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Homeschool Week in Review: Independence

Homeschool week in review: independent learning

The first floor reno continues. I’ve been feeling a little guilty because I’m not spending as much time with Hanna and her school work as I’d probably like. However, this lack created growth. 🙂 Hanna is still struggling to do anything on her own, take initiative, get out there and find the answers/solutions. It’s understandable. She’s spent many years where school was following directions, staying on the line, not talking, doing only what you’re told. She’s spent most of the week in the camper doing her work. I can’t tell you how many times I heard, from the little bedroom window, “MOM!! I need some help.” I’d finish up what I was working on, and head in to see it was a simple problem she really did know the answer to. She’d complain a little, and then get back to work. One of these times though, it took me a … Continue reading

20 Picture Books for 5th Graders

I never would have thought of picture books for 5th graders. I thought they were just for little kids. Luckily I was wrong. When we started this homeschool journey my daughter was a very reluctant reader. Years of AR tests and forced reading had created a lot of reading resistance in her. My main goal for our first year of homeschool was simply to bring back the love of learning. I didn’t know how I was ever going to do that when I couldn’t get her to crack a book… ever. I was lucky enough to run across some articles about picture books for older kids, and we started the Big 5th grade picture book experiment. Well… we are almost half way through our school year, and I’m happy to say it’s been quite a success! Enough so, that we are going to continue using picture books for the remainder … Continue reading

Homeschool Week in Review: Renovation

homeschool week in review: renovation week one

It all started with a simple wish to paint the living room. Which quickly snowballed into a tiny kitchen addition/remodel, which quickly snowballed into a complete kitchen renovation. How does that happen? Needless to say, life has been hectic, and dusty this week, and we’ve managed to learn a ton in the process. Who knew you could find so much learning in a renovation project! There’s been more measuring than I can describe. The measuring, and leveling, and jacking, and measuring and shimming, and jacking, and measuring. 😀 Gotta love 100+ year old houses with an almost 2 inch slope in the kitchen. If this wasn’t a lesson in engineering I don’t know what is. Well, when it became somewhat clear it was going to be difficult to get the floors level with the cabinets in place we decided we’d just “pull them out and level the floor, then put them … Continue reading

NEW! Picture Book Extension Packs: Grammar, Comprehension, and Writing With Picture Books!

5th grade Grammar, comprehension, and writing lessons from picture books

To say the last couple of weeks have been crazy would be an understatement. I decided to paint the living room for Thanksgiving, and it turned into a huge snowball, and now we’re basically doing an entire kitchen renovation. (Which is AWESOME. YAY!! and a nightmare. Ugh.) We took the week of Thanksgiving off from formal schooling, we had company and construction going on, but there’s always learning happening, I can’t even tell you all the measuring we did. 🙂 But this week we made it back to the library and we’re back on track. 🙂 You’ve heard me talk about the big 5th grade picture book experiment and our much loved Living Lit grammar packs. I realized this week, as I was making my library list, we’re almost to the end of the curriculum. (YIKES) I emailed the creator and she has no plans to make additional packs. Which … Continue reading

Homeschool Highlights: Halloween, Bagels, and Pioneer Woman

To say we’ve had an eventful week would be an understatement. We had plenty of regularly scheduled items as well as an impromptu field trip. Here’s the highlights. Monday, we spent the day figuring out the science of yeast, by baking bagels. It was tons of fun, and I learned a lot… oh yeah, Hanna did too. You can read all about our bagel adventure and all the resources we used in the Kitchen Science, Making Bagels post. Monday was also Halloween! We went out Trick or Treating and Hanna received a ton of candy, which she always sorts and organizes. Honestly I think it’s her favorite part. 🙂 Tuesday is our volunteer day. There were 2 new dogs at the shelter for us to get to know and walk. We talked about how crazy it is that we met Duke only a week ago and he’s already such a part of … Continue reading

Kitchen Science: Making Bagels

Kitchen Science Making Bagels

My kiddo is in love with science, and she loves baking. She was intrigued when I told her baking is all about chemistry. I’m not sure she actually believed me. 🙂 We’d been talking about making bagels for a while, so it was a perfect time to show her baking is more than fun, it’s kitchen science! I’m going to be honest, making these delicious New York style bagels is time consuming… but it is bread. However, while the dough is rising it’s a great time to dig into the science involved. 🙂 The Kitchen Science in Making Bagels We found quite a few resources that helped us understand the science of baking bread and the differences between plain bread and bagels. Here’s some bread science 101. This goes over the basics of yeast, and baking powder, and the basics of how it all works. We supplemented this article with … Continue reading

Homeschool Highlights: The Week We Got Duke

homeschool highlights the week we got duke

What a busy week we’ve had, some planned things and some seriously unplanned events this week. Let’s just dive in. Monday our bookkeeper came out to work on the books and brought her adorable little kiddo. Hanna spent the morning entertaining her. What great practice for becoming a babysitter! That night we had parent’s night at gymnastics, which is always fun. It’s amazing to see how far she’s come with her skills in 9 weeks. She’s almost got her walk over down! We also started Owl Moon for this week in our Living Lit program. (Which I totally had to run to the library and get when it opened, because I completely spaced getting it ahead of time. Lucky for me our local library had this one!) We also dug into the Fibonacci sequence a little bit. It’s pretty interesting, and we now find ourselves on the lookout wherever we … Continue reading

Stem Challenge ~ Natural Disaster Edition

STEM Challenge Natural disaster edition

Last week we tried something new. An impromptu stem challenge. 🙂 Hanna wanted to do more science, so I looked through our STEAM Kids book and found a project she could work on independently. (Have I mentioned how much I love our STEAM Kids book, and now there’s another STEAM Powered Kids book all about the senses?!) Anyway, she said she wanted to build something, so I looked through the build section of the book and came up with an engineering project. We were out of mini marshmallows, but did have raisins still in the house (from making Kabuli Palau during our Afghanistan study!). I gave her toothpicks and raisins and an invitation to build something. She started building a house. She had some problems with her house. The walls wouldn’t stay up for one. Which led to some investigating and testing of ideas on how to get the walls standing. … Continue reading