2017-18 School Year–Week Twenty-One

I think last week just might be one of the busiest school weeks we’ve ever had! Because it was so crazy, I’m just going to hit the highlights…and there were a lot of them!

On Monday, we had our 100th Day of School (Observed). We technically hit the milestone a few weeks ago, but as far as our “Doodlebug Countdown” was concerned, Monday was the day. I always try to make an extra big deal of the 100th Day when we have a kindergartener, so I assembled 100 of various objects from around the house…Lego bricks, safety pins, m&ms, cotton balls, popcorn kernels, crayons, pennies, and flashcards, all so Chickadee could see that 100 of different things can look (and feel) very different! She even counted to 100 all by herself…twice! To continue our 100th Day celebration, we also took a trip to the Missouri Botanical Garden, where we visited the Orchid Show, and took a walk around the Chinese Garden in anticipation of the Lunar New Year:

Wednesday was also a busy day, as it was both Ash Wednesday and Valentine’s Day. We were busy at church with acolyting and altar guild, but we found time for a Valentine’s Day craft, as well…”Valenswines!”

And on Friday, we continued our celebration of the PyeongChang Winter Olympics, and added in a Lunar New Celebration, as well. This gave us an opportunity to learn not only how the holiday is celebrated in South Korea, but several other Asian countries, as well. We had two more fun craft projects to add the shield kites we made last week…fans and lanterns:

An another fun dinner, where we tried foods from several Asian countries:

We’ve also kept up with our Olympics medal chart all week:

Don’t be fooled…we did all of our regular school work, too. But that’s not nearly as fun to write about when we’ve had such an exciting week!

2012-13 School Year–Week Twenty

This week (today, actually), we celebrated our 100th day of school. Now, we’ve actually had almost 120 days, but I’ve only been counting full five-day weeks when putting up the segments of our schoolroom “doodlebug.” Partial weeks and field trips days don’t make the doodlebug count. But for fun, not official, counting purposes, today is day 100!


I always make a big deal out of the 100th day when I have kindergarteners (and by always, I mean both times I’ve done it now). This year, in addition to the traditional 100 m&ms per student (a rare treat), I put out a full “100s exhibit.” I found 12 different items, and displayed 100 of each. The items included:

  • Popcorn kernels
  • Grains of rice
  • M&Ms
  • Pennies
  • Drops of water
  • Paperclips
  • Toothpicks
  • Popcorn
  • Lego bricks
  • Bottle caps
  • Duplo bricks
  • Flashcards (numbered 1-100, of course!)


A few items in the exhibit were of great interest to everybody. We were amazed that there were 100 grains of rice and 100 drops of water, because neither of them looked like much of anything. It was also interesting to observed the difference in volume between popcorn kernels and popcorn. And the difference in size between Lego bricks and Duplo bricks is pretty impressive! Other things I considered including in the exhibit were books, CDs (both were too much work to get out and put away!), cotton balls, and pencils (neither of which I had a full 100 of). The grains of rice and drops of water gave me the most trouble…it’s difficult working with things that are so small. I was able to put Turkey and Bunny to work counting out some of the things, though, so that saved me a little time.


Aside from our 100th day, this was a fun week in general. I especially enjoyed Turkey and Bunny’s math lessons this week, and they did too! We learned about logic problems (one of my favorite things), and in addition to the simple problems in their books, we worked through a few of the more difficult problems in one of my logic puzzle books. Bunny, in particular, seems to have an aptitude for them. I also introduced geometric terms such as lines, line segments, and rays this week, and I have a feeling Turkey and Bunny (but especially Turkey), are going to enjoy geometry.

In addition to phonics and reading, Ladybug has been learning various methods of skip-counting. We started with the traditional counting by twos, then moved on to fives and tens. So far, math has been easy for Ladybug, and this was no exception. I also noted that she’s already looking for shortcuts to get her work done faster. This is both good, in that she’s clever, and bad, in that she might not get the big picture, so I’m going to have to keep an eye on her, to make sure she’s not taking too many shortcuts.

In science this week, we started a multi-week unit on the nervous and endocrine systems. So far, we’ve learned about the different parts of the nervous system, the different parts of the brain, and how messages are sent and received by the brain. We did a fun little experiment to see if we could confuse our brains, and for once, it worked perfectly…we all managed to confuse our brains pretty well! We’ve only briefly touched on the endocrine system…we’ll get more in-depth with that in the future.

In addition to our 100th day activities today, we also played a grammar game and read a fun book about Groundhog Day. I’ve been looking for a book about this peculiar holiday for the last few years, but somehow, I’ve always overlooked this little gem. It isn’t just a silly story about Groundhog Day…it actually tells how the day came about, and why Pennsylvania, in particular, has such strong connections to it. There’s also a surprising amount of information about the life cycle of groundhogs, what kind of burrows they build, and how they hibernate. I’m glad I finally ran across it!

Next week, we’ll probably start working on Valentines, and hopefully make our banner for Lent. It’s hard to believe that Ash Wednesday and Valentine’s day are less than two weeks away!

Third Grade: Week Fifteen Wrap-up

This week, (today, actually), we celebrated our 100th day of school! The children are very excited, because I made them each a bag with 100 m&ms, which they are allowed to eat at their discretion. Plus, we completed our countdown “doodlebug,” which everyone looks forward to every year, although at this point, it’s more for Ladybug’s benefit than anything else.

It was a fun, busy week. It felt like we had more schoolwork to do than normal, but I don’t think that was actually the case. We’ve just had so many good conversations in regards to what we’ve been learning that school has been taking a bit longer, which is not a bad thing by any stretch of the imagination!

One of our favorite things about returning to our regular Adventures in My Father’s World studies has been our daily read-aloud. Actually, all of the read-aloud books have been excellent so far, but I have to admit to having a certain bias toward our current book–Farmer Boy. I really loved the Laura Ingalls Wilder books as a child…except for Farmer Boy. I’m not really sure I ever actually read it, or if I just skipped over it every time I read through the series, (which was often!). I guess I assumed that because the main character was a boy, it would be boring to me, and therefore not worth my time.

Then, I finally picked up the book as an adult. And I loved it! It’s fascinating to see the differences between Almanzo’s childhood and Laura’s. Almanzo’s family was obviously better off, financially, and it shows. They ate massive amounts of food, their house was huge, they had tons of livestock. When you contrast that with Laura’s very modest upbringing, it really makes their relationship all the more complex. The children have loved listening to this book, as well…like me, they really like the descriptions of the food. They’ve also been astounded at how often Almanzo eats donuts, (and apple pie!), for breakfast.

Reading aloud is one of my favorite parts of homeschooling. Yes, I’m sure I’d still be reading to them even if they were in public school, but I’ve been introduced to many new, wonderful books I otherwise never would have known about. There’s something very fun about sharing a book that even I’ve never read before, (like The Hundred Dresses),  with the children. And it’s even more fun to share my old favorites with them, and see their reactions to the story!

School Update

I haven’t posted much about our homeschool lately, mostly because I’ve been really busy (can you imagine that?!?), but we’re still plugging away and learning a lot (even Mommy!).

In February, we had a field trip to our local fire station.  Turkey asked a great question there about the new rescue boat they had, and he, Bunny and Moose got to sit in a fire truck (we don’t trust Ladybug in a truck with that much power!).  Even as an adult, I’m amazed at how huge a fire truck is (especially the ladder truck) when you get up close to it, because you usually don’t get such a good view, and the children were just blown away by the size.  The firemen were very friendly, and they even had cookies and coloring books–we’re still using the latter in school to discuss fire safety.

We had a fun Valentine’s week, decorating a cardboard mailbox for all of our cards, making Valentines for the people in our family, stringing beads for hearts with daddy, and my personal favorite, making pink and red construction paper “Valen-swines” (just use your imagination–they were super cute!).  We also read some cute books–The Night Before Valentine’s Day, written in the same style as The Night Before Christmas, and Clifford’s Valentines.

The day before Ash Wednesday, we prepared for Lent by making Alleluia banners from construction paper, and decorating them with crayons and glitter.  We then put them away until Easter, when we can hang them up and proclaim “He is risen indeed! Alleluia!”  We tried foods from two different cultures that day as well, trying “packzi” in the morning (like a jelly filled donut, but richer, if you haven’t hear of them), and jambalaya for dinner that night.

February also brought our 100th day of school, which was a lot of fun!  We counted to 100, by ones, fives, and tens, we looked at 100 of different items (legos, pretzels, M&Ms, and Q-tips), and we had a special “100 cake” after dinner that night.  More proof that counting is fun!

March has been pretty quiet so far–we had some fun on St. Patrick’s day coloring shamrocks and doing mazes to help a Leprechaun find his gold, but we’re on “spring break” this week, so we didn’t do a big craft.  We are making coffee filter flowers for the first day of spring tomorrow, so that will be fun.

On a more serious note, fun holidays, trips, and craft projects aside, the actual “schooling” is coming along really well.  Their recall for Bible stories (as well as other stories) is amazing, Turkey’s printing is almost better than mine, and they’re both reading more and more…nothing is safe!  All of the sudden, they’re reading signs when we’re in the car. words in the TV Guide, more of their own books.  Adding and subtracting are being understood more and more, and counting is easy as can be.  I can’t believe how quickly and easily they learn, and how much they enjoy school!

I have some fun things planned for Easter, and I just got a new game to use in school–Sequence States and Capitals.  We haven’t played it yet, but I think it will be very helpful in learning what each state looks like, and the names of each state and capital.  More to come on that, I’m sure, after we’ve had some opportunities to play it.