Thursday, February 23, 2012

Star Gazing

Connections Academy offered a mini-unit of the solar system. While it was a great introduction to the unit, and the snow put a damper on our field trip to the capitol to culminate our President unit, we decided to delve deeper into the solar system. (Pinterest is a great thing)

We began by playing Play-Doh. Of course, the boys just thought mom was being a rockin' mama playing with them, but I had ulterior motives in mind. While they were happily making a mess, I was making the planet earth to show the earth's different layers, from the core to the mantle to the crust. The boys were astonished that mom could be so awesome once we watched a movie from Brain Pop Jr. about the earth and it's layers.

Then, I gave Turbo another earth ball and had him cut it open, he was pretty proud, and now a sliced open earth is being displayed on his shelf right along Han Solo's ship. {go figure}.

Next, we watched brief You Tube videos about constellations and set to work.

We got a paper plate, added some stars and created the Ursa Major constellation.

We poked holes in the stars, got a flashlight and headed to the darkest place in the house: Turbo's closet. Tank held the flashlight while Turbo held the plate in front of the beam of light to reveal the star constellation of the Big Bear; aka The Big Dipper; aka Ursa Major. It was pretty awesome.

Of course, Tank was super honored to hold the flashlight while we star gazed in Turbo's dark closet.

Afterwards, we began our Constellation Book. Using construction paper, we made an accordion-style book. Then we used water colors to paint the night sky.

After finding 16 different constellations, we set to work making the dots. Then after poking holes through the dots, we added yellow construction paper behind so that the constellations really shined through.

The result: Our very own Constellation Book.

Monday, February 20, 2012

If I Were President

In honor of President's Day, we made Abe Lincoln's log cabin and discussed how this country would be run if Turbo were President.

It reads:

If I Were President

"If I were President, it would be fun. First, I would serve lots of candy at meals. Next, I would bowl with a rainbow ball and 100 pins. Then, I would watch a Star Wars Legos movie. Finally, my room will be filled with millions of Legos. I think it would be fantastic if I were President."

Look for his name on the ballot in a couple of decades or so.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

When I Grow Up

Turbo's Social Studies assignment was to draw a picture of what he wants to be when he grows up. He was also to write about it. He did so good on in, that I think I am going to frame it and display it on our wall.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Yellow Belt Testing - PASSED & 1st Competition

This month, Turbo tested for his Yellow Belt. It was the beginning of the snow storm that hit our area, but the testing was still on. This test was flip-flopped from last time. The higher belts went first while the younger belts waited for 2 hours to test. With that said, Turbo did awesome and passed.

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The very next weekend, Turbo had his 1st TaeKwonDo Competition. He participated in two events: Blaster Sparring and Individual Traditional Forms. He took 2nd place in both. He was beat by two of his mates. He is determined to take the gold at the end of March when he participates in the State Competition. His goal for this competition: Board Breaking.

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Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Reading Eggs - Not just for Big Kids

This morning, I introduced Tank to Reading Eggs. He cannot use the mouse efficiently, but he certainly can sit on my lap and tell me what to click on.

Things such as animal sounds. Puzzles. Music. Letters.

This has definitely opened up our horizon for schooling Tank.


Friday, February 3, 2012

Connections Academy

There comes a time in every homeschool parent's journey when the question is asked:


This question has been swirling around our home for the past 3 months. We decided to seek out some options as Turbo was excelling much quicker than we would like. We feared he was advancing without a true foundation of knowledge. We wanted a second opinion.

As we searched our options, my sister-in-law, who is a teacher for Connections Academy called and told me more about Connections.

The rest is history. We signed him up and he was on his way. He received his own computer, materials, workbooks and textbooks - FREE. (Being a public school, this service is entirely free - school done in the comfort of your own home).

The teacher confirmed our suspicions that he should be working on 1st grade materials. After pretests, lessons, and portfolio work, it was decided to double up the work to see how he handles it. Our hope is to complete Kindergarten math by March and move to 1st grade math then. With so many components in the Language Arts program, we decided to hang out in Kindergarten for awhile and see what he is doing by March to decide to move him up.

I can't tell you how much easier my life is in school right now. With the outside help of another teacher who is seeing the same thing I am, having another person keeping Turbo accountable in his work ( along with Master Andre in TaeKwonDo ), with the added bonus of not having to buy school curriculum and materials - I don't know why I didn't pursue this earlier.

So, far he really enjoys it. He has 2 live lessons each week with a weekly checklist of tasks he needs to complete. Time will only tell.