Sunday, August 27, 2017

Week in Review {Week 5}

The week got off to a strange start because of the solar eclipse. We did schoolwork for only a couple of hours in the morning and then took the rest of the day off. Daddy took half the day off from work so that he could take part in the excitement. We each had a pair of protective eclipse glasses but still kept the children from looking up at the sun too often. We allowed them a quick 5-second look every few minutes as the moon slowly moved over the sun.

I was able to take a few pictures, safely, by putting my glasses over my camera lens. The first picture was taken at about 2 p.m. EST and the second picture was taken at 2:47 p.m. EST, when the eclipse was at it's peak for our area. 

After the solar eclipse, we finished our celebration with an eclipse cake, which was a chocolate fudge cake with chocolate fudge frosting.

Third Grade

Bridget is still doing well in math and wants to move forward at a faster pace. I'm still trying to find a happy balance with the extra math work and trying to get her to finish her other subjects. Bridget is also working on reading more. She finds the oddest times and places to open her book and read. Here she is right after we came home from the grocery store and were still putting things away. She grabbed her book and began reading in front of the pantry. She was in the way, but I suppose I should be happy she picked up a book. 


George is also a math freak right now. It's all he wants to do. The first few math lessons he completed involved simply counting the objects and circling the correct number. This week, he had to write the number. This is not George's area of strength so it took a little extra time, but he did not complain at all. He was excited to be learning how to write his numbers. I'm hopeful that the brick wall he's put up with learning to read and write has begun to crumble. Bridget was a big help with George this week. When George wanted to continue his school work but I had to begin preparing lunch, I left Bridget in charge. Whenever George needed help, Bridget put her work down and went over to help him by reading the instructions to him and making sure he was writing the correct numbers. I've been calling her my "teaching assistant".

In other subjects, George learned about Pocahontas this week. I'm really enjoying his study of American history. He's also still enjoying handwriting.


I kept Liam happy and busy. That counts, right?

Final Note

Next week will begin our sixth week of school, and then we're off for a week!!! We're all very excited.

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Monday, August 14, 2017

Field Trip: Jamestown, VA

After studying Jamestown in history, we took a trip to visit the location of the first permanent colony. The drive took us about 3.5 hours, and we were able to take the children on their very first ferry ride. They enjoyed it very much! The journey across the James River was only about 10-15 minutes, but the children asked that any time a ferry ride was an option on future trips, they wanted to go that route. George got a little too close to the edge and ended up getting splashed.

Our first stop was Historic Jamestowne. It was so exciting to walk across the bridge and see the fort. This is the actual site of the colony, and while most structures are replicas, a portion of the church is original to the colony. 

The children took part in a Junior Ranger program and had work to do to earn their badges. They had to find various things throughout the site and copy what it said or draw a picture. Bridget did good with all of this, George needed assistance with writing, and Liam was an expert at finding things and having Daddy transcribe for him.

The portion of the church with the large window I believe I read to be the original wall. If I'm wrong, I do know that it is still very old. Below is the interior of the church where excavation and research is ongoing.

My children are familiar with Pocahontas and John Smith, but is was neat to learn more about the real people and their contributions. 

There were so many structures and things to explore. 

Liam's favorite part was the cannon. He didn't want to leave it.

 After touring the original settlement, we ventured into  the museum. Most of the things in here were not too interesting for the children, being as young as they are, but they did love the real skeletons and other bones found throughout Jamestowne.

The museum ended our tour of Jamestowne, so we ventured back to the main building to turn in our booklets, get sworn in as Junior Rangers, and receive our badges. They all took this very seriously.

We then checked into our hotel and went to dinner at our favorite restaurant, Food for Thought. 

The following day, we went to Jamestown Settlement. This is a living museum with lots of fun things for the kids to see and explore. They have a massive museum and had a special exhibit on Pocahontas. The rest of the museum does not allow photography, so the only picture I have is of the boys in a canoe by the entrance to the exhibits. The museum is definitely worth going through. They have miniature houses and an English city street. I loved exploring it just as much as the children did.

After the museum, it was time to go outside. We started in the Powhatan Indian Village. There was a lot to do here and I didn't get a picture of everything. We did, however, get our first family picture of the year. I'm rarely ever in front of the lens. The children were not too thrilled about smiling for a complete stranger, which is why we don't take family pictures.

After the Powhatan village, we toured the ships. George got a feel for what it was like to steer a ship 400 years ago. It wasn't easy!

After leaving the ships, we walked to the fort. We watched a musket demonstration and George got to hold a very real and very heavy sword. 

The last time we were here, I got pictures of Bridget and George in child-sized armour. I'm a traditional type of person, so we did it again. This time, Liam got to be a soldier as well, and he was oh so cute!

I'm a sucker for a gift shop. Even if I don't buy anything, I still like to browse through the mostly useless and overpriced toys and trinkets. The boys really took to the weapons. They tried out the tomahawks but realized the muskets and pistols were more fun.

They didn't get a musket, but they did end up leaving with toy pistols. Bridget selected a book on medieval castles. 

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Week in Review {Week 3}

You will have to excuse my later than usual post as we were busy traveling on Friday and Saturday. 

We are half way through our first 6-week term! We were able to get a lot done this week and the children were very excited about going on their first field trip of the year. 

Third Grade

Bridget did well in math this week and took her lesson test on Tuesday, two days ahead of schedule. Instead of writing her daily schedule on her whiteboard, I'm now writing the entire week so that she may get ahead if she wants to. She also completed her handwriting assignments quickly. 

We spent time learning about King James and the establishment of the Jamestown Colony. We read books about Jamestown and about Pocahontas. We went on an overnight field trip at the end of the week to tour Historic Jamestowne and then the recreated Jamestown Settlement. It was a nice finishing touch to the week. I'll be making a separate post on our field trip. 


George also finished all of his math and handwriting assignments early. I am prepared to move forward at a faster pace if he chooses to. George is doing very well at doing his school work. He gets a lot more breaks than Bridget does because he does not have any independent work (yet) so when I am working one-on-one with Bridget, he gets to go play.


I don't think I'll be doing any formal preschool work with Liam until after the first six weeks of school. I wasn't prepared for the school year to begin and will use our first week off from school to finish my lesson plans for the year and to schedule something for him. I feel bad when he has nobody to play with because I have Bridget and George in the school room with me. 

Final Note

Check back later this week for a separate post on our Jamestown field trip!

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Friday, August 4, 2017

Week in Review {Week 2}

It is hard to believe that our second week of school is already over. I didn't take many pictures this week, and we didn't get everything done either (I blame the beautiful weather for luring us outside). Fortunately, the things we did not get done should take no time to complete this coming week. 

Third Grade

Math went much better this week than it did last week. Bridget did all of her worksheets and her test and got everything correct except for a word problem that she didn't read carefully. 

Bridget also enjoys handwriting because it's super easy and requires no instruction form me. She loves having independent work to do. She's done very well about coming into the school room and getting started on independent work. She often times ends up waiting on me. I'm still working on juggling a third grader and a kindergartner. 

History is starting to get interesting again and Bridget completed all of her reading and narrations this week without whining (she is not a fan of having to write sentences or a paragraph). Latin is still one of Bridget's favorites and this week she listened to and sang along with all of the songs. 


Much like his sister, George loves math and handwriting the most. He's still learning to write lines and circles. In another week, he'll finally start writing letters. It's slow moving for him because he's never taken an interest in reading and writing and is further behind than Bridget was at this age. Numbers, on the other hand, is what interests George. He is flying right through his math worksheets and I'm considering letting him go at his own fast pace rather than the slower pace I scheduled for him. He may get stuck when it is time to write numbers rather than just count and circle the number.

George is gaining independence in homeschool and is so excited to begin in the morning that he comes into the school room still in his pajamas and opens his handwriting or math book to begin. On this particular day, he hadn't even had breakfast yet.


We went to the library at the end of the week and I picked up a few fun books for Liam. Most of them were books I remembered from my childhood. His favorite right now is The Carrot Seed. I read it once to him when we got home from the library, then he "read" it to me. Then again. And again. He loves the book so much but I am having to remind him to be gentle with the pages. It's an old copy from the library and the pages were already falling out when we first borrowed it. It is no doubt that this book has been well loved by many children over the years. We may need to get our own copy for our home library.

Final Note

Next week, we are going on our first field trip of the school year. The children are very excited. We'll be exploring Roanoke Island (Fort Raleigh and the Lost Colony) and historic Jamestown. We've been both places already but it's been a couple of years so hopefully it will feel new to them again (especially Liam since he was still in a baby in the stroller at the time).

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