Monday, February 25, 2013

Our Week in Review

We continued our study of the Civil War this week.  Over the weekend we watched Gone With the Wind.  It had been YEARS (decades actually!) since I had seen this movie, but it is such a classic movie depicting life in the south.  I'm afraid I falsely advertised it to my boys, telling them it had both romance and war in it.... turns out the war was almost all referenced but not actually shown.  Oh well!  Surprisingly they enjoyed it anyway.  We all hated Scarlet's devious behavior, and that brought us together. :-D

I gave a creative assignment to the children which is proving to be lots of fun.  I divided the 6 children into 3 groups of 2, and each group is designing their own regimental flag on posterboard.  Regimental flags were proudly carried into battle, with men actually clamoring to be the one to carry it.  It was not unusual for 10 or 12 different men to be killed from under the flag during a single battle, and it was always quickly picked up to be carried by another soldier.  The children have all chosen their regiment's name and are working on their insignia.  These "flags" will be displayed at our unit celebration next month.

We focused our efforts last week on the major battles of the second half of the war ~ what actions helped lead the war to its end.  So many stories within the story ~ such a fascinating time!!

During our virtual history co-op sons G and L presented mini reports/powerpoints on the battle of Gettysburg and on General James Longstreet, respectively.  Daughter H worked hard on her presentation of General Sherman, to be given this week.  They each did a fantastic job!  Our virtual co-op, which meets once a week for online history discussion, is such a blessing to our family, and such a great educational experience for our children to have as they prepare for college.  I am thankful for it!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Contest Painting

Daughter G finished her contest painting this week, and we got it mailed off yesterday!  I am so immensely proud of her for all her hard work and perseverance.  It was a little hard to let this painting go, as it represents HOURS of work and is so well done, and it now becomes the property of the grocery store chain sponsoring the contest, so it is highly unlikely we will ever see it again.

So I did what I do best.... take lots of pictures!  :-)

The point of the contest was to use some art form to depict what black history month means to you.  Daughter G came up with this concept of showing through pictures, in timeline form, the journey of blacks from slavery to equality.  We have no way of knowing how many others have entered the contest (has to be people who shop at our grocery store chain!), but she will be competing against all the other 10th graders in our state who have entered.  Because it could be hundreds of other students, she is not holding out much hope of winning, but she is very satisfied with how it turned out, and how she worked to make her vision a reality.

We are so proud of you, G!

Thursday, February 21, 2013


The bane of my existence.....

I cannot seem to tame the paper piles, because just as fast as I get rid of them, new ones appear.


I got rid of a couple really old ones this week.  Yay me.  And I wrote four (yes, FOUR) notes.  Not emails, actual notes that get mailed with stamps.  Double yay me.  And packaged up two boxes that should have been mailed before Christmas.  What a relief to get those items OFF the kitchen counter!


For this moment the paper piles are slightly smaller, and for that I am very grateful.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Our Week in Review

In history we completed the first week of a three week mini unit on the Civil War.  War is awful, of course, but if it were possible to have a war be near and dear to your heart, the Civil War would be it for us.  Our summer 2011 vacation was to Gettysburg, PA, and that was just an unforgettable trip for us.  So in learning about the Civil War now, we have a lot of memories to tie information to.  We even rode on horseback through the Confederate side of the Gettysburg battlefield ~ definitely a highlight for us!  We can picture exactly where they fought.  That is a very cool aspect of educational vacations!

Our older students learned about the reasons for the war, the "politics" behind it so to speak, as well as some of the early battles of the war.  Our two youngest boys focused on the life of Abraham Lincoln.  I was able to get some good reading in with those two this week (doesn't always happen) so that was a happy thing for me!

Our second daughter H joined our virtual co-op this week for an online history discussion, and she LOVED it!  She did a great job too ~ participating eagerly and adding much to the conversation.  So proud of her!

Our children pushed really hard to have Valentine's Day off school, but since I'm a mean mom and teacher we did school anyway. :-D  (in my defense, we did take a surprise snow day last week, so I'm not all that mean)  There was surprise candy waiting for each child at the breakfast table.

And a heart shaped meatloaf for dinner!

We are reading Across Five Aprils for our read aloud during this study of the Civil War, and we look forward to that time each afternoon.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Pinewood Derby Day!

Son C has raced in his last Pinewood Derby as a Stockader (insert sad face here).  He had a blast designing his car.  Big sister G painted the flames on the top and sides, and that seemed to help speed it along, as his car came in second place!  Little Man made a swordfish car and raced it in the "open" class.  I have officially decided to race a car in the open class next year.  Can someone please remind me in January??  Little Man will be moving to Stockade this coming fall, so we have at least 3 more pinewood derbys to look forward to!  Yay!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Our Week in Pictures

In history last week we learned about the opening of China and Japan to the west, so instead of pizza on Friday night, we had Chinese food!

Son C and Little Man, during recess.

Daughter G has entered an art contest for black history month, and she is busily working on a picture collage that tells the story of blacks in America from the days of slavery to modern day.  This was her concept, and she is doing a fantastic job!

Building pans of lasagna for dinner.  These two boys are *always* eager to be my kitchen helpers ~ awesome!

$378 worth of groceries....

My hubby reading The Hobbit outloud to the family in front of a cozy fire on a cold night.  Love!