Friday, April 12, 2013

Week of April 8, 2013

What We Are Up To

We have been watching youtube videos on meter and rhythm and iambic pentameter.  We have been looking through poetry books and finding poems we like and reading them aloud to each other.

After watching The Men Who Built America, we have become more interested in teaching the girls about the stock market.  And the record highs lately make it a great time to teach about it and get kids interested and excited!!  We've been talking about stock choices we have made: why we purchased stock in certain companies, why we sold certain stock when we did.  We've been talking about learning about the business practices of companies that you want to support - like Costco, for example, whose business practices we really like - or stock we've sold because the company used fracking.  The girls understood that now - with record highs - it's time to watch and wait, but they have made some suggestions about companies they think would be good investments in the future; we have shown them how to investigate that company and talked about the things we look at when making the decision of whether or not to invest.  We will keep an eye on these companies together in a spreadsheet and make a decision when to buy!
We took my mom out for a GNO this week.  Our whole family has enjoyed a few green smoothies this week.  We've been eating healthy for the most part.  We had a family game night.

What We Are Watching

Ruby Bridges - I didn't have high hopes for the 2009 Disney movie, but it was really good after reading reading Through My Eyes: the Ruby Bridges Story.

The Men Who Built America -- we finished this series this week, it was an excellent history lesson, biographical lesson, lesson on entrepreneurship, and lesson on politics and business.

CNN Student News - every morning!  Thanks for bringing it to our attention, Susan!

Seven Cool Homeschoolers - first thing we do every day! Love the videos!!

Lots of youtube videos on meter and rhythm and iambic pentameter

The Last Song - we hadn't seen the movie since we went to Tybee Island...some of the movie was filmed there and after spending a week there...we can totally see it!!  Miss it and thinking of going back...

My girls love these books!

What We Are Reading

Julie by Catherine Marshall (Allie)
Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life by  Wendy Mass (Piper)
The Kindness of Strangers by Katrina Kittle (Theresa)
Aristotle Leads the Way by Joy Hakim (Jason) 
13 Painters Children Should Know
13 Modern Artists Children Should Know
Lots of shenanigans.  Allie loved "Julie" and is about to start "Christy" on this rainy reading day.
We learned about triboluminescence in Candy Chemistry this week.

Favorite Apps & Websites (I have added a link list to the right margin of our fave websites!) -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------->

iCivics - Thanks for telling us about this, N, P &T!!!  We had a lot of fun playing lawyer and Supreme Court Justice!!

Root Words App that Susan turned us on to--we've used it quite a lot this week!!  It's great for review.  If I give the girls a root, they know the meaning but this app gives them the definition and some words it fits in and they have to identify the root, it's been tricky but a great way to reinforce the roots!

Google Drive - the girls are collaborating on several stories and can communicate back and forth using Google Drive; they were able to access this from the public computers at the library when they were at work with me as well as all of the computers at home--so I can be on everyone's favorite computer while they still work on it on one of our other computers since their story is not SAVED on a computer but rather, in the cloud!  Google Docs is awesome!!

and of course, our lives would not be complete with Minecraft!
We are all addicted to iCivics.  Allie and Piper have created budgets for the federal government, pretended they were President, learned about the law and several prominent Supreme Court cases, played Supreme Court Justice and learned about their civil rights.  The girls can not get enough of this site--thanks, N,P & T for telling us about it!

What We Are Creating

The girls are working on a Presentation of Candy Chemistry.  They have made slides up to where we are at in Candy Chemistry.  When they are done, we may make the Presentation available for people interested in candy chemistry.

The girls each edited some writing and submitted it to our co-op newspaper.

After reading about Pablo Picasso this week, we decided to do some Picasso-inspired art journaling.

Homeschool Stuff
I've been giving some thought to how I want to change things in our homeschool.  We have become more interest-led and it's been very positive.  The girls may not know all the same things the public school kids know, but they know different things and can think critically and creatively, which is important.  Foreign language and math are the areas that I just can't let go of control over.  

As Allie moves into more advanced math, I want a program that provides explanations and help when she is struggling with a concept.  I do not trust my ability in this area.  Fortunately, there are a lot of programs out there.  Allie played around with several this past week and she will continue to do so until we are confident with a good fit.

Life Stuff
Allie and I are continuing our sublingual allergy drop therapy.  I have been having a skin reaction, which is possibly due to the amount of allergen in the drops being built up in my body.  I know to some people the way I am "carrying on" about getting a dog is silly, but here is the thing: I love dogs, I love having pets, I have had pets my entire life and I really miss having a dog around; I miss having someone greet me when I walk in, I miss the little prancy feet on my hardwood floors, I miss the cuddles and the love, the sweet, sad, adoring eyes.  I miss everything about having a dog.  We put in some applications this week for a non-shedding dog, but our homeopath really thinks we need to wait longer and I'm really depressed over that.  I have been trying to console myself and tell myself we can go camping this summer or travel more or any of those things that having a dog makes it difficult to do...but, I really want a dog more than any of those things.

My husband has been working 60 hours a week, I know for some of you that is the norm, I don't know how you do it.  It's a blessing that his work is so busy, but we really miss him.  We are used to him being home in the late afternoon and evening...and that is just not happening right now.

He's also coordinated a big volunteer tree planting in our town for Earth Day.  Our homeschool group, some local Girl and Boy Scouts and some citizens are coming together to replant over 75 trees that were lost in our town during Hurricane Sandy.  It will be amazing, I am sure and I am really proud of all the work my husband has put into this, from organizing donations of trees, supplies, equipment and food to the planning that has gone into this to the press releases and PR work that has gone into this.  I am excited for next weekend...and hoping that when this project is done, we will get more time with Jason!!

My kids are slobs.  I think they have too much stuff.  If you didn't see the post on Instagram, this week I gave them plastic bags and set a timer for 20 minutes.  I ended up giving them 15 minutes more...and they both came back with bags for garbage and the Goodwill and their rooms are better...for now.  I need to keep on them to keep those rooms good all the time.