Wednesday, June 3, 2015

My Father's World - Exploring Countries and Cultures Weeks 34-36

Let's finish up this school year!  We're enjoying our first full week of summer vacation and traveling into town everyday for swim lessons!  Soon we've got to get to the task of digging through the kids' bedrooms.  Time for summer clean-up!  Here's a recap of our last 3 weeks of second and fourth grade.  It's hard to believe I now have a third and fifth grader!

Week 34

We were still in Antarctica this week.  For art the kids made polymer clay penguins.  They both loved this project.  The girl made a regular penguin and the boy made a cyclops penguin, inspired by the Percy Jackson books. The kids later made other polymer figures that they have been playing with.  Our Magic School Bus viewing included "Gets Programmed."  We also got to go to a baseball game!

Week 35

We finished up with most of the stuff in the My Father's World curriculum and kind of coasted along the rest of the way.  We also had a vacation in the midst of this week, so we took a week off. We had our usual handwriting, spelling, math, and english assignments.  Our Magic School Bus viewing included "Get Ready, Get Set, Dough."

Week 36

We were just so excited to get through this week and finishing our final testing!  The kids did a wonderful job this year and tried really hard (most of the time).  We had personal homemade pizzas and root beer floats to celebrate the last day.  The kids went over their report cards with Daddy and were rewarded with getting to pick out a Lego minifigure and some accessories.  We finished off the evening with a fun tractor/trailer ride through the neighborhood.  We had to pick up the tractor from the grandparent's house and since the trailer was attached, the kids and I got to take a ride in it.  I almost wished I had my camera.  It was delightful to see the pure childhood joy on their faces as we rode up the street to our house.

Now we're on to summer break and I'm still getting things ready for next year.  I think I have everything ordered, except for a few enrichment items that aren't necessary.  I'm still working hard at writing a science curriculum.  It's a lot of work!  What are you hard at work at?

Monday, June 1, 2015

My Father's World - Exploring Countries & Cultures Weeks 31-33

Okay dokey. We're going to speed things up here and do three weeks at a time.  Cause we're done with school and I want to get this recap stuff done and focus on the three bazillion and one other things I have to do.  Like prepping for next year!

Week 31

We started studying Australia.  It would be so fun (and long) to travel there someday!  I can't remember anything real outstanding that we did this week.  I was starting to get to the end of the year slump.  Our Magic School Bus viewing included "Takes a Dive" because we were studying coral reefs.

Week 32

We continued studying Australia.  We ate some kiwi and the little girl didn't have an allergic reaction to it!  But...she tried fresh pineapple recently, thinking that maybe she wasn't allergic to pineapple and kiwi anymore...but, she reacted and got all itchy.  Poor girl.  The kids built the Sydney Opera House out of nanoblocks.  The nanoblocks were the big hit this year!  I'm so glad we were able to find ones to fit with our units of study.  I watched Amazon like crazy to get deals on the ones we wished for.  Our Magic School Bus viewing included "Goes to Seed." 

Week 33

We started on Antarctica.  In good ol' fashion end of the year slumping...we didn't do a lot of the suggested stuff.  Bad mommy.  Our Magic School Bus viewing included "Under Construction."  We did make penguins out of nanoblocks!

One more entry on the end of the school year, yet to come!  Whew!  Anyone else finishing something up?

Friday, May 29, 2015

My Father's World - Exploring Countries & Cultures Weeks 29 & 30

Playing the catch up game, yet again.  Especially now that we're done with school for this year!  Summer break time here!

Week 29

We were studying Russia this week.  Art was suppose to be nesting dolls, but we had some Global Nesting Dolls that we just played with.  Our Magic School Bus viewing included "In the Arctic" and Planet Earth viewing included "Ice Worlds."

Week 30

We continued to study Russia this week.  The art project was suppose to be jeweled eggs, but being that Easter was the same week....we just colored eggs.  We looked up information about St. Basil's Cathedral and built it out of nanoblocks.  Our Magic School Bus viewing included "Plays Ball."  For Easter the kids did a geocache egg hunt.  My husband and I gave the kids an egg with GPS coordinates.  They had to use the GPS and coordinates to locate another egg.  In that egg was a clue to a hidden prize in the house and GPS coordinates to another egg on our property.  They found all the eggs on the property and then found the prizes hidden in the house.  They got a few books and DVDs.  It was a really fun (and educational) way to do an egg hunt.  We've also been reading "Island of the Blue Dolphins."

Short and sweet.  Now to finish the last 6 weeks of school posting!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

My Father's World - Exploring Countries and Cultures Weeks 27 & 28

Ummmm, I didn't realize two months had gone by.  Whoops.  Time flies.  The last day of school is tomorrow and I've got weeks of catching up to do.  Such is life.

So, let's make this quick.  Cause I've got bazillions of things to do, just like everyone else.

Week 27

We entered Japan.  Darn, the last time I wrote, I was still posting photos of snow.  Now it's rain.  It's suppose to be dry and hot here, but it's cold and wet.  Though, my plants are loving the rain.  I have some blooming that I thought had been dead for years!  Where was I?  Oh, Japan!

Ummm, it's really hard to remember when we're on week 36 and almost done.  I've got to check my notes.  Origami was the art for the week.  The girl loved it and the boy tried a couple.  Our Magic School Bus viewing included "Revving Up" and we watched Planet Earth's "Ocean Deep" to go with the science study of oceans.  We gave up on the Wee Sing songs, the kid's just weren't into it. 

We also celebrated someone's 8th birthday!! (I think that was this week.  I still have to label all my photos from that month.  Ahhhh!  I'm so behind!)

Week 28

Japan again.  The kids built a Japanese building out of nanoblocks.  I forget which one, cause we have a couple from Japan.  And I don't want to venture through the dark house to find out which one it was.  I don't think I have photographic evidence either.  Our Magic School bus viewing included "Goes to Mussel Beach" and "Gets Swamped."  We ended the Japan unit with some "Japanese" food.  The kids had fun shopping in the Japanese aisle at the grocery store.  We got ramen, rice crackers, and some Japanese candy for dessert. We also had shrimp and made some cabbage and egg "pancakes" that have some name that I can't remember at the moment.  This was the first time the kids ate ramen.  They weren't too impressed.  Daddy and I told them stories of our young days when we ate a lot of ramen, because it was cheap.  It's still cheap.  The kids were most impressed with their gift of stainless steel chopsticks.  They've been using those when they think of it.  They practiced on peanuts and had a competition to see how many peanuts they could pick up at one time.  The kids were happy to just get one.  Daddy won the competition, but he's had lots of practice from all his trips to China.  I didn't partake since I'm sensitive to peanuts.  At least I can still be near peanuts, maybe.  My reaction to them keeps getting worse and worse. Moving on....

That's it.  I know you can hardly wait for the rest of the year.  I know I can't.  (Typed with a sarcastic tone.)

One more day of school!  I'm so excited!  I've really been dragging these past couple of weeks!  The end of the year slump or something.  How about you?  Are you falling behind in stuff too?

Thursday, March 26, 2015

My Father's World - Exploring Countries and Cultures Weeks 25 & 26

I'm trying my best to catch up.  On something.  I can't remember the last time I vacuumed and things are starting to crunch under my feet.  That can't be good.  I'm pretty sure the dog licks up most of the edible stuff, so whatever is left on the floor is not edible.  Hopefully that means we aren't attracting mice. 

This is the crazy week in my life where things compounded on each other.  Wait, every week is crazy.  One appointment meant another appointment had to made and on and on.  Soccer starts, so that's one more practice to add in to the schedule.  I will keep my soccer ranting to a minimum, because the kid just loves to play.  At least I'm not coaching this year!  But in other news....we found our first geocaches this week!  Five of them, actually.  While the girl was at her church performing arts practice, Biker Boy and I took Scooter geocaching and found all that I had on my list to find in an hour.  I think Biker Boy is our lucky charm, because we've gone without him and haven't had any luck. 

Ohhh...we went to another performance at the local university's theater.  We've gone to quite a few this year and the one we went to this week was our favorite!  We saw "The Smoke and Mystery Tour" presented by Nelson Illusions.  It was awesome!  We've been brainstorming how they do some of the illusions.  We have one more show left to go to this year.  We're seeing "Dino-Light" next.  We're looking forward to that one too.  We've seen "The Nutcracker," "Cirque Zuma Zuma," "The Musical Adventures of Flat Stanley," and "Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse."  Scooter would like it known that he did not attend that last show (Lilly).  Chewy entered the art contest for the Lilly show and was runner-up.  She was delighted to have won a Broadway edition Lion King CD.  (The winner got a pizza party...which would not have gone over well in this household with a certain child). 

Alright, let me back up and get on with Weeks 25 and 26 of school.

Week 25

We entered China this week.  I do remember that it snowed.  We had a Friday with some snow and we got out in it.  Then that night it snowed nearly a foot and we hit up the local ski area for the first time this year.  We'll call that PE.  In other school stuff, we skipped art. Kind of.  The kids made cards with rubber stamps, which was close enough to the art for the week.  I'm again lacking on the photos.  What's up with that?  You'd think I don't like taking photos.

Oh, the kids watched "Pippi Longstocking" at their grandparents house and we had the book, so I decided we would read that next.  Pippi makes pepparkakor - a kind of Swedish cookie - in Chapter 2.  I had a cookbook with a recipe for pepparkakors, so we made some!  Ours were in the shape of a rabbit, rather than a pig. 

I think I forgot to mention that we also read "Return of the Indian."  We've listened to some Carl Hiaasen books and the kids have loved them.  "Chomp" was their favorite!  I ordered the Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan for next year in school.  I think we'll be done with them by then!  I've already read all 5, Scooter is on Book 2, and Chewy has started the first book and loves it!  I'm happy that Scooter has found some other chapter books he can get into and I'm surprised that Chewy is enjoying them so much.  They're a little more "scary" than other books she reads.  My poor family...I don't read books all that often because I am horrible when I read books.  I totally ignore everything going on around me.  I couldn't put the Percy Jackson books down!  Maybe that's why I haven't vacuumed in awhile.  Thankfully I just finished the last book yesterday.  I will not read any more books for a bit.  Except...Chewy just checked out a "Whatever After" series book by Sarah Mylnowski out of the library and it's one I haven't read or listened to yet.....and we all love those books!  We've listened to the first three in the series and they are a hoot!  Yes, yes...books get me all excited!  I have so many planned for next year that I don't think we'll have time for all of them.  Next week we're starting "Island of the Blue Dolphins."  I can hardly wait!  But I really should get back to Week 25....I'm diverging off on a tangent.  But oh, I love books! 

In other activities, we watched two episodes of The Magic School Bus.  We saw "In a Pickle" and "Inside Ralphie."  I'm still busy writing a science curriculum for next year!  I should probably be doing that instead of writing this.

Week 26

We were still in China this week.  We did some Tangram Designs.  We also finished the unit up by ordering Chinese from the local Chinese place.  I love getting take out from them, they give you so much food!  We hadn't ordered Chinese in awhile and I forgot how much you get.  I think we ate Chinese food for lunch for the next 3 days.  We expanded beyond our usual things we order from there and tried some new things.  The kids had fun helping to pick out things to order.

We were studying oceans, so we did some salt experiments.  We watched Planet Earth: Shallow Seas.  We also watched "Ups and Downs" and "Goes on Air" for our Magic School Bus episodes.

Alrighty, I really should be getting to bed.  It's hot chocolate Friday in the morning and I'm really looking forward to that!  Plus, we've already put some seeds in the garden (oops...I may have mixed a few up...that could be fun) and I'm excited to start seeing some seedlings pop up!  There will hopefully be some tomorrow or in the next couple of days!  What are you excited about?

Monday, March 23, 2015

My Father's World - Exploring Countries and Cultures Weeks 23 & 24

Oh Boy!  Am I a little behind or what?  We're currently starting week 29!  I'm just a wee bit behind.  There just never seems to be enough time.  So here's a fast and furious recap, because I'm pretty sure I can't even remember what we did.

Week 23

We were studying India.  Um, that's about all I remember.  I do remember the weather hit 70 and the kids had a water fight.  Then it promptly got cold and snowed again.  That meant I was able to take the kids sledding with Grandpa, while Daddy was freezing on a boy's ski trip in MN.  Good times.  We celebrated Valentine's Day early with our yearly tradition of an olive pizza.  It's an "Olive You Pizza."  As in "I love you pizza."  Get it?  This was the first year that the girl actually got what the olive pizza meant.  We've only been having this pizza for 16 years.  The girl helped me make the pizza into a heart shape.  And yes, there's a section that is cheese free.  Some boy in this family (he shall remain nameless) doesn't like cheese.  Strange child!

In other school stuff....ahhh...oh, Magic School Bus. We watched the episodes of "Holiday Special" and "Meet Molly Cule."  Loved them.  I knew it was Dolly Parton in one of them!  We skipped art this week.  Except the girl did her usual crafting of random things.

Week 24

Still in India.  We studied the Taj Mahal and read a book about it.  It has quite the story about the ruler who built it!  We even built the Taj Mahal out of Nanoblocks. 

We attempted art this week.  Attempted.  That's always the operative word.  It was another failure of a project.  We were suppose to make stone inlays.  The kids made shapes out of self drying clay and stuck stained glass squares and pretty rocks in the clay.  As the clay dried it cracked and the stones popped out.  We're still thinking of laying their attempted pieces of our kitty's grave.  It might make a nice marker.  She'll have her own little Taj Mahal.  We can call it Taj Belle.

 We watched one Magic School Bus episode, it was "Blows its Top."  We also watched Planet Earth: Mountains.

Of course we're still getting in our PE.  We can go from sledding one day to the bike park the next!

There. Done.  Now I still need to catch up.  Ugh, this evil juniper pollen is getting to me.  Anyone else dealing with spring allergies? 

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Free Kindle Kid's Book: A Dragon Tale

File this under a homeschool item that took forever!  But's accomplished and the kids are so proud of themselves.

Last year we had a fairy tale unit in school.  The kids wrote a fairy tale.  This year they finished illustrating it.  I helped them scan in their drawings and add the text in Photoshop.  We were going to upload the photo files to a photo printing place and have a book made.  But I got to adding up how many books we wanted and what that would cost.  A little too much.

Sooo....we went with Amazon Kindle.  Free to publish.  We can't offer the book free indefinitely, but that's okay.  We can offer it for free for a bit and that's when we would like family to download it (and others). 

My little fairy tale characters ( kids) wrote a short fairy tale about some characters.  The story is about a prince and a princess that get turned into dragons after eating an apple from a wicked witch.  They have to save their kingdom from being turned into dragons.  Along the way there are references to other fairy tales. 

So, if you'd like to download a book written for kids by kids, it will be free from today through Saturday, February 28, 2015.  We'll have 2 days left to offer it for free another time.  We're not really expecting to make any money on it, but it's been a great learning experience for the kids.  There were some creative differences at times, especially over the cover design, but they worked through it.  Maybe someday they'll polish up something a little more and publish it and we'll have lessons on marketing!  This time, we're skipping the marketing.  This is it! 

We hope you enjoy the story as much as the kids enjoyed writing it.  They still laugh when they read it and that makes this mama happy.  You can click on the image of the book to find its place at Amazon.

Enjoy your weekend!
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