The First Olympics

…and with the Winter Olympics just around the corner, we will be able to live what we learn. Of course the athletes won’t be naked or competing to please the gods, but we will still enjoy the competition. ūüôā

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Sharing Equally (or, an intro to multiplication)

While Hunter was trying to figure out an “intro to multiplication” worksheet this week, Madison leaned across the table and piped up, “It’s 12.”

And it was!!

I don’t know how she figured it out but she did…and before Hunter, who is the math-puzzle master. Seeing she was interested in what he was doing, I pulled together a few items to set up her own multiplication activity.

She loved dividing the play good and household items between her Calico Critters. I modeled how to say “X groups of Y equals Z” and she explained each set of items as she divvied them out.

Hunter wanted in on the game so Playmobil characters came out of the toy shelf and he followed his worksheet by using them as his manipulatives. I love when both kids connect on an activity or subject and can share their learning journey. Especially having kids so close in age and grade, they can learn alongside each other and grow together in a whole different way.

Thunderstorm!

The part that I love most about homeschooling is when the kids grab a hold of something and run with it. The excitement that comes over them when it hits them and all they want to do is learn more…it’s priceless.

This morning we read about thunderstorms, as we’re learning about the different layers of the atmosphere through this book. I thought it would be fun to watch some videos of lightning strikes so they could see what we are learning about. Where we live there aren’t many thunderstorms and I don’t think they’ve ever seen lightning actually strike the ground.

Thanks to YouTube we found two short videos (here and here) and the kids were amazed! They were yelling and jumping around every time the lightning struck the ground in the video.

Afterward, we pulled out some paper and pens and I told them to draw the most awesome lightning storm they could think of. Here is what they came up with. Of course, Leah decided to take it up a notch and color a volcano lightning storm. Haha!

These unplanned moments of discovery are such a sweet treasure to me as I watch them learn, grow, and discover the world around them.

Let’s write like Greeks!

Our homeschool lesson had us learning like Greeks today. ¬†We used the Ancient Greek alphabet to write our names according to how they would have looked centuries ago. ¬†This chart helped them figure out how to ‘spell’ their names in Greek.


Hunter and Madison found it hilarious that their names looked and sounded different than how they are pronounced today.  Then they tried saying their names together as one long word and laughed hysterically.

How to spell without writing

Hunter, our second grader, is not the biggest fan of writing. ¬†He is reading well and will be working on handwriting this year, but I wanted him to move forward with spelling even if he isn’t totally confident with writing.

Enter Scrabble tiles.

For his first spelling test this year, he used the tiles and a rack from the board game to spell each of his ten spelling words…and then surprised me by knocking out the five bonus words perfectly (which he didn’t study at all during the week).

100% on his first ever spelling test?  I call that a success!

We started!  Homeschool 2017

Holiday weekend

Power goes out.

Kids recovering from fever & flu.

38 weeks pregnant.

Spontaneous trip to the car repair shop.

That’s how we started our 2017 school year!

All things considered, they did awesome.  Like, really awesome.  I was a bit concerned about the transition from the go-with-the-flow summer days to the structured-and-directed homeschool mornings (or afternoons, as this day happened to play out), but they did great.

Hunter is starting second grade. ¬†He will have a lot more “directed” work this year than in past years, but still with a healthy dose of discovery, adventure, and exploration.

Madison is our kindergartner this year. ¬†To say she is excited is an understatement. ¬†Except for the moments when she is undeniably tormented at the fact she made a mistake or can’t do something perfect. ¬†What can I say – she’s pretty amazing.

With Baby #4’s arrival just around the corner, we are taking it slow. ¬†Hopefully we can build some sort of momentum and rhythm so the kids can keep moving forward with school while we all adjust to Baby’s arrival. ¬†No matter what happens, we are embracing this season and all that we will learn.

Thanks to this website and this one for loads of inspiration for this year’s homeschool plan and approach.

Reading Corner

We rearranged our living room to make space for this rocking recliner, and unintentionally created a reading corner for the family.  My heart swells when I see this happening during the day, and it’s occurring more and more as the kiddos realize the cozy factor of a good book and a comfy chair.