Thursday, March 28, 2013

Attempting to Explain How I Pack

A friend, who doesn't fly very often, asked how I pack my suitcase for a trip.  Firstly, I don't roll my clothes into my suitcase, I stack them.  This is because we generally travel in the winter and most of the clothes are bulky clothes in the first place.  I just take fewer and layer thin pieces interchangeably.  Secondly, if I'm gone for more than 3 days, I take two pairs of shoes, otherwise, it's the one pair that I'm wearing onto the plane that I wear the entire trip.  I've been wearing the Birkes or Dansco clogs for years and that's good for me.  I'm very no-nonsense.  It works for me that all my make-up fits in the quart ziploc with the other bathroom stuff.  Most importantly, I always pack food.  I'm thrifty and know that there isn't always food where I or my family members are when we get hungry.  In closing, this method works for me, but maybe not for you.  I might be whooshing past you with my suitcase on wide wheel base as you sit to tie your shoes after going through security, but we'll both get where we're going somehow. Cheers!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Guest Post: G1 Volunteers at Local Library

What do I do at my volunteer job at the library?  By G1
So, my first day volunteering at the library I sorted out the due date cards.  sorting them was like playing cards. you had to sort the cards to date which was like dealing the cards out. Not that interesting, but it needed to be done. That was the only thing I did. On the next visit, I went to the library and I first had to clean the break fridge.  There was an interesting looking orange.  Cleaning was really easy.

Then I had to check the books that the library did and did not have from the catalogue. You have to search the book, check the author and write the appropriate symbols. That was all from the last 2 weeks. On my third week I had to make some brochures ( well not really"made" but I folded them) then I sorted out some more due date cards. then I had to rearrange some books, which was not hard at all. Then I HAD TO BIKE HOME, which wasn't that hard, but it was cold and my ears were hurting after that. I probably won't do that again in the cold... Lessons learned.  Good day.

A Landmark Event: Project Fair Participation

The 2013 Project Fair compiled 19 projects from homeschoolers represented by our parent support group.  The categories ranged from hobbies, animal reports, science experiments and demonstrations, travel, history and occupations.  These 3Gs didn't write their notes on cards for the short presentation time, but many did, and almost all the participants kept their in-the-spotlight time to less than 5 minutes.  Everyone took questions after each short presentation.  I'm so proud of my Gs.  They did a wonderful job researching, writing and conducting their projects.  I'm actually looking forward to next year when we do it all over again!
 Lego history

 Hippopotamus Report

 Sir Francis Drake

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

How We've Done Grammar for 4th, 5th and 6th Grades

I jumped off the First Language Lessons "train" at the end of 3rd grade for G1 and this is where we landed, in Rod and Staff book 5.  I found plans from Deanna at Through the Narrow Gate Academy  to use that kept the lesson, worksheet and test order clear for each child.  I bought two student texts and one teacher text along with a worksheet packet. 
I've read that many people don't even use grammar lessons with their kids.  Most of these parents read a lot to their kids and, while reading, teach the lessons of grammar.  Then in the middle school years, many of these kids are faced with grammar.  Writing and grammar are my worst subject, so I just followed the advice from The Well-Trained Mind and used the materials suggested from the beginning, almost six years ago.
All three Gs completed the fifth grade materials and have begun or are almost half way through the sixth grade materials.  I've been using the exact same number of pieces I used for fifth grade with the addition of a white board and dry erase marker to each child.  I will not continue with this grammar program though.  Actually, G1 is almost done with the spelling books suggested in the above mentioned guide to homeschooling (WTM). 
Upon completing his Spelling Workout Level H book, he will work on a vocabulary list in both
Latin and French each week for seventh grade.  There are grammar and usage lessons included in the materials we've already invested in several years ago from Memoria Press.  After those are finished, I suspect he may be using an online course.  In fact, both he and G2 are to be enrolled this summer in beginning language courses through CurrClick.  One hour a week for ten weeks will be just enough. 
I can't explain if any of this is working for their language development.  I only know it was an attempt to prepare them.  I'm personally more prepared for the next step, which is writing with IEW's SWI-B product and guidance.  I'm excited about proof reading exercises at Critical Thinking Company also, but that's another topic...