Life at Home

This guy officially finished his Vex robotic thing:

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And both boys reached their reading goals for January!  This meant personal pan pizzas for everyone!  I failed to fill out the forms this year…so we didn’t get to use the awesome free bookit program.  I’ll figure this homeschooling thing out one of these days. =)

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Below are some pics from our homeschooling life.  As you can see, it involves a lot of reading.  Sometimes the boys just sit and listen, but other times they color, do puzzles or paint.  One day I even had them draw comics to the story I was reading.  Micah started using a new handwriting book and seems to enjoy it.  Ethan has started tracking his Magic Tree House books on the website again.  He’s read all of the books and enjoys re-reading them in the mornings before he’s allowed to start playing.  I warned him that he’ll need to start reading more challenging books soon, but for now I love that he enjoys a good story! =)

The boys have a lot of fun using their headphones.  Sometimes they listen to their CC memory work music; sometimes they are listening to picture books being read to them.  I love to see them enjoying the headphones!

As promised, here’s a video of Ethan singing part of our Latin song for memorizing John 1.  We also are learning it in English.  It’s a super fun song, so that helps!

We ended up watching the Super Bowl at home this year.  We made sure to eat some fun snacks and had a really nice afternoon/evening.  It helped that the team we *all* wanted desperately to win won!  Oh my word, these two were cracking me up! =)

Also, throwback to 5 years ago…I took this picture of the boys and put the caption, “The boys just found out the Packers aren’t in the Super Bowl”. =)

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Speaking of long ago…we took out a game I made for the boys years ago for the first time in a long time again tonight.  We enjoyed playing the game of “Action” together. It involves things like push ups and squats and running up and down stairs.  =)

Life Lately, Homeschool Edition

We had the opportunity to attend a “Symphony through the Ages” intended for kids last week.  It started with Pachelbel’s Canon from the Baroque period and moved all the way through the modern era with Star Wars.  I learned something new – when Beethoven was composing, people listening would be eating, talking, singing along, etc.  The symphony wasn’t always a quiet and respectful event!  Interesting. =)  We even got to pretend we were watching his 5th Symphony during those days and talk while it was playing.  Such a strange experience!

We went with other friends of our from CC/church and had a school-related playdate during the day with them that day, too.  It was lots of fun to have 4 kids working on school together at various levels over different subjects.  They did really well together!

Here’s a little glimpse into our CC community day:

And a little glimpse into our daily life at home:

Micah has been making some serious progress with reading these days.  My friend, Amy, recommended the Preschool Prep Company videos and has lent them to us and they have helped build Micah’s confidence so very much.  He set a goal to read 15 books (mostly the Bob books you see here) this month.  He’s at 14 right now, so if he reads one more…he will be getting the Pizza Hut pizza he wants!

Ethan finished the first semester math book and officially started his second semester book today.  He was very excited about this and has been making some serious improvements in sticking with problems (especially word problems) that are hard!  He’s also doing a great job learning John 1 in Latin and in English (we’re all working on it, but Ethan’s got it done a little more confidently than the rest of us).  Hopefully we’ll have a video someday soon. =)

Boys’ Weekend/Sisters’ Weekend

Last weekend I flew to Atlanta to help my sister at her trade show.  I’ve been helping at this bi-annual show since we lived in Atlanta.  It’s always a lot of work and a whole lotta fun.  I enjoy getting to know Jennie’s friends and learning more about her business.  I also enjoy the chance to see my dear friends (no pictures this year) in the evenings for dinner.  This year I saw Patricia and Katie!  It’s such a pleasure to help Jennie and her company, Venture Imports.  We’re holding her hearts that say “sister” and “friend”!  =)

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While I’m away, the boys definitely play!  But first, they completed all of the tasks I assigned them for homeschool.  I’m pretty impressed with their ability to remain self-motivated and get things done.  Mike said they did a good job all Friday getting their work done so that they could play on Saturday and Monday.

Daddio is the braver parent and opted to take the boys skiing *twice* while I was gone.  They have now officially exceeded my skill level and the amount of times I’ve gone.  They had a great time skiing!

Saturday at Loveland:

Monday at Keystone (I believe!) with friends from church:

And here are some other highlights:

Milestones included Ethan going down a green all.by.himself and each boy winning Risk Legacy.  I imagine there are other milestones on the mountain, but I don’t know the stories well enough to re-tell them here. =)

Home again!

One of the things I most enjoy about being home again after such a long, fun vacation is just getting into our routine.  Routine and rhythm do my soul good and I love getting back into it again.  Part of our rhythm is me making oatmeal (or some other breakfast) in the morning.  Another part is updating our calendar (it was so fun to see all the days not crossed off and to start a fresh new month).  The boys enjoy routine, too.  Part of their rhythm is playing piano and doing art projects – they were eager to get back into it!  Micah also enjoys making snacks for everybody and Ethan enjoys writing his own music.  Another thing we so enjoy is getting back to our church.  This particular Sunday we were talking about “Ebenezers” – you may remember my post about this recently – and Micah wanted to put up a stone representing how much he’s grown in his courage, thanks to the Lord. =)

The biggest part of our routine and daily rhythm is, of course, homeschool.  We eased our way back into this, since it’s a hard transition for the boys.  I think they enjoyed getting back into it, too!  We also started something new – essentially we have a goal to fill up the jar with the bow on it by doing good things such as putting away dishes or books, going to bed without a fuss, responding when they have been spoken to, finishing an assignment without complaining, etc., etc..  They can also lose beads for negative behavior or attitudes.  Anyway, it’s been a fun system and the boys seem very motivated by it!  It’s a whole lotta work to be consistent with it, but it’s been an easy and calm way to keep us all on track. =)

Part of our homeschool rhythm is going to Classical Conversations.  The boys were mostly excited to get back.  We are doing a new unit in Fine Arts – studying great artists!  I love this unit because it means creative and beautiful artwork!  Both boys did presentations on our recent travels and their highlights.

Being home again also means the boys are back to playing legos, dressing up with Daddio for battle, and going for bike rides with Mom.

It also means I am back to trying new recipes.  We got the new Nom Nom cookbook and I made my first ever egg drop soup.  Everyone loved it! Yay for a new recipe!

We also took down Christmas decorations and put up some new every day “art”:

It’s good to be back in our home and doing the things that make us settle into being at home again!

Homeschooling

December homeschool life is a little more relaxed, but we’re still getting lots of things done around here.  Here’s what it has looked like the past couple weeks:

Mostly you are seeing pictures of writing, reading and math.  I have a couple posted above of Classical Conversations memory work review (the one with the dates on the notecards).  Each boy can tell you what happened on each of those dates using one of our history songs.  Also, you’ll see the dry erase board with a list of things they needed to accomplish throughout the day…including a little tally spot for the character problem areas where we all need a little work. =)

For fun, the boys traced and made up maps.  They have decided to live in Canada when they are old enough, FYI.

And Micah now loves to play hot cross buns:

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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