Sunday, May 20, 2012

Strawberry Picking & EOY Testing

This week was spent during our state mandated end of year testing.  Because coop is over and the testing is over my kids think the school year is over.  I had to make some adjustments to my lesson plans b/c if we stay the course we will never be finished.  I just don't know how the weeks got away from me.  Maybe I took too many detours.  Not sure.  One thing I do know for sure is that we will be continuing with Math & Reading throughout the summer.  I feel sad that we probably won't finish all of our history studies but Math is more important IMHO. 

No matter what I have planned for school I couldn't pass up an opportunity to go strawberry picking.  The weather was so very nice this week.  We've never been picking before so I had to go.  To my surprise is was a lot of fun.  We were joined by a few friends which added to the experience.  The atmosphere in the "country" is so very different from the atmosphere in the 'burbs.  Wide open spaces, slower pace of life, I don't think anyone wanted to leave.  The farm at the strawberry patch had a nice market with homemade goods including ice cream and organic meats.  I purchased a sample of steakburger that I put on the grill - yum.  I want to purchase a side of beef to freeze but it isn't cheap. 

Other happenings this week included being accepted for the summer TOS product review crew.  I've already been approved to do my first review.  So look for that review mid June.  In the meantime check out this giveaway at fellow TOS crew member's blog.

Join the weekly wrap up by visiting the weird, unsocialized homeschoolers blog and sign up and see what other homeschoolingfamilies have been doing this week.

Friday, May 11, 2012

This week was the last week of our co-op.  The kids are so sad.  Monday is their favorite day of the week because of co-op. Now they say Mondays will be boring.  Imagine that...the kids love Mondays!

How sad for them they have to endure the summer until coop starts again in August.  Their academic year culminated at the Co-op showcase which included drama productions for NuNu and Pumpkin.  Pumpkin was a counselor to the Queen and NuNu was the accountant to the Queen.  They never miss an opportunity to be in the spotlight.  Princess didn't have anything to showcase because her classes were all academic in nature this year.

This week also marked end of the year testing.  Princess takes the Stanford Achievement Test and the younger take the CAT exam through Seton Hall Testing.  I was glad to hear that Princess thinks the test is pretty easy.  She says my grammar reviews were very helpful in helping her on the Language Arts sections.  Now you know how that makes me feel. 

I applied to be part of the TOS crew.  I know pretty ambitious.  But nothing beats a failure but a try.  I think it would help if I had more followers but I'm new at this so I guess it takes time to build up a following.  I had to write a sample review for my application.  What do you think?

We have been using Beautiful Feet’s Geography Guide to Literature for Holling C. Holling’s books Paddle-to-the Sea, Tree in the Trail, Minn of the Mississippi, and Seabird.  Since reading the very first book, I have been hooked.  This isn’t just a geography curriculum.  It includes lessons in history and science.  I learned so much about the life cycle of the snapping turtle, the industries supported by the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River, and the Indians of the Great Plains. The simplicity of implementing the guide with the books makes it a joy to work with.  My daughter and I snuggled up on the couch and read 2-4 chapters of the book 2-3 times a week.  She does the corresponding map work on the maps provided by Beautiful Feet and we are done. 

Initially, I was going to use 8.5 x 11 paper maps but I’m so glad I invested in the maps Beautiful Feet provides.  It really makes a difference in the joy that my daughter feels in completing the assignment on these heavy stock visually appealing maps.  In my opinion, the maps are central to the success of using the guide.    So much of what my daughter has learned comes out in our history studies.  This is great for comprehension.

I used an older version of the guide but according to the website, the newer guide contains discussion questions, vocabulary, and activities.  No doubt these editions make the program even better.  The guide is targeted to 3-7th graders and is sold for $12.95. The guide divides each book into 9-10 lessons which can be completed within one academic year.   The four maps are sold separately for $16.95 or you can purchase the guide, the maps, and all four Holling books for $63.95.  To save a little money, I chose to use our public library for the Holling books.

Join the weekly wrap up by visiting the weird, unsocialized homeschoolers blog and sign up and see what other homeschooling families have been doing this week.


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