Friday, July 24, 2009

Next year's curricula

After a lot of thought and far too much time on the computer, I've finally come up with a curricula for J and B for next year. I had been drifting from Waldorf to Charlotte Mason to Unschooling and now I'm back with mostly Charlotte Mason with a bit of Waldorf.

J will be using Sonlight 3+4 for history and geography(American history). 3+4 stands for the 1st and second half of American history, not 3rd and 4th grade. She will also be doing reading, language arts and science with Sonlight (grade 4). I chose Sonlight because it fits wells with a Charlotte Mason educational philosophy and uses mostly living books rather than text books. I will also add some Norse mythology to her curriculum and some form drawing(both taken from Waldorf curricula). J will continue with Saxon 5/4 for math until she finishes it and then we may change to Right Start Math or Math U See.

B will also be doing Sonlight for history, language arts and science. He will be doing Sonlight 1+2 for history and second grade language arts and science. For math I've chosen Singapore 2B. I may also purchase the math card games from Right Start to use with B.

These will be very reading intensive curricula but if we do have extra time I'd like to continue reading the Little House books with the kids and do some activities out of the Prairie Primer with them.

For nature study I will be using The Handbook of Nature Study by Anna Botsford Comstock.

That's it for now!

Oh, and of course, there will be lots of field trips!

I'd love to hear what everyone is planning for next year-unschooling, Charlotte Mason, Waldorf.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Our road trip

Last week I took J and B on a little road trip. Our first stop was Albany, NY where we just spent the night on the way to NJ. I took this picture at 3:45 a.m. It's evidence that when J and B are given more than a single bed to sleep in they end up sleeping sideways(one reason Jeff and I don't like sharing our bed with the kids!)Next stop, Pennington, NJ. We were visiting a friend of mine and her three kids. B was quick to make friends with 6 year old Jack.That evening we caught fireflies. J and B had never seen them before! I loved catching fireflies as a child growing up in MA but I don't know if we're just never outside at the right time but I don't seem to see them up in VT(maybe it's too cold for them???) Anyway, they really enjoyed this activity!And there was the night time bouncing on the trampoline. We had lots of fun-thanks Lisa!Then it was off to Philadelphia to chat with Betsy Ross and see her house.We viewed the Liberty Bell.And saw where the Declaration of Independence was signed.We learned all about Ben Franklin and saw where he lived. The kids are holding up flags that they got while touring historic Philadelphia. There are 13 storytelling benches where you can sit and be entertained by wonderful actors as they tell you a story. After listening to the story they give you a star to put on your flag. This was a great way to keep the kids interested in all this history!We took a Duck tour of the city.And played a lot in the hotel pool. I didn't get a picture but there was a wonderful market(Reading Terminal Market)right next to our hotel. They sold anything and everything you could possibly want along with Amish goods. We had fun there too!Next stop-Mystic, CT. My sister's family joined us there. The first day we went to the Mystic Aquarium and saw the beluga whales.We also learned about piranhas. We took in a sea lion show.
And we enjoyed feeding the sting rays. We decided it felt a little like a vacuum when they take the food from your hand.

The next day we visited the Mystic Seaport Museum. We were thrown overboard by a whale.

We saw a little play about life on a whaling ship.

Here is a picture of the last wooden whaling ship. I think this ship was built in about 1840.

The kids enjoyed going on the ship and seeing how they lived while out at sea.

We saw a wonderful magic show.

We learned that the terms upper case and lower case letters came into existence because in print shops the upper case letters were stored in the upper case, lower case in the lower case.

We learned how to make some knots.

And we played Skittles. B loved this game!

It was a beautiful day at the seaport!

Tomorrow we return to VT.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Happy anniversary Jeff!

Fourteen years ago today my husband and I were married here on a beautiful, sunny evening. About 100 of our friends/family joined us in celebrating. It was a wonderful evening. This is the first year(I think) that I've been away from Jeff on our anniversary and I miss him! I'm in Mystic, CT and he's back home in VT. So, here's to another wonderful 14 years (and hopefully many, many more). I love you Jeff!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

100th post, quiet week and road trip

I can't believe I made it to 100 posts-quite an achievement for someone who doesn't like to stick with things! My blogging has slowed down a bit recently with the slower summer lifestyle but I'm still enjoying blogging just as much. I think I might just make it to 200 posts!

This week has been quiet. J was at camp from 8-5 every day so it was just B and I for what B likes to call "J and B time". We went into Burlington one morning for the International Waterfront Festival and watched and listened to these very talented storytellers/musicians.

We picked hydrangeas from the garden:

And wild flowers from our lawn that hadn't been mowed for 3 weeks:

There were a couple trips to the toy store to buy marbles, a day visiting with a homeschooling friend and a morning at the lake. That's about it!

Our quiet lifestyle will soon be changing as I'm packing up the kids and going on a little road trip. I'll be on the road for 6 nights. I'll try to post while I'm away if I get a chance!

Friday, July 3, 2009

A Walk Down Memory Lane

The last couple of days I've been at my parents' house in the western suburbs of Boston. I've been having a great time looking through drawers of old photos. One project I'd like to do over the next couple of years is to put all of my childhood pictures into albums. I thought I'd share a few of these pictures with you.
Here is my sister Cathy helping me to walk.

A family photo. Mom, Dad, Jane, Cathy(1 1/2 years older) and Susan(1 1/2 years younger) I loved this inch worm!

My sister Susan and I sitting on the couch in our play room. This picture was taken in the field behind our house. I don't look very happy here but I have many, many happy memories of playing in this field and picking wild flowers.
The three sisters-Susan, Jane and Cathy.Yikes!
Happy birthday to me!

Wearing my school shirt.
Growing up.
High school graduation and prom.
I think I was about 21 here.
World Trade Center May 1994. :( Jeff and I were married the following year.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

An Honest Scrap

Joy, my blogging friend from You know how we're an art family , tagged me for Honest Scrap so I thought I'd play along. Here are 10 honest things about me.

1. I fantasize about living out of an Airstream RV and traveling throughout the United States. I want to go to all 50 states and see everything! It's a challenge for me to stay in any one place for any length of time. My poor family! I think it's quite an achievement that I've lived in VT for over 5 years now (although this is my third residence in VT)

2. I enjoy folding laundry almost as much as my mom does (she just came into the room and took all my laundry away to fold-boy did she look happy!)

3. After high school I took off by myself to go to Australia for 6 months. I did a little babysitting, lots of hiking and did some volunteer work on organic farms. When I came back, I missed Australia so much that I wanted to become an Australian citizen and even sent away for the paperwork to become one.

4. I think I love homeschooling even more than my kids do. My favorite part of homeschooling is reading tons of books to the kids, doing science experiments and learning all about the natural world. Oh, and going on lots of field trips!

5. If I was to have another job (other than being a full time homeschooler) I would love to work at a living history museum. I'm thinking Williamsburg, Sturbridge Village or Plimoth Plantation. I want to dress up and pretend to live in another time!

6. I love doing creative projects. My only problem is that I never stick with anything long enough to get really good at any one thing. I'm much more process oriented than product oriented.

7. I'm starting a new blog with a list of 101 things to do in 1001 days. I feel this will help give me direction and help me to achieve my goals. Right now I'm in the process of coming up with my list.

8. I have a hard time traveling with other people. I want to do exactly what I want to do when I want to do it. I really don't like waiting around for people. Some people might call me impatient! O.k, a lot of people. :)

9. I really enjoy blogging and am very excited when one of my blogging friends has a new post. I love to hear about all the exciting things people are doing and hear about their lives. I would love to meet some of my blogging friends in real life some day!

10. I am a very novice blogger. I wanted to post the picture for Honest Scrap on this post but couldn't figure out how to do it. I'd love to have pictures of books we're reading on the sidebar with links to the books but I can't figure that out either. If you can help me out, let me know!

I would love to read Honest Scraps from these people:

Tara- Periwinkles and Pine
Andrea-Saying Yes 2 Boys
Lisa- Goose and Binky
Lisa- 5 Orange Potatoes