Tuesday, June 12, 2012

End of the school year wrap up and other random stuff

Helloooooooo! Well, I am finally able to write a post today. Life has been busy!!! We are wrapping up school, but honestly there has been so much to tend do around here that I feel like we are not finishing strong like I had planned.

We finished our co-op classes and had a wonderful last day!
Here's a peek at some of my classes art work. (I taught high school art this year.)

They all did such an amazing job!

B had her cake final and I must say that although I helped her plan out her design, when she walked out with her final cake, I was amazed!

We also host a monthly teen night. For the last one the kids played a lot of outdoor games and thankfully we had beautiful weather for it.

Our main project of the spring was to get our barn repainted. The problem was that until that was done we could not plant our garden! UUUGGG! Well, we finally finished it and I am waiting for the rain to stop now so I can plant!

Here's a picture of the side of our barn (before)

Needless to say, A LOT of scraping was involved!!

Here is the barn after!!

I love the way it turned out. We still have the back to do but I'm not going to tackle that until the fall.

Well, it's great to be back and have more time to blog. I've gotta go and finish cleaning out our school "closet".

Friday, April 27, 2012

Homeschool Highlights

We had a very hands on week! It was fun to complete a bunch of projects we have been wanting to do.

In Early American History we finished our colonial beds complete with a straw stuffed matress.

Now we are working on a woven blanket for our bed. I really love this project! I'm counting it for handicrafts too!
Hopefully, I can show you the finished projects next week. The kids worked on them while we were reading, The Witch of Blackbird Pond at night before bed.

We are also dying muslin using natural substances such as onion skins, coffee, and beets. Samples of these will be going into a dying book we are making.

In Human Anatomy this week we made models of DNA! It was delicious! :-)

We also made a model of the ear the kids could crawl through. We used a couple of tables for our base.

First, you enter the pinna.

Next, you crawl through the auditory canal.

Then, you finally enter the inner ear!

J2 dissected a cow's eye ball. B could not even watch but my youngest J3 was glued!

We also complete another LEGO challenge. This week they were to build a household object. Of course my clan did all things electronic. B did a labtop, J3 an ipad with a game on the screen, and J2 built a flip phone.

Hope you had a productive week!!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Adding Spice to our Week

This week I was researching kid's Lego challenges online and I found a blog full of ideas called, Lego Quest Kids. J3 loves Lego building, and we needed a little spark in our homeschool week, so I decided to try the most recent Lego challenge for April. They come out with a new challenge at the beginning of each month. B was inspired by it and decided she wanted to do it too! They had to build something that grows and then photograph it in it's environment. The website has submissions from kids all over the world! It was a lot of fun showing my kids the other children's interpretations of the challenge. I did not show them these pictures until AFTER the challenge was complete, because I did not want it to sway their ideas. Also, I loved the photography component of this challenge. I think they had more fun taking the pictures!! They each took about 10! Here's a few pics of what they came up with..... B created a tulip!
J3 created a dandedion! The first picture cracks me up. He said, "Can you find the Lego Dandelion in the dandelion field mom?"
What do you do to add a little spice to the week???

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Homeschool Highlights

Hello All! We just finished up our third quarter and are starting with our second week of the forth quarter on Monday. Over the last couple weeks J3 turned 10 years old. He had a Star Wars themed party and Darth Vader (his older brother J1) arrived to battle his guests.
What a great time everybody had!! So glad we decided to do it up for the double digits celebration! In science, we made models of neurons our of construction paper and then labled all the parts. I found this idea on Pinterest. Who would have thought how Pinterest could change the way we homeschool? This is J3's Neuron.....
....and B's....
Also in science, we studied the brain, and tried an experment called the dollar drop. I dropped a dollar bill from on it's side, so it fluttered and fell. Then, the kids took turns trying to catch it. It's hard!!
The book states, "....your nervous system needs time to size up a situation and react." They definately got the point. In highschool this week, J2 has been teaching a dissection class in our co-op every Monday. He will sometimes dissect that weeks specimen with B and J3 as practice for the upcoming class. This week they did a freshwater clam.
Also J3 was so inclined to bake us some chocolate chip cookies! Love when his inclination goes in that delicious direction!
He has entered three of his photos in an art contest that will be held at the end of the month which is exciting and today he took senior pictures for a friend that he will spend the day editing. All great things to add to his portfolio! Now that we are in the home stretch before summer, I'm really going to take the next week getting organized and scheduled. I want to finish strong! Have a great week!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Homeschool Highlights

This week we have had unseasonably nice weather for our area and our homeschool highlights greatly reflect that!

We did some early spring nature study at our arboretum. It's amazing how many changes you notice when you visit the same spot frequently throughout the seasons.....

......like the cattails! A couple years ago we had done a year long Outdoor Challenge on cattails by Handbook of Nature Study Blog. Now we can't help but see what those cattails are up to every time we visit the arboretum.

Notice the bright pink cast? B broke her wrist ice skating two weeks ago. Thankfully, she gets it off in a couple weeks before her cake decorating class starts.

Here's are some signs of spring pics I snapped at the arboretum.

Of course we had to collect specimens!

Also this week, B set up a mini driving range for the boys. I could watch them swinging through the kitchen window and it was cracking me up. I felt bad that B couldn't swing the club due to her wrist and she was retrieving all the balls for them.

For history, we have been working on a project from "Time Travelers: Colonial Life". It's taking some time to finish but it's looking good. It's a Colonial bed. We have the frame done and next week we will make the mattress' to go on top.

Well....that's it for this week. Hope you enjoy the upcoming week!!

Also linking up to the Homeschool Chick!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Highschool Health Course

I'm finally finding some time to tell you about the health course I created for J2. He completed Sonlights Human Anatomy course in middle school and Biology in eighth grade. This year he is working on Biology 2 which is all human anatomy. So I really had to pray about what I wanted to accomplish for this 1/2 credit requirement he needed. Everything seemed kind of redundant to say the least.
After some prayer, I put together a cover sheet for him to work through. I think I reprinted this 10 times!! I kept changing things!

Here is the main book list;

Body By God by Ben Lerner (portions) He has already started this book and we think some portions are more applicapable to him that others so we are skipping around.

Do Hard Things: A Teenage Rebellion Against Low Expectations by Brett and Alex Harris

His older brother read this as well and it really impacted him.

Build Powerful Nerve Force: It Controls Your Life-Keep it Healthy by Patricia Braggs
This is my all time favorite health book! I'm hoping he loves it too.
It covers everything you would want a Christian boy or girl to know about health to take with them into adulthood. That's just my two cents though! :-)There is actually a whole series of these but this one sums it all up to me.

I then created time sheets for each book he would be reading.

I got a lot of my templates from the book, Senior High: A Home Designed Form+U=LA. All I can say about this book is....AWESOME! It has really taken a lot of the fear of high school away for me. I bought it when J1 was in tenth grade.
I'm also going to have him fill out a book review sheet from the Form+U=LA for each book he completes.

Now let's talk about driving practice. Very important! I included driving practice and the five hour course as assignments to complete. He's already taken the five hour course, so we crossed off five hours on his main time sheet.
I also made him a time sheet for driving practice.

What else is important for health and happiness now and as an adult? Wisdom! Wisdom! Wisdom! As the head of his household I want him to know that wisdom is the principal thing. So, I included a mini wisdom study. I found both sheets in the FORM+U+LA. You could use these sheets for any study though.

I also compliled some articles for him to read. Topics include; teen nutrition, the anti-inflammatory food pyramid, and what the Bible says about healing and health. Any articles you find that you think would be important for your student (of course from people you respect) could go into this section.

He also had to choose an important vitamin and food to research from the World's Healthiest Foods webstite. (Great site by the way!) He choose Vitamin D and Blackstrap Molasses.

He will also be researching some healthy snacks to create and then have the young critics in the family taste test them. :-)

And that's about it! I may add a thing here or there such as a CPR class. The great thing about creating your own class is that you can taylor everything to fit your student and his/her needs. If something you are doing is not working in the class you created just replace it with a better option.