Saturday, February 23, 2008
This past week was crazy! My 2 year old had two doctor appointments. The first one was for a hearing evaluation and was in a city about an hour away. The second appointment was a heart evaluation and was in a city three hours away.
Normally, this schedule would totally wipe out our school week. But, not this time. The three R's were covered each day. My 13 yr old, 10 yr old and I are all reading ACROSS FIVE APRILS.
The biggest success of the week was my first grader. He has been using Time 4 Learning for less than 2 months. Because I was not confident in his abilities, I opted to sign him up as a first grader, with access to the Kindergarten program.
This child does not sit still! If he was in public school, I believe he would have still been considered a kindergartner at the beginning of this school year due to immaturity.
Anyway, In January, we began the T4L Kindergarten program. As of this week, he has done the full K math program and is one Review section away from completing the full K phonics program. He really breezed through it and has learned a lot. He is almost reading!
He loves it so much! He loves the graphics and the setup of the program. ( You can check out the demos here. ) He loves going to the playground after his lessons are done. (I love that I can set a time limit on the playground and control our account like this!)
I love the backpack-an area I can go to see all of his completed work for the day, week or month. I can even print reports. Oh, and I love the Parent's Forum. I do not post much, but I have had many questions answered just be reading the boards.
This program helps keep me on track every week-even though all of my children are not currently using the program. It's just easier to get everyone going when my first grader is happily chugging along on T4L!
This is a big issue in our home, because our little one has health issues and weekly appointments are the norm for us. In the past, it has caused a true school struggle. Since finding T4L late last December, these struggles have been minimized.
Thanks, Time 4 Learning!
Saturday, February 16, 2008
I very rarely post about homeschooling on this blog. However, there could be a chance reading by someone thinking about homeschooling, or desperate for a change in the way they are doing things. So, I've decided to share our experience with Time 4 Learning.
Time 4 Learning is a computer-based curriculum for preschool through eighth grade. My first grader is currently using the program.
Since we began T4L, it isn't unusual for him to ask to 'start school'. A six year old....asking for school?!?!? He loves it! And he is learning so much.
When he finishes his daily lessons, I can take a peek at a list of his completed work, or I can create reports and print them.
Then, he is free to go to the playground-an amazing selection of arcade and educational games to play for the length of time I decide in advance.
The customer service at T4L is exceptional and the parent forums are a great place to ask your peers about their experiences.
You can click here to see the helps and hints section and get a feel for the program. Better yet, go take a look at the free demo lessons.
You can also click on the link for Time 4 Learning in my favorites column on the right side of this blog.
It really is a fun and effective way to learn!
Wednesday, February 6, 2008
This is a picture my husband took of the Pink Palace Mansion in Memphis, TN. This is the home of the Pink Palace Museum and IMAX Theater, among other things. We absolutely love to visit this museum and always come away with a new tidbit of information that we missed the last trip!
Taken from their website:
Piggly Wiggly founder Clarence Saunders began building his 36,500 square foot dream house in 1922. He wanted a home "Memphis would be proud of, a real Southern showplace," and he wanted all materials, contractors and even the architect to be Southern. Memphis architect Hubert T. McGee designed a home built of pink Georgian marble, featuring a pipe organ, ballroom, indoor swimming pool, shooting gallery and bowling alley.
Sadly, Saunders never got to sleep in his dream home. He lost a battle with the New York Stock Exchange in 1923 and went bankrupt, losing his fortune and his unfinished mansion, which was then donated to the city of Memphis.
Can you imagine?!?! It is such a beautiful place right in the middle of the city, yet it looks like a countryside estate.
Here are a couple of additional pictures from this trip.
This is my 10 yr old taking a turn at the log. Each door in the log contains a surprise. He was the last to have a turn and kept saying he just knew he would get something gross. He did....a beaver's tail!
This is me with the 2 yr old, 13 yr old, 16 yr old, 10 yr old, and 6 yr old. We are standing just around the corner from the massive entry way/foyer of the mansion.
After polling our family, the top 3 exhibits were: The Yellow Fever Epidemic in Memphis, The Piggly Wiggly Grocery Store, and The Medical Careers over the years area-The pharmacy, war medics, nursing, surgery of all types. Thank GOD for medical advancement!!
Sunday, February 3, 2008
First, I have When Heaven Weeps and then, Showdown.
I will also be doing some homeschool planning to work out the next few weeks going into spring.
That means extra quiet time with my BIBLE to prepare my heart for planning. I'll also be digging into the lesson plans in Five In A Row Volumes 1-3, and Time 4 Learning.
Busy week ahead!!
What are YOU reading this week??
Friday, February 1, 2008
Now that we have a couple of teenagers in the house, well....cake goes really fast! I bake it, cool it and ice it. I turn around to grab a couple of dessert plates when I feel a cool breeze on my back. I whip around just in time to come face to face with a cake plate full of crumbs! It happens every time.....
So, this is why we were standing at the cake mixes in this great debate.
I stuck my hand out and lightly touched a box of german chocolate cake mix. He looked at it and mentioned for the first time in nearly 24 years together that it was his favorite cake.
I looked at him and said, "No, it isn't. You like chocolate cake with white icing. Your mother told me that before our wedding. That's why your groom's cake was chocolate with white icing. MY favorite cake is german chocolate!"
His reply: "Well, I like chocolate cake with white icing....a lot."
As I dropped the cake mix and icing in the basket, I was thinking to myself how this cake would be safe with all that sticky, brown, coconut icing....Ha Ha ha ha ahaah aha!
It was really good! And I was right, it was safe.....for a little while. *sigh*
My 4th grader is in Ancient History in his Time 4 Learning lessons. We have been learning a lot about the Fertile Crescent. This is the area that is now the Middle East, but then it was Babylonia.
Trent is very interested in his studies and has learned so much. He has aced his tests on these chapters. Here is a picture of his cunieform. (I think I spelled that correctly...) We didn't have modeling clay, so we used purple playdoh!
Now, I know this isn't exactly accurate, but Trent wanted to do it! The fact that he is using a program that he wants to use; wants to read; wants to create! Ahhhhhhh.......
A few entries ago, I posted about our plans to study the book OWL MOON using FIAR. We really enjoyed that book and if you'll remember, I posted about wanting owl pellets.
Well......thanks to a dear FIAR Mom, (Thanks, Missy!!) we had owl pellets!
I am really bad about that stubborn, type-A personality. You know, all or nothing? I have been using FIAR since 1999 and never 'rowed Owl Moon because I felt the studies would be incomplete without owl pellets.
This time, (child #4 using FIAR) I broke down and did this study. Hmmm....or maybe the children have broken down my perfectionistic outlook...... uuummmmm...... By the look of the house, I would say this could be it........
Anyway, I broke down and planned this study and followed through, without owl pellets. Then Missy came through with her extras.
What fun we had! Even though a couple of the kids were completely grossed out, they just kept digging. Cade hovered so closely that his nagging little cough continuously blew the fluff and bones around! It was both amusing and highly annoying!
Here are a couple of pictures of the finished dissection, for your viewing pleasure!
This picture is the entire owl pellet: fur bits, misc. particles (?), and bones.
This is a close up shot of the bones and bone fragments we found.
Pretty cool, huh??