Friday, November 16, 2012

A Picture A Day: November 16, 2012

Great morning at book club today.  From one middle grade fiction book we learned about immigration, the Charleston, Jazz, Jewish foods, Jewish traditions, Langston Hughes, and American history!

Then we raced across to the other Twin City and took in a tour of the Terra Cotta warriors at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts.  Great day!!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

A Picture A Day: November 13, 2012

HiSci today with some of our friends.  Loved how they were so focused on what M. was doing in the top picture and how amazed they were by the results of the experiment just a second later.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

A Picture A Day: October 24, 2012

We attended a performance of Huck Finn at Stages Theatre Company in Hopkins, MN with a group of friends. AH wasn't thrilled about the book...probably the only kid in America that didn't enjoy it!

Friday, October 12, 2012

A Picture A Day: October 12, 2012

We hung out at our favorite coffee shop to do some math, some reading and some online research.  We were so surprised to see one of Minnesota's U.S. Senators walk in and order a drink!  She was gracious enough to come over and talk with us and to let us take a picture with her!  What a fun, unexpected experience for both of us.  Of course, AH was more excited about talking to her driver/security man than in the Senator herself!!  Thank you, Senator Klobuchar, for taking time to talk with us!!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

A Picture A Day: October 9, 2012

Science Club this morning!  Here the kids are working on their timelines before the club begins.  Well, except my kid, who seems to know exactly when I'm about to take a much for my plans for picture of him working!

Friday, September 28, 2012

A Picture A Day: September 28, 2102

Today we spent the morning at the Renaissance Festival.  We saw the Danger Committee, looked at armor, found my maiden name's history and coat of arms, watched sheep herding, explored an Irish family's cottage and ate!  We met up with old friends and new friends!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

A Picture A Day: September 25, 2012

After a emotional and busy week filled with my father's health emergency, we are sort of back to a routine in our learning.  Today we are hanging at a coffee shop between art club and forensic science.  AH can work on Thinkwell math (online) and read.  I get to update blogs!!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

A Picture A Day: September 11, 2012

Busy day today.  During the science club meeting this morning the kids played Latitude and Longitude Bingo.  AH attended his first Forensic Science Class of the semester this afternoon.  Tuesdays are going to be a busy day for us this year!

Friday, September 7, 2012

A Picture A Day: September 7, 2012

Today we made chocolate candies from a kit!  We have had this kit for months and I've been meaning to do this activity all summer, but we weren't able to manage it until today.  The kit contains everything to make your own candies and explains the history of Cacao and all the steps candy makers need to take to make chocolate into the treat it is today.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

A Picture A Day: September 6, 2012

After going to the open house at Planet Homeschool (one of our co-ops) this morning, we stopped at Como Park and did the tree identification trek.  We found a Cucumber Magnolia, Black Walnut, Douglas Fir, Hackberry and Black Locust trees to name a few.  There is also a very cool labyrinth in the area.  If you live in the Twin Cities you should check it out!  AH was not enthusiastic about this activity at first, but after finding the first tree, he was into it!  A map and list of trees to find is on this page under the About Como Park heading.  Click on the two links labeled: 
Happy hunting!
Thanks, Michelle, for telling us about this very cool activity!!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Our Homeschool Banquet

Each spring for the last two years a homeschool friend organizes a banquet for our group of homeschool kids and families.  It's a wonderful way to mark each year of learning.

Our group and families and friends gather in a wonderful donated space and share dinner.

Each kid/family displays some of their projects or studies over the past year.  AH had a couple of displays.  Here he is explaining his High Altitude balloon display to his cousin and uncle while Dad looks on.

AH stands before his big project: the results of his study of the spread of communism

AH poses with his Amma and Afi (the Icelandic words for Grandma and Grandpa).  The room was filled with many sets of grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins and good friends who came to celebrate the homeschooler in their lives.

It's so important that everyone dresses up!

It is such a wonderful way to end a year and to see what our friends have been up to!

A Picture A Day: September 5, 2012

After a morning of lit and math, we headed to a local park to hang out with a group of friends.  We had the park to ourselves.  Here some of them are working on paper airplanes.  We are so lucky to have this group of kids and parents in our lives!!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

A Picture A Day: September 4, 2012

Today was Not Back to School Day at our homeschool.  We traditionally visit the Science Museum on the first day of school and this year was no exception.  In addition to the museum, we explored downtown St. Paul including the Landmark Center.  Hard to believe my youngest is in 9th grade!!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Life Cycle of a Monarch Project

A good friend and fellow homeschool mom found a ton of monarch eggs on her milkweed plants this spring and offered some to us. We took up the challenge and raised monarch butterflies from egg to caterpillar to butterfly.  What can I say?  If we were able to do it...anyone can.  I seem to have lost the photos of the eggs and caterpillars, so here is a video of the butterfly emerging from the chrysallis and photos of our butterflies.    I will update this post when I find those other photos!!

Just don't ask me about our tadpole raising disaster adventure last year!!

Our first Monarch emerges from the chrysallis!

We set it free near our milkweed plants on the side of our house.

Our second Monarch shows off its beautiful wings hours after emerging from the cocoon

This Monarch seemed to love the coffee filter top!  AH is trying to set it free.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

A Picture A Day: August 15, 2012

Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Today we were lucky enough to enjoy a docent lead tour of the Rembrandt in America exhibit.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Online Fun

BlueSkies in Tagxedo

Followed a friend's pin and found this wonderful site called Tagxedo.  I'm thinking there has to be some way to incorporate this into our homeschool!  Cards, posters, web images.  I think I'm going to have some fun with this!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012


AH is obsessed with a website that was highlighted on the blog, Free Technology for Teachers.  He hasn't stopped playing around with the animated maps on History Animated.  They have maps of major battles for the War of 1812, the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, World War II: both the Pacific Theater and the European Theater and the Mexican-American War.  These maps are animated so you can see troop movements and also read about the strategy used, the central characters, etc.   If you have students who love maps, check it out!!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Planning A High School Education

I find myself facing the prospect of homeschooling a high school student.  Panic does certainly raise it's ugly head at times.  But panic like this is simply fear of change and the unknown.  Fear is relieved when a plan is in place.  When I think of my son and his learning style, I know that he will do better homeschooling where he can learn the way he learns best.  AH wants to attend college, so together we will be planning a college prep education that will take place not only here at home, but will also take advantage of the many opportunities available to us around the area.  This summer we will begin planning the first year of high school using the book, College Without High School by Blake Boles.

This book is full of real-life student stories and exercises to take general interests and make them into specific goals.  It is full of suggestions for cobbling together experiences and study such as auditing a college course, volunteering,   reading,   researching, interning, etc into a "course" worth high school credit . It is written directly to the teen reader, but I found it very helpful in my own life.  

The author, Blake Boles, has an interesting story and has built a wonderful education and life using these techniques.  You may recognize his name since he runs a well respected business, Unschool Adventures.

So this is our summer work.  We'll be taking it chapter by chapter until we come up with a plan.  Change is frightening.  But planning for that change is exciting and empowering!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

A Picture A Day: June 20, 2012

Visiting the Minnesota History Center's exhibit:
We The People: The First Official Printing of the U. S. Constitution

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

A Picture A Day: January 31, 2012

We had WAY too much fun making pretzels today!
(maybe I should say, "TRYING to make pretzels today"!)

Friday, January 27, 2012

A Picture A Day: January 27, 2012

Book club activity.  
I believe AH is trying to "harpoon" a Tuna. 
We read two books this month : 
The Old Man and The Sea by Ernest Hemingway and
The Young Man and the Sea by Rodman Philbrick

Monday, January 23, 2012

A Picture A Day: January 23, 2012

It was a very snowy day here in Minnesota today! After ASL Class (an hour and a half drive thanks to the snow!), history, lunch and shoveling it's time to read by the fireplace!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Friday, January 13, 2012

A Picture A Day: January 13, 2012

AH and I attended a performance of Comedy Sportz in Minneapolis.  
What a great way to start our weekend!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

A Picture A Day: January 12, 2012

The U of Minnesota Supercomputer department let us play with their equipment before we got to see the supercomputer.  AH is wearing special goggles to see a 3D holographic image.  The wand is used like a mouse to click and drag.  We learned that there are 8,000 processors in the U's Supercomputer