Wednesday, December 12, 2012

a little catch up

Our days are ticking down toward Christmas Vacation.
I think the kids have their minds already set to begin.
I remind them . . .
there is still work to be done BEFORE vacation.
Of course like all kids, they grumble a little bit. 
It doesn't help much that Big Sis is out for college Christmas break until January 20 something.

Today was a bit of a challenge . . .
many tests were taken ~ it is always a good time to see how my lil' students are doing.  I am thankful for the many good grades and even the not so good grades . . . I enjoy seeing my kids "get it", especially if they have struggled in a subject.

I am also thankful for the flexibility of Home School.
We can literally adjust each day to the learning of each child.
There are so many days that everything "clicks" for each of them.
Then there are those "new concepts" that aren't so easy. When those times come up, it is so nice to be able to stop and review, discuss, explain and talk it over until they "get it".

I am also THANKFUL for my Teachers!
My kiddos are getting a very thorough education.

Yes, it is hard work and there are days we are all ready for naps.
I have noticed changes in my children most of them good.
It is wonderful to see them work together . . . 
and not so wonderful when they are a bit fed up with 
one another and need a bit of alone time.

We are progressing nicely through this school year and 
we all look forward to our Christmas Vacation.


Monday, December 3, 2012

Snow Globes

Today my little classroom made Nativity Snow globes. 
They are adorable!!!

The kids were so excited to make them and they were super simple!







They are so VERY cute!


To make your own Snow Globe . . .

Jar - we used a Ball jar with the sealing lid.
It needs to be large enough for your miniature figure to sit flat on the lid with the jar in place.

Glitter - we used craft snow glitter

Glycerin - found in the craft area where soap making supplies are

Distilled/bottled water

pretty tape to decorate the lid edge

To make:

I used marine grade epoxy to glue the figures to the lid. I let it dry overnight - but make sure to check your directions.

add glitter - I make sure to cover the bottom of the jar and then a bit more to make sure there is plenty of "snow"

add 1 teaspoon glycerin

put lid on jar - make sure it is tight

we used a bit of tape to decorate the lid of the jar

shake

Give it a try . . . too easy and such fun!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

a Glitch in Our Day

Back to school yesterday after Thanksgiving break. Home again today . . . first, there was a HUGE power outage that affected our building where our little school room is. While I was on the phone leaving messages for Melissa and Mrs. P, the boys came running upstairs screaming, "Mommy, Cody is PUKING!" rang in my ears over and over. Something tells me we aren't suppose to leave the house today. However, school continues . . . ipads x 3 boys. They may not be able to do their papers, but they certainly can listen to their lessons. (The boys weren't overly thrilled with the ease I switched modes from the classroom to our kitchen table.) 

Home Schooling can be fun and inventive!


Friday, November 16, 2012

9 Week Report Cards, Progress Reports and pictures!

Homeschool today is actually at home. The boys are studying at the kitchen table and at the breakfast bar. The house is totally crazy . . . Araceli simply smiles. 

Katelyn was in the kitchen when I came down. Homemade chicken soup for dinner is in the crock pot. Then she made pancakes and eggs for lunch. The boys were thrilled and the house smells yummy!

I haven't posted school pictures lately . . . so here you go. Chinese Dragon day and Giving Thanks Day.













~~~~~~~~~~

Our first NINE weeks has officially ended and all grades are in!

Report Card Grades are:

Cameron: Grade 4 
Math: 91% B+, Reading: 91% B+, Language 91% B+, Penmanship 88% B, Spelling: 90% B, History: 81% C, 
Science: 91% B+

Ryan: Grade 5
Math: 88% B, Reading: 90% B, Language: 91% B+, 
Penmanship: 83% C+, Spelling: 86% B-, History: 92% B+,
Science: 92% B+

Progress Reports:

EJ: Grade 3
Math: 92% A-, Reading: 90% B, Language: 98% A, 
Penmanship: 96% A, Spelling: 99% A, Science: 95% A

Cody: Grade 1
Math: 99% A, Reading 100% A+, Phonics: 100% A+, Penmanship: 90% B.

The boys are really doing well, although some days can really be challenging! Many times people think Home School is easy . . . not so for my kiddos! Mrs. P and I make sure they are learning everything they can!





Friday, November 9, 2012

Little Home School Update

Week 9 of school is almost complete - 2 more days to a complete nine weeks. Then Report Cards for Ryan and Cameron . . . and Progress Reports for EJ and Cody.

These past weeks the older two boys have been learning how to study for tests and quizzes. It is really a challenge to TEACH someone how to study!
Especially 9 and 10 year old boys!

Yesterday, the kids learned more about China.
They had so much fun with Mrs. M . . .
She always makes learning fun.

The kids learned to make Pumpkin Pie in a bag.
They thought is was fun and tasted very yummy.

The learned about clouds and fog.

Took a little trip to a local park to let some of their energy out.

They also made little Chinese "drums" ~ which turned out adorable! We had little drums rap tap tapping for quite a while!

Thursdays are always special days!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Mrs. M Day!

Yesterday . . .
was Mrs. M day at school.
The kids studied about China . . .
China is a place that is near and dear to Mrs. M's heart!

















I took these photos with my cell phone - sorry they are so dark.

The kids learned about China.
They made lanterns . . . decorated with Chinese letters
and pretty drawings.

They had a great time.

Monday, October 22, 2012

SIX WEEKS ARE DONE!

I am thrilled . . .
we made it through the first six weeks of homeschool!

Today, my youngest two received their report cards . . .
the other two are on 9 week schedules . . .
not sure why Abeka has them divided into 6 and 9 weeks, but they do  . . . So I go with it!

Evan (EJ) is in Grade 3:
Math: 96% A
Reading: 92% B+
Language: 90% B
Penmanship: 90% b
Spelling: 95% A-
Science: 94% A-

Cody is in Grade 1:
Math: 99% A
Penmanship: 94% A-
Phonics: 100% A+
GREAT JOB Guys!!!

Ryan and Cameron both had their Progress Reports come out . . .

Ryan is in Grade 5:
Math: 91% B+
Reading: 92% B+
Language: 86% B-
Penmanship: 82% C+ 
Spelling: 88% B
History: 91% B+
Science: 87% B-

Cameron is in Grade 4:
Math: 93% B+
Reading: 92% B+
Language: 93% B+
Penmanship: 89% B
Spelling: 94% A-
History: 80% C
Science: 82% C+

The boys are realizing Homeschool isn't any easier than going to the school they had always gone to. In fact, this Mama and our Mrs. P insist they accomplish the subjects in FULL. Meaning: the skill sheets, the homework, the extra studying for quizzes and test, etc. MUST be completed. The grading curve remains advanced as well ~ we do not use the 10 point scale . . . if we did, my boys would have all A's and B's ~ those C's wouldn't exist.

Ryan and Cameron are realizing school is getting a bit more challenging with every passing year. They are both LEARNING  how to study.

I feel we are off to a great school year!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Week Six Beginning

We are beginning our SIXTH week of Home School.
I am thrilled to say . . .
Today was a VERY Good Day!

The kids tried hard to get their lessons done in good time.
They have been working hard on studying for quizzes and tests.
They get along very well during the school day and it never ceases to amaze me at the little anecdotes they come up with each day.
Tomorrow I should try to jot them down so I can share them with you. I am sure you will either laugh or find them interesting or maybe even cute.


Thursday, October 11, 2012

Dragon Day



Today the kids learned about Passports, China and Chinese Dragons.

They made dragons . . .





Baby Joseph and I watched.




The kids made Joseph a dragon tail.




They had a lot of fun today!



Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Not for the Faint of Heart

We are now in the FIFTH week of Home School and we have worked out most of the kinks associated with taking on the Home Schooling of six kiddos. 

When we began this journey, I had not planned on the boys having homework as I figured it would all be done during school hours. Well, as it turns out, my boys MUST have homework . . . no ifs ands or buts about it. Each of the kids get their required school day work complete. I have written before . . . we are using the Abeka Academy Video streaming. Each and every lesson is watched via computer. Then comes the seat-work, quizzes and tests . . . Mrs. P and I see to that portion. This is where we find out how much of the listening is actually sinking in. As we see where the kids are excelling or needing assistance we make sure to send home extra practice or study sheets.

Our school days typically run from 8:30 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. It is a real treat if we get out of school at 1:00 p.m. We try to encourage the kids to listen and work independently . . . of course, when they come upon a question, they come to one of us for help. I REALLY love it when the kids start to ask us a question and will stop and say . . . "Wait . . . I know . . . I get it!"

I am also thrilled to have Mrs. P right along side! She is AWESOME and a wonderful teacher. (Plus she is TREMENDOUS at Math!)

Progress Reports were average last week. I am excited to report that the kids are all doing well and grades are reflecting that. Of course, as the year progresses . . . the school work gets a bit harder.

The kids are still excited to begin school each morning . . . I sure hope they hold on to that thought throughout the school year.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Thursday with Mrs. M

Mrs. M is at our home school today . . . 
the kids are thrilled and excitement is all around.

The kids are learning about apples.
The had three little video segments to watch.
Mini Science Experiments in smell and taste and
a cooking experiment too!

As I listen to the Science class, I smile  . . .
inquisitive kiddos . . .
fun . . .
giggles . . .
Yippee for Thursday!


Friday, September 28, 2012

Homeschool Day 19

Today was a lovely school day ~ with one exception, and I will be asking for a bit of prayer on that one.

I am thankful for my Five hardworking students!
They all had such a happy spirit today and put their little noses right to the "grindstone" to get their assignments for the day completed! I was thrilled for them!!!

That brings me to my prayer request . . .
my second son is testing the boundaries . . . BIG TIME!
Today was the THIRD day he tried to fast forward through his lessons and exclaim how quickly he was getting finished.
Of course, it was VERY easy for me to know he was not being truthful simply by looking at his lesson timing.
His papers are also a HUGE tip something is not right.
I am so thankful I am right there to stop his nonsense and start him over on ALL lessons for the day.
Of course, this makes for an unhappy son . . .
but, he is making unwise choices and I am too stubborn to let him continue on that little journey!

I ask you to pray first of all for me ~ I know, without a doubt God set us on the home school pathway for all of our boys. 

  • I simply ask for prayers for endurance to make sure, without a doubt he is listening, learning and completing his work. 
  • I also request prayers for wisdom, grace and mercy . . . I definitely want to teach my son and also minister to him. Being a Mama is a hard task . . . being a Mama/teacher to a child who tries to "get by" is challenging.
I don't want to close this post without offering up Praises!

I am Thankful and Give Praise:

  • For giggles and laughter in our classroom
  • For loving children 
  • For children interested in learning new things
  • For a lovely classroom
  • For special helpers and teachers
  • For animal lovers
  • For questions and good comments
  • For great listeners
  • For all of the "learning" I actually get
  • For the hugs
  • For the snuggles while reading
  • For the happiness I see when the kids "GET IT!"
  • For children not afraid to ask questions
  • For my support group
I am truly blessed with my six little ones in my little class.
I love each and every one and get so excited with them as they learn. I know it is a BIG change for three of my boys ~ to be at home school and two little girls that are learning for the first time with other children.




Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Full Moon?

Was it a Full Moon or is one on the horizon?

Our 15th school day of this year will be remembered as one of the toughest for us this school year. 

Is it due to a Full Moon or just wound up kiddos?

Well, believe it or not September 29 is our next Harvest moon!

I always laughed when our Preschool teacher would remark about the effects of a Full Moon. However, now I really do wonder about the full moon and its wacky effects . . .

Could their be anything such as a PRE-Moon Syndrome?

Monday, September 24, 2012

Our HOME SCHOOL Day

We are officially in our THIRD week of Homeschool and are definitely in a Homeschool kind of groove!

Generally, we begin school at 8:30 a.m. ~ give or take a few minutes. Each of the kids get their computer from the computer cabinet where it has been charging since the end of school the day before. They bring it to my desk to log on to the wifi and then into Abeka Academy to begin their lessons for the day. Each have their own list of lessons and they simply go down the list. I keep track of what they are to be accomplishing from the teacher/dvd manual.
I also keep a little steno pad for each of the kiddos - a great idea from Mrs. P . . . it makes for easy reference each day.

As they do their assignments each day, I . . . 
  • take attendence ~ mark it in
  • look over their seatwork papers 
  • grade their quizzes, tests and speed drills
  • put all grades into the gradebook
  • listen to their oral reading and help them to read word for word instead of inputting their own version of the story.
  • try to keep each one on task so they finish their assignments each day ~ sometimes this is not an easy task
  • help with questions about addition, subtraction
  • work multiplication and division ~ many times on the chalk board
  • read the kids the WEIRD Fact of the Day ~ we giggle and the kids like to jot things down in their little planners
  • I also try to read to all of them each day . . . we are currently reading about Spunky in Spunky's Diary.
  • We have snack time.
  • We have lunch time.
  • I take pictures.
  • We take care of our hedgehog.
It is important for me to take time with each child every day. Each of them have their very own little personality and needs each and every day. I love it when they all swarm my desk  . . . sometimes it is because they are "stuck" on something . . . sometimes it is to tell me something . . . sometimes it is for a little support or encouragement . . . sometimes it is just to be close. Today, I had four kiddos at my desk and I helped them ALL at one time! They were all so good about "sharing" me. 

Each of the kids learn at their own pace and it is important to me that they learn what the online streaming teacher is teaching them. It is so much easier to make sure they get it rather than backup several lessons when it is test time and we find out they didn't quite "get it"! So far, the kids are doing very well in their classes. The quiz and test scores are positive proof!


Friday, September 21, 2012

May I Introduce You?

Last day of the school week for these little cherubs!
I thought . . .
Hmmmm, we need an impromptu field trip!
Off to the pet place . . .

Of course, this brood wouldn't all fit in my car, so . . .
Randy drove his and took two of the kids.

We arrived at the pet place and the kids were immediately drawn to these guys: Puppies


I quickly shooed them inside . . .
they saw all kinds of little animals.
I kept them on task and only needed to use my whistle ONE time.

We picked out a little hedgehog, quickly checked out and headed back to our classroom so we could set up her habitat!
(We have been LEARNING about HABITATS!)


She is a sweet little girl!

The kids ALL LOVE HER!

She is quite spikey . . .
but easily calmed.

She is a real cutie!


The kids were amazed while watching her!

She was quite curious.

I can't believe how much she lifts up off the floor.


Her little nose stays pretty busy.



The kids could not agree on ONE name for  . . . 
Miss Button Von Hedgie (as Katelyn calls her)
So her official name is:
Eeassa Spikela Coconut Spike Sonic Blaze

(now all the kids can use the name for her they chose ~ 
everyone is happy!)



She loves to burrow!

Her cage is color coordinated!



We made sure her cage was safe for her.
We enclosed the sides so she wouldn't escape.

Then we printed her name out on labels so each of the kids could have one . . . as well as her cage.





This sweet lil' one LOVES JuJu's school!

She wanted to join us several mornings this week.


A bit on the prickly side!

and she rolls up in a little prickly ball!

She is pretty cool!