Thursday, September 22, 2011


A confession: I've been a bit of a slacker with science experiments/activities.

But I've started to turn that around, and we all enjoy the activities. Since the language arts takes so much less time, energy and stress, it's okay to plan for things that take a little more prep work on my part!

Yesterday we did a bunch of activities about air, and what air can do. Our favorite: racing water drops across a piece of waxed paper!
(Bekah was involved too, but she just didn't make the shot)
The water droplets broke up as they were pushed across the finish line, but they all had a blast!

We haven't gotten this week's hideaway even started yet, but there's still time. It's only Thursday afternoon!!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Hideaway: African Hut

Last week we finished up the Medieval Period. We had a whirlwind tour this past week, touching on Turkey (yay!), China, India, Africa and Russia.
The project was making an African Hut.

We didn't have enough full-sized newspapers to make a roof (or the back, ahem) but it still came out cute!

On to Early Modern History, and Irish Dance classes (which have nothing whatsoever to do with this blog, but we're all excited anyhow).

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


Remember our lovely posters?

They came down. I was tired of using up so much tape to keep them up for a day.
Unfortunately a couple had been well-taped (Thursday, I think), so we now have a couple spots that will need some fixing-up work when we paint there next. *sigh*

I tried something new while still using the badges we already created: making a ribbon for each day with the 12 velcro circles on them. One of the ribbons doesn't hold the sticky well, so I'll need to sew them on (or buy more normal ribbon ;) ) but I think it will work!!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Mongol Yurt

This week we're learning about what was going on in Asia during the Middle Ages.
We haven't read as far as the Mongols yet, but the kids were excited to start on the Hideaway.

This was one that we had to improvise on their plans, since we don't have a round table I could give up for the week. I wasn't too gung-ho on eating on the kitchen floor. Such a party-pooper.

So we tried their "simplified" idea, which was much harder than their original plans. But at least it didn't take our table.
 It lasted a total of 10 minutes.

(watching for bad guys)

When it fell apart, I attempted to convert it into a new part of their "reading nook" in their bedroom.
Yesterday, the nook looked like this:

Today, adding in the hoop and sheet, it became:

We won't talk about the pile of books on the floor.
Jasmine is still Jasmine, even at 6. She thought it should go in the middle of the room as a play area, but I told her it's not strong enough for that. So this was her way of "getting back at me" without actually ripping it from the ceiling (because I told her it wasn't going back up once it fell).

Oh, right. I wasn't going to talk about it.

We still have some math to do today, but otherwise we're in great shape! That always feels good :)

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

One third done: second one starting!

I almost called it a "trimester" but don't want anyone even momentarily thinking I'm pregnant!

I realized this weekend that we'd finished the 1/3 mark. Not that I'm counting down, but I love seeing the fractions.
Yes, I'm a math geek. You had to ask??

So I thought this might be a good time to summarize what's working for us, what I wish we'd done differently, and anything else I think of.

badge system

Not working:
badge posters
Next year we'll come up with something that doesn't fall apart in the humidity. And maybe something smaller, so it doesn't take up every available inch of wall space!

Teach Your Child To Read in 100 Easy Lessons

Not working:
that exact copy of the book

Writing with Ease

Not working:
All the workbooks

I have to admit, I'm already starting to ponder ideas for next year. Thinking of songs about animals, etc...but for the most part I'm just loving this year. Even days like today, when the kids are all recovering from head colds and I'm praying I'm not getting it, I'm still enjoying the time and experience with the kids. It's magical, and I wouldn't trade it for the world!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Spelling Fun

Jasmine has a tough spelling list this week.
-er, -ir and -ur words. They all sound the same, so it's pure memorization to learn which is which.

So we've come up with silly sentences to help her remember. And it seems to be working well!

"I am a girl because girl has an in it."
"I wear a skirt because skirt has an i in it."
"You are a nurse. I'm not one, because nurse has an u in it."

Today we did a practice with sand.

She wrote the words in the sand.
The funniest part? My daughter, who hates pencils and pens, actually wrote the last word in the sand with a pencil.
I don't get it either.

After we finished, I did a quick quiz with her, asking her for the sentence for each of the 10 spelling words without seeing the word. She got all 10 right. So she should be ready for the test tomorrow :)

Hudson wanted to be involved, but I didn't really want to let him go to town with sand. So I gave him a pie pan with lentils. He had a blast and still made a mess. 

But it kept him from begging for Jasmine's sand!