Thursday, May 30, 2013

History and Writing Plans for 2013/2014

Now that our summer break is almost over, I thought I would post about our plans for history and writing. I blogged a bit about our plans here.
This year, I have decided to use A Living History of Our World:  America's Story Volume1. I already had it on hand from last year but we never got around to using it.  So this year, the kids will be learning about Ancient America through the Gold Rush.  They will be working on mini-reports, mapping/geography, social studies and a bit of writing.

Which brings me to our writing plans.  Writing will take place during the history lessons, copy work of various scriptures, readings, etc and with Sequential Spelling.

The weekly schedule will be some what different this year.  The kids will be working on spelling, copy work and assigned reading during the day and at night the kids will be working on math and history.  Math and History lessons will be on alternate day math and the next day history.

Here's to a great 2013/2014 year(which begins June 3rd)!!!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

"There is a door at the end of a silent corridor. And it's haunting Harry Potter's dreams.  Why else would he be waking in the middle of the night, screaming in terror?
Here are just a few things on Harry's mind:
  • A Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher with a personality like poisoned honey
  • A venomous, disgruntled house-elf
  • Ron as keeper of the Gryffindor Quidditch team
  • The looming terror of the end-of-term Ordinary Wizarding Level exams
... and of course, the growing threat of He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named.  In the richest installment yet of J.K.Rowling's seven-part story, Harry Potter is faced with the unreliability of the very government of the magical world and the impotence of the authorities at Hogwarts.
Despite this (or perhaps because of it), he finds depth and strength in his friends, beyond what even he knows; boundless loyalty; and unbearable sacrifice." (taken from the inside cover of the book)

The fifth year at Hogwarts introduced us to an unrelenting Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher.  We did not like her at all!  The rules that she imposed were relentless, especially against students and teachers who supported Albus Dumbledore. 
The kids and I ran through the gambit of emotions and learned a bit more about each of our favorite characters.
On to book six...

I especially want to thank Miss Nancy for her generous gift of the Harry Potter series.  We will treasure these books always.

(disclaimer:  our family owns this book and my opinion was not asked from the author nor was any compensation received.)

Saturday, May 25, 2013

In Memory

(not sure who took this picture, but i have seen it on facebook many times)

Thank you to all of our soldiers, past and present, who have sacrificed their lives for our freedoms. 

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Summer Break and Starting to Plan

Now that Nick and Sam are starting their 3rd week of summer break, I am gearing up for their 2013/2014 year.  They will be doing a lot of learning together, meaning that they will be on the same level in certain subject areas.  This year, Nick and Sam will be learning and doing projects that coincide with everyday living.  I am still working on a few items but one of the projects that is planned has to do with math.

Math has always been a struggle for both Nick and Sam in various ways.  They are both good at the subject, but they find it boring doing daily worksheets.  They enjoy counting money and figuring out how much to save for specific purchases.  Living math is something I have been wanting to incorporate and when I saw this, I couldn't resist. I knew it was a great fit for Nick and Sam. I purchased the book store and pet shop business math.  For the first half of our year, the kids will be managing their own book stores and if all goes well, the second half of the year they will manage their own pet shops.

Reading daily is also something that Nick and Sam will be doing.  This is one area where I don't have to plan :) 

Arts and Crafts will be incorporated with history, nature study, math, etc.

Writing and History are the two things that I am still working on and will be finishing up those plans in the next week or so. Stay tuned for an update of sorts :)

Delight Directed will be up to Nick and Sam :)

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

(picture from

"...Harry wants to get away from the pernicious Dursleys and go to the International Quidditch Cup with Hermione, Ron, and the Weasleys.  He wants to dream about Cho Chang, his crush (and maybe do more than dream). He wants to find out about the mysterious event that's supposed to take place at Hogwarts this year, and event involving two other rival schools of magic, and a competition that hasn't happened for a hundred years.  He wants to be a normal, fourteen-year-old wizard.  Unfortunately for Harry Potter, he's not normal - even by wizarding standards.
And in his case, different can be deadly." ~ taken from the inside front jacket

Tonight I finished reading book 4 in the Harry Potter series by J. K Rowling.  Nick and Sam were mesmerized through all 734 pages.  We met new characters and were re-introduced to old foes.  Breathless adventure, daring escapes and building friendships kept us engaged during the 4th year at Hogwarts.

Thank you Canaan Library for allowing us to re-check this book out.  We appreciate it!

Now on to book 5...wonder if any of my questions will be answered ;)

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Frederick the Fish

Yesterday, our next door neighbor offered us some fresh caught trout.  I told him that I would take a couple, even though we are not fish eaters in our house.  Samantha has been fascinated with the fish and wanted to study them a little bit.  So today, while 2 of the 5 fish were grilling, Samantha had fun with 'Frederick'

As you can see, Frederick was already cleaned out. (thank goodness for that!)

 A face shot which then led to the question...Do fish have tongues?

I had Samantha open Frederick's mouth and yes, there is what looks like a tongue.  This picture is a bit blurry, but we also found out that the tongue has little spikes on the end of it.  Probably to help it eat.  Also, Frederick has little tiny teeth too!

Samantha thought the back fin was pretty interesting.  She was able to move it in and out like a fan.

Samantha also found out that Frederick is quite flexible and also has a spine.  She was moving the fish from side to side and could imagine it swimming in the water.

You can't observe a fish without feeling the inside.  Samantha is holding one side open and she felt the inside of Frederick.  She said that it felt rough.

The following are the observations that Samantha dictated to me:
  • The tongue and teeth are sharp
  • Back fin can be pushed back and forth like a fan
  • Appears to be a rainbow trout
  • Eyes feel like peeled grapes and the black stud (center of eye) doesn't change
  • Dorsal fin feels gooey
  • Top of the head is green
  • The scales are shiney
  • Under the gills are what appears to be the lungs
  • When rubbing the fish toward the head, the skin feels soft. 
  • When rubbing the fish toward the tail, the skin feels rough
  • No scales on the head
  • Fish have noses.  Samantha noticed nose holes near the point over the mouth opening
  • Frederick is slippery and flexible
  • The bump down the middle of the back feels like the spine
 After spending about 1/2 hour with Frederick, Samantha tried some of the grilled trout and came to the conclusion that eating trout is not that great.

Nick did participate a little bit.  He really wasn't to keen on handling the fish.  He observed from a distance.

Thank you Frederick!  We had fun learning from you :)

Sunday, May 5, 2013


"And now as I said concerning faith - faith is not to have a perfect knowledge of things; therefore if ye have faith ye hope for things which are not seen, which are true." ~ Alma 32:21

Thursday, May 2, 2013