Saturday, August 15, 2015

Back to School

We are all officially back in school as of this week! Monday was a very exciting day because it was Laura's very first day of kindergarten!

Andrew began 8th grade with his online school. He loves it!

James began 6th grade and David 4th grade in our regular homeschool.

And Rachel doesn't have a first day of school picture but she began her sophomore year at Covenant Christian High School at the end of July. Her fall sport is golf which appeals greatly to me because this means I get to escape for a few hours every week to beautiful nature where I can sit in a cart, watch Rachel play, enjoy the outdoors, and think.

We took a field trip to the State Fair this week! The weather was nice and we always look forward to this tradition.

I loved the bonsai exhibit. I have always been drawn to trees, a bit like being drawn to cows and farms. Maybe someday I'll have a bonsai.....

The kids loved the Lego table at the fair. They did not want to leave it!

I loved all this farm machinery created out of Lego!!!!

And this farm!!! I loved it! Look at the wheat, and there were soybeans and corn too!

And the garden!

We chose our day at the fair specifically to watch the Knights of Valour perform a jousting competition. It was fantastic!

150 pounds of armor on each knight! James is all ready to build his own!

Imagine how hot it was for these poor "knights" in all that armor! But it sure was fun to get an up-close look at a tilt yard and just how a joust competition works.

Here's a little video:

We also love the Pioneer Village at the state fair:

To end our first week of school, and to help reinforce our study of Maine and Massachusetts in geography class, I decided it was time to introduce the children to lobster. None of them had ever had it. So we invested in one lobster. (Which Laura suggested she might like to keep as a pet.)

And we all tried the lobster!

The child who hopes to live in Maine one day LOVED it, some of the others enjoyed it, and one isn't into seafood that much. 

On Fridays we do "fun school" which consists of read alouds, educational games, crafts, drawing, hiking, cooking, art, Bible, and things of that sort. This week we had time for cooking and the kids made Boston baked beans, Boston brown bread, and blueberry buckle. Yum!

Here's what we are using in homeschool this year:

America From the Beginning (America From the Beginning: A U.S. History Curriculum for Grades 3-8). I always struggle trying to find a history textbook because I am never satisfied. I probably won't ever, even if I wrote one myself. That's my basic struggle with homeschooling in general -- there is SO much more to study and learn than can ever be taught. That said, I think I'm going to be happy with this textbook overall.

Trail Guide To Us Geography Teachers Man We've gone through this trail guide before -- maybe 3 years ago -- and have begun it now again. We are focusing on two states a week -- a pretty fast journey through America, but it gives the kids a little taste of the other states. Along with this I utilize the ABC books that you can find for each state -- like "H is for Hoosier". And, when time allows, we can make state foods to try.

  Hoosiers and the American Story. I am so excited about this new textbook for Indiana State History. It's time for James and David to study Indiana history this year and it's also perfect because we will be celebrating 200 years of statehood in 2016. I'm hoping we can tailor several field trips and many read alouds to facilitate this study.

Great American Artists for Kids: Hands-On Art Experiences in the Styles of Great American Masters (Bright Ideas for Learning (TM)). Since we are studying American History this year I thought we could take a little time to learn more about great American artists while we are at it. This book is my guide and I can add in little clips from Youtube to help with various painters' lives and works.

Who Is God? (And Can I Really Know Him?) -- Biblical Worldview of God and Truth (What We Believe, Volume 1) is the book we are using for Bible this year. It seems to be a good level for both James and David.

Exploring Creation With Botany -- Young Explorer Series (Young Explorer (Apologia Educational Ministries)) is our science textbook and with this we will focus on doing a lot of botanical drawings and hikes at Eagle Creek. This may be my favorite area of science.

This is the curriculum we use when we do school together. The kids do grammar, math, and handwriting on their own and we are very blessed to have an excellent writing teacher nearby from whom they can take "Institute for Excellence in Writing" classes from throughout the year.

And so, off we go into another 180 days of education!

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Lovella ♥ said...

It was so fun to see your kids who are all growing up so fast. I love that little kindergarten girl! It looks like a wonderfully interesting year of studies ahead. I would be quite happy to come attend school in your house. We did lobster tails on our grill for the first time this summer and really enjoyed it. Your whole lobster looks pretty impressive! All the best to Rachel in HighSchool and Andrew in online school too!!

Pom Pom said...

Way to go, busy bee! I hope you guys hit a sweet rhythm very soon! The fair looks super fun.

Stephanie said...

Many of the schools on the east side of Cleveland are starting around Mon Aug 24th. Emma's first day of school, well 3 year old preschool, is Tue Sept 8th! I should make a sign, as it's a cute photo. (sjn821 on Rav)

Anonymous said...

I would love to come to your school too! I think what you are doing is giving your children a love for learning, which they can pursue for the rest of their lives.

Unknown said...

My LEGO lovers would go loco for those LEGOS! The knights are so neat too! :)