Here’s what we’ve been up to today.
It won’t last, but oh man are we loving this weather. When Oregon is good she is very, very good.
Aka: “Way too Many Pictures” or “Mostly Just for Gramma”
Brady turned 5 a couple of weeks ago and since it was sort of a milestone birthday and we really hadn’t been out of town since we went camping last Summer we decided to take him on a quick little trip up to Portland.
We left the morning before his birthday after having doughnuts while Brady watched his birthday video from Santa (do you guys check that box on PNP, too? I’ve always forgotten about it by the time I get the email but Brady is always THRILLED)
And then there was lots and lots of driving, and a little bit of opening the surprise bags (snack, juice, dollar store toy) I always pack him for these kind of trips
And then we arrived at the Children’s Museum
And played in the Water Works (in the middle of the day there was a lunch break and a change of shirt and I think these pictures will tell you why)
And pretended to be a vet
And a director
And a construction worker
A customer and a cashier
And finally got to give “Wiccapen” a hug
And send some letters up the coconut tree
And checked out their cool garden maze
Then we were off to check into our hotel and then a quick trip to the Lego store before his birthday dinner with friends
And then off to dinner at John’s Incredible Pizza Co. (if you have one near you you should go, like Chuck E. Cheese, but cooler)
Then back to the hotel for a special birthday bedtime story and sleep
Friday was Brady’s actual birthday so he woke up and opened his presents from us
Had breakfast at the hotel
Went swimming (since we hadn’t had time on Thursday)
And headed to the mall for lunch
Some birthday cake Dippin’ Dots
And Build a Bear (which Brady has been wanting to do FOREVER)
Then it was off to the zoo
Then off to spend his giftcards (that he had gotten from some very generous friends the night before) at Toys R Us
And Barnes and Noble
And then we headed home while Brady read his new book about anatomy (thanks, John!)
And insisted on playing his new Angry Birds Star Wars game (thanks, Misha and Katie!)
And reading the other book he got with his giftcard before going to bed
The next day he was up bright and early to go to the kid’s fishing derby with Papa
And then out for a family birthday dinner with Gramma and Papa and home for cake and presents
And a round of his new Sorry Sliders game (thanks, Gramma and Papa!)
And some time with his new telescope
And the 3 days of birthday shenanigans were done. It ended up being a kind of jam-packed 3 days of craziness, but he had a lot of fun (as did we, really, watching him) and although we don’t usually go nearly so all-out for birthdays 5 is kind of a big deal and I’m glad we were able to make him feel really special on his big day
We spent more of our school time outside of the house than we usually do this week, and had a lot of fun in the process. Here’s what we were up to.
Shared reading: We started reading Heidi this week, I’m excited to share one of my childhood favorites with Brady
Grammar: We worked on identifying the subject of a sentence
Spelling: words that end in ‘ing’ or ‘er’
Reading comprehension: completing sentences based on a picture, sequencing pictures
Arithmetic: Brady has been practicing his addition skills by asking me to make him simple worksheets like this one
Money math: Introduction of the dollar
We did an experiment to see if air takes up space
And we did this little crystal tree experiment from Brady’s Easter basket
We talked about reading and writing rhythms and learned about quarter and half notes
We made a surimono greeting in the style of Hokusai complete with homemade signature stamp (carved out of an eraser)
Nicaragua (although we worked on our US and Canada puzzles as well)
On Tuesday we went to the Aquarium with some relatives that were in town, unfortunately I didn’t take my camera or phone so no pictures, but we had a lot of fun and even got to see the sharks have their lunch.
Saturday, however, was Marine Science day at the Hatfield Center and I got lots of pictures of Brady doing things like
Attempting to build a wall that would stop erosion on his pretend beach
Trying to build a lego structure that would survive a lego-sized tsunami
Petting an octopus named unicorn
And various other sea creatures
Checking out a submarine
Learning about how they grow coral in the lab
Listening to underwater sounds
And just being his usual, goofy self
Brady has also been spending a lot more time outside now that the weather has been (somewhat) nice(-ish) and has enjoyed helping daddy work on the yard
And learning to play baseball
New recipes we tried last week:
Brady will be 5 on Friday and my annual nostalgic sobfest (and slideshow) are one entry back.
And that’s what we’ve been up to. How are things in your homeschool?
That’s how old my baby will be a week from today. I’m finding it hard to believe, but I managed to pull myself together long enough to make a little slide show. Watch him go from zero to 5 just a *little* faster than it happened in real life. We’re taking him on a little trip next week for his birthday and I’ll have lots of pictures to share then, but oh I just love this sweet, smart, goofy, handsome boy of mine. In almost 5 years he has taught me more about loving and giving, about generosity of spirit, about joy and struggle, about his strength and my own than I learned in nearly 25 years with him and I cannot wait to see what the future has in store.
Happy, happy birthday baby you are the light of our lives and the heart of our hearts and my favorite boy in the whole wide world.
This is, tentatively, what we’re planning for next year. It’s early yet, I know, but I like to plan ahead so I can buy things a little at a time and I thought some of this might be useful to other homeschoolers. Brady will be almost 5 1/2 when we start our new school year in early September.
I won’t be purchasing a reading curriculum because Brady reads at (depending on the assessment) a high 4th to low 5th grade level and he loves it and reads CONSTANTLY and I do not want to detract from that with reading assignments.
Reading Comprehension/Vocabulary: Kumon Reading Grades 3 and 4 We used Hooked on Phonics Reading Comprehension books for grades 1 and 2 this year and really enjoyed them, but I could not find them for the higher grades. I hope Kumon will live up to HOP’s colorful and engaging style.
Grammar: 2nd Grade Writing Practice (and possibly 3rd as well) We’ve been working through the 1st grade version of this book and it is colorful enough to be interesting and repetitive enough to insure understanding.
Creative Writing: Brady has been doing a lot of writing on his own lately, but this “Rip the Page” book seems like it will be a fun addition
I have gone back and forth on a Math curriculum, but have finally decided on Saxon Math (Brady tested into level 1). He is a very haptic learner and I believe the manipulatives will work well for him as he really enjoys our work with Unifix cubes.
We will continue to do experiments out of the books we already have (Mudpies to Magnets, More Mudpies to Magnets, Everybody Has a Body, The Everything Kids Science Experiments Book, 175 Science Experiments to Amuse and Amaze Your Friends) and we will be adding this Read and Understand Science Grades 2-3 book for a little more in-depth look.
The one thing Brady told me he wanted to learn more about next year was Thomas Jefferson so, instead of continuing our world history curriculum, we are circling back to US History. We will first begin with a study of Native American cultures for which this National Geographic “Indian Nations of North America” book should come in handy (I will link other resources as I find them). For US history after the Mayflower we will be using these American History Comic Books and Liberty’s Kids videos as well as reading the Little House on the Prarie books and working our way through this neat “Quilt Block History of Pioneer Days” book that I happened upon at a library sale. (again, more resources as I find them)
In keeping with our American theme we will be revisiting “The Little Man in the Map” and working on capitals since Brady already knows most of his states.
We will keep with the theme with this book of “Great American Artists“
Brady will continue swimming lessons and has shown some interest in taking a gymnastics class if I can find him one (easier said than done in our little town, but I will certainly try).