Friday, May 27, 2016

Week 52 - Gardening, Pioneer Life, Doggy Meds and Being Overwhelmed

This is how I have been feeling all week.  I have been writing down our summer schedule and it's completely overwhelming me.  The crazy times starts next week!!  I am so not prepared for this.  So much for a laid back summer vacation.

I can't believe that our "official" school year is over this week.  I don't really have a set finish to very many of our projects.  We just keep chugging along.  We have basically finished our history and science for the year.  But the kids have already started their next books, I didn't wait for the new school year.  Didn't see the point.

The puppy's have been on meds all week.  So on top of our own kid's med schedules, I had to make sure the puppies were getting their meds.  Turns out they had a parasite that is common in puppies, and not contagious to humans.  So they are on meds for 10 days, twice a day.  At least they are more cooperative than our own kids.

My hubby let me get a new play toy this week.  I loved when I was able to go to a gym and work out on the weight equipment.  But unfortunately I am unable to do that anymore due to his travel schedule, so we used our garage sale money to purchase our own weight gym.  It took a couple days to get together, and some rearranging in our storage room, but I have a little workout room in there now.

I got hurt Tuesday when we were walking the dogs on the Humane Society.  One made a mad dash and I had to chase it to catch her.  Pulled a muscle in my hip/leg.  So no running right now.  I am still walking the treadmill though and now I have my arm/leg workout I can do on the weight bench.  Makes me very happy!

The kids were excited to get to work with a couple dogs this week while we were at the Humane Society.  Normally we just play with cats and clean up after the cats.  We did that too, but they got to play with a couple dogs too.

This week the girl's competitive cheer practice started.  Lydia is excited, but Caty isn't sure yet about this new adventure.

Since Daddy was able to get our garden tilled, we went and bought our plants Sunday afternoon.  Summer weather is finally here, or fingers crossed it stays!  So we spent a couple days this week working on getting the garden and some flowers planted.

We planted zucchini, Brussels sprouts, celery, yellow tomatoes, green beans, peas, sweet onions, sugar baby watermelon, and rhubarb.

And some flowers

Caty handled the patio flowers, and Lydia planted the flowers out in the front of the house.

The fun part is getting them to water the garden.  I have it set up for them to take turns.  It's not turning out very well.  They tire out after two trips to the garden, and it takes many more than that.

This week Caty started the Prairie Primer book.  We are working our way through The Little House in The Big Woods the next couple weeks.  So far we learned about bears, breathing, made homemade butter and biscuits and also made molasses-on-snow candy.

This was all hands-on for me.  Making the syrup and then I let her pour it on the "Snow".  She got to see why I wouldn't let her cook the syrup when she accidentally touched my thumb with the wooden spoon and my thumb blistered from the heat.  This was very...very yummy!

It cooled almost instantly on the ice.  It was almost like taffy.

Both girls worked on learning about the respiratory system.  I had stepped back a little the last couple weeks from their regular science program since we had been learning about toads/frogs, and a few other animals.  Well, I was informed that they wanted to keep doing their regular science book.  So this week the Sassafrass twins took us to Australia and we started exploring the respiratory system.  This week they labeled the respiratory system.  We learned about the lungs, trachea, and diaphragm. We built a set of lungs to watch how they expand.

Lydia is still chugging away on her Dog Unit study.  This week she learned about more breeds and of course got lots of experience with giving dogs medicine.  She is really enjoying the Pet Shop math that she started a couple weeks ago.  She has almost closed her books for the month of January.  One of her projects this week was she had to learn how to write checks to pay her bills.

This week in History we learned about Lewis and Clark and also the Oregon Trail.  We did learn about the Donner Party also.  And our state was Idaho.

We did have more to do outside, and this included painting my parent's Adirondack chairs they keep out for decoration.  I didn't buy enough paint, but the girls got them started.

We didn't get much done on the 4H project front.  We need to get some more finished on these.  We have a huge chunk of all of them done, but still need to finish and work on posters for judging.

Brayden fought hard all week to do a little as possible.  He learned yet again that not finishing your schoolwork means you are working on state capitals at 9 pm when you want to be playing your Star Wars game with your friends.  He did do well on his next level of math.  He had to work on rounding decimals and adding and subtracting decimals.  He whines and whines and then realizes that he does understand it and can easily do the problems.

Joey is chugging away at his Exploring Careers curriculum.  Each week he is looking at important topics such as interviews, asking questions, and paperwork that will be filled out for employers.  This week we signed papers for him to possibly work with the State of Ohio Disabilities Board to work over the summer in various jobs.  It is really hitting me that my son is almost 16 years old, and he is growing up.  This will most likely lead to an even busier summer schedule than we already have.  Life is going to be interesting from here on out.

We bought a new swing for the backyard that is also like a hammock.  Joe and Lydia got started putting it together.  And then we discovered that they shorted us screws.  So they couldn't put the whole thing together yet.  Needless to say we are all very disappointed.  We were looking forward to laying out and doing our reading next week.  Oh well, just have to wait for the rest of the parts.

Hope everyone had a great week!!  We have a very busy weekend/week ahead of us.  I will post all of our excitement in our next post.  What a way to start out our next school year!!  Bring on 2016-2017!!

Linking up with other homeschool moms at Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers....

Weekly Wrap-Up

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Sunya Publishing - The Magic and Wonder of Math and Science Adding & Subtracting Review

Math games are great fun!  Just learning from flashcards can be very boring and in the case of our kids, will also cause riots in the living room.  So I try to find the most fun math games that I can.  Recently we had the opportunity to Sunya - The Magic and Wonder of Math and Science Adding & Subtracting from Sunya Publishing.

Sunya Publishing has created a wonderful math game that can bring fun back into learning math facts.  Sunya - The Magic and Wonder of Math and Science Adding & Subtracting has been made for use in home and classroom. It has been created for ages PK through anyone who needs help with their basic addition and subtraction facts. 

Included are special number playing cards, math and science fact and riddle cards, and a special Adding & Subtracting number line.  There is also a Parent/Teacher Guide on the many games that you can play with this program.

The Parent / Teacher Guide includes very detailed instructions and illustrations to learn how to play this very simple game.  There are multiple game ideas that are included.  So you can use this product with those are who learning their first addition and subtraction facts through players who are more advanced.  

Even if you are playing with very young children, there are games for the younger children that include simple matching and sequencing skills. The Magic and Wonder of Math and Science Adding & Subtracting is really a full family game since you can use the same cards for multiple teaching levels.

Included also in Sunya - The Magic and Wonder of Math and Science Adding & Subtracting are 30 math and science riddle cards.  These fun cards help to strengthen kids critical thinking skills all while having fun.  

Whether creating math equations or playing a simple matching game, Sunya - The Magic and Wonder of Math and Science Adding & Subtracting takes learning fun to a whole new level.  

We have been playing Sunya - The Magic and Wonder of Math and Science Adding & Subtracting for a few weeks now.  Caty has been struggling with remembering her math facts.  So we have been adding Sunya - The Magic and Wonder of Math and Science Adding & Subtracting in with her regular learning during the week, usually during times we are watching our fun movies and shows.  

The rules have been simple to learn and the visual cues on the cards have helped Caty out when she is creating her number sentences.  She has never really enjoyed using a number line to do her addition or subtraction sentences, so she hasn't been using this included material.  

She has enjoyed all the Math and Science riddle cards.  They have been fun to read and make you think.  I had to stop and think.  We have been randomly mixing them in our pick up pile so we each just get one occasionally to break up the frustration that might be appearing due to her learning disabilities.

The only thing that I wish Sunya - The Magic and Wonder of Math and Science Adding & Subtracting had was a small box to keep all the cards in.  The Teacher / Parent Guide is wonderful, but it's harder to keep everything together on the shelf unless you use a large manila envelope.  I'm not sure if the answer is to shrink the teacher guide to make it smaller to fit in a "shelf" sized box, or if Sunya Publishing could create a special box to keep the materials in.  We have been keeping everything in a manila envelope so that we do not lose any cards.

We are going to continue playing The Magic and Wonder of Math and Science Adding & Subtracting.  It has been great fun and I can't wait to buy The Magic and Wonder of Math and Science Multiplication and Division from Sunya Publishing.  I can see Lydia and Brayden benefiting from extra fact practice.  The games can be as long or short as I want them to be, and adjustments can be made to work with each of my kids learning disabilities.  Having a game that is flexible for the kids is wonderful!

Several members of the Schoolhouse Review Crew were given the opportunity to try out Sunya - The Magic and Wonder of Math and Science Adding & Subtracting or Sunya The Magic and Wonder of Math and Science Multiplying & Dividing.  Take some time to stop by the blog and see how they enjoyed these products.

Math and Science {Sunya Publishing Review}

Crew Disclaimer

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Science Shepherd - Homeschool Introductory Science - Level B Review

We recently had the opportunity to review the Introductory Science - Level B program from Science Shepherd.

Science Shepherd Introductory Science - Level B is a complete science curriculum for Ages 9 - 11.  There are daily video lessons that are watched online and then a short workbook page can be use to reinforce what was just introduced in the video lesson.  

Science Shepherd Introductory Science includes topics such as meteorology, geology, biology, astronomy, oceanography, and even a session on creation. You can find a full list of the Scope and Sequence by visiting the Science Shepherd website.

Science Shepherd Introductory Science also has a more basic level for younger students, Level A.  It is written for students ages 6 - 8

The Introductory Science video course is $35.00, and the workbook is purchased separately for $15.00 (for Level B).  The video course gives you 12-month access to this level, so you can move as quickly as you would like or go slower through each one of the topics.  35 weeks of material are included.  Many homeschoolers do not follow a "typical" school year, so a full 12-month access gives you plenty of room to move through at your own speed.

The daily videos are only around 5 minutes a piece.  The Introductory Science course starts out with a full two weeks of lessons discussing Creation by God.  The nice thing we found first thing, was the short lessons and reinforcement pages could quickly be completed.  Joey was able to finish off 2 days in one.  I felt that this was a better pace with review material for him.  

As he has been progressing, he has been able to keep this pace except through certain topics that I wanted him to review more in depth under the meteorology category.  

Scattered throughout each lesson are many experiments.  Most require basic materials that you already have at home.  But Science Shepherd does provide you with a full list of materials that you need for each level.  

Each experiment is very basic, but gives your hands-on student a better understanding of the topic being learned.  

You can see from this example how the pages are easy to use and really add nothing extra to your classroom day, but are great for reinforcing the material that was learned.  

In fact, I have been having Joey do the workbook pages the next day after he has watched the videos.  He has a short memory, so this forces him to recall the material from the previous day.

Science Shepherd is a Christian, Bible-based curriculum.  The videos do reinforce a Bible-based way of learning about science.  But you are looking at Science.  I felt the videos were well written and expressed a clear view of God and science.

Joey has been doing very well, and speeding through science right now.  He seems to be enjoying the video approach that Science Shepherd Introductory Science offers.  As he finishes up this level, I will be ordering the Life Science level for both he and Brayden to start next.  Although I do wish that the videos did continue into the higher level.

If you are looking for some help with teaching basic science, Science Shepherd is definitely your helping hand.  With everything already planned out, including experiments, it takes the extra work out of a homeschool families weekly planning schedule.

Several members of the Schoolhouse Review Crew were given the opportunity to try out Science Shepherd materials in various levels, including the Biology and Life Science.  Take some time to check out the Review Crew blog and see how they used these materials in their homes and how they enjoyed it.

Science Shepherd Review
Crew Disclaimer

Monday, May 23, 2016

Week 51 - Humane Society, Life Lesson and Cooking

The week started with the worst pain attack I have experienced in a long time.  I literally spent the whole day sitting in front of a space heater barely able to move.  I felt like I was hit by a truck while suffering the worst case of flu that a we could suffer.  It was horrible.  I did manage to get the kids schoolwork typed up, but I lost a whole day for doing yard work.  I did catch up all 7 episodes of Nashville that I was behind on.  Of course they are not renewing it, so I'm just hoping they finish this season and tie it up.

Last week Caty fell in love with Chopped, Chopped Junior and any kids type of cooking show.  She has always enjoyed cooking, but her love shot through the roof.  Since I don't have a ton of cook books here at the house, I use Pinterest, we headed to the library to let her choose some to go through.  She was determined to make Grandpa and Grandma a dinner, and a healthy dinner on top of that.  So she found a huge stack.

Then we headed to the Bridging event.  Both girls are moving up a level in Scouts this year.  Lydia bridged to a Cadette and Caty to a Junior.  They both worked hard to get all their badges the last couple years.  Lydia is finishing up her Bronze Award for Junior level.  She is very excited to be earning that.

First they made clay fairy houses for a project.

Exploring a large clay exhibit at the Toledo Botanical Gardens.

 The girls finished houses.

These are just the girls fun patches.  Caty earned all but two of her skill patches.

Lydia earned all but two also.  She has almost earned the one of those two, so we are working on finishing those last couple skills.

When we got home, it was time to do some yard work.  Brayden shocked me totally.  I must not have been feeling great, because I agreed to let him us the weed whacker.  He had to stay in my sight, but he did really well after safety reminders.

Caty wanted to make supper, and after pulling weeds and putting down mulch in a flower bed area, I was all for that.  She made pancakes.

So we are working hard on learning how to potty train the puppies.  It has been a long poopy week for  It's a good thing they are cute and cuddly.

On Tuesday am, we did our volunteer shift at the Humane Society.  The girls and I cleaned cages and Brayden played with the cats in the socializing room.  They enjoy my allergies do not enjoy it at all, but it feels good to help out.

While at the Humane Society, our van battery died.  So I had to call AAA to jump us and then go to Auto Zone to have it lesson learned.

Caty and I read Mr. Popper's Penguins this week and we also read about the Arctic and Antarctica.  We also read about polar bears, penguins and reindeer.  She has been very difficult to work with this week.  But she at least enjoyed this story.  We were using the study guide from Progeny Press.  Watch for our upcoming review.

We tested why penguins can stay warm and dry because of the waxy type coating on their feathers.  She colored this penguin picture.

Then Sprayed it with water.

Could see the difference where the wax kept the paper dry.

She did do some major cooking this week.   She made a special supper for Grandpa and Grandma.....Thai shrimp salad.  She cut up the veggies and I helped by lighting the stove and showing her safety tips.

She did the rest.

It was a bad allergy week for all of us.  We were at our family garage sale for 3 days....and it about killed her.  She is very picky about her allergy meds.  She ended up taking a Benadryl and then a 3 hour nap.  Good thing we had made our way through her schoolwork already.

The girls both got roller blades and started learning how to blade.  They both love it!

Thursday night was the Special Olympics Sports Banquet.  Lydia earned a trophy in Competitive Cheer, Tennis and Horseback riding.

Brayden was surprised by his for tennis.  His new favorite sport!

On Friday we said goodbye to our cats.  My allergies are off the charts and I really cannot give them the full attention they deserve.  Too many animals.  We found a family that will love and take care of them.

Friday night we got to see Matt Groening and his lifetime writing buddy, Lynda Barry.  I was a little disappointed in the amount that she talked and how little he talked.  We really went to see him.  He is Joey's favorite screen writer.  This is who is writing about for our Living History event.

Joey and Brayden both enjoyed the show.

The tadpoles are growing.  They still haven't grown legs yet.  But they love green lettuce leaves.  They devour it like maggots eating a dead animal.  It's interesting and disturbing all at the same time.

On the last day of the garage sale, this is how I found Caty many times.  She has a new love for graphic novels.

Saturday afternoon, Joe prepped our garden area for us.  We are hoping all the cold snaps are gone and summer is finally here for us!

Saturday night, Caty made a special dinner for daddy.  She made fried shrimp with sauteed peppers and onions.  Do you see the pattern?  Caty LOVES shrimp.

Joey is about 3/4 way through his Exploring Careers curriculum.  He has expressed an interest in writing, so I have found some resources for him to start looking at.  He is working on his astronomy curriculum also.  He loves learning about the stars.  He is wrapping up some things and then we need to finish up his 4H projects.  My goal is to finish them all in the next 3 weeks.

Brayden missed tennis this week, but I played with him outside in the side street.  He loves playing.  He moved up a grade level in Math, and has expressed he would like to do textbook math instead of online math right now.  So I am adjusting to that with him.  He didn't do too bad this week.  Tried to get out of assignments, but I caught him.

Lydia is still chugging away at her dogs unit study.  She has not complained once about this type of work.  She is doing the one from Amanda Bennett.  We may have found a winning combination for Lydia.  She is working on math review right now.  She has been working independently and getting some great dictionary and research skills going!!

This week I added Summer Bridge books from Carson Dellosa to all the kids assignments.  I want to kind of review and check out where they are and what they remember.  The first week was a little rough getting used to it.  But so far, so good.  It keeps them on their toes.  But they all did fairly well in them.

I hope everyone had a great week!  I am struggling to keep up right now.  I always forget about all the outside work I need to keep up on as the weather warms up.  But I am determined to stay on top of things.  The extra work of the puppies hasn't helped, but they are too cute.