Sunday, July 31, 2011

Not Back to School - Our Curriculum 2011 - 2012

Here we go again ... hard to believe but, it is that time of year again to ramp up for our school year. I am so thankful that I made our decisions on curriculum way back at the end of April. {It also helped that I had the kids take their standardized tests back then - both Devin and Lexi scored above average in almost every single subject so I knew we were on the right track with what we had been doing} It has provided me a relaxing summer with no need to worry or stress over what we were doing this coming school year. I just took time this past Spring to talk with fellow homeschool moms and pray about what God would have us doing this year. Then when our homeschool convention rolled around the first part of May I was able to go and purchase everything we needed.

So, without further adieu, here is what we will be up to this year:

Devin ~ 4th Grade

Bible - My Father's World
Reading - Abeka 4th Grade

Language - Abeka 4th Grade
Spelling - Spelling Power
Math - Abeka 4th and 5th Grade
History - Mixture of Abeka and My Father's World {US History}
Science/Health - Abeka {also Nature Journaling one day a week}
Co-Op Classes - Explorers {History}, Forensic Science, Physical Education, Guitar II {with an amazing teacher}
Extra-Curricular - Choir and Royal Ambassadors, Baseball {Fall and Spring}

Lexi ~ 3rd Grade

Bible - My Father's World
Reading/Spelling - Wilson {also tutoring one day a week}

Language - "Primary Language Lessons"
Handwriting - Abeka - Cursive
Math - Abeka 3rd Grade
History - My Father's World - US History - 50 States - Patriotic Symbols
Science - My Father's World - Stars, Weather, Planets, Animals, Atoms and Energy
Art -
"I Can Do All Things"
Music/Artist Study - Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker and various artists
Co-Op Classes - Chemistry, American Girl {American History Class}, Quilting
Extra-Curricular - Choir and Girls in Action, Ballet {4 hours each week}

Ava Mae ~ 1st Grade

Bible - My Father's World
Reading - Wilson

Language - "Primary Language Lessons"
Handwriting - Handwriting Without Tears - Print
Math - Abeka 1st Grade
History -
My Father's World - US History - 50 States - Patriotic Symbols
Science - My Father's World - Stars, Weather, Planets, Animals, Atoms and Energy
Art - "I Can Do All Things"
Music/Artist Study -
Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker and various artists
Co-Op Classes - Chemistry, Spanish, Five In A Row
Extra-Curricular - Choir and Girls in Action, Ballet {1.5 hours each week}

So excited for our school year ... Abeka continues to work really well for Devin. He is a super fast learner and it allows him to move at a faster pace, more independently. Lexi and Ava Mae are going to be utilizing the same curriculum {My Father's World} for several of their subjects - which will lighten my teaching load immensely.

I am linking this post up to Heart of the Matter's Not Back to School Blog Hop ... this week's theme is our 2011 - 2012 curriculum. Hop on over and check out what everyone is going to be doing this year!

Not Back to School Blog Hop

Friday, July 29, 2011

Atlantic Station {Food Truck Friday}

The kids and I have wanted to try out some of Atlanta's food trucks for awhile {ever since watching a television show about food trucks on the Food Network}. My friend, Meredith who blogs over at Finding Soul Balance, had recently let me know that the food trucks now had a day at Atlantic Station. That location is much more doable than hauling my three children to downtown Atlanta for lunch.
So, we headed to Atlantic Station today ... my husband came along for the fun, as he works from home on Fridays and has a more flexible schedule. I promised him it would be worth the short drive into Midtown.

We were all happy with our choices! One thing I love about the food truck gathering is there is something for everyone. Ava Mae went with Mexican. My husband, Devin, and Lexi chose Fish n Chips. While myself and my daughter's best friend, Grace, chose American fare. I likened our choices to a tapas restaurant as we all had portions we could share with each other. Everything was delicious, though my favorite truck was Tex's Tacos - Mac, one of the owners, was awesome and even posed for a picture!!

I can see why they were voted "Best Food Truck" by the Atlanta Journal Constitution newspaper.
The Fish n Chips Truck and Slider U were also really good ... My husband loved the Philly Cheese Steak Slider.

After eating lunch, we did a little Fall clothes shopping at H&M ... Lexi enjoys bestowing her fashion sense on anyone that will listen and today that willing person was her best friend, Grace. The girls all found some cute items and even my son, Devin, who was really only in this adventure for the fish and chips, found himself a jacket for fall. {Pictured below the girls posing as if mannequins in a window}
If you live in the Atlanta area you have to experience the food truck revolution. These restaurants on wheels are really putting out some of the best food!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Great Weekend Find

This weekend we made a stop at a thrift store ... I was looking for some photography props. My husband found this Commemorative Atlanta Centennial Olympic Monopoly game and we had to have it. There were a few pieces missing - mainly the game tokens but, Ava Mae found us these great replacements.
My husband is more patient than I when it comes to board games and played a full 4 hour game of Monopoly with the kids on Saturday and we played a quick 1 hour game last night. I forgot how great this game is for teaching kids about counting change.
Ava Mae loved being our assistant banker and the keeper of the hotels and houses.
All this fun for the bargain price of $1.50.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Summer Fun Continues ...

While our family will not start back to school "officially" until after Labor Day many of our friends will be heading back to school or resume homeschooling in just a few weeks so, we are enjoying lots of playdates and swim dates.

And, apparently, my girls did not get enough crafting in last week at Camp Crafty Girls because Ava Mae insisted that we pull out this origami kit that we purchased in Epcot and make these bookmarks.
Our summer fun continues ...

Monday, July 18, 2011

Summer Goodness

This weekend I signed up to bring breakfast for our Sunday School class ... I decided to use two of my favorite summer fruits - blueberries {some from our own bush} and peaches.

Along with banana nut muffins I also made this amazing recipe for Blueberry Buttermilk Breakfast Cake from Alexandra Cooks. I switched it up just a bit making the cake into muffins {I baked at 375 degrees for 25 minutes}.

Then to go along with the leftover blueberries I cut up some peaches and tossed them together for a simple fruit salad.
Love the delicious fruits and veggies that summer brings ...

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Camp Crafty Girls {Day 3}

Last day of camp was all about wrapping up projects we needed to finish and working on three smaller projects, that did not require any major drying time.

{Pictured below is the necklace we made earlier this week.}

Today we made rainbow cupcakes in a jar ...

bookmarks from paint sample cards that we hand stamped ...

and Rose Pins made from felt we cut in circles and rolled.

And then it was time for Camp Crafty Girls 2011 to come to a close ... we signed shirts and said our goodbyes. Already thinking ahead to next year's camp and what projects the girls would love to do. Tigger, our cat, was sad to see the girls go too ... he enjoyed the snacks they gave him each day and the cute collars they were always crafting him.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Camp Crafty Girls {Day 2}

Another fun day of crafting ... and with temperatures above the 95 degree mark what a better way to pass the day!!
{Pretzel Candy Making}

{Decorated Flip Flops - the girls hand sewed the flowers}

{We made mini-scrapbook albums from one sheet of 12 x 12 paper}

{I think scrapbooking was the hit of the day - no one wanted to go home when camp was over.}

On the agenda for tomorrow - flower pins, bookmarks, and rainbow cupcakes in a jar.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Camp Crafty Girls {Day 1}

This week I am hosting 9 girls for Camp Crafty Girls! We are working on 3 - 4 projects each day and though it was exhausting pulling everything together for this camp, Day 1 is down and it was so much fun!! I have a great group of girls who all really love to craft. I am also blessed to have a good friend here to lend a helping hand!

A few pictures from today ...

{making friendship bracelets and tile magnets}{cake pops}
Tomorrow on the agenda ... decorated flip flops, pretzel candy, and mini scrapbooks!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Nature Study - The Cicada

My kids are fascinated with cicadas ... me not so much but, I am always up for a Charlotte Mason style nature study.

Pictured above is a cicada we found yesterday on our front door step. It had just emerged from its shell and the kids were ecstatic {they are accustomed to only finding the shells of these creatures}. It appeared to have an injured wing so Lexi and Ava Mae decided to place it in their bug catcher until we got home later in the day. That evening the cicada's wing seemed to have fully extended so we placed it in some bushes so that it could go on its merry way.

We researched a little on the cicada and figured this was a seasonal species that there are actually over 2,500 species around the world. We also found that though a cicada can bite it is normally due to them mistaking a human arm or leg for a tree (they feed on tree sap), as they are not aggressive at all. Also, many people consider these bugs locust but, locusts are actually a type of grasshopper - which these are not. Cicadas are considered a delicacy in many countries and the shells are used in the practice of Chinese medicine. So, all you probably ever wanted to know about a cicada (and a little more) along with a great close up photograph that should give you nightmares for weeks to come.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

4th of July {Recap}

We celebrated the 4th of July with swimming, BBQ, watermelon,

blackberry cobbler,

and fireworks ... though not the kind we had planned.

For the first time since moving here in 1998 the country club in our subdivision cancelled the fireworks show due to weather.

So, it was on to Plan B ... a "safe" fireworks display in our driveway between thunderstorms.