Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Wow! Awesome deal!!

I can still remembering receiving my first copy of The Old Schoolhouse Magazine. I opened it up and didn't put it down until I literally read it from cover to cover. I devoured every article, every ad, every bit of even the fine print! It was such an incredibly helpful homeschool magazine and I couldn't wait to receive the next issue.

Every once in a while TOS will offer a great subscription price and I always try to take advantage of renewing during one of those times. I can't bear to think that I would miss even one issue! In all my renewing, though, I can't remember one time when the subscription price for the print magazine was quite as low as it is right now...seriously I'm use to TOS offering good deals, but I was shocked when I opened my email to see this sweet deal...

Right now, you can receive a one-year print subscription for just $7.95!! That's it...$7.95!

If you'd like the current issue as well, pay just $12.95. One-year subscriptions start with the winter issue. The one-year plus current issue starts with the fall issue.

Only 5000 of these special subscriptions are available from August 31 through midnight on September 15. Once the 5000 are gone, they'’re gone!

So what are you waiting for? Head over to TOS and get your subscription! Pin It Now!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Time for Science

I've been particularly excited about our science this year. We're going a little heavy and using not one, but two of the Young Explorer Series from Apologia. First, we're using Exploring Creation with Zoology 1: Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day.

I really love everything about this series. The text reads like a conversation and Fulbright is a genious at weaving in God's truths so naturally into science.

Fun experiments are worked into each chapter. Last week the kids studied how it is that winged creatures can fly. They found out what type of wing flies the furthest by creating two "fliers" out of cardstock, clay, and pencils*. (The experiment actually called for straws, but we didn't have any. The straws would have worked better.) One "flier" had a long, thin wing...the other a short, wide wing.

They tested the "fliers" by flying each 10 times, measuring the distance, and finding the average.

This picture was pretty cool...even though you can't see our "flier", you can see the shadow.

To top it all off, we added a new member to the household just to enrich our science studies. Meet Reepicheep.

Okay...we didn't exactly get him just to enrich our studies, but it was very timely. Really, it's a rather long story that includes one of our children being asked to birdsit for a friend while they were on vacation, said child taking excellent care of said bird for 10 days...seriously, excellent, then said bird being found dead at the bottom of its cage the very day our friends were returning home, and finally extremely sympathetic grandparents who bought a bird, cage, and supplies for said child.

Reepicheep is a chatty, young parakeet who isn't exactly thrilled to be a part of our family. He sqauwks loudly and angrily each time the kids come running and yelling through the living room. I sort of think we're soul mates.

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Saturday, August 28, 2010

Our First '10-'11 Field Trip

Thankfully, we all survived the first week of the homeschool year, and made it to the second. This was especially good since the second week turned out so much better.

One of the highlights of the week was are very first official fieldtrip of the school year. I have to apologize up front for the excessive amount of photos. This is actually a slimmed down version from what I actually took. I'll keep my comments to a minimum to compensate.

We took a trip to our county GOP for a civics class. By the way, I didn't dress my boys in the same type of shirt on purpose...actually I didn't even notice it until just now.

G9 got us started by leading us in the Pledge of Allegiance.

Mrs. Kim King is running for state representative and led the presentation to our group, which included about 30 K-5 homeschool students.

To demonstrate how a bill is passed, first a governor was chosen from the audience.

The kids were divided in half. One side represented the Senate and the other represented the House of Representatives.

My E6 had a lot to say.

Once a proposed bill passed through the House and the Senate, it was signed into law by the governor. As a side note..I thought it rather funny that the two laws that were proposed by the presenters were "To serve only pizza everyday in school cafeterias" and "The only subject in schools should be recess all day". Apparently, this has gone over well with the public school children when they had done this presentation before. However, the home school students were adamant in their opposition to both of these "bills"! They were all bringing up all sorts of insightful comments as to why they shouldn't "pass" them. Some of my favorites were...

"What if someone is allergic to pizza?" and

"If students only have recess, they won't have enough education. Then they won't be successful in life." (This student was probably in 2nd grade.)

For the sake of the presentation the parents had to coerce them into voting "yes". They VERY reluctantly agreed.

Our state flag.

My A8 was chosen to wear a Derby hat as the lesson continued on to discuss Kentucky traditions.

E6 was chosen to be a jockey.

The jockeys with their trainers paraded around to the tune of "My Old Kentucky Home" mimicking the Derby pre-event.

Ladies in Derby hats and gentlemen in ties clapped for their favorite horses.

G9 (in the tie) looked just like his Daddy. :o)

Here's the whole group! Fun day!

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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Look How Far He's Come!

Our Baby L was born exactly 1 year ago. 6 lbs. 15 oz. Such a sweet little man.

One week later he became sick and was admitted to the NICU. Eleven gut-wrenching days. But God sustained us and never left us. And despite the fact that his MRI showed 3 brain bleeds, despite the fact that he has overall low muscle tone, despite the fact that our therapists didn't even expect him to crawl by age one...

Yup! That's Baby L standing all by himself 2 days before his first birthday! God is good!!!

L1 waits expectantly.

Hmmm...seems interesting.

Oh, yeah! This is definitely my favorite...his first bite. I laugh out loud every time I see this picture.

Oh, was it a mess! I have to say a big THANKS to Chad who totally took care of clean-up.

After a quick dunk in the tub, he was ready to open presents.

What a big boy!!
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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Curriculum Picks

After admitting my failures and anxieties in yesterday's post, I thought I'd try a more positive approach today and share with you the curriculum we've chosen this year.

E3 is enjoying Rod and Staff's simple ABC pre-k set. There are actually seven books total in this curriculum including a Bible story book that I read aloud to him. He colors in the coloring book that accompanies the story book and then does a page from Adventures with Books and Counting with Numbers. We'll start the other books later in the year. As you can see, he la-la-loves to color. It is not uncommon for him to spend the entire 3 hours we spend in the schoolroom each day coloring in his books.

H5 is in Kindergarten/first grade this year. She's halfway through Math K which she will continue, and at the rate she flies through it, I'm expecting her to be finished way before Christmas at which point I will probably start her on Math Mammoth's 1st grade. We're using the Italic series for Handwriting, and Language Arts 1 from Christian Light Education. She's also working her way through Explode the Code 1 & 2. This child is the Workbook Queen. I'm not kidding, I can not give her enough worksheets, so these are all perfect curriculum for her.

E6's independent work is not as extensive. He's my hands-on man and does not do quite as well with a lot of workbooks. He's using Math Mammoth 2nd grade and Explode the Code 3 and 4. His entire English program is based around Explode the Code as I'm using the Teacher's Guide to add in related Language Arts activities. I've also got Beyond the Code to use with him this year.

A8 is using Math Mammoth 3rd grade, Rod and Staff Beginning Wisely, Explode the Code Books 5 & 6, Phonetic Zoo for spelling. She's required to keep a History and Science Notebook, and to read 2 books independently a month. Book reports are due on the 2nd and 4th Fridays.

Silly-faced G9 is using Saxon 5/4, Rod and Staff Beginning Wisely, Explode the Code Books 7 & 8, Phonetic Zoo for spelling. He's also required to keep a History and Science Notebook, and to read 2 books independently a month. Book reports are due on the 2nd and 4th Fridays.

L2 plays in the toy area of the schoolroom during lessons, but also has a desk set up with her own crayons and coloring books. She also frequently plays with our Preschool Activities in a Bag (shown above).

The whole family is enjoying Who is God? published by Apologia, Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day (Jeannie Fulbright also by Apologia), and Story of the World Volume 1.

And even though we didn't get to it last week, our plan is to make Friday our Art and Music Day. We'll be learning to play the xylophone, using a curriculum I bought at the Midwest Homeschool Conference and focusing on an artist and composer of the month.

I'm also hoping to add in a curriculum that I've been wanting to use for a couple of years...both are from Pearables:

Lessons in Responsibility for Boys (for the big boys)

Home Ec (for the big girls)

But I really think the only time we could fit these in would be on Saturday mornings when Daddy could lead the boys and I could teach the girls...oh, to Saturday school or not to Saturday school? Should it really be a question?

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Monday, August 23, 2010

Summary of the first 6 days of the homeschool year.

Obsessive-compulsive planning
+ overestimation of amount of work that can be completed in a seven hour period
+ saying yes to doctors, physical/occupational/ speech therapists, family,and two well meaning friends who ask to visit/schedule appointments during the school day
= seven children who barely put a dent in the school work their teacher actually planned for the first week AND one overwhelmed, procrastinating homeschool Mama whose brain feels like mush and who is about to binge on apple pie, yarn, and a sappy romantic comedy.
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Saturday, August 21, 2010

The Sun Shines LATE at night!

It's been quite some time since I received a Blog Award, so imagine my surprise a couple of days ago when I logged onto my computer and found that not one, but TWO people had awarded me the Sunshine Award...Embracing Destiny and Marcy at Ben and Me. What a way to brighten my day!
So here are the rules:

1. Thank the one who gave it to you and link to their blog.
2. Share seven things about yourself.
3. Choose seven others to bless with the award and let them know they've won an award.

Seven Random Things About Me:
1. I like my caffeine cold...I'll take a diet cherry coke over coffee almost any morning.
2. I share the same birthday with my mother and grandmother.
3. I've had the same pair of tennis shoes since I was a freshman in highschool...I really don't wear tennis shoes very often.
4. Actually, I prefer to be barefoot and would wear sandals year-round if it were socially acceptable.
5. My love language is gifts...and I really love gifts!...especially if they are books or yarn.
6. I'm currently reading through Hebrews.
7. More currently, I'm wondering why I decided to create this post so late at night.

Now for the wonderful bloggers I would like to pass this award on to:

Rebecca at Renaissance has the most beautiful blog with literally the most breathtaking photos. Plus she will be delivering her newest blessing any day now!

Momma K at Working on a Full House is a SuperMama and SuperWoman of Faith. She inspires me each time I read her blog.

Kelly at Hearts wide Open is a friend of mine. Her sweet family are adopting from Ethiopia and her blog is helping them raise funds and chronicle their wonderful journey.

Jenn at Classless and Loving It has received a few bloggy awards from me, but she deserves each and every one of them! She is as beautiful and witty as I have ever wanted to be.

Melissa at In The Sparrows Nest and Cindy at Our Journey Westward have also received bloggy awards from me. But I have learned SO much about homeschooling and nature study from these two mamas that I will never tire of recommending their sites to everyone.

Amy at Buffaloes and Butterflies Wings is a so creative and a superblogger! I always, always get ideas from her when I head over to her blog.

That's it for me...Have a sunshine-y day ...or night! Pin It Now!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Schoolhouse Expo

It's back to homeschool time and registration is open for the online
Schoolhouse Expo, October 4-8. It's five days of top homeschool
speakers, fellowship, and fun door prizes.

I got a chance to participate in the Schoolhouse Expo in May and it was so nice! I just love listening to homeschool speakers and learning new ideas! Oh, and I just love getting the freebies too! ;-)

You can save $5 per ticket when you register between August 16 and midnight August 22,
and you'll pay only $19.99. Plus you'll receive over $200 in free
E-Books. (Freebies!!!)

You'll be inspired by speakers including: Zan Tyler, Dr. Jay Wile, Jeannie
Fulbright,Carol Barnier, Diana Waring, Todd Wilson, Davis Carman, Kim
Kautzer, Lee Binz, and many more!

A special teen track is planned--the entire family will definitely
want to listen to these special sessions. We've also planned a special
focus on a topic that touches every homeschool--writing. Plus, an
array of other topics that will inform and inspire you throughout your
homeschooling years.

Don't forget, MP3 copies of each session comes with your LIVE event ticket.

Two special preconference shows on August 24 and September 21 with Dr.
Jay Wile, Jeannie Fulbright, and Kim Kautzer!

Register starting 12:01 a.m. on Monday, August 16.

The theme this fall is "Celebrate Homeschooling!" We're going to
celebrate the unique blessings of homeschooling, the beginning of
another school year, our families, and the freedom to tailor our
children's education to best meet their needs.

If you cannot make the Live event, then the October Expo To Go is
just your ticket! You'll reserve MP3s from all of the workshops. This
week only, pay just $14.95!

You can visit either of these links to get more information.
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Monday, August 16, 2010

It was the First Day of First Grade...

...and Pre-K, and 2nd grade, and 3rd grade, and 4th grade.

The schoolyear has officially begun for Integritas Academy! We started with a 'First Day of School' photo.

Followed by prayer time and Bible lessons. L2 was so sweet as she prayed for a family friend.

Each of our students had freshly sharpened pencils and brand new folders on their desks. Their folders contained a calendar (to write their important dates), a daily schedule, and their weekly expectations (includes new chore assignments and how many lessons of each subject need to be completed each week).

I'll admit...it certainly wasn't all peaches and cream. Five students on five different levels all using brand new curriculum, and throw in a 2 year old and 11 month old...let's just say, I'm glad the first day is over.

After lunch we had our 'fun' subjects. Story of the World for History and Exploring Creation with Flying Creatures for Science. The coolest part was this fun 'air pressure' experiment. Place a straw in a glass of water. Using a second straw, blow air up and over the top of the straw in the water. This will lessen the air pressure in the straw causing the water in the straw to squirt out. Fun!

Now on to the second day of second grade...and 1st grade, and third grade, and...

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