Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Field Trips...

We went on a field trip to the pumpkin patch. We had a hayride, corn maze, ice cream, got a tiny pumpkin and fed the animals.  It was so much fun.

I love that as homeschoolers we can pick what we want to do. We can go on many wonderful field trips.

We have a few of them planned.  I am trying to fit in a trip up North to American Stone Henge.  I really want to go before the weather gets colder.  My boys use to love going there.

There are a few books we will read with Five in a Row that I want to plan a field trip to go along.  Like when we did How to Make an Apple Pie and See The World  we went apple picking.

Here are some future ideas for field trips to go along with our Five in a Row books...

  • Lentil- we can go to one of the war memorials near us and talk about the war its for and the soldiers that died in that war
  • Another Celebrated Dancing Bear- take Samantha to the ballet and we were just invited to go see the Nut Cracker
  • The Rag Coat- I wish we did this before my trip to NY last weekend and walked along the Appalachian Trail. So we will just have to put this book off until the spring and go back and visit my sister in law and do that walk again :) or maybe go somewhere else along the trail in another state and walk it.
  • The Bee Tree- I was thinking of either going to the animal shelter and visit with the animals after we talk about caring for them.  Or we could visit a music store and look at all the instruments and find somewhere I can take her to listen to musicians. I can pull out my homemade xylophone I made as a child with my dad and play it with her and the one her brother had in middle school.
  • The Finest Horse in Town- we can visit Maine, also with her doing the Girls Horse Club she is exposed to horses maybe have her go somewhere to ride a horse.
  • Follow the Drinking Gourd- I am going to look into if any of the houses around here has and of the hideaways they had back in the time of the underground railroad. My husband's grandfathers grew up in a house with the secret passages and hideaways behind the fireplaces.  Steve also worked in a few houses years ago with the hidden stairways.
  • Wee Gillis- I am going to look into the arts district around here and see if any of them have a display of wool crafts or will give a tour of their studio.  Maybe do a trip to a material/yarn store and look at the wool.  Go to the zoo and look at the sheep.  
  • The Little Red Lighthouse and the Great Gray Bridge- go visit the Light houses around here.
  • Mailing May- try and arrange a field trip to the post office or the train depot.  

Sunday, October 20, 2013


I have looked for a math program that fits Samantha. I have tried a few.

We tried Horizons for first grade and part of second grade before I ditched it.  Not saying its bad but She would get so frustrated with it. She was learning but one lesson could take forever to do.  For her it didn't work.

I bought Bob Jones second grade and didn't even try it I knew it wouldn't work once I looked it through.

I looked at Abeka and realized it very similar to Horizons math.

I tried math mammoth blue and although I liked it she didn't. It too is a good curriculum but not a good fit for my daughter who is very hands on. She could do the work in all these curriculum but she was beginning to hate math so it wasn't working.  

So we are trying a combination of Life of Fred, hands on learning and games and I recently saw an excellent deal on Math U See and after hearing a friend and her daughter sing it praise I figured I give it a try, starting this week.  The only thing I didn't get was the DVD I haven't been able to find it at a good deal.  The Teachers Book, Student book and the skip counting Cd I got for $20 all together.  

Here is a picture of Sam using some hands on learning.  
Learning how to do the 2 times table.
 Skip counting the 4's table. 

The one thing that stuck with Sam from Horizons math was the skip counting. I was surprised how high she can skip count 2,3, 4, 5, 10 and 11's.  All the first steps in learning her times tables.  

Five in a Row.

It always comes back to Five in a Row.

We love this curriculum. I almost didn't do it this year.  I am finding this year school work takes us longer to do.  I tried cutting out FIAR but I can't.  Its such a rich curriculum.  So we do it.  With Heart of Dakota they say to use either their reading program or your own. So I use FIAR as our reading program since so much is learned through it. I still laugh at her putting eyes on the cat box last year when she learned about personification.  I am amazed how she actually learned it and still will point it out in books that we read.  

I don't have any pictures to share yet. I keep forgetting to take them.  

My daughter would be so upset if we didn't get to do FIAR.  I have the first 3 volumes and I hope to finish them up this year and move onto Volume 4 next year.  Then onto Beyond Five in a Row.  

If your still on the fence on what to use with your elementary student try FIAR its a very fun and rich learning experience. I am constantly amazed at all Samantha has learned using this.  Or what I have learned!

Some of the fun things about Heart of Dakota

I really like the curriculum Heart of Dakota that I picked out for this year. I has all I wanted in a curriculum.

I wanted something very hands on.  Fun learning of history and science. Creative and enjoyable all the while learning. Easy for me to teach with our crazy life. 

I found that with Heart of Dakota and Five in a Row. 

Five in a Row will be another post...

In history she does vocabulary, crafts and so much more to go along with the reading, 

In science she does experiments to go along with the reading. We have also taking our science to the beach.  That brought her learning to life.  

The art work adds some fun and ties everything in.

In history she is learning about early explorers.  In science she is learning about the ocean and all the life in and around it.

Taking the learning to the beach!  
Digging for the creatures that live in the sand
 Her art making it look like the ocean Finished project resembled the waves
 Showing me the route that Christopher Columbus took

 Activity to show how God made each creature special.  Birds have the right size beaks to collect the food they need.  Longer beaks to dig deep in the sand to get the creatures who live there. Smaller beaks to get the creatures that live on the sand.
 They didn't talk about the Vikings travels so I added this in
 Painting with water color on wax so much fun.  Thanks to the advice of other HOD users we skipped using wax paper and used crayons instead.

Learning continues

Things get so busy around here that I stop posting.

Things that we have been doing....

  • Horse club for girls- she goes every other week to a farm and is learning all about horses and how to care for them.
  • Some of the time we get to open gym and craft time with a homeschool group. 
  • Co op classes
  • dance, baton and ice skating lessons
  • music at school
  • gym and craft time at Calvary Bible church  
  • from homeschool ice skating at the Abby
  • and I can't forget the actual school work
We are kept busy and add in my job and we are very busy.  I am about to start a class at my house to learn all about our states too. 

We participated in the National homeschool spirit week.  Here are some fun things we did with it...

Not back to school day at the beach(not part of spirit week)

Homeschool away from home...

PJ day