TOG Year 2 Week 3

As busy as last week was, this week will be even crazier. Princess E is getting her braces on. We're going to visit a pregnant friend who's been put on bed rest. I agreed to have a Pampered Chef party on Friday so have major house cleaning to accomplish this week. Here's what was accomplished during last week's schooling.

Princess E
Math U See - Gamma Lesson 27
Latin - Lesson 1.2, Exercise 1.1, Vocabulary A, Word Power Exercise A1
Literature - Tales of King Arthur
TOG - vocabulary, geography study, important people
Reading - The Byzantine Empire (excerpts), Mecca, The Middle Ages (excerpts), The Story of the Middle Ages (excerpts)
Read Alouds - The Story of the World, Volume 2 (excerpts), Famous Men of the Middle Ages (excerpts)
This week was a focus on the beginnings of Islam and Muhammad.

Princess S
Math U See - Gamma Lesson 3
Growing With Grammar - Lesson 175-181
Literature - Sinbad
TOG - same as above
Reading - Usborne Internet-Linked Middle Ages (excerpts)
Read Alouds - same as above

Princess L
Finish up Creation unit
Math U See - Primer lessons 3 and 4

Princess M
Better enunciation of consonants. I can understand more of the things she is saying, but I don't think anyone else really does. Stubborness is off the charts right now. Going to have to ramp up on the consequences chart.


How God Speaks To Us Today

This shows how we - as humans, as a nation, and as believers - often miss when
God is trying to speak to us. This week, the ELCA church has been meeting at
the Minneapolis Convention Center to discuss and vote on whether or not to
ordain homosexual pastors. Yesterday, there was a storm that passed through
Minneapolis. Although the weather service has not yet confirmed that it was a
tornado, there are many reports from Twitter and from radio station callers that there was, in fact, a tornado that swirled around over the convention center and briefly touched down next to it. Interestingly enough, the tornado touched down next to and damaged church that is just up the street from the Convention Center. The cross at the top of the church steeple was sheared off and was hanging by a thread. You can see a photo of it here. It is the fifth shot in the gallery. This storm is, to most people, just a freak thing. But is it any coincidence that while the storm was raging overhead, the pastors and voting members inside were trying to decide whether or not to follow the Word of the Bible or to reinterpret the words to make it fit what they want it to be?!


TOG Year 2 Week 2

Well, we've got week two done. Here's what we did this week...

Princess E
Lively Latin - finish intro, language timeline, lesson 1.1
Math U See - Lesson 26
TOG - vocab, important people, notebooking, SAPs
Reading - The Story of the Middle Ages (excerpts), The Middle Ages (excerpts), Knights and Castles (excerpts), Tales of King Arthur
Read Alouds - The Story of the World (excerpts), Famous Men of the Middle Ages

Princess S
Growing With Grammar - Lessons 171-174
Math U See - Lesson 2
TOG - vocab, important people, notebooking, SAPs
Reading - Life in a Monastery, The Usborne Internet-Linked Middle Ages (excerpts), Days of Knights and Damsels (excerpts)
Read Aloud - Same as above

Princess L
My Father's World - Creation days 4-6
Math U See - finish lesson 2 and lesson 3

Princess M
Saying a few new words - Let go of me & Put me down - were two phrases I was able to pick out this week. She said them when either of her big sisters tried to pick her up or when Princess L was wrestling with her. She also said it to me when I had to bring her into her room for her nap.

We studied the Byzantine Empire this week. For our hands on project, we learned about mozaics. We looked at some and then the princesses created their own. They lightly sketched the outline on black paper. Then they used half inch colored paper squares (which I spent way to long cutting out) and glued them to the paper. Here is a slide show of the project.


TOG Year 2 Week 1

Wow! One week down already. We tackled everything on our agenda. Here's what we did:

Princess E - UG
Math U See: Gamma finish lesson 25
Lively Latin: Introduction pages
TOG: Quizlet.com vocabulary, important people copywork, mapping Europe, SAPs
Literature: Tales of King Arthur
Reading: The Story of the Middle Ages (excerpts), The Middle Ages (excerpts), Trial and Triumph (excerpts), Knights and Castles (excerpts)
Read Aloud: Famous Men of the Middle Ages (excerpts - done together with Princess S) and The Story of the World Volume 2 (on audio CD - excerpts - done together with Princess S)

Princess S - LG
I already posted her first two days of workboxes below.
Math U See - Gamma lesson 1
Growing With Grammar 1/2: lessons 165-170
Literature: Brigid's Cloak
TOG: same as above
Reading: Saint Valentine, The Usborne Internet-Linked Medieval World (excerpts)

Princess L - K
We are doing kindergarten light - in otherwords, three days a week. We did the first three days of a ten day unit on creation. We covered day one - creating the light and naming it day and the dark night. We covered day two - separating the sky from the waters below. We covered day three - rising the land out of the water and creating the plants, grasses, flowers - and yes the weeds, too. We also reviewed the letters of the alphabet. She already knows these pretty well. Princess L is excited to do any school as long as it involves paint, scissors or glue.

Princess M is having to adjust again to our schedule. She is still taking two naps a day - Thank you Jesus - as this works best for her and us. I am able to work with Princess L when I put her down in the morning, then do our read aloud after I put her down in the afternoon.

Way to go Michele

While this would probably better fit on my other blog, this is too important to ignore. I'm happy to say that Michele Bachmann is one of the representatives from my state. She lays it all out there. There are so many problems with this bill. She picks out just a few and smacks them out of the park. Too bad "Mr. Speaker" wasn't listening. "Mr. Speaker" was sitting in her chair with her fingers in her ears, sticking out her tongue and saying, "Nya Nya Nya - Not gonna listen!"


Workboxes 101

Last year I was introduced to workboxing. I was impressed, but concerned about the space issue it could create in our already too-cluttered home. So after reading a gaggle of other blogs, and scanning various online stores, I finally came up with a system that I believe will help our homeschool.

First, the reason I was attracted to this system is because of all the struggles I have had with Princess S. She has been "officially" diagnosed with ADD - for whatever it's worth. But after talking to a friend whose profession is in the area of special needs kids, I'm looking into the possibility of sensory processing disorder. Either way, I believe that the idea behind the workbox system will aid this princess in finishing her schoolwork, with less fighting, in a shorter amount of time. And hopefully bring a little fun back as well. I will be doing a version of workboxes with Princess S as well as using the system as presented with Princesses L and M.

Here is how we work the system . . .

I gathered up a bunch of things we already had and put them into bins. I have one bin for each of the three princesses doing workboxes. I then snatched up a bunch of learning items at the dollar store and the dollar bin at Target. I also picked up some cheap art supplies at Wallyworld (AKA Wal-mart). I have one in the hall closet and the others below my laptop desk.

Next, I purchased a cheap four level shoe rack at Target, as well as six plastic shoe boxes in two different colors. I had several clear boxes already. Princess L will use the pink, Princess M will use green, and the clear boxes will be for activities they will do together. I am not putting Princess L's actual school lessons in there, as most of these require her to do them with me. But, I will put a few activities in each box for each Princess to do with their sisters, and a few to be done together.

For Princess S, I decided to put up a shelf in her bedroom where she has a little indent in the wall next to the closet. I bought cardboard magazine boxes from IKEA. Then I made the numbers and number strips for each princess. For Princess S, my horse lover, I made a number strip with horses, and plain white numbers over the top. For Princess L, my dress loving princess want to be, I choose a pink frilly number strip posted at the workboxes Yahoo group. She will have to practice returning the numbers in the correct order. For Princess M, I used the number strip from the Yahoo group featuring the Disney Princesses. But, as she is nowhere near learning numbers yet, I added the princesses to the number strip so that she matches the princess to the grid.

I made up some note cards which I covered in clear contact paper. I write on these with a dry erase marker what the assignment or activity is. Then I attach the note card to the inside of the box with a clothes pin. I include any necessary items - pencil, eraser, timer, etc. - in the box. (This will cut down the half hour search for a pencil which ran rampant last year.) If the assignment is a worksheet, I put it into one of the folders that Princess S got to pick out.

I use the box system grid to fill in the school assignments for Princess S, leaving several blanks to put some fun activities or chores into the schedule. I made a few chore cards for the chores that will be scheduled - laundry, bathroom cleaning, piano practice, etc. The night before our first day, I filled all the boxes. When she is ready to start her boxes, she takes the number strip off the refrigerator. As she completes each box she puts the number from the front of the box onto the number strip. When she finishes the boxes, she is to return the number strip to the refrigerator. (She has forgotten this strip all week.) If there is time during the afternoon, I will take all the items out and refill the boxes. If there isn't time, then I take the boxes out when it is bedtime and fill them at night. So far, it hasn't taken me longer than 15 minutes. I bought extra boxes so I can fill them as needed. Here is an example of the first two days of this week:

Monday Boxes
1: Laudry in wash machine
2: Growing With Grammar lesson 165
3: Do first two workboxes with Princess M
4: Move laundry to dryer and reload washer (START the dryer)
5: Do 100 jumping jacks
6: Quizlet.com Year 2 Week 1 vocabulary words
7: Important People copywork week 1
8: Remove dry clothes and fold, move laudry to dryer (START the dryer)
9: TOG Map week 1
10: Do 1 workbox with Princess L
11: Math-U-See Gamma video lesson 1 and worksheet 1A
12: Practice piano
13: REmove dry clothes and fold

Tuesday boxes
1: Quick Clean downstairs bathroom
2: Usborne book reading
3: Gridlock game - visual/spacial thinking game
4: Piano practice
5: Coloring page - Horseland
6: Math worksheet 1B
7: Growing With Grammar lesson 166
8: Quick clean upstairs bathroom

(Princess S does her laundry on Mondays while Princess E does a quick clean of both bathrooms. A quick clean is basically just cleaning the surfaces with Clorox wipes, cleaning the mirrors, and picking up stray items. On Tuesdays, it is the opposite with Princess E doing laundry. Wednesday through Friday they each quick clean one bathroom. On Saturdays they will be deep cleaning the opposite bathroom that they are responsible for quick cleaning during the week. They also each have a kitchen chore that must be completed after each meal. This chore switches each day. They get Sundays off - I don't!)

Here are some photos of our system.

Princess E's Birthday Party

When Princess L was born, we realized that it would be way out of our budget to afford birthday parties for each princess every year. Princesses E and S had birthday parties each year up through 2005 when Princess L was born. That was their last. We said that each princess would get a party at 5, 10 and 15. (Princess E is trying to tell me it makes more sense to do 16 rather than 15 because she will have more to celebrate. I think she assumes she will get her license then.) So this party has been in the planning for three years. The theme has been changed several times - finally ending up as a popstar slumber party. There were nine girls invited and eight in attendance. The first thing we did was eat pizza. There was pepperoni, sausage and just cheese. It was such a nice night, they all ate out on our deck.

Next, Princess E really wanted to do a craft. (So typically 10-year-old girl!) She decided on these wooden bag shaped boxes at Dollar Tree. We squirted paint onto paper plates and they all got to mix paint to their hearts' content. They were each given three pencils for their painted pencil boxes. Next, we had a bonfire (one of Princess E's favorite activities) and roasted marshmallows for s'mores. The girls came up with some games to play, including one which had them telling brain teaser stories. When they started getting a little rowdy, DH suggested they go inside and open gifts.

This got a little crazy. They started grabbing gifts from each other and shoving them at Princess E. She wasn't totally sure which gift was from which girl. (We think we got it right when she was writing out her thank you cards.) But she got some really neat presents. (It's very hard to buy stuff for a 10 year old girl.)

Then we put in a movie. Princess E picked out "Princess Protection Program" even though she had already seen it. They got popcorn during the movie. After the movie we had the birthday cake. It was a homemade strawberry cheesecake. No - I didn't make it. When asked what kind of cake she wanted, she asked for one of Mr. Lang's cheesecakes. We have a talented man in our church who is a chef and he makes THE BEST cheesecakes. So I arranged for a strawberry cheesecake (made with neufchatel cheese and less sugar)with a crushed oreo crust. It was sooooo good!

After settling in their sleeping bags, they spent about an hour and a half goofing off. When DH got up to leave for his weekend paper route at 1:15am, he quieted them down one last time. I finally went to bed at 1:45 am. Princess S was spending the night with a friend, and Princess L was spending the night at Grandma and Grandpa's. So I only had Princess M to worry about. Sure as shootin' she woke up at 6:00am. So I got up and tried to keep her quiet. One of the guests, the sister of the friend Princess S was staying with, had to leave for a trip up to her grandparents at 7:30. As quiet as we tried to be, everyone else ended up awake by 7:30. After they had all gotten dressed and rolled up their sleeping bags, I served cinnamon rolls and orange juice. They watched "Enchanted" and then it was time to leave at 10:00am. Needless to say, the princesses were so exhausted, they all took a nap later that afternoon without any complaint! Here is a slideshow of the event.