Monday, December 16, 2013

Corning Museum of Glass

When Little Man graduated from kindergarten, he told the audience that he wanted to be an NFL player and a glass blower. Ever since then, we've wanted to take him to the Corning Museum of Glass. Last weekend, we finally made that happen.

We didn't get any pictures of the Hot Glass Show, which was our favorite - we attended two shows, watching the artists make a gorgeous vase and punchbowl out of molten glass. We also watched the Breaking Glass Show and the Lampworking Show, where an artist made an intricate reindeer from a bar of clear glass. We decorated gingerbread men, listened to an all-tuba orchestra play Christmas carols and explored the science of glass - there's more than you might think!

The pictures don't really do this tree justice. It was so striking.

This is a magnifying glass water ball.  

Love the work of Dale Chihuly!

Yes, these are glass.

Me and Little Man and Tiffany
More Tiffany

Definitely a day well spent!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Our "One subject per day" experiment

Little Man has had some, uh, motivational difficulties with his schoolwork lately. I decided to try an experiment one day and do just one subject.

 Our first day was a great success. It was an all-math day. If you don't feel that those two sentences should appear in close proximity to one another, read on!

 First, we did some mental math using this book - The Verbal Math Lesson Level 2 -which I just discovered and Love (as much as one can love a math book)

 Little Man loves this because we make the lessons short AND he can do it all orally - no writing. He's a talker. Laboriously scrawling things on paper is worse than having to go to the pink Barbie/princess aisle at WalMart to buy a birthday present. He does a little better on the white board.

 Next, we got out the Fraction manipulatives and worked with those for a bit, then made random designs with them, while I took every opportunity to say, "Oh look, two of the one quarter pieces are the same as a half," and so on.

 My kids love pretty much anything they can do on the computer, so we next went to Khan Academy and he did some three-digit addition with carrying. The videos have always been great, but I love the fact that you can now do math problems and get instant feedback on your answers.

 Finally, we got out the toy cash register and "played." I used Department Store Math   which is great because it has a price list of items by department and pages of problems. The customers come in with all sorts of random needs, for instance: Sam comes in to buy a skateboard and frisbee to take to a picnic this afternoon. Little Man has to look up the prices, add them and then figure out the change to give back. We use real money too. That's a big motivator for him. Not that he gets to keep it or anything. I do the voices of the customers, who are usually so grateful for the help that they invite Little Man to the picnic, or tell him what a great employee he is, or "what a nice young man," if they're the grandmotherly type. Good fun! 

 And there you have it! It was a nice way to mix things up a bit and we both really enjoyed it.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Because my camera is broken

Almost as soon as I decided to blog again, my camera inexplicably got stuck on the macro setting. This enables me to take beautiful, close-up pictures of, say, my children's eyelashes, but not their entire faces. I was very distressed at this until I realized it could be the start of a fun, new hobby! Let me show you:

I'm almost thankful that my camera is stuck! Almost.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Second Grade Plans

Little Man isn't so little anymore! He will be in second grade this year. Here are our plans so far:

TruthQuest Beginnings, which starts in Genesis and goes through the Old Testament
The God's Mighty Warrior Devotional Bible

Language Arts:
Understanding Writing - this program looks great and is very "Charlotte Mason" in nature. The author places a lot of emphasis on communication as a tool to honor God and edify others AND it can be used to teach multiple ages, each at his own level. We'll see how it goes!
Explode the Code - these move kind of slow for my taste but Little Man loves them and that's worth a lot.
Copywork and handwriting practice, Reading practice

Miquon - Little Man is very good at math and he actually enjoys it. Although Saxon has been great for my older son, who likes to know exactly what is expected, I think Miquon will provide more challenge and variety for Little Man.

Considering God's Creation
Science topics from Five in a Row

TruthQuest Beginnings and TruthQuest Ancient Greece - Little Man will not be delving into the mythology and pagan religions of the ancients. He'll be included in the read-alouds that we do as a family and we'll also do some fun projects and Evan Moor History Pockets.

Unit Studies:
Five in a Row - how we love this program! So many great books and great memories made.

Amanda Bennett Great Composers unit study
Creating a Masterpiece art DVDs
Abeka Health
French in 10 Minutes a Day

Seventh grade plans

I have loved reading the "Not Back to School" blog hop over the last week. In fact, that's one of the things that inspired me to get back to blogging. I'm a little late with my entries, but I'll link up if there's still time.

Without further ado, here are the plans for Z-Man's seventh grade year:

TruthQuest Beginnings (which goes through the OT)
Because You Are Strong Bible Study from Doorposts - this is a wonderful resource that he will work on in the mornings with Dad.

Laying Down the Rails for Children - another wonderful resource! Can't wait to start using it.

Language Arts:
Understanding Writing - this is new to us this year. I really like the fact that it emphasizes the fact that any communication we do is for the purpose of honoring God. I also liked that I could use it for both kids, each on their own level. I'll let you know how it works out.
Growing with Grammar - A nice daily workbook that gets the job done.
Phonetic Zoo Spelling - this is an audio CD from IEW. Z-Man can do it independently with his cool red headphones while I work with Little Man.

A combination of Saxon and the Key to Decimals and Key to Percents books. We worked through the Key to Fractions books last year and they really promote mastery of the material. They did put us a little behind in the Saxon schedule though, so this year we'll try to alternate between the two.

TruthQuest Beginnings
TruthQuest Ancient Greece - We LOVE TruthQuest! We've read so many wonderful books. Definitely the highlight of our day. For the most part, this covers all of our family read-alouds as well as both boys' individual reading.

Apologia General Science

Abeka Health
Download N Go Composer study
French in 10 Minutes a Day
Creating a Masterpiece DVDs
Mapping and timeline to go along with our history studies
Basketball and flag football leagues, gym at co-op

And there you have it. I think it will be a great year!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

We're baaaaaack...

After a very extended blogging break, I'm going to try to get back into it. Life got busy, but I miss having an online "scrapbook" of our lives!

Here are a few things we've been up to this summer, in no particular order:

 Buds at basketball camp

 Yummy fruit pizza!

 Ice cream!

 Little Man's first fish

 Flag football tournaments

 Swim lessons

 Tennis lessons

 Mini golf

 Football in the pouring rain


 Sunsets at the beach with good friends

 Z-Man joined the swim team!

 So much beauty

Playing at Harvard

Oh, and trick shots with basketballs and footballs. Lots and lots of trick shots. Off the roof, the swing set, the trampoline... but that will have to be another post. Hopefully with a video.

It feels good to be back.