Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Growing Gummy Bears

It's only Tuesday, and this week has been nuts! We are adding a new activity into the rotation this week, we've been adding things one at a time since we started school. Our regular library day is on Wednesday mornings and we have small group on Thursday evenings. Last week we added AWANA back into the mix of things on Wednesday nights. This week we will be adding a Bible Study for me/childcare for the AJB's on Wednesday mornings. Next week I anticipate adding Gymnastics for Abi on Tuesday evenings, and then the following week adding a Co-Op class (Anatomy and Physiology- includes 7 dissections) for Austin on Thursday mornings. Sometime in October, both Austin and Abi will be taking Co-Op classes (not sure what subject yet) on Friday mornings. Not to mention that Austin will be playing baseball this fall as well! So, to sum up...we're gettin' real busy around here! I have to admit it though, I like being busy! I HATE being idle, that's when too much negative stuff gets in my brain and everything goes south!

This week our science project was to 'Grow a Gummy Bear'! The kids were so stoked about this one because they got to eat the rest of the bag of gummy bears. I guess it's the little things in life, right?! This was the experiment:

Items needed: glass of water, 1 gummy bear, ruler

getting started!

Measure the gummy bear's length and width, then trace it. Drop it into a glass of water overnight. Then measure the gummy bear again.
Austin tracing his gummy bear

Drop the gummy bear into the glass of water and let it sit over night. (Austin and Abi frequently checked on their bear to see what was happening)

Wonder what's gonna happen?

After letting them sit over night, pull them out of the water and measure them again. Guess what happens! They grow! Austin's gummy bear started off being 1 cm x 2 cm and grew to be 1.25 cm x 2.5 cm. Very cute experiment...the kids even thought so too!

Right now we are briefly going over the states and their capitols. Each week we have a new state and check out a couple of books about that state at the library. We locate it on our map:
World and US maps

We learn each state's nickname, state flower, and state bird. We are also practicing labeling a blank map of the US and then making a map key for each individual state map.

The states we have tackled so far are: Texas (OF COURSE!), New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Maine. Other than Texas, all of the states will fit nicely into the unit study about maple syrup. I have reserved several books from the library that will also fit into the unit study, just waiting on them to come it.

Abi is going to be an entertainer, I just know it. She does some of the the goofiest things just because...well...she's Abi! At the beginning of the year, I put together a pencil bag for both her and Austin. I put pencils, pens, crayons, highlighters, and erasers into their bags and then placed them in the front of their binders.
Well, I guess that just wasn't working for Abi. I noticed that she has personalized her area of the table:

All of her items that were once in her bag are now in a PINK tin pail!

I mentioned last week that Abi also found a solution to her dislike of reading, she has been acting her stories out. This week she found new entertainment...a purple pointer finger.

Austin has been reading a book series called, "Dragon Slayers Academy". He came downstairs last night and said, "On the bright side of things, mommy, I just learned how to speak pig latin from my book." So, apparently, he has been working on a second language and I didn't even know it!

Other funny stories that happened this week:

* I woke up this morning to Austin and Abi playing hockey in the kitchen. They were using their house slippers as skates (gliding across the floor), stacked paper towel rolls for sticks, and an empty tissue box for a puck!
* On Saturday, a conversation between Mark, Austin, and Abi went like this-
Austin: "Abi why did you eat my jello?"
 Mark: "Yeah Abi, why did you steal his jello?"
Abi: "I didn't steal his jello, I simply took it."

And that pretty much wraps up this blog. Stay tuned for more crazy things my kids do!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Week 2 is DONE!

Week 2 of homeschooling is done. We started the week off with sitting at the bus stop to see all of the neighbor kids off to school. Austin also went out every morning to play soccer with his buddies.

Austin, his best bud, Alex, and Abi

What a recess! Monday afternoon was beautiful. After all our school work was done, we headed out and the kids played in the sprinkler with the neighbors that live across the street, that are also home schooled.  
Abi, Austin and Blake

This week was a lot tougher for Abi than last week. She has been getting bored when it comes to reading. She managed to solve the problem on her own by reading her stories aloud while acting them out.
Abi doing her work

Or, she doodles and decorates the pictures.
She decorated the bat with a flower instead of writing the word

Austin pretty much breezes through everything with no problems. One morning, I wanted to shower before we got started; Austin not only finished his grammar on his own, he read Abi's directions to her for her math, and began his math. Austin has mentioned that he misses 'the easy' work from school. That means that I am challenging him, right? Well, he has managed just fine...so, no worries about it just yet.

Austin with his gangster look!

Austin has the same ability as Mark to make me laugh. He is always being silly! This time he found Mark's basketball pants...
Austin with style!!!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

What a Week!!

What a week, and I mean that in the best way possible! It has only been a week and I can see a difference in Austin's and Abi's attitudes, mainly in Abi's attitude. While this week has been getting the kids back in the swing of reading and writing, they have learned a few new things too. In our study to learn about maple syrup, we started with learning about the state of New Hampshire. We checked out a few books on the state during our trip to the library on Wednesday (our official library day). 
Austin, at the library, waiting patiently for his turn at a computer

Abi, at the library, waiting patiently for Austin to finish his turn at the computer so we could go home and eat lunch!!!!

Each morning the kids wake up with excitement to see what progress their celery has made. When they notice a difference, they literally jump for joy!

Abi's celery stalk


I picked this workbook up from Target in their $1 bin

We even braved the outdoors this week. It helps that it rained the day before, so the heat and humidity were not as bad as usual. In the shade it was quite nice, and there was even a tiny breeze at time!

Abi laying "like a tiger" in the grass

Austin telling me he wanted to take a picture with me, not by himself

Me and my pumpkin!!!

Monday, August 16, 2010

I Survived Day 1

That is right ladies and gentlemen, I survived day one of homeschooling! I admit it, last night I was overcome with anxiety just thinking of Abi asking me, "why do I have to read, I don't like to read!" It didn't end up being as difficult as I anticipated at all. Both Austin and Abi have several subjects that we will be covering each day. I will be making an excel spreadsheet on Sundays with what they are to do for each subject each day. I don't care what order they do it in, as long as they get it all done.

Austin is old enough that for reading he can just sit in his room and read alone, but Abi and I are working on reading aloud and comprehension. She read a story that I found at this awesome website!!!  Both kids have grammar worksheets, Austin is learning about prepositions and Abi is learning about nouns. Abi also has phonics that she works on through a workbook called 'Explode the Code'. She said it was easy and breezed right through it!

Both Austin and Abi have math workbooks (Austin is using Bob Jones and Abi is using Saxon) which was their subjects that both chose to start with this morning.

We are doing a unit study about maple syrup that is more geared towards science and social studies, but encompasses all subjects at one point. I found the study on another helpful website. Our science project this week (since we are learning about how a maple tree uses its sap to feed the tree) is the classic celery and food coloring project. Austin and Abi chose the colors they wanted to use, and will be observing their celery for the next week. We are going to be focusing on the area where maple sap is used to make maple sugar, the New England area; so, we began a map of the US that we will add to throughout the year and one specifically of New Hampshire. We listed facts of New Hampshire, and then we looked at pics of the state bird and flower. We also practiced our writing by writing a card to our pen pals, the Northerns. We decorated them ourselves! It was a really an awesome first day!!

 I was also able to show Austin a little about Microsoft Word and how to type/print...we will build on that!
getting started

Our first science project

Me and Austin attempting to put together a shelf...we will be letting daddy do that!

Abi's card to Jillian

Austin's card to Jonah

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Christmas... in August???

I love the fall as I am sure many of you already know! I supposed my blog background doesn't give that away at all. My other confession...I LOVE the Christmas season too! I am sure most of you think I am crazy, but I can't help it...I love the fall/winter seasons, and I am not afraid to show it! Another nugget of fun is that I have managed to pass my love for these seasons to Abi. This morning when she got dressed, she put on her Mr. Man Show Christmas shirt! Of course we had to make a trip to Hobby Lobby for the perfect photo op!

Before summer does come to a screeching halt, we did manage to get out in the sunshine at least once! Last weekend we washed the cars- not our prettiest moments, but a lot of fun!

One day last week, Mark came home with a sore back. No worries though because Abi took care of the issue! She is a self-proclaimed professional masseuse!!!