Try right click.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

First Game


The kids just had their first games of the season.

Lexi cheered for the SuperGrass Cutters.






Peyton played for the Pee Wee league. He played safety, wide receiver, on the kickoff team, and on kickoff return teams. He really got a lot of field time this game. They won 27-0 against the Eagles.




Thursday, August 25, 2011

America Unit Week 4

This week we have been learning about:

Science: The Ocean's Salinity, and uses of salt. (Also tying that into Bible verses.)

Geography-We have added many places to our maps.


We also added terms to a geography dictionaries-  reefs, streams, beach. (As we read about them in text we add them.)


Math- Peyton began Key to Fractions Book 2 today. (For a review of fractions.)


          Lexi is working on addition, and multiplication and also doing some online multiplication games.


History-The best thing has been traveling with young Elizabeth in the book "The Mayflower Secret" by Dave and Neta Jackson. We feel like we really know and understand how she feels living in Plymouth-during very trying times.

On Friday we will also be making some corn bread and practice writing with quills.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Language Arts -diagramming sentences with grammar cards.

Language Arts-we are reviewing Subject and Predicate and parts of speech.

Our America Unit study includes grammar cards. (I really like this concept and you can easily make these yourself.)

Today the assignment was to write some sentences (after determining which sentences were complete and incomplete.) So I had each child write 3 of the sentences from the book  we are reading. They wrote them on index cards. Placing on word on each card. (I cut the cards in 1/2 in order to make them go further.)

Then each child determined the subject, predicate, nouns, articles, verb, etc. (The subject and predicate cards are placed over the parts of the sentence. (The colored cards for parts of the sentence are placed below. A brown card is placed under words we haven't learned about yet.) So if the word is a preposition or adjective, etc. they would just place a brown card under it.) As we go along their will be less brown cards, and more colored cards. We also went over the type of noun the words were. (Pronoun, Proper Noun, common, or abstract.)




I really think doing this on a larger scale like this really helps dd. (Instead of writing the sentences on paper, and then diagramming or labeling them-the large visual nature of this is beneficial.)

Both of the kids get plenty of practice in (copy-work anyway), with writing a bible memory verse each week and doing Queens Language Lessons each day.  I am really happy that ds has stepped up and has begun to write his Queens copy-work in cursive. (I told him if he did so, he would not have to do a page of cursive that day.) He still has to refer to the capital letters though.

We added in Queens Language Lessons last week. I really like them, and I like having 2 curriculums to chose from. If I feel that the unit study is too intense -I don't feel so pressured. I know they are getting great things from Queens and anything we add in from the unit study is like extra icing on the cake.


Thursday, August 18, 2011

15 Years of Marriage and a Covenant of Salt.


Today, Gary and I celebrate 15 years of marriage. When we became engaged (2 weeks before we got married), Gary brought me these dolls. Raggedy Ann and Andy. (There is a long story here about Raggedy, but just to make it short-the doll had sentimental value to me-I had lost one when I was young, and had always wanted another, but had never gotten it.) So Gary went out and got me a Raggedy doll and an Andy doll to join her. The pouches-were to be part of a covenant we would establish. Gary told me about the salt covenant. Both parties in the covenant have salt, they mix the salt together and pour the salt in each pouch to keep as a symbol of the covenant. Just like you cannot separate your grains of salt from your covenant partners' salt-the covenant cannot be broken. You cannot separate the grains of salt, or the marriage covenant. The covenant signifies, unity, trust, commitment, purity, honesty, and that we no longer live just for ourselves, but for each other and for Christ.

So each pouch contains "our salt "- "my salt " mixed with "his salt." Raggedy and Andy sit in my hutch in my foyer. Right beside them is our cake topper.

This week I have really been thinking about this-remembering our covenant, remembering our vows-our commitment before God, and wedding ceremony-and thanking God for the journey he has led us on and for staying in our midst, for blessing our marriage, and family.

So for a token gift this anniversary. I got a small jar and placed salt in it. I took a little salt from each pouch and mixed it into the larger jar, and then placed our wedding picture on a tag along with some sayings.

I also got the opportunity to explain it to Lexi- as she wondered why I was making this gift for our anniversary.


(For more information on what a salt covenant is you can see these links below. )

Here is the beautiful rose bouquet Gary got me.


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Peyton practices.

Here are some pictures of Peyton at Football practice. He has improved a lot since last year.

He is the one in the green jersey. Last year during sprints he was often last-or nearly last. This year-he is much faster.


There is actually another group of boys behind him




Friday, August 12, 2011

What we are learning -Week 2 America Unit Study

We finished reading Pedro's Journal this week. The kids really liked it, and it feels good to have finished. They also did a draw/write page on Pedro's Journal, telling what happened in the beginning, middle and end. You can see that here.

History/Reading/Writing and Literature

Both kids did a report on an explorer. Peyton did a full page report on Ferdinand Magellan and Lexi did a half page report on Jacques Cartier. It was good practice, but I must say they really were not prepared for this much writing so soon into the unit. (Nor was I.) We just took it step by step. I had Peyton jot down 4 sentences about the explorer on Tuesday. Then he added supporting sentences to 2 paragraphs on Wednesday and 2 more on Thursday. He writes really big and double spaced it all, so his 4 paragraph report turned into a 4 page report. (Well it looks impressive.) I was proud of them both, it wasn't an easy task and they both worked hard on it.

We updated our timeline to include events and people we read about this week.



We added some words to our Illustrated Geography Dictionary. Bay, Peninsula, and Sea. As we learn these terms we will add them each week.


In Grammar we learned about commas. The kids took dictation one day. This didn't prove to be too good for dd, the process frustrated her. She had never done it before. I got some advice from friends and they said it is best to have them copy first, then dictate after they have copied it a couple times.

I really like the grammar in this unit, but I have decided to switch over to Queens Language Lessons. Before I found this unit study, I was already pretty set on getting Queens. After I got the unit study, I saw that grammar was already covered, and I think she did a really great job in the scope covered. I think Peyton would do good with it as is, but Dd needs much more direction, and I want her to be able to work more independently. I think she needs much more copywork, and I really did not want to have to plan, and pull this out of the existing unit. I may add in some of the grammar lessons that I feel would add to what they are doing, and not be too tedious. Since I felt Dd needed Queens, I just felt it would be best to put them both in it. There is a clear path to continue on in it, so I don't have to be concerned with where to go once we finish the unit study. My primary purpose in the unit study was getting history and science both covered. (Which it does.)

In Science we learned about ocean depths, trenches, and ocean pressure. We watched this video on the ocean bottom. And this experiment on water pressure.

Nature Studies- We did a "What do I see" scavenger hunt. Both kids listed 36 things they saw in nature.


In Math Lexi worked on simple multiplication facts, and Peyton worked on finding the mode, median and means. We reserved 1 day for dice math and the number sense video.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Book Report helps

This week both of the kids had an assignment to write a report on a New World Explorer. We are only in week 2 of our unit, so this was a pretty rude awakening for the kids.  Ds does a great job doing oral reports and will go on and on about the book, but getting all that on paper in an organized way -is another story.

Dd only had to write a 2 paragraph report. But ds was required a full page report. (This was suggested by the curriculum we are using.) CNS America Unit study.

The writer of the unit study did break the "how" down into more manageable tasks, but I knew ds needed it broken down more. Yesterday they were supposed to write down 5 main ideas. Then today they were to write 5 topic sentences. So yesterday I worked with dd on writing her first paragraph. We read the book together, then she narrated back to me what she learned and I helped her get it on paper. Ds wrote 5 sentences yesterday, today we put them in order. Then we added supporting details to two of the sentences and got 2 paragraphs on paper. He writes so big and double spaces. So his 1 page report is already 2 pages thus far. I am sure his dad will be impressed.

Today I found some tools I plan to use in the future. One was a note taking form that can be used while you are reading a book, another one is a chapter form. On the chapter form you list main ideas from each chapter. I think these tools will be a big help in the future as I get both of them more accustomed to doing book reports.

Here is the link to the chapter book sheet. (You will see it on the page, when you click on it, you can download it.)

This form ... se%20G.pdf is great for a short report. If you just want a beginning, middle and ending. (It worked out well for the kids, and they weren't complaining too much.) Well ds was about having to draw. (He wanted to find pics to paste.) I decided I would help him a little.



Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Hobby Hall cards

These are some of the cards I made the today during Hobby Hall. I love having this time every 2 weeks to spend working on my hobbies and spend time with friends. 





Saturday, August 6, 2011

Costume Jewelry Hanger

I was trying to find a clever way to keep my necklaces.
So I put them on this ribbon, held up with tacks.

A few days later I ran across this, and decided this would be a much prettier solution.
Plus it has scriptures and sayings on it, and it holds more.

Exploring our World

I decided to add another tab to my blog headings. We have spent a lot of time out in nature. Enjoying and exploring it. I wanted to add some of this to our blog.

We have seen strange insects, enjoyed creeks, falls, and lakes, seen a black bear and her cubs, traveled and tromped through the Smoky Mountains and much more. (These are just a few of the pics of these adventures.)

This year we will begin to journal, and write about the things we find, see and explore.

Friday, August 5, 2011

America-Land of the Pilgrims Pride


Monday we began our new unit study. America.


This is a two year study from Christian Novel Studies. The first unit is from 1492-1789. This unit will last 11 weeks.

Today was so easy. Everything is laid out. All I had to do is gather the books, and materials needed and read from the script. Homeschooling has never seemed so easy!

Here is a rough list of things we covered this week.

This is one of our quotes to memorize this week.:

I am well aware of the toil and blood and treasure that it will cost us to maintain this Declaration, and support and defend these States. Yet through all the gloom I can see rays of ravishing light and glory. I can see that the end is worth more than all the means.

John Adams to Abigail Adams on the passing of the Declaration of Independence.


From our unit study:

History/Reading -read the first 4 journal entries from Pedro's Journal (Pam Conrad),


Read the introduction and about the authors of The Light and the Glory for Children.


Poetry, Song -We are learning the song "America" Today we read through and sang the 1st Stanza. I just love that this curriculum includes hymns, poems and songs that celebrate our nation's heritage.

Science: Oceans - 70% is water, 30% is land activity. The title should read the Earth's Surface. Someone was in a hurry.


Spelling each one had 5 words from the unit study. Peyton pretested on his other weekly list from Funtastic Spelling. He aced the test, so he has no additional words. Lexi pretested and we added in the ones she missed. She wrote each spelling word on a 2X3 card, and will keep them in her spelling pocket (tab) to review daily. There are a couple games printed off in the pocket as well.


Vocabulary words-ingenious, faith.

Outside the unit study.

Math-Peyton worked on prime numbers, and made a magic number square.

         Lexi worked on place value to the millions. Working with the dice to make groups of 10. These are the books we are using right now. (We will be using other materials as well.) I love that they have fun, puzzle type review pages. Not boring text book type pages.


Piano-Lexi Book B, (Left and right hand scales)  Peyton book C-(base clef notes,)  Me book D. (Yes I am working on it too.)  b flat and e flat. Bass and Treble Clefs. 

They also work on their own Explorer Bible study daily and Peyton adds in Latin. In addition to this they each have assigned reading and a desired reading at bedtime.


These are their binders they will be using to organize their work this year.

I told them to design a cover that would be about America.

Peyton designed a flag.


Lexi drew the Statue of Liberty.


The binders have tabs with pockets. There is a section for history/maps, science, grammar rules and definitions, bible memory verses, and spelling. We will be adding others for poetry and writing as well. Each 11 week unit is kept in the binder and then those pages are transferred to longer term storage. Then we will reuse it again next semester. Our timeline will be something we continue all year long.


Math Peyton worked on multiplication, addition, subtraction and division. Learning to begin by multiplying and dividing from left to right and then add and subtract. Example 6x4-3+5X6+5=___.

Lexi worked on multiplication-single number facts. She also did grouping with the dice.

Reading/History and Literature-We read 4 more diary entries from Pedro's Journal. We found and labeled Portugal, Spain, England, and San Salvador.

Grammar-We studied simple and complete subjects. We wrote some sentences from The Light and the Glory reading today, and put diagrammed them by placing a slash between the subject and predicate.

Vocabulary-We added 3 new words to our list. ambassador, rill, pride.

Spelling- Peyton went over his spelling words-and can spell all of his from the unit study. Lexi did a scrambling exercise with her words.

We also read over the 2nd Stanza of "America".

We worked on memorizing John Adams quote.


Today we read through the third stanza of America. We read through 4 more journal entries in Pedro's Journal.

For writing-the kids each wrote a journal entry of their own about their day.

Spelling-Lexi spelled all her words from Funtastic Spelling correctly today. Tomorrow I will quiz her on the unit study words.

Math-We did a number sense dvd and some addition games with the dice/box. This method teaches mental math from left to right instead of right to left.

Grammar-We learned about and labeled predicates in sentences.

Vocabulary-We added in a few words to our vocabulary lists today.

Cursive- They both began their cursive practice again today.

Latin-Peyton is doing very well with Latin 1. And is reviewing his flash cards daily.

We even finished up a little early today.

Piano-We are all on track with our piano lessons as well.

So far so good for the first few days.


Grammar-We began our Grammar Rules and Definitions booklet today. This is a tabbed area in the kids notebooks where they will add grammar rules and definitions. Today we added the terms, grammar, sentence, and parts of a sentence: subject and predicate.


Reading/History-Pedro's Journal -read 4 more journal entries the kids each took one to read out loud as well. We wrote 2 things we learned from Columbus. This went under a heading called "Lesson's Learned from Historical People."
We wrote what the person did, and what we learned from it. We learned that Columbus had a vision from God and sought to serve God. We also need to seek to serve God. We also learned that his pride and greed for gold and position became more important to him than pleasing God and sharing the Gospel. (We must remain humble and content.)

Vocabulary-fathom -(6 feet), league- (3 nautical miles), docile-(obedient.)

Applied Math- we figured out how many fathoms and leagues in different figures.

Math Dice, we did lesson 1 and 2 from the number sense dvd. Adding 2 and 3 digit numbers. (Working reverse, working on mental math.) We also worked on grouping 10's and fast counting of dice.


Fridays are primarily days to wrap up the previous 4 days. Another thing I really love about this study! The truth is there is nothing I have seen so far that I don't like about the study. Being a person that has used unit studies for years, and has also written and contributed to many unit studies, I can say that this study is great! It is such a blessing. There were so many things I saw this week that I really had not tied together. It is the first time in years I haven't felt the need to add more to a study. (As far as core subjects go.)

Math-They each did a math page in their books. Peyton worked on decimals. Lexi did an addition coloring page.

Vocabulary-history-the story of a person or country's past

Science- I used today for our second science lesson. We learned about coral reefs. And since we will be studying oceans for much of this year, I gave in to the idea of getting fish. Not just one, but two fish, this way each child could have their own.


This is not my breakfast bar centerpiece. How do you like my fancy gold fish bowl? It is actually a cake plate/punch bowl. I found these fizz tabs-you change the water once a week and add a fizz tab. It is supposed to help the water and fish, it also lowers the ammonia which the fish put off. I also usually take 1 cup of water out each day and add a fresh cup of spring water. We will see how clean we can keep it.


History- We began our timeline and placed the people we learned about in week 1 on the timeline. I chose to use index cards to do this. I put taped them in an accordion fashion.


I really wanted something small-not on a wall, something easy to place in our folder. So I decided to try this.



Geography-We labeled the reefs on a world map. 

The unit study actually had a craft activity today with our Bible Memory verse. But I made up my own art activity -seen  below.

Art-We colored a coral reef page with water color pencils and then painted over the areas with water. After it dried we glued the page to a background page. 

Coloring with water color pencils.



Adding water with brushes.



The finished product.



Handwriting and Bible-  I put the Bible Verse for the week into a cursive handwriting generator and let that be cursive copy work today. So we added those pages to our Bible Memory Verse section of our notebooks.