Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Geocashing Adventure

Today I decided to switch things up a bit for our school day . . . we went geocaching.

I know many of you are wondering, What is Geocaching . . .

Geocaching /ˈˌkæʃɪŋ/ is an outdoor recreational activity, in which participants use a Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver or mobile device and other navigational techniques to hide and seek containers, called "geocaches" or "caches", anywhere in the world.
A typical cache is a small waterproof container containing a logbook (with a pen or pencil). The geocacher enters the date they found it and signs it with their established code name. After signing the log, the cache must be placed back exactly where the person found it. Larger containers such as plastic storage containers (Tupperware or similar) or ammunition boxes can also contain items for trading, usually toys or trinkets of little financial value, although sometimes they are sentimental. Geocaching shares many aspects with benchmarkingtrigpointingorienteeringtreasure-huntingletterboxing, and waymarking.

So, we all headed off in search of "treasure". We had to use our heads and a GPS, follow the compass and be "geography" savy. The first snag we ran into - the little Magellan GPS units weren't allowing us to key in the coordinates we were looking for. We struggle with that a while and then decided to use my iphone. While the boys were searching, I finally figured out how to add coordinates! Yay Me!

The first location we found ZILCH . . . well, unless you want to include those little round burr things that stick to your shoe strings, socks and fuzzy puppy.

The boys weren't discouraged at not finding anything. I put the second set of coordinates in my iphone and the boys took off like rockets. I stayed close, but wanted to give them a little space and freedom to "find treasure". The went into some trees ~ I could hear them talking to one another. I also could hear them say . . . I am going to go tell mommy how far we are. I sat a listened, smiling at the thoughtfulness of my youngest. When he came out from the trees I was surprised to see it was my two youngest coming to report. EJ was protecting Cody from getting lost. I smiled as they ran back into the trees. The next thing I heard was . . . Ryan, are you lost? We are right here, where are you? 

Needless to say, they did not find their "treasure" nor did they get lost. I was prepared to head into the trees at the slightest sound of fright in their voices.

We headed to our third attempt. Cody took the lead on this one and immediately headed toward the treasures location. In fact, he was pretty right on! I was thrilled for them!!! 

Beckett and I followed along for this one. We received plenty of exercise, let me tell you! 

Anyway, the boys searched and search trying to find the location of this treasure. I tried to remind them to search high and low, side to side and around every tree. The cache had a few clues that I quickly passed onto the boys. It wasn't long until I heard . . . I FOUND IT!!! Yes indeed, Cameron found the treasure. He noted the spot it was found and brought the cache treasure into the open so everyone could see it.

The boys emerged from the trees, ready to open their treasure.

Beckett was excited to see what was in it too!

A paper tablet, pencil, coin, stamper and hotdog trinket.

 Time to put it all back for the next explorers.

Our Happy Explorers!

As we were walking back to the car I hear . . .

"Can we do another one now?"

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Almost Ten Weeks Into This School Year

Home School has been in session for three half weeks and seven full weeks now. We are in full swing and accomplishing each day one at a time. We began three day weeks mid July, so we are a bit ahead of the area schools.

Today the boys wanted to work in History . . . I didn't see any harm in letting them jump into History with both feet. I was thrilled to see them so engaged in their History lessons. Each lesson for Cameron, Evan and Cody are through Veritas Press and they simply cannot get enough! Today the boys wanted to work through FOUR lessons and so they did. However, the next few days they will need to accomplish their other subjects and give History a little rest. lol

Ryan continues on with Switched on Schoolhouse and is thriving in it. He generally takes care of his lessons without much prodding, to which I am thankful. I can keep track of his assignments and if he doesn't quite get something I know about it quickly.

The boys' grades are pretty good, although we are going to be working a bit harder in Math.

Ryan, Grade 7:
Bible - 98.15% A
History and Geography - 99.03% A
Language Arts - 98.62% A
Math - 92.83% B
General Science - 93.50 B

Cameron, Grade 5:
History - 86.7% B
Spelling - 96.5% A
Literature - 95.3% A
Math - 90% A-
English/Grammar - 89% B+
Penmanship/Writing - 100% A

EJ, Grade 5:
History - 83.2% B
Spelling - 93.5% A-
Literature - 93.3% A-
Math - 70 % C-
English/Grammar - 94 % A
Penmanship/Writing - 100% A

Cody, Grade 3:
History - 88.8% B
Spelling - 100% A
Literature - 97.6% A
Math - 82% B
English/Grammar - 99% A
Penmanship/Writing - 95% A

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Long Long Week

This has been one VERY long week for us and I am glad tomorrow is Friday!

The weather guys are predicting a cool October like day and I hear we just may get a bit more rain . . . just what we need . . . NOT!

Friday, September 5, 2014

Home School Adventures

Our little home school had a pretty busy week which included a ton of fun. Of course, we had our normal "studies" to accomplish . . . we went to the museum and had a swimming P.E. day with home school friends. 

Our science class is learning about God's 5th Day of Creation - the water "animals". This week, the kids made bottle oceans. They were so excited about this project, and so was I.

Take a look:

Ryan's ocean bottle.

Cody's - if you look close you can see the sand, shells and a few of his ocean fish. He loved this project.

EJ colored his ocean a DEEP blue.
He made it just the way he wanted it!

Aliyah holds her jelly fish in a bottle craft in her left hand
and her ocean bottle in her right. Her ocean was a gorgeous blue.

Cameron's ocean was fun and he was so proud of it.

KiKi's ocean bottle and her jelly fish bottle.
She is VERY specific concerning what she does and doesn't like.
She made sure her water creations were just right.

This photo is at the end of the day . . .
we had just tidied up and KiKi swept the floor. The kids take turns with the floor sweeping. Everyone worked together to make sure our shelving was tidy desk tops were wiped and everyone took home the things they wanted to.

It was a great week . . .
I wonder what the adventure will be next week!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

1st Field Trip of the 2014 - 2015 School Year

Today was our first field trip of the school year! "Ripley's Believe It or Not!" was at the Peoria Riverfront Museum and that is where we headed. There was a lot to take in . . . but we did our best! 

A few pictures of our visit:

I called this guy Skinny ~ he is with an elephant bird egg.

Ryan was in his element . . . loving crystals.


"Just like American Girl's Desk," exclaimed Keirah.

Megalodon and Keirah

This car was made of MATCHSTICKS!

Ben Franklin made out of computer keys.

How tall will you be Ryan?
5'11 according to Ripley's.


Albert Einstein made out of toast.

Albino Porcupine

Two headed calf

Four legged chicken

Robert Waldow - tallest man
Wadlow reached 8 ft 11.1 in (2.72 m) in height and weighed 439 lb (199 kg) at his death at age 22. His great size and his continued growth in adulthood were due to hyperplasia of his pituitary gland, which results in an abnormally high level of human growth hormone. He showed no indication of an end to his growth even at the time of his death.