Friday, December 7, 2012

A Peek at Our Week

This has been a week of crazy ups and downs with Cullen's nasty cold, fever and unexplained sleep challenges. Even in the most difficult times, there are moments that shine. And I am especially thankful for the flexibilty of learning at home when he isn't feeling well.

His favorite activity of the week, by far, was his science experiment. There is something about mixing up random household substances into sometimes slimy, smelly or bubbly combinations. Yes, he was making observations looking for indications that a chemical change had occurred, but he is enough of a boy that his lab sheet has one entry that reads, "React, bubbles, poopy colored fizz."

Book in progress this week is Lassie, Come Home, which is filled with new vocabulary, but he is completely immersed in the story. Dividing with decimals is our current focus in math. In history, we've just come through the War of 1812, and Cullen has done notebook pages for Presidents Madison and Monroe. We are both enjoying Grammar Town as we finish it up.
Though too sick to make his piano lesson this week, he is just beginning a new level of instructional books and working on some Christmas songs. There are little duet parts for the instructor to play, which I am trying to polish up so I can play with him.

Since he was awake till some point after midnight last night, then up this morning at 4:00, unable to go back to sleep, I foresee a day of more lying around on the couch than heavy academics.

Maybe we'll just do a little decorating for Christmas and drink hot chocolate.

Sounds like a plan!


Saturday, September 29, 2012

Field Trip: Stone Mountain

After a great week of school, we took a trip Friday to the Homeschool Day at Stone Mountain Park on the other side of Atlanta. Walker and Cullen had both looked forward to this. Note the happy faces and coordinating sunglasses. They're just cool like that!

The Sky Hike attraction had to be first on the list of things to do. This ridiculously high ropes course took a bit of time and a lot of nerve to navigate, but these two managed to conquer all fear. Here are a few of my favorite shots, taken safely from my spot on the ground.


The museum was a wealth of information on the history of the area, from the time of prehistoric Native Americans, through early settlers, Civil War, reconstruction period, all the way to modern time. A special exhibit detailed the monumental sculpture carved into the side of the mountain and how it was created. A life-sized replica of one of the horses was an irresistible photo op. 

A trip to the top was, of course, an absolute must. Much like I would imagine the surface of the moon, except with more gravity, tourists, an occasional scrubby tree and a snack shop, the top was pitted and pocked from erosion. These two loved it.


 We had fun searching out odd carvings left in the granite over the years. Most were just initials or names, but this one had a readable date of July 4, 1912.

Cullen took great pride in locating the official marker at the summit.
 It gave us an arrow north for bearing, which helped us locate Kennesaw Mountain on the horizon near our home. Amazing, how many miles we could see even on an overcast day.
A little earth science, a little history, a little P.E. and a lot of fun equals a terrific outing!

Friday, September 7, 2012

What a summer!


First away-from-home camp with church friends got mixed reviews. Looks like he had fun, but he wants either his dad or me to chaperone next year if he goes again.

This was Cullen's fourth year at Kid Chess Day Camp. His friend, Jackson, came, too, this time making it even more fun.

Of course, there were plenty of lazy moments like this.

Take advantage of all the cuddle time you can, Dad. He is growing too fast!

Hamming for the camera on his tenth birthday.

We took a stop in Chattanooga with friends. He is practicing being taller than me here.

The long walk underground through caverns to see Ruby Falls was full of wonders, but it was a little chilly that deep inside of a mountain.

Cullen was fascinated with the shark exhibits and especially the live sharks at the Ripley's Aquarium in Gatlinburg.

Which one of you is Nemo?


Ziplining in Gatlinburg was a blast! He showed no fear whatsoever. We could have done this for hours more. Next time...

Rafting on the Pigeon River required a little more nerve. The rapids were kid-friendly but did knock him off his seat a few times. Our boat mates are Estelle, a friend from high school, and her son, Kaden. And of course, our guide who did all of the actual work.


The usual silliness with Walker during a visit to Six Flags. The water park area made a hot, muggy day turn out to be big fun.
                    Ready for the new school year!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

How did April fly by so quickly?!?

I can hardly believe this is the first of May! We were incredibly busy this past month. Here are a few of the highlights:

Our big field trip was to the Georgia Rennaisance Festival. My favorite of the day was the Birds of Prey show. Look at this amazing owl.

It will not surprise you to know that the boys' favorite event of the day was the joust. They were mesmerized by the weaponry and the mock combat, complete with flaming sword and whip, while I admired the power and grace of the horses.

This spring has brought higher temperatures than expected. Kids know how to take full advantage of this! Here are our friends from next door and Walker and Cullen staying cool.

As far as school work goes, we've been plugging along just fine. I am proud of Cullen for working on writing a novel, not as an assignment, but just because he wants to write it! It is titled, Jack, the Champion, featuring five kids who love basketball and whose team makes it into the playoffs. He says you'll have to read the book to find out what happens!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Quick Catch-up and a Wild, New Rug

Long time, no post, I know. When life gets too busy, the blog is the first thing to suffer. But I thought about you often and have much I hope to share in future posts!

The latest and most colorful development here is a new rug for our school room! Goofy boys are same as in previous posts.

We just finished up reading Sign of the Beaver together and are now into a quick and easy biography of Thomas Jefferson. In the past couple of weeks, the boys' math curriculums moved into alignment on the topic of operations with fractions. Frankly, I'm pretty tired fractions right now! For history, we've learned about the Constitution and the federal government, actually having some interesting conversations on the process by which a bill does or does not become a law. Once gun control issues were mixed into a boring history talk, suddenly these guys were totally engaged.

Another unusual occurrence this week - an apparent explosion in art class.  ;o)

One thing that is working out extremely well is the new Spelling Power curriculum we've just begun using. After a few weeks, I'll post a review for you, but I can say now that I'm loving it so far!