Our life in books

This is our eigth year of homeschooling and I finally got around to blogging about our adventures a few years ago.
I love the path that God has us on.
We get to enjoy the lightbulb moments in educating our children and have quite a few of them ourselves.

We are starting Exploration to 1850's this school year, 2012-2013 using My Father's World curriculum.
Rome to the Reformation,
Exploration to the 1850's and NOW.........

Below is the week by week of lessons for this year if you'd like to start at the beginning.
There is also a handy LABELS area that you can peek through to find a specific lesson.

Week by Week - MFW: Creation to the Greeks

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Obelisks in Egypt- Wk 13

Egyptian Pharaoh's built obelisks as monuments to their reign or conquests. They would be sculpted from granite and carved with descriptions of battles, scenes of their life or events of historical significance.
My students each made one depicting something that we have been studying. 
Mackenzie and Everett chose the 10 commandments from Exodus 20 and Harper chose to 'carve' the 10 plagues of Egypt.

 Pretty cute drawings to accompany the lists.
I suppose these were the first photo albums and since I just finished the 2009 Pam Family album, I can surely appreciate the amount of effort that it took to make these. 
I doubt my albums will be around 5000 years from now but here's hoping.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Field TRIP!! Natural History Museum

The Natural History Museum in LA.

 Perched on the steps waiting for the doors to open.
 Once inside, the first things you see are the skeletons of a triceratops and a T-Rex and a cute little guy in a derby hat.
The full size papa Polar bear was not intimidating to these explorers.

 The Dinosaur Experience was impressive, 
part puppet, part costume, totally cool.

 All the boys were wearing hats which made them easy to spot, not to mention too cute!
 The girls are enjoying a little break next to the mama Polar bear.
 I try to get in one picture to prove that I was there among the beasts.

Story time ended our day
I got a little cuddle time with the daughter who is pining away for a bunny for Christmas

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Down on the Farm

I just love a gorgeous Fall day at the Farm.
 An hour's drive with beautiful vistas along the way and we arrive at this.............

 Just try to pick a favorite:

A combine slide:
 A prize winner....
Mackenzie brushed a pygmy goat with extra care.
 After our IL experience with a corn maze (think hot, dusty, thirsty, LOST and not on an island) , it took some extra special convincing that this was a good idea. 

 However, we got our provisions, stayed positive...........

Stuck together...........

AND made it out alive! To the top!

Looks like we need a few more monsters in the family to complete the pictures.

This is the one mom!

A few over here too!

These giant ones make good recliners.

Watch this Mom!

The tractor ride put the farm on display for us, sunflowers, giant gourds, raspberry bushes, avocado trees and citrus to envy. 
Makes  my poor little lemons on my tree look pathetic.
Harper loved every moment and asked if we could come back tomorrow. 

Thursday, October 28, 2010


nouna carved tablet or drawing representing a scroll with rolled-up ends,used ornamentally or bearing an inscription.• Archaeology an oval or oblong enclosing a group of Egyptian hieroglyphs, typically representing the name and title of a monarch ( or in this case 6,7, and 9 yr olds)
This is Everett's name in hieroglyph.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Abraham, Sarah and Isaac

Mackenzie is blossoming as a writer. We are working on it everyday and she is growing in patience with the thought of putting pen to paper. Words come easy to her when she is speaking and her vocabulary is astounding to me sometimes but when she goes to write down her thoughts, there is a lack of enthusiasm and creativity. Well, as her teacher, this is something that we are working on together each day with brainstorming, outlining and finally crafting a decent paragraph about our studies. I have found a few little tricks that help her. She loves to see a picture and then describe what is happening, like empty comics or silly pictures where the author gets to tell what's happening, the sillier, the better. Also, an exercise where she dictates to me what she wants to say and then I help her write the first draft. I intentionally do not capitalize or make any punctuation. She then has to correct the piece and copy it in her own handwriting. I think it has to do with being able to think quickly but not write quickly enough to keep up with the flow of thoughts.  Anyway- it's progress. And, I like the drawings.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Memorization of Books of the Old Testament

Love the little lisp.......

This -barely- 6 yr old has managed to be the first one to memorize the books of the Old Testament.  He definitely has a knack for songs,rhythms and music in general so it helped that we used a song we found on Itunes. Only problem is, I wake up with it in my head and can't get it out! UGH. 

We also checked on our mummified apples after letting them sit for 8 days while we played in IL. The apples were shriveled, brown, and weighed 70% less than the apple that wasn't mummified but rather allowed to sit comfortably in a yogurt cup. Turns out the Egyptian mummies took about 70 days to completely dry out before they could be buried.

Such intense concentration and a plethora of silly bands
Apple is buried in salt/baking soda and left for dead further research

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Science CLUB!

We've decided that we need t-Shirts for our newly formed science club.
8 kids ages 6-11 all learning about force and motion this week.

My pictures aren't that compelling but the children really enjoyed the experiments. Younger kids built kit cars last week and are learning about motion and gravity.
We just happened to have a built a racing ramp last weekend for one 6 yr old birthday boy. We put it to good use and the cars that we built last week made it down the ramp - at least once. We changed the angle of the ramp a few times to see how that would affect the speed and pushed the cars uphill to show forces at work.

When the wheels really did start to come off, the children switched to lego cars.
 Note for next time: super glue the wheels

The older ones are getting serious with their electric cars. Other than one hair tangling incident, we are sailing along with the help of three mom-teachers. Hypothesizing, Theorizing and generally having fun!

I really enjoy the time spent with other families, the fresh questions, and the new perspectives. Hooray for Science Club.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Pyramids of Egypt

We are time traveling to Ancient Egypt, circa 3100 BC. Off on an adventure to the land of the Nile, pharaohs, and let's not forget, the pyramids.

We mixed in some geometry while building these pyramids out of straws and playdough, checking to see which was the stronger of the two types.

We had to practice for a long time to be able to draw a realistic looking pyramid on paper. It's like those 3-D pictures that only some people can see and only if you stare for a really long time. Much longer than I have time for........

My nine year- old had the most trouble with getting the dimensions just right and seeing the 3-D pyramid on paper, no matter how we drew it. I finally had her cut out shapes and make one that she could hold. I struggle with rotating objects in space (like galaxy stuff) but this was pretty basic. She eventually got it but I wonder about our future in geometry........

Speaking of "D'Nile", I have been in denial about how little my 4th grader writes with our curriculum. She loves to make lists and practices her cursive happily but the fact remains that she doesn't voluntarily write stories, letters or even a postcard unless she has to. I have a 2nd grader who needs to learn how to manage her paper consumption so I know it's partly due to interest level and gifting however....................... where there is a hole, one must fill it. I would be remiss if I did not address AGAIN the gap in where she is and where I think she should be. That said, Mackenzie is working on an essay of Ancient Egypt so stay tuned as I work to get this reluctant writer to complete the assignment. One paragraph per day should result in a page turner in about another week.
She has agreed to type it out and post it in the blog as well!
One less entry for me.

In case anyone thinks we don't do recess.......

Can you tell what this is?

Looks a little like a hookshot, right you are!

This is Mackenzie taking a whack at the 'ball' aiming for lightpost across the street.

In case you were looking for the ball, it's actually been substituted with those little brown, annoying pokey balls that cover our front lawn this time of year.

And........the grass wasn't in very good shape anyway!

This one makes a really cute caddie. Pairing a healthy snack and some hard work shagging the balls, that's Harper. That bag is filled with those little brown, did I mention, annoying pokey balls.

Now that's not a bad finish for a six year old.

Dad had a few pointers for Everett. I don't know what's cuter, the plaid knee length golf shorts or the intense concentration on his face.

Not bad for a homeschool recess. 20 minutes later, we were back hitting the books. I don't have pictures to prove it, just have to take my word for it, I guess.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Sabbath Day celebration

First the Preparation:
Celebrating the Sabbath was a way to commemorate the Day of Rest at the end of the creation week.

In preparation of the Friday Sabbath dinner, this week we read Genesis 1
and colored posters indicating the days of creation. Here is Everett's ( K) rendering of the all that was made by God during Creation. I particularly love his angels hovering over God as He rests on the 7th day.

Mackenzie was my
helper for the braiding of the challah bread. She loves to be in the kitchen and couldn't help but put her new skills to work after practicing on her dolls this summer.

After 20 minutes resting and 30 minutes in the oven, you get this.......

Both girls worked on the Sabbath covering for the bread. We used a piece of fabric that I had from my long-passed sewing days and some fabric markers. There was a moment of panic when they spelled Sabbath wrong but you can see that we
squeezed in the extra 'B'. No one was the wiser and we got to work setting the table with candles, cloth napkins and wine glasses for everyone.

Todd got home right before this picture so I didn't have time to prep him on what he would doing during this special meal. As usual, he rose to the occasion, made some jokes about the fact that I made PORK for the first Jewish feast of the year- haha- shush- it's one of my best dishes and it's soooo tasty. I did explain that this is not what the people of Israel would have eaten.

hey- I am trying here.....

You can see Todd's script in front of him.
It was his job to recite most of the prayers so I typed them out for him. He did manage to get silly about halfway through so the kids are laughing in this picture...... Something about a typo and the word 'nut' in the wrong place. He really just can't help himself!

And one last shot, the teacher and her three favorite students!

Great first week of school. I only counted one - are we done yets?- but saw lots of smiles, determination and focus. Structure was missed this summer I believe!
I am so blessed to be able to have this time with them and I wouldn't have it any other way.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

First Day!

Wow- excitement! That's actually the word they used at breakfast this morning. Well, I am not sure how long the excitement lasted after the donning of new clothes and the picture taking but I have to admit that getting them around the school table was fairly simple this morning.

Whether they will want to do it again tomorrow- that's another story altogether.........

A little later,
our newest student read a book to us called The Hot Yak and earned screen time by reading his sight word flashcards ( 30 cards= 30 minutes- after his lunch and chores, of course!) All in all, a good start. It's 3pm and the kids are playing with the neighbors and I am attempting to fix the printer which is on it's last legs. Might be an emergency situation since I use that thing everyday.
Happy school days everyone!