Friday, November 14, 2014

Our Week - 24 - Coding, Cells, Blood and Ndebele dolls

What a week.  We were actually home this week.  The kids were missing Daddy though.  So we will be off with him again soon.  But we got a couple projects done that we needed to finish.  We still have a couple on the back burner to catch up on, but we did finish quite a bit this week.

We tried a new activity this week.  We went to a Homeschool Hangout that another mom arranged.  I was very nervous about going.  Joey and Brayden do not handle loud situations well, and we all know that kids get loud when they play in a room.  Boy was I caught off guard when the boys actually did really well.  Joey found some other kids near his age that love the same stuff he does.  Throw a bunch of kids that love Pokemon and Minecraft in a room and they will talk for hours.  Oh and Brayden had his DS and he even talked with a few kids.  The one that surprised me was Lydia.  She was a bit freaked out with all the activity.  She actually struggled and didn't even know how to talk to kids she already knew.  The one I didn't think would have problems is the one who had problems.  Go figure.  But the others enjoyed it and can't wait until we can go back in two weeks.

As far as work goes, Caty and I are reviewing a lot of letter sounds.  She got one with math and I was working with Lydia so she put in a Leap Frog video to watch.  They have the kids do the actions in the sentences, so I walked in to Caty jogging in the living room.

 We worked on a project from Kenya.  I have one more to work on.  This week we made Ndebele dolls.  The tribe makes the dolls to represent life changes.

 Here are their finished dolls.
 We spent one night playing games and watching movies.
 Caty is having trouble remembering her numbers.  I can't figure out why some weeks she remembers her numbers and others she cannot tell me what the number 22 is.  Since we have been having a couple weeks in a row like that, I printed a hundreds chart and we used flashcards to find the numbers.
Caty also learned about healthy eating.  She modeled the food pyramid from her Spongebob book, but she and I had a talk about the equations that are
 Joey and I are working on a computer coding class.  We are using the DK book, Help your kids with Computer Coding.  I am struggling, since this is not an area for me.  But I need to let him see me working on it.  Just like I need Lydia to see me crocheting so she will work harder on the projects she wants to accomplish.  This computer coding thing is so hard for me.  I never enjoyed it and have never understood it totally.  Even when we owned our first computer when I was Joey's remember those old Comodore 64s???  Yeah, I could write a program, but never understood why it happened.  We did pretty good this week though!

 My rainbow unicorn was chasing a
 The Bible story that Caty and I worked on this week was the Story of Creation.
 She and I made a poster of the Days of Creation.
 And then we watched some of the great kids videos at
 In science the girls started a human body unit.  This week we learned about cells and blood.  They made edible animal cells.

They watched the Magic School bus on blood, Flexes its Muscles.  We made models of our blood, because we know it's not really red.
 First we drew what we would see in a microscope.

 Their finished blood models.  I couldn't find Red Hots that day at the store.  Red Hots work so much better than cherry sours.  But they got the point.
 We were reading American Girl Julie books.  In book 3, Julie spends a lot of time with her friend Ivy because of Chinese New Year.  So the girls and I took a little trip back to China.  We made homemade dumplings, which turned out very yummy.
 And we attempted fortune cookies.  I had to really work at adapting a recipe for these.  It was harder than it looked.
Lydia also made an allergen friendly zucchini bread, because this was one of Julie's favorite desserts.  I forgot to get a picture of the finished product.  It turned out wonderful!!

 They dressed in their clothes from Chinatown for the meeting.
 Caty was happy that I took a little extra time and put her hair up in the chopsticks she bought when we were there also.
 She was excited tot ry and answer the questions during the meeting.
Lydia spent some time struggling again.  She is not comfortable in group situations suddenly.  But she still had fun :)
 They made bracelets like Ivy and Julie did also.

Brayden is starting his study of our US Presidents.  I found a great book for him at Arlington National Cemetery last week.  He will look at two presidents a week.  Read about them and answer questions.  I learned new things already this week preparing his questions for George Washington and John Adams.  I also have short videos for him to watch on You Tube for each president.  He laid low all week.  Drove me crazy.  We literally fought all week about schoolwork.  Brayden is on his way to learning what life was really like without electricity.

Joey is still working on his History study unit on World War I.  He has about two more weeks of reading and videos.  And then he'll move on.  I started him with Bob Jones History and it seems to be working well for him.  I supplement a little (like with World War I) to give him more details about specific events.   He is still struggling with Math, it will be an ongoing struggle.  We learned a very detail explanation about the Periodic Table this week.  It left both of us scratching our heads.  So we will be working on a review of the Periodic Table the next two weeks before moving on with our science curriculum.

I am working on the kids wanting to read more.  I am not against  So I posted charts on the fridge.  Every 20 minutes they read they earn a sticker.  When the charts are full, they earn a privilege or money or a fun activity (like going to see a movie).  It worked for the others, but not Brayden.

 The girls arranged the magnet collection on our fridge doors.  These are from our adventures the last couple years, the majority being in the last year.  Wow has life changed!

We had a busy week, and I think we learned a lot.  I am struggling with finding the balance between life-long learning and making sure I teach them as much as I can.  I am also struggling with the issues I am dealing with when looking at the boys struggling to stay where they are academically and not able to advance.  Teaching children with special needs can be frustrating and rewarding.  You celebrate the triumphs and shed tears over what you know will not be accomplished.  It was a rough week for me in that area.  That is a personal struggle the kids don't see.  It's one I wrestle with each week when I get their lessons typed out.

We are off yet again.  I will start posting our adventures in our Nation's Capital the next couple weeks.  So much to see and do there!!

Linking up with other homeschool moms at:

Weekly Wrap-Up


  1. Love the Kenya dolls the girls made! I got the blood and cake on my list to do with my kids as we are studying the human body too. What links are you using for the presidents as we are studying those as we work thru American history this year? As always a very busy week

  2. The kids did a wonderful job on the dolls. Coding, yeah I know it's not always the easiest thing to do- it is like learning a foreign language. My kids learned well using Youth Digital, Code Academy (free), (free) Landry Academy, and the little ones on Tynker. ~Visiting from Weekly Wrap up!

  3. You had a busy week -- The dumplings look good. Now I am wanting some. I like the days of creation.

    1. Thanks :) They were yummy. I used rice wrappers from Kroger. They are allergen friendly. The filling was ground turkey, diced carrots and zucchini. I fried all that up and filled the rice wrappers and then fried in olive oil. Sounds complicated, but wasn't too bad. And the outcome was delicious!