Tuesday, April 15, 2014

This Makes Me Happy

When this happened 1098 miles into this trip. I can't believe I caught it!
Just over 6 months ago I was here

Road Trip!

Took the scenic route to Dallas with stops at White Sands National Monument and Carlsbad Caverns NP.

Sand Angel
Mountain goat herd with LOTS of babies
above caverns
Natural cave entrance "hike"
Big Room
Photos do neither place justice.

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Homeschool Moment

In a cave 750 feet underground
Carlsbad Caverns

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Thursday, April 10, 2014

Homeschool Moment

Making sure we know multiplication tables forwards, backwards, and UPSIDE DOWN!
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Homeschool Moment

Eric Carle collage art project
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Tuesday, April 08, 2014

This Makes Me Happy

Jack working with his speech therapist... seriously... how great is this?!?
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Monday, April 07, 2014

April Homeschool Plan

How are we so far into April already?!? I'm feeling ready to be done with our "formal" homeschool programs like grammar and math, so we can focus more on fun stuff  like history and science (fun for me anyway!).

Math
  • Math U See - Jack will continue Gamma at a slower pace since he is starting multiple number multiplication; Kate will continue Delta at a steady pace. Goal to finish both programs by "summer break"
  • Flashmaster - attempt daily practice
  • Life of Fred -  finish 2nd reading of Dogs and start Edgewood
  • K5 Math - daily and only as a supplement since it comes bundled with the reading/spelling
  • Math Games - goal of 3x/week - going to put specific games on specific days for our homeschool lists
Language Arts
  • First Language Lessons 3 - finish main lessons and dictionary skills this month; maybe finish letter writing lessons
  • Writing With Ease 3 - continue 2-4 lessons/week
  • Online Grammar/Writing class (Kate) - start in mid-April
  • Leap Write In! - Kate will continue this until online class starts
  • Tutoring (Jack) - 2-3x/week
  • Increasing Fluency (Jack) - start Grade 3 workbook
  • Daily Reading Comprehension - might drop back a little with this. Feels a little too much like busy work
  • Spelling City (Jack) lists via tutor
  • K5 Spelling (Kate) - daily lessons
  • K5 Reading - daily lessons for both, this is independent work
  • Cursive - Kate will continue to work through Cursive Writing Practice:Inspiring Quotes workbook, Jack will continue Handwriting Without Tears Cursive
  • Read, Write, Type program (Jack) - start a second time
  • Keyboarding (Kate) - practice 3-4x/week
  • Sentence Family & Grammarland & The Giggly Guide to Grammar - no plans for these this month, but want to keep them on as I'll use a few next month
  • Assigned reading - Kate has started The Four Story Mistake, then I think I'll have her start the Little House series. We read some aloud, but that was years ago. Jack will continue the Stink series since he really likes it. He's reading faster now, so I need to come up with a next set of books!
  • Audiobook - continue Narnia series. Finish The Silver Chair and start A Horse and His Boy (also continue working through Roar! book). Will probably have Jack listen to Little House series.
  • Using Picture Books to Teach Writing With the Traits K-2- start and see how we do
Science
  • What's Physics All About - continue to read and supplement with library books
  • Amazing Science DVD experiments
  • Planet Earth Encyclopedia with EHM's Science Chapter Tests
  • Animal studies. We did this almost 2 years ago, and I'd love to do it again this spring. I'll pick ducks and chickens and let kids pick others to study.
History/Social Studies
  • History of the World - Moving on to the Greeks! We'll be here for awhile. Will supplement with enormous amounts of books/DVDs from library
  • Bible stories - as they fit in with other studies
  • Geography - going to start state studies as we travel to them. New Mexico and Texas for April
  • Pearl Harbor - learn about it to prep for our next Hawaii trip (!!)
  • C.S. Lewis - mostly done, but will explore as we discover new resources
  • Mayans - online Minecraft homeschool class starts this month plus Denver Science Museum exhibit (and wishful thinking... a trip to see Mayan ruins? Not in April!)
  • Easter something or other
Physical Fitness 
  • Swim Team - 2-3x/week
  • Volleyball (Kate) weekly
  • Basketball (Jack) weekly
  • Ski School - final lesson of the year already done last week
  • Hiking - hopefully lots!
  • Couch to 5K - definitely going to start back up with running this month!
Art/Home Ec
  • Baking/Sewing- nothing formal
  • Knitting (Kate) - want to take Kate down to the local yarn shop to find her a mentor but will probably hold off until after spring travels
  • Storybook Artist Unit Studies by Enchanted Homeschool Mom - Eric Carle is next, then maybe Tomie dePaola?
Misc
  • Gratitude Journal - daily - yes
  • Iowa Test of Basic Skills for both kids - already done last week!
  • Playful eLearning courses 
  • Travel - road trip to Dallas to see family and some stops along the way
  • Field Trips - plan to see White Sands National Monument, maybe Carlsbad Caverns National Park, and maybe something in Dallas while we are there
  • Homeschool program - weekly (math, language arts, art, history, science, technology)
  • Speech Therapy (Jack) - 2x/week (loving the speech therapy!); Articulation app on iPad on non ST days

Saturday, April 05, 2014

Right Now

Kate and her favorite garlic Parmesan cheese fries.

She's been raving about these all season. Stopped to try them out on what might be the girls' last day of skiing this year.

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Friday, April 04, 2014

Day in My Life

Haven't done this for awhile. Always good for me to do when I start wondering where my time goes and why I'm getting nothing accomplished. This was yesterday...

5:25AM Wake naturally (that's not usual!), look outside to check for snow (it's gorgeous!), text friend about planned run, decide together to go despite the snow, read blog/news on my phone until I'm ready to get out of my warm bed
5:45 Get out of bed, turn on shower for Matt, get dressed, brush teeth, etc.
6AM Go downstairs, grab frozen banana muffin and warm in microwave, go crazy looking for hat & gloves for running, write note for kids in case they get up early, get outside, eat muffin and take in the amazing snow scene while walking to friend's house (ok, maybe I also ate a little snow also...)
6:15 Run a few soggy miles with friend
7:05 Back at home, snuggle with Jack & give him his clothes to "warm up under the covers," make sure Kate is awake & help her pick out clothes, make French toast for breakfast, holler at kids to come down and eat and don't forget socks, eat breakfast, talk about Photoshop and plastic surgery with kids (based on fashion magazine ad and article I'm reading), get everyone fully dressed and out the door and into the car (including Nina!)
7:45 Drive kids to homeschool program while listening to audiobook, drop off kids for standardized testing, chat with Matt quickly on the way home, marvel at how beautiful the snow is, snuggle with Nina at stoplights
8:15 Arrive home, feel grateful that I filled the chicken feeders last night so I don't have to trudge out there this morning, make tea, check calendar and to do list, finish reading magazine article, and sit down to work on computer - check email, blog, do some homeschool documentation & prep, look for a birthday present, catch up on swim team stuff, pay bills, do some banking, do some tax tasks, renew car registrations, all kinds of fun stuff...
10AM Take shower, get dressed quickly, and put on hat because ran out of time to dry hair
10:20 Race out of house, pick up kids from standardized testing, drive home while listening to audiobook
10:50 Arrive home, get kids set up for homeschool work, have popcorn and tea for snack
10:55 Call into conference call energy class (kids did homeschool work and ate lunch)
12:35PM Finish class call, spend a little time looking at hair headband tutorials, then run around crazy trying to gather things for going to the mountains, doing all kinds of random things, checking homeschool work, making to do list for tomorrow, answering a few emails, cleaning up the house, empty fridge, pack car, chase cats inside, etc, etc. (I took a little tea break in there also! But as I write, I don't think I ate lunch. Not good.)
2:05 Load everyone (including Nina) in the car and head out, talk to a friend on the phone while driving
2:20 Fill up with gas and shop at Costco. 2 for 2 on the sample to purchase ratio (tangerine juice and quinoa salad)
2:50 Leave Costco, head towards the mountains, call Matt, talk to another friend for a bit, listen to and finish our audiobook on the drive
5:05 Arrive in mountains, unload car with help from kids, pull hamburger out of the freezer to defrost for dinner, put away groceries
5:20 Take a short, unsuccessful nap (noisy kids)
5:35 Quick visit with newly widowed neighbor
5:45 Make dirty rice for dinner while kids watch a 7 Wonders of the World DVD
6:15 Serve up dinner
6:45 Read books to Jack while he eats a 2nd helping and Kate showers
7:15 Randomly surf internet while Jack fixes himself a bowl of strawberries
7:30 Continue reading to Jack, and Kate joins us after shower
8PM Send kids up to get ready for and into bed
8:20 Talk to Matt on phone
8:30 Snuggle and tuck kids in (they are both in my bed!)
8:45 Tidy kitchen
8:50 Call up to kids that I don't want to hear anything else or they are going to their own beds!
8:55 Feed Nina (bit late - oops!), make tea, fix myself a bowl of strawberries, think about all the chores/correspondence/dishes/etc. that needs to be done, choose to ignore it all, sit down in front of the fireplace with my tea and strawberries (and maybe a chocolate cookie!) and read
9:30 Get distracted thinking about craft project, look up supplies online, realize the store is outside of Denver, mentally plan a trip there for supplies this next week
9:55 Let Nina out, clean up dishes, plug in computer to charger, let Nina in
10PM Go upstairs, brush teeth, wash face, etc.
10:10 Move Jack over in bed, climb in, help Nina up into bed, read
10:25 Turn out light and go to sleep



Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Right Now

Enjoying a sunny, barefoot moment outside before the spring snow storm


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Books Before Movies Update

Back in January I posted a list of books I'd like to read before seeing the movies. Half done and just updating on my progress...
  1. Labor Day
  2. The Monuments Men
  3. Winter's Tale (February-March read... and still going... just over half done... its SO wordy!! I sorta want to quit, but I sorta really want to finish also)
  4. Vampire Academy (I don't know if I'm actually going to read this one...)
  5. A Long Way Down
  6. Divergent (previously read)
  7. The Fault in Our Stars (February read. One of my favorite reads in awhile.* So good that I had to get & read the author's other well known book Looking for Alaska)
  8. The Hundred Foot Journey
  9. The Giver (February read. Not what I was expecting)
  10. Dark Places
  11. This Is Where I Leave You (February read. So funny. Can't wait to see the movie!)
  12. The Maze Runner (read in January - and then had to finish the whole series!)
  13. Gone Girl (previously read)
  14. Unbroken (previously read)
  15. Wild (previously read)
  16. Serena
*How great is this line?! "I'm in love with you, and I'm not in the business of denying myself the simple pleasure of saying true things. I'm in love with you, and I know that love is just a shout into the void, and that oblivion is inevitable, and that we're all doomed and that there will come a day when all our labor has been returned to dust, and I know the sun will swallow the only earth we'll ever have, and I am in love with you.”