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Monday, April 27, 2015

A Fun, Free and Easy Way to Give to Charity: Charity Miles

I found out about Charity Miles, quite by accident.  I had downloaded and app called Hip2Save, because you know I love to be hip.  While browsing through the specials, deals and such I came across Charity Miles.  I was curious so I downloaded it from the Amazon app store, to my Android phone, only to discover it had to be downloaded from Google Play to work properly.  So, I uninstalled it, and then reinstalled it.  As I was reading about what to do, I realized I could rack up miles just doing stuff around the house, like mowing, or weed whacking.  So, on Sat I tried it while I mowed.  Wrong answer, lol I was not logged in.  So, today I had my son download it on his phone, and we all went out for a walk. You can walk, run, or ride a bike for Charity Miles.  Kazaam it worked~!  We both racked up over a mile, and a dollar a piece to the charity we chose for today.  You can choose the same charity each time, or a different one from their list.  This is actually a great motivator for us to get out and walk everyday.  It is a free app in the Google Play store.  If you are on your feet all day at work, and you can carry your phone on you, or you are active this is a great way to painlessly give to a charity you love.  BTW you can download the app from Amazon, but it says right in the app you have to use Google Play.  I am not sure how that makes sense, but hey I don't make the rules. 

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Paint the Town Purple to Support Relay for Life or Lupus

Every year, our little town does something called Paint the Town Purple, to support Relay for Life. I paint my mailbox every year, and this year I decided to paint it purple, with pink and white flowers. I barely had enough of this color purple, and the flowers are not real smooth because of the ridges on the mail box. But, I love it anyways. Purple can also be in support of the Lupus Foundation, a group I recently donated some handmade items to for an auction to raise money.

We ended our 3rd Quarter yesterday, which means I will begin working on report cards. I also think I have finally decided on Caitlin's curriculum choices for 6th grade. I will share that info soon. I have decided to take a little bit of a different approach with her.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Earth Cookies, Planting Herbs and Earth Day Minute To Win It

Both of these ideas were found on Pinterest, and adapted to my needs.  April 22nd, is Earth Day, and the kids and I love to do something each year to show our appreciation for Earth.  Last week, DJ and I watched, Plastic Paradise, on Netflix.  It was a very eye opening documentary.  We are not zealots, but we do think that if you can make some simple changes in your life to reduce, reuse and recycle, then you should do it.  Water bottles, and plastic bags are the two biggest offenders.  If you really want to know the true stats of those two items, I would suggest some basic research.  It will stun you.  I was stunned, and a little ashamed.  So, all this week, we are dedicating a little bit of school time to Earth Day.

Today, Caitlin and I planted an herb garden.  Now, we had been wanting to do this anyway, we just chose this week to actually do it.  We planted Garlic, Parsley, Cilantro, and Sweet Basil.  We also decided to try and propagate a Mimosa Tree, by planting a clipping.  It will hopefully grow roots, and become a beautiful tree.

Because, we have 4H tonight, and we all bring a snack to share, we decided to make Earth cookies.  They are easy, just a standard sugar cookie recipe, add blue and green food coloring, shape in a ball and bake.  Also, because DJ is the VP of our group, we come up with a fun game, or Ice Breaker, for each meeting.  Again, keeping with the theme of Earth Day, we came up with a Minute to Win It game using a styrofoam egg container.  Because I forgot to print stuff for Caitlin today, she had a little extra time.  So, I told her to paint it blue, like water, and then use green to make the numbers.  The idea is to get as many beads in the number slots in a minute.  The player with the most points wins.  Of course the kids had to try it, because they said it was too easy.  Ha, no it isn't.  Caitlin of course will save this, and torture her father with it at a later date.

I haven't decided what tomorrow will bring, but I think a writing assignment for both of them will be good.  

Saturday, April 18, 2015

4H Volunteer Day at Otter Springs

Today was our volunteer day, with our 4H group, at Otter Springs. We only had one real young child show up, and her mom was with her. So, this time the kids were given a little bit of a harder, and more adventurous task. We walked to nature trail, and the area around it, in search of trash. We found quite a bit of it, unfortunately, most of it glass bottles. We probably walked a good mile, out, and then back of course. We were able to find, and take pictures of some animal tracks a deer, and possibly a bear or fox, for Caitlin's project book. You can see common Florida animal tracks here. We had a lot of fun, and the kids got to swim in the camp pool after, for half price. DJ does not like pools, so he wanted to go and see if the springs were in fact cleaned up. As we got closer we could see people swimming, so we were optimistic. They in fact had been cleaned up quite a bit, and were quite lovely. There was quite a few people swimming in the spring. We did see one snake, it is in the last picture. Everyone cleared out of the water real fast, lol, and it didn't bother anyone. They were saying it was a Water Moccasin but I was not where close enough to tell. Everyone got back in after it went on its way. All in all a fun, and productive day.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Thinking of Next Year: 10th Grade

So, DJ and I sat down this week to discuss 10th grade curriculum choices.  After some debating, and negotiating, we put in stone what he will be doing.  FLVS offers certificate classes now, so he decided rather than dual enrollment, he would like to do one of the certificate classes.  He decided on Digital Design.  Plus he will be taking the 5 hour driving class for his permit, through FLVS. Here is what his year will look like.  I have not figured out the daily schedule yet, that can wait. 

Driving- FLVS
Digital Design- FLVS
Guitar-  for anyone wondering FLVS does offer Guitar 1, but DJ decided to keep doing what he is already doing.
Algebra 1 and Business Math-  We talked, and decided that we will continue to work on the Math U See Algebra 1 curriculum, through the Summer and 10th grade.  I was given a Business Math curriculum, and it did not look too challenging.  So, he will do both.  We will worry about Geometry or Algebra 2 in 11th grade.  That way he can continue to learn it at his pace, and be sure he understands it.
Comprehensive English and Vocabulary- sometimes called English2, LA grade 10 etc.  We have a textbook and workbook, with a focus on writing.
Biology with Labs-  In Florida there has to be a lab component to at least three of the four High School Sciences.  We decided to use CK12 and online labs.  I will list all the resources at the end of this post.
Civics and American Government-  This was the hardest one for DJ.  He had his heart on doing Greek Mythology.  But, Civics and American Government is perfect for next year due to the upcoming presidential elections.  I am hoping to get to some live town hall meetings, and other rallies.  It will be fun.  Eventually he gave in, and will do Greek Mythology the next year.
The only other issue was a second year of Japanese.  He decided to wait and do that for 11th grade as well, and review all his info he is learning this year, from time to time. DJ's curriculum for next year, will not be expensive.  That will be very nice.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Polliwogs and Frog Eggs In the Pool!

We usually have our pool open by now. But, this year we decided to wait due to tight finances. Well we got polliwogs and frog eggs in there now. You can only see one polliwog in the second picture. They are a little camera shy, lol. The eggs were there last evening, and have already hatched this evening. No eggs left to hatch, and no croaking frogs looking for mates. Now, we will watch them and wait for them to grow into frogs. I hope it won't take too awful long. About 12 weeks I think, which is really late to open a pool in Florida. But, that is OK, what a great learning experience. A couple of years ago, a friend of ours gave us tadpoles from her pool. I looked up all the info of how to care for them to adulthood, there were a lot of rules. Unfortunately we did something wrong and we found them deceased. We were so sad. They should have a much better chance in a great big pool, with tons of algae to eat. They have eaten a lot of it too! I will post more pics as they grow and change.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

A Manatee At the Springs, Banded Water Snakes and Ticks Learning the Fun Way

We took a Spring break this week, even though I wasn't going to.  I was way behind on grading papers, and we really needed some relaxing from the stresses of life. Now we have seen Manatees before, in the wild, but never as close as this one came. It truly acted like it wanted to come say hi. There was a ranger down at the Springs, when the Manatee came into the river run, and he said they are truly curious. While we were standing there looking at the Manatee, he pointed out the kids a ball of snakes, Banded Water Snakes, that were mating in the shrubs. I truly never would have seen them if he didn't point them out. Then the Manatee came right into the swampy side of the springs, where no one swims. So, we watched it for a bit, and then it disappeared somewhere. So, we sat back down, and the kids began swimming again. About 30 min later, poof it came out of nowhere under the dock and into the swim area. Thank goodness they are docile and harmless. It came almost right up next to the girls. Caitlin was amazed at its size, and had a ball looking at it under the water. It was an amazing experience. I thought they would make the kids get out of the water. But, they said because there was only a handful of people in the water, and no one was approaching it, it was OK. So, what a wonderful experience that was. As for the ticks, we have never experienced them before. We have been here ten years, and never had one on us. We got four in one week. So, now ticks, manatees, and banded water snakes will all be three different writing prompts for this next school week. Both kids got to have a sleep over, or two, and just some plain old relaxing. A great week, and now I am ready to get back to schooling! We are almost at the end of our third quarter, hard to believe, but true.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Thinking of Next Year : 6th Grade A Bit of Unschooling

Next year, I will have a 6th grader, and a 10th grader. My 10th grader, believe it or not, is easier to plan for than my 6th grader. I am going to try some Unschooling with her next year, which simply means interest led schooling. Not all her subjects will be interest led, but a few. First off, she has been saying she wants to be an animal groomer, walker, own business type thing when she grows up. She has a rabbit, and we have two dogs. She has been doing rabbit grooming for years, but is not comfortable nail trimming. I will have to work on that. Plus with the book below, she can begin learning about grooming in general. After she completes that book, I will look for others. She also has 4H horse project book, for next year. I was going to start a 4H horse group, but that has been sidelined at least for now. I just don't have the time to dedicate to it right now.

She really loves Life of Fred, so I will continue with that series. I will also continue with CK12 Elementary Math, to supplement Life of Fred. Learning Language Arts Through Literature, is also my choice for her. I have not decided for History yet. I also will probably supplement other Science. She will begin Spanish next year, using the free Duolingo app.  I do often change my mind, but this is looking pretty set in stone right now.  I would love a great deal on some of the books shown.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

The Easter Story for Kids

While we did do the Easter Bunny, when my kids were small, we also taught the true meaning of Easter. Of course, that has nothing to do with the Easter Bunny. The Easter Bunny is the commercial, money making scheme created for Easter. This is the first year that my kids were too old to care about decorating eggs, finding eggs, or even getting a basket. We never did too awful much in that regards, anyhow, just a tidbit. I hope your Easter was full of blessings, and a beautiful day!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

How To Train Your Dragon 2 with Printables Plus Art

The kids and I have not sat down to watch a movie for school, in a while. So, today we sat down to watch, How To Train Your Dragon 2. I read another blog post that said this movie was a lot about diplomacy, and politics. There was only one little section where I would say that was true, and that the whole of the movie was may more than that. This was in 3D in the movies, so it wasn't as exciting on our plain old TV. Both kids had a writing assignment after they finished watching, and next week will get an Art assignment. All of us, yes me too, will design and draw a dragon. I already have ideas for mine, and I think it will be fabulous, lol. Here are some worksheets to go along with the movie. Be sure to check out the rest of that website, for some other cool items they offer.  We have Netflix, and watched the movie on there.  But, if you don't have Netflix, you can always purchase the movie too. 

Currclick for Homeschoolers


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