Friday, April 29, 2011

Weekly Review: Productive Week

I don't really have much to write about.  The week went fast.  No projects, except for the 44 bracelets Emily and I made to sell at our Relay For Life!  We strung a ribbon charm on most of them that says HOPE.  The best part is that we have very little invested in them because we had a slew of beads already.  We bought the charms and the stretchy string, and both were very inexpensive.

Our other "art" project was making our team banner for the Relay. It's looking really great. I just need to sew a border around it, then it's done. The Relay is in two weeks, so we're down to the wire now. We are getting very excited!

We are quickly wrapping up our studies in My Father's World.  Not a whole lot to report.  The high frequency word flashcards are a tremendous help to Katie.  I really wish I had remembered them earlier this school year.  Oh well.  The point is that she is learning and that makes mamma happy!  We live near an awesome college university and they offer summer reading courses to help boost reading for all ages, including adults who would like to learn speed-reading skills!  Maybe I should take that course for myself!  I'm thinking of registering the kids for a course.  Anything to help boost reading skills!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Overflowing Bookshelves

You know it's time to purge when books end up on the floor because there's no more room for them on the shelves!  That's where I'm at right now.  Our office/classroom looks like a used book sale after a herd of homeschoolers came through!  Does anyone else buy books for school, thinking you'll use them but never do?  I don't do that as much, but I still have a slew of workbooks that are probably great but we just don't have time for them!

Let the Spring Cleaning begin!  Of course, I write this with much enthusiasm but it's 11:00 p.m., so it's highly likely that the enthusiasm will fade by morning!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Weekly Wrap-Up: The Past Two Weeks

Last week started off with a little travel time.  Hubs had a business trip so the kids and I tagged along just to get away for a couple days.  We drove up on Monday and back on Tuesday, so it was a short trip, yet still enjoyable.  It looks like he'll be making short monthly trips to the same location, so I'm hoping to work our way into those as well. :)
We had a nice room...

A nice pool...
(all to ourselves!) 

And a nice park nearby... 

So, that was Monday and Tuesday.  Wednesday was a full school day.  Even though we had taken some material with us, we still had some catching up to do.  Once we finished school, the cleaning began.  Oh what fun! (insert sarcasm here)

We celebrated Katie's 8th Birthday on Thursday last week.  I can't believe she's eight!  We had a party in the afternoon with her "besties" and they all brought their American Girl dolls.

 I loved watching them play.  It just tickled my heart!  It was a beautiful day, so they also jumped on the trampoline and painted little wooden birdhouses outside.  All the girls loved doing that and it was just the right project for their attention span.


After the besties went home and Daddy came home from work, Katie got to open her gifts from us, which now requires a room makeover!  She loves animals; always has.  And she's really into zebra prints.  So we got her some cute decorations for her room including a large picture, a clock, a picture frame, zebra-striped fuzzy blanket, an adorable butterfly (with zebra stripes, of course), and we gave her some money, which she appreciated because she's saving up for some American Girl stuff.


The ultimate gift had already been given by her grandparents: the new Hawaiian American Girl doll, Kanani.

The only toy she got from us was a sock monkey, and it was actually from Emily, along with some earrings.  These kids have so much already and she really and truly could not think of even one thing she wanted, besides the AG doll.  It made my shopping much easier!  I had bought some of her gifts a few months back, so it was really easy for me this year.  When I catch a good sale on things, I often buy them to save for gift-giving.

So now we're down to Friday.  Well, all I can say is, another one bites the dust!  No school on Friday.  Hubs worked half day and we were all preparing for the big family birthday party that took place Friday evening.  Yes!  Birthdays are a big event in our family.  We should rename them "birthweeks" because that's about how long we celebrate them around here!  I made and decorated her cake, as I always do (except for last year when I ended up in the hospital with kidney stones, so Emily decorated Katie's cake!).  Emily helped with the cupcakes, which was a HUGE help to me!  She did a great job, too.  The party was enjoyable and Katie received lots of craft kits and clothes, a couple Barbies, a remote-controlled car for her Moxie Doll, a movie, and some money!  (Now you understand why we opted out of buying her toys!)

I squeezed in a little shopping time by myself last Saturday and found some bargains at the Half Price Bookstore.  And I took the advice of a friend and printed some high frequency word flashcards for Katie and turned them into ring cards.  There are 20 words per set and 11 sets.  I told Katie that for each set she can easily read, she will earn a quarter.  I don't usually practice incentive-driven learning, but in this case, I think it will help us get past this reading block.  And it's already made a huge difference!

I found this fantastic website, The School Bell, that has high frequency word flashcards already made and organized into sets in order by frequency, so all I had to do was print them.  I printed each set on a different color cardstock, to keep them organized better.  The site also has printable games, and other printable worksheets.  I found it very useful.

So this week was productive, school wise.  It's been raining a LOT here which actually has been a bit of a blessing because the public school kids are on break this week and the rain has prevented them from knocking on our door every day.  I don't mind kids coming over, but we did not take off this week (except for Friday) and had plenty to do.

The ring cards are making a HUGE difference!  The thing I'm loving with Katie right now is that when I begin reading her the Bible lessons, she often interrupts me so that she can tell them to me!  And she's been coming up with wonderful summaries for the stories, which she then writes and illustrates.

Emily decided to write a comic strip for her summary about Naaman this week and it turned out really cute!  It's the first writing assignment she's enjoyed doing in a long time.  It thrilled me!

I'll end on something creatively thoughtful.  The girls were watching out the window when the trash man came this week.  He noticed them watching and made them a sculpture!...

Does anyone else have a fun trash man like this?

Linked up with Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Subversive Saturday

I'm linking up with Lisa at It's Own Sweet Will for this Subversive Saturday post.

What will I NOT do today???

I will NOT be jumping on this trampoline!
It's too wet and I'm still not feeling well!

I will NOT be cleaning our school area! 

And I definitely will NOT be cleaning this mess left by the kids from their sleepover last night!

In addition...
  • I'm NOT going furniture shopping like I had planned. (boo)
  • I don't plan on moving from the couch much.
  • And regardless of what Katie wants, I'm not doing any Spring cleaning today!  Honestly, where does she come up with this stuff??? 

Lapbook - Penguins

Since Katie loves penguins so much, we did a lapbook on them last year!  It's made with two file folders.  Most resources were found on Homeschool Share.

When you first open the lapbook, this is what you see... 

When you open the page on the right, you will see this... 

And when you turn that page, this one opens up... 

How about some fun math?... 

And this is a book the size of half a sheet of paper.  There was no room to attach it to the lapbook, so we just keep it slipped inside. 

Lapbook - The Story About Ping

This lapbook is made with two file folders and contains a lot of fun information!  When I taught a Five in a Row class at our co-op, this is one of the lapbook projects we did.  The kids loved it!

This is a fun flap book that shows where Ping lives.

This little book is attached with a paper fastener and each page inside has a printed picture of a different type of duck.  Emily chose to color each page inside.

This book is stapled on the left side and the back is glued to the lapbook.

More science...


Science Experiment

This oval book is attached with a paper fastener.

Most materials used in this lapbook were found on Enchanted Learning and Homeschool Share under the FIAR resources.