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


  1. Actually, the shopping occurred this year before the dishes were done on Thanksgiving. And, shamefully, I was one of them. ::sigh::

    Enjoy the rest of your weekend with your family!


  2. Jessy I always love reading your posts. You crack me up ;) One thing I LOVE about homeschooling is that 'life can take precedence over book learning'. and he still learned! :) Yay for the laces and Yay for the Math! Great job. I think kids are more proud of themselves when they learn things at their pace and also when they teach themselves. I have your volcano unit pinned and I told Keilee about. She is interested in doing it. I just can't remember all the great ideas I get from everyone! Even with Pinterest. ::sighs:: Hope you have a great weekend. Loved that Somee card. ;)

  3. What a full week! I hope your duck is back in good health. I love that index card trick. Will use it for sure! I love all the "accomplishments"- it is a great way to assess what *has* been done rather than what was *planned* to be done. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

  4. A great week again for you guys. The volcano unit looks fun. Wish we had waited for you to plan that all out for us, before we did our unit earlier in the year. ;-)

    Amber tested through Saxon 6/5 last spring and summer too. She entirely skipped the whole level and started this school year on 7/6. 6/5 seems like a fairly repetitive year, so the kids already have the concepts down really well, then skip it. At least in my opinion, the Saxon people probably hate me.

    I LOVE to shop, but hate crowds. So, I get my shopping thrill mostly online during Christmas. In a couple weeks I might venture out to buy one or two things I couldn't easily get online. Sometimes I'll have items shipped to my house rather than drive 2 miles to the store. LOL!

    Have a great weekend!

  5. As always, a busy busy week! And yes, sometimes it is less of the textbook things, but Life happens and you know what? Learning is still happening. I still remember a piece of advice when I started homeschooling that said "Sometimes the life skills ARE the learning, and that's all you get that week. And its ok!" I've had to fall back on that piece of advice several times...

  6. Loads of great things in your week! is a great source for worksheets. I love that photo you shared at the bottom...I also saw that going around on Facebook. I stay far away from the whole Black Friday thing...UGH!
    Thanks for linking up, Jessy. Have a good weekend :)

  7. LOL! I love the last quote. You always have such productive weeks! How do you get so much done? I love all the accomplishments. The pies look yummy, too.

  8. I hope your duck feels better soon.

    And yes, it's terrific to have other cooks in the kitchen! My daughter made a pumpkin roll--she learned a lot and we all enjoyed eating it!

  9. How is the duck? I love that you have your archives listed now. I need to organize mine better, I slacked off when I debated switching to Wordpress. I am on my phone a lot, can you message me a link to your SOTW timeline cards. We use SOTW as a guide with a few other books and the scriptures, but I think I am losing my train of thought at times. Plus since its a family lesson I need to challenge the older ones a bit more. Looking for history ideas for them as well

  10. It seems more often than not that real life takes over our text book time. I love to get in at least a couple hours of book work with my high schooler each day. I have to learn to relax and not worry about it if it doesn't happen.
    We've set her up with software on her laptop, which she often takes with us on the go. We also have workbooks in the van for those times as well. That is what works best for us on the go, but I wish to just be able to stay home more often.

  11. I always love reading about your weeks! I wish we could come and be a part of your homeschool! The recipes look awesome. Thanks so much for linking them up with "Try a New Recipe Tuesday." I hope you will join us again this week. :-) Many blessings, friend!

  12. I am not against workbooks, but I prefer whole brain teaching. The kids like it, and learn better.


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