Sunday, May 20, 2012


We successfully completed our first semester at Life Song Academy on May 11, 2012.  A whole week early!  Yahoo!  I have to put the final 2 days' grades in the computer and print of a grade card for our records. I'm very proud of my kids!  We ended the year with all A's and 1 B between the two of them.  The B was within 1/2 percent of an A and really, I told them that A's aren't the most important thing in the world.  They're exciting to earn, but the most important part is that they learned something.
Our final day of school consisted of a Chronicles of Narnia marathon where we watched the 3 movies put out by Disney and had a cousin who just graduated from preschool join us.  Then we did a math assessment to check for readiness for our new math curriculum that I'm ordering for next year.  They cried about the test and during the test because they thought they couldn't do the work.  They actually took the exact same exams a month before this and each passed with low passing scores.  We worked on their problem areas since we are switching curricula and I really want them to be ready for next year.  After all the fuss, they finished the assessments with 94/102 and 90/100.  I think they just wanted to be done with brain work.
This past week has been refreshing to me and the house is clean again except our classroom.  I kind of fell back on housekeeping as we put in extra long mom-intensive school days to get done a week early.  I really want to organize the classroom differently, but am not sure how to do it yet.  The kids have each read a few books and are ready for the library's summer reading program.  I might take a break from blogging until I prepare for next year or I might come up with some ideas or post our summer activities.  I guess that's for us all to find out.
I'm excited to start our next year with curriculum that I think will fit well with my kids and I will have teacher's manuals to help me!!!  YAY!
Until next time!

Monday, May 7, 2012

A Lesson in the Making

Yes there is a lesson in making things that we don't always see.  We need to use our right brains!  I think that is how we will eventually be able to apply what we learn with our left brains.  I'm by no stretch an expert in this, but it's just a hunch.  I just think too much left brain will not allow us to find solutions that to problems like, "if there's no door in the room, how do we get out?"  Some people could not say, "Through the window." or anything like that.  
So for us, even a project that turns out poorly, we try to learn something anyway.  Today, we were doing the hairdryer/crayon art that I've seen posted on Pinterest and many-a-blog.  I am not one who likes to copy a project in every way, so we developed a new way to do this.
This picture or one like it can be purchased on Etsy where I snagged it from.  

Well.... it didn't turn out the same, but we learned a few things.  Here is what we did.

First I took a few tools: Hair Dryer, Broken Crayons, Tape, and Paper.

The kids watched me make an example.  I taped a crayon to my paper and began with the hair-dryer.  I guess I didn't tape the crayon at first and realized that it was a mistake.  It blew across the table at first.  So after it began to melt, I removed the tape and stuck another one beside it.  I then realized that glue would be a good thing, so I started gluing crayons to the paper.  I used 6 crayon pieces approximately 1 inch long plus a small crayon chip that was about 1/4 inch long.  I told the kids to start gluing crayon pieces to their papers as I created my masterpiece.  Our paper is 18 inches x 12 inches.  There are no before pics, but after I looked at my kids' pictures with more than 20 crayon pieces on each paper, I decided we needed to modify our method. 
I turned on the oven to 220 degrees F not because it was a special formula, but that is where the dial landed when I stopped turning it.  I didn't want to bake the paper, so I left it at this low temp.  When the projects were ready, I popped them in the oven.  The first one was a mess!  The colors started running together and the 3 boats on the ocean were no longer, but one stream of blah was in the center.  Sister bear said that she didn't want hers to melt together like that so we took it out shortly after the first one.
We brought the projects to the table and began with the hair dryer and the most interesting colors were popping from beneath my son's picture.  It looked like fire to him so we began to create a fire picture.  "Smoke on the Water."  Well, not really, but we turned the picture sideways and it looks pretty cool.  Like a burning ship.

Brother's burning ship picture.
I just love the texture from the wax of the crayons.  Sis said that hers looks like wind on the flowers.  Since she wanted the flowers to remain in tact to a point, I tried not to mess them up with the blowdryer.  Her butterfly is a bit deranged, but I still think her picture turned out to be pretty neat too.

Sissy's picture of flowers, a butterfly and a cloud.
 Practical lessons were learned today.  If we ever are to repeat this project we need to use smaller bits of crayon.  The glue was a good way to hold the crayon in place.  Also, the wax melts through the paper and so my pan turned out a little messed up, but it is an easy fix.  I rarely use the cookie sheet without aluminum foil or silicone or parchment anyhow, so the non-toxic crayons shouldn't be a problem.

All in all the biggest problem was too much crayon makes a big mess.

Life Lesson.  Too much of something, even good things can ruin the big picture.  Not to the point where it is unable to be salvaged, but the picture will never be the same.  God has painted the picture of us and we do many things over the course of our lives which rearrange the colors and the patterns.  The picture is still beautiful in God's eyes and he still loves it because He created it. In the end, if we've allowed the master artist to keep painting and perfecting our mess ups, our life-portraits will truly be masterpieces.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Fieldtrip Journal

Just a shot bragging momma post.  I ask the kids to write in their "field trip journals" when we go somewhere.  Today we experienced prairie days at our local museum and my 3rd grader decided to make a tipi as was demonstrated by the volunteers.  I gave him the supplies that he asked for and he did this one entirely on his own.  A job well done!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Spring Fever

... Oh I've got it bad!  Thankfully we've had a few outings to keep us from going crazy.  The weather has been so beautiful that we hate being cooped up and I think I'm worse than the kids.  We went to the local museum of art and history on Monday and found out about an activity for children on Friday which sounds fabulous.  We've been invited to participate in the afternoon.  I need to teach the kids about the Homestead Act in the morning to prepare for our afternoon.  Gets rid of the mundane for sure.
We missed ukulele lessons earlier and will miss them tomorrow, but I think that's something we will work on through the summer to keep some form of schedule for us.  We've enrolled in 4H as well just in time to do a project for the County Fair.  We have baseball that we'll find out more about shortly as well.  As for the rest of our summer plans, I am just waiting on the Lord to lay them out for us.
BOOK IT! is taking enrollment for Home Schools now and we got ourselves signed up on the first day.  I've been giving the kids punch cards for their reading and they so love reading now that they wouldn't need the reward, but I love encouraging them in this way.  It will be nice to give them a reward that I don't have to pay for and yet they will enjoy!  GO PIZZA HUT!
We've put in enough hours in the last few weeks that we've knocked 2 1/2 days off the calendar, so done day is May 16th.  Then we get a party and program at church that night where the kids present their work to the parents.  Double good day!

After our group prayer on the National Day of Prayer 2012.
Brother did not want his picture to be taken.