Saturday, September 28, 2013

Peek into Our Weeks

I realize I haven't updated this blog in a few weeks. I have really, really good reasons, I promise! One of those reasons in just the simple fact that we have been so incredibly BUSY! Another reason, although a sad one, is that my Grandpa Sweetie passed away. We took some time to go to Michigan for his funeral and to see family. And finally, I became an AUNT! My sister and her husband had their first baby.
My dear Grandma and Grandpa Sweetie <3

And here they are on their wedding day. So beautiful!

My nephew: Elijah Kenneth Fan

What a cutie!

So now that THAT'S out of the way, on to the weeks in review...

Because of all of the above, I'm lost as to what week we are actually on. We really do so much during the week and I am just not good at remembering to capture pictures of everything. Here are some of our highlights from the past 2 weeks though.

Third Grade: Caden

Caden and I are doing a Beta test for Lightning Literature grade 2.

Even though he is in grade 3, I think the grade 2 is perfect for him. He can do much of it independently and it is fun and a part of the day that he looks forward to every morning. I loaded the student pages onto the iPad and he uses an app so that he can write directly onto the pages without my having to print them. It saves paper and it makes it more fun for him. Every week we read a new story, practice some grammar skills, and discuss the story as well as elements of literature. There are composition ideas but we are not doing those since he is in an IEW composition class. I feel like that is enough writing for him.
A page from Explode the Code

Creation to Christ: Alexis Grace

We are thoroughly enjoying our year journeying through ancient history. The main text that she is reading right now is quite challenging, but she is giving it her best (most days). This challenging text is balanced with some much lighter and interesting historical fiction which really helps paint a picture in her head of the time period. Of course it is all interwoven with Biblical history too, which is extremely awesome! I don't think many young people fully realize that the events in the Bible happened at the very same time as many of the events that we typically associate with ancient times--pharaohs, pyramids, etc. I know it took me a while to understand that!

Along with history, she is continuing to learn about animals in the Apologia Zoology 3 book. Reading, experimenting, and keeping a notebook are making this an excellent year in science.

On Fridays at our house, we have several other homeschool students come over and I teach IEW (Institute for Excellence in Writing) lessons. Alexis and her classmates are writing about the topic of Narnia this year. I love that it is based on literature (we are reading the series aloud at family reading time). I also love that she is becoming a better writer. She loves that she gets to hang out with her friends for an hour or so each week. :)

Preparing Hearts for His Glory: Alivia

The above 3 pictures show Alivia and Mackenzie working on one of the many hands-on history projects included in the Preparing Hearts curriculum. This particular unit Alivia made Roman coins using a really fun (and sticky!) bread and glue clay. I don't require any of the hands-on projects for history, but if they see one that they want to complete, they are welcome to work on it.

Alivia has been learning about the night sky in science. She is keeping a record book of different constellations. Last weekend we were at Nana and Papa's house in the evening and we saw Saturn through the telescope and Alivia was able to point out the Big Dipper. She tried to find the Great Bear, but there were a lot of lights reflecting into the sky.

Alivia and Caden are taking an IEW class on Fridays at our house. They are working through Geography-based writing lessons which are based on the intriguing books written by Holling Clancy Holling. I am also hoping to have them work through the geography lessons written by Beautiful Feet Books. The large maps will be a major motivator there I think.

Here she is working on her Frontline Clubs devotional and Bible memory passage. We are doing this study with our church group on Wednesday evenings. It is a thorough and well though out program with all 3 younger ones are enjoying.

Revival to Revolution: Mackenzie

Even though there are no pictures of her work, she is still continuing to work through the HOD guide for Revival to Revolution. She is enjoying the historical study of the time period and has read ahead in many of the historical fiction novels which are assigned to her. To round out this study she is using the IEW US history based writing lessons (also at our house on Fridays). Add to that a composer study and Bible study about Hebrew as well as Exploration Education for science, and she has a very full and busy school day. This past week she made a steam boat that really worked! I must say how thoroughly impressed I am with this science package.

For PE this year each child has chosen an activity to participate in. Alivia and Mackenzie are taking gymnastics; Alexis is taking ballet lessons; Caden is playing flag football (he even made a touchdown in today's game). They are also all working hard on their parts for Schoolhouse Rock Jr. Live, which they will be in through Motivate Our Minds (where I work).


  1. A busy week indeed! I am sorry to read of the loss of Grandpa Sweetie {{{hugs}}}. Congratulations on becoming an aunt, too. Such a cutie! Looks like you got a lot accomplished with all that what going on.
    Addelah @

  2. I like the idea of loading pages onto the ipad - that's very neat!

    So sorry for your loss.


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