Archive for October, 2015

Week In The Life (“Great Scott”, 10/21/15)

October 25, 2015

If felt SO good being able to clean our house this week. Yes, it felt good, really good. I had a really good routine going before my surgery. If fact, everything was sparkly clean, my injury changed all that.

Don’t get me wrong, our house never got out of control dirty. Papa, would never allow that. He can’t stand clutter. However, it did lose its sparkle. I mean, I couldn’t bend. So, imagine clothes, that’s usually inside my dresser, folded on the top of it for easier access. It drove Papa nuts. This week I managed to bring the sparkle back. Though, it did suck needing to start all over again.

It’s just in time too as we prepare for the upcoming time change. I’ve already noticed it’s beginning to get dark sooner. I’m not ashamed to mention my dislike for shorter daylight hours. I’ve already stocked our home with new candles. As soon as the sun goes down, I light them. I don’t know what I would without our wood stove during winter. There is something so soothing about fire, that keeps me going during the darker months of fall and winter.

Since we are finishing up our school year, tying up any loose ends, I decided to have a little fun this week.

Language Arts

Reading

We read Dracula, chapters 9-16.

Man, there is so much to discuss in this story. Sky has been wanting to start a Psychology credit for awhile now. I’ve felt bad not really knowing when I would be able to fit it in. I mean part of homeschooling is being able to follow your child’s interests.

Well, I had everything planned out for us to start an Astronomy credit after the new year. I think I will change that though and start psychology instead.

It has always been part of Sky’s intention to use her art degree to help tutor children suffering from anxiety, to help them learn how art can be one option to use an outlet. Art has been her outlet to help her get through some pretty tough times, and she wants to pass that on. Who knows, maybe she will end up going into art therapy. Who better to understand panic attacks and anxiety, than someone that has experience with it themselves?

Handwriting

The girls copied parts 1 and 2 of The Bells by Edgar Allen Poe.

http://poestories.com/read/bells

Spelling/ Vocabulary

Little Sis practiced list 3 from the 4th grade spelling list at SpellingClassroom.com.

Sky practiced her week 2 list from Dracula at Quizlet.

oppressiveness, emaciated, unfettered, psychosis, ravings, endure, scurries, defile, inevitable, composure, transfusions, scald, superstition, frail, avail.

Math

Warm up at Xtramath.

Little Sis, 3rd grade Math Made Easy workbook.

Sky, percents in Kumon workbook, and at Khan Academy.

Science

Wednesday, being it was the 21st of October 2015 as was predicted in Back to the Future 2, we watched the movie and discussed the differences in what they thought we would have, compared to what we really have. Like, we have no flying cars ( According to Neil deGrasse Tyson though, we do. They are called helicopters. Listening to his opinion of why flying cars would never work, for one they make too much noise, was a fun addition).

We also discussed scientists predictions for the future from IFLS, watched Marty McFly and Doc Brown visit Jimmy Kimmel Live, and 10 things Back to the Future got right, and got wrong, by China Uncensored. (YouTube)

http://www.iflscience.com/editors-blog/it-s-back-future-day-today-so-what-are-next-future-predictions

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History

World

PBS Indian Summers

Art

We learned about the history of Gothic Art from Good-by Art Academy,

and discussed Gothic painters like the Limbourg Brothers.

The girls listed 10 things they learned.

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We also watched The Avengers, Age of Ultron. Then, watched Brows Held High, between the lines The Avengers. (YouTube)

Culinary Arts

The girls made chocolate chip cookies using oat flour.

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We doubled the recipe and only added 2/3 cup of coconut oil instead of a cup, and it was still way too much. Also, I didn’t care for the baking soda taste in the cookies. I want to try to make these again, but next time with less baking soda and use Earth Balance. The texture and sugar amount was perfect though.

http://www.chelseasmessyapron.com/best-ever-healthy-chocolate-chip-cookies/

P.E.

The girls had homeschool gym this week.

Wishing everyone a safe and happy Halloween,

peace for the journey.

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Is The House Haunted? (Little Sis)

October 21, 2015

Emily, a young women, was walking around the large new house that her husband, Demetri, and herself just bought. Emily was still humming softly when she finally stopped pacing.”Em, Em!”, her husband called out to her. “What is it?”, Emily questioned in a curious tone. “Didn’t you hear that odd noise downstairs?”, Demetri asked.”No” ,Emily replied.”Hmm, my mind must be playing weird tricks on me.”, Demetri murmured to himself with a queer and confused expression on his face. Meanwhile, Emily thought to herself, “It’s getting late, maybe I should work on making us some dinner.”. She went to the pantry downstairs, to gather the ingredients she would need.

While downstairs, Emily heard the pantry door creak. With her teeth clenched, she moved toward the creaking sound, and opened the door. Inside, Emily saw what looked like a dark shadow fly past her and disappear into a nearby small closet. Curious, Emily went to check the closet, to make sure she wasn’t just imagining things. While stepping inside the closet, Emily saw the horrifying visible dark shadow, and suddenly the door slammed shut locking her in. Emily jumped at the loud noise of the door slamming, and wasted no time trying to get out. ” Demetri!,can you hear me?” she screamed while banging loudly on the closet door. Emily could feel two hands closing in around her neck, choking out her screams. It felt like her throat was clogged. “Demetri”, she tried shouting again, but her words caught in her throat. The room went black as she took her last breath.

Demetri, never heard Emily’s plea for help, so he went into the bedroom to get changed for the night. With all their clothing still packed in boxes, Demetri wasn’t quite sure where his clothes might be. “Emily!” he shouted, and received no reply. He shouted for her again, in a more confused yet anxious voice. Still, there was no response to his shouting. Demetri, got more confused. He walked into the next room closest to theirs and shouted, “Em!”. Still no reply.

Demetri’s heart felt as if it was about to leap from his chest as he stepped into the dark room. He tried to turn on the light switch, but the light wouldn’t come on. He heard a loud creaking noise on the floor that wasn’t his footsteps. “Oh Emily, I knew you would…”, Demetri stopped in middle of his sentence and looked around the dark room. The floor kept creaking as the door behind him shut and locked in the same manner as it did with Emily. Demetri’s breath caught in his throat. He thought about his wife, worry consumed him, where was Emily? ” Emily, answer me please!”, he cried out almost in tears.
There was no response, only the loud creaking noise that he heard approaching upon the floor.

While trying to adjust his sight to the darkness, Demetri thought he saw a dark shadow ,and sweat began to drip from his brow. “Who’s there? ” ,Demetri called out to the faintly visible shadow. Suddenly, the room was filled with light, as the switch flipped on . Demetri’s mouth gaped open when he saw crimson colored liquid ooze from underneath the door. “Could that be Emily’s?”, Demetri asked terrified. In the bright light, Demetri could no longer see the dark shadow that clung to the darkness.

Demetri’s eyes jolted open and tears swelled up inside them. His heart was beating rapidly, and his panting was almost unbearable. Sweat was dripping from his forehead and trickled down his face. He felt nervous, yet so happy that it was only a nightmare. Emily, was still alive.

Demetri rubbed his eyes, wiped the sweat from his face, and got up out of bed to go see his wife. When he found Emily, she was lying across their closet floor. Her eyes were closed, and her heart was no longer beating.

Maybe, his dream wasn’t just a nightmare after all. Perhaps, their house really is haunted.

Seeing You Again (Miss Sky)

October 21, 2015

My name is Wendy Maymore, I am currently riding in the car with my mother. We’re headed back to our old home. I don’t want to go back there, but mother asked if I would ride out with her to pick up an old chair we had left behind.

5 years ago, while living there, my younger sister Ellie and I were playing in the yard close to a nearby creek. Ellie wanted her doll to come and play with us too. I wasn’t in the mood for a fight, so I had gone into the house to fetch it for her. When I came back out, Ellie was gone. I quickly ran to find my mother, and together we began searching for her. I looked by the old creek. My face grew pale, there she was, my sister, Ellie was lying face first in the creek! She must have slipped and hit her head by mistake and was knocked unconscious. I pulled her out, holding her wet body against mine. I remember screaming her name several times, there was no response. Mother gently touched my shoulder and said, “We’re too late.”.

A tear slowly fell from my eye, and down my cheek, as I looked out the car window. The dark, dead fingers of tree branches felt as if they were reaching out for my soul while driving through the familiar towns. Nothing much had changed. The small bleak houses, that once held the people I knew, were all still there. The only difference was, they were all empty. The once life filled houses, where children could be seen playing in the yards, now seemed death like, and sad. It gave me an uneasy feeling in my gut, that I knew would not be going away anytime soon.

We pulled up into the gravel driveway of our old home. It was located in the country, miles away from the city, or small towns. This made me even more uneasy, knowing that there would be no one nearby to help if we broke down. I reluctantly got out the car and stared up at the old house that was once our home. It still looked the same. I was pale, and mother seemed to see my uneasy expression, so she tried speaking to me in a cheerful voice. “Wow, it sure has been a while hasn’t it sweetie?”, she asked and popped open the trunk of the car to make room for the chair. I nodded in response. Mother saw my nod and walked up to me, grabbing my hand and rubbing my left shoulder in a soothing manner she said, “Come on honey, let’s look on the bright side of things. Maybe you’ll find something you will want to bring back with us too.”. We both climbed the front stairs of the house, that were now cracked, and headed towards the screen door. Standing at the entrance, my heart began to pound in my chest so hard, that the sound swallowed all the other sounds out around me. Mother sighed, took the old door key from one of her pockets and unlocked the door. She turned the knob slowly and opened it. We walked in and the wood floor creaked under our feet. “I’m going to go get the chair, it should be in my bedroom upstairs.”, my mother said walking slowly up the stairs, leaving me downstairs all alone.

Waiting felt like hours, then I heard a strange noise coming from the basement of our old home. It sounded like excited footsteps running about.The footsteps grew closer and closer and then suddenly stopped behind me. Holding my breath, I turned around and gasped as I saw her, my sister Ellie. She was all wet and seemed excited as she reached out toward me.Terrified, I ran upstairs to my old bedroom. I feared my sister was coming to take my soul out of anger and revenge. I hid under the bed, crying softly as I held my breath. My heart was pounding incredibly fast, I feared it would leap out of my chest, or stop beating altogether. I heard the footsteps again, and I saw her dripping, wet feet walk into the room. “Sister, why are you hiding from me?”, she whispered, confused. Her feet stopped short in front of the bed. Suddenly, her face peered down and looked straight at me. I let out a scream. It seemed to scare her, for she jumped back and covered her face while falling down on her knees. I stopped screaming and could hear a slight noise coming from her. Whimpering, she said, “I’m sorry, sister, I’m so sorry if I made you angry or scared”. Then it dawned on me, that she might not realize she is dead. I crawled out from my hiding spot, tears rolling down my face as I took her in my arms (which surprised me that I could since she was a ghost), and I slowly told her everything.

She didn’t seem sad or hold me responsible for her death, she seemed happy just to be with me. She told me that she had been alone for so long and that she wanted me to stay with her now that I was here. “I won’t leave you, I will stay with you, somehow…” I said.

Mother walked into my bedroom where I had been hiding and screamed. I hoped she wouldn’t be too upset, I knew this was for the best. I held my sister tight as the both of us stared at my dead body. Mother ran out of my room crying. Ellie and I held hands as we watched mother leave the house, we both whispered…

“Goodbye.”.

Week In The Life (Epistolary, Gothic, Asylums)

October 18, 2015

Well, we are way over our 180 days for the year. I am trying to close any loose ends we may have, so we can enjoy the upcoming holidays. Looking back over the year, I am pleased with everything we accomplished thus far. Considering I was recovering from back surgery, and the injury that lead up to the back surgery, both girls are right where I was hoping they would be before we start our next year of school. I’m really glad we used Sky’s 8th grade year as a test run for high school. She’s prepared, and understands what’s in store for 2016. It also helped me see how much time was needed for each of her credits.

At first, I was completely overwhelmed. Being that I am keeping a journal of our homeschooling journey, I want to make sure I am portraying homeschooling accurately, and honestly as possible. So, I want to make it perfectly clear, homeschooling high school scared the shit out of me!. After listening to some very helpful webinars, seriously I highly recommend catching them when you can, from Lee Binz ,my confidence grew tremendously. That, and being able to see what combining some classes together might look like. For example, combining composition and literature classes together works really well for us. So does combining (world, American, art, theater, and music) history and geography together.

http://www.thehomescholar.com/

Basically, we are considered the same as a private school (again, always check your state’s/ countries homeschooling laws), and can call all the shots. We do not need to follow public school’s requirements for graduating our children. However, there is a catch. If your child plans on attending college, they will need a transcript. (Community colleges do not need one, but I would still prepare one, because plans can change.) It’s the colleges you want to make happy. That should be the most important goal for homeschooling high school. What courses the college wants your child to have before attending there.

I thought I would post Sky’s plans, in case they might be helpful. Of course, we will try for every scholarship opportunity possible, because honestly we can’t afford college. Both girls will need to work while attending. Sky wants to go to art school, she will need to complete a few basic courses before she can apply. She plans to attend our local community  college to complete those courses, then have them transferred when she applies to the art school.

Since she wants to attend art school, I need to know everything the school wants my child to have before applying. I want the art school to want her as a student there. Her transcript will have lots of art classes, and she will need a portfolio. So, this is what high school will look for her. For Little Sis, high school might look completely different than Sky’s.

To me, this is what makes homeschooling completely worth it. We can custom fit each child’s education around them. Not only are we able to see the individual, we are able to focus our attention on them, one on one. A personalized education.

Language Arts

Reading

We started Dracula by Bram Stoker this week (chapter 1-8, book found free at Amazon).

https://librivox.org/dracula-version-2-by-bram-stoker/

We also watched a video ( from Shaun Kunz , YouTube) about the first 8 chapters of the book.

I have stayed away from this story personally, because the sight of blood and I don’t have a very good relationship. The thought of someone sucking my blood makes me nauseous. Then, I thought what the hell?, both girls had requested we read it, and you know what? I really am enjoying it a lot! I am kicking myself for waiting so darn long.

Little Sis finished Catching Fire and is reading book 3, Mockingjay.

I read a short bio on Emily Dickinson from the book Lives of Writers by Kathleen Krull.

http://www.thecolor.com/Category/Coloring/Historical-Figures/2.aspx

The girls listed 10 things they learned about her.

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Composition

The girls watched videos explaining what both Gothic, and epistolary (from Shaun Kunz) literature is.

http://www.writeawriting.com/academic-writing/gothic-literature/

They added the explanations to their composition journal.

Spelling/ Vocabulary

Little Sis learned list 2/

http://www.4thgradespelling.com/

Sky learned the first week of words from Dracula (Quizlet)

desecration, congealing, anemia, genealogy, bereaved, hell-hound, ferocious, credence, trinket, hale, contagious, craggy, brandishing, fluttering, headland

Handwriting

The girls copied the poem, Because I Could Not Stop For Death by Emily Dickinson.

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(Sky)

https://librivox.org/because-i-could-not-stop-for-death-by-emily-dickinson/

We also watched the Crash Course Literature video on Emily Dickinson.

Speaking of Crash Course, we finished up our Shakespeare study by watching their videos on Romeo and Juliet, and Hamlet (YouTube).

We watched videos about Shakespeare from TEDEd too.

http://ed.ted.com/lessons/did-shakespeare-write-his-plays-natalya-st-clair-and-aaron-williams

Did Shakespeare Write His Plays? (Science, learning about linguistics)

Insults By Shakespeare, and Poetry, Pentameter, Pirates (This was a wonderful visual. I’m sure I will use it again).

Mathematics

Warming up with XtraMath.

Little Sis, Math Math Easy 3rd Grade workbook.

Sky learned percents from the Pre-Algebra Kumon workbook, and watched a video.

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Little Sis had her STEAM class this week. They played board games while the parents talked to the librarian. The library is really interested in making sure they have all the resources we might need to homeschool on hand. They are very open, and want to help us with our homeschooling needs.

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World History

We watched a video on the history of vampires from TEDED.

Civics

We watched the Democratic Debate.

The Arts

Theater

We watched the musical, West Side Story. The girls were able to pick out all the similarities between Romeo and Juliet.

We watched a video from Brows Held High( one of my favorite YouTubers) on the musical West Side Story, as part of his Shakespeare week.

We watched the movie Lion King (Hamlet), and Lion King 2 (Romeo and Juliet). Then, we watched the Brows Held High video about the similarities between the Lion King and Shakespeare’s Hamlet (YouTube).

We discussed Waterhouse’s (another favorite artist of mine) paintings of Ophelia.

We also watched the movie Catching Fire.

We attended a homeschool field trip this week, learning what goes on behind the scenes of The Asylum House haunted house.

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The girls had a blast! We are very thankful to the owners of the Asylum House for allowing us to do this, and giving us the tour for free. Sky loved learning about all the work it takes to run a haunted house.

Peace for the journey.

Happy Birthday (My Little Angel)

October 15, 2015

Fifteen, it feels like just yesterday you became a teenager.

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Though you’re not really that little anymore, you will always be a little angel to me. 🙂

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Happy Birthday!

Week In The Life (Hungry, Hungry Hyde)

October 11, 2015

Well, this is my last post categorized under 14 for a certain child. God, there is no way she can be only one more year away from driving. While attending homeschooling events, I have found myself feeling rather old surrounded by newbies. It’s really quite an awaking experience to realize you are no longer a new blood. Being surrounded by new homeschooling concerns, with me being in a place where I can go to a doctor appointment, then home to see my children sitting around the table getting their schoolwork over with. Where wondering if your child will ever be able to read or add are your biggest concerns, not worries of drunk drivers, or a certain child, that sometimes doesn’t seem to know where the hell she is in a parking lot, being behind the wheel of a car soon. Finally, getting to that place where you realize, parenting will never get easier.

Being a tad wiser, it has a much better ring than older methinks, I would like to express, that yes, your child will learn how to read and add. That it will be okay. Don’t waste those precious early years with phonics and workbook lessons. Enjoy the scribbles and Play-Doh creations. The “mom, what does this say?” moments. Those mornings, while still in bed, where reading Bread and Jam for Francis for the hundredth time is a must. Or, when you just don’t think you can stand to watch a certain Disney movie one more time without losing your sanity. They should take top priority right now. Letters and numbers will come. (We live in an age where words and numbers are everywhere.)

I can still remember what it felt like starting our journey into homeschooling. Those moments when it felt like my heart was going to beat out of my chest thinking, “what the hell am I doing?”, “can I really do this?”. It took me several years, and several different homeschooling philosophies to realize there is no one right way to homeschool. To be able to forget everything I learned in school and understand that real learning has nothing to do with regurgitating facts for a test. That all children are unique and a “one size fits all” education will not work for every child. That no matter how hard I try, or might want it, I can’t make my children learn. The confidence will come. All we can do is our best, and that’s all our children can do too. 🙂

Language Arts

Reading

We kicked our Halloween literature block off with The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

https://librivox.org/the-strange-case-of-dr-jekyll-and-mr-hyde-by-robert-louis-stevenson/

We followed along with the story on Kindle, where the story can be found for free.

I read a short bio about Stevenson from Lives of Writers by Kathleen Krull, and the girls game up with 10 facts they learned about him.

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http://www.thecolor.com/Coloring/Robert-Louis-Stevenson.aspx

In honor of Stevenson, we took turns reading A Child’s Garden of Verses (also found free on Kindle).

We also read a collection of short ghost stories.

https://librivox.org/ghost-story-collection-001/

Independent reading

Little Sis finished book one of The Hunger Games trilogy, and is halfway through book two of Catching Fire.

I finally finished Clash of Kings, and am well on my way through A Storm of Swords. It may take me a bit longer to get through this book for two reasons. One, it is over 1200 pages long; two, I am not looking forward to certain events that take place. Why am I putting myself through this again? Oh right, because Sky has taken a huge interest in the series. “The things we do for love.”

Reading Comprehension

Before starting Jekyll and Hyde, we watched a few YouTube videos I found about the story.

We also watched his 6 minutes on the first 5 chapters of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and his video on the last part of the story.

Once we finished the story, the girls took the quiz from SparkNotes.

http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/jekyll/quiz.html

We watched the Crash Course video on How and Why We Read too (YouTube).

Spelling/ Vocab

Little Sis completed the first 4th grade spelling list at Spelling Classroom.com.

Sky’s list was from Jekyll and Hyde (Quizlet):

qualm, exorbitant, turpitude, tincture, apothecary, insensate, juggernaut (thanks Marvel), pecuniary, countenance, balderdash, coquetry, conflagration, malefactor, abject, disquietude, induce

Handwriting

The girls copied the poem, My Shadow by Steven Louis Stevenson in cursive.

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(Little Sis)

Composition

The girls are entering a haunted house short story contest from SparkNotes. I will post their stories on my blog after the contest deadline.

http://www.sparknotes.com/mindhut/2015/09/28/enter-the-halloween-short-fiction-contest-now

We discussed a narrative writing checklist before they started writing their story.

http://displays.tpet.co.uk/?resource=767#/ViewResource/id1211

Mathematics

Warm up exercises with XtraMath (I give this program credit for Sky being able to progress as well as she is in math. Since she has been warming up using Xtramath, she hasn’t been making as many mistakes.)

Little Sis, Math Made Easy 3rd grade workbook. Sky, Kumon Pre-Algebra Workbook 1.

Science

We read and discussed Science in the News (A-Z) issue Gone Bananas.

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History

World

PBS series Indian Summers

Theater

We have been watching new episodes of one of my favorite television shows, Whose Line Is It Anyway?, and Drew Carey’s Improv-A-Ganza, studying improv.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2919910/

The Arts

We watched the silent movie, Dr.Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0011130/

We also watched The Hunger Games movie (Brutal, and I’m reading the Game of Thrones series.).

P.E.

The girls had homeschool gym.

Peace for the journey.

Week In The Life (” To Thine Own Self Be True”)

October 4, 2015

Happy October!

The first week of October actually felt like fall. Overnight we went from shorts to flash fires. Today, the sun is back out and the windows are open again. The garden is tilled and the garlic is planted for next spring’s crop.

Slowly, I’ve been getting back into my routine, thank goodness. I did discover one thing while recovering from back surgery. I am the backbone of our home. Papa has his responsibilities outside of the home, no money, no eat. My responsibility is to make sure everything else keeps running smoothly. Papa and I are partners, and we definitely felt the difference with one partner down. The pantry is a mess, my kitchen is a mess. I am more than ready to get back in there and get everything organized again.

The girls really stepped it up, and I am proud of them. Dishes, dinners, cleaning, they’ve really been busy. I saw all our training paying off. The Little one especially, she is very comfortable in the kitchen. She reminds me of myself is so many ways. It really is such an amazing gift to be able see your children flourish.There really isn’t a better reflection of yourself than through your children, and I mean the good, bad, and the downright ugly.

Homeschool

Language Arts

Reading

This week we finished our Shakespeare study (until we study the Romans anyway) with Hamlet.

First, I read the story from Tales from Shakespeare while they read along on their tablets. Then, we read the play while listening along.

https://librivox.org/hamlet-by-william-shakespeare/

We also finished the Sonnets (where the girls learned how to read roman numerals).

Reading Comprehension

The girls took the Hamlet quiz at SparkNotes.

http://www.sparknotes.com/shakespeare/hamlet/quiz.html

Personal reading

Little Sis is almost done with The Hunger Games (book 1). Sky is reading the second graphic novel of Game of Thrones, and I am 100 pages from being done with Clash of Kings (Should have it finished by this week).

I’m still going to wait until I finish the whole series before I give my overall rating. One thing I do like about George R.R. Martin’s writing is his use of language. I’ve recognized several words in Shakespeare because of the Game of Thrones series. I love that he has invented his own world, but still uses words from an early time period. One thing I don’t like, is getting invested in so many characters that will eventually die. There will need to be a point to it all in the end, or I will not like it.

Spelling/ Vocabulary

So, how do I do spelling and vocabulary without curricula? This is the first year I’ve started a spelling program with Little Sis, and is the first year for Sky using Quizlet (that I am really happy with). Before, I would pull words from the stories we would read that they might have had trouble with, and then have the girls look them up in the dictionary and write out the definition.

The girls played lots of on-line games, Animal Jam being their favorite, and learned to spell while talking with other players. If there was a word they needed help with they would ask, and I would spell it for them. Eventually, they stopped asking and started using the dictionary on-line. There’s the games Bananagrams, Word Shout, and Scribblenauts they like to play too. Little Sis is an excellent speller, she spells better than me, and honestly doesn’t need a word list. Basically, we are just going through the motions.

I started Sky at Quizlet to help expand her spelling and vocabulary beyond what she would normally be exposed to since she is in high school now. Though, I am constantly amazed at how much both girls actually know and learn from their interests. For example, one of Sky’s words this week from Hamlet was discord, she learned what it meant from watching My Little Pony.

I am a firm believer in the more you are exposed to, the more you will learn. Sometimes, this means stepping out of your comfort zone. Sometimes, this means not being so quick to dismiss a child’s interest. Sometimes, it means having an open mind. One of my biggest pet peeves is when I hear parents say, “all my child does is play video games all day.” Having played lots of video games myself, I can see all that is learned from playing them. I can see what my visual learner loves about video games. They are interacting virtual storybooks.

I will admit that I was very cynical toward technology, and I still believe it has the ability to make us lazy, just like anything when used too much. By stepping outside my comfort zone, I found out how much I love Kindle. We have a very small house, and books take up a lot of space. Technology has solved that problem for us. I love the built in dictionary the Kindle has. While reading, the girls will come to a word and can find out what it means, or how it is pronounced and we can keep right on reading. I love that I can borrow, or purchase one book and all of us can read along together on different devices. The Kindle has changed our read aloud time, only for the better.

Again, I am not putting curriculum down. If you love it, and it works for you, great. Just showing there are other ways to learn besides using one. 🙂

Speaking of spelling words, I am trying a new site for Little Sis.

http://www.4thgradespelling.com/

I think she will like playing the games there much better, and the words seem a bit more challenging.

I am very happy with Quizlet for Sky. Her words from Hamlet this week were,

epitaph, perdition. afflict, contrive, expostulate, ambiguous, malicious, conjuration, aloof, discord, carnal, extolment, scourge, churlish.

Penmanship

In honor of Little Sis finishing the Twilight series, the girls copied the poem Fire and Ice by Robert Frost in cursive.

Mathematics

Kumon Pre-Algebra for Sky, Math Made Easy 3rd grade for Little Sis.

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Science

Yes, we watched the supermoon lunar eclipse, and discussed what was happening (NASA.com).

Then, there was the discovery of water on Mars.

http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?feature=4722

We watched part 2 of Gorongosa National Park.

I do F***ing Love Science! 🙂

History

World

We started the new PBS series Indian Summer. This fits in perfectly after studying England’s Industrial Revolution and Victorian Imperialism.

American

We watched Crash Course episodes 26-29, learning about America’s imperialism, and Hughes’ History about the Spanish American War (YouTube).

I also printed a picture of President Taft for the girls history timeline, and we discussed his presidency.

http://www.usa-printables.com/Presidents/27-William-Taft/27-william-taft-03.htm

Civics

We watched CNN’s 2015 Republican GOP debates (YouTube).

Little Sis’s STEAM class this week was all about engineering. I learned that this was something we need to work on, so I am thinking of breaking out the Zome this week.

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(Gear erasers)

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The Arts

We finished our Shakespeare study by watching the Hamlet movie starring Mel Gibson (Netflix).

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0099726/

We finally paid a visit to our local art museum. It is SO big we were only able to see half of it, and that took us 3 and 1/2 hours to do that.

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We were able to see two of my favorite artists. Norman Rockwell

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and Georgia O’ Keeffe

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We didn’t even make it to the 100 acre outdoor garden, it’s no joke that we will be visiting again. Sky came away with lots of new inspiration.

We also finished the movie saga of the Twilight series.

Halloween, here we come. Peace for the journey.