Thursday, August 28, 2014

Fossil Rim Wildlife Center

We let the kids pick family excursions instead of parties for their birthdays this year.  Miss M chose to go to Fossil Rim Wildlife Center for her 7th birthday. We had gone a few years ago, but both Miss M and The Bug were fairly young.

This is a drive-through wild animal park where you can feed the animals from your car.  It focuses on endangered species.

The kids got to hand-feed a giraffe and it was the highlight of the trip.  (It was my favorite part, also.)

The Bug is already asking if we can go back for his birthday next May.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Learning About India Then and Now

We have spent the last few weeks learning about the country of India.  We started with the history of Ancient India, and moved on to the culture that exists today.  We read a number of books (our library had many to choose from) and watched several videos online.  Miss M also did some hands-on projects:

Hand-made clay bricks similar to those used in Mohenjo Daro.  This was a several-day project as we let the bricks air-dry in the sun.

A paper-plate peacock, the national bird of India.  We got our inspiration from The Crafty Chicken.

A tissue-paper lotus flower, the national flower of India.

Examining tastes of India.  I laid six spices from India out in dishes and Miss M and The Bug examined them using all of their senses.

Some were tastier than others!

We watched a video of ladies painting henna mehndis, and then Miss M made her own paper version.

Miss M etched styrofoam to make her own seal.

We also did our own version of painted elephants, and the Taj Mahal out of Legos.  This was a fun unit study for both of the younger kids.  Miss M loves to craft and adding these to her studies really helps bring them to life for her.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Poetry Tea and Feast of the Queenship of Mary

On Friday, we celebrated the Feast of the Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary by having a special tea.  We placed our lit candle and our blessed icon on the table, read from our Bible and said a decade of the rosary.

Miss M wanted to extend the time by reading poetry (she has been hosting regular family poetry readings every week), and so we grabbed several of our books and spent a pleasant hour taking turns reading poems. Our current favorites are Now We Are Six by A.A. Milne, and anything by Shel Silverstein or Robert Louis Stevenson.

The Boyscout even joined us (he is reading from a poetry for all ages app from his device.)

It was the perfect way to end our school week.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

The First Post In Almost a Year

(I am linking up to Weekly-Wrap Up at Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers and Collage Friday at Homegrown Learners this week.)

I ended up taking an unplanned blog-break the last ten months.  Going from one student at home to three including one in middle-school, plus some health issues and a fussy computer just drained any time or desire I had to blog.  However, since this is our family scrapbook, I really do miss having the memories of the little day-to-day things preserved, and I am hoping to return to regularly blogging this year.

Miss M (2nd grade) and The Bug (K4) went back to school in mid-July, although we eased in and are just now up to a regular schedule.  The Boyscout (9th grade) is studying right now for several Credit-by-Exam tests, and then will begin his school year the first week of September.  (Our public high school goes back on Monday and he wants to stick close to their schedule for now.)

Here is a little bit of what we are up to this last week.

The Bug has been very interested in math lately.  Here he is tracing the missing numbers, playing with playdough number mats, building a puzzle, matching up and lower case letters to make ladybugs, making numbers with shape blocks, and driving his car on road numbers.  We have also done quite a few pages in our our All About Reading books and worked on a bunch of oral rhyming games.  He loves to make up silly rhymes!

(Clockwise from top left:) Miss M is working on a civics unit using America, My Country from Our Lady of Victory (not an affiliate link).  We are doing Saxon 3 right now for math, and she insists on timing herself on the fact sheets.  Using my rooster-shaped kitchen timer adds some fun, apparently!  She is also doing lots of writing, both assigned and creating stories in her free time.  Miss M is studying Earth and Space science this year, but you can often find her and The Bug playing with our science tools - in this case our magnets.

As you can see, sometimes she works at her desk, sometimes at the kitchen table, sometimes on a clipboard in our reading corner, and often on the floor.  One of the benefits of homeschool is working wherever you are comfortable!