Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Art I for the Big Teen ...

This entry is mostly for myself, but I thought it might interest those of you who have a teen or will soon.  I was thinking that having everything the big teen has done just in a lesson plan book that could be lost was not enough.  My son is not college bound at this time, so I am very concerned that his high school transcripts be complete.  For that reason, I will be posting what he has studied and the results of his classes here, just in case we ever lose any of the lesson plan books.  Of course, the books are more complete, but at least these will be a record of sorts.  It will probably take me a few weeks, but they will all be under the "high school transcript" category, if you are interested.

The big teen took Art I in the 10th grade.  He used the Meet the Masters program and several videos.  He went to our local art museum five times and had the opportunity to take a few photography classes.  He also did several crafts, including making jewelry out of forks, making paper, making soap and making gift cards.

He studied:

  • Winslow Homer
  • Leonardo da Vinci
  • Goya
  • Mondrian ~ did art project
  • Mary Cassatt
  • Georgia O'Keeffe ~ did art project
  • Norman Rockwell
  • Remington ~ did art project
  • Edgar Degas ~ did art project
  • Henri Matisse ~ did art project
  • Frida Kahlo ~ did art project
  • Andrew Wyeth ~ did art project
  • Claude Monet
  • Jackson Pollock ~ did art project
  • Vincent van Gogh
  • Rembrandt ~ did art project
  • Toulouse-Lautrec ~ did art project
He received an A for this course, because he put his best effort into it and learned a great deal.  He completed all the course work and was able to answer all questions about the artists and compare and contrast them.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

How to make an Apple Pie and see the world AND eat the earth!

We had a super time doing our FIAR book this week.  It was ~

What a fun book this was!  The little ones had a blast making the ingredients to go along with this book. First we made butter.

This proved to be a long undertaking.  First you shake the cream, then roll the the cream container across the room, then shake, then roll, shake, roll, shake, roll!  Okay, after about 45 minutes of this, we had something that looked like whip cream.  But no sign of whey and butter.  Because the kids and their Mom were impatient, we cheated and used the mixer, which made the cream separate quickly into whey and butter.  Then we washed the whey off the butter under very cold water.  The kids thought that was so much fun.

The butter was so good on homemade biscuits with homemade apple butter.

Next we made cinnamon.  We ground cinnamon sticks down.  The girls thought this was great and much easier than making butter.

We also attempted to evaporate salt water into salt, but we are still waiting to see some salt two days later.  I guess this should be done in sunny weather.

Of course, this book would not be complete without APPLE PIE!!! YUM. 

As if we did not have enough sweets with the pie, the big teen made a four layer edible Earth.  It consisted of an inner core made of gray ice cream with M&Ms, an outer core of caramel sauce, mantle made of rocky road ice cream and crust comprised of crushed cookies and green ice cream. 

Well, now that you all gained 5 pounds just reading this entry, feel free to go search your kitchens for something tasty to eat.


Do you think we needed a new roof?!?

A few weeks ago, we had a leak in the roof.  We had the insurance man come out and check the roof to see if it had been caused by the windstorm a few weeks previously.  While he was checking the roof, his foot fell through.  YIKES!!  Unfortunately, he said the roof was just old so they weren't going to cover it.  SO now we had a hole in our roof and it wasn't covered.  DOUBLE YIIKES!   This past week we had a new roof put on and it looks great.  It is so nice to know we are safe under our sound, new roof.

This is not the job for me.  The kids couldn't get enough of watching the guys walking back and forth across the roof.  We were blessed that our elderly neighbor had used these roofers for several properties over the last 25 years and pointed us in their direction.  They were very prompt, kept a clean work site and all had very good manners.  This is them finishing off the top part. You can just barely see the blue tarp where the hole was.

See the size of that hole.  This is not what you want to see on your roof!  The hole was right over my laundry room. The crew put in new rafters.

This is not the best pic but the roof is all done and a lovely forest green.  Oh, and amazingly enough, they charged us exactly what the estimate was.  YAY!


Thanks, Grandma and Grandpa!

The crib and doll are a big hit for Little Red Ridinghood's B-day!  She loves them.  She named the baby Annie, and the crib is right by her bed.  Thanks so much!

She is trying to show off her ballet shoes.  The package was waiting when she got home from ballet last week.  What an exciting finish to her favorite day of the week.


Sunday, October 21, 2007

International Night and Cow's Heart -- OH MY!

Even though we were out of "school" last week, we decided to dissect the cow's heart while grandparents were in town.  Grandma Sue was looking forward to it, even if she won't admit it!  It all went well and we learned a lot.  The big teen had some trouble finding all the parts, but we will review with some workbook pages this week.  It was harder to find the parts than I thought it would be.  We did find some good videos on the Internet that helped us locate some of the smaller veins.  I wanted the big teen to do the heart since he was born with numerous heart defects.  Below are pics~

Now that you made it through that, on with the International Night pics!  The big teen did Colombia, and we were fortunate that a family member had visited there and brought back some nice things for his display table.  We are blessed to have so many homeschoolers in our area, and there are several large support groups. There was a good turnout, considering how much illness is going around our region right now.  There were about 20 families.  The kids had a blast eating all the different foods!  I liked the French pastries and the cheese soup from Scotland.  YUM!

Yes!  He managed to spill food on himself before I got the picture taken!  Too bad I didn't get a full length shot of him, since he had on Grandpa's cool cowboy boots.  He was going for the look of a coffee planter.

He learned that flowers are one of the largest exports from Colombia, so it was a great excuse for me to buy flowers!  They looked great for a week!

He made guacamole with hard boiled eggs and plantain chips and Maria Cookies with a caramel sauce (cookies not shown).  They were both popular.  It was a fun event, as always.  I hope my little ones can get in on the act next year.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Is it best to homeschool through high school?

A good friend asked me this recently.  I have heard these questions before but was surprised hearing it from this person who plans on homeschooling her own children someday.  My answer was a resounding "yes" for all the reasons you all already know.  She was specifically worried about how she would teach the harder subjects.  I explained about co-op classes and all the help that is out there these days.  This conversation got me thinking about how passionate I feel about homeschooling.  I guess my favorite thing about homeschooling high school besides the moral aspects, is that my big teen is able to explore his interests and take classes that would not be offered to him in high school.  For one thing, my dear son would be in special ed classes for severely learning disabled students.  He would not be offered the opportunity to learn half of what I have offered him.  They would not have faith, time or interest in fostering and adapting things so that he could learn them.  Take for example my son's 10th grade Lit and Film course.  Like most teens, he loves films, but instead of watching twaddle, I found a course that studied films from great literature.  He loved it so much that when it was completed, I searched out more films at this site

Here is the list of movies he/we watched:

  • Gone with the Wind
  • David Copperfield
  • Silk Stockings- Sherlock Holmes
  • Pollyanna
  • The Thief Lord
  • Under the Greenwood Tree - Harding
  • Emma
  • Dracula
  • The Philadelphia Story
  • Maltese Falcon
  • 12 Angry Men
  • Shane
  • Rear Window
  • Friendly Persuasion
  • Great Expectations
  • The Great Gatsby
  • A Raisin in The Sun
  • Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark
  • Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?
  • The Grapes of Wrath
  • Fox Fire
  • The Quiet Man
  • Pride and Prejudice
  • Bleak House
  • Arsenic and Old Lace
  • Henry the V
  • The Journey of August King
  • A Man for All Seasons
  • The Miracle Worker
  • To Kill a Mockingbird
  • The Outsiders
  • Chariots of Fire
  • Miss Potter
  • Searching for Bobby Fischer
  • Wind and the Willows
  • The Glass Menagerie
  • Animal Farm
  • Silas Marner
  • The Hiding Place
  • Passage to India
  • Earogon
WOW! Thanks for hanging in there for that long list.  Can anyone tell me a public or private school student that has seen all those classic movies in school?  I have a bachelor's degree in Sociology and my ds has seen more classics than I ever saw growing up and read more books than I read in high school.

One funny -  My son will be upset if I do not share this.  When it was time to order Animal Farm, I was in a rush and somehow ordered Animal House.  I never even noticed my mistake even after it arrived.  I set my ds and dh up to watch it and wandered off to have some time to myself.  My dh came to me a few minutes later and asked why we were watching this movie.  He asked if this was for sex ed.  If so, he did not think it went at all with our courtship teachings.  LOL!  I was like, "What are you talking about?  The movie is supposed to be about post-revolutionary times in Russia."  OOOPS!  We all had a good laugh and life goes on.


Monday, October 15, 2007

Our plans for the next 5 weeks ...

It's that time again.  This is our week off of school while I plan out our next 5 weeks.  We will continue working on the goals from the earlier 5 weeks.  You can read them here.

The little ones really enjoyed FIAR the last 5 weeks and learned much more than I expected.  We will continue with FIAR and do four books over the next 5 weeks.  We will do Harold and The Purple Crayon, The little Red Lighthouse and the Great Gray Bridge, Three Names, and How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World.  I am especially looking forward to the last book, because I have a bushel of apples to make into wonderful things.  Of course, a few apple pies is at the top of the list.

In addition to FIAR, we will continue reading lessons.  Tom Sawyer is thriving with Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons and Goldilocks is plugging along with the Bob Books series.  She just could not handle the 100 lessons book.  Both are also doing very well with Miquon math.  I am so pleased that it is working for both of them.  Little Red Ridinghood is really doing well with Starfall.com and her letter cards.  Tom Sawyer and Little Red Ridinghood will be making ABC books that they can customize to their liking.

We have been slipping in science and music, so I am going to put more effort into this area for the little ones.  They will be working on the seasons and do some fun activities around fall, although I still have to research what those fun activities will be.  We will make clouds in a jar and leaf identification books.  For music we will be trying to be more consistent with the piano lessons and listening to more selected pieces of music.  During these past weeks, I've also discovered that listening to audio books at lunch time is a great way to keep mouths eating instead of flapping.  They are enjoying the classical kids series and spending a week listening to each tape.  They just finished Tchaikovsky Discovers America.

Behavior has improved a great deal in the past 5 weeks, but as always there is lots of room for improvement!  We will keep plugging away.

The big teen is doing well in his studies.  He is really enjoying his Ancient World History class, and it is nice to have one less thing to teach him myself.  We are staying on track everywhere but with creative writing, so I will really have to concentrate on making sure he does that every day.  We will be dissecting a cow's heart and starfish in the next 5 weeks.  It will be nice to get those out of my cupboard!  LOL  We also have to decide which books he will be reading for English/American lit these next weeks. Hopefully, he can get through two in addition to his other studies.

One thing is for sure.  I don't need to worry about helping him get any stronger.  Below is proof that his muscles work just fine.

This is the man-made geyser we went and saw last week.  Below is the big teen making the geyser bend to his will!  His hands were numb for a while afterwards.  It would be interesting to know how fast and how much pressure that water was coming out of the geyser.  One thing is for sure, it was very powerful and the water hurt when you walked under it.

It constantly amazes me how this young man that stands before me came from a tiny cardiac baby that few thought would even live to see a year.  God grants miracles every day!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

We have a Birthday Girl!

Little Red Ridinghood had her 4th b-day party earlier this week.  We had just perfect weather.  I usually shy away from outdoor parties, but she really wanted to have a party at our local park which also has a lake.  Much to my delight, the rangers offer free boat rides for parties, so we got a lovely pontoon boat ride around the  lake. 

The kids just loved the boat ride.  I thought I would be nervous with eight 3-5 year old children on one boat, even with parents along, but it was great!

Little Red Ridinghood with one of her buddies.

Feeding the fish and ducks.

Everyone had a great time feeding the 100+ geese. 

Digging into the gifts! Always lots of fun

She got lots of art supplies and books, so you know what we will be doing for the next few weeks.

A party would not be complete without the cake shot.

This child has always been my neat eater.  In fact, she was so neat for her one year old b-day cake shot, I had to smear cake on her to get the right look!  LOL!  Yeah, I know I'm a little crazy! 


Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Final Exam in Home Economics

Well, the big teen had a few hours left over from last year to complete his Home Ec course, so I told him he would be taking the final while his grandparents were visiting.  His exam was to clean a room from top to bottom; sew a button on his sister's dress; and plan, shop, make, and serve a 3 course formal meal on china to his parents and grandparents.  I teased him that he was walking into the exam with an A, but if he broke my china it was an automatic F.  Of course, I was only teasing, and I am happy to report he didn't break any!  He made fruit salad as the appetizer, pork chops, corn, and potatoes as the main course with brownies for dessert.  It was so good!!!

Yes, he is holding the knife that way just to annoy me!  He doesn't like having his picture taken while he is working.

He also sewed a button on his sister's dress.

He also really made the kitchen sparkle, but I forgot to take a picture and now it is messed up again.  LOL!  He got an A for the final and course!

Friday, October 5, 2007

Highlights from our week ...

We had a pretty good week, even though Tom Sawyer had a fever of 103 degrees for 48 hours; Goldilocks lost her voice for the better part of the week; and Little Red Ridinghood had the 24 hour stomach bug.  Count on my kids to get three different things at the same time.  Since two of my little ones spent one whole day lying on the sofa watching TV, I thought I would try to make it a liitle bit productive.  So they watched Lady and the Tramp in English, Spanish and French (actually, we did not make it all the way through the movie in French, because my kids lost interest since they could not recognize any words in that language).  They loved it in Spanish, though.  Right now it is all about
hearing different languages, so it will be easier for them to learn languages when I get serious about teaching them.  Little Red Ridinghood seems to show an aptitude for languages and even does her own fantasy play using many Spanish words. She didn't get that skill from me!

Our FIAR book this week was The Glorious Flight Across The Channel with Louis Bleriot by Alice and Martin Provensen.  This book was fun because my little ones all love to watch airplanes.  We learned about the process of invention and talked about having determination, even when things are hard.  Thanks to my big teen and this website, we got to make some great paper airplanes.  We had a few duds and found out that the airplane I've been making for years is considered the "worst paper airplane ever".  I guess that's why all those past planes never flew.  LOL!  Here is some of our better flyers.

The big teen loved his math assignment this week.  Oh dear, I hope none of the people who know him just fell out of their chairs!  Sorry for the shocker, but he really did have fun!  So what did he do?  Drum roll, please ... he did Transparent Relational GeoSolids.  First, he recorded the base, shape of base, number of faces, number of edges and number of vertices.  Then he learned about volume by measuring and filling the different shapes with noodles.  He estimated how many vials of noodles would fit in each shape and then tried it out.  The little ones got involved, too, and it was so much fun.  What I thought was going to be a 45 minute activity stretched into almost 2 hours. 

Since the dining room was a mess with noodles everywhere, we decided to do some noodle art.  The kids noodled their names and favorite shapes.  They also loved playing with the shape puzzles.

We finished the week off by making cootie catchers.  Remember those?  We used them to review important information about oneself such as address, parents' full names, and spelling of their names.  We also made one to review our FIAR books thus far.

Lastly, the big teen finished his project for International Night!  We are ready a whole week early.  That's a first!!  Pictures will follow next week from Homeschool International Night.

Have a great weekend.  I better go bless my house (boy, does that sound nicer than saying "clean my house")!  My Dad and Stepmother are coming Sunday for two weeks!