Let’s Wrap Up the Last Week of School!

Woot! Woot!  We are done-officially anyway with school for 2018/2019!  Last week was slow and fun.  ( I know that I am writing this at the end of the next week, but our last official week of school was last week.). Parks and Sawyer broke out the paints.  We looked through photos depicting moments in US History.  Sims and Sawyer went to their final science lab classes.  Sims finished his geometry class.  We did one last hike with our 4H group.

Now on to summer!  And what would summer be in a homeschooling household without some good old fashioned educational activities (insert child moans)?  We started our summer off hatching chickens.  We are city folk here so this was a totally new experience.  We learned about eggs and the embryonic development of the chickens.  We learned how to “see” them develop through the eggs by holding a light up to the eggs.  We watched them hatch and grow quickly!  I also got a subscription to MEL chemistry kits for the summer.  The first one already came in.  I got it for all of the kids, but Parks jumped on it.  He LOVED it.  Other than that, we will continue with some reading throughout the summer!  I will write a post wrapping up the year with everyone’s classes and such at a later time.  Until then-Happy Summer!

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Weekly Wrap Up

We are seriously counting down the days now.  We are finishing up our math books.  Writing classes are complete.  We are reading a book on World War I right now which we should finish up in the next two weeks.  Hands on biology is happening all around us.  Our monarch caterpillars are growing like crazy.  We have chicken eggs in an incubator that should hatch in the next couple of weeks.  We went on a field trip to an educational forest where we saw a beaver dam and pond, forest progression, and learned about forest ecology.  We went hiking where we saw wasp eggs (at least we think that is what they are), spider nests wrapped up in ferns, turtles, and lots of beautiful plants.  Oh, I almost forgot.  We also rehomed to our house two black racers.  Our friends did not want them to stay at their houses, so we boxed them up and released them in our yard!

Weekly Wrap Up

Spring is here!  We are loving the weather.  Things are winding down Sawyer and Parks had their last writing class on Tuesday.  Parks had to present his research paper on the history of snowboarding.

Wednesday, we headed on a hike to Boone’s Cave.  We saw lots of critters and beautiful flowers.  Later in the afternoon, a friend of mine came over to bring me some milkweed plants.  We decided to run down to Latta Plantation to check on our butterfly garden that we planted there a few years ago.  While we were there, we found some monarch eggs! Let the fun begin!

We ended the week with our end of year testing, planning for the summer and the end of Sims’s second Brave Writer Class-Essay Prep for the Research Paper.  This class was tough.  There was a lot more work than in the Dynamic Thinking class.  I think he would have benefitted from another two weeks of the class.  He learned a lot, and I think he needed more time to process all of the information inorder to properly complete the paper intended.  We are learning!  Now we are off to play on the lake.

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Spring Break Wrap Up

The last two weeks flew by!  We didn’t go anywhere.  We didn’t do anything crazy.  We just hung out at home, swam in the lake, enjoyed the lake, and celebrated life!  We started the break off with Sims’s birthday and ended it with a concert!  Over all, we had a  terrific two weeks.  The pictures show it all!

Another Year Older

We had a special celebration on Monday, Sims’s 16th birthday!  He celebrated by going out on the jet ski in the cold, cold water-amazingly, that cold water never seems to deter him from playing- and heading to climbing practice.  Each year, I cannot believe how much he has matured and grown up.  I am seriously ready for it to slow down!  He had so many new adventures during his 15th year.  He got to climb in many new states on new types of rock.  He has made some great new friends.  He has been a terrific big brother.  He built his own climbing wall. He loves being on the water, outdoors, or on a rock wall! Happy Birthday Sims!

Brave Writer Essay Prep Dynamic Thinking

Are you looking for a writing class for a reluctant writer? Or do you want your child’s writing class to be different/better than the typical writing class? I was!

We have been through a TON of writing programs-IEW, Writeshop, Essentials in Writing…..They are all great and teach the basics of writing a 5 paragraph paper.   The result was….well, a boring five paragraph paper.

My oldest just dreads writing.  DREADS it!! However, he is a pretty creative writer and comes up with good ideas.  Getting those ideas on paper is extremely tough and takes some work (this is the dysgraphic brain kicking in).

For years, I have been reading the Brave Writer blogs and using the book club packets from Brave Writer.  I have the Writer’s Jungle Book and have done several activities through it, but that was about it until this year.  I looked at the online classes and decided to take the plunge.  The classes are pricey in my opinion which was my biggest hesitation.

Thankfully, the class was AMAZING!  We started with an essay prep class even though he can write a five paragraph paper.  I wanted my oldest to be completely independent with getting his thoughts down (I wanted to be out of the picture completely-although, I did keep up with the class on my own).  The class had generally 3 writing assignments per week and reading everyday.  None of the assignments were overwhelming or crazy time consuming.  The best part for my oldest was using a timer to write.  I have suggested this time and time before, but when it was actually part of the assignment, he loved it.

I am looking forward to the next essay prep class on research.  He starts that one next week.

 

(FYI-I do not receive any compensation or anything for writing this.  It is simply a review of a class that we took)

Weekly Wrap-Up

Whew!  What a week.  We are all feeling the need for a little break, but we aren’t quite there yet.  However, we did fit some fun into the week to help with our need,

We started the week off at the Banff film festival.  If it travels to your area, I highly recommend that you see it.  The films are great even if you aren’t an avid outdoorsman.

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Sims had a week off of geometry last week, so he was back to the math this week along with the rest of the other crew.  Sawyer is still working through the Life of Fred Pre-Algebra books.  She has one more book to go before the end of the year (I believe it is the Pre Algebra with Economics).  Parks is working with fractions and decimals.  He finished the Life of Fred series.  I am debating whether or not to go ahead and let him start the Fractions book.

The older kids had their usual science classes on Tuesday; Sawyer and Parks had writing class as well.  The weather is finally perking up around here so we struggled through the classes by spending every free moment in between classes outside doing our work at the picnic tables.

On Wednesday, we played hooky from our 4H class and went to the white water center.   We wanted to get Nick a pass for his birthday, so we figured that we would enjoy some outdoor time while we were there.  (I do hate that we missed 4H as they learned how to build a website, but my kids said that they have used the program before.). The kids all busted out some work when we got home from the white water center.  Then we headed out for the art club that Sawyer started.  Sims and I are using the time to work together on writing or what ever he needs some help with.  It has been a nice addition to the schedule.

Thursday was work as usual and a fun birthday celebration (which required some extra home ec as Sawyer baked a pound cake that was delicious!!).  Friday morning, Sims and I headed down to Atlanta where we will be for the weekend.  He is participating in a climbing clinic.  Back at home, Parks and Sawyer worked on their big projects for writing that are due next week!

Oh!  I almost forgot!  Some of the fun parts of homeschooling/unschooling.  Remember our tadpoles that we scooped up last week?  I haven’t mentioned them to the kids.  I have just had them on the counter and have been taking care of them myself.  I noticed a magnifying glass out.  Obviously, the kids are enjoying them after all.  I believe unschoolers call it seeding?  Putting out books/games/activities that will spark interest.  Through some casual conversations, I have learned how much they have observed our little guys!

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