Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Family Camp 2015

We had an unexpected treat this past weekend. We were able to attend Spina Bifida Family Camp. It was unexpected because you have to be under 8 years old to attend. Caleb graduated from Family Camp two years ago. Lucky for us, there were several cabins still available so some of the graduated kids were able to come back. We were so excited.

 We love it here!

All of the meals are family style in the dining hall. I don't think Caleb ate any meals with us...he was always at someone else's table eating with friends. He was in his element.

Benjamin and Cannon at the fuse-ball table.  

We signed up for a cooking class and the boys loved it. This class is always a big hit with them.

Benjamin, Caleb, Cannon, and Bryce.

Making fruit salsa.

Caleb and Cannon were 2 peas in a pod the entire weekend.

Weird Science class.

We did an egg-drop challenge. We were given some supplies to use to protect our egg.

Then we dropped our egg off the balcony. Ours survived without a crack!

Volcano fun in the nature class.

It was a jam-packed, fun-filled weekend. We were exhausted...but happy.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Zoo Break

So this is what homeschool looked like early this week:
Total chaos ya'll. The boys had lost their ability to focus....and I had lost my ability to try. I've learned to take the chaos as a clue that we need to take a break. We skipped school the next day and went to the zoo.

We didn't see a real polar bear at the zoo, but we did see this one made out of Legos.

"Mom, take my picture by these lemurs."

"Mom, take a picture of me on this rock."

"Mom, take a picture of me on this rock."
(are you seeing a pattern here?)

As you can see we had the place practically to ourselves. Perk of homeschooling: going to the zoo while everyone else is in school.

Meeting a cute hedgehog.

"Mom, take my picture."

Feeding the giraffes.

Notice the gorilla in the corner? He was very grumpy. He kept eyeing Benjamin with irritation. The gorilla actually banged on the glass at one point and scared the mess out of the boys. It was so funny. They wouldn't get close to the glass after that. 

"Mom, take my picture with this alligator."

"Mom, take my picture on this rock."

"Mom, take our picture."

"Mom, take my picture."

"Mom, take a picture of me on this elephant."

"Mom, take a picture of me with this Lego leopard."

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Tapestry of Grace, Year 2, Unit One

We recently wrapped up our first unit from TOG Year 2. If you have been following this blog for a while, you know how much I loved TOG last year so there was no question that we would continue into Year 2. This 10 week unit took us through the Middle Ages. Here are some highlights from our studies.

We learned about monks and their life inside a monastery. We made "dinner bells" out of small clay pots. Monks remained silent so they would use a bell of some kind to call everyone to meals.
While TOG isn't Benjamin's main curriculum, and won't be until next year, I try to pull him into as many of the activities as I can.

In the Middle Ages books were rare and very valuable. They were written by hand and had intricate designs and pictures. They are called Illuminated Manuscripts. Monks living in monasteries would spend hours hand writing books. We made our own Illuminated letters using markers and glitter paint.

We spent some time studying cathedrals and their beautiful stained glass windows. We made a simple version of stained glass by using black glue (I mixed black paint into a bottle of glue) to outline our design.

Once the glue dried, we used water colors to paint our designs.

 We learned about Mohammed and the start of the Muslim religion.

Caleb made a replica Mosque.

 Then we moved on to the Vikings. This was a favorite with the boys. Turns out the Vikings were a bunch of trouble makers.

We made a Viking ship complete with Playmobil Viking figures. We wrote "Ravager" on the side of the boat in Norse, the language of the Vikings.

We also made a Viking Longhouse.

The boys even decorated the inside of the house making beds out of Lincoln Logs and a table out of cardboard.

We made shields.

Our completed lapbook for the unit. I love the lapbooks, they provide such a great review at the end of the unit. When you spend 10 weeks covering a large span of time, it is nice to have a quick review to wrap up the unit.

Benjamin is working very hard in first grade. We are using My Father's World and it is moving pretty fast. I never really appreciated how weird and random our language is until I started teaching Benjamin to read. I swear some of the words we use and the sounds in them make absolutely no sense when you break it down. Anyway, he is learning and I'm certain he will be able to read at some point. :)

He made a giant ABC scroll.

He does regular copywork and he seems to enjoy it. His handwriting has improved tremendously over the last few weeks. My little lefty. 

So that about wraps up the first chunk of our school year. 

Sunday, November 08, 2015

4th Annual Spina Bifida Christmas Card Exchange!

It's that time of year again folks! Time for the 4th Annual SB Christmas Card Exchange! I started this tradition in 2012 with great success. I look forward to this every year and it is truly my pleasure to organize it.

The card exchange is a way for SB families to send holiday cards to each other.

If you want to participate, then email me at sbcardexchange(at)gmail(dot)com

Send me your name, address, and the name of your child with SB (if you are a parent). I will be taking addresses throughout the month. I divide the list into groups and then you will be given a list of addresses of fellow SB families to send a card to, typically about 15 cards. And then anxiously check your mail each day in December as you receive several cards a day! So fun!

Sunday, November 01, 2015

Halloween 2015 #quackshack style

Our church does a "Trunk or Treat" every year for Halloween. This year we decided to host a trunk for the first time. We continued our camo/duck blind theme for our trunk.

Cute right? We had small Nerf guns for the kids to use to shoot the ducks.

Benjamin just wanted camo for his costume. He's so easy.

Caleb's costume was a big hit. 

A rare family photo.

We finally got around to carving pumpkins. Better late than never.


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