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Showing posts from March, 2011

Finding Oklahoma

A new hobby of Brynne's is finding things that are shaped like the state of Oklahoma. She cracks me up with what she comes up with! And she always amazes me that she really did find something. A piece of farm equipment we saw while on our way to our airport field trip. Blurry pic, but I was driving. A small piece of bark washed up on the beach in Pensacola. This girl is a scream. Really, just spend a day with her and you'll be amazed.

Real Life Learning ~ The Grocery Store

Every other Friday Brynne and I go grocery shopping. I am one that makes a very specific list based on a very specific menu with a very specific amount of money. We go to Aldi and then the Walmart Supercenter. Brynne loves to go to the grocery store and she is a huge help. I came across these cool downloads at Reading Rockets ~ Grocery Store Activity Sheets . I am definitely going to take a couple of these with us on our next trip to the store (this Friday.) She will love them!

In the Works

Wow. This school year is all but over! I can't believe it! Between now and the end of the school year, we will be doing the following: Dawson ~ 8th Grade Exploration Period, focusing on Swiss Family Robinson (for 17 days of school) Renaissance and Restoration periods, until the last day of school, with an end-of-school trip to The Renaissance Festival . Lots of pre-algebra, language arts reviews, typing, spanish and science units going along with the above-units. Brynne ~ 1st Grade Our last week of For the Birds , with focus book The Perfect Nest . Three week of Easter studies. Since Earth Day falls the Friday before Easter, we will study Earth Day the last week of April with some really fun books and activities. We will spend April 30th making May Baskets to deliver to Brynne's friends, in cognito, on May 1st. The Month of May ~ a study on the Milly-Molly-Mandy series. We will be doing a couple of weeks of study on both Time and Money and will also be focusing

Weekly Wrap-Up ~ Death and New Life

We had a great week this week! I think we have finally hit our stride. Pretty good considering we are three quarters of the way through our school year, huh? We have tweaked and changed and come up with a schedule that works pretty good. I think we are all happy with it! Our schedule is working great for us. And it's not at all how I set out to do school when we started this journey. It's amazing how much I have changed in this process so far. Dawson ~ 8th Grade Things were seeming a little stale in Dawson's studies of The Middle Ages , so I made sure he had some other activities to do this week. He drew a Cartoon castle . He made garlic chive cream cheese spread and dill veggie dip, using fresh herbs . We studied the Black Plague , and I wanted to demonstrate it to him. I found a simulated game, but tweaked it a bit. I drew a map including five cities our character traveled in Adam of the Road . I then took 50 lima beans and put them in a lunch sack. On 15

For the Birds ~ LAST book and activity {for the week of March 28th}

Our For the Birds study has been more than fun and educational ... it has set the pace for how we will do studies from here on out. We have found that the best way to learn for us is to take a Focus Book and build our lessons from it. We only have one more book to complete our series. Then we will be moving on to a three-week series on Easter. To see the entire series of For the Birds lessons, you can go here . Next week we will read and do activities based on the book The Perfect Nest written by Catherine Friend and illustrated by John Manders. And here are the activities we will be doing ... * Making an edible nest . Thanks, Stacey, for the great idea! * Making a beautiful nest by making a small yarn bowl and adding blown eggs. * Providing nest balls for our feathered friends. We will use old onion and apple bags, fill them with yarn, cotton, string, scraps of fabric, etc., and hang them outside for the birds to use in building their nests. * Watching a live eagle&

Spring Math ~ Taking it Outside!

We took a week off for Spring Break last week and headed to Pensacola, Florida, to stay at my parents' vacation home. What a fabulous week! We got home Friday night and I didn't even unpack the car until Saturday. Instead I collapsed in bed early since I had driven for 13 1/2 hours straight. On Saturday I made a grocery list, went to the grocery store and started on housework. On Sunday I did more housework. It was around Sunday morning that I realized I had not requested any books Brynne would need for school this week. So instead of starting our unit on Time and our last For the Birds study on The Perfect Nest , I switched gears and decided to do a Spring unit this week instead. So we are doing a unit on Butterflies and Spring Math . I have requested some books from the library that are already local (don't need to be sent through intralibrary loan), that I can pick up today, and we can use them the rest of the week. We are going to do a lapbook and learn about

Weekly Wrap-Up ~ Homelessness and the Bayeux Tapestry

This was one of those weeks where it was busy and ordinary all at the same time. Dawson ~ 8th Grade Dawson's week was one of mostly mechanics .. getting through the lessons so that Spring Break could begin. He did well all week, worked hard and did thorough work. But, he didn't really do too much exciting work. Probably the highlight of his week was an accident. We were studying the Battle of Hastings and read about the Bayeux Tapestry . We decided to look it up, and when we did we stumbled upon a "Bayeux" Tapestry generator . Dawson sat down and started playing with it and generated a few scenes out of the book we are reading, Adam of the Road by Elizabeth Janet Gray. Additionally in history we learned about the establishment of the middle class in Middle Ages and the Magna Carta. In science we studied biomes and how herbs were used for medicines. We also received our greenhouse from the CSN giveaway I won so we moved our herb seeds into it and put it i

Tulsa International Airport ~ Field Trip

Our Coop took a field trip to the Tulsa International Airport today. It was really fun! When we were getting ready this morning, Eli overheard us talking about it and started crying because he wanted to go. So, I gave in and let him skip school this morning to go with us. (I think he had the most fun of all of all the kids! It's these kinds of days that I wish I could bring Eli home to homeschool him, too. But, I do know that he needs the constant social interaction of school.) We took a behind-the-scenes tour of the path the luggage takes to the airplane and back to the terminal after a flight arrives. We got to go through security, and had a lesson in security, and walked down to the terminal. Then they took us by shuttle to the airport fire station for a tour. It was a really neat tour, and the chief was so great with the kids! Eli was stuck to him like glue! While we were there we got to watch some planes land. The coolest part of the tour was definitely the plane si

Learning Resources Place Value and Counting Pocket Chart {Review}

You can read about the other products I recently reviewed for CSN Stores here , here and here . I chose to review all products from to take advantage of some free homeschooling resources. Last week Brynne had the opportunity to try out the Place Value and Counting Pocket Chart from Learning Resources . We had just started learning place values of tens and ones and she was having a little bit of trouble grasping the concept. So, we used Legos to make groups of ten and as individual ones, as the workbook she was using demonstrated with like blocks. She started to understand it a little better. But then I got out the Place Value and Counting Pocket Chart. I didn't hang it up, but just put it on the coffee table where she was working. Within minutes she had completely grasped the concept and was happily solving the problems. She said, "This is fun!" We used the pocket chart all week, and I have plans to use it again this week to expand on what

Weekly Wrap-Up ~ Outside in Oklahoma

This week we adjusted our schedule to give this mom teacher some down time. I found that with adding a new part-time professional life of my own to my already busy schedule of teaching at home, following up with two public school children, caring for dogs, a home and, too infrequently, my husband, that I was just overdoing it. Our schedule adjustment was slight but necessary. We arranged for all of Dawson and Brynne's work on Thursday to be independent work so that I could sit in my chair and chill. I am available, just not up running here and there. That means we have to hit it extra hard on Wednesday, but it's totally worth it come Thursday. Brynne ~ 1st Grade We are continuing our 3 R's by reading three or four letter-of-the-week books each week, this week being "P". Brynne does letter-of-the-week activities (tracer, mini-book, word search). She does two phonic pages from a workbook we have, and is currently being introduced to verbs (nothing too heavy)

Apologia is One-third Off!!

Apologia materials at The Home Ed SmartStore ( is currently a third off! We will be using Apologia Biology next year, so instead of paying $90.70 with shipping, I paid $62.85. I was happy with that!

For the Birds ~ Book and Activities for the Week of March 7th

I can't believe we are almost done with our bird unit! It has been so fun! Not only have we learned about different birds, but we have learned about many other things like adoption, the state of Oklahoma and this next week we will touch on the topic of homelessness. Our focus book will be Fly Away Home written by Eve Bunting and illustrated by Ronald Himler. I have checked out several books from the library on homelessness and we will have many discussions about it. We will do a maze to help the puppy find his way "home", found here . And we'll do the birdhouse maze found here . We will also start discussing the importance of our birdhouses and will do some shopping for a new birdhouse to hang from the Shepard's Hook I scored on a recent dumpster dive. And as "chance" has it, our Homeschool Coop has a cool field trip to the airport on Thursday. We will take off the next week for Spring Break and then when we get back we will start discussi