Friday, September 7, 2012

Weekly Wrap Up! and Butterflies

Whew, it seems like this week has flown by!  Maybe it was the 3 day weekend and short week.  Whatever it was I am glad it is Friday! 

 We just came off of our first 1 week break which was really nice!  Last week we let the school books collect dust while we relaxed. 

We also took a trip downtown to the Natural History Museum and did the Butterfly Exhibit (which is FREE on Tuesdays).  We had a great time with friends and got to see some really cool stuff.

The butterflies were beautiful and...

so were the flowers!

Was was really cool was the boys kept pointing out things that we have just read about a day or two before in those Jim Arnosky books I was telling you about.  I told them, "God is so good!  Here we just read about a coral reef yesterday and now you are getting to see one."  I just love when God works stuff like that out. 

The Butterflies were amazing!  This was our second time doing this, the last time was a few years ago.  It was nice to go in the butterfly pavilion and NOT have a totally freaked out child like last time {smile}.

This week we started to get back into the grove of things. I am still loving Trail guides to Learning, BTW.  I have modified it a little bit to fit our family, because as a homeschooler I can do that.

Mostly what I mean by modify, because I know you'll be wondering, is we not do every single thing in the book.  For instance, I really, really thought that my kids would love the drawing lessons in the book and well, not so much.  So I am not pressing those. 

My kids do LOVE the animal studies so we make sure we don't miss any of those!  We just don't do every single geography or science notebook page that the book tells us to do.  I print out a few of them each week and we just use what works for us.  There are lots of great notebook pages that TGTL offers, but I was finding that doing them every day along with everything else we are doing was too much. 

It took me a few weeks but I think I can finally say, I have found my homeschool happy place! 

This week we started on Jamestown.  Things are going great.  One thing that has made a difference is the way we are doing our reading.  You see, I really enjoy reading these books just as much as my kids so when we did our Columbus Unit I did ALL of the reading aloud.  Silly me, what in the world was I thinking!  So, this week I am starting just doing the family read aloud and letting the girls do their readers on their own.  After they read they come and tell me what they read about that day (narration). 

All the kids gathering around for the Lil' Chef's science experiment from her General Science textbook. 

The Lil' Chef has been plugging along in her studies.  She is using and loving Teaching Textbooks 7.  She just completed the 8 week writing course with Time 4 Writing, which she also enjoyed.  I don't think that this is that into the Apologia General Science yet, I think once she gets more in the experiments she will be.  She has learned a lot about several different scientist though, especially since I am having her do the General Science - scientists notebooking pages from Donna Young's website.

For the Jamestown Unit she is reading Pocahontas by Joseph Bruchac.  She seems to be excited about it.  A good clue is when her dad comes homes and she can't wait to tell him what she has been reading! 

Computer Girl started Teaching Textbooks 4 this past week - she LOVES it!  The fun characters and bonus levels make it a lot of fun for her.  She seems to be getting into her own little 4th grade groove and being more independent with her studies.  She's been plugging along with multiplication tables, Easy Grammar and copywork.  No one complains about copywork anymore BTW!

Alpha Boy has been doing better with his phonics, the sounds are starting to click a bit more and I high five him every time she says a new word.  Did I tell you that I am thoroughly convinced that phonics lessons are not only to meant to teach little people phonics but they are also meant to teach mama's patience.  My little boy who used to love to sit and do 10 pages in his phonics workbook  now has a hard time sitting still threw one or two.  We are a work in progress.

I started Apologia's Who Is God? book (again) with all of the kids this week.  We have used bits and pieces of the What We Believe series for reviews, but I wanted to go back and start from the beginning and work through the whole series.  We have the audio which I really like.  They color and I just follow along in the book.  We are really enjoying it and from the questions the kids are asking they seem to be learning quite a bit.

We also started reading Boy Have I Got Problems! and memorizing the book of James.  Yes, you read correctly, the BOOK of James.  This is a My Father's World thing.  For the Exploration to 1850 year they have you memorizing the book of James.  It sounds like a huge task and I almost don't want to verbally commit to it but Lord willing we will be able to do it!

These are my boys pretending to be Sumo Wrestlers.  This is normal, right??
Little Bits playing "Does it sink or does it float?"

It was a pretty good week.  Today, Friday, the kids need to accomplish math, their readers and anything else that is lingering from the week.  Then we are going to CLEAN. 

I actually decided that we are going to try 2 new things.  Home Blessing Day, well we have sort of done this before and ice cream.  After reading two encouraging posts, one from Smockity Frocks and one from Raising Arrows I decided to combine the two great ideas into one. 

Both of my teams, The Lil Chef and Little Bits on one team and Computer Girl and Alpha Boy on the other, are joining forces to fight dust, dirt and grime all in hopes for an ice cream treat later this evening!  I will let you all know how this works next week. 
How was your week?


Beeker said...

Thanks for this post. I appreciated the info and checked out the other blogs you mentioned about the cleaning!

Kris said...

Sounds like a fun week! I love when you get to see, in person, the things you've been reading about in books. Those Jim Arnosky books are so well-illustrated.

Brandi said...

Thanks Sheri and Kris!

So far, we have loved all things Jim Arnosky :)


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