Friday, May 5, 2017


What a fun topic!  At least the kids thought it was hilarious when the magnets would slap together and scare them.  Kui has done some previous work with magnetism, but we stepped it up a notch with this binder.  It fell off the weekly (or monthly to be honest) work cycle.  Kui is only on Lesson #5.  This topic has quite a few lessons and it really challenges the child, even the adult sometimes! I came across the website Supercharged Science and decided to try out one of their curriculum dvds in addition to the free emails/projects that are emailed to us.  Below is the table of contents for the Magnetism work.
There are many topics like Light, Energy, Chemistry, Earth Science, Astronomy, etc. You can buy the dvd and then print out the information and put in a binder. 

Here is the lesson she was working on recently: Bouncing Magnets.  It gives a brief overview along with what the child should learn.  Then you watch the short video on the lesson and the child works with the materials.  I photocopy the pages for Kui so that she can write her answers directly on the paper.   
Here is the box of random magnets that are available for the lessons.  Other materials may be needed, but the child can gather those on her own.
The idea behind this particular lesson was to make the magnets "bounce".  Kui struggled with this for a bit, but she persevered and was able to get one magnet to stand on one end.  She is playing with the magnetic field between the two magnets.  You had to be very careful to not place them too close to each other or they would snap together.  Kui was patient and found the "sweet spot" (her teacher gave up after about 5 tries!!)
Once one magnet was standing, the trick was to get the other magnet to do the same thing on the opposite side.  This proved to be even trickier!  With even more patience, Kui did it!!  She was so proud of herself.

Here they are!  See the video below for the "bouncing" of the magnets.
Warning:  Please forgive the cranky baby in the video.  It was clearly nap time, but we were trying hard to get these magnets to bounce!

Bubs was working alongside his sister while she did her lesson.  He discovered that when he put two magnets on top of the shelf and then two underneath the shelf that they moved! 

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Stations of the Cross

If anyone knows my boys, they know that every day during Lent, they were doing stations.  They would come up to me and say, "Mommy, stations are starting at 9:40 if you would like to join."  It was my greatest delight then, when I discovered that the religious store at our parish had a discounted price on homemade stations of the cross!  I, of course, rushed in to buy a set for our house and I couldn't wait for the boys to see them when they were completed.  My middle child, Nito, was very excited to hang them with me in our atrium.  I had to get a little creative in where to place all 14 stations, but in the end I think it worked out.  Now, I just need to control my persistent urge to reorganize or otherwise the flow will be off!
Here is a closer look at the first few stations.

This wall has the first 6 stations.  It looks a little cluttered here, but in person they actually look quite beautiful.  Hey, the real purpose is for the children to meditate on Jesus' passion, so it doesn't really matter that much.  I'm sure if you look closely, they aren't equidistant apart anyway!  I had to let that one go.  I believe the baby was eating a rock that she ripped off the Good Shepherd sheep fold so I was a little rushed to say the least.  Glue from a hot glue gun digests right?! Ha
Here are the 8th and 9th stations.  This is an example of how I placed them around existing shelves.
These ended up being in sort of an odd place.  I may end up moving that table somewhere else so that the boys can access the stations easier.  T-man struggles to see then since he isn't very tall yet.

Ok this picture didn't come out the greatest with the glare, but the 13th and 14th stations are above the altar.

I hope that everyone had a fruitful Lent and is having a blessed Easter!!


Saturday, April 15, 2017

Writing Program: Institute for Excellence in Writing

I have discovered a fantastic writing course for teaching style and structure.  We have been using it for most of the year.  It is through Institute for Excellence in Writing. I can honestly say I have never been so excited about writing...Like ever! Oh and did I mention that Kui actually has a smile on her face when I even mention writing? I mean the groans and faces she would make. Sheesh!
Here is the website with the information on the program.  This is actually a seminar with 8 or 9 lecture DVDs. Let me tell you...I was very worried when I started the first DVD. It sounded like a snorefest, but Mr. Pudewa is quite entertaining. Very funny in fact. (Sorry the picture is terrible!)

This is the little board Kui uses for her checklist. I told her that she would soon have too many to fit on that board, but she insists on using it! Live and learn.  Oh and pick your battles.

I gave her a binder to help keep her stories, rough drafts, and final drafts together.  I even put fancy little dividers with tabs.  She was very excited.

This is one of the types of books you can use. I chose U.S. History so that she is actually learning something while she is writing. Hey, to be honest, I am learning all over again.  I sometimes wonder how I even graduated!
We also have this one which incorporates funny stories like tall tales, fables, etc.

Just another example of something to use where the child learns as she writes.  This has stories incorporating some form of Geography.
We had an old bulletin board lying around so I used this to put her current rules and reminders.  I will switch them out to match the units we are working on.  This is such a helpful tool.  I have it right above the table where she does her work.  Then she can see it when she is doing other subjects as well, or just simply daydreaming!  Maybe it will slowly absorb and now that Bubs is reading, he even looks at it.  Btw...I will be starting him on Unit I soon.