Friday, 30 September 2011

Homeschooling Mother's Journal

In our homeschool this week…
We have been moving right along on our school work and finding a rhythm so far everything is working. We have our good and our not so good days but I am happy with the children's progress and we have manage to maintain a steady course.

What’s working
for us…
We are really enjoying our weekly get together with friends who are using the same science program as we are. We are getting together weekly to do all science experiments together and it is going so well.

Places we’re going and people we’re seeing…
We are now going to take 10 days off from school and are planning some exciting activities so stay tuned.

I’m reading…
The Help-- I have heard a lot about it and am enjoying it so far.

I’m cooking…
The kids and I tried baking our own bread this week, which is something I have never done before. We don't have a bread machine so we did everything from scratch. What a process! While we enjoyed it I am not sure I will be doing this again unless I get a bread machine, hint, hint!

A photo, video, link, or quote to share…
Kneading the dough!
Little Man had his own unique way, pounding the dough to death:)!

Join the fun at Let's Hit the Road Field Trip hop

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Father and son camp out

While my daughter and I were enjoying the pampered life my husband and son were roughing it with the Boy Scouts for their fall camp out. This was Little man's first tent camping experience and he loved it!! I wasn't there for this camp out because I had a horrible camping experience years ago and it has scarred me for life. I love the outdoors but I am afraid I like a solid roof over my head! These pictures are the ones my husband took while on the trip. There were about 25 kids there, he says.

We don't own a tent so we rented one from the base.

Little Man helping to assemble the tent when all he really wanted to do was run around and play with the other boys.

Camp site

Little Man doing what he does best running and playing, and more running and playing!

My husband said he just watched Little Man whiz by most of the time.

Little man was so excited to be sleeping in a tent. My husband brought a air mattress for them to sleep on. Can you tell we are not people use to roughing it:)


The only picture my husband took of my son standing still!
Little Man came home and told me he loved his camping trip with "just me and my Dad" So cute and made my husband so happy that he almost forgot how cold it was sleeping in that tent!!

Take a look at this great home school hop

Monday, 26 September 2011

Mother and Daughter spa day

My daughter and I decided to have a Mother/Daughter day. While my husband and son were off camping with the BS, we spoiled ourselves with a movie night, dinner out, great conversation and and then the next day had mini facials and mani/pedi's. I believe this small experience has brought my self proclaimed tom boy over to the other side at least for a small moment.

Nail polish didn't last too long she has already picked the nail polish off on one finger because it feels funny:)!

Fantastic Mother daughter moment:)!

If you haven't heard about the Let's hit the road Field trip hop-- stop by and take a look at where home schoolers are going!

Friday, 23 September 2011

Weekly Wrap up

It has been ages since I have done a weekly wrap up. We picked all our curriculum and started using it in July as we school year round. This, I think is more of a quarterly wrap up:)

We have been using lots of new curriculum this year and so far everything is working out just fine. However we haven't manage to get everything in yet so I still need to make a few adjustments. So I will start with what is working.

Geography we have been studying one new country a month and this month is France. I am using Little Passports to get us started but supplementing with a lot of other sources such as books, video, and the computer. I am on the fence with this program as it is expensive and I was very disappointed with this month's envelop. While we will continue to use it I am looking around for a different program for next year.

History we are studying the Victorian era and learning a little of the Industrial revolution. We have been on two amazing field trips so far and have several more planned in the coming weeks. We tend to do hands on learning for history. But I am sure we will read a few books and watch a few DVD's about the time period also. I am planning this topic to go right up to the Christmas holidays.

Math Princes is just about finished with Math U see Gamma book. My goal was to have it finished by Dec but she will be done well before then and next we will begin Delta. Little Man is finally getting the concept of adding and subtracting (I was getting worried) We have just started doing double digits and I hope to get to carrying and borrowing by December but will need to monitor his progress to make sure I don't push too hard.

Science we are really enjoying the Chemistry program with Real Science 4 kids and have been able to met up with another home schooling family weekly to do the experiments and it is working out great so far. I hope it continues:)

Grammar Princess is using Growing with Grammar and is moving quickly thru it. I think I bought a level a little beneath her but this way we can make sure she has the skills down before moving on. Little Man is using the Scott Foreman grammar program. I managed to down load it before it disappeared from the web. I will probably switch him to Growing with Grammar as soon as we finished this booklet.

Writing Both children are using the spectrum writing program appropriate to their grade levels. We are really noticing a difference in Princess's writing so I am happy with it. Although I keep eyeing the IEW program, if only it was more affordable:(. Both kids are also using HWT to improve printing for Little Man and cursive for Princess.

Art We are really enjoying the Meet the Masters Art program and are keeping up with our goal of one new artist a month.

Music kids are continuing with their Piano lessons and just completed book two with their instructor. She will be introducing book 3 next week and I am told more music theory is in store for the kids. Will be interesting to see if Little Man can manage that!

Typing kids are using the program Typing instructor and are getting to it 3 or 4 X a week. As to whether it is really working on improving their typing skills, I have to say I don't know as it is something they do completely on their own. I need to get better at monitoring their progress.

Spanish Kids are using Olivita Oink Program and although I do like it, I really am struggling to get a Spanish lesson in every single day. I am lucky to get it in 2 X a week. I am also trying to review the Rosetta home school program and seeing if it will be a good match for my children. Honestly I am not too sure.

What is not working so far:

AAS all about spelling is not on my schedule right now and it really, really should be especially for Princess who tends to spell phonetically. I just haven't been able to squeeze it in. I really need to work on this ASAP!

Computer technology I bought 3 great books to get us started in this area and it just isn't happening. I was hoping my husband could take this part over but with his work schedule he really doesn't have the time. So I need to find a way to make it happen!!!

Extra curriculum:
Martial Arts for both kids
Horse riding lesson for Princess- I am disappointed but Little Man decided (along with Mom/Dad and riding instructor) that this probably is not for him. He really had trouble with controlling the horse and that made him very frustrated. I am hoping we can come back to it in a year or two.
Swimming for both kids. We are resuming lesson but with a different teacher this year as the other one no longer teaches.
I don't know what came over me but I am once again assistant leader for Girl scouts and for the first year Boy scouts. I swore I wouldn't be a leader again:(. But no one came forward so in order for the troops to run I needed to step up. However the evening scheduled for my daughters troop is not good so unless the leader can move it to another night we may not be doing Girl scouts which will be devastating to Princess.

So that is our wrap up. Lots going on and many wonderful things happening. Just need to tweaked a few things to get the last remaining things in. We have been working hard since July and are getting ready to take a long waited for break and just relax. Stay tuned we are going somewhere exciting!!!

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Art Lesson

We are continuing our art lessons using Meet the Masters program. We are studying one artist per month and this month we learned about Piet Mondrain. I couldn't really find any children's books about this artist so we instead relied heavily on art books and the web to get a better understanding of this artist and his style. I have to say I wasn't a huge fan of his art when we started but after examining it and learning a little more I can appreciate it.

At the end of every lesson there is an art assignment that the kids and I complete. Looking at the art I thought it would be a fast and easy project but working with just black lines and 3 colors took a lot more thought for all of us.

Each of us did it our own way and each picture came out unique and different.

First we had to decide did we work with the black lines first or the colored squares all the while keeping in mind the balance of the art work.

After we decided on the positions of our colors and the black lines we glued them down on white card stock.

After quite a bit of thought and I was surprised patience from the kids we have our completed art work!!

Little Man's


My attempt

They are all different, the only thing that we all did the same which was not planned was we all chose to do the picture in the same direction.

If you haven't discovered it yet take a look at the


Monday, 19 September 2011

Wroxeter Roman City

Our last stop before heading home was to visit Wroxeter Roman City. While we aren't studying Romans (we did that 2 years ago) we had read that this was at one time the 4th largest Roman city in England. But better still the BBC had made a replica of one of the houses using only Roman tools and engineering. We were told that there was a TV show on it but they didn't sell the DVD in the shop. We have been told that the Discovery channel bought the rights to the TV show so we are hoping to be able to view the show soon.

Okay this is embarrassing all my lovely pictures are gone from my camera. Disappearing into the technology abyss:( Fortunately I bought a few postcards that I can show you. But you won't get to see the inside of the Roman house:(.

Ariel view of the city and how large it was. It began as a Legionary fortress and then later became a civilian city of approximately 5 to 6,000 Roman citizens and slaves.

Is is known for its impressive bath house. The red paths represent the main roads of the city. Most of the bath house was built in the 2nd century. They even had an out door pool (see the large rectangle hole in the ground! However the Romans soon found out it is too cold in England for an out door pool so it was eventually covered up and has recently been found again.

Inside the bath house. The brick in the foreground are what is left of the raised floors of the bath house. The Romans bath house had heated floors!!

Artist drawing of what the Roman bath house looked like

This is one of the last remaining walls of the Bath house.

View of the reconstructed home of a wealthy Roman citizen! This building was completed in 6 months using only the tools and the technologies known during Roman times. Quite impressive and it gives you a real feel for how the Romans might of lived.

Behind the house and the Roman landscape garden.

We really enjoyed touring around the ruins and it was so large and impressive. I am linking this post up to The Field Trip HOP

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Blists Hill Victorian Village

Continuing our visit to the the Shropshire area we went to Blists Hill Victorian town. This town reminded our family of Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia. The whole town is set up like it would have been in the Victorian era. There were costume actors throughout the town playing different parts. We were able to enter various building and get to see first hand how living was done back then.
Visiting the Victorian bank where we changed a little of our modern money for Victorian era coins. We learned that in these times there were at one time over 20 coins circulating!

Of course dressing up as in Victorian clothes was done:)

Visiting the grocer who told us some fascinating things. One I remember was how pouring milk in your cup before or after you pour your tea would be a clue as to what social status you came from! Poor people often had earthen ware and they needed to pour milk in their cups prior to the hot water to prevent the cup from breaking. Where as if you were wealthy you had china cups and didn't need to concern yourself with this so you poured your milk after the tea.

The Chemist which also is the Dentist. Some of those tools looked scary!

Leather shop

Foundry were we saw a little of how iron was made

The printer

Victorian Bobby (police man)

Here is the school teacher announcing school is to begin! We went to see what a Victorian class room would be like. Kids got to do lots of sample activities. After wards my daughter said she was glad I was her teacher and not him:) I think it was a compliment.

Squatter cottage

Wealthy home of a Town Doctor

Wood worker

Candle maker

I am linking up to