Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Circle C Milestones Review - Thick As Thieves

Horses are a great love in our house.  Both girls love riding, but Lydia is head over heels in love with riding horses.  She does regular lessons and has participated in three riding shows already and placed in all events she had participated in.  Needless to say that we were very excited to get a chance to read the newest book from Circle C MilestonesThick as Thieves.

Written by Susan K. Marlow, Andi Carter is back in this series written especially for the early teenage crowd, ages 12 and up.  In Book 1, Thick as Thieves ($9.99), Andi Carter is growing up in the 1880s on a ranch with her family.  Her mother wants her to be a lady, and all she wants to be is a horse woman.  At 14 she just wants to live life the way she wants and she wants to run the Circle C Ranch.

Andi's horse is about to give birth, but they had no idea what about the surprise that Taffy had in store for them.  Her palomino was going to give birth to twin foals, a rare occurrence.  This is so exciting.  She is the talk of all the area ranches.  All she wants to do is show her family how well she can train horses.  Her mother steps in and realizes that Andi is letting her grades slip.  So things become complicated as Andi is no longer allowed to work with her horses, but study harder.   Then there is a new girl in school making it hard for Andi to finish the term with her grades raised.  There is also worry about cattle being stolen from the ranch, which could bankrupt the ranch.  

We were also given a downloadable study guide that had comprehension questions to go along with our reading.  I love having study guides to go with books, it saves me lots of time in creating questions for the kids.  This study guide though goes a step further and includes vocabulary and language arts activities also.  (Love covering as many subjects as possible in one lesson.)  There are even some fun extras like crossword puzzles, math lessons and also science lessons about horses.  This resource has been invaluable.  This study guide is wonderful, it is something that I always strive to have for our kids with each book that we use for lessons.

Lydia did attempt to read this story on her own, she is at a 3rd-4th grade reading level, and she struggled.  So we ended up reading it together.   We were able to read it over a few week period (we read it a few days a week, and not daily).  Reading Thick as Thieves has been a great addition to the study unit Lydia is working on to go with her 4H project this year.  

Thick as Thieves is a great balance of being a fun read and also a book hidden with learning opportunities takes to the downloadable study guide.  If you have a daughter that loves horses like we do, I highly recommend checking out Thick as Thieves and reading it together.

We can't wait until the next book is available in July to continue reading this series.  I admit, I am not always a great fan of teen fiction, but this was a great book.  It also gave Lydia and I a book series to read together.  

You can see how the other members of the Schoolhouse Review Crew enjoyed Thick as Thieves in their homes by visiting the Schoolhouse Review Crew blog.  

Koru Naturals Review
Crew Disclaimer

April Weird and Wacky Special Days

What happened this month in History:
April 1, 1778 - Oliver Pollack invents the dollar sign $ 
April 2, 1792 -  Congress passes the Coinage Act and the U.S. Mint is born.
April 3, 1860 - The Pony Express begins delivering the mail. 
April 4, 1968 -  Martin Luther King Jr. is assassinated. 
April 5, 1964 - General Douglas MacArthur died in Washington, D.C. at the age of 84. 
April 6, 1909 -  Explorers Matthew A. Henson and Robert E. Perry are the first to reach the North Pole. 
April 6, 1896 -  The first modern Olympic games opens in Athens, Greece 
April 6, 1930 -  Twinkies hit the market. The first twinkies were banana-filled.
April 7, 1930 -  The musical South Pacific, by Rodgers and Hammerstein, opens on Broadway. 
April 8, 1974 -  Hank Aaron of the Atlanta Braves hits his 715th home run to surpass Babe Ruth's 714 home run record. 
April 9, 1865 -  Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrenders  to Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Courthouse, ending the Civil War. 
April 9, 1691 - French explorer LaSalle reaches the Mississippi river 
April 10, 1912 -  The "unsinkable" RMS Titanic departs on it's maiden voyage from Southampton, England. 
April 10, 1916 -  The first professional golf tournament was held. 
April 11, 1900 -  The U.S. Submarine Force was officially established. 
April 12 - Mount Washington Observatory records the highest surface wind ever measured, anywhere on earth--- 231 miles per hour!
April 12, 1961 -  Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin becomes the first person in space. 
April 14, 1865 -  President Abraham Lincoln is shot by John Wilkes Booth at Ford's Theater in Washington, D.C. He died the next day.
April 15, 1912 -  The Titanic hits an iceberg in the Northern Atlantic ocean as sinks. 
April 18, 1775 -  Paul Revere makes his famous ride from Charlestown to Lexington, Ma., shouting "the Red Coats are coming" as the American Revolutionary War begins. 
April 18, 1906 - The Great San Fransisco earthquake hits, killing 700 people. 
April 19, 1775 - 19 The Revolutionary War begins. 
April 25, 1945 - 25 Delegates from 45 countries meet in San Fransisco to organize the United Nations. 
April 27, 1937 -  The first Social Security checks were distributed.
April 29, 1913 - 29 Gideon Sundback of Hoboken, N.J. patents the zipper. 
April 30, 1975 -   The Vietnam War ends with the fall of Saigon (later renamed Ho Chi Minh City) 

April, 2015 Daily Holidays, Special and Wacky Days:
1 April Fool's Day
1 International Fun at Work Day

2 Children's Book Day
2 National Peanut Butter and Jelly Day

3 Don't Go to Work Unless it's Fun Day - we know your decision
3 National Walk to Work Day - first Friday of month

4 Hug a Newsman Day
4 Walk Around Things Day
4 School Librarian Day

5 Easter Date 
5 Go for Broke Day  

6 Dyngus Day always the Monday after Easter
6 Sorry Charlie Day

7 Caramel Popcorn Day 
7 No Housework Day
7 World Health Day

8 Draw a Picture of a Bird Day

9 Name Yourself Day
9 Winston Churchill Day

10 Golfer's Day 
10 National Siblings Day

11 Eight Track Tape Day - do you remember those?
11 Barbershop Quartet Day
11 National Submarine Day

12 Big Wind Day 
12 Russian Cosmonaut Day

13 Scrabble Day

14 International Moment of Laughter Day
14 Look up at the Sky Day - don't you have anything better to do?
14 National Pecan Day
14 Reach as High as You Can Day

15 Rubber Eraser Day
15 Titanic Remembrance Day

16 National Eggs Benedict Day
16 National Librarian Day
16 National Stress Awareness Day

17 Bat Appreciation Day
17 Blah, Blah, Blah Day
17 National Cheeseball Day     
17 Pet Owners Independence Day

18 International Juggler's Day 
18 Newspaper Columnists Day

19 National Garlic Day

20 Look Alike Day
20 Patriot's Day 
20 Volunteer Recognition Day

21 Kindergarten Day

22 Administrative Professionals Day
22 Girl Scout Leader Day
22 National Jelly Bean Day

23 National Zucchini Bread Day
23 Take a Chance Day
23 World Laboratory Day
23 Take Your Daughter to Work 4th Thursday

24 Pig in a Blanket Day

25 World Penguin Day  

26 Hug an Australian Day
26 National Pretzel Day

27 Babe Ruth Day
27 National Prime Rib Day
27 Tell a Story Day

28 International Astronomy Day
28 Great Poetry Reading Day

29 Greenery Day
29 National Shrimp Scampi Day

30 Hairstyle Appreciation Day

30 National Honesty Day

Have a Happy April!!!

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Week 43 - Electricity, Spring Weather and Whole Foods

We are chugging along.  It's sad when we have been in the DC area long enough, that there is not much that the kids still want to see.  We opted out of the Kite Festival this weekend because of projected crowds.  Joey DOES NOT do well in high crowd situations.  So we decided to skip it.  Just going to Best Buy yesterday was a bit too much for him.  The high noise level was too much for him.
We pretty much just worked on schoolwork all week.  It was normal life.  We did watch the new Annie movie when we finished our work the other day.  The girls really like that movie.

This week Caty almost finished Book A in First Start Reading (watch for our review next month).  Next week we will be doing our review of the new words we are learning.  I had her start watching Meet the Sight Words 1.  I included that to help her along.  She likes watching the Leap Frog videos, so I figure this will only help her.

She also worked on a new program we are reviewing called LaLaLogic (watch for the review next month).  She is in the early weeks, so a lot of brain review for her.  She likes this program, and wants to do it daily.

They learned about shape poems in their last poetry class.  Caty did one on rainbows...go figure.

In Art this week, she continued watching Creative Galaxy.  Then she created a spring scene using colored paper and cupcake wrappers.

In science we spent the week reviewing seasons.  These are two of the books we read.

We also went for a walk on a really nice day this week.  We have just learned about tree buds in science and she found some growing on the trees.
Caty started her Pinewood Derby Car this week.  She has decided on making The Frozen Wonder....shocker...huh!

Lydia is working on her 4H Projects right now.  This week she has almost finished her Shopping for Less project.  She found a different outfit, that was less money.  She returned the other bought the new one.

She had $20.00 to spend.  She came in at $18.75 to spend.  She got what she wanted, a spring/summer dress.  She thought about a tank top dress, but knew she could only really wear it when it was very warm.  This one she can wear in cooler temps also.  Plus the daisy is blingy.

For one of her Snack Attack projects she made a berry sherbert.  It didn't work out quite as well as she wanted.  We used coconut milk so that Joey could eat it.  Next time, we decided to make it sorbet style and just use water.  But she used frozen cherries and blueberries.  It was good except for the overpowering coconut flavor.
She also made Confetti Salsa, another project from her Snack Attack book.

Her shape poem was of an iron ore block from Minecraft.
She started her digital photography class this week.  So she was out taking pictures for her first week's assignment.
Another project in Snack Attack was to visit the grocery store and check out the Rainbow of fruits and veggies.  So we headed to Whole Foods.
 They all helped fill out the Rainbow chart and then each picked some new fruits and veggies to try.
The boys were working on their typical work.  Although Joey is working on his 4H Electricity book.
He did one experiment this week.  He built a circuit to light a battery.

Brayden showed that he can read a Magic Tree House book fairly quickly.  He read one in 3 days.  Which I find funny, considering he claims they are too hard.  He was making it all up.  The 4H projects that the boys have coming up, we will be doing when we get home.  We have to do some poster work, which is a little more than I want to transport on this trip.  They have plenty of time to finish them.  Brayden is doing an early 4H project and both boys are doing Discovering Healthy You.  Their work is a lot more hands-on for me.  

The sun was out a few days this week, so the kids enjoyed the bball court and even played with a couple other kids that are staying here.
 We enjoyed the sunshine on a family walk too.
 Trying chicken sauteed with zucchini and summer squash.
 Joey wasn't sure about it, but tried a veggie anyway.  He said it was, "OK".
 Caty was in love with the orange juice machine at Whole Foods.
We had a fairly good week.  Still had some fighting about getting stuff done.  But it was mainly just Lydia.  The boys attempted to "Skip" some projects, but they realized that I was checking their work nightly, so they couldn't do that anymore.  I did keep an eye on them when I realized what they were doing.

We are taking Saturday easy.  Just too much been going on, and vegging most of the day.  We don't do that much when we travel.  So thought we needed it.

Hope everyone had a great week!

Linking up with other Homeschool Moms at :

Weekly Wrap-Up

Friday, March 27, 2015

Homeschool Travels - Trash Museum

On a recent trip to Connecticut we were looking for something very unique.  A museum we had never experienced, and boy did we find it.  We had the opportunity to visit the Connecticut Trash Museum in Hartford.

We had a lot of fun!

There is a ton of hands-on activities for the kids to do.  They had a "garbage cave" that they kids could do a scavenger hunt in.  They had to find all the trash people have thrown away.

What products we can get from being responsible and recycling.

Information about the various types of landfills.

They had arts & crafts for the kids to do, using recyclable materials.

Other art made from re-purposed materials

More re-purposed art
Learning about the sorting process
They had a hands on sorting activity.
How to read your plastics
Information on composting

How they remanufacture/recycle materials such as plastic.

A huge bundle of paper
The sorting facility

Clothes made from repurposed materials

If you are in Hartford Connecticut, you must stop at this little jewel.  We learned a lot.  We are still working hard at recycling, and this helped the kids see how important it is.