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Showing posts from January, 2013

Your Thoughts on Book Reports

Today I would appreciate your comments on the following topic: Do you think it is important to have your child do a formal book report (of some kind) after reading a book? My two are in the third grade and are reading chapter books (finally!).

I would love to hear your thoughts and then I'll share mine in a few days.

Polar Animals ~ Sweden and the Minke Whale

I think that the other ladies have already concluded their units on Polar Animals, but we started a week late and had just a little more we wanted to accomplish before we finished. This week we wrapped up our study by learning about Sweden and the Minke Whale.

Before starting, we tied up some loose ends by editing and revising our information paragraphs on the Snowy Owl as part of our WriteShop Primary Book A lesson. These paragraphs were written off of a story web created by the kids.



The Snowy Owl by Brynne We saw snowy owls at the zoo. My owl has yellow eyes.  The owl looks at me. The male snowy owl is all white to  blend into the sky and snow. At the zoo, they make it  really cold so the snowy owl can live. I am so glad to have a  snowy owl at the zoo.

The Snowy Owl by Eli Snowy owls are the snowiest creatures on Earth.  The male snowy owl is all white. Males need to blend  into the sky and snow. The owls have sharp claws  to swoop down and get food and for protection.  Snowy owl…

Rock Study ~ The Perfect Indoor Sick Day Nature Study

Last Friday the kids and I went to the park to collect rocks for our rock study. We got instantly distracted by the ice on the lake and spent the majority of our time breaking ice, exploring animals, and observing things (and animals) trapped under the ice. We ran out of time, and got oh-so-cold, so we gathered up some rocks to take home to study at a later time.

With Eli recovering from the stomach flu, none of us had much energy for a full-out day of school today. So it was the perfect time to pull out our rocks and do our rock study.


We used the Rock Observation Chart and Rocks Up Close printables from Barb at Handbook of Nature Study. We needed a few supplies: a magnifying glass, rulers, flexible measuring tape, colored pencils, a magnet, a penny, and a nail.




We had a lot of fun and learned a lot about our rocks. Brynne decided to start a rock collection.



The Beautiful Plan Thwarted

Oh, I had such a beautiful plan for schooling this week. I had it all scheduled out, a list of each thing I hoped to accomplish each day. It was lovely! I was so looking forward to getting back into a good routine (it's only taken us a month to do that post-Christmas).

And then ....

Eli was up all night vomiting. He is better this morning, but how much do I push? I think we'll stick to reading and doing our fun activities for the day, all from the coziness of the couch. He may feel better, but I feel like I've been hit by a semi.

Oh well. Tomorrow is another day.

Weekly Wrap-up ~ It Seemed to be Mostly About Nature

In our regular life this week…
I started off my week in Portland, Oregon, visiting my brother, sister-in-law and sweet baby niece, Bell. My parents and I had a great time getting to know our newest little family member. Rick took the kids on a special weekend back to Oklahoma to visit friends and have some fun staying in a hotel. Kyndal and Dawson also went back to Oklahoma to visit some of their friends and to go to their orthodontist appointments on Monday. Everybody made it back home by Monday (me at 2:00 a.m. on Tuesday morning).


After we all recuperated from our fun-filled weekend, we spent the rest of the week doing the norm ... church on Wednesday night and relaxation on Thursday night and tonight. It's been very cold, so snuggling in at home has been a necessity.


In our homeschool this week…
Tuesday was an educational computer and iPad app day since I was recovering from my weekend away. We got back into the full swing of things on Wednesday. We are now reviewing some new p…

Polar Animals ~ Norway and the Arctic Fox

We did not have as much time to work on our Polar Animals unit this week because I was out of town on Monday and Tuesday was a catch-up and educational computer game day (while mommy played catch-up). There were no projects or activities involved, but we did do lots of reading and had a great flow to what we learned.

We started by reading facts about Norway, coloring our flag of Norway, and doing a Norway word search. The word search was a huge hit and helped us to learn some words we did not already know, like fjord.




We actually backtracked a bit by reading a great book about Snowy Owls (that came in at the library yesterday, even though our unit on Snowy Owls concluded last week). It was called Owls: Owl Magic for Kids by Neal Niemuth. The focus of our reading, however, was on how Snowy Owls find their food.



Then we went on to read Under the Snow by Melissa Stewart and illustrated by Constance R. Bergum. This book had wonderful illustrations of where lots of different animals live …

Polar Animals ~ Canada and Snowy Owls

Welcome to the second week of our Polar Animals party! Last week we had a lot of fun learning about Denmark and Polar Bears. This week we moved across the big water to Northern Canada and learned about the Snowy Owl.

Unfortunately, our library does not have the non-fiction book supply that I wish it had. In fact, there weren't even any fictional books about snowy owls (sigh). I don't like to do research with my kids on the internet. I like a colorful book loaded with facts. But, we do what we have to do. All of our facts came from Canadian Geographic. Due to some technical wireless difficulties, they did not get Canadian flags colored as of this posting. They will be working on them tomorrow.

We decided to incorporate the Snowy Owls into our regular studies, as well as learn about them as a separate unit. It was an all-around Snowy Owl week. (We even discussed the Snowy Owl at the Tulsa Zoo whom we have visited several times.)

Eli and Brynne watched a great PBS video called &…

Weekly Wrap-up ~ The Start to 2013

In our regular life this week…
Not only did school start back for us this week, but our regular activities resumed, as well. Eli had Cub Scouts on Monday night. He has a minimal number of activities he needs to complete to finish all of his achievements for a rank advancement at the Blue and Gold Banquet in February. This is extraordinary because the rest of his Pack started on their achievements in February of last year. He didn't start Scouts until this past October, so he has been in hyperspeed. Of course, we have the flexibility to work on some of the achievements during our school day which makes it much easier.


Wednesday we were back to church services, having potluck dinner and then handbell choir practice. On Thursday night I held an organizational meeting to re-start a former United Methodist Women Circle (that my mom was a member of when she was a young woman). I am feeling the call of Titus 2. It's kind of hard to admit that I am an "older woman", but it i…