Saturday, February 28, 2015

Sissy's 2nd Grade Year: Post #3

Just a few things Sis had going on at the end of last semester:
On Pilgrims and Indians Day, she wore the costume I had worn in the 3rd grade. My mom had someone make this costume for me.

 sponge paint artwork in Five in a Row class

She, her little brother, and I showed up for work day at the church where co-op takes place. We pulled weeds and shoveled and spread out mulch.

a Cranberry Thanksgiving craft
for Five in a Row
 In American History/Symbols and Traditions class, they talked about the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.
And they made these cute floats out of shoeboxes tied to a balloon.

Field Trip
before going in to sing
Christmas carols at the nursing home
 We had a little time before picking up biggest brother from school, so we headed to the mall to Christmas shop. And drink tea.
We made a BINGO game from DLTK
 and played it after dinner.

 BINGO got pretty intense and competitive. Here are a couple of the winners' prizes.

 We also made a Thankful Tree for the table and after dinner, we listed our gratitudes on the leaves. Sissy wrote: dogs, family, food, bikes, home, God, Googie, Papaw, and outside. Ryan wrote: family, Illini, sons, daughter, time, Jesus, stories, summer, naps, health, beach, sleep, Nikola, job, and Jenny. We helped Baby Brother think of: someone to play with, nee nee milk, upstairs' toy room, Papaw, Ms. Brenda, his family, outdoors. Tornado wrote: our house, my stuffed animals, the 2 dogs, and Googie. (If he didn't include you, don't let it hurt your feelings - he didn't mention me, either, haha.) I wrote: my kids, Ryan, humor, Roni & Ghetti, kisses, vegan food, freedom, Gone Bananas, cardigans, our homeschool co-op, good health, road trips, massages, my family, my friends, flowers, my fave tv shows, internet, and God.

pilgrim hats: Peanot Cups, frosting, and
one side of Newman's Own O's cookies

 Dash and Sissy auditioned for a University of South Florida kids' choir at the beginning of last summer. They have had practice one night a week. Their first concert was in December at Busch Gardens. They did a wonderful job performing at the Marrakesh Theater. They were able to enjoy the park for a few hours before their 8:00 show. Unfortunately, it rained almost the entire time before the performance, but they managed to have fun, regardless.

after the show
Their Christmas concert was held later in December at a large church in Tampa. They did a beautiful job, once again. I'm proud of them for participating in the choir together. They are learning a lot about music and singing.

The Teacher
 Sissy gets to spend a lot of time with her little brother. She is one of the best big siblings in the world, I think. She is so patient and so mature with him. She loves playing teacher on her own, and she loves being a real teacher to him. Here they were working on a cut and paste workbook for preschoolers. She was showing him how to use scissors, telling him they were like alligators chomping their teeth.

Christmas themed pattern block mats

Out and About
 I had it in my mind to visit Heritage Village in Largo (which is part of Tampa) since we moved here. It is an open air living history village. We really enjoyed our day here. Sissy especially loved the one room school house. I think she would have spent all day here, teaching her pretend class.

or her real class

practicing morse code
in another building

another room they especially had fun in was the kitchen
 I mentioned in the last post that we attended Tampa Bay's Veg Fest, but I didn't include a photo. Here she was, making a veggie stamp painting.

 We wanted to use our Busch Gardens passes one more time toward the end of December. (Sis and I are the only ones who had passes, and Little Brother is free.) We tried to visit new areas and do things we had never done before.

We took the long train ride all around the park. We, however, did go to Sesame Street Place, though, because it's probably C's favorite place in the world

First eye appointment. He recommended glasses, although her prescription is pretty small.

running around downtown,
Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park

 She has been taking dance and acting classes 4 days a week this school year. (This semester we are down to 3 days a week.) It started with a weeklong camp at the end of the summer. This picture was taken on that Friday when they performed the dances they had learned.

 In November she was excited to participate in the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade at Wiregrass Mall in Wesley Chapel. She attended several special practice sessions to prepare for this.
The kids danced their number to Shake it Off several times during the parade, with a special performance in front of Macy's.

 lyrical and musical theater night

 During her recital week in December, visitors were invited to come watch the classes perform during the last 15 minutes of class. Since she was taking 6 classes (lyrical, musical theater, jazz, tricks & turns, cheer dance, and hip-hop), we were busy this week. It was fun to watch her, and performing is her favorite thing to do. Each night, families could gather for a little Christmas party after the recital.

jazz and tricks & turns night


American Girl Club
The girls in American Girl book club read all Samantha books this semester. In December, they had their Christmas party. Each girl brought an inexpensive ornament to exchange. We bought this photo ornament at Michael's, added a ribbon, and put a picture (printed off the computer) of Samantha with scrapbook paper background. I thought it was so cute I wanted to keep it. I think I'll make her one, too.

Beyond the ornament exchange, they enjoyed a tea party and decorating cookies.


counting down the days
a daily activity behind each card
This was one day.
This was another.

"REAL" snow in Florida at the Symphony of Lights at Wiregrass Mall
Christmas Travel
 Christmas also meant traveling to St. Louis to celebrate with my family, where she enjoyed all kinds of girl time (not to mention time with boy cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents, as well).

At Ryan's family's Christmas in Illinois, she had more fun cousin time, including with a NEW cousin.
 Grandma set out a table full of craft supplies and "trash" objects like boxes and cans. They created bird houses, wallets, ornaments - all kinds of things.
This was the sum total of our New Year's Eve celebration as we were enduring the last part of our very, very long car trip when the clock struck 12. Why does the trip home always feel so long and exhausting?

 "Home" School
the states Sissy has visited
 My states...although, after now that I'm looking, I forgot I have been in Michigan...and maybe Nebraska? I can't remember. I need a trip to Maine, Vermont, and New Hampshire and the central north.
This was one of our favorite books we read this semester! It's very clever.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Sissy's Second Grade Year: Post #2

Baby Brother has developed a love for "We're Going on a Bear Hunt" - the book, the song, everything. It was great, therefore, that Sissy's Five in a Row class "rowed" the book. Her teacher was nice enough to let him join in on the fun. This is how excited he was when they were about to "go on a bear hunt."
The kids all got to go through one at a time. I gave Sis the choice of going through by herself, but she definitely wanted to go with her brother.
They adventured through the "long, wavy grass," "deep, cold river," "thick, oozy mud," "big, dark forest," and "a swirling whirling snowstorm."      
 He was very cute, finding the bear in
the "narrow, gloomy cave" at the end.
The last week of October was Storybook Parade day at co-op. Sissy dressed up like Samantha from the American Girl series. We found her dress at a costume shop "going out of business" sale.
They marched around the sanctuary a few times
while we cheered them on.
After reading The Carrot Seed in FIAR class, they explored seeds and learned about parts of a plant and how a plant grows, etc.
For Columbus Day, they completed a ship craft in History. While outside using their homemade quill pins, they found real feathers and tried using those as well.
patriotic kebob from American History
 (holidays and symbols) class
Patriotic Day
That day, her Five in a Row class made snow with cornstarch and shaving cream. This went along with the book The Snowy Day and was enjoyed at home by her brothers, too. While rowing this book, they also discussed seasons and weather.
from American History
holidays and symbols class
They planted in science class one day - a bean in a paper towel and another seed planted under a penny with toothpicks holding it in place. They both grew awesomely with the penny rising up as it grew.
Field Trip
trick or treating with our co-op at a local nursing home
Out and About
This was a mom/daughter date night. We went shopping at Hyde Park Village, then picked up breadsticks and tea from Pizza Fusion downtown. We found a parking lot to pull into on this rainy night, and she hopped in the front to eat with me.
more beach trips
We attended two veg festivals this fall - Orlando's and Tampa's. At the children's tent in Orlando, the kids made treat toys for the rescued rabbits.
Fall Fest at The Grove in Wesley Chapel
We also attended Fall Fest at middle brother's school. I think the highlight of her night was seeing her first grade teacher. I watched Sis work her way through the crowd to get her attention, and I got a little teary-eyed when I saw her teacher react to seeing her, giving her a big hug. She will always have a special place in Sissy's heart.
Along with her brothers, the werewolf, The World's Strongest Man, and Olaf, she dressed up as a "Candy Girl."
Candy Girl indeed. We took a large portion of their candy to co-op. They mailed it to the troops overseas.
a day at Busch Gardens
In November, the kids and I returned to Kindred Spirits Sanctuary in Ocala, Florida. The turkeys (and all of their feathered and hooved friends) were celebrated with a Thanksgiving dinner all for themselves.
We enjoyed a picnic we brought with us to the farm. The kids thoroughly enjoyed hanging out with the animals all day, feeding and petting them. It's a lovely place.
Book Buddies
After reading The Queen's Smuggler: William Tyndale, her class was asked to come dressed fancy like Queen Anne Boleyn. She fortunately already owned 16th century suitable attire. Besides discussing the book, they made party masks, danced, and enjoyed a tea party.
Every mom has to take a turn organizing book club, along with two other moms. Book Club consists of discussion, a snack, and a craft. November was our turn. The book was Dear Levi: Letters from the Overland Trail. I usually always enjoy reading books with a pioneer setting, but this book was not loved by either Sis or me. It was so sad and depressing, full of one horrible event after the next. I know it was realistic and that was the point. I prefer to keep my brain in a happy place.
Our food craft was making a covered wagon out of cookies, toothpicks, and a Twinkie. (We get vegan Twinkies at Artichoke Red in Orlando!) It wasn't the easiest food craft. A lot of the girls had a hard time getting it to work. It was cute and one I would recommend for homeschooling, one on one, but not for a roomful of kids with 3 moms helping.
The girls had all been instructed to bring one belonging they would most want to bring if they had limited space traveling on the Oregon Trail. Those who wanted to share (and most of them did) told the group about their item and why they chose it. Sis brought one of her blankies, a flannel receiving blanket she had as a baby and later latched onto for comfort. Most of the girls brought a doll or stuffed animal.
One mom measured and taped off the dimensions of a covered wagon. They all got inside with their special belongings plus supplies - dishes, blankets, lanterns, food, etc. and discussed the difficult choices pioneers had to make.
Our art project was a stationary set (because the book is made up entirely of letters that a boy traveling on The Overland Trail wrote to his brother back home). We brought all kinds of craft supplies for the girls to choose from. This was Sissy's final creation.
We used grocery sacks cut and folded for the stationary sets. The bottoms were folded to hold envelopes on one side and blank paper on the other. They were tied with string or ribbon to keep it all together.
When the girls arrived and were waiting for class to start, they could color their pioneer paper dolls and work on their ABC worksheet (something from the book that starts with each letter of the alphabet).
Crystal Springs Preserve
Once again, we had a lovely day at Crystal Springs.  
We went on a nature walk, with the leader teaching them about animals, water, plants, and rocks we passed. There is a big tortoise under that hut. It was so cold this day. I'm the bad mom who convinced her daughter to dress in little clothing because it would "probably be hot walking around." Going straight from the house to the car in the garage messes me up sometimes in Florida because I just expect it to be hot every day (because it usually is). Everyone else had on pants and coats, etc. Sissy is wearing her baby brother's jacket because he always wants to take jackets off.
We took two trips to Arkansas and Missouri this fall. The first was a super quick trip to Arkansas for my sister's cosmetology school graduation. Sis, just like me, loves to take road trips. The first trip was just she, her little brother, and me. The second trip was a bit longer and included oldest brother. We got to visit Googie and Papaw in Arkansas and stay at my brother's new house in Branson.
We spent a day with two of my best friends in Missouri. One of my friends has a daughter she enjoys playing with. This included lots of play time outside and dancing inside...
and taking a walk on my dad's land. I want to live here.
We visited my step-grandmother in the nursing home. Although this was the first time she did not seem to recognize who we were, these are always important moments for the kids. They are able to witness unconditional love, servanthood, and the circle of life.
"Home" School
I always forget to take pictures during the day, but here are a few moments of home learning.
The kids always love this place value game I've written about before.
fall worksheets/activities from Enchanted Learning:
 following directions, compare/contrast, letter sounds, etc.
 The Pumpkin Poem book she wrote and created:
The cover: Pumpkin, pumpkin, look inside...
 See the love I cannot hide.
 See me playing. I'm occupied.
See my doll who is blue-eyed.
putting the months of the year in order
I was surprised at how much Sis got into her science class at co-op this semester because it was always her brothers who preferred science. They always did several fun experiments during each class, which is great since I'm not organizing those at home right now. However, she always came home with her science notebook and repeated the experiments for me or her dad or brothers - or her pretend class. (She still loves playing school all of the time.) She did have her little brother sitting in front of her, watching her experiments this particular day.
 a Halloween monster craft