Saturday, March 16, 2013

Week of March 11, 2013

We went out to dinner last week for my birthday.
Allie and I had a little fun while Piper and Jason were away from the table.
As homeschoolers I think there are different phases many of us go through.  I see it on blogs, I hear it in conversations with friends.  We may start out sort of regimented, very curriculum driven, very checking things off a list...very "school at home", because most of us were, after all, educated in a traditional school setting.  But over time we relax, we make decisions about what is important, we realize that left to their own devices our children will be creative and read books and research things that interest them, we may decide that it is important for our kids to be accountable, to take responsibility not only in learning, but in what they are learning.  We gain confidence and courage, we talk with like-minded people and surround ourselves with parents we admire and we begin new seasons of homeschooling.  Our family is beginning a more interest-led, project based season of learning.

There are still a few areas that I can't completely give up:


This week we finished July in Pet Store Math.  In addition to the regular assignments, I challenged the girls to look at their Inventory Trackers and run sales on things that had not sold.  They made decisions on percentages they would mark off and figured out new prices.  We discussed advertising these sales.  The girls recalled Advertising Attack, which we read in the fall, we looked at the Money Mailer and Val-Pak coupons that came in the mail this week and they designed a mailer for the sales at their Pet Store.  We discussed different ways to reflect these sales, perhaps something in addition to the Additional In Store Sales.

Greek & Latin Root Study

We studied the roots "per-"which means "through, thorough"; the roots "pos, pon, posit" which mean "put, place, lay" and the root "spec, spect" which means to "look, see, appear".  Since we know that "ann, enn" means "Years or yearly" we now know that "perennial" means through many years, etc.  We reviewed different words that use these roots and also reviewed previously learned roots.


I challenged the girls to each get the total number of points in the Body and Food categories and they did!


This week, I challenged the girls to write a report about something that interested them.  We went to the library and they each took out a stack of books.  Allie decided to read a biography of Rosa Parks and write about that; Piper chose to read a book based on the dairy of a girl whose father was a whaling captain and to write about that.  
A friend gave us a new game, Q-Bitz--so fun!!
We love Mind Benders--we think of them as games, puzzles, not school work.
Allie is very interested in the Civil Rights Movement.

What We're Creating

The girls learned more about the crystallization of sugar in Candy Chemistry this week and they attempted to make caramels from scratch.  They chose this science kit themselves and other than my presence when they are cooking, they do this on their own because they want to.
The girls made yummy caramel this week in their Candy Chemistry kit.
they did a better job than Jason and i did making caramel last Christmas!
Allie made bedding for her gerbils out of scrap paper.  She has been saving paper that we discard for a few weeks, she watched some youtube how-to videos and she did this completely on her own.

Our co-op has been a great use of our time!  We look so forward to Fridays and seeing our friends.  The girls have fallen in love with Shakespeare as a result of a fabulous teacher at co-op!
They also take a Native American Homes class, where they learn about different Native American tribes, which parts of the country they lived and what their homes were made out of.  This week, they learned about adobe homes and made their own adobe bricks!  I get to assist in this class and it was messy, but a lot of fun and a lot of learning went on this week!!
We learned about adobe homes in co-op and the kids all made some adobe bricks.

What We're Reading

  • Rosa Parks: My Story (Allie)
  • 13 Gifts by Wendy Mass(Piper)
  • Diary of a Whaling Captain's Daughter by Laura Jernagan(Piper)
  • Killing Lincoln by Bill O' Reilly(Theresa)
  • A World Away by Nancy Grossman(Theresa)
  • Against All Enemies: Inside America's War on Terror by Richard Clark (Jason)

What We're Watching

  • The Christy series--to say that Allie and I love this show is an understatement; we want to move to Cutter Gap and be friends with Fairlight and talk to Miss Alice and hang out with Christy; we want to bring shoes for all the kids and medical supplies for Neil.  We talk about a vacation spot where you get to live like people in those times.

Homemaking - 40 Bags

Most epic fail of all-time ever.  I did manage to get a bunch of stuff out of the attic and both girls cleaned their rooms and came up with several bags each, BUT I have also taken a lot of things from my uncle's apartment that had sentimental and emotional value.  I probably have acquired much more than I got rid of, but I am glad to have these pieces of my uncle, these things that were important to him, in my home.
Allie made blueberry pancakes last weekend ALL BY HERSELF--I was 25 before I knew how/when to flip a pancake!
Jason made pasta from scratch one night after work.
I made Hoppin' John--we can not get enough of this dish, y'all!


Jason and I continue to watch "House of Cards" a couple of nights a week.  

We have been talking about what we want to do with our kitchen.  This has been a never-ending discussion since we bought this house nearly ten years ago.  Over the years we have discussed taking out walls, replacing the wall oven with a stove, different configurations for cabinets and we never really knew what we wanted.  But it is all starting to come together now.  It's funny, this is what happened with our basement, after years of talking and not agreeing, suddenly a new idea popped up and we both loved it and went with it!  I think that is starting to happen with the kitchen.

Weekend Plans

Jason is attending a special event in another state for our town.  Jason serves on the Shade Tree Commission in our town and through this event, he will be able to purchase many trees for our town to replace trees lost during Hurricane Sandy.  Our local homeschool group is going to be involved in planting these trees!  Jason should be home Saturday afternoon and we have plans to spend Saturday evening with some new friends with whom I share a birthday!  Sunday we have plans to attend a fundraiser for a family in our town who is struggling.