Friday, October 29, 2010

I just don't want to . . .

I know it is time for my weekly wrap up, but honestly - I just don't want to do it right now.  Sounds lazy, right?!  Maybe so, but that's what's happening.  I don't want to write my weekly wrap up (although we did have a GREAT week and got a lot accomplished!), but I do want to share a few blogs with you. 

There are two amazing families in the co-op that we are apart of.  Okay there are alot of amazing families, but today I am going to talk about two of them.  Both families are in the process of adopting daughters from Ethiopia.  They have been faithfully walking this road for about 18 months and are still in the process of raising funds to complete the adoption process.  If I am correct, they both expect to travel in the upcoming months to finally put a face to the daughters that they already love so much.

Jenny has custom Christmas cards and cookbooks for sale.  I encourage you to checkout her blog and their adoption blog!

The other family is the Dreyfus family and Anna has some PRECIOUS hand painted Christmas ornaments for sale.  Check out her blog to see some different designs and of course you can custom order!

It's a win - win situation!  You can get some great gift ideas and help out some amazing people at the same time!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Weekly Wrap Up - Tarantulas, Giant Anteaters, and Realizations

This has been a kind of random week.  You know, one of those weeks where we got alot done, but somehow it doesn't really look that way.  I mean on the checklist.  We started off our week with two pretty normal days of school.  I knew we had a fieldtrip on Wednesday, so we did kind of double up in some areas. 

Wednesday we went and saw our local children's theatre's performance of Stuart Little.  I have to be honest here and say that I was kinda disappointed.  The ending was kinda random and half the time you couldn't understand what the actors were saying.  Not a good first time exposure to theater for my boys.  Needless to say, they aren't lovers of the theater at this point in time!  Oh, well.  Maybe that will change.  We left the play and went over to our local library.  I love to read.  I mean really love to read.  My boys don't love to read - at least not yet.  I have tried and tried to get them involved in some really great fiction books.  They'll read them, declare them as okay and that's it!  Please, please, please suggest some great books for boys! 

Moving on, everytime we go to the library my boys head straight for the nonfiction section.  Anybody else's kiddos do this?  These are the only books they want.  Here is what our book basket consist of when we leave the library:

  I was so disappointed for a while because I really wanted them to get into a book, any book, and I was afraid that they were just looking at pictures in these nonfiction books.  But then I had a realization as I came around the corner  and found Drew reading - by his choice!  I realized that reading is reading!  Maybe they don't like fiction books (although, I am convinced that they would if they found the right book).  He stood at the table and read FOREVER.  I mean, I walked passed him a few times - told him to take the book and get comfortable - to which he replied "No thanks." - found my camera and snuck around and grabbed this picture:

I also found the library book basket in utter disarray the other afternoon.  Looks like somebody has been reading!  WooHoo!

Now, on to Thursday.  I'm checking my emails and I see a reminder email and D and D have their animal projects due for one of their co-op classes the NEXT DAY!  Oh my!  Thank you so much to Teresa for the reminder or I would have totally forgotten!  In this co-op class, they were each assigned an animal to research and share their information with the class.  Dalton had the tarantula and Drew had the giant anteater.  Um, did you know that tarantulas are harmless to humans (except for the painful bite)?  That their venom is weaker than than of the common bee? Did you know that a giant anteater has a two foot long tongue and can use its snout as a snorkel when swimming?  Did you know?  I sure didn't!  Here are the boys hard at work on their projects. 

If you know me, and you know my OCD tendencies, then you know that it was so hard for me to let the boys do this project all by themselves.  I wanted everything to be centered and symmetrical and all nice and neat, but I managed to control myself!  Here's the proof:

By the time we got finished working on our animal projects, I said, "Doesn't look we are going to have time to do science, grammar, or spelling today."  And then . . . another realization.  WE JUST DID science, grammar, and spelling.  DUH!  I guess sometimes I get so focused on the curriculum that we are using that I have a hard time getting/thinking outside of the box.  Do you know what I mean?

Here they are presenting:

What a sweet bunch of third graders!

In the first grade class that I teach, we had a guest speaker today . . . A FIREFIGHTER!  (It is Fire Prevention/Safety Month you know!) The kids were super excited!

I hope that you have had a great week!  Don't forget to leave me some book suggestions and then hop on over to Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers See Jamie Blog to see what everybody else has been up to this week!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Friday, October 15, 2010

Weekly Wrap Up - A Mountain, Some Braves, and More

Okay, let me start this post with promising you that we did actually "do" school this week. However, I didn't take any pictures of that happening. Not one single picture. Mainly because we didn't do anything super fun, but also because my camera was still packed up for a good part of the week.

Why was my camera packed up you might be asking?! Well, let me share with you.

Last Saturday was October 9th. This just so happens to be a very important day in this household. We have not one, not two, but THREE birthdays on October 9th! My twins were born on my husband's birthday, so needless to say, October 9th is a day of celebration around here. This year the bigger boys didn't want a birthday party, but a birthday trip! We decided to head over to Atlanta, GA for the weekend. We had so much fun! Friday, we stopped at Stone Mountain and we all hiked all the way to the top! It was fun, but I must tell the truth - it was work!

 On their actual birthday, we headed over to Six Flags with my husband's aunt and her two kiddos.  They are like Six Flag experts, so they had the hook up with some good deals and we were able to enjoy the day and still make it back to my husband's grandmother's house to watch the very disappointing Alabama game.  I won't even talk about it!  (But I will mention that getting to stay at my husband's grandmother's house and getting to eat the yummy food she cooked all weekend definitely made up for Alabama's sad performance!)

Sunday was the final day and the ultimate gift!  We all got to go see the Atlanta Braves vs. Giants in a playoff game.  We all had so much fun even if the Braves lost! :-(

 They had a fun little area where the kids could play a little game of wiffle ball with some Turner Field employees.

 Here was another little area where kids could practice running bases.  Always nice to get out some of that extra energy!
They also had an area where the kids could pitch some baseballs and have their pitching speed clocked.  This was really cool.  I can't remember exact speeds, but I think the twins were like 35 mph and little man was throwing the heat at 37 mph.  Ha!  While we were waiting in line, this teenager/college kid got up and he was pitching in the low 70's.  I was absolutely blown away at how fast that ball was moving.  I simply can not even imagine how the pros manage to hit a ball moving 90 something mph. 

On the school front, I ordered this book a few weeks ago:
This was the first week that I was able to do some of the activities included and I am really excited about what all it has to offer.  We didn't start from the beginning, but instead jumped straight to Self Control - Controlling our Tongues.  I think it is going to be a great addition to our Bible curriculum and hopefully help me to raise up some amazing men!

People often ask me what my kids do during the day when they are not doing school, because let's face it - we don't do school ALL day.  We take lots of breaks.  Also, people want to know what the other kids do while I am working one on one with someone else.  And like I always say, "Well, that depends."  Sometimes they might be doing their independent work.  They might be outside playing.  They could be doing some silent reading.  They could be building and designing incredible architectural masterpieces (Okay so maybe it's a log cabin out of lincoln logs, but don't tell him that!)

 Here is another game that all of my boys love to play.  It's called Crossbows and Catapults.  This is a small set up.  I will forewarn you that this game has been known to take over entire rooms.

What has your week been like?  Don't forget to head over to Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers to see what everybody else has been up to this week!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Weekly Wrap Up - The One With Lots of P.E.

As most of you know, I have three boys.  Three busy, active, all boy - boys.  Therefore, P.E.  is a VERY important part of our school day.  It is a big benefit of homeschooling for our family.  When I start to see my boys "zone out,"  we take a break.  Go outside.  Ride bikes, run to the stop sign and back (we live at the bottom of a cul de sac so we are lucky to have very little traffic), play basketball, play kickpen (or some peole call it kickball), throw the baseball, kick the soccer ball, and they always love a good ole game of tackle football.  I've never set aside a specific time of our day for p.e.  I have no doubt that we get above and beyond the required time, but I've often wondered how other homeschool parents "do" p.e.  I've seen the books, but never bought one.  What do you do at your house?  Here's some pictures of us doing our "p.e."

 This is something that they boys enjoy doing with daddy.  Shootin' guns.  (Okay, so it is only a BB gun, but it just sounded so, Alabama, to say "Shootin' guns.")

Let's see. . . I'm pretty sure we did some academic stuff this week, too.  Of course, we did the basics.  The bigger boys are working on writing a friendly letter in grammar.  It just cracked me up because D decided that he wanted to write his letter to our neighbor, Mr. Fitzpatrick.  Well, first he wanted to write it to our dog, Enoch.  However, when he figured out that we were actually going to mail the letter, he realized that wouldn't work out so well.  So, sorry grandmas, Mr. Fitzpatrick is getting the letter.  Maybe he will change his mind during the revising and proofreading steps!

I mentioned last week, that the boys were going to start reading The Courage of Sarah Noble.  I wasn't sure how they would like it, but they seem to think it is okay.  I guess it earned some "coolness" points because it is based on a true story.  It is hard to not dig the story of a little 8 year old girl (same age as my boys) that traveled into the New England wilderness with her father in 1707 to cook for him and help him get their new house built and settled. Next up on their reading list is The Matchlock Gun

Science didn't involve any experiments this week, but we made up for it in History.  We talked about The Lost Colony of Roanoke and made our own guesses as to what happened to the settlers.  We talked about Jamestown, Captain John Smith, and Pocahontas.  We spent a lot of time on the life of a colonists.  Here the boys colored and cut out clothes that a colonial man would have worn.  They got a good laugh at some of his clothes.

 (So, maybe D got a little bit colorful with his clothing!)

We also talked about the homes in colonial America.  This was a cute idea from History Pockets.

 We even gave writing with quills a chance.  I didn't have any ink on hand (not that we would have used it if I had, but you know) so we just used some washable paint.  Either way, I think the kids appreciate their pencils, pens, markers, and crayons a little bit more!

 We ended the week talking about the pilgrims' voyage to America on The Mayflower.  Our info said that the Mayflower was about 90 ft. long.  That seemed pretty big, so we went out into our cul de sac to see just how big that was. 

It didn't really seem so big once we started talking about 102 passengers, scurvy, and no real bathrooms.  A whole new respect.  I'm just sayin'! 

What have y'all been up to this week?


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