Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Pita Surprise!

The Little Boy created a new healthy snack in our Health, Hygiene, and Nutrition class. ;) We did this because many snack foods, such as chips and cookies, are not healthy. He called his new snack "Pita Surprise" and it sure sounds yummy!

Pita pocket bread
American cheese slices
Turkey breast
Cottage cheese (with or without chives)

Snack-Making Steps:
Open the pita pocket and spread cottage cheese inside. Put american cheese slices over the cottage cheese, then layer ham and turkey slices over the cheese. Close the pita pocket and cut into triangles, like a pizza! :)

Now, doesn't that sound delicious? ;)

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Shining's Orphan and Saving Shiloh

Little Miss is reading Shining's Orphan, by Joanna Campbell. She states that, so far, the book is very interesting. "Samantha McLean was going to check on her orphan foals when she spotted a young girl cuddled up with them, sound asleep." Take note ~ the book has to do with horses. :P Anyway, she continues: "She woke the little girl and she told her that her name was Cindy and she ran away from her foster home. Samantha felt bad for Cindy after she told her what she had gone through and she let her come into the house. They've been trying to keep her there because she loves the horses and is a big help. I think, in the end, Samantha will talk her parents and the authorities into letting Cindy stay at Whitebrook Farm, where she will be happy and never run away."

The Little Boy is reading Saving Shiloh, by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor. He isn't as far along in his reading as the Little Miss is, but says he thinks he's going to like this story "because it's about a family who saves a dog, just like us." :)

As you can see, the children are closely supervised while doing their reading. :P I trust Scribbles' supervisory skills completely. Nothing gets by her.
Both children will write a summary about the books they're reading, as they have done with other books they've read. This is the first time, though, they were allowed to pick their books. In an attempt to broaden their horizons I had previously chosen their books for them. We will see how their enthusiasm compares when they are reading books of their own choosing. ;)

Sunday, December 6, 2009

*Snowflake Season*

Psalms 19:1, 2 state that "the heavens are declaring the glory of God; and the work of his hands the expanse is telling. One day after another causes speech to bubble forth, and one night after another night shows forth knowledge."
We entered a new season, which causes us to "bubble forth" with praise to our Creator as we marvel over the wonders of winter. In a research project on snowflakes, Little Miss enlightened us with the following information:
"Snowflakes begin as snow crystals which develop into tiny cloud droplets, about 10 micro meters in diameter. Cold environments cause column-like development, but warmer temperatures cause thin and flat crystal development. Shapes emerge as the flake moves through different temperatures and humidity. It's impossible that two snowflakes are exactly alike because roughly 10,000,000,000,000,000,000 water molecules that make up a snowflake grow at different rates and in different patterns."
An amazing testament to an intelligent Creator, indeed!
We can also praise God for the fact that he made winter precipitation fun. Did he have to? Certainly not! He didn't have to make it beautiful, either, but there is endless beauty to behold in a freshly snow-covered scene. Some of the enjoyment we find when the flakes are flying has been summed up by the Little Boy:
"In the winter it gets cold. So cold that you have to wear a hat, mittens, and a heavy coat. In the winter some people like to build snowmen or igloos, and some people like to go sledding. Some people like to drink hot chocolate after playing in the snow or shoveling."
:) It is truly a fun season!
We've been making and hanging paper snowflakes, as well as other wintery decorations, and we've enjoyed the first snowfall of the season here in New England. The transition to winter gives us the opportunity to reflect on the One who made the seasons and all their splendor, and gave us the ability to enjoy all they have to offer. To ponder over God's creation reaffirms that "everything he has made pretty in its time." (Ecclesiastes 3:11)

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Suaemoc's New Classroom

Our new classroom is all put together! :) Mind you, it's not in a new apartment, but it has been relocated to a different room.
We also have a classroom mascot! Her name used to be "Lucy", but the little boy decided he wanted to name her "Bob". Well, since it was decided long ago that Miss Goldfish was, in fact, a MISS, "Bob" just wasn't going to do. So, he settled on calling her "BOBRA". :P
She used to be in a very small 1.5 gallon tank on the bathroom sink, but she has gotten way too big for that! When we obtained a 5 gallon tank from Freecycle, we just needed to find the perfect place for it. All were for moving her to Suaemoc after the classroom was finished being moved and agreeably, she fits in perfectly. :D
Suaemoc is bigger and brighter and is definitely more functional now. Each of the precious little learners has their own side ~ including their own white board, divided for more privacy for each of them. We feel this will do wonders in creating a more effective learning atmosphere and we're eager to have our first lessons in our new room.
It is undoubtedly going to be a wonderful winter at Suaemoc. :)

Monday, October 26, 2009

Are you ready for some football crafts?

Before I get started on filling you in on our newest craft project, I thought I'd update on the little boy's test grade. He had a 260 question test and received a grade of 77%. That's a terrific grade, considering there was a lot of stuff on the test that hasn't been covered in our curriculum as of yet. Also, I did mark him wrong for the questions he just didn't answer. (He was giving me a bit of a hard time.) We don't like "grades" at Suaemoc, though...it's just to see if the kiddos are up to par. ;)

Now, to fill you in on our newest endeavor...

Football Team Placemats!
(When ours are finished, we'll post some pictures.)
Materials Needed:
Construction Paper
Clear Contact Paper

Cut 10 strips of construction paper [blue/red for the Patriots ;)], each should be approximately 2 inches thick and 24 inches long. Lay them down side by side and secure the tops with a piece of tape.
Cut 12 strips of paper, whichever color you want (again blue or red! LOL), each should be approximately 2 inches wide by 22 inches long. You will use these pieces to weave through your taped pieces.
Weave each piece through the taped pieces until you get your completed placemat.
Once your placemat is done, find the matching graphic for your favorite team, print it out, or cut graphics out of a magazine, and glue onto your placemat. Once you get the design the way you want to, cover both sides with clear contact paper and it will last for a long, long time!


If you decide to make some, too ~ won't you share them with us?? :D

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Home IS Cool!

Mid-October already. Hard to believe!

Everyone's settled in to the home school routine. We still have some days that are more smooth than others, but that's the way it is for all classrooms. It doesn't bring us down or dampen our home school spirit! ;)

'Suaemoc' has been adopted as our home school 'name.' We think it's a good fit for us ~ in more ways than one! :D

At the moment, our classroom is torn apart and ready to be moved. That doesn't mean that education has stopped! We're getting by ~ working in the living room on television trays next to stacks of workbooks and other materials. It will be exciting to have our *new and improved* classroom in our new home. Can't wait to see what adventures lie ahead!

The inquisitive students have been taking on a variety of projects and have really been showing their crafty sides. It's been wonderful to see their imagination going wild! Their work in all areas has really proven that without limitations, these two have impressive little minds. <3

They were given an 'across the curriculum' test packet today. Both worked extremely hard. While the little boy has yet to get his test packet completed, little miss finished hers and did an excellent job. She had 366 questions ~ that's alot! ~ and received a 'grade' of 82%. There was quite a bit that has yet to be covered, but by applying logic and working things out, both kids have shown their academic talent. I hope to have the little boy's 'grade' tomorrow. ;)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Trip to the 1800's

Homeschool Day at Old Sturbridge Village...
certainly an adventure into history!
For the little boy, it's the first time he's ever been...and it stirred up fascination. The little lady, on the other hand, had that 'been there, done that' attitude, although she did enjoy herself. I have to say how delighted I was to watch the two skip hand-in-hand down the Woodlands Walk. A rarity, indeed. Their excited laughter the only noise that could be heard in the woods was something I won't soon forget. <3
The little boy has hopes of going back in order to try to catch a chicken ~ a task he was unsuccessful at today, much to his dismay. Not that we don't have opportunities to catch chickens closer to home. I guess there's something about the Old Sturbridge Village chickens that appeals to him.
When taking in the 1800's fashions, the little lady exclaimed that she'd be the first to "invent pants for girls"..."and sneakers." :D I thought the dresses looked pretty comfortable, although we learned that it required a full month's time in order to make one coat. As far as the shoes, apparently the comfort came from the number of knitted socks one was wearing.
We enjoyed watching the potter make a mug while he talked about trading a door hinge from the blacksmith for a pot, or what have you. He discussed the giant kiln outside his shop which he filled with 800 pieces of pottery a year. This, he did in his "spare" time, when he wasn't busy tending to things on the farm. It was an extra way to trade for necessities or make a little extra money on the side.
The little boy is undecided on his take of life back then. Little Miss is comfortable in the here and now. I, on the other hand, rather enjoyed the simplicity and seemingly satisfying life of old. Watching the little boy engage in a game of hoop toss with some other children at the Village made me wish there were no such thing as Playstation 2, Wii, and Nickelodeon. I'm sure if the little lady would have let her hair down, she would have had fun playing the game, too.
The landscape at the Village is beautiful. The adventure into history is quite interesting. Whether it makes a person appreciate modern conveniences, or whether it sparks daydreams into the past, Old Sturbridge Village is a hands-on learning experience into how far we've come.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

The Fourth Week.

As our fourth week of homeschooling nears its end, it's a good time to reflect on our first four weeks, as well as gear up for what's ahead. :)
The transition to being taught at home has gone quite well. The little students agree that their new teacher is "lovingly strict" and they're worked a bit harder than they would be if they were attending public school. ;)
We had a fun day spent at Six Flags New England at the end of August. A Friday "celebrate being homeschooled day" at the amusement park, if you will. Seems to have been a major highlight, as it's been the subject of several of the children's writing projects since. :P
The little boy's strong suit is mathematics. He's been wizzing right through and shows real excitement for math. He is also reading his first chapter book, of which will be the subject of a book report he has due on September 14th. We chose for him to read The Boxcar Children because Gertrude Chandler-Warner was from our home town and the Boxcar Museum is open daily here. We plan to pay a visit to the museum, which is inside a cute little caboose, once he has finished reading the book. He said he's really enjoying the book and often talks about what he's reading. It's amazing, especially because he was quite reluctant to read it!
A fine writer our daughter has proven to be! Language Arts is her forte, for sure. Her narratives have been simply impressive, and it's obvious that she enjoys the assignments. She's already completed the book chosen for her book report and stated that she may read it again before it's due back at the library.
American Sign Language (ASL) has been a fun adventure. :) The little boy is really taking to it and doing quite well. Surprisingly, hand coordination is not going too well with the little lady. Hopeful that practice will pay off, we'll keep reviewing the signs we've learned and incorporate signing as much as we can throughout our daily routine.
Most recently, we did some autumn projects together in anticipation of the coming season. These are now decorating our classroom, along with some of the children's artwork from prior years. Both did fantastic jobs on their posters! Two artistes! :D
The children were delighted to learn that they will have "report cards". Our daughter had homeschool report cards in the past. It helps keep them motivated and excited about learning, and it gives them a sense of pride in their accomplishments. We will also be taking school portraits this autumn, which should come as a surprise to all! LOL Perhaps we'll squeeze in a class photo, as well.
Nature was our classroom at the beginning of the week and the precious students absolutely loved taking learning on the road. It's interesting that things can be found that have been overlooked in "play" trips to the park which spark so much curiosity. Our next planned outing is scheduled at the middle of the month for Homeschool Day at Old Sturbridge Village. One of our scholars has never been there and is looking forward to it, while the other is putting it into her head that it'll be the worst day of her life. Haha! Nothing is set in concrete at this time, but a day trip to the new Connecticut Science Center is definitely in order, as is Mystic Aquarium, a local orchard, and Mad Science Homeschool Workshops. :D
We have also been discussing music and learning to play instruments. We have a female aspiring guitarist, but the little boy thinks he'd like to learn to play the drums. ??? With no drum set, in addition to living in an apartment ~ not too sure how that would be possible, but we don't squash dreams here! ;) Even if not the drums, there'll be another instrument for the little boy to learn to play. More work for teacher, as she has to learn to play first, in order to teach the children! :P