All Girls School

Why homeschooling is so great
November 18, 2008, 2:21 pm
Filed under: Bubba, sewing

Doing your work cuddled up next to the warm fire in the fireplace while still wearing your cuddly warm pajamas at 10:30 in the morning.

I usually have us all get up and fed and dressed by 7:45 in the morning, as we tend to be more productive when we do that. But there are some days that it’s just nice to take it slowly (especially when it’s cold out and nobody wants to get out from under the covers).

Also, Ms. T and Bubba finished up the teddy bear that they had been working on. Now the sleepover trio of items is complete and there is talk of the actual sleepover happening this Friday.


see the earrings?

The photos don’t give you a very good idea of how large this bear is. It is almost as big as Baby.


Current Activities
September 4, 2008, 10:18 pm
Filed under: art, baby, Bubba, curriculum, guitar, history, math, music, phonics, preschool, reading, schedule, science, sewing, spelling, writing

Spelling – a list without a pretest. Bubba was struggling with the pretests last year as she’s such a perfectionist and there’s really no point in testing her on things that she hasn’t been taught yet. I almost feel like we should let our spelling instruction come naturally through our writing tasks. When I thought about that more, though, I really want the writing tasks to focus on content and structure and I don’t want to point out every misspelled word and distract from the actual writing. So, structured spelling lists it is. There are supplementing pages that are actually kind of fun and a little bit challenging, so she doesn’t HATE spelling this year. (four days per week)

Phonics – I detest this subject as I think it is super super boring. So does she. I think we’re going to nix phonics or at least skip to the few items in the book that would be instructional and useful to her. I’m going to have to look through our book a little more to weed out the busy work. (once per week, but maybe not at all.)

Science – We’re doing a unit on the human body with lots of activities thrown in. She’s also doing quite a bit of writing by logging our daily tasks and making little booklets and stuff. We’ve checked out a bunch of human body books from the library and she has been reading them with and to her little sisters and taking them in the car when we go pick up Mimi from school. The other day she was reading about the heart and we ended up having a great conversation about the relationship between the size of an animal and how quickly its heart beats. We’re planning on a trip down to the Science Museum to see the human body exhibit before it leaves next month. (twice a week)

Math – Right now we’re doing mostly review of addition and subtraction of multiple numbers. I’ve found lots of fun activities that incorporate these. I’m going to work with her on a sewing project to work on our measuring skills (and estimating skills, as I am a laaaaazy sewer). We’ve also done some cooking and we practice our fractions. I expect that the cooking will increase as the holiday season gets nearer and we’ll do a lot of practical math like doubling recipes and figuring out the metric system and equivalencies. She really wants to move on in math and get to multiplication and stuff, but I am feeling that we should ease back into the subject. (three times per week)

History – We tried to do an entire year of history over the summer, but burned out on it. We got about a third of the way through it before we shelved it until the school year. We are still in ancient history, but Bubba loves it. She really gets into most of the stories and we have some fun discussions after reading them. It is always amazing to me the details and names she remembers after reading. There are some that I have to go back and look up that she rattles off really quickly. This is one of our favorite subjects as we always learn something new and there is always some sort of fun project to go with it and reinforce the lesson. (twice a week)

Writing – Most of our writing is done within our other subjects as Bubba balks at having to sit down and write just for the sake of writing. One day per week we do do some sort of writing task. Lately we have been working on different brainstorming techniques. At first she was lazy and bored with it until she ended up coming up with a really fun and creative story based on some of her brainstorming. Every Friday is poetry day and we do something different. Last week we had a book from the library about rocks (her current passion) and it was a long poem about different types. We read it and then she chose her favorite type of rock from the poem and copied out that page in her best writing. We have a book of Roald Dahl poems for tomorrow that I’m very excited about.

Reading – Every day I read a chapter of The Wizard of Oz outloud to her. When we’re finished with the book we’re going to watch the movie and compare and contrast it to the book. I think we’ll do it orally or I’ll have her write down the main points and present it to Dad or something. I’ve been thinking about all of the different books we could read and then watch the movie to compare and the options are huge. I think it will give her a better idea of how much better the books typically are, too, and promote more reading. She also reads for half an hour to herself or to her sisters outloud.

Music – She practices her guitar every day except for lesson days. She was given two new songs to practice at her last lesson. We were also informed of her first recital coming up in October. I can’t wait to watch her play in front of everyone.

Art – At the beginning of every week we start a new art project. She then has the entire week to work on it and refine it in order to have a very thoughtfully and thoroughly finished piece. The first few projects in each unit are more technical, exploring each element (line, texture, etc.). Then there are a few really creative projects that incorporate the techniques previously studied.

(On a side note, Baby started preschool today, but I haven’t had time to get the photos off of the camera yet. I’ll write about it when I have them on the computer. Suffice it to say that she had a blast and it sounds like the day went really well.)

Sew and Show
June 25, 2008, 7:23 am
Filed under: Bubba, sewing, tv

Bubba finished her current sewing project with our friend yesterday. It’s a reversible sun hat. She has decided that purple and blue are her current favorite colors. They had a little money leftover from purchasing fabric, so she chose some buttons to accent with. It fits her head perfectly.

here’s a slightly blurry shot of her on side 1

Side 2

Just for fun

Slightly fuzzy closeup of her careful stitching

When I picked her up from our friend’s house, she told me that the girls have already decided what the next 3 projects will be: slippers, pajama pants and a teddy bear. They want to do it as a series of slumber party items. Our friend said she’d give us a call, as she needs to do some research on making slippers. I love that she opens her home and devotes her time to sewing with Bubba and her friend. It’s such a great experience for them. Plus, our friend’s daughter loves having the bigger girls over to play. I need to come up with a reciprocal project to do with her daughter. It will probably be a day of beauty making bath salts and maybe fizzy bath bombs. I already have most of the ingredients and all of these girls would love yummy beauty stuff.

On a side note, Bubba’s latest tv love is Hell’s Kitchen. Last night she went to the basement to watch it and then I let her watch an old episode on the computer. She came upstairs with a roster that she’s been crossing the people off of as they are eliminated. I thought it was too cute that she had drawn the show’s logo, too.

Sewing, Singing and Winning
June 19, 2008, 9:42 pm
Filed under: art, baby, Bubba, guitar, mimi, sewing

Today Bubba had her second sewing class with our friend. This time they’re working on sun hats. Unfortunately, they didn’t have time to complete them today so I have to wait until next Tuesday until I get to see it. The only thing that I’ve been told is that it will be reversible, she chose pink and purple fabric, and they had money left over so the girls picked out some fun buttons to add as accents. I’m thrilled that she’s learning to sew at a young age. I didn’t learn until I was in middle school and I have no patience for it, so I hate taking the time to cut out the patterns and fabric and iron it and sew it carefully and all that stuff. My pieces all look ok from a great distance. But Bubba on the other hand, relishes every step. Using a hot iron is a grown-up treat for her. She is so steady and slow with the foot pedal that her lines and all careful and fairly straight. I should take a lesson from her.

She is progressing well with her guitar lessons, too. The girl that practices after her saw us at the library and said, “Your daughter is doing really good at her guitar lessons”. So that’s how I know. She was given two new chords to add to her practicing.

Last weekend there was a Sidewalk Chalk festival downtown. We each signed up for a square to color. Baby and I told them that we would share a square. She and I drew a huge tree and a grassy field and flowers. Bubba started and elaborate quilt-like drawing, but started getting hot and thirsty and hungry and stopped. Mimi kept changing her mind about what she was drawing and ended up frustrated at the whole project. Fast forward to two days ago, I get a phone call saying that Baby won the contest for her age division. We were invited down to the new local art gallery for the opening of this show and to be presented her prize. We went down there and looked at the amazing and brutally honest exhibit. Then Baby got her gift bag. It was full of art supplies, a rubber duck and coupons for free food around town. She was especially happy about the rubber duck.

Now ask me how many photos I have of any of these things. none. Go me!

Oh, and…
March 25, 2008, 7:23 pm
Filed under: Bubba, sewing

Bubba reminded me that we now have our camera back, so I can post some photos of her first sewing creation, the reversible purse.

This is the side she prefers to wear out.

It’s a great size on her and she has been wearing it everywhere. The first thing that she asked our friend when they completed this together was, “What’s our next project going to be?”

Sewing and My Inevitable Black Thumb
March 24, 2008, 5:57 pm
Filed under: Bubba, garden, sewing

We have a family friend that offered up a sewing project for Bubba and a friend. Today they finished it and it was an adorable reversible purse. I loved watching Bubba sew, she took it really slowly and has a great attention to detail. She loved being allowed to use the iron all by herself. Unfortunately, we left the camera at Grandma’s house yesterday, so I can’t throw a pic of it up here. She has carried it everywhere with her today.

All of our pepper and tomato starts were blown away. All I found was a single toothpick flag lying on the ground. Then, today, Baby decided to pick up two of the herb pots and throw them on the concrete patio. Yes, she destroyed them completely. So, all of the plantings we did last week are now gone. I’m going to have to figure out a wind and baby-proof method of starting seeds. At least it wasn’t anything that I did directly that caused these things not to grow.