Friday, September 12, 2008

Another weekly update

Unfortunately I think this is going to be the routine for awhile. Between schooling, working, evening activities and housework I just don't get the time to jump on here an update often. This is already setting up to be a pretty busy time in our lives.

Mary's soccer games began last Sunday. Our first game involved a nearly one hour drive, I'm sure the first of many. It was hot, humid, sunny and only 5 members of Mary's team even showed up. At this age group they play 6-on-6. It meant that her team had to play one down with no breaks for the entire game. And they ended up winning! Our team played so well and tough. Not being able to watch much of Mary's practices when I take her, I was really surprised by the improvement on her footwork since last spring.

This week in school we have been continuing our studies on the rain forest and Queen Elizabeth. At this point we are just reading and discussing a lot. Some activities printed from Enchanted Learning allow them something to do while I read. Katie, Mary and I have also been playing various flag/world geography games - often invented by Mary. Our math has mainly been of the mental math variety. Both Mary and Katie need more review to cement their math facts, so lots of white board math activities. Along, with skip counting by coloring in hundred's charts.

I've been working a lot on my online job. So far I have been able to put away about $100 into our much depleted Birthday/Christmas fund. Some of the questions people ask are really quite interesting to look up...others not so much, but since I feel like I spend my life researching info for others, I might as well get paid for it.

Starting this week, I have started watching on of my neighbor's sons one afternoon each week while she teaches a dance class. No pay, but she will help out by watching some of my kids as needed. Mary also attended her free trial for a fencing class. She enjoyed the first one, so I paid for another five classes and we will see how she likes it after that. It does mean another trip each week into downtown Raleigh, but it was quite interesting to watch. So, where we are now for weekly activities are: 3 soccer practices, two games, gymnastics lessons, and fencing. I'm still trying to find an art class for Mary, and of course we will fill in with some other one-time activities.

Next week, Emily and Robbie are going to start attending a drop-in preschool program 4 hours/week. I love the very relaxed, playful program and the flexibility of the schedule. It will give them a chance to burn off some energy outside the home while also letting me do some focused work with Mary and Katie.

In just a little while we will be heading out to the Museum of Life and Science for our weekly field trip. On the way I think I will go ahead and top of my gas tank, again. Apparently gas prices have already jumped .30 cents over night on the threat of Hurricane Ike. We are at a half-tank this morning, but a drive to and from Durham today and then we have to drive to Chapel Hill on Sunday for a game means we will need some gas over the weekend - and no telling what they will want to charge us then.



Friday, September 05, 2008

The Coolest Play Museum

Today was our promised field trip for completing testing week. Some museums focus on science, some on history and some on art. Today for our field trip we went to a museum that focuses on play. Marbles Kids Museum. It was so much fun!!! We are going to be gifted with a membership to the museum, so we will be going a lot more this year. I took nearly 100 pictures today. I won't share all. Maybe.

Katie started off with the ambulance. She loves to play doctor.
I'd be scared if he was my driver.
Mary the post-woman.
Katie makes a great checker.
She is helping Mary, the Chef!
Mary heads over to cook.
Bread looks good!
I think Robbie wants to mail himself.

The Pirate Ship
Mary Reed, the female pirate of the Carolinas

Dress up around the world.
Emily isn't shy at all.

Mary, Queen of Scots
Sock Hockey

It has wheels!!!! I couldn't keep him off these.

Making Flags...Mary made Scotland's

Everyone napped when we got home. And, I finally got some uninterrupted work done on the computer.



Weekly Report 9/5/08

We've had a great week around here, especially following last week's focus on testing.

Mary -
Queen Elizabeth I Unit Study:
~ Elizabeth I of England by Kerrily Sapet (Finished Chapter 1)
~ Mary Queen of Scots by Dorothy Turner (Completed)
~ Sightseers: Shakespeare's London by Julie Ferris (Completed)
~ Monarchs of England Coloring Book, Dover

Oral & Mental Math; used white board to figure long strings of operations
Blokus Game
Pattern Block Art

Nature Study
New Wildlife Inserts for Notebook - self-reading
Following along with Katie's Rainforest Unit

Ongoing personal art & writing projects
Built a fun house for Emily & friend

Katie -
Rainforest Unit Study:
~ Afternoon in the Amazon by Mary Pope Osborne (through Chapter 5)
~ Making a Rainforest animal notebook using printouts from Enchanted Learning

Skip counting by 5s
Double digit addition
Addition facts review

Zoo Tycoon
Sim Safari

Creating lots of stories for her stuffed animals
Teaching Emily her ABCs
Lots of Coloring

learning how to use the computer & mouse
computer play on Noggin (lots of online drawing/coloring games to build mouse skills)
easy mazes
Curious George books

Early coloring/scribbling skills
trying to walk down steps
lots and lots of playing with cars!

As a bonus, look what we got to watch climb out of its shell

We had our weekly field trip today, it will have its on entry. Now we are just waiting on T.S. Hanna.



Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Testing is Over!

We finished testing on Friday. I didn't post because I needed to recuperate. Once we got past the reading and language arts sections it wasn't that bad. But, golly. On the other hand, the Cognitive Abilities test I also gave Mary was considered fun by her. She saw it as her reward each day after finishing the achievement test.

Now that we are beyond all that for another year we can relax and enjoy our school year. Sometime this week we will head out for a museum day. We have both the Queen Elizabeth unit study and Rain Forest unit study we are working on. Sometime this month we will finish those up and move into other topics. Mary is interested in a Geology unit, and we may connect Queen Elizabeth to the previous Americas study by doing a unit on Explorers and Sea Travel. I've learned not to plan our unit studies too far ahead.

After spending most of the weekend feeling under the weather, I don't have this week too well planned out yet. I'm going to see where we go today and start from there.


A family of six living and learning. You might catch us outside in the mud or working on crafts. We always seem to be on the go, come on and join us.