Monday, October 28, 2013

October Wrap-Up

I haven't had too much time to post the last few weeks so I decided to do a October wrap-up. Unfortunately, I keep forgetting my camera to most events so I don't have too much to share.

Two weeks ago we hit our usual spot for nature study and got in some walnut picking-up and a quick nature hike. We took a well traveled path between the land we were on that led to the neighbor (which is my uncle). The leaves were starting to turn, but they weren't in their full glory (which was today October 28, 2013 and we didn't have time to sneak out for a color hike).

Our hike turned around at the dry-creek bed.
There was some erosion in the turn of the creek which revealed several root systems. The boys were eager to check those out.
We found this guy in the dry creek bed too.
On the way back we spotted this fallen down tree. After careful inspection I announced it safe for play. The boys had fun!

My (little) brother and his family came for a visit this past weekend. My mom always has a Pumpkin Party to celebrate a few birthdays in October. Caleb missed it this year due to a scout camp out.

My super cute nephew enjoyed carving his own pumpkin for the first time. He had a fun time stabbing it!

I'm planning a little All Saint's Day party for . . . . . just us. All of our friends have school that day and my weird wonderful kids didn't want to attend the local Catholic homeschool group's party. Post to follow.

What fall activities have you been enjoying?

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Friday Nature Study-Mid October

We were able to head out to our favorite place for nature study this past Friday. The weather was perfect.

Walnuts are about ready for pick up in our area and Caleb and Tyler picked them up on our walk. We plan to head out for nature study in another week or so to pick up more walnuts. I'm not sure what the boys are saving money for this time!

What did we find on our nature hike? Lots of mushrooms and grasshoppers! We took notice of trees to see how they were preparing for winter. 

Here is our picture journey.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Fine Tuning the School Schedule

I have to admit this is the most I have ever changed our school schedule in the first two months. It's certainly a new season in our homeschool and the schedule took a lot of tweaking! I think I have it now! Of course, I said that one week ago and had more tweaking to do after last week. 

Simply said, there just isn't enough time in the day. Something had to give! We have dropped a few things and I had to drop more and rearrange to allow enough time for things that needed more study time. Praying that this is finally it!

Latin went great for the first week and the second week we ran out of time. The third week I realized it needs more time otherwise we are just wasting our time with it. This was one of the reasons I did some tweaking this weekend.

The second reason was to allow more time with our religion study. This always gets cut back every year. This is a priority for us and it took me a while to realize it wasn't being treated that way. Hoping we are back on track now.

Last week I switched us to some type of block schedule in the afternoon. We are now doing science twice a week and history twice a week instead of every day. I felt we were rushed and switching gears to often. We are working on these subjects less during the week but allowing a bigger block of time. Science and history seem to work easily this way. Other subject seem to need daily work for my boys. 

I also streamlined some of the "Language Arts" subjects because of lack of time. I completely put away the Lighted Lanterns books. The dictations were getting too hard (long) for both boys and we are doing Winston Grammar and didn't really have the time to do two grammar programs. There is writing in LL too and we didn't have the time to do that in addition to our normal writing. (I really just had way too many wonderful books to pick from this year!) The boys dictations are coming out of Spelling Wisdom now (which I already had on hand from last year). 

Thanks to Jen at Wildflowers and Marbles I was able to get my hands on a wonderful lesson plan sheet. We have been using them for a few weeks now and it is working wonderful for us. I wasn't able to get a great picture of them (camera wouldn't focus no matter what setting I used). See Jen's paper website to see the files that she shares. I make up a sheet for each term, print out and add by hand the details. Works perfectly! (I just noticed I didn't finish filling out Caleb's for next week, more work to do.)

How is your school year going? How about that schedule?  : )
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