Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Week Six.... A few days late

Things have been CRAZY busy around here and I'm a few days late updating. Last week, was a little bit off but we managed to squeeze in some really fun things. The boys did their normal writing, math & geography stuff. Nothing too exciting there. In Co Op, we reviewed what we had learned about the different types of caves. Caleb's class took sugar cubes and play-doh to build caves and then dissolved the sugar to see how limestone would dissolve over time. Rhys' class built a huge cave out of tables and blankets. His teacher had the different types of cave formations for the kids to "see". Talented Talented women in my Co Op!!

Thursday we attended a fundraiser for a local homeschool Co Op. (Not ours). The kids watched the Lego movie on Jericho and loved it. Then the kids split up in different rooms for Lego building competitions.

 Each team received a story from the Bible to build during a set amount of time.

 The boys were given the Bible story on Paul & Silas in prison during the Earthquake to build.

The kids had a blast and it was something a little different after a stressful week.

Until next week- Keep Calm & Homeschool On

Friday, September 14, 2012

Week Five... Lots of changes!

Week Five is over.. Praise the LORD! We are all flat worn out but it was a great week.

In Co Op this week the kids did some hands on activities to learn about plate tectonics. They all had Lego "plates" that they connected and created a world on.

Then the plates started shifting, moving the plates around.

Finally they took Lego boats all around the room exploring the different continents and islands to see how some had the same vegetation and animals (same colored blocks) and how they might have once connected. I would like to add that this all still fits inside of our Biblical Worldview. The science book they are using is really fun! It is called Christian Kids Explore Earth & Space. Everything is backed up with scripture and laid out easy for parents to teach.

(Rhys moved his island far away from everyone else. )

P.E. this week involved learning about Hurdles. We constructed a hurdle out of PVC pipe and a pool noodle.

The kids LOVED the hurdles. After Co Op, they completely dismantled them and started creating other things with the PVC pipe and connectors. Ninja weapons, Grenade Launchers, Guns... I lost count of all the things that were made up. It ended up being the best $10.00 I've ever spent.

Thursday night Clif installed my white board in the kitchen. I have decided to start using it to list the daily curriculum. The boys can see what they have left to do and work independently if I am busy with another sibling. I really really love it.. Friday was the first day using it and I thought it made a huge difference.

Early in the week we had a break through with Rhys' writing. Every day has been a fight to get 4 sentences out of him. Oh the moaning and groaning and flopping around on the couch like he is mortally wounded.... Painful I tell ya.. I tried changing the writing prompts to things that he loves ( What is your favorite NINJAGO episode) but it didn't help. We sat down and learned how to brainstorm key words and use them in writing. He went from taking an hour to write 4 sentences to less than 10 minutes. Afterwards he looked at me and said "Mom, that was really easy!". I walked around for days so proud! I was this Homeschool Ninja Mom. Yeah, thats me. I'm awesome. My 7 year old LOVES writing.. This lasted until today. Today we were back to tears and the "ButMomIcan'tdoit!!".

Hmmm I bet God has something to say about Pride, right?

Oh well HIS mercies are new every morning and I always have next week.

Finally to show just how tired we are this week... Here's SamTastic during his nap today. Come on, I know you wish you looked that cool during naps. This kid has style I tell ya'! ;)

Friday, September 7, 2012

Week Four - The best laid plans? and Disaster!!

Week four was... not so note-worthy.

We started off with a Monday holiday which seemed to me the best time ever to go on a field trip. (That was mistake #1) My husband was working so it was me and the 4 Craven children. ( Mistake #2) We decided to try a new state park that I had heard WONDERFUL things about. Ravine Gardens was about an hour away and the pictures of the suspension bridges looked amazing! So off we went! The kids asked if they could wear flip flops and I said sure...(mistake#3) because the pictures that I had glanced at quickly (mistake #4) showed lots of wooden walkways and bridges. What an adventure! An adventure I do NOT care to repeat without my husband! We soon figured out that most of the hiking did not include wooden bridges and walkways. Instead, it was overgrown TEENY TINY walkways that PLUNGED into a ravine below. (See pictures below) This was quite awesome when you are chasing a 3 year old that must be ahead of everyone else at all cost. After 2 hours of imagining one or more kids falling and breaking a leg, getting bit by snakes or being carried away by massive mosquitos (no spray, mistake #5) Mama called it quits. I did promise to come back some time in the FAR distant future.

See, sometimes they like each other.

The hiking trail

The teenager

After such a phenomenal start to the week, I decided to take it easy on Tuesday. I'm debating switching up some curriculum and just wanted a nice easy day. The plan was for the day to end with us watching our favorite cheerleader at her football game. Instead it ended with my mother in law rushing us to an urgent care clinic so that I could have my right hand stitched up. Cooking dinner at my house is dangerous... I promise I won't post pictures.

Wednesday was Co Op which means I get to see some of my favorite people! Lots of encouragement, fun & laughter. The kids reviewed their first unit in Science and tried out the long jump for PE.

His new homeschool shirt


Mama, this park has ants and I don't like it!

Thursday and Friday was very minimal as far as book work goes. I was exhausted, kids were cranky and we just needed a break. So we worked on practical things like how to wash dishes, sweep, be nicer to our siblings.. you know, all the things that keeps a house running smoothly.

Next week we will have some catch up but nothing too bad. I'm going to try out some new ways of getting our work done and see if it makes things easier.


Friday, August 31, 2012

Week Three

Week Three.....Also known as The Honeymoon Is Over.

This was a challenging and rewarding week. We've settled into math nicely. I was worried after the first day with one child but we are on track. Both boys seem to enjoy math and will do it gladly.

It's the writing practice that is K.I.L.L.I.N.G. me! This is my big fight everyday with both boys. Today I actually had both of them rolling around on the couch like they were in pain clutching their notebooks. It took one child 40 minutes to write 7 sentences and the other spent a FULL hour writing 4 (yes, four) sentences. Thankfully, it was Friday and I was ready for it. I didn't become frustrated or angry, just reminded them of the writing prompt, gave them some suggestions which they didn't hear because of the writhing in pain and let them waste the morning. We still have a set amount of work to do. When they drag their feet, it cuts into play time. I don't think they have fully learned that lesson yet but we are getting there.
In happier news, we had many fun things happen this week as well. We had a field trip that I blogged about here. They also had a blast at Co Op as always.

Rhys building the different layers of the Earth.

Awwww...his first facebook pose. LOL

Caleb's class built much bigger models of the Earth.

Sam's class at play.

Monday, August 27, 2012

TCBY Field Trip!

I'm a member of a local homeschool group that organizes different get togethers or fieldtrips for the kids. Today we invaded.... I mean visited a local TCBY store. They were absolutely WONDERFUL with the kids. The older kids started their field trip first and were able to be extremely hands-on down to even seeing what it was like to ring up customers. Then it was time for the younger group..... My guys were excited!!

The Craven Crew

Sam finds the M&M's....

A trip into the freezer...

Happy Boy!

The boys learned about the yogurt, how it is delivered, stored, flavored....and finally dispensed.

Eating with friends at the end of the fieldtrip!

Thank You TCBY for the wonderful experience!!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Week Two Review

Another week down... This one a little more challenging than the last. We added in our math curriculum and that took some juggling. Suddenly both boys need a certain amount of time with the DVD player. I think we may have to dig out our portable DVD player to make this easier.

Science CO Op was tons of fun again this week. It was my turn to teach grades K-2nd and we reviewed the continents and oceans. After Science, the boys did their weekly PE class. For the rest of the calendar year they are learning different sports that are featured in the Olympics. This week was gymnastics. They had many different stations all across the room to try out different activities. Watching all the kids tumbling, rolling and balancing across the room was quite funny!

We also attended a "Not Back To School" party with other local homeschoolers. A local business called Jump Zone gave us a great deal on admission and we had 102 children running and jumping on the indoor bounce houses. The boys LOVED this and it gave them a chance to meet other homeschool kids in our area.

Things the kids learned this week: Continents, Oceans, Latitude, Longitude, Prepositional Phrases, Review of last years math, Started different world religions (Hinduism, Animism & Buddhism)

Things Mommy learned this week: One child can not work at all when there are sounds & distractions around him. Solution? Headphones and my iPod while he does his math test. Also, we may have to scrap our LA curriculm and go in a different direction. One child is NO WHERE near as far along as I thought he was. We will be backing up and relearning what he should have learned last year in public school but obviously didn't. Heavy Sigh....

Friday, August 17, 2012

We survived Week One!

Well, it's Friday night and we all managed to make it through the first week. The boys have had a great time and we are slowly getting adjusted to this new routine. We started our week with the annual first day of school breakfast at McDonald's.

I have learned not to let them turn the TV on at all before all the work is done. Even if they get up super early... ( Ahem... Caleb) If we get started bright and early, we are finished by lunch time.

Here are a few of the videos we watched to help with our subjects..

Sam made us listen to this one over and over and over and.. well you get the idea.

and finally this one...

We cut up globes (oranges) to see how flat maps are distorted.

We learned about drawing maps to scale and had a good time measuring everything in their room and mapping it to scale.

Library time was a big hit but that may have been because our library has Ninjago and Pokemon books.

I learned that my boys absolutely love anything that involves colored pencils but could care less for crayons. Co Op was such a hit, I think they wish it was more than once a week.

I can't wait to see what happens next week!

The Curriculum....

In my previous post I mentioned that we were using My Father's World. We are using it for everything except Science, Math & Language Arts. So the boys have Bible, literature, history/geography, music appreciation, art, and character development.

Both boys are using Math U See but have different text books & DVDs.

Rhys is using Primary Language Lessons for Language Arts. Caleb actually has 2 books. Easy Grammar and Daily Grams .

The best part is Science & PE. We joined a small group of families for a weekly Co Op including Science & PE. The kids get a weekly classroom setting with a hands on science activity and then an organized PE lesson. The rest of the week, we study science from Christian Kids Explore Earth & Space.

We will also supplement different unit studies during the year as we come across things that interest us.

I've been told by many Homeschool Moms that the great thing is that we can change curriculum if it isn't working for us. So far, we are loving this but I reserve the right to change my mind. LOL :)

The BIG announcement!

Our family has taken the HUGE step this year of pulling the boys from public school and homeschooling them. We will have a 4th grader, 2nd grader and 3 year old gathered around our kitchen table to learn.

Our Classrooom

The Books!

The boys main curriculum is My Father's World. This curriculum is set up as a 5 year cycle that they learn together. The first year is Exploring Countries & Cultures. This year the boys will learn how much bigger the world is than our tiny little town and community. I want them to understand how much more there is out there and that God loves all of these other people just as much as He loves them! Here is an excerpt from the MFW website that explains a little more about multi age learning.

Each of our programs for grades 2-8 integrates Bible, literature,
history/geography, science, music appreciation, art, and character development.
Add grade level math and language arts for a complete curriculum program. When
teaching multiple children in kindergarten - 6th grade, our easy-to-use daily
lesson plans are usually completed in four hours each day when following our
recommendations for math and language arts.