May 29, 2010

7th Grade COMPLETED!

I can't believe it, but it is true! We are DONE with 7th grade! KM had one last field trip yesterday and now our "school year" is completed! We finished three weeks early. So we will be having a full 5 week break before summer session starts in July! We have had a fantastic year and I can't believe the amount that we have gotten accomplished. I am so very proud of the progress that KM has made! I can only hope that this next year will be just as excellent!
Check out some of the great photos from our trip -

As we will be on break, it may or may not be quiet around here! I will try to post here and there as the learning never really stops, but I am going to be focusing on getting my house in order and enjoying some much needed down time!

May 26, 2010

Viking Ship

Often KM will choose to pass on the art projects that go along with Story of the World, but every once in awhile a project will catch her eye and for some reason she will choose to do it! This was the case last week with the viking ship -

May 24, 2010

New Pet...for a little while

I was working at the computer last week when I heard this rustling noise outside the window. I looked out and saw a pile of leaves moving - A LOT! I am not a screeching type of person, but I am also not very keen on little creatures, so I sat watching it for a while to see if I could tell - from a safe distance - what it was. KM is very brave and loves all creatures large and small - except for spiders - but she was diligently working to finish her history lessons, so I didn't want to distract her from that.
After a little while the rustling stopped and by the time CJ came home I had almost forgotten about it until he went out to start the grill for dinner. I asked him to gently check out the pile of leaves to see if there was something there and I went back inside to my little window to watch - from a safe distance.
He knows how I am so of course he made a big scene about what was in the pile - "Oh my gosh! I can't believe it." "You aren't gonna wanna see this!" and on and on. By this time KM was in on it as well and I knew they were just trying to creep me out, so I bravely went out on the deck to see what the creature was -
just the cutest little sun turtle.

Within 5 minutes a habitat was started in the kiddie pool -

Curtle seems to be enjoying his new temporary home.
Over the weekend KM & AM expanded his habitat to include a few dry spots as they were worried about him being too cold at night.
He seems to really enjoy hiding out in the foliage!
As he is a wild creature we will only keep him for a few days to observe him. We feel it is not right to take creatures out of their natural habitats permanently without just cause - injury or endangerment. We only put plants and bugs from the area where we found him into the habitat and are only allowing the kids to handle him minimally. Once KM has finished her observations we will take him out back to the swamp area behind our house and release him - as I don't feel safe releasing him close to the house as I am afraid one of our bigger animals might harm him.
So for a little while, we have a new pet - Curtle the Turtle!

May 23, 2010

Drum Roll Please......

To the winner of the Ko's Journey Giveaway - Ami!!!

Thanks to all who participated! If you didn't win, you really should think about getting an individual subscription as it is a FANTASTIC program and one of the only ones that I have seen recently that is TRULY worth the money!

May 22, 2010

Genetics & DNA Study

Last Thursday we spent the WHOLE day working on the Thames & Kosmos Genetics & DNA kit that we had gotten a few months ago. We had planned on working on these projects over the next few weeks, but KM was so gungho that we did completed all the experiments and then some...

KM will be reading The Cartoon Guide to Genetics over our break and here are the links to all the resources we used -

May 20, 2010

Final Push...

I tend to schedule the last few weeks of a session a bit lighter than the rest so that we can have time to make things up that may have gotten pushed to the side earlier on. This time however, we are right on track and I think that I have managed to convince KM to push a little bit harder to get some extra weeks off! I printed out all the assignments for the remainder of the session and she couldn't believe how little there was. If you don't hear much in the next week or so, please no we are still here, but are just finishing up to have a nice LONG break at HOME this time!!!

Don't forget to enter the giveaway, it will be closing out tomorrow!!!

May 19, 2010

Only 3 days left get in on this giveaway!!!! Be sure to check it out ----

May 17, 2010

All my nieces together...

at the zoo and carousel village today was quite exhausting! Luckily I had extra parental help as I don't think it would have worked any other way. I didn't even get any pics of the kids at the zoo because I was trying to keep track of the two 3 year olds running here there and everywhere. I did however get some cute shots when they were strapped to the carousel -

GC and her dad only made it around once before they looked like they were going to be sick! SC on the other hand had 4 trips around and each time found another animal she HAD to ride next! OR was quite content to ride the horses, look at the lights and gaze at herself in the mirror as she made kooky faces!

It was a beautiful day and all the kids had peaceful naps on their way home!

May 14, 2010

Ko's Journey - Math Curriculum Supplement


Yes, you read that write I have an incredible giveaway for one lucky winner! The product that is up for grabs is a one year license to a fantastic new online program called - Ko's Journey 5th -8th grade Math Improvement with Story Playing. - Instructions for giveaway at the end of the review...

This program is fantastic! It is super simple to setup an account, which they have at many different levels including individual for $39 or Intervention Homeschool (up to 3 players) for $59. To me this is an extremely reasonable price for this very unique and engaging supplement to your middle school math curriculum.
  • 15-hour curriculum of core middle school math embedded in rich story
  • Easy on-line set-up and administration
  • Automatically tracks student progress and assignments
  • Aligned with NCTM standards
  • Excellent preparation for state testing (includes pre and post tests)
  • Interactive learning environment with peer teaching
  • Creative tool aimed at addressing emotional resistance to math
  • Empower students comprehension of fundamental concepts
Some of the reasons that KM says she has been enjoying are:
  • "using math in a virtual real life simulation helps me to understand why it works"
  • "the graphics are great!"
  • "it is really easy to use"
  • "it saves my progress and tracks my scores"
  • "each new level brings some new challenge or puzzle to solve"

Some things that I have noticed - both good and bad -
  • Pre-test and post-test features are great to really be able to tell if they have learned new concepts by using the product or if previously covered concepts have been reinforce.
  • Entertaining storyline to help keeps the wanting to work with the program
  • Set-up was super easy
  • Tracking of grades and progress is done automatically so you can ask your student to work on it and will know how they did from your own log in screen.
  • It is possible to change the student information so that if you have more than one child you could purchase the individual program and they could either work through it together or once one child has completed it - as it is only a 15 hour curriculum - another child could restart it, as you have access to the program for one full year
  • When using it on different computers it takes a VERY long time to load. This is not a big deal when we are at home, but when we are out and about and she wants to play it on the laptop it can be a bit annoying
Here are some screen shots -

I am very excited about the direction of this program and am hopeful that we will see more things to come of this high quality!

Now for the giveaway! Imagine Education has been generous enough to offer one lucky reader a full year individual license for this incredible math game! All you have to do is post a comment and you will be entered! Please be sure to leave an email address or blog link for me to be able to connect you through.
Also if you have a blog, mention this giveaway, come back and submit a link to the mention you will have a second chance to win! This will be limited to two entries per email address or blog link.
All comments or posts must be submitted no later than 8pm EDT on Friday 5/21 - I will announce the winner on Monday May 24th!

May 13, 2010

More and More Color...

She wanted more colors....

so we got more colors....

This time they are however extensions! I will say we gave the director quite a fright when she saw her walk into rehearsal a few weeks ago with MANY shades just days before the performance. I decided to go with the extensions so that she can have more of a variety and LESS damage to her hair!

May 11, 2010

A Day with the Littles

Our plans got a bit tweaked today, but we got to spend some extra time with the Littles -

They played for a bit while KM finished her Algebra -

We baked for a bit -

And played outside for a while!

And Little GC showed off her newest talent.

May 4, 2010

Wrapping things up - SORT OF!

I have to say that I think we are really getting a handle on this "homeschooling" thing! The past few months have been going by so fast, so smoothly and SO productively ~ I am just amazed at how much we have gotten accomplished. Our homeschooling style has changed a lot over the last two and a half years, without a doubt we are much more relaxed and go with the flow so much more than we did at the beginning!

In the springtime a lot of homeschoolers who follow the traditional "school year" start to look ahead for curriculum and programs for the next school year. As we school year round, things can get a bit fuzzy as to where one grade stops and another begins. For reporting purposes our "grades" go from July to June - so KM will begin her 8th grade school year this coming July. Since KM has a tendency to want to blow through some programs at the speed of light while she meanders and delves deeper into others we also tend to have books and programs on all different levels at one time. I have been getting many emails from interested readers about our picks for 8th grade and we are in the process of making the final decisions, but aren't quite done yet.

We began a good amount of new programs during this spring session - you can see the current things we are using in the right hand column near the top of the page - and many of these we will continue with throughout the summer. In the past we have done a substantially lighter workload during the summer, however this year we have cut back to 3 days of book work, so we will be staying with the same pace for the summer months. I am thinking about changing up our one a day plan though and trying something like focusing on one subject each week over the summer, but I am not sure if that would be too overwhelming or pushing too much at one time. This is something that I will have to discuss with KM and see how she feels before I make the final decision.

So as far as resources go, just check back and I will let everyone know when I have the final list together or something changes.

May 2, 2010

BRAVO - Young Shakespeare Players -

KM's drama group had their fundraising performances this weekend and they were INCREDIBLE!!! The director adapted the play to accommodate the talents of these fantastic actors and she did an unbelievable job! I feel so grateful that my daughter had the privilege to work with this group! Here are the pictures from the shows -

In the 1st performance KM was Lady Capulet -

In the 2nd performance KM was Juliet -