Friday, August 31, 2007

Who would have known?

Aunt Stacy mailed Haley a giftcard for the American Girl store to use next weekend when we go. Haley has carried around the catalog that arrived with the card since it came. She has figured out combinations of items she can afford and written wish lists. Who would have thought that a simple giftcard would yield so many learning experiences.

Boys started Judo last night. They visited the class on Tuesday night. Only one other young boy so they will have to do most practice with each other. They loved the first class. Haley and I had "Girl's Night." I let Haley pick our activities. We did a lesson in Rosetta Stone Spanish, played princess castle, baked a cake, and read a chapter in a new book (I think we have 3 books going now and don't know how she keeps them all straight).

Monday, August 27, 2007

Fall 2007 Curriculum Plans...

Okay, we are in week #2 of the 2007-2008 "homeschool year." Here is what we have planned so far.


Math- Jacob's Geometry

Weekly writing assignment (topics will vary to include different types of expository writing)
Grammar/Spelling/Vocabulary- Spelling Power Level G, grammar to be discussed based on
editing on writing assignments and common errors.

Daily reading

Earth Science- Great Course DVDs on Geology, CyberEd Earth and Space science course,
various books on space, planets, astronomy, rocks/minerals, and earth as needed to
supplement. Purchased rock kit with various specimens for study. In spring with
bring telescope home for further space and astronomy study. Also planning trip to
Yellowstone National Park next summer to coincide with these studies.

Medieval History- Great Course DVDs on Medieval history, World History the Human Odyssey
History Scribe for notebook keeping. Activity books like Knights and Castles by Hart & Mantell and Days of Knights and Damsels by Laurie Carlson.

Rosetta Stone Spanish

Geography- through history study and more in depth with Evan-Moor Daily Geography
practice 6th grade.

Art- Drawing with Children
Music- drums
Phys.Ed.- Wrestling, Taekwondo, Gumdo, and wants to start studying Judo.


Math- Saxon 76

Weekly writing assignment as above

Grammar/Spelling/Vocabulary- Spelling Power level F, grammar and vocabulary learned
through various readings.

Daily Reading
Earth Science as above
Medieval History as above
Rosetta Stone Spanish
Geography as above
Art as above
Music- guitar
Phys.Ed.- Taekwondo, Gumdo, basement workouts and wants to start Judo


Math- some combination of Saxon 2 and Miquon red book
Daily reading
Copywork- from readings, poems, etc...
Spelling- Spelling Power level A
Earth Science- joining in on CyberEd and various readings, activities and experiments with
History- SOTW 2 plus activities
Rosetta Stone Spanish
Geography- as above
Art as above
Music- violin and fiddle including violin group class bimonthly. Will learn more music reading
and theory through Music Mind Games
Phys Ed- taekwondo and dance

Well, that's what we have so far. When things are not quite as hectic with the end of summer, rescheduling activities for new year, and my everchanging work schedule (which should be on 2 days per week as of the middle of September). I hope to reinstitute daily journal/nature journal activities at least for Haley because we enjoyed them and have the entire school schedule implemented.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Grammy's Birthday Surprise...

On Tuesday morning a woman from Grammy's office called to invite Haley to play violin at the office for Grammy's birthday luncheon. She said that Grammy talks about Haley's prowess on violin often and always says she will bring her in to play but never has so they were taking matters into their own hands.

So, I took Haley and her violin. She played for the 15 or so people who work with her Grammy. I am always amazed at her composure and confidence in front of large groups of people. She played for them and talked to them so articulately and without the least bit of shyness. The funniest thing to me is that when she plays for other people, she seems to remember all those little points that we work on when practicing even though I often have to remind her about them during practice sessions. As someone who tends to get nervous and make mistakes under pressure, I have the utmost respect for my daughter who thrives on it.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Survivor Man in my backyard...

I am thinking that maybe my boys have been watching too much Discovery Channel lately. We had 3 very large trees cut down and as you can see, every bit of 3 large trees is still in my backyard. All those trees and limbs plus my boys equals tons of fun. They spent the better part of two days making survival forts, talking through each step as though a videoman was taping every minute. I had to put the cabash on when they starting talking about spending the night in their forts (the lake behind is a mosquito haven). I think I also heard some talk about eating ants and grasshoppers....

Saturday, August 18, 2007


I was not aware just how used to Haley's violin skills I have become until I saw her through our extended family's eyes. We went to North Carolina to visit Daddy's family for 10 days. To truly understand the visit, you have to first know that Daddy has 8 aunts and uncles and all of their families living near Wilmington plus his sister and her family came from Charlotte for a few days to see us as well. It is fun and exhausting and there is never a shortage of cousins to play with.

Anyway, Haley took her violin so she could, of course practice and she played for everyone numerous times. Some of the family even invited friends to come and hear her play. Watching my tiny girl fiddling away with her feet tapping or dancing, her body swaying, and the beautiful music coming from that tiny violin was amazing. She put her whole heart into each "performance" and the family was ready to find her a talent agent and send her on tour.

Some of them really got to see her in action because when we left for vacation, she had just been given two new fiddle tunes to learn. She learned the first and polished it right before we left (in two days) then while we were there she learned the first half of the other tune the first day then the second half the next day. So those who heard her the first day down there, heard her only able to play the first half of the tune but when they came back the next day, got to hear what she had learned the next day. They then thought it was fun to see if she could figure out other songs and bits of songs in a "Try to Stump Haley" kind of game. No one could.

The fiddle tune Haley figured out, her teacher had given to her "just to listen to and not to learn." She does not know Haley well enough yet if she thinks my kid will just listen to a piece of music and not figure it out. It was a bit more complicated than the previous songs so even I was impressed that she figured it out so quickly. I keep thinking that a time will come when she won't be able to figure a piece out after hearing it once or twice and I wonder how she will handle that. She has already far surpassed what I could figure out so I don't really even think I could help her at that point without written music to go by. It is pretty sad that my 5yo has greater musical talent than me when I had 10 years of lessons.

They boys had a great time playing with all the cousins and playing in the ocean. I was really nervous with them in the water because there were reports of a 13 yo who was shark-bit just the week before and the water was soooo warm, like a bathtub. But no one ended up missing pieces of themselves so it was a good trip all in all.