Archive for January, 2009

Deltora mania!

Posted in Homeschooling, kids with tags , , on January 20, 2009 by simpleheresy

Books 1, 2 and 3 finished but where is book four!!  The sky will fall if we can’t find it… already the locals are gathering to revolt with drumsticks and xylophone hammers… I don’t know what we’ll do! AGHHHHHH!!!

Fishs’ display board is like totally complete Scoob, old buddy.  Now let’s get outta here!

As soon as we get the words dictated, typed, printed, cut and pasted on Keek’s burial board we’ll click some pics and post again… I’m hoping for tomorrow but I bet it’ll be Friday.  She picked 4 pictures for each region/time she studied so she’s been busy with her twenty pictures.  With that out of the way she can read, ” just one more day, mom!”  But somehow one day turns into two quite easily so perhaps we’ll be posting on Friday.   🙂

Luring Fairies and Finding Tailsman Gems

Posted in books, Green, Homeschooling, kids on January 15, 2009 by simpleheresy

Keek has planted her Fairy Triad Fairy Garden and now we wait!  She developed two designs for her fairy garden and stuck with the second.  We altered the fairy bells into a fairy swing and she added some of her own rocks for a more personalized look.  The paperwork said the plants would start to peek through the soil in a week or more.   The kit included 2 evening star seed packets, 1 clover seed packet, 1 great blue lobelia seed packet and 1 thyme seed packet.  She has more than enough seeds to plant some outdoors too.  I’m curious to see if the Thyme will grow in her garden as it usually prefers sunny spots… hmmm.

Fish and I (Keek too) have read the first of the Deltora Quest Series, “The Forests Of Silence” and met our newest heroes: Lief, Barda and the wild girl Jasmine.  Today we start “The Lake of Tears” also by Emily Rodda.  We seem to read in spurts.  We read half of “The Forests of Silence” in a day then three days later we finished it.  These are not picture books either, mind you.  Each book has between 100 and 150 pages of moderately small font.  I’d guess 10pt.  The kids both sit closely and listen intently while I read.  Usually my voice gives out before there attention spans are spent!

Today we’ll complete our second craft project.  We’re making Popsicle stick tea light lanterns.  A cube, basically, with a Popsicle stick base, two frosted ‘glass’ sides (made from waxed paper) and two clear ‘glass’ sides (made from cellophane wrapping paper). The top of the cube is without ‘glass’ to allow for heat to escape.  To secure the frames and the ‘glass’ to the Popsicle stick frames we used low temp. hot glue.  At some point I’ll take pictures and type out specific instructions.  (maybe… no promises on that one either!)  We plan to work out a way to hang these but haven’t quite figured out how… we may never as they look beautiful sitting on the tabletop.  🙂

Other books of late include, “Common Ground: The Water, Earth And Air We Share” by Molly Bang.  It’s a quick, beautifully illustrated picture book Fish is reading over and over again.  It discusses the importance of resource responsibility; very good to encourage planet nurture and environmental responsibility. Fish is also reading (over and over again) “When The Cat In The Hat Came Back” by Dr. Seuss and he loves it!

“Water Wishes” by Mallory Loehr is Keek’s independant reading book.  It is the first in a series of four books about three siblings and their magical discoveries.  In this first installment Sam, Polly and Joe find a note in a bottle washed up on shore.  The paper promises three wishes but when they try it nothing happens.  Then quite by accident, after the kids are sure the wishing won’t work, Polly wishes to be a mermaid and PRESTO!  The story takes off from there as the kids try to keep the nature of their sister a secret and figure out the mystery of the wishing bottle.

In addition to this reading we have been working on our display projects.  Fish has devoured Wikipedia’s information regarding Scooby-Doo and his four favorite people!  We printed out seven pages of information and Fish has read every word and re-read some of it, too.  He’s highlighted interesting facts that he’s decided to include on his display board.  We’ll pick pictures to print and spend a day next week taping it all up! Keek has been researching burial rituals all over the internet and in books around the house.  She’s decided on five groups to study and has started delving deeper into ancient Egyptians, Romans, Vikings, Mayan and Modern Day practices.  I think  she could spend years studing this but we’ll pick some pictures and try to get her board set up sometime next week too.

Changes in the air

Posted in Art, Homeschooling, kids with tags , , , on January 8, 2009 by simpleheresy

Well we’ve had it with boring worksheets and are rebelling!  We went out and got two display boards to display our unit studies.  Keek decided to study burial practices throughout history.  Fish decided to study Scooby Doo.  Go figure!

Fish has read to me daily and is starting to use intonation.  In other words he’s learning to read sentences and not words.  He’s read, “The Cat in The Hat” by Seuss, “Grandfather Twilight” by Barbara Berger and together we’ve read “The Queen Of Sheba” by Doris Orgel.  He got his Spider magazine in the mail this week, too.  He’s been reading bits and pieces daily.

Keek has re-read her Muse magazines this month.  She glanced up while reading and said, “I wish I got two every month!”  She has been reading The Teen Manners book from the library and requested a four part series of early readers books for next week.

Together we read, “Tales of Deltora” and are now reading, “The Deltora Book of Monsters” by Emily Rodda.  It’s a scary beautiful book full of nightmarish creatures “written” by a lowly librarian from the town of Del.  This book has been written many generations after, “Tales of Deltora” so we are learning of the wicked Shadowlord’s attempt to infiltrate and corrupt the noble family of our hero and first King, Adin of Del.  The kids are enthralled and I am entertained too.  🙂

Tomorrow we have a full day including a stop at the library.  Hopefully they’ll have all our requested books in.

The kids have found been watching Hilarious History at http://www.factualtv.com and we’ve made it to episode four.  It’s dry British humor peppered with historical facts.  The kids just love it.

We’ve completed our first craft project of the new year; sun-catchers… Ta Daaa!  Chinese New Year Hexagon by Keek and Snowman by Fish.  The flip side of Keek’s is yellow and Fish’s is Navy Blue.  They look great hanging in the window with the mid day sun cascading through the pretty beads.

snowman-suncatcherhexagon-suncatcher

School is Back in Session

Posted in Homeschooling, kids on January 5, 2009 by simpleheresy

Today was our first day of school since the holiday break began and the kids took an active role in planning for the week. Nothing too specific but we are going to try and study History on Mondays, Music on Tuesday, go to the Library on Wednesdays, Art projects on Thursday and Science projects on Fridays; in addition to math and lit. daily.

I tried to inspire the children with a day for grammar but was shut down! Fish did take me off guard when he informed me of the grammar in his spelling workbook.  Keek suggested funny fill ins that ask for words by their parts of speech.  I guess they are getting plenty of daily grammar for now. 🙂

Today Keek completed her math pages and read all about Feng Shui. She advised me on how best to decorate and paint the house.  She also criticized the houses overall shape and provided a better option.  She congratulated me on my “excellent choice” in color and suggested I purchase some bamboo for good luck.  She is the resident expert, you know!  lol She also created her own page here at A Day In The Life.

Fish completed his spelling, phonics and math worksheets at his new desk.  Thanks so much Aunt Heather and Uncle Matt.  He enjoyed having a designated work space that was all his own.  He was excited about drumming and keyboard music to be practiced weekly as well as his new science experiment book.  Fish read One Fish Two Fish to Dad this morning and did great!  He was quicker than I had expected.  It took a week to get full coverage of, “And To Think I Saw It On Mulberry Street.” I guess he’ll start with a new book tomorrow! Fish also created his own page here at A Day In The Life.

I’m not sure if the pages they’ve made are post – able the same way the main page is so we might be redirecting to their very own blogs soon! They also watched a funny 23 minute history video at http://www.factualtv.com.  It was the first in the series called Hilarious History and was very entertaining to all of us.  I think we’ll be watching more of those soon!