Friday, May 11, 2012

Hello, Summertime!: May 5 - 11

Life's Adventures
Guess what?! It's summer vacation! Whoop! So, we'll celebrate our last day of the 2011-2012 school year with a picnic at the park this weekend. We'll have our favorite go-to summer pasta salad and "sunshine" cupcakes, and enjoy lake splashing, book reading, and sand building. Let the "lazy" days of summer begin! Ha!

Summertime at One of Our Favorite Swimming Lakes

The gardens are growing! White Pine and Balsam Fir planted bush beans in Balsam Fir's raised 12x6 garden bed. We hope to rototill up the yard for White Pine's NEW, BIGGER vegetable and herb garden this weekend. He has HUGE plans for this season so I hope it's a GREAT one! And Sugar Maple planted her flower bulbs, but we're (im)patiently waiting last year's flowers to, well, FLOWER.

Our Mini Greenhouses with Goblin Gourds, Pumpkins and
Cucumbers Have Started to Sprout

Homeschool Happenings
So, while the kids worked on their math this past week, I complied their portfolios and got ready for our reviews on the 19th. I don't consider our year completed until our reviews are over, but BOOK WORK is finished until after Labor Day.

Bursting Portfolios

And I also started FILLING in the summer calendar. I'm not seeing a lot of LAZY summer days! ((wink)) There's Cub Scout camp, Boy Scout camp, horse camp, Culinary Camp, and camping, and Portland Sea Dogs baseball games, swimming lessons, the library reading program, and Rec Center activities. Phew!

Sugar Maple made me this really sweet, whimsical ROCK BUDDY with paint, dried moss, rainbow glitter and goggle eyes. What do you think I should name it?

We also created some more brown paper bag weaved baskets. Sometimes I forget my reusable grocery sacks when I shop so I ask for paper and then we make things from them. (I guess you can compost them too!) I found the instructions for these baskets on Pinterest (of course) here at Craftster. We staple instead of glue because it's quicker and we don't need to deal with clothespins. ((wink)) They're actually QUITE sturdy and pretty handy for holding things like index cards, flashcards, small craft supplies, markers, crayons, or even toiletries on the counter.

Fold Strips of Bag in Half Twice Then Weave Bottom
Fold up the Strips on the Bottom Then Attach a Strip to the
Side and Weave in and out Around Box, Stapling At Corners
Continue Weaving Until Desired Height or Run out of Strips
 and Staple ALL Strips Together at Top
My Basket is the Green with Orange Swirls and Sugar
Maple's is the Pink and Blue

Flipping Pages and Surfing Screens
I'm "amping up" our reading. With less time devoted to school work, we have more time to delve into challenging, but fun and interesting literature. Our books? White Pine is reading Allegiance, Sugar Maple is reading Black Beauty and Balsam Fir started the Henry and Mudge series. Have you read the Henry and Mudge books? Such cute, fun early readers about a boy and his 180 pound goofy dog!

I'm reading Under the Dome by STEPHEN KING. Did you cringe? LOL I know Stephen King isn't everyone's "cup of tea", but he is a Maine author and sometimes I just need something SPOOKY and WEIRD and totally different from my usual favorite genres. It's 1072 pages long so don't be surprised if you see it on my current reading list for QUITE some time! ((wink))

And our Read Aloud is Peter Pan.

People and Places
☀ S_, C_ and X_ came over ☀ Boy Scout Court of Honor ☀ Portland Sea Dogs Baseball Game  ☀ Band and Clarinet ☀

Helpful Homeschool Hint
So, I came across this REALLY cool freebie on Pinterest Monday morning - Kids Learn Music LAPBOOK from Living Life Intentionally. FREE, folks! Music is one of those things that ALWAYS gets "pushed aside" here for Language Arts and Math and Science and History, so I added this fun-looking, hands-on lapbook to the kids curriculum extras next year! Check it out here!

One of Our Favorite Things
The camper. It's amazing how many fond memories we have camping in our lil' pop-up! We set it up this week and the kids have "moved in", turning it into a playhouse. They're having such a GREAT time just "hanging out" inside, doing arts and crafts, reading and playing board games.

What's Working/Not Working for us?
Well, sadly, we have had some MAJOR repair issues with our van since late last week. It was towed to the garage on Thursday and remains there. What was supposed to be a simple, inexpensive repair has turned into a choice of possibly dropping down to one vehicle and "parking" the van for a while.

So, I need some suggestions for a struggling speller. My Sugar Maple isn't "getting" spelling. We've tried numerous programs, including the ever popular All About Spelling, Spelling Power and Spelling City, but nothing has helped spelling "click" for her. Now her reading level is grade 7+, but her spelling is seriously lagging behind her grade level (5). Do you have a struggling speller? What's worked?

A Photo, Video, Link, or Quote to Share

This Time LAST YEAR, Chee Chee Hatched
And She STILL Prefers Being INSIDE and Held

Linking Up

Weird Unsocialized HomeschoolersFavorite Resource This WeekThe Homeschool Mother's JournalHip Homeschool Hop Buttonabc button
Magical Mouse SchoolhouseChestnut Grove Academy


  1. Happy Summer to you! We've got another week and a half, so we're right behind you!

    Summer is crazy busy around here too, but it's all personal choice, so it's a good thing, right?

    I love the paper sack baskets, we may have to make some of those too. They'd be a great activity, even for one of the daycare kiddo's.

    Cosmo, who will start 7th grade this fall, is not a natural speller. He just doesn't get it either. For him, reviewing the words right before bed time seems to be the best option. He learns them by osmosis then. Even then he'll do ok on the test, but forget them within a few days. Spell check is going to be his best friend, but I have a brother like that too, so I guess it runs in the family. Good luck!

  2. Sounds like another great week! Way to go on being all done for the summer! Your summer sounds like it will be much fun! :-) I am going to try to paper bag baskets. It looks like a great project. I am also going to check out the free resource you mentioned. Thanks for letting us know about it. Hope you have a wonderful weekend! Many blessings, Lisa

  3. How cool to be getting a jump on summer fun! :) Lots of good things in your week...I like the paper bag baskets!
    We had a pop-up camper in our yard last summer for a while (it is my brother-in-law's and he let us borrow it), and my girls adored it!!! We might get to use it again this summer.
    Thanks for linking with Favorite Resources. That lapbook sounds like a good find!

  4. I saw the lapbook, too.... I'm a musician so I definitely snagged this and my kids will be working on it, soon!

    We love Henry and Mudge. My kids always joke about Mudge eating crackers. :-)

  5. So exciting to see bulging portfolios! It means they had a good year. Also like the chicken pictures! Haha stopping by from Hoggatt Homeschool via the HSMJ link up

  6. Look at that chicken! I remember when you just started out. It is huge! Obviously well fed and loved. We are looking at getting a pop-up camper- I would love to camp more often, but the ground is just not doing it for me or my old hubby! Enjoy your summer vacation- although it sounds like you will be plenty busy.

  7. It looks like your household is as busy and full of learning as always. I love the Henry and Mudge books. I have great memories of reading them with all 3 of my kids.

  8. Wow! Busy, busy! We have one more week til break. We start back in July, though. We get bored too easily otherwise.
    Have a great weekend!
    Hopping over from WUHS :)

  9. I don't know where to begin to comment there is so much 'wonderful' in this post.

    First of all STEPHEN KING rocks! He has been my favorite author forever and I even wrote him a fan letter years ago. The only one I ever wrote [well except when I was sure I was going to marry John Taylor of Duran Duran and wrote the band to let them know I was the only person who truly got their music! ;)] Under the Dome I loved! I just read it a few months ago. Right after 11/22/63 which I read twice.

    I love that top picture. THAT is where you swim? Jealous much. I love your pet rock and the woven basket. I am about to call Keilee in to look at both of them.

    YAY for school being out. We don't have to do portfolios or anything like that here. Your summer sounds really busy. But fun too! Hope the van issue gets fixed without major money. :/

    Happy Summer!

  10. Hi Jessy! Congrats to wrapping up a successful year! We are getting excited about our big trek to Maine and the lake cabin at the end of June -- can't come soon enough for me. A Sea Dogs game is on our agenda as well. I'm getting ready to read 11/22/63 myself. I enjoy some of King's books. I like how he almost always mentions Lisbon Falls, my dh's hometown! My girls loved Cynthia Rylant's books. Mr. Putter and Tabby is also a great series of hers! Love the paper bag weaving projects.

  11. I, too, have a good reader and poor speller. I dunno what works, but you have company in having this kind of student! So cool White Pine has such plans for his garden box. My girls are starting to get more hands on with our garden which I love. And I think my girls would love to make some paper bag baskets thanks for sharing. And thanks for praying for my husband's heart.

  12. Lucky!!! We're not ready for summer just yet. But we are finishing off some subjects.

    The baskets were so neat. I'll have to remember to get some paper bags next time that I shop.

  13. Chickens INSIDE!?! My instinctive response was to wonder if you put diapers on them. Ours are way too busy 'making fertilizer' to be allowed in the house. :)

    I am so envious of your summer break. Our teens will be going until the end of June, although the little ones will be finished sooner.

    But at least we don't have to report to anyone. That's one reason why I never seem to get caught up with the marks. The other, of course, is the fact that the kids keep doing more schoolwork all the time.

    Have a blessed weekend!

    1. LOL Yep! Inside, but not for long. Believe it or not, the hens don't really "fertilize" the LR! LOL It's strange, but almost like they know to wait. ((wink)) They're never inside more than 5 minutes though.

  14. Love your rock buddy and your basket weaving!

  15. following you on pinterest and google friend from the hop, would love follows back!


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