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Showing posts from March, 2013

Math-U-See {Schoolhouse Review}

With my two kiddos starting multiplication this year, we have dabbled in many different math curriculums looking for the perfect match. We've used our tried-and-true math facts, a systematic approach, and an online program. And then we were given the opportunity to review the hands-on approach of Math-U-See . I had wanted to try Math-U-See products for some time, and now I SEE what we have been missing! For one of my kids, especially, this program is a great fit! As Math-U-See is not set up as a grade-level program, I did not know which level I should request. After taking the free placement test , I determined that both of my children (ages 9 and 7, both doing primarily third grade work) would benefit most from the Gamma level. The primary concepts covered in the Gamma level are single- and double-digit multiplication including (from the website): Using strategies based on place value and properties of operations to multiply Fluently multiplying any combination of

Weekly Wrap-up ~ NOW We're on Spring Break

In our regular life this week… We are back to REAL regular life this week. We pulled into our driveway in Missouri at 5:00 a.m. on Wednesday morning, after driving straight through overnight for 14 hours. So the rest of this week? It's been all about reconstructing my house, deep cleaning, and even some furniture rearranging. Yeah. After four hours of sleep I woke up on Wednesday morning and decided my bedroom arrangement wasn't working for me. So, I rearranged it. It's a tiny room, so I had to be creative. I made it work, though, and now I just need to buy the finishing touches in decorations. I like it so much better! In our homeschool this week… Last week, while we were on vacation in Florida, we had school every day. This week, while we are back home, we are on Spring Break! Yeah, Monday and Tuesday were spent in Florida and we just played those days. Wednesday and Thursday were spent recuperating from our vacation back here in Missouri. And today dadd

B is for Books

Since we spent the past week in Florida (leaving to go home tomorrow), you would think that my B word would be Beach. But the word I have chosen, instead is Books . Books provide the portal that allows me to escape, travel, dream, and live in places where I will never have the opportunity to live. When life is just, well, yuck , I can pick up a good book (or this week, three ) and go somewhere else. I hope that my children catch the bug and find that they are able to absorb themselves into good stories and make reading a lifetime passion. I am linking up at Blogging Through the Alphabet at Ben and Me.

Weekly Wrap-up ~ A School Week in Pensacola, Florida

In our regular life this week… Our regular life includes 10 days in Pensacola, Florida, at my parents' vacation home. We are one block away from the Bayou Grande, across the bay from the National Aviation Station (NAS Pensacola). We are thoroughly enjoying our time so far, especially since the weather has been in the mid-60's to the mid-70's here and it's 30 degrees and snowing in Missouri. Although being here is certainly a vacation, it's "regular life" for us this time each year. We have a lot of fun. But mostly we just live here like we live at home, with much better weather and a change in flora and fauna. It's amazing! In our homeschool this week… You might think that we would call this a week of vacation , our week we have spent in Florida. But, it's not! Yeah, we have had FUN in the SUN, but we have also had school. Why? Because, we do unit studies and when you are in Pensacola, you should do unit studies on seashells and man

Dr. Suess ~ Virtual Book Club for Kids

February's artist for the Virtual Book Club for Kids was Dr. Suess. We have read several Dr. Suess books this year, and were trying to decide which book we wanted to use with our activities. We thought about doing Green Eggs and Ham . But, when the kids saw Fine Feathered Friends , by Tish Rabe, we decided to use it instead. No, technically it's not a book by Dr. Suess, but it is from the Cat in the Hat's Learning Library collection. So, we went with it. We are currently studying birds. We have done some lessons in Apologia's Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day , so decided to move ahead and study their habitats and nests. About this same time we learned that our Homeschool Co-op was going to be having a Geography/Science/Arts Fair, and we came up with the idea of each of the kids making a habitat diorama for the bird of their choice. Brynne chose the Cardinal and Eli chose the American Robin, since those are both birds that frequent our yard. I found a g

A is for Azaleas

One of the greatest things about coming to Pensacola at the end of a long winter in the Midwest is all of the bloomed flowers. Everything is so green and colorful and pretty. We have lived in the midst of brown and dead and ugly for many months. But this week we are in the midst of color! The azalea bushes are in full bloom (actually about at the end of their season) and I am grateful we had a chance to see them! This inspires me to get home and get started on our landscaping to infuse a little color into the exterior of our home! Linking up at Blogging Through the Alphabet with Marcy at Ben and Me . Join us!

Weekly Wrap-up ~ Our NOT Regular Schedule and Lots of Extras

Last week was what I defined as a regular week for us. This week, not even close. But, there was lots of fun and learning going on anyway! In our regular life this week… About all we could think about was our trip to Florida. We are SO ready to get to some warm weather and sun and relaxation. We left last night and arrived at 5:00 a.m. this morning. We have had a pretty low-key day because we were so tired, but we did walk down to the mini beach for a little playtime. In our homeschool this week… Bible ~ We covered The Ten Commandments this week, and the kids have called me out on a couple of things (oops!). Writing ~  We continued with cursive handwriting and the kids are actually really enjoying it! They think it is fun! Reading ~ We finished the second book in The Spiderwick Chronicles series and will start the third book after our vacation. Math ~ We finished our multiplication lessons in A+ Tutorsoft . We did lots of  Math U See ~ Gamma  and the kids rea