02 June 2014

School Supplies

The homeschool curriculum has arrived!  I still get excited about school supplies. Do you?  I didn't like school very much growing up but I always loved September because it meant new pens and pencils and fresh crisp notebooks. 

We decided on two separate main curricula for this coming year. 

Our first choice was Math U See.

Based on our daughter's current progress and difficulty with math, we decided to go with a very visual curriculum.  Math U See sent us a free dvd to descibe their program and how it works.  My husband and I both learned a great deal with just that dvd.  Hopefully this will work well for the peanut who has really been struggling with multiple step math problems and identifying when to use what kind of math.   

Math U See is a mastery program, not a spiral based program like her public school.  We found that they moved too quickly from topic to topic and left her little time to understand the concept before they were on to something else and she was left behind.

For Science, Social Studies, and Language Arts (I called this English growing up.. why did they change it?)  we picked Moving Beyond the Page.

Moving Beyond the Page doesn't use grade numbers for "placement" but rather age ranges.  We chose the 9 to 11 range, though initially I felt the 10 to 12 would be the way to go.  My husband convinced me that since there would be some areas that would be easier and more review like it would allow for more time to integrate the new style of math. 

Our box was literally packed with work books, literature, and manipulatives.   MBtP integrates all three areas and encourages both critical and creative thinking.  As this is our first year with homeschool we all felt it was better to have a complete boxed curriculum.  It's entirely possible that the following year will have me putting together my own curriculum.

We will also be supplementing with a few creative things, like a doodle a day journal and hand sewing lessons. (Of course!) 

One of the things my daughter was freaked out about was that we would be studying the human body. She is VERY squeamish about it all. (To the point of not letting me say the word blood. Ugh!)  The first thing she wanted to look at when I opened the box was the Squishy Human Body model, and she cannot wait to open it and feel it's intestines.  How awesome is that?!

I'll share more here soon especially free resources, of which I have found about a gazillion.

27 April 2014

Come into our garden

And now, a brief post about gardening. Well, not really. I don't do much gardening though I do have very specific ideas of what I like and don't like and am not quiet at all about sharing that information with the person in my house who actually does do the gardening. I'm a lucky girl that he is so easy going.

An adventure was had by all yesterday as we visited Stanley's Greenhouse. To say it was packed with both plants and people would be an enormous understatement.  The checkout lines were immense and I'm only glad I didn't have to wait in one, though there were many things I would have loved to bring home.

Like this Hydrangea.  How gorgeous is this?  I've never seen this color. Normally it's pale pink or blue or purple.  

One of the cutest things was the miniature terrarium section -filled with tiny garden furniture; like for fairies or gnomes. It was SO dang cute!!!  I certainly don't need another hobby, but it is soooooo tempting!

Here's a simple one they had on display.
Wee garden!

There were many plants and flowers that I had never seen before and many that I thought would be  lovely in our own garden. We've decided to wait an entire year before we do any major changes to our yard since this is our first year here.

This ColorBlaze Sedona coleus is in contention for complimenting our boxwood in the front of our house. How gorgeous is this!?

ColorBlaze Sedona Coleus

They had beautiful succulents, like this Hens & Chicks.
Cobweb Hens & Chicks

These were so cool but really kinda creepy - like a family of spiders is lying in wait.  I passed on these but did buy a plain Hens & Chicks for my kitchen window sill.

Beautiful blossom!
I have no idea what this flower is, I didn't take a photo of the tag.  If you know what it is -feel free to leave a comment.

Here's one last photo - of my husband in a pith helmet, because everyone should have a pith helmet.