Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year - My 3 in 30 Goals



I have joined a group from twitter and other homeschool moms to help create small manageable goals that we can complete with the encouragement of others. To learn more about 3 in 30 click here.

We have a lot of changes coming in the new year and in order to adapt to those changes we need to make some adjustments.  This will be a great way for us to do that.


 Here are my 3 in 30 goals for January


1.  Stop drinking soda, of any kind.  I actually started this one the day after Christmas, so far so good.  I do miss my Diet Dr. Pepper though.

2. Start school before lunch. We have been doing school after lunch and while that is not a problem with some of the changes we have coming school before lunch will help. 

3. Start Project 365  I wanted to do this last year and never got off the ground with it.  This year I am making a commitment to give it my best effort.  One photo per day for 30 days is totally doable.


Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas from our home to yours.  We will be taking a small break from blogging to enjoy the holidays with family.  See you next year!


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Wordless Wednesday – First Snow

We are in the south so having snow at all much less in December is a real treat.  These are from early afternoon just as the snow had started. 


Then for breakfast the next day, a family tradition snowcream.


EDITED TO ADD  Snowcream Recipe

Big bowl of snow
1 can of eagle brand milk(sweetened condensded milk)

 Pour condensed milk over snow and add vanilla. Mix to combine. Serve immediately.

As my husband likes to point out you can used shaved ice and get the same result but that is not the point, you have to use snow.  It is a tradtion in my family with the first snow you make snowcream for breakfast. 

Monday, December 13, 2010

Christmas Break

We are officially on our Christmas break.  Although I plan on doing some reading, a little Astronomy and some math.  We are almost finished with astronomy so I would like to finish it so we can pick back up with botany for spring.  I have learned taking a long break from math is not a good idea, it seems to set him 2 steps back. 

We will be doing crafts, baking and enjoying the season.  We have already started on a few crafts which he has had a great time working on.  Such as the faux fireplace we built, he distressed wood and helped Dad cut the wood.  For instructions on the fireplace click here.
fake fireplace

We made a Noel sign, which he does not like he thinks the letters are out of order.
We have started on his gingerbread house, he loves decorating one every year.
He signed his own name to our Christmas cards this year.  I started out getting him to write Merry Christmas and his name but you would have thought I was being cruel.  He does not like to write but signing his name he was o.k. with.  

I am looking forward to the break and the holidays. 

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - Happy Birthday

My little man turned seven this past weekend,  He wanted a skeleton pirate birthday.  He also wanted wanted the face for his piece of cake so we cut into the middle of the cake.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Thanksgiving Cooking

I know I am really really late with this post.  I have been sick for the past few weeks and am just now getting back into posting.  

We finished our Thanksgiving unit study for school by preparing Thanksgiving dinner.  He had the best time, he had to taste test everything.  He tasted baking powder, sweet potatoes, flour, powdered sugar etc.  He had fun mashing the sweet potatoes and pouring ingredients into the mixer. 
He mentioned several times he thought it was sad that the pilgrims didn’t have sugar for Thanksgiving and were not able to have sweets.  According to him that is the best part, I secretly agree. 
Here are a few pictures from preparing our Thanksgiving feast. 

His favorite to make – marshmallow salad

IMG_3712_edited-1 IMG_3708_edited-1

He insisted he could chop onions and they wouldn’t bother him.  Some lessons they have to learn on their own no matter what you tell them.  He did really well until he touched his face, I was not fast enough to grab his hand.  He handled it like a trooper but left the rest of the chopping to me. 

My official potato masher
Pouring and mixing

Learning to measure
He loved crumbling the cornbread

Taste Testing - Yum


Friday, November 12, 2010

Curriculum Change

I am making a small curriculum change in history for the rest of the semester.  We are using Story of the World Vol. 2 for history and I am going to put it aside until January. First we are going to do a unit study on Thanksgiving and then we are going to spend the month of December on the meaning of Christmas. 
I found some great books on Thanksgiving we will be reading next week to learn about the history of the Pilgrims and Thanksgiving.

I am planning a few craft projects and to complete our study we are going to prepare a Thanksgiving meal next weekend.  I am still working on the craft projects but our meal will be the traditional Thanksgiving menu I usually make.

Thanksgiving Menu
Pecan Bacon Cornbread Dressing
Sweet Potatoes
Green Beans
Cream Corn
Yeast Rolls
Marshmallow Salad
Cherry Crunch Cake or Coconut Cake (both my grandmothers recipe, tradition)
or Chocolate Pecan Pie

I am looking forward to our unit studies and incorporating them into our family traditions for the holidays. 


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - LEGO Power Functions

First big purchased made. He saved his own money to purchase power functions for his Lego collection.  Next he is saving for a Mindstorm NXT.


Sunday, November 7, 2010

Creativity and Beginner Book Writer

Kiddo has started writing his own books and instructions books. He has never been one to color or draw. He is using paper like crazy, and has asked for his own box of paper for his birthday.  He also discovered the joy of a stapler.  Who knew that some paper, markers and a million staples could be such fun. 
I am just happy to see him draw, color and use different colors.  He hates coloring with a passion, it has always been a struggle to get him to color and if he did it would be with only one color.  Several months ago I started printing off 2 of the same coloring page and we would both color.  After a few weeks of this he started using more than one color, yeah!  Still doesn’t like coloring but does like to draw.
He is having a great time coming up with his own instructions for building creations and writing books about something he reads about. It is really working with well with his new LEGO RC motors he is working on,  There will post about this later in the week. 
I hope this writing keeps developing into more creative writing. 

               A boy needs music to be creative sometimes.


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - Robin Hood and Star Trek

He was reading about Robin Hood and his future Trekkie status showed. He started going around the house saying, "Sir, I protest, I am not a merry man."  This is from a Star Trek TNG epsiode. FUNNY BOY!


Sunday, October 31, 2010

Weekly Update

Since we started school in July, we are almost half way through our required days for the year. I am transitioning to a year round school so it is a little difficult to divide our year out.  while keeping with the required time set by the state.
We are just a bit behind from where I was hoping we would be due to illness  and a couple of weeks of specialty unit studies that were related to field trips. To help make up ground, we did something a little different for school last week.  We did one subject a day, in order to review and catch up to where I was hoping we would be.  I wasn’t sure how it would work; I was afraid Kiddo would get bored spending so much time on one thing but it went amazingly well.  I let him pick which subject we were going to work on each day.  The only day that was hard was math and I have to agree, hours on math is enough to give anyone a headache.  I will definitely try this again.
Since we are almost at the half way point and only have a few weeks to go before our holiday break, I have been reviewing our curriculum to see if I want to make any changes over the break.  I am happy for the most part with everything except Language Arts.  We are using First Language Lessons and it is just not a good fit for us, he does not like repetitive work and FLL is nothing but. I have read some good reviews for Shurley English and I am looking into switching to that after the holidays.  I will be looking at some other programs also. If there are any great English programs that you have used, please let me know.
I did want to comment on Singapore math: this is our 2nd year with Singapore and while I like the fast pace nature, I have been concerned about Kiddo not learning his math facts to memorization.  What do I know, the Singapore program is working. We are working on addition and subtraction with renaming and he knows his facts.  He has no trouble adding single digits together.  I was surprised. We are using the textbook, workbook and the word problem book. 
So far we have had an excellent year and are making great progress. Kiddo (and I) can’t wait until we get the first half of the year wrapped up. We are looking forward to our Thanksgiving and Christmas breaks. Hopefully, we will fit a vacation in there somewhere. 

Bonus – He learned to tie his shoes this week!


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - Work with Dad

At Family Day,  LittleBit got to check out were Dad works.  


Saturday, October 23, 2010

Field Trip to visit the Nina, Pinta and Tennessee Aquarium


We had a great field trip this week.  We took a trip to Chattanooga, TN to see the Nina and Pinta ships plus make a stop at the Tennessee Aquarium. 
It was a sunny day and a great way to see the start of the changing of all the colors on the leaves.  I love fall, such a beautiful time. Yes, I am the crazy lady taking photos while travelling down the interstate.

The Nina and Pinta are docked at the Riverfront in Chattanooga on the Tennessee River until Nov. 2nd.  There is a paid parking lot just across the street from the ships.  Parking cost $5.00 and the tour of both ships is $7.00 for adults and $5.00 for children.  We spent around an hour and half there, which is about all the attention span my 6 year old can handle, even if they, “were way cool ships”.   The crew was very informative about the ships and the history.  They also showed some great knot tying skills.   I was most surprised how small the ships were and the thought of 30 to 40 men being stuck in that small space for months at a time, makes me very glad I did not live in that time.   It was well worth the trip and you can not beat living history to really understand the time period.
Since we using Story of the World for history, we have not reached this time period yet.  I just skipped ahead and we read the chapters about the Christopher Columbus. We did some map work for the voyage and the path from Spain to India, etc. 
DSC03866_edited-1 SONY DSC
The Pinta                                   The Nina

After touring the ships we went across the street to visit the Tennessee Aquarium.  It was great as always, it is expensive, $25 for adults and $15 for children, not including Imax.  They have freshwater and saltwater fish, plus they also have a butterfly area, reptiles, and birds.   You could spend hours  here easily.  We were there about 2.5 hours before kiddo got tired.  I warn you, to exit you have to go through the gift shop.  My husband is a sucker with the gift shop thing, I am sure we have never gone past one where he hasn’t bought something. We are now the proud owners of a book all about sharks. 
Here are a few pictures from the aquarium.