Monday, April 29, 2013

It's a...

We were able to have our ultrasound.  All is well with our healthy baby...


Here she is:

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Up Next...

For next year, we're simplifying a bit.  We'll hit all the major subjects, but I'm dropping a few of the extras we've been doing like Latin and health.  We, of course, cover health daily as we choose proper foods to eat and care for the children, so we figure a year off won't be detrimental, and we'll likely listen to our Latin CD over the next year--Nate asks for "Salve" all the time anyway, but I wanted to pick a really do-able set of subjects for us.

Here are the books and supplies we've collected so far, though I have more on order:

We buy used as much as we can, but we haven't been able to find everything that way.

Together the girls will be in The Story of the World: History for the Classical Child, Volume 3: Early Modern Times and The Story of the World Activity Book Three: Early Modern Times for history. I also picked up passports and stickers.  When we cover different countries, we can 'stamp' the passports.  Kate also gets her first timeline. The stickers for this are on back order, but are expected soon.  I think she has the skill now to record information about the things she learns in chronological order.

The girls will also being using the Noeo Chemistry I curriculum   This is much like the way I've done science in previous years, with lost of 'real' books.  This time someone else lined it all up for me though!  They do sell full sets, but I've found some of the books used, so I'm just ordering the curriculum guide there and picking up books here and there, wherever I can find the best prices.

Both girls are also using the same art, Rod and Staff's Developing Motor Skills in Art.  This one is graded 1st/2nd grade, but Kate could use the practice in these skills too, so I opted to buy the same set for them both.

Both girls are also learning the catechism (along with Nate, as best he can with Training Hearts Teaching Minds (Shorter Catechism).

The girls will each be in their respective grades in Singapore's Primary Mathematics.  Kate has already begun her third grade books and Gabby just started in the 1A book this week.  I've been very pleased with the math education Kate has gotten with the Singapore books.

Since we're dropping Latin this coming year we're upping Kate's other language arts.  She will continue in Spelling Power, Writing with Ease (book 3 this year), Wordly Wise , and the McGuffey Readers.  We have backed off on the frequency of the readers use, as she moved through them so quickly and she reads so much on her own.  Reading is not something she needs encouragement to do!  We are adding Editor and Chief this year.  I'm excited about this one.  It teaches grammar by having the student edit writings--perfect for the kid who doesn't really like writing and has a good bit in her other classes.  She's also asking to learn cursive, so I got her a really neat writing course called Pictures in Cursive A (Daily Cursive Writing Instruction Based on Picture Study Lessons) .  It has short little lessons that will get her started in cursive without adding too much, since we write a great deal in the Writing with Ease program.

Gabriella will be using Building Spelling, Writing with Ease (book 1), and McGuffey Readers this year.

* For the past few years I've been posting links to places to purchase books.  I have joined the Amazon Associates Program this year.  That means that if you click on one of the links to an Amazon item and place an order, then I can get paid a little bit--by Amazon, not by you!  I am not affiliated with the other sites I linked to. *

Friday, April 19, 2013

Looking on the Bright Side

Sometimes it seems like when it rains it pours.  We had one of those weeks around here.

First Justin was in a fender bender.  It was inconvenient, but he's fine.  The car still runs.  We have good driving records, so we may not even have a raise in our rates, though we'll have to wait and see on that one.

Next up I had to go to the dentist.  I hate dentists.  I just don't go.  I went back in Kansas and had my teeth checked.  I was cavity free and had a cleaning, but I never bothered to find a dentist for me here.  Of course the kids go for their cleanings ever six months...  Well, I started having a searing pain at my gum line that got so bad I couldn't sleep, so figuring it had something to do with my lone wisdom tooth (that occasionally goes back into the gum) causing an infection, I went.  No infection in the gum, just a canker sore at the back of my mouth that causes pain to radiate and feel like my gum and tooth are inflamed.  So the appointment was covered by my dental insurance as a regular visit and despite the discomfort, I don't need any treatment.  Just milk shakes, well I had one and it was so nice and cold!

The following day our air conditioner went out.  It's pretty warm here--in the mid-eighties, but it isn't the middle of August, with temperatures over 100 and me 8 months pregnant.  There has been a good breeze and today and we were able to repair the unit, not replace it...yet.  He told us to plan on it in the future though.

Plus, as I remember hearing it bad things come in threes.  That means we're finished for awhile, right?  A girl can dream anyway!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Gabby's Half Birthday

Miss Gabby is 5 1/2 today!

What is your name? Gabby

How tall are you? 6" (really 3' 9 1/2")

What are you really good at? Tying my shoes

What is you favorite toy? Sally

What's your favorite book? Princess Books

What is your favorite game? Candyland

What is your favorite thing to eat? Pasta

Where is your favorite place to go? Discovery Center

Who is your best friend? Violet

What have you learned this year? Math, writing, and to read

What is you favorite thing to study in school? coloring

What do you want to be when you grow up? A mama

What is your favorite thing about Daddy? Tickles

Katie? Playing

Nate? Trying to play with me, but making me mad.

Mama? Snuggles

Friday, April 12, 2013

Over dinner the other night...

Justin: Nate, take your finger out of your mouth, that's not food.

Kate: It is if you're a ME eater!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Rounding Out the Year

We're are |  | this close to the end of our school year.  We have just over 20 days left.  We're starting to finish some of books, so we'll either be moving up to the next grade level or rounding out our days with a little extra history or social studies.  We have a smidge of ground to make up in those two subjects.  That is mostly because I bought an astronomy text to use this semester and when we got into it I found it was supposed to be a full year class and we alternate the two subjects by day.  We're making excellent progress, considering!  We're starting Saturn tomorrow, so I think we'll get it!  I hated never finishing our texts in school, so that was one of my goals as a home schooler--get to that very last chapter and find out what happened at the end of all those periods of history.

I've tried a couple of different strategies for our daily 'list' of activities, but this has been the surest method.

I tried making a list to be checked, but honestly, it was just repetition of the stack!  Either it is a book that I need to be involved in (going over the text in math or giving a dictation) or they girls know to go on to the next page in the book if it is fairly independent work, so the list, even with page numbers was redundant.  As they finish it they 'check it off' by putting it in a new stack.  The books that they both use (currently history and science) are both in Kate's stack--part of the reason her's is so tall!

We're not planning to take much of a break over the summer, instead opting to use that time in the fall with the baby.  We found an umbrella school that will work with us on that, so we'll take a little break, but not like we usually do.  One of the joys of homeschooling is the joyous flexibility.  I'm so glad we'll have that special time.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Friday Funny

You know that section at the beginning of Tom Sawyer, when Tom convinces another kid that whitewashing a fence is a privilege?  Then the kid not only does the white washing, but pays him for the opportunity.

I felt like Tom was in my school room yesterday.  I gave Kate a couple of pages to do in astronomy, one of which was a crossword puzzle.  Kate isn't a fan of these puzzles.  They require some patience, proper spelling, and neat handwriting to work.  I left her to it and was working on dinner.

Then I hear, "Gabby, don't you want to come help with this?  They are so much fun!"

Gabby came out for a few minutes, but pretty soon, smarter than Tom's mark, she left Kate to the work.

I can only wonder what is to come!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Astronomy Labs

Justin was off on Thursday and Friday.  I debated giving the kids the days off, but instead we made those days lab days.  It is hard to do labs with three littles all wanting to help at once.  This way Justin or I could play interference.

On Thursday we managed to build a model of Mercury,

while Nate played with Play-Doh.

We practiced 'radar' like astronomers used to study the surface of Venus, and we built a model of Olympus Mons.

We looked at the sizes of the planets to scale and then walked out the distances of the first four planets and the astroid belt at that scale.

Our son, holding the sun, kept moving.

On Friday we ventured off to see the space area of the Adventure Science Center.  It was a popular idea, but that area was actually not too difficult to get through.

We came home and set off Olympus Mons, which was now dry enough to handle the spewing.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Celebration of Holy Week

I hope your family had a joyous Easter.

We read through Holy Week with Palm Sunday, and the money changers early in the week.

On Thursday we celebrated Passover.  It doesn't fit with the actual Passover, but I like to do Thursday, since we line it up with the next day being Good Friday.

Friday we wrapped up our stand in for Jesus and placed it in our 'tomb.'  I mentioned in a few years when Nate had some warrior toys we could use them as guards and within a few seconds children were scampering for regular Duplo men to stand guard.

On Sunday the girls and I made our early morning trip to find the empty tomb with spices and perfume.  The guards were passed out, of course, and the burial cloth neatly folded.  Then we woke the men.

We made cinnamon rolls with marshmallows inside.  Once baked the marshmallow is 'gone' and the tomb is empty.

I also made our carrot cake an empty tomb.

Gabby is 5 and Kate is 7, but this is the first year one of them came home from church asking about the Easter Bunny.  I pointed out that they got baskets of goodies and eggs to hunt.  I asked if she missed out on anything and she said, "No, " but I'm not sure she was convinced.

Some friends from church invited us over for the afternoon.  We ate, chatted, and played Spoons.  It was a lovely Easter.

And today we'll get the ham that was put off because we made the trip over to those friends, never-mind I forgot to put it in the crock-pot before we went to church.