Sunday, September 25, 2011

Last Summer Hoorah

I considered this a fairly normal week.  It was rainy, as usual this time of year, so it was Thursday before we got outside for any extended length of time.  Our wooded trail was recently bush-hogged so we went for a hike on it and saw some interesting things.  A new baby turtle now resides in the terrarium, and is so cute!
Baby T in child's hand
DS and I were both freaking out with all the spider webs, so found long sticks to wave in front of our faces to avoid the unpleasantness.  It did help, and I'm sure we made quite the spectacle for any animals that were watching from their hidey-holes :)

I saw something I had never seen before, and would have missed it again if not for my eagle-eyed son.  It was a mama spider carrying her freshly-hatched babies on her back!  I didn't have my good camera, so no picture is available, but it was fascinating!  All the babies didn't fit, or maybe she moved because we surprised her, but we saw eensy-weensy spiders crawling on the forest floor, and mama spider about 6 inches away, blending in pretty well except for all the other eensy-weensies moving around on top of her. 

Later that day, we both started itching :(  I have over 100 bites of some sort, and he has probably 10-15.  I picked off Lord knows how many miniscule ticks (baby deer ticks, I believe) but many had already bitten.  No, I didn't wear repellant of any type!!  Lesson learned...again.  For some reason, I have a hard time learning this one in particular.  So, for a few days, I've been doped up on generic benadryl and using up prednisone, Renew bath oil, and generic Solarcain just to be able to sleep.  Needless to say, the weekend hasn't been very productive.

In addition to our last summer hoorah (which technically was the first day of Autumn), we started filming our Lego Education video.  They have a contest going on right now, and we hope to win some cool sets - maybe robotics?

Also, The Old Schoolhouse magazine is going all digital, and since I'm a subscriber of the print magazine, they offered lots of freebies from their advertisers to compensate (I suspect).  I spent one afternoon signing up for freebies and still haven't delved into them all yet.  However, my son loves KinderBach, so that deserves a mention.  It is geared towards preschoolers, so is a bit young for an almost-seven-year-old, but he zips through a week's lessons each day, enjoying playing on our small keyboard, using rhythm instruments and dancing to the songs.  We skip the accompanying work pages involving coloring, cutting and pasting - he just doesn't enjoy that sort of thing.  Just last week I started him on the basics of music using, so KinderBach has been good to go along with that more adult method of learning.

Other highlights this week....

One of the card structures he built this week
We finished Peter Pan (a free read for Ambleside Year 1) and have started Charlotte's Web.  He really pays attention well to the chapter books now.  I also added some Scholastic worksheets (a free special from Teacher's Express) for writing and math, intending to use them just 1-2 days a week to show him other ways to apply what he is learning.  As for phonics, I took a break from Progressive Phonics and am doing a bit of review using Tanglewood lessons (scroll down to Reading and click on the apple for free pdf).  We'll start PP's Advanced Book 5 next week, and continue it for at least 2 weeks.  The stories are getting harder and the books longer at the same time, so there will be no rushing through one in a week anymore.  Between books 4 and 5, we started reading Adventures in Science, a 1951 copyrighted early reader that used to be his great-grandma's.  I love old books!

For Bible, we stuck with the story of Joseph and his brothers all week.  Those are some long chapters in Genesis for a 6 year old to get through!  But we persevered and he narrated them just fine, as long as I stopped every paragraph (Genesis 42-45).

We continued memorizing scripture, and he finally selected a poem to memorize as well: "The Moon" by Robert Louis Stevenson.  It has some tough words, but I thought it appropriate for this time of year (Harvest Moon), and we are also doing a moon study that I made up.  I printed up a couple of blank calendar sheets and we are checking the sky each night, and drawing the moon (although so far its only been clouds!).  We've talked about phases, and I think it will really click once he draws it for a few weeks.  We'll get some moon books from the library as well, and see where it takes us.

Lastly, I finally showed him the concept of a time-line (would like to try this digital one as well), and where some of the stories we had read so far fit into it, as well as where creation and Jesus' birth and his own birth fell.  He was interested that the Twin Towers fell before he was born - for some reason, seeing it in the timeline made it more believable for him.  (I only included that because its the only modern-day history we've talked about thus far.)  As a side note, he just realized this week that the history stories we've been reading actually  happened - it blew his little mind!  Thank you, timeline!

In non-homeschooling news, our county is starting a foster parent association, and I'm excited about the possibilities that holds.  I was a guest blogger at See Jamie Blog.  I had another United Way presentation to attend, and contacts to make.  Life is busy, and good!


  1. I saw a neat moon activity once that helps kids understand how the phases of the moon come from the sun's position in relation to the moon, and both in relation to the Earth. It involved a light bulb (the sun), a biggish ball (the Earth) and a smaller ball (the moon). The light was placed in the middle of the room, the 'Earth' revolved around it, and the moon revolved around the Earth. It really showed how the relative positions of all these bodies. I don't think I'm explaining all that clearly - but here is a web page that describes a similar lesson:
    It really made it clear for me.
    p.s. I bopped over from Ableside. Thanks for sharing your blog. Fun stuff.

  2. Hi,

    We found you through Ambleside. Sorry about the bugs. Do you have the plantain herb growing near you? A friend of mine has been encouraging mamas to collect it and store it to use for bug bites, cuts, etc. The turtle is adorable, and not I'm off because of fatigue.

  3. I like your poetry choice! It does fit well with this time of year. I love the little turtle, too. We have toads around here in the Summer, but y'all down South have us beat as far as little critters go.

  4. I don't know if we have plantain or not-I'm still trying yp learn what is growing in my yard, lol. I will try to find out.
    Lindsey, we have about got The Moon down now :). I think I'm going to use it for copy work the next two weeks to finish off the term...