Monday, March 4, 2013

Homeschool Mother's Weekly Wrap-Up Journal: Spontaneous Field Trip and Making Progress

In My Life The Past Two Weeks . . . 
My husband and my father-in-law stained the concrete in the house. All of the main areas will have stained concrete. We will have carpet in the bedrooms and ceramic tile in the bathrooms. Believe it or not . . . my husband picked the color and I haven't actually seen it in person yet unless you count the small sample I saw in a dark corner of our shed. I really couldn't tell what it looked like, because there wasn't any light in the room. He did take a photo of it for me to share. This was right before the last coat of sealer. What do you think? 

We have been looking at more carpet samples. I learned that the weight of the carpet was an important thing to consider was choosing a color and brand. My friend works in the carpet store so she's trying to get larger samples sent to them so that I can get a better idea of what one of our final color choices would look like in the house. Slipcover or Soul? Which color do you prefer? Seriously help!
We also looked through a magazine trying to decide on a kitchen pantry door. Our cabinets will be stained dark walnut so we wanted something to lighten up the room. The wood trim around the door will match the cabinets. The prices were a lot higher than we expected so we haven't made a final decision yet, but you can see a few of our choices below. There is one more that we are considering and it is the door we both prefer but we do not have a photo of it. I would love to hear your thoughts.

They didn't have this door with frosted glass.
My husband started writing scripture on the walls for me since I couldn't make it out to the house last week. Here is a photo of one of the scripture verses he wrote on the spray insulation. We cut the cost down by using spray foam on only part of the house. You can barely see the scripture written in black marker. Click to enlarge. It says, "Fear not for I am with thee."

The sheetrock was delivered early Friday evening and the workers put most of the sheetrock on the ceilings that same day. They will be working on it again tomorrow. 

In Our Homeschool This Week
My daughter is working diligently through her new Math U See curriculum. We are reviewing the new Beta edition this month and my review will post at the end of March. The concepts have been a review for Alyssa so far, but she is still learning other approaches and ways to work problems. Tomorrow's lesson will be a brand new concept. I can't wait to see how she does with the lesson.

A+ TutorSoft Interactive Math surprised me with one of their lessons which covered the topic of adding three number sets. I thought the lesson was going to be about adding three single digit numbers, but the program ended up taking it up a notch. They taught her how to add three double digit numbers. I haven't addressed this concept at this level with Alyssa. I have to say . . . she shocked me and did extremely well. I guess I underestimated her potential again. I hope I learn not to do that anymore. You can read my review for First Grade A+ Interactive Math here.
Multimedia Lesson
Online Worksheet Alyssa Completed Independently
My post went live for Target the Question on Saturday. Can I just say, "WOW!" If you are in the market for a problem-solving (word problem) supplement you have got to read my first grade review for the program. We reviewed the curriculum for first grade since my daughter is five and they do not have a kindergartner level. There's a link at the bottom of my review so that you can read other grade level reviews for the Target the Question digital program and their vocabulary cards. Many more TOS reviews will be added up through March 8th. In the photo below she is working on a question from the first week of the updated version.

Alyssa has been practicing her addition facts using XtraMath which is a free online resource tool. I wrote up a post about this resource last week. Click on the link above to read my post and for the link to their website.

She is LOVING Artistic Pursuits! I can't wait to share her art work next week (March 6th-13th) in my review for this art curriculum. I am seriously having a hard time with NOT posting anything until next week. I hope you'll check out my blog so you can see Alyssa's work!

Alyssa's new music curriculum called Adventus: Children's Music Journey is . . . well, I will have to let you know more about this program later, because I don't want to let the cat out of the bag too soon.

I can say with strong conviction that her first grade writing curriculum, Essentials in Writing, has been a success with my daughter so far. I will be reviewing that on my blog the week of March 13th-March 20th. Please stop by to see what else I have to say about this curriculum.

I tell you . . . we have been reviewing some pretty amazing curricula this month and we haven't been disappointed yet. Many, many thank you shouts go out to the Schoolhouse Review Crew and vendors!!!! Okay, so bookmark or follow my blog so that you can come back and read my upcoming reviews.

Helpful Homeschool Tips or Advice
This may not be advice for some of you, but I feel like I am being drawn to type this for some reason. I know there are a handful of moms out there that feel the desire to stand over their children all hours of the day. I know  because I used to be one of those moms. I quickly realized when Alyssa was much younger that children can actually do much more than we think. They don't need us holding their hands every step of the way. One of my biggest goals for my daughter is to help her become an independent self-learner. She is well on her way! My homeschool tip (for whoever feels moved by this excerpt) is to step back and let your child work independently through some of curriculum subjects especially those that they excel in. Be close in case they need help, but allow them the time to flourish. They may surprise you with their knowledge. You will always be their parent and teacher - they won't forget you! They will probably thank you one day for giving them the space to figure things out on their own. Now, I am not saying let them do everything alone. I am saying . . . give them a little room to explore and learn independently.

What My Daughter is Reading 
Alyssa has been reading a lot of Magic School Bus and Magic Tree House books this week. The chapter books that she is currently reading during her DEAR (Drop Everything and Read) time are The Magic School Bus book titled, The Great Shark Escape and The Magic Tree House book titled, Abe Lincoln at Last by Mary Pope Osborne. She actually has a stack of books she constantly reads, but I won't list them all. I wanted to list the ones I saw her reading most often.

Place We Went and People We Saw
We were supposed to go to Sea World to see a "Flying High" show, but we were not aware of the limited park hours. The park closed early on the day we intended on going. We didn't get out the door early enough (no surprise there) so the drive didn't exactly make sense for such a short visit.

We ended up taking a spontaneous field trip to the Snake Farm which ended up being awesome! I am not fond of snakes but I love visiting the farm. I always learn something new. It is not my husband's favorite place because of the smell, but we usually go when it is too hot. Never again. The weather was perfect and the smell wasn't that bad. Every time we drive past the building, I say, "We should stop." My daughter would firmly say "no" because she was terrified of snakes. She saw a long snake at the Children's Museum one day and actually held the tail up. There were about twelve or more kids holding the snake up. The snake kind of freaked her out that day. She thought all the snakes were going to be outside their enclosures. We secretly drove up so that she couldn't see the sign. Her curiosity was sparked as soon as we entered the room. Her interest in snakes grew into a love-hate relationship.

I looked through ALL of our pictures from that day and couldn't find a single snake photo. Go figure. We grabbed the camera at the last minute and most of the photos we have are of the animals outside. They are in the process of changing or adding on to the name, because they have such a wide variety of animals on site. Check out this animal from their zoo area! Do you know what it is? It's pretty cool . . . huh? This was my first time ever seeing this kind of animal. I just sat and stared at it for the longest time. This animal would be a great topic for a research paper. I may have Alyssa write a short descriptive paragraph about this animal soon.
What is it?
It is a Patagonian Cavy. See it in the background. 
Where We Hope To Go
I want to see the house and progress someday soon. Our moving day is getting closer!!!!

Questions or Thoughts I Have
What writing curriculum should I use next? Alyssa will complete her Essentials in Writing lessons very soon and I will need a back-up plan. Should I use Write Shop Primary? Should I continue with Essentials in Writing Grade 2? What are your suggestions?  

My Favorite Thing This Week 
I thoroughly enjoyed watching and listening to my daughter read books aloud. Her intonations are right on target. She's been asking me how to pronounce and define some pretty complicated words. One of her favorite picture books to read to us lately is The Princess and the Three Knights by Karen Kingsbury. We bought the book for her as a birthday gift back in November. It is a family favorite now!

Here is a You Tube video of Karen Kingsbury (the author) reading the story aloud. Enjoy! 

Another favorite thing for me this week is seeing my daughter write letters to me in her journal first thing in the morning. There are days when she wants me to read it immediately and other days she makes me wait until the evening.

I love it when she surprises me with word problems to solve. The first one was a verbal math problem. She wrote the equation for me. She asked me box the clue words "in all" and circle the key number words. Thank you Lone Star Learning! I know now that she is applying the skills she learned from your Target the Question program into her daily life. 

I'm Inspired By . . . the wise words I read in my Bible. I count my blessings every day and thank our Lord for all that He has provided us.

I am also inspired to find a curriculum that I can use with my daughter this year. I want her to grow into a Godly woman. I want her to learn biblical characteristics and Bible truths. I am currently pulling lessons together from a modge podge of resources. It's tough some days. I need to find a better way to teach God's Word and His Truths.

Alyssa's Favorite Thing
My daughter's favorite thing this week was our Math Link 'N' Learn Links. She created patterned necklaces and bracelets during her free time. She even added pendants to them and wore the shape links as earrings.

I Rewarded My Daughter . . .
We took Alyssa to the nail salon get her nails painted this week. She picked a sparkly blue paint that turned out gothic black. I am happy that she is not peeling it off this time.

Things I'm Working On . . .
I have trouble sleeping and would like to get more sleep sometime soon. I am living off three to five hours of sleep most days. Other days I deal with allergies and migraines which make it difficult to sleep well at night. I am working on trying to get to bed earlier and on prevention techniques.

I'm Grateful For . . . 
I am so very grateful for my husband. I know that he is worn out. I can see it in his eyes. I can tell how exhausted he is by how his body moves. I know that he is doing so much for us. I pray that I can do everything I can to make his life a little easier as he finishes the construction of our dream home. I pray that his hands heal. He has deep cuts all over his hands that haven't healed from working in the cold this winter. I hope that I can find something that will heal the wounds quicker. He is in pain.

I'm Praying For . . .
I am praying for our family and our extended family. I shouldn't say anything else.

We're Memorizing . . . 
Alyssa has been working on memorizing her multiplication facts. She is intrigued by them and is working hard. She uses the Squeebles Times Table iPad app quite often to help with this goal. I have a feeling she's going to start using her homemade multiplication bead board more often real soon.

I Had My Eye On . . . 
I never did purchase the Zoobooks subscription for my daughter through Groupon. They offer it quite often so I know that it'll be available another time in the future.

I had my eye on an Alice and Bibleland book series written by Alice Davidson for over two and a half years. I kept searching Ebay and Amazon to find a complete set at a reasonable price that I could afford, but I couldn't ever find a good deal. I am grateful and most thankful that my godmother who gave Alyssa the full set when my hubby stopped by her garage sale. He purchased some clothes and she surprised us with the set and wouldn'r accept payment. They are in great shape! We read one of the books years ago and knew we wanted to read the rest. I can't believe we have the whole set now. I am super excited! Alyssa enjoys reading them during her DEAR time and in the mornings after reading her Bible. THANK YOU SO MUCH NANNY LYNN!!!!

I'm Cooking . . .
We ate yummy baked BBQ chicken, fresh spinach salad, steamed broccoli, and a crescent roll for dinner the other night. One time this week we were so busy we ate a delicious meal out of a box. My daughter complimented the meal about a zillion times. Hey, it was easy . . . maybe I will do it more often. Hee-Hee.

Photo, Video, Quote, or Scripture 
Here is a photo of Alyssa singing again. The girl LOVES her music! This dress is covered in bubble gum now. I hope I can get it out. Any helpful cleaning tips would be greatly appreciated. There is a first time for everything I guess.
Singing "Jesus Takes the Wheel" by Carrie Underwood

Link to Share
Have you heard about Educents? I have received several e-mails with regards to the launching of this new store in April. Check out this link and see if it is something you are interested in or not. I signed up to receive the free $15 gift card. The code came shortly after I signed up for announcements. I don't know much about this company, but I know several big homeschool bloggers posted about it so I figured I would give you the link and you can make the decision to check it out or not. They will be offering discounted curriculum and more.

I will link this post at The Homeschool Mother's Journal at iHomeschool Network and Weekly Wrap-Up at Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers. Thank you for visiting. God bless!

1 comment:

  1. Stopping by from the TOS review crew!