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Sunday, September 23, 2012

Homeschool {Week In Review}

Homeschool Week #2 complete!  Here are a bunch of our highlights ...

Sunshine involved and right up in the mix with everything:

Working hard at our desks:

Learning about the Five Kingdoms of Living Things in Science and coloring in helpful memory tools:

Handwriting (Angel's least favorite):

Digging for buried treasure with a Pyramid Dig Kit:

Making their own colored salt doughs:

This ultimately turned into their Salt Dough 10 Commandments (one for each of their bedrooms).  I had high hopes of "carving" the commandments into the dough but well, that just wasn't working out very well.  So I wrote them in with a sharpie.  (We are working hard on memorizing the 10 Commandments with several fun games and flashcards too):

Spelling tests and math drills on the computer:

Prepping for our CC Presentations ... this week the kids will be presenting about their own personal history:

And some random cuteness as well:

It was a great week!  I am still trying to get into a groove but am feeling a little more comfortable with our schedule.  I consistently underestimate how long everything will take with a toddler in the mix, but I'm getting there :-)  I ordered a couple new educational toys for Sunshine that will hopefully keep her busy for a little while longer so I can work one-on-one with Angel when needed.  I am also working one-on-one with Lovebug here and there, but it's not nearly as intense.

Next week will be a little lighter because our cousins are in town, yay!  We are trying to soak up as much time with them as possible, so we're going to be short a couple homeschool days next week.  I'll see how much I can fit in with an abbreviated schedule!  I am just loving the flexibility of homeschool because we'll be able to take trips with our cousins during the day that we totally wouldn't be able to do otherwise.  Homeschooling rocks!

(Come find me on Facebook!  And if you have been blessed by my blog, would you mind taking just a few seconds of your time and click on the 2 links below?  You don't need to do anything except click each button once (you can click once a day!).  Each click is a "vote" that allows my blog to be seen by other homeschool and adoptive families so I can help them too!  Thank you so much for blessing me with your help, may God bless your day!)

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Thursday, September 20, 2012

Alphabet Bowling

Trying to make letter recognition interesting for Lovebug, I found this idea while pinteresting.  I'm not sure where it came from, but the idea was a hit.  It did take some time to set up ... lots of of cutting and writing.  Worth it though, for sure!  When each little bowling "pin" (or sponge) gets knocked down with a marble, he has to say what letter is on it.  I hope to use these for letter sounds and eventually spelling simple words too.  Sunshine and Angel both wanted in on the action too, so it seems this activity could span several ages :-)

The Online Workshop!

I am so tickled to announce that the online version of the SHOOT MY KIDS! Workshop is finally here!  It offers the same material as the in-person workshops, but is now available online for moms across the country who don't live near me.  The Workshop is designed for moms that own DSLR cameras who want to take better pictures of their children.  For more information about the Workshop and what you'll learn, please visit the website for details!

I hope you'll join us for the first Online Workshop, scheduled for Saturday evening, November 10th at 7pm EST.  The participants in this first Workshop only receive a special discounted fee of $74 (there is a cap of 10 attendees).  If you'd like to register, follow THIS LINK!  And if you have questions, shoot me an email at  I look forward to hearing from you!

PS - Isn't that precious little bundle absolutely darling?!  I've been busy as a bee with professional work and am having so much fun with Fall colors now!

And PPS - If you are still reading, I'll soon be announcing an opportunity for adoption fundraising through the Workshops!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Fun with the Ancients {CC History Cycle 1}

Between all of our homeschool subjects, I think the general consensus is that history, yes HISTORY, is our favorite.  Science is also high up there, but the history thing just tickles me to no end.  You probably did not know that I was a history minor in college ... not for any particular reason, except that I liked it enough that I took so many classes I could actually minor in it.  I know, I know, I'm a bit strange.  Whatever though, history is COOL.

So in CC Cycle 1, we are studying the Ancients right now for memory work.  I am adapting the awesomeness of The Story of the World curriculum into the CC memory work and ohhhh we just love it.  Angel thinks the reading is a little boring (not me though, I think it's fascinating) but she absolutely adores all of the projects we've been doing ...

Painting hieroglyphs on real Papyrus paper from Egypt (serious coolness, she thought it was the greatest):

Flooding the Nile River with beautiful blue water:

Unfortunately they had a little too much fun with the flooding part and we didn't get to watch our grass seeds grow.  But I think the learning was definitely in the flooding process here :-)

Creating our own Egyptian Pyramids with sugar cubes (this was Angel's favorite):

Sunshine really enjoyed it too ... so after all of the sugar cubes had been ohhhed and ahhhed over by little fingers, I gathered them up into a sensory bin for later.

And making Sumerian seals out of air-dry clay like they did in the "old days" ...

Which eventually turned into "Art Day" as the kids had a blast designing these creations:

So are we having fun with history?  Um, yeah.  Seeing the kids just light up as we work through these projects has been really just awesome.  Having Angel tell me how much she LOVES homeschool ... ohmygoodness, melts my heart.  And Lovebug, who wasn't as big of a fan at first, is coming around, thankfully.  And Sunshine is just along for the ride ... sometimes she likes to play along a little too much and gets upset when she doesn't get a turn indefinitely.  So I think she gives homeschool two thumbs up also.

Going forward, I may just try to do one homeschool summary blog post each week ... I still need to figure that out so that homeschool doesn't take over my blog, hehe.  But I definitely want to document all of the fun (and ok, sometimes boring) things we are learning about!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Classification of Living Things {CC Week 1 Science}

Our science curriculum this year isn't so much an actual curriculum, as it is more of a hodge-podge based on our memory work at Classical Conversations.  Week 1, Cycle 1 Science is the Classification of Living Things.  Based on the kids' ages, I wanted them to understand WHY we classify living things and not so much what all of the classifications actually mean.  So we memorized the different classifications using my lego towers (thank you CC Connected for the idea!) and then put them in order also.  Both Angel and Lovebug rocked this little exercise out and Angel totally has the classifications put to memory based on our little pneumonic "Kings Play Cards On Fat Green Stools,"  hehe.

We also did a little classification exercise with shoes to really drive home the WHY of classification (thanks to another CC mama for this idea!).  The kids collected all of the shoes in the house and then we classified them until most categories only had one set of shoes.  Lovebug and Sunshine lost interest, but Angel was definitely interested in classifying *everything*!

This was a great way for them to understand why taxonomists classify living things while still having fun with it!  Oh and I got to vacuum out the pantry area where all of the shoes are stored, bonus!


Time, my friends, has simply not been on my side these past few weeks!  Wow!  It's all a super awesome, wonderful, spectacular kind of busy ... but it's meant that the blog world has taken a backseat temporarily.  It is definitely NOT permanent, but I'm working on figuring out a new normal while homeschooling and working and doing life :-)  I'm hoping to do a homeschool update later this week, but for now ... how 'bout a precious shot of Sunshine with her God-mama?  It took awhile for her to figure it out, but oh boy she sure does love her Godparents!