Enjoying Our Journey

Living, Loving and Learning Together

WIP Wednesday

This week I decided to pick up a project that has been hibernating for months.

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The pattern is “Rockefeller” and was designed by one of my favorite designers, Stephen West. Β  I am using Malabrigo Lace in Sealing Wax and Stone Blue. Looking forward to wearing this piece.

Please share what is on your needles. πŸ™‚

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Book Buddies

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My middle read my youngest a few bedtime stories tonight. It was so sweet to watch them enjoying the time together. I love reading to my kids and it warms my heart to know that they enjoy reading to each other as well. There is nothing like a good story to bring a family together.

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And of course, there must be tackle hugs after story time. πŸ˜‰

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WIP Wednesday

I am getting back into my knitting groove after suffering some winter burn-out. One would think that I would learn that taking on too many projects leads to burn out. It still does happen from time to time though. πŸ˜›

In order to break out of my knitting slump, I chose a lace shawl pattern and a yarn that made me think of spring.

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I chose the Ashton shawlette pattern because the leaf buds remind me of the spring that should be arriving soon. Also, the pictures of finished objects on Ravelry are stunning. I am enjoying the luxurious yarn, which is Scarlet Fleece’s Grassy Wool. The colorway is called “Under the Sea” and is a soothing blend of greens, blues and purples. My hope is to finish it in time to wear it on Easter. I am getting close to the end with maybe a dozen rows left, but then I will also need to block it. I guess I should be knitting instead of blogging. πŸ˜‰

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I am also working on a short-sleeved hoodie for my youngest using the Hotshot pattern by Julia Stanfield.

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The yarn, hand-dyed by Green Strings, is a superwash merino in DK weight. The colorway is called “Mr. Roboto”, one of my favorites from among her boyish selections.

After these two exciting new projects, I will need to turn my attention back to my large bag of WIPs filled with hats, mittens, and a sweater. But for now, I will enjoy the shiny, new projects so that I can get my groove back. πŸ™‚

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More Reading…

I want to incorporate our reading list here, but it seems that as soon as I get a chance to post, someone is on to their next book. πŸ˜‰

Maybe I need a button and a weekly feature to keep track of our current reading. I am open to suggestions from other bloggers. πŸ™‚

The list:

6th grader: Since the last post he has read Catching Fire and finished Middleworld. He is about to start Wild Orchid and Mockingjay.

3rd grader: He is working on The Ch’i-lin Purse, One False Note, and the Tiger’s Apprentice.

Preschooler: anything Clifford

Family Read-aloud: The Battle of the Labyrinth

I am still reading Understanding Exposure and may start The Hunger Games this week.

How do you keep track of the reading you do as a family? Do you have a feature on your blog for reading? If so, what does that look like for you?

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Chinese Calligraphy

This week we are studying Ancient China in The Story of the World. Some of the highlights of our reading included: how the Great Wall of China was built, the Chinese were the first ancient people to use the process of printing, and an amazing description of an underground city built as a tomb for the First Emperor of China. The boys were impressed with the idea that there may be crossbows set to automatically fire to protect the tomb.

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They tried their hands at painting some Chinese characters.

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At first, they used the characters in the book as a guide. This is man and woman (below). Others they drew were forest, fire, field and horse.

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Then, they decided to get their Yu-Gi-Oh cards out because they also have characters on them for some of the elements.

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My 4 year old joined us, but he made up his own characters. πŸ˜‰

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While they enjoyed their painting, I think they can appreciate why the printing process was developed.

 

What are you studying in history?

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Caps for Sale

One of the current favorite stories is Caps for Sale,Β so I was pleased to find these fun printables from Homeschool Creations to go along with the book.

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He really enjoys rolling the die and filling in the graph. I laminated the graph so that he can do this over and over again to his heart’s content.

 

 

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Here he matched up the pictures and the words. I wish I had a chart holder for these, but for now the table will do. They are also laminated so that he can use them again. I like to have self-directed activities available for when I need to work with his brothers. We have done this one with a few different themes and it is great to pull out when he says, “What can I do now? What’s next?”

 

 

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This was the first time that we used the Read! Build! Write! mats and cards. I think that this activity will become a regular in our rotation. It is great practice for reading, spelling and writing.

 

 

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My son went and got out his Lowercase Letter Tracing CardsΒ to make sure that he had the letter formations correct. He can be somewhat of a perfectionist which can be a challenge. I have to admire his resourcefulness though in finding what he needed to complete the activity to his satisfaction.

 

 

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These pages where he can trace the words were easier for him to manage and will help build the confidence he needs to write more on his own.

 

 

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He joins in on our map and other activities from Story of the World, which is our history program. Today we were practicing Chinese calligraphy. (Post to follow with everyone’s work).

Those are the highlights from our week in Pre-K. πŸ™‚

Do you have a Preschool or Kindergarten student? Check out the Preschool and Kindergarten Community over at Homeschool Creations for some great ideas and support.

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Cephalopods and Buoyancy

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This is an experiment that the kids did earlier in the year. First, they decorated a medicine dropper to look like a cephalopod.

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Then, they added just enough water to the dropper to make it float.

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Next, they put the dropper into a bottle of water and closed the lid. They observed what the “cephalopod” did when the bottle was squeezed and released. They discovered that squeezing the bottle allowed more water to enter the dropper which made it sink. Releasing the pressure on the bottle sent water out of the dropper making it lighter so it rose. This is similar to how some cephalopods can control their buoyancy by taking in or expelling water.

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M&Ms and LEGOs

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We celebrated the 100th day of school a little over a month ago with some favorites. First, the kids filled up a 100 chart with M&Ms.

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Then, they sorted them by color and displayed their results on a bar graph. They calculated which color had the most, which had the least, the differences between the amounts of each color, etc.

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My oldest had some fun rearranging the M&Ms into numbers representing how much of each color he had.

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I gave each of the boys a bag filled with 100 random LEGOs. Their task was to build something using just what was in their bag. I enjoyed watching their creativity bloom while they worked.

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This was an enjoyable way to mark our 100th day of school. I will have to start planning something for next year. πŸ™‚

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What We Are Reading Now

Our family read-aloud is The Battle of the Labyrinth by Rick Riordan.

6th grader: MiddleworldΒ and The Hobbit

3rd grader: Β Detectives in Togas and The Tiger’s Apprentice

Preschooler: His current favorites are A Fly Went By andΒ Caps for SaleΒ as well as any book about Clifford.

Me: Understanding Exposure

I need to find a good novel to devour. Lately my focus has been on non-fiction and I am in need of some good fiction for balance. I will welcome any suggestions. πŸ™‚

What are you and your family reading now?

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Speaking of Science…

My older two boys are participating in a science fair with our local homeschool group. They are very excited about the projects they chose. One of them will explore how our muscles learn and the other is going to experiment with potato batteries. It should be a fun and educational experience!

 

ETA: I was so busy trying to document our academics that I forgot the funny story that went along with the science fair. When I asked the older boys if they would be interested in participating in the fair, my 4 year old said he wanted to make a vinegar and baking soda volcano a la Phineas and Ferb. He thought that would ensure a win. πŸ˜‰

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