Thursday, September 18, 2014

My Father's World - Exploring Countries and Cultures Weeks 3 & 4

On to a recap of Weeks 3 and 4!

Week 3 found us learning about North Amercia and more specifically, the United States.  It was hopefully review for the kids since we studied the United States last year.

We started the week with some more "school portraits."  I practiced one more time on the kids and got some photos of them.

We enjoyed doing some Sand Art.  This was the Navajo Sand Painting from the Global Art book that we are using.  The kids enjoyed it.  I was having them do it on some wood pieces that had word art on them (from my bathroom before we painted it).  I didn't anticipate the words showing through, I thought the sand would cover it.  Oh well.  The kids had fun and the sand art is sitting on their shelves in the school room.  Right next to a fancy plaque that Daddy got for one of his patents.

The kids worked on 2 pages of their fairy tale that we were working on last school year.  Someday we'll get that thing done!

As usual, for science, I added in a few visual things.  We watched the Magic School Bus "Gets Planted" to go with learning about forests.  We also watched Planet Earth "Seasonal Forests."  We continued listening to "The Best School Year Ever" by Barbara Robinson.

The kids are both reading chapter books for a book report.  They also filled out a page that looked like a newspaper and they had to put in information about themselves.  I add a few things in to the curriculum here and there.  This is a photo of Scooter reading, though not of his book report book.

I guess I didn't take too many photos.  Moving on.

Week 4 had us still learning about the United States.  At the end of the week we celebrated with some food made from the "A Trip Around the World" book that is used with the curriculum.  The kids made a Southwest Dip and a Grits Casserole.  We enjoyed it with some pulled pork and bbq sauce.  We had pumpkin pie to finish off our American meal.  Plus, we wore Hawaiian leis, because it's fun.

The kids started a typing program online.  They both enjoy it, which is pretty fantastic.  They only do it once or twice a week so far, when we have time.  It's a BBC program called Dance Mat Typing

For art, we did a self-selected activity.  Chewy chose it from some options I gave her.  We made some monster bookmarks, similar to the ones I found at this blog.

For science we added in watching the Magic School Bus "For Lunch" and "Goes Cellular."  The kids are very good at recalling what they watched and answering the worksheets I have for them later.  I need to make some more worksheets for upcoming episodes!

The kids put their new typing skills to use when they typed out their final draft of their Personal Narrative. This was part of their English Curriculum (Bob Jones 4).

They read their narratives out loud to us after our American Dinner Celebration.  We even took videos of them reading their narratives.  These are just the photos, with really bad light from the flash.  Hello, red eyes!  They both did very well with reading their narratives to us.  I couldn't stop smiling!

In other news, we made Homemade Marshmallows for the first time!  I think we'll be making more in the future!  I wrote about the experience on my photography blog, in case you have nothing else to do and want to read more and get the link to the recipe.

We also did our yearly photo by the aspen tree.  Everyone sure has grown, except for Biker Boy and I!  Have I not put up photos of this from the past couple of years?  Because I know I took photos, but I can't find any blog posts with them.  Here's one from 2011 that has all the photos we've taken since 2007.  That tree keeps growing.  At least I chose the one that is still alive and not the one that died!

That's been the last two weeks of school. We're into week 5 and having a blast, most of the time!  What about you?

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Scooter & Chewy Read: Audio Books

I haven't done a "Scooter & Chewy Read" post in a long time.  They love to read.  I love that they love to read.  Sometimes it's frustrating that they love to read so much.  It causes them to be slow in doing other things...."just a minute, I need to finish this page."  Or it causes them to be hard of listening.  Scooter misses a lot of things when he's reading.

But this post is more of a record of some of our favorite audio books.  I think I'll keep adding on to it.  We've been listening to Audio Books (and audio programs) with the kids since they were teeny tiny.  They've gotten more into listening to the books and helping us pick them out as they've gotten older.

We listen to audio books on car drives.  We've taken lots of car trips and audio books help pass the time and keep the driver awake.  Since we no longer subscribe to cable, which in turn means that we can't even get local channels, ( TV!) we listen to audio books.  The kids like to listen to them while we eat breakfast.  (They're listening to the tablet in the photo below.)

For car drives we'll usually go to the library and scan the juvenile section of audio books.  We'll bring home a book on CD.  At home I download audio books on to our Android tablet from our local library.  We use OverDrive Media, which connects to our local library, and then I can download and use an audio book for 2 weeks.  It's pretty slick.  If we haven't finished the book in 2 weeks (rarely happens), I can usually renew it.

So here's a running tally of some of our favorite audio books (in no particular order).  I'll put some photo links at the bottom of a few favorites, in case you want to see what they're about.

Young Fredle by Cynthia Voight (We all loved this one!)
Little House Series by Laura Ingalls Wilder (I've read a few to the kids and we've listened to the rest on trips.  Only 2 left in the nine book series!)
Encyclopedia Brown by Donald J. Sobol (a couple of these)
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan
How to Train Your Dragon Book 1 by Cressida Cowell
The Best Christmas Pagent Ever by Barbara Robinson (another family favorite, we actually listened to it twice!)
When Santa Fell to Earth by Cornelia Funke
The Capture - Guardians of Ga'Hoole Book 1 by Kathryn Lasky
Magic Tree House (numerous ones of this series) by Mary Pope Osborne
The Chronicles of Narnia series by C.S. Lewis (all of these, we own the digital audio versions)
Fairy Haven and the Quest for the Wand by Gail Carson Levine
Fairy Dust and the Quest for the Egg by Gail Carson Levine
The Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett
Heidi by Johanna Spyri
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
Ralph S. Mouse by Beverly Cleary
The Year of Billy Miller by Kevin Henkes
The Littles and the Lost Children by John Peterson
Jigsaw Jones (a couple of these) by James Preller
Hotel for Dogs by Lois Duncan
Rainbow Fairy Books by Daisy Meadows
Junie B. Jones by Barbara Park
The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo
Mercy Watson by Kate DiCamillo
Because of Winn Dixie by Kate DiCamillo
The Best School Year Every by Barbara Robinson
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