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Friday, July 31, 2015

A Change to 6th Grade History and Tests

While looking for construction paper, that I was certain was in the garage, I came across The Story of the World Medieval Times.  Now, Caitlin was going to do the Wild West, this coming up year for History.  But, now, I have changed my mind, and she agreed that Medieval Times sounded pretty interesting.  I mean who doesn't love castles, princesses, and dragons. 

I have started the very daunting task of putting our homeschool portfolios together.  Our evaluation is next month.  I am kind of picky, and meticulous, so it takes me a while.  Plus, it gives me lots of time to continue to evaluate and see where we need improvement.  I say we, because I need to constantly adapt, and improve as well as the children. 

I also changed the tests that I am going to give them, before our evaluations.  Caitlin is not super confident in computer testing, as indicated by her ck12 lessons that I went through with a fine tooth comb today.  So, she will be getting a printed paper test.  DJ will be doing a practice online SAT test.  We have been doing the question of the day, for sometime, and I think he is ready to give it a try.  It is free, so it can only be a great learning tool.

I want both of these tests done before our evaluations.  DJ will be doing his next week, and I will order Caitlin's probably next Friday.  We were supposed to go to the springs today, but unfortunately the weather, and both kids caught a cold, so we were unable to go. 

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Some Fun With Italy Geography and A Cool Dog Whistle App

Today, we started our fun Geography series, by starting with Italy. We love Italian food, and eat it at least three or more days a week. We already had stuffed shells this week, and today we made a boot shaped pizza. Unfortunately I didn't take pictures, sorry. It was cute, and tasty. Then we looked up some websites about Italy for kids, discussed their flag, and the meaning of their flag. I started with Italy, because Caitlin has been reading about Rome in her Language Arts books. I think next week we will move on to Germany. As part of this exercise, they find the country on a map, or globe, and discuss countries and bodies of water around it. This is a fun way to learn Geography, and hopefully one they will remember. My son loves music, so I saved some Italian dinner music for him to listen to, as well.

DJ got a little job this week. He has to feed a cat, twice a day, for a week. He has to get himself there, on his bike, and back. Sometimes, in his travels there are big dogs that he encounters. We found this nice free app, to put on the phone. If he should encounter an aggressive dog, hopefully the dog whistle will keep it away. He has not had to use it, thank goodness. Since we walk, and bike a lot, during the school year, it will come in very handy having it. It is free, too!

Monday, July 20, 2015

Passion Vine Update Portfolios and Blue Springs

When I was taking the Zebra Longwing photos, for the previous post, I saw this Gulf Fritallary floating around the Passion Vine too. What I didn't realize, until I saw the caterpillars was that the Gulf Fritallary also uses the Passion Vine as a host plant. How exciting, though I am still not thrilled that I was sold Passion Vine, and told it was Bleeding Hearts, but oh well.

I have started working on our portfolios. DJ will actually have two, one his yearly evaluation portfolio, and the other his high school transcript. If I keep up with it, it will be much easier. Lucky for me, I keep a good daily journal, and this blog helps a lot for record keeping.

Friday, we went to Blue Springs, in High Springs, with some home school friends. This is one of my most favorite springs. There has been chatter that the state will be buying it. I hope that is true. Right now it is too expensive to visit there more than once or twice a year. Making it a state park, would make it my new home, lol. As always we had a very good time. I only got the one pic, because well I forgot to take any others. I did not see hardly any turtles this year, which is weird, kids said they saw a few, I didn't see any. The springs were low, however.

Be sure and visit my craft blog Melissas Jewelry and Gems, and check out my Etsy shop.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Science In Your Own Backyard Zebra Longwing Butterflies

I have been saying for year, especially for elementary aged children, you don't need a fancy curriculum to teach Science. You just need a yard, observation, camera, and a way to do some research. I have posted before about our Milkweed and the Monarchs that have laid eggs, hatched, fed, then morphed into Monarchs. Two years ago, I bought what I thought was Bleeding Hearts. I planted them, and they did nothing. Last Fall I decided to move them, thinking they were getting too much of something, and not enough of something else. I placed them in different spots. Early this Spring I noticed them starting to grow, but the leaves didn't quite look right. Then, I started to notice that the Zebra Longwing butterflies really liked this stuff. So, I looked up Passion Vine, and sure enough I was not sold Bleeding Hearts, but Passion Vine instead. The flowers are just starting to bud, and we noticed Zebra Longwing caterpillars on the vines, two days ago. Now, if we pay attention we will find a chrysallis, and hopefully get to see them hatch into a beautiful butterfly.

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