A large family, homeschooling, adoption, special needs, whatever strikes my fancy, sort of blog.

A large family, homeschooling, adoption, special needs, whatever strikes my fancy, sort of blog.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Homeschool Week 4

I'm really enjoying homeschool this year.  

Part of the reason is because I don't have 2 kids fighting All Blessed Day Long any more because one of them is in school.

I'm also liking having us all learn and do TOGETHER.

This is our second (and final) week of learning about the United States.  

Did you know, that you can use 4 crayons/markers/colored pencils to color a US map and not have two touching states be the same color?  

It may take a couple of tries, but it can be done!

Eli is hiding his self inflicted black eye (it's really a cheekbone bruise).

Third time is the charm (with a little help from sis).

We also made Calder mobiles.  

And Greek bookmarks (we're reading the book of Matthew in the Bible, and it was originally written in Greek).

And today, we did Navajo inspired sand paintings.  

Which is awesome, because I bought all this craft sand YEARS ago, and we never use it. 

Their first pictures were things a Native American might draw.

Bri was a master at mixing colors.

Her "turquoise" looked like a globe before stirring.

My sand painting (excuse the goofy "are you going to take the picture??" look) 

Then they decided to start making whatever they wanted.  
With Eli, that always includes explosions of some sort.

Furby made a flag

Brianna's painting has hot colors on the left and cold colors on the right.  

I think one of the biggest reasons I'm enjoying this year is because I'm learning along with the children.  Having taught the SAME curriculum for 14 years, I was pretty sick of the same stories, the same projects, the same lessons.  

In a snit once, I remarked, "This is not about what I know, this is about what YOU know!  I've done first grade 6 times!  I know this material!"  It occurred to me that I didn't sound all that bright, if I had to do first grade half a dozen times!  

However, MFW is keeping me on my toes.  I'm learning to lay out all the books we'll be using the night before.  I'm learning what I can delegate to Brianna (like choosing two art projects from several options).  We're getting into a rhythm with our spelling curriculum (story and pretest Monday, 2 pages Tuesday and Wednesday, journal on Thursday, tests on Friday).  

If I could just read ahead a *bit* farther in the lesson plan book, so that I could have things on hand when we get to them, that would be great.  Once we pick up some yellow cake mix, Bri can make our "America" food:  New England Pumpkin Cake.

Trampoline Update

They like it!

They've been on it every day for the last week.

ALL of them, from Annaliese down to Hannah, are happy to have it.

Sure, there have been a few tears and mishaps.
This guy gave himself a black eye with his own knee, lol. 

But overall, I'd say it's been a great investment.  

Even if it does make me a little nervous sometimes.

Monday, August 27, 2012

World Cakes

This morning we got a chance to do last week's cooking project for school.  

My mom gave me these mini wedding cake pans years ago, and they were just right for our little globes.  

Eli chose to draw Africa. 

Jack picked South America.

Bri!  Don't eat the cake!

Brianna did Australia/Oceania 

Despite the whole "more work for mom" thing, I'm really enjoying our new curriculum so far.

 We're doing way more fun stuff than we usually do.  Because it's all planned in.

Eli put people on his continent.   

And one "swimming" in the ocean.
Where's a gummy shark when you need one, eh? 

Jack had people all over the place.  Somebody call the coast guard.  

Bri used her people as a boarder around the edge of the cake, and she went back and drew gel islands around her continent.  

 We had the cakes for snack when the teenagers got home from school, and they approve of our new curriculum, too, lol.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

School happenings

We're finishing up Week 3 of our curriculum.
We're studying the United States right now, and one of the tasks was to choose one of several USA projects in the Global Art book.  Brianna selected the "quilt" project, but instead of gluing squares of fabric to a piece of cardboard, she actually sewed and quilted it.  I helped her use my machine to embroider her name in the middle square, and I helped with the binding, but she did the rest herself.  She's considering making another one with larger squares for Katie.

It has been such a blessing to have Paul home since the accident.  

Not just because the children have passed my math comfort level, and he can help explain things to them, but that is certainly a nice bonus.

Hannah's teacher expects a lot from her class.

Unfortunately, Hannah has a hard time with sitting still and being quiet and paying attention to directions.  She's had to "move her clip" (her class' disciplinary visual aid) about half the days she's been in school.  

The big kids' school has Edline.  Sam's first updates are an A+ and an F.  Hmm.  The F was explained as, "Lost the syllabus, and late to class, missed some of the time for the classwork assignment."  Sigh. I'm hoping he can pull himself together quickly and get used to the school routine before his grades effect his ability to play football.  

Next week, we will continue our study of the United States, and the following week we start learning about Mexico!  I've already added a dozen movies to my Netflix queue for us to watch, and we will, of course, pick up some books from the library, but I would love to hear any suggestions you might have for "must learn/craft/do" ideas regarding Mexico.  :)

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Friday, August 24, 2012

How Do You Spell Amazing?

Hannah and her friend Joe, in a crib at the orphanage, September 2010.

Hannah and her siblings, August 2012

If you enlarge that picture, you'll see I caught her in mid air.  Seriously, it blows my mind.  The girl with one leg is jumping on a trampoline.

I keep thinking there's going to be something Hannah can't do, and she keeps proving me wrong.  She has incredible balance.  When she takes off her prosthetic leg, she can hop around the house, and even stand on one foot and carry on a conversation, something I occasionally have a problem doing with two legs.

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Thursday, August 23, 2012

Happy Birthday, Eli!

I presented Eli with a couple of options regarding his birthday, and he chose to get a trampoline for everyone to share.  So today, we went to go get one.

Thank goodness we have the wagon my friend Amy gave us!  That sucker was heavy!  But we hefted it out of the back of the van...

...and dragged it into the back yard...

...and dumped it off so we could put Hannah in the wagon and take her to school.  

After dropping Hannah off, we came home and did a craft.  

I let the kids pick their own styrofoam shapes at JoAnn's this morning for our flag holders.  

The boys chose bricks.  
We wrapped them in tissue paper and stuck foamy flag stickers around the edges.
You can't see the dots, but at the end of the school year, there will be 15 flags in each holder.  

Brianna chose a foam ring.  Her K teacher called her artwork "vibrant" years ago.  It still applies today.  :)  

The foam sticker flags and the flags came from Oriental Trading Co.

I tend to take a theme and run it into the ground, so when I saw some around the world stuff, I thought it would make a lovely addition to our around the world theme for school this year.  I haven't decided yet when I'm going to pass out the bouncy balls, but I'm sure they'll be a welcome diversion at some point.  

Another fun thing I ordered to go with our theme is Little Passports.
We just opened up our suitcase and did the puzzles today.  There are some online games that go along with it, which is great timing, because my kids are looking for new games right now.  I'm looking forward to opening the Mexico package when we hit school week 5.  (We are in week 3 right now.)  

As soon as Paul got home from his orthopedist check up (he's doing much better, and will be heading back to work soon), Eli was after him to assemble the trampoline.  

This cute little preying mantis wanted to help.

Paul got called away for a while, so we had nap time.  
Sadly, Eli was the only one of us who actually slept!  (I did have a "rest" which helped keep me going the rest of the day.)

Soon, progress was being made once more.  

The boys were "helping."

Brianna was taking pictures, including this shot of Hannah, sporting her Papa Murphy's sticker from our run to pick up pizzas before taking her to school.

The boys decided this would make a lovely boxing ring.  



72 springs on this thing.  

Soon, it was time for that pizza break, dinner!

Me and my homies this year.  <3 

After dinner, more trampoline assembly. 

Try not to notice the child in the background ON the trampoline while we're putting together the safety net.  Sigh.  

How on earth do we tie this net down?

Here, let me do that part!  It's almost like sewing!

Poor Hannah had already gone to bed by the time Paul picked Sam up from the football dinner he was at.  So she missed cake and presents.  

"I've been wanting to read this one!!"
Magic Tree House books.  He loves them.

We ended the evening with a round of Lego Minifigures.  The anticipation of wondering what they'll get is almost as good as getting new Lego guys.  We ended up with a pirate, a warrior, a DJ, a cowgirl, and a scary/creepy pink headed creature.  

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