Friday, October 21, 2011

Another Fab Fall Week: October 15 - 21

In My Life This Week
Another WONDERFUL Autumn week! Although there was some rain, most days were warmish and sunny and perfect for outside "stuff". We sadly pulled more dying plants out of the garden, and turned some "chicken fertilizer" into the soil to compost for the winter months. We read and "hung out" outside, exploring our swampy backyard. And we raked up some of the MOUNDS of crunchy, fallen leaves. How long will these nice Fall days last until the snow arrives?
Homeschool Happenings
Timberrrrr! Over the weekend, a 20' long tree branch fall onto the lawn. It's been dangling from a broadleaf tree for YEARS now, having split during a heavy snow storm. Sprinter spent his Saturday AND Sunday dragging it and others (from the woods) over to the driveway, grunting, and sawing them into little sections (UNDER SUPERVISION) For hours and hours. And then added an "addition" to his "fort" by the coop. (I just wish I knew what that addition was! LOL)

We had to improvise on the eyeware - SWIM GOGGLES! LOL
The finished pile!

And he got tired of waiting for me to BUY a metal fire pit, so my 6-year-old MADE one! He carefully chose a spot without over-hanging tree limbs and close to the water hose. Then he dug out a small hole in the middle of the lawn and created a ring inside it from rocks taken from the stone wall in the trees. (He probably should have ASKED first though...) The "fort" lost some of it's wood, but we enjoyed our new, little pit. Nothing like roasting hot dogs outside!

Sprinter has been SCOWLING and GROANING about Hooked on Phonics: Learn to Read lately, so I decided to switch to Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons while continuing on with Learning Language Arts Through Literature Blue bridge readers and Bob Books. He flew through the Easy Lessons this week, starting at lesson 9 and ending at lesson 25, but we WILL get to more challenging lessons next week (or the week after)! ((wink))

I just LOVE the progress he's making! We struggled 2 TIMES with Easy Lessons and had to PUSH THROUGH to get to lesson 10, but here he is 8 months later "off and running" with it! Quite an accomplishment for a little boy with visual tracking difficulties!

Jag's green-dyed mint-flavored Rock Candy turned out QUITE well and we were able to look at the crystals under a hand lens and then sample the science experiment. (SAMPLING was the best part of the experiment! LOL) The boys so nicely left one skewer in solution to continue growing candy for Sweet Tart when she returns from her sunny vacation.

And we spent an interesting afternoon with a mycologist - that's a mushroom specialist - with a small group of homeschoolers today. We walked through the woods collecting an assortment of mushrooms that the mycologist - isn't that a cool -ologist word?! LOL - identified and taught us about.

A Working Mill at the Mushroom Foray

Oh, yeah, we did do everyday school work too!

Jag got a 100% on his Algebra test. (Don't you think he should try to do better? LOL)  He whizzed through the section on different types of rocks in Earth Science, starting a rock collection that he will classify and label next week. He read chapter 4 in America: The Story of Us about the beginning of the Civil War and worked on his episode guide from The History Channel website. And he continued on with his verb study in Saxon Grammar and Writing.

Besides Easy Lessons, Sprinter completed 5 Math lessons this week, including another assessment and his first addition fact drill sheet, along with Draw Write Now copywork and drawing of a cow, 4 pages in his Oceans workbook and 6 lessons in First Language Lessons.

Whizzing through Math

On Our Bookshelf

Places We Went and People We Saw
  • Jag packed up his Bean backpack and sleeping mat and headed out for a camping weekend with the Boy Scouts. He came back dirty and tired, but smiling on Sunday.
  • Sprinter had a soccer game on Saturday and a practice on Wednesday. It's SO MUCH FUN to watch the 1st graders play! Although there aren't specific positions at this level, Sprinter has decided that DEFENDER is where it's at.
  • Our neighbor friends ambled over on Sunday for some bike riding and traipsing through the woods.
  • Jag had a soccer game on Tuesday to finish out the season. Good-bye middle school soccer and hello basketball!
  • Sprinter had Cub Scouts on Monday with Dad. (Dad is his Den Leader, just like he was for Jag.) Sprinter LOVES Scouting!
Helpful Homeschool Hint
Do you have to muddle through your child's writing because of quick, sloppy writing? Or faced with disorganized Math work that you need to somehow correct? Try giving them a bunch of cool colored PENS and a bottle of Liquid Paper correction fluid! I've found that my kids slow down, work more neatly and carefully when they know it's in INK. Mistakes happen though so I provide them with white-out. It's much easier to read and correct their work now!

My Favorite Thing This Week
Sprinter swinging (gently) with Ewok ,
one of the roosters. Interestingly, Ewok
seemed to ENJOY swinging! LOL
Whatcha Makin' Wednesdays!
Got a hankering for some CHOCOLATE and CANDY? Check out this recipe, Halloween Peanut Butter and Toffee Candy Bar, that the boys made this week! Be prepared - be VERY prepared - for yumminess (and sugar rushes)! (Share YOUR great recipes on Wednesdays at The Ramblings and Adventures of a SAHM!)

PB Cups, Candy Corn, Heath, Skor, Honey Peanuts, Reese's
Pieces, and Chocolate

What's Working/Not Working For Us
My laptop is back! My laptop is back! ((sigh)) Oh, how I missed you! Geek Squad even backed up my files on disks! I probably shouldn't complain that they're in a jumble though, huh? At least they're THERE!

Photos(s), Video, Link, or Quote to Share
Ever seen a chicken take a DIRT BATH? How about 8 of them in the same spot? Our flock has made the decomposing mulch and pine needles under the wooden swingset "fort" their bathtub! It's hilarious to watch to dirt go flying!

Can you make out the flying dirt in the center of the photo?
Nothing like feathers full of dirt to get CLEAN!
Linking up to:
The Homeschool Mother's JournalWeird Unsocialized HomeschoolersHip Homeschool Moms Button


  1. Our chickens do the same thing, the only problem is their favorite spot is under my rose bush. How did you male the rock candy? I would love to do it with the girls this week.

  2. It sounds like your kids are doing great! I'm glad you found a phonics program your son likes. My son hated all of them -- *LOL* -- so I remember making phonics games instead.

  3. Love that picture of your son swinging with the chicken! That dessert looks fantastic. I'm trying to have a low/no sugar month, but Halloween is not helping!

  4. I'm doing 100 Easy Lessons and Bob books with my youngest. He gets on a roll with 100EZ and cranks out several lessons. I'm just happy he's loving it. The fire pit sounds great - sounds like something my youngest would do without asking permission. LOL Love the swim googles for improvised eye protection as well. :)

  5. Sounds like such an awesome and fun-filled week! :-)

    I love the pic of your son and the chicken. Very sweet. And your dessert is so tempting! Yum!

    I like how your son asked you before making the fire pit. Isn't it wonderful when they take the incentive to helpful!

    Have a great weekend!
    Many blessings,

  6. What a great week for you guys! That is wonderful that Sprinter has made. I know how difficult that can be. I find that switching programs from time to time does help kids who struggle. I love Jag's candy! We have never gotten our sugar crystals to grow that large.
    Your mushroom tour sounds wonderful...well, hey, all of your week sounds wonderful!

  7. I like the hint....lots and lots of groaning here all week. I feel they were trying to press me as far as they could daily.

    Glad you found success with phonics. We are struggling here too.

    Have a great weekend!

  8. What wonderful working outdoor skills. You all had a great week.

  9. What a fabulous, chock full week! I love that your son built the fire pit! Can I hire him?! I too am tired of us not buying a metal one :)

  10. My kids made a wood pile and fire this week. It's all they would talk about until we did it. "Mycologist" - I learned something new today! The pen/white-out suggestion is interesting! Hope your next week is just as fulfilling.

  11. I love the pic of the chicken swinging with your son. How did you all do the candy? Looks like something my bunch would like to try. My bunch was out tonight around a fire.. Must just be the time of year.

  12. I loved reading about how your son took so much time to cut up that branch for his fort, then built a fire pit using rocks. Now that is truly being an outdoors young man.

  13. What a great week!!! :-) And thank you for linking to me!!

  14. I have 100 easy lessons, but we decided to use Ordinary Parents Guide instead with my oldest...but I hung onto 100 Easy Lessons may come in handy for my other two. Nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award

  15. To answer the question: what did YOU do all day? A LOT! Thanks for visiting my blog. I love that your kids take the initiative, even if they might take rocks for a pit from someplace they should have asked about first. :)

  16. Wow! Sounds like you guys had a great week. I feel like such a slouch! I was just going to add that my reluctant writer (who has terrible handwriting) does so much better when I let her write with a fountain pen. Something about the shape of a fountain pen makes her more aware of being sloppy. Most of her work is online (we use Time4Learning as our core) but when she does have to write something, the fountain pen works well. We haven't used it in a while and your comment about the pens spurred my memory. Thanks!

  17. Sounds like a very busy but fun filled week:-)

  18. Any experiment you can eat is a success in my book! Looks like a great week!

  19. Wow, you've done a lot of neat things ~ my boys would love the rock candy experiment!!
    Thanks for stopping by and for the comment, have fun carving pumpkins!


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