Thursday, May 17, 2012

Our Next History:)

I am so excited about our new History for this coming school year!  I decided on A Living History of Our World Vol. 1 by Angela O'Dell published by QueenHomeschool. I love the story form of it and the student Notebooks!

I also ordered Hands and Hearts American History Kits for some fun add-on projects. I ordered the Early American and the Westward Expansion Kits.

  On the weeks that are not so busy we will also listen to one chapter a week of The Story of the World Vol. 3. The kids Love hearing Jim Weiss read this while they color the pages from the activity guide.  Our local library also offers many great choices for those weeks when we want to add more:) That's the great thing about this curriculum is we can add more if we want to or not if we do not want to:)

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Great Spring Day on the Coast

Since dogs were not allowed in the Animal Forest
 these guys waited for me and Megan. When we came out
Tyler had 2 flowers for us that he picked up off the ground. So Sweet!

Our flowers from Tyler!

I've been telling the kids forever that I wanted to take them to Charles Towne Landing and Folly Beach as this is the place I spent all my spring breaks as a child.  Well neither was the same as it was when I was a child and my kids did not feel the same love there that I did but we still had fun.  The weather was PERFECT with a great breeze.

Saturday, March 03, 2012

Broom standing by itself--Wow

Today everyone was posting on Facebook about the freestanding broom and a few friends posted pics. I thought it was a hoax until I tried it for myself. It actually worked! I could not believe I had never heard about this until today.  Somedays, like today, I love Facebook!

 If you Google this there are lots of links telling about why it is that the broom can do this. The-truth-to-the-broom-trick   Now if I can figure out how to get it to clean the entire house by itself:)

The Robin and I

Here in South Carolina it's a cozy, raining morning and the Robins are really enjoying themselves in the rain!

Tyler had to memorize this poem from his Abeka book when he was in first grade now it's also in Megan Primary Language Lessons book so this month we are revisiting this cute little poem so Megan can also memorize it. They really Love this poem:)
The Secret
We have a secret, just we three,
The robin, and I, and the sweet cherry-tree;
The bird told the tree, and the tree told me,
And nobody knows it but just us three.

But of course the robin knows it best,
Because she built the--I shan't tell the rest;
And laid the four little--something in it--
I'm afraid I shall tell it every minute.

But if the tree and the robin don't peep,
I'll try my best the secret to keep;
Though I know when the little birds fly about
Then the whole secret will be out.

Friday, March 02, 2012

Pond Dipping:)

A few years ago we did a pond study nature class and ever since it's been one of our favorites.  When I got home I printed a chart just like our teacher Miss. Chanda used and laminated it so there is no worry about it getting wet.  We did another Nature Class recently and our teacher Ranger Jay had these really great, inexpensive, portable microscopes! I came right home and ordered one! Only $63.99 Shipped!  I am so glad I did too. We've been getting so much use out of it! Yesterday my husband had a vacation day so we took it to one of our favorite ponds and got to see so much detail of the little pond critters.  There was even some pond life that was the size of an ink pen tip but under the Microscope we could see him so clearly kicking his little back legs!

I placed each critter in the Petri Dish and matched it up on our chart to take a picture of it. 

 After we finished our pond study I gave the kids their nature journals to work in and then we went for a nice walk. It was a great day!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Junie B. Jones-- Jingle Bells, Batman Smells

Today we went to our favorite Children's Theatre to see Junie B. Jones-- Jingle Bells, Batman Smells. Yesterday I taught the kids the Old Batman Smells song so this morning around the house and on the way to the show they were singing this song over and over!!  It was cool that the director who we love was also in the show! How cool!! The staff; once again, did a great job!!!!   I love good, clean comedy!   Even though I know you'd have to see the entire show to fully get it this was the scene that had me chuckling a second longer than everyone else:  

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Exploring Charlotte Mason

While I had heard the name Charlotte Mason I didn't think much about it. Through the years we've explored ABeka - School at Home, Five in Row Unit Studies, The Classical Well-Trained Mind, a little Sonlight and the list goes on.  I finally decided eclectic, using a little of this and little of that is what suited us:)    Two years ago we began Nature Classes with a small group of moms and several of them used Charlotte Mason. Hmmm.... what is that? One mom told me about Ambleside and how much they loved Shakespeare. At first thought of hearing this I thought well that doesn't sound like something we would enjoy.  Then I began hearing more and more. This fall I joined a local CM Co-op and loved everything we were doing!  Wow, this is CM. So I began more research and asked to borrow The Charlotte Mason Companion from one of the moms.  I'm still reading it and will return it to her the next time we meet. More and more I love all that I learn about this approach.  The mom I borrowed the book from sent me many, many wonderful links covering more about CM.  I have read so much the past couple of weeks trying to break it all down and figure it out. While some of what we do already falls in line with what CM explains I want us to continue on to add more and more CM to our days:)

From reading this is my understanding so far:
  • Short Lessons 15-30mins
  • Narration
  • Dictation, which reinforces spelling
  • Transcription (Copywork)
  • Grammar
  • Free Afternoons for Handicrafts, Cooking, Gardening, Visiting lonely neighbors, Playing an instrument, Exploring nature,
  • Living Books (Not Textbooks expect for Math)
  • No "grades" or homework, this is taken care of through the lessons each day
  • Few Lectures
The Study areas include:
  • Nature Studies
  • Art
  • Music Hymns/Folksongs
  • Picture/Artist Study
  • Music Appreciation
  • Poetry including Shakespeare
  • History
  • Science
  • Math
  • Handicrafts
  • Literature
You can learn more here:

Simply Charlotte Mason
Jimmies Charlotte Mason Q & A

Monday, May 16, 2011

Lily Fest 2011

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Yesterday was the first time we had ever been to Lily Fest or to Landsford Canal State Park.  I must say we had a wonderful time!! The weather was perfect and everything was just so lush and green! There was a bit of a crowd but not too much, actually just enough to make it interesting I thought.  We first made our way down the Nature Trail to the Spider Lily Overlook where there was a biologist answering questions and telling us more about the Canal, Spider Lilies and such.
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As we were walking away someone spotted a snake that was at the bottom of a tree that Todd had been leaning against so we turned around to see what kind of snake and such. Thankfully it was harmless and was actually even getting ready to shed his skin so he could not even see us. The biologist picked the snake up, told us more about it and let the kids pet him before turning him loose again to continue on his way.  After viewing the Spider lilies we proceeded on along a new trail, being on trails we’d never seen before was such a grand adventure for us. Lily Fest 147
Along the trail Tyler spotted a 13 year Cicada!!! How cool was that!! The sound was incredible down in the woods unlike anything we’d ever heard before. I was glad I had my ipod and that my camera does video so that I could capture some of this.  Hard to believe these will not be seen here again for another 13 years.
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As we journeyed on we bumped into some really nice people and a local camera club that was setting up to take pictures of 2 models.  They enjoyed getting to have Hank also be one of there subjects and he enjoyed all the attention! One of the ladies continued to talk with us for some time and said how great it was that we homeschooled and she hopes to one day as well.  Love all the positive response we always get! 
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Along the path we come upon so many amazing textures in the rocks and such that had once been the Canal that was used for transporting to and from Columbia.  On our way back a snake flew across our path faster than I could take his picture, poor thing….We scared him far more than he scared us! 
Lily Fest 302Lily Fest 319  Lily Fest 320  I also got to get some pictures of this rather interesting spider some sort of Fungi growing at the bottom of a tree. I still have to research to find out what this fungus was.
Oh and how could I forget the Bald Eagle and her nest!!
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This was the first time we had ever seen a Bald Eagle or Nest in the Wild! It was amazing! I was wishing she was closer to us. That or to have had one of the Amazing Zoom lenses I saw while we were there.  We’ve been many places such as airshows but the ones we saw here were the biggest I’d ever seen. On my wish list is one of those super zooms. I also want a 10mm for a wider landscape pic and a nicer body later.  No hurry as I know there will be time for those expensive toys later. After our hike we got the $3 hot dog special and the kids played on the playground while me and Hank made the uphill hike to get the car. By the time I made it back with the car Megan had managed to slip off the monkey bars and her her ankle. She’s still limping on it today!
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