Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Summer Adventure Box: Mysteries

It's that time of year again! And this year, I actually had our Summer Adventure Box ready for the first day of summer vacation. This summer's theme is mysteries. (The big mystery is why I decided to write the name in sharpie before making sure it would fit.)

This is my favorite side!

Footprints and a fingerprint. The last side is a question mark, which looks okay, but not exciting enough to merit its own picture.

Today Jack got to go get The Kidnapped King, which was the lone missing book in our A to Z Mysteries collection.

I've got several items already. I know he'll have fun with this costume, but I'm not sure he's going to want to share it with Alice, who will definitely want to use it, too.

We also got a couple of games!

This (mysteriously sideways) science kit should be fun, too! We also have some math mystery puzzles we'll do from time to time for a little review. He really enjoys these!

We'll throw in a history mystery with this book, which is very interesting.

I requested this from the library for me to read--in addition to finishing up the Scumble River series.

A little something for Alice, too!

Jack loves a good mystery, so I think we'll have a good time with this one! What fun things do you have planned for the summer?

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Summer Plans

Summer is on its way! We have a lot planned for the next three months and I'm hoping that by writing these plans down (and doing it much earlier than I did last year), I will actually accomplish many of the things that need to be done. So, in no particular order, here's what's going to happen:

  1. Birthday parties: Both the kids will have birthdays in the next couple of weeks and I have nary a cake plan or a goodie bag made. I probably need to tackle this one first. We also have Father's Day, our wedding anniversary, and my birthday coming up in June.
  2. Activities for the kids: Vacation Bible School, play groups, library programs, swim lessons, science camp...We will be out and about much more than we are during the school year!
  3. Reading: I have lots of books I want to read for fun, several I want to read for school, and my wonderful friend, Rachel, coordinated a book group for us on The Ministry of Motherhood through Good Morning Girls.
  4. House stuff: I've got lots of kids' clothes to get ready for the next consignment sale and plenty still to do in the school room. And in about every other room in the house, too.
  5. Visits with friends: Amber is already on her way! A friend I haven't seen since high school will be in town soon, and we're hoping to visit friends in our old town, too.
  6. Summer Adventure Box: This year we're doing mysteries! Jack is excited, and I am, too. Now I need to get the box finished!
  7. Planning: I am hoping to get much of the school year planned and many things printed and ready to go. We may not end up using everything exactly as planned, but it is so helpful to already have the legwork done! I'm also going to a seminar in June that I hope will be really good.
I think that will keep us busy until school starts up again!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Catching Up

I had every intention of keeping current with blogging what we did through the school year, but it didn't work out. I think it might have something to do with keeping up with a certain almost 2 year old, but she's not entirely to blame. Here are a few highlights of the winter and spring!

Playing the weather telling game from A Pair of Red Clogs

Learning the continents (Grandfather's Journey)

Fruit Roll-Up Sushi (after A Pair of Red Clogs and Grandfather's Journey)

Tricks on the "high wire" (Mirette on the High Wire)

Sister joins in!

Visiting a hometown hero (Lentil)

Learning about patriotism (Lentil)

Harmonica! (Lentil)

We had a lot of fun with math this year, too! We are using Math on the Level and enjoying it.

We recently did some work with fractions.

We used this Fraction Action unit, which had lots of games and hands-on activities.

And, of course, there has been lots of reading going on!

I really am hoping to be better about blogging our school adventures as we go next year!

Friday, May 27, 2011

The Last Day of First Grade

Today was Jack's last day of first grade. Ending the year is a little bit different as a homeschooler, because even though I'm glad to be done for the summer, it means my baby is going to be in second grade! He has grown up so much this year. He says that his favorite thing in first grade was rowing The Salamander Room. (We still haven't gotten our pet!)

When the kids got up this morning, they had some fruit. I made him his end of the year sign last night.

I had the foresight to make one for Alice, too, and she was delighted.

After that (my kids get up way too early for kids that don't have to be anywhere by a certain time), Jack spent some time reading the last book in one of his favorite series.

(This morning we also stopped by a used curriculum and book sale and he found ten of the Boxcar Children books for $2. He was very excited!)

Before we left the house, though, we stopped for our end of the year pictures. I didn't think to make Alice her own sign for this and she was distraught. We quickly remedied the situation and she carried her sign around all morning.

We stopped for breakfast at IHOP.

Later, we went to Gilcrease where we spent about an hour in the new children's room (you can't take pictures there) and then went outside to explore some of the gardens.

I am thinking we need to have an area like this in our yard. How about it, honey?

Well, maybe without the fountain. We were lucky to all leave dry.

Happy summer!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Outside the Museum

We went to the museum this week. If the art wasn't outside, we didn't see it.

We tried out an activity backpack for the gardens. Since we had looked around so much when we did the scavenger hunt, we had seen some of the rubbing rocks before, but we didn't realize what they were for.

Alice's artwork

We also found a lot of creatures outside. This tiny frog surprised us!

Can you spot the snakes?

Just in case you couldn't, here's a close-up! We weren't sure if they were real or not, so we set up a highly scientific experiment: We tossed acorns at them until they moved. We jumped back quickly!

This couple walked by before we did the experiment and the man didn't think they were real snakes, so the boys had to go tell him the results.

It seems I've raised a little tree-hugger.

Friday, May 20, 2011

PAWS for Reading

Last night Jack went to the PAWS for Reading program at the library. The kids practice reading aloud to a therapy dog. Jack has wanted to do this for a long time, but this was the first time we saw it for 6 year olds. He read a Henry and Mudge book.

Alice was interested, but she was a little nervous.

LinkJack loves series books and he recently found a couple he loves. Marion Dane Bauer has three ghost stories (The Red Ghost, The Blue Ghost, and The Green Ghost) that Jack could not put down. He read all three of them in two days--these are about 95 pages each.

He bargained to stay up late to finish one.

He also has enjoyed the 26 Fairmount Avenue series by Tomie dePaola.

Our library doesn't have the last book in the series and they weren't able to get it for us, so we are watching the mail and hoping Amazon delivers soon!

If you haven't read it already, be sure to check out Heather's article on what to do with your emergent reader--and if you have any book or series recommendations, please share them!