Wednesday, November 30, 2011

I ❤ Chocol-8

In Math-U-See, W is currently solving for the unknown in Chapter 8. He is halfway through the chapter, and is finding the blocks to be useful tools to help him figure out the problems. C has been enjoying counting blocks and building things with him while his brother works away. Last year I worried about him with the smaller blocks, but he is great with them now and even likes playing with little legos.

M-U-S now has t-shirts, so an elf may be delivering some pretty soon to our household. (Shhh... don't tell W! I will make sure and post photos after the holidays.) The "I ❤ Chocol-8" shirts are too sweet, and MUS-ers will be able to recognize us in a crowd. The "Can you tell me how to get to Decimal Street?" shirt is pretty cool too.

W has been continuing with Story of the World this week, with reading and projects Mon & Tues and listening to the CD for review today. He has been doing some Explode the Code 1 1/2 and lots of lego creative play & playing UNO. We are rowing a couple different books at once over the past couple of weeks including A New Coat for Anna for our FIAR group. He has been reading a lot of seasonal books lately. 

C has been a bit grumpy but he took a big nap today. I think he still needs naps, although some days he goes without them. He will be 3 next week, he is growing up so fast.

Today we raked some leaves outside and they played on the swing set. Then we went a little bit into the woods (with orange hats on this time of year) to see the seasonal stream that has developed. It sounds like a babbling brook and there are a few large rocks nearby to sit on and enjoy it. This weather has been really warm lately but I know before long the snow will come again.

Monday, November 28, 2011

'Tis the Season

the beach in Hingham

W playing tic tac toe 

We spent Thanksgiving visiting family. The boys enjoyed stopping at the beach on the way there to see the ocean and throw some stones and shells into the water. After the delicious turkey dinner we took a walk before dessert. The boys had fun making artwork with my cousin and playing with the 80's toys that belonged to her, it is always nostalgic to see them again. My sister was the only one that unfortunately had to work the following day, but I am glad she could be there for Thanksgiving too, it was really nice.

one of the majestic reindeer

Friday we took advantage of the long weekend and took an overnight trip up to the White Mountains. We enjoyed the snow and scenery. We visited Santa's Village & met with Santa, but we decided the park is more fun in the summertime. The reindeer are amazing creatures, that was my favorite part by far. The antlers lost their fuzz since the last time we saw them. C liked seeing them from a distance. We bought the book The Wild Christmas Reindeer by Jan Brett. I will print out some reindeer themed activities for W to learn about them for a unit study.

having fun with pretend reindeer-- we have a similar summer picture minus the hats and slush! :)

it did look pretty magical as the lights went on

Most of the rides were still open, but I had hoped there might be some special and meaningful events happening given the season. C said his favorite part was the train ride. W liked the dizzying whirlwind sort of rides. There was a breathtaking sunset that evening. We couldn't capture it with photos.

On Saturday, we went to North Conway and visited the bustling little general stores, W's favorite store the rock shop, and walked around the snowy downtown. Then we headed south toward home and gradually saw the snow disappear along the roadside. Sunday afternoon was mild here and Jacob spent it raking the side yard. Today it was quite warm. It is funny thinking of how we visited the beach and snowy mountains in one week, and how different climates can be this time of year within New England. A couple hours in either direction makes a big difference!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thanksgiving Week

We have been learning a lot about Thanksgiving leading up to the big turkey day. W watched the virtual field trip on the Plimoth Plantation web site, and we have been reading many books with a Thanksgiving theme. The boys made a couple of felt Pilgrim themed placemats with cute felt stickers we found at Michael's craft store. This Wednesday will be Pie Day and we will make pies to bring for Thanksgiving at my Aunt's house.

Last week at co-op the books covered tied in some of the books to a Thanksgiving/family reunion theme and W participated in a cranberry relay race with ladles and cornucopias. He had a fun time! The kids tried eating cranberries (raw) and most spit them out being too tart, but they liked the juice when a bit of natural sweetener was added.

Here are some of our favorite Thanksgiving/Pilgrim themed books we are reading this week:

One Little, Two Little, Three Little Pilgrims by B.G. Hennessey
Thanksgiving on Thursday (Magic Treehouse #27) by Mary Pope Osborne
The Story of the Pilgrims by Katherine Ross
Cranberry Thanksgiving by Harry Devlin
Samuel Eaton's Day: A Day in the Life of a Pilgrim Boy by Kate Waters

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

FIAR: Ferdinand - take two

We rowed Ferdinand again recently for our Five in a Row co-op. You can see an older post about The Story of Ferdinand here

This time around we focused on a science aspect. W asked if the little corks on the trees in the cute illustrations by Robert Lawson really grew like that. I said you know, I don't think so but I really don't know, so of course we went to youtube to discover how they really harvest cork for corked bottles and sustainable flooring. He really liked seeing how the bark of the cork tree is peeled off, and appreciated that it seemed like a lot of work for the people to cut it down. Also the fact that it can grow back and be harvested again was pretty cool to know. That was part of geography as well because cork grows well in Spain and Portugal. 

Another science project was focusing on the parts of a flower (Ferdinand's favorite) and coloring in an anatomy sheet. We have read this story so many times that it was nice to do some fresh activities.

Our co-op met yesterday and we made silly hats like the men that decided to bring Ferdinand to the bull fight in Madrid. We used newspaper, stickers, and craft supplies to decorate. This month we will be rowing A New Coat for Anna with the group. 

making the hats

some of the silly hats and silly expressions :)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


The morning after the snowstorm I only got a couple shots before my camera battery died. Our yard looked so strange with all the leaves in the snow! We had a few branches down but thankfully no serious damage.

The past week we have been recovering from a bad virus, and we still have coughs/runny noses so we have had to postpone our co-op activities until next week. Last week we were affected by the October storm that hit New England and our power was out from Saturday evening until Wednesday morning. It wouldn't have been too bad since we still had heat, but with all of us being sick it made it tougher. We are very thankful to live in this modern age. And I am thankful that the boys made me laugh every day despite our troubles. Thank you Julie for sending us food when we were sick! The boys loved it. Julie came to visit today on her day off and we did a few errands. That was really nice and much needed. So we are back to the land of the living now.

W has been getting back into his Math-U-See routine (now on Ch 7) and working on workbooks and the Story of the World activities. Now that my voice is better we have been reading more chapters aloud from The Long Winter by L.I. Wilder. How fitting that we read the October Blizzard chapter after our own storm. ;) I just hope our winter this year won't be that bad.