Tuesday, September 1, 2015

First Day of Fifth Grade

First let me say.... "Where has the time gone" My baby my last born is 10 years old and is in the fifth grade.  :(  Time really does fly. 

Today we started school.  

It started with my daughter waking me up to start school bright and VERY early in the morning.  (a little secret here I am NOT a morning person) 

I hid her new school treasures, new pencils with inspirational messages on them, a no tangle hair brush, cute dry erase board, temporary hair colors to brush in, dental floss (and yes she loved it), a little fashion drawing book, erasers and a notebook.  I then give her a hint and she has to go find the item.  Its fun.  

We did math, We started a new math this year and today went smoothly.  I am trying Oak Meadow Math Grade 5.  It was review but she didn't seem to mind copying the problems out of the book into her notebook and doing them.  This year is different they don't do daily lessons like the old curriculum but each set of lessons is for a week.  I gave her the options of me assigning them each day or she can control what she does each day as long as she gets each weeks lesson done by Friday.  She chose to do it all on her own.  

We went out to IHOP for brunch.  She enjoyed it.  Our waitress asked if today was a special day because she was wearing a crown.  So I told her yes its our first day back to homeschool day.  She thought it was awesome.  

We came home and finished out the school day.  She did science and history.  Then she did her grammar.  I had her do a review paper to see what she remembered she got it all correct.  I am thrilled.  I was wondering how much she remembered from last year.  She also did some geography map work.  She loved making her own map.  We didn't do spelling as I was waiting for it to come in.... it came in late this afternoon.  So I plan on starting it next week. 

Then we moved onto Five In A Row.  We are doing the book Albert  

1 day done 179 days to go!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015


It always surprises me when I visit my own blog and see how long its been since I blogged.  :)  I love keeping the family updated on all we do. I love posting all our FIAR fun too.

This post is more of a catch up.  The end of our fourth grade year has happened.  She is officially a fifth grader now.  We still do stuff in the summer, just not as much.  I do have to confess the last 2 weeks we have done NO school.  We have been just having fun.  But that doesn't mean the learning has stopped.

Examples of learning just living our life....

  • going to the beach- lesson in sea creatures and pulling out memories from our beach learning in the fall. building habitats at the beach for the creatures found.
  • driving in the car she asks  "mom how do snakes poop"  Got to love google search ability on my phone.  (not that I ever cared to know how they poop)
  • Mom lets do a science kit... we pulled out our recycle kit from Magic school bus
  • going for nature walks brings all kinds of learning.  
  • cooking- equals math, science and family fun.
  • homeschool trip to a water park brings first aid learning (of course I fall into the mildest ride there the lazy river, ha ha ha)
  • a trip to watch a seal be released back into the wild was so exciting and full of learning. 
  • going to work with me teaches her how to get along with difficult people and hopefully compassion for people
  • legos and board games- critical thinking.
This time of the year I evaluate how last year went and what I need to change up.  A lot will change and some things will stay the same.  I have looked at a curriculum called Oak Meadow for years now.  Something about it speaks to me. Maybe its their approach to learning. BUT like many options out there its very expensive.  I was able to find their math and science curriculum on homeschool classifieds very cheap.  We will see how it goes.  

I also realized that I seem to learn towards the Charlotte Mason approach,  that is why Heart of Dakota really calls to me also. I love love the living books we use for history and science.  I love the dictation for spelling and narration for reading.  I love how it includes nature walks.  Educating the whole child.

I decided part way through the year that math wasn't working for us.  We switched to an online program call gpa learn she really enjoyed this site and learned a lot.  She was able to work on many parts of math.  We only stopped because there was a monthly fee and school was about to come to an end for the year and we were moving onto something different.

We are sticking with Rod and Staff for Grammar. Their program is a good strong program.  She wants to be a writer one day so she needs a good program for this.  

I am also adding a math program for Simply Charlotte Mason  called Business Math.  Sam will have to plan out a Pet store and learn all the workings of one.  

I will be adding more posts in the coming week updating our FIAR rows and all we have been up too.  

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Five in a Row

We have been keeping up with our FIAR learning.  I love FIAR and so does Samantha.  During this snowy winter we rowed the book Snowflake Bentley.

There is a lot to learn with this book.  He was a great guy who was very persistent about wanting to capture and learn all about snowflakes.  His parents made a big sacrifice to get him the expensive camera to be able to capture the beauty of the snowflake.  Great comparison for Sam to see the sacrifices parents make for their children.. like us sacrificing to be able to homeschool her and pay for the activities she does.

She learned a little about geometry in the shapes of the snowflakes.  She learned about the science of crystals.  We grew some crystals.

We captures our own snowflakes on film.

Not really a part of Snowflake Bentley but Sam made her own gum mint flavored and blue to be like ice,  Her snowballs.

We set out a bottle to measure how much water it takes to make snow.

It was actually amazing to see how little bit of water is needed to make all that snow 2 inches of water to make 14 inches of snow.

Making our own crystals.

I love FIAR. There is so much learning going on from it.  This wasn't all we did but this is all I have pictures of.  I did have her cut out paper snowflakes and then she wrote the vocabulary words on them with the definitions on it.  We learned a little geography of Vermont and how much snow they get.

Here is a quote from Wilson "Snowflake" Bentley 1925.... "Under the microscope, I found that snowflakes were miracles of beauty; and it seemed a shame that this beauty should not be seen and appreciated by others. Every crystal was a masterpiece of design and no one design was ever repeated., When a snowflake melted, that design was forever lost. Just that much beauty was gone, without leaving any record behind."

After doing this FIAR row I couldn't look at snowflakes the same anymore.  They are beautiful.  Every time it snowed this February I went outside to take a good look at the flakes that are falling.  

Blizzards, snow and more snow

We have had so much snow in the month of February.  Lots of learning happens when your stuck in the house.  Its nice to be made to slow down and stay home.
Valentine Math

 What to do with all that snow.  Make a cave.  
use the cave after it caves in with the next 12 inches of snow we got to be a mini slide
Throw snowballs at your mom
take pictures of the snow covered trees
 go sledding wihout a sled like your a penguin 
 or paint the snow with food coloring.

The cat wasn't too happy with all the snow he needs to go out to be normal.  He looks so sad

Artsy Smartsy Valentines Party

Sandywoods painting party.


In October we went to the Marine Museum to see the wolves.  A family from CO travels the country to try to get people help the survive.  To educate people on the true facts about wolves.   It was amazing to be so up close to them

Christmas Season

December was filled with lots of fun times with friends
We went to the Polar Express Ride In Avon
 Holiday Sounds in the City wagon ride through the city streets
 Visit the the Newspaper - Holiday sounds in the city

 Art Time

 Holiday fun at the Historical Society

 Watching the Christmas Parade in the Rain
 The cat kept trying to eat the frosting
 Christmas Craft Party at LIFE homeschool group

Science time learning how a tree uses sap like a car uses antifreeze.  Testing to see what freezes water or sugar water.  Fun experiments.

Hornbine School

Samantha went on a field trip without me to the Hornbine School.  She had an amazing time.  She spent the morning dressed like a girl of the 1800's, learning like they learned in a one room school house, and learning about the games children played back then.  They had a guest there that day, an elderly lady who went to that school when she was a child.  She was almost 100 years old.  I believe they said she was 96.  I took her picture not posted here and she made sure I didn't get her cane in the picture LOL  She said it made her look old.  SO sweet.

Fall Fun times

Fall fun times...                                             Fun Fall Fair 

Learning about the ocean, the beach and ocean creatures

Trip to the Bronx Zoo, Aunty Lyettes and the Apple Orchard 

 Pumpkin Patch, Corn Maze Farm Trip


Homework for Physics Coop 

Nature Walk  Fort Barton In RI

 Found a Salamander 

Fall Concert with the Newport Country Co ed Children's Choir 

Samantha has an amazing imagination and loves fairy tales or any story actually... She wanted to be a more modern Little Red Riding hood this year,  She loves watching Once Upon A Time with me.