Sunday, June 9, 2013

Learning Log of May 2013

My 84 year old Grandmother visiting from Brazil.

After a long wait, my parents are back for another 3 month long summer visit. This time, they brought my 84 year old Grandmother with them. She has visited me twice before in the 12 years that I have lived in the US. I don't think there is no stopping to her, as well as, to us. We have been going non stop. Am I the only one who fools herself every summer with the thought of rest? Summer is one of the busiest times of the year. I think winter is the slowest time. We get to stay indoors, we eat, sleep and read. Bring on the summer!!! :)

Books Read Aloud to All

* The Magic School Bus in the Bat Cave - level 2 book
* The Magic School Bus Flies from the Nest - level 2 book
* Gladys Aylward - The Adventure of a Lifetime - Janet and Geoff Benge -
* Favorite Fairy Tales Told In France by Virginia Haviland 
* Winnie Finn, Worm Farmer by Carol Brendler 
* George Crum and the Saratoga Chip by Gaylia Taylor
* Ribbit! by Rodrigo Folgueira
* A Green, Green Garden by Mercer Mayer 
 * The Secret Cave - Discovering Lascaux by Emily Arnold McCully
* Pirate Pete by Kim Kennedy
* The Ugly Vegetables by Grace Lin  
* Dividing Treasures by Loren I. Charles - Real World Math
* Ant and Grasshopper by Luli Gray 
* Crab Moon by Ruth Horowitz 
Two of our favorite books this month.
* Mary Slessor  - Forward Into Calabar by Janet and Geoff Benge - Christian Heroes Then and Now - I love this series. We are reading this book and we are doing a Unit Study simultaneously covering Geography, History, Science and Bible. I will post soon the Unit Study based on this book so it can be available to everyone.

Audio Books

* The kids have the files below in their mp5s to which they listen to every night at their choosing: Fairy tales and classic stories , worship music, Story Hour files, The Piano Guys, Jonathan Park and The Brinkman Adventures, The Chronicles of Narnia.

DS7 independent reading list:

* Dinosaur Families - Unearth the secrets behind dinosaur fossils - by Rupert Matthews
DS7 drinking his fizzy lemonade.
* Dinosaur Food - Unearth the secrets behind dinosaur fossils by Rupert Matthews
* Chang's Paper Pony by Eleanor Coerr
* The Magic School Bus in the Time of The Dinosaurs by Joanna Cole
* The Life of Fred - Apples - Elementary Series - The boy who said he didn't like to read could not put this book down. :)
* Science Experiments You Can Eat by Vicki Cobb - DS7 read a few experiments and we tried the lemonade fizz. The kids aren't allowed to drink soda, so this lemonade fizz was the closest to a soda drink.

The fruits of an afternoon of art.

DD10 independent reading list:

* My Life as a Stuntboy by Janet Tashjian 
* My Life as a Cartoonist by Janet Tashjan - her son does all the
illustrations for her books. These books are funny and teach a ton of vocabulary without making it boring.

* Encyclopedia of Dog Breeds by D.Caroline Coile, Ph.D.
* The King's Drum and other African stories by Harold Courlander
* Koi and the Kola Nuts by Brian Gleeson
* The Monkey People by Eric Metaxas - A Colombian Folktale 
* Raiders from the Sea by Lois Walfrid Johnson - book one - Viking Quest series
* Mystery of the Silver Coins by Lois Walfrid Johnson - book two - Viking Quest series
* The Invisible Friend by Lois Walfrid Johnson - book three - Viking Quest - Christian Historical fiction. Great read aloud series.

* Honey...Honey...Lion! by Jan Brett
* Storey's Guide to Raising Chickens by Gail Damerow
* The Gold Miner's Daughter a Melodramatic Fairy Tale by Jackie Mims Hopkins 
* Winnie Finn, Worm Farmer by Carol Bredler
* The Underground Adventure of Arly Dunbar, Cave Explorer by Candice Ransom 

* Stickman Odyssey - Book One - An Epic Doodle by Christopher Ford 
* Stickman Odyssey - Book Two - The Wrath of Zozimos by Christopher Ford -

* The Maze of Bones - The 39 clues - Book one by Rick Riordan
The Sword Thief - The 39 Clues - Book Three - by Peter Lerangis

* Beyond the Grave - The 39 Clues - Book Four by Jude Watson
* The Black Circle - The 39 Clues - Book Five by Patrick Carman
* In Too Deep - The 39 Clues - Book Six by Jude Watson

* Life of Fred - Apples - Elementary Series
* Life of Fred - Butterflies - Elementary Series - I had been waiting for a while to purchase this series of books. I was finally able to with some gift money. :) Thank you , Mom and Dad!! DD10 enjoyed the books, although she said the math concepts were easy. She is doing Singapore Math 4th grade level. I still wanted her to read the Life of Fred books from the beginning. I am looking forward to buying the rest of the series. If you don't know these books, check out the samples available at their site. They are not really a Math curriculum but very useful to show your kids how math is used in real life and how it can be fun and that it's not really hard.

Helping Dad install a French drain in the yard.
* The Feelings Book - The Care and Keeping of Your Emotions - American Girl
* Dilly's Summer Camp Diary by Cynthia C. Lewis
Rah, Rah, Radishes! a Vegetable Chant by April Pulley Sayre
* The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate 

* Challenge on the Hill of Fire - Book #10 - The IMagination STation
* Hunt for the Devils Dragon - Book #11 - The Imagination STation series

* The BFG by Roald Dahl 
* The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau    
* When the Jaguar ate the Moon and other stories about animals and plants of the Americas by Maria Cristina Brusca

 Activities at Home

* We cleaned and organized the house in preparation to receive my parents and Grandma that are coming for a 3 month visit. We cleaned up the play/ music room and transformed it into a guest bedroom. We fixed the attic instead as a playroom. We put the kids barn and doll house up there and now the kids have a cozy, colorful place to play in.

* Once Grandparents arrived the activities were many: learning to cook with Great Grandma; playing chess
Art session at our house.
with Grandpa; playing checkers with Great Grandma (Bisa); riding bikes, playing outside. One afternoon, we gathered paint, paintbrushes, old books, canvases and paper and painted our hearts out!

* We found some roof damage and had to have the whole thing replaced. For a week, we got to watch the men working at scraping the old shingles and replacing each one of them, as well as fixing the vents and some plywood boards.

* Dad got busy installing a French drain in our yard, building a chicken coup, reinforcing it. The kids helped with feeding and raising a few chickens.

* The neighbor found a chicken/ rat snake on his yard and killed it. We got it as a gift and dissected it after a week of housing the corpse in the refrigerator. :) We also had bunnies, tortoise, squirrels and even a chicken predator as visitors to our property this month.

* DD5 is still working on ClickNKids and Hooked On Phonics , as well as Explode the Code 1 and I Can Read It! book 1. She is also interested in sewing. She has made a couple of small pillows, a mouse and is daily practicing her stitches.

* DS7 and DD10 are still doing the Logic of English Language of Arts curriculum together. Sometimes,  3 x a week lessons is just too much (there are other more interesting things happening around here), but I am trying really hard to do a lesson a week. So we meet at least twice a week. I think I have a discipline problem. :(

* DD10 is doing well on Singapore Math 4A and DS7 is moving quickly through Singapore Math 3A.

* Our pool is open!! Lots of swimming, playing in water and playdates. We also nursed a cold for over a week. We all stayed indoors coughing and feeling lousy while the sun was shining outside. So not cool :(

Having fun with Grandpa in the pool!
* We got ourselves 5 baby chicks. Dad built us a chicken tractor. We kept them in the garage for a few days and then moved them out to the chicken tractor. The big surprise was to find them dead the next morning. A predator pulled the chicken wire and killed them all. For a couple of days, we discussed what to do. We decided to re-inforce the chicken coup and get new chicks. Chickens are such great pets and so much fun! Who knew!? We are praying that they are now safer and no predator will attempt to eat them again.

Playing chase with the baby chicks in the yard.
* Gardening... lots of gardening.

Field Trips/ Activities Outside Home

* Karate classes - DD10 and DS7 participated in a demonstration at our local elementary school. 

* Ballet and tap classes- last of these class with a Recital to finish them off. The kids will begin Tumbling for the summer.

Websites/ Links we found and used/ Apps

* Keys for Kids - we are using this site again for devotions.

* - Website to read and listen the Bible in many different languages. The text is read by actors and has background music. You can download it to your phone, android or computer, or just listen online. Great resource for devotion or Bible time.

* Games on Websites: WEbkinz, Kizi, WolfQuest, Mushroom Age, Bookworm Adventures,

* World Atlas website - we perused this to study Africa and the country of Nigeria.

*Typing Web - Both DD10 and DS7 are using this website. They can both type using both hands now. And since using Animal Jam they are getting tons of practice. I also notice DD10 spelling is getting better and better. If your kids want to learn typing, this is the site to use. And it's FREE. The kids also found my Open Office program and have been typing letters to friends, and rules for their clubs and even stories.

* Apps Games: Dinosaur War; Carnivores; My Little Pony;

* BrainPop: We watched videos on price comparison and then played games related to the subject. We also
Reinforcing our coup after our first chicks got eaten. :(
used the word problems and graph exercises provided related to price comparison.

* The Periodic Table of Videos - if you got kiddos that are hooked on Chemistry or just discovering atoms and the periodic table, you don't want to pass up this website. 

TV shows/ Videos/ Movies/ YouTube

* Christian Worship Music on YouTube

* The Man Who Built America - Disc 1, 2 and 3.
What are grandpas for? For riding bikes with the grandkids!
* How Stuff Works : Steel (to complement the historical facts we are learning on The Men Who Built America)

* Iran Alive DVD from Voice of the Martyrs -

* Romeo and Juliet for Kids - BBC video on YouTube. We watched this and it was not a hit. I think Shakespeare is better taught to young adults. There is a lot of information that is not appropriate for kids 13 and under, in my opinion. The whole love sick situation is not interesting to my kids yet. One thing I noticed, that I hadn't when I read and watched Shakespeare as a teenager and an adult, was how the story ends. I am not talking about the death of Romeo and Juliet, but actually the reconciliation that happens between the 2 families because of it. That might be the most important lesson of the whole play and yet, all I remembered was the romance and overly dramatic feelings of Romeo and Juliet. Those overly dramatic feelings claimed all of my teenage years. yuck! Knowing Jesus, I am believing it doesn't have to be this way?! Also is there a way to teach Shakespeare from a Christian view point? Something to research in the future.

* Tumbelina,

* My Little Pony; Doc McStuffins; Justin Time (this is super cute and it's from Australia)

*Mr Bean's Holiday movie; Mr Bean's videos; The Pink Panther on YouTube

* Video on Malaria from Discovery ChannelFighting Malaria discovering a cure;

Learning to cook with Bisa (Great Grandma in Portuguese).

 Mom's Eclectic Reading List

* 100 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum - Choosing the Right Curriculum and Approach for Your Child's Learning Style by Cathy Duff - Still reading this.

* LEft Behind SEries for Kids - I am previewing these books to see if DD10 can read them, and I am hooked. Reading #3 currently. I only read book 1 and 2 of the adult series. All the romantic stuff was a turn off for me. So far the kids series is pretty good. 
My Mom turned 60 years old. :)

How was your month? Are you looking forward to a restful summer or a busy one?

As usual, I know I missed to write down many more things we saw, read and did. I hope they will be will in my children's memories for life. :)