Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Back to School 2014

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I can hardly even wrap my head around the fact that I have a middle schooler, a freshman, and a SENIOR this year.  So proud of my hard working big kids, but to my mind, they should still be in elementary school, not nearing graduation!  How did that happen?!

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And of course, I have my sweet and eager third grader, and our fun and energetic "teacher's helper". :)

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We started back to school last week, and I have to say it was one of the best first weeks in a long time.  Lots of prayer this summer led me to try some new ideas, like "workboxes", a simpler schedule, and daily rewards for chores and schoolwork, and so far they have all made a huge difference.

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In case, after my blogging hiatus, I still have homeschooling readers, and for my own memory-keeping, here's the schedule and curricula we're having a go at this year:

9:30 - Meet at table to do Story of the Orchestra curriculum and art lessons and projects, or meet     outside for nature study

10:00-12:30 - Workbox time
Each child has a "workbox" filled with the morning's lessons (various grammar, spelling,        handwriting workbooks, math, journal, chapter book to read, etc.) that they work on independently, and transfer from their "in" box to their "out" box as they finish.
Favorites this year are Apples and Pears Spelling, The One Year Adventure Novel, Paradigm Accelerated Curriculum Biology text and workbooks, and Scholastic Handwriting Practice: Jokes and Riddles.  Also using Reading Upgrade and Algebra Upgrade online (I love these programs!) and Tablet Class Geometry.
12:30-1:30 - lunch break and outside playtime

1:30-3:30 - "Read Aloud" Time
Bible - "What's In the Bible?" by Phil Vischer (DVDs) and reading through and doing copywork from the Message (New Testament); Science - Biology 101 DVD and Intellego Unit Study on Weather; History - Ancient Rome (Spend a Day in Ancient Rome Unit Study and crafts) and Middle Ages (A Living History of Our World, Middle Ages and lots of living books); Literature - Narnia Chronicles
A very simple, but so far successful schedule.  If the kids eat, get dressed, make their bed, and get to the table by 9:30, finish all their "in" box work, and clean up their school work, they get a prize at lunchtime (new pencil, sticker book, candy, milkshake coupon, etc.).  A small thing, but so far has been amazingly motivational, and fun!
 
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Keeping a "toddler box" with new treasures and arts and crafts to pull out during school time has been a life-saver so far this year.  Will share some of our ideas soon.

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We're also doing a Chemistry Lab once a week.  Kids are loving it so far.

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And BeachPea is doing volleyball and tennis with her homeschool friends.

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Little sister LOVES these outings!

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(Balls are her favorite).

And of course, the girls will be doing theater, voice, and dance classes through our local CYT (Christian Youth Theater), which they can hardly wait for!  Also doing art and drama classes at our homeschool co-op every other week.

My son is also doing mod design/java programming and app design through Youth Digital, an online teaching program, which he is really enjoying.

Links to our curricula are included here, and I'll try to do a review of each soon.

Now, on to Week 2!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Footloose!

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My oldest girls went to a Footloose Musical Revue theater camp this summer, and had a blast "traveling back" to the 80s.  Here they are getting their hair ready for 80s day.



Totally awesome!





And then there was Zombie Day...

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(not my favorite day)

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Ready for the end-of-the-week showcase!

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Another great CYT experience!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Life Lately

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First Chick-fil-a playground experience!  She loved climbing up, but would only go down the slide if mom was with her.  Just when I thought my toddler playground days were over. ;)

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Kitty cat magnet

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Playing with big brother's train set.  Ah, lots of memories there.

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Starbucks date with my babies while big sisters are at camp.

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Watching a newborn calf on the farm.

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Morning playtime

Friday, August 8, 2014

Catching Up: Random Spring

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I think this is my last catch-up post (hooray!).  Just some random life captures from the Spring...

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Plugged in, but at least it's outside :)

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Hubby, sharpening swords (for the girls' Shrek the Musical production)

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BeachPea's filmmaking class
(music video shoot)

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CarriBear and Butterfly's "Frozen" voice class

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Hip Hop Dance class showcase

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at the girls' theater classes showcase

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"Frozen" medley performance
(CarriBear was "Olaf")

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Taking the chicks out for some fresh air

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Piper "guards"

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School helper

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BeachPea as the Mad Hatter for her film class

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Remote phone

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Monkey band

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Delivery of the Dragon puppet for Shrek.  It was filmed by the reality TV show, "Shipping Wars"
(and I think all the parents were more excited about being on TV than the kids).

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Thanks for throwing back with me!
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