Saturday, January 29, 2011

Me & My Guy Dance

Lydia's first Daddy and Me dance!!  She was so excited (and he was too)!!!

Lydia loves to Dance!!!

January LEGO club meeting.

It was our first meeting of the year.  We were excited to do the winter theme.  We were prepared to build snowmen, snowflakes, etc.

Brayden has been having trouble with small LEGO blocks, so we started expanding our Duplo selection.  He plays with these now alot and builds everything he sees in all the DUPLO books.

Here's one of the snowmen kits I found online.

 A creation from one of our members during "class" time.

I thought this was a cool shot of one child's LEGOs all opened and ready to create!!

Another cool creation, a Reindeer.

Expedition Earth - Thailand--Sawatdee Kaa

Our meal for the week was Pad Thai (this is mine without the peanuts because I couldn't verify they were gluten free).  It had shrimp and tofu in it....very tasty.  Didn't reheat as well as I wanted (we had lots of leftovers because the boys and Caty would not try it).  Lydia loved it though.

 We read a Folktale about appreciating what we have.  Then we had a discussion about the difference between our wants and needs. 
 For our art project this week, I dyed rice.  Thailand exports the world's largest amount of rice.  So I thought why not color some and glue it down to show the beautiful colors of the Thailand's floating market.
 So while we were watching Youtube tourist videos of the Floating market they worked on their pictures.

Next week we will be learning about France.  Looking forward to the yummy meal we have planned!!!  We are going to be in a hotel, so we won't be making the homemade soap.  Maybe next Saturday we can do that after we return home.

Lazy week wrap-up

We had such a busy week.  On Monday there were doctor appointments and LEGO club in the afternoon.  Plus Lydia had ice skating practice and the boys had a basketball game (at the same time!!!).  So Monday we were barely home.  They mainly did silent reading.  I also tested Lydia and Brayden's speech for their therapy.  We will start that the 1st week of February and I needed to see where they both stand with sounds.  Tuesday was another busy day.  Our medical insurance requires annual blood tests for adults, they give us a little extra flex spending money so at the cost of the boy's medications....we'll take it.  So we had that at Joe's office and then he needed to work out of the office that day.  The boys had Agility Dog therapy in Toledo in the evening, so I thought why make two trips to Toledo (an hour one way).  Especially since Joe was having a gout attack in his right knee and really shouldn't have been driving.  We made a day of it in Toledo.  We went to Sylvania Playland and played an hour.  Had lunch with a friend.  Then visited the Girl Scout shop for fun patches.  We picked up our worms (from the zoo class we missed) to start our compost bin in the kitchen.  Betsy was nice enough to pick up our supplies and hold them for us to get started.  We played at their house an hour!  Great visit!!  Then we ran to the Science museum and played until I had to force them to leave.  I now know Tuesday afternoons are the best time to go to Imagination Station!!!  I promised we would go back.  Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday remained crazy, but I was able to keep up on a couple things school wise including our Expedition Earth study of Thailand.  Such a beautiful country!!!

The boys are enjoying their new handwriting curriculum.

 Brayden and Caty at Sylvania Playland

Imagination Station

 They had two huge tables full of K'nex to build with.  It was actually overwhelming!

You build and turn on the earthquake machine to see if you creation can withstand a small earthquake.
Ours didn't:(
 Caty loved playing with this experiment.

You had to use the blocks to build a bridge...Lydia didn't do a bad job.

Waiting for the boys at Agility Angels therapy.

The new t-shirts. Gotta get the boys new ones now.

Joey with Leland.

 Brayden with his dog.
The research behind this therapy is that it increases the verbal confidence of those with autism or on the autism spectrum.  It also increases their social skills.   This program is all run by volunteers 4 evenings a week. 

Here Joey was had struck up a bet with his agility coach (Mr. Fred is in the middle of the picture) that if he finished his agility course work (Joey was in a bad mood) Mr. Fred would sniff Leland's butt.  I don't know if Leland enjoyed it.  I think Mr. Fred will be careful in the future about his bets with Joey.

Next week we are visiting an indoor waterpark in Sandusky...Kalahari!!!  They are hosting a Homeschool Winter Break special.  We are so excited!!!!!  I can finally stop hearing, when are we going to Kalahari?  We are still going to do some minor school work during the week.  Our whole family will be joining us in a huge Suite.  My niece and nephew will have schoolwork to do as well.  We will be concentrating on Math facts for all the kids.  Lydia is starting basic addition and the boys will be working on mulitplication facts.  The boys will be finishing with compound words, they have Science Jim on Wednesday and handwriting.  Just enough daily to not completely forget what we were doing at home.  Lydia will be continuing with letter sounds and 100 EZ Lesson to Learn to Read.  She is also going to be doing computer work on Phonics with Funnix.  We will also continue Expedition Earth by visiting France throughout the week.  We even have our meal planned.

Another week survived!!!!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Need more be said.....It's one of those days........

New Science Curriculum

I have been using the standard Harcourt Science book that most public schools use.  I thought it had great science projects.  But the boys hated science class.  So I have been trying to come up with some curriculum and ways to get them to not whine as much about science class.  We are trying online Science Jim classes also right now through Currclick.  But I also found this package called Real Science 4 Kids.  Awesome can buy EBOOKS!!!  Why pay for someone else's paper?!!??!?!  So I broke down and gave up with our other curriculum and bought a set of e-books.  

Benefits:  I can put it on their computers and let them read through the very kid-friendly print.  I also have a technology savy hubby that knows how to hook my laptop to our TV in the living room, so I can make our TV similar to a smartboard (without being able to "write" on it).  So we read through our assignment with lots of pictures and then started in on the experiments.  I decided to start very basic with the boys to keep their interest.  Lydia can also do this along with us.  Pre-Level I is K - 3.  Our first lesson was on Gravity.

First we dropped tennis balls (you can see our TV in the background.  I had already moved over to the eWorkbook pages, so I could point with my cursor to where they needed to fill things out.  I still need my whiteboard until I figure out a "sticky notes" software on my computer.

Then we tried a potato and apple.  It was hard for them to keep their hands lined up to drop them evenly.  The experiment called for oranges and apples....but someone (namely Lydia) ate the last orange that morning before I could grab it off the fruit tray.  So we had to find something else round.

Then I let them run and get toys out of their room to try.  Joey got a super ball and Brayden got a plastic slinky.  I forgot to get out the feather that day.  We will have to do that next class.

After making our hypothesis, Experimenting and observing, we were able to draw our conclusions.  We discovered that gravity draws objects down at the same rate. 

It was fun...the kids had fun....and they are looking forward to next class!!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Totally Tiring Tuesday....

It was one of those days:)  Joe and I had to have bloodwork done for our medical insurance this morning at his office.  The boys though had Agility Angels tonight.  I had no desire to make two separate trips to Toledo (almost an hour one way) today.  So I decided to leave him at the office to work and then the kids and I just kill time all day playing in Toledo.  I think I succeeded.  I am sooooo tired though!!  They should be, but only 1 of the 4 is asleep!!

First we went to an inflatable play area in Sylvania, Ohio called Playland.  There were jungle gyms and inflatables set up.  We met our friend Amelia there for an hour of play.

 Lots of running space and room for loud noise...which was perfect, because they were loud!!

Then we had lunch at the nasty M' tired of McDonalds too.  Then we picked daddy up lunch at Chipolte and dropped it off to him.  Then it was errand time.  First we went to the Girl Scout shop for fun patches and then we stopped at our friend Betsy's house to pick up our Zoo project.  (We are taking a homeschool program monthly at our zoo.  We missed class because of the icy roads on Friday.  They were nice enough to pick up our materials for us!).  We stayed an played almost an hour there.  It's soooo fun at Betsy's house!  Lots of toys to play with:)

Then we went to the Toledo Science Museum, Imagination Station.  Haven't been in a while.  We bought a membership, but haven't been.  We always use our membership in Tennessee to visit all the museums on the reciprocal progam though.  I promised the kids more trips to Imagination Station though...they had a lot of fun exploring.  It was not overwhelming because there was barely anyone else there!  It was great. 

We crawled around and put all the balls into to be separated.  It was fun.  Brayden was so proud to "release" the energy.

 Lydia and Joey worked at designing windmills.

Brayden was tall enough to play on the motion/energy machine.

 They worked together to work the conveyor belt.

I have more pics I will include in weekly wrap-up.  It was fun.  We only went to about a 1/4 of the museum today.

Then we picked daddy up from work.  There was just enough time to get to Agility Therapy in time.

The boys have the opportunity to participate in a therapy program that encourages language, physical movement and social skills.  It really helps to build their confidence also.  Our dr. recommended it and they have been involved for a while.  They are making gradual improvement in "training" the dogs how to go through the obstacle course.

Here's Brayden giving the "tunnel" command.

Heading for the table in the background.

Working on Jump.

Joey and Leland.

Ok...Joey in true form was off the wall with some of what I consider "inappropriate toliet humor".  Mr. Fred though was playing right along.  Mr. Fred is Joey's Agility Coach.  You can see him in the background sniffing Leland's butt.  Yes....the bet was if Joey finished his course work, then Fred would sniff Leland butt.  Fred kept his end of the bargain....I think we may have to separate them!

Then it was more was such a bad nutrition day!  I felt so bad letting them eat out all day.  They had Arby's for dinner.  My goal is no take-out until Saturday (they have an away Basketball game).  And then we leave on vacation for a week!!  So excited.  We are going to Kalahari Water Park in Sandusky Ohio.

Now it's time for homework (for mommy) and bed.  We have a rescheduled dr. appointment for the boys med checks.  The dr was sick on Monday and their appointment had to be moved to Wednesday.  The can't miss tomorrow because we are running low on pills.  Then Science Jim class and more basketball practice in the afternoon.  It will be busy.  Looking forward to not leaving the house on Thursday!!!