Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Sullivan Bridge

There is a quiet beauty to this part of Montana. No there's not the big, breathtaking mountains of Glacier National Park which lies 60 miles to our West, but there is an unassuming beauty none the less.
This afternoon was one of those moments that this quiet beauty snuck up on me. Dh came home a bit early from work, and after my afternoon violin student left, we bundled up, grabbed the dogs, and headed out to explore.
We drove to Sullivan Bridge, which is about 30 minutes from town. The drive takes you right through one of the wind farms that dots this stark landscape. The pink light of the afternoon coupled with the snow-covered fields painted the farm in a peaceful glow.

The Sweet Grass hills rise up in the background, breaking up the continuous prairie.

The road leaves the high plains and dips into the river gorge.

We stopped at the convergence of Cut Bank Creek and the Two Medicine River. Here they form the Marias River. All were almost completely frozen over with the cold we have been having.

Little W was bundled up and loved watching the dogs run and his sister explore.

Bella, being a lab, found the only water available in the few shallow puddles along the shore.

My happy boy enjoyed every minute.

A explored of course. Hiking along the river, finding tracks, and sticks, and logs to climb on.

The light feel in just the right way and I had to capture this moment.

A fallen tree makes the perfect balance beam and the perfect end to a lovely afternoon.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Back in the groove

Well we're back in the groove of things. Back to official homeschooling after the holiday break. We only had a 4 day week last week as the local school here was off on Friday and A spent the day playing with a friend. We will have a short week again this week since we didn't do school Monday. Dh took A skiing, but that's another post! 

For now, I'd thought I'd give you a little peek into what school has looked like here and evaluate what's been working so far!

We are still loving Spanish with Middlebury Interactive. A completes lessons several times a week. The interface is fun, engaging, and she is definitely retaining things!  

Of course a great deal of the day is spent reading. She's currently working her way through "Little Women",several books she was gifted for Christmas, a book of Greek Myths and a book on the Trojan War. Our read aloud is "Bridge to Tarabithia "

For math we are alternating between Teaching Textbooks and Mobymax. Both are computer based. I like Teaching Textbooks the most, but mobymax is great for those days when we don't have time to do a whole lesson. It also allows me to see any gaps A might have from skipping grades. She is currently halfway through 7th grade Teaching Textbooks and the mobymax assessment placed her firmly in 7th grade, so I would say she's doing great! 

Here is some of the work from a lesson last week. I love how much A loves math. To see her smile and proclaim "this is awesome!" warms my heart!

Science is something I struggle with. Not personally as it has always been a passion of mine, but finding a curriculum we like has been tough. So much out there for homeschool is not secular. Now I don't mind some religious based products, but for science I really want secular! 

Let me tell you that is hard to find. A and I were very excited believing we had found a Charlotte Mason inspired middle school science curriculum just to order it and find out that the daily readings read like a bible study and included very little actual science. Sigh. So we are on to using Princton Hall's explorer series which is designed for the classroom. We are coupling it with Oak Meadow's 7th grade science and lots of hands on projects. So far, so good. 

Ancient History and English are still a hit here using 6th grade Oak Meadow. Last week we studied Ancient Crete.

A read and summarized the myth of the Minotaur.

She learned to draw a classic spiral labyrinth and then designed her own more complex one.

She also wrote a poem based off the story of Icarus and Daedalus. She titled it, The Fall of Icarus and included an illustration.

This week we have started the study of Ancient Greece and she is working her way through the story of the Trojan War. Here is her illustration of Paris having to decide who was most beautiful and would receive the apple.

And last but not least, A's new violin arrived and she had been practicing everyday.

Our days are full and busy, but we seem to have found a rhythm that works for us. Thanks for stopping by!