Last week of school

Our final week of Kindergarten and 2nd grade was May 7-11.  It ended up being rather anticlimactic because I was originally planning for the 18th to be our final day, but then I realized we could hustle and get done with a few things before my parents even arrived and just relax when they got here…so we went with that!

We finished strong with some time outside, completing math books, and getting our reading posters ready for the summer.  I drew them for the boys and then had them outline them with black marker.  We went a little smaller this year so that we could actually finish the posters by the time school starts again next fall!

And we went out for lunch with Daddio to celebrate our last day of school:

I’ll do another post with final pictures / comparison to the start of the year. =)

Other Happenings

The boys did a great workout with Daddio.  They don’t do this all that often, but it’s really sweet to see them all working out together.

Micah really loved his kiwico box this past month – a solar system!  He painted while we listened to The Secret Garden.  Great Granny A gave us the Focus on the Family audiobook of that story and it was a super fun way to listen to it.

We are all getting in on the piano-playing around here.  I have been loving to play a couple times each week.  E plays anytime he walks past the piano.  And Micah does a little playing here and there, too.  E is also teaching Mike a bit of piano, so that’s fun!  I caught E teaching Micah the other day and it made me smile.

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Here are some homeschooling shots from around the house.  The first is what the table looks like just before I call them up from their lego-playing to begin our school day.  It makes me smile and I wanted to post it here to remind me what this season in life looked like for Jess in later years. =)  The second is our daily board…with some additions from the boys.  Ethan added his snack and to “right” to Hana.  (Guess what word will be on his spelling test tomorrow?!) Micah changed his name to Doggie and added “winey” which means…he wanted to whine during his day.

Sometimes the board gets nice messages on it, like this one from Micah:

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Ethan still makes the best “people’s eyebrow”, but my little niece is going to give him a run for his money.  I can’t wait until I can show you her version!

Micah got his very first library card and he was beaming!  He’s not into being in pictures or videos these days so he usually tries to hide his face.  His first books?  A book about Canada, a book about castles and a Star Wars book.

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Speaking of that guy, he still loves to build with magnatiles and makes a pretty awesome castle.

And speaking of the library, the boys discovered the Lego Star Wars shows and have been watching an episode or two every few days…with the massive beanbag chair on top of them like so:

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And, lastly, we had the opportunity to watch Micah’s friend in his play “The Aristocats”.  We had a lot of fun and were so glad to get to encourage him!  I promise we had fun!

Next up…Spartan Races!

Field Trips

You know we are nearing the end of the school year when you see lots of field trips popping up!  We actually completed our state requirements a couple weeks ago already, but I have a few things we want to finish before the end of our school year next week.  So these field trips have just been chances to get together with other families or to see/do things that seemed like fun. =)

We went with a bunch of CC families to see the Dead Sea Scrolls a couple weeks ago.  I think I got the most out of this one, but I took a very casual approach to this day – allowing them to explore the things that most interested them and not forcing too much reading.  It’s a cool exhibit, for sure, but it’s a lot of reading and that’s not very attention-grabbing for our boys right now. 😉

Over the weekend, Daddio joined us at Living History.  We had done this with my parents at the beginning of the year, too, but this time the boys got to build their own muskets.  They were pretty thrilled about doing that.

The next week, we celebrated reaching our reading goals for the month with cheese-in-the-crust pizza at the library.  We love stopping at pizza hut before heading over for a library visit and just eating outside.  And I told the boys about how I remember when cheese-in-the-crust commercials started and how they always showed the kids eating from the crust first.  So we took some pictures to recreate that. =D

We also went to the Celestial Seasonings tour in Boulder with some CC friends.  Sadly, they were in the middle of inventory, so we didn’t get to see the machines working on the tour, but it was still really interesting!  The boys mostly enjoyed seeing friends and drinking lots of tea.

 

Mini Memory Masters

In Classical Conversations, there is a great goal of becoming a Memory Master at the end of the school year.  A Memory Master is someone who can recite, without any mistakes (unless they are corrected on their own), every piece of memory work from the 24 weeks of CC.  This includes the timeline (a 13 minute long song spanning from creation to present day events), history, science, math, english, latin, and geography.  It’s a pretty incredible feat and one that we will *hopefully* someday accomplish.  We’re working our way towards it. =D

This year, Ethan chose to memorize all 24 history sentences, all 24 weeks of math facts and all 24 science sentences.  Mike was the judge and he said Ethan did it!  I wasn’t allowed to be present for his test because I tend to give things away without realizing it because I’m busy trying to memorize it all, too! =)  Sadly, I only snapped one picture during and one afterwards.  We are super proud of this guy!  His memory is unreal and we loved seeing the hard work he put into this goal!!

This was Micah’s first full year in CC and he had a giant goal, too.  He wanted to memorize all 24 history sentences and all 24 science sentences.  This is a pretty tricky cycle to memorize as every history sentence begins with a date and many of the science sentences have to do with various parts of the body (i.e. what are some parts of the digestive system?).  Micah did an excellent job memorizing and working hard this year and we rewarded him for his hard work, too!  He was able to get every sentence with very minor help (i.e. “does it start with a date?” “yes, in 1898…” and he’d take it from there).  Below are two videos of his favorite history sentences.

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Both boys were awarded with lego sets and dinner out!  We wanted to reward hard work and perseverance more than even accomplishing the goal, because that means more to us than knowing a bunch of facts.  We were very pleased with their effort!!

Homeschool Edition

We finished CC a couple weeks ago now, but that doesn’t mean we are done with school, yet.  (Although, I did just calculate our hours and we technically only have about 35 school hours to go until we’ve reached the official Colorado mandated hours…but I can tell you that we will surpass that since I am estimating our last day of school to be Friday, May 18th.)

We’ve been having some fun taking schooling outside on the nice weather days:

And we’ve had some fun indoors, too.  One day, for instance, we made a homemade game that outlined all of the main happenings in “The Hobbit” – including losing a turn when doing riddles with Gollum and other such things.

You’re seeing lots of books in my pictures because we are really loving read-aloud time.  Some of our more recent books: The Sign of the Beaver (boys loved it!); My Father’s Dragon (again, boys loved it – especially Micah as it’s a much shorter chapter book with pictures often); The Green Ember books (Ethan and I – and sometimes Micah – are reading the third book in the series); and A Wrinkle in Time (E and I hope to go to the theater to see this when it comes to the cheap one near us).

Updates

A few Saturdays ago Mike was out of town.  It’s been a pretty busy couple of months for us with a lot of solo parenting going on.  I am so thankful that we have FaceTime for the days he’s gone and intentional time when he’s in town!  Anyway, I was sure to schedule a nice day for us that Saturday.  We spent the morning at church so that E could work on his pinewood derby car.  For those that don’t know, this is an annual tradition within the CRC and is something that I did as a kid, too. =)  Uncle Joel worked patiently with a bunch of kids, including Ethan, that morning.  He’s such a blessing!!  Meanwhile, Micah and I worked on his pigeon activity book throughout the morning.

That afternoon, we headed to the library to make dinosaur dioramas.

Other updates include…we still like Legos around here:

And we love to read.  I’ve finished something like 18 books already this year (keep in mind that a lot of them are young adult books and/or books I’m reading with boys).  I discovered a new series that I LOVE and can’t wait to introduce to the boys – The Green Ember.  I highly recommend them – fun, action-packed reads.

We finished another good read-aloud book recently called, “The Prairie Thief”.  It was a fun story and both boys enjoyed it.  A lot of the time I have them color or do puzzles while listening.

E has a love for good stories and has pretty good taste, in my opinion. =)  He’s read a bunch of just silly, fun books (i.e. Diary of a Wimpy Kid) and he still tends to like books with a little more plot (i.e. The Hobbit – his current favorite that we are listening to and almost done with already!!).

We also recently learned more about a series called, “Who Was…” about various famous people (there are also books about living people and places), so I’ve been collecting them from thrift books.com whenever I have a coupon. =)

And the boys have lots of fun picking out their free monthly book at the Book Rack after a day at CC.

The boys reached their reading goal for February so we got to celebrate with pizza hut again.

We just started our final 6 weeks of CC this month.  I hosted all of the tutors for our final planning session.  Mike took the boys out for dinner so we could have less distractions. =)

We still sometimes play school:

And we’re busy finishing this school year strong:

Again, I can’t recall what the boys’ present on during CC without pictures…and I only have pictures of Ethan since I’m his tutor.  He gave one presentation about a lego creation of his and one about…we don’t know because it doesn’t have a prop. Haha!

We had dinner with Reggie sometime in the last month and then he and Mike headed out to float. =)

We’ve spent quite a bit of time in the park.  One day we invited cousin Matthew to join us for some parkour.

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And we got a new game – Life – from Grandma Cleve.  I had only played it once as a kid, so we had to spend some serious time getting re-aquainted with it.  I accidentally made up some rules the first time around. =)

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And lastly, I started doing a little more decorating in the office.  =)  Thanks for the canvas idea, Dad!

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The days that make up our life…

Each week holds some of the same things: homeschool at the house, piano lesson, CBS, Classical Conversations, and PE+.

Here’s a little glimpse of Classical Conversations this past session.  We were studying famous artists and trying to copy their work for art.  This is my favorite part of the year each year – it’s really neat to see their creativity and to learn about each artist.

E finally got to give his presentation on his Vex creation.  I can’t quite remember now what Micah chose to present on, but he’s been doing a nice job in his class, apparently.

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And this past week we stayed after our morning of Foundations in order to see what the Essentials program will be like.  Ethan will be in Essentials next year and we’re both a little intimidated by it!  There is a bigger focus on writing well, grammar, and learning a lot of vocabulary words.  I’m sure there’s more to it than that, but that’s the big focus as far as we can tell so far.  E was very tentative at first, but ended up really liking it and is already looking forward to starting it next year!  In fact, he had some tears at the beginning because everything seemed like a different language (they were diagramming sentences and labeling them with direct object, object of the preposition, etc.!), but everyone was so kind and encouraging to him.  And he was even able to play the review games along with them.  Also, Micah amazes me – he can sit for hours very quietly without interrupting or doing anything disruptive.  It’s kind of remarkable.

Homeschool pics:

On Fridays we head to PE+ where Ethan takes a gym class with other homeschoolers from around the city.  He absolutely loves it.  Micah will start next year; he currently just hangs with me and reads books or draws.

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And Ethan has piano lessons (with cousin Matthew) every week.  He LOVES playing piano and plays songs scattered throughout every single day.  He has already surpassed my playing ability, I think, and I took lessons for a couple years. =)  Here is the video he sent to his piano teacher this week, as per her request:

Sometimes we “play school” and Micah is the teacher.  He gives spelling tests…like this one:

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In case you are wondering, a peeologist is a person who studies pee.  Obviously.  Sometimes I have to embrace the grossness that comes with raising boys. 😉

We’ve been enjoying the Olympics, too.  The boys even did their own version of figure skating at the house the other night.  We awarded red, green, or yellow (which eventually turns to red or green upon further review) squares for their scores.  And sometimes we threw Pooh bear out on the rink.

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And I’ll leave you with a funny story… The boys are planning to live in Canada when they are older and would like to live in a camper, or maybe two.  (The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree…this was very similar to my plan as a child!)  When asked if they’d like to get married, they both respond, “NO!  If we get married we might have to deal with babies and their drool and stuff.”  I said, “well, just because you are married doesn’t mean you have to have children.”  Their response, “Yeah, but you never really know.  If you get married, you might have a kid.  We just don’t want to risk it.  There’s no way of knowing if you’ll have one or not.” Hmm…