23 November 2015

Day 33 / 105 - A Shot In The Dark

On the evening of Friday the 13th, my son and my husband ran a 5K trail race in the dark.  It was hosted by the U.S. National Whitewater Center (much more on this gem in a later post).  Since the race, we have been told that the trail running at the Whitewater Center proves to be quite challenging, so the fact that my husband and my son tackled it for the first time in the dark is impressive.  Each runner was required to wear a head lamp.  Even with their lamps, both of them wound up getting lost more than once.

Even more impressive, is my son wound up placing third in his age division (which dominated the top ten) and placing seventh overall.  We're heading out there in couple weeks to enjoy a daytime 5K, so he's eager to see how much his time improves.

Side Note:  The Wednesday before the race, I sprained my left ankle and was sporting crutches.  My husband fell twice during the race, severely injuring his right foot.  We shared the crutches for the weekend.  Fortunately we're pros at ankle rehab, so I'm happy to report we're both walking again with only some minor limping!!

17 November 2015

Day 32 / 105 - Woodwork Merit Badge

Our son is slowly adjusting to his new Boy Scout troop here in Charlotte.  His busy Cross Country schedule this fall has prevented him from attending some events.  Now that the season is winding down, he is able to involve himself more regularly.

For two Saturdays he attended a Woodwork Merit Badge camp.  It did requite a little bit of effort and work on his part.  I expected him to come home with a bird house.  Surprisingly, his final project was the pen pictured above.  The photo doesn't even do it justice.  It's beautiful, and he's incredibly proud of it.  Plus, he's been motivated to complete his school work with it, so that's just an added bonus!

16 November 2015

Day 31 / 105 - Writing From (Lego) Pictures

If you visit this blog regularly, you have seen this assignment before.  Part of IEW's syllabus is the Writing From Pictures unit.  The student is given a series of three pictures, and from there the student authors a three paragraph story incorporating as many of the writing dress-ups and decorations learned throughout the semester.

For my Essentials class, I enjoyed using some photos from a Lego comic strip for our assignment.  Originally, I thought it would be incredibly fun to have actual Lego scenes for our assignment, but our family has not done a decent job of unpacking the legos since moving five months ago.  Instead of scrambling for Legos the night before my class, I opted for some photos off the internet.

My daughter's story follows:

One day, Sir Napoleon, the French Explorer, was desperately searching for diamonds in the frigid and freezing arctic. Even though the sun shone brightly, it did not warm the arctic air. While his team of sled dogs was howling and whimpering, “Find Bacon!” his faulty metal detector went off.


“Diamonds!” Sir Napoleon yelled.

Upon investigating the site, sadly he discovered it was only bacon. So he disappointingly tossed it to his dogs.

Sir Napoleon quickly resorted to his pick ax and started furiously digging because he was still hoping for treasure. As he was digging, he stumbled upon a polar bear's cave. He peeked inside the cave and witnessed colorful jewels of many kinds. Sir Napoleon was terrified of the vicious bear, who happened to be sleeping, but he needed those jewels. He thought to himself, “I will scare away the bear and take his treasure.”

He called out in the deepest voice he could muster and yelled, “I am coming for you, bear.” The frightened, sleepy bear replied while shaking, “Mama? Is that you?”

“Yes” answered Sir Napoleon.

“Oh, Mother. I was having a scary nightmare.” The bear, still trembling and shaking, came to the door to discover it was only silly Sir Napoleon. Now the bear was terribly annoyed.

“How dare you try to steal my jewels!!” the bear angrily yelled. In one quick bite, he devoured Sir Napoleon.

Noticing the sled dogs, the bear invited them into his cave and fried them some bacon. The dogs and the bear lived happily ever after.

The End

Day 30 / 105 - Where the Red Fern Grows

In the above picture, the description of this book should clue you in that this book has now become one of my son's very favorite reads, even with its heartbreaking ending.

This was the third novel my son needed to read this fall for his Literature and Exposition strand.  He wrote his persuasive essay on why Billy (the main character) should have secretly walked to the town of Tahlequah (32 miles away) in order to retrieve his new hound dogs.

06 November 2015

Day 29 / 105 - October Happens At The Table

Very full days of Latin, English, Math, Art, pumpkins, and more!  #LifeHappensAtTheTable

28 October 2015

Day 27 / 105 - XC

We added a new activity to our fall calendar.  Our son began running Cross Country.

In early August, he and I were attending the Open House for his Challenge B program.  In passing, his tutor mentioned that her daughter was at volleyball try-outs that evening.  Being new to the area and looking for activities for my children, immediately I asked her where her daughter plays volleyball.  She proceeded to tell me about a private school in the area, Arborbrook, that allows a certain number of homeschool students to participate on their sports teams each season.  Within the hour, my husband contacted the Athletic Director, discovered that Cross Country was a possibility, and signed our son up for the season (without him knowing).  

At first he wasn't completely sold on the idea, but he quickly began to adapt to his new running lifestyle.  Within a few weeks, he actually began to enjoy it.  Quite a bit.  His practice was held at a metropark that is essentially in our backyard.  His team was incredibly welcoming.  We couldn't have asked for an easier transition.

Since he was a toddler, we have always stated that our son would be a healthy distance runner.  Amazingly, he can move for hours.  And hours.  And hours.  Without ever tiring.  He still maintains this level of activity even as a teenager.  Running has been perfect for him.  

Middle schoolers run a 3K distance at their meets.  He started the season with a 13:43 3K.  He ended the season (on a noted hilly, difficult course) with a 12:48 3K, averaging a 6:52 mile.  He's excited for his future in the sport after he adds some additional endurance and strength training compliments of his father.  He's training for one more 5K to be held at the end of November.  

His coach asked the team to write an essay explaining how Cross Country has impacted their lives.  He was super excited to write this, and it correlated nicely with our Lost Tools of Writing curriculum.  I thought I'd end this post with my favorite paragraph from his essay:

I unwillingly moved to Charlotte with my family three weeks before I began Cross Country practice. At first, practice was a bit of an adjustment because I didn't know anyone, and I missed my friends from West Virginia. I felt awkward around my new teammates. But doing hard work with others, helps develop relationships quickly. By the first meet at Metrolina, I felt like I was part of a team. I was making friends with others, and within a short period of time, I was enjoying my new life in Charlotte. Arborbrook Cross Country was a large part of this.