Wednesday, August 26, 2015

{Journal Entry} Delta Trip 2015

{Another journal entry, since I have quit keeping a family journal.}

For the last few years, each August we are invited by a dear friend out to her extended families' house on the delta.

There are 4 families.

Eight parents/adults.

This year more adult children came so there was a total of 20 young people, ages 8 - 23.

We went out on the boat and had rides on the couch and pancake both days; and had a wild time.

Here you can see My Sweetie and Nutsy on the couch.

And below you can see Mr. Lego and Bookworm, going backwards.

Of course yours truly had a couple of rides, and I did get dumped twice.

There was also jet skiiing.

The very first time we came here, Dasher was so freaked from her jet ski ride that she said she would never go again. That was years ago, and she is now begging Mr Jet Ski Driver to jump as high as he can.

This was Nutsy's first year on the jet ski. She wasn't too sure the first day, but this was her on the second day. (Of course she was sitting and hanging on for dear life when the thing was moving.)

When we weren't on the boat we were in the water.

Lots of swims, water fights, kayak rides, and floating.

Nutsy also had another first this trip, a flip off of the low diving board.

Crazy child.

Again and again she did this.....

The adults had a great time visiting.....

and playing volleyball. (Kids too)

Meals were all outside, since we don't fit in the house. And we ate very well.

Each morning we made these lovely donuts to go with our breakfast.

And each meal people would just find a spot on the grass to eat.

Before breakfast one morning.

And evening card games , of course.

I am so thankful that we can visit here each year and grow our friendships with some very lovely people.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

{Schoolhouse Review} ~ Alpha Omega Publications

The school year is upon us! This last month I have been doing math with the younger two though, and trying out a new curriculum with Nutsy.

Alpha Omega Review

What It Is:

Alpha Omega Publications puts out curriculum for every subject and grade level. I received the Horizons 2nd Grade Math Set to review. As you might know, Alpha Omega Publications has many different types of curriculum to choose from including Switched on Schoolhouse, LIFEPAC, Monarch, and Weaver.  Horizons is a workbook based curriculum that is teacher led and uses hands on activities with a workbook style.

The 2nd Grade Math Set comes with:

  • Two consumable workbooks; with a total of 160 lessons. The workbooks are engaging, colorful, but not too distracting. Each page is perforated and the lesson number is clearly at the top of the page.

  • Teacher Guide. This is the meat of the program, and is invaluable for this curriculum. There are instructions for the teacher, lesson plans, the answer key, and printable worksheets. 

This level of math begins with ordinal numbers, place value, and addition. By the end of the year, your child will have learned:

  • Time (to 5 minutes)
  • Place value to the 1000
  • Addition up to three numbers (4 digit)
  • Subtraction up to two numbers (3 digit)
  • multiplication facts (0-10)
  • 16 shapes
  • Money (all coins and bills)

Plus they will have done problems that deal with ratio, fractions of a whole, measurements, graphs, estimation, and lots more.

What You Get:

This is a complete curriculum. The teacher manual is laid out in a very organized way; you can see at a glance what each lesson is focusing on. In the manual, each lesson is explained in detail. First the concepts and objectives are listed, along with teaching tips.

The materials needed are also listed; there is a convenient list at the beginning of the manual that lists all lessons and materials needed. Most of the manipulatives can be found around the house (mirror, note pad, real money, box, straws, etc.) but there are some other items you do need to have. Some of these include a clock model, flashcards (addition, subtraction, multiplication, and other math facts), graph paper, thermometer, and ruler.

Next in the lesson plans are the activities. This gives guidelines for the student-teacher time, and leads the teacher through different activities. These include counting aloud, reviewing concepts, flashcards, and doing the student workbook. There are also worksheets that are to be copied and used throughout the lessons.

This is from a Christian company, so the images and word problems are appropriate and not offensive. 

How We Used This:

I chose to have Nutsy do this curriculum. This last year she did a couple of online math programs and really wanted a workbook style curriculum. She has had some 2nd grade math so I looked through the books and decided to start her about a third of the way through the program.

I liked sitting each day with her and doing math. One thing I really liked about this program is the focus on fact memorization, and extensive review of math facts in each lesson. I had a set of flashcards but did need to make some up on my own; word numbers (five, seven), months of the year (to put into the correct order), and time equivalents (1 year = 365 days, 1 hour = 60 minutes). There are many other flashcards like this that are used in the program; it would have been convenient if I could have purchased a set of all the needed flashcards.

Math is the one subject that I really try to tailor to my child's learning needs. As lots of you know, Dasher really struggles with math, and through the years I have found that we need to focus on one concept at a time. We would spend a week on only subtraction, and then another week only learning the multiplication facts. So when Nutsy came along, I got a little lazy also taught her that way. But God created all our children with different strengths and weaknesses, and this last year I realized that Nutsy was flailing. These workbooks, which teach multiple concepts in a lesson, really perked her interest. She really thrived doing math, and, even after doing math these last few weeks, looked forward to it each day. The pace was very good, and with so much review built into the lessons, she was retaining the facts she was learning.

I had heard of Horizons before, but had never given it a try. I am very thankful for this curriculum, and its engaging lessons and worksheets.

Other crew members reviewed Health, Phonics, Spelling & Vocabulary, Penmanship, and Physical Education. Check out what they thought by clicking below.

Alpha Omega Review

Crew Disclaimer

Monday, August 17, 2015

Monday Musings ~ It's Been A While

What I'm thinking: That I am loving our school break. Back when I was younger (and had more energy) and the kids were not as easily entertained on their own, I would teach school all year round. Now, I really love our 8 week summer break, and use the time to do little projects, deep clean parts of the house, and plan for the coming school year.

What I'm listening to: Laundry going, a lawn mower outside. Later this afternoon I will put my Pandora on while I clean the house.

What we're learning: The girls are on a break right now from school, but Mr. Lego is planning on taking the military entrance exam (ASVAB) in a couple of weeks and is studying a lot for that. I am helping him, and brushing up on my algebra skills.

What I'm watching: We get a few shows that we can watch on Streampix.....most are junk but the good thing is that there are no commercials. We have been going through the Cupcake Wars episodes which can actually be quite dangerous if you are hungry.

What's cooking: This week I am making Chicken Pad Thai, artichoke-spinach pasta shells, and a roasted chicken. I also need to make more bread and take care of my kombucha....

What I'm thankful for: I am so thankful for grace. I mess up every day, I am not as disciplined as I should be, and I struggle with being patient with my kids at times. Thank God for His amazing grace!

What I'm creating: School schedules. I have figured out all of our subjects, now to put it to a schedule. For our daily school I only schedule out the first 12 weeks, but for co-op I attempt to schedule out our entire year.

What we did this last weekend: We had a quiet Saturday, then went off to an evening of ice skating, courtesy of our orthodontist. Then church on Sunday where we heard a great sermon on the Lord's Supper, and then to the park for our last church picnic of the summer.

What I'm looking forward to: I am looking forward to our delta trip....we go every year around this time with two other families.

A picture to share:

~The girls played with clay last week and Nutsy made this of her hand. She told me she will keep it forever, so she can see how much her hand grows.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Church Camping Trip 2015

Last week was our annual church camping trip.

Dirt, dust, and air mattresses that deflated during the night.

But we had a blast, as usual.

Every morning we made our regular camp breakfast; veggie/ham scramble, sausages and Camp Donuts.

{early morning campfire}


Our pastor led us in devotions each morning; we learned more about Hebrews 11 and 12.

After that, some people played Corn Hole....

...others played card games or hung out.



Still others took bike rides around the campground.

Lunch is always sandwiches or the once-a-year cup a noodles.

Then, out to the lake.

My dear friend Kate always lets as many kids into her truck as can safely fit.

So remember this bridge?

This was from two years ago, when we jumped last.

 Last year there was water, but someone dove down and determined it was too low to do any jumping.

And this my friends, is what it looked like this last week.

The drought is very real here, and the lake levels were extremely low.

But we still had a good time on the rocky beach.

A bunch of us swam across to check out the other side;  Nutsy had a small inner tube that she came along in.

When we started back, someone made the mistake of telling her that she could not swim back on her own, so she got in and proceeded to swim all the way back by herself.

There is no way I would have done that when I was ten.

Our last day there a bunch of us went about 25 minutes away to the Yuba river.

This place was gorgeous and the water was crystal clear.

There was a very large, calm pool where the little kids swam. A few of us went exploring and went down a few rapids, swam through cave tunnels, and went rock jumping.

{Nutsy and her friend}


Back at camp, we had space for our volleyball net, and played lots of games.

Here we are at dinner. Between our three families there are 25 of us. There were over 80 campers that came from our church.

The last evening was our talent show.

Nutsy did a small skit with her friend. You know, the one where someone sits behind you and is your hands.

The last night was also our church dessert night; we made Campfire Cones.

Night time was game time.

Some really good group games were Wits and Wagers, Catch Phrase (not too late as this one gets loud) and Kemps.

Each year, we seem to add more and more lights to the easy up.

Yummy treats.

 And that was our camping trip! I am so thankful for my church family, for God's goodness to us, and the beauty of His creation.