture. K is a quick study. I think she needs her own camera. While there we took a bunch of pictures of butterflies. I asked the kids if they'd like to do a study on butterflies. J came up with the idea to make a butterfly scrapbook. We're SO going to do that! I've been wanting to do something like that for all of our studies, so I'm psyched that he's even interested in something like that. We'll make little books using folders - which is what a lot of homeschoolers are doing - to make "lapbooks". How cool!

After a break we headed home and went swimming for about 20 minutes. Just long enough to cool down. After a bike ride the water is especially cold at first. But once you get used to it it's not too bad.

With swimming out of the way we got to work on school. K&J worked on their workbooks while I went over my lessons for the day, moving things around. It took them ALL day to work on those workbooks! ALL DAY!!!! It took forever to get to our readings for the day.

When DH got home from work we ran to the library so I could drop of a bunch of books and pick up a bunch more. I picked up books on butterflies and some more books on dinosaurs. I'm going to need to order some of the butterfly books from other branches as there were only 2 left on the shelves out of like 50! I think the PS must be doing projects on the butterflies at the moment as well.

After the library we headed out for dinner. SUSHI!!!

We went to Sushi Katana. K&J were super excited about trying some new things. J wanted spicy tuna, K wanted a crab roll. We also had an Osaka Rice Paper Roll and a Hamachi Roll as well as Tuna Tataki and a Nigri Sampler. The kids tried everything! J tried the paper roll and had to spit it out, but K liked it. The Hamachi Roll had roe on it (fish eggs) and K asked what it was. Chad explained that if she put some in her mouth and bit them open they were very sweet. So she tried it! I was never so surprised. How many 11 yo girls would put fish eggs in their mouth to see how sweet they are? J didn't try it though - he said he was full. It was a good meal.

Now we're home and DH and I are watching the next episode of StarGate SG-1 season 10 and the kids are listening to music until bedtime.

So it's been a really good day. The only thing that could make it better is some chocolate! But that's not going to happen. :( maybe tomorrow!

Friday, October 12, 2007

A successful week #6

This week was a bit of an experiment. Since I'm still not content with our daily schedules I decided to pretty much through caution to the wind this week.

Monday was an official "unschool" day. We got up and had pancakes for breakfast. After cleaning up we went swimming for half an hour. We came back, had some lunch and then we all curled up on the bed for an afternoon of reading time. We read Sea Clocks: the Story of Longitude by Louise Bordon, The Scrambled States of America by Laurie Keller, Math Curse by Jon Scieszka, a few chapters of When Mammoths Walked the Earth by Caroline Arnold, 10 chapters of Haunted Waters, and a few pages out of Mad as a Wet Hen and Other Funny Idioms by Marvin Terban. Then after dinner we went for a bike ride to the library and took another swim before we called it a night.

Tuesday, I started to feel a little guilty about having so much fun on Monday, so we did a little more book work. We got up a little earlier and had breakfast. We did our Bible reading and then I decided to head out to the pool for a little swim. We did laps! So that's PE for the day. I had the kids do all their workbooks in math, english, vocab and spelling, word of the day, reading comp. We also did our puzzle from Arithme-tickle, and read from Mad as a Wet Hen, Haunted Waters, When Mammoths Walked the Earth, and A Family of Poems. We also read a selection from Great Composers by Piero Ventura. We're still studying Germany in our cultural studies so we read a folktale called The Elves and the Shoemaker as well as a book called King Ludwig's Castle by Lisa Trumbauer, which I found to be very interesting. Did you know the Magic Kingdom's castle is inspired by one of King Ludwig's castles? Anyway, by the end of the day, I felt totally worn out. There has to be a happy medium in there somewhere!

Wednesday and Thursday we took off because DH is home those days. Wednesdays he takes the kids out for the day. This week we got up and had omelets for breakfast. They headed out to the waterpark and I stayed home and worked on sewing projects all day. Thursday we had pancakes for breakfast. DH decided to play and made the kids shaped cakes, like sponge bob and mickey. Then he made his own "leaning tower of pisa". It was so tall he had to stick a chopstick through it to keep it upright while eating it! We spent Thursday shopping for a new couch to put in the cargo trailer. We want to set up the cargo trailer as a kind of living room space. Right now all our equipment is in a temperature controlled storage so we have some space to play with. The kids use it for a play area, but soon mommy will be moving in!

Today, Friday, I thought about trying to get as much done as possible but still have a relaxed day. Still need to do some tweaking for the week to get everything in, but I think I may have found our groove! Now that the weather is cooling off we're getting out a little more.

We got up today, had some cereal and headed out for a bike ride. We rode 5 miles! (there and back) We have this wonderful trail system of converted railroads. We went the opposite way today and headed out into the wild. Along the way we stopped at a butterfly garden and enjoyed the little creatures, as well as a little blurb about how butterflies morph from caterpillars. We also were able to identify some orb webs. We need to look up the other kinds - I couldn't remember! We made it down to the next station on the trail and took a little break to enjoy the moss-draped cypress trees and just enjoy the quietness of the area before heading home. On the way back we stopped to check out a truely huge grasshopper. A local told us they were a nuisance but we thought it pretty cool. It was a little warm as we got close to home, so when we got back we grabbed a quick bite and then headed to the pool to cool off. Then we came back to the RV and got to work. I had them do their workbooks in math and spelling today. Then we just did our readings. Bible, Life in Mesopotamia, Haunted Waters, A Family of Poems, Mad as a Wet Hen, Arithme-tickle, and a selection called "The Devil with Three Golden Hairs" from a book called Mightier than the Sword: World Folktales for Strong Boys. This particular selection originated in Germany.

The funny thing is - now that I'm sorta figuring this schedule out, DH is about to take a job in a new dept. at the company which will change his days off to FRI, SAT, SUN! Which is nice in and of itself, but now I'll have to squish the school days together. It was kind of nice having time off in the middle of the week!

My goals for this weekend: 1) get the family membership for the Science Center and spend some time there. The observatory is open on Fri. and Sat. nights so hopefully we'll go tonight! :D 2) figure out how to schedule next week!

Hope you all have a great weekend

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Number 5

I'm still working on tweaking this schedule. I've thrown a few things out. Changed the order of when we do certain things. I'm looking for a way to reduce paperwork, but keep up the learning curve. Next week I will FINALLY be able to get a family membership to the Orlando Science Center! And, if I'm really careful with my pennies, maybe a membership to the local YMCA as well! Whoo hoo! The OSC has some fantastic programs available for the kids and I can't wait to take advantage of those.

Bible/History we're still in Mesopotamia. I had the kids draw a map of the region and label the rivers, cities, mountains and bodies of water. We continued reading from Life in Mesopotamia. They told me today that they really don't like the LifePacs we're using. I like the info they give us, but I find some of the worksheets they include to be monotonous as well. So I think we'll still read them for the info, but not necessarily use all the worksheets.

In Science we finished up the last of the outer planets. I've been trying for 2 weeks to make a "scale model" of the solar system but it's just been way too icky outside for us to do it. You need a minimum of 177 feet of open space (if your Sun is only 1/2" wide) to do this! HERE is the website I'm using. We've also begun reading from a book called The Mystery of Gravity by Barry Parker.

Our literature study has moved into the realm of Fiction. We're learning to create characters and settings. I'm reading several different kinds of fiction books aloud. Right now we are reading Haunted Waters by Jerry B Jenkins (the Left Behind author). There are several titles available in this mystery series. I think they're pretty interesting. Slow take off in the first book. We're into chapter 10 and just now seeing some action! At least they are short chapters.

In Art we are studying color value, beginning with black and white. Interestingly enough, I've just received a photo challenge from a friend to do a photo study in black and white this month! How cool is that? We've been reading from Looking at Pictures by Joy Richardson and What Every Artist Needs to Know about Paints and Colors by David Pyle. The first book takes a look at how pictures are saved, restored, displayed in museums and addresses the issue of Why? The second book is about how colors and paints were discovered and evolved into what we have today. This book is more of a technical book, but there is a lot of neat information in there.

The kids are doing great with the decimals. I found some great math books at the library. Every day we do a puzzle from Arithme-tickle by J. Patrick Lewis and a puzzle from Learning Adventures in Math, Grade 5-6. They LOVE doing math puzzles! We also read Piece=Part=Portion by Scott Gifford and Zero: Is it Something? Is it Nothing? by Claudia Zaslavsky.

We weren't able to get anything done in Music, Geography, or our Cultural Studies this week. I'm really not liking the Spectrum Geography book for Grade 4 that we're using. I think I'm going to ditch it and work on geography without a workbook.

K is still reading Dragon Rider and J was reading Summer Reading is Killing Me. He just finished it today. I'm still waiting for the library to deliver a couple books on costuming for me to read.

So that's where we've been and where we are now. Have a great weekend!