Awana Color Night

It's been three years since our Awana club had a color night.  But the wait was ended tonight.  In the past, we started a tradition of spray painting hair on color night.  I think we've only ever had green.  Tonight we had two blue team members and one red team member.  Princess M wanted her hair done too, but I had to take her to Target and didn't want to deal with that one.  I told her we'd do her hair tomorrow since we didn't have to go anywhere.  I'm hoping she forgets about it!  Princess L is with her friends from Our Family for His Glory.  Princesses E and S are with our two neighbor girls.  What a night!


TOG Year 4 Week 7

The Roaring Twenties - that is what we've been studying this week.  But in our reality it has been more like the "Soggy Twenties (of September)" here.  It was a rough week, however, due to our trip to ND which took one day away from our week; and then Princess E ended up catching some sort of bug (probably from the water park) and ran a fever for two days and threw off our week even more.  But we got caught up and had our best discussion time yet!  And to think it began with tears as she claimed she didn't understand anything and didn't have a clue how to start.  But when she slowed down and did things in the order and manner I've been working with her on (gosh darn it mom is right!) then she did pretty well.  We ended our discussion with a goal.  She is getting better at finding the answers to her AQ/TQ questions in her reading.  She also types up her answers in a neat format and turns them in.  In turn, she is able to find the answers during discussion in either her reading or her AQ/TQ answers.  But, as I pointed out to her, her goal to work on (realistically not to be realized completely until the rhetoric stage) is to not merely quote what the books say, but to "narrate" back in her own words and have it mean something to her.

Princess E - 6th Grade - Dialectic
Latin for Children Primer A: Lesson 15 and 16 - at this point, we will be slowing down our pace a bit.  She has reached a few new concepts that she didn't have last year.  I haven't worked out the details yet but I hope to have her do one and a half lessons a week through the rest of Primer A.
Math-U-See Delta: Lesson 23
IEW: Due to her illness, we didn't do any IEW this week as I didn't want to do the next lesson without her.
MCT Language Arts:  We finished Grammar Island.  We will continue with where we left of in Sentence Island and will be starting the Practice Books in another week.
Spelling: Had a bee and every M&M was earned.
Science:  Due to the same aforementioned illness, we did not do any science this week.
TOG Yr4 Wk7: Timeline; SAPs; AQ/TQs; Reading - Eric Liddell, Women's Right to Vote, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Idiot's Guide, The Gift of Music, Poetry for Young People Robert Frost.

Princess S - 4th Grade - UG
Growing With Grammar 4: Chapter 1 review to 2.2
Math-U-See Gamma: finish 22 and begin 23.  She is having the same problem that Princess E had in remembering to shift over with the second digit in double digit multiplication.  But today after she finished her worksheet but before she turned it in, she realized her mistake.  She wasn't happy at having to redo it, but when I pointed out that it wouldn't affect her grade that way, she was a little more satisfied.
IEW, Spelling and Science: same as above
TOG Yr4 Wk7: Quizlet vocab; important people; SAPs; Reading - War, Peace and All That Jazz, The 1920s, The Wind in the Willows, Eric Liddell

Princess L - K - LG
Winter Promise Advanced K: Handwriting practice; Explode the Code - pgs 25-32; Reading - Fish Gift and Bill; played Concentration and Word Work games with -id, -ig and -ill word families.
Math-U-See Primer: She reduced her flashcard speed to 1:24 and got another trip to the prize bucket.  She whizzed through lesson 21 - solving for the unknown.  But she has the tendency to just count the spaces on the blocks rather than trying other blocks when she doesn't know the answer.

Princess M - PreTOGger
Fun and games with big sissies.


TOG Year 4 Week 6

We finished up our study of WWI this week.  It was interesting to notice how the world changed in so many ways as a result of this war.  Having the benefit of hindsight, we looked at how the world was doomed to fight again two decades later as a result of vengeance and retribution instead of forgiveness.

Princess E - 6th Grade - Dialectic
Latin for Children Primer A - Lessons 13 and 14
Math-U-See Delta: Begin lesson 23
IEW: We finished up our  work on lesson three.
MCT Language Arts:  Continue Grammar Island.  We finished the parts of speech, the parts of a sentence and clauses.  So now we know how to do a four part analysis of a sentence.  We will begin our practice books next week.
Spelling: We had a spelling bee and almost every skittle was earned.
TOG Yr4 Wk5:  Timeline; SAPs; AQ/TQs; Reading - Idiot's Guide, Anne of Green Gables, The Gift of Music, Usborne Intro to WWI; Read Alouds - The Story of the World Volume 4
Science: God's Design for Heaven and Earth Our Universe - Lesson 28
McCrabb: Book A Test 11 - we only got one in this week do to preparing for our trip to ND
She also gave her first mini-report for our co-op.  She reported on Fritz Haber who is considered the father of chemical warfare, having created the first gas bombs and the first gas masks.

Princess S - 4th Grade - UG
McCrabb: Book A Test 11
Math-U-See Gamma: Lesson 22
Growing With Grammar 4: 1.15 to 1.17
TOG Yr4 Wk5: Quizlet vocab; Important people; SAPs; Read Alouds - same as above; Reading - War, Peace and All That Jazz, WWI, The Wind in the Willows
IEW, MCT and Spelling - same as above

Princess L - K - LG
Winter Promise Adv K: Handwriting practice; Explode the Code pg 17-24; Reading - A Pig, Pig Jigs; study -ig and -ill word families
Math-U-See Primer: We worked on building numbers with blocks as a review and counting by 2s.  She also filled in a hundreds chart with the 5s and 10s included.  We continued flashcards and she decreased her time to 1:42 earning another trip to the prize bucket.

Princess M - PreTOGger
Fun and games with big sissies.

A Day in the Life of the School 4 Princesses

I attempted to take pictures of our day for several days last week.  Unfortunately, they aren't that great.  But hopefully it will give you some small picture of the craziness of our day.

First are some shots of Princess L doing her new chore.  She has to rinse the breakfast dishes and load them in the dishwasher.  Then she puts in the soap and starts it.  Finally, she has to wipe down the counters, rinse out the sink and run the disposal.  She is doing fairly well, though I dare say our water bill will go up for a while.

Next we have a shot of Princess E during her piano practice.  Generally, while she is practicing, Princess S is doing preschool with Princess M and I am doing school with Princess L.  So the next two shots are of Princess S reading to Princess M (though Princess L had to jump in while I was looking for the camera) and doing an activity from here.  She has to match up the colored halves of caterpillars and Princess S helps her to say the right color.  When the half hour is up and they switch who practices and who does preschool.

The next four shots are of Princess L doing her school.  (Notice the day she put on a Piglet costume which is about three sizes too small but she had to wear it anyway.)  The one with her head on the table was because she had just finished putting the words from the -ill family in alphabetical order.  There is also an example of copy work I made with her Awana verses.

Finally, there is a shot of Princess E doing her individual work.  The last shot is an example of what you get when you have a kid with ADD and SPD who cannot remember to turn in her work to Mom's "IN" bin and leaves it on her desk along with markers for her little sister to decorate for her.  Every. Single. Day.


TOG Year 4 Week 5

This week we continued learning about WWI.  This was also the first transition week to our new schedule.  It is beginning to help.  Princess E still, however, has an attitude about doing school work on the weekends.  And she refuses to do it.  I explained to her that she is in middle school now, and if she were going to a PS, she would have homework every night and on the weekends.  She doesn't believe me, however.  It doesn't help that one of the neighborhood girls (who was held off on K until she was six but is also a very gifted student) finishes any and all homework before she ever leaves school, and the other (who is ten months older but in the same grade) has a study hall at the end of the day and has so far finished all her schoolwork during that hour.  With our new schedule change, however, she will not be able to get away from it as she will have to tackle some of her reading on the weekends, or else do some of her other subjects in order to have her history reading and AQ/TQs done for a Wednesday discussion. 

Princess E - 6th Grade - Dialectic
McCrabb:  Book A Test 10 - her ten test average came in at 4.92.  She wasn't very happy, and I explained that it showed me that she is still trying to speed through her reading.  She finished most tests with 30 to 40 seconds left.  But she would make silly errors on the questions.  So I told her she needs to slow down a little and make sure she understands what each sentence is saying before going on.
Latin For Children Primer A:  Lessons 11 and 12.  In two more lessons, we will change our pace from two days per lesson, to four days per lesson, as there is a bit of new material mixed in with things she learned last year.
Math-U-See Delta: Finish lesson 22
IEW: We skipped lesson two, as both girls seem to understand the process of writing a KWO quite well.  We went on to lesson three, and did a KWO, rough draft and final draft on a fictional short story.  They were assigned another story to begin the process with again.
MCT Language Arts:  Continue Grammar Island.  We took a quiz on labeling the parts of speech for four sentences and they did quite well.  They are really enjoying this series, as am I, for it's humor and originality.
Spelling: Did our first spelling bee during group time.  Earned two skittles for each correctly spelled word out of ten words.
TOG Yr4 Wk5: Timeline; Student Activity Pages (SAPs); AQ/TQs; Reading - Anne of Green Gables, Home Run to Heaven, Usborne Intro to WWI, Complete Idiot's Guide to 20th Century; Read Alouds - Pollyanna, The Story of the World Vol. 4.  We finished Pollyanna and I broke down and purchased the DVD at Sam's Club.  The girls were so excited to watch it, but were very disappointed because of all the changes to the storyline.  I reminded them that, "That's Hollywood for you."
Science: God's Design for Heaven and Earth Our Universe - lesson 27 and quiz on planets

Princess S - 4th Grade - UG
McCrabb: Book A Test 10.  Her ten test average was 5.01.  This was a big boost to her (especially when here older sister got a lower average.) I'm hoping that it helps her to see that she can do well when she applies herself.
Math-U-See Gamma: Finish lesson 21 and begin lesson 22
Growing With Grammar 4: 1.13 and 1.14
TOG Yr 4 Wk5: Quizlet vocab; Important People; SAPs; Read Alouds - same as above; Reading -  Fanny Crosby, Where Poppies Grow, WWI, The Railway Children, War Game
Spelling, IEW and MCT: same as above
Science: same as above

Princess L - K - LG
Winter Promise Adv K: play Memory game with -an, -ap, and -at; Handwriting practice with sentences; Read - Jack, Crab Trap; Explode the Code - pg 9-16
Math-U-See Primer: Lesson 19F - Lesson 20E; flashcards - on Friday she reached her goal and earned a trip to the prize bucket, we'll be adding in new cards in another week or so.
Spelling: same as above
TOG: Read alouds - same as above; Reading - The Velveteen Rabbit.
We also began teaching her to load the dishwasher.  Each morning from 8:15 to 8:30 she will rinse and load the breakfast dishes, then start the dishwasher.  Then she has to wipe down the counters around the sink, rinse our the sink with the sprayer, and run the disposal.  For now, she is excited to do it. I hope to have her master this task by the end of the year so that we can start 2011 with three kids able to load the dishwasher.  Then she will be the loader for every meal and her sisters will split the unloading and putting away task.  Princess L is too little to reach up and put them away.

Princess M - PreTOGger
Fun and games with big sissies.


Princess L Funnies

So this morning DH was getting ready to leave to go to the men's breakfast at church.  Before he walked out the door he said to Princess L who was sitting at the kitchen table coloring, "Hey (Princess L), before I leave can I have you spell a word for me?"  Last night at dinner we were teaching Daddy how to give spelling words the way we do them for our spelling bees.  It took a lot of practice.  So Princess L looks up and says to him, "Mop - M O P - mop."  And then she goes back to coloring.  We looked at each other and lost it.


New Schedule

My goodness, we're already done with five weeks of school!  This was a shake-up week.  After our fourth week, I did an assessment of sorts - a shift in our morning itinerary meant a bunch of changes.  I came up with a two stage implementation plan.  The first stage was this week, the second will occur after we return from a weekend jaunt to ND to visit my Grandmother and Aunt & Uncle.  Because of various times we have to be out of the house (co-op for everyone, piano lessons for the older two princesses, ballet for Princess L, speech therapy for Princess L, Awana, etc.) I have had a hard time figuring out a schedule.  I finally came upon the revelation that we have one of three different types of days.  So I figured out a schedule for each type of day and gave each one a color.  We now have either a red day, a blue day or a green day.  Each day's schedule is posted and that gives us a ballpark to work with.  Also, I've really felt the need to move science back into our regular school year.  My plans for the last two years have had us doing science during school breaks.  But the reality is that stuff comes up over breaks, and only about one third of my plans get completed.  Therefore, we didn't finish our curriculum for either of the last two years.  Well, God used this blog entry to help me figure out what to do.  Since DH decided he wanted to be a part of our Bible time and we moved it to the evenings after he gets home and eats, I have an extra half hour in the mornings to work with.  So here is what came of it.

2010_2011 School Daily Schedule 2                                                            

The oldest two princesses and I have a two hour group time three times a week.  We have a looping schedule with IEW (writing), science, spelling, MCT (language arts), and a memory work section.  For science we are continuing where we left off in God's Design For Heaven & Earth: Our Universe.  Our memory work will include the longer passages that our co-op is doing this year, learning all the states and capitols, and learning the presidents in order.  I have a list of the assignments we need to accomplish in each area and we work at one until we finish that assignment.  Then we move to the next subject in the loop.  I figure most weeks we should get through the loop about one and a half times.  Sometimes it will be more, and sometimes less, but I won't sweat it.  Since we will be finishing our non-looped subjects the second week of May, I figure we can use the other four weeks until the public schools are done to work on the looped subjects and finish them up. 

The other thing that I switched pertains to our TOG schedule.  Up to now, our first day has been Monday and our finish up day on Friday.  Princess E and I have tried to do our discussion times on Fridays.  But last year she never finished her AQ/TQ questions by Friday afternoons and discussion would get pushed off to Saturdays or even Sundays.  And then we were in a time crunch, and neither of us really wanted to do it then so we had bad attitudes.  It was getting to be too much.  Once again, God showed me what to do through another TOG blog.  Our week will now begin on Fridays.  I will sit with Princess E and go through the AQ/TQ questions and underline the key words.   We have started going through some of her reading assignments together and leaving post it notes with which questions are answered where.  (Thanks, Pam, for that advice.) I also have her trying to summarize verbally what the page or section is talking about.  She will have to do some reading over the weekends.  She will have to write out her AQ/TQs by Tuesday so that we can do discussion on Wednesdays.  Princess M will be sleeping, Princess S will be at piano, and Princess L can have her Jump Start Computer time - that way they are all occupied and not able to interrupt.  Then Thursday will be evaluation day, when we decide to use them.  Sometimes I just give them out as assignments to find the answers and turn in.  It depends how busy we are any given week.  We are starting the switch after our ND trip, however.  Too much at one time is overload.


Princess M: New Habits

Princess M has developed a quirky new habit.  As she is talking through her thoughts, often times out loud to herself, I've noticed some linguistic patterns.  She will talk for a minute and then when she comes to her conclusion she says "so", then launches into what comes next.  It amazes me because she is using the word correctly, but for the life of me I cannot figure out where she is getting it.  There isn't anyone that she comes in regular contact with that generally uses the word "so" to get to their point on any consistent basis.  It is something she does almost everytime now.  It's rather cute.


Kid Funnies or The Squirrels and the Bees

Tonight Princess L was looking out the window of the van as we were driving to church for Awana registration.  All of a sudden she got real excited.  She said, "Hey Mom I just saw two squirrels.  One was sitting on top of the other.  I think they were kissing!"  I just kept right on driving and thanked God that her two older sisters weren't paying any attention.  Because if they had, I knew that those comments would have been repeated at church - loudly.


TOG Year 4 Week 4

This week we have continued our study of WWI.  We learned about what life in the trenches was like, and how the new technologies affected the way the war was fought.  We learned about how the new way of fighting meant a much higher death toll.

Princess E - 6th Grade - Dialectic
McCrabb: Book A Tests 7-9
Latin For Children Primer A: Review lessons eight (second half) through lesson ten.
IEW: Finished KWO, rough draft and final draft of a paragraph on the Panama Canal.
Math-U-See Delta: Began lesson 22.
MCT Language Arts: Continue reading Grammar Island.  We have almost finished our study of the 8 parts of speech, which is really a review.  One new thing that wasn't properly learned before was the fact that a conjunction must join two similar parts of speech.  IE: two nouns, two verbs, or two adjectives.
Spelling Power: Did placement tests and we will begin tests next week on list H.  We will not be following this as the program suggests, I am really just using the leveled tests for the words.  We are going to be combining this method, with Spelling City, which we've not used but since they LOVE computer games, I figured this would be a place to put those misspelled words instead of writing them.  Anything but write them - writing anything but the bare minimum leaves some of my princesses with a bad attitude.
TOG Yr4 W4:  Timeline; ; Student Activity Pages (SAPs); Accountability and Thinking Questions (AQ/TQ); Reading - The Gift of Music, Anne of Green Gables, Home Run to Heaven: Billy Sunday, The Complete Idiot's Guide to the 20th Century, The Usborne Introduction to the First World War; Read Alouds - The Story of the World Volume 4, Pollyanna  (We have been listening to this during lunch and dinner.  I found the audio linked on My Audio School which is an awesome site to go to if you have an auditory learner, or one who is a great reader but finds it easier to comprehend when they hear and read at the same time.  I highly recommend it.)

Princess S - 4th Grade - Upper Grammar
McCrabb: Book A Tests 7-9
Growing With Grammar 4 (GWG4): Chapter 1.10 to 1.12
Math-U-See Gamma: Begin lesson 21.  After many exclamations of "I can't do this!" she got the concept down and whizzed through this.  We'll be testing on Monday.
TOG Yr 4 W4: Quizlet vocab; Important People Copywork; SAPs; Read Alouds - same as above; Reading (again - portions each week) - World War One, The Railway Children (with audio again from My Audio School,) Fanny Crosby: Queen of Gospel Songs.  (One of the books that we were to use last week and this week finally came in to the library late today.  We didn't use it the last two weeks.  Instead, I've utilized a method suggested by My Father's World curriculum - book basket.  Often when I go to pick up our books from the library, I go to those sections and grab a few extra books on the topics we are studying.  If I don't assign those books, they will most often be read throughout the week at various times.  Or if there are questions to be answered that they are having a hard time finding, there are additional sources to look to.  We ended up using these a lot the last two weeks.)
Spelling Power:  Placement testing revealed we will begin at level F next week.  I think she will get through this easily, as I think most of her spelling errors were due to it being right before lunch.  But, the extra review won't hurt.  And, as she will be competing with her sisters for candy, the bit of easier words will be an ego booster for her, which she badly needs.
IEW and MCT Language Arts: same as above except she chose to do her IEW paragraph on the Wright Brothers and their first flights.

Princess L - K - Lower Grammar
Winter Promise Advanced K: Studied the letter a and its three sounds;  read "Fat Cat"; handwriting page; -at word family; Explode the Code Book 1 pg i-8; played Concentration with -an, -ap and -at words; began a year long Picture Dictionary project.  We formally discussed the rule of silent e.  This is a rule she knows (thanks to the Leap Frog videos) but we never had really read those words last year.  I'm amazed at how well she is doing with it.
Math-U-See Primer: We continued working on flashcards for 1s and 0s.  We added in the doubles 2+2, 3+3, 4+4 and 5+5.  Her goal is all 39 cards in less than two minutes so that she can have a trip to the prize bag.  We also did lesson 19A to 19E.
TOG Yr 4 W4: Read Alouds - same as above; Reading - Anne of Green Gables (a simpler version than above).  We also read a slew of library books "Just one more time" before they had to be returned.  (I'm sure we'll see most of those books again sometime in the not so distant future.)

Princess M - PreTOGGer
Did some games from Letter of the Week.  We had several things going on this week, so we didn't do anything formal.  There was also some outside playtime in the little pool. Today was much cooler, so outside playtime included warm clothing and mittens.

Finally, we all attended the first meeting of our new co-op in a town near us.  I had to lead the first meeting with the older kids.  We focused on Henry Ford and his assembly line technology and the Wright Brothers and their airplane.  I showed the kids how to fold a paper airplane.  Then the two kids that knew it the best each had three minutes to fold as many planes as they could (each did four and were part way through) in three and a half minutes.  Then we assigned each of the kids one fold.  The got into an assembly line and were given three and a half minutes.  They completed about 27 planes, then took another two minutes to finish the others that were in various stages of completion.  They ended up with 40 some planes.  One boy brought his cookie dough map of WWI, and everyone devoured the battle fields.  We asked some of the pop quiz questions on the presidents, the Titanic and the Panama Canal. I also gave a demonstration of two mini-reports.  One, which was hammed up as much as possible, which was purposely really bad.  The other was in the IEW style of an oral report from a KWO.  Each child will be doing some type of mini-report or project presentation every other week.  Three children will present each week.  The first unit will focus on inventions from the turn of the century through the Depression.  All in all I thought it went quite well.


Kid Funnies (or Exasperations)

So Princess E spent a LONG time on her schoolwork today.  She made some choices yesterday, despite my suggestions to the contrary, that resulted in much work today.  So she was working on her math at 8:30 tonight.  When I told her it was time to move to her room, she argued with me that she needed the white board in our school room in order to finish her math.  She had a new system, she claimed, that was working well for her.  What was her system?  She writes the problem on the white board first and solves it there.  Then, she writes the problem on her scratch paper.  Finally, she writes the answer in her Math-U-See book.  I asked her why she did it that way, as it seemed that it was many extra unnecessary steps.  She said that it was easier to erase off the white board than to use her pencil eraser on scratch paper.  I asked her why it was called scratch paper, then, instead of eraser paper.  I said, "Just scratch it out if you make a mistake."  She looked at me with a completely dumbfounded look and said, "Oh yeah!  I guess that would work wouldn't it."  As my brother would say when we were kids - DUH!