Monday, August 6, 2012

Cousin Camp, Baxters and Ice Cream

 We went to Baxter's Bunch Playhouse on Monday for some bouncy-house fun!


"Hurry Lia!   Let's do it again!"  (with Ainsley)
"Hey Mom!  Look at me!"
Action shot.

 And ice cream makes everyone happy! 

Jed, Emily, Olivia, Charlotte and Ainsley

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Cousin Camp, The Cousins Arrive!!!

So things were fairly quiet at Pop Pop's house till Monday... and then things got a lot louder and a lot more fun!

Lia, Ainsley, David, Christopher, Jed and Annaliese. 

 Same as above plus Emily
(It looks like we were missing Olivia, Charlotte and Anthony)

 David was so excited to play with cousin Anthony!


And Anthony enjoyed "getting David!"

Cousin Camp, Museum of York County

We travelled to Rock Hill, South Carolina for cousin camp again this year.  Since we travelled on Friday and "camp" did not officially begin until Monday, we had some free time to explore Rock Hill and found the Museum of York County only 10 minutes from Pop Pop's house!  What an excellent find by my husband.  There is a naturalist center, a planetarium, nature and history exhibits and even a hiking trail.


The plain front on the building does not do this museum justice!

Checking out the Naturalist Center

Lia playing with a hands-on exhibit of the solar system.


Well... we are a homeschoolng family and there were a lot of great books!

Emily holding hands with the polar bear!

HomeSchooling Plan 2012-2013

I have spent quite a lot of time planning our upcoming school year and wanted to get it all written out.  I started talking about math a while ago and then never got back to finishing the other subjects.  So here goes:

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Science:  We are using Apologia Science this year and the kids picked:  Exploring Creation with Astronomy  We will do science as a family by reading and discussing the chapters around the kitchen table.  David and Emily will both have the notebooking journals which I assume will have extra activities inside.  I like that there is a "junior" variety for David so he can practice his writing and I also like that there are "living book" recommendations for supplemental reading.  And best, I am so excited that there is a lab kit so I don't have to run around gathering supplies for our experiements.  Supposedly, my lab kit has everything I need ready to go.

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Math:  As my last post stated, we will continue on with Singapore Math.  Emily begins 3B, David begins 2A, and Lia begins EarlyBird Kindergarten.  Since I am familiar with the EarlyBird Kindergarten from doing it with David, I am excited for Lia to have her own book with so many cutting and pasting activites to work on fine motor skills.  Since she is starting so young like David did, I am very glad that we can progress at a slow pace without any pressure.  Poor Emily has had to do math all summer to stay on track because I didn't realize the demands of the 3rd year course.  Last year we only did Math 4 days a week at home due to our co-op day and that easily put us behind almost 5 weeks!  I won't do that again this year.

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Latin:  I am very excited to start our real Latin studies with Lively Latin.  To add a little motivation, I'll even be teaching a latin introduction for the 1st six weeks at our co-op.  No pressure!  Since I knew nothing, I have already gone through the introduction and first two lessons of Lively Latin and feel much more comfortable already.  It is an excellent program for a beginner.  The, magistra (teacher), Catherine Drown put together little video clips, about 5 min long, summarizing each lesson.  She immediately put me at ease because each lesson only covers a small amount of information and she explains everything beautifully.  Even better, she weaves in ancient roman history and includes pictures studies of beautiful art.  The first lesson covers the painting, Romulus and Remus by Paul Rubens and discusses all the symbolism in the masterpiece.  All around, it looks interesting, fun and not boring which is probably the most important part!  David may take part in some lessons from Song School Latin at home and in our co-op.  I haven't finished reviewing this curriculum so the jury is still out.  We shall see!

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Religion:  Emily will continue with Faith and Life.  She enjoyed the online program, My Catholic Faith Delivered, and looked forward to her faith studies last year, even asking if she could do more each week.  It is pretty much a no-brainer to continue on with this program.  David and I formally work through the lessons in the The New St. Joseph Baltimore Catechism each week.  We will begin this year at Chapter 10, which is where we left off last year.  We simply read the chapter together and do the questions at the end out loud.  If he misses any, I just keep asking him each day till he gets it right.  As part of our family time, I would like to work through Leading the Little Ones to Mary.  Each chapter is a simple discussion and it is a very sweet book.  I also got Margold Hunt's, A Life of Our Lord for Children.  So far, I have enjoyed reading it! 

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History:  In the classical cycle, we start over this year with Ancients.  Emily's latin program will cover the history of ancient Rome so I will focus on that with her.  I purchased The Mystery of History, volume 1 Creation to Christ for her to read but I'm not planning on doing the activities or chapter questions as we have enough going on.  She'd be more happy just reading it for enjoyment factor anyway.  David will use Story of the World, volume 1 Ancient Times.  Emiy and I went through most of this book 2 years ago and she has read and re-read the book because she liked it so much.  I purchased the audio CD for the car and we will make sure and listen to each chapter this year and then David and I will go through the activity book together.  I really like the geography lessons from this program as well.  And if that isn't enough, all the children will memorize important dates in ancient history as well as our timeline work at our co-op, Truth and Grace.

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Poetry:  We will continue to memorize selections from The Harp and Laurel Wreath.
Last year, David memorized many of Robert Louis Stevenson's poems, which all have a nice rhythm, like Windy Nights, The Land of Counterpane, The Cow, and Travel which was the longest poem I have ever seen... We worked on Travel for about 2 months as a family effort!  Emily began to learn some really difficult poems last year like:  Columbus by Joaquin Miller, The Flag Goes By by Henry Holcomb Bennett and The Village Blacksmith by Henry Wodsworth Longfellow.  Emily loves to memorize poetry and is very good at it!  So anyway, we'll just keep doing that kind of stuff next year as I love the idea of filling their minds with such beautiful language.

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Spelling:  We use Spelling Workout.  Emily will finish level C and begin D.  David will finish Level B this year.  The kids do the excercises and I give them a test on the words.  If they miss any, then I just add those words to the next week till they get them right.  This year I may have Emily type her spelling words to practice her typing we spent so much time learning how to do last year with BBC Dance Mat Typing

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Grammar:  Emily will continue with our work in Essentials of the English Language.  While we won't be enrolled in a class this year, I plan to have her parse and diagram sentences weekly from last year's course work and work on memorizing the grammar mastery charts.  She will also get quite a bit of grammar review in her latin studies so I'm glad we made such good progress in this subject last year.  David will continue in First Language Lessons where we left off last year:  Lesson 66 (Level 1).  My goal is to finish the level 1 book and continue on to level 2.

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Literature:  David and Emily will continue to read from The Mother of Divine Grace Literature list for their grade levels.  Our family read-aloud is currently Mariel of Redwall and we read a chapter every morning before getting dressed and ready for the day.  The Redwall series is written so beautifully that I will read these books aloud as long as the kids will let me!  We are currently on book 4.  For summer reading, Emily has been enjoying Rick Riordan's series:  Percy Jackson and the Olympians and the Kane Chronicles.  These books weave in Greek and Egypt mythology into the stories which is also a great preview for our Ancient studies this year.

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Phonics:  David will go through Sound Beginnings this year.  He will memorize the 72 phonograms of the English Language plus lots of spelling rules.  I did this with Emily 2 years ago and can attest to the fact that this curriculum is very thorough! 

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Reading:  Lia is currently going through Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons.  We struggled with the lessons the first go-through and ended up stopping around Lesson 9 and starting over.  The second go-round went much smoother and was a lot easier for her and for me!  She is currently making good progress and we are at Level 13.  If I successfully teach David and Lia to read from this $12 book, it will be the best purchase I have ever made.  David reads aloud each day from Seton's Faith and Freedom Readers.  He is currently reading from the 2nd Grade book 2 of 3.

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Writing:  Emily will use IEW's Ancient History Based-Writing program through a class at our co-op.  She will attend an hour long class on Tuesdays and then finish her writing assignments at home.  David will continue his work with The Complete Writer:  Writing With Ease Level 1.

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PE:  David and Lia will continue with the AcroKidz through The Woodlands Diving Acadamy.  From the website:  Acrokidz is a “dryland” class that teaches beginning diving technique and behavior in a “gymnastics based” setting in our gym (not the natatorium). The AcroKidz feeds into the diving classes  And Emily will start diving this year.

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Co-op stuff:  Our weekly co-op will cover fine arts, presentation practice, classical memory work, bible study, and "social interaction"... among other things I'm sure.

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Extracurricular for Emily:  Choir, Tae Kwon Do, and potentially Girl Scouts (still discerning this)

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Extracurricular for David:  Flag Football, Tae Kwon Do, and Cub Scouts (a pack of primarily homeschooled boys.

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Extracurricular for Lia:  Potentially swim lessons at FINS but I'm still discerning about this too.

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So I think that's about it!  We just need to start doing it.  (No pressure!)  Full time school starts the week of August 20th for us.  I suspect we will ramp up slowly.  Wish us luck!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Happy 4th of July!

We made it to the 4th of July parade this year.  As usual, it was very hot!!!  The kids love going to this event and we have our parking and routine down to a science so here we are!  As usual they collected lots of candy, toys and assorted goodies which is why we keep coming back.

My smiley, patriotic girls drinking lemonade at the parade.

Emily scored a very cool hat!

David wasn't smiling for the camera that day... but he was there!

Everyone liked this truck.

Lia scored a little glider.

New Stove!


It is probably silly to put this on my blog... but I am so excited about my new stove top!  My old stove was a little querky.  All the burners worked but only certain combinations of two burners could be used at the same time.  If you chose the wrong combination, the stove made these annoying clicking noises.  It was old and difficult to clean and long story short, I should have replaced it 7 years ago when we moved in!  Unfortunately, it was delivered without the drip pans and I had to pester Sears to mail them to me.  They neglected to tell me I should expect 2 packages so when I got the first package I was upset that only 2 of the 4 pans fit my stove!  After many phone calls I was told there was another box coming.  When it finally arrived, the two drip pans I needed were in that package but the whole process was a little frustrating!Regardless, I am enjoying my stove and no longer burning all my meat due to my inability to handle all this power!

Vacation Bible School

The kids and I look forward to Vacation Bible School every year.  It is a very fun and busy week.  This year I led David's group with Helen again and even though Lia is in this picture, she actually joined her own group starting on Wednesday.  I was very proud of my 'big girl' who usually insists on staying with Mommy.


Parachute Games in the Gym = Big Hit with the Kids

Pass the hula-hoop... but no hands allowed!

Learning the dance moves to all the fun faith-filled music.