Friday, April 5, 2013

Week of April 1, 2013

We are getting to a more interest-led season in our homeschool, but there are some things that I just can't let go of, like...

Math  --- HELP!

Our first year of homeschooling, we struggled to find a math program that was a good fit for Allie.  Finally, after trying many, many programs, we found Math U See, which she doesn't hate and she seems to learn a lot from and retain a lot.  She has only a couple of chapters left in Zeta and then she starts Pre-algebra.  I will be honest, I was not math-y in school.  I opted to take The History of Mathematics to fulfill my math requirement in college.  I never took Calculus or Trigonometry in high school.  As Allie advances in math, I may be of very little help.  I may not be able to explain why she got something wrong.  She could take a class at the community college, but I am not ready to send my 13 year old into a college classroom with college students just yet--maybe in a couple of years.  So, I am looking at Teaching Textbooks, Saxon Teacher and ALEKS.  Allie's reviewed all of them on-line and prefers Teaching Textbooks, but I hear a lot of students do not do well on the SAT after using Teaching Textbooks, but they did just do a huge maybe they addressed that?  Any advice or suggestions would be very much appreciated!

Spanish & Latin

I set goals.  They reach them.  Every week.  It takes a couple of hours max.


I have asked the girls to make a Presentation (using Google Docs) on the Candy Chemistry they begged for and got for Valentine's Day.  They are still working on it as they have not yet finished the Candy Chemistry kit.  It will be a few more weeks of work.
L-R Every morning, the first thing the girls do when they get up is check out 7 Cool Homeschoolers to see  the latest video!  They made gummy candy in Candy Chemistry this week.  We did lots and lots of art journaling--now that we got the hang of it--the girls are doing it independently when they get inspired as well as with me.  We wore blue on April 2 for World Autism Day -- we have several friends that are on the spectrum.  Piper blew a lot of stuff up on Minecraft this week.  Crazy Kid.  We babysat for Dakota--my parents boxer this week, she has no idea she is a big dog, she thinks she is a lap dog.  Crazy Pup.

What We Are Watching

~ CNN Student News - I saw this on Susan's blog and decided to try it.  We have begun to get in the habit of watching while we eat breakfast and then we discuss.  The girls are really enjoying it.

~ The Men Who Made America-- We are all learning so much--and when I say all I mean Jason & I, too--we may have been to Rockefeller Center and Vanderbilt's summer home in Newport and Carnegie Hall and Teddy Roosevelt's house, but we had no idea who these men were and all they did!!  We all watch it together at night and then discuss it over dinner the next night in preparation for that night's episode.

~ Skylark - a movie based on the novel by Patricia MacLachlan - I read the girls this series (which begins with Sarah Plain & Tall back when Allie was in second grade) and we watched the movie for Sarah Plain & Tall, but I was not aware there was a movie for Skylark until we were at the BIG library this week--I had to get it, I just love this time period!

~ Maid in Manhattan - Jason had a NJ Tree Experts meeting this week and the girls and I went out for fro-yo for dinner (I kept it all healthy--Eurotart and fruit and almonds!) and then came home and watched this J Lo chick flick.  We liked it.

Favorite Apps & Websites

The girls figured out how to race each other in Grand Prix Multiplication,
it's just a review and helps them keep their skills sharp--but they play it all.the.time without me asking

~ Mathplayground - Sugar, Sugar and Snail Bob and Grand Prix Multiplication

~ Minecraft

~ Google docs - instead of PowerPoint, we use Presentation, because it's free and we can work on it from any computer--at home, at the library, etc.

What We Are Creating

We are really getting into Art Journaling, now that I figured out what it is and how to do it--I am a little slow on these things.  It's not just copying someone else's page, it's making it your own.  Duh.  Anyway, now that we figured it out, we love it and are finding ourselves drawn to art journal more and more.
now that I got the hang of personalizing pages...we are art journaling fools I tell ya!

The girls also learned about the properties of gelatin in the Organic Chemistry chapter of their Candy Chemistry kit.  To illustrate the properties of gelatin, they made gummy candies.

What We Are Reading

The Help by Kathryn Stockett (Allie)
Boys are Dogs (Piper)
Candymakers by Wendy Mass (Piper)
Never Change by Elizabeth Berg (Theresa)
Water Witches by Chris Bohjalian (Jason)
Julie by Catherine Marshall (Allie) - we finished watching the Christy series (so disappointed it's not very long) so Allie decided to read the books, our library didn't have Christy, so she started with Julie and put a hold on Christy


I bought a rosemary plant and instead of planting it in the usual spot where it always seems to get buried in snow when we shovel--I bought a pretty pot and put it in my dining room window.  I have a dream of it scenting the air, but I think it's going to take me going over and rubbing my hand over the leaves to get the scent.  I love the scent of fresh rosemary, don't you?

I also planted my windowsill garden.  I haven't done this in years, but decided to do it again.

Our garden is ready to seed and we will be planting greens this weekend!  We don't get a lot of sun in our yard (trying to get the hubster to take down some trees, so far he is not budging) so all we can plant are greens.  But I am happy with that.
kept my fro-yo all healthy this week and probably enjoyed it more than when I make it all chocolate-y
wheat berries--a new fave!
green smoothies to replace the craft brew a few nights a week


There was an issue with one of the girls' friends this week.  I had to finally put my foot down.  I didn't want to do it, but it was building for a while.  I feel bad for all the girls, but this girl's mom and I have very different ideas about raising kids.


I went shopping last weekend for an Easter outfit for myself.  Ugh.  I have been eating healthy, but snacking a lot more than I should and justifying it that my snacks are "healthy".  Also, Jason and I indulge in a craft beer 3-4 nights a week.  This week, I made a commitment to snack less and only on grapefruit and air-popped popcorn, drink more water and cut the craft beer to only on weekends.  Jason and I replaced our craft beer a few times with green smoothies.  He also went for a walk with me one evening and a bike ride another :)


babka, girls, sticky buns & Gangnam lives on--did I mention we are crazy?
We had a great Easter.  My parents and brother and sister-in-law and niece came over.  We dyed eggs, we did the mentos and diet soda geyser, we did the Harlem Shake--because we are crazy like to have fun!  And fun we had.  It was a celebration.  The homeschool neighbor dad joined us (the girls were with their mom) and was crazy fun right along with us!  Jason made my grandpa's babka, actually he has now incorporated my great-grandmother's recipe and my grandpa's recipe--I really think that having these family traditions makes holidays even more special and I am glad that my girls are being raised to appreciate them.  My brother didn't make horseradish (horseradish is another Polish tradition handed down from father to son) because he had just closed on his house at the beach, with a beautiful inground pool in the backyard...but that's ok, we will just plan on making ourselves nuisances hanging out there all summer so he can make it up to us ;-)
family, friends, food, fun...and traditions make holidays more special!
We made Jason's mom's sticky buns - she made them for every holiday and they are delicious.

Another tradition that maybe I could do without...Jason is Scottish and we have a bottle of single malt Scotch that was made by his clan.  For some reason, when my brother is around, they always decide to open Jason's clan's Scotch and drink a glass ... and toast Jason's ancestors... and the fine men that made a fine scotch and Jesus and just about anything else they can come up with... it's interesting.  Neither of them ordinarily drink scotch or any hard liquor for that it's very interesting.   That center photo in the collage is my brother swirling his scotch and talking about the proper way to drink Jason's clan's scotch.  Just keepin' it real.

Linking with Mary at Homegrown Learns for Collage Friday