Our Family

Our Family

Monday, December 28, 2015

Our Week in Review (December 21-27)

We are on a break from all school work.  While we all need a break from time to time, I confess that I often feel a little out of sorts when we are not doing school.  Even though there are endless things that I could be doing, I almost don't know what to do with myself when we aren't doing school.  Then of course I do try to have something fun or the children to do.  It has been very nice not to have any outside activities this week and we have been enjoying the break.

Our weather was very warm even for Arkansas, so Monday and Tuesday we spent as much time outside as we could.  Wednesday we had storms in the morning but it cleared up by lunchtime so we could spend the afternoon outside.

We made lots of goodies this week: cookies, candy, cake, and pie for us to eat and to give to others.  I had lots of help!

We made some pine cone bird feeders.  I told the children we needed to hang them up high so that we were not providing a feast for our outside cats, Lucky and Jack.

We watched a movie every afternoon.

Christmas Eve is a bit of a blur.  I felt like I was racing the clock and the clock won!  But, we arrived a church on time that evening.  It was a wonderful service.  We drove through the park to see it all lit up on our way home.  We had seen the decorations when we had gone to play but since it was during the day we had not been able to see the lights. The children all went willingly to bed quickly after we arrived back home and had a quick snack.  I was very thankful though for my teenage helper who was very willing to wrap gifts with me.

We had a great Christmas morning.  The children were very excited of course and I just love how sweet they are to each other (until of course the girls battled over toys later that afternoon!)  We were able to FaceTime with my mom and dad and brother and sister in law and my two nephews.  Chelsea and her boyfriend came by and ate Christmas lunch with us.

Saturday was a nice relaxing day, although it started much earlier than I wanted with some pretty big thunderstorms.  But, all of the severe weather went around us.

I did something that I never have done in all the years I have homeschooled.  I bought curriculum for next year!  The curriculum I had been thinking about using for everyone but Emmie (who will be K next year) and Nick (who will be high school) went on sale plus free shipping until the end of the year so I went ahead and ordered it.  I bought Exploring Countries and Cultures from My Father's World.  I hope I don't change my mind and that we end up liking it!

I hope you had a great week and a Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Review: Elementary Zoology Curriculum Pack

The Elementary Zoology Curriculum Pack is part of the Master Books 6th Grade Homeschool Curriculum Set, but it can also be purchased separately.  It is recommended for students in grades 3-6.  The Curriculum Pack includes:

World of Animals- This book is a 256 page text with full color illustrations.  This text investigates and describes the anatomy, behavior, and habitats of over 1,000 animals.

Dinosaur Activity Book- 128 page paperback book.  This book is black and white allowing students to color it in as they wish.  It contains information on dinosaurs and different types of activities such as mazes, dot-to-dots, puppet, cut out toy and more.

The Complete Aquarium Adventure- This is an 158 page hard cover book with full color illustrations and information about aquarium animals, but it is also so much more.  The book contains 3 BingOcean cards, 7 devotionals, 7 Ocean Zone cards, 31 See the Sea Creatures Section, 31 Animal Fact Cards, and 35 reproducible activity sheets

The Complete Zoo Adventure- This book is 160 page hardcover book with full color illustrations and information about the different types of animals that you would see at the zoo, but it also is so much more.  It also contains 7 devotionals, 27 Encounters with God's creatures, 7 Creation Foundation Lessons, 27 Scripture Memory Aids, 7 Biome Cards, 27 Field Fact Cards, 35 reproducible sheets, and 3 Field Journals.

Parent Lesson Planner- This book is a 176 page paperback book.  In it you will find a suggested daily schedule covering 180 school days, student worksheets, quizzes, tests, and answer keys.   The worksheets are made up pf comprehension questions but there are also suggested hands on bonus activities for each section.  Permission is granted to make copies of the PLP for use within your own family.

In the first quarter your student will be working in the World of Animals and Dinosaur Activity Book.  In the second quarter your student will be working in World of Animals, Dinosaur Activity Book, and the Complete Aquarium Adventure.  The third quarter is the same as the first and in the fourth quarter in the World of Animals, Dinosaur Activity Book, and The Complete Zoo Adventure.  Lessons should take 30-45 minutes each day.  Weekly lessons vary.  Some weeks have 3 lessons per week, other weeks have 4-5 lessons per week.  Lesson days are numbered rather than listed for a specific day that week.

The Elementary Zoology Curriculum Pack is one that I was very excited about.  I have had The World of Animals sitting on my shelf and it is a beautiful book full of wonderful photos and illustrations, but aside from using it as a reference tool or something to flip through, I was unsure how to turn it into a year long curriculum.  I really love how they paired this text with The Complete Aquarium Adventure, The Complete Zoo Adventure, and the Dinosaur Activity Book along with the parent lesson planner to turn this into a full science course.  All three of the texts are gorgeous and full of interesting information.  The Dinosaur Activity book is more like a coloring book with dot to dots, mazes, and other activities in it, but it also contains a lot of interesting facts about dinosaurs.  And it is always so nice to be able to use products that you don't have to worry about evolution sneaking in somewhere!

Along with the questions and hands on activities in the PLP this course has a great blend of hands activities and worksheets.  This course is included in the 6th grade curriculum pack but would work for students in grades 4-6.  I love that Master Books allows you to make copies within your family.  Having the lessons numbered rather than assigned to certain days per week does allow for more flexibility although I do wish that that there was a consistent number of assigned days per week to make planning easier.  I also would like to see more variety in the type of questions asked on the Student Worksheets.

Master Books has another winner with this Elementary Zoology Course!  I have been so impressed with the new curriculum packs and subject packs that they have put together.

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this curriculum for the purpose of writing a fair and honest review.  I received no other compensation and all opinions are my own.  I am disclosing this in accordance to FTC regulations. 

Homeschool Wrap Up Week 15

This was our last week of school before Christmas break, although I did tell the children if they could not stay busy, I would be happy to give them some work to do!  It was a busy week and I am thankful that we have nothing special going on for the next two weeks!

Week 15 in our Homeschool

Bible: I continued to read to the children out of a storybook Bible.  We skipped ahead in time to the New Testament to cover the birth of John and Jesus and the visit from the Wise Men.

Read Aloud: We finished The Best Christmas Pageant Ever.  This book is a really good book.  It is only 7 chapters long and it is funny, but it does a great job showing the birth of Jesus through the eyes of children that had never heard about it before.

History: In The Mystery of History Vol IV, we finished lessons 37,38, and 39 on The French of Mexico under Maximilian and Carlota, The Dominion of Canada, and Emperor Meiji of Japan.  They did their worksheets, timeline figures, and memory cards.

Science: In Exploring Creation with Anatomy and Physiology we finished chapter 8 on the heart.

My Father's World Adventures: This week we began a study on the 50 states.  Every day we learn facts about each state, locate them on a map, and color the state bird and flower.  Some of the states have an activity to go along with them. This week we completed Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Georgia.  In science we are learning about birds.

Math: Everyone completed lesson 14 in their Math U See books.

Grammar/writing/literature: We finished lesson 19 of Fix It! 1 and 2.  Anthony and Christian did a key word outline and a paragraph on cows in PAL writing.  Nicholas finished War of the Worlds.

Reading/Spelling: Alex finished lesson 13 in Phonetic Zoo.  In AAR Level 3 Anthony and Christian finished lessons 12,13, and 14.  Lily finished lessons 31,32, and 33 in AAR Level 1.

Other Activities This Week

Monday the girls had gymnastics.  It was the last class until after the holidays.  While they were in class I went to Dollar Tree and bought some stocking stuffers.

Tuesday was a stay home day.

Wednesday was Nick's youth party. I took the others to the park but it was much colder than the week before!  Right after that party, Anthony had a birthday to attend at a local pizza place.  Since I had all the children in town with me I told the others we would eat at the pizza place while Anthony was at the party.  The children all had a good time.

Thursday was our 4 H meeting and Christmas party.  We made nature crafts and had a cook out.

Friday we had pizza and a movie with The Sound of Music (my pick.)  The boys were not that impressed but I watch their movies!

Miss Lily read a bedtime story to Emmie the other night

and she lost her second tooth

I hope you had a great week in your homeschool!

Friday, December 18, 2015

December Nature Seekers 4 H Meeting

Usually for our 4 H meeting in December we have a pizza party.  We have done this for several years.  It is also our biggest expense every year.  Our club does not have very much money right now and I did not want to spend what we had on pizza so I decided to do something a little different this year.

We met out at Grandview to do some nature crafts and have a little cook out.  This cost the club nothing.  One of  the members offered to bring hotdogs and buns, I brought drinks and a sweet snack and someone else brought cookies.  Grandview provided the supplies for the crafts, the fire pit ,wood, and the sticks to roast the hot dogs on.

We had the smallest turnout we have ever had for our December meeting, but the children that were there had a great time.  I think we will try to do another cook out in the spring.  Next time I will make sure to get marshmallows and some chips to go with the hot dogs.

For the nature crafts there were several different supplies that were available that allowed the children to make whatever their imaginations could come up with.  There were some printouts of ideas in case they couldn't think of anything, but all of the children were very creative!

the mama's were working too!

A fish mobile that Lily wanted to make for our little baby friend Braxton 

I made this snowman isn't it cute!!

Anthony's tree
Christian's tree

They had so much fun cooking the hot dogs! And the fire felt good as the sun went down it got a little chilly!

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

December Grandview Co-op

This post is a little late since the co-op was on December 4th, but I could not upload the pictures with no computer!  My new laptop arrived this evening, now hopefully I will be able to figure out everything on it!

Anyway, for our monthly homeschool co-op at Grandview, we continued on the topic of the Caddo Indians.  We were a very small group this month.  We talked about the medicines the Caddo Indians made and then were able to make a medicine pouch.

We used a material that was similar to leather, but less expensive and easier to work with.  Each of the children were given an 18 inch square that they could make two small pouches or one big pouch. Almost all of the children chose one big pouch.  We had a circle they had to trace around and then cut out.

Then the children had rulers that they used to measure where the marks went so they could punch out their holes.

Next they used a tool to punch the holes.  This was the hardest part of the project.

Next they had to sew the leather strap though the holes they had punched out.

After that we just had to tighten the leather strap and each child had their pouch!

We will not be having our co-op in January just because of the after Christmas craziness.  But we will start back again in February and hopefully some of those that haven't been able to make it will be able to be back.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Homeschool Wrap Up Week 14

I'm still without a computer, and do not like blogging on my iPad.  The computer I dropped will not come back to life, and the one my parents ordered for me from Walmart never made it because Walmart cancelled the order on a suspicion of fraud and never notified my mom! So she ordered one from Amazon that will get here this week, and then maybe I can get caught up on a few things!

Week 14 in Our Homeschool

Bible: My files from Grapevine are on the broken computer, so this week we read from a story book Bible every day starting where we left off in our Grapevine Studies with the birth of Isaac. 

Read Aloud: We finished up God's Smuggler.  We also looked up some photos of Brother Andrew because the boys wanted to see what he looked like.  We started the first chapter of The Best Christmas Pageant.

P.E. : We completed lessons 63-66 in Family Time Fitness

History: Nick and Alex finished lessons 34-36 in The Mystery of History Volume IV on Cambodia, and the Civil War parts 1 and 2.  They did the worksheets, memory cards, and timeline, but not the map because I didn't have access to the files.

Science: In Exploring Creation with Anatomy and Physiology we finished chapter 7 on blood.

My Father's World Adventures: This week we finished up Sarah Whitcher's Story.  The boys were fascinated to know it was based on a true story.  We read about George Washington being sworn in as President.  We also looked at photos online of Mt. Vernon. We made some Johnny Cakes ( children were not impressed) and did some experiments with water ( we are waiting for mold to grow.)

Math: Everyone finished up their Math U See lesson 13. 

Grammar/lit/writing : I had a horrible homeschool mom moment this week.  I went to look over Alex's grammar that I haven't looked at in forever and discovered he is more than a little lost.  Shame on me for not discovering it sooner.  I am going to have him work with me Anthony and Christian for awhile on Level One of Fix It! So I can be sure he understands.  We finished lesson 18 of Fix It! 1 and 2. Anthony and Christian did a key word outline on Holsteins in PAL writing.  In case you didn't know that is also from IEW.  It is their early elementary reading and writing.  We started it a few years ago and completed parts 1 and 2 but we're not ready for part 3 so we waited until this year.  It is similar to SWI but a slower gentler approach for younger children.

Reading/Spelling:  Alex completed lesson 12 in Phonetic Zoo.  Anthony and Christian did not do a new spelling list this week.  In AAR Level 3 they completed lesson 12 and lily completed lesson 31 in AAR Level one.

Other Activities This Week

Monday we had to go to Texarkana.  Alex chipped a tooth over Thanksgiving.  Luckily it was a baby tooth and it just had to be pulled. While we were there we went and spent a fortune at SAMs Club, and got to cut down our Christmas tree.  The girls made it to gymnastics but were a few minutes late.

Tuesday we decorated the tree.

Wednesday Nick had youth.  While he was there I took the others to the playground to enjoy some of this nice weather we have been having.

Friday we had a homeschool party.  We met a church and made frozen pizzas and played BINGO.  It was 77 degrees which is unusual for us this time of year. We had a great time.

I hope you had a great week in your homeschool!