Ora et labora
~St. Benedict

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Enjoying Story of the World - second time around!

Big T has already read through all the volumes of SOTW and enjoyed them immensely.  We never possessed the accompanying activity book before now though.  As a family, we used to act out scenes from the texts that the boys chose themselves.  It was dubbed as "family acting" or more like "family comedy" night.  They still talk about those "fun" nights, so I plan to implement this again in the near not so far off future.

In the meantime, we have started the series once more with Little T and my God-daughter K.  Big T is assisting and taking part in some of the latest activities that have been inspired by our newly acquired SOTW activity book.

This time around, my students are reading from the text & following along with the audio disc, which was checked out from our local library, along with additional books to enhance our
first chapter. 

My pupils loved making their own cave paintings!  This particular scene was motivated by hunting, but I was impressed to see a farmer's shaduf in the upper right hand corner.

Big T also made a fantastic hunting scene!
 Big K was moved by aliens!
Big T in teacher assistant mode.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Bring Them Up Gardening

We are very fortunate to have connections with some wonderful homeschooling families in the area.  Yup, we struck it rich with this bunch!  My boys are not only socialized too death, but they have opportunities to learn, experiment, & do amazing things with homeschoolers like themselves.

A huge learning, experimental, & amazing thing they get to take part in is community gardening.  There are 8 families, including us, working side by side growing our own food.  It has been highly successful in both production and learning how to set up a large garden.

We have tilled the land, planted seeds, collected seeds, harvested, controlled bug invasions, and so much more.  Right now we are in the process of readying its second growing season.  I am not quite sure that Texas has more than two seasons, but when our pumpkins start getting big and orange, it will certainly feel like Fall.

some of our garden harvest

Little T & his buddy M planting seeds.


Our youngest working in the garden for the first time.  She watched the others & quickly caught on. See, she's patting the dirt.

Big T getting the rows ready for planting.  His dad did a great job tilling beforehand.

I'm helping K with the harvesting...shhh, it's one of the best jobs. And another K is behind us watering.

Big T & K prepare the veggies to be weighed and washed.  Math is everywhere!

One of my favorite parts of our last garden group day was when the littlers wandered off & created their own garden.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Apologia - Excellent Experiments

Big T is really liking his new Science course this year.  I decided to try out Apologia and thus we journey into the world of Physical Science four times per week.
I like to preview before I purchase curriculum, so I examined the course at a homeschool convention and ended up acquiring the text and student notebook/workbook.

What do I like about using Apologia so far?  The first thing that I find helpful is the course layout itself in the student notebook.

There are 34 weeks already planned out & ready to go! One could jump right in or do what I did and amend it to suit your own schedule. It is definitely handy to have as a quick reference.

I also like the fact that the experiments do not have me running to the store a zillion times in search of various materials. So far, I have found everything we need right in our own home...big plus!

Another note regarding the experiments is that the student does them as he/she reads along. There is no need to wait until the end of a chapter and they do not seem to be a hindrance to include in a lesson.

Now, what does Big T like about Apologia? He is all about the experiments of course and enjoys playing "Mad Scientist" with his brother.

One of his favorite experiments that he performed recently was titled, "Oxygen and Fire." The boys were so excited to strike matches. And I was more than happy to once again talk about fire safety and chaperone the monumental event.
Hydrogen Peroxide + Yeast = Oxygen trapped in balloon topper

tea light candle under glass jar