Thursday, July 17, 2014

Learning Log of June 2014

 The Garden is growing. Flowers are blooming and we are busy. We have been going to the our Public Summer Reading Program. The kids are busy with playdates and school in the mornings. I don't think I will see my parents this summer. They decided to stay in Brazil and watch the World Cup over there. I am definitely missing them and only God knows how I will get any respite this year. I am thankful though because God has been working on some issues and I am drawing near to Him. It's better and safer that way. :) I hope you can find some inspiration below.
 




Read Aloud Books

* Reading Bible everyday: Continuing on reading the Proverb of the day right after breakfast. While the kids are still at the table, each one with their own Bible we read a chapter of Proverbs that match the day and talk about it. I don't know why I took so long to do this. It has changed everything in our day. We set the mood for the whole day. The kids are listening more, obeying more, are more pleasant in general. I am more pleasant to be around. :) I can control my temper better and my tone of voice is more pleasant too. It's a miracle from God! Putting Him first has made all the difference. We completed a whole month reading Proverbs and in July we will be doing a Bible study together. The kids will still read Proverbs everyday but on their own.

* In June, we began reading the Gospel of Luke after dinner. Again with everyone and their Bibles, we gather in the living room and read a chapter or part of one. Talk about it and pray. It's been a blessing! We were amiss. We weren't able to establish a routine here due to lots of activities going on in the evenings. Reading Bible/ doing devotionals in the morning works better for us.

* Also reading The Jesus STorybook Bible - DD6 takes it all in since she gets to pick the stories. She sits on my lap and follows along. Good reading practice too. :) Of course, DD4 can't stay behind. So she gets to pick a story too and enjoys being read too.


* Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology - working on the Cardiovascular unit.

* Mama built a little Nest by Jennifer Ward 
* Spring by Stephanie HEdlund
* Red Scarf Girl - A Memoir of the Cultural Revolution by Ji-Li Jiang - I began reading this book to the kids, but we didn't finish. We should finish it in July. The book gives you great insight on what life was like in China during the Cultural Revolution.

* The Wisdom of Solomon  - A Solomon Lapp and friends Amish Storybook by Wand E. Brunstetter
* The Great Balloon Hullaballoo by Peter Bently and Mei Matsuoka 

* Eye to Eye - How Animals see the World by Steve Jenkins 
* Gravity by Jason Chin
* History Makers - Neil Armstrong by Anita Yasuda  
* Light is all around us by Wendy Pfeffer


DD4's creation decoration the library.
Audio Books

* My kids, one time or another have the files below in their mp5s to which they listen to every night at their choosing: Fairy tales and classic stories , worship music, Story Hour files, The Piano Guys, Jonathan Park and The Brinkman Adventures, The Chronicles of Narnia.

* DD11 - listened to Pollyanna by Eleanor H Porter - for Easy Peasy curriculum.
* DD8 - listened to Five Little Peppers and how they Grew by MArgaret Sidney for EAsy Peasy curriculum.
* DD6 is listening to Story Nory at bedtime.



DD6 independent reading list: 

Continuing this month, DD6 is reading by leaps and bounds. With ease she is reading through her phonics books stories as well as keeping on reading her 100 books. This month we discovered compound words and homophones while reading the books. As well as contractions.
Talking to DD6 one day in March,  I asked her if she was happy to be reading now. She said she was. Then I asked her if she wanted to read Calvin and Hobbes. Her answer: "you can only read Calvin and Hobbes after you read 100 books." So we came up with a plan to list all of her 100 books, because according to her once she reads 100 books then she will be able to read any book. :) How smart is she?

DD6's creation decorating the library.
29) I am Invited to a Party! by Mo Willems
30) If you Give a Moose a Muffin by Laura Joffe Numeroff
31) Bunnies by Alex Kuskowski
32) Calves by Alex Kuskowski
33) There is a Bird on Your Head! by Mo Willems
34) Watch Me Throw the Ball! by Mo Willems
35) My Friend is Sad by Mo Willems
36) We are in a Book! by Mo Willems
37) I am Going! by Mo Willems
38) I Love My New Toy! by Mo Willems
39) Today I will Fly! by MO Willems
40) I Will Surprise My Friend! by MO Willems
41) Let's Go for a Drive! by Mo Williems
42) Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! by Mo Willems
43) Amanda and Her Alligator! by Mo Willems
44) Martha Doesn't Say Sorry! by Samantha Berger
45) When I Get Bigger by Mercer Mayer
46) Grandma, Grandpa and Me by Mercer Mayer
47) Our Friend Sam by Mercer Mayer





DS8 independent reading list:  


NASA is DS8's latest interest.
* Calvin and Hobbes - DD8 routine before drifting off to sleep is to read a few comic strips. He has now a collection of books on Calvin. Although the guy is a little devil, my son is learning what behavior not to use; as well as vocabulary, current events and school issues like bullying, disrespect, grades, tests. As a homeschooler, he only knows about these things from hear say, never first hand experience.
* Five Little Peppers and how they Grew by MArgaret Sidney - audiobook for EAsy Peasy curriculum.
* Chili Cook Off by Dave and Pat Sargent and Family - A Character Development Book
* Chima Heroes Quest by Heather Seabrook

* Discussions books (books that were read in parts or excerpts of and then discussed):
- The Pacific 1941-1954 - World War II Day by Day by Charlie Samuels;
- The Third Reich 1923-1945 - World War II Day by Day by Charlie Samuels

* Ten Boys Who Changed the World by Irene Howat - DS8 is reading one story a day. At first he would read and then he would narrate or answer questions that I had prepared for me. After a while, we decided that he could just read it out loud to me. It's been good for him to practice his intonation, usage of punctuation and pronunciation of words.

 * Ten Boys Who Used Their Talents by Irene Howat
On to book #3... we are learning about many interesting people, not only missionaries, preachers, but everyday people that made a difference with their talents and stance on Christian faith.

* Read aloud to his sisters:
* The Wisdom of Solomon  - A Solomon Lapp and friends Amish Storybook by Wand E. Brunstetter - Really cute book. The book of  Proverbs in action!

One of the last play dates before our friends went back home up north.

DD11 independent reading list

*WRight on Time book #4 - South Dakota - we borrowed it on Kindle and read it for FREE.
* Finished Pollyana for Easy Peasy homeschooling curriculum.
* The Mad Scientists' Club by Bertrand R. Brinley
* It's Catching - the Infectious World of Germs and Microbes by Jennifer Gardy, PhD
* Bugged - How Insects Changed History by Sarah Albee
* Crazy Concoctions - A Mad Scientist's Guide to Messy Mixtures by Dr Jordan D. Brown
* The Chronicles of Egg book#1 - Deadweather and Sunrise by Geoff Rodkey
* Avalanche in the Alps by Betsy Loredo
* Storm at the Shore by Betsy Loredo
* Mystery on the Mississippi by Betsy Lored
* Cleopatra in Space - Book One - Target Practice by Mike Maihack -
Beets from our garden.
* Mad Scientists - The Not-so-crazy work of amazing scientists by Sally Lee
* Hack Attack - A Trip to Wonderland by Jan Fields - book 1
* The Calm Before the Storm - A Night in Sleepy Hollow by Jan Fields - book 2
* Trapped in Stormy Seas - Sailing to Treasure by Jan Fields - book 3
* Lightning Strikes Twice - Escaping Great Expectations by Jan Fields - book 4
* Big City Blues - Back to Wonderland by Jan Fields - book 5
* A Novel Nightmare - A Purloined Story by Jan Fields - book 6

* Greatest Warriors - Greek Soldiers by Alex Stewart
* Greatest Warriors - Roman Soldiers by Peter Hepplewhite
* Greatest Warriors - Vikings by Philip Steele

* The Boxcar Children - Benny Uncovers a Mystery #19  by Gertrude Chandler Warner

* The 39 Clues - Cahills vs Vespers #1 - The Medusa Plot by Gordon Korman
* The 39 Clues - Cahills vs Vespers #2 - A King's Ransom by Jude Watson
* The 39 Clues - Cahills vs Vespers #3 - The Dead of Night by Peter Lerangis
* The 39 Clues - Cahills vc Vespers #4 - The Shatteproof by Roland Smith
* The 39 Clues - Cahills vc Vespers #5 - Trust No One by Linda Sue Park


 * Discussions books (books that were read in parts or excerpts of and then discussed):
-  The Pacific 1941-1954 - World War II Day by Day by Charlie Samuels;
- The Third Reich 1923-1945 - World War II Day by Day by Charlie Samuels

* Ten Girls Who didn't Give In by Irene Howat
* Ten Girls Who Made History by Irene Howat

** Take one or two or three (i.e. reading these yet again!)

*Didn't write these down.

DD11's art work


Activities at Home

* Swimming, swimming, swimming.
* Pool Playdates at our house. More swimming playdates. Did I say swimming playdates yet? :)
* Gardening; harvesting English peas shoots, cucumbers, yellow squash, greens, herbs, green beans
* DD11 zinnias are blooming. So much fun to see them grow, bloom and now be able to cut them and use them inside to decorate our tables. Check out the first cuttings at the top of my blog.
* Teaching the kids how to fix breakfast. Trying new recipes like Coconut milk peanut butter fruit salad delight, or Healthy and EAsy Apple Crumble, Soaked oats apple cinnamon cake.
* Cleaning, decluttering, and selling our stuff on Ebay.  
 
Coconut milk peanut butter fruit salad delight


 Field Trips/ Activities Outside Home

* Lego Club
* Summer dance classes for DD4 and DD6 - they are enjoying tap, ballet and tumbling together. So sweet to watch!
* Summer Reading Program at our local Public Library - It's all about science this summer. The first program was with the Sock Rocketz - lots of music, dancing and fun. The second program was about NASA and that lead to so much learning and new discoveries. The kids watched many YouTube videos on how the astronauts live in the Space... and read books, books and more books. The third program was Professor Zounds - a clown who specializes in weird and amazing sounds. The kids had a fantastic time!

* VBS at a friend's church. This is our 3rd year and the kids enjoy it so very much.
* Nerf guns and a birthday boy, what do you get? A NERf gun birthday party! It was a lot of fun and we had some wounded kids! Hahahahha




 Websites/ Links we found and used/ Apps

* Cool-math games - DD11 and DS8 like to play games while they listen to their books on Easy Peasy curriculum.
* Prager University - Here's their motto: "We teach what isn't taught." Some great short loaded videos.
* Sheppard Software website - DD6 and DD4 are using this site to learn science, LA and play.
* BrainPopJr - DD6 learned about contractions



Pool play dates and more pool play dates.

TV shows/ Videos/ Movies/ YouTube
* Bill Nye the Science Guy: Episode on Blood and Cardiovascular System on YouTube

* Magic School bus episodes - All four children are watching these intensely and learning a lot of science.

* Types of Government Explained - a great YouTube video that explains the differences between government and how the USA is a republic and not a democracy. We are stydying about Communism and the Korea War and the foundational information was necessary.
* My Escape from North Korea - riveting true story of a young lady who escaped from North Korea and what her country was really like.
* A video on what life is like in North Korea - I used the story of Brother Andrew to show how governments can use propaganda to brainwash their citizens and hide the truth from the outside world.

* Walt Disney the Story of Menstruation - interesting take on a natural event of life. Unfortunately, the video attributes the beauty of life to Mother Nature instead of the Creator.

* How to EAt a Steak Burrito in Space - You Tube video on how astronauts live in live.

* How do  you use the toilet in space - another YouTube video on astronaut life.

* Opening a Soda on the Ocean Floor - super cool! Physics in motion.

* The Letter Writer - from Netflix - Great family movie. Very inspiring and touching. Everyone in my family loved this movie, even the little kids. :)

* Me Again - from Netflix

* Good Mythical Mornings on YouTube -

* How it's made - Natural Rubber -

* How it's made - Erasers -

* The Lego Movie

* Apollo 13 - I got this from Netflix to complement our NASA Summer reading program. It was exciting and scary at the same time. THe kids loved it! (The movie is PG for bad/ rude language and scary dangerous scenes)


Another DD11 creation.


Books, blogs and other things I am reading...

* Unveliling - Tamar - Francine Rivers - Francine Rivers has won my heart. Her stories are compelling and you just can't put them down. She makes the Bible come alive. I want to read the whole series of the Lineage of Grace women. I highly recommend you pick up any of her books and be encouraged today in your Christian walk.

* The Atonement Child by Francine Rivers - Another beautiful book, this time about abortion. I really liked how she explored the sides of different people impacted by the issue of abortion. People are hurt and wounded people will hurt other people. Fantastic read! Be advised though, very hard to put the book down. :)

* Other stuff I didn't write down. :(

So how was the month of June for you? Anything new happening at your home?

Blessings,
Tereza

Friday, June 20, 2014

Learning Log of May 2014

 The Learning Log for May is finally here. Summer has been full of activities and fun. As some of you may know, I "school" my kids year around but we do change things around quite often. We are now doing structured learning from Mon-Wed. We spend time reading, writing and doing math. Thursdays and Fridays are spent doing art, learning science through hands-on activities and documentaries, we learn history by reading books and watching movies. I have also incorporated cooking lessons and we are fine tuning home and gardening skills. It's working better for us. The kids' stamina is still in full swing by Wednesday and when they are beginning to tire we do the more fun subjects.


Read aloud Books

* Reading Bible everyday: On May 22nd, I began to read the Proverb of the day right after breakfast. While the kids are still at the table, each one with their own Bible we read a chapter of Proverbs that matches the day and talk about it. I don't know why I took so long to do this. It has changed everything in our day. We set the mood for the whole day. The kids are listening more, obeying more, are more pleasant. I am more pleasant to be around. :) I can control my temper better and my tone of voice is more pleasant too. It's a miracle from God! Putting Him first has made all the difference.

* Also reading The Jesus STorybook Bible - DD6 takes it all in since she gets to pick the stories. She sits on my lap and follows along. Good reading practice too. :) Of course, DD4 can't stay behind. So she gets to pick a story too and enjoys being read too.
* We are also reading daily books with character lessons in it. This month we read A Hive of Busy Bees by Effie M. Williams - from Rod and Staff Publishers, Inc.
* Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology - working on the Cardiovascular unit.
* The Rise and Fall of Hitler by  William L. Shirer - we didn't finish it. We took too many breaks in the reading and the evilness of the man just wore us out.

* The Twelve Dancing Princesses from the story of the Brothers Grimm
* ARe you ready to play outside? by Mo Willems
* Amelia Bedelia, Rocket Scientist? by Herman Parish
* Winnie Finn, Worm Farmer by Carol Brendler - I would say Winnie Finn is a homeschooler. :)
* Penny Loves Pink by Cori Doerrfeld
* But Excuse Me That is my Book by Lauren Child
* Goblin Walk by Tony Johnson
* Before You Were Mine by Maribeth Boelts
* Charlie and the Christmas Kitty by Ree Drummond
* The Smallest Turtle by Lyrley Dodd
* Show Time with Sophia Grace and Rosie by Sophia Grace Brownlee and Rosie McClelland
* Tea Time with Sophia Grace and Rosie 


Audio Books

* My kids, one time or another have the files below in their mp5s to which they listen to every night at their choosing: Fairy tales and classic stories , worship music, Story Hour files, The Piano Guys, Jonathan Park and The Brinkman Adventures, The Chronicles of Narnia.


* DD11 is listened to Rush Revere and the Brave Pilgrims again; Animal Farm; Pollyana,
* DD8 is listened to The Hobbit and Animal Farm on YouTube.
* DD6 has been listening to Story Nory.




DD6 independent reading list: 

Continuing this month, DD6 is reading by leaps and bounds. With ease she is reading through her phonics books stories as well as keeping on reading her 100 books.
Talking to DD6 one day in March,  I asked her if she was happy to be reading now. She said she was. Then I asked her if she wanted to read Calvin and Hobbes. Her answer: "you can only read Calvin and Hobbes after you read 100 books." So we came up with a plan to list all of her 100 books, because according to her once she reads 100 books then she will be able to read any book. :) How smart is she?

9) Eloise and the Big Parade by Kay Thompson
10) Cat the Cat Who is That? by Mo Willems
11) Pete the Cat  - Pete at the Beach by James Dean
12) Ollie the Stomper by Olivier Dunrea
13) Pete's Big Lunch - Pete the Cat book by James Dean
14) I Love My White Shoes - Pete the Cat book story by Eric Litwin
15) Valentine's Day is Cool - Pete the Cat book by Kimberly and James Dean
16) Too Cool for School - Pete the Cat book by Kimberly and James Dean
17) If You Give a Cat a Cupcake by Laura Numeroff
18) Pete the Cat and His Magic Sunglasses by Kimberly and James Dean
19) Are You Ready to Play Outside? by Mo Willems
20) Pigs Make Me Sneeze! by Mo Willems
21) Elephants Cannot Dance! by Mo Willems
22) If You Give A Pig a Pancake by Laura Numeroff
23) Piglets by Alex Kuskowski
24) If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Numeroff
25) Kittens by Alex Kuskowski
26) Eloise's Summer Vacation by Kay Thompson
27) Foals by Alex Kuskowski
28) Puppies by Alex Kuskowski



DS8 independent reading list:  


* More books on Calvin and Hobbes - DD8 routine before drifting off to sleep is to read a few comic strips of his collection of Calvin and Hobbes.
* Winnie Finn, Worm Farmer by Carol Brendler
* Five Little Peppers and how they Grew by Margaret Sidney
* Ten Boys Who Didn't Give In: Inspiring Stories of Martyrs by Irene Howat -


* Read aloud to his sisters:
* The Little Little Girl with the Big Big Voice by Kristen Balouch
*Calvin and Hobbes books.


Real Long Egg from our favorite Hen: Fluffly!

DD11 independent reading list

*Peter and the Starcatchers by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson - book 1
* Peter and the Shadow Thieves by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson - book 2
* Peter and the Secret of Rundoon by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson - book 3
* Peter and the Sword of Mercy by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson

* Tesla's Attic by Neal Shuterman and Eric Elfman
* Saving Lucas Biggs by Marisa de los Santos and David Teague
* Ten Girls Who used Their Talents by Irene Howat

*The Calvin and Hobbes - The tenth anniversary book by Bill Watterson
* Jeremy - The Tale of an Honest Bunny by Jan Karon
* The Butterfly Effect - How Your Life Matters by Andy Andrews

* Pollyana - listening to it as part of Easy Peasy curriculum. It's helping her to write her own book.

** Take one or two or three (i.e. reading these yet again!)

* We Can't All Be Rattlesnakes by Patrick Jennings and more from her bookshelf.

Our First Grilling of the Season! Yumm-O!


Activities at Home

* Swimming, swimming, swimming.
* Pool Playdates at our house. More swimming playdates. Did I say swimming playdates yet? :)
* Gardening; harvesting English peas, strawberries, greens and spinach. Planting flowers, tomatoes, beans, sunflowers, okra and squash.
* Cleaning, decluttering, and selling our stuff on Ebay
* Making Stop Motion Videos
* Painting Canvases
* DD4 is drawing up a storm of dragons, mermaids and ponies. She does an amazing job for a 4 y.o.
* Mom got to cut Dad's and DS8's hair for the first time. :) 
* Getting to know the new neighbors and exchanging food, plants and recipes.  
* Teaching DD11 how to cook meals using the crock pot - so far we covered chicken and roast.


 Field Trips/ Activities Outside Home

* Mechatronics - we finished the class and the robot the students put together was presented to the parents on the last day. Pizza party to finish it all off! See the robot and how it works HERE.
* We held our last co-op in the first week of May. We studied blood and for this co-op I purchased a couple of Eldon cards to test blood types. We had two brave volunteers and we were able to find out what their blood type was. You can see here how it is done. You can purchase the blood test kit HERE, or HERE.
* Story Hour for the DD6 and DD4. I am making a point of spending more time with the 2 younger ones: taking them on errands with me, providing them with special activities and just playing or reading with them. They created robots and rockets out of boxes and craft supplies to decorate the library during the summer reading program.
* Birthday party at a friend's house.


Comparing DD6 copy work the first time and second time around. :) Improvement!

 Websites/ Links we found and used/ Apps

*Building Big - Website from PBS . This is review for my kids as they learned most of these concepts during the sessions of Mechatronics.
* GEt your Verb ON - learn about verbs the visual way.






TV shows/ Videos/ Movies/ YouTube
* Dogfights - Episode 12 - Kamikaze - The History Channel documentary on WWII Japanese fighters on YouTube. Really good!

* Dogfights - The Tuskegee Airmen - The History Channel documentary on the African American men that risked their lives to guard the US bomber flights. Great episode! - on YouTube.

* Episodes of Dirty Jobs, Tanked,  19 kids and counting, Shark Tank

* Animal Farm - animated movie on YouTube

* World Wars from History Channel - If you go to History.com the episodes are available to be watched there now, as well as web specials like mini biographies of the leaders of the countries involved. We watched all 3 episodes with the 3 oldest and we learned many new things about both World Wars as well as reviewed some information.

* Magic School bus episodes - I am using it to get DD6 and DD4 interested in Science more.

* Epic- Disney movie
* Brave - another Disney movie


Books, blogs and other things I am reading...

* The Kellog Family website : A family of 14 with a radical life. Love how the Mom is a bold speaker, speaking what she believes and not apologizing for it. I am also reading her book on Kindle. While I love some of the content and agree heartily with it, I don't appreciate the language she uses. Sometimes a bit crude for my liking.

* Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers - I haven't read a romantic novel since I became a Christian in 1993. This one is not your typical novel though. This one is based on the book of Hosea written by a Christian writer . This book is beautiful. I highly recommend it if you need to be reminded of how the Lord loves you.

Fantastic Family Fridays by the Dennings on YouTube - great tips and advice on how to grow a strong family.

* The Teenage Liberation handbook - How to quit school and get a real life and education by Grace Llewellyn - interesting book. You have a young adult that doesn't have a goal in life or lacks direction, this book could revolutionize their life.

* The Money Answer Book by Dave Ramsey - you got debt? Don't know where to invest? or the beginnings and ends of money? Read this book and anything else of Dave Ramsey.

* The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas J. Stanley and William D. Danko - The real millionaires will surprise you. Is not who you think it is? Want to become one? Read this book. 

And just because they are just beautiful, here they are again. :)

How is your summer going?





Blessings,
Tereza

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Learning Log for April 2014

 April did not warm up fast enough. The kids had to play in the sprinklers or wash container/ toys outside. They just couldn't wait until it was pool season. We finally were able to "break water" on the last week of April. Although not warm enough for many, they swam everyday for at least an hour. 
We were busy with sales, caring for baby chicks, doing work outside. We did lots of school work and not much reading. It felt like we did a lot, but looking back on my log I don't have much to show for it. :( 
Maybe because I didn't take as many photos as the kids were still using my camera for stop motion videos and for just taking photos of nature.
DD11 is also sewing again. To the left you can see one of her stuffed animals that she is selling on my Etsy shop. Please stop by and take a look at her handiwork. :)


  Read aloud Books

* Bible
* Sklylark - the second book of the Sarah, Plain and Tall series.  
* Llama Llama and the Bully Goat by Anna Dewdney
* Every Cowgirl Needs a Horse by Rebecca Janni

* The Rise and Fall of Hitler by  William L. Shirer



Audio Books

* My kids, one time or another have the files below in their mp5s to which they listen to every night at their choosing: Fairy tales and classic stories , worship music, Story Hour files, The Piano Guys, Jonathan Park and The Brinkman Adventures, The Chronicles of Narnia.

* DS8 is listening to Greek Tales from Story Nory website before bedtime. D11 is listening Jonathan Park and Rush Revere.



DD6 independent reading list: 

Continuing this month, DD6 is reading by leaps and bounds. With ease she is reading through her phonics books stories as well as keeping on reading her 100 books.
Talking to DD6 one day in March,  I asked her if she was happy to be reading now. She said she was. Then I asked her if she wanted to read Calvin and Hobbes. Her answer: "you can only read Calvin and Hobbes after you read 100 books." So we came up with a plan to list all of her 100 books, because according to her once she reads 100 books then she will be able to read any book. :) How smart is she?

9) Eloise and the Big Parade by Kay Thompson
10) Cat the Cat Who is That? by Mo Willems


DS8 independent reading list:  


* More books on Calvin and Hobbes - DD8 routine before drifting off to sleep is to read a few comic strips of his collection of Calvin and Hobbes
* Finished The Bears of the Blue River.


DD10 independent reading list

* Voices of the Faithful - Inspiring Stories of Courage from Christians serving around the World compiled by Kim P. Davis - devotional book with Beth Moore
* Little Men by Louisa May Alcott
* The Lego Ideas book

** Take one or two or three (i.e. reading these yet again!)

* Many books from all around the house and her favorites in her room. I failed to record what else she read this month.


Activities at Home

* April found us going back to a more structured time of learning and media usage. We are now spending the morning learning using "some" of the resources on Easy Peasy website. DS8 and DD11 are reading the books on the LA program and we are covering History and Science together, mainly reading books on the subjects and watching videos. For Math, DD11 is doing Logical Thinking games and exercises and DS8 is doing a 3rd grade workbook I had at home. In Science we covered Physics and forces, electricity and some chemistry review. For History we covered China History during the first part of the 20th century and we are still studying WWII.

* We began gardening. The pool is finally open. The kids got to swim, play in the sprinklers. We got baby chicks and we have been taking care of them. 

* DD11 is sewing stuffed animals again. Her idea to put them for sale on my Etsy shop. She is also planning on accessories for her animals. 

* DD6 and DD4 created necklaces with pendants made of yarn.  Lots of Lego playing, bead work, dancing and playing. More rainbowloom. Minecrafting and survival crafting on the touchpads and computers.
* Baking cookies with me. Helping in the kitchen with breakfast and dinner.
* playdates at our home. 

* The kids have spent a lot of time on Minecraft this past month. They are building great structures, worlds and learning a lot of things. I am finding that DS8 is a go getter. He knows how to find information online and solve his problems he encounters as he plays minecraft. He is learning a lot about computers and internet.  

 Field Trips/ Activities Outside Home

* The kids helped me with a consignment sale: sorting, tagging and moving items around.
* For Resurrection Sunday, the children participated in the children's choir at our church. We had lots of practice and the final presentation went well.


* Mechatronics -We had 3 more sessions of this hands-on mechanics/ electrical class. The kids are preparing to build a robot.
* Lego Club - minifigure theme.
* 4H -The kids did an activity with rhythm and music.
* Our monthly co-op: we covered blood and the kids got to test their blood test using a Eldoncard test kit.
* We also participated in a Yard Sale and DD11 and her friend got to sell cookies and lemonade. Good experience to work out making change, setting price, calculating profit etc. They both loved and wished they could do this every weekend. :)


 Websites/ Links we found and used/ Apps


*Lots of YOuTube videos on MIneCrafting.
* MInecraft servers.





TV shows/ Videos/ Movies/ YouTube

* Horrible Histories - Season 4 episodes 1 - 4 on YouTube.
* Stamping Cat videos all about Minecraft.
* The Dust Bowl - PBS documentary available on Netflix
* China Documentary on YouTube - 1919-1949.

Mom's Eclectic Reading List

* How to Behave so Your Preschooler will, too! by Sal Severe - I wished I had read this book 10 years ago. Then again, it probably wouldn't have done much for me since I didn't have any real struggles with toddlers then. 
* Parenthood by Proxy - Don't Have Them if you won't raise them by Dr Laura Schlessinger - in your face honest truth.


Blessings,
Tereza

Monday, April 21, 2014

Operation Write Home CArds and why I make cards for them.

I think it was 2010 when I began sending Operation WRite HOme cards. I made lots of Christmas cards on my first load. That little red card peeking behind the other cards the deployed hero is holding on the OWH button was one of them. :)

But here is what keeps me making these cards. Most years I am able to send a couple of boxes full of them. But the time I spend in the "tower" (as I call my scraproom) is a time of meditation, prayer and recharging my energy. It's a ministry and service that only in Heaven will I know how fruitful they were.




Sandy from Operation WRite Home is now unboxing cards and sharing them with us the cards of many contributors from all around the country. I was so inspired I decided to share my cards the same way. So my box is full, my cards are packaged, my packing slip is filled out and I am taking this box to the post office to ship. Enjoy the video below where I share my latest shipment of cards to OWH!






Do you make cards too? Would you like to join us and show our heroes some love by sending them some of your handmade cards?

Blessings,
Tereza

Thursday, April 17, 2014

The World's Toughest Job

If you haven't seen this one, take a look and see if you could do the world's toughest job.





Blessings,

Tereza

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Learning Log for March 2014



After many stressful months trying to follow a curriculum and doing school everyday with my 3 oldest kids, my husband and I decided to go back to unschooling. School was getting in the way of just living life. I got tired of arguing and fighting with my kids for them "to do school" everyday. I got tired of stressing if my kids were following along everybody else's kids or curriculum. My kids learn everyday and challenge themselves constantly by learning new things and doing hands-on projects. They seek to learn whatever they need for the daily life. Why do I have to worry so much? I find that I can be a very controlling person when I am fear ridden. So I am letting go, and letting God. WOW! That may be the theme for the year. Ha!

March was a month devoted for cleaning and de-cluttering house and catching up on play and creative projects. We'll see what April has in store.


Read aloud Books

* Bible - every night before bedtime.
* The World of Pooh by A. A. Milne - I checked this book out at our library. After reading the first 3 chapters, I found the audiobook on YouTube so we finished it by listening to the dramatization of it. Love YouTube!
* Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan - I am going to try to read all the books of this series. I love MacLachlan's books, they are always family centered. Even if someone died or is divorced, still the family is together going thru the ordeals. I prefer these much better than those books where children have no parents, no authority figure that loves and cares for them and they are all alone in the world going through all sorts of adventures.
* Dr Seuss Hooray for Diffendoofer Day!
* Happy Birthday to You! by Dr Seuss
* Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are? by Dr Seuss
* I'd Know You Anywhere, my Love by Nancy Tillman
* Goops and How to Be them by Gelett Burgess
* First Number Book by KingFisher
* Cowpoke Clyde and Dirty Dawg by Lori Mortensen
* If I Ran the Circus by Dr Seuss



Audio Books

* My kids, one time or another have the files below in their mp5s to which they listen to every night at their choosing: Fairy tales and classic stories , worship music, Story Hour files, The Piano Guys, Jonathan Park and The Brinkman Adventures, The Chronicles of Narnia.

* Winnie the Pooh - complete 10 chapters dramatized audio book on YouTube.
* The House at Pooh Corner - all chapters of dramatized audio book on YouTube.

* JOnathan Park - vol. VIII





DD6 independent reading list: 
Talking to DD6 one day I asked her if she was happy to be reading now. She said she was. Then I asked her if she wanted to read Calvin and Hobbes. Her answer: "you can only read Calvin and Hobbes after you read 100 books." So we came up with a plan to list all of her 100 books, because according to her once she reads 100 books then she will be able to read any book. :) How smart is she?

1) Bears on Wheels by Stan and Jan Berenstain
2) The Foot Book by Dr Seuss
3) Great Day for Up by Dr Seuss
4) One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish by Dr Seuss - still building stamina. We read this one together. Once DD6 got to the middle of the book she got tired of reading on her own, the book was just too long for her. So I finished it up.
5) Eloise Breaks Some Eggs by Kay Thompson
6) Eloise MOther's Day Surprise by Kay Thompson
7) Eloise's New Bonnet by Kay Thompson
8) Pete the Cat Too Cool for School by Kimberley and James Dean



DS8 independent reading list:  


* More books on Calvin and Hobbes - DD8 routine before drifting off to sleep is to read a few comic strips of his collection of Calvin and Hobbes.
* Despicable Me - The Junior Novel 
* LEGO movie book

Read aloud to DD6 and DD4:

*If I ran a Circus by Dr Seuss
* Good Work, Amelia Bedelia by Peggy Parish
* Pete the Cat Old MacDonald Had a Farm by James Dean
* Lafcadio, the Lion who shot back by Shel Silverstein

DD10 independent reading list

* Chitty Chitty Bang Bang- The Magical Car by Ian Fleming -
* Dragon Rider by Cornelia Funke
* Rosa and Her Singing Grandfather by Leon Rosselson
 * Jack Plank Tells Tales by Natalie Babbitt
* Encyclopedia Brown sets the pace by Donald J. Sobol

Read aloud to the little ones:
*Don't Play with Your Food! - an official Bob Shea story
* Mr Tiger Goes Wild by Peter Brown
* Big Dog Little Dog by P.D. Eastman
* Hand, Hand, Fingers, Thumb by Al Perkins



Activities at Home

* DD11 and DS8 have been working nonstop on stop motion videos. At first, for a week or so, they watched all kinds of stop motion videos on YouTube, the really professional ones, and then some amateur ones. Their creative juices were flowing and they came up with plots, stories and characters. They have made 5 videos so far, including a blooper one. The first 2 videos, Dad did the editing adding sound effects and music. From then on, DS8 is doing all the editing using Time Lapse Assembler and Imovie HD on our Apple computer.

* DD6 got interested in making stop motion videos too and began learning how to shoot the photos and assemble little stories too. I haven't been able to take many photos because the kids have been hoarding my camera to make their stop motion videos.

* Cleaning the yard, picking up fallen branches, sticks and wood. Burning up some fall leaves that were still on the ground. We also had our first "playing in the sprinkle bring on the warm weather bash." :)

* Spring cleaning. I got everyone involved. I cleaned my kitchen cabinets and DD6 helped me empty them out and trash a lot of glass and metal containers I had been saving. She was so helpful. In the kids bedroom, we were able to finally downsize their stuffed animal closet. We got rid of the really old and junky ones. DD11 got to clean up her room and the black hole (that's how she calls under her bed) got cleaned up and it's now empty. We also organized her closet and I am just waiting for Spring so we can put the winter clothes away and bring out the shorts. :)

* Play dough time for DD4 and DD6.

* DD11 is creating her own recipe book. She began with a simple white rice recipe, photos included, but the plan is to fill the notebook with recipes she can easily execute and prepare if I ever needed her to fix a meal without my supervision.

* The beginnings of gardening: cleaning out weeds from our abandoned raised beds, sowing flowers, greens, tomatoes, eggplants, hot peppers in containers; transplanting my leeks; and just working the soil in the beds. DD11, DD6 and DD4 helped sow flowers on the flats and put them up in the green house. DD6 spent a couple of hours with me weeding and cleaning the raised beds. We had the best of conversations and she is such a hard worker. :)

* More spring cleaning and de-cluttering. Cleaning out boxes of books that I had in the attic, as well as the shelves in our office. I am consciously trying to downsize the number of books we have in our home. If we haven't read it in the last year, they must go, unless I know that I will be using it in the following year like with homeschooling curriculum. But even with that, I am selling lots of curriculum on Ebay.

* Lots of stop motion videos... for a whole week non-stop, everyday, the first thing in the morning, that DS8 did was set up the camera and create stop motion LEGO videos. He created the stories and plots, used the LEGO pieces to create the stories and then took hundreds of pictures. He then uploaded them to the computer and edited his movies, adding sound effects, recording his own voice, cutting and pasting, even putting whole sections of out takes together. He even got DD6 and DD4 involved in his projects using the LEGO friends pieces and all.

* DD6 and DD4 did some water coloring painting. DD6 is helping more and more with cooking. She is my official salad helper or anything that involves cutting.

* DD4 is officially a LEGO builder. DD11 passed on to DD4 her LEGO Friends and she has building up a storm.

* Playdates at our house. Lots of playing outside and sharing projects and books.

* I gave the 2 older kids a challenge: to prepare a 5 minute speech to give public to persuade me and their Dad to buy them a toy they really want. DD11 wrote her speech down and has been practicing it. She will probably deliver it in April.

* Our two roosters escaped in the beginning of the month and we were left with a Top Hat hen only. We hope to be adding more pullets to our coup in April.


 Field Trips/ Activities Outside Home


* Lego Club - Mini figures. The kids got to showcase their first stop motion video.

* Mechatronics - the same fantastic Dad who leads the Lego Club at our library is offering this 6 week course of robotics, electronics and mechanics to the kids who are interested. I signed up DD11 and DS8. The first week the kids covered structures and build bridges and tested them for strength and support. The second week they worked on taking Remote control cars apart. The third week they will be putting them back together.

* 4H - The kids build their own roller coasters for marbles using foam tubes and tape. We ended up bringing some home and the kids repeated the experience here.

* Co-op - We covered the Human Respiratory System and the kids did their project on MUCUS and the importance of it. They got to make some Green slime. See link below for the YouTube video with the recipe. After co-op it was playtime at the park.


* Birthday party, Picnic at the park, playdates with friends outside just enjoying the sun and the warmer weather. Dinner and fellowship at a friend's house.



 Websites/ Links we found and used/ Apps

* Rainbowloom Website - DD4 is using this site now. She finally got her own kit and is learning how to make some bracelets too.
* Survival Craft on the android.
* Art for Kids
* Minecraft
* Videos on YouTube on minecraft worlds, mazes and other minecraft related things. Videos on YouTube on how to draw a pony.
* HouseholdHacker - check out this guy on YouTube for some scientific, gross and fun experiments.
* How to make green slime - we used this for our co-op on our study of the human respiratory system.
* An Education -  In which I bash traditional schooling and make a plea for something different. - An Essay for college entrance.


TV shows/ Videos/ Movies/ YouTube

* Episodes on YouTube: STitch!; Lego Chima; Kung Fu Panda, My Little Pony

* Irena Sendler: In the Name of Their Mothers - Polish social worker Irena Sendler's courageous crusade to save thousands of Jewish children from the Nazis comes into focus in this gripping documentary. Having miraculously survived the war, Sendler -- now in her 90s -- recounts her experiences. She was nominated for a Nobel Prize but lost to Al Gore and his climate scheme. A shame! Got the DVD from Netflix. Watched with DD11 only.

* I am David - from Netflix - watched this one by myself with DD11.

* Aliens in the Attic

* FROZEN - Oh, my! The most beautiful story. :) If you haven't seen it, go rent it right now! :)

* Turbo

* LEGO Legends of Chima episodes on YouTube

* How to Find Your Dragon - documentary on YouTube
* Adventures of LEGO Minecraft episodes - on YouTube

* lots of teaching YouTube videos from how to play minecraft and survival minecraft games, to how to make minecraft minifigures, on to how to make stop motion videos, sharing survival and adventure worlds,  
* Bill Nye the Science guy episode on Structures and episode on Simple Machines.

* Into the Arms of Strangers: Stories of the Kindertransport : I rented this from Netflix. This is a documentary that shows how 10,000 Jewish children were moved into England just before WWII. I highly recommend it. It might be disturbing to young children. I rented to watch with my kids (11y.o. and under) and then changed my mind and watched by myself. DD11 watched the last 30 minutes of it and when I asked her if she would like to watch it from the beginning she said "I don't like these documentaries. They are very sad. I don't want to watch it from the beginning."  On the link, there is a great study guide with lots more information and activities to do with children/ students.



Mom's Eclectic Reading List

*Mattie C's boy - the Shelley Stewart Story by Don Keith as told by Shelley Stewart - Interesting book about a radio show host. He is from Birmingham, AL and I was able to learn a lot of the South's history thru the book. He was born in the late 30s and lived through the segregation of the 1960s. Really interesting book of how people can overcome their difficulties with perseverance and faith.

* Book samples I read on Kindle that I found interesting and would buy if I had the $$$: Milkweed; more books that I just don't got the time to list...books on unschooling, deschooling, kids' behavior,

* 1808 -  While in Brazil I bought this book and the sequel. Both books are journalistic historical accounts of what happened in Europe and Brazil when the Portuguese Court relocated to Brazil, their colony, during Napoleon's conquest of European countries. Very interesting so far. 

I hope Spring has found you well.... We found ourselves expecting a new baby!

Blessings,
Tereza