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.

Grandpa and Grandma’s Visit

We were so thankful to have Grandpa and Grandma here for a visit this past week!  Mike had been in India for work, so the timing was perfect for me.  Mike was bummed to miss them, but we all agreed that it was a blessing for me to have help and company!  Plus we got to celebrate my Dad’s birthday with him since he was here for it!  They arrived on the same day that Mike left for India and we had the chance to watch the Packers game together and to impress them with piano skills.

On Friday we went to PE+ and then had a field trip to “Living History”.  We’re studying this time period in US history this year in CC, so it was perfect timing!  The boys made candles and candle holders, enjoyed learning about guns and participated in part of a school day for colonial pilgrims, among other things.

Saturday was my Dad’s birthday.  We celebrated by having cinnamon rolls and then leaving him with the boys while my Mom, Aunt and I went to a cooking class for learning to make macarons. =D  That evening we went to my aunt and uncle’s house for dinner.

On Tuesday we had another field trip.  This time we went downtown to watch “The Snowy Day” play.  Naturally we took in the sites a bit and enjoyed some Little Man Ice cream while we were so close. =)

It wouldn’t be a visit from my parents without various projects getting done around the house.  My Mom worked on pillow covers for me and I can’t even begin to describe how excited I am about them! =)  My Dad got rid of the rose bushes and another spiky bush in the backyard (beware – next year I’ll be a real gardener!).  He also put up curtain holder things (there’s probably a real name for this…), helped reinforce the tree fort, and put up a new shelf for the boys’ capes and the letters the boys made with them.  It was a week of random projects and I’m so impressed with how everything turned out!  Thank you, guys!!

In between these projects and runs to the fabric store and Home Depot, we did some school work, read books, and played games.  Ethan went on a couple bike rides with Grandpa.  Micah joined Grandma and me at the yarn store – wearing two different shoes as I am told I did regularly as a child – and took pictures of butterflies with Grandpa in the backyard.  And the boys did a lot of yard work outside, too.

It was great to have you here again, Mom and Dad!  Thanks for coming!!  You’ll see another post of this trip with photos from my Dad. =)

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!

 

Homeschool Life

If ever I complain about my life as a homeschooling mom, remind me to GET OUTSIDE with the boys.  We finally biked to the pond for homeschool last week and it was the most refreshing day of homeschool of the year.  Both boys were asking what they should do next and no one complained about anything being too hard.  Tears were minimal, dare I even say non-existent?? Anyway, it was lovely.  Note to self – get outside as often as possible!

Even after a blissful day outside, I still chose to do homeschool indoors the following day.  It wasn’t nearly as fun, but we made it! =)

Community Bible Study is a part of our homeschooling each week.  Micah did a little bit better this week than the first week, so I took them out for cookies afterwards to celebrate.  Yep, I am not above bribery if it means less tears on these mornings. 😉  E was busy working on his lesson already today – he seems to really enjoy it!

Here are some pics from CC this week.  E presented on his camera and Micah talked about the overnight ferry we stayed on from Denmark to Norway.  The kids both said that the abstract art project was their favorite part of the CC day.

Piano has now become a big part of our days, too.  Ethan was the star student of the week last week because of how much he practiced and played the app “piano maestro”.  He is really loving piano and wishes he could have lessons more than once a week.  Micah has started playing around with the keyboard, too!

Since E loves playing this game on the iPad, we wanted to give Micah some more time on it, too.  So, he’s been doing a Bible app, a letters app and playing matching games. =)

Miller Farm

Our first real field trip of the year was to Miller Farm.  This was such a fun day!  We had lovely weather (a reprieve from the hotter temps!) and a super fun family with whom to enjoy it.  The farm is about an hour away, so we spent most of the trip listening to more of “Anne of Green Gables”.  I literally laughed out loud a bunch of times and I’m getting really eager to show the boys the movies I grew up adoring as a girl.

We spent a few hours there.  Part of the time the kids were playing…

…but most of the time we were riding on a wagon out to various parts of the field to pick our fruit and veggies.  Each person got 4 bags of produce!!  We ended up with lots of corn, peppers, tomatoes and pumpkin.  We also picked some broccoli, beets, potatoes and celery.  I’m certain I’m missing some of the produce we picked, but suffice it to say, we LOVED it!

The field trip didn’t end there…the boys wanted to help me clean and cut veggies when we got home, too!

Thankful for opportunities to take our learning outside and to get dirty!

Final days of homeschool

We planned to finish our school year by the time my parents’ made their summer visit out to Colorado and we managed to finish everything (almost!) necessary to start summer break nice and early!

Ethan worked hard to finish his Singapore math workbook and finished the week just doing flashcards.  Micah’s math has been all over the place this year, so we just worked on number recognition at the end just to make sure we had taken care of that important part!  So, he would read the math problem on the flashcards and Ethan would answer as soon as he heard it. =)

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I snapped some pictures as comparisons from our first day of school.  They have both grown in so many ways this year – weight, height, intellect, maturity – we’re very proud of the young men they are becoming!

                       First Day:                                                                                    Last Day:

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We went for a bike ride to the park and then out for lunch to celebrate our last day.  The weather was gorgeous and we had so much fun!  The boys wanted to take those pictures of marmalade jam for my Dad since I had told them that he always loved it on his sandwiches when I was a kid. =D

We finished the year with a fun art project.  I worked on making new summer reading charts for them.  The boys loved my castle, so they worked on their own castles, too!  I wanted to include pictures of the boys with their summer reading posters from last summer, too. They stayed up until we put these new ones in their room! =D

We had a great homeschooling year!  So proud of these boys for working hard all year and making it *mostly* a very enjoyable experience!!

Dates with Mom

Recently a friend of mind told me about a chance to see Beethoven’s 9th Symphony and since we studied Beethoven this year, I wanted to take the boys.  Micah had no interest in going since he did not like any of Beethoven’s work and found it all to be “too loud”.  Ethan was interested, so I opted to just take him.  My friend’s son had also learned about Beethoven at his school, so I agreed to take him along with us (they had scheduling conflicts, so they couldn’t join us).  It was so much fun and they were SO well behaved!!

These boys have been friends for years…

Because we had scheduled this outing, my friend and I wanted to find something fun to do with our younger kiddos.  She found a Disney on Ice performance nearby, so we grabbed tickets and did this one we all together (the four of us)!  We went to a fun pizza place beforehand and the boys had fun playing some of the games in the restaurant.  Micah is a fan of selfies and requested these ridiculous ones before we headed out on our date. =D

Mike and I cherish the time we get to spend with our boys.  We love our one-on-ones and would also love to snag some two-on-ones when we have the chance!