28 January 2015

Day 58 / 104 - Dodgeball

My son is participating in a 12-week gym class for junior and senior highers orchestrated by our local community homeschool association.  We participated in the same activity last year.  Right now, this is a highlight of his week.

For the past three weeks we've been playing dodgeball.  Three weeks of dodgeball might not necessarily warrant its own post on this blog, but I need to mention why the past three weeks have been different.

Our gym days are Wednesday afternoons.  Our Classical Conversations community days are on Thursdays.  My son has much work that needs to be complete by Thursday mornings.  Also, on Wednesdays we have piano lessons, and my daughter has dance.  So now with gym added into our routine, we are home maybe 90 minutes during the day.  Before the afternoon gym class even began, I explained to my son that if he wanted to attend, that might mean he completes some work over the weekends or in the evenings.  He has followed-through and taken ownership for his work because of how much he enjoys the gym time.

To add to the responsibility, I have been the parent in charge of dodgeball.  (Laugh along with me knowing full well that my only involvement in a formal dodgeball game was less than 30 seconds before I was quickly eliminated.  However, I do possess the skills to print regulation rules off the internet, order official balls, and boss people around.)  Because of this, he has definitely needed to step up, own his share of the involvement, and help with some time management.  I'm pleased to report that he has.

27 January 2015

Day 57 / 104 - Life Happens At The Table

Last fall, I shared how so much of our life happens around our dining room table.  Then, I posted about it again.  Our dining room table truly is the command center for our educational journey.  I don't mind it at all.  In fact, I've become rather fond of it.  As I have evolved as a homeschooler, I have learned to embrace and enjoy this mess.  I even want to document it.

Okay, some days it's not always 100% enjoyable.  Here, Ryan Gosling shares an exact quote from my husband.

Some days, it's not always a complete disaster.

Regardless of the state of this dining room table, there is life happening around it.

If you know me, you know that I love to take pictures of our day-to-day life.  I aim to take one picture (just one!) everyday.  This has been a simple addition to my life over the last few years, and has helped me to document our life and to preserve our memories.  Plus, it's the easiest way to make a scrapbook with very minimal work!!

In one of my previous posts from the fall, I mentioned how simple it would be to document our entire year with regular photographs of the life that happens around our dining room table.  Nothing captures our day-to-day life more perfectly than snapshots of the activity around this table.  My friend Gina encouraged me to follow-through with that challenge, and she even decided to join in on the fun.  Visit this link to witness all the happenings around her table with her darling family.

View my dining room table from yesterday afternoon.  Note what's happening ...

1./2.  I'm embarrassed to say how long this packing paper has been stacked on our table.  Yesterday we brought some of it to life by drawing maps of Asia and diagramming sentences on it.

3.  We're a little late to the party, but my children have begun reading The Hunger Games.

4.  Latin is always easier when we have constant access to the declension endings.

5.  My son and I will begin a new study of Human Anatomy this Thursday.  We will be learning, memorizing, and drawing the body systems and structures.  I'm looking forward to this!

Would you like to accompany us in taking note of what is happening around your table?  Gina and I are excited to collaborate with this new memory-keeping blog post series.  We'll also document on Instagram using the tag #LifeHappensAtTheTable.  Follow along and share your memories!  Enjoy the life that happens around your table.

P.S.  I went back through seven years of pictures (that's how long we've had this table) in hopes to find a picture of my husband at it.  I couldn't find one!  He joked, "That's because there's not room for me to sit and eat at the table."  I did find this picture of when he prepared his food for a 24-hour obstacle course race he completed in 2013.  My husband doesn't sit very often anyway, so this picture captures him quite accurately.

P.P.S.  I also found this blog post from when I was a fairly new homeschooler and believed I still had the ability to organize my dining room table.  Someone needs to respond with, bless her heart.

21 January 2015

Day 56 / 104 - Walk-Through Paper

Earlier this week, we came across a video (link posted below) about amazing paper tricks.  Naturally, I knew my children would be most interested in the third activity, Walk-Through Paper.  If you watch the video, you can see how my daughter turned an 8 1/2 x 11" piece of paper into the chain pictured on the right.

My son mentioned that this was something he had done before at Boy Scouts, and that postcards make really incredible picture frames this way.  Good to know !!


16 January 2015

Day 55 / 104 - Dance!

Earlier today, my eleven-year-old daughter disappeared into the basement with a hairdryer and a glue gun.  About 45 minutes later she resurfaced with this canvas.  Like so many times previously, we had the following conversation....

Me:  Wow.  How'd you do that?
Her:  I watched a video.

Day 54 / 104 - Latin Pictionary

Almost every week, in my Challenge A class, we play Pictionary to review Latin.  My students enjoy it. (Or, at least they pretend to enjoy it, which is why I keep returning to it every week.)

Basically, we review by listing a bunch of Latin nouns, and their stems, on the board.  Then, we identify a few verbs that we have learned.  The verbs allow this to be a simple, manageable activity.  (We are limited in our sentence construction due to the fact we've learned only a few verbs.)  Finally, I have the students take turns drawing a picture that enables us to write a sentence in English, then parse it, and attempt to translate it into Latin.

Yesterday, we were working with the verbs heardsees, and praises along with some 3rd Declension nouns. Normally, our sentences are very basic and read Subject-Verb-Object, which is a great starting point for these 13-year-old students to master two different noun cases.  Occasionally, I will tell them to add a possessive, or a prepositional phrase (telling us where this event happened) in order to incorporate two more noun cases.  If we use the verb gives, we are able to incorporate the Dative noun case, also.  Yesterday, some of our sentences read: Caesar praises peace.  The king praises the law.  Caesar praises the soldier.  The soldier sees the light.  Caesar heard the soldier's voice.

Our Henle text book loves to give us examples of the conquest of the Romans, so oftentimes I will use exercises out of the book for entertainment.  13-year-olds love to draw pictures of soldiers attacking, or swords being handed off, or dead bodies floating in the river!!

13 January 2015

Day 53 / 104 - Latin Word Wall

Man, those Romans.  It's no wonder that their empire succeeded economically, politically, culturally, and strategically.  Trying to decipher all the nuances of the Latin language (and we've only learned very few) has assured me that they were an intelligent bunch!!

My son and I are working on memorizing the basics of this subject in hopes that with time, our understanding of Latin will deepen.  So, over the past week, my son covered our kitchen wall with some of the vocabulary we need to memorize.  We're working on memorizing the Latin word, its English meaning, its genitive (possessive) singular, and its stem.  In the third declension especially, this takes some brain power.

Ideally, we would have written these words all over our patio sliders because I love that.  But, due to an upcoming life change, our sliders need to remain clean.  These papers were attached to the wall with special adhesive allowing for their very easy and very clean removal.  Not as fun, but it still works!

12 January 2015

Day 52 / 104 - Mondays

I've mentioned before that I've kept this blog documenting out homeschooling journey for several years.  Usually, we use many of the same learning activities over and over.  That being said, I'm running out of ideas to post about.  For my year-end portfolio, I thought about beginning to reference past posts for documentation. This week, we did the Year 1, Day 3 activity along with the Year 3, Day 75 game ....

Because my son has advanced to a middle school curriculum, which does require more sit-down work, many of our weekdays have consisted of 'just getting all the stuff done.'

So, here's a picture of our Monday.  Most Mondays look like this.  Mondays are an easy day for us because no one has any extra-curriculars until later in the evening.  Normally, we work in 45-50 minute increments, taking short breaks before moving onto another subject.  My daughter works independently for two of those time slots, my son for four.  Meanwhile, I try to make some semblance of the kitchen following the weekend.  Today my daughter knocked out Grammar and Math, while my son worked on Math, Science, Latin, and Geography (the Math and Latin I do alongside him).  On Pandora, we listened to a string quartet cover Coldplay and the Beatles.

It truly is a wonderful life!