*****Please note that there are days where I will post more than once. So, to find out all the latest happenings and "goings-on" in our family (or my random thoughts), be sure to scroll down.*****

Monday, June 28, 2010

Second Grade Week 4 in Review

Believe it or not, we are a little bit ahead of schedule.  However, I can’t get too happy about it.  We’re ahead of schedule for good reason…Brian and I are going away for our 10-year anniversary on Wednesday, so no schooling will get done.  We’re also leaving on the 11th or 12th to visit the Omi and Opa, so I had to move everything up for that trip, too.  It doesn’t matter though…we’re doing GREAT with keeping up with it all.  LOL!  Here’s how this week went for us…
Bible:  Our memory work this week was First Catechism Q&A 4-5.  The lesson this week was on “I should glorify God.”  We read about the good Samaritan in Luke 10:25-37.  We also read Matthew 5:16.
Health:  This week we discussed the importance of having a regular time to eat.  We focused on eating a healthy breakfast and lunch.
Science:  We discussed vitamins and minerals this week.  Caleb learned which foods will give him the proper vitamins and minerals that his growing body needs.  Then he had to make a collage using pictures cut out of magazines.

Caleb sorting through the magazines to find the right picturesIMG_5906 Gluing the pictures in placeIMG_5908 Final projectIMG_5920
English:  This week we worked on the writing process.  Caleb’s first writing assignment  is to write a personal story.  We worked on one personal story together, and then he had to begin working on his own story.  This week he completed the planning and first draft.  We’ll finish the story during Week 5. 
Vocabulary:  Caleb continued to learn the definitions of his words using different activities.  He culminated the two-week lesson by taking a test, and he scored 94%.
Social Studies:  In Geography, Caleb learned the location of Georgia, Alabama, Florida, South Carolina, and North Carolina.  We’ll continue to add states each week or so.  In Social Studies, we discussed the flag of the United States and what it means.
Caleb coloring in the 5 states for this weekIMG_5897 The 5 states he learned this weekIMG_5899
Reading:  This week we read the following books:
Song and Dance Man by Karen Ackerman
Always Room for One More by Sorche Nic Leodhas
”Five Furry Kittens” poem by Evan-Moor
”Elephants” article by Evan-Moor
Math:  This week’s lesson focused on addition +2.  Caleb seems to be enjoying Math U See thus far, and he’s doing really well.  I’m happy with our switch for now. 
Art:  Our first lesson allowed Caleb to paint with watercolors.  He was allowed to paint whatever he wanted; however, he wasn’t to leave too much negative space.  The next lesson focused on intermediate colors.  We used some of Micah’s crayons (we were supposed to use Chunk o’ Crayons, but I didn’t buy them) with the paper off to mix and blend colors.  I demonstrated how using different amounts of pressure with the two colors would make different shades of the “new” color.  Caleb then had time to practice the concept.
Caleb making his watercolor pictureIMG_5902  Caleb’s final projectIMG_5904 Sherrie’s final project (I do not claim to be an artist, and I don’t play one on TV.  LOL!  I just do the lesson with Caleb to help him understand the assignment, so don’t judge me too harshly please.  LOL!)IMG_5905Caleb making intermediate colorsIMG_5916 Final projectIMG_5918
I’m going to leave you with some more pictures of Micah.  It seems that every time he sees me snapping pictures of Caleb doing his schoolwork, he has to join in the action.  So, I always oblige…besides, who could say no to that cute face?!!?  LOL!
Micah “cheesing it up” for the cameraIMG_5901CHEESE!!!IMG_5909
Thanks for following our adventures here at Childress Academy.  Join us next time to see what we learn during Week 5.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Caleb…another update

I know it’s been a while since I’ve posted anything on Caleb’s diagnosis of Tourette Syndrome.  However, we’re now to the final stages of getting some answers.  Here’s what’s been going on for the past 3 months.
Caleb had a battery of tests run by our pediatrician.  He had blood drawn, an EEG, and an MRI.  Well, EVERY single test came back normal.  While we’re thrilled that nothing is wrong according to the tests, we’re still curious about his tics.  We discussed everything with our pediatrician, and he agreed that a 2nd opinion was in order. 
We had a few hiccups with our insurance company (Brian called and gave them an ear full, and they gave us some doctor choices), but we’ve now got the letter from our pediatrician stating that he does not agree with the first neurologist’s diagnosis of Tourette’s.  So, with this letter in hand, we’ll be making a trip up to Emory Children’s Center in Atlanta.  We’ll be visiting with Dr. Barbara Weissman, who is the Director of Neurology at Emory.
The only drawback…we can’t get in to see her until JANUARY 7, 2011!  That to me is a sign that she knows her stuff, and the wait will be worth it.  So, until then…we just wait. 
We have seen some improvement in Caleb’s ticcing.  The arm/leg jerks seem to have disappeared.  His facial tics have also decreased, and there haven’t been any new vocal tics.  The fact that he’s had very few (if any, really) vocal tics is what’s making us all question the TS diagnosis.  A diagnosis of TS is only given when both MOTOR and VOCAL tics are present. 
Anyway, we’re so glad that we are noticing an improvement, and we will patiently wait to visit with Dr. Weissman in January.  So, that’s all the update I have for you right now…stay tuned to see what happens in January.  smile_regular

Friday, June 25, 2010

Cute Kid Contest…

Okay, so I don’t normally do these types of posts.  However, we ALL have cute kids.  And as bloggers, I’m assuming you ALL love to take pictures of your kiddos.  So, why don’t you put those photos to work for you?!!?  You can enter the 2010 Cute Kid Contest and have a chance to win a $25,000 grand prize!

All you have to do to enter is click on the banner at the top of my blog or click on the ad in the right sidebar.  Go ahead…what are you waiting for????  Go and enter your child TODAY!

Good luck!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Second Grade Week 3 in Review

We are moving right along here at Childress Academy.  So far we’re staying on track with our schooling, and all is going well.  Here’s how this week panned out for us.
Bible:  Our memory work this week was Romans 3:23.  The Bible story was about “The First Sin.”  We read Genesis 3:1-24 to learn more about “the first sin.”
Health:  This week we discussed different types of nutritious foods.  Caleb read about grains, vegetables, fruits, etc.
Science:  We discussed body builders this week…no, not the people…PROTEINS!  Caleb had to look through magazines and cut out pictures of proteins for a collage.

Caleb cutting out his protein picturesIMG_5879 Gluing them all in placeIMG_5886The final projectIMG_5890
English:  This week we finished up Chapter 1 by discussing alphabetical order.  Then Caleb had his first test.  We ended the week by starting our first writing chapter (Bob Jones does one chapter of English and then one chapter of writing) by discussing and using a thesaurus.
***Let me stop and give kudos to Brian.  On Tuesday, I had Caleb complete a chapter review in order to prepare for his chapter test.  Well, he bombed it.  I was so frustrated, and I started second-guessing my English curriculum choice.  I just didn’t get it.  He had all the information while we were learning about each topic, but then when it was time to review, he didn’t remember.  And – let me preface by saying we had just reviewed each concept TOGETHER before I gave him the review worksheet.  After discussing everything with Brian, he decided that he’d do another chapter review with Caleb.  So, I printed off the supplemental review, and wouldn’t you know it?!!?  Caleb aced it!  I guess having daddy come in and teach in a “different” style worked.  So, kudos to Brian for stepping in and helping me out.  I think it’s important that dads do this from time-to-time, so I think I may use his services again.***
Vocabulary:  Our vocabulary words for this unit are “accident, acrobat, alarm, bounce, enormous, gap, scoop, support, tangle, and weigh.”  Caleb did a few exercises to reinforce the definition of each word.
Social Studies:  In Geography skills we reviewed the seven continents and the state of Georgia.  In Social Studies, we discussed the United States.  Caleb learned that Alaska is the largest state and Rhode Island is the smallest state.  We also discussed a few other “state” facts.
Reading:  This week we read the following books:
Young Jackie Robinson – Baseball Hero by Edward Farrell
"A Girl’s Garden”poem by Robert Frost
Duffy and the Devil by Havre and Margot Zemach
So far, Caleb has been introduced to the genres of realistic fiction, fantasy, biography, poetry, and traditional literature (folk tales, legends, fables, etc). 
Math:  This week we worked on addition +1 and the commutative property.  We also worked on counting to 100 and skip counting by 10.
Art:  Our first lesson was on mixing colors and symmetry.  We used a butterfly pattern to discuss these concepts.  The next lesson we discussed using a paintbrush with watercolors (rinsing, loading the brush, putting down color, creating a wash, creating lines of different widths, and printing).  Caleb really enjoys art time, and I must say…I’m starting to enjoy it, too. 
Caleb putting some paint on his butterflyIMG_5870 Rubbing the paintIMG_5871 A close-up of the colorsIMG_5877 Completed projectIMG_5888Caleb experimenting with the watercolorsIMG_5892 Creating lines of different widthsIMG_5894 More “free” experimentingIMG_5896
Micah wanted to be included in my picture taking this week, so here are a few pictures of him that I snapped while we were schooling.
Micah with his mini doodle-proIMG_5881 Micah drawing a pictureIMG_5883 Look at that face…isn’t he the cutest?!!?  He thinks he’s in school, too.  Little does he know, but he’s off to preschool in the fall.  IMG_5884
As always, thanks for following our adventures in second grade.  Please stop by next week when we’ll have more stories to share!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Roasted Cherry Tomato and Mozzarella Bruschetta

Our tomato plants have been on overdrive, and I picked a ton of cherry tomatoes on Saturday.  Being as I’m not a tomato fan, I really wasn’t sure what to do with them.  I mentioned to Brian that we could make a cherry tomato pasta sauce by sauteeing them in olive oil until they split open.  Then, we could serve them over a plate of noodles.  That’s what I was going to do.  However, after some Internet browsing, I decided to attempt a bruschetta.
Brian went to Kroger to gather the necessary items…baguette and fresh mozzarella cheese (we’d never even used the fresh version).  Then, on Father’s Day, we had plans to grill out steaks, and I thought the bruschetta would make a nice little snack between breakfast and supper. 
I washed all the cherry tomatoes and cut them in half.  Then I tossed them with olive oil, salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning.  I put them in a 400-degree oven for 30 minutes (really until they looked good enough to me).  In the meantime, I sliced the baguette and topped each slice with a slice of mozzarella cheese.  Once the tomatoes were done, I popped the baguette slices into the oven under the broiler.  When the cheese looked melted enough, I pulled the slices out and topped each with the roasted cherry tomatoes. 

roasted cherry tomatoesIMG_5863
It was then time to taste the concoction.  Much to my surprise…EVERYONE loved it.  Brian said it was restaurant quality, and I had to serve it the next time we have friends over.  Caleb and Micah both enjoyed it, too.  And me – the non-tomato loving girl that I am…well, I thought it was great, too.
roasted cherry tomato and mozzarella bruschettaIMG_5867
So, who wants to be the first to come over and taste our new favorite appetizer?!!?  LOL!  With the abundance of cherry tomatoes that are still ripening on the vine, there’s sure to be another batch of bruschetta in our future. 
What creations have you cooked up using your garden goodies?  I’m looking forward to making a green bean casserole with some of our green beans.  That’s probably on tomorrow’s menu though being as Caleb has gymnastics this evening. 

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Second Grade Week 2 in Review

We are done with another week of 2nd grade, and I must give Caleb some credit.  He’s doing great, and he’s so much more eager to get his schooling done.  He seems to actually enjoy 2nd grade, so that’s so wonderful to see.  Here’s how our lessons went this week:
Bible:  Our memory work for the week was First Catechism Q&A 1-3.  Our topic for the week was on “God Made Me.”  We read Luke 1:39-80 to discuss John the Baptist’s birth, and to reiterate how God created each of us.
Health:  This week we discussed the importance of eating nutritious foods.  Caleb learned about milk, meat and beans, vegetables, and fruit.  I found this lesson quite helpful as Caleb isn’t fond of milk or veggies.  So this lesson helped me reinforce how important they are to him as a growing boy.
Science:  This week we discussed which foods give us energy, and we also discussed sugar.  We did a little experiment by pulling food out of the pantry.  Caleb then had to separate it into two groups:  contains sugar AND doesn’t contain sugar.  We finished the week by making a collage of different types of foods that give us energy.

Caleb figuring out where to glue his next pictureIMG_5824Finished projectIMG_5828
English:  This week we discussed exclamations and questions.  Caleb also worked on identifying the 4 types of sentences (telling, command, exclamation, and question).  We completed the week by discussing the difference between a sentence and a fragment. 
Vocabulary:  We did a few more activities to make sure Caleb knew the definitions of his words.  He finished off the two-week lesson by taking a test, and he scored 100%.
Social Studies:  Each week we will have a geography lesson in addition to the social studies lesson.  In our geography lesson this week, Caleb was introduced to the 7 continents.  In social studies, we discussed different types of communities and community helpers.
Reading:  This week we read the following books:
When Sophie Gets Angry – Really, Really, Angry by Molly Bang
”Camping” story from Evan-Moor
Always Copycub by Richard Edwards
Math:  Caleb spent a few days familiarizing himself with the unit bars and their colors.  We then worked on learning the addition symbols and the “+0” facts. 
Art:  Our first lesson for the week introduced the 6 elements of art (color, line, shape, form, value, and texture).  Caleb did some tracing and rubbing of different leaves in order to experiment with the elements.  Our other lesson this week introduced Caleb to the primary and secondary colors.  We used red, yellow, and blue to make orange, green, and purple.
Caleb working on his tracingIMG_5815 Finished projectIMG_5816 We started with these…IMG_5832 And made theseIMG_5830
Thanks for following our 2nd grade adventure.  I hope you will join us next week as we share more of what we’re learning.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Second Grade Week 1 in Review

We finished up week 1 of second grade today. Caleb had a super first week, and he seems to be pretty happy with 2nd grade thus far. We’ll see how long that lasts…LOL! Here’s how this week panned out for us.
Bible: Our Bible lesson this week was on “God Made All Things.” We read Genesis 1:1-31 from the Bible, and we spent the week learning about the days of creation. Our Bible verse was Revelation 4:11.
Health: We started off the year by discussing “your health.” Caleb learned about healthy habits and posture.
Science: We started discussing “understanding my body.” Caleb learned about how his body changes and about muscles.
English: We discussed sentences, sentence subjects, sentence actions, telling sentences, and commands.
Vocabulary: Caleb was introduced to the following vocabulary terms…calf, claw, couple, cushion, flap, groom, share, shelter, yard, and zero. He had to do several activities to reinforce the definitions of the terms.
Social Studies: We started discussing America. Caleb learned about continents (North and South America), and the United States.
Reading: We read the following books this week…
The First Day of School by Patricia Relf
Officer Buckle and Gloria by Peggy Rathmann
Let’s Go Swimming with Mr. Sillypants by M. K. Brown
There Are Tyrannosaurs Trying On Pants in My Bedroom by Jim Heartman
Math: Caleb reviewed place value (hundreds, tens, and units) and reviewed counting to 20. He seems to be enjoying Math U See so far.
Handwriting and Spelling: I will not be posting a weekly update in these two subjects.
Art: We started the year by creating a portfolio. Then, we discussed “each artist is unique.” I used paintings of trees from various artists to demonstrate this concept. Caleb then had to draw a picture of at least one tree, and then he could draw whatever he wanted.

Caleb creating his portfolio.IMG_5711
These are copies of the paintings I used to teach “each artist is unique.” IMG_5766 This is Caleb’s tree in progress…IMG_5765
Like I mentioned, we had a great first week of 2nd grade. Caleb’s favorite subject at the moment is art, and I’m not at all surprised. LOL! I hope that you will continue to follow our 2nd grade adventures.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Welcome to Second Grade

Another school year has commenced at Childress Academy.  Caleb started 2nd grade today.  Yes, I know…it’s summer break.  However, schooling year-round gives us the freedom to only school four days per week.  This enables us to have long weekends each week.  Plus, I’m not rushed to get all of our schooling in from August-May like the schools in our area.  I don’t think I’d get it all done if I had to school five days a week from August-May.  Besides, as we all know, life happens (illnesses, unexpected travel, etc), and opportunities for exciting learning adventures aka field trips and co-op always arise. 
Today was a great day, minus all the interruptions tending to Micah, UPS delivery, etc.  Caleb did well on all of his work, and he seemed to enjoy the first day of 2nd grade.  Now, let’s just hope we can stay on track and have an AWESOME year in 2010-2011.
Here is a picture of our 2nd grader and our schoolroom.  The schoolroom hasn’t changed much since last year, but I’m including the pictures anyway. 

Caleb on the first day of 2nd grade (2010-2011)IMG_5690 Right side of the schoolroom (the map of the USA is a new addition)IMG_5694 Left side of the schoolroom (the World Map is a new addition as well)IMG_5695Back of the schoolroom (notice the addition of the cursive alphabet)IMG_5696 WorkboxesIMG_5697 Teacher supply cabinetIMG_5698Art supply cabinetIMG_5699 Desk area (mainly used by Micah)IMG_5700 School table (this is where most of Caleb’s work gets completed)IMG_5702Manipulative and game cabinets (most of these items are not off-limits to Micah)IMG_5703 Extra teacher supply area (this is off-limits to Micah)IMG_5704 Reading genre posters added this yearIMG_5708 Another reading genre poster added this yearIMG_5709 More reading genre posters added this yearIMG_5710
I hope that you will follow our 2nd grade adventures.  It is my plan to post a weekly update like I have done the past two years.  So, please continue to check back to see what we’ve been learning and studying. 

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