Our Family

Our Family

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Our Week in Review (July 25th-31st)

It has been a busy week!

Anthony had a birthday on Monday.  My little man is growing up so fast!  Anthony was my biggest baby.  He weighed 9lbs 5 oz and was 22 in long.  He had a great birthday.  His birthday requests were pizza and chocolate cake.  Love that he is so easy to please and so happy with everything!

I had to get my teeth cleaned on Tuesday.  I took advantage of the fact that I was in town without the children and met my husband for lunch.  It was our first date in 6 months.

That afternoon the boys had a STEM Club 4 H meeting.  The topic was bridges.  They built bridges out of straws to see what type of bridge could hold the most weight (pennies.)  They also got a homework assignment to build a bridge using nothing but 100 popsicle sticks and elmers glue and bring it to the next meeting in October.

Thursday was my club's 4 H meeting.  It was going to be at the park but it was storming so we had to move it inside.  We did science experiments with candy.

Friday is our grocery and errand day, and pizza and a movie night.

Saturday Nick, Alex and Art went and picked up our new camper.  We have wanted one for a very long time, since we sold our motor home in 2009.  We got a good deal on this one, it sleeps 8 people, and is light enough for my van to tow.  The children can't wait to go camping!

After church on Sunday we had a potluck and homemade ice cream contest.  Alex made his special ice cream that won the golden scoop award last year.  He was the only entry this year and won for the second year in a row.

For school this week we.......

Finished up the first level for Foreign Language for Kids by Kids.

Started the second module of WAY Comes Home.

Completed 3 lessons of VeriatasBible.com on Hannah and Eli.

Started Chapter 1 of Exploring Creation with Astronomy, 2nd Edition- We read the chapter, made a bookmark, made a minibook, completed some copywork, and made a model of the solar system using balloons.

Lily started lesson 2 of Jolly Grammar.  She did a spelling test using Can Do Cubes instead of writing the words down and did one page of activities for lesson 2.  Emmie did one page of Jolly Phonics.

Emmie also completed her unit on S for Sun in MFW A to Z.  She completed her worksheets, made raisins from grapes, painted a sun, made her sun badge, and learned about Jesus being the light of the world.  We did not make the sun dial because of all the rain this week.  Our book for this unit was Moonbear's Shadow.

I found these sun catcher scratch art on clearance for .99 at Christianbook.com when I was buying my curriculum and added them to my order.  The girls loved them.

Christian and Anthony are hard at work on more stop motion videos.

I hope you had a great week!

Happy Homeschooling!

Saturday, July 30, 2016

July Nature Seekers 4 H Meeting

One of the things I try to do every year is to have a meeting with science experiments.  Science experiments are fun and the children enjoy seeing what happens.  You also can find many experiments that use household or easy to find items.  I decided for July we would do some science experiments with candy.  I also brought along the supplies to do the Strawberry DNA experiment since my children really wanted to do it again, which gave us 5 different activities.  I did NOT try out any of the other experiments before the meeting.  Two of the experiments were a flop but the children seemed to enjoy the process :)

I also forgot my camera.  I had my phone but all of the experiment instructions were in my phone and because I had to go back and forth and also run the meeting I did not get as many pictures as I wanted to.  I had 8 children plus two younger siblings attend this meeting.

Experiment #1 Dancing Gummy Worms.  First we added cut up gummy worms to a solution of baking soda and water and let them soak for 15 minutes.  Then we added to the worms to a cup of vinegar and the worms were supposed to dance.  This did not work!  Our worms sunk to the bottom and stayed there.

Experiment #2 was to make a skittle rainbow in a bowl.  We placed 3 of each color around the outside edge and added 1/2 in of water to the bottom of the bowl.  This turned out really pretty!

Experiment #3 was also with skittles.  We dissolved different amounts of each color skittle in a glass and then were supposed to layer them in a glass from most dense to least dense.  This did not work!  Instead of pretty colors it looked like a muddy mess.

Experiment #4 was to blow up balloons using coke and two different types of candy.  I wish I had taken more pictures because it blew the balloons up really well.  We were supposed to use nerds and pop rocks but I couldn't find those, so we used nerds in one and lemon heads in the other.  Only 10 nerds blew the balloon up so big I thought it would break.

Experiment #5 was extracting DNA from a strawberry.  You can find the full instructions here.  This is a really cool experiment.

Review: NirV Minecrafters Bible, Hardcover

Book Description "Do you ever feel like it's more fun to exist in the computer world than the real one? Is that the only place you can control your destiny? Well, God is the original great world builder, and he gave us the power and the skills we need to make changes in the real world. The Minecrafter’s Bible, NIrV contains the full text of the New International Reader's Version (NIrV) of the Bible (from Genesis to Revelation) as well as 24 color tip-in pages featuring full-color illustrations in the style of wildly popular virtual-world-building games. Featured stories include the days of creation and great builds of the Bible."

My boys love Minecraft and when Christian's (9) Bible cover started separating from the rest of the Bible I was excited to see this as a choice to review.  Since this Bible is hardcover, it is sturdy for young children to read and transport back and forth to church.  The NirV is a good translation for young readers.  Inside the Bible, you will find 24 full color images with build ideas such as:

How to Use This Bible
God Creates the World
Noah Builds and Ark
Building the Tower of Babel
The Ten Commandments
Building the Tabernacle
The Walls of Jericho
Samson's Super Strength
David Defeats Goliath
Psalm 23
Solomon Builds God's Temple
Jonah and the Very Big Fish
Jesus is Born
Finding the 12 Disciples
Feeding Over 5,000 People
Jesus Walks on Water
The Last Supper
Jesus Gives His Life
Planting Seeds
A Strong Foundation
The Armor of God
The ABC's of Salvation

Each of the build color pages have a short devotional, and a suggested reading along with the build ideas.

My boys love this Bible.  This would be a great purchase for all the Minecraft fans in your life.

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this Bible 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.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Curriculum Choices for the 2016/2017 School Year: 4th and 5th Grade

Over the last several days I have shared my curriculum choices for Kindergarten and 2nd grade.  In this post I am talking about my curriculum choices for 4th and 5th grade.  I am combining these because the boys are only 20 months different in age and are very close in ability and the only thing they will be doing differently is math levels.

My biggest goal for Anthony and Christian last year was to get them reading independently.  I am so happy that we met that goal!  Both boys are reading chapter books independently.  My biggest education goal for them this year is to get them writing more.  We will be working on writing more often and using proper punctuation and capitalization.  We will also be working on neatness :)

4th and 5th Grade Curriculum Choices

Math- Christian will be using Math Lessons for a Living Education Level 4 and Anthony will be using Math Lessons for a Living Education Level 5.

Reading/Spelling- All About Reading Level 4 and All About Spelling Level 3.

Language Arts- The boys loved Fix It! Grammar last year so we will be using Fix It! Grammar Book 2 Robin Hood and Language Lessons for Today Book 3.

Bible/Geography/Science/Art-My Father's World Exploring Countries and Cultures.  As I mentioned in my 2nd grade post, I am not the type of person that needs to check all the boxes in a lesson planner.  I will be modifying this and changing it as needed to meet our needs.  I chose MFW because of the ability to use it with a wide range of ages and I like the convenience of being able to buy everything together.

Science-When we used MFW Adventures last year I felt it was light on science and my children love science so we will also be using Apologia Exploring Creation with Astronomy.

Music-I'd like to complete 2-3 composers from Music for the Elementary Ages Book One by Zeezok.

Bible-We have been using VeritasBible.com and the boys LOVE this.  I am going to try to squeeze in a lesson a couple of days a week.

We also will be doing:


IEW Poetry

Family Read Aloud 

I am looking forward to the new school year!

Happy Homeschooling!

*links to AAR and AAS are my affiliate links.  I only form affiliate relationships with companies whose products I actually use and can recommend!

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Schoolhouse Crew Review: Orphs of the Woodlands at Tangletree

Orphs of the Woodlands at Tanglegate Review
Anthony has been having some summer reading fun with the new app Orphs of the Woodlands at Tangletree from Star Toaster.
Orphs of the Woodlands at Tanglegate Review
Last year, Alex had an opportunity to review Orphs of the Woodlands The Treasure of HighTower from Star Toaster.  We loved the interactive features of this online book along with all of the educational jobs and the fun of caring for the orphs.  This story was suggested for grades 4-7.  One of the things that I commented on in my review was that I loved the concept and wanted to see something similar in a lower reading level.  I was so excited to see Star Toaster back on our vendor list this year with a new interactive book, a prequel to The Treasure of HighTower geared for children ages 9-11!

Orphs of the Woodlands at Tangletree is an app designed for iPad or iPhone running iOS 8.0 or later. It is a book, but it is so much more.  There are 23 short chapters(122 pages) in this animated interactive reading adventure.  There are also 75 lessons in math, language arts, science, life skills, thinking skills, character, and the arts. To test their skills about each area they have learned something new in, children will perform a variety of jobs (over 130 of them) to earn stars to buy items to care for the baby orphs.  
Orphs of the Woodlands at Tanglegate Review

What are baby orphs you might ask?  Well, there was a flood and Abba the flying squirrel and his friends rescued some orphaned animals which are called orphs.  To care for the orphs he has to be able to buy things they need (food, clothing, diapers, etc...)  To do that your child must earn stars by completing jobs as they read through the story.  

Orphs of the Woodlands at Tanglegate Review
Orphs of the Woodlands at Tanglegate Review
Multiple children are able to use the app at one time.  The work is tracked on your device, so if you have more then one device you should make sure your child uses the same one every time.  Parents can easily see what their children have accomplished by choosing their child's work or progress in the menu.   
Orphs of the Woodlands at Tanglegate Review

I have had Anthony (10) using this app once a day 3-4 days a week on my iPad. Since it is hard to be able to write a review on things you don't use yourself, I made a load for myself and have been using it on my iPhone.  I think I have enjoyed it as much as he has. 

The first time we used the app, it look awhile to load because I have super slow internet and there is a lot of artwork and some animations that took a little while to download.  After that first time we have had no issues.

This is such a cool little app!  The story is engaging and will keep your child reading.  The animations are adorable and we love the interactive features.  There is a wide variety of learning activities within each of the chapters.  We love the different jobs and that there is job training provided before the children have to answer the questions.  Earning stars to "buy" items for the orphs is great motivation for completing the jobs, but I also like that the children cannot just spend all of their time completing jobs.  They have to go back and read the book to have the opportunity to complete more jobs.  

Star Toaster did an excellent job with this app!  I can't wait to see the next book in the series.  I would love to see this app made available for Android platforms as well so the children could play it on their own devices. 

To see what my Crew Mates had to say, stop by the Crew Blog!

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