Tuesday, March 30, 2010

When You Reach Me

We are reading the 2010 Newbery Medal winner - When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead.

Stay tuned for our reactions!

Unit Study for The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

I've collected a number of useful links for THE LIGHTNING THIEF by Rick Riordan. We've finished reading it (and enjoyed it very much), so I thought I'd share the links with you. We didn't do everything on this list, but we did complete a fair number of these activities.

Unit Studies from Other Teachers
Read for NeNe - HERE
Scholastic Interview with Rick Riordan + Discussion Guides - HERE
Kathleen Joaquin's complete unit study on Rick Riordan's site - HERE
Louisiana State Library's Unit (.pdf) - HERE
Hyperion teacher's guide (.doc) - HERE

Empire State Building
Kids FAQ about ESB - HERE
Coloring Pages - HERE
Virtual Tour for Kids - HERE
Printable ESB model - HERE
Short kid-hosted video about ESB - HERE

Storytelling vase (uses styrofoam cups!) - HERE
Greek pottery designs (no pottery involved) - HERE
Greek vase designs (uses pre-made pot) - HERE
Medusa mask (looks complicated) - HERE
Another (easier, but really ugly) Medusa mask + shield - HERE

Variety of printables - HERE
Greek god cards (use for games like Memory) - HERE

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Lisa's Logbook - March 28

Outside: RAINING

Sounds: Hearing Romeo + Juliet on TV and David working on the laptop on the couch

Home: Water heater.....

Projects: Getting soccer registration all set up.

Pondering: why tragedies are so compelling (Why is R&J such a memorable play? What about Wuthering Heights?)

Teaching: Couch to 5K program begins this week with the kids

Gratitude: Very thankful for another wonderful Sister Weekend!

Recipes: Made quiche and strawberry jello pretzel dessert for today's brunch

Duds: Jeans, red Mackinac Island long sleeved tee, pink hoodie, white Rockport shoes (that DON'T hurt my feet!)

Reads: Listening to Diana Gabaldon's An Echo in the Bone on Playaway and reading The Kingdom of Ohio by Matthew Flaming

Vids: 17 Again, The Proposal, Cutting Edge 4: Fire and Ice, Julie & Julia, a History Channel documentary on body language, and right now William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet
Hopes: to be able to go to Wisconsin in June

Love: My sisters! My mom! My family!

Plans: Teaching Spanish, Working 4 hours M-F, Easter Egg Hunt

Pic: My sisters, my mom, and me

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Science Institute Field Trip

Last Friday we visited Cranbrook Institute of Science and the Bat Zone located on the same campus. Our field trip was sponsored so we had no cost to attend, which was a huge blessing!

We started downstairs in the special exhibit which was about climate change in Michigan and several other special exhibits.

Did you know mastodon bones were found in Michigan? Quite close to where we live, in fact.

Saw an adorable little shrimp animal.

Progressing upstairs to the regular exhibits, we first saw some large fossil skeletons like the T-rex that's terrorizing Emily, as well as a humongous sea turtle. An extensive mastodon exhibit has a full-size model of that animal and much information, including the local connection.

Other exhibits were cultural differences between people groups, a kinetic machine (see photos), rocks, crystals, and botany, among other items of natural history.

We took a break for lunch and then headed to the bat exhibit. The Organization for Bat Conservation has a laboratory that houses over 90 bats, as well as a sloth, sugar gliders, and probably some other animals too. We got to see the animals up close and personal, as you'll see in the photos.

Since the bat house is in a separate building, we were able to enjoy the lovely sunny day as we returned to the museum for a few more minutes before heading home.

Note: James was much happier than he appears in photos. It seems that he has a personal conviction that prevents him from smiling for posed photographs.

Enjoy the photos! (Despite James and his pout....)

Oh yes, I forgot to mention - you won't see David in these photos as he was unable to attend.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Lisa's Logbook - March 21

Outside: Overcast and chilly. This week is supposed to get back into the 50's and hopefully we'll see the sun!

Sounds: James playing a computer game and David giving him advice

Home: Making SURE Bob gets the water heater and sump pump THIS WEEK

Projects: Sister Weekend questions, getting ahead on Spanish lesson plans

Pondering: if I can resume exercising this week or if my foot needs another week of rest

Teaching: Finishing up Lightning Thief this week

Gratitude: Thankful that we sold the camper within 24 hours of posting it on Craigslist

Recipes: Bob is going to make cornflake-marshmallow bars. I want Brandi's recipe for jello pretzel dessert - I ate THREE helpings last night! Yummmmmmmy!

Duds: Jeans, black long sleeved tee, magenta shawl-collar sweater

Reads: Listening to Diana Gabaldon's An Echo in the Bone on Playaway and almost done with Jasper Fforde's The Well of Lost Plots (3rd of the Thursday Next books)

Vids: The Bounty Hunter, Wuthering Heights (2009), New Moon

Hopes: that we can find a different camper that fits both our needs and our budget and that is presentable and mechanically sound - yeah, we don't want much, do we? lol

Love: Dove truffle eggs - ate more than my share already!

Plans: Teaching Spanish, Working 4 hours M-F, Co-op, Sister Weekend!

Pic: The girls had a "tea party" outside as part of their devotions. Emily is working through a devotional book with Suzy and tea parties are the theme of the book.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Shakespeare? Of course!

Just so you know that I didn't cave in.

So far the child in question has read two acts of Romeo and Juliet (listened to them on audio and read along in the book) and completed a quiz on each chapter.

Even though he commented on his blog that R&J is the "stupidest book on earth." LOL

I think he might change his mind after watching the Baz Luhrmann film version.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

No Shakespeare?

"I'm not reading Shakespeare. Ever. And you can't make me."

Oh, really? Hmmmm......

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Lisa's Logbook - March 14

Outside: Damp, but not currently raining. Not quite 40. Overcast. Bleh. Today is Pi Day, but you can't tell by looking.

Sounds: Footsteps upstairs. Bob puttering in the living room. James puttering in the dining room. Christian radio faintly playing. Cars driving by.

Home: Bob put cement on the basement floor yesterday where it was cracking. We are getting a sump pump (automatic! whee!) and a new hot water heater. The fridge works again, now that it's defrosted. Whew.

Projects: Nothing new. Not even blogging! LOL

Pondering: if I should/could/would go to the homeschool book sale/conference this Saturday.

Teaching: Settling into our new method. Will blog it once it's working well.

Gratitude: Thankful for good friends!

Recipes: Probably will make pizza tonight.

Duds: PJ's and a robe, and my almost-worn-out wool socks.

Reads: Just finished Lost in a Good Book by Jasper Fforde (the 2nd Thursday Next novel). Have the 3rd one ready to read. (Sarah, this is the series I was telling you about.)

Vids: Only watched ONE movie this week, and it was one I'd seen before several times - The Proposal. Guess I know one of the things that working is going to replace.

Hopes: that my sore foot will rebound quickly. Don't even know what I did to it, except wear some bad shoes. Just started yesterday afternoon. Won't run or do tae-bo until it's better. Argh....

Love: Lazy mornings. Didn't even feel negative effects from the time change.

Plans: Teaching Spanish and Essay classes, Working 4 hours M-F, a homeschool support meeting on teaching high school "outside the box", field trip to Cranbrook Science, and BOOK CLUB on Saturday!


Sunday, March 7, 2010

Lisa's Logbook - March 7

Outside: Sunny! Sunny! Sunny! and 45 degrees!!!!

Sounds: SRN news on the Christian radio station, people running through the house on their way (LATE) to youth group, a horn beeping

Home: getting ready to defrost the "new" fridge since it no longer stays cold (argh!) and shopping for a hot water heater

Projects: changing up the schedule, the lesson plans, and the chore assignments

Pondering: when to buy good running shoes - should I wait until mud season is over? Or should I buy them as soon as I start to run outside again regularly?

Teaching: The Lightning Thief - unit study will cover Empire State Building, Greek gods, making blue candy, and maybe learning how to play pinochle (anyone know how?)

Gratitude: Tax refunds came in last week!

Recipes: Need one for salmon. I've never cooked it before and I am intimidated!

Duds: black sweatpants, bright pink long-sleeved tee, white socks, wet hair since I just showered (after my 4 mile run!)

Reads: Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë and Brava, Valentine by Adriana Trigiani

Vids: Dance Flick, New York I Love You, The Genius Club, Noise (see the mini-reviews at Mirkwood Reflections)

Hopes: that I can schedule another couple essay classes

Love: when a child cuddles with me in the morning....

Plans: Spanish, Unit study on The Lightning Thief (begins Tuesday), Work, some soccer prep work for registration, and maybe a night out? and a Halo3 party at a friend's house

Pic: I can't think of a pic today, so I am posting without. Sorry! :-)

Friday, March 5, 2010

Kind of a Bust, or is it?

Kind of a bust is how I'd describe this week as far as academics. Between me starting the new work-at-home position, Emily's birthday on Thursday, Bob taking two of the kids to the homeless shelter to volunteer (in the middle of the night) and our horrendously long Monday, we didn't accomplish much bookwork. No Science, No History. The public schools are off today, so I don't feel too bad. (Teacher Day??? Didn't they just HAVE that? And snow days galore?)

We did, however, do a couple days of math and a couple lessons of Greek and read two chapters of The Lightning Thief. We also did a couple days of Bible study and are working on our March hymn and praise chorus now.

Once the girls get up (they were most of the night at the shelter), we'll do the 3rd Greek lesson and read more of the book, maybe 2 more chapters. I'll make the kids do math this afternoon. It's a sunny day, though cold, so they'll get some outside time today too.

They all had a Spanish lesson on Monday. Emily and James had their monthly art class on Wednesday afternoon. David had his ACT essay class on Wednesday (which I teach) and wrote an essay before class and one in class. We've been to the library a couple times. They've done a lot of free reading (mostly Garfield books, so don't get too excited! lol) and listening to audio books -Beverly Cleary for the girls, James has Diary of a Wimpy Kid on CD, and I'm not sure what David's been listening to beside horrid music that I detest, but I'd guess The Hunger Games again.

They've been cooking too, as well as doing housecleaning and chores. And making projects.

So maybe it's not such a bust after all!

I'm going to make up some kind of chart so we can all stay on our routines, when I have to be holed up in my bedroom/office working.

Better get some lunch on and then do some more work....

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

It's All Greek to Us

Today we started our study of New Testament Greek, using the free program at Kid's Greek.

I chose this program for three reasons.

1 - It's free.
2 - No charge for the program.
3 - I don't have to pay anything.

You think I'm kidding, don't you? LOL Well, I am. A little bit anyway.

Of course, I really don't have any money to spend on this study. I own a book called Basic Greek in 30 Minutes a Day. But I did some of the lessons in ink way back in 1992. I would have used this, but since I didn't use pencil (I hate pencil), there was really no way to reuse it. I didn't want to order more copies, since I'd have to spend money, plus wait for them.

So, google to the rescue! I found Kid's Greek and it looks just right. Not too complicated, especially at the start, pronunciation models are integrated and it's step-by-step to make it simple. There are printable worksheets to reinforce the concepts. Plus, I don't need to know anything, which I do not despite having started learning Greek 19 years ago. lol And not least of all, this adorable cartoon dude is the teacher. ----->

So, one lesson down.

In case you forgot, the reason we are learning Greek is to go along with reading The Lightning Thief. The main character, Percy, studies Ancient Greek in the book.