Tuesday, August 31, 2010

My Excuse

This is the biggest reason that I didn't get a wrap-up post done at the end of last week...

My oldest son, Eric, and our little grandson, Gavin, spent time with us this past weekend. Cullen got to work on becoming the coolest uncle ever!

I'll catch up soon!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Moments That Shine

There are moments of this journey that just seem to rise up above the everyday - moments that encourage me and keep me motivated to do this work. If you teach children, you know exactly what I mean!

One example from our week: After riding in the car for just a few minutes with the local public broadcasting station playing, Cullen asked me what we were listening to on the radio. I answered that I couldn't tell yet.

"It sounds a lot like Bach," he offered.

Music lover that I am, my heart just swelled up that he even cared! My grin got even bigger when I realized that it was indeed a piece by Bach. Way to go, kiddo!

I wish I knew the story on this particular image!

Friday, August 13, 2010

School Room Pics

Not Back to School Blog Hop

For School Room week at the Not Back-To-School Blog Hop, I'm sharing pics of our classroom. If you caught my earlier post in which I revealed the huge mess this room was in, I especially hope that you'll take a moment to see these "after" photos! Although, if you are one that doesn't tolerate visual clutter very well, you may not see much difference in the before and after shots. This room is a party for the eyeballs, thanks to inexpensive posters, old artwork, favorite toys and other oddball decorations.

Though we truly do use the entire house - kitchen table, couch, a bed, even outdoors when the weather suits - most of Cullen's seat work is done here. Our school room is also a playroom and the puppy's bedroom, which makes keeping it neat a bit of a challenge! (Cookie posed for this photo.)

You want to see what? Inside the closet? the cabinets? about I save that for another post. ;o)

Monday, August 9, 2010

Third Grade - Seriously

This is our first day of school this year. Cullen is a big third-grader now.

No more baby-stuff. Time to get serious.

Don't let that photo fool you for a minute! There is still more than enough goofiness around here!

This year, however, I am feeling a little more - no, a LOT more pressure as far as academics are concerned. I'm a bit of a perfectionist in recovery. (If I'm fighting the worry now, can you imagine what middle grades will be like!?!) Over and over, I keep reminding myself that this should and can be fun. Forgetting that will never be a problem, really, because I am quite certain that Cullen will be quick to remind me!

Today was an easy first day for us, with only about half of what will be a full day's workload. Fun hands-on math, silly drill for facts, a little handwriting, a little... you get the idea.

Alhough Cullen loudly announced several times this morning his great displeasure at having to do any schoolwork, my husband and I both noted that he seemed awfully happy to be so miserable!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

8th Birthday

Cullen is now 8 years old! I'm still a little puzzled at how the years have flown.  Here's the birthday boy with two of his buddies:

This afternoon, his party was at a nearby place with the usual giant jumpy things and also an indoor playground in a huge sand play area. We had a beach playground with air-conditioning!

This is our last big hurrah for summer break. We begin school on Monday - whether I'm ready or not!

Now if you'll excuse me, I have a little work to do!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Curriculum for 2010-2011

Not Back to School Blog Hop

It's Curriculum Week for the Not Back-to-School Blog Hop at Heart of the Matter. Of course, I am posting my entry on the last day possible! Here is our plan for the year:

Memory work - scripture and poems

Handwriting - D'Nealian Cursive, copywork

Spelling - All About Spelling levels 2-3

Math - Singapore 3A-3B with selections from Horizons Math (because Cullen likes it!) Hands-On Equations and plenty of games

Language Arts - MCT Grammar Island, Sentence Island, Music Hemispheres (poetry) with additional poems, Practice Island, Building Language (vocabulary,) IEW Writing incorporated throughout LA, science & history, reading from Junior Great Books and selected novels with some read-alouds from me, as well

Geography - Geography Songs, mapwork

History - Tapestry of Grace Year 2 (second half) Beginning American History (We may or may not get into Yr 3 this year.)

Science - Lego Simple Machines classes, Real Science 4 Kids level 1, space and ocean units, plenty of time in nature

Art & Music - various projects from Artistic Pursuits, artist & composer studies via Harmony Fine Arts, piano, boys choir, 

Other - Critical Thinking and Logic with Critical Thinking Press software, keyboarding skills, Etiquette, Chess, gymnastics, acting & improvisation class

Mix in a generous helping of field trips, fun outings and pajama days for an exciting year!

I've been asked more than once if I've finished the big clean-up project! Every time I think I'm close, I end up pulling another stack of things out for planning. You know how that is! Photos coming very soon!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Wordless Wednesday Warrior

100% boy...

Even George isn't safe.

Guess who stayed VERY close to me while all of this was going on?

Oooops! I wasn't supposed to use any words. ;o)