Greatly Blessed

Greatly Blessed

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Our School is Almost Over Week


Confession?  Some of these pictures are actually from last week.  They just didn't make it into the last weekly wrap up post.  So this one is a little image heavy.  If you missed it, we took a field trip to the County Fair on Thursday.


Hey, look!  I sewed!  These little star print waffle knit pajamas are for Luke.


Speaking of Lukey...


He found the texture on Annaliese's jacket collar fascinating.


Brianna had her last game of the soccer season.  They made it to the playoffs!


It was an intense game, but the other team beat us by one point.


Afterwards, we stopped on the way home for a little consolation lunch.  And some giggles.


Remember how last week the kids finger painted?  Here's another one of those early childhood activities:  play dough.  We're using the light weight Model Magic from Crayola because it's very easy to work with.


We tried the color diffusing paper again!  With liquid watercolors this time.  I got droppers out of our miscellaneous science kit leftovers box and let them go crazy.


Then we sprayed the paper with water to diffuse the colors.


The next day, when the diffused pages were nice and dry, we talked about the butterfly life cycle, and I had the kids draw butterflies while I was reading to them.  Then we folded our colorful diffused sheets in half and cut a B shape out of them.


With a pipe cleaner to hold the paper in place and to serve as antennae, we had beautiful, colorful butterflies!


The Kwik Stix made an appearance this week when the kids drew while I read to them.


We finished up learning about Napoleon, which inspired Jack's drawing.  The black spots are cannon balls.


A picture from last week that was on my phone.  Everybody had fun hanging out with Annaliese when she was here.


Swim banquet for Sam and Soccer banquet for Brianna have happened.  All the sports are wrapped up for the year now.  Whew!


Annaliese is still a little taller than Eli, but not much!  He's grown so much this year.


Bri was with her friend when they had a little fender bender.  Fortunately, they were in the neighborhood, so I hung out with them until the other mom could come and take over the details.  Even something scary or unpleasant can turn into a learning situation, and it was a good conversation starter for how to deal with an accident, even though Brianna isn't driving yet.

I had a little bit of a revelation when I realized that school doesn't have to be full blast educating until the last day and then stop! like turning off a tap.  I've relaxed a little.  There are going to be a few things that just don't get done.  I'm working on being okay with that.  This coming week is our last week of school, and it's really only 3 days, since Monday is a holiday, and Thursday is the last day of school.  Rather than focusing on "finishing strong" I'm going to try to "finish sane" this year.


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Friday, May 27, 2016

Field Trip: Sacramento County Fair


Although we don't do much with the local homeschool group, I am on the email list, and when the fair field trip comes up, I jump at the opportunity to get us in free.  If you want a peek back at previous trips, here's 2015 and 2013.


Like a good paranoid mama, I took pictures of each of the children before we went in, just in case we got separated.  I made the mistake of telling Jack to show me his "lost face."  Next, we applied sunscreen and got our group name tags (which included my phone number--again, just in case!).


We started off by going to see the wild animals, brought down by a rescue organization based near Portland, OR.  This tiger is 3 years old, and the man we talked to remembers bottle feeding it when it was just a kitten.


When we were looking at the wallaby, Katie saw the map and made sure to let me know that the wallaby was from Australia.

After the wild animals, we cruised through a vendor hall and some exhibits.  Katie tried to tell me the cakes were "not real."


Next we visited all the farm animals.  We got to pet bunnies.  I was hoping to run into another homeschooling mama whose kids were showing goats, but we didn't see them.


And chickens, too!  The chicken owner said she had just given it a bath, so her feathers were nice and soft.  I had no idea you could bathe a chicken!


We saw monster trucks.


I try to do the fair super cheap.  We get free admission and free parking passes as part of a homeschool group.  And we bring our own lunches, because it's cheaper than fair food.  Plus, the kids still think that Lunchables are a huge treat, anyway.


While we dined, we caught the Chinese acrobat show!


Katie and Hannah, watching the girls doing Chinese yo yo tricks.


I didn't get any pictures of the contortionist.  It kind of creeped me out to see someone's head on the ground, knees in the air, and feet beside their face.


Honestly, I thought last year's Chinese acrobat show was better, but it was still fun to watch.


Normally, we don't even do rides, but I heard about a Groupon when we signed up for our homeschool group trip, so I splurged on some cheap tickets.


First the girls did a couple kiddie rides.


Then we all went on the merry go round together.


Took a moment to teach the girls the proper way to mount a horse.


Jack was just delighted to be on the carousel.  I told him that after that we'd go find the more exciting rides.


This looks exciting!


I thought it just spun around.  When it started going up on one side, I wondered if he was freaking out up there, but he liked it.


Katie and Jack went on the swings next.


Which was fun, until the ride stopped working and they just sort of hung there for a while before one of the staff hit some emergency button that lowered the swings all the way to the ground.


We all went on the Ferris wheel together.  Hannah doesn't like heights, but she did fine with this.


This one?  Not fine.  When Jack walked up to the ticket guy, he said, "No single riders."  So I asked Hannah, "Do you want to go on with Jack?"  She went, but the guy ended up stopping the ride to let them off and then starting it back up again for everyone else.


We all went down the medium sized wavy slide.  That was another one that Hannah was not crazy about.  But she liked the bees and the jeeps and the motorcycles.


It was getting pretty warm, so we walked through one of the buildings and I got the kids souvenier water bottles to enjoy on the ride home.  All in all, it was a really nice day!


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Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Sunya Math Game


It's the time of the school year where nobody wants to "do school" very much, so it's nice to get the opportunity to review a game that's educational.  The kids have fun, we get to skip boring math drills, and it's okay to be squirmy while we play.  Win win!


We received Sunya - The Magic and Wonder of Math and Science, Adding and Subtracting from Sunya Publishing.  Sunya Publishing also offers The Magic and Wonder of Math and Science, Multiplication and Division.

What's in the package?  2 decks of colorful cards, a number line, and a comb bound instruction book, the School and Homeschool Teacher/Parent Guidebook.  The Crew was asked to weigh in on whether they preferred color or black and white for the interior pages of the guide book.  Personally, I'm fine with the black and white pages.  Adding color, while nice, wouldn't really make all that much difference.  It's not a game where pieces are different colors, and a black and white instruction booklet might be confusing.


We were excited about the new game, so we got it out and started playing with it without even reading the rule book.  We simply took turns making number sentences.  I really enjoyed hearing the kids say, "Six plus four equals ten!" or "Thirteen minus nine equals four!"  Even after I stopped playing, I could tell they were getting great basic operations review.


The rule book is a little overwhelming, but it offers variations in ways to play, as well as math activities and fun riddles.  The riddles were puns and brain teasers, and I read several of them to the older kids.  Even the teens got a chuckle (or a groan!) out of them.  It's adding a little bit of logic to math time.  Another suggestion I liked from the guide book was that very young mathematicians might enjoy simply matching the cards to each other, thus becoming more familiar with numbers and their names.

Math and Science {Sunya Publishing Review}


We learned that Sunya is pronounced Soon-yuh.  It's a Sanskrit word that means empty, much like our word "zero."  When a player uses their last card, they say, "Sunya!"  We played a simplistic version of the game, simply making number sentences and not really competing against one another, so we didn't use that part, but I imagine kids would enjoy shouting it as they play their last card.


Jack and Hannah enjoyed brushing up on their math facts in this fun and interactive way.


We've played several times now over the past month, doing both addition and subtraction number sentences.


Although the parent teacher guide book says ages 7 to adult, we taught Katie the most basic version of the game.  She is learning simple addition and subtraction, so this was perfect for her.


Sunya Publishing is brand new, and doesn't have any social media accounts yet, but you can contact them through their website.  Some Crew families received the Addition & Subtraction game, and other families received the Multiplication & Division game.  To read more reviews from other Crew families, please click the box below.  

Math and Science {Sunya Publishing Review}

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