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Monday, October 31, 2011

To Scare Or Not To Scare?

Happy Monday and Happy Halloween. Since today is Monday, that means it is time for a writing challenge. Today, DJ and I will be writing about being scared. Do you like being scared, or scaring others and why? If you would like to check out what DJ had to say head on over to DJ's blog. If you, or your children would like to join the Monday writing challenge please feel free to do so. Leave me a link in the comments so I can read your post. Have fun!

Do I like to be scared? Short answer is yes! I love scary movies and books. The scarier the better. Why? Because I like excitement and the feeling it gives me when I am scared. The rush of adrenaline, the nervous anxiety and the feeling of being on the edge of my seat. I watch scary movies alone in the dark, my husband doesn't like them. DJ would watch them with me, but he is still young for some of the ones I watch. I think personally the movie that scared me the most was, The Serpent and the Rainbow. I still am not sure why, but it scared the pants off of me, seemed too real maybe. I think those are the scariest books and movies, the realistic ones. They don't have to even be horror but books like A Child Called It, or When Rabbit Howls, both true stories, can be very frightening. I don't like to be bored, LOL! And I also love the dark. I have sensitive eyes and have worked night shift so many years, that I just prefer the darkness.

Do I like scaring other people? No, actually I don't. I don't find humor in other people's pain. If it is someone who I know doesn't mind being startled or scared then I might play a prank, but sticking a snake or spider in front of someone that is petrified I do not find funny at all. I like the excitement of being scared others might not.

So what do you say about this topic? To Scare or Not To Scare?

Happy Halloween Pictures, Comments, Images, Graphics
Happy Halloween Pictures Comments - Photobucket

Saturday, October 29, 2011

The History Of Halloween and Pilgrim Virtual Field Trip

I have a lot to share in one little post. I don't want anyone to miss anything they might want to use in their educational adventures. If you go to Scholastic, you can sign up for a free Thanksgiving virtual tour with educational resources. The first tour is Wed Nov 2nd, so I am sharing the link so you can sign up in time. We did it last year too, but the link didn't work great and they have added more stuff and updated the tour. They will send you email reminders so you don't miss any episodes.

Monday is of course Halloween. While I do not consider Halloween a holiday many people refer to it as such. Have you ever wondered why Halloween is even celebrated? The History Channel has put together an awesome show so you can find out. You can view it below or Tivo it Oct 31st at 10 PM on the History Channel.

One more Tivo alert, Nov 7th at 6 AM the History Channel will be having a documentary to cover Veteran's Day, called The True Story of Veterans Day. There is a teacher's guide that goes along with the documentary, but it is a pdf file that I am not sure I am supposed to share. But, you could go to the History Channel website and get the teacher guide there. We will be doing this one as well.

We have been learning about pumpkins lately. Those of you who are used the themed units then you know that there are a ton of different ways to cover a topic. We have painted on pumpkins, learned how pumpkins grow, looked at some pumpkin recipes, made pumpkin crafts and coloring pages. I want to make homemade pumpkin pie but I am not optimistic that this is something I can achieve. If anyone knows of a super easy homemade pumpkin pie recipe for a novice please share it with me.

Happy Saturday, everyone.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Last Hoorah!

Yesterday was sadly our last trip to Seaworld on our year pass. The kids and I could go forever, just to feed the dolphins. It was the most amazing experience. It is hard to take pictures of live animals and feed them at the same time, LOL! I almost dunked the camera several times. You could pet them, and talk to them we loved it! The Shamu show was a new show and since the park was basically not busy there was only like 10 min waits for attractions. That meant we got to ride, see shows, eat and see all exhibits in one day. We didn't get to do that the other times. It was quite warm so we were more than happy to sit in the soak zone for the dolphin show, which was splendid I might add. Not as splendid as feeding the dolphins but still splendid. We will miss going to Seaworld, we can always go again, but there are other places we want to visit. A great day indeed!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Seaworld, Fun With Leaves and Hard Light Photos

Wow it has been a busy week already! Yesterday we did a photo shoot for DJ's 4H book. He had to take hard light pictures, which means full sunlight. These are hard on your subjects because we have to squint and make funny faces to see. The rose and the lizard fared better in the direct sunlight. I love this top picture of Caitlin. She is in the direct sun, but shading herself with an umbrella, love it. The other pictures are fun in the leaves.

I am trying to give up regular Pepsi for diet Pepsi. I am not sure if it is the sugar or the caffeine that I am so addicted to, but I am finding this extremely difficult. We have been walking at least three times a week, so drinking soda and other junk really doesn't make a whole lot of sense. So I keep trying. Pray for me, I need all the help I can get.

If anyone read my previous post, then you know I had to go over report cards with the kids. Caitlin was very happy, she got all A's, this really is not hard for her and I may need to add more challenges for her. DJ is an overall average of 86 for all grade combined. I myself am very happy with this, since Science and Math are exceptionally harder this year. But, he is not happy. So, I asked him what Math and Science grade would make him happy. To my astonishment he said a 90 in Science and a 95 in Math would make him happy. As you probably read DJ's math grade especially is not where he wants it, because he does not check his work, doesn't answer completely, or rushes. It is not because he doesn't understand the material. So, I said to him a quote from a story he just read recently, " All Things Worth Having Are Worth Working Hard For." He looked at me oddly and said he didn't get it. The story was about a young girl who worked all summer in the fields so her family could go on a trip back to their country to visit. She was tired and sore and didn't think she could go anymore. Her mother said that quote to her, and it inspired her to finish up the work. I said to DJ how badly do you want a 95 in Math? Is it worth it to you to attain that goal? He said, yes. So I repeated the quote again. If it is worth a value to you then it is worth it for you to slow down, check your work and be sure you have done your best. Do some extra Math work to keep you fresh. If you want it you have to work for it. He said OK, I really want it. So we will see how bad he wants it.

Tomorrow we take our final trip to Seaworld. We get to feed the dolphins this time and hopefully we will get some more great pictures to share. Since DJ needs a photo with the topic of people, I think this will be a great place to get an awesome shot. Back to regular lessons Thursday and Friday, and a little double work even. I am loving this Florida weather right now. Cool at night and very warm in the daytime. Today we had a playdate at the park and the weather is spectacular. It makes the school work we did over the summer pay off now. BTW the lizard in the picture was no bigger than my fingernail plus his tail of course. He was so cold he was barely moving. Sitting on the porch trying to warm up. I hope he didn't get eaten.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Tenths, Hundredths and Report Cards

I completed the first semester report cards last night, for both children. I use the report cards to reflect and learn how they are progressing. So what did I learn. For one thing DJ does not understand the decimals, specifically decimals to the right of the decimal point. I just think it hasn't been covered enough yet. I also discovered that DJ rushes through his math and makes silly mistakes on material he knows. I always made him do math first thing each day. I slacked with that this year, and so far it is showing in his grades. By the end of the day, when he wants to do math last, he is making silly mistakes. So back to Math at the beginning of the day. He also knows how to check his answers and despite my prodding him to do so, he refuses to take the time to do it. He could easily find the simple mistake and correct it. I am putting this one on him. He needs to check his work if he wants his math grade to improve. DJ's overall average grade, for all subjects is 86 with Reading and Language Arts being the best two grades at 87 and 93. Caitlin did very well on her report card, and is reading at a much higher level than I anticipated. I am very happy about that. She doesn't like math, but is doing fine. Her biggest needs are following directions and completing work when it is assigned. She spends much of her Fridays completing work she didn't finish during the week. Not because she doesn't know how to do it, but because she doesn't want to do it.

Lesson Plans For 10/24/11:

Writing: Create a short Halloween story using nouns, adjectives and verbs, blog post
Math: Decimal video
Reading: A Christmas Carol two chapters
Morning walk
4H photo shoot: Hard light and fun with leaves

Head of the Class: Two cycles
Room Cleaning
Photo shoot

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Fun Kids Songs With Kids Groove Nation

I love music, my kids love music, but I can't teach music. I really don't know anything about music, other than what I like to listen to. This fun kids song CD called, Groove Kid Nation Music in Motion, will teach your young child about sounds different instruments make. It is a jazz style CD which introduces your child to jazz instruments and the sounds each makes. Each song is played by Jazz musicians from Louisiana, the heart of the Jazz movement. You will hear Itsy Bitsy Spider on the piano, and Three Blind Mice playing a trio of guitars. Plus each song will get your child moving, not just by the catchy tunes, but with instructions within each song that will direct your child to join in. Such as playing the air guitar, and other fun moves. My youngest child had a ball listening to these fun kids songs, and following along with the music. There is also an illustrated booklet that comes with each CD, that introduces children to all the characters on the CD. If you sign up for the free newsletter on their website you get a coloring book and some other cool items. You can listen to sample songs on the Groove Nation website, before you purchase your CD. Get your kids moving and grooving with Kids Groove Nation.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Free Teacher Resources And Lesson Plans

Look at this adorable poncho my mom made for Caitlin. It is so sweet. She left off the button at the collar, because Caitlin specifically does not like things tight around her neck.

For any of you that are looking for free teacher resources, and free lessons you can check out Discovery Education. I have not used any of them yet, because we are using the National Zoo curriculum this year in part. There is not just Science, there is Social Studies, Math and English as well. So check it out if you need some good resources.

Tomorrow night I have to work. It is not my usual night, and I am already stressing over it, because it seems like I am losing a day this week. Tomorrow is also the last day of the grading period for the first semester. So I will be doing report cards in the near future. At least I am pretty much caught up on grading, not one of my stronger points. It is so tedious.

Lesson Plans For 10/20/2011:
Science: Review and test for chapter 2
Health: The Skeletal system
Math: Chapter 41 Saxon 65
Reading: Field Work with questions
Spelling: Chapter 33
Language Arts: Exclamation points
Analogies: Finish questions not done from previous assignment

Head of the Class: 2 cycles
Math: Measuring inches, subtraction, skip counting
Language Arts: Big vs little
Printing Practice
Same vs Different WS
Sight words
Clock work
Calendar work
Complete all unfinished work for the week
Reading: The Last Puppy

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Painting Class Week Two: Pumpkins

These are the pumpkins we painted from painting class today, scroll down to see the rest. Both kids goal was to learn loading their brush properly and blending. DJ has mastered this quite well on paper, but pumpkins are very hard to paint on. The natural grooves in the pumpkin make for non smooth strokes and the texture of the pumpkin is much different than paper. Since the paint does not absorb into the pumpkin you need much less paint than would be required on paper. Caitlin drew several faces on hers, and DJ made a scary face with blue blending all around the pumpkin. My mom did all kinds of odds and ends on hers. Mine was supposed to be a sunflower, but as you look at the picture it was way to big to look right. Thank goodness the pumpkin has another side, and as you can see it is much better. I showed the paper and plates that we did just to show the difference in the way the paint and strokes look on the two textures. In two weeks we are painting turkeys on glass bottles. We will have fun with that too.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Safety In The Science Lab

We don't do a lot of lab type stuff, though we do experiments. I wanted to begin Chemistry this year, but I am not sure it will get fit in. DJ's science lesson today is about safety in the Science lab. The cute rap song in the video will help your child remember the safety rules of the lab.

Last night was our first 4H meeting. DJ got elected to be Historian this year. Caitlin is not yet old enough to hold an officer position. Not that she cares, she was too busy playing with her new friend that comes now.

Lesson Plans For 10/18/11:

Cursive Writing
Math: Saxon 65 chapter 40
Reading Comprehension
Science: Classifying animals test, Safety in the lab, 4H entomology
Language Arts: Exclamation points
Writing: Review the writing process

Head of the Class: Two cycles
Sight Words: Printing
Science: Order to plant a flower, 4H entomology, pet pals
Social Studies: Fire safety- matches
Math: Saxon 1
Language Arts: Same and different, D or T words

Monday, October 17, 2011

Pumpkin Sugar Cookies On Lollipop Sticks

Tonight is our first official 4H meeting of the new year. Over the summer there were some banquets and stuff, but this is a new year now. Everyone should bring a treat, and I always try to bake something fun. This helps the kids learn to follow directions, and basic cooking skills. I saw these cute sugar cookies with lollipop sticks in the grocery store, and I couldn't resist. We made the frosting orange so they look like pumpkins. Since DJ doesn't like the sprinkles, and I assume others might not as well, some were left naked without sprinkles. You can see the results in the pictures.

DJ completed most of his homework over the weekend, but did not do his writing post, so it will be done today. This was no fault of his own. I was a grouch and refused to lend him the use of the computer. Bad teacher I was. Besides cooking class, DJ did History, since Wednesday is History day, and we will be doing painting class. That way he does not miss an assignment and no homework. Chores and spelling round out the Monday school day for both kids. They are also watching the Gallapagos, which is a documentary on Nat Geo Wild that we tivoed. Caitlin had a book free day, as her room was dirty enough to occupy all her chores. I wish I knew how to make them see that being a slob is not a good thing. Tomorrow is Science, yay our favorite subject.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Homework Yes or No?

Homework, are you for it or against it? The reason I ask, well there are two reasons, I am curious if other homeschoolers give homework and how public school moms feel about the amount of homework their children receive. Why do I care? Well DJ occasionally likes homework. For example this week we were very busy doing fun learning activities which takes away from book work that still needs to be completed. Since Friday is usually a casual type education day, I took this option away to do a full day of book work. DJ was none to happy, and requested he do homework over the weekend for a shorter Friday. So today he has reading with questions, and tomorrow writing and an art project, plus he is going to church. He may find he doesn't really care for homework. When DJ was in public school, mind you he only went K and 1st grade, they had homework every night and on the weekends. It so irritated me. I do not think kids that young should be, nor do they need homework. Middle school and high school yes, well maybe, but only if they can't get the assignment completed during school hours. If a child is in advanced classes, like I was in nursing school in high school, then homework is going to be expected. Those are my feelings on homework. What say you?

Thursday, October 13, 2011

How To Make A Compass and How To Make A Snake Bite Kit

So after heading out yesterday to the nature refuge to pick up garbage, I learned that I didn't feel really prepared. Even though I had a first aid kit, it didn't seem complete. One I didn't have a compass, and two no snake bite kit. You can make a compass, which we will do as a Science project, but it isn't really practical to lug around a cup of water with a needle in it. So I will buy a compass. Also if you watch the snake bite kit video, you will see that buying a kit would be much easier than making one. So I will hopefully find one locally. Hunting and camping is big here, so I don't see it being a problem. These items will then be added to our first aid kit. I also read up on alligators. They are not usually aggressive, except during mating and birthing season. So they start mating in like April and babies are done being born about July, so we won't be in the woods at that time. I really don't think when it is 100 and buggy I really want to be out there anyways. I didn't get to do any research on water moccasins, also called the cotton mouth, but I will get to it.

Lesson Plans For 10/13/11:

Writing: Short story reminders and discussion about story he is writing
Math: Saxon 65 chapter 39
Science: Scale drawing
Language Arts: Question marks in quotations- review
Reading: A Christmas Carol
History: Chapter 7 The Middle Ages with test questions and Map Skills

Math: Saxon 1, addition, drawing shapes
Head of the Class: Two cycles
Social Studies: Fire safety, The New World listen and read
Science: Flowers, weather and temperature
Language Arts: Animal adjectives, is and are in a sentence

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Our First Volunteer Day

Well we had an interesting day on our first day of volunteering at the nature refuge. We started off bright and early and met Ms Kristi at her home. We followed her there, I didn't know how to get there. On the way we saw a big, beautiful Bald Eagle. It was eating something dead in the road. We didn't have the camera ready, nor did we expect to see one, so we didn't get a picture. It was still amazing to actually see one.

Then we got to the refuge, met Ranger Pam, filled out some paperwork, and were given our assignment. Garbage pick up on the nature drive. As you probably guessed that means we would drive. It was like nine miles long, so good thing we drove. The two younger boys decided to walk a bit of the way. It rained a bit, and then got hot and humid. DJ snapped the Turkey Vulture high up in the tree. His friends flew away and he didn't feel like posing. Turkey Vultures are large birds, but you can't really tell way up in that tree. We did not see one snake, no disappointment there, but we did see what DJ thought was a Gator head. It did look like it too, and it was big, really big. We didn't get close and I didn't let him stare long. I really don't think gators mind staring, but to me it is menacing so I made him move on, LOL! How silly! The pictures below are of Pond 6, and what a pretty little pond. You could see something big moving in the murky waters, but couldn't tell what it was. Our friends said they have seen a very large gator sunning itself in this very spot. We saw a spider that none of us had seen before. It looked like it had a skeleton image on its back. It was weird. Then we ended up at the observation deck, but again only saw shadows in the water. We saw tons of butterflies and some birds. After we got back to the car, you had to walk to the observation deck, Ms Kristi's van would not start. Upon examination one of her belts had come off what appeared to be the alternator. Since none of us knew how to put it back on, we all jammed into my car, and returned to Ms Kristi's home so she could contact her mechanic, who is also her husband. We had lunch, visited a bit, and headed for home. We did get quite a bit of garbage picked up, mostly at the pond. I was disappointed people still feel the need to litter, but was glad we could help. As stressful as that was, at least we had a second car, and Ranger Pam informed us that she would be holding classes in the very near future. So, we are excited for that. We decided that we would go once a month to volunteer, as with everything else, it just seems the best to do. Tomorrow is catch up time for all lessons missed the past two days. Next week is a full week of school as well. What did you do today? Oh the one picture is of Caitlin doing her best Saint Bernard impersonation, LOL!

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