Monthly Archives: August 2013

18. Back to School!

We finished week 1, and I’m happy to say it was a success. I feared it would be hard to get back into the school routine after our summer break. But, it seems the kids were as eager as I to start the new school year.

First Day of School 2013

It’s been nice having a routine again.  As much as I enjoy summer, the constant playing (aka chaos) gets to me after a couple months.  Then comes the new school year.
Aahhhhhhh…

Ryan’s favorite subject has turned out to be math.  This makes my life a whole lot easier, since I like to start our day with math.

Ryan doing math- Wk. 1

Ryan doing math- Wk. 1

Ashby’s favorite subject is science.  But, instead of that, I wanted to include this pic of her practicing her Mandarin characters.  She works hard at it, and I want to acknowledge that.  They never cease to impress me when they bust out some Mandarin in the midst of a conversation.

Ashby Wk. 1- Mandarin

Ashby Wk. 1- Mandarin

However, since science is so hands-on, I do take lots of science pictures.  I include them on our science lab write-ups, which we are doing on the computer this year (to make it more fun and to incorporate some technology into our lessons).

Sci4exp-A

R-Sci2exp

You can also find these lab sheets on my new site page: 2013-2014 Lessons.  It will serve as a portfolio of our lessons throughout the year.  So far, it has links to the kids’ science labs only.  Honestly now, how interesting is a math workbook sheet?  I’ll add more as we go through the weeks.  But, enough for now.  It’s time for another part of the school year we’ve been missing: Park Day!

17. S’mores ‘n’ More

What’s the best part of camping? S’mores, right? Not so fast… This may be better:

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Homemade sourdough cooked in the campfire. (Let’s forget the fact that my starter expanded on the drive down and made a bit of a mess. A little water and elbow grease, and Ryan’s sweatshirt was good as new. Well, good enough for camping, at least.)

20130817-124335.jpg We’ve been enjoying a final getaway to Santa Barbara before school starts next week. I figured the bread would be a fun experiment, and I’m so happy I tried it. Four ingredients, a Dutch oven, and a fire. That’s it! Oh, and don’t forget the butter! (What’s the point of fresh bread without it?)

I have to credit Ashby for the fire. She used what she learned in her outdoor survival skills class to get the campfire started (with just a little help from Dad).

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This morning, my leftovers became French toast. Add in a cup of freshly-brewed Peet’s and a visit on the porch with friends while all the kids play in the campsite. Perfect!

We worked off breakfast with a hike to the nearby llama farm where we fed the goats and sheep (the llamas wanted nothing to do with us).

20130817-091057.jpgThe smell of fresh bread, nature all around me, quality family time…

20130817-091107.jpgI’m a happy camper!

16. Curriculum

School starts in a week.  So, I’m in the home stretch of preparations.  I’ve added the Curriculum Page to my GGP Teacher Manual.  This page details the curriculum I use for each subject.  It’s a combination of purchased and self-made curricula.

Making Health Books

Making Health Books

You’ll find PDF copies of the curricula I’ve made and links to the ones I purchase.

SOTW 2 Booklet

SOTW 2 Booklet

Enjoy!

 

15. Always Learning

20130806-154443.jpgWe’ve been vacationing in Lake Tahoe before we start the next school year. Yesterday, we took a gondola ride up Heavenly Mountain and saw some spectacular views.

20130806-135609.jpgWe stopped mid-hike for a mini physics lesson. We watched the waves travel in the boundary rope, noting that they were taller when we tugged harder and that they quickly flattened out as they traveled back and forth between the poles.

20130806-121840.jpgThis reminded me of one of my favorite reasons to homeschool. The world is our classroom. And, in this case, the classroom is a beautiful place to be!

20130806-154552.jpgI learned something, too. I’ve been coming to Tahoe every winter since I was a kid, and we all know what a great ski destination it is. But this is my first summer visit. FYI: summer is way better!

14. Fun Food Friday

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I’ve decided to share some of my favorite things with you, even though they’re not necessarily related to homeschooling. Well, in my life, it ALL relates to homeschooling one way or another.

In this case, we’re talking food. I love to cook and bake, and I’m making sure the kids can do both. More on that in another post. For now, let’s focus on what matters…pizza! Probably my all-time favorite food. This is one I made this week with my homemade sourdough crust.

Since I live in the San Francisco area I figured I better make some sourdough, right? I do bread, English muffins, pancakes, and waffles. But, pizza dough is by far my favorite use for my starter.

I try to make the pizza as homemade as possible. This one had jalapeños (nowhere near hot enough yet), basil, and parsley from my garden. Later in the summer, I’ll add tomatoes to that list.

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I tried to make the mozzarella once, but it flopped. It ended up being a waste of many gallons of local, organic, grass-fed milk (a.k.a. $), so I have yet to attempt it again. But, I feel the need to perfect it coming on lately. We’ll see…