Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Our recent studies-

School has been going great- the Workboxes are a hit! It only takes a few minutes to fill them each evening, (or sometimes in the morning) Doodle just finished up a week study on Henry the Castaway it's a FIAR title- (Have I ever mentioned how much I LOVE FIAR. It is the bulk of Doodle and Roo's schoolwork- covers everything except language arts and math) Henry the Castaway is an out of print book- and sometimes hard to find- but we really enjoyed our week. We did a bit of geography with the lessons in the book, found the Orinoco River, and other famous rivers. We learned about Rivers- here's the finished sandbox river-We practiced Tally Marks and counted all the animals in the book. Read about Columbus, and drew maps.

We studied about various explorers- and decided to go exploring for ourselves- We went to the Weber River Parkway (amazing- we didn't really even get very far down the trail and had a blast!) Not too far from where we parked Roo saw this sign, and Doodle read it to him, and of course we needed to take the trail and see where it led.There was a cool "Sundial" where you are the stick in the middle. It was surprizingly accurate. Farther down the trail was a sign that told about wetlands and marshes. And some boys said "Let's go check it out" I cringed as we walked through the mud to get down here....But we were exploring- so I couldn't say "No" We found this little frog in the wetlands, along with TONS of tadpoles. Next time we'll bring a cup and catch a few and watch them grow.

Bug studied Maine last week- Each week he needs to come up with a science experiement that goes along with his state. He decided since blueberries grow in Maine, he'd make a blueberry pie. Dad told him that wasn't a science project. So he made it into one. He made a homemade pie, and a pie with store bought crust and filling, and made a chart to compare the 2. His results- Homemade pie is much better than store bought filling and crust. YUM! It was delicious.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Backpacks and caves

Over the weekend- we decided to make another trip up to Bloomington Lake. This time we backpacked in- it was a nice short hike- less than a mile in- but it was a great trip. The Indian Paintbrush is my favorite wildflower- I love when it's all in bloom. The kids all packed their own stuff- even Roo (well- he packed his sleeping bag, his clothes were in Bug's pack) Doodle has a go at the rope swing. We hiked around one side of the lake a while.
I think a dirty face means he had a fun time.On our way home- we decided to stop in at Minnetonka Cave. It was nice and cool in there. The formations were neat to see, and the kids had no problems with all the stairs (who am I kidding, I knew they'd be fine- it was me I was worried about- all 444 steps in and 444 steps back out of the cave!-- Bug wanted to know who was crazy enough to count them all)

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Workbox Wednesday

Kendra over at Pumpkin Patch always has fun posts about what's in their workboxes. So I thought I'd join her in Weekly Workbox post. Here's a few fun things that have been in our workboxes lately
In Roo's (age 4) Boxes
I found some alphabet stamps on the dollar isle at Target- and bought an ink pad. He stamped the letters and told me what letters he was stamping.

His finished project
Also- a pie tin with a bit of cornmeal in the bottom, and he practices drawing different letters in the tin. Yesterday I was babysitting my nephews and my niece- they got to join us for school niece A and nephew J are helping Roo make "Pizzas" with fraction pie pieces.


Here's their pizzas. I challenged them to make pizzas with different colors in them.
Roo's Book for the week is The Quiet Way Home It's a sweet fun story- one of our favorites!- The art lesson talked about Primary Colors- so they painted with the primary colors, and even mixed and made a few more colors.
Roo and his cousin J had fun fishing for alphabet letters- this is always a hit for school.Doodle's boxes


Doodle had a Marcy Cook Tile page in his drawer. These are lots of fun! Great way to do math without having to use a pencil. :D
Yesterday Doodle and his cousin J worked on an alphabet folder game. (ok- so this was WAY easy for both of them, they had fun racing to put the letters in the correct order)This was the funest workbox item yesterday- there was a map and a few facts about rivers- that we talked about- then they were told to go to the sandbox and make a river. The Workboxes are a real hit. I love that right after breakfast- Both Doodle and Roo know to head strait to the computer room and grab drawers #1.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Gearing up for Boy's Club

I'm just finishing up the final plans for this year's Great American's Boy's Club It will be lots of fun. Each month we read a Childhood of Famous American's book, discuss it, do notebook pages and a couple of activites. This year I have 13 boys- including my own Bug and Doodle. I'm looking forward to our activities. Here are the plans-

September-- Milton Hershey, Young Chocolatier by M. M. Eboch, Make Ice cream http://home.att.net/~teaching/science/icecream.pdf and ?? Chocolate Math, Get to know you games

October-- John Glenn, Young Astronaut by Michael Burgan, Make Alka-seltzer rockets http://mpassero.tripod.com/rocket/seltzer/seltzer.htm and Launch rockets


November--Robert E. Lee, Young Confederate by Helen Albee Monsell -- Make Rubber Band Guns- http://www.runnerduck.com/toy_gun.htm Leapfrog or fly kites


Jaunary--Mark Twan, Young Writer by Miriam E. Mason - make Paddle boats out of Altoids canshttp://www.instructables.com/id/Rubber_Band_Powered_Altoids_Boat/ and ??

February--George Washington, Young Leader by Agusta Stevenson ? Suggestions welcome-- I'm having a hard time with ideas for Washington

March-- John F. Kennedy, America’s Youngest President by Post Frisbee --St Patricks Day activities- Green- shamrock craft? ? Sugestions welcome!

April--Jim Thorpe Olympic Champion by Guernsey Van Riper, Jr. --Olympic events: Standing long jump, Discus (Frisbee) throw, Shot Put (softball) throw and Medals Ceremony

May- Celebration of Great Men -- Pizza Party- Eat Pizza and do oral Presentations

I'm disappointed- I'd planned on doing the book on Dr. Suess for one of our books. But after pre-reading it (and I'm glad I did) I decided against it- so we'll just take Dec. off. Why did I decide not to do dr. Suess? For starters- his family owned a brewery at the time of Prohibition- it talked all about how alcohol wasn't bad, and the prohibitionists were crazy. Then as I continued reading- Dr. Suess's wife comitted suicide. And while I feel bad for what he and his wife must have gone through- suicide and alcohol were not topics I wanted to discuss with 7-12 year old boys.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Happy Birthday Doodle!!

Time goes so fast! Doodle turns 7 years old today! I can still remember the day when the social worker called me and said "We have a baby for you" and I knew in an instant that this was the Lord's way of answering my prayers. It was a long road before he was mine forever- but so worth it in the end.

Ben feeding Doodle- the first night he came to our home. Bug sitting there too. Bug was so protective of Doodle when he was younger- I remember going to a church party- just a few days after we got Doodle, and a friend asked to hold him, and I let her. Bug piped up "That's OUR baby- she can't hold our baby!"
Doodle at his first birthday party. His cake was a yellow smiley face- because his nickname was "Smiley" he was always smiling.Happy Doodle after he returned to our family-he was 18 months old.Our Family on the day the adoption was final.

Doodle at Yellowstone- one ouf our favorite places. Doodle is such an energetic, strong kid. I'm so grateful that he is in our family. We sure love him. He's so smart and fun.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Guest Blogger- Bug

Bug and Ben went on their Yellowstone Adventure over the weekend. Here's a link to last year's adventure If you didn't hear about their grizzly bear adventure- go check it out! eeek! Needless to say- I was a bit leery about letting them go to the same place- but they had the bear pepper spray and were excited for adventure. Alas, I'll be quiet- and let Bug tell his story. (I made him go back and put periods and capitol letters and paragraph spacing in it- but arg! That's what we are working hard on this year. lol)


Me and dad went on an adventure just like last year and to the same place to, we started out very early in the morning I got dressed and we set off we came back to the cabin to get my jawbreakers so we could have a snack. Then we set off again we went straight through West Yellowstone and into the park on the way we saw a bald eagle and an elk. We went to Shoshone point, the only place in the park you can see the lake from the road. it was just a very small portion of the lake, that didn’t do it justice. We then went to grant village to get our backcountry permit. We were canoeing so we got our canoe permit. Then the ranger that we talked to said that he had caught massive fish out of Lewis lake, the lake that we had to canoe across. Then we went to Lewis lake got our stuff loaded in the canoe, we met the camp ground host and he had told us that the same ranger we talked to had caught 150 lake trout out of Yellowstone lake. Then we headed out across the lake the waves didn’t get very big until we got to the end of the lake and were getting closer to the channel that connected Lewis lake and Shoshone lake we almost didn’t make it but then we did. We saw tons of bald eagles then the river got too hard for us to paddle so we dragged the boat up stream.

When we saw Shoshone Lake we were so happy. We were almost to the narrows were we would cross when my dad got a bite it was a brown we let it go cause we thought it was a rainbow we got another bite it to was a brown and it Stoll our lewer so we kept on paddling. When we got to the narrows we tried to cross then dad got another bite it was mine to real in so I reald it in and it was a great big lake trout we kept it for the nest day’s breakfast and got to the middle and the wind caught us so we headed back to shore right as we got there it started to rain, hard then the rain turned to hail and all me and dad were standing under were a few pine trees. There was lightning everywhere, when the storm let up a bit we canoed across the narrows and got to a camp site were we set up camp for a few hours the storm lasted 3 hours non stop downpour. We could see blue skies in the horizon so we packed up again and headed for our real campsite. We were glad we didn’t try to get there before the blue sky because it took a long time to get there. When we did reach our campsite we unpacked explored and ant dinner. We had steakes for dinner that night, it was delicious. Then we went to bed we slept for a long time then I woke up, dad had fish all ready for breakfast. I ate my share and we went out fishing we caught 7 lake trout and1 brown it was fun then we went to the geyser basin we stopped at the ranger cabin it was cool we paddled over to the geyser basin, saw some geysers and headed back .

We swam in the lake and went for a hike we went to the other side of the lake we cane back had spaghetti for dinner and went to bed the net day me ant dad wanted to get an early start so me and dad woke up at 3:30 in the morning the lake was still so we packed up and had breakfast we had huckleberry pancakes we had found the huckleberries on a hill it was absolutely loaded with them. After breakfast we headed out it was very cold but we didn’t mind. we fished on the way we got a bite and I reeled in a brown we kept it for dinner at the cabin and kept on going we stopped at the ranger cabin at the mouth of the river then went down the river, it was lots faster and rocker. I had to stand in the boat and tell dad witch way to go so we didn’t get stuck. On the way down dad got a bite. He reald it in, it was a brook trout we kept it and headed on we got to Lewis lake and it was glass we paddled across it I caught another brown trout. right as we were in the middle of crossing the lake it started to hail we were glad that we started out that early. We got to the truck loaded up and got in with the heat cranked up we were tired but happy we had hiked and canoed 40 miles in 3 days and caught no les than 14 fish.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Planning for the new School year

I love to plan.... lol- I always have lots of big plans... I've been busy planning for our new school year- We'll be starting next week- (we pretty much go year round- with a month long break in July and other breaks as we want them)

The most exciting of our new plans are Workboxes. (HERE's a great post explaining workboxes) Both Doodle and Roo will be using workboxes- Bug is pretty independent- and doesn't think he needs workboxes- he's probably right. Here's Doodle's Workboxes (I found some plastic drawers on sale- and think they will work great!) He has 9 drawers. Here's what will go in theme- 1- One drawer will always be his math their way stuff- if I want a shorter day- I can split his math stuff into more than one drawer :D- (More on that Here-) I found some great printables for our Math folders- and we'll be using lots of ideas from This great site. That's where I got the idea for our wonderful counting charts- each day we'll count the days we've had school- and add a sticker to a card- when a card has 10 stickers- we'll move it to the 10's column. I think it will be great. I found these sports stickers for Doodle- and some cute airplane ones for Roo.
2- One drawer will have Copywork- I use Startwrite and make our own copywork sheets- usually a sentance from our FIAR story.
3- 3 days a week the one of the drawers will have our new Grammar Program- Growing with Grammar I am excited to use this- It seems exactly like what I was looking for.

4- One box with Have his Explode the Code book- a phonics workbook- Doodle is an awesome reader- and the workbooks are kinda simple for him- but I think it will help him to be a better speller having a better base in Phonics.
Drawers 4-8 will have fun things that I want him to work on- telling time, a reading game, a puzzle for fun, a board game, art projects, nature journals.
Our last drawer will always be our unit study- our FIAR story and any activities that we are going to do with it. We'll be focusing on volume 3 this year with a few vol 1 and 2 titles and some Homeschool Share titles that we didn't get to yet. I just LOVE FIAR. It makes our whole school day. FIAR is unit studies based on great picture books. Each day we study a different aspect of the story- Social Studies, Languange arts, Art, applied Math, Science, cooking, character traits, and so much more.


Here's Roo's drawers- he only has 6 drawers. 1- He will usually have 1 that is handwriting of some sort- I have Handwriting without Tears Preschool book, sometimes he'll do a workbook page, sometimes draw letters on a chalkboard, or in a tray with cornmeal
2- One drawer will be his Math Their Way folders- he'll basically do the same things as Doodle only simplified- money -only using pennies, simplier patterns etc.
3- One drawer will be some sort of alphabet/phonics- fishing for ABC's, folder games, alphabet soup, alphabet puzzle
4-5 will be various things I want him to work on- whether for fun or for learning- playdough, pattern blocks,
6- will be his B4 FIAR story or we are also using Picture Book Activities, and some Homeschool Share titles
Bug will be continuing on in his 50 states units- He'll be using Growing with Grammar 6 Trait Writing, Continuing with Sequential Spelling He has his math lessons with Ben's aunt Pam each week, and will continue with the assignments she gives him. Bug will also be working on Webelos scout activity pins using these worksheets to help him. His state studies cover history and science, with some reports each week, and some pictures he draws each week.
Some other new things we will be adding this year- Quote of the day- using This website. Each day we'll have a quote to memorize- learn a little bit out the person who said it- and put them in our timeline notebooks.
We'll continue our Art Classes by Dad, and Math class with Pam. Field trips with our wonderful field trip group, and if I'm up for it, our Great Americans Book Club.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Fish and Flips

Doodle has a Sweet Pickles book that he loves to read called Fish and Flips- lol- and this post just reminded me of the book. First the Fish, then the flips.

We went fishing tonight with some friends- and had a super time, and I outfished them all! :D I caught me a nice Rainbow trout, and a HUGE Cutthroat as well. Roo helped me reel in the fish- so he got to have his picture taken with it too. Doodle's friend J caught a nice size Brown trout too. The boys had fun playing in the water- Roo wading along-Ben, our friend A, and Bug fishing.Doodle, his friend J and Bug playing in the river What amazing mountains. I just LOVE the mountains. And this wonderful man in front of the mountains- I LOVE him too. Ben is such a great husband and father. I truly appreciate the way he works so hard to support our family. He's so supportive of homeschooling, and I'm so blessed to have him for a husband. Oh- and he's so wonderful to fix my pole, and bait my hook, and take the fish off the line so I don't have to touch it. (ok- but the cutthroat was big enough I had to touch it so I could get my pic with it!)Oh- and now the Flips:

Doodle is quite the gymnast- he was jumping on the trampoline the other night and wanted me to get a movie of him doing his backflip and landing it- so Nana and Bompa and Grandma and Grandpa could see it- So here's his Flip:

video