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Sunday, September 2, 2012

The Past 3 Weeks in Review

We started back to school at our little homeschool academy 3 weeks ago.  We've already taken our first trip to Disney and had our first field trip :-).  And I've already made changes to some of our curriculum.  We've been so busy living life I haven't blogged about it, so please indulge this catch-up post.

Sari went from too very wiggly front teeth...

To this.  Her adult teeth were obviously very close to the surface because this picture was taken the next morning and you can already see one of them coming in.

We did a Supercharged Science telecast on Chemistry, and the kids made glow-in-the-dark goo.

TJ is studying Flying Creatures this year, and his first experiment involved comparing wing shapes by throwing gliders with different sized wings. 

We placed a marked circle in each place where they landed and then measured the distance to get an average.  Skitter the cat supervised ;-).
TJ also had a nature scavenger hunt to do that he and his daddy went on.  One of the things they found was this spectacularly camouflaged grasshopper.

He also learned to drive our new lawn mower and mowed part of the back yard.
By the end of week one, I had decided to totally drop any art from Scott's schedule, and to change his World History from something I piece together to The Great Courses World History (which I'm borrowing from a friend) supplemented with maps and readers, and with the requirement of keeping an overall timeline and information pages on the major events of each civilization he studies.  I'm beyond relieved to have this one weight lifted from me!!!  I also decided after having the middle two take placement tests that they would both do Teaching Textbooks 7.  This frustrated me greatly since I had already bought TT 5 for the younger one, but then I realized that TT5 was going to be too easy and we have TT 7, so that's what they are doing.  God is good though, and just yesterday I was able to find someone local who wants to buy TT 5 for exactly what I paid for it.  YEA!  That's such a relief because this year I have spent my very last homeschooling penny.  Speaking of money, both Mimi and Scott are each working one day a week for their daddy this year, so they are excited to have a bit of spending money, but it means all our school has to be squeezed into 4 days at best- less if we have field trips or Disney days.
Week two brought our first field trip- the Museum of Science and Industry in Tampa.  It was their homeschool day, so it was free.  You just had to prove you are a homeschooler.  When I called to ask what counted as proof, they said a membership card to a homeschool organization (of course I never joined our state organization last year!) OR your letter of intent to homeschool...I asked if my end-of-year evaluations would work, but they said no because they want proof that I will be homeschooling this year.   I always chuckle at places that ask for proof, but don't fully understand what their "proof" really means.  After all, our state group has membership from September to September, so a membership card for that would be expiring at the end of this month anyway, and wouldn't prove that you are homeschooling for the upcoming year.  And the letter of intent?  You file that ONCE when you being your homeschooling of each child, so my eldest son's letter was filed in 2002...not exactly proof that I'll be homeschooling THIS year, is it?  Anyway, I went to Homeschool Buyers Co-op (every homeschooler should join them- it's free and they are GREAT), and printed the free I.D. cards.  I laminated them myself at home, and POOF!  That was all the proof I needed.
Here are some pictures from MOSI.  I found out the night before we went that our good friends were going too.  They were planning to leave our town about 8:30, and we aspired to that, but didn't really get on the road until about 9:10.  And you know what?  She literally pulled in right behind me when we got to the MOSI parking lot.  This happens to us ALL THE TIME.  The farther the distance, the more likely we will arrive at the exact same moment without any coordination on our parts :-).
This thing TJ is using is a keyboard that you type with using only the movements of your eyes!  If you can see the "U" on the screen, you can see it takes a bit of practice, but he was finally able to type his full name with only his eyes.  Crazy, isn't it?

TJ loved the Brain Teasers...

And so did Scott.  He couldn't get down to one peg, but he did get pretty close.

This measured peripheral vision.

Some freaky bug thing Sari liked...

And the favorite attraction of all?  The ball that you move with your mind.  It works on Alpha and Theta waves, so the more relaxed you are, the better you do.  Of course, put two kids across the table from each other and I'm not sure relaxed every enters the picture.  They had fun though.  After Marie and her family left, my kids begged me to play and I SMOKED them at it because I didn't look at the game at all, just the brainwave printout.  By not knowing what was going on, I didn't get excited about it, and I won each round in 2 seconds or less.  Then of course THEY had to try that to see how it worked ;-).

Mimi and Madi

This past week-end, our church participated in Harvest America, an international crusade.  It was telecast live all over the world.  My eldest rededicated himself to the Lord and confessed that he needs to "get serious" about his relationship with Him.  I'm praying for the same thing for him.

Week three of school seemed to go more smoothly.  Scott's reading the Iliad- or at least a revised version of it written in the early 1900s.  Yesterday's Classics is a lifesaver for me this year!  He's studying ancient Greece right now.  The other kids are on a much slower timetable and will only cover Creation to Christ this year, so they are on the Tower of Babel.  So far, Scott has a A in Algebra, English, Business Computing, and his online writing course.  We'll see how things continue!   TJ and Mimi are doing A work in TT 7 too.  Other than things that grade themselves, I don't really worry about grades, but it's nice to see how they are doing sometimes.
 Mimi's version of a Sumerian town.  She's never content to do the minimum on an artistic assignment (build a ziggurat with blocks)...she has to go WAY above and WAY beyond.

 Above and below are the pictures of Mimi's Ziggurat that she constructed with copious amounts of paper and tape :-).

 Below is TJ's Tower of Babel.  Sari is standing next to it for height comparison.  It goes up to her elbow.

 These next two pictures are TJ's ziggurat.  I've had these blocks for forever, and all I had to do was threaten to get rid of them for the kids to decide they are the perfect building material :-).

This week, we have Labor Day, a day at Disney (meeting up with friends from out of state and participating in the Ultimate Homeschool Field Trip's scavenger hunt at the Magic Kingdom), and then a day of work each for Mimi and Scott.  That means 2 school days for them, and 3 for the other two, so I think I'll squeeze a few things in Monday morning before we head to Nana and PopPop's for Labor Day.  Oh, and I can't forget my small boy turns 11 on Friday!  Where does the time go?

I'l leave you with this academic tidbit brought to you by MOSI...

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Melissa said...

Great review! School looks like far too much fun!

Tiffany said...

Great update! Love those, and of course I love hearing about the farting concert.

Julie said...

Thanks for the update! I stole the pic of Mimi and Madi!