Sunday, July 3, 2016

2015-2016 Done!

Another school year complete. There are days when the minutes move so slowly (usually when teaching Zoey math) but now 2nd and 4th grades are done and I can't believe it. We finished our school work the first week of June but testing didn't happen until the last week of June. June was especially fast it seems with the Regional Convention and Mat's mom visiting. So now it is July and the planning for next year has begun. As usual, some things will stay the same and some things will change. Maybe I will blog about the changes for next year later.

This last school year we made a change a few months in. We had been using Rod and Staff spelling since Zoey was in second grade but it was not working for Zoey. She was getting increasingly frustrated with it. I was disappointed with it also. I could not see it teaching any spelling rules. It seemed like it was just a list of words, work with those words and have a test on Friday. Spelling in clearly not a strength of mine so I can't teach her spelling rules as we go. I also did not like the list of spelling words. So we switched to a program I have wanted to use for years but just didn't want to take the plunge because of the cost. Mat and I discussed it and decided to go for it. We both are very happy with the switch. The program we are using now is All About Spelling. It is not a program with grades. When you start, you start from the beginning. Zoey liked this because she knows the words easily. The challenging part has been memorizing the phonograms and spelling rules. Still she did very well and progressed through level 1 and almost all of level 2. She started a few months in to the school year so her progress is great.

Sierra had also started with Rod and Staff spelling this year. I let her decide which program she wanted to go with. I let her watch Zoey and I a few weeks and she couldn't wait to start. She started after Zoey but also progress through level 1 and part way through 2.

Here is the best part...we ALL love spelling now. Even I am starting to understand spelling! So we will continue with All About Spelling this year.

That's all for now. Thanks as always for reading my ramblings. I had hoped to do more of a year in review in this post but I am out of time.

The girls working on their TerraNova2 tests. 

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Solitude

It is not very often that I am completely alone. Last week the girls both had a class at the nature center and instead of running errands I went for a walk on one of the park's trails. It was so peaceful. I love homeschooling and the busyness that comes with being a mother but for a short while I enjoyed the solitude. 
It was warm that day but when I was by the water it was much cooler. 
I walked for 2 1/2 miles. 
I was surprised by the hills on this trail. 
There were two trees in this trail that were much bigger than the rest. I'm sure they are dead too. They were so interesting though. 
Just me and my shadow...
It turned out to be longer than I thought. 
But I made it. It felt good to take my shoes off and relax for a while while I waited for the girls' classes to finish. I hope the weather is nice next week so I can try a new trail. 





Friday, September 11, 2015

Fun Art Friday

It has been a crazy week with so much going on. The girls started biology class and Muddy Boots this week. They loved both classes too.  They have homework for biology. Zoey is thrilled. Sierra hasn't said much. They keep talking about the classes so I know they enjoyed it and learned so much. 

To end the week we finally got around to art. They didn't like the art idea at first but when they did it they really got into it. The project was resist painting using oil pastels and watercolor paints. It looked like such fun I had to try one of my own. 


Focused! 

Done painting. Just hanging out. 

Zoey's completed project. 
Sierra's completed project. 
Mommy's project. Mine is much smaller than theirs but it is hard to tell. 

That's all for now. Thanks for reading. 




Thursday, August 13, 2015

Back to school 2015

That's right we are back at school again. The girls are starting 2nd and 4th grades. Here are a few pictures of the first few days. 


First day of school tradition- brownies! Sierra made them this year. 
Day two, starting our new science curriculum. We found butterflies all over this garden of Zinnias on our observation walk. 
The new desk for Zoey is working wonderfully for her. 
We have to take breaks to get our bodies moving. Thankfully the weather hasn't been so horribly hot this week. 
This had nothing to do with school. It is just funny. Thanks for stopping by. 








Friday, April 17, 2015

Inclined plane

A few weeks ago our science topic was inclined planes. What started out as a simple experiment .....
rolling marbles and a golf ball down an inclined plane......

quickly escalated...

and then escalated even more. 

They laughed as they experimented and tried new things. We discussed all sorts of things like why does it work, why do some things go farther and why do they stop. 

Next we painted with an inclined plane. 
Marble+paint+paper+inclined plane=pretty cool art. 



Painting marble in action! 

We even made inclined planes with our snack. 



I think they got the concept and had fun too. Thanks for reading. 



Friday, February 13, 2015

Bloggers Block

Oh poor, sad and lonely blog, when will I update you? Who knows? Is it a case of writers block? Or too busy to slow down and type a few things? Maybe any or all of those. 

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Japanese Style Dinner

Tonight we enjoyed a Japanese style dinner to expand our studies of Japan. Sierra is finishing the book A Pair of Red Clogs and Zoey completed Grass Sandals. These books are both excellent and we really have enjoyed them.  Sierra and I wore our robes to look like kimonos. I used a blanket and scarf to make a kimono for Zoey. Daddy wore a shirt and jeans. Lol.  We had a variety of foods. Zoey really wanted to try sushi. She tried it but does not like it. Great job tring it Zoey! 



With Zoey's book Grass Sandals she learned about the Japanese poet Basho who lived in the 17th century. The books contains haikus. We explored this different type of poetry and Zoey even wrote a haiku of her own. She wrote it on the hat she made like Basho's hat. 


Here is what she wrote:

Sunset bright and clear
Birds chirp and twitter calling
Evening crisp and clear

I am quite proud of her work. Poetry has never been a gift of mine. Mat has written some very good poetry. No haikus that I know of though. 

A special thank you to Mat for everything he did for our Japanese dinner. 

Well that is all for now. 

One last thing to add. Zoey is sleeping tonight in her sleeping bag on the floor. Japanese style she said. Cool.