Friday, October 1, 2010

Weekly Wrap Up - More Fieldtrips, Seriously?!

We have had another great week.  Well, great for the most part.  I did have a um, moment, on Thursday when I thought I had just about lost it, but I pulled myself together and we managed to have a really nice rest of the day.  That "moment" deserves a whole post of its own, but I just don't have the time for it.  I will tell you that it involved  light sabers and three little boys that had apparently lost their "listening ears."  So moving on . . .

This doesn't really have anything to do with our weekly wrap up, but I have just been amazed this week at how much I am learning as I homeschool my boys.  I mean, I graduated from The University of Alabama with honors; I am certified by the state to teach PreK - 6th grade and our 3rd grade history program is teaching me all kinds of things!  Do you know who Esteban was and what he did?  I didn't!  So moving on, again . . .

Math - Everyone is still just trucking along.  Little man is working on counting by 5's, skip counting, odd/even numbers, some measurement, and reviewing facts that we have already learned - (+1, +0, -1, +2, and doubles).  The older boys are reviewing square roots, addition with carrying, subtraction with borrowing, and some multiplication facts.  We introduced the last two this week (3's and 6's).  My oldest memorizes these math facts very quickly, but the younger twin struggles a little bit more.  He is still kinda caught up on the 8's.  I'm looking for some kind of math fact review that they could do online.  I just want the basic facts to be like second nature to them. Nothing too intensive, just a good review for about 10 minutes a day.  Any suggestions?

History - I mentioned Esteban earlier (who - by the way - was a black slave that was a scout in Texas and Mexico in the 1530's.  He went with Friar Marcos to search for Cibola, but was truly the leader of this exploration.  Coronado later followed his path.).  That is where we are in our Part 1 of American History.  However, there is a group in our homeschool co-op that is studying Alabama History and they had a great fieldtrip planned on Tuesday.   We were invited to tag along and we were excited!  So fun!  We started our trip with a stop by Julia Tutwiler's gravesite.   

After this, we kept on driving to visit an antebellum home in Greensboro, AL.  It was called Magnolia Grove.  I really enjoyed this, but my kids were not nearly as impressed as I was.  The house had been incredibly preserved and had a lot of original furniture.  I loved it.  They said that we could take pictures inside if we could turn off our flash.  I was just afraid that my flash would go off, so I didn't take any inside.

 Little man found these all over the front lawn and loved them!  I believe this came from a mock orange tree, but don't quote me on that. 

 This was the original kitchen and cook's living quarters.

 Taking a peek into the slaves' quarters.

 Here we are waiting for our group's turn to tour the inside of the house.  Our homeschool group had to divide into three smaller groups to tour the inside of the house.  We were group #2. 

Can you see my little men standing in front of the steps?  They are hidden in the shadows!

We left Magnolia Grove and headed to Moundville to visit Moundville State Park. According to the website, this was the site of a Native American settlement from around 1000 to 1450AD.

 This is the largest mound on site.

 And we got to climb it!

The view from the top! Notice the little toy like cars below!

Grammar - Okay, remember this post where I hated our new grammar program?  Well, I was all kinds of wrong.  While I waited for Growing With Grammar to arrive in the mail, we kept on trucking with our BJU grammar.  It slowly, but surely grew on me.  I returned GWG unopened.  For right now, I love BJU.  I hope I don't have to eat my words - again.   Little man is loving First Language Lessons.  We are taking it really slow (I think we are on lesson 20), but he is getting it!  It blows my mind!  It seems so simple.  Just basically a conversation between mother and child.  Nothing too intensive.  No beating him over the head - and yet, it was time for him to say the definition of a noun all by himself.  I was prepared to help.  He is only in kindergarten for goodness sake.  But, no help necessary: "A noun is the name of a person, place, thing, or idea."  says my little man.  You go!

Phonics/Reading - The bigger boys are finishing up a book about the first Thanksgiving and are moving on to The Courage of Sarah Noble.  We'll see how this goes.  My boys are all boy and they don't really enjoy reading many books with a girl as the main character.  I'll let you know if we can make it through, so if we have to ditch it and find something else.  Little man is just about to start the second of the Abeka 1st grade readers. 

Science - This week in science, we were talking about our digestive system.  My boys love all things gross and so the digestive system is of particular interest to them.  Ugh - boys!  Anyway, we did a little experiment to see how the small intestine absorbs the things that the body needs and sends the rest to the large intestines as waste.  Our liquid concoction had cocoa powder, salt, and water. 

 Um, that is NOT one tsp.  That is one heaping tsp.

  We poured our concotion through our funnel of paper towel.  The paper towel was supposed to act like our small intestine and absorb the cocoa and let the salt water pass through.  It really did work, except we had added a little too much cocoa so some came through our paper towel.  We did it a second time and measured a little more carefully. 

 They were supposed to drink the water that came through the paper towel to see what it tasted like.

 Apparently not very good.  It was super super salty!

 Little man just kept on drinking it like it was nothing.  I think he was just putting on a show!

Don't forget to head over to Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers to see what everybody else has been up to this week.  Also, let me know any great ideas/websites/products for math facts!


  1. We must be doing the same science curriculum because Noah and Abbey just finished up the same lesson on the digestive system. They loved it! (the lesson and experiment -- not the water!)

  2. For math review we've been using


    Looks like you guys had a great time on the fieldtrip and doing the science experiments!

  3. I so know what you mean! I am learning tons in homeschool, too!

    That field trip looks like an all day excursion - how fun!! ;)

    Love the digestive system experiment, too!

    Enjoy your weekend, Elaine!

  4. Are you using Lifepacs for science? It looks kind of familiar but I wasn't sure...

  5. Demetria - Yes we are using Lifepacs. Ordered them late. Kinda still undecided. Like them, but not necessarily in love with them - if you know what I mean?!



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