Tuesday, August 30, 2016


For one of our Wild Explorers meetups this month, the kids had to learn a new camping skill. 

Every explorer needs to know how to survive in the wild. This week, we're going to learn a new skill that will be useful for camping. You could learn how to pitch a tent, tie three knots, start a campfire, or make a campfire meal. Chose one of these four activities. Just make sure an adult helps you with anything dangerous! Pretty soon, you'll be doing this all on your own."

We went with pitching a tent.


This lovely lady had summer dance camp for three weeks! She danced 6 hours a week.
 She also finished her volleyball season this month. 

 Jayden earned a new stripe on his belt (excuse my finger covering part of the picture!)
He also went to a 4 day camp this month where he and several other children learned the ins and outs of movie making. They rewrote the story line for Flora and Ulysses and made it into a zombie movie. We are so excited to see it when it's complete!

Saturday, August 27, 2016

2016-2017 Curriculum Choices

We just finalized our curriculum for the 2016-2017 school year. Jayden is officially entering 5th grade and Caitlin is entering 2nd. So far this is what we have lined up:


This year Jayden wanted to take a couple of online middle school courses offered at a charter school free to residents in our state. He chose to take science and Spanish. He started Spanish about 5 weeks ago and is doing very well. Science just started so we have nothing to report there. The comprehensive science course includes lessons in weather and atmosphere, earth's climate, the organization of living things, and cells and body systems.

Jayden will be doing Teaching Textbooks 7 for math. From their website: "Math 7 covers all of basic arithmetic, including fractions, decimals, and percents. The program also teaches a fair amount of geometry (e.g. how to find the area of a circle). Other topics include statistics and probability, simple graphing concepts, equations, and inequalities. There are even several chapters dedicated to math in the real world."

Jayden also decided he wanted to learn more about modern day history. He will be covering world history from 1850- present time using History Odyssey Modern Times. The curriculum includes activities, a list of required books to read, writing assignments, and it covers geography.


Caitlin decided she wanted to try taking math online this year. I don't think she is quite ready for that so we compromised on a curriculum she can use on the computer. We went with Teaching Textbooks 3. It still uses the same spiral method of learning as Saxon (which we used last school year) but it gives her the independence she is looking for. From their website: These include whole numbers, fractions, decimals, dollars and cents, time, perimeter, area, temperature, the metric system, and bar and line graphs.

Caitlin will be learning chemistry in Science this year. We will be using the R.E.A.L. Science Odyssey Chemistry curriculum this year. We love the simple layout of R.E.A.L. Science. There is a short lesson followed by a fun experiment. The best part is the material required for their experiments are often items that are readily available so we don't have to spend a ton of money trying to order things.

Using the American Girl books, Caitlin will be learning about history. We will be lapbooking our way through each set of books, along with doing crafts, making meals, and taking field trips that correspond with the time frame of the stories we are reading (if we can). She has two 18 inch dolls but is really pleading her case for her own official American Girl doll that looks just like her.

Caitlin will also be doing spelling with the National Treasures Spelling Book 3.

Both children are continuing Bravewriter for language arts. As part of the "Brave Writer" curriculum, we will have dictation and copy work, as well as "Movie Monday", "Teatime Tuesday", and "Freewrite Friday". In addition to this, both children will be doing Growing with Grammar.

We are part of a book club that meets monthly, as well as a co-op that meets a couple of times a month. Each child gets to take three classes. Jayden has chosen to participate in another book club where he will have to read several books over the course of 3 months. He also chose a class called Enterprise City, where he will learn to do things such as write a resume and fill out a check. He and other students will spend two days "running a city", doing the job they are hired to do. His last selection is a creative writing class. Caitlin is taking a Spanish class, an elementary art class, and creative writing.Her art class will cover seven different artists. They will study their style of art and create their own masterpieces using these artistic styles.

Jayden is continuing with karate at a more advanced level. He gets to start sparring in September, meaning longer hours at the dojo! He will also be taking swimming lessons and continuing guitar lessons. Caitlin is also continuing with karate and will be swimming. She is part of a dance team that meets 3x a week as well as taking an acting class.

Of course we have various field trips and exciting things planned for this year! Stay tuned! :)

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

More in July!

It's been such a hot and dry summer. We have been looking for mostly indoor events to beat the heat. Luckily for us our library had lots of amazing events in July! One of them was called "Living and Working in Space". This was their description of the event:

Using exclusive NASA videos and a variety of visual and hands on demonstrations, students will learn how astronauts live and work in space while answering questions like: What is it like to live in space? How do astronauts adjust to microgravity? What are the astronauts doing in space?
There were fun activities used to show what it was like living and working in space. They all got to examine the powdered foods astronauts eat in space. Some kids were brave enough to try the dehydrated apples.

The kids had to build a puzzle with gloves that astronauts wear. This was to show how difficult it is to repair something in space wearing big bulky gloves. They also had to work in teams to build a lego set with the builder not looking at any of the instructions. Without facing each other, another child had to give the instructions while also describing the shape, color, and size of the required piece. It was definitely frustrating!
They also had an archery event where the kids received extensive instruction on safety, proper form, and how to hit the target.

 We also enjoyed a science show called "Power & Energy" with the spectacular Science Tellers!

We watched things fly, bounce, transform and soar while listening to a series of stories. The person telling the stories was definitely fun and engaging.  

And my favorite event of all was "On Your Mark, Get Set, Bake! - King Arthur Flour - Bake For Good". A King Arthur Flour representative came and showed the kids how to bake bread, cinnamon rolls, shape pretzels and pizza dough, and more!

 At the end of the event, we each came home with a goodie bag that contained 2 bags of King Arthur Flour, a packet of yeast, a dough cutter, a bread bag, and a book of recipes. Each bag contained enough ingredients for two loaves of bread- one was for each family to keep, while the other cooked loaf was to be returned to the library to be donated to a soup kitchen.

We wanted our loaves to be fresh and we had a whole week to complete three loaves, so we started with some banana nut muffins for ourselves!

 The day before the bread was due we set to work making two loaves of sandwich bread.

 Once they cooled off we bagged them.
The next day we set to work making braided bread. We made two loaves- one for ourselves, one for the soup kitchen. 

Once each child finished their braid, we brushed on our egg wash and popped it in the oven. We came out with these beauties!

In other exciting news, we found out we are also baking a third minion for our clan- a baby boy due in late fall!

Monday, August 1, 2016

A Little Bit of July

Jayden has been fascinated with making stop motion videos for months now. He spends a lot of his free time creating scenery and storylines for his characters.
At Wild Explorers we have done a bunch of things for our Bear Badge. One of the assignments was to learn a new game or sport. The kids all brought or created their own board games to share.
Another assignment was to learn new words in another language. We learned some Greek words!
We've had pool days with friends... 

 and we have enjoyed the beach several times before it became unbearably hot!
 We saw a fireworks show for 4th of July.
 Jayden earned his first stripe on his new belt. 
 We also got to enjoy a show called "The Night Sky" which was put on by the McAuliffe Shepard Discovery Center. They brought an inflatable planetarium and we learned about different constellations, the planets, and the night sky.