Sunday, January 30, 2011

An update on having a School Room

I saw this "Show off your Homeschool" link up party. I love seeing where everyone does school. I thought this would be a good time to give an update about our school room.

I was so excited to have a homeschool room when we moved into this house. We've only had a separate school room one other time and only for a couple months. It was in the basement, but there were some windows so I thought we'd use it. Within days we were dragging books upstairs to the kitchen to do school though. After working to get it all set up and having dh make us a table, I hoped we would actually use this new school room. Now that we're half way through the school year, I'm happy to say we do use that room. I love having a separate place for our school. I'm so glad I don't have to worry about clearing off the kitchen or dining room tables every day. I like that school books mostly stay upstairs and not in piles around the house. I like having a place to display art work and projects. I like that our shelves of books and supplies are in the next room for easy access. I think it works because it's a big open room. The large table gives us space to all work together and spread out books or projects. Having a couch in the room is great because we can do our read aloud books right there. I find that I get less distracted by other things because I'm upstairs away from the kitchen, laundry room, etc.

Although I had plans for some other things to do in the school room, it still looks pretty much the same as it did at the beginning of the school year. The only major change is a desk for the computer and our timeline hanging on the wall.

These pictures are what our main school room looks like today. There are two other rooms off from this one. One is what the kids call the library and the other has Colin's First Lego League table in it (and will hopefully one day be my scrapbook room if I ever get time to organize it).

To see more detailed pictures of this room and pictures of the room next door where we keep books, games, and supplies, go to this post from August.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Our Week: Robin Hood and the Moon

It's been a pretty good week here. We had playdates on two afternoons, but no other outside activities this week. It was nice not having too much going on, especially since next week will be really busy here.


We started out the week learning about Richard the Lionhearted. We also read about his brother, John Lackland, and the Magna Carta.
Then we spent the rest of the week on Robin Hood. We used these books.

The kids colored pictures of Robin Hood.

They made caps like Robin Hood's. These are actually Peter Pan hats, but the kids don't care and they were the easiest ones I could find.

Colin made some Lego creations.

On the left is Robin Hood and Little John fighting on the bridge when they first met.
On the right is Robin Hood with his bow. You can't see in the picture, but he has a quiver of arrows on his back.

Colin also did notebook pages, where he included information on the Crusades, medieval jobs, the quarterstaff, the bow and arrow, medicine at the time, and information about Robin Hood.


We continued learning about the moon. The week our focus was on the exploration of the moon. We read books about Apollo 11, Neil Armstrong, and Buzz Aldrin.

Three Rs

This was one of our best weeks in a while for this area. It's taken us a while to get back into the swing of things since the holiday break.
Colin and Caleigh took diagnostic spelling tests. Both showed improvement from the last test and scored well above their grade levels.

Molly had fun in math playing a handshaking game with her stuffed animals. It was to help her practice partitioning 10.

She's having them shake hands here

 She's also decided that under the table is where she likes doing math worksheets.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Owl Moon

Our Five in a Row book last week was Owl Moon by Jane Yolen. 

Some of the owl books we read

I think Owl Babies was the favorite book of the week for all the kids. We also read many books about the moon (I showed a picture of them in my weekly wrap-up), Crinkleroot's Book of Animal Tracking, and a section of Winnie the Pooh about tracks.

Owl Lunch:
Peanut butter sandwich with sides cut; banana slices and chocolate chips (or raisins) for eyes; almond for beak. Molly insisted she needed pretzels on the bottom for branches.

I ordered owl pellets for the kids to go through.

Bones from the pellet

Attempting to put the bones together to see what it was.

They also spent some time working with a virtual owl pellet.

Paper Plate Owls

Molly said hers is a snowy owl because she didn't want to color it

We made two kinds of owl cookies. When I shaped one of these to show the kids, Colin asked if it was a cat and Caleigh thought it was a bear. So I'm not sure they really look like owls, but the kids had fun decorating them anyway.

For these, I added cocoa powder to some of the cookie dough. I rolled the white dough into a log. Then I rolled out the chocolate. I put the log on top of that and rolled it all together. Then I sliced them and laid 2 of them side by side touching, added an almond nose, and baked. Once they were finished, we added chocolate chip eyes.

We also learned about the moon. Most of our time was spent talking about the phases of the moon. We used Oreo cookies to demonstrate them.

Telling time file folder game with owls.

These are the owls we got to see at a library program we attended on raptors.

Notebook pages:

Colin and Caleigh used all the same lapbook pieces so their pages are pretty much the same.

The other side of the extension I added is still blank. I'll print a picture or two from the week to put there.

These are Molly's pages. She didn't do the language arts stuff except for similes. She liked making sentences for that. One of hers was "The moon is large like Colin's head." Ahh... sibling love.

She did this extra book about owls, where she pasted pictures in for the answers.

For our notebooks, we used lapbook pieces from:
Homeschool Share Owl Moon
Homeschool Share Owl Babies
Homeschool Share Nocturnal Animals
Lapbook Lessons- Owls

They each drew two owls to include on their pages, one from directions in Draw Write Now and the other from Literature Pockets.

Ripley's Aquarium

When we went to Myrtle Beach, we stopped by Ripley's Aquarium. Although we've been to the one in Gatlinburg, TN a few times, it was our first time at that one. It was much smaller than the one in TN. It did have the tunnel like that one does though. The kids always like getting on the moving floor and having the big fish swim over their heads. They also had a neat room with an exhibit called Lethal Weapons. It has information on how creatures can survive and kill other things. Most of the exhibits have a hands-on activity for the kids that is similar to what the animal does. One of them shoots bugs down from trees and next to it, they had water guns the kids could use to shoot at bugs in trees.

Molly said this was her sad face because she was sad for the little fish.

Caleigh & Colin shooting down bugs

Molly with jellyfish

Caleigh with jellyfish

Colin being attacked by the jellyfish

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Waterpark- Birthday Celebration

The kids were very happy that the hotel we stayed at had a waterpark. The hotel had two separate towers and there were actually waterparks in each one of them. You had to go outside to cross from one to the other. I went over and looked at the other one. It had a few different things and bigger slides. The kids were content to stay at the one in our tower though.

Molly hit with cold water.
This small area was the one spot that was never really warm.

Caleigh trying to get where the water doesn't hit her.

Colin floating in the lazy river

Molly on the slide

Caleigh on the slide

Colin on slide

Colin spent most of his time both days playing basketball in this pool with some other boys.

In addition to the water stuff, they also had lots of games. There were pool tables, shuffleboard, a Wii, ping pong, etc. They also had these giant chess and checkers games.