Monday, March 31, 2014

March Homeschool Review

I'm late with this and sure I'm forgetting something...
Math
  • Math U See - Jack is through Gamma Unit Test 3, Kate is on Delta Lesson 12
  • Flashmaster - okay, maybe not daily, but frequently...
  • Life of Fred -  finished first reading of Dogs, on ch.13 of second reading with Matt
  • Math Games - better, still not 3x/week, but better
  • Teaching Textbooks & IXL - nada, in fact, I'm going to take this off the list until I decide we need to do it again
Language Arts
  • First Language Lessons 3 - on Lesson 85, since we are ahead, we eased up in March
  • Writing With Ease 3 - through week 16, we do these when able, but with no pressure to get through them quickly
  • Online Grammar/Writing class (Kate) - Kate completed this class, did well
  • Professor Grammar's Punctuation Packets workbook (Kate) - made a push at the end of the month and finished this workbook!
  • Tutoring (Jack) - 2-3x/week - done as available
  • Increasing Fluency (Jack) - we've been so inconsistent with this. Only 2 more lessons left
  • Daily Reading Comprehension - maybe not 5 a week as planned, but regularly
  • Spelling City (Jack) lists via tutor - done - Jack has done well with this
  • Spelling Workout C (Kate) - this was too easy and I dropped it. Isn't that one of the advantages of homeschooling? If it's not working, don't do it!
  • Cursive - Kate has been working through Cursive Writing Practice:Inspiring Quotes workbook, Jack has been doing Handwriting Without Tears Cursive - both going well, both kids seem to enjoy
  • Read, Write, Type program (Jack) - none in March
  • Keyboarding (Kate) - practiced multiple times/week, need to get Kate using keyboarding for all computer writing
  • Sentence Family & Grammarland & The Giggly Guide to Grammar - nada as expected
  • Assigned reading - Kate The Giver and The Moffats. Jack finished two books in the Stink series.
  • Audiobook - finished The Voyage of the Dawn Treader  and most of The Silver Chair. Jack also listened to The Moffats
  • Using Picture Books to Teach Writing With the Traits K-2- haven't actually started this. It took awhile for me to get the books we needed from the library and then we had guests/travel. But still super excited about this!
Science
  • What's Physics All About - nope
  • Amazing Science DVD - only on second experiment, but these are fun (& also being delegated to Matt!)
  • Planet Earth Encyclopedia & Enchanted Homeschool Mom's Science Chapter Tests - I just happened to be looking through EHM's printables and realized that we already had this book. Since I haven't been great about science the last few months, we are doing these. Kids read the chapters on their own and fill in worksheets. We have other encyclopedias in this series, and I think I'll create something similar when we are done with this.
History/Social Studies
  • History of the World - read bunches of supplemental library books and watched DVDs on Nebuchadnezzar, Babylon, Daniel and the Lions' Den, Persian tales, seven wonders of the world, Jonah and the Whale, etc.
  • Bible stories - as above
  • Geography - nothing formal, but we are always finding places on the map
  • C.S. Lewis - watched some biography DVDs, read books as we've come across them; also started working through the book Roar! about Narnia - great discussion questions
  • St. Patrick's Day/Ireland/Celts - watched some DVDs, read some books, did a "fun" packet of St. Patrick's Day worksheets I gathered from multiple resources
Physical Fitness 
  • Swim Team - 2-3x/week - yes
  • Volleyball (Kate) weekly - yes
  • Basketball (Jack) weekly - yes
  • Ski School - did ski school X times
  • Hiking - very little, its been cold!
  • Couch to 5K - nope
Art/Home Ec
  • Baking - nothing formal, but I made progress on my plans
  • Sewing - nothing formal
  • Knitting (Kate) - nope
  • Architecture class online - nope - just wasn't that great
  • Storybook Artist Unit Studies by Enchanted Homeschool Mom - completed Mitsumasa Anno
Misc
  • Meditation - 2-3x/week - nope - blah
  • Gratitude Journal - daily - yes!
  • ITBS workbook 3 (Jack)  - not much
  • French (Kate) - French club weekly - yes, but now it is over
  • Playful eLearning courses - nope
  • Travel - Alamosa, CO with Matt when he was working down there, couple visits in the mountains with friends for their spring breaks
  • Field Trips - Great Sand Dunes National Park, Monte Vista National Wildlife Preserve
  • Homeschool program - weekly (math, language arts, art, history, science, technology) - DONE
  • Speech Therapy (Jack) - 1-2x/week - done as available

Homeschool Moment

Trying to identify the hawk in our front yard. The hawk & the robin it was chasing slammed into our front window during breakfast.


(The hawk couldn't find the stunned robin and eventually flew off. Everyone will be happy to know that, although he hasn't flown away yet, the robin appears fine and seems to be recovering)

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Sunday, March 30, 2014

Right Now

Knocking down icicles from upstairs windows



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Saturday, March 29, 2014

This Makes Me Happy

This guy checking me out when I parked next to him at the grocery store this morning.


Would have taken him home if I could...

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Friday, March 28, 2014

Right Now

First time on a snowboard. Her friend is teaching Kate, much to her skier dad's chagrin.





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DayBook 3.28.14

FOR TODAY

Outside my window... up in the mountains. Snowy. Overcast. I can only see the tops of the trees as most of the window is still blocked by snow.

I am feeling... pretty down. My neighbor up here in the mountains unexpectedly died this morning. He was a friendly, great guy and will be missed, but I am really feeling his wife's pain right now.

I am thinking... how people can be having such a struggle, and the rest of the world seems to be oblivious. I've pondered this multiple times over the last few months, and how important it is for us to give grace to everyone around us. How often am I the one oblivious to someone else's struggle?
I am thankful for... the friends I know I can call when I need them.
From the kitchen... nothing fancy. Banana muffins a couple days ago. Taquitos from the freezer last night for dinner. I had a yummy noodles and a kale salad from the prepackaged area of the grocery store for lunch. Spaghetti tonight. Might also make flatbread pizzas with the friends coming up for the weekend.
I am wearing... workout clothes. I need a shower and then I might put on my PJs. Who cares that it will only be mid-afternoon!
I am creating... I finished up those few quilts and have taken a little break. I'll start something this coming week. I might crochet a little this weekend.
I am going... to buy plane tickets to a tropical location. Woohoo!
I am reading... A Winter's Tale. Still. And one from the library called Faith. Also ave a pile of half read books. I'm hoping to get a bunch of those finished over Easter break.
I am hoping... that spring comes quick. I really enjoyed our snowy winter, but I'm ready now for consistently warm weather (but with lots of moisture!)

I am hearing... quiet! Just the flames in the fireplace.

Around the house... the mountain house is driving me CRAZY because it is all out of order. Not that I usually care that much about disorder, but this is crossing over to chaotic. Hoping Matt will give me a weekend up here this spring to clean out.

In the homeschool room... we've basically had three weeks of spring break around here where we've gone pretty easy on the schoolwork. On the flip side, the kids haven't had a full week off school either like we'd have in public school. Today Jack is in ski school and will do a placement assessment for a new online program we are trying. Kate gets a bigger break since she has a friend with her, but that friend likes writing, so I'll probably give them a writing assignment when they get back from skiing/snowboarding.

How I'm exercising... Did a little treadmill this morning. The treadmill takes concentration for me, and I just couldn't keep it up today. Instead I got on a reclining bike where I could just veg out and watch TV.

Something that irks me... that someone (don't know who!) took my iPhone charger when staying in our mountain place several weeks ago. Of course, I'm sure it wasn't intentional, but I only have the one and don't want to buy another. Blah.

One of my favorite things... police officers

A few plans for the next week: a girlfriend in the mountains with me this weekend (Matt has to work), tennis season kick off, early morning run with a running partner I haven't seen in forever, my sister's birthday, standardized testing for the kids, haircut, plus all the normal stuff

Here is a picture I am sharing: another one from the Sand Dunes. Such a cool place.


Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Right Now

Great Sand Dunes

And a little earlier today: sandhill cranes. Pictures don't do them justice.

And, of course, pictures also can't capture the sound of a flock landing. So cool! Makes me want to see them in peak season when there are thousands more!

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Sunday, March 23, 2014

Jack's Birthday Minecraft Creeper Quilt

So, this is not the quilt that I had planned to give to Jack for his birthday. His original quilt is still a bunch of little 2.5in squares scattered all over my sewing room. At the rate it's going, I should have it done for his high school graduation. Think he'll still love race cars then? LOL
When I realized that there was NO WAY I'd get his quilt done in time for his birthday, I felt guilty but accepted the reality. Then the week before his birthday, I came across this quilt on my friend Krista's Pinterest account. I knew that I could make it quickly and that Jack would love it, but I just couldn't bring myself to make a full on Minecraft quilt. So I decided to make it a little more subtle with a bunch of prints from my stash (it's made up of almost all scraps from 2 other dominant green quilts that are still works-in-progress). I like that close up it seems like just a green patchwork quilt, but from a distance you can see the creeper design.
I only wish I had used larger squares for a larger finished quilt (these squares are 5in cut, 4.5in finished. If I was doing it again, I'd probably cut 6 or 6.5in squares). The quilting is a mix of straight line and free motion meander. I tried to use the tighter meander to bring out the creeper's eyes and mouth. Not sure how much it helped. The straight line is fairly sparse in that I just wanted to get it done. Also, because I was in such a rush to complete it, it isn't my finest craftsmanship. Just don't look too closely if you ever happen to have it on your lap!

Baby Quilt

For the baby girl that is supposed to arrive in April to the kids' swim coaches. Really happy with how it turned out. Inspiration and instructions here.
Cute, right?
Back
Binding & Quilting
(This is going to count as my Feb quilt project even though I made it all in March)

Saturday, March 22, 2014

This Makes Me Happy

This lil' (big?) guy. 9 years old & loving his Minecraft cake.
(Kudos to me for that creation!)

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Friday, March 21, 2014

This Makes Me Happy

Necklace made for me by my friend Ashlee. Love it!


"Patience" is my word for the year and this is the sea horse meaning...


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Thursday, March 20, 2014

Homeschool Moment

My advice for a bad day? Go out and read in the sun!


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Wednesday, March 19, 2014

This Makes Me Happy

After almost 10 years of waiting...

Colorado Springs to Get Trader Joe's in 2015

I haven't been to any of the Denver stores yet. Hopefully soon.

This Makes Me Happy

Unloading all the green dishes used on Monday!


(Didn't get around to unloading yesterday, so all the dishes now sitting on the counter waiting to be loaded do not make me very happy...)

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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Monday, March 17, 2014

Right Now

It's not easy being green...


Nina's least favorite day of the year.

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Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Right Now

Some if my favorite things... Motherlode Tavern's Disco Tots, sangria, and time with my good friend Krista (not pictured!)
Can you sorta see my skier's raccoon sunburn?

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Right Now

180 from yesterday


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Monday, March 10, 2014

Right Now

Spring skiing! No jackets!


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Saturday, March 01, 2014

Homeschool Plan - March

I have no idea what is going to happen in March. We have lots of visitors coming, lots of skiing planned, and maybe impromptu trip to somewhere fun (no idea where yet!). I'd like to keep my focus on keeping schooling slower and more intentional. To be honest, I've only done okay since I wrote that a few weeks ago.  That's okay, we are getting there. I'm feeling really good about where we are academically (math is on track, grammar will finish up early), so I think I can afford to mentally ease up a bit the next few months.

Math
  • Math U See - Jack will continue Gamma (again with a focus on memorizing math facts, not on getting through lessons); Kate will continue with the goal of finishing up Delta by "summer break" (whenever we decide that is!)
  • Flashmaster - continue to use daily
  • Life of Fred -  should finish first reading of Dogs, and get close to finishing 2nd reading (with Matt)
  • Math Games - Going to try for a math game at least 3x/week
  • Teaching Textbooks & IXL - still as backup if we need it, may have kids do some over summer or if we travel
Language Arts
  • First Language Lessons 3 - will finish main lessons this month and start dictionary skills lessons
  • Writing With Ease 3 - continue 2-4 lessons/week
  • Online Grammar/Writing class (Kate) - ends this month, will start new class in April
  • Professor Grammar's Punctuation Packets workbook (Kate) - finish
  • Tutoring (Jack) - 2-3x/week
  • Increasing Fluency (Jack) - complete Grade 2 and start Grade 3
  • Daily Reading Comprehension - complete 5 lessons each week
  • Spelling City (Jack) lists via tutor, Kate may do a little if she wants
  • Spelling Workout C (Kate) - this is probably too easy for her, but we'll work through it anyway and at a fast speed
  • 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) - complete a second time
  • Keyboarding (Kate) - practice 3-4x/week
  • Sentence Family & Grammarland & The Giggly Guide to Grammar - might do Grammarland if we travel or when visitors here, others saving for later
  • Assigned reading - Kate will finish up The Giver in the next couple days, Jack will continue with books in Stink series. Also plan to read (listen for Jack) to The Moffats and The Four Story Mistake. There are some others I've also reserved at the library for Kate. Too many books on our want-to-read list...
  • Audiobook - continue to work our way through the Narnia series, will finish The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, should start and finish The Silver Chair
  • Using Picture Books to Teach Writing With the Traits K-2- (I'm editing this post to add this!) I can't remember where I heard about this resource, but I ordered a used copy off Amazon because it sounded interesting. It came yesterday, and I looked at it for the first time this afternoon. We are definitely going to start this curriculum. So excited! I love picture books!
Science
  • What's Physics All About - continue to read and supplement with library books
  • Brain study - maybe
  • Science packets - maybe
History/Social Studies
  • History of the World - will stop for a bit to read bunches of supplemental library books on Nebuchadnezzar, Daniel and the Lions' Den, Persian tales, seven wonders of the world, Jonah and the Whale, etc. If we get through all that, we'll start into the Greeks
  • Bible stories - see above plus whatever we come across related to Narnia series
  • Geography - probably just our games & puzzles, may start state capitals with the kids
  • C.S. Lewis - continue to read from all of our resources
  • Maybe Sir Isaac Newton, Einstein if they come up
  • St. Patrick's Day/Ireland/Celts or something or other related?
Physical Fitness 
  • Swim Team - 2-3x/week
  • Volleyball (Kate) weekly 
  • Basketball (Jack) weekly
  • Ski School - as we can, lots of blackout dates in March
  • Hiking - really want to get out there while it is nice
  • Couch to 5K - will restart as weather permits
Art/Home Ec
  • Baking - really want to formalize this
  • Sewing - really need to clean the sewing room and then formalize this
  • Knitting (Kate) - we may have lost interest. I need to decide if I should encourage it or not.
  • Architecture class online - start back at class 3
  • Storybook Artist Unit Studies by Enchanted Homeschool Mom - starting with Mitsumasa Anno (SO excited about this!!)
Misc
  • Meditation - 2-3x/week - have a few CDs from the library to help us out
  • Gratitude Journal - daily
  • ITBS workbook 3 (Jack)  2-3x/week just for test practice
  • French (Kate) - French club weekly
  • Playful eLearning courses 
  • Travel - to mountains for skiing, maybe someplace else fun for spring break?
  • Field Trips - gotta get out more! Zoo! Science museum! National Sites!
  • Homeschool program - weekly (math, language arts, art, history, science, technology)
  • Speech Therapy (Jack) - 2x/week