Thursday, October 3, 2013

Learning Log of September 2013

September was a month busy with gardening and getting our groove back on schooling. We are really enjoying Easy Peasy Homeschooling. We are covering so much ground and doing fun projects like writing assignments and science experiments. We also began our local co-op organized by me and another homeschooling mom. 
Below are lots of fun interactive websites. Enjoy!

PS: Above a couple of drunken chickens we roasted on our grill!  :)
 For another note on chickens: We for sure got 3 roosters out of the 6 chickens we got a few months back. We should have some chicken dinners soon! :)

Books Read Aloud to All

* Bible every day - In the evenings, we are reading the gospels together . We finished the Gospel of John and began Matthew. I know! We began backwards.  We are enjoying the best of conversations and discussions as we learn more about Jesus, the Son of God.

* Hamlet and the tales of Sniggery Woods by Maggie Kneen
* Too Much Glue by Jason Lefebvre - If your family loves and does crafts often you will enjoy this book. We read it about 5-6 times in a week span. The funniest part is when the teacher is breathing in a paper bag. I bet lots of moms can sympathize with that. :)
* If You Take a Mouse to School by Laura Numeroff
* The Class ARtist by G. Brian Karas
* Fancy Nancy Bonjour Butterfly by Jane O'Connor
* lots more that I didn't write down.

Audio Books

* My kids, one time or another 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

*DD10 is listening to the Fellowship of the Ring on CDs. I got our copy from the library. Here is a FREE one on YouTube

* The Captured - A True Story of Abduction by Indians on the Texas Frontier by Scott Zesch - read by Grover Gardner -  We have really enjoyed this audio book that we borrowed from our library. Begins in 1870 with the abduction of the author's great-great-great-uncle when he was a boy. The author not only tells the story of his uncle but of many other children that were abducted; the history, culture and experiences of the Indians involved and how history unfolds as America becomes such a great country with many immigrants and now Indian reservations. A great addition to your History curriculum if you are studying Indians, expansion to the West and the 1900s. Beware the narration does contain gory and violent details that may not be suitable to children under 14 y.o. I skipped many of the gory details to protect my children.

DS8 independent reading list:

* Stick man Odyssey - Book one - An Epic Doodle by Christopher Ford and Book Two. He is enjoying these books so much that he is reading them out loud to his sisters. I know they are not the most classical material but he is reading and enjoying it. I hope to get him reading something more meaty soon.

* Pieces and parts of  How to Train a Dragon books.

 Read aloud to his sisters:

* Five Little Penguins Slipping on the Ice by Steve Metzger
* Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey
* Fancy Nancy Hair Dos and Hair Don'ts by Jane O'Connor 
* Too Much Glue by Jason Lefebvre
* Fancy Nancy Bonjour Butterfly 
* Other books on Kindle.
* Also the books on Easy Peasy Homeschooling Level 3: Poems, Aesop's Fables, The Story of my  Life of Helen Keller, news articles and other texts on inventors.

DD10 independent reading list:

* Washington Irving Rip Van Winkle - adapted by Rick Meyerowitz

*The Viper's Net by Peter Lerangis - Book #7 - The 39 Clues
* The Emperor's Code by Gordon Korman - Book# 8 - The  39 Clues
* Storm Warning by LInda Sue Park - Book #9 - The 39 Clues
* Into the Gauntlet by Margaret Peterson Haddix - Book #10 - The 39 Clues
* Vespers Rising by Rick Eiordan and others - Book #11 - The 39 Clues

* The Dragon Prophecy by Dugald A. Steer - Dragonoloy Vol. IV
* Glory Trail by Taramesha Maniatty 
*  The Trumpet of the Swan
* Books and articles on Easy Peasy Homeschooling Level 5

* Other book that I have not written down. Do you see a trend here? Am I getting lazy or just tired?

 * on the Kindle: Aesop's FAbles


Activities at Home

* I am working hard at getting the kids settled into a routine at home where they are consistently helping and serving as part of their normal life. I am teaching DD10 to cook, DS8 is now responsible for the chickens' feed and water, DD6 and DD3 are still on the basic of morning routine, making beds and putting their clothes and toys away. We found out that DD6 loves to vacuum and DD10 does a really good job at sweeping. Everyone helps me fold and put away the laundry and the kids discovered that if everyone helps we can fold and put away 2-3 loads of laundry in just 10 minutes.

Easy Peasy has now become routine. DD10 and DS8 get up and get on the computers and begin working. I am really happy at how much writing they are doing: trying out new styles from poems to finishing up fiction stories. We are really digging Science and History, mostly covering Modern American History at the beginning of the century. In science we are learning about inventors and their discoveries; atoms and matter; light and chemical reactions.... so much fun. So intense!! DD10 wrote a series of poems and transformed a compilation of them into a book. DS8 is writing paragraphs and thinking! DD10 is having fun with the thinking problems. DS8 is bored with math so we went back to Singapore Math.

* DD3 is doing lots of Preschool workbooks and hands- on activities with DD6. So funny how they love to play and do "school" together. DD6 is working hard on her reading skills. We are really moving forward with the McGuffey's First Eclectic Reader. Although it's way more challenging than Hooked on Phonics or the other phonics curriculum I got, this one is more interesting. I think she enjoys it better although each word comes out with a lot more strain. Update: I quit! I think I forgot the lesson I learned with my firstborn: Unless my child wants to learn to read, I am wasting my time! So I quit! Although DD6 has good days, most of the time she whines and cries and hates reading/ phonics time. So I told her that I was done forcing her to learn how to read. When she decides she wants to learn to read, she can come to me and I will be glad and help her. So now we do Math, writing, copywork, crafts, cooking, and I read to her but no more phonic lessons.

Update Sept29th - I found a FREE app that teaches phonics using McGruffey's readers and DD6 is using it on her brother's touch pad. The kids are so obsessed with this new toy that I am finding books for them to read, apps for them to learn and play and movies for them to watch using this new tool. Even DD3 is using it. Below I will list the apps we are using.

* Instead of having the kids do the Bible section on Easy Peasy, we are reading through the Gospels together. I have also purchased 3 penmanship/ copywork Bible based worksheets in different grade levels so the kids can practice their penmanship and Bible memorization at the same time. They are from LightHome Publications and they are beautifully done. My plan is to do them 3 x over and have the kids improve on their handwriting and memorization over time. I think it will be good for them to see their own improvement.

* Crafts: We finally got to play with our chalk pastels. Although it produces beautiful art, I haven't figured it out yet how to preserve it. The chalk rubs off very easily getting papers and other things dirty. We made paper bag puppets at home and the kids enjoyed so much, I brought a few different animals to make at the co-op. DD6 is doing a lot of crafts lately on her own.

* Lots of science experiments. For last couple of years, our science has mostly focused on animals, plants, anatomy, health, nutrition and our surroundings. This year, I want to focus more on physics and chemistry. We have filmed some of our experiments. I hope to upload them to my YouTube channel soon.

* Gardening: harvesting potatoes, carrots and tomatoes. Planting leafy greens and herbs. Maintaining summer squash, sweet and spicy peppers, eggplants, okra, and herbs. Preparing beds for fall and sowing fall crops. I am so excited about gardening. I have found something that will get me out of bed early in the morning without grumbling. Who knew!?

* The kids are now doing jobs for pay. I am paying by the hour and they get to practice how to be a good employee.

* Working outside has brought many surprises: finding funny looking cutworms; baby rattlesnakes; observing spiders and their webs and more.

* September was a pretty dry month, but the days that did rain the kids enjoyed it outside.:)

* As I prepared for a consignment sale in October, DD10 helped me sort and tag clothing, toys, books and learned about decluttering, saving and making money.

Field Trips/ Activities Outside Home

* Karate classes 

* Trips to the Library, Grocery Store and to the feed store. A couple of times, we had no internet in the morning, so we read for an hour and then headed out the door for errands. We have a wonderful old fashioned store in town that sells everything for gardening, to raising animals and living the farm life. We go there and the kids get to hold chicks, pet dogs and cats and talk about their animals and adventures.

* Co-op with 4 other homeschooling families. We are using the Apologia Human Anatomy but instead of teaching it, we are asking the students to learn at home and in class they will showcase something they really liked or found interesting. We then play games on the lesson and do hands-on projects. This month was about cells. We got to see cells under the microscope, the kids brought their own projects to show and tell and they finalized by putting their own cookie or jell-O cell together. Afterward we ran to a new park in town and the kids played to their hearts content, while the moms had some much needed fellowship time. It was wonderful!!! :)

Websites/ Links we found and used/ Apps

* Multiplication facts through pictures and stories. This website is been really helpful to DS8 and DD10 memorizing their multiplication tables. If you have kids that have dyslexia or have trouble with math, this way of memorization might help them.

* Video math Tutor website - not only contains videos that teach math but fun brain teasers.

* Engines of Our Ingenuity - short radio programs of very interesting subjects about
people and their inventions throughout history. Could be used as additional resource for any theme or  book you are studying/ reading.WE heard a program on Henry Ford

* Open Culture Website - The best free cultural & educational media on the web. Audio Books, online course, movies, books and more. A lot of stuff for K-12 as well as college level.

* The Online Books Page - many books online for FREE. If there is a title you are looking for, here is a good place to begin searching.

* History for Kids - This looks interesting.

* Interactive WEbsite to learn more on Middle Age History -

* Loud Lit - Great Place to get some Literature in MP3 Files -

* All about Castles and interactive

* Apps: 

TV shows/ Videos/ Movies/ YouTube

*Bill Nye the Science Guys - Cells video on YouTube.

* Magic School Bus - Going Cellular - video on YouTube

* Oliver Twist - Masterpiece Classic BBC series - from Netflix.

* Santa Paws

* How to Train a Dragon - Riders of Berks - Season 1 and 2 on DVD

* Treasures of the Snow

Beautiful Artwork: a spider web!
* In SEarch of the Castaways

* Bible Stories for Children - I really like this animated videos on the Bible.

* TED Talk about Dirty Jobs.

* Liberty's Kids DVD - Purchased this on Amazon for a steal... so the kids are watching these episodes and I am counting that as American History. :)

* Party Time with Max and Ruby

* Quest for Camelot

* Famine to Freedom - The Great Irish Journey- On YouTube- We have been studying the 1850 - early 1900s in History on Easy Peasy Homeschooling, so I found this documentary to complement our studies. My husband's family is from Ireland and it has been fun to watch the kids make connections with the past and how it all affects us.

* America - the Story of Us - Cities - On YouTube - another great documentary we watched to complement our History this month.

 Mom's Eclectic Reading List

* Sacred Marriage

* Courageous Grace -

* An Inconvenient Book by Glenn Beck  - finally someone had to speak the truth and throw all the PC stuff in the trash. Unfortunately most people don't take Glenn Beck seriously. Where are all our representatives that are not speaking this truth???

* Lots of sampling on Kindle: Parenting, Walking on Water

* A friend introduced me to Revelation Wellness videos on YouTube. They are saving my life. I am able to exercise a few minutes a day without having to kick the kids out of the room because of complicated routines or almost naked instructors. Here is my Christian exercise routine Playlist on YouTube. 

How are you getting ready for fall? ARe you missing summer yet??



Melissa N. said...

Not missing summer at all! Love fall here in NY! What a busy week! Great pics and thanks for sharing all the links! We love Easy Peasy too! Enjoy your weekend!

Ticia said...

Man that war zone looks familiar.

Jessy said...

Well, wow, you get a lot of reading and activities packed into one week! Not so sure about the snake, but the chickens are just fine! LOL Nice to have garden helpers! Our garden is pulled for the season. Just harvested the last of the potatoes and pumpkins.

Kara said...

I have never heard of The Brinkman Adventures or The Story Hour, thanks for sharing!! looks like a very full week!

Dawn said...

What an amazing and full month you all had. There is so much great stuff here. I love reading all that you are doing.
Blessings, Dawn

Dawn said...

Oh, I wanted to tell you. You can preserve pastel or charcoal artwork by using a Fixative. It comes in a spray can from any arts and craft supply store. Just spray the artwork (outside) and let it dry. I suggest using a fixative that has a matte finish.
Blessings, Dawn