Monday, September 27, 2010

A busy week


We have had a busy week and we have a busy month coming up.  The weather has finally turned cooler and LittleBit can get outside to play.  As a heart baby the heat is hard on him, which is one of the reason we homeschool through the summer.   Fall is our season, we love the cooler weather. 


For October we have bug club, hayrides, Taekwondo, concerts, trip to see the Nina, planetarium visit, campfire circle, campout weekend, etc. A busy month ahead sounds like lots of fun, learning and hopefully lots of pictures. 

I think we have finally found someone for guitar lessons and while I am trying to get that scheduled, LittleBit is back to wanting to learn the piano, stinker.  At this rate I might wait until the first of the year. 


Here are a few pictures from some of the things we did this past week. 


We have TKD, 2 to 3 days a week plus tumbling one of those days.


He is all about Halloween and decorating this year, I am a fall decorator, I don’t do scary.  Here is a quick little cute craft that is made with clay pots, chalkboard paint and chalk. For the instructions click here.

IMG_2787-1  Built a Lego creation for a contest.



Painted a birdfeeder for Apologia Zoology field study.




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A nature study to learn about leaves and trees. Never let it be said my child is an unsocialized homeschooler, LOL. The photo with the group of people, they built a tree and LittleBit was the heart of the tree. WARNING MOM BRAG HERE: I have to thank Apologia for his knowledge in botany.  They asked what trees gave us, answers wood, shade, food, and oxygen, did you know the veins in the leaves are how the tree gets water and nutrients.  I let you guess which answer was my cutest, smartest, kid’s in the whole world.  END OF BRAG


Thursday, September 23, 2010

Craft Project - Rag Wreath

Here is an easy and fun craft project to make with the kids, it is great for practicing with scissors.
You can find the instructions on my craft blog, just click the link above.

It is easy to make and doesn't take long. We made one for my grandmother using colorful fall colors. I added a bright green bow to MeMaw's because I would be in trouble if I sent her a wreath with no bow.

LittleBit chose the fabric for his, he picked dancing skeletons and polka dot fabric with spider webs. What can I say he is a boy:)


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - Dreams

Home Is Where You Start From

                                     The LEarning Never Stops Photo Challenge- words edition

I entered this photo in this weeks link up for Home is Where You Start From photo challenge.  This week's theme is "Words".  LittleBit fell asleep reading the Lego education catalog.  He is saving his own money to buy the WeDo Robotics kit.

He fell asleep reading the LEGO Education catalog, he wants a robotics kit.


Monday, September 20, 2010

First Nine Weeks - Progress Rreport

I can not believe it, we have finished our first nine weeks of school already. It is going by so fast. Overall, I am pleased with our progress. We are just a bit behind from a few illnesses but we are moving right along. I can see LittleBit making progress and learning new things everyday.

His new phrase is, " I want to learn everything in the universe." I guess, that means he definitely has a love of learning. LittleBit's latest obsession is Mythbusters and Head Rush. He loves to watch the experiments and then try to recreate them using his Legos. If you haven't seen Head Rush, it is a kids version of Mythbusters with Keri and comes on the Science channel.

Here is his progress report broken down by subject.

Handwriting - Much improved. We are using Horizons Penmanship Book 1 and since switching to this curriculum, he no longer fights practicing and actually likes the worksheets. He also has started drawing stories and coloring with multiple colors on a page, I did not think he would ever would.

Math - Going great except for subtraction. We are using Singapore 2A and he is moving right along. The program works well for him but he has a mental block when it comes to subtraction, it has been a difficult concept for him to grasp. Addition with renaming no problem, simple subtraction, he is stumped. We are working on it and I am working it into everyday situations as much as possible.

History - Going great. We are using Story of the World Vol. 2. The story format is great and he likes some of the stories so much he will ask to read them again. We also like the activity book, especially the maps that go with each chapter. This year I bought the test book to use mostly as a workbook just to see how much he really retains. LittleBit is not fond of test day but is doing fine with it.

Science - His favorite subject and he is moving fast. We are using Apologia Zoology and Astronomy. I am doing a 2 week rotation between the two books. We are moving through Astronomy quickly, and we will probably be finished with it bt the end of the year. Zoology is great, lots of information and difficult concepts.

Bible - We are using Apologia's Who is God. We are taking it slow, reading the Bible verses to go along with the chapters.

Reading - As I have mentioned before he is a voracious reader and reads around a 5Th grade level. He is on book 4 of the Percy Jackson series, still working his way through all the Magic School Bus chapter books and his favorite books are the Horrible Science books.

I think that covers our main subjects, we are also learning map reading and of course science projects.

As for my progress report; I am pleased with how well I am keeping up with making lesson plans a week or two in advance. It makes our days go by easier and being more organized is always a good thing. I am always trying to find more time/energy to do more projects. I feel like I am more comfortable homeschooling now that we are in our third year. I realize there is no reason to worry and stress over every little thing it will all get done.


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Working on Bird Field Guide Project for Zoology

Craft Project


Saturday, September 11, 2010

Introducing Fangs, the Venus Fly Trap


Ever since we started Apologia Botany over the summer, LittleBit has wanted a Venus Fly Trap. We have searched all over, had relatives looking and I never could find one locally. I finally decided to order one. I found a seller on Ebay with great feedback and for the price I figured it couldn’t hurt. I order the Venus Fly Trap on a Monday and it arrived on Thursday. I wish I had read the care instructions for the plant before I ordered one, my word it is like having a pet in the house. After reading up on the care instructions, we had some shopping to do.

pot for venus fly trap IMG_2406_edited-1

The plant requires a non porous pot, sphagnum moss and you can only use distilled water. Seriously, I have to buy distilled water for a plant now! So, after going to the Old Time Pottery store for a pot, Home Depot for moss and Wal-Mart for water, we were ready to plant our $5.00 Venus Fly Trap.

First we had to soak the moss, a Venus Fly Trap plant requires a very moist potting medium. As you can see in the photo, LittleBit did not care for the texture of the moss. We(I) filled the pot with moss and we soaked it thoroughly and then we planted the plant in the little black basket that came with it.

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Our Venus Fly Trap is all settled in it’s new home sitting on a bench by the window and is ready to grow(hopefully not die). He named his plant, Fangs.


Note: We really like the Apologia Botany curriculum, but I have put it up until next spring. Most of the activities and experiments in the book are better suited to the spring/summer. We are working on Zoology and Astronomy this semester. We will finish Astronomy by the end of the year and pick up with Botany then.


Friday, September 10, 2010

The Great Pickle Experiment

First let me say, my husband is an electrical engineer and was very comfortable with this experiment.

Have you seen the new science show for kids on the Science channel? It is called Headrush and is a spin off from Mythbusters, a favorite show here. It is a great educational show for children with lot of fun science facts and experiments. LittleBit finds an experiment to do on every show.

This was an experiment involving a pickle, one of the large dill pickles, a car battery, jumper cables and two metal forks, screwdrivers, etc. The object is to light the pickle up. The theory is the sodium content in the pickle will glow when exposed to electricity. Similar to how sodium vapor street lights work.

We bought a jar of pickles, and LittleBit promptly dropped on the kitchen floor, spilling pickle juice everywhere. It smelled so bad but my kitchen floors got an extra mopping this week. We gathered the pickles, two screwdrivers with plastic handles, jumper cables and took off to the car. I was just hoping nothing blew up.

Hooked everything up and NOTHING! The pickle did nothing. LittleBit was sure it was because we did not use forks exactly like Kerri had on Headrush. I won't share hubby's thoughts. All was not lost though, Dad showed him how to make sparks with the jumper cables, yippee! LittleBit had a grand time yelling, "Busted" in Mythbuster fashion.

A failed experiment but LittleBit learned a few things about positive and negative energy and how even unsuccessful experiments are fun.


Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Camping – A.K.A I have lost my mind!



LittleBit has been asking to go camping for months.  I am not a camper at all, my idea of roughing it is a hotel without Wi-Fi.  I admit it I am a spoiled rotten girl who likes her electricity, plumbing, and access to Twitter! 

In a moment when I had obviously lost all sense of reason, I ordered a tent.  I was hoping it would be one of those, we will totally do that purchases that ends up hidden in the garage.  I am not that lucky.  As soon as the tent arrived LittleBit wanted to know when we would go camping.  We decided that a backyard camping adventure would be a good test of how dedicated he was to this whole thing.  Honestly I expected him to think it was fun but when it was time to go to sleep he would be back in the house with me.  I had decided that backyard camping was a great father son activity.  He did whisper in my ear, “when Dad goes to sleep, I am going to come in an sleep with you.”

The Labor Day weekend seemed like a good time to try out the camping thing.  The boys set up the tent, I took photos.   DSC03714_edited-1 DSC03724_edited-1


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They had a great time, roasted hot dogs over the fire pit,  they told “scary” stories, used Google sky to find constellations, stars, and as shown in the photo below, the planet Venus. They played Nintendo, yes he took it with him. (he is too much like Mom, likes his gadgets)



It was so cute to see LittleBit with Leo the lion, his Nintendo, a Horrible Science book, flashlight and blanket go off for his big adventure. 


They made it until about 1 a.m and the cold brought them in.  It was very chilly that night and Dad was not dressed for it.  Neither one of us thought LittleBit would make it.  Overall it was a grand success. LittleBit has already asked when we can go camping again, it seems he forgot to play shadow puppets in the tent and he wanted to.  He also asked if we can climb a mountain and camp on top.  Where does he get these ideas? 


I know the learning opportunity is vast while camping, and it makes for a great family time but I will be going kicking and screaming, at least silently.  I put this under the category of “I’m a Mom of a boy”  and this is why I am doing this.