Friday, December 18, 2009

Merry Christmas!

The girls and I wrapped up our schooling for Christmas. What a great three weeks this has been! So exhausting for me, but also so rewarding! We drove to the greenbelt and public library today and reminisced as we drove about all the things we learned over these past three weeks.

We're off now for a well earned vacation!

We'll be back at Maple Tree Academy in January!

Merry Christmas Everyone! Thanks for supporting us in this learning adventure of ours!


Karissa, Amy, and Mom

Monday, December 14, 2009

Going to the Library

From Karissa:

Today I learned about Katsushika Hokusai. in art. This is how to say his name: kah-tsoo-SHEE-kah HOAK-sigh.

Math was so easy today, I got to do just the assessment. I already know all about the calendar and the days of the week. And I got 100 % on my spelling test today.

At the library today, Amy found me a Rainbow Magic book that is really, really thick. The other ones are really skinny, but this one is thick and in my reading level. It's called Kylie the Carnival Fairy by Daisy Meadows. I'm already on Chapter Two.
At AWANA tonight we had a Happy Birthday Party for Jesus. There was LOTS of candy there!!!!!!! : )

I'm so tired tonight, I just want to go to bed and read my new book. Mommy's the one keeping me awake! 'Nigh "Night! I'm going to bed.

From Amy:

I lost a tooth today right before we were going to go to the library!

I made a penguin a long, long time ago blowing a party blower and it is made out of Pixos. And I was just putting Pixos together and then I was going to see what it was and it turned out to be a penguin blowing a party blower. There are lots of different colors. I'll have Mommy take a picture of it tomorrow.

(Mommy note: This has nothing to do with school, but is very important to Amy at the moment)

Math was really easy.

I'm still reading India the Moonstone Fairy. I'm on the chapter called the "Nasty Nightmare". I got Crystal the Snow Fairy at the library today. I'm going to be reading two books at the same time because I have two book marks.

I read a poem called "The Caterpillar" by Christina Rosetti today.

I'm very tired tonight. I'm going to bed right now!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (lots of exclamation points because I am REALLY tired)

'nigh 'night everybody!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Gingerbread Houses All Done and More

From Amy:

I learned a poem. This is the poem:

North, South, East, and West
Home's the place I like best.

This poem helps you know North, South, East, and West. I know the oceans on a map: Atlantic, Pacific, Indian, and Arctic.

I went skating at Ice World today. There was a contest for the best Gingerbread House. Mine was a Hansel and Gretel House!!! And I got a candy cane even though I didn't win.

For Independent Reading, I'm reading Isabelle the Ice Dance Fairy. It's one of the Rainbow Magic books. My friend is reading one of the flower fairy books.

From Karissa:

Hi Guys, Today I learned about right angles from my daddy.

Early Morning talk with Daddy about the angles they used in the construction of their Gingerbread Houses:

I learned about the equator. And I learned a poem:

North, South, East, and West
Home's the place I like best.

(Note from Mommy: You can see that this poem made a big impression today) : )

I did a very cool Gingerbread House, only it didn't win a prize. I got a candy cane prize, though. But everyone who didn't win a "real" prize got one.

I had fun making my doghouse Gingerbread House. It was the best ever. (Only it didn't win a prize!!!!!!!!!!!!) But there's always next year! : )

Fables are something Aesop created to tell people what do because people don't like to be told what to do. So he wrote stories instead. I read The Dog and His Shadow and The Goose and the Golden Eggs.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Seven Continents

This is what we studied in history today:

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Gingerbread Houses

From Karissa:

Today was the best, best, best, best, best day! Because we made Gingerbread Houses. I'm going to enter mine in the Winter Wonderland of Gingerbread competition for our online school. I am going to enter the Peppermint category.

From Amy:

And real chefs put flour on their noses. And I added a little more touch! (translation: she smeared flour all over her cheeks)

I love, love, love, love, love, love to cook!!!!!!

The right way to measure flour is to get a spoon, then you get a knife, and then you scrape top with the side of the knife. And then you level it off!!!

According to Daddy, this is proof that we are REAL chefs:

According to Mommy, this is the REAL proof:

The book from the library that inspired our fun today:

From Mommy:

Making the dough, cutting out the templates, and baking the pieces of our gingerbread houses was the highlight of the day. Decorating the houses will happen later. This is definitely a multi-day project.

The Idaho Virtual Academy (IDVA), the online charter school we are a part of, is hosting a Winter Wonderland of Gingerbread party on Friday morning at our local ice skating rink. The girls will be entering their gingerbread houses in a competition at the party. You'll have to stay tune to see what they each designed. I thought they were creative (and true to their personalities).

Building Gingerbread houses was the highlight, but not all of our day today. Some "regular" school work got done today, too. : )

So far, my favorite part of the K12 Curriculum is the Art Curriculum. It isn't "arts and crafts" type of art, but true art appreciation and learning how to create art. We've looked at paintings, architecture, sculpture, portraits, and photography. We've talked about how artists use line to create realistic and abstract art. And the girls have created drawings that represent place, made self-portraits, and worked with different types of line.

It has been neat to see how much we can relate back to our recent trip to the Art Museum. This is probably my favorite class right now because so much of is new and interesting to me.

It was a great day! (And Ben helped out by taking really long naps) : )

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

A Self Portrait, A Japanese Folk Tale, and our School Cafeteria

Note from Mom:

Karissa and Amy passed off blogging duty to me tonight so they could get to bed on time. Here are some glimpses from our school day today:
I'll let Amy tell you about a story she read in Language Arts today. It is a Japanese Folk Tale called The Tongue Cut Sparrow.

Karissa wanted to explain a little about a very important subject at Maple Tree Academy:

LUNCH! : )

The most important ingredient:

This is Amy's first self portrait.
We have been studying portraits in Art, and the girls each made their first self portrait. (Karissa's isn't finished quite yet) They will be doing these frequently throughout this school year and will continue until 12th grade. I'm excited to see how they and their art change throughout this year and the years to come.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Is It Christmas?

Our K12 Curriculum came! It was like Christmas!

Amy did a back flip she was so excited! (She's demanding I add more exclamation points) !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The world is our classroom : )

Amy got buried under all those school supplies

Have fun cleaning up all the mess, Mom.

Friday, December 4, 2009

North Pole Express

From Amy:

Today we had a pajama party at school. Have you ever heard of the book Polar Express? Because where I am now in this picture is in the Polar Express Train heading to the North Pole!

There was an outdoor part of the train and I was out there and it was FREEZING!!!!!!!

Amy calls this "Pajama Posing"

We stopped at Santa's workshop and sat on his lap. Ben Ben was scared of him! : )

Video from the train:

From Karissa:

Today was a VERY FANTASTIC DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I met some kids from our virtual academy. We had four field trips this week. Did you know that? This is what they were:

Library Scavenger Hunt

Nature Center

Art Museum

And, right now-

POLAR EXPRESS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Bye Guys!


P.S. I am going to my grandparent's house for vacation.

From Mommy:

What a day we had today!

We are homeschooling, but doing our schooling through a public charter school (a virtual academy) that provides our curriculum (K12), teacher support, and organizes outings and opportunities to connect with other families in our school. Today was our first outing with the school.

It was based on the book, The Polar Express. We boarded a train and took a beautiful ride through the mountains. We stopped at Santa's Workshop, warmed up by a campfire, and snacked on hot chocolate and Christmas cookies.

Here are some more pictures of our fun:

I've never been on a train before! It was so cool! We saw such beautiful scenery!
When we decided to home school, I thought it would be at the expense of "my" life. I never knew what a gift it would be for me. My life this week has been full of adventure and learning new things. I've been outside in the cold air and sunshine enjoying life instead of sitting at home. I have been surrounded by the people I love the most. And the teacher in me has been thrilled by the learning I've watched happen in my girls this week.
I'm ending this week exhausted and joyful.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The Nature Center

From Amy:

We went to the nature center, and I discovered that a baby black bear weighs 8 ounces when it is born! They are really big when they are grown up. I think that they are 18 feet (At least I think)

Amy holds a "bean bag" salmon to get a feel for how much a full grown male weighs.

Learning about bats.

Amy sketches a Brook Trout in her nature journal. He stopped and posed for her.

Mr. Squirrel- Our tour guide

Amy working hard at home earlier in the day.

From Karissa:

Today I got a new magazine about Black Widows. They are spiders. This was one of my favorite things today.

Grandpa, How would you like to get THIS elk?

Hootin' it up

"Grandpa, can you see the difference?"

From Mommy:

This was an incredible day! We worked hard studying in the morning and then went on an adventure for the afternoon. We are all going to crash early tonight. We're worn out, but happy!

I love being with my girl and learning new things with them. This has been a special, memorable three days.

Our K-12 Curriculum is supposed to get here on Friday so we can dig in next week.


Tuesday, December 1, 2009

All Ready to Learn!

From Amy:

I had a good first day of school. I like doing odd and even in Math. I wrote this poem for handwriting today:

Odd and Even
By Marg Wadsworth

If you are an even number
You always have a pair
So if you look around
Your buddy will always be there
But ...
If you are an odd number
There's always a lonely one
He looks around to find his buddy
But he's the only one.

I also learned this poem:
0, 2, 4, 6, 8 even numbers ARE SO GREAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Going to the library was very fun. I checked out three Rainbow Magic books. They are chapter books and I already one. The names of them were Amy, Sky, and Ruby. I LOVE Rainbow Magic books.
I'm going to make a Gingerbread House that's Hansel and Gretel for our school's Christmas Party!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1
(Mommy's note: Amy LOVES exclamation points!!!!!!)

From Karissa:

Hi guys~ It's Karissa! I want to tell you some of my favorite things in school:

- My Spelling: I get to do it on the computer. This is our favorite spelling website.

- Free Time Box: It is the BEST free time thing ever. It has Pixos!!

-Math: I learned rounding.

And on Monday, I did a scavenger hunt in the library and I checked out Kailey, an American Girl book. Tomorrow, we're going to a nature center with sketch books! I'll tell you about that next time!



Wednesday, November 25, 2009

New Beginning

Hi guys it's Karissa,

Today was the last day of school sort of.I want to say goodbye to my friends and teacher.I miss them. Oh yeah school will actually start Nov.30.

I won't have to ride the bus, now that's good! I won't have to wait in line. I can't wait to learn math and have fun!



Sunday, November 15, 2009

Welcome to Our School!

Our new home school, Maple Tree Academy, will open on January 4, 2010. This will be the place we write about all that we are learning.


Amy and Karissa