Thursday, February 21, 2013

Our Thursday...Penguins continued

One of the great things about using the teaching packet from Seaworld is that there are many great experiments, and hands on activities. We are continuing our penguin study, using the packet for 4th-8th grade for our 2nd and 7th graders along with additional books and DVDs from our library. Today the kids had fun with 'Penguin Soap Surprise'. It was messy but they loved it! We talked about the materials used, about predictions, and our son got an intro to multiplication.

We looked at our map again and reviewed our penguin informational cards, talked about the southern hemisphere and then we read out loud a book about the workers in Antarctica. Our son was particularly interested in learning about the ice samples the scientists take. Our daughter skimmed ahead to find out what experiments are in store for next week!

We also watched a few episodes of shark week, read out loud, practiced math skills, made wire and bead bracelets and spent time cleaning out several animal cages and rotating the chickens to get fresh air since there was no rain today. It was a productive, fun, leisurely learning day.

Tomorrow we take off for a road trip again, the 2nd weekend in a row. Although still somewhat tired from last weekend we are excited to see family and to finally pick up hopefully some show birds that our daughter has been looking for. And perhaps if time and weather allow, a short trip to one of our all time favorite places...the Zoo!

To Friday and the weekend ahead, may the weather be on our side and God be with us to let us travel safely and see our family! Enjoy your weekend!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Container Garden / Chicken Coop....more Animals

Ready for spring already and warmer weather our family has been preparing the yard and getting ready to plant and bring all the chickens outside...recently moved we have yet to build coops, so now is the time! Dabbling in chicken coop designs my husband has been researching what he'd like to build as well as how we want to set up the garden, or at least set it up for this first year of planting which will be smaller than in the future.

Container Garden / Chicken Coop
So, we opted for 6-8 container gardens which cost $10 for him to build, not bad! Then he designed the chicken coop to fit over so that its dual purpose, the chickens can then clear out the garden after the season. The chicken coop is moveable so that we can put it in any location around the yard. We moved two chickens in yesterday to clear some weeds and they are enjoying their new home immensely!

 We believe the bantams may still live in smaller cages in the 'barn' overnight just for predator protection and because they are our kids show birds but as far as the bigger guys go, they can stay overnight outside with much less risk.

Road Trip...more Animals
Over the weekend we made a one day Phoenix trip which took us about 5 hours to and from...a long day. We spent the day at a Rabbit and Cavy show, meeting new friends, catching up with old ones and talking to breeders. Our daughter used the chicken money she got from selling a few birds to purchase a cavy and a rabbit. We met some of the most wonderful people- the two breeders she bought her animals from spent so much time with her, educating her, teaching her, mentoring her- about the breeds, how to care for them, feed/housing....just about everything and answered all her questions. They both expressed how much they love to see young people interested in the animals so much. It was a great experience and worth the long trip there and home.

This week to come we will be having a Rabbit and Cavy 4H meeting, having the children help with more coops and gardens, working more on our Penguin study and diving into some science experiments, working on computer math, traveling to the library and more!

Happy Monday, may this week bring you much joy and adventure!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentines Day

We scored big time at a Michael's craft store that was closing and were able to pick up decorations and supplies for the kids to make home made valentine cards, for 90% off! Now that's my kind of sale, paid under $5.00 for two bags FULL of stickers, cards, ribbon, candy, paint, everything!

No snapshots of their cards but they used stickers and ribbon and wrote their own personal messages inside, its so much more special than a store bought card, that they took the time and energy and thought to make it important to the one who received it.

Above our fireplace...our 'mantel' or one day we hope to have an actual mantel there!
 A hidden corner by our daughters craft desk.
 On our son's homeschool table.
 Sneak peek into mailboxes from Mom and Dad...just a few items- a cute duck, a heart pez dispenser, knee high heart socks for our daughter and a neat magnetic car for our son.
 Along with a note and a card from Grame and Grandpa who live in California.

Happy Valentines, spend the day hugging your love ones, making sure they know how special they are and enjoying your family and friends.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Just DANCE....Ballet

When we 'started' this homeschool year, our daughter fully immersed herself into Ballet study...She checked out kind of encyclopedia of poses, movements, terms from the Library and made herself a study booklet where she took notes and drew pictures of ballet feet doing the positions. She also watched every documentary Netflix had available, checked out more video's from the Library and even hunted down a video on how pointe shoes were made. With the busyness of the holidays we beckoned the children to wait until after to start their classes, then finishing up moving into our new home, here we are in February already and she started her class this week.
She has never taken a dance class in her life.

She went into Ballet II and 'tried' the class- she kept up so well, she KNEW her positions. She was very serious, concentrating, working hard throughout the class. Her teacher asked her if she had lessons and she said 'no'. Her teacher came out to the parents waiting room to me and asked again- 'Did I hear you right, she has had NO lessons?' Again I said that is correct, NO lessons! Her teacher smiled and me and said 'WOW" 'She is an amazing natural dancer.' I did go on to tell her she home schools and has been diving into learning about ballet for months now- and her teacher responded 'Yes but to come into a class and apply it so well and gracefully from reading and watching, is amazing.'

What a know you think your children are amazing all of the time...but to hear from someone else that she is a natural and amazing, it warms my heart to the fullest.  The teacher then went in and told her the same thing and through the window of glass I peered at her from the parents waiting room, not being able to hear but just being able to see her expression...slight blush, humble, sweet, grinning from ear to ear, a 'thank you' and back to her positions working hard.

I believe she has found another great passion. She got into the car after the class and couldn't stop talking about how welcoming the girls were, how great the teacher was and how much she loved the classical music and exclaimed it did not feel like hard work at all- she loved it!

Amazing Moments.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Outdoors, Silhouette Craft, Peguin Study

Our weekend plans to enjoy the sun were quickly dismissed as the clouds rolled in and rain came on Friday. The beginning of last week started with temps upwards of 85 and we talked about water fun and summer time...I know in February right!? We soaked up the sun outdoors, working to clear the yard, playing in between, resting and making sure the chickens got their fresh air as well!


Silhouette Craft
I love crafty home projects, while the children painted their own pictures I got to work on Silhouette's of  the children I'd been wanting to do forever! I have seen them on plan white backgrounds, colored backgrounds but figuring out that I wanted them to go above our piano and with the children's love of music, especially 'Swan Lake' that they both can play I choose to do the background on sheet music.
I looked up free sheet music and ended up getting it and printing it from here: Music Scores
Swan Lake: Swan Lake Sheet Music printable
I took head shots of both the kids then used it to trace the outline and painted in black- I love how they turned out!

Penguin, Arctic, Sea Study
On the learning front next month is my big guy's 8th birthday. How time goes by so fast, truly. We are going to be heading to California to see family as usual during birthday times so this year we have decided to surprise him with a trip to Seaworld- he's been asking for the last few years to go so it should be a wonderful surprise for him! His sister knows we are going. We had lightly studied Penguins during the summer time but when talking about diving into Arctic and Sea studies they both wanted the main focus to be on Penguins again. This time I found some awesome teacher resources on Seaworlds website and we are using the 4-8th grade Penguins Study packet to start and also incorporating geography as we find out where the different types of penguins live. Our son loves maps! We checked out books and documentaries from the Library to supplement our study too.
Seaworld Study Guides: Sea Life Study Packs

Other Studies...
Caught in the act....a sweet sister reading out loud to her brother as he rests one afternoon.
 In other studies, our daughter still hung up on her Titanic research checked out more books as well as a promising book containing 'The History of Shipwrecks'- our son even asked to view that one with her. She is working on a presentation to the family about all she has learned because she is so excited about the topic! Love to see that passion!
 And we are finishing up our Dust Bowl studies this week, with a documentary we were waiting for several weeks from the library.  Our daughter read parts of the Grapes of Wrath book to accompany our studies but found the reading somewhat slow and difficult so after skipping over some but reading most we decided to go get the video and plan on having some discussions and writings about the characters and time period after that.

We hope your week finds you learning new things, exploring and enjoying life homeschooling!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Play Day

House work was calling today...laundry, dishes, vacuuming.  The kids rooms needed picking up, laundry folding as well as their bathroom scrubbed...but what did we do today? We PLAYED! Sometimes on a gorgeous day, you just can't waste the opportunity...chores were still there when we got home.

We ventured to the craft store and bought valentines day supplies to make our own cards and decorations, ate lunch out, went to the library to read, build with blocks, put together puzzles and relax, then to the lake, played on the big playground, scootered around the paths and stuck toes into the cold water and watch the sail boats go was a wonderful day...and in the words on my mother...

My children will not remember how clean I kept my house but they will remember the great times we spent together.

 Hope this weekend finds you making wonderful memories and savoring every second with your beautiful families.