Monday, November 21, 2011

Our plans for this week…

We are going to have an easy school week this week…  What with Thanksgiving and all, I thought he could have that day off from school work. :)
BUT.. before that we are still learning much.  Yesterday we watched the movie   Squanto: A Warrior’s Tale  from Netflix.
It was a great movie.  Though now  there are some facts we have to look up.  <smile> 
We will also be taking a virtual trip BACK to the first THANKSGIVING.  You can do it too here.
For MATH  -  plenty of division practice especially.
For LANGUAGE ARTS – he will be writing to his pen pals for thanksgiving…  Other than that no LA – he is already way ahead in this subject. 
For SPELLING – We will be reviewing the Spelling Rules.  No new words this week, just the rules. 
For READING – The Story “No More Molasses Cookie”  from his Christian Light Reading Book.  This is in addition to the other books he must read.  Over the last few months Noah has become quite the reader… his current BOOKS he is reading…
51aCHadzp0L__BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA300_SH20_OU01__crop   51mIbJdKDWL__BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA300_SH20_OU01__crop 51Ntd9X3GFL__BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA300_SH20_OU01__crop
Thimble Summer is the only one that is “for school”.  Elijah of Buxton is his current reading for while he is in bed before sleeping.  And Shadow Wolf is during the day, because he loves wolves!  He was so excited when I bought the first book in this series for him. 
For WRITING – He will have a 10- minute writing plunge.  He usually does this twice a week.  He gets a list of four different topics or sentences he must finish, and just writes for ten minutes.  Nothing matters but getting thoughts on paper during this activity.  Not Spelling.  Not Punctuation.  Or Grammar.   Surprisingly, he really likes this – I think because I am not grading his mistakes. 
AND of coarse, SPANISH AND LATIN  - Of the two he currently likes Latin better than Spanish. 
ART  - We will get caught up and finish our study on Jackson Pollack.  I, personally,  didn’t like this one, because (no offense to any Jackson Pollack fans) some of  his paintings look like he just splattered paint on a canvas everywhere making a huge mess.  Noah, however, had the idea that maybe he could try that and make some money selling his “art”. 

That will pretty much sum up our short week…  Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Notable Noah – Something new

We did something today we have never done.  We walked down our road to the end of the street where there is a brand new Big Y Supermarket. 
It was my way of doing school with Noah, but in a different way.  I asked him  math facts he’s having trouble with along the way.  He told me stories, and idea after idea that he has…
When we got to Big Y, we got some water, and Noah says he can have science by going over to look at the lobsters.  LOL  ( We are studying crustaceans after all, was his logic) 
We certainly got our exercise in for today, as it is 3.8 miles round trip. 
Noah says it was all worth it because he got some treasures – his mother calls it junk.  Which is why I am reminded all of the time, “As the saying goes, One man’s junk is another man’s treasure… well, I’m the other man” says Noah. 
Noah and his ‘treasure’.
walktobigy3 bigy
last hill before home                  Charging up the hill, shouting
                                                       “Let’s do this!”

It kinda blends in.. but this was my not-so-pleasant surprise…a snake, sunning himself.
Believe it or not, I didn’t even freak out.  I managed to stay perfectly calm.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

An unusual day

Normally we don’t do school work on Friday.  That day is reserved for other things.  But this Friday is Veteran’s Day, so we will be doing something for that day. 

There are SO many ideas all over the internet for teaching children about Veteran’s Day.   So for simplicity sake, I have narrowed what we will be doing down to this:
Getting the book called H is for Honor: A Military Family Alphabet by Devin Scillian  from the library.  And using that with this unit.  This unit study has a lot fun and fact hunt ideas, that by the time we are finished we will have a pretty good idea of what Veteran’s Day is about. 
He will also be writing a thank you note to a Veteran or two! 

Saturday, November 5, 2011

A beautiful day!

In contrast to last Saturday, today was a very nice day. 

We decided to take a little walk…


He is bouncing back and forth on the bridge to make the bridge bounce up and down




He kind of blends into the shadows…


Because there is a bench…he wanted to rest awhile…


A rare picture of the two us.  We took many to get this one. By the time we were finished we were laughing hysterically.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Big Ambitions…

So, we are going to try writing a novel.    In a month.  
Noah often says that he would like to write a novel.  He says he would like to do a lot of things.  When I read about this opportunity, I had to let him try.  So beginning November 1, 2011  Noah will begin writing a novel.  For this particualr program.  He already has some parts of a story he's working on typed out on his Ipod Touch.  I tell him now, to beginning to get all those thoughts rolling around in his brain into order! 
We are going to use this as our guideline:  NANOWRIMO: Young Writers.  And National Writing Month is November 1-30th!
This may be ambitious on my part, but I set his word count number to 18,000 words. 

I will keep the updates coming. 

Thursday, October 20, 2011

A Visit to a Rock Quarry

This was a neat field trip, I’ll admit.  It was fascinating to see all the layers of rock in the earth, and they are still drilling – with plenty more for many years to come.

This past weekend we went to Vermont to a Rock Quarry Open House they had in Middlebury. 

Noah is very interested in rocks of all kinds.  He loved this place!  They had a scavenger hunt for kids to do, all kinds of different rock displays, and even microscopes set up so you could see what the rocks looked like. 
…And Noah’s favorite part
….pounding rocks. 
His least favorite parts, (which I found out later)
… the scavenger hunt.  They were given a paper with questions listed on it, and they had to go find the answer.
He, apparently would rather just break up rocks.  We stayed there quite a while.
We went with his cousin and my sister.  There were many kids there, so Noah and his cousin shared the hammer back and forth.
Noah is showing me his hands, cause they were sore after he carried half the quarry out with him.  I told him that if he wanted them, he had to carry them.  It’s a wonder the bag held!  
…not overly enthusiastic to be leaving the quarry. 
The thing that impressed Noah the most??   They use rock (calcium) in toothpaste. 

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Notable Noah – Making breakfast

Noah wants to learn how to cook.  So, we are starting with basic things first.  Pancakes, grilled cheese, etc…
Today, he wanted to make the eggs for breakfast.  Which is good since we have eggs most every day.  He did a great job. 

He is dancing to the music. 
He says, “Cooking eggs was so fun, he wants to make all the meals for the family!”

Monday, October 3, 2011


I must admit teaching art is not my favorite.  In fact, if I could skip it I would, but I can't so that is why I am using Erica from Confessions of a Homeschoolers Art Unit study.   She is so creative. 

I would have a hard time getting "the artist" lessons in without this study.  So, our first artist to study was Pablo Picasso. 
Here is Noah's first try at a "Picasso - like drawing"  (or rather second- I made him go back and do it agian when he didn't listen carefully to the directions the first time.) 

He is rather proud of it. 

He calls it "Stained-glass man".  If you want to know how he created this drawing then visit  The Art Fairy. She gives step by step instruction.  We used colored pencils, instead of regular pencils though. 
  Next up.....Van Gogh.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Science Experiment - Blubber

Noah has been learning about whales and pinnipeds (seals, and sea lions).  So, yesterday, it was time for an experiment.  This always makes Noah’s day….experiment time! 
He was to “test” whether the blubber on the whales gave them much protection in the icy waters. 
We got out our ingredients… petroleum jelly, gloves, and ice water.  
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He stuck two gloves on each hand, adding 1-2 inches of petroleum jelly to the other hand. 
Hint: when testing make sure you don’t stick your wrist in also – that isn’t covered.  :)  We had to test twice.  You know, just to make sure he couldn’t hold his hand in the water longer. 
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Get a stopwatch, and time how long he can hold his hand in the ice water.  Test each hand separately.
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He got a big kick out of his “blubber” hand. 
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Final step: write down the observations in the Science Speculation Sheet. 
This is the book we are doing right now for science.   I love it!
From Apologia Science

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Fun! A Movie field trip.

Calling all Families! Calling all Moms! Calling all Homeschoolers!
Join thousands of families nationwide to see the movie Dolphin Tale on September 23 together. It makes a statement to Hollywood to rally behind movies that “get it right” and tell great stories without all the junk, twaddle, and moral compromise! This movie has all the good stuff we want more of and is truly entertaining and inspiring from ages 5-95!!!
It’s time the conservative Christian Family and Homeschool community shows Hollywood we have a voice. But how? We need a story we can support and get behind, a story that affirms who we are and what we stand for.
Dear Friends, Dolphin Tale is such a story!
This is a family movie that will inspire, instruct, and bring you to tears because of the great story line. This movie even has two homeschool kids who play the main roles! (The casting agents went to a local support group in California and found them!)
The bottom line is that the Homeschool Movie Club wants to show Hollywood that the those of us with Christian and strong family values are a big enough market to support other great movies with traditional, conservative family values. I am hoping you will be a part of this great opportunity with me!
This was copied what Sally Clarkson’s blog I Take Joy.
We plan on going to see this movie on Friday. 
Noah has been waiting for this movie since he saw the trailer for it. 
If you can, support good movies, and homeschooling.  Go see it Friday, September 23. 
If you click on the Homeschool Movie Club link above, you can get all kinds of free curriculum!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Notable Noah

I saw a really neat idea on preserving the current thoughts our kids on Pinterest and 1+1+1=1.
I decided to make my own version, the way I knew how… these are Noah’s likes.
Noah's likes
I created this on Picnik
And the ones that didn’t fit on my picture:
Best show on TV: “In my opinion, Magi-Nation”
The coolest person on Earth: Grandpa
I can most awesomely: draw
I would change my name to:  “I wouldn’t change my name”
If I could go anywhere in the world: “where else, I would go to Africa to dig down to the center of the earth.”
My favorite movie: Narnia, Voyage of the Dawn Treader
Favorite season of the year: “summer and winter, but winter is better cause you can do more things”
If I could have one wish: “to have enough materials to make working wings”
Three words that describe me: fun, inventive, talkative. 

Saturday, September 3, 2011

A great education site

In looking for some supplemental things for Noah to do, I came across a great site at  This site seems to be quite thorough have worksheets, activities, etc, for all ages/grades from preschool - highschool.  And a bonus they have an app for ipod/ipad.   It's awesome for ideas! 

Fun Finder, by

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Our first history project of the year

In history, we use Tapestry of Grace – Year 4, we are now learning about the beginning of the 1900’s.  Today we learned about the great earthquake of San Francisco in 1906.  We did two things. 
First, he had to make an “earthquake proof” building.  We used what we had.  Marshmallows, and straws.  I was going to have him use toothpicks, but apparently didn’t have those like I thought I did.   Oh well, it gave him more of a challenge. 
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At the beginning, he used mini marshmallows.  
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In his words, “First attempt – failed”
But we talked about what else could be done, and decided bigger marshmallows would help.
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Testing its durability….
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Final product…works!

After that we watched a documentary from Netflix on the San Francisco earthquake.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Notable Noah – A hobby

We haven’t done much school at all this past week.  He was sick pretty much the entire week – cough/fever. 
But, now we are getting back into the swing of things.  Over the weekend we went to a garage sale which had many (13, in fact) magazines on woodcarving.  Noah bought them all (at 10 cents a piece).  They renewed his wanting to do some woodcarving. 
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Admiring his work.  For this first project, he is making a quilt design.  After carving, he will paint it. 

Monday, August 22, 2011

Living Math?

When discussing pleading with Noah last week, about how he NEEDS to memorize those multiplication facts, a thought occured to me….
Why is it so difficult for him to come up with the correct answer on a worksheet, but I KNOW he knows them (at least most of them). 
… to look at his worksheet you would think he knows nothing about multiplication.    Here’s the (in my mind) strange thing.  If we are having a conversation – he can multiply without skipping a beat.  
Things like this.  “Noah, here is your medicine.” and my mom gives him five children’s tylenol.  He says, “Will they last 20 hours?”  Just. like. that.  If he had  4(the number of hours the medicine last), so 4 times 5 = ___ on his paper it would have taken a few minutes.   This happens all the time!  So, I jokingly, asked if I had to come up with a story for each of his harder math facts.  He said that would be very helpful! 
First of all, I am not that creative.  So, my next step was to research to see what was out there.  Can you believe I was not disappointed?  It has a name… Living Math. 
Honestly, I am not sure why I hadn’t thought of it earlier, cause I am all about “reading for learning” method by using living books instead of textbooks. themselves. 
Much to Noah’s delight, we will be playing math games,  reading math stories, and using Life of Fred.  This set of math books looks awesome, I had no idea someone had come up with a way to learn math by telling stories and funny ones at that! Certainly saves me from doing it…

Some Living math books listed by categories can be found here and here.
The only books we have done so far are these types of books.

We will still be using our CLE Math in addition to our Living Math method… for now anyway.  Oh, and using Life of Fred means he will write the answers to the problems down in his Math Notebook, so he does write down answers to problems.  This way just seems to be more up his alley…we shall see. 

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Our first week of school

I wasn’t sure exactly how the first week would go…
Considering, I have A LOT planned for him to do, but he had no problem doing all of the work, and in many cases liked it.  School 2011-2012 001
He dug right into what he had to do.  This is our 4th year homeschooling.  He loves reading.  Though will not pick up a new book on his own to see if he likes it.  He would rather just read the ones he read over and over.   …that is until I give him another one I want him to read, and suddenly it’s his new favorite.  This was the case with this week’s book of Homer Price by Robert McClosky.  (Noah now wants a workshop in his bedroom like Homer). 
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One big surprise is how much he enjoys his writing book.  I decided to start this year with teaching Noah how to write.  We will take our time about it, but his end of the year project is to write a persuasion paper.  In the book we are using they have what is called 10 minute writing plunges, where he just writes about  a choice of 4 given subjects for 10 minutes.   The goal being to begin forming a love for writing and the writing process.  Noah likes that I don’t grade him in this.  He even asked to write longer than 10 minutes. 
77222_jumbo This is the book we are using.  We are taking two years to do it. 

On another note, we had to cut Thursday’s work short because Noah got sick.  He has a fever/cough.  But, he is a trooper because on Friday, still being sick, I couldn’t find him.  Only to find him, in the schoolroom, doing yesterday’s unfinished work.  What a good boy! 
(I later found out that he thought he wouldn’t be able to go over Grandma’s if his work wasn’t finished for the week.) 
We don’t do school work on Friday’s, as long as he had his work finished for the week.  Friday is left for field trips, and fun. 

Monday, August 15, 2011

Notable Noah – He’s so creative…

So, Noah has been asking to have a picnic at the lake we swim at for a long time now.  Finally, I got it together to do so.  Noah was creative with his sandwich,  using baby carrots he made the eyes and nose.  The “mouth” was already shaped that way. 
So, here his Noah’s version of food art

Tuesday, August 9, 2011





Every year, before school begins, I try and make a goals list of things I would like Noah to accomplish throughout the year. 



Goals for 4th grade year

1. Have all multiplication and division facts MEMORIZED

2. Write everything in cursive.

3. Know all 50 states and their capitals

4. Write a persuasive paper

5. Memorize at least 3 poems

6. Improve in spelling

7. Begin learning at least one musical instrument (he wants to)

I may add to these in the future…

Monday, August 8, 2011

Getting ready to begin a new school year!

I don’t really know about Noah, but I am excited about starting school again!  I think he is too.  I have been rearranging… AGAIN…and came up with a great school area. 
I thought it was time we got a map.   Geography will be one of our top priorities this year.
I like that it has the country flags on the bottom.  I got this map from Costco.
I have been seeing all kinds of great quotes lately both on Money Saving Mom, and Pinterest.
Thinking they would be some great motivation for Noah, I print them out.  The top one says “Don’t Quit: Every difficulty is an opportunity in disguise.”  The middle one says “It always seems impossible until it is done.” and the last one says “Don’t be afraid to fail.  Be afraid not to try.”
The books on the very top are the books he needs for the week for history.  I know it looks like we do workboxes, and believe me, we tried.  Something, I would love to do, but it doesn’t work for us.  So, we use the drawers instead to store the stuff Noah will need. 
His desk, with his, pencils, highlighters, and notebook all ready.  :)  In the space on the wall is where our white board will go, but I haven’t got that up yet…obviously. 
It’s going to be a great year.  Noah is going to learn so much, and his mom also….

Noah's 4th grade reading list

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