I had to make a run across town this week and got a chance to get my laminating done. Only 13' this time :) (I have kind of a thing for laminating my stuff) Then, as we all know, you have to come home and cut out all those cute little goodies. Well, my Tonka discovered how scissors can just glide through the plastic and he was hooked. He cut out EVERY last page while I then cut out the individual pieces. What a humongous help! I'm betting I just made a ton of teachers totally jealous to have so much assistance with such a big job!
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Last year, we had such a jam-packed schedule that I felt like those really memorable homeschooling moments got swept out of the way in order to meet our commitments. I am working really hard this year to use that oh-so-forgotten word, NO. There are so many good sports, ministries, volunteering opportunities and such, but our moments of peaceful hearts and the joy of learning have been moved to the forefront this year and I'm making every effort to keep it that way. We're not cutting everything out, but really evaluating what our priorities are before deciding to commit to things.
So that being said, one of our huge highlights: our wetlands study. We are so blessed to live right across the street from a Nature Center, so I rounded up the kids, packed our art supplies, clipboards and a bag for collecting and headed down the street. We investigated all the different plants that surrounded the pond, collected a few and then sat down to draw our favorites.
I got some great shots (in between swatting bugs and pulling out the one that flew down my shirt...aaah nature!) and the kids had a great time! I even got this awesome shot of a dragonfly! So cool, right?
Then as my daughter pinned her branch of flowers between her feet so she could sketch them, a big 'ole bumblebee just buzzed on over and landed right on one of the flowers. She was a little hesitant at first, but then she was so mesmerized, she sat there for a solid 5 minutes before she could draw a thing! I just sat there thinking how blessed I am to have this time with my kids!
When we got home, we used some of the items we collected to make a wetlands diorama. I also used a Google image for the background (there are tons if you just google wetlands printable) and printed these wetland animals to add. I
Tonka also lost tooth #4 this week and even found a creative way to take a spelling test. That boy!
Miss 5th Grade is a riot. She is what we call "Camo and a Tutu" She likes video games, fishing, hunting, biology, dirt, anything gross, American Girl, Barbies and a little bit of anything that sparkles! Well, her latest invention: Mudmen! Like snowmen, just made of mud. "Invention" a little overstated? I don't know - this is a serious process. She fills a bucket with water, collects the dirt, dunks it, mixes, begins to mold it, dunks again, adds more dirt, mixes, dunks again.... I'ts quite a process and she has determined this to be the way to create the 'perfect mudball'. Yep ya'll, she's a 10-year-old girl. Ha! She had to work with some creativity and precision to get these mudballs to actually stack into a mudman. I watched her work and had so much fun seeing her build her creation and just have fun being a kid!
We also started our US Geography studies this week and began with Maine & Massachusetts. I chose Robert McCloskey for our author study this month, because his books fit perfectly with our state studies.
We learned about lighthouses, clams, capes, hills, Ben Franklin, cranberry bogs, Boston and more! Now, for the past few years we have had pizza-movie-night on Friday. I'm tellin' ya, I think I have had every variety of pizza you can think of to keep that from getting tiresome, but I'm just soooo done with pizza. So new idea: State foods-movie-night! So, to culminate our week in this New England region, we tried lobster bisque, blueberry buckle and Boston Creme doughnuts.
Next week is New Hampshire and Vermont. Can't wait to fill you in our fun!