Monday, May 24, 2010


"Catapull" is how Thing 1 pronounces this past weekend's Lowe's project.  It was a cute little catapulT, and here are some pictures (hey look, it's ME!)  These are a wonderful thing to do if you're bored on a Saturday and have a local Lowe's.  You can also buy the kits online at their website.  We're seriously considering going next week as well :)


Now, I find the whole "homeschoolers are unsocialized" argument to be a bit silly, but that doesn't mean that I intentionally keep Thing 1 inside all day and don't let him meet anyone.

Every week (at least until it gets too hot) there is a group of homeschoolers around his age that get together at a local park and play.
Here Thing 1 is "fishing" in the nearby stream.  The "pole" was made by one of the girls who goes (who turns 6 this coming week!) and she was over there fishing as well.

You can't see it very well, but here Thing 1 is pretending to shoot a bow and arrow, using sticks.  (You can barely make out the "arrow" stick being held near his face)

This picture was not long before the swordfighting that occured with sticks, that resulted in this
LOVELY mark above his eye.  (He had dropped his sword and bent down to pick it up, the other boy didn't realize what he was doing and Thing 1 got whacked)  Not long after it happened, the other boy and Thing 1 were playing with teh sidewalk chalk like nothing had ever happened!  Gotta love kids :)

Fun Trip!

In our area, one of the fun things to do this time of year is to go strawberry picking.  Usually, it's a half hour drive or so to get out anywhere that's good for it, but the last couple of years apparently there has been someone right near where Thing 1's homeschool friends meet!

Soooo this past Friday, (May 21) we went and picked some strawberries :)

Not very many pictures, I know, but I was trying to hold the basket/bucket and keep Thing 2 happy and inspect strawberries )Thing 1 kept picking any that looked even remotely good ;)   ) and so was a bit busy to do much else.  And I got yelled at by Thing 1 for taking pictures.

We ended up with a couple pounds of strawberries, and they are DELICIOUS!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Continuing Australia, and a Growing Boy

So as this week has progressed, Thing 1 has refused to do anything about Australia that is not animal related.  No real big deal.  He has his map of the continents that he points Australia out on, and enjoys drawing pictures of the animals and stuff.  I think we'll do something like this for all of the continents because he is REALLY enjoying it right now.

Here he is with all of the animal worksheets so far spread around with his continents map as well.  On Monday, I had filled out the koala page for him (words like eucalyptus and marsupial would've probably resulted in a temper tantrum because he hates not being able to spell correctly) and he's using that to complete the others.


He also has been getting up in the morning and getting his own breakfast as best he can.  (I grab a bowl for him, but other than that he CAN do the rest; the other day he used a stool to get a bowl himself >.< )

My house looks a lot messier than it actually is.  I promise.  Well, this picture is actually from a couple days ago and I've cleaned up the dining room more since then.  Still working on getting things settled after the move :)

He dresses himself and chooses his own clothes, too.  In the two above pictures, it hasn't been a big deal.

However, some days we get a more creative outfit.  (I make him change to something that matches better if we're going anywhere)

He's growing up so quickly :(  Make it stop!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Review: Download N Go: Expedition Australia

I was given the opportunity to review a copy of The Old Schoolhouse's Download N Go - Expedition Australia unit study.  Amanda Bennett (Unit Study series) and The Old Schoolhouse have put together these studies on various topics (such as Pizza, Kites and China; all for $7.95 a piece or $152.00 for a total of 38 units) intended for grades k-4, that are meant to be an entire unit in one e-book (this one in particular happens to be over 100 pages).

Due to some time constraints that are pretty much entirely my own fault (my email and I have had a one sided discussion since then) I have the opportunity to REALLY see if these are "download and go" studies.

As I was going through the e-book, I at first was concerned about the lists of books suggested for each day.  How on earth was I going to get this started TODAY as soon as Thing 1 woke up without any of these books?

Well, true to the name, once I actually looked at it better , I realized that with the multitude of links throughout the pages and the worksheets and activities suggested for use, I really did have a full unit study sitting in front of me.  I did not have to do anything other than print a few pages for today and be ready to show some things on the computer.  Day 1 included an introduction to continents (which is good considering Thing 1 had no introduction to the concept previously), the Great Barrier Reef, and koalas.  We did not actually get a chance to get into the Great Barrier Reef because Thing 1 became fascinated with the koalas, so it looks like this one week study will take us a little longer overall ;)  He's much more interested in the animals portion of it than anything else.

One thing I really like about this is that it can be expanded on.  With the use of lapbook elements within the e-book, as well as anything one might choose to add, this one week study really could be expanded to be a LOT more in-depth and take a lot more time.  And because of the ease with which you could expand on it, I feel this could be used with older children, or even multiple levels of children - which may prove useful in the future considering Thing 1 and Thing 2 are about five years apart in age.

~Seriously an entire unit in one place, with the use of links within the e-book
~Easily expanded on; lists of books for helping to expand on concepts are included
~An e-book, so it sits on your hard drive instead of taking up shelf space
~The concepts in the one I received are not 100% dependent on each other, so if necessary things can be cut out for comprehension levels or attention span "issues"
~There is a variety of activities within the study

~Depending on how exactly you use it, it can take a lot of printing (which means paper and ink usage)
~Contains a LOT of information, so with a child like mine who will shut down if there is too much information being given, it will either take longer than a week or you'll have to cut some things out
~While it's not a problem for me, a lot of the information is given on websites.  If you prefer your child to not be on the computer, you would need to check out books from the library or have other resources on hand for the unit study.

 In the end, after just one day of use so far, I am really enjoying this and planning on finishing out this study with Thing 1.  He's looking forward to it, too; particularly learning about kangaroos tomorrow :)

One thing to keep in mind is that there are still more being added to the collection.  So if you do not really see one that you like now, but like the general concept, keep an eye open to see if a topic you are interested in using gets released in the future :)

Some legalese:
I was given this product to review and use within my own homeschool.  I have received no compensation from Amanda Bennett or The Old Schoolhouse or anyone else.  All opinions and experiences within this review are my own.