Monday, October 5, 2015

School Update

We are just beginning week seven of homeschool.  Since we finished the 5-year cycle in the MFW curriculum last year, we are starting over this year with Countries and Cultures.  The first few weeks we reviewed/learned the continents and oceans and how to read maps.  Now we are travelling around North America and have been in the United States and Mexico and just landed in Canada this morning.  Along with these country units we have studied two major biomes:  temperate forests and deserts.   I can't believe how much they remember from watching Planet Earth five years ago!  We usually end each country visit with an ethnic meal so we had a hamburger fry when we left the U.S.  and Saturday night we had a Mexican fiesta complete with homemade tortillas and a candy-filled pinata.  We ended our fiesta by watching the movie McFarland USA.  Russ and Nicolas assumed I chose the movie because it fit the theme for the night, but I actually had no idea it was about Latino high school cross-country team in California.  It had just been recommended to me and it happened to be available for check-out at the library!

Week two of our curriculum recommended beginning a leaf collection.  I remember doing this as a middle school project at OCCS for Caleb. Classifying leaves is not for the faint of heart, so  I looked on-line to see if there was a park in Boise that labeled trees to  make the project a little easier.   What I found was a wonderful map of Ann Morrison park in the downtown Greenbelt that had a tree walk.  The trees are numbered and labeled on the map, but you still have to figure out which tree they are referring to as they are not numbered or labeled in the actual park.  So it was challenging, but not too overwhelming.  Anyway, this project just happened to be the same time as the Spirit of Boise hot-air balloon festival in Ann Morrison park.  We got up super early to make sure we were downtown in time to watch the balloons inflate, then stayed in the park to collect leaves and label them for our collection.  Just a fun morning.

Just an example some of the pages in the kids' leaf collection.  Once they dry we will put them in a binder.

We just had conferences for Nicolas last week Thursday and he seems to be doing well his junior year.  Lots of stressful happenings during this particular year of school--PSAT, ACT, college fairs, etc.  Although he has a couple AP classes he also has a few "not as challenging" classes to even things out a little bit and make homework manageable.  More on his activities this fall in the next post.
Nicolas and his friend Trevor dressed in shark onesies for "Twin Day" during Homecoming week.

Caleb seems to be thriving at Dordt.  We talk to him at least once a week on the phone and have many texts in between.  I think he is finding a few of his classes to be quite challenging, but seems to be adjusting to college life pretty well.  His absence has definitely left a huge hole here at home and he is missed horribly.   Anna, Seth, and I are flying out on the 14th of Oct to see him and hopefully watch him play in his last soccer game of the season.  More on his activities in the next post also!

Enjoying frozen yogurt with the family the night before Caleb left for college

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