Monday, October 31, 2011

What we will be working on this week....

We have a full usual.

We have  a field trip to the Art Museum on Wednesday to learn about Glass blowing.

The boys have bowling this week.  And Caty's preschool has their Fall Carnival...which we are all very excited about.  We also have ballet class.

Math---working on Time
Grammar---Proofreading sentences.  Checking for proper punctuation and irregular nouns.
Science---Plant cells and the skeleton
Geography---State of Washington....going to bake an apple pie
Guitar---Working on E Minor, and part of the G chord
Reading---finishing the first Stink Book (They earn their first personal pan pizza this week for the Book It Rewards program)
World Travelers---pick final topics for next weeks visit to New Zealand
Handwriting---They spent October using the copy facts from Currclick for handwriting.  But will go back to Draw Write Now #1.  We are going to work more on just plain copywork coming up.

Math---Place value of 100
Grammar/Phonics---She is using Reading Eggs and their worksheets this week.  Along with First Start Reading for Handwriting
Science---Plant cells and skeleton
Geography---State of Washington....going to bake an apple pie
Guitar---Working on E Minor, and part of the G chord
Reading---whatever she decides on.  She really likes Judy Moody right now.  (She'll earn her first personal pan pizza for reading also).
World Travelers---pick out her topic for our visit to New Zealand next week
Handwriting---She'll have some practice work she will work on.
Zoo Class--We are going to start learning about penguins for her class.
Felicity---The plan is hopefully to practice her "sampler" and either make ink and practice writing or make candles.  Have to wait on our time.  We will also be hoping to add at least 3 squares to our quilt.

Everyone have an wonderfully educational week!!!!...oh and a fun one too!!!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Felicity Quilt Squares 2 & 3

We had our second meeting coming up for American Girl Club on Felicity.  I have many projects over the next month to complete for this very interesting time period.  Next to the Civil War, this is one of my favorite periods to read about in history.  So I think I am more excited than Lydia.  

We did two quilt squares this week.

What families did together?.....played games, went to the fair, danced and played instruments.

Did Colonist children go to school?......Yes and no.  Some parents hired teachers to work with their children.  Sometimes many families worked together.  Sometimes if your family was wealthy, they would have their own school and would be taught there all day almost every day.  Early morning until 6 pm sometimes.  The majority of children learned at home with their mothers and fathers.  They learned handwriting, math and reading.  They also learned to play a musical instrument.  Most children learned from horn books.

This week we had so many activities that I didn't get to the candle making project.  Here's Lydia playing with the colonial trunk from a local history museum.

 We looked at the flag and learned about the stars and stripes meaning.

There were horn books to examine.

We have actually read all 6 books now in the series and started over.  We are loving listening to the books while we are out in the van.  Lydia requested to listen over again after we finished.  I was shocked, but she really likes them.

Next week, we will finish two more quilt squares and we are going to either make candles or learn how to make ink with cranberries and use quill pens.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Our Weekly Triumphs and Accomplishments

What a week in the Kuehner household!!  Go figure.....

Monday---  Typical school day.  Their work boxes were packed and then Lydia and I stopped at the library for some holds.  Then the really untypical part of our day started.  Lydia and I went on a cemetery tour.  A homeschool friend is a member of a local historical society, and she offered to teach us about how to read headstones and the symbols and wording on headstones can mean.  The cemetery we visited has been used since the 1830s, and was officially made a cemetery in the 1850s.  We learned what Potters Field actually means.  I'll have a post next week with some of the neat things we learned and pictures.

Tuesday---  Took my mom to the store and picked up the luggage rack attachments for the Van.  I mean...come one.  Our new Sienna has a partial luggage rack for appearance.  I didn't even think about it.  We discovered after looking at how to attach our luggage carrier, that there were no cross bars.  The partial rack is there as decoration and you have to buy the cross bars extra to make it functional.  More if Toyota's are not expensive enough!  All that aside, I am in love with our new van!

Lydia had another check for her arm.  Still has infection, so she started a third round of antibiotics and we have an appointment to take her to a pediatric plastic surgeon to have this lump removed.  Since starting antibiotics and using the heating pad, the cyst has changed shape totally.  Caty is also going to have to see a specialist because she keeps getting bladder infections.  So that appointment is made now too.

Joey had Agility Therapy with the dogs and did Awesome!!!!  He kept the dog with him throughout the course.  He is doing great!

Wednesday---  For Breakfast, we did a bit of a Felicity Cooking theme.  We made hoe cakes and nitrate-free was yummy!!!!

Then we did schoolwork.  Lots and lots of schoolwork off and on during the day.  It was a big science day.  We have started incorporating R.E.A.L. Science for Kids in our science after seeing the awesome projects another homeschool friend was sharing.  I reworked my plan for our Human Body unit after seeing all the activities.  This week we talked about animal cells.  We used a hardboiled and raw eggs to "re-create" cell parts.

We will work on plant cells Monday.  Since we took Friday off from school, we didn't have a chance to finish the cell unit.

But we also learned about taking care of our bones.  By not taking proper care of them, we can have more breaks and problems.  We soaked chicken leg bones in vinegar for a few days, and they became somewhat flexible and started breaking.  So we need all the vitamins and minerals to keep our bodies strong.

We also had Guitar lessons....

We borrowed a Colonial American kids trunk from a local History museum for American Girl Club.  We are reading Felicity right now.  This trunk was full of treasures.  Since the boys do not come to Club meetings, I got it out for the boys to go through too.

Caty playing the drums like a Minuteman.

Thursday -- Lydia and I went to the Symphony.  We saw a performance of the Toledo Symphony Young People Concert Series.  I had fun, and she thought it was too loud.  And she didn't like where we were sitting because she couldn't see the whole orchestra.

And then we went to American Girl Club where the girls explored the Colonial Trunk and they made homemade butter and had a yummy snack.  They also played Blind Man's Buff.

Friday -- We took it off from school because we were supposed to be going away for the weekend.  We left early so we could go to a Natural History Museum we heard about from another Homeschool friend.  Dinosaurs and Michigan History.  So we were well up for that, plus it was near where we were planning on going.  Everyone had fun and we saw some cool and some scary stuff.

Then it was off to the hotel to swim and have fun.

I don't remember what day of the week we did this project, but I am on a search for more of these.  Any suggestions, please email me.  I found this one in Mailbox Magazine.  The kids enjoyed it and believe it or was a challenge to follow the directions.  More of these patterns would be awesome for therapy activities.

How was your week???  Check out what other homeschool families were up to.

Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers

Classical Phonics-Memoria Press

There are so many programs out there screaming that they are going to help your child learn how to read.  They promise quick results.  Because after all....if your child cannot read by the time they finish kindergarten they could be behind!  And I admit, I have bit on some of the ads and bought the products thinking they would help make my kids smarter.  I mean, who doesn't want to give their kid every advantage possible.

We have tried online programs, books, and have spent more money than I even want to think about for this subject in the past year.  Lydia can be pretty picky about this subject.

Well we were privileged to review Classical Phonics-A Child's Guide to Word Mastery and First Start Reading-Phonics, Reading and Printing Program from Memoria Press. I was pretty excited because this is an area where we are struggling.  But I was also nervous, since Lydia is very picky about her workbooks and phonics work.

First Start Reading

The teacher's guide is a wonderful resource and a must-have for parents.  It really lays out each lesson for the parents to help your student get the most out of each lesson. 

When Lydia opened the First Start Reading Book A Workbook for the first time, she thought it was very cool how she could color and draw pictures to go along with each lesson.  I have to say I really liked that the handwriting is included in phonic....whoohoo, no separate writing book for her short attention span. 

From their website:

First Start Reading covers consonants, short vowels, 45 common words, and manuscript printing, accompanied by artist-drawn coloring pictures and drawing pages for every letter. Your child will begin reading in the very first lesson as he progresses through three student books and twentyfive phonetic stories, such as "Hogs and Pigs" and "Jog to the Jet." A Teacher Manual guides you through the program and provides helpful assessments and teaching tips.
The Classical Phonics-A Child's Guide to Word Mastery is a wonderful addition to this education set.  Below you can see the Table of Contents.

PhotobucketAfter a wonderful letter sound review section that is complete with pictures to help the children with sounds, there are word lists that help child to reinforce their growing phonetic skills.
We actually got out letter tiles so that she could have more visual about how to create our word ladders with sounds.

From the Memoria Site:
Classical Phonics is a deceptively simple little book our teachers and families use constantly in both Kindergarten and first grade. It consists of phonetically-arranged word lists for students to practice their growing phonics skills. In a word list there are no context clues, so the learner must rely on his mastery of letter sounds. For instance, if your child can pronounce each word in this list correctly – pot, pat, pit, put, pet – he knows his short vowel sounds, and you can move on to long vowels! If not, he needs more practice, and Classical Phonics is the most effective tool I know of to address the repetition that young ones need when learning to read. Classical Phonics can be used as a supplement to any phonics program and covers nearly all English phonograms and sounds taught through second grade. Classical Phonics is your handy tool for phonics practice and for building confident readers. *A must-have supplement for First Start Reading!

Lydia is enjoying these workbooks and the supplement guide.  She enjoys the interaction, since she can draw and color for English!!

I like that the Teacher's Guide has everything all layed out for me.  You can literally just read parts of the lessons and ask the questions directly from the book.  So she has her book, and I have mine while we are doing Phonics.

Product information:
Cost....First Start Reading.  Books A, B & C along with the Teacher's Guide -- $29.95
First Start Reading.  Books A, B & C (no Teacher's Guide) -- $21.00
Classical Phonics -- $14.95
Author...Cheryl Lowe
Publisher...Memoria Press
Age Group....PreK to anyone trying to learn phonics.

Check out what other Crew mates thought of First Start Reading.
*****I received this book set from Memoria Press free of charge. I was not required to write a positive review. The views I have expressed are my own and are real experiences with my family. I am disclosing this is accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255>:"Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Homeschool Mother's Journal - Week 20

The Homeschool Mother's Journal

In my life this week....

Lydia is now on her 3rd round of antibiotics.  We have to see a pediatric plastic surgeon to see when we can have the cyst taken off her arm.  I am nervous and excited because I finally was able to get into an endrocrinologist.  I have the first appointment on Monday for the initial round of tests.

Been really busy week trying to get everything done this week.  We actually have gotten all of our schoolwork done everyday this week.  Shocker!!!  Just wish I could get the kids to clean their rooms also.  I have been avoiding going into their rooms because of their messes.  It's been a massive fight all week long, especially with Lydia.  She informed us, "I'm just not a cleaning sort of kid." you better figure out how to be!!

In our homeschool this week....

We have actually gotten what we needed to accomplish done!  Shocking...I know!  We did hit a wall in Math this week.  The boys are struggling with fractions.  So we are going around that at the moment.  It was way too frustrating to continue this week.

Lydia and I had a wonderful time at American Girl Club and we even went to our first Symphony performance.  We were super excited.  Lydia though found it loud and frustrating because where we were sitting, we could not see all the sections of the orchestra on stage.  She could not see the trombones and threw a tantrum.  Fun times!!

We had a good week!

Where we are going and who we are seeing....

We went to the Toledo Symphony Young People Concert.  We also went to American Girl Club.  Lydia, Joey and I went to Agility therapy and to see the family doctor on Tuesday.  Today we went to a Natural History Musuem on the Campus of University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.  We saw some awesome stuff!!!  That's a whole post on it's on.

Next week we are going to the Art Museum to seeing a glass blowing demonstration.  We have LEGO Club and hopefully some home time!

What I am reading....

A really wonderful homeschool mom in our group wrote this history book that also includes some yummy recipes.  I am already trying to figure out how to make them allergen-friendly for our house.

Questions I have....

We are trying to work on certain subjects together as a group activity.  I am planning most science activities together, history and geography and of course our Bible Study.  Does anyone else feel like group activities can turn into a 3 ring circus?!?!?  I feel like a ring leader without my top hat. 

What works best for all of you for group projects?  Is it just that all 3 of them have some sort of unique special need?  I really would like to keep these subjects group.

What I am cooking.....

This week has been pretty cool.  Joey and I made a vegan lasagna (he has to try a dairy-free diet for a few weeks because of a suspected sensitivity), and he loved it.  He also tried hummus, and chicken and dumplings that had carrots in it.  Joey is my child that fears veggies and will start gagging before it comes near his mouth.  Thursday he ate 2 helpings of homemade potato soup.  It was yummy!!!

Next week, we will have to repeat the vegan lasagna, smothered chicken, probably tacos, spaghetti and we will be baking an apple pie for our Washington State project.  I may even make some type of chicken gyro.

Picture of the week.....

Thanks to another homeschool mom, we visited a new-to-us museum in Ann Arbor, Michigan yesterday.  That's a whole post on it's own.  But Caty (who loves dinosaurs) was convinced that this skull was a rhinoceros, and not a dino.  She pretended to be the tour guide and was telling us all about it, and even got down to tell us how it moved.

Linking up with other homeschool moms at the The Homeschool Chick.