Sunday, January 22, 2017

A is for Awe

I was reading this wonderful blog post the other day about homeschooling middle school and I thought "OH I should Pin this for the future.  I'm going to need this someday and I want to remember it!!"

Then it hit me I AM homeschooling middle school.

In fact I have not one but two kids in middle school.

I just stood there in awe for a few minutes wondering how that had happened!

How do I now have two kids in middle school?  How have the years flown by that much without my really noticing?

In fact, I have one that is mid- way through 7th grade and heading well onto his LAST YEAR of middle school.

I was in AWE.

Awe is defined as a feeling of reverential respect mixed with fear and wonder.... it definitely seems to define how I feel.

I am so excited that we've made it this far in our homeschooling journey and that things are going so well but I am so nervous for all that lies ahead!  Only a year and a half until I have a high schooler?  Gulp!  I have to start researching high school requirements, looking into how to keep records and write up a transcript.. it feels overwhelming.

I can remember when it was scary and overwhelming to be thinking of teaching middle school.
The good news is homeschooling middle school was so much easier than I thought it was going to be!  Seriously where did all my anxiety, fears and pressure to homeschool middle school "the right way" go?

I can remember what it felt like to be scared to start homeschooling period!  It was nerve wracking wondering if we were doing the right thing, if I was going to fail at teaching my children, and if I was teaching them anything at all.

Now I look at my three boys and I see how much they've grown.  I've taken one boy from barely knowing his letters and numbers to reading, adding mutli- digit numbers, multiplying and writing!

I've watched my middle son blow through book after book, soaking up knowledge faster than a sponge and stump so many adults with the difficult questions he asks as he yearns to always know more.

I've watched my oldest son gain confidence in his skills at building, measuring, and putting together projects.  I'm watching him turn into a young man as he slowly leaves childhood behind.

I am in awe that I get to spend all this time with my boys watching them grow and yet the time still flies right by.

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Saturday, January 21, 2017

Art Project #69-- Playing a Go Fish Art Game

Building on our artist study and all of our field trips to the museum we decided another fun way to learn about art would be to play some fun art games!

During our 100 Days of Art Challenge I've been exploring each and every way we can cover art in our homeschool; trying to include some form of art in our day at least once a week.  Most weeks we like to get messy and break out arts and crafts materials but there are days and weeks when we just don't have the time for messy.  However, that does not mean we can't add a day of art!

We bought a fun Van Gogh and Friends Go Fish for Art Cards game and had a fun and quick morning playing go fish while learning about some famous works of art by Vincent Van Gogh, George Surat, Paul Gauguin, and more.

As you can see the cards are quite large; they have a bit of information about each artist and a few of their works of art. 

I was surprised to have to teach my boys how to play go fish!  They, of course, caught on quickly and actually had a great time playing!  We ended up playing three different games.  Then they pulled out traditional playing cards and wanted to play a few regular games of go fish too. 

Such a fun and easy way to add some art into our day!

Our other art projects:
Project 3: Star Wars Crafts
Project 5: Floral pens
Project 6: Watercolor outlines
Project 13: Water gun art
Project 14: Watercolor Kits
Project 15: Dragonfly Silhouettes 
Project 16: Painting pet rocks 
Project 17: Spray Paint Resist
Project 18: Water bottle windsock
Project 20: Tin can windsock 
Project 21: Firework glue art
Project 22: Qixel art kit
Project 26: Spray Painted Canvas
Project 28: Tin Foil Art
Project 29: Oil Pastel Bubbles 
Project 32: Drip Painted Pots
Project 33: Sun Art 
Project 36: Art Museum field trip. 
Project 39: Painting Pikachu 
Project 40: How to Draw Books
Project 42: Splatter Paint Canvas
Project 46: Tissue Paper Leaf Art

Friday, January 20, 2017

Weekly Wrap- Up: The Week We had the Two Birthdays

I must warn you we had a busy week and this post is FILLED with pictures!  We had two different birthdays to celebrate this week and both days were so much fun. We got a lot of schoolwork done and remembered to play at least game each day that we had school.

Friday:  The boys all took their spelling tests and wrote a short story using some story prompts.   Evan worked on two more pages in his Word family book and then read Ninja Bunny.  Alec read the book Hawks.  Evan and I played Penguin Multiplication game and he started taking his one minute math tests for multiplication starting with the 10's times tables.  Ian completed two more pages in his math book while Alec worked on Khan Academy.  We read a few more pages in Vespers Rising and started reading a new chapter book called Darling, Mercy Dog of World War 1.  Ian put together another EEME kit while Alec sat down to do some painting.  Once Alec was finished he wanted to try putting together a parrot using his Quixels 3D kit. We finished our school day by playing a game called Hit the Deck and then the younger boys and I went to the park for a bit to play with some homeschooling friends.

deep in thought; figuring out that multiplication problem

Saturday we went to a birthday party and they had live animal presentations.  We got to see (and pet) chinchillas, guinea pig, a dove, a chicken, some bunnies, a ferret, a leopard gecko, a box tortoise. It was so much fun.  Once home, Ian helped make some cole slaw for supper.

Chewie the bunny; has a home right above Darth Vader (seriously!)

Snowball was a huge hit with her super soft fur.

Sunday the boys spent a lot of time playing their new video games; all three of them picked one out over the weekend and agreed to use the money from trade-ins to pay for it all.  Every now and again I made them take a break.  I found Alec and Evan playing a nice long game of Exploding Kittens.  Alec also helped me make chicken Parmesan for dinner.

Monday we debated about taking the day off from school but decided to just dive into our schoolwork.  All three boys completed pages in their spelling workbooks.  Evan worked in his word family book while the older two boys worked on a page in their grammar books.  The boys all worked on math, did a bit of reading and cleaned their rooms. Evan read Wink, the Ninja Who Wanted to Nap.  Alec started reading the series Foxcraft.  We played Don't Rock the Boat one last time before packing it up to give to my sister.  Alec put together another Quixels 3-D project.

We had a busy day of errands on Tuesday!  The boys managed to squeeze in some spelling work, math practice, cursive, and reading.  Evan read Just a Snowman.  Alec is now half way through Foxcraft book and he told me it's AMAZING! Ian started reading Who Is Tougher?  Navy Seals Vs. Army Rangers learning about the history of these two military branches.  For Science we read Exploring Caves and learned about the different types of caves.  We also read another two chapters in Darling, Mercy Dog of World War I.  We played Topple one last time before packing that up to give to my sister too.  The younger boys went to karate while Ian and I dropped off the games and went to a few stores.  The younger boys and I took a quick trip to the library and then they went to earn some money returning cans... an hour later they each had $10 (and sticky, dirty hands).

We decided to take the day off from school on Wednesday and just have a fun day.  We do this each time any of my boys celebrate a birthday.  We pick a day near their birthday and let them guide us in what we'll do, what we'll eat, and basically just make the day all about them.  My middle son had requested waking up to an obstacle course and even offered to stay in him room an hour longer than usual; so I complied and boy did he and his younger brother have a ball!  They crawled through the course several times making up all sorts of games to go along with it.  Ian made crepes for breakfast at Alec's request and by the time we all sat down the boys had all agreed to watch the two episodes of Wild Kratts that was on our DVR.  Ian had never made crepes before but he did a wonderful job!  We heated up some strawberries, mashed them and mixed up some cinnamon and sugar for crepe fillings.  We headed to Barnes and Noble aruond lunchtime at Alec's request and after picking out a few books (OK a stack of books) we headed over to get his free cupcake from the cafe! Alec helped me make a Caesar salad and some homemade chicken finger for dinner.  He spent his night playing with his new chocolate pen; it's fun and yummy!

Birthday boy picked out just a few books-- good thing he had a few gift cards! 

Thursday we tried to get an extra bit of work done knowing we'd have a shortened day on Friday.  Ian finished reading Who is Tougher? Navy Seals Vs. Army Rangers and read much of it aloud to Alec and I.  Evan read How to Wash a Wooly Mammoth.  Alec read a bit more in Foxcraft.  All three boys worked on two pages in their spelling books so they'll be prepared for Friday's test.  They each worked on some math and writing as well.  Ian chose to do a timed writing assignment; setting the timer for 5 minutes and writing until the timer went off.  Funny enough I often think some of his  best stories are written this way.  Evan decided to work on a Draw Write Now page while Alec just wanted a free write.  All three boys worked a bit on science too.  Ian put together his last EEME kit, Alec worked on putting together his Geckobot and Evan and I finished up reading his last Ranger Rick magazine.  All three boys helped clean the house and then we played Sequence Numbers together.  We read another chapter in Darling, Mercy Dog of World War 1 and started reading The Medusa Plot; a continuation of the 39 Clues books.   Alec played with his chocolate pen again and Ian worked with his father to finish up his robotic arm.

We have to much to look forward to this weekend too!  I just love when we have fun weeks like this filled with all sorts of wonderful learning opportunities!

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