Thursday, November 29, 2012

It's a Wrap! Session 2 Week 4 - A Regular Ol' Week

In My Life This Week
The usual. You know - laundry and sweeping and vacuuming and mopping and taxiing and cooking and school. I did finish up one book, Valley of  Ashes, and started another, Born Blue. That's it. But isn't the usual the best kind of week?

L. to R. Speckles, Onyx, Roadrunner, Mustard, Rhodie, and Sassy

What We're Cooking
I've been slowly phasing myself out of the kitchen. I seem to do a lot of cooking since most of our food is prepared from scratch, but it isn't something I enjoy. It's nice to have 3 kitchen-savvy Saplings to help out! This week they prepared for dinner Homeschoolin' Mama's Burrito BakeOur Best Bites' Catalina Chicken (which was cooked in the crock instead), I Heart Naptimes' Sugar Cookie Bars, and Allrecipes' Eclair Ice Box Cake. Now, to work on getting them to clean up afterward! ::wink::

Top L. to R.: Ice Box Cake and Burrito Bake. Bottom L. to R.: Catalina Chicken and Sugar Cookie

Homeschool High School
White Pine (finally) wrapped up his Animal and Plant Cell lab this week. It was from 2-3 chapters ago, but his 2 other labs went for 2-4 weeks, slowing this one up. He still has 3 more labs to catch up on. (Sweet Pepperbush needs to gather lab supplies from the store. Soon. No, no, that's not me! Ahem.) But he's moved onto Genetics. (And fortunately those labs are paper demonstrations of DNA strands. Phew!)

He finished reading The Count of Monte Cristo and wrote his Author's Profile and an Approach Paper for Excellence in Literature II.  If you're looking for something heavy on reading and writing for high school, but easy to implement and inexpensive here you go.

He set aside World History, Geography and Cultures for Saxon Algebra this week. He'd much rather do the history of course, but those equations with LETTERS don't solve themselves. ::wink:: 

And White Pine joined his buddy as "Assistant Coaches" for Sugar Maple's basketball team. His buddy's Dad's the coach and his buddy's sister is also on the team. But I think they spent more time "hanging out" then coaching.

L.: Biology Lab Book sample on cells. R. Top: Typing up an English paper. R. Bottom: Stripe helping
White Pine with school.

The Count of Monte Cristo, Author Profile, Creative Essay, Persuasive Essay, Equations with Parenthesis, Word Problems, Products of Prime Factors, Population and Cell Labs, Genetics, Parts of a Microscope

Homeschool Elementary
Well, let's see...We read lots of Ancient Egypt books (from the library) but I returned them before writing them down. Oops! Then we moved onto the Phoenicians. Now, the Phoenicians are pretty interesting. I can't say as I really knew much about them before SOTW, but they were some of the first glass blowers. The Saplings did some mapwork, writing down notes and highlighting Phoenician areas around the Mediterranean, and then we studied about the first librarian ever, Ashurbanipal, who was also a cruel Assyrian king that conquered Egypt and Canaan back when.

How about our volcano study? It's been a blast! Ha! Ha! Anyway...we studied the different types of volcanoes and how they erupt, filling out a couple of Homeschool Share mini books,  built and watched volcanoes erupt on Volcano Explorer, and learned what type they were, watched videos and played games at neoK12 to reinforce our learning, and watched "Krakotoa: Volcano of Destruction".

Sugar Maple read D'Aulaires Book of Greek Myths. Again. I'm guessing she may have parts of it memorized by now. There's just something about myths that she really enjoys. 

L. Using a Magnifying Glass to find spelling words in the dictionary. R. Top: Reading under a
snuggly fleece blanket that she made. R. Bottom: A crystal garden made from ice pulled from
the brook

And Balsam Fir built a rocket out of a styrofoam bowl and TP rolls. It even dropped "engines" as it "shot into space", leaving the nose with the astronauts. Unfortunately, there are no photos as his rocket had a disastrous landing. ::wink::

L. to R.: Wearing MY hat, sample of  handwriting, working on a puzzle.

Sugar Maple's Accomplishments
Writing - Letter to Pen Pal, Vocabulary Building, Sequential Spelling - Day 18-23, Cursive, Decimal Place Value Through 100ths, Naming Points on a Number Line, Volcanoes, Phoenicians, Assyrians

Balsam Fir's Accomplishments
Henry and Mudge in the Sparkly Days, Sight Words and Spelling with Samson, Handwriting, Addition with Carrying, Calendar, Volcanoes, Phoenicians, Assyrians, 100 Piece Puzzle

Places We Went and People We Saw
★ Scouts (BF/WP) ★ Basketball (SM/WP) ★ Clarinet/Band (SM) ★ 

Helpful Homeschool Hint and Resource
I spent some time this week updating my Helpful Edu-sites page. Would you check it out? There's lots and lots of stuff there! And everything is free (if you don't count printing costs). Do you have any great sites I should add? Comment below please!

Something Silly to Share
It's not our cat Stripe, but it could be. I'm sure she'll gets lots of enjoyment out of the Christmas tree in the days ahead. 

Well, that's a wrap! I don't know about you, but it's hard to believe that tomorrow is DECEMBER and in a few weeks it'll be 2013. Wowzers! We're linking up to these great blogs. Have a wonderful week!

 Favorite Resource This WeekHomegrown Learnershttp://
 Hip Homeschool Hop ButtonDown Home Blog Hop

Friday, November 23, 2012

It's a Wrap! Session 2 Week 3: Gobble! Gobble!

In Our Life This Week
Happy Thanksgiving...a day late! Did you have a wonderful dinner with family and friends? We spent the day with Mimi and Pop, my in-laws, and had a yummy dinner with all the fixin's, and played "Apple to Apples", listened to a few clarinet songs from Sugar Maple, and watched a little football. 

Homeschool High School
White Pine's week was a bit "off". There are times when LIFE takes precedence over school. Not that learning DIDN'T happen, but the TEXT BOOK stuff was less. Taking care of Olive, one of our ducks, was important this week. White Pine is our "Duck Whisperer", so his care of Olive was needed to get her feeling "ducky" again. Administering antibiotics for her respiratory infection hasn't been simple! ::wink:: He did wrap up his 3 experiments though, completed most of his South America unit, and read lots.

The Count of Monte Cristo, Dumas Approach Paper, Cellular Respiration, Succession, Population and Cell Types/Parts Labs, Bird Anatomy and Care, South American History and Geography

Homeschool Elementary
Math woes. ::sigh:: I guess it's going to be one of those years for Balsam Fir. But I think hope I found a solution for the time being. I really don't want the Saplings to dread a subject even if they must do it. I try hard to find things that will make learning at least tolerable during these "You're not making me, Mom!" phases. He's now working through a Math workbook from And he's still progressing: he learned to regroup addition problems this week!

Balsam Fir's Math workbook and his first double digit addition secret puzzle page with one
carrying problem.

But, he taught himself to tie laces! With his fine motor challenges from SPD, I haven't really pushed learning to tie laces. He'll be 8 in a few months and I know most kids learn sooner, but I figured in his own time...Sunday morning he picked up the Learn to Tie Your Shoes box and within minutes he was a professional! 

Using a Learn to Tie Your Shoes box, Balsam Fir practiced a few times getting the loops and tugs right and then
moved onto sneakers. Isn't that an awesome bow?!

Oh, and do you remember me posting about Sugar Maple taking the Saxon 65 tests to move along quicker in her Math? Well, she finally reached the end of "moving along" (i.e. scoring 85% or higher) with test 14 and started lessons back up this week. She made it through 1/2 the book! Pretty impressive, huh?

We started our Erupt! unit study on volcanoes. (Did you see my planning post here?) We've dropped Apologia Botany until spring. It'll be more interesting to study plants when they're not all "preparing" for the winter. ::wink:: We mostly watched Bill Nye and You Tube videos on volcano basics and studied the layers of the Earth and how eruptions occur.

An Earth's layers flipbook with composition, width and state of matter information, and mini paper volcanoes.

And we continued on with our SOTW, learning about Ancient Egypt. Have I mentioned that I love the pronunciation guide from the activity book? Has that ever come in handy lately! We read about Amenhotep (AH men HO tep), King Tut, Thutmose and Hatshepsut (hat SHEP soot) and filled out our maps.

Ancient Egypt mapwork with places, people and event notes, and more cards added to our wall timeline.

Sugar Maple's Accomplishments
Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Last Olympian, Citing Passages, Spelling and Reading Comprehension with Samson, Cursive, Operations with Mixed Fractions, Volcanoes, Ancient Egypt, Dance Mat Typing (11wpm)

Balsam Fir's Acoomplishments
I am the Turkey, Writing (Capitals/Periods/Commas), Sight Words/Spelling with Samson, Handwriting, Double Digit Addition with Carrying, Volcanoes, Ancient Egypt

Helpful Hint
Index cards make really good Math visual tracking aides for younger learners. Balsam Fir uses them when puzzling out multiple digit Math problems. Graph paper is also great for organizing problems when kiddos have to write out the numbers. These simple "tricks" help keep those numbers where they should be!

Balsam Fir lines up the index card to block the tens column, adding up the ones. A simple tracking tool for those
with visual challenges or just learning multiple digit computations.

Places We Went and People We Saw
♦ Basketball Clinic and Parents of Players Meeting (SM)) ♦ Scouts (SM/BF) ♦ Kinderconcert: Brass Quintet (SM/BF) ♦

What We're Cookin'
We brought dessert for Thanksgiving dinner. Sugar Maple whipped up a creamy pumpkin pie, and White Pine baked a sweet pecan pie. (If you'd like the recipes, click here and here!)

Sugar Maple's pumpkin pie and White Pine's pecan pie. Isn't it awesome to have other cooks in the kitchen?

Something to Share
Those of you who know me probably know I don't like to shop. Ever. I shop when it's necessary, getting in and out as quick as possible. So, I had to share this SomeeCard from Facebook because I can't imagine shopping on Black Friday willingly and because I'm posting this ON Black Friday! ::wink::

Thanks for stopping by and reading at Our Side of the Mountain! We're linking up to these fun blog hops. Why not click over and check them out. See you next week!

 Favorite Resource This WeekHomegrown Learnershttp://
 Hip Homeschool Hop ButtonDown Home Blog Hop3Boys&aDog DEALS!Photobucket

Thursday, November 15, 2012

It's a Wrap: Session 2 Week 2 - The Microscopic World and Pumpkin Noms

In Our Life this Week
Puttering around the yard! I know it's typically the Dad that does the yard work, but around here it's usually me...and I'm definitely OK with passing along the dirty dishes to Dad. ::wink:: So, I raked up more leaves to add to the chicken and duck run, re-hooked the chicken wire fencing to the metal poles around the garden area, covered the chicken run with plastic sheeting (with help from White Pine and a new staple gun), and moved the sandbox into the run for the duck's "winter pond". With our days oh-so-much-shorter now, it's nice getting out for some crisp, fresh air and sunshine. How about you?

Homeschool High School
There was some pretty cool stuff happening with the microscope this week! (I had to join in and see all those cells! ::laugh::) White Pine had some catching up to do with his Biology labs. He currently has 3 labs running, 2 of which take about 2 weeks to complete, and 2 require the microscope. Not much Biology BOOK work was done, but he did finish up Chapter 8 (minus another experiment) on Photosynthesis and got a 90% on his self-test. 

He also really enjoyed his South America mapwork with Around the World in 180 Days. He spends lots of time making sure his work is neat and complete!

The Three Musketeers, Dumas Approach Paper, Negative Exponents, Reactions in Photosynthesis, Plant Population Lab, Growing Bacteria Lab, Plant and Animal Cells Lab, South America: Mapwork, Community Service Project (Scouts)

Homeschool Elementary
Have you tried handicrafts with your kids? I can't say was we're 100% Charlotte Mason, but the handicraft stuff is a definite winner around here! This week we made puzzle wreath ornaments. (And yes, I know it's kinda early to be thinking CHRISTMAS, but why not? ::grin::)

Sugar Maple and Balsam Fir also made some Mini Pumpkin Pies. Super easy! Ingredients? A can of pumpkin pie mix (that needs just evaporated milk and eggs), pre-made pie crusts, an egg mixed with a splash of water, a little cinnamon mixed with white sugar, and a large pumpkin cookie cutter. They mixed the pumpkin filling with the milk and eggs and cooked it in a casserole dish (according to the can directions). Once the filling cooled, they sandwiched dollops of it between 2 pumpkin-shaped pie pieces, sealing the dough with egg wash. These were cooked at 350 degrees until the tops were golden, then pulled from the oven and lightly dusted with a little cinnamon-sugar. 

But I still had some pumpkin puree left and we certainly couldn't throw it out, right? So, we also made some pumpkin chocolate chip brownies. Nom! Nom!

We continued on with Story of the World after a 4 week break with Ancient China and Ancient Africa. We read about Huang Di, the emperor of China, who may have started the first teaching practice of medicine, and his wife, Lei Zu, who discovered silk, and Anansi, an African story character.

Leaves! I probably should have made sure we completed this chapter of Apologia Botany BEFORE the leaves all tumbled down from the trees, but...We studied photosynthesis and transpiration this week. 

Sugar Maple's Other Accomplishments
Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Battle of the Labyrinth, Sequential Spelling Days 13-15, Spelling/Reading Comprehension With Samson, Spectrum Reading Comprehension,  Journaling, Improper and Mixed Fractions, Dance Mat Typing, Lumber Mill Field Trip, Clarinet/Band, Thanksgiving Cookies (Library), Homeschoolin' Mama's Burrito Bake

Balsam Fir's Other Accomplishtments
Henry and Mudge in Puddle Trouble, Sight Words/Spelling with Samson, Time Monsters, Journaling, Place Value to Millions, 100 piece puzzle, Handwriting, Lumber Mill Field Trp, Thanksgiving Cookies (Library), Homeschoolin' Mama's Burrito Bake

For the Love of Books
Have you heard of Heifer International? H.I. works with communities around the world to end hunger and poverty, and one way they do that is to give families livestock that can provide them with food and even a living. What's really cool about them (beyond giving families a HAND UP of course) is that they provide FREE resources to instructors on economics here for grades PreK-8 (FAVORITE RESOURCE)! What does this have to do with our read aloud for this week? Well, Beatrice's Goat is a story about a young African girl who wants to go to school. But only families who can buy uniforms and books for their kids can go. This beautifully illustrated story tells how a goat from H.I. helps Beatrice attain her dream.

Something  to Share

Thanks for visiting Our Side of the Mountain. We're linking up to these blog hops. Why not head over and check them out. We hope to see you next week!

 Favorite Resource This WeekHomegrown Learnershttp://
 Hip Homeschool Hop ButtonDown Home Blog Hop3Boys&aDog DEALS!Photobucket