Friday, December 21, 2012

Math Gingerbread House

We did these last year, but Kiddo got to participate more in the prepping this year.

You will need:
1-  9”x12” paper of their choice, this is the ground.
1- 9”x12” brown piece of construction paper
1-      3” x9”  of both red and green
Half a sheet of white construction paper.
With the short end toward you, fold the brown paper  horizontally into thirds and cut along the folds.  Fold each piece in 1/2. Open and fold the short ends in 1/2 an inch.

Fold the red paper into fourths and cut. Glue 1/4 of the red paper to the middle of a folded brown piece. Cut the remaining 3/4 of the red paper in halves. Glue 1 to the opposite side of your door, and another to a blank brown section.

Using a protractor, create 8- 1 inch diameter circles. Cut them out and fold each circle in half.
Apply glue to 1/2 of the circle and adhere to the edge of the last blank brown paper, to create snow on the roof line.

 Fold the green paper into fourths and cut. Cut 1/2 of the pieces in half. Cut the other 1/2 diagonally in half.
Take 1/2 of the triangles and glue together at the right angles. Glue another triangle to the top of the new triangle.
Cut the remaining triangle in half. Glue on top of the other triangles, on top of each other. Fold the bottom triangle in 1/2 an inch and glue to your ground.

Decorate your house, using the extra red and green pieces to create a walkway.
Have a happy holiday season and a wonderful New Year.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

A Different Advent

 I fondly recall the crappy chocolate advent calendar I longed for as a child. My mom only purchased them a couple of times, but I was eager to punch out those doors and get the sweet, oily candy that would melt as soon as my fingers touched it. I've gotten Kiddo one once, aside from the fact they are cheap crap, she doesn't handle chocolate well. I certainly don't want 24 days of her wandering in after bed time complaining of stomach pain. Last year we did a Lego advent, it was a blast and she still plays with it. However, it is out of our price range this year. Paper advent away!

I saw these jokes a few days ago and thought it would be perfect for a paper chain advent. Practically free (my favorite) and quite festive! I snipped the jokes in half, putting the question on the outside and the answer inside. Maybe next year I will make a felt and Velcro one.

Yes. I do save Christmas cards. I love each one of them dearly. I plan on doing the Gingerbread Fraction House again this year as well as some other fun things. Stay tuned! 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


While it's important to be thankful all year round, Kiddo and I have written something we're thankful for each day this month. It is a lot harder than you would think!I enjoyed watching her come up with the most unexpected things. She's thankful for clouds, turkeys, blankets, and spending time with family. 

I've baked pie and the rolls are rising in the fridge.  Down below there are a few freebie printable links. Have a wonderful day tomorrow!

Would you rather... Thanksgiving style
Thanksgiving Mad Lib

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

6 & 7 & 8!

We've just gotten back from a long but extremely FUN weekend with our girl scout troop. They learned to dance; crafted their little hearts out; hiked, and had a pajama fashion show. I'm very thankful for these positive social experiences!

EPGY: As a curriculum, unimpressed. It is not the all encompassing curriculum I was told it was. It is, however, a great supplement and practice device. My only wish is that I could control which parts to let her do. We'll still be using it in a supplementary way.

Books: Go read a banned book! We talked about banned books and why/how they get challenged and she was pretty shocked she's read so many banned books and the reasons seemed really silly to her or she couldn't see where the issue was. Example: Hunger Games was challenged for being anti-ethnic and the ethnicity of the Districts v. Capitol never occurred to her. In honor of banned books, we're reading The Giver this week. I've been careful to not force dystopian literature on her but I can't help but do a little dance whenever she picks one of my favorites.

There's not enough weeks in October to do all the Autumn/Halloween stuff we love so much. I am looking forward to making next few weeks lessons themed. Her math answer this week was 13 crows and she learned that you'd call it a murder of crows.

We checked out the Usborne Encyclopedia of World Religions from the library and have really had a lot of fun with the links. Definitely a book I'll need to keep an eye out for to purchase. She asked if one of our summer "destinations" could be Norse Mythology. Score!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Week 4 and 5

Week 4

While it always seems like a great idea to have a long weekend and a short schooling week, it always gives us troubles. Neither of us wanted to do our work; we still don't have our EPGY login information (see week 5); and she magically lost her book report on Island of the Blue Dolphins and had to start again which meant a battle of the wills ensued.... it was a struggle of a week. When we struggle, I try to slow things down and make it more fun. We finished reading Little Women and watched the movie. We spent more time playing games. We started Alice in Wonderland and she devoured White Fang. We made pretty birthday cards because September is a very popular month to be born.

 Week 5

I picked up a book and CD curriculum for Latin. It's much easier for kiddo so I count it as a win. Since it's a Christian Latin book, there's 2 prayers to memorize, so it has also been good for discussion about religions.

We're working through NaNoWriMo's Young Novelist Workbook, it's been a lot of fun. I love seeing the neat characters and backgrounds she comes up with. Definitely need to come up with more advanced spelling lists so its a challenge. I've been pulling her bonus word from the orange section and she's gotten a couple wrong. She's having so much fun with the activities but I still think she needs to push outside her comfort zone.

EPGY- We still do *not* have any information. The person that was supposed to register her not only dropped the ball but rolled it under the refrigerator of DOOM then went on vacation. So now I'm considering alternative curricula for math and language arts and have given them an already too generous extension to fix it by Tuesday.

Kiddo's special interest classes start back today. She was bummed the cooking class filled up but she got into sewing and a creativity class. I need a few dozen good books to keep me company during her classes, it's pointless to 40 minutes each way back home when she'll be there less than 3 hours.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Week 2 and 3 Recap

I didn't feel like there was enough to really say about last week. So this week you get a 2 for 1! Maybe I'll leave it at every couple weeks.

Most exciting thing about last week was our Bacon California:
Just kidding! It is actually a RELIEF map :)

Last week we found Super fun site to play with your list of spelling words. She even asked if she could type in random words after she went through her list. Um, of course! It really helps to learn the other meanings of a word.

This week...

We read Island of The Blue Dolphins since San Nicolas Island is off the coast of California. With her passionate love of animals I knew it would be a hit and was not surprised to see it disappear from the bookshelf after bedtime.

We're still on Little Women, I cannot tell you how much I wish I had reread/prelistened to it before adding it to our list. SO.MUCH.PREACHING. Kiddo is enjoying the story, but I can't wait for it to be over.

Latin is on the shelf until she has a better understanding of all the grammar rules. Translating with tenses is frustrating us both. Perhaps a better Latin curriculum as well.

We've finished the U.S. Geography section. I was amazed at how quickly she picked up the smaller cities. She's also thoroughly incapable of not giving me hints when I'm playing the game. Definitely looking forward to starting the North America section. I told her we were moving onto it next week and she said "We just did North America!" Of course I replied with an unwarranted tirade about how this is exactly why you need Geography when all she really meant was she thinks it'll be easy.

Her extended learning activity from Fairy Tale Grammar She had to write a short poem using verbs.

She made a my place in the world stacking map. It wouldn't have been Kiddo had she not insisted we include the solar system and galaxy in our stack.

That about wraps it up. September is looking busier and busier. I love Autumn but it goes by way too fast because we're always busy. Looking forward to the fun!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Week 1 Friday Check In

I'm joining the trend of checking in once a week on the blog and telling how our homeschooling adventure went. I'm sure that most weeks will look the same, blah blah picture blah blah, but hey, its my blog I can do what I want to *insert neener neener smiley here*

I feel that our first week went well. I'll break down the subjects for this week only.


Kiddo is used to our math journal set up now since we started it during our summer classes. I give her an answer on Monday and throughout the week her task is to come up with 1 word problem for addition, subtraction, multiplication, division and 1 multiple operations. She still struggles when she gets down to having to come up with a division problem, but every week brings a better set of questions, definitely a win. We worked on refreshing our math skills and expanding them to include 3 digit multiplication.

Language Arts

Oh, I am having so much FUN with this subject. It has been much smoother than last year by miles. We haven't done any real writing yet though, so I may regret saying that.

Spelling:We did not do a lot of spelling last year, she is such a superb speller that I did not worry about it. I found a 4th grade list online, fairly easy but a nice refresher. Everyday she picks a spelling activity to do in her notebook and on Friday there's a test. She's enjoying being able to pick from a range of activities and especially likes putting the letters of a word in alphabetical order and then trying to say them.

Grammar: We have being using Grammarland and Youtube Schoolhouse Rock videos to solidify what she already knows while we wait for her EPGY courses to start. We have also been working on Wheeler's Graded Studies in Great Authors for dictation, its a great way to learn older poets. She does not like dictation.

Reading: We do this at the end of the day. In addition to her choice of books, we are reading Little Women together. We listen to the LibriVox recording and color, I mostly 'accidentally' fall asleep. It took her 10 chapters but she's enjoying it.


Not something we really covered last year. She has always been interested in maps but since we purchased Where in the World is Carmen San Diego she has been actively trying to learn more about the world...mostly because she wants to win, but I'll take it as enthusiasm for learning.  This month we're focusing on the United States, some of the city locations are throwing her off, but she is doing well.

Social Studies/ History

I'm infinitely more excited about this year than she is. I love California state history, I remember building a mission diorama and visiting San Juan Capistrano and it has stuck in my mind all these years. We started out great by doing a 2 week mini thematic on the Gold Rush before school even started.

Yesterday she started her relief map of California. So many projects and field trips to come! Yes it doubled into her geography lesson.


Since dad does this, I won't really be updating about it much. They both understand things on that higher level, so it works well for them to "nerd out" with it.


Another new subject. We're using the online resource of Linney's Latin Class until I can get a proper curriculum. It is a great resource, Kiddo said she liked learning how to say the words, but she is not sold on learning the grammar rules.


I try and keep Fridays fun. Only academics we do are math and spelling journals. We started following this great Artsy Friday schedule. Both of the first ones can be found on Youtube. She wants to take sewing and cooking again, so perhaps she'll start that in September. For PE we walk, bike, skate, or watch Yoga videos.

Monday, August 13, 2012

We Don't Need No Education

Its the first day of our new curriculum year! To celebrate we tried not to learn anything hehe.

We started out the day by making Nutella cupcakes for breakfast. I would link you the recipe but I wouldn't recommend the one we used. I'll work on one.

Next, she humored me with a back to school picture. It only took 40 billion tries! Open your eyes please. Aww, can I have a real smile? 

Then we did our spelling and math journals. This weeks answer is:
Can't imagine why I'm caught up on cupcakes!

After the education fluff was done, we went and picked up some curriculum books from our favorite ST. It was nice catching up with her after the long summer break. Kiddo dazzled her with her extensive knowledge of Minecraft.

From there we headed to the library to pick up a reserved book and a dozen or so fun reads. Came home for lunch and started our bio poems, which we turned into wordles.

 Then it was reading time, also get back into lounge wear time she thought:

Followed by making bookmarks and decorating our journals. She found a picture of Ricky Gervais in giraffe pajamas and pasted her own head on top of his.

Finally we listened to the first 2 chapters of Little Women on LibriVox. Whew. Made it through the first day of fun. Tomorrow is back to the not always as fun stuff.

Friday, July 27, 2012


For fun Friday she made a sunbonnet using a tutorial we found here. Great step by step guide. I guess kiddo has a big head though, if we make them again we'll be adjusting the pattern to make it a little bigger.

Sutter's Fort

We took a trip to Sutter's Fort today as part of our Gold Rush thematic. As usual I enjoyed it far more than she did. I think the candle maker's shop is neat. Look at the size of the bellows!



At the well

At the gate

Loom and spinning wheel

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Anatomy Basics

Long story short, I got lazy. Halfway through planning my Mexico unit life happened and the unit got put on a shelf. I love it when life happens, doubly so when its fun family things! Perhaps next summer.

Instead you get pictures of our fun filled week learning anatomy sparked by Pintrest

I drew half of the skeleton and she mirrored it then labeled her half.

I amazed her with an explanation of why bones round by standing the heaviest book in the house on a rolled up piece of paper.
 We further discussed bones, marrow, cartilage, and meat using a chicken leg.

I drew all of the organs and she colored and she placed them. One system at a time starting with the digestive.

She said that the small and large intestine looked a brown sugar toaster pastry. She looked horrified when I said it would probably be very chewy and thought this because I've had tripe.

I explained how our hippocampus is the learning center and how our amygdala hijacks our brain for fight or flight mode when we are scared. That's why its a terrible idea to yell or threaten someone when you're trying to get them to understand something.

While it was completely off the cuff this week, there was still a lot of learning and fun happening, which in my opinion are the most important things of homeschooling.

Tomorrow we'll have some fun watching the Magic School Bus "For Lunch" we've seen it a dozen times, but its always fun to watch.

Next week we're having a well timed discussion about puberty (gulp), but nothing that will be posted here.

Resources: An older college Anatomy and Physiology text book, my notes from pysch 1010 (explanation of Princess Neuron and Glia the Nurse), google image search, and youtube for things like how the heart works and neurotransmitter animations. I'm super helpful, right?

Friday, June 22, 2012

Space Unit Study in Action

 Overall the space unit went very well. The free software program from NASA entertained kiddo for hours and she still asks to use it.

Some of the websites for the Zathura activity were no longer working, but if you search for the subject on the NASA website, it was easy to fin the necessary information.

Here are the Galex Galaxies that we both made. Note: Don't hang the used-too-much-glitter-glue ones on the wall until entirely, completely, undoubtedly, dry. Or you get drippy galaxies.
Ah, cereal and schoolwork, best part of homeschool, eh? I am proud of her tackling the algebra that was really above her level. It took a bit longer but once she understood the formula she knocked them out easily.

                                                       Space Party really took off!
Moon pizzas, garlic stars, potato asteroids, sunny bars, astro ice cream and milky ways. Tang to drink.

 The Black Hole Adventure game was pretty fun, I pasted it to a board so we can use it many more times over the years.

Star gazing using a star chart and my phone with a star gazing app.  She was scared to get on the roof but as you can see, she was fine.

Astronaut ice cream. It tasted a lot better than we expected it. Mint Chocolate Chip and Chocolate Chip are pictured.

Friday, May 4, 2012

1849 California Gold Rush Thematic Unit

I created 5 downloadable worksheets and a sample flier for our"trip". Have I ever mentioned how much I love the free educational materials on the internet?

Day 1

Language Arts
·         Receive flier and journal.
·         Decide how you will travel to California and explain why.
*Do LA first today*

Day 2
·           Worksheet

·         Journal entry editing

Social Studies
·         James Marshall discovery and spread of news. Discuss why Sutter did not want the news to spread. Discuss Sam Brannan’s business sense.
Day 3
·        Worksheet

·         The 6 Cs of Primary Source Analysis

·         Hydraulic mining and the effects Link broken
Day 4
·         Travel times, then and now. Calculate time from San Francisco to Coloma by foot and horse vs train and car now.

·         Writing prompt "What job would you choose if you lived here in 1849"

·         Use Hangtown (Placerville) to discuss the lack of government law enforcement.
·          Discuss the benefits and drawbacks of vigilantism. Use Batman and Anonymous as examples. 
Day 5
·         Sun bonnets

·         PBS The Gold Rush
Day 6
·         Ciphering Lesson Link broken

·         Prefix Game Link broken

·         Timeline puzzle. Print the timeline (Resources link at the top, then timeline) and cut into strips.

Day 7
·       Worksheet

·         Strike it Rich game

·         All about Au worksheet
Day 8

·         Homonym worksheet
·         Gold Rush Cross Word

·         Anti-Chinese history
Day 9
·           Worksheet

·         Name your own Boomtown. Create a flier to entice prospectors to visit your town. HINT: Services such as hotels, laundry, and dining!

·         Density experiment
Day 10
·         Camping in Coloma

Additional information link

Friday, March 16, 2012

Outer Space Unity Study

This summer we are going places with our lessons. I asked the kiddo to come up with three places anywhere in time and space and I would create our lesson plans around it with two weeks per place and one week of holiday. She chose Outer Space, Mexico, and the 1849 Gold Rush.

Our normal routine is to do Math and Language Arts Monday through Thursday, Science on Mondays and Wednesdays,History/Social Studies on Tuesdays and Thursday. On Fridays we do electives. I just finished planning out our space weeks, I am really thankful to NASA for all of their wonderfully free teaching materials. I only had to create a couple worksheets and prompts.

Here is the unit in action!

June 4th-15th Out Space Lesson Plan

Day 1
        Workbook 1 Comparing size and distance
Virtual field trip homepage, software and workbook downloads:
          Additional conversion examples

Language Arts
·         Creative writing: My Trip to Outer Space
-What items would you need to take and why?
- What would you bring back?

·         Lesson on the effects of space travel on the human body
·         Leg Up work sheet/activity
Day 2
·         Workbook pages 4-7

·         4 panel comic about landing on another planet.
-Which planet?
- What do you see and what do you think about it?
-Dialogue between self and space creatures using complete and correct sentences.

Social Studies
·          Discuss previous knowledge of the first moon walk. Who, when, etc
·         Watch lunar landing
·         Discuss the purpose and significance of Apollo XI
·         Study lunar map and discuss latitude and longitude.
Day 3
·         Workbook pages 8-11

·         Root Words Worksheet and chart

·         Discuss the purpose of  mining in outer space
·         Moon mining activity
Day 4
·         Workbook pages 12-15

·         Compose a puppet play from alien perspective landing on Earth.
       Three to five characters

·         Archeoastronomy- Discuss how people have studied space throughout time
Day 5
Art Project
·         Galex Galaxies
·         Puppets to be used next week

·         Carl Sagan- Cosmos Episode 9
Day 6
·         Workbook pages 16-20

·         Creative writing: Newly Inhabitable Planet Discovered!
-Tell where it is
-Describe planetary features
-Describe life forms!
-Tell about its star(s) and other neighborhood planets/moons, if any.

·         Comets vs. Meteors worksheet  and web activity
Day 7
·         Workbook pages 21-26

·         Perform puppet play

·         Medieval astronomy
Day 8
·         Workbook pages 27-31

·         Diamante space poem

·         Tide worksheet
Day 9
·         Workbook pages  32-39

·         Proofreading exercise
·         Word play worksheet

Search for current space events and discuss
Day 10
·         Steven Hawking

End party
·         Star gaze  from our space ship (tent) using the SkyMap application.
·         Themed food and drinks
·         Astronaut ice cream and tang
·         Asteroid mashed potatoes
·         Black hole board game