Thursday, January 3, 2013

A Peak At Our Week: Session 3 Week 1 - Welcoming in a New Year

In My Life The Last 3 Weeks
Nothing like "ringin' in the new year" with purging the clutter! I wanted to start 2013 off with an organized house so we spent copious amounts of time doing just that. Quality family bonding time! ::wink:: We have 25 bags and 200 or so books and VHS movies for donation, and LOADS of recyclables and  trash ready to load up. Seriously! We're not done with our decluttering, but we certainly got a great start and I'm feeling less, hmm, smothered?

Oh, and our final chicken and duck egg tally for 2012: 1605 eggs! That's a whole lotta laying, don't you think? And the hens took a break to molt for 3 months!

What We're Cooking
Oven-baked Caramel Popcorn (without nuts) for Movie Night

Homeschool High School
White Pine attended his first enrichment class at a new STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) charter high school this week. Although he was a little nervous venturing into a new school situation, he really enjoyed his first class learning Google Earth SketchUp to begin planning and creating a city such as an architect would do.

The Screwtape Letters, Approach Paper: C.S. Lewis, Multiplication of Polynomials, Biology: Evolution, World History: Asia mapwork, Google Earth SketchUp

Homeschool Elementary
Session 3 and a new, slightly revamped daily schedule...and back to the good ol' white board (rather than workbox cards). White boards and wet erase markers are the best! Anyway, I simplified Sugar Maple and Balsam Fir's daily assignments, focusing more on those challenging areas, which means Spelling, Writing and Math.

Have you seen XtraMath? It's a FREE site that offers math fact learning for students and reports for us instructors. My saplings will be using it for the rest of the year to get those facts down.

Would you believe that my saplings ASKED to learn about Chemistry? Whoop! You see - I have a Chemistry lab kit that's been sitting on the shelf for a while, collecting dust, waiting for the day when JUST one of the saplings showed an interest in it. Finally! So, in additional to our Chem X100 kit, we'll be notebooking information from the Chem4Kids website. We focused on states of matter.

And we continued on with the Ancient Greeks in SOTW, reading about how life was different in Athens (where education and arts were important) and Sparta (where bravery, strength and fighting skills were important). Both saplings would chose to live in Athens. ::wink::

Sugar Maple's Accomplishments
The Heroes of Olympus: The Lost Hero, Creative Writing (on Computer), Cursive, Math: Decimals, Line Segments and CM, Xtra Math: Addition Facts, Chemistry: States of Matter, SOTW: Ancient Greece, Mapwork

Balsam Fir's Accomplishments
A Kiss for Little Bear, Word Work, Creative Writing, Handwriting, Math: Addition/Subtraction, Xtra Math: Addition Facts, Time Bingo, Chemistry: States of Matter, Snap Circuits, SOTW: Ancient Greece, Mapwork

For the Love of Books
Well, The Hobbit was a bust. ::sigh:: So, we moved onto Treasury of Greek Myths: Classic Stories of Gods, Goddesses, Heroes & Monsters by Donna Jo Napoli. With the shorter stories and vibrant drawings, we're all enjoying this one much better! (Note: Some passages may be questionable for your family.

And I started reading Stuart Little and Diary of a Wimpy Kid to Balsam Fir before bed while the other two settle down in their own rooms with books.

Places We Went and People We Saw
☃ Basketball (SM) ☃ 3D Architecture Class (WP) ☃ Library (All) ☃ Rec Center (WP) ☃ Overnight with T_ ☃ Christmas with Family (All) 

Around the 'Net
SOTW Tips from Mary at Homegrown Learners
Leftovers: Division Game from
Keeping a Garden Journal by A Natural Nester

Something to Share
Winter has truly settled into Maine during the last couple of weeks. Snow has blanketed the ground and trees and turned us into a "winter wonderland"

As always, thanks for visiting Our Side of the Mountain. Here's hoping for an awesome 2013! We're linking up to these wonderful blog hops.

Homegrown Learnershttp:// Homeschool Hop ButtonDown Home Blog Hop3Boys&aDog DEALS!


  1. Looks like ALL your kids may be headed down a math and science path! :)

  2. Oh, the snow looks beautiful. My kids are still waiting for some. My hubby says they are predicting some pretty heavy snow for the winter, but you never know.

    Have your hens started laying again?

  3. Love the pics of the snow, I so miss snow on the trees.

  4. Aww we would love to see some snow. We may have to come visit because it sure will not snow here LOL Looks like a great week and a wonderful egg count. Wow!! Have a great weekend :)

  5. Those maps look fantastic! And thank you for that math site, I'm looking for something a little extra.

  6. I am so proud of you for getting rid of so much STUFF!!

    Thanks for the SOTW shoutout. We loved the Ancienrs!

    Have a great weekend!

  7. Oh what a wonderful thing it is to g3t rid of CLUTTER! ACK! I think organizing and decluttering is one of my fave things to do LOL
    YAY for chemistry interest! LOVE all your new projects!
    Happy New Year!!!!

    1. Hey Amy! I can't seem to get on your blog anymore. :(

  8. Oh I love to start my New Year without the clutter! It's even better than Spring Cleaning! Awesome work finding so much to donate!

  9. Love the winter photos! And congratulations of the decluttering - I have a van load ready to go this weekend too - not that it shows in the house.

  10. Beautiful snow!
    And hurray for decluttering! I'm on a kick with that myself. Something about the new year. :)

  11. I love the snow pics. YOu all sure are getting loads of stuff out of your home. I know how good that feels. We reduced about a third of our belongings when we moved this Fall.
    Blessings, Dawn

  12. I am trying to declutter here too - then we all got sick! now I'm starting my new year off behind! go figure - I had such grand plans - lol - drooling over your snow pictures! (kids in the kitchen linky is up and running - sorry I was so sick I didn't even know what day it was!)

  13. Wow on the egg count! Chickens and a coop are on our to-do list for Spring :-)...I also really like that your kids chose Athens. I have a feeling that one of mine (who thinks he's braver than he really is) would choose Sparta.

  14. We made caramel corn during Christmas break, too! Your picture makes me wish I still had some left...
    The Hobbit was not a book we loved, either. Glad we weren't the only ones.
    And I adore Xtramath! We have a lot in common in addition to the Maine connection. ;)

  15. I love all the maps your kids have made. Mine LOVE to make maps...big ones! LOVE the winter wonderland pics as well!

  16. Beautiful snow! Why didn't I think to count our eggs for the year...great idea. We can for this year, I guess;) We do love our hens!! That caramel corn looks delicious- yum.
    Happy New Year to you and yours!

  17. I've forgotten about XtraMath! I'll have to work that in this semester for my girls. Thanks for the reminder. And congrats to WhitePine on going to his first enrichment class! So exciting! :)

  18. That caramel popcorn looks delicious. I am considering using SOTW curriculum next year and found Homegrown Learners vlog about it very helpful.

    Your reading list for your 2nd grader on your curriculum page is wonderful. I have been trying to find some books that my oldest would enjoy. I can't wait to check out the ones you have listed. Thanks for stopping by my new space!

  19. That popcorn looks sooo good, Was it? I think we may try and make that this week for a movie night. Love the winter in Maine pictures, I love the snow so glad we live in the north.

  20. I LOVE getting rid of clutter! Since living with my inlaws and having on 500sq ft for the 5 of us, I've become a little obsessive about getting rid of stuff.

  21. Love your snow pictures, we probably won't see any where I live:(
    I've started a declutter campaign as well, should have done it before I moved all this stuff 500 miles! Since you have one doing high school have you checked out Forums for parents and students, lots of good info.
    I would love to have chickens, but my in-laws keep telling me I don't want those "nasty" things...still trying to win them over!
    Happy decluttering and New Year!

  22. What you accomplish with your children is always so impressive! Wow! :-) Love the maps and the fact that they *wanted* to do Chemistry! That caramel popcorn looks too good to be true. Thanks so much for linking up with Try a New Recipe Tuesday! Hope you will be able to join us again this week. :-)

  23. Thanks for linking up. I am featuring you for this xtraMath link. What a great idea! HammockTracks had some hiccups and I couldn't host Its a Wrap last week. But we are up and running again. I hope you'll stop by again.


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