Sep 29, 2009

Weather Center

While I was digging around looking for things to create a weather unit for KM, I came across this freebie at Currclick - Whatever the Weather. It was young for KM but I figured that I would save it to use for clip art or if she wanted to make a weather game or something. Then when I was trying to come up with things to put in the "toddler area" of our class space, I thought it would be perfect to use to create a weather today center.

I made up the background sign myself and then printed it on to cardstock. I used the brown tape to make the square and rectangle so that it would be very easy to see which fit on which spot. I took the word strips and pasted some of the smaller pics to those so that SC could match them up with the larger picture. Then I used magnets that I had left over from something - ?calendar, notepad that was suppose to attach to a fridge? - you don't need to much and if they are too strong little hands will try to rip them and get frustrated. I attached them to the piece on the wall and to the strips and squares. I am thinking I may cover the pieces with clear contact paper or packing tape to reinforce them a bit though as the edges are already getting a bit worn.

We don't do the center everyday because SC is not here everyday and is only 2. If she were older - or when she gets a bit older - we might print out a calendar and record the weather for every day. This could also lead to graphing, prediction, pattern discussions and all sorts of other things. This could also be a great way to incorporate younger siblings and make them feel included in the days work.

Quick easy addition to a morning routine that can expand to lots of different curriculum connections!

Thanks Wendy for asking - I got to it a bit quicker than I thought I would!

Sep 28, 2009

First day of Fall Session

It was our first day back to lessons today after a 3 week break.

We had an early start...

got some studies done...

enjoyed a wonderful hike with our coop friends...
and then got a new "class" pet!

Our first day and I am already revamping things. I have to hit the sack but will be sure to be back and let you all know what we have scrapped already!

Sep 23, 2009

almost back...

We will be back to lessons starting Sunday. I am trying to take the rest of this week to get myself, my house and my coop responsibilities under control before we delve into lessons here. I am waiting to see what happens with the Littles. I am having some anxiety over it, but I know that it will all work out in the end. We have decided to do a few things on Sundays, as they are generally slow get things done and ready for the next week days around here. KM agreed and thinks that if it will make me feel less pressure with the Littles during the week she is all for it, so we have picked Health and Cultural Studies to do on Sundays. We will wait and see how things really turn out with the kids and how much we can get done before we decide to switch things out anymore. There has been some talk of making the days that we have them more like weekend days, but I really need time that is neither lesson or daycare time - wow what a CONCEPT! Does such time actually exist?
I am bound and determined to find it! Anyway we will be back in full force next week and I am working on coming up with some sort of themes like Science Thursdays that we did during the Summer, but I will have to keep everyone posted on that one!

Sep 20, 2009

Birthday Bash 2009

Since mine and KM's birthdays are so close together we usually have a HUGE party to celebrate, but this year we decided to keep our birthday bash a bit smaller than usual, but we had a FANTASTIC TIME!

Sep 19, 2009

The many faces of my...

12 Year Old!!!

I honestly don't know where the past year has gone,
never mind the past 12!
Thanks for all the very Happy Birthday wishes for KM!

Sep 16, 2009

Catching up!

So my Internet and phone are FINALLY back online after much aggravation!

Last week was very busy, which is how it always seems to work around here when I want to slow things down a bit!

Here are some of our favorite pics from last week:

We went on a quest that took us through the New England Wildlife Center -

KM felt it had been far too long since a pic of me was taken so here I am -

THE CRAZY LADY HIKING WITH AN INFANT AND A TODDLER! - I must say though Miss SC is quite the trooper and if you put GC in the sling she is happy no matter where we are!

SC started a new dance craze:

KM did some fashion designing this week:

some of the rhinestones didn't iron on quite so well so she improvised with puffy paint!

She had better luck with t-shirt iron-ons though!

There was a dress-up fashion show:

which brought out some interesting characters!

We had a very wet and shorter than expected time camping, but it was SUPER fun!

Take a peek to see what kept us up all night!

We are now in our second week of "vacation" from lessons before we start our fall session and things are just as CRAZY this week!

Please keep your fingers crossed for me that next week TRULY will be a slow week!

Don't know how much I will post, but I will be sure to be back for good after the 28th when we start our Fall Session!

Sep 5, 2009

Curriculum Picks for Fall Session - 7th Grade - HOW IT ALL FITS TOGETHER

Since I started listing our curriculum picks in August I have been asked a LOT about how we are actually going to implement ALL of the choices that we have made this year and here is a pic from Homeschool Tracker Plus which outlines our weekly plan. ~~~ If you click on it - it will open bigger in another window.

Now pay no regard to most of the timeline on the side as it is very rare that KM EVER gets her work started at 8am! However it just gives a breakdown of how things fit together. Sometimes ELA may take twice as long and Science might take half the time, but this is a good outline so that KM and I can see what it is that should get completed each day. I also am not 100% strict on which day something gets done, if a field trip, outing, playdate or something comes up OR we just don't feel like doing it that day, then we can very easily switch it to another day or move it to the weekend or whatever. I am rather rigid that all of the work gets completed within the week though, otherwise I would feel like we weren't progressing and things would get too piled up!

We upgraded to the PLUS version of the tracker in the fall so that we could save time and paper, by setting up KM's account where she can go in and check her assignments for the week or the day instead of me having to copy them to the whiteboard or write them all out in the planner. It has worked WONDERFULLY during the summer and there have been many times when KM has gone ahead on her own and completed something early so that she could setup a playdate or sleepover or just to get brownie points when asking to do something extra special! This has also helped create a lot more independence when the Littles are here. KM can go into her room and get her things done without having to tempt SC because she has to check with me on what is next.

A mom who is new to homeschooling mentioned recently that she was really concerned about being able to fit everything in and I think this is a big fear for a lot of parents especially those who have taken their kids out of PS. One thing that you have to remember is that you work at your child's pace, you don't have to rush through things to get to the next thing , to get to the next thing. You can work on it for as long or as short an amount of time as your child(ren) need or want you to. There are as many ways to homeschool as there are families who homeschool. Not one family does it EXACTLY the same as the next because no two children are EXACTLY the same! This is the BEAUTY of homeschooling!

Curriculum Picks for Fall Session - 7th Grade - Everything Else

This is the list of everything else that we will be covering!

Foreign Language - Latin

We will be continuing our Latin study at least through the fall and maybe into the winter...
Art -
KM loves art and is very excited we are going to be starting Meet the Master which I got another great deal on through Homeschool Buyers Co-op!

Music -
Another one of KM's favorite areas so we have multiple resources here -

Health -
We will be continuing to use the free curriculum supplements from NICHD publications. When I found this resource, just over a year ago, I thought it would be just some small little packets or pamphlets. I ordered almost everyone and nearly fell over when they arrived! These are full sets all ready to go into a 3 ring binder and some come with CD-Rom games and online interaction!
We also will probably be using a few of these websites -
Term Elective - KM picks a subject area each term that she would like to know more about!
With the newest baby around so much lately KM has become very interested in learning about child development. It is rather tricky to find information for Middle School at this level, but I did manage to find a few searching under Babysitting Skills!

CO-OP Classes
We will be attending our co-op for two classes this fall, as well as a Theater Group with our local homeschool support network. Our first co-op class will be Geography and loosely based on the Trail Guide to World Geography for the mapping aspects and different parents will be responsible each week to provide the cultural aspects that go along with it. The second class will be on Algebraic Reasoning using Family Math for Middle Schoolers and LOTS of math games. The theater group is the same one that she participated in last spring and they will be continuing to do some work on Shakespeare, as well as some monologues and some skits on famous historical times and people.

I think that is it for our fall session line-up. If you missed any of the previous posts just head to the top of the screen and type in curriculum picks and they should pop right up! Don't know how much we will get done or how many times we will change things around, but we are hoping for the best!

It may be quietier around here for the next few weeks as we take a bit of time off in between sessions! Be sure to let us know how your fall is starting out!

Sep 3, 2009

One BIG building

They built the Chrysler Building earlier in the week and it was truly taller than the toddler!

Sep 2, 2009

Curriculum Picks for Fall Session - 7th Grade - KIT FINDS

I mentioned the choices that we had made for our science curriculum last week, but as I was trying to find somewhere that had the physics kit that was recommended by Simple Schooling I also happened to come across an incredible kit to supplement The Story of Science - Milestones in Science!

I am soooo excited about this two kits! They are complete and FANTASTIC! I am amazed that no one has mentioned combining The Story of Science with this Milestones kit before, it seems like a no brainer to me. I am all about getting my money worth and with 100 experiments that is less than 80 cents an experiment! How can you beat that with everything all there and ready for you! The physics kit has 37 experiments and also has extremely clear instructions and meshes seamlessly with the simple schooling physics.

~~~After further investigation I must add- I usually wait to get kits in person when I just happen to see them in a store marked down to some ridiculously low price because I have been sooooo disappointed in the past, but THESE KITS are fantastic and totally worth the money. You have to add VERY few items like a 9-volt battery for instance. They also have INCREDIBLE clear and informative booklets that go along with them! The more I look at the them the more I am very happy that I didn't have my stingy cheap side come out and I got them!

Sep 1, 2009

Not-Back-To-School Day - 2009

All of our local public school counterparts headed back to school this morning and we spent the day enjoying some of our favorite things about is what we did on our NOT-Back-to-School Day!

Got up REALLY early for us - 6:15a so that we could go to Friendly's for breakfast with CJ before he headed out to work.

We came back to the house and KM practiced piano until The Littles got here!

After SC ate her breakfast, jammed on the guitar for a bit....

and KM did her chores we spent some time playing sports on the Wii!

SC wanted her nails painted and KM was happy to accommodate her!

Then went out to enjoy some sunshine!

We went for a silly ride to pick up lunch!

After lunch naps were had by all!

All and all it was a great, relaxing, enjoyable day!!!

How do you celebrate Not-Back-To-School Day?