Saturday, February 27, 2016

Update on our Days

 In January I had my 2015 blog posts printed in a photo book by Blurb. They are the company I have used in the past to publish my blog posts, but it has been years since I last had a book printed. The last year worth of posts I had printed out was back in 2009. So I am many years behind.  My kids still pull out those old books and look through them and Molly was sad that she isn't in most of them. She showed up in the 2009 book but was only a baby in that one.  So they enjoyed getting a new book to look through. It is my goal to at least get the pages layed out even if I don't print them yet. It is kinda expensive to have them printed so I can't do them all at once.

 I have been working on my posts from 2010.  It is fun to go back and read what we were up to. I was so good about doing weekly reports on what we were doing in our homeschool. Even with a baby in the house my other kids got a lot of school work in. I was able to read so many books with them!  I almost feel guilty that Molly, who is now going through many of the same subjects I was covering back then, isn't getting the same treatment.

I am spread a lot thinner now. I am also less in charge of what my kids are learning.  With Sophie taking most of her classes online, I am relegated more to a homework coach with her. I just help her manage her time and not get too behind in her assignments. She has classes through Williamsburg Acacademy, BYU independent study,  and even some from our local charter school (can't get away from the "life skills" health class that is required for all Freshmen in this state.).  Algebra is the only subject I am actually the teacher for. I admit I am more of a mentor who just answers questions rather than a teacher. She reads the lesson in the book and does the problems. I just correct them and then help her see where she went wrong.  It is strange to be so removed from what she is studying.

Ian too is taking his classes online through Williamsburg. He is doing 6th grade with them and doing the same program Sophie did with them for her 7th grade year. So I am familiar with most everything he is being asked to do for his classes and most of the books. They have added a few different ones then what Sophie was required but mostly it is the same curriculum.  He does math with me too, rather than doing math with Williamsburg. I am not a huge fan of Khan academy and that is what program Williamsburg uses. He is working through Saxon 76 and doing it mostly independently. I haven't even corrected his work in about 2 weeks. I am a slacker! He doesn't tend to have any issues with math and asks questions when he needs something explained differently.

Henry is taking a few Leadership Education Academy classes this year. A writing class and a Literature class.  They aren't very challenging for him and he tends to be kinda bored during the day.

I try to fill his day with History, Science, Latin, and such. But a lot of the time he is just given a book to read and then he tells me what he read. Since we have been studying ancient Greeks so far this year he has been reading lots of greek myths.

But there is still time for some pleasure reads too. The Al Capone does my _________ series has been a new favorite around here. Maybe we will have to make a trip to Alcatraz sometime soon!

Henry also has a bit of extra LEGO time.

Molly doesn't get nearly as much of my time as she should but we still cover all the usual subjects. She is quickly making her way through Singapore Math, Explode the code, Writing with Ease, as well as Story of the World and Song School Latin.

Both Molly and Henry love doing science. We have been doing a study of Weather through January and most of Feb.

This lovely lady that Sophie colored in years ago when  she was in first grade and studied Weather has been a big hit. Molly has been able to dress her up in appropriate clothes for the weather that day.

We are moving onto botany now and learning about plants. 

 We got a botany science kit and are growing a few different things with that kit.

Here is Molly testing out how plants get water. The long straw is supposed to be like her stem drawing up the water. She loved this experiment.

 Then there is also the piano. All four kids are taking lessons and Sophie is especially good about practicing everyday. It helps that she picked a fun My Little Pony song to learn. But Apples to the Core is starting to get on my nerves! She does play it well and the piano teacher said "if you aren't annoyed by the songs then you aren't practicing enough".

 Henry too is good about practicing. He is learning the Moonlight Sonata. He loves that it isn't an arrangement but the actual Beethoven. He is getting really good at that one. But again it would be nice to have a little more variety. But they must practice the songs over and over again if they want to get them right.

 Ian practices but somewhat reluctantly and certainly not with the frequency that Sophie and Henry do. He is learning a Lord of the Rings songs and The Spinning Song. Two songs don't get annoying nearly as quickly as one over and over again.

Molly only practices when I force her to but she is still progressing. It is still mostly exercises and really simple songs for her so that is a lot less fun than "real" music so I can understand that she is not as interested practicing. She doesn't fight her lessons so I guess she will get there eventually.

So not quite a weekly or even a monthly report like I used to write but a little update on what we are up to.

The Dress my Mom made for Me

Molly is just the right size to wear this cute tartan dress. It was a skirt my mom made for me to wear when I was in first or second grade. 

 Molly doesn't have a white shirt to wear with it so she picked a black one. I thought it worked pretty well even if it does have snowflake on the front.

 Yeah this girl has personality!  She loves to pose for the camera.

Look at this girl's big grin with the two front teeth missing. What a cutie!

Our Walk

Whenever we are up at my parent's house all we have to say to the kids is "Get your shoes on, Time for the Walk" and they know exactly where we are headed. The walk up at Grandma's house is a trip up their street and back. 

 Lately, when my kids start getting restless and begin fighting, I say "let's go on the walk."  They know what I mean. They get their shoes on or skates and grab scooters for the walk around our block. It is really an empty field right next to our house. It has a wide sidewalk that goes all the way around and is mostly flat so it is perfect for skates, scooters, rip-stick, or just a quick walk.
 The weather has been perfect for our daily stroll at any time of day but as it warms up we will have to plan the timing of our walk a little more to avoid the hottest part of the day.
 The trees haven't all decided it is spring yet.  They line both sides of the sidewalk most of the way.  Can you tell from the way they lean that we live in a windy place. All the trees lean because the winds always blow east.

 Molly finds a few flowers along the way.

 Scooter, skate, running train!
They always leave me way behind.  But at least the almost 2 mile walk does get them a little exercise and tires them out at least a little. The half hour walk is well worth the time!

The highly anticipated Lego Set

Have I mentioned that my kids are Doctor Who fans? Henry has been talking and talking about the Doctor Who lego set for months. It came out in January, but he has known about it for months and months. He was very disappointed it came out after Christmas but since we had a "NO LEGO CHRISTMAS" this year it wouldn't have showed up under the tree anyway. 

 Last night I surprised him with the set. He had been very upset. He found out his best friend is moving in a month. He was very upset and I felt like he needed some cheering up. The Doctor Who Lego set had been in my closet for a few weeks waiting for the right moment to come out. I was going to save it for Easter or some other special day but felt like the right time to bring this one out.  It was already 9:00 at night but he got right to work building.

 Molly just liked to play with the mini figures. She kept changing up the parts and making The Doctor have the Weeping Angels wings and hair or have Clara have one of the Doctor's hair.

 Ian was busy building Daleks.

 Henry was very meticulous about following the directions. He didn't want anything built wrong.

 Oh look the TARDIS!
 It opens up!

 And it connects to the TARDIS console.
This is a great LEGO set and my kids are thrilled with it. 
Henry said "This has been the best and the worst day".  He is still upset about his friend moving nothing will make that blow hurt less but he is happy to finally have the Lego set he has been dreaming and talking about for ages.