Saturday, April 30, 2016

52 Lists Week # 17; The People I Admire

This week's list challenge: the people you admire immediately made me think of my mom.  My thoughts soon turned to my mother in laws, my sister, my husband.  Then they slowly went through most of my family and friends. 

I admire most of them.  I admire different aspects of them all.  

I started writing .... (and deleted) this post multiple times.  I missed my Thursday deadline.... something I've never done.  I thought and stewed and wondered how best to approach this.  I finally realized that what I admired most about my family and friends is what wonderful parents they all are!

This parenting job is seriously tough but everyday I read about moms going off to work to provide the best life they can for their children.  I read about moms who are giving up on their jobs to stay home with their children.  I read about moms who are running from one job to the next job while stopping to grab a bite to eat in between hoping to make it to their kid's game on time to cheer them on.

I read about dads who are helping to clean house, after coming home from work.  Dads who take their kids outside to play ball even though they're tired.  Dad who are cleaning up after sick kids, dads who are taking kids to the doctor.  Dads who are missing out on everything working multiple jobs or extra long hours to bring home enough money to support their families.  

See the thing is all those moms and dads I admire all look so very, very different.  There is no one thing that makes them great or admirable other than they are trying to be the best parent they can be.  They are trying to keep all those different plates in the air, spinning, and running, and trying like crazy not to drop any of them.  

Of course we all do every now and then; but that's what makes us human. 

Most of the time all the parents I know come through for kids and that's what matters most in the end... the rest is just providing stories for our kids to talk to with their friends when they're comparing notes about who has the worst parents.  

So whether you are a stay at home mom, a homeschooling mom, a working mom, a single mom, a stay at home dad, a homeschooling dad, a working dad, a single dad... if you continually put your kids first, try your very best to be the best parent you know how to be, always trying, never feeling like you are getting ahead... well I salute you and I admire you.

Linking Up With: Pinch of Joy,

52 lists with Chasing Slow
Small Victories Sunday Linkup

Friday, April 29, 2016

Weekly Wrap Up; The Week We Went to the Air Museum

We had such a wonderful week this week.  We took a family field trip to New Hampshire; accompanying my husband on a road job (you can read about our day here).  We went to the Air Museum for their homeschooling day learning all about the properties of flight, the history of planes and helicopters, and to try our hand at flight simulators.  We went kayaking together and ended our week with an amazing field day with our homeschool group.

Reading:  Alec read Summer According to Humphrey, Secrets According to Humphrey, Cronus and the Threads of Dread.  Evan read Cheetah Cubs, Sam&Dave Dig a Hole, and The Adventures of Lucky Pup. Ian read Sam and Dave Dig a Hole, Love that Dog and Treasure Hunters book 3.  We listened to Voyage of the Dawn Treader and a few more chapters in One False Note.

Math:  Evan worked on a page in his dot to dot book.  Alec was playing Minecraft one day and we ended up turning it into a mini lesson on area versus perimeter and how to figure them both out.  Evan has been asking me random question all week such as "800 + 500 is 1300; right?"  All three boys also completed 6 more pages in their math workbooks.  Alec and Ian worked on two more pages in Are You a Math Genius? and we all played Fraction Bingo one afternoon.

Spelling:  Evan has been labeling everything in his Minecraft world and asking how to spell everything from wolf, star, and fishing to spot and stuff.  Rather just tell him I've been helping him sound everything out.  He's doing a pretty good job too.  All three boys also completed two more pages in their Thinking Tree Spelling books.

Language Arts: We read Silent Letters Loud and Clear and Evan worked on a page sorting pictures and writing short and long vowel sounds in which we underlined the silent letters. He also worked on two more pages in his Star Wars reading book.

Science:  We read Here is the Tropical Rain Forest, Here is the Southwestern Dessert, Here is the Coral Reef, and Here is the Wetland.  Alec read Far Out! Animals That Do Amazing Things.  Ian read A Polar Bear Journey.  Evan and I had a great time spotting turtles sunning themselves on the rocks around our lake when we went kayaking and checking out all the signs of spring that were emerging.

Do you see the heron in the tree? Evan spotted him

Physical Activity:  We walked all around the air museum on Monday, Tuesday Ian worked out on the treadmill and on Wednesday when the sun was shining we all went on a nice long kayak ride. We also had a great day on Thursday playing all sorts of relay racing games at our homeschooling field day.  You can read about hosting your own field day here (and see lots of pictures from ours!)

Tug of war 
History & Geography: We went on a field trip to the New England Air Museum.  You can read about our trip here.

We played Brain Quest States Game one day; it's a new game and we enjoyed it tremendously!

Art: Alec decided to paint his whale sculpture one morning.  It came out so cute (and realistic because we had to look up pictures of them).  The boys and I spent a day brainstorming ideas for art projects.  I read about a 100 days of art challenge somewhere and thought it was just the motivation we needed to bring back art into our homeschooling days.  Stay tuned for more on that!

Linking Up With: Social Butterfly Sunday,

Weekly Wrap-Up


Organizing a Home School Field Day

I should begin by admitting that I have never worked by myself to put a field day together; ever!  But I still think I'm qualified to help you put together a great field day because I have attended a few field days and worked in conjunction with other mothers to organize them.

We just attended a field day with our homeschool group and it wasn't very hard to put together with all the moms working together. 

Our group leader secured a location for us; just a free public park with lots of room for us to spread out.

We plan a mid-week, mid- day event (April and May work best as long as school vacation are avoided).   We ended up having the entire park to ourselves and the weather cooperated so nicely!

Each of the moms planned an event (a few moms teamed up to create an obstacle course) and brought all the supplies needed for whatever they planned.

Once we all arrived our group leader wrote up a list of names and ages for all the kids participating and then divided the large group (we had at least 25 kids show up!) into smaller groups to negotiate the different games.  She also wrote down the events that were planned and decided which order would work to send the kids around best.  Any games that needed to be set up ahead of time (like our obstacle course) were put together.

We often had two events going on at once; one for the big kids and one for the little kids and then they'd swap.

In between events the kids could play on the playground, have a drink, eat a snack or part of their lunch.  We had one mom that offered to bring freezer pops and temporary tattoos for some relaxing fun.

We didn't have nearly as much down time as we thought though!  We had so many wonderful events and the kids enjoyed them so much that they often asked to play another round!

Here are some of the events we had planned:

  1. Tug of War-- The kids broke into teams and tried to get the other team to move or let go of the big long rope.
  2. Three legged race-- Most of the kids had a great time trying to figure out how to walk together with one leg tied together. 
  3. Obstacle Course-- They had to crawl, jump, weave, throw balls into buckets, and run; it was so neat. 
  4. Balloon popping relay-- The kids broke into two teams; each child was given an inflated balloon and one at a time they had to run to the line, pop their balloon, and tag the next person in line.  The first team to get all their balloons popped and back at the start won. 
  5. Egg and spoon relay-- Once again using two teams the first two children in each team were given spoons with the first child getting a fake egg.  They had to run down to the swing set, circle around the posts and pass the egg off to the next person in line; without dropping their egg. 
  6. Water sponge/ bucket relay-- The kids were broken into two teams.  They lined up behind a bowl of water filled with sponges.  The first person in line took a wet sponge, ran to the table, and squeezed all the water out of their sponge into their team's cup, then ran back and tagged the next person in line; the first team to fill the cup won.  We ended up finding out that the sponges held quite a bit of water so round two we switched to a bucket to fill instead of a cup.  
  7. Full/ Empty cup relay-- The kids stood in two lines; the first person had a full cup of water and everyone behind them had an empty cup.  Slowly, they carefully held the cup over their heads and tried to empty all of their water into the cup of the person behind them. The team with the most water still in the cup at the end of the race won.  This required a lot of communication and teamwork!  
  8. Negotiating a soccer ball around the cones and back. 
Evan going around the cones 

Ian keeping his egg on his spoon

All ready for the 3 legged race! 

Crawling under the tunnel

Weaving around the poles

Everyone against the "big guy" tug of war 

All the big kids try the 3 legged race 

It was hysterical to watch! 

The little kids tug of war game

The pop the balloon relay 

Popping them was not always easy!

The big kids try out the obstacle course 

They LOVED it!

The bigger kids pop the balloon relay 

Wet Sponge relay

Filling up the cups 

Filling up the buckets 

Starting the full/ empty cup relay 

It took a lot of skill to get those cups to line up!

The kids thought this was an amazing challenge!
It was such a fun day and everyone worked so nicely together that we've decided to make it more of an annual event.

Linking Up With: Frugal Mommas Friday,  Social Butterfly Sunday,


Small Victories Sunday Linkup

The Homeschool Post

Family Friday Link-Up Party

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Books for Learning about France

My middle son is quite obsessed with France right now.

He just wrote all about France for his geography fair report and while I think we may have exhausted our library's list of books he's still quite eager to learn anything about it that he can.

Some of his favorite books for learning about France include:

Let's Go Hugo-- A cute story about a bird living in Paris who is afraid to fly until he meets a friend and together they finally go off exploring the city.

The Moon Was the Best-- Beautiful photographs and a short story showing the simple pleasures of Paris.

Minette's Feast-- a cute story about Julia Child and her cat, Minette.

A Walk in Paris-- Filled with tons of information this cute story takes the reader on a walk through Paris following a young girl and her grandpa.

The Mona Lisa Caper-- Based on a true event this book about the time the Mona Lisa was stolen!

Adele & Simon-- An adorable story about a sister and brother; while walking her brother home he looses pieces along the way as he's distracted by the sights and sounds of the city.

Paris In the Spring With Picasso -- A fast paced story about a soiree that really brings the art world to life.

The Cat Who Walked Across France-- A story about a cat who is taken to a new home after his owners dies; he soon starts working his way across France back to the home he once knew and loved.

Flat Stanley Worldwide Adventures; Framed in France-- We love Flat Stanley and all of his adventures and this book was no different.  

This is Paris-- Another series we just love!  This books takes readers through all the important buildings and monuments in Paris with lots of wonderful pictures. 

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