Friday, August 21, 2015

Weekend Fun- Flathead National Forest...part 1

Montana is on fire. There are over 100 fires burning in our state. many near us. This is what it has looked like in my town for the past few days. 

There are several large fires burning near us in Glacier NP and the Flathead National Forest. Unfortunately, the beautiful area where we spent last weekend is currently threatened.

One thing I love about where we are, is the fact that in less than an hour, we can find ourselves in some of the most beautiful areas of the US.
The woods, the mountains, the streams, it soothes my soul.
Last weekend we headed into the Flathead National Forest both Saturday and Sunday.
I love that my children get to grow up experiencing all that nature has to offer!

Dh has fallen in love with fly fishing. A new passion has been found.

Little hands on little fish, perfection of a moment.
My heart is happy

Monday, August 17, 2015

Week One- Oak Meadow 6

We had our first day back to homeschool August 3rd. We stretched our week over two weeks since A and Dad went camping in the middle there.

This year we are using Oak Meadow 6th Grade for History and English.
We have A's school work all going into one binder. It is making it very easy to organize.
Each week in Oak Meadow, you are given a list of vocabulary words to define that have to do with the lesson.
A uses a dictionary to look them up and write them in her binder.

There are usually several assignments for Grammar, and there is an English Manual at the back of the book that goes over each concept.
The first week was a simple review of sentence types.

A and I both love how hands on Oak Meadow is. One of her first assignments was to draw a large map of Europe, Asia, and Africa. She will use this the entire year, adding to it as she studies new places.

After reading about Stone-Age people, A was able to choose from several projects.
She chose to make clay figures. Here she is with a Venus Figure she made. She learned that the female anatomy was often highly exaggerated with the face and legs being left without detail. 
She made several Stone Age animals as well.

Oak Meadow 6 is pretty heavy on the writing, but this is a good thing for us. A loves to write and it's a skill I find very important in preparing for higher education.

For her first writing assignment of the year, A chose to write about Animals of the Stone Age. She was asked to chose 3 animals and research how they may have been used by the ancient Stone-Age people.

She then added an illustration

Oak Meadow gives many choices for each assignment which has to be my favorite part. I don't have to think up creative ways for her to demonstrate her knowledge. This shows the project choices for day 4 and 5.

A decided on project B.
I thought she did a great job on her newspaper article!

It was a great first week with Oak Meadow 6.
We also covered Botany, Typing, Spanish, and 7th Grade Math, but I will leave that for another night.

Friday, August 7, 2015


A is my little engineer. 
She is always creating, problem solving, and building.
Of course I am back to using my Amazon Prime all the time because I really don't feel like driving an hour and a half to the nearest city to shop and then drive an hour and a half back. 3 hours in a car with a carseat hating Little W, No Thank You!
So the UPS man is once again my friend, and Amazon loves me again.
Reminds me of my time in Alaska!

Of course if you order from Amazon, you know each box is filled with these air cushion packaging things. Well A found a new use for them. She decided troll needed a flotation device. Of course just taping him on caused him to flip over.
She spent 30 minutes problem solving, experimenting, and engineering a solution Wednesday night.
Problem solved!
I love this girl!

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Back to School- Curriculum Time

It's that time of the year again! 
Back to Homeschool

A is 8 years old and would be entering 3rd grade if placed chronologically. 
She is doing mostly middle school work this year.

We had our first day Monday, but it was a short week as Dh took A camping Thursday morning for a long weekend. So we are stretching our first week out over two weeks. 
It's actually a good thing and gives us time to find our rhythm now that we have a walking, into everything, toddler tagging along with us,

I am super excited about the curriculum we have chosen this year and A is too.
It seems to be working well if 3 days can tell us anything.

For the main base of our year, we will be using Oak Meadow once again.
A and I decided to go back to this because she loves the creative and hands on project choices that it gives in each lesson. I love that Oak Meadow seems to have a very gentle approach while still being rigorous and challenging. Since we are accelerating several grades, this is super important to me. It seems to meet A on all levels.
6th grade Oak Meadow focuses on Ancient Civilizations and combines English, Grammar, Literature, and History all in an integrated curriculum.

We are trying something new for spelling this year. 
Spelling Workout Level D

For the first half of the year we will be using two units from Ellen McHenry's Basement Workshop.
We are starting off with Botany in 8 Lessons. I love these units as each lesson has two levels and allows you to take learning even deeper. These basically have the information of high school and college level courses presented in a format for upper elementary and middle school learners. 
After Botany we will focusing on Chemistry using The Elements unit.
I am unsure what we will chose after that.

For math we are sticking with Teaching Textbooks but we are skipping 6th grade and diving headfirst into 7th with plans to continue with Pre-Algebra when she finishes this.

We are continuing to work on both cursive and typing this year, and continuing with the curriculums we started last year.

We love the gentleness of Print to Cursive Proverbs from Simply Charlotte Mason

and are about half way through Type to Learn 4 which remains one of A's favorite parts of our day.

A is also taking an online course this semester from OnlineG3.
They offer online, interactive course for gifted children. A will be taking a course on the Horrible Histories of Egypt and Rome which fits perfectly with our study on Ancient Civilizations.

A chose Spanish for her foreign language, and I found a great online course for her to take. We have only completed one session but she is very pleased with it.
We are using Middlebury Interactive Languages which uses and immersive approach and has courses through the high school level.

And finally for her electives this year, A has picked up the violin again and is doing great. We will also being doing a clay animation movie course that I picked up in the bargain section of Barnes and Noble. This of course has A very excited.

Stay tuned for a look into our first week of homeschooling in our new home of Montana.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

A's Writings- the past year in review

It's that time of year again. A and I are getting ready for a new school year, and today I was getting her work binder ready. Of course she and I had to sit down and go through her work from last year. It always brings back memories of fun times.
I was so busy this past school year with a new baby that I really didn't get a chance to blog much. So while we were looking at her writing, I decided to take pics of some of her work from the past year and document it on the blog.

This work is was all completed while A was 7 years old. She would chronologically have been in 2nd grade.

We covered the second half of American History this year but also reviewed a bit from the year before.
This was one of the first writing projects of the year.
A review of explorers of the new world
Ponce de Leon
Our year of 2nd year of American History began with Civil War. We read many books which A had writing assignments on.

She was asked to write a newspaper article off an event in one of her assigned books.
Mill Girls Captured!
We studied many important historical figures this year.
Frederick Douglass
Thomas Alva Edison
A wrote a several page research paper on Thomas Edison after watching a documentary and reading a biography.

We also studied westward expansion and included some American Girl books in our curriculum. After reading one of the Kirsten novels, I asked her to pretend she was Kirsten and write a diary entry based on one of the events in the book. She chose the death of Kirsten's best friend.
Kirsten's Diary

She also wrote on several science topics this year.
We studied some neurology and the tale of Phineas Gage came up.
The Tale of Phineas Gage
In astronomy she was asked to do a creative writing assignment.
Life on Mars
And she did a quick little paragraph on atoms.

A has always loved writing poetry and this year was no exception. Here's a quick sampling of some of her poems from the past school year. 
Many of these were not assigned but done in her free time on her on accord.

St. Patrick
This one has to be one of my favorites!
What is My Brother?
Well, that's enough for tonight. 
I hope you enjoy this peek into last year.