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.

Saturday, March 27, 2021

Our Week With A Big Box Of Loot

In 2019, back when we were doing races, Katie's prosthetist helped us apply for a grant to get her a running leg.  Approval came right before the world went on pause.  Since there were no more races, we decided to wait on building the leg.  

This process put me on the Challenged Athletes Foundation emailing list.  When an email came out about a virtual training program for high schoolers and kids about to go into high school, I signed Hannah up and then didn't think much more about it.  

More books to keep!  When I did the shopping for our Respite At Home bookstore treat, some of the books I was interested were not in stock, so they ordered them for me.  They're here now.  

I missed showing the girls' Celtic knot drawings last week.  

And their boomerangs.

I usually try to relate the art I assign to something, whether it's what the girls are learning about in flying or swimming science, or something related to the country we're studying, or a holiday we're about to hit.  This time I tied art & creative writing together.  The assignment was to follow the guided drawing to make a campfire, then write about camping.  

I found Katie's writing amusing.  "Most campers use trailers or tents.  Some use cabinets."  I'm picturing opening a kitchen cupboard and having a guy with a fishing vest and a hat wave at me.  

Cute little grass seed planters we started this week.  

Katie's bird grass has really taken off, whereas Hannah's snake planter is only sporting a few sprouts so far.  

The girls learned about bivalves in Swimming Creatures science, so I pulled out my beach finds from my trip to North Carolina for them to explore.  I miss the ocean.  I had a road trip to Santa Cruz and Los Angeles planned for March a year ago that got cancelled when everything shut down.  

One library pickup.  We've hit Antarctica now.  

Hot air balloons.  This was another draw and write project.  

The art project assigned for Antarctica was "meh" in my opinion.  They wanted us to paint watercolor snowflakes and sprinkle salt on them.  

Taking a little break from the Art Projects For Kids website, and picking up the Draw Write Now book 4, the girls drew penguins.  

Sam bought a car this week!  Lots of adulting going on here.  

Aurora borealis, also from the Draw Write Now book.

One day, a box showed up.  A rather big box.  It was addressed to Hannah.  Oh right, that thing I signed her up for!

When she started pulling things out, the brothers got very interested.  

"You got a quick ladder?" 

"And a water bottle!"

"And a med ball?" 

Altogether, it's quite a haul, from Challenged Athletes Foundation.  The goal is to get kids ready for high school sports.  Hannah will be in high school in the fall.  [blink, blink]  We're treating this like our PE program.  

Our second library pickup.  Since Antarctica is the last place assigned for us to study in our curriculum, I had the girls journal what country they'd like to learn about and why.  We'll be off to Nepal, the Galapagos Islands, Ireland, and Puerto Rico in the coming weeks.  

We did some stretching and I taught the girls how to "plank."  

I love that this piece of equipment will help the girls' eyes and feet work together more.  

Sam popped out in his slippers and showed us how it's done.  

I made sure to start us slow, and not overwork them.  I don't want them to be too sore tomorrow.  I didn't get any pictures of us using the handle tubes.  Since there are 3 of them, we were all doing those exercises together. 

Sam showed us a couple ways to use the heavy ball.  

And I realized the girls (especially Hannah) are going to need some more shorts soon!  

After playing with the equipment for a bit, the girls jogged around the block while I rode my bike alongside them.  We stopped at the Little Free Library in the neighborhood, and they each brought home a book.  They're looking forward to taking them back and trading them again.  I'm grateful that this anticipation means they're less likely to complain about running.  Reading makes a good reward.  

Katie is working on a penguin scene.  

And the finished scene.  The white paper represents glacier/iceberg, and the blue is ocean.  I think there's 10 penguins in there.  And the salt is snow.  Although, Antarctica is a desert, and gets very little precipitation--about as much as the Sahara.  

We started the process to grow Sea Monkeys.  It's just water at this point, but hopefully something interesting will happen next week.  

Trap season for Jack has started.  He's thrilled to be shooting again.  He's even helping with the younger team, so he gets out of the house for practice twice a week (plus shoots every other weekend).  

Shooting ranges and gun clubs are, by necessity, out in the middle of nowhere.  Today's location, however, was especially removed from the beaten path.  5 miles (no exaggeration!) off the road with lines, 2 miles from the nearest pavement, we got to this lake in the road.  Uh uh.  Not taking Matilda through that.  Jack circumnavigated the pond on foot and jogged to the range.  I could see the range from where I turned around, so I didn't feel too bad about ditching him there.  

Matilda got filthy on this epic adventure, 

so I stopped to give her a bath on my way home.  

Orcas and icebergs.  

Whew!  Lots of happenings this week!  We'll be finishing up Antarctica next week, then each of our bonus countries we'll do for just one week.  I think I'll hold off on the map post tests until the real end of the school year, as we're still playing the geography game each week, and I noticed when we review "old" continents there's some countries they're still uncertain on.  Maybe I'll bust out the world puzzles...  

Saturday, March 20, 2021

Our Spring Break Week

Our Spring Break was a week earlier than Jack's will be.  We're winding down the "year" in our curriculum, so after the next two weeks, I'll be cobbling together random bits to get us through the rest of our 180 days.  It's nice that we've worked really hard, and accomplished a lot!  If we were going to be homeschooling again next year, I'd just start on Creation to the Greeks, the next year of My Father's World.  But since the kids are headed back to school next year, I don't want to purchase the materials I'd need to do that for only 7 weeks.  

This project was something different.  The girls used glue over a very simple ocean scene, to make a raised picture.  Then we wrapped the cardboard with foil, and used a q-tip to outline the glue bumps.  The colors were added with Sharpie.  

Origami shamrocks

Katie's "stick & ink" (toothpick & liquid watercolor) drawing.

I'll just take a picture of the bookmarks the girls colored...  Oh Grumman.  

For some reason, Grumman spends more time on Katie's desk than on Hannah's.  So I took this picture on Hannah's.  

I'm fascinated at how different these faux tie dye paintings turned out!  We used pan watercolors, and a wet on wet technique.  Hannah used very little paint on her brush, and achieved a pastel look.  

Since this week was Spring Break, we didn't do any math or scheduled learning, but we did do art, projects, and some St. Patrick's Day related things, such as acrostic poems, journaling, summarizing a reading passage, etc.  

Our household seems to function best when we stick to our routine, at least a little bit.  

My leprechauns, Shenanigans and Malarkey.


The good news is, we had some sunshine, so we could take pictures!  The bad news is, there was sun while we were taking pictures.  Sigh.  

We had corned beef and potatoes for dinner, of course, but I realized even my lunch was green.  

Jack in his St. Patrick's Day shirt.

Josiah made cupcakes for me to frost and rainbow-ify.

books, books, books

Sam got his driver's license yesterday!  No grinning DMV picture, as he's about 6 years too old for that.  

These didn't turn out as well as I had hoped they would.  Shamrock watercolor paintings with gold paint marker accents.  

Katie's St. Patrick

Katie's plate bunny

And a lousy picture of Grumman.  He snagged a pipe cleaner animal, and decided to combine two of his favorite things:  Pipe cleaners, and shoe smell.  I'd toss the pipe cleaner for him, and he'd bring it back to the shoes.  If we could combine rattle, shoe smell and pipe cleaner, I think he'd be ecstatic.  

I've been doing some thinking about what I want to do in the autumn when the kids head back to school, and I just completed the first training to be a volunteer ESL tutor through our library system.  I'm not 100% sure this is the road I'm heading down, but I wanted to at least explore the option.  I love books and literacy related causes, so this seems like a good fit.  As Josiah pointed out, I'd be helping other people become productive members of society.