28 September 2012

Day 22 / 102 - Gym and Swim

For the past several weeks my children have participated in a homeschool Gym and Swim class at the YMCA of Southern West Virginia.  On Tuesday mornings they've spent an hour in a swim class and an hour in a gym class.  The classes have been very well run, and we've enjoyed spending our mornings at the Y.  Plus, it has given us opportunities to connect with the homeschool community here in Beckley, which was my main reason to sign up in the first place.

27 September 2012

Day 21 / 102 - Abstract Art

Today, at our Classical Conversations campus, I will be working on an Abstract Art activity with my class.  While researching activities on Pinterest, I came across this pin, which looked like a whole lot of fun.  Yesterday I had my own children complete the project to show my class the finished work.

We traced a stencil on drawing paper at least five times, overlapping the designs.  We used the same shape, but mixing shapes would also provide an interesting result.  Then, we colored the design, changing colors each time a line was crossed.

Quick.  Easy.  Creative.  And quite enjoyable!

26 September 2012

Day 20 / 102 - Cedar Point and Camping in Cabins

My son turns 11 today.  In keeping with our tradition of having 'experiences' for our birthdays rather than 'parties', we celebrated over the weekend at Cedar Point.  We've had Season Passes to Cedar Point the past three years.  We loved visiting the park regularly, and it was a highlight of our time in northeast Ohio.

Since our 2012 passes are still active, we wanted to visit during our favorite time of year to visit, Halloweekends. So, for my son's 11th birthday, we planned an entire weekend of camping near the park.  Unfortunately, we had some rainy cold weather in the evenings.  However, the campground where we were staying, upgraded us to an empty cabin for a very minimal fee.  Totally worth it!

We had a great birthday celebration.  And to make the trip even more memorable, my daughter cleared the 52" height requirement by less than a centimeter, which made her eligible to ride the Top Thrill Dragster pictured above.

25 September 2012

Day 19 / 102 - Edible Animal Cell

You need to eat something in order to learn about it, right?

This week we've been studying the parts of an animal cell.  Today, in order to enhance our learning experience, we made giant chocolate chip cookies with candy toppings.  Each candy topping identified a different part of the cell that we've been learning about.

Of course I made my children tell me what that certain part of the cell did before I let them eat that topping!

19 September 2012

Day 18 / 102 - Five Principal Parts of a Verb

 Learning is much more fun when you get to write with Sharpie markers on the wall, right?

This week we've been learning about verbs and their principal parts (infinitive, present, past, present participle, past participle), so in order to foster learning and make this fun, we began writing some common regular and irregular verbs, along w/ their parts, on the wall.  On this chart we also added how a verb changes when the speaker changes (1st person - I sit vs. 3rd person - she sits) or when the subject becomes plural (the dog sits vs. the dogs sit).

18 September 2012

Day 17 / 102 - Ancient History-Based Writing Lessons

Each week, part of our Essentials program has us completing a writing assignment from the Institute for Excellence in Writing.  This year our text is Ancient History-Based Writing Lessons.  I love the text because not only are we learning the many elements of writing, but my children are also completing a writing assignment with a history lesson included.  It's perfect.

The great thing about this text book is that lessons can be tailor-made for children between grades 3rd - 8th, depending on the amount of work they can handle or how difficult the assignment is.  This is my daughter's first year in an IEW class, and my son's third.  Naturally their assignments and completed work look different.

Our first assignment had us writing poetry about the Ancient World using quality adjectives and alliteration.  My son then went on to study strong verbs and adverbs while composing a second poem.  Each week we will add a new element of writing style while completing a writing assignment with an Ancient History theme.

17 September 2012

Day 16 / 102 - Pick and Draw

Several weeks ago, while I was researching drawing activities on Pinterest, I came across a card game called Pick and Draw.  Pick and Draw is a fun and creative game that teaches someone how to draw cartoon faces.  The game uses simple shapes that everyone already knows how to draw, which makes it enjoyable and doable for most everyone.  This game provides endless hours of fun, learning, and imagination.  It was well worth the minimal investment.

My son, who in the past has shown little interest in art and drawing, has loved this game and has filled notebooks with his cartoon faces.  Some of his faces are pictured above.  There are over 60,000 possibilites in one deck of cards!

If you want to play a hand, click on the link above.

10 September 2012

Day 15 / 102 - New River Gorge

It should come as no surprise that we've visited the New River Gorge almost every weekend we've lived here.  We've hiked, climbed, swam, and observed rafters and kayakers brave the rapids.  I had originally intended to post a photograph of my children watching rafters for this post.  But last week my daughter drew this picture of the Gorge inspired by the artwork of Ginger Danz, a local artist.  I loved the picture and wanted to make sure it found it's way onto the blog.

07 September 2012

Day 14 / 102 - Nomadic Cave Drawings

We're learning ancient History this year using Story of the World Volume 1: Ancient Times, by Susan Wise Bauer.  Since we attempt to study History in a three-year-cycle, this is the second time we've worked our way through this book and its activities.  It has been fun to see how much we remember.  This book is told in an engaging, narrative style and begins with the earliest nomads and ends with the last Roman emperor.  I look forward to posting several activities from the curriculum this year.  Above you can see my children's ancient nomadic cave drawings.

06 September 2012

Day 13 / 102 - First Day of Classical Conversations

I love Classical Conversations (CC) and what the program provides for us as homeschoolers.  So naturally, when I learned we were moving, I searched for a new campus that we could be a part of.  I was thrilled to discover that CC is active in West Virginia.  We do have a bit of a commute to our new campus in Lewisburg, but it's well worth the trip.  Today began Week 1.  This year both my children are participating in the Foundations and Essentials programs.  I wrote in detail about the programs last year, which you can read by clicking the links above.  We're looking forward to a great year.

05 September 2012

Day 12 / 102 - Who's the Greatest?

We're slowly working our academic curriculum back in alongside all of our adventure.

We've been playing this card game regularly as my children review place value by creating the greatest five-digit number.  We've used two shuffled decks of cards with all the tens and face cards removed.  Each player is dealt five cards.  Players arrange their cards to create the greatest possible five-digit number.  Players read their numbers aloud and decide which number is greater. The player with the number with the greatest value wins all the cards from that round.  The player with the most cards at the end of the game wins.