Homeschool Pics

Homeschool has been going well this year.  We always have our ups and downs, but I can’t imagine you want to hear much about the downs.  =)  Both boys are working on their handwriting.  Ethan is learning to do multiplication flashcards for time and Micah is still working on learning various words and sounds letters make.

We’re reading good books together and separately, and we’re listening to lots of fun audiobooks.  I’m trying to model a love for reading by reading lots of books myself. Thankfully I’ve found so many to enjoy and have started attending a book club with ladies from our CC group.  We’ve been reading books that are on the reading list for our kids when they get into the older classes.  We try to read and snuggle or read outside as much as possible.  We also try to look up words (or birds mentioned in the book we are reading) or locations while we are reading to help the books come alive.  And we try to read books with good messages about how we want to live our lives.

Life

Can you tell I’m over coming up with the titles for each blog post?  I just don’t have anything catchy to call every day life anymore (not sure I ever did…).

E and I have been playing a lot of Dominoes since GC went back home.  We’re really enjoying it.  In fact, today while Micah had a super fun play date over, E and I played a full game of Dominoes.  He won. =)

I measured the boys this week for our health insurance stuff. =)  They are growing up so fast!  E is usually closer to 70 pounds, but he hasn’t crossed that threshold, yet.

Homeschool Updates:

It wouldn’t be a blog post about life if I didn’t give a little schooling update.  Some days are super hard and I question a whole lot about what we are doing, but those days are, thankfully, few and far between.  I did have one such day on Monday when we had to have a lot of chats about doing hard things, what it looks like to actually learn new material that challenges your brain, and how attitude matters so much more to me than getting answers right or problems done.  I am happy to say that the talks sunk in because the rest of the week the boys would ask me every afternoon, “Mom, how was my attitude today?” “Mom, do you think I had a good attitude today?”  And that explains the big smiles they are giving me when I snuck some pictures. =)  And sometimes I get to reward them for having a great attitude!

Ethan started doing difficult division problems with remainders.  Micah finished his first writing notebook and most of his math notebook.  E loved reading the classic start of “Anne of Green Gables” and thought it was very similar to the actual book which we had listened to through audiobooks.  We have also since finished “Anne of Avonlea” and started watching the movie…which really features more stories from the next few books, so we ordered those through the library so we can listen to them!  I can tell that Micah is picking up a lot from these books because when he hears a phrase we heard in the book being said on the movie, he perks up and says he knew that part!

Here’s a short little video of the boys outlining the US while listening to a fun states and capitals CD we got from Auntie!  E usually outlines right along with the music, but apparently I didn’t catch that in this video. =)

Classical Conversations Updates:

We just finished week 12 of CC which means we are on break until the new year.  We will be doing all of our normal homeschooling, still, but we won’t have CC to attend for over a month.  Our final day at CC (besides the party in a couple weeks) was a good one.  We put our bodies together after learning about the different parts while coloring them over the past 6 weeks.  Micah joined my class for that part and when his class went downstairs to put their bodies together, so I got to see his presentation this week and help him with putting the body together.

Ethan presented on Robert E. Lee after reading a book about him that morning.  Micah presented on his birthday gift from Grandma Cleve.

We hung their bodies up on the office closet doors and are working on writing science sentences around it…such as “what are some parts of the excretory system?” which E and I decided should be placed near…well, you know. =)

Other Updates:

I painted the easel that Auntie gave us this week and I’m pretty pleased with how it turned out!

We played at the park and went for a walk together this week.

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Micah was briefly sick.  And I love when he sleeps on me in the middle of the day.

The boys did some raking.

E played football with his buddies after PE+.  Micah played tag with his.

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A shot of their bunk beds during a brief window when their room looked clean:

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Big milestone news for Micah – he lost his first tooth tonight!

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…in between visits…

Here are some pics and videos from our homeschool week last week.  We use the easel from Auntie Mel every single day.  Micah is always practicing the alphabet or drawing pictures based on the books we are reading (one of the pictures features Micah’s version of “Anne of Avonlea”, the audiobook we are currently finishing).  I use it to write some writing assignments for the boys and to explain math to Ethan, among other things.

Micah is now playing Piano Maestro on the iPad, too.  Ethan has been such a patient teacher to Micah and Micah has really been enjoying playing.  In fact, he was the ‘star student’ on Monday.  I guess I gave him a little more time on the iPad than Ethan. 😉

Other updates include that Ethan can now complete this:

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And Micah has his very first loose tooth / adult tooth growing:

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And the office is on its way to being organized:

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Next up: Grandma Cleve is back!

Our Life

I’ve got some fun updates to make this week, but I’ll start with the basic life as we live it type post.

We made it to week 9 in Classical Conversations, Cycle 3.  Micah again participated in his own class last week!  I got a few hugs throughout the morning, but he participated well and had a great time!  He did a presentation on his hand-me-down camera and a couple of the girls in the class proclaimed that they are putting it on their Christmas list now. =)  Ethan did his presentation on a Lego creation he made.  We’re learning about the human body and will be putting some muscles, bones, organs and other parts of the body on our traced bodies at the end of the 12 weeks.  So, I snapped a picture of Ethan getting traced.  You’ll see the finished product in a few weeks.

We stopped in at Joann Fabrics for *one thing* I wanted for my Halloween costume…and we left with enough fleece to make two massive Christmas blankets for the boys!  Oops.  I had a coupon and there was a buy-one-get-one deal going on…and they picked such darling fabrics…that will match our Christmas pillows my mom made for us!  Anyway, we’ll be working on those in the coming weeks.  Micah, in particular, loved this store.

We enjoyed celebrating pumpkin day…it was a good excuse for a special pumpkin treat.

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I went to my very first book club.  It was a lot of fun!  I had missed the first one because Mike was out of town, but this time I just decided to ask Ike to come watch the boys so I could still attend.  We were discussing “The Scarlet Letter”, a book the boys will have to read when they get into the Challenge program (that’s high school in CC language).  I tried to take good notes while reading it and discussing it so that I will be more prepared for those daunting years!  How awesome is my cousin, Ike??  He came dressed as Chewie to surprise my two excited Chewies.

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Micah continues to love building with MagnaTiles and setting up battles.

Both guys are doing great in school.  E is learning more about multiplication and solving problems like 46×3.  He really enjoys Math.  Micah is still working on addition and is showing some improvements in his reading, too.  He enjoys writing quite a bit and often asks to do extra sheets for that.  Today he even made his own extra worksheets.  I am not in the stage of correcting his writing, so I think he finds it to be a small risk with great reward. =)

Daddio is home for a good stretch now, so we are soaking up time with him!  The guys worked in the yard…and on our roof (eek!!!) this weekend.  Good to have him back!

And we’ve been really enjoying our church.  I am the helper in Micah’s Sunday School class and I’m super impressed with their intentionality in teaching the Bible to these kids.  We’re building a really firm foundation and that’s so great to see.

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Still to come…Ethan’s first piano recital and the Halloween party.

These guys…

…they keep me smiling.  =)

Here are some recent pics from school.  We started a new chapter book and read it during breakfast – Ben and Me.  It’s a fun story (with short chapters) about Ben Franklin. So far we’d recommend it to others. =)  And these boys LOVE to draw.  Ethan just proclaimed us “an art family” today, although I think Mike might end up feeling a little left out since he really, really, really doesn’t like to do anything with art. =/

And here are two fun videos of life at the Cleve Crew – Micah adding with army men and Ethan catching food thrown into his mouth:

Daily Life

Just wanted to post about some of the regular occurrences around our home.

You can find the boys writing letters to cousins (and others) or working on codes together often.  Mike and I received lots of such letters, including some money for “being such great parents”.  Ike and Matthew are also common recipients of their notes.

Ethan is obsessed with playing the piano.  He cannot get enough of it.  He asks to play “Piano Maestro” every single day and plays through his various songs randomly throughout the day.  He can even be found teaching Micah how to play “Hot Cross Buns” on occasion, a sight that warms my heart!  Micah has pretty good rhythm and has requested a bongo or other type drum for his birthday this year.  We’re thinking this could be a fun instrument to add to our house full of music, so he just might get this wish. =)

You can also find the boys doing various “opportunities” around the house.  Some weeks they are all about this.  Others, not so much.  Micah is pretty good at unloading the dishwasher for me in the mornings. =)

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You’ll find us enjoying the great outdoors often around here.  We moved back to Colorado in part due to the incredible weather.  I absolutely LOVE that we can have snow one day and then 76 degree temperatures the same week!  We take our homeschooling outside as often as we can – reading outside or going for bike rides.  I went for a Packers victory walk and snapped some pictures of the green and gold on Sunday…and on Monday we had inches of snow on the ground and a bunch of tree branches falling down around the neighborhood.

Naturally we had hot chocolate after the boys played in the snow.  We enjoyed a special Indian treat Mike had brought home from his work trip – delicious!

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We’ve got loads of books we are reading and want to be reading in the future!  We are listening to a super fun audiobook, “By the Great Horn Spoon” (about the Gold Rush) and reading the Imagination Station 3-part series on the Revolutionary War.  I’m personally reading “The Scarlet Letter” and “Of Mess and Moxie” and enjoying both immensely.

We discovered a new series we’d like to try: Dear America Books.  The library only has a couple of them, so they might be fun Christmas gifts (for those of you who ask about ideas – they are on thriftbooks.com and we are particularly interested in the Underground Railroad books).  I mention it on here also because a lot of us share book recommendations and this seemed to be an easy place to record it.  =)

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And here are a couple pictures from CC this week.  Ethan did his presentation on the “Living History” field trip we did.  Micah was in his own classroom for his presentation, but he brought with him the things he made with Grandpa – the blowgun and the boat.  I hear he did a very nice job talking about both.

Daily Grind: Homeschool Edition

Videos often motivate the boys in learning their CC memory work and I think they end up being a kind of fun way for others to get a glimpse into how the unique world of classically educating the boys looks.

Here are some more shots from around the house learning:

We take it on the road a bit, too.  Micah does some work in the gym while Ethan participates in PE+ (a gym class for homeschool kids).  And our very best days are spent at the park.  We ride for about a mile and a half and then break for some schooling, then we continue on for another half mile until we reach the park where we do some more schooling and also some playing.

The boys have gotten very interested in painting as of late.  We are using water color right now.  We put on some classical music and paint until they tire of it.  I finished a frame for displaying their artwork and I’m pretty pleased with how it turned out.

In fact, Ethan presented his painting in CC today.  Micah talked about his camera.  We also enjoyed our new art project of using perspective in drawing – the Washington Monument and the Reflective Pool.

I won’t go into the lots of details here, but we are praising the Lord this week.  Suffice it to say, Micah has a difficult time leaving me.  This week, however, he went to CBS without any tears.  We definitely celebrated his bravery!

His sweet teacher sent this picture to me later to confirm that he was, in fact, smiling during class, too! =)

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Lastly, we finished our audiobook of “Anne of Green Gables”.  I literally happy (and sad) cried my way through the whole book.  I had never read it before, but I grew up LOVING (and hating for some of the parts…) watching “Anne of Green Gables” with Megan Follows.  I highly recommend the book and found the audiobook to be delightful!!  Tonight we watched the first half of the movie and the boys loved it.

Side note: when I was younger, our family went on a trip to Prince Edward Island to see Green Gables (among other things).  That whole trip was easily one of my favorite family vacations.  I only just learned that my sister and dad had been reading the books together prior to it!  How fun!  I have a picture…somewhere…of me in front of Green Gables, but I can’t seem to find it now.  I’d like to show it to the boys!