Explorer fair

Our homeschool group tries to have at least one fair each month. We give the fair a theme, but are somewhat open to how it is interpreted by the children. They can do any project they want, or no project at all. They can give an oral presentation along with it, or they can just put their project on the table for display.  We try to have these fairs at park day where it makes it more convenient for the members who live farther away to make the trip.

This past week, we had an Explorer Fair.  Jack chose to do his presentation on Teddy Roosevelt.  To prepare we read a couple of short biographies and also watched a documentary about Teddy;s younger years.


For his presentation, Jack first showed a teddy bear and explained the story behind the naming of the teddy bear. Then he gave an oral presentation about Teddy and some of his adventures, including his camping trip with John Muir in Yosemite.   Then he read the quote often referred  to as The Man in the Arena.

Other fairs we have had in the past include: biography, wonder of the world, literature, science, math, geography, history, and Christmas traditions around the world.


Two other children gave presentations on Neil Armstrong and Eric the Red.

I guess I am having a hard time getting in the groove of blogging again, but here is to new beginnings.

Here is an update on how our 5th grade year is going so far.  The Charlotte Mason method is working so well for us this year. We are really trying to embrace it and it feels like coming home. It just fits.  While we aren't using Ambleside Online, we do use some of their suggestions and then use the method and make our other curriculum choices fit. 

Starting today we are back to our full schedule with all of our subjects. It only took us three months to add them all in.


This is our basic schedule. I print a copy out each week that he can use as a checklist each day.  Each day I go through and add what specific lessons he does for each subject in our FunSchooling planner.

We have planned more activities with friends this year including a nature study group and a book club in addition to our weekly park day and field trips.

For the nature group we are being really low key with planning. We go and the kids explore. I was kind of worried about our lack of planning and direction. As the weeks have progressed though, I see the kids really doing well with it. I was worried without direction it would turn to playing and nature study would be forgotten, but that hasn't happened. If anything each week they are doing more and more.

Our first book club meeting will be this week. For the first book I let Jack choose and he picked The Candy Shop War by Brandon Mull.

This was a favorite author of his older siblings. You might have heard of his other series Fablehaven.  At this meeting the kids will choose from 4 other books for the next meeting.

We also have at least one fair per month with our homeschool group. For example, this week we are having an Explorer's fair. The children will pick an explorer, or an aspect of exploring to learn about and do a project or presentation for the fair. We have had some fun with these in the past. So far this year we have had a biography fair and wonders of the world fair- Jack did the Dalai Lama and Eater Island for those.






5th grade!

Oh my goodness! I can't believe that my youngest child is in fifth grade already! Times flies! We started back to school about two weeks ago, though I hesitate saying that since we believe learning is a lifestyle and you should be learning something everyday.  I didn't have much planning to do since we are just continuing with a lot of the same books and curriculum as last year.


We will be finishing Saxon 5/4 and starting 6/5.


 Finishing up Story of the World volume 3 and starting Story of the World volume 4.  We are trying to switch over to more of a Charlotte Mason style homeschool this year. For history this means that we are focusing on narrations and starting a Book of Centuries.


Science was a hard subject to figure out for me this year.  Jack is a science geek. He loves it. One things he doesn't like is story science or little kid science as he calls it with pointless activities. He wants it to have experiments but not busy work experiments.  We decided to try Exploring Creation with Botany by Apologia.  I liked that it had note booking and made it feel like we were kind of following a Charlotte Mason approach and that it will help us along with our nature journals. He likes that the activities don't seem like busy work.


Geography:  We are doing the map work included with Story of the World.  We are also working through the Geography Coloring Book. The idea of a geography notebook intrigues me but I need to research more ideas for content.  We are also using Pin It Maps. Right now we are doing the Land and Water form map. We will also be working with the North America Map since it goes along with our history.

For our language arts studies, we will be using the following:

  • Easy Grammar- finishing up level 4.
  • Handwriting By George- right now this is handwriting and copy work. He likes George Washington and enjoyed learning about him. This was a win-win for both of us.
  • Bravewriter Partnership Writing.  We are using the method and doing the projects outlined where they fit. Right now he is working on a presentation about the Dalai Lama for a biography fair this week. Reading, taking notes, and writing cards for the presentation.


Foreign Language:

He is still working on Rosetta Stone German.


Colonial fair

This year quite a few families in our homeschool group were going to be studying the colonial times.  A new family joined the group happened to be involved in reenacting the colonial period and French Indian war.  We decided to try to bring a piece of that to the group with a colonial fair. 


Those who wanted to were encouraged to set up tables and teach everyone else how to make something from that time period.  Jack made dreamcatchers. I did leather stamping and Alex made soap.


There were quill pens and ink.




Herbs and salves. There were also: corn husk dolls, butter making, tea, and children's games.

Our friend was able to get another reenactor to come down and show us some of his collection of Colonial items.




First, we went around and everyone to a turn explaining their tables and what they prepared. We had our experts explain what they had brought with them. After that everyone was free to visit the tables and make something or collect samples. It worked out really well.

It was a really fun day. The kids and adults really enjoyed it.   We are looking forward to planning the next one.