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!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Weekly Report...Week 3

Woo Hoo! What a great week! Attitudes were better (from all of us). Ideas were flowing. Opinions were expressed. All was good.

History (Both)
I decided to read a book about explorers to lead into our Colonial unit. The boys listened intently as I read Betsy Maestro's Exploration and Conquest. Love her books. We are doing something different this year...narrations. I never included them into our homeschool as I didn't see the benefit of them. That has completely changed as I have been reading more about Charlotte Mason's ideas. The boys both narrated after each reading and they actually liked it! Bonus!

(Be sure to click on the images so you can read what they narrated!)

Magnus has really been struggling with the events that took place when our nation was young. The thought of settlers coming here and forcing the Natives from their homes is wretched to him. I remember struggling with the same ideas. Especially when I saw the commercial with the old Native American filled with sadness as he looked at the trash and pollution.

Science (Both)
We read a simple explanation of the scientific process scientists use to conduct experiments. Then, of course, we conducted our own scientific experiments and utilized what we learned. Be sure to click here to read the Mad Scientists post for this week. It was a good one.

Never a dull moment when Thane is around!

Bible (Both)
Still learning about Joseph. We read about him interpreting the dreams of the Cupbearer and Baker while in prison and then his interpretation of the Pharaoh's dream. The boys completed their worksheets, timeline, and maps. So glad we are all doing this together!

Language Arts (Magnus)
Grammar...He completed a lesson a day.

Spelling...This was a big week for him. He was able to move on from list 2 to 3! He was VERY proud of himself!

Writing...Haven't added this in yet. I am still waiting to receive my curriculum.

Copywork...He is doing beautiful work...when he takes his time.

Literature...I didn't have him read any specific book this week, but that doesn't mean he didn't spend hours with his nose in a book!

Language Arts (Thane)
Grammar...Still working with common and proper nouns. This week he had trouble with the concept even though he understood it last week. Not quite sure why. We'll just have to keep at it!

Phonics...I've decided to alternate between ETC and OPGTR. We are doing one or the other each day. This seems to be a good compromise even though he whined about having to read, "the silly (meaning stupid) sentences" in OPGTR.

Copywork...He is really taking his time and producing beautiful work. Having to only concentrate for 5 minutes really helps him.
Can I just say, "I love Right Start Math"!
Magnus...We worked some more with roman numerals and reviewed partitioning 15.

Thane...Learned how to use side 2 of the abacus. He understood it very well.

Latin (Magnus)
Would you believe me if I said we reviewed the songs? Well, we did. But that was all. Don't judge.

Nature Study (Both)
Gotta get on the ball with this.

Fun Day Friday (Both)
Okay...I will be the first to admit that it wasn't really "fun". But, it will be once I plan out our Artist and Composer studies. I had been doing so much planning leading up to the school year, that I just don't want to plan anymore. I know that'll change soon and I'll be itchin' to plan. No worries.

We did do Unit 2 from Artistic Pursuits Book One. It was about how artist use their imaginations to create their works. The boys used their imaginations and created their own work using watercolor crayons. I was pleased with the attention they gave it.

Monday...Had a science party with a bunch of our homeschool friends. It was a total blast!

Wednesday...Fencing Lessons (Magnus). Thane has declared that he would like to take fencing lessons too. You have to be 7 years old to do it, but maybe our instructor would make an exception.
Friday...Mad Scientists!

We won't be getting much done in the form of "seat work" next week. One of our dearest friends is coming to visit. We haven't seen him in over a year and we have some fun things planned. Check back to see what we did! Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Mad Scientist...Week 3

Tina and I have come to the conclusion that although the boys are learning and having a good time, we might actually be getting more out of it. Chemistry is interesting stuff! I think if my high school science teacher was able to explain the periodic table and the scientific method using the juvenile, living books we are using AND if he had us do the cool experiments we are having our boys do, I may have actually learned something! I am not as intimidated as I had been before we started. That is a good feeling! This week we read a simple explanation about the scientific method scientists use to perform their experiments. We also learned solutes + solvents=solutions. Below is Magnus' narration... Magnus narrated while I wrote it down. This is working really well for us!

Thane's narration includes a visual representation of a molecule and an atom...
For our experiments this week we watched molecules in motion.

Experiment One: The boys were really involved in the first one. We gave them a cup full of room temperature water and had them observe them as we placed 2-3 drops of food coloring into them.
Next we walked them through the scientific method. For the final part of the experiment, we placed a cup full of hot water and a cup full of ice water in front of them and asked what they thought would happen. They hypothesized that the food coloring would spread faster in the hot water and spread slower in the ice water.
The experiment was conducted. You know what? Their hypothesis was right on!

When asked why that happened, Ameer and Thane said it was because the "cold water made it freeze" and Magnus answered, "Because the hot water molecules are moving faster than the cold". Aren't our boys brilliant! It's so exciting when they all use their brains to figure stuff out.

Experiment Two: We placed one tablespoon of water (added food coloring) in one test tube and one tablespoon of rubbing alcohol (with food coloring) in a second test tube. We asked the boys what they thought would happen when we placed them together.

Magnus: The water would float on top of the alcohol and make 2 tablespoons of liquid.

Thane: It would create 3 tablespoons of liquid.

Ameer: They would mix together and make 2 tablespoons of liquid.

Tamir: They would make 2 tablespoons of liquid.
So we poured them into each other...

nothing. It didn't work right. It was suppose to only create 1 1/2 tablespoons of liquid, but created 2. So, I guess Magnus, Ameer, and Tamir were correct. Tina and I conducted the experiment again but still got 2 tablespoons of liquid.

Experiment Three: We gave the boys a coffee filter with a drop of red, blue, and yellow food coloring mixed together.
They then placed the tip of the filter into water.

Look what happened...
The colors separated and climbed up the filter. Pretty cool.

Needless to say, we are having SO MUCH FUN with science this year! It really helps to have a friend hold you accountable. Thanks Tina!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

New Hobby

Magnus gets to play with swords!

(He is in the camouflage shorts.)

Almost...forgot to extend his back arm.

Not quite...the arch in his foil is going the wrong way.