Friday, May 16, 2014

Cycle 3 Update

Hello, readers!

Just a quick note to let you know that I will be "filling in the gaps" from where I left off during Cycle 2 before we commence Cycle 3. Directorship made me a very busy gal these past few months, so when I had to prioritize, this blog took priority BEHIND God, my family, and my CC community. Over the next few weeks, I will be adding 'weekly posts' and links to the Cycle 2 Index as well as culling ideas for Cycle 3. Looking forward to sharing with you...I've missed you!

In His joy,

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Our CC Year: Weeks 4-6

This year, I plan to share with you the curriculum plans as well as the fun activities that our family does to enrich our study of Cycle 2. Aside from Math and Language Arts, here are the plans I've laid for weeks 4-6 thus far. I hope you find some fun projects to do with your family, too! Remember: this is 3 WEEKS worth of memory work enrichment and we may not even do it all; PLEASE don't think we're doing this all in 1 week! I have 3 children who all have different learning modalities, so I'm using a variety of reviews in order to get the information to 'stick'! There may be weeks where we revert to 'the stick in the sand' and simplicity, but for now this is what is in the works.

As you read through, I am certain you will see consistencies throughout the subjects: we are big fans of notebooking, oral review, and C3's online tutorials. If our weeks get hectic, I will revert to doing only those 3 things as review..and that's TOTALLY okay!  Also, I have one student who is starting 5th, one who is starting 2nd, and a 4 year old Abecedarian. Obviously, I will not expect my 4 year old to do the same work as my 10 year old. What you see here is primarily for my 2 older boys, with Libby joining in as she can on her own level.

Cycle 2, Weeks 4-6
  • Bible: We will recite Ephesians 6:4-6 aloud different ways using our CC review dice: jumping up and down, growling like a monster, etc. We will also continue to review Ephesians 6:1-3. 
  • Math: We will be watching C3's Math tutorial online as well as utilizing COAH's skip-counting mazes for 7s, 8s, 9s, 10s, 11s, and 12s. We will also use Worksheet Fun's skip-counting worksheets as well as count aloud outside by writing the numbers on the sidewalk with chalk and jumping from number to number as we count.
  • English Grammar: We will watch C3's Grammar tutorial online as well as use Brandy's (HAHAWpronoun chart and pronoun file folder review game.
  • History: We will continue listening to Story of the World: Volume 2 on CD, complete a notebooking page for each of our history sentences, and watch C3's History tutorial online.  
  • Timeline: We will watch C3's timeline tutorial online, line up our cards on the floor in the correct order, and use our mini-flashcards for games. We will also use timeline stickers to stick our timeline in the correct order at the end of the 3 week period.
  • Geography: We will continue Brandy's Continental Blob-Mapping packet to practice drawing the world, do Geography stories (found on C3- username: lmcgreger; search 'Geography Stories' under Cycle 2), trace our laminated maps with dry-erase markers, and watch C3's Geography tutorial online.
  • Science: We will create a notebooking page for each of our science sentences, and watch C3's Science tutorial online. 
  • Latin: We'll review Latin conjugations with Sola Gratia Mom's Latin file folder game , refer to our charts from Classical Academic Press, and watch C3's Latin tutorial online. 
  • Fine Arts: We will review our drawing techniques and watch C3's Fine Arts tutorial online.

Additional Enrichment Activities
Once a week, we will take our memory work review time and use it for a larger family project. Here are the enrichment activities I've got lined up for the second 3 weeks of CC Cycle 2:

Week 4: We will do a Water Cycle demonstration as well as listen to 'The Blue Danube Waltz' as we draw the European Rivers. We're also still finishing up our knights lapbooks, so hopefully we will put the finishing touches on them this week. Also, we're hoping to enjoy a Water Cycle lunch and watch 'The Magic Schoolbus: Wet All Over". :o)

Week 5:  We will be visiting the Carolina Raptor Center to learn more about animals reacting to environmental change, particularly migration and adaptation. We'll also try our hand at making bear bread and a homemade cave. During this week, I also want to begin exposing the kids to medieval/Renaissance era music, such as this Latin chant, 'Deum Verum', located on YouTube (embedding is disabled). 

Week 6: We're attending a local Renaissance Festival and observing jousting, falconry, and more. We'll also be doing a pollution experiment and testing to see if we can undo pollution. For fun, we're completing a Treasure Chest on Leonardo da Vinci and watching this video on 'why the Mona Lisa is so famous': 

For an idea of when I implement these activities, see my CC Memory Work Activity Schedule printable. Also, for more online ideas, see my posts on Cycle 2 Resources for Week 45, and 6

Friday, October 4, 2013

CC LEGO Review Game

I don't know about you, but I am ALWAYS on the lookout for fun review games for our family to use for CC memory work. After seeing Brandy's post on Half a Hundred Acre Wood about this LEGO review game, I knew my boys would flip over the chance to build LEGOs and do school all at once. Our Cycle 2 Memory Work Flip Book came in REALLY handy for playing the game this afternoon. It took about 30 minutes start to finish to play and in spite of one minor incident concerning fairness, the kids had a GREAT time.
See Brandy's post (includes how-to/rules) HERE. Download and print the LEGO game board HERE

 Above you can see the kids' choice of mini-figures as playing pieces. 

I love this game because I can bag it up and take it on the road for review! :o)

A Day in the Life: 2013

I've seen these posts roaming around the homeschool blogging world, so I thought I would open up a little window and let you see what life is typically like for us on a regular homeschool day. I've been sick for the last few days, so our day was slightly modified (Bible will be this evening with Daddy due to my voice finally giving out); but you can see the rhythm of our day pretty well in what I've captured here.

I've posted our routine in the past as a loose schedule of what we do, and today, due to my sickness and impromptu coughing fits, our schedule was a little more 'all over the place' than usual but overall, I'm pleased with how the day ran. Without further ado...

10:06   Calendar. Because Mommy had a hard time getting started this morning, we began a little later than our usual 9:00-9:30ish start time. We came to the table and did calendar orally to save time and then practiced the LEGO game (minus the review questions) I downloaded for our CC review time later in the day.

10:18   Memory Work Review time. Johnathan led us through motions today (between coughs) and used the pointer as we recited Week 3's work. We also did the timeline song with motions with the videos on CC Connected. Then, he hole-punched our memory work cards...HOORAY! Today the kids earned their prizes for 4 school days of memory work recitation.

10:37   Time for Math. Christopher does his Math drill in less than 6 minutes- a FIRST! He's had trouble 'lollygagging' through them, so I gave him an incentive today: finish in under 7 minutes and you earn 30 minutes of uninterrupted Wii time before lunch. This sealed the deal as you can see him working quickly in the picture below.  After his drill, he completed his first Math assessment of the year: 100%!

While C was working, Johnathan and I worked through his Saxon Math 3 lesson: dividing squares into halves and fourths. He completed his Math drill and then reviewed his Math facts. Libby was working on tracing the word 'square' in her Learning Notebook while the boys were at work then she left for her room to play. I found her doing flashcards with Johnathan a few minutes after he had finished. 

11:11   Spelling. While Christopher studied his spelling list for the week from his Essentials book, Johnathan got on the computer to do his Starfall review for the day. After diving back in to Reading for the year, I realized he needed to review basic phonics so we've been doing a few minutes of this on the computer each day. C then took an oral test on his spelling words and missed one. We'll try again Monday for 100%.

11:24   Language Arts. Christopher copies his Verbs chart for Essentials to review. We also complete his final section of Editing exercises for the week and do Analytical Tasks 1-4 for his final sentence for the week today. He works hard!  During this time, J and L have a snack while J continues to work on Starfall. After C gets a snack, we read through his paragraph for today and work off of his key word outline. He dictates sentences to me about King Arthur. More to do on Monday, but I'm pleased with where we are so far. 

 11:49  Phonics. C takes a well-earned break and I review the Handbook for Reading/ Blue-Backed Speller (A Beka) sitting on the couch snuggling with J. We've been reciting phonics charts orally for the last few weeks and the review is REALLY helping his word attack. He prints out his words from his Starfall review lesson and traces them with a pencil at the table. I notice out of the corner of my eye that Libby has brought 3 of her stuffed animals into the living room and is coaching them through their 'memory work' using our memory work board and our pointer. :o)

12:04  Break for lunch.  J helps slice our ham sandwiches using the skill he learned earlier today in Math.

Christopher takes his 30 minutes of Wii time, the kids veg out and I try to recover my voice from the morning. I check Facebook and visit a few encouraging websites. After finishing lunch, we clean up and get back to table for our afternoon activities. 

1:06  Notebooking. We go over our Science card for the week and the boys copy the Science memory sentence neatly and illustrate it. We check on our biomes from Week 1 and discuss changes we've seen. Overall, they're doing really well. We've also been feeding our Venus flytrap regularly, and she looks pretty healthy too.  

Here's C's sentence for today. I fussed at him a bit for not doing it in cursive, but I think he was so excited about drawing the bear he didn't remember. He also labeled his pic with C for consumer, P for producer, and D for decomposer. It was really hard to be upset with him after seeing that (even without the Oxford comma following the word 'consumers')! :o)

1:21 History. We listened to 'The Story of the World' and learned about the Tang Dynasty today. Then we compared the Tang with the Sui Dynasty we read about yesterday. The kids had a great time discussing and played with a magnet/construction toy together. Ordinarily we would work on our knights lapbook and add the historical characters we discussed to our timeline notebooks, but not today for lack of time. By this time, my voice was failing, so I gave them a break to play a card game. The Medieval Kingdoms and Food Chain War games (printed from Relentlessly Fun, Deceptively Educational) have been used CONSTANTLY over the last 3 weeks...they were well-worth the ink and time to print them off!

1:35  Reading. Johnathan read his next chapter of Henry and Mudge by Cynthia Rylant to me aloud. I asked him to tell me about the characters/setting and narrate what had happened thus far in the book. Short and sweet. 

1:50   Oral Read-Aloud. My voice finally recovered enough to read 5-6 pages of The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien. The kids are so excited to finally begin it, and I think the medieval themes will be great discussion for us as we continue to learn about the Middle Ages. Libby played with playdough (made playdough candles for a cake for the letter Cc) and the boys continued to play with the magnet toy on the floor.

2:10   Letter Review. Libby and I colored the letter Cc page for her Learning Notebook and talked about things that begin with the Cc sound (I reminded her about our cupcakes we made the other day). C leaves to read From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by e.l. konigsburg. He returns at 2:30 to tell me about the pages from today's reading.

2:30 Memory Work Review. We came back to the table and played the LEGO Review Game mentioned earlier in the day. We reviewed the first 3 weeks of memory work and then called it a day. Libby and I went to her room to put her down for rest time and the boys went to their room to play LEGOs, read books, and relax. 

We'll do Bible later tonight (I think I've finally settled on our Bible curriculum for the year after much hemming and hawing) and review our memory verses for AWANA. I hope you've enjoyed a sneak peek at our day! :o)

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Field Trip: Historic Latta Plantation

Last Wednesday, our Classical Conversations community ventured to nearby Historic Latta Plantation for Homeschool Day. The theme of the day was 'Cooking', and there were lots of things to see! Scroll below for some pics and commentary about our day:

The first thing we approached as a group after arrival was the outdoor cooking demonstration. This sweet girl was mixing hoecakes, and each child wanted a turn to help mix the batter. The girls loved her pretty dress!

Here is my eldest grinding some corn into cornmeal. He REALLY got into it...I think I might need one of these for Christmas. ;o)

And here is a finished, cooked hoecake! It was delicious and yummy and warm...the kids thought it was fabulous, and it really cut through the cold rain to have such a warm treat to eat. My apologies to the unknown lady whose derriere I accidentally caught on camera in this pic....Sorry! :oP

We walked across the farm to visit the animals, including this huge, stinky pig. The kids loved him...the moms, not so much. 

While across the farm, we visited the apothecary, who told us which herbs would help our ailments. 

Then, on our way to get our picnic lunch from our vehicle, we stopped to say hello to the animals.
The children loved this friendly donkey, who had soft ears.

They found out quickly that if you FEED the donkey grass, she will allow you to nuzzle her nose. 

Truly, she was one of the highlights of the day. 
Our final stop of the day was at the Etiquette School, where the kids made calling cards, learned to take tea, and walked with proper posture. 

Another animal highlight was this cute little guy, who the kids passed around and then released back into nature. 

A group shot of some fabulous kids, who braved the rainy day to learn about pre-Civil War history!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Edible Tinkertoys

For a quick snack that is creative and fun, why not serve your crew 'Edible Tinkertoys'? Our kids know that when this snack is served that they totally have permission to play with their food as they construct castles, towers, mini-barbells, etc. with stick pretzels, cheese cubes, and mini-marshmallows. You can substitute bits of apple for the mini-marshmallows if you like. Either way, this snack is a lot of fun for creative little minds! :o)

PS- If your children don't know what to do, just stick a cheese cube or marshmallow into the ends of a pretzel stick to make a 'mini-barbell'...they'll take it away from there! :o)

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Museum Day Live, Free Museum Admissions, 9/28

"Don’t miss MUSEUM DAY LIVE for a day of fun and learning with the family for FREE. Participating museums across the country are opening their doors on 9/28, allowing (2) FREE guests per household. Only an official Museum Day Live! ticket is eligible for FREE entry, and you will be able to purchase them on the website soon. The ticket excludes parking, special events and exhibits, but still a nice perk for an educational adventure with the kids."
Since we live in Charlotte, NC, I did a quick search of the area and found these museums which will be honoring the free tickets:
  • Carolina Raptor Center
  • Mint Museum- Randolph
  • Mint Museum- Uptown
  • Carolina Aviation Museum
  • Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts and Culture
  • Levine Museum of the New South
  • President James K. Polk Presidential Historic Site

Hat tip to Southern Savers
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