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It's Popcorn Time...

It's Popcorn Time...
My son is selling popcorn to support his scouting adventures. After clicking on the image of the popcorn you should see his name at the top of the page. If missing let me know. Thanks for the support!

September 21, 2016

Science: Biology

This year we have been working on biology. So far it has been going well.

Our topic has been cells. Earlier this week Web-Princess decide on her own to research cells and make models.

Research is a little formal. She actually just looked up pictures and made models out of silly putty. It was interesting to see her just dive in the subject of cells and just make models just because she wanted to make models.

It actually made me feel good about homeschooling to see her use her free time to look up cell pictures and make models. Something she didn't have to do, but did because she wanted to. It also showed me that she, even though she was using images, was retaining what she was learning during the day. I know because she spent time on her own to make cell models she will remember this better and retain it.

She was looking things up and learning because she wanted to, not because she was studying it or trying to memorize it for some test. This is why I homeschool. Have your children shown you in unexpected ways they have been enjoying what they have been learning?

September 4, 2016

Labor Day: Weekly Update

All is quiet ---

Actually is has been nice. We have had a break in the heat. Thank God. The AC has been off and windows have been opened now for the 5th day in a row. Even though tomorrow like today is suppose to get up in the 80s we might be good to keep the AC off. Mainly, because we have one of those whole house/Attic fans and the nightly temps have been in the high 50s/low 60s. We turn that fan on at night and it's instant breeze throughout the whole house. In the morning we turn it off, it stays off during the day, and our home stays on the cooler side. Just when it starts to get uncomfortable, the sun has gone down and the outside temps have started to cool off so we turn it back on.  If the night time stays on the warm side like 70s it doesn't do as good of a job cooling the house the whole day -- so with the project forecast we most likely turn the AC back on on Tuesday or Wednesday. Time will tell.

Despite the pleasant weather I haven't been able to enjoy it -- totally -- I have been dealing with a nasty head congestion, cold.  This prevent Web-Princess from doing all of her work on Friday. She did most, but not all. She, even though it's high school, still needs my help time to time. Some things like Spelling Power I have to do simply with her. It can't get done otherwise.

Other things she prefers my help. For example when it comes to biology she reads her text orally to me. This is mainly because reading is still an issue for her! NOTHING like it use to be. She can read but some words still trip her up -- so reading orally to me is to help her make sure she's reading properly. It also gives her the opportunity to ask me questions right then and there if she doesn't understand something.  (We made the most process with her reading when we starting sight phonics.)

She did what she could and what wasn't done will be moved to Tuesday. I'm counting Friday as a half day of school. We are taking tomorrow off for Labor Day. At least she had some school and me being sick didn't mean no school day. When she (and Superstar) were younger mom being sick meant no school at all! -- so glad those days are behind us and she can do a lot of the the work, even if I'm down and out, by herself.

I'm still feeling nasty. The head congestion alone is enough to bug anyone -- add vomiting, ear aches, -- it's not pleasant. I still have to make all of my lesson plans for this week. I will do that tomorrow even if I'm still feeling like crud so Web-Princess will have what she needs for this coming week. Hopefully, regardless of how I feel I will be well enough to help her for those areas she needs help.

This Tuesday will start week 3 for us! (3rd week, but not 3rd full week. Our first week we only did school on Wed to Friday). I can't believe 3 weeks in already.

We have been doing:
  • English
  • Algebra
  • Biology
  • World History
  • PE/Health
I will be adding some Bible/Religion to the list. I just don't know what yet.  What I was going to use has proven to be beyond what Web-Princess can handle. So I have been looking for an alternative but haven't found anything I'm happy with. Do you have any suggestion for Bible/Religion for High School/9th grade (from a Catholic prospective of course)?

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a commission if you click on a link and purchase something. See our full disclosure policy for more details.

August 27, 2016

Hot Ice

Yesterday, if you like our Facebook page you would have seen a few status updates about our attempts to make "Hot Ice".

We were following this video from YouTube:

We didn't realize the boiling down would take forever -- it took nearly 2 hours.  So WP wasn't to thrilled. It made her school day much longer because I refused to let her do anything else while it boiled down.

We boiled it down, placed it in the refrigerator, and after 2 hours still no crystals. We assumed we did it wrong; so while she did her school work I did up another batch. I mixed it, boil it down -- let even more crystal form then the first time -- thinking that was our mistake.

Let it sit in the refrigerator for several hours -- nothing -- no crystals.  So we left it overnight and the majority of today. I was cooking steaks on the grill and WP came out asking if she should just dumb it seeing it was just a liquid with no crystals. I told her yes. She asked where, because Daddy was washing dishes at the kitchen sink. I told her just take it out front and just dump it. It's just vinegar and baking soda and wouldn't hurt anything just dumping it out front. (Even though it was just vinegar and baking soda I didn't want her dumping it in the back yard because of Puggy the Puggle).

A few minutes later -- WP came running out the back door towards me -- Mom, mom, look what happen?  What happen you wonder -- well the liquid mixture turned to a solid on her as she was going to dump it. She asked if this was the "hot ice"? I told her yes it was -- but didn't understand why it didn't work like the video, or why it turned to a solid on her when she went to dump it.  -- Other then it must have had some crystal or dry residue on the side of the plastic container and when the liquid touched that it made the rest of it turn into a solid.

I wish I would have thought to snap some pictures of our failed experiment.  Failed because it didn't go exactly like we thought it would.  However, it was still cool we got the hot ice to form -- even if it was accidental. One interesting thing about the "ice" was that it actually was hot, warm, to the touch. Much, much warmer then you would expect seeing it was just in the refrigerator.

Have you tried to make hot ice before? How did it go? Did it work like this video? Or did you do something else? Have you had experiments that have failed or didn't go as plan? Tell us more? Leave a comment.

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a commission if you click on a link and purchase something. See our full disclosure policy for more details.

August 23, 2016

High School. Here we are.

8 years in and here we are: High School!!

I'm given my years what many would consider an veteran homeschooler. Many have come to me looking for advice, tips, help, but yet here I am in uncharted waters.

I was robbed, yes strong words, but how I feel from being able to do high school with my son, but overjoyed and overwhelmed to be doing freshman year, here at home, with my daughter.

Freshman year.  I many moons ago bought homeschool tracker plus edition. This year I am honestly using it. For real. I have used it on and off over the years among other various tracker, record keeping programs. I just keep coming back to the homeschool tracker.  So with it being high school now I'm using it completely, for real, fully and being sure I honestly record things within the program. That way when needed with a few clicks I can generate report cards, transcripts, reading logs, materials used, etc. The more info you put in the better the generated reports will be.  One thing I do like is the plus edition (along with the free basic they still offer) is local to my computer. It's not online or some cloud.

Don't get me wrong. I use cloud things to store thing many things. I do use Google drive, facebook, etc. However when it comes to my education records for my kids, especially seeing my state is a low regulated state and does not require records, I like that it's just local to my computer. It gives me a sense that it's just for me and my kids only. our eyes only.

Although, the down side is that it's only on my computer and while the program can be loaded on multiple computers only one computer is going to have the up to date information unless I put the file on a flash drive and manually upload/download it between the two computers. Also, seeing it's on the one computer only, even though the plus edition allows for separate student login it has to be in that one computer. Hence sharing a computer. Which is not horrid, but over the years it's been nice not having to share and why I tried my hand at a series of online programs and apps when the kids go their tablets.  I wanted them to use their tablets and me my computer and have us "communicate" that way in terms of what to do for school, if the work is done, etc.

The only online programs I haven't tried are ones that cost money including homeschool tracker online. Mainly because I refuse to pay monthly or yearly for something I paid for 8 years ago as a one time fee.  Homeschool tracker plus edition, which is no longer available, was a ONE time fee of $50.

So back to schooling. It has only been 5 days so far. 3 last week; 2 this week. So far I seem please and so does WP. We have been doing Algebra 1, some English and Biology.  I ordered yesterday what I needed to complete our English course and World History. Once I have them we will start. We will also be doing a full years worth of PE/Health and Bible/Religion.  I haven't done PE/Health yet because she's been fighting a sinus infection. I also didn't start Bible/Religion because what I was going to use for her prove to be to advance when I took a closer look.

However within a a month we should be running on full steam.

How has your year started out? Have you even started? How has it been going? Already making adjustment?

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a commission if you click on a link and purchase something. See our full disclosure policy for more details.

July 26, 2016

Spreading Her Wings ....

Over the weekend my daughter, Web-princess, 14 now went on her first away from home trip. It was a weekend trip with venture crew.

They went to BayJammers in the UP of Michigan. Her weekend was spent doing a series of competitions: First Aid, Sawing, Lip Syncing, etc. Honestly, I forget everything she did and signed up for; I know her first night was rough, she had a bit of a hard time, but the crew she was with was nice and helpful.

She came home with a blister on  her hand from the sawing, laughter over sharing some of the silliness that happened, bashful over dancing with a guy for the first time. (Which she described as awkward!)  Oh, what a weekend it was.

She's unsure she will go again, but I'm glad she did it.  She the night before leaving us up crying and scared about going. I know she's 14, but this is hard for her. She is my bashful, shy child. She's reserved, rather be the on looker, not the center of attention.  She is my I rather be home -- child.  She has always been this way -- even the early years when she was in Public School this didn't changed about her -- Heck, I remember the teacher calling me one day because she was bashful -- this was her.

Homeschooling didn't make her this way; homeschooling has allowed her to try things on her terms and when she was ready. Even if it was hard; even if she was doubtful, crying, it was still on her terms.  She is the one that came to us and asked to do venture crew this year. She is the one that came to us and told us she wants to go to BayJammers. As it approached she got scared about going, but I would have gladly told her she didn't have to go if her anxiety tipped over the edge.

Thursday night I spent the night cuddling with her and calming her. Friday morning she was still on edge some, but considerably better. I would have told her she had the option to stay home if she was as bad as she was Thursday  night.  She wasn't - so I just reassured her as needed and when the time came she was okay.  The first night, she told us when she got back, was rough, but over all she had an okay time.

The adults that went made a point to talk to my husband and I after they got back and shared that she did well, she fit in well with the rest of the group, and that if you didn't know any better you wouldn't have known this was her first time away from home and that she had anxiety about going, etc.

See -- letting her do it on her terms, when she was ready, even though she was scared, has helped her over the years.  I'm not sure (public) school or any school for that matter would have been good for her all this time.  She would have done it, but I know that over the years the anxiety would have grown and perhaps manifest itself into some horrid thing.

I'm very proud of my teenager and that she went and had a good weekend.

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a commission if you click on a link and purchase something. See our full disclosure policy for more details.
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