Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving Ya'll! The kids are watching the Macy Thanksgiving Day Parade while laughing, argruing, and playing all at the same time. Life is Good!

We would like to tell everyone thank you all for all of the support and kind words you send our way.

This morning we were blessed to be able to volunteer at one of the community centers who are hosting Thanksgiving dinner for those with hardships. Last winter our power was out for nine days, I just don't know what we would of done without the support of our community. 

Just waiting on Turkey Time! Savor the moments everyone.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Layout Design Help Needed !

So I have some work cut off for me. I know the tables are too big!! They fold down easily  They can be stored away. I am use to walls being in this space. I am confident that once the layout is figured out I could make everything else awesome.  I am starting out with Practical Life and art shelves. Also there will be a larger table that can accomodate older kids when they visit the space too.


The shelves can be lowered and also decorated. All the sewing machines are not needed. Shelf space I don't think with be a issue.

This is the other room where the snack table with be, also a volunteer table , microwave, and a mini refrigerator. The electrician will not be able to fix it for another two weeks.

Any suggestions are welcomed! Thank you!!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Foreign Language Friday~ November 14, 2014

Welp! We started  back up those Latin lessons again and the kids needed to know "Why do we have to learn this stuff". We started right back with Lesson 1 in Prima Latin for a review. Guess what?


I didn't even have to explain why I feel it is a language important enough to know, because their Latin Teacher explained it to them and quite well I must add.

They reviewed the pronounciations of the Latin Vowels, and how to greet someone speaking Latin. Salve!

Reviewed vocabulary and derivatives of the words introduced in the lesson.

They also learned how to begin a prayer in Latin.

See I wasn't too hard on them today. In fact their wheels were turning and they realized that we were doing grammar too. I love homeshooling!!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Throwback Thursday~ November 13, 2014

It was nice going back into time today as we continued to read through our History of Us books and discovered more about what Native Americans used for shelters. This chapter in their books also allowed for an invitation to the Fundamental Needs of Man. We also poured through much knowledge in our Usborne History books about how other indigenous people of the other six continents developed this need for Shelter too. 

 We have several National Geographic books that I picked up some time ago from the Thrift Store. The kids used them today to also discover various pictures of shelters.                                                                                

The cutting of the pictures of various shelters helped to guide our discussion on the topics.

This was a great intro into our study on shelters. I plan to cut out more pictures and laminate the ones that they cut out as well. I want to make a work that will make more of an impression. The work that they did today definitely showed that they have interest in learning more about shelters.

Ken and DJ both begin word processing their snapshot autobiographies.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Wednesday Word Play: November 12, 2014

Today we decided to our "schooling" at the library. We have found that doing school at the library is an awesome way to combat those distractions that come our way, Yes! There are distractions at home, especially the phone constantly ringing and me trying to multitask when really all my attention should be on the kiddos during school time.

We started out by reading chapters out of their books that go along with the Boomerang and Arrow issues from our Brave Writer Curriculum. Ken also did copy work, that focused on the misuse of commas and more on when to use hyphenation. DJ's focus was on ellipses and metaphors.


Our Word Play game of the week is Scrabble. It was really neat how they were setting up their boards in hopes to be able to get those points, then finding out that they would have to change up their plan again as soon as the last person finished laying out their tiles. I had to remind them of the rules often, which made this game even more of a reason and great pick to make sure we have some hands on fun with our language arts lessons.                                                                         

So DJ's  reading book is Frindle by Andrew Clements. In the book a fifth grader by the name of Nicholas invents a word. The word is Frindle which Nicholas states means a pen. His teacher doesn't accept Frindle as a word and then Nicholas gets huge support for his invention. I'll stop right there before I tell you the whole story, because it is a good book in my opinion and I think you just might want to read it yourself :) DJ thought that "legsoar" was an acceptable word (actually he knew he was reaching, and I know what we are reading in Frindle), which led us to decide on which dictionary we would use to verify if it was a word or not.

Nope! "legsoar" isn't a word, and it wasn't even in the dictionary. As soon as we pulled out the dictionary, this game became seriously fun!

And No Ken! "Dat" is not acceptable either in the Oxford Dictionary, however in the Urban Dictionary it is. We already said we were using the Oxford Dictionary. Rules, you got have them! 

However "Date" and "Fane" are words in the Oxford Dictionary. Great work, Ken! 

It was just awesome to read in Ken's Work Plan journal where she wrote that she learned a new word today! More Scrabble is in order :)

Sunday, November 9, 2014


Thanks to the Board of Directors of Brain Builders Inc. I have been able to do a complete 360. Well not exactly a 360, because really this journey I have been on has taught me so much. It has taught me what I am most passionate about. Pop over here to see what awesomeness is in store for us. Now I will be activey blogging in two spaces on the web now. If you have the time leave a comment so I know you stopped by. Thank you! I am just beyond excited. Success for all!!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Throwback Thursday~ November 6, 2014

We read together chapters 8 and 9 in Volume I of the History of US series. The chapters discussed the languages that different Indian Tribes spoke and went into detail about the Plain Indians. Our reading took us 45 minutes today, because I also lead with discussion using some of the questions that are included in the Teacher's Guide. 

After we were done reading the kids started working on their final Intro Lessons to Reading Like a Historian. They are writing short autobiographies, well not a short one for Ken this girl loved this assignment.


The assignment is usually done in two parts, but since we dedicated 3 hours to history today they completed the second part which was interviewing someone that could hopefully corroborate what they remembered about their own life history. DJ interviewed me and Ken interviewed my mother since we were doing school at her house this morning.


To jog their memories a bit I shared with them the Celebration of Life outline that is available for free here. My mother and I had to agree that when time passes you can forget unless you have a daily journal of some kind, actually Ken had to correct me on a few things and she was able to go to our old homeschool blog, We Don't Need No Education to prove me wrong :) This activity was fun and went well over the three hours we had planned, and I am not complaining one bit about it. They will polish their work up, by putting the factual information into a story format. I think after today they have a clear understanding on what types of credible sources to consider depending on the history question being asked, and that corroboration must take place to even consider validation of a source. One thing is for sure these two kiddos are absolutely amazed by their lives, and they should be!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Ken's Activity of the Day

Today I have a migraine, it has shut me down for the most of the day. I want to keep doing daily blog posts so that I can become comfortable here as I was before I took a very long blogging break. Although these pictures are from ages ago, it still is a good representation of how Ken spent most of her time today.

She loves these fashion plates! I highly recommend them as a gift for the young fashion designers in your life. 

The fashion plates keep her busy creating and it often ends up with her at the sewing machine. 

I am glad that when Ken is given the opportunity to plan out her day she shoots for the moon!  I love homeschooling these kiddos!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Tuesday's Travels~November 4,2014

We started out our work period with Mapping the World by Heart. The link will take you to the overview of this curriculum just in case you wanted to know more about this program. We are in Unit 1 which is the "Appetizer" section. Today they were introduced to Topographic Maps. If your child or student knows the Parts of the Mountain that background knowledge would really help with this lesson, Topographic Maps are usually introduced in grades 6-8.

We looked at various Topographic Maps on the computer, it would of been really nice to have maps right in front of us to examine. I couldn't find any without having to print them off of the internet and even those didn't print out well enough to read and understand clearly, so the computer it was.  We also talked about what is sea level, other types of landforms, elevation, and also reviewed what a slope was.

They learned how to make contour lines using a mountain they made out of clay.

Layer by layer they traced around the clay using the floss to cut between the sections with the same thickness.

We started with the sea level at 0 and every contour line after that would represent 100 ft above sea level.

We also hit the nature trails today.

And then more landform talk started up.

I don't know if I like Sundays more than Tuesdays now. Blessed!

To see what others are learning about in their history and geography studies pop over to All Things Beautiful: History and Geography Meme

Monday, November 3, 2014

Mindful Math Monday ~ A Nod to the Life of Fred

Holy cow! Today we spent three hours at the doctors office. Everyone is fine! This was exhausting, but we still needed to do some math, so we turned to our trusty math friend FRED.

What I like most about our weekly rhythm so far is that it allows some freedom to happen. Free from feeling overwhelmed about the things we didn't get to. We knew even though we shared frustrations about our length of time at the doctors that all we had to do to redeem ourselves was do some math. It got done! 

Now I am off to order DJ the next book in the elementary series Ice Cream, because he only has a few more chapters to go in Honey. Fractions is not all about Fractions, well if you know my friend Fred then you know what I am talking about. Ken got some geometry thrown at her today and now she can explain very easily how to find the diameter of a radius.

Thank you Fred for being my math friend ! <3

Sunday, November 2, 2014

STEAM Sunday~ November 2, 2014

 Most of our time during our scheduled STEAM Sunday time was spent on developing questions they wanted to know more about. The reoccurring theme that kept showing up in every one's questions revealed that the topic of Health Education was an important issue to them,  They each narrowed a topic down and then brainstormed what would be their learning goals and how they will present what they have learned to me or others who may be interested.


Kennede decided  she wanted to continue working on learning about the effects of Alcohol. She narrowed her topic down to Drunk Driving and plans to work independently on this subject to create an end project that promotes awareness of Drunk Driving among Teen Drivers.
Since it will be the kids first time having a project that I will grade by a using rubric, (that they will be creating :) I will be helping them find lessons that may lead them to finding other research info that they are looking for. We printed off three lessons from here. Kennede is really motivated to do this and I have no doubt that it won't be too long that us finding lessons together will not be necessary, even though Lesson Planning was very fun for the both of us.

Ken also had fun putting together this Brain Puzzle, Kennede plans on writing down what the functions are of the parts of the brain. Kennede is making a short infomercial for her final presentation.

Their STEAM notebooks have graph paper instead of lined paper, with the exception of Nia's. They really like these notebooks and appreciated that this work was separated from the binders.


         What's wrong with Energy Drinks?

I was so glad when DJ wanted to learn more about Energy Drinks. Why would I be happy about this? Because he frequently asks me if  he can  have one when we are in the store. Now he can expand on my No.  I realized through him brainstorming out loud that I never said why I say no to those drinks. Right now he is working on an activity that is having him research the different names of Energy Drinks. See how he got me to but this energy drink anyway. LOL. In order to research it properly you must read the labels on it. So  he wins anyways, but no way will he be drinking this stuff.  DJ is thinking about doing a Poster Board about Energy Drinks for final presentations.

 More work was done in his Zoology Coloring Book, today's  work was about Paraceium.


Oh My! I am really doing dances over here that I have a teenage daughter that is drug free. After we had our long chat about illegal drugs I learned a thing or two. Nia does attend school and unfortunately over hears conversations from those who are her age that are doing drugs. There are some crazy street drug names and I am just thanking God that we have conversations that encourage honesty and self respect, I grabbed some ideas from this Resource Guide, which has us talking about prescriptions drugs. Nia is making a video of How Drug Use is Growing among Teenagers for her final.

I am linking up to Science Sunday.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Playing With Food

Lately DJ has been interested in trying out new foods. When we go grocery shopping he makes sure to try out a new fruit or vegetable. When he picked out a orange bell pepper and put it in the cart, I had no idea that he was going to make a Jack-o-:Lantern with it.

I am impressed! All these years I have been trying to figure out a smiple way to carve a Jack-O-Lantern. 

I hope everyone had a eventful and safe Halloween!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

The Daily Life Of An Animal Lover

 I made a new blog where I will post daily. I will be writing about animal facts, my pets, and more animal related things. I would love it if  you checked it out and feel free to ask questions. Please follow,  here's a link to it


Monday, October 27, 2014

Our Weekly Rhythm

In an effort to not switch from subject to subject like we are racing against a checklist we created a Weekly Rhythm for our homeschool. I heard the kids loud and clear every time we were past warm up and their wheels started turning asking can I just finish this up, after I would announce it was time to move on to something else. My homeschool mom guilt started to get really bad, because I knew we weren't getting to those other subjects like we "should" be. We had a family meeting and resolved every one's issues (fingers crossed).

Mindful Math Monday

So Ken has been having a major self confidence boost in Math, thanks to her current math program Hands-On Equations. They say we need to play more math games too. DJ is begging for more stimulation as far as maths goes and it is a wonderful thing to hear him request Montessori Maths. Mondays are the only days we don't leave home, which allows us to take advantage of using  the Montessori math materials. When DJ gets into his math lessons he finds a way to do them, I can easily see him doing math everyday once he is presented with Montessori math lessons. I have been pulling my teeth trying hard how to get him back on track. During the storm we lost some of our most valuable math materials. So we push forward and revisit our math materials, go deeper with what we still have until our Montessori blessings arrives.  

Tuesday's Travel
 In the photo above DJ is eating our geography lesson for breakfast :) Has this ever happened in your homeshool? Our spine for Geography is Mapping the World by Heart, and lots of puzzles too. Montessori Pin Maps are going to be in full effect. I am adding in some Waseca Biome Work for good measure. Next week they will be learning about Contour Maps. Please know that research is interest led here in our homeschool and may be always done regardless of which day of the week it is. City Bus Travels can be scheduled in now. Anyhoo, they are ready for some challenging geography lessons. so let the games begin!

Wednesday Word Play

As I mentioned in a previous post we are using the Brave Writer Program for Language Arts lessons. With this new rhythm it is going to take us two weeks to do one weekly lesson, Doing the lessons this way isn't really all that bad, especially since we feel like we are going too fast through our lessons each day in other areas or just dropping the ball on other subjects all together. Also they will be doing  poetry, word games, spelling, cursive, and writing projects. The kids are also finally going to be contributing on the blog at least once a month.

Throwback (History) Thursday 

Reading Like a Historian has definitely stolen our hearts.  I am so excited that we now have three hours that will be uninterrupted to delve more into our history studies. I know both of them have a need to work with the Fundamental Needs of Man research work, and I feel ecstatic that I can now add that into our history days. I am 1 to 3 in our home and balancing all of our homeschool and work has been a challenge, but I digress! Time is on our side. The beauty of homeschooling is that you can schedule "school" based on the family's need.  Love that we have found this new rhythm!

Foreign Language Friday
Unfortunately Latin was one of the subjects that we have been skipping right over so much that we had stopped doing it. Not anymore! What is great about this is that I can see now how they are more ready for it. DJ also ask to study Japanese as well, so he is definitely ready to become Multilingual. Games, Songs, and Prayers I love this Latin Curriculum! In order to get the best of both worlds I have also immersed our other Latin program Song School Latin.

Saturday's Artist
I absolutely love the way these kiddos do art. They are learning to find their own medium to express themselves. This is an area that they usually just tell me what they need to finish their independent project. With crazy days, and the holidays approaching I felt there should be time set aside so it doesn't become neglected. Art also allows my family to meditate together. Sometimes it involves paint, music making, and clay. Other times sticks, sewing machine, and a saw keeps the hands and mind relaxed. I start off with our Observational Drawing Art lessons and then we will branch off to doing what we like best.

STEAM Sunday
We continue to incorporate our Thinker of the Month on this day. Also we are adding in Simple Machine and Electronics/Electricity threads using Building Foundations of Scientific Understandings Vol II and Vol III. DJ is already working independently in his zoology studies. Ken and Nia are building websites with HTML/CSS and all three of them are interested in learning how to CODE with the Arduino Uno. Also they are working on a documentary on the affects of Alcohol. STEAM Sunday will most likely be all day :)

Family Meetings are held on Sunday and this is when we talk about whatever it is that is on our minds, and also discuss those Work Plans. I share the required work and they may ask to meet that requirement a different way then I had outlined. They can also propose a different time frame that I have given. We will continue to read everyday like always, the books go along with the Brave Writer program. My work schedule is still evolving if I work in the mornings we do school in the afternoons and vice versa. No matter what we are either done by 12:00pm or 4:00pm. We as a family do chores that are assigned, help with dinner, etc. Usually by 6:00pm dinner is served and they may watch t.v play video games and what not. Lights are out at 9:00pm. The weekend is entirely different we don't get up until around 11:00am. So I figure we will most likely not begin our lessons until 1pm and end them at four o'clock.  I purposely did science and art on the weekends, because that is what they have been routinely doing anyways. They have plenty of time in their days to get some "me" time and still do projects of their liking. Most of the time when I am doing tutoring they are working on bringing their own ideas to life, see we motivate each other :)

Weekly Wrap-Up