Friday, July 29, 2011

Some beautiful days...picnics, campfires, and smores!

We had some beautiful days at the end of last week. When it's pretty here, it is PRETTY here. Just amazing, the expanse of sky, sea, land. Beautiful! Thursday and Friday we didn't do school, but played in the tundra instead, taking full advantage of the delightfully warm sun.

We headed out to Pyramid valley for a picnic Thursday and enjoyed the near 60 degree temps while picking flowers, reading, and frolicking in the wide open spaces.

This adolescent bald eagle wanted our lunch. As he landed he slowly inched closer and closer until he was mere inches from us. I stood up and shooed him away or I believe he would have joined us on our blanket LOL.

Friday morning we awoke to another absolutely breathtaking day and we headed to to the beach to play.

Then on Friday night, dad took us out to Morris Cove for a bonfire and smores...and man it was fun. It's been ages since I have done anything like that, and it was A's first time. We had a late night but it was worth it.

First smore ever!!!!

On another note....This is wild rhubarb....I have found tons of it, and according to my local plant book it can be treated just like cultivated my question to all you out there in blogger land....can someone please tell me how to know when rhubarb should be picked and how to pick it. A wants to make rhubarb pie, and being a southern girl, I have never had it before.Alright...back to our night LOL, Daddy built us such a great fire....we hiked back and forth to the beach carrying driftwood for it. Great fun.

And a final shot, to end the night :)

Thursday, July 28, 2011

A field of lupine

I snapped these pics of A in a field of lupine while my mom was here. The lupine are past their peak now, but the other wildflowers are in full bloom and it is beautiful here.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Curriculum choices

So this year as we are doing 2nd, 3rd, and 4th grade work
Here is a run down of our curriculum plan....along with whats listed we are using a lot of books from the library, online resources, and lots of "living books"

Montessori materials
A Child's Geography- Volume 1
Evan Moor- Beginning Geography, k-2nd grade

The Story of the World- volume 1
The Story of the World activity book- volume1

No real curriculum here. We are using Evan Moor Daily science- 3rd grade, lots of experiments, montessori activities, and other resources. Science is one of her favorites so its not hard to spark her interest here.

For math we are not really using a curriculum because she is all over the place. I am going back and hitting a few things to make sure she has a really strong back ground such as making sure that she has math facts memorized etc., since she can do fairly advanced math in her head, but I want her to have that strong backbone. She is currently doing multi-digit addition with carrying, multi-digit subtraction, and basic multiplication and division, has started to adding fractions, etc. So as I said, no math curriculum, but we are using manipulative and some montessori materials, although really just hand her paper and pencil and a 5 sec. explanations and she gets it. Amazing to me. I think we will continue on this way until it gets beyond elementary level and then switch to Stanford EPGY. I am thinking we have maybe another 2 years before it is beyond my ability LOL.

Reading- Really we are going for comprehension here. I tested her reading level today and she is according to the test high 6th grade-low 7th. The test only tests up to 7.0, so it was unable to say with accuracy exact level. Her fluency level, the level of reading she can do without hesitation is 5th grade 1st month. We are using the Abeca books that I have been able to score in the library giveaway room. Mainly I like them because the passages are short, only a few pages, which she can then narrate to me. A likes them because they have great moral stories, and as she said to me after explaining how we are like sheep, "God is our Shepherd. He forgives us and takes care of us.", she said "I love talking about God mama."
We are also studying Aesop fables, fairy tales, and lots of poetry.

Copywork- just working on handwriting still by copy sentences I write. I hope to progress later this year to copying from books she is reading.

Literature- For literature we are working our way through the classics. I read a chapter a day to her during school and she narrates. Other times during the day I may read these to her as well, but she does not have to practice narration during this time. And I have to say we read a lot here LOL. And well, A reads alot. She always has her head in a book, so this is just a little time at the end of our school day, before lunch, that we can snuggle together and enjoy each other.

So that's pretty much it. Our curriculum for this year in a nutshell....all subject to change of course LOL

Monday, July 25, 2011

Our school schedual- what do yall think?

So we are back to homeschooling, or at least trying to get back into the swing of things. As I mentioned in a previous post, I started back on zoloft and it has been about a month. I have yet to get full relief this time, and I am hoping it is just a matter of time that I am back to feeling good and feeling like myself.

Anyway, I have big plans for this year and lots that I want to accomplish. I just need to stay on top of it because often I find myself really in it, to just find in a few months that we are just going through the motions. I want this year to stay fun, exciting, and with lots of hands on discoveries and projects.

One thing new that I am trying is the short lessons of the Charlotte Mason method, and so far it seems like we are accomplishing more than we ever have in such a short amount of time. It is quick, we both stay engaged, and then move onto th e next thing before either of us have tired of what we are doing. In fact for the first time we are leaving a lesson with Ansley still interested, still wanting to do more, and several times this week I have found her continuing the lessons on her own later in the afternoon while I thought she was playing. So I think this is definitly something we will stick with for the time being.

Subjects we are covering this year are History and Geography....we are alternating these...2 weeks on geo then 2 on history for example....Spelling, we are covering 1st and 2nd grade lists right now, but mostly this is an ease in subject as she has most of these words mastered already I am finding, but it is good review. I probably will start 3rd and 4th grade words with her midyear. She loves spellinga and desperatly wants to know how to spell everything when she writes, so this is one of her favs so far this year. We are doing math and reading of course, and science, along with grammer begginings and copywork....which we like much better than plain handwriting time. We will also be incorporating picture and artist study, art, music, and nature study as well as hand crafts etc that we find fun.

Anyway, our rough schedual for the week looks something like this, although we freely reserve the right to mix it up, leave things out, and just plain take the whole day off and head out into the tundra on the off chance we actually have a pretty day here LOL.

8:30- Wake up, breakfast, dress, start laundry etc.
9:30- Circle time
9:45- Spelling pretest- work on words not mastered
10:00- Reading Passage
10:45- Science
11:15- Copy work/Grammar
Rest time

8:30- Wake up, breakfast, dress
9:30- Circle time
9:45- Spelling review
10:00- Reading Passage
10:15-Geography/History story
11: 15- Grammar/Copywork
11:30- Literature
12:00- Lunch
rest time

8:30- Wake up, breakfast, dress
9:30-Circle time
10:15-Reading passage
10:30- Science
10:45- Geography/History activity
Copywork if time
12:00- Lunch
Rest time

8:30-Wake up, breakfast, dress
9:30-Circle time
9:45-spelling review
10:00- math
10:30-reading passage
11:30-picture study
11:45- Literature
12:00- Lunch
rest time

Friday- Float day....not much planned here...we can move a day that we missed due to whatever reason down to Friday...if we have not missed any days then our Friday schedule will look a little something like this...
8:30-wake up, breakfast, dress
9:30- Circle time
9:45- spelling test
10:30- library time/errands
rest time

Anyway, there is the tentative schedule we have, as you can see our lesson times are fairly short, but one thing I noticed so far is that she likes the quick movement from topic to topic and she likes the fact that we are covering more things. She has so many things she wants us to learn about. After lunch we do whatever she, hike some trails, projects, baking, games, park time, etc. We also are trying to take nature walks at least once a week and are starting a nature notebook.
So tomorrow I hope to post the curriculum choices we have made.

Lots of love and happy homeschooling vibes to all.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Our Thursday Night Meal

So what was for dinner Thursday night? Baked Halibut, brown rice, and roasted carrots, zucchini and squash. It was delicious....but what made it even better was the fact that I caught this halibut....well actually this was a part of the halibut that I caught....
At the moment, I have close to 50lbs of halibut wrapped and stored in my freezer. When my mom was here we had the chance to go out fishing in the Bering Sea thanks to a friend of ours in the community. A loved it....especially the fact that she got to drive the boat for about 45 mins as we headed out. Look at her face...sheer bliss!

The weather was icky, but the seas were calm....but not calm enough for me. I was sick almost instantly when we got out to the open water, despite having taken 2 motion sickness pills before boarding the boat. It was so bad that Dick took us into a bay where the water was much calmer although the fishing would not be as good. But honestly what fun is fishing if one is throwing up every 2 mins.

My mom had a blast and caught several cod in addition to some halibut. Thanks to her I know have Cod in the freezer as well, ready to be made in to delicious fish and chips.

Here I am catching my 50...yes 50lb halibut! See the pole bending. Took forever for me to reel it in, and I had lots of help from Dick who had to harpoon the dang thing LOL.

And here it couldn't even fit in the huge cooler on board!

Even the dreary weather can't put a damper on the beauty that is this place. Absolutely gorgeous and yet another reason why I say this is the more beautiful place on earth. Surreal.

When we got back, we hung up my huge fish for pics. LOVE it!

It took my mom and I about 2 hours to fillet and wrap all the fish for the freezer, and then the next day Dick called and he had gone out salmon fishing and had 3 reds for us.

Dh brought them home and A and he got to have their turn.

So that is the story of our Thursday night meal. Needless to say we will be eating a lot of fish!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Some rambling thoughts :)

I'm heading to bed in a few minutes, but I want to apologize for not writing more recently. My mind has been heavy. I have been dealing with some personal issues during the past month that have made me withdraw into myself some. I started back on my zoloft and am hoping that will help me along.

I have been missing my mom, and my husband for he has been so busy these past few weeks. This is the busiest time of year for him and he has been under a great deal of pressure at work with deadlines and such. Also, he has been doing a lot of things for the first time in his career at this position and while he is accomplishing them, it is definitely stretching him. I know that God placed him in this position so that he can grow in so many aspects. I am growing to, learning to be patient and put his needs first. I am so proud of him and how hard he is working. I admire him so much, and I told him that when he returned home tonight. He had to go to the airport here at near 11 to pick up a med-a-vac team. Anyway, please pray that he can make it through the next few weeks without to much stress, and that I can give him the support he needs.

A and I started back to school this week and so far it has been great. We are easing back into it, and will really be back into gear the week after my in-laws visit, but these first 3 weeks are sort of a trial run to see how things go. I am incorporating a lot of Charlotte Mason ideas into our homeschool. Namely the short lessons, living books, and narrations, but we are also using montessori as well as waldorf ideas. With a profoundly gifted child I have to be creative LOL. But the short lessons seem to be going great. She can really focus on each task at hand and gets a ton done, were as normally while she is working in one thing her brain is also thinking of several other things and it slows her down. I think this will help train her to focus her attention when needed.

Anyway, I am tired and rambling, but I will definitely be trying to post more, and will try this week to get some more info up about what I hope homeschool will look like this year. Night all!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Aleutian World War II National Historic Area

While my mom was here we made the trip up Ballyhoo to the Aleutian World War II National Historic Area. Ballyhoo is the mountain everyone sees flying in to our little island and the one it always appears you are going to crash into but for that last minute turn the pilot makes LOL. It's a little over 1600ft in elevation. There was a fort located there during the war and it has some of the greatest concentration of wartime relics on the island. The drive is quite steep and allows for some amazing views of the spit and of town. We stopped a couple of times along the way just to enjoy it. It had been icky and misting all day but when it started to clear somewhat we headed out, sick of being couped up inside.

Here's Nana standing inside the old Battery 402. Pretty cool that you can walk right in. This part is buried under the tundra.

Me :)

Inside a bunker. These things are amazing. They have withstood so many years of Aleutian weather and neglect.

And the outside of the bunker. Built to protect both the natives and the soldiers stationed here during WWII from Japanese bombers.

It was a great trip, and my first time to this part of Ballyhoo. I am looking forward to taking Dh's parents and grandmother. I think his dad will be really interested! I love living here. So much neat history right in our own backyard!