Saturday, October 12, 2013

Getting in the Groove

Our school year is off to a busy start. Here is a small sample of our week . . .

This year Evelyn is doing the Cover Story curriculum which is a new middle school program from the company that made One Year Adventure Novel. She started out researching different types of magazines.
In one of the lessons she was to look at a favorite painting or drawing and write about how it made her feel using specific nouns. She chose a Stephen Huneck picture. His art is a favorite around here.

The boys are excited to start robotics. This year they will be competing with FTC  (First Tech Challenge) As part of this he is going through the RobotC tutorials to learn that programming language.

Quinn is not so excited about algebra. However we have made a switch from Video Text to Thinkwell and so far he seems more happy with it. Professor Burger is very nerdy and funny and that goes a long way with him.

Quinn is also doing the Kid Coder Beginning Web Design. He's cruising right through it. As part of the curriculum he is making a website on raptors. However I also got him his own domain so that he can use what he learns to make his own site. This is definitely one of his favorite things this year. If you want to watch his progress you can go on over to This past week he learned to make ordered and unordered lists and is just starting to learn some basic CSS so there's not much there yet. 

Evelyn loves projects. A school friend of hers came home with a no-sew pillow and then told Evelyn how to make it. She picked out some fleece and then went crazy making pillows. 

Evelyn is obsessed with sharks. She loves to draw them, paint them, and write about them.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Starting the year with Massachusetts

After much deliberation I decided to do a history of the New England states this year. . .

 Originally we were going to start our history rotation over by studying the ancients.  Evelyn was 6 the last time we did that time period so she remembers none of it. But... Well I just wasn't very excited about it. I wanted to do something different so  I decided to do NH history and then decided that we might as well study all of the New England states... one at a time. After all, that is something unique about our corner of the world. Our little states are all linked together even if we do have some not-so-decent nicknames for each other. 

A couple of things I have learned while compiling book lists and projects for our New England study:

1. It is stunning how many people/websites state that NY, NJ and even PA are part of New England...huh? That will NOT be a problem for my kids.

2. The chocolate chip cookie originated in Massachusetts (sweet!)

A couple of things I already knew about New England:

1. So many amazing authors came from here- there's going to be some great reading this year!

2. The account of this area is incredibly rich and fascinating. Growing up I enjoyed listening to my grandmother, who loved history, tell tales of my ancestors and the history of Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Maine. It was far superior to any history class I ever took. I wish my kids had been able to hear her. Hopefully I can pass along a smidgen of the stories she shared with me.

So here we are, beginning with Massachusetts, because that seems the right place to start. This week we did some reading and made salt dough maps of Massachusetts. We labeled some basic landmarks.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Getting Ready for the Robotics Competition

We had a late start this year because our usual coach was unable to lead the expedition. But the boys have been programming , practicing and programming some more to get ready for the fast approaching competition.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Rooted in Clay - Field Trip

The kids enjoyed a fun field trip to Rooted in Clay today. They created cups, bowls and various other things from clay. We will return in a couple of weeks so they can glaze their creations. So much fun!

Art with TOOLS!

I'm really excited about what Complete-A-Sketch is doing for my son. He has never felt any real confidence in his artistic or creative abilities...til now. I have had this entire set siting on my shelf for years and finally brought it out for him to use this year. He is starting at Complete-A-Sketch Volume 1 - Orthographic and so far so good! I love the way he beams with pride after he completes one of the sketches. It really is the perfect solution for him--art that requires TOOLS!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Math Measurement

I've always wanted to make one of these cutesy pictures showing the conversion of gallons, quarts, pints and cups but never remembered when it was applicable... Until today! E is still finishing up her 3b math book and came upon lesson 23. So we made one of these quick and easy pictures first and it worked like a charm. She finished the lesson very quickly and easily because of it.

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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Starting The New Year Right

We started our school year off with a trip the Boston Museum of Science-- a favorite around here

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