Tuesday, December 16, 2014

My Father's World - Exploring Countries and Cultures Weeks 13 & 14

We are into week 16.  Time to play catchup. 

On with the homeschool recap.

Week 13

Week 13 found us finishing up Norway.  My kids are part Norwegian, from their Daddy's side.  Who knows...maybe there's some on my side?

For art we made Lapland Felt Squares out of yellow, blue, and red felt.  Some ribbon was thrown in there and I'd call this a successful art project.  At least we can't mess up gluing felt to felt. 

Our Norwegian cooking for the week suggested finding Lefse in a store.  Ha!  It's a tradition on my husband's side to have Lefse on Thanksgiving.  It's not easy to find in the state we live in.  Tortillas...Yes.  Lefse...No.  Most people have no idea what lefse is.  So, since our Norwegian unit came pretty close to Thanksgiving....we decided to surprise family and make Lefse.  Easier said than done.  We watched a YouTube video on how to make Lefse and got an easy recipe online.  Our dough was made from instant mashed potatoes.  It went great.  We made the dough, rolled the balls, and put them in the refrigerator to roll out into round lefse things later.  Later we got them out and all our balls had melted into a bowl of mush.  So I must have poured in a whole bag of flour until I got a dough that I could roll out and cook.  Thankfully, they still tasted like lefse.  I think.  I've never really been fond of the stuff.  But if you cover anything in butter and cinnamon sugar, it's gotta be good.  So we had homemade Lefse at our family Thanksgiving.  Maybe we'll try it again next year.

We also made a nanoblock model of the Spanish Cathedral "Sagrada Familia."  Fascinating history.  I don't think I have photographic evidence.  Someday I'll have to take a photo of the nanoblock models.  The kids sure do enjoy building those together.  At least, until it gets frustrating!  We have found that tweezers help.

Magic School Bus episodes this week included "Butterfly and the Bog Beast" and "Goes Upstream." 

Week 14

This week found us going to France!  Ohh la la!  Our global art found us making soap.  We've collected small soap pieces since earlier in the year, knowing this project was coming up this school year.  I'd call this project a half fail.  It took FOREVER for the soap to melt in a double boiler.  We added some coconut oil to the soap bits.  When it was mostly melted we added some avocado oil.  After nearly 40 minutes, during which the kids were playing Lego People, I finally decided the mostly melted soap was close enough.  Scooter chose to add peppermint oil for scent.  We pushed the chunky stuff into silicon molds.  We had thought we'd give some of the soap away, but deemed it not worthy.  We've been using it.  It's a little chunky and falls to bits, but the fun part is that if you add a little water...it squishes back together and you can play with it like playdoh.  It's kinda fun.  Maybe that's why the kids want to take baths lately.

We finished up Compare and Contrast essays.  The kids have been loving their typing program and enjoyed trying to type up their papers.  Our keyboard was so used that many of the letters were missing on it.  I printed some out from our label maker.  Apparently, Biker Boy thought our kids deserved better and ordered them a new keyboard for Christmas.  I'm typing on it now.  He's a wonderful, thoughtful man!  

The kids got to spend some of the money they had been saving up and purchased new Lego sets (hello...Cyber Monday).   As soon as they were finished with school work, they had the sets covering the dining table.  They sure do love Lego sets. 

Our video entertainment of the week included the Magic School Bus episode of "Going Batty" and the Planet Earth episode of "Caves." That's because we studied caves.  We love caves.  We're planning to go to another one for spring break, if all works out as planned.  But things happen, so we take them as they come. 

Thanksgiving fell in the midst of these 2 weeks.  It was a fun time!  BB guns, figure skating, movies at home, food, food, and more food.  We made 16 dozen of our annual turkey cookies.  That's a tradition from my family (the gingerbread cookies with candy corns, not the candy ones).

And that is another 2 weeks in the book blog.  Hard to believe that Christmas is next week!  Enjoy!  Are you all set?  I'm not, but I'm going to call it good.  Cause I've got my pants off this year.  (Ha!  Have you seen the Christmas episode of "The Middle" from this year?)

Sunday, November 30, 2014

My Father's World - Exploring Countries and Cultures Weeks 11 & 12

So, I've basically determined....I can't keep up.  I'm trying.  We're only on to week 14 in real life and I'm writing about weeks 11 and 12.  That isn't too bad.  I'm definitely not one of those blogging moms who can do everything.  And I can't even do the stuff I do that well.  Oh well.  I'm enjoying my kiddos!

Here's the quick recap of weeks 11 and 12.  I can barely remember what we did to write in their baby books.  So here goes nothing:

Week 11

We were still studying South America and Brazil.  For art Scooter chose to make a Hemp Rope Figure and Chewy chose to make a Carnival mask.  The mask was a success, the Rope Figure was a frustrating chore for Scooter.

For science we continued to study rain forests.  Our added Magic School Bus episodes were "Cracks A Yolk" and "Taking Flight."  The "Taking Flight" episode went along with finishing reading about Nate Saint, who was a missionary pilot.  I added a lab to go along with "Crack A Yolk."  We studied eggs and then dissected an egg to find the parts of it.  Luckily, I use to do this lab with my seventh graders when I was a teacher, so I was able to find that lab in my teaching materials and use it with the kids.

Week 11 ended our "trip" to South America.  I gave the kids a test on the countries and they were both able to locate all of the South American countries!  

We celebrated with a dinner of quinoa mixed with sweet potatoes and green peas.  For dessert we finished off with a Brazilian chocolate treat called Brigaderiros.  Yummy!  Your suppose to coat them in chocolate sprinkles, but we chose to put toasted coconut on them.  They were delicious!

In extracurricular activites, the kids each built an item out of Legos and then had to use the Lego Digital Designer to show how they built it.  We have to print those out this week and then each child will try to build the other's design from the directions they made.  Should be fun!

Chewy is practicing for a Christmas figure skating show.  She's also designing her own outfits and I've been sewing a few!  I've made a skirt and now we've made two dresses.  The black and yellowish one in the photo below was of Chewy's design.  She designs and I execute (meaning I sew it and try not to botch it...though the definition of "killing" is probably more suited to my sewing skills). 

Week 12

We entered Europe this week, specifically, we entered Norway.  The kids have some Norwegian heritage, so this was rather exciting for them.

Our art for this week included rosemaling.  Earlier the kids had picked out wooden objects at Hobby Lobby to rosemale.  Scooter chose a "pirate treasure chest" to keep his Lego figures in.  Chewy chose a small jewelry box with a mirror in it for her dolls.  We watched a YouTube video on rosemaling and looked at the family item that his been passed down to us that has rosemaling on it.  Then the kids went for it and pretty much painted however they wanted to.  They at least had fun doing it!  I'd call that a successful art project!

We added on the Magic School Bus episode of "Shows and Tells."  We're still reading "The Indian in the Cupboard" a couple of times week for reading.  The kids have really been enjoying that book.  Our audio listening slowed down, but we did listen to "The Great Brain." 

There...that's the recap of those two weeks!  I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving!  We sure did and I'll hopefully recap that during my Weeks 13 and 14 recaps.  Hopefully.  No promises.  I've got three bazillion and one other things to do.  What a busy and fun time of the year!  Hope you have a great week!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Making A Skating Skirt with Makemyskatedress.com

Busy, busy, busy.  Aren't we all?!  This poor blog gets neglected over my other one, but the other one has been neglected too.  'Tis the season.  But isn't it fun?

My girl and I have been having fun getting our sewing on.  Chewy started skating not too long ago.  Figure skating.  When I say "skating," people always ask "roller or figure."  Roller skating is more popular in a land without water and ice.  We're lucky enough to have a family member who lives by that is a figure skating coach.  Chewy gets private lessons!

I think one of the things that Chewy likes about skating is the outfits.  She's the "fashionista" in the family.  A very original fashionista.  She's got a taste in clothes all her own.  A polka dotted shirt with a  striped skirt and neon tye-dye knee high socks is something she would wear.  Fortunately,  Chewy has gotten a handful of hand-me down skating outfits.  But I also wanted to get her something.  But I'm the thrifty type, so spending $40 on a skate skirt or $90 on a dress from the pro shop is not in my budget. Especially when she'll out grow the stuff in no time at all. She's growing like a weed!

After some internet research, I discovered Jalie patterns.  They have figure skating outfit patterns.  Except I wasn't quite sure I could just jump into sewing a figure skating anything.  On the Jalie site I came across Makemyskatedress.com.  Jack pot!  A blog on sewing figure skating stuff, a store with fabrics, patterns, and pre-cut outfits, and help for crafting figure skating outfits!  Just lovely!  I know figure skating is only a small niche in the world, but you could even check it out if you have girls who like to wear pretty outfits!

I ordered a pre-cut skating skirt in small and a pre-cut skating dress in small for my Chewy.   They just fit her, so I'm guessing next year we'll be getting mediums!  She's already excited at that!  I have to admit, it's kinda addicting sewing these, once you get going.  I might even venture out into pairing some of Make My Skate Dress's fabrics with the Jalie patterns.

I'm just going to show the skirt first.  The dress will get billing another time, once I can get some photos of Chewy in it.  That shouldn't be too hard, considering she likes to wear it.  The lighting just hasn't been great and I don't want to pull out my studio lighting to take a few photos.

Everything was packaged nicely and cut nicely.  Much better than I could do myself.  Each piece is also labeled, so you know what it is.  Totally worth it!  Sorry that the photo isn't the best.  Again, low light and I didn't put on my speedlight.  Lazy Busy photographer homeschooling mom.

The directions were easy to follow.  I'm not an expert sewer, I wouldn't even call myself an intermediate sewer.  I'm a basic sewer.  With a basic sewing machine.  Nothing fancy.

Here's a few hints that helped me:
  • You don't need a serger, but an overcast foot is so helpful.  It cost me about $7 for the foot for my Kenmore machine and makes zigzagging the edges of the fabric together a breeze. 
  • Stretch needles are worth it.  I have ballpoint needles and I'm cursing/hating/mumbling not nice things under my breath every time I use them on stretchy fabric.  The fabric bunches and doesn't go under my machine nicely.  Then I read about stretch needles and decided to get some and try them.  I love those things.  Stretch material doesn't bunch anymore when I use those.  I have broken a few, but that's par for the game with sewing. 
  • Use nice thread.  Not the cheap stuff.  My mom gave me that hint (thanks mom!).  It doesn't shed as much, doesn't break as much, and doesn't muck up my machine like the cheap stuff.  I've become an expert at cleaning and repairing my machine, unfortunately.  
The overcast foot on my machine.
Both Chewy and I were impressed with how well the skirt turned out.  I'll admit, I'd do a few things differently next time.  But those were my own mistakes, such as having the seams lie different ways once I got everything sewed together.  Little picky things like that, I suppose it comes with experience or not being a type A person.  The directions were easy to follow and the skirt turned out looking like it could have almost been store-bought.  (Almost...again...I'm not the best sewer, so I'm pretty stoked at how well this skirt turned out.)

So pretty much....Chewy and I love Make My Skate Dress.  It's affordable, easy, and just plain awesome.  $10 to sew a skating skirt over paying $40!  Yes, please!  The material is all pre-cut, that is a huge time saver and made this project easy.  Plus, it all came with a matching scrunchie for Chewy's hair.  I grew up in the era of scrunchies and it's a time those things made a huge comeback.  Love the scrunchie! 

I'm just sharing an exciting find with you....Make My Skate Dress.  Awesome service, awesome shop, awesome place.  I'm happy to share it with anyone willing to listen!  And Chewy is happy to wear what we "create," so that's make me a happy mom.   What exciting finds do you have to share?

Thursday, November 6, 2014

My Father's World - Exploring Countries and Cultures Weeks 9 & 10

It took a little bit to get through these weeks.  Not because it was hard, but because we were gone from home.  We traveled for 10 days out of the past 2 weeks.  One day we did do school work in the car. The rest was a free-for-all and we called it our "fall break."  Another reason to love homeschooling...being able to travel at "non-peak" times.  Love it!  Plus, the kids haven't been sick in ages!

So, I somehow didn't photograph much of our school happenings.  I did manage to get some photos of fall break, but not much of school.  I managed to find some photos.

On with the recap:

Week 9

We entered Brazil.  No photographic proof here.  I'm pretty sure we did stuff.  Such as a greenhouse experiment and making terrariums.  We went the easy route and did those egg-shaped terrariums.  We'll get back to you on if they grow.  We did a pitcher plant (which is residing for 6 weeks in the refrigerator), a venus-fly trap, and something else that I thought would grow.  I don't hold much hope for those tropical plants living here in the desert.  The plants are "guaranteed to grow."  I'm not so sure about that.  I'll be impressed if they do.

For art this week we made Drinking Straw Flutes.  And we did not have an epic fail this time.  Well, the kids more or less produced a lot of spit out of their straws, rather than the loud squacking noises I got out of mine. 

Our Magic School Bus watching for the week included "In the Rain Forest" and we watched "Jungles" from the Planet Earth series.  Cause, you know, there's a really big rain forest in South America. 

We went on a field trip to the local pumpkin patch with some other wonderful homeschoolers.  We've been going to this patch since Scooter was almost 2!  It's gotten bigger every year!

We also celebrated someone's birthday a little early with a party for a few friends at a bike park!  How do I have a kid that is a decade old?!

Week 10

Oh, week 10.  Part at home, some of it in the car, and most of it broken between 2 trips.  We had 2 days home between our trips, so it was craziness here.  Good craziness. 

We continued studying South America.  The kids are so good at knowing where the countries belong on the map.  They're better than myself or their dad.

Our Magic School Bus watching included "In the Haunted House" and "Makes a Rainbow."  They don't really go along with what is being studied in My Father's World, but I put them here.  We also watched "Eyewitness - Jungles."  Yep, we frequent the library!

We also built another Nanoblock set, but I didn't get any photos of it yet.  We built the Easter Island heads.  They're called moai statues.  Did you know that there are 887 statues on that island?!  Why did we build the Easter Island statues while studying South America?  Because Easter Island is a special territory of Chile.  Except Easter Island is way out in the ocean and far, far away from Chile.

We were suppose to do an art project this week, but I pushed it off due to time.  We may do it during week 11, but I can't guarantee it.  The kids weren't too disappointed.  They were busy enough with all the adventures we went on.


First up was a trip to Moab, UT.  I go into more detail on my photography blog about it here.  It was an amazing trip (with some slight hiccups).  Beautiful and fun!  It was a great family trip and I'm sure we'll be going back there someday.  We biked the Slick Rock Trails and Bar M (Circle-O) trails as a family.  We visited Arches National Park and did quite a bit of hiking.  The kids and I got to visit some local parks and natural areas while Biker Boy was off with some other people traversing the more difficult mountain biking trails.  Both kids wanted to move to Moab by the time we left.

Our second trip was to Alabama.  It was delightful and a great trip!  Our pass we have to our local science museum got us into the US Space and Rocket Center for free.  That was worth it and more.  If you're in Huntsville, AL that is a great place to visit!  We also saw Cathedral Caverns and did some southern eatin'!  Chewy wanted us to leave her in Huntsville! 

Another 2 weeks in the books!  We're proceeding with the next 2!  How about you?

Sunday, October 19, 2014

My Father's World - Exploring Countries and Cultures Weeks 7 & 8

I thought I just wrote about weeks 5 & 6 a couple of days ago.  How am I into week 9, nearly 10 and I haven't recapped 7 & 8?  I need a pause button.  Forget that easy button.  Someone get me a pause button. 

And smack this fanatical photographer like crazy....I barely photographed my children during these weeks.  What is up with that?  Oh...it's photographer syndrome.  You know how April is crazy for tax accountants, October is like that for photographers.  And I'm not even a professional with an actual job.  But I shot 4 families in 4 days.  (Shot as in photographed....just in case you were wondering).  I still have half of those photos to finish...but those are gifts, so I guess the families don't mind waiting. 

Alright, for the sake of trying to write down what we are covering this year.  Let's get on with the recap.

Week 7 & 8 found us finishing up North America.

Week 7

We ventured into Canada.  Eh.  People sometimes think Biker Boy is from Canada because of his accent.  I don't hear it.  But, eh, maybe.  The kids love using our talking globe (smart globe?) to find out about the countries we are studying.  Glad Biker Boy was able to fix it.  The poor thing was on the fritz before school started. 

We tried Inuit Soap Carving this week.  If you've been reading our school recaps, have you noticed a trend with the art stuff?  We've been having big time fails.  Again, we had a big time fail.  I mean, I was even excited about trying to carve a piece of soap into a polar bear or something and it wasn't workingout.  Chewy was done first the day we had art, so she eagerly went to work on the soap while Scooter was working on math.  I had to show her how to carefully push the soap away from her.  We used Ivory (cheapest stuff that Biker Boy could find on one of his shopping trips with the kids).  Well, it didn't take too long before Chewy was nearly in tears because her bar of soap broke.  So I gave her mine.  Guess what happened to that one?  Yep, it broke too.  Scooter didn't even attempt his soap carving.  He's not as into crafty stuff as Chewy is.  We put his soap into an Operation Christmas Child box, it'll be much more useful in there. 

For our viewing pleasure this week we watched Magic School Bus episodes of "Meets the Rot Squad" and "Gets Eaten." 

We started reading Indian in the Cupboard together. This is my own addition for our reading time.  The kids take turns reading pages to me out of chapter everyday.  (We try to read it 3-4 times a week, with self-choice on the other days).  We write vocabulary words out of each chapter and look them up in the dictionary.  They also either have a question to answer or a picture to draw each day about the previous chapter they read.  A question such as "What toy would you put into the magic cupboard and have it come alive?  Why?"  (It didn't have to be plastic in our cupboard).  Anyone care to guess what Chewy would have come alive? 

Week 8

Still in Canada.  We finished the week off with a Canadian meal.  And I have no photographic evidence of it.  I totally forgot.  We ate some meat dish with corn and mashed potatoes on top.  We had french bread with butter.  Then we made the desserts from the book we had.  Chewy helped make some Canadian Blue Berry Dessert and we had it with vanilla ice cream and maple syrup. 

Our art project for the week was Maple Leaf Prints.  Except we live in an area where maple trees are rare.  Really rare.  So we went on a nature walk through our yard and collected leaves off trees in our yard to make the prints. And we didn't do the prints in the way that the art book wanted us to.  We used crayons to make tracings of the leaves.  It was a short and sweet project and the kids loved it.  Yay for one successful art project. 

We did one science experiment with celery and it was easy.  I was I had more time to incorporate more science experiments. The kids love the hands on stuff.  I think I did a lot of science with them last year, so much that they have a hard time remembering what we did. 

We only watched one Magic School Bus this week, it was "Gets Ants in its Pants." 

In other events, we've been getting out hiking and biking.  We got up into the mountains at least a few times to enjoy the fall weather and colors.  It sure has been a beautiful fall.  We attempted the balloon glow for the fourth time and for the fourth time were not able to see it.  Just isn't meant to be, I guess. We had a canceled field trip to the Pumpkin Patch, but it got rescheduled for Week 9, so more on that later.  I even managed to take both kids ice skating on my own!  Chewy, of course, was the expert and showed us how to do everything.  Scooter was skating circles by the end and I was able to remember most of the things I had learned in lessons years ago.  It was much easier than roller skating!


We've now been studying South America.  Scooter had some friends meet him at the bike park to celebrate his birthday and that was a fun time.  We've got 2 busy weeks ahead of us!  Not sure when I'll be back to write here again.  You'll have to check out my photograph page at www.chrissymartinphotography.com for some previews of the kids dressing up in a few days.  Here's hoping I can whip something up in Photoshop for this year. 

Hope you all are enjoying your weeks!  Until next time...

Monday, October 6, 2014

My Father's World - Exploring Countries and Cultures Weeks 5 & 6

Apparently 2 weeks has gone by since I last posted.  I'm not quite sure where the time is flying, but it's flying fast. 

We've been enjoying school and failing at many art projects.  Yikes.  It's kind of discouraging and makes me want to quit doing art projects all together.  Scooter would be fine with that, but Chewy would miss it.  Plus, it's a learning opportunity.  Not everything is always going to work out and sometimes you need to try something else. 

Time to recap:

Week 5 found us in Mexico!  The kids got their fake passports stamped and we "entered" Mexico.  The talking globe has been a hit with each new country that we enter.

The art project that we selected for this week was Clay Sun Faces.  We were getting all excited about painting them and displaying them outside somewhere.  Yep, that was a failed art project.  It started out great and we all made sun faces.

We live in a dry environment, so things dry fairly fast.  Maybe these sun faces dried too fast.  They cracked.  And I didn't have anymore Crayola Air Dry Clay to try again.  Bummer.

We made up for the failed art project with a leftover project from the USA.  Our nanoblock set representing the USA arrived and we put it together.  We did it in about 15 layer increments.  We'd do 15 layers (I'd name out pieces and the kids would put them together ) and then we would do something else before coming back and doing 15 more layers of the nanoblocks.  The nanoblocks were the highlight of our week.

We enjoyed some science experiments.  We also added in watching 2 episodes of Magic School Bus with mommy written worksheets (All Dried Up and Cold Feet).  We also watched Planet Earth Deserts to go along with what the kids are learning about in science.  We also happened to get an Eyewitness Video at the library on Deserts.  It sounds like we watch a lot, but that's pretty much it since we don't have cable or local channels. 

The kids have always wanted to try coconut water from a coconut, so I indulged them and let them try.  That was a fun treat!

Week 6 had us doing a pinata for an art project, but I decided to have the kids start it at the end of Week 5, just in case.  Good thing.  It was another failed project.  We tried making a paper maiche pinata with some premade paper maiche stuff that you just had to add water too. It was like playing with spit balls (and then I had to explain to the kids what spit balls were).  It took forever to try, I ended up popping the balloon after 3 days and the rest of the pinata kinda sank and broke. Fail.  Epic fail.  I was so bummed.

Week 6.  Another attempt at a pinata.  This time each kid made one. We stuck with the tried and true method of glue mixed with water.  We dipped pieces of computer paper in it.  I didn't have any newspaper.  They only dried about a day and the kids used the glue/water solution to paint on some pieces of tissue paper.  We ended up making hot air balloon "pinatas."  There was no candy in the pinatas, but the kids put some hard candies into the hot air balloon baskets!

Wondering which episodes of the Magic School Bus we watched this week?  Kicks up a Storm and The Busasaurus. 

Another art project had us making some tissue paper flowers.  The kids wanted to make lots, but I thought 6 was enough.  We used them to decorate for our Mexican feast.

At the end of Week 6 we enjoyed a Mexican feast.  I found an old Mexican cookbook that was handed down to us and the kids picked some recipes out of it.  We had tamales (store bought), tortillas, beans, guacomole, watermelon, and bischochitos (again, store bought) with tea for dessert.  It was a yummy meal! 

For audio enjoyment we listened to Igraine the Brave by Cornelia Funke.  I had actually read that one this summer and knew both kids would like listening to it.  Chewy enjoyed the girl as the main character and Scooter enjoyed all the parts about the castle.  They both enjoyed the talking cat!

Alrighty, I think I quickly made my way through those 2 weeks.  In other events, we made a trip to the science museum.  Scooter's been playing away at his guitar and Chewy has been enjoying skating (especially since she now has some skate dresses and a skating skirt).  The library is always fun every week and we've been meeting lots of friends there.  We had playgroup at our house, while doing portraits at the same time!  We've been getting the kids to the pool once a week when we can (I refuse to take them in the summer).  It's not busy at the pool in the fall and winter and the kids are finally progressing!  Scooter will even swim some laps with me! 

It's past my bedtime now. I've got 4 sessions of portraits to work on, so I may lack in posting here again.  That is, unless I need a break from editing.  4 families in 4 days, that's a record for me!  Not one I'm likely to repeat, but it works for now.  The fall colors have been beautiful!  We've been able to enjoy them on the mountain for the past 2 weeks with some hiking. 

Enough random writing for now, this girl has got to get to bed.  What have you been up to?

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?

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