Friday, January 27, 2017

Wild Kratts, Inauguration, the 1930s and the Dust Bowl

I almost declared this week a vacation week.  I just felt like I didn't want to teach this week.  But I overcame those feelings and planned out school anyway.  I was diagnosed with scoliosis a few years ago and haven't done much about it.  I mean, how could I?  I also have lower back degeneration.  So the combination of the two seem to be causing some major problems the last few months.  I had to stop running.  My neck was so messed up this week (due to a car accident from 11 years ago) that I had to visit the chiro twice this week.  I was supposed to go 3 times, but had to take my mom furniture shopping and that was the only thing that could give this week.  I'm not sure what's going to happen, all I know is that I am in a lot of pain all the time, and I can't take anything over the counter.  I need to figure something out though, because constant pain is making me very irritable.

So onto our education this week.....

To open the eyes to the kids and the inauguration that will be taking place this week, we watched a History channel special on the transition process of the President.  It was called Transition of Power: the Presidency.  Very interesting information.  We talked a lot about the liberals and how they are going overboard with pushing their views on people.  How they are actually dividing the country on a lot of beliefs since they preach acceptance of all views, and yet many do not practice what they preach.  That it's not all liberals like this, but the loudest of them are causing the most issues.  That in turn got us into a discussion on the Democrats that are refusing to attend the Inauguration this week and how this only continues the division and shows they are a bit "whiny" as Joey put it.  He said if we don't get our way, we aren't allowed to throw a tantrum.  Why should a grown adult that is supposed to be educating us for the future.  What a great example.  I applaud his good points.

We were excited that Timeless started back this week.  We watched it together after our Bible study on Tuesday.  On Wednesday then we learned a little bit about Harry Houdini, escape artist.  We watched a video on Youtube.

In History, we continued our study of the Dust Bowl era.  Next week we will be starting our study of World War II.

In science this week, the kids wanted to do some animal studies.  I was fine with that.  It required little planning on my part.  I found some Wild Kratt episodes in our Amazon Prime.  The first kid to get up each day, got to pick the episode/animal that day.  I required each of them to fill out an animal report each day about the animal and habitat we watched.  This week we learned about blue jays (because we have a family living in our backyard), rhinoceros, and elephants.  They enjoyed this, so we'll be doing it another week.  I am working on the Periodic Table of Elements study we will be doing.

Our country to visit this week was Italy.  The kids each filled out their suitcases.  We watched the New Dimension videos in Amazon Prime on Italy.  These are a great resource and the perfect length for wandering attention spans.  Our meal was Bolognese.  It smelled wonderful and the kids all had seconds.  We talked about the Leaning Tower of Pisa this week and watched a video on the engineering issues with this historic building.

Lydia is chugging away at her spelling words.  She has now gone through the entire list of over 250 words.  She does very well at spelling on her grade level, it's when we hit 7th grade and up that she is struggling more.  But she is trying and really enjoying it.  Since this is our first year doing this, I'm making lots of notes on how we can improve for next year.

The girls are chugging away at art class.  This week they continued on their masterpieces.

One of their fun projects was a letter scramble to practice making words out of letters from the sentence, I Love Snow.

The books that the kids were reading this week.... Joey was reading the first book in the Animorphs series.  I think he likes it and may want to read more.  Brayden is working on his first Geronimo Stilton book.  They were both just reading for fun this week.  No comprehension activities.  Next week they'll be back to the same old... same old.  Lydia this week read Sarah, Plain and Tall.  She really liked it.  Caty was reading just for fun books off her shelf, so lots of Barbie.

In math, Caty worked on Greater/Less Than.  She is struggling with number comprehension right now.  She can do simple addition, subtraction and even early multiplication.  But she cannot put numbers in proper order, if she is given a list.  Just one of her learning disabilities that we are working with.  The older kiddos worked on story problems, and reading to find the information they need.  Just because it's there, doesn't mean you need it.  They also did some estimation problems.

We are in full sports mode now.  The girls had cheerleading and the girls and Brayden had basketball practice.  I'm glad Lego is over.  Because I don't think my sanity can handle anything else being added to our schedule.

Working hard at Bball practice this week.

The girls cheer squad got the opportunity to cheer at a local high school football game.  Here is a picture of both teams together.  It was a lot of fun.  They sold fundraiser t-shirts to raise awareness of people with disabilities and all they can accomplish!

We have one more of those and a few more games to cheer this season.  The kids have their first basketball game soon.

Hope everyone had a wonderful week!!  Linking up with other moms at Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers.
Weekly Wrap-Up

Friday, January 20, 2017

Germany, More Mythbusters, The Great Depression, and Lego Time

I had one of those weeks scheduling.  I was feeling just out-of-it to start with.  I messed up our Monday schedule and the girls missed a cheerleading event.   It was one of those weird things because the kids had re-scheduled dr. appts and then their Lego Robotics meeting to get ready for their exhibition on Saturday.  I was so stressed about the med check appt. that I forgot to double check my phone calendar with my written calendar.

Lego Meeting

They had to get their poster board ready for the exhibition this upcoming weekend.

Their final project

American Girl Meeting

This month was American Girl Grace.  They decorated cupcakes, aprons and made suitcases for their dolls.


This week we explored the Great Depression.  We learned about the New Deal and also the Dust Bowl.  We read through our material and again watched lots of documentaries about this time period.  One included When the World Breaks (Off of Amazon Prime), and of course a few Crash Course videos also.

We also watched the Grapes of Wrath.

We also watched American Girl Kit.

I highly recommend the Ken Burns Dust Bowl documentary.  It's long, but I really liked it.  Next week we will continue to cover this era.  I decided to put off the start of World War II for a week, and learn a bit more about this time period that affected lives for generations.


This week we watched some Mythbusters on Duct Tape.  And we learned about Trebuchets (off the Duct Tape Mythbusters).  We built a trebuchet and then figured out how they worked.  This was a fun activity!

Lydia decided to play with duct tape and made a pillow.


This week we visited Germany and Poland.  We watched some great videos from New Dimensions on our Amazon Prime subscription.

The girls painted nutcrackers after we researched their history.

Our meal this week was pretzels and german pancake with turkey bacon.

Our suitcases this week.


Well the older kids are finally pulling away from Caty's level.  She's a little stuck, so this week they emerged apart.  I had the older kids move into books that will help them advance at their own speed.  Caty will be working at her grade level.


Joey read City of Ember.  Brayden read I Survived The Battle of Gettysburg.  Lydia has been let off the hook for reading comprehension because she was working so hard on her spelling bee words.  And there is a lot to work on!  Caty and I were reading American Girl Grace together.  But we started in on her Julia Childs book also.

Grammar/Language Arts

More "book" work.  This week they practiced using encyclopedias online.

Part of our work this week was to send Get Well cards to the boys in Chicago that was tortured.  I just sit and cry in my heart for him.  I can't let me tears show in front of the kids.  So each child wrote out a card for him.

Sports this week, we had cheerleading and basketball.  The girls are prepping to cheer at a local high school with their team's cheerleaders.  So we worked with their team at our practice this week.  It was fun.

On Saturday we had our Lego Exhibition and the Power Penguins were able to show off their project board.  The whole team did really well at answering their judges questions and showing off their project.

We had another full week, with a few hiccups.  But we got things done, even if it was at weird times.  Hope everyone has a wonderful week!

Linking up with other moms at Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers.

Weekly Wrap-Up