Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Next Trip...DC (Wanna Come?)

I have official signed up for our next trip. A trip to DC in late October! We are traveling with a homeschool group called Carolina Homeschooler. The trip is reasonable priced - we paid $800 for the 2 of us. A family of 4 costs about $1,000 plus airfare. Most of your expenses are included. From the site: The cost of the trip includes your registration fee; hotel for four nights; a buffet breakfast on Friday through Monday; lunch on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday; and all site admissions. It also includes Metro transportation while we're there. All other meals, a $12 per night hotel parking fee if you drive to DC, and anything you do on your own will be extra. Our flights will only be $208 each! So, this is a really reasonable trip! (Oh, and if you are a small family like Alex & I, you can share a room and save even more.)

photo from wikipedia

So, the trip is from October 21st-25th... and there are still places available! I hesitated 'advertising' this as I haven't been on a trip with this group, but I've emailed several moms who have and it sounds like a great way to travel. So, if you are interested, hop over to the site and check it out. There are 16 seats left and the deadline to register is September 4th. If you do sign up, please let me know!!!


This year I am teaching 4 classes at our local co-op. Yes, four! Well, two of them are the same class - it was just too big so we had to open a second session. I'll be telling you more about my classes, but for now I wanted to introduce you to my GEMS class.

GEMS stands for Great Explorations in Math and Science. In this class, we will be doing various units created by GEMS. Our first unit is Bubble-ology.

My class is for 5th-7th graders. We have a limit of 8 students per class and this one currently has 7 students. Bubble-ology is a great study about... bubbles! For the first class, we were trying to make bubbles out of various items that you can find around the house. I was amazed that one girl made bubbles out of paper towels! She just rolled it into a tube and was able to blow bubbles! Creative!

Our co-op is at a house in the country. We have 7 rooms (I think) and this is my room. Since I only teach 2 hours on Tuesday and 2 on Thursday, I share it with a few other teachers. I think this was the dining area - it is right behind the kitchen. It has a tile floor and a sink since I teach messy classes.
Our favorite new bubble-maker is a fly swatter! Alex & I played with the bubbles at home and here she is demonstrating the fly swatter bubbler. (It was brand new.) I'm excited about this class and the kids had a great first day!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

1st Day of School Photos

On Monday, we started our sixth year of homeschooling. It is hard to believe, but Alex is now in 5th grade!

This photo was taken on Monday at our annual back-to-school donut breakfast outing.

And, this photo was taken on Tuesday at her first day of co-op.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

CNN Student News Online

Last spring we started watching CNN Student News every morning to keep up with current events. We are excited that they are back after summer vacation! They started their new season on Monday. The videos are only 10 minutes long and the site also includes polls, maps, discussion questions, and more!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Perseid Meteor Shower

Alex and I went to our new lake house on Thursday so we could see the 3 planets which would be near the moon and watch the Perseid Meteor Shower. Well, it was cloudy all day and we were worried we wouldn't see anything. I did catch the sunset from the deck on the roof of our boathouse. But, the clouds persisted and we never saw the moon, the planets, or the meteor shower.

The next night, however, was clear! And we saw a beautiful moon set across the lake. I can't believe I didn't get my camera! And, as we watched, we saw 4 'shooting stars' over a period of about an hour. Alex was thrilled. So was I! And, we weren't even seeing these in the correct location for the Perseid shower.

We also read a book about meteors which taught the difference between meteors, meteorites, and meteoroids. (Do you know the difference?) Unfortunately, it did continually mention "millions of years ago" so I wish I would have grabbed our "Exploring Creation with Astronomy" book instead!

P.S. We had our 'back to school' swimming pool party for our homeschool co-op and two moms mentioned that they check my blog all the time. Thank you for that! And for inspiring me to get back to it. I know I haven't been around much this summer!

Monday, August 09, 2010

Only He (God) Completely Understands... (portion of an old letter)

I find it easy to get on the computer every day. I usually find it easy to do my workouts. But, I find it hard to spend time with God every morning.

This morning, I was having a Quiet Time. I started by reading a chapter in a book by Anne Ortlund, "The Gentle Ways of the Beautiful Woman." The chapter was discussing how our "invisible life" is the basis of our life. In other words, the time we spend alone with God determines who we are - how we react to life's challenges, how we talk, how we spend the rest of our time, etc.

So, I've determined to get back into my Bible... daily. I am starting by reading a chapter of Proverbs every day for the next month. (I learned this from SparkPeople and my new diet/lifestyle and exercise habits - start small and it'lll become a habit much more easily!) I'll be reading the chapter that corresponds to the date. But, oops! I thought today was the 8th, so I read chapter 8. Or, maybe God lead me there...

It was talking about seeking wisdom - it is "more precious than rubies." And to "choose my instruction instead of silver." Well, this got me thinking and praying about Alex's school schedule for this year. I am really struggling with what outside classes to put her in (both at our co-op and online). As I finished praying, God lead me to the zippered part of my Bible where I've kept a piece of paper since March 3rd, 2005. It is something I wrote the year before I started homeschooling Alex, and it was an incredible reminder of how I need to schedule our year. Here's a portion of that letter

God made Alex. Only He completely understands what she is capable of, what she needs, the things that will heppen to her (and us) in her life, what she will become, etc. Only God knows what she needs to learn and when. I need to go to Him, the Author of Alex, to learn how to instruct her.

I hope you can insert your own child(ren)'s name in that short piece and see how we need to seek God as we plan on how (and what!) we will teach our children. God will show us the path He wants us to follow, but we must seek Him first!

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Getting Ready for 5th Grade!

I know I've been neglecting my blog. But, I'm getting ready for school now. I cleaned off my shelves today. I meant to do this at the beginning of summer, but I didn't.

So, now they are pretty much cleaned off! I'm finalizing plans for school and trying to get ready. We start on the 23rd, so about 2 1/2 weeks of summer left! Hop everyone is enjoying their break - if you break for the summer.
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