Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Stormtroopers in a Helicopter!

The Oro Valley Police Department asked my husband's Star Wars group to provide "entertainment" for a drug awareness event at a park. The event was for 5th grade school kids from all over Oro Valley.  The Star Wars people that were working in law enforcement got a special treat. They got to ride in a helicopter from the local air force base to the event. Cool! My husband and his friends were sooo excited. There were four of them that were able to fly.

downtown Tucson
I packed up the kids and headed down to the park to see him land. It was really neat and the kids were waving trying to get Daddy's attention. I ran into a family from our homeschool park day and had a great time herding our kids around to all of the law enforcement vehicles on display there.

It was really a great day. I am always so happy to see the "Star Wars Guys". They are really some of the most friendly and generous people I meet. I thought they did a great job entertaining the kids and taking pictures with them.

hubby is on top
A Bit Of A Rant:
The event seemed to be well run and the law enforcement, fire fighters, and border patrol people were all great. I know that drug education is important, but should we really be talking about cocaine to 5th graders? It seemed to me that maybe they should have talked more about prescription drugs, smoking, and weed? Many of the kids jerks and I had to tell a group of boys several times not to poke (pull or annoy) one of the stormtroopers. I don't know who was supposed to be watching them, but there was no one with that group of 10-12 kids. Anyway, other than the school kids, the event was great! ;o)

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

I have just finished mapping out my son's 2nd grade year and thought I would share it. You can use this as a map for your kids and expand it to fit with your style of homeschooling. I use workboxes, if you don't know what they are, visit Sue Patrick came up with this BRILLIANT idea. I LOVE, LOVE it! It has helped my son to become so much more independent in his work and freed up time to do more of the fun stuff. I am an "everything" homeschooler. I use bits from Charlotte Mason, A Well Trained Mind, lapbooks, unit studies, and others with the main part being from Core Knowledge. I have just picked the things that seem to work best with my kids and don't really care where they come from. ;o) My daughter, Tink, will be in Kindergarten this year. For some of the subjects she will be learning the same things right along with Optimus. If you have any questions about what I use or how I use it, please feel free to message me.

Weekly Schedule @10am (after chores and breakfast)
-Morning Meeting (4x a week)
-Language Arts (3/4x a week)
-Math (4x a week)
-History (2x a week)
-Science (2x a week)
-Art & Music (1x a week)
-Computer (2x a week)
-Extra (1x a week)

Morning Meeting (BOTH kids)
-Yesterday was _?, Today is _?, Tomorrow will be _?
-Days of the Week (sing song or other activity)
-Months of the Year (say each month or ask which months make different seasons)
-Saying of the Week (read, discuss or some will have short activity)
-Letter of the Week (say, write, find (find 4 things that start with that letter, short activity, or place the letter on the "Coconut Tree" (this is a tree we made because we love the book, Chicka Chicka Boom Boom)
-President of the Week (show picture and discuss contributions, picture book, short activity and items placed in history binder)
-State of the Week (picture book or state map, state information [sometimes I write the state and get free visitor information sent], color in the state on a US map, and items go in the state binder (we also participate with Flat Travelors)

Language Arts (what we use and how we use it)
-Writing with Ease (scripted lessons are in the book) BOTH (while Optimus is doing copywork, Tink is using Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons)
-First Language Lessons (scripted lessons are in the book)
-Spelling Workout (I "cut" each lesson into 3 parts. We spend 2 days on the activities in the book. The thirrd and final day is a spelling test. Any words not right must be written again 3 more times. Before the tests we review the spelling rule for the week.)
-narration (I use various books for this. I have used Wide Wonderful World (great collections), The Complete Beatrix Potter, and Aesop's Fables. I give each kid a notebook (the spiral ones with lines work). I read the story and the kids draw the story. In the end the older one dictates the story in his own words back to me. I will write it for him if needed.) BOTH
-cursive (We use the dry erase board or practice sheets. No real curriculum, although I sometimes dig out the McGuffey readers that contain cursive.) BOTH (Tink works on printing)
-reading (I use to track his reading level and get increasingly more challenging books at the library. He needs to read to me aloud each day AND practice free reading.) BOTH (After Optimus reads, we all read Tink's current FIAR pick)

-Math games (Jelly bean math (kids get a bean for each correct answer, shape games, math games from and BOTH
-Math U See (We usually watch the video on the first day of a new topic (or more if they want). I only have my child work on enough problems to master the concept. We love this math program!) BOTH (Tink uses Singapore's Early Bird Kindergarten Math)
-Singapore (We use a few of their workbooks as suppliments)
-What Your 2nd Grader Needs to Know (will complete the math activities)

Math topics for 2nd Grade:
Numbers 1-100
Numbers 1-1,000
Geometry (basic)

History & Geography (BOTH)
These lessons are taught with both of my children together. Our American History will repeat every four years, so my youngest will get all topics eventually. For world history we are sticking with Core Knowledge Foundation's sequence. When my oldest is in 4th grade we will begin World History with the Ancients. CKF has graciously provided their entire sequence for FREE download on thier site, please check it out.

World History Topics for 2nd Grade:
Ancient Civilizations in Asia
King Asoka
Rivers and the Great Wall of China

Chinese New Year
Modern Japan
City States
Persian Wars
Pericles, Socrates, Plato and Aristotle
Alexander the Great

Resources for World History
-What Your 2nd Grader Needs to Know by Hirsch
-Usborne's IL World History Encyclopedia
-Story of the World, Book 1 ACTIVITY BOOK by Wise-Baur
-D'Aulaires' Greek Mythology
-various lesson plans (FREE)

American History Topics for 2nd grade:
James Madison
War of 1812
Dolly Madison
National Anthem and Frances Scott Key
Westward Expansion
Panama Canal
Trains, Wagons, Pony Express
Women of the time

American Indian tribes
Civil War
Underground Railroad
Abraham Lincoln and Emancipation Proclamation
Immigration and Citizenship
Civil Rights

American History Resources
-What Your 2nd Grader needs to Know by Hirsch
-Lewis and Clark and Me ( lapbook)
-First Americans by Joy Hakim ***superb
-Native American History Pockets
-Interactive 3D maps
-President Lincoln (
-Meet Addy ( lapbook)
-various lesson plans from the site
-Freedom on the Menu ( lapbook)

Science (BOTH)
Science is a bit of a challenge for me so I prefer to use books that explain things in plain English. There are also some wonderful resources from Science Jim on He is so entertaining. I am going to "outsource" a few things to him this year in his online classes. He has a wonderful text too for older kids.

Science topics for 2nd Grade
Life Cycle (plants and animals)
Water Cycle
Human Body
Simple Machines
Scientists (van Leeuwenhoek, Nightengale, Williams, and McCoy)

Science Resources
-What Your 2nd Grader Needs to Know by Hirsch (wonderful FREE human body plan for 36 weeks. We won't use it that long, but it is wonderful)
-Usborne's IL My First Body Book
-Magic School Bus Catches a Wave
-various lesson plans from science "stuff" and classes

Music & Art (BOTH)

Music topics for 2nd Grade:
Patriotic music
Folk music
Classical music
Mozart, Vivaldi, Bach, and Beethoven
Instrument studies (trumpet, clarinet, banjo and violin)
Writing music (basic concepts)

Art Topics for 2nd Grade:
Nature art
Animals in art
Architecture (will study Greek and Asian in history too)
Still Life

Music & Art resources
-Art Masterpieces to Color (Dover Colouring Books)
-What Your 2nd Grader Needs to Know
-What Your Kindergartner Needs to Know
-various CD's from library
-art supplies
-musical instruments
-Art museums and galleries
-Music events - Tucson Sym. Orchestra, etc.

There you have it!!

April Things to Do around Tucson

April 7th - Girl Scouts of Southern Arizona Frozen Yogurt for a Cause!

Support your local Girl Scout council! On April 7, 2010 bring your troop, family and friends to BTO for a healthy treat. BTO Self Serve Yogurt will donate 10% of all proceeds for that day to Sahuaro Girl Scout Council! No coupon necessary. Tell your friends!

Hours vary by location. Offer good all day. Check BTO website for hours of individual locations. No coupon necessary.

Only good Wednesday, April 7, 2010.

April 15th- Pima County Fair starts. Be sure to go their website and print out the "Read to Ride" program. Kids gets free rides for reading!

4/15 free admission with 2 cans of food noon to 3pm. Parking is still $5. Games

are $1.

4/19 is family discount day with $2 parking (usually $5) and $2 admission

(usually $7 for adults).

4/21 free admission with Wendy's receipt noon to 3pm, you'll need one receipt

per person. Games are $1.

Read and Ride - read three books and write (dictate) a summary to receive free

rides coupon. The form can be found under the Educational program inline or at

the library. One per child.

Discounts on rides - 10 rides for $10 tickets are sold at Fry's until the 14th.

April 24th - Leapin' Lizards

Saturday, April 24 . 10:00 a.m. - Noon

Pima County Agua Caliente Park, 12325 East Roger Road

We are sure to find several varieties of lizards as they hunt for insects in the underbrush and on tree trunks. Learn about the unusual habits and adaptations of lizards and other reptiles at Agua Caliente Park YOU MUST RSVP FOR THIS EVENT. click the link and email the "contact us".