Week 21: Jan 18-22 …and a BIRTHDAY!!!!

Nathan turned 12 years old yesterday!!!!!   YAY!!!  We are celebrating with a Chuck E Cheese party next Saturday with his cousin, Justin, who is 11 days younger than Nathan.

We jumped right back into our regular schedule on Monday.  So good to be on track again!  Nathan wasn’t as happy as I since he was a little behind.  I had to really stay on him to keep him working.  Between the holidays and then two weeks of sickness in the house, I imagined it would take a bit of re-adjusting.  Kaleb had a few problems getting motivated too, but we all managed and accomplished quite a bit.

I am working more and more with Gabriel who will turn four in May.  He is such a SPONGE!!!  I love it!! We had a lot of fun this week.  I posted about his great week with the letter Ii.  Kaleb is featured on that post since he likes to do some of the fun crafts and projects that Gabriel does.  Baby Drake even made the blog this week on Gabriel’s post as well!!

Pictures!! You’ll notice that I started out with a bang on taking pictures…..the first day.  🙂  Forgot to pick up the camera much after that.

A very happy 12 year old!!  He asked and asked for a laptop.  Just a couple of weeks ago, a friend was getting rid of his daughter’s old one since she got a brand new one for Christmas.  I think a nice, well-loved, gently-used laptop is perfect for the 12 year old!!

Just because he is SO cute.
Kaleb practicing matching numbers with words.
More on Gabriel and a bit on Kaleb can be found *HERE*.

Week 20: Jan 11-15

….and the illness continues.  Daddy stayed home from work for three days per doctors orders for pneumonia.  He went back to work today but is only working part of the day.  I worry about him because he has a history of pneumonia and asthma.  The doctor told him on Monday that he would have ended up in the hospital, had he not gone to see her that day.

It was weird having him home.  Usually he is only off work on the weekends and so we don’t do any schoolwork those two days.  It was hard to get moving every day this week because it felt like a weekend!

We were suppose to go to a bowling party with our homeschool group, but Drake had a bit of fever and Gabriel and I were still coughing.  I did not want to pass on those horrible germs we’ve been dealing with these past two weeks!!  The boys were upset but Daddy promised to take us all bowling as soon as he is feeling better! 

I sat down and mapped out our next semester.  Nathan should finish Math 65 in early April and start Math 76 after our April 19-23 spring break.  I was hoping he would be further along by now but we took some extra time to review those pesky fractions.  Still he is doing very well right now, conquering decimals.  He is on track to finish R&S English by the second week of May, and we’ll take a nice break before moving on.  We will finish up Apologia Astronomy in just a few short weeks.  We are going to take a small break to learn about airplanes per Kaleb’s request.  Then we will pick back up with Apologia Botany.  We are behind in MOH but should still finish by June.  Kaleb has moved into ETC book 2 and will finish it in May.  OPGTR will be an on-going subject through the summer and possibly fall.  He should finish up Math 1 by June and be ready to move into Math 2 in July.

That’s the plan anyway….and we all know how quickly plans change!  🙂  I feel better having the plan though and hopefully we can stick to it or at least as close as possible.

I spent the weekend getting our astronomy and MOH notebooks updated.  The boys spent this week (instead of the *planned* last week) working on lapbooking/notebooking pages in the notebooks.  I LOVE the astronomy notebook!!  I just have to share some pictures!

I thought I would share a few pictures of our Apologia notebook pages.

I love the lapbook mini-books.  Nathan does NOT like lapbooking.  However, I have yet to find something that keeps his attention and helps him remember so well.  Those little mini-books do the job while worksheets do not.  Instead of making a lapbook for each chapter, I just put the each chapter’s mini-books on a sheets of construction paper cut down to fit in our notebook. These lapbook mini-books came from the Notebooking2Learn yahoo group.

The book I have open is a vocab book.  I love these!!  There is one for each chapter.

I also keep their drawings in the notebook.  How fun will it be to look at these when they are older? Here are a few of my faves.

We do narration everyday and add that to our notebooks.  As well as the quizzes and any other related materials.

I have taken pictures of our experiments and non-paper craft activities, and plan to print them to add to the notebooks as well.

I found chapter quizzes on the Apologia yahoo group.

I also found these cute printables in the Apologia yahoo group files.

I saw this fun little color experiment on Susana’s blog.  Super easy and my boys LOVED it!

Kaleb enjoyed this week’s ABC I Believe lesson.  You can read about it and see pictures *HERE* on Gabriel’s preschool post.
Here are a few random pictures of Nathan and Kaleb this week.

Both did well on their schoolwork even though Daddy was a HUGE distraction.   We have a little catch-up to do next week, but it won’t be a problem.  Besides Daddy being sick and missing the bowling party, we had a really good week!!

Gabriel’s preschool post is here if you would like to read it!!

Week 8: Sept 28-October 2

Adding Gabriel to the weekly report instead of doing a separate post. Just not enough time to do a preschool post with all the activities we have going on now.

Kaleb’s Earth drawing and narration written by Mom.
Gabriel’s Earth drawing and narration written by Mom.
Kaleb’s Venus drawing and narration written by Mom.
Gabriel’s Venus drawing and narration written by Mom.
Nathan’s Venus drawing and narration. And again I forgot Mercury. I really want to share his because he did such a great job on it!
Nathan’s Earth drawing and narration.
Gabriel really liked this picture and wanted me to share it.
Fun workbox game from Homeschool Share.
AT THE FAIR!!! (they look thrilled, don’t they??) They didn’t quite understand yet. Gabriel was down right upset for some reason.
Crazy fighting/playing squirrels in our yard!! Nathan took the pictures and couldn’t decide whether they were playing or fighting.

Nathan’s first golf lesson. They played golf/baseball.
Kaleb’s first golf lesson. They played golf/baseball.
Kaleb’s soccer game last night.

Another full week!

We started golf lessons this week. It is only once a week for both boys at the same time which helps. People who say that homeschool kids aren’t socialized haven’t seen my calendar. This fall is going to be so busy! I love that the boys are in so many fun activities, but I have a feeling I will be ready for a break by Thanksgiving….and then basketball will start after Christmas! It will work out perfectly though because we should have a nice break from the middle of February to the end of March before baseball and spring co-op start.

Monday-Our only easy day, and we definitely took it easy! Nathan and Kaleb completed all of their work for the day and then we watched a movie. Nathan went to the library for a fun after school activity time. The little boys and I played a few educational type games and relaxed until Daddy got home! Monday and Wednesday are our only two days a week without something scheduled….and we are KEEPING it that way! =)

Tuesday-Story time at the library, lunch at our favorite pizza place, golf practice for Nathan and Kaleb, and soccer practice for Nathan and Kaleb. It looks like Tuesdays and Fridays are going to be our busiest days. My goal for both days is to at least get math, English, and phonics done. Anything after that will be considered BONUS! Nathan did English before storytime, math at the library, and reading in the car on the way to practices!! I didn’t get anything for Kaleb accomplished, though. We’ll have to work on that next Tuesday.

Wednesday-FUN DAY!! I woke the boys up and everyone got ready for the day. We jumped in the car, and headed to town to *do errands*. As we got close enough to the fairgrounds for the boys to see some of the fair rides, they started talking about going to the fair. When I pulled into the fairgrounds parking, they started asking me what we were doing. When I got out and told them to follow me, they started to get excited. While we stood in line at the fairgrounds entrance, I finally told them that we were going to spend the morning at the FAIR!!! =) It was so fun to surprise them with that. The weather was perfect, the rides were discounted, and it wasn’t too crowded. Great day!! After we had some fun there, we met Daddy in town for lunch and then cruised around the Halloween Store next to the restaurant. When we got home, Nathan surprised me by hitting the books!! He managed to complete the majority of his daily work!! Kaleb and I were inspired to get busy with his school work and he managed to complete the three R’s, and we all did our science and history lessons!

Thursday-soccer practice for Nathan and Kaleb’s first soccer game were canceled due to the weather. Kaleb was disappointed. He has been practicing hard for his first game. Drake and I woke up with colds probably because of allergies. We lounged around a lot. Kaleb and Gabriel played *police officer and his jail*, clubhouse (or cluvhouse as Gabriel says), storm chasers, and hideout….all with only two cardboard boxes and a storage tote! Love their imaginations. We caught up on our astronomy illustrations and talked more about the moon. Nathan is doing so well in English lately! He fixed chicken nuggets and carrots for lunch since I felt so bad, and then spent the most of his afternoon finishing up his school work. I’m really proud of him for working so hard. Kaleb did several pages of ETC, and is still loving his math lessons. He also did a half lesson of OPG. I break up most of the longer lessons into two separate lessons to help him out a bit.

Friday-Coop in the afternoon. We are meeting Daddy in town for lunch. This is becoming a pretty cool habit! Nathan is going to LOVE his rocket class today!! We made a pop bottle rocket (pic coming next week). His class is going to the park to shoot them off!! FUN!! More about today’s coop later!!

math-up to lesson 53
English-finished Ch 2.
spelling-skipped this week.
WW-lesson 6

math- lessons 6-10
ETC- several pages (can’t remember exactly)
OPGTR- started section 4, lesson 41-42

math-Can you believe he has been doing some of Kaleb’s math too?? I just let him do whatever interest him and leave it at that.
He has enjoyed playing with some of the preschool activity bags this week. We weren’t home enough to do too much, but he got a chance with almost every bag. He loves them!! We are going to start working on spelling his last name. He can easily spell his first name, and does for strangers…..often. =)

*Astronomy-we finished up the activities and notebooking/lapbooking activities for Ch 5 Earth, and started reading Ch 6 Moon.
*History-Caught up on our timeline, notebooking, flash cards, and other activities. Finished up week 7 and worked through most of week 8.

Circle time:
We have been seriously slacking in this area. We have so many other activities going on that I’ve just let it slide. There really is no good reason, though. Circle time is done in the morning and the earliest we have to be out of the house on any given day is 10:30 am. I just need to get in gear.
*Letter Gg.
*ACB I Believe lesson-Grasshoppers in the land of giants, the story of Moses and his people entering the Promised Land. Memory verse-I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Phil 4:13. I love this lesson!!
*In My Neighborhood book bag-My Home.

Week 6–Sept 14-18

You know how as the day ends you think “man, we sure didn’t accomplish much today,” but then you look at the week on Friday and see just how much was accomplished? That was our week….or maybe things just went more smoothly than I expect. I don’t know but we did get A LOT accomplished this week!!

*Math-completed four lessons this week. He is getting back into those fractions that gave him such a hard time last year, but he is doing very well. I have also found some living math resources to help. A HUGE thank you to Jimmie and all of her resources. I enjoyed her links here too.
*R&S English-completed lessons 13-15 and many worksheets (both from the workbox and online printables).
*R&S Spelling-completed lesson 4.
*WW-completed lesson 4.

*Math-continuing to do some fun math games. I printed off a wonderful math lapbook from File Folder Fun. We will start Saxon 1 next week.
*ETC-he continues to do page after page in his book. I require only 1-2 pages a day, and then let him do another 1-2 if he wants. He really loves his ETC!
*OPGTR-We are still on break from this as we work on cvc words. His reading is really coming along and I think we will be back to OPG after next week! We have been going back a few lessons and reading the stories. He is finally getting that those words actually are part of a story! He is also reading at least one BOB book a day.
*ABC lessons-We stuck with the letter Ee this week since we had so many projects to finish. I’m glad we did. We have been able to use the bible lesson in a couple situations this week.

Circle time-
I have spent a good deal of this week getting the school room put back together after we switched some rooms around. Everything is on it’s way to being much more organized and accessible! Our circle time has been very short as a result because all the materials are in the school room that has been in disarray all week. I breezed in with the littles, did a little calendar, and scooted everyone out.

Kaleb and Gabriel did start their Neighborhood activities this week though! They are LOVING it! Next week we will take a field trip with our homeschool group to a fire station. They are super excited about that!! Since the trip is next week and we haven’t moved along very quickly with the activities, we’re going out of order next week to learn all about the Fire Station while the field trip is fresh in their minds and we’ll do the home section the following week.

Astronomy-We’re finishing up Ch 4 Venus this week. We have enjoyed learning about Earth’s “twin.” The boys LOVED the lava experiment. They were all very excited to show Dad when he got home Tuesday afternoon.
MOH-completed lessons 11-15. We read my FAVORITE bible stories from Abraham to Joseph.

Another GREAT week of co-op!
Nathan is loving his rocket science class. Today they made little hollow rockets out of paper and used straws to *shoot* them across the room by blowing into the straws. He is really enjoying backgammon! I am a little shocked by that because I truly didn’t expect him to like it so much. His CSI class is still a HUGE hit. They walked into a crime scene in their room today!! Now they are trying to find the guilty shoe!
Kaleb really enjoys his history class. His teacher is AWESOME and quickly developed a soft spot for my little man which I LOVE! She said he keeps the conversation going and gets the other children involved (when he isn’t busy hogging the spotlight). He brought home a bunch of little fun art activities from his art class! So cute!! They are doing some really fun things in that class. He had much more fun in his game class this week! I was a little concerned because he really didn’t enjoy last week. He played Candy Land and another game. Much better, he said! He is a Candy Land guy!!
I’m not sure what Gabriel did today! lol His classroom is right next to mine so I DO know that he did a LOT of talking today! I couldn’t make out what he was saying every time but he was definitely enjoying himself. When I asked him about his day, he said he played Tic Tac Toe….and that is ALL I have managed to get out of him so far! =)
Drake had a LONG nap during co-op. I had him and a baby girl today and both napped at the same time!! It was like a little mini-break for me! =) I read a magazine and cleaned up the room while they napped. Then we went outside to play for a long while. Drake didn’t want to go back into the room so we roamed the hallways until it was time to go.
Today was our day to help with clean-up. The three older boys were VERY helpful as I had to hold Drake the whole time to keep him from running off (I guess he wasn’t finished hall roaming!).
Our homeschool group had a WONDERFUL mom’s night out last night! We had tons of door prizes, pizza, and salad and dessert bars, AND each mom received a beautiful tote bag full of goodies. Then we brainstormed ideas for the upcoming year. It was GREAT!! I enjoyed the time with other moms!! I LOVE our homeschool group!!!!!!

Below is a slide show of our week:

Apple lapbook and shape lapbook ideas came from Mama Jenn.

For some reason, the apple file folder picture won’t show in the slide. Here it is:


Week 5—-Sept 7-11

Kaleb’s drawing and narration of Mercury written by Mom.Gabriel’s drawing of Mercury.

Nathan also has a very good drawing of Mercury and a narration that I suppose I will have to share next week since I failed to take a picture of it. =)

We took last week off to enjoy a trip to visit Daddy. We just decided since we had completed our first four weeks of school that we would not take books with us and just have fun. Nathan did end up doing some math and we did a little science because they asked, but over all we just had fun with Dad.

Nathan hit the books hard this week and will continue to for the rest of this month. He does so much better when his schedule is full and he stays busy. He accomplished a lot this week and did well.
*R&S English–Lessons 8-12. It appears that we haven’t made much progress in the past five weeks, but we have taken this very, very slowly. I have added various worksheets I found online for a few of the lessons just to make sure he is retaining. Grammar is a huge struggle for him since he didn’t receive (or retain) much while in public school. We will continue to take it slowly until he feels comfortable enough to speed up.
*Saxon math–he completed six lessons this week. He is doing great in math!! I love being able to say that because it has been a struggle in the past. Saxon math with some MEP supplementing has been the ticket for Nathan this year.
*R&S spelling–trucking along with a lesson a week here. Doing well. Nothing exciting to report. =)
*Wordly Wise–completed a lesson this week. He does not like WW at all but we saw good results with the program last year so we will continue on this year. Thanks to a post on the WTM boards, now have this great supplement that I think will make it a little more interesting.

I have been very relaxed with Kaleb this week. We have played a lot of math and phonics games. Gabriel has even joined us in a few. We didn’t start the neighborhood teacher bag activities yet because our library was a little slow on getting the books I requested. I decided to put it off until next week when I will have all of our resources together.
*OPGTR–we are taking a little break from the book to review those cvc words before moving on. He is reading BOB books and doing very well. We have also been using some homemade flash cards and doing some verbal spelling. He LOVES spelling!!
*ETC–He completed six pages. I started writing the words with a highlighter beforehand to make it a bit easier for him. He is doing very well though. He believes his handwriting is very sloppy and gets frustrated with himself. I try to just encourage and reassure him. Truly he is doing wonderfully!!
*Saxon/MEP–we have just played games this week. I have been reading more on living math, and will be implementing more into our weeks as we go. Once we get back to OPGTR, we will get back to our math books.
*ABC lessons–Letter Ee this week. We are learning all about elephants and I have thrown in some Elmo for fun. Bible verse–Phil 2:15b-“amoung whom ye shine as lights in the world.” We have so many resources still to use for this week so Ee may carry over into next week.

*Apologia Astronomy–we finished up Mercury last week and have dug into Venus this week. It is so fun to hear Kaleb tell people about the sun and planets we have studied so far. All three boys and I are really enjoying this year’s science program.
*Mystery of History–It seems history is constantly being put on the back burner here. We are getting a lesson in here and there, but not keeping up with the schedule at all. We will get back on track next week and make it more of a priority. Nathan has been doing well with reading the supplement books I have requested from the library though.
*SOTW–After a rocky start, we are still listening in to the cds. I had thought to put it away for another time because Kaleb was getting so confused with the myths vs real history. On our drive to and from our trip, we listened to quite a bit with frequent stops to discuss the stories and share thoughts. It is actually working out very well so we will continue….in a couple of weeks. We are SEVERAL years ahead of Mystery of History after our six hour round trip last week!

Co-op classes start Friday afternoon. We are SO very excited!! We participated in co-op last year with a different, much smaller group. This year should be much more fun for all of us!!

Both Nathan and Kaleb are now signed up for soccer and golf for the fall. Soccer practice was suppose to start Thursday but was canceled due to weather. Golf lessons start October 1st.

Week 2–August 10-14 2009

One of our bee activity for the letter Bb bible lesson.Gabriel’s bee.
A sample of this week’s books.
Astronomy activity. Burning a hole in a leaf with a magnifying glass. See the two holes in the middle just below the main vein?
Outside with the leaf burning activity.
Studying in Creation and Adam and Eve in MOH. This is Kaleb’s animal activity. A worm. =)
Nathan’s was a little more complicated. He had to create his own unique creature and give it a unique name. He calls this little guy….firehalk.
Kaleb working hard on those Bb’s.
Nathan relaxing with some Puzzlemaina games.
Gabriel loving his sticker math book.

The leftovers from Nathan’s YUMMY cranberry orange muffins!! Workboxes and materials all ready to go for the week!! (minus art projects)
Kaleb working on a phonics file folder game.
Drawing in his journal.

You can read about Gabriel and Drake’s Tot school here.

What’s in the workboxes this week?

Monday’s box–
1. Journal
2. copywork
3. Saxon 65
4. Captians Courageous-30 min
5. narration
6. Puzzlemania
7. R&S English
8. Cranberry Orange muffin mix (to make for snack)
9. SOTW 1 reading
10. R&S spelling
11. cursive handwriting practice (his is horrible!)
12. memory verse work

1. Journal
2. copywork
3. Saxon 65
4. Captians Courageous-30 min
5. narration
6. Puzzlemania
7. R&S English
8. Keys for Kids
9. SOTW 1 reading
10. R&S spelling
11. FREEBIE (because those are fun sometimes!!)
12. memory verse work

No workboxes today. We set up for a big community yard sale today. In Astronomy yesterday, we started the sun chapter and read about using a magnifying glass to burn leaves. Nathan gave it a try today with success. lol He loved it!! Kaleb tried it too on an already dead leaf. Now I may have to confiscate the magnifying glass as Nathan keeps going out to burn more leaves.

Another no workboxes day!! We did have a lot of outside time with the yard sale, and Nathan got some good *retail* experience as he ran the yard sale today! =)

No workboxes today! We had an awesome back to school party at our house with the boys’ cousins and friends. My husband couldn’t make it home so I grilled over 2 dozen hamburgers and a dozen sausages for hot dogs. We played outside and ate watermelon until the bugs were biting. The younger group (K’s age) and I played Candyland and ABC Bingo. The older crowd (N’s age) hung out in his room, playing various games and just being boys. The cousins spent the night and we were up well past midnight! =) It was a FUN night. I am ready for next week, though. No crazy interruptions, truly back to school.

1. LOTW copy activity
2. journal
3. handwriting practice
5. phonics file folder game
6. ETC 1
7. MEP math
8. fun worksheets
9. addition place mat work
10. read from a phonics book
11. fun handwriting practice
12. coloring book with crayons

1. LOTW copy activity
2. journal
3. FREEBIE (because those are fun sometimes!!)
5. phonics flash card
6. ETC 1
7. MEP math
8. fun worksheets
9. addition place mat work
10. read from a phonics book
11. homemade book puzzle craft made from OPG words (see pic)
12. coloring page

same as above. We did do our circle time/morning board activities…not in the morning, but I felt it necessary to at least do this for a couple reasons. Kaleb and Gabriel are doing so well with learning the days of the week, months of the year, and so on. They are so proud to be able to tell me what the day and date are every morning. We are keeping track of our school days with a straw chart and a money chart. They all three are looking forward to reaching 100. Also all three olders are doing so well with memory verse work which we do during circle time and then again in the afternoon.
Kaleb and I snuck in a OPG lesson before bedtime.

No workbox day! Yard sale day! =)

No workboxes! We did finish one of our crafts and will finish the other one sometime this weekend. We also finished reading all of this week’s library books on bees, the sun, and space in general.

Both completed together:


The older two have their daily schedule posted on their bulletin boards. I decided to make individual cards for history and science so I could use the extra two folders in each workbox for fun stuff. I found the activity cards on the workboxes yahoo group. Since they were larger and I don’t think the strips are the best idea for my boys, I decided to use the bulletin boards to hold the order of the cards for us. I think it will work perfectly!! We’re using this week to experiment with times in between folders. My perfect plan would be to line up each of their folders so while I’m working with one, the other has independent work. Plus I’m working on putting together some Tot School things for my younger two to have during those times I’m working with one or the other olders.

The boys enjoyed finally being able to use their workboxes in the way they were intended this week. They progressed nicely through each folder and loved having those little number tags moved from each folder to the grid! I loved having everything organized and ready each day!!

This was kind of a weird week with the yard sale and everything going on, but we did what we could when we could. It worked out! We accomplished a lot.

Sorry for being so wordy. I think this is the perfect way for me to keep track of what each child does every week. It helps keep us (me) accountable and on track!!

Tot School post HERE.