Friday, November 6, 2009

Weekly Report...Week 11

We're moving right along. I have really tried to create a relaxed learning atmosphere and I think I have succeeded a bit. I still expect attention and quality, but I am not so worried about how much we get done. We school year round and learning is just something that happens at our house. The boys have responded well to it.

History (Both)
The previous few weeks we studied the 13 colonies and why/how they were developed, the Pilgrims, and Native Americans. Now we have started using the information provided in our Times Travelers Colonial Unit from Homeschool in the Woods. I've added in some read alouds and literature for Magnus to read on his own. I've been reading The Sign Of the Beaver by Elizabeth George Speare to the boys and Magnus read Indian Captive by Lois Lenski. The projects take some time and planning, but we are having a good time doing them. The boys made a colonial type bed this week. They weaved the frame, sewed and stuffed the mattress, and weaved a blanket. Magnus really enjoyed sewing and Thane liked weaving.

Science (Both)
We've been reading through Hydrogen and the Noble Gases by Tocci this week. We learned about the Hindenburg disaster and watched it on The boys have also been narrating as we read. We weren't able to get together with our friends and do experiments this week due to sickness, but hopefully it'll happen next week. Below is Mangus' narration. Click on it to read it.
Language Arts (Magnus)
Things are going to be changing in this subject. Magnus is gifted with words and I don' t feel I am challenging him enough in this area. I read about a program written by Michael Clay Thompson that incorporates grammar, vocabulary, poetry, and writing. He's going to work through the "Island" level. I am excited to receive it and get him started on it.

Spelling...This subject is going well. We're loving Phonetic Zoo. This week we were on list 5 which is a review list so I chose words from his previous 4 lists that gave him trouble. He did well and is moving onto list 6 next week.

Writing...The charter school we belong to has a mandatory writing assignment the kids have to complete each year. I will not tell you exactly how I feel about this but will continue to bite my lip and be thankful for the resources the school provides us with throughout the year. Anyhow, he has to write a 3 paragraph persuasive letter telling us (his parents) why he would rather live in the country than the city. Anyhow, we started brainstorming ideas for it this week and plan to write it next week.

This got pushed aside this week. :o(

Literature...He read Indian Captive by Lois Lenski, 50 Favorite Burgess Stories by Thornton Burgess.

Language Arts (Thane)
Grammar...Would you believe we are still working on nouns (common and proper). S.L.O.W but a good introduction for him. I've decided to add in some fun picture books that explain what the different parts of speech are. He'll like it.

Phonics/Reading...He started a new program (well, new to us) called Headsprout. It's through the internet and it's teaching him to read. He really enjoys it and is getting a lot out of it. He doesn't get a lot of "computer time" so that is definitely a draw for him. We are still working our way through OPGTR, ETC, and his Pathways reader (Days Go By). I am really encouraged with his progress.

Copywork...didn't get to it this week.

Magnus...learning subtraction. Yep, we're a bit behind, but I'm not worried. He comprehends the concepts easily.

Thane...we worked a lot with the geo boards...pattering, creating shapes, mirroring. Also reviewed the "9" and "11" facts as well as the "2 Fives" strategy.

Tuesday...Drama (Magnus) and AWANA (both)
Wednesday...Fencing (Magnus)
Friday...Park Day and Fencing (Mangus and Thane)

This past Sunday, the boys and I got to hang out on one of Collin's shoots. He and some friends were shooting a trailer for a theater company's performance of Shakespeare's Macbeth. The boys were loving it...intense drama, amazing language, and sword fighting!

Sunday, November 1, 2009


My Lil' Cowboy and Mad Scientist

The cute, little girl the boys are standing next to is Maya. She lives above us but isn't really so cute when she runs from room to room at 6:30 in the morning. But since I am up now...she is cute. She and the boys play together a lot. She is teaching them words in Turkish and the boys are teaching her English. Oh, and her parents (whom we adore!) are geologists so the boys are learning a lot from them too!

Collin and the boys made caramel apples for us to enjoy. These were not ordinary caramel appples. No sir-ee. The caramel you are drooling over was made from scratch! Lots and lots of butter. And lots and lots of corn syrup.

They were super YUMMY!

Magnus thought so!


Monday, October 26, 2009

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Monday, October 12, 2009

Something Fishy

We ventured to the other side of Sacramento today to tour the Nimbus Fish Hatchery with some of our homeschooling friends. They are responsible for growing Salmon and Steelhead Trout. We learned some interesting facts:

1. Female Salmon can have as many as 5,000 eggs in them!

2. Salmon live in both fresh water and salt water.

3. They can swim at speeds up to 30 mph!

4. Salmon can leap 10 foot waterfalls!

5. Salmon swim 2,000 miles against the current to their spawning beds in some rivers! Imagine swimming that far just to die.

Unfortunately, the temperatures are not yet cool enough for the Salmon to spawn, so the run was not in operation. However, we plan to return in November when conditions are right.

Magnus was swallowed by a Trout!

Thane sitting inside an egg. He keeps thinking that since they are eggs, that the fish hatch out of them like birds. Not sure how he is going to feel when he finds out he is from an egg too!

Thane, Tamir, Ameer, and Magnus

The boys were able to feed the fish too. The Trout would go crazy when the boys threw the food in.

There was also a huge Salmon sculpture for them to climb on...

This is their re-enactment of the eggs spewing from the sides of the Salmon as the side was cut open. Leave it up to boys!

Monday, September 21, 2009

And Now For Your Viewing Pleasure...

Ugh! The title is not suppose to say "Virginia" as the settlement wasn't in Virginia. It was just off the coast of North Carolina. Will have to talk to our editors about this. (Tee Hee!)

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Weekly Report...Week 4

After spending last week with our friend (Wes) who came to visit, we picked up right where we left off.
History (Both)
We are having such a great time with this! We are using Homeschool In The Woods Times Travelers-Colonial Study, but we haven't started it yet. It is mainly about life during that time. What the colonists ate, what they wore, their hardships. I wanted the boys to learn about the Colonies themselves, as well as go more in depth about the Pilgrims and Native Americans. We'll be spending the next 4-5 weeks doing just that. We'll be mapping the colonies, completing a biography page, and creating a timeline as we go throughout this study.

This week we read about the Roanoke Settlement. These settlers disappeared without a trace! No one knows what happened to them. Of course there are different theories...Indians, disease, hurricane, ect, but after discussing them, we found "holes". Thane thinks that since England was at war with Spain at that time, the Spanish settlers who were in FL attacked and killed the Roanoke settlers. Magnus believes that Indians did indeed kill the settlers but left the two cannons because they did not know how to use them. Magnus...being the "ideas man" he is thought to do a video for their narration. It is in post-production right now and will be posted as soon as he and Collin finish it.

We also read Three Ships Come Sailing, a book recording the Jamestown settlement. We completed a really simple lapbook and created a 3-D map of Jamestown.

Science (Both)
We have been reading through How To Think Like A Scientist and narrating as we go along. If you are looking for a simple explanation of the scientific theory, I highly recommend this book. It uses story to explain the process. The boys and I have really enjoyed reading it. NOEO didn't schedule any experiments for this week and I just didn't have it in me to conduct any. So, no Mad Scientists posts this week.

Bible (Both)
We are still learning about Joseph and loving Bible Study Guide For All Ages! I love that we read right from the Bible and not from a watered down story someone decided would be easier for kids to understand. The boys are having no difficulties with it.

Language Arts (Magnus)
Grammar...He completed a lesson a day. He is working with present and past tense verbs.

Spelling...He got list 3 ("When two vowels go a walkin' the first one does the talkin') correct (twice) in only 3 tries! He was pumped! He'll be moving onto list 4 ('ough' words) next week.

Writing...I finally received IEW US History Based Writing Lessons. After looking through it, I think it'll have to sit on the shelf this year. It may be too advanced. IEW recommends it for 4th grade + anyhow. I'm going to spend some more time looking at our IEW SWI Level A and figuring out our writing lessons from there.

Copywork...still loving our process! The boys are really doing well.

Literature...Our advisor from our charter school gave Magnus a test to figure out his reading and comprehension level. He is at a 9th grade level! The past few weeks he has chosen to read King Solomon's Mine, The Wind in the Willows, and several others I can't remember. In a few weeks, his literature selections will start reflecting our history subjects.

Language Arts (Thane)
Grammar...So far, First Language Lessons is a great fit for Thane. The slow pace and short lessons are just what he needs.

Phonics...Alternating between OPGTR and ETC is working well. He isn't feeling overwhelmed with all the reading of "nonsense" sentences. He is also reading a couple paragraphs from his Pathway Reader, Days Go By.

Copywork...His writing is beautiful for a first grade boy!

Magnus...He had a bit of an attitude with this subject this week, but it made for a great life lesson. I asked him to explain to me how he got his answer...we were working on mental math...and he refused. Collin took over (I was getting WAY too frustrated with Magnus) and was able to get to the issue. Magnus was having trouble doing things he didn't want to do. He didn't want to work. Collin was able to talk to him about Adam and Eve in the Garden and how their disobedience created work and labor pains. Collin is real good at teaching. It really got through to him and his attitude towards math and other work has really taken a turn!
Thane...worked more on side 2 of the abacus.

Latin (Magnus)
We did it! Well, sort of. We completed the first half of chapter 12 in Song School Latin.'s a start!

Nature Study (Both)
We didn't do anything "formal" this week, but the boys did go searching for lizards and were able to catch two of them. Magnus was able to identify them as Western Fence Lizards because he "reads all them time" and he "just knew". I wasn't so sure, but after I researched on the internet I discovered he was indeed right! We set up a habitat for them and have been observing them all week. We're going to set them free soon.

Fun Day Friday
Again, this week proved to not be "fun", but that is because we had to meet with our charter school advisor. We did meet our homeschool group at the park for a water gun was almost 100 degrees! Oh and Thane is now taking fencing lessons! He is too young for the class, so the instructor is working with him in a private lesson. Magnus is also getting some one-on-one time with him. Now I have two boys who "officially" play with swords!
Tuesday...AWANA...Magnus is in TNT this year and Thane is still a Spark.
Wednesday...Fencing (Magnus)
Friday...Park Day and Fencing (Thane and Magnus)

Saturday, September 12, 2009

I needed this...

One of our dearest friends, Wes, came to visit us for the week from Cincinnati. It was refreshing to have him here. Coming from the midwest, it was only fitting we spend a day at the beach!

It was really clear and sunny when we got there...

There are a few things I love doing at the beach. Reading, tidepooling and looking for treasures.

Then the fog started rolling in...

Life is good!