Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Week of June 24 & July 1st and 2nd

We are up at the lake now celebrating July 4th.  Last week was crazy busy and I never got a chance to post my end of the week post.  Since this week was only two days of "school" before we headed to the lake, I figured I would just lump it in with last week.

What We are Doing

Story of the World has been our "spine" for the last three years.  This summer we are reading the fourth and final volume of Story of the World and loving every minute of it!  (As much as I LOVE Story of the World, I am excited to see how our homeschool will change when we have completed it!).

The last two weeks we spent a lot of time learning about The Great Irish Potato Famine, the Romanov Family and the Oregon Trail.  Jason is particularly interested in the Great Famine and is reading a book about it and filling us in on things we didn't read/see in a documentary.

 I have always been fascinated with the Romanov Family and the Anastasia mystery.  I remember seeing the Romanov Family jewelry at the Sherry Netherland Hotel when I was a kid and my aunt filling me in on the mystery and I was hooked!  My girls both read historical novels about Anastasia.  I was looking forward to a discussion of "Was She or Wasn't She?"  and they both said, "Nah, it's not her."  I tried to push, but they were insistent.  Boo.  They almost have me convinced by their argument, but I like the mystery too much to give it up.
The girls can not get enough of the Oregon Trail game.  They play it on-line and on the ipad.  They are addicted.  What started as my suggestion has turned into something they do non-stop.

As a child I was all about the Oregon Trail.  Of course, I grew up watching Little House on the Prairie and read those books who knows how many times--I have parts memorized.  I loved those books.  I wanted to be Laura (still kinda do ;-).  Our town children's librarian knew that I loved anything about Pioneers and she used to order books about the Oregon Trail because she knew I liked it.  I would go to the library all the time and she would sometimes have a special book set aside for me.  BUT my Catholic school NEVER EVER mentioned the Trail of Tears...let me tell you, when you know about that (as we do now) it COMPLETELY changes the Oregon Trail.   Especially since Jason and the girls are part Choctaw and Jason filled us in that the Choctaw Nation donated money to Irish Potato Famine Relief because 70 years prior the Choctaw people had lost HALF of their tribe in the Trail of Tears--that's Jason and the girls' ancestors!  So, yeah, my girls are not all over the Oregon Trail as I was.  But Allie did write a paper on Crazy Horse and Piper did a write a paper on Geronimo this week!

Piper asks to do Mind Benders.
Allie loves to bake cookies.  Which, Jason says, is good because he loves to eat cookies :)

What We are Creating

Jason's cousin has started an art products company, Art Anthology.  She has come up with a unique formula for dimensional paints that hold dimension, create texture, add sparkle and shimmer and is permanent on fabric.   Art Anthology color sprays go on like a fine mist and can transform, add or change color and add a really neat effect.  We had lots of fun playing with these products this week.  You can find a list of stores that sell the products and there are some online vendors, too.  She saw that we were doing some art journaling and sent us a box of goodies to play with.  Allie took one look at the box, grabbed it and ran down to the art studio!
I am told that the mess is part of Allie's "creative process" and really can not be cleaned up.
Her father didn't buy that and the art studio is now a lot neater ;-)

What We are Playing

Allie had played Pit in a Logic class in co-op and really liked it, so we bought it and have all been addicted ever since.  I think we've played it every single night since we got it and we plan to bring it to the lake.  If you see us this summer, we will probably ask you to play it because we are pretty addicted to it.

We have also been playing Division War every day, sometimes just the girls and I, sometimes with their friends.  I have seen their mastery of math facts increase dramatically as a result.  If you have a kid who is struggling with Multiplication or Division, I HIGHLY suggest Multiplication War or Division War this summer?

What We are Reading

Our reading is always a mix of supplemental materials for Story of the World, things we just want to read and things that draw our attention at the library!

  • Black Potatoes - Jason (the girls and I are learning about the Irish Famine and Jason was interested in learning more about it as well)
  • Don Quixote (Cervantes translation) - Jason 
  • Sweet Salt Air by Barbara Delinsky - Theresa
  • The Stout Seven - Allie (I read this book when it was titled "Seven Alone"--it's a true story about 7 kids who are orphaned on the Oregon Trail--I still remember it!)
  • Oregon Trail: The Road to Destiny by Frank Young & David Lasky - Allie
  • Rachel's Journal by Marissa Moss - Piper (about a girl on the Oregon Trail)
  • The Salem Witch Trials (a graphic novel) by Michael Martin - read aloud together
  • Introducing the Periodic Table: Bringing Chemistry to Life - read aloud
  • The Oregon Trail (a TRUE book) - read aloud
  • How Many People Traveled the Oregon Trail? And Other Questions About the Trail West - read aloud

What We Are Watching

We watched a wonderful documentary on The Oregon Trail (did you know that even by today's standards the Oregon Trail was an expensive endeavor, we are talking $10 tolls to cross bridges in the 1800s!) and a "what-the-heck-was-I-thinking" documentary on Grigori Rasputin--he was a monk and he looked crazed who would've thought he was also very promiscuous--who the heck would sleep with THAT?--but anyway, he purportedly had a sex addiction and the documentary went into that--OY VEY!  As liberal as I am with my girls that was a little too much!

Don't judge us but every night the girls and I watch "Life Unexpected".  We are hooked.  We are hooked on mainlining shows on Netflix.  I've never been a big fan of TV, but when I can watch whole seasons at a time of shows, I find I watch more TV.  Jason and I have watched "Weeds", "Nurse Jackie", "Californication", "MadMen", "Downton Abbey" and "House of Cards" this way.  Now the girls and I unwind and bond over "Life Unexpected" each night after Jason goes to bed.

Apps & Websites

Oregon Trail On-line or App

iCivics - try cases, select juries, learn Constitutional laws, etc.

Hair Salon 2 -not educational but my girls love it!
My girls can not get enough Oregon Trail,
and Hair Salon 2.

Don't worry it's not all work and no play around here.  History takes us an hour or two in the morning and then the rest of the day is spent...

We are blessed with AMAZING neighbors who invite the girls over to swim or tell us to use their pool when they are not home!

Playing in streams!

We love our homeschool group and meetups at cool places!