Back to Nature

Because of the holidays it seems that it has been forever since we had a good walk out in nature. I have missed that special time with the kids exploring the outdoors, so this morning I decided to take everyone down to the beach.

The boys were not to keen on the idea at first, but Autry was very enthusiastic about it.

She and I convinced the boys (actually I just told them to get in the car) that it would be a fun adventure, so we all piled in the car and headed down to Crystal Cove. It was a cloudy morning, a little chilly, but we had a wonderful time.

The kids allowed me to take some photos of them. Sometimes a mom with a camera can be very annoying (especially if you are 12).

Then we explored our surroundings, and everyone tried to find something interesting.

Tru found this stick that he wanted to use as a sling shot.

Autry and I loved this shell.

I thought this pod looked like a cool creature.

Decca explored the roots of this washed-up tree. He loved that there were rocks stuck in the roots.

It was such a beautiful morning at the beach.

  I am so happy that we made time to go.

We Interrupt Our Summer Break For These Awesome Pics…

A beautiful evening at the beach

I know I just had this big post about closing the blog for summer, but then Tru and I went to the beach for an evening walk. I only brought my iPhone, and I hadn’t plan to take any pics, but then we saw a bobcat, some great waves, and a dead dolphin. The dolphin was washed up on shore, and seagulls were eating it. And the whole time I was hearing words in my head.  Words like educational, homeschool, field trip, food chain, etc…so I had to start taking pics. Then, of course, I just had to share, it is the blogger in me.

California Quail

The bobcat was right in front of us on the trail. He just stopped for a while and stared at us.

A crab in the tide-pool

Tru exploring the tide pools.

Dead dolphin - It was in great condition, although the birds were eating it. Tru and I wondered how it had died.

A close-up, the eyes were gone.

Beautiful surf

We had a wonderful time

Weekly Update

We were busy last week with my Grandma, who at 91, came out to visit us from Indiana. We were so happy to have her out, and I was glad the kids got some time with their great-grandma.We are hoping to make a trip to see her this summer, and everyone is looking forward to that.

Myself, Great-Grandma, Autry, and Grandma

The weather has been gorgeous the last few days, so we have been at the beach. We are trying to enjoy that before it gets too cold again.

P.E. at the beach is fun!

The kids also worked on academics. Decca has begun using his Japanese math book again. This kid just cannot stick with one math program, as he gets so bored. I am glad I have numerous books for him to choose from. He knows he has to do math everyday, and so he just chooses what interests him. This week the winner was Japanese math (which I love, and I hope he sticks with it for a while).

Decca finished his unit on Family Under the Bridge in Moving Beyond the Page. His final project was to write a script incorporating several story elements and punctuation. He did a great job!

We began his next unit in Moving Beyond the Page. He is working on Ancient Egypt and the Middle Ages. His first lesson was on setting, and he created two drawings about the setting of each book.

Decca also decided he loved to cook this week and created his own recipe. He made cinnamon chocolate chip cookies. He made them for his friends and siblings, and he was very excited when everyone loved them!

Tru and Autry are still going strong with all their work. They seem to be enjoying pre-algebra a great deal, which I am somewhat surprised by. Maybe it is because they get to work on the iPad during math (with a cool app called Whiteboard). Whatever it is, I am just enjoying this moment.

Doing math on the iPad

Another view

In other news I had some smart points from the homeschool co-op, and I decided to get Mark Kistler drawing lessons. The kids thought they were so corny at first, but they are enjoying them now (although they would never admit that).

And that is our week in review.

A Day at the Dog Beach

We finally got Kingsley down to the dog beach in Huntington Beach. It is a beautiful spot where the dogs can run up and down the beach and into the water. Everyone had a great time. The weather was warm, but the water was so cold. It didn’t seem to bother Kingsley though.

Afterward we went to the kid’s music lessons, which are down the street from the beach. Kingsley sat outside drying off in the warm Santa Ana winds. I think he has a great day.

Weekly Update

This week we started Sea and Sky, and we are all enjoying it immensely. In addition we continued with all our other subjects, and we seem to have gotten quite a bit done this week.


For math he worked on lessons 25 and 26 in Math U See and continued working through Singapore 1B. Everything is still very easy for him, and I am debating what we should do next year. He definitely needs more of a challenge in this area.

In language arts I started him on ETC 5, and he is doing so much better with this book. Book 4 was a disaster, so we are just going to skip it for the time being. Decca also continued working through his Language Lessons, and he should be done with this book within a few weeks. We picked his Latin back up and are on lesson 12 in it. We will probably be doing Latin throughout the summer.

Tru is nearing the end of his decimal work in his Singapore book, and he is a little sad, as he really liked decimals. Luckily his next Life of Fred book is decimals, so he will have plenty of time to work with them. Speaking of Life of Fred, Tru got through lesson 21 this week, and his math is getting stronger everyday because of this program. I am very impressed with it, and I think when he gets to the pre-algebra book (probably in about six months or so) we will use it as our primary math program. I am hoping I won’t need to supplement the program at that point.

Tru also began his Latin back up (Autry is joining him after school), and we started over and did a quick review this week of the first five lessons. Next week we will start with lesson 6, and hopefully we will get back on track. Tru isn’t doing much else in Language Arts right now (besides reading) because he finished his program for the year already. He will probably be beginning K12 LA sometime next week.

We did our first whole week of Sea and Sky. We are only using the guide as a jumping off point, and it is working out wonderfully. I am trying to plan more crafts (which I hate!) for Decca, and so we started off with one I found online. The kids used their hands to make a jellyfish. Corny I know, but they seemed to like it.

We started reading Revenge of The Whale, and we began studying the ocean and ships. We are using several of the books recommended by Winter Promise, but I have also substituted and added some books . Two books that we are enjoying a great deal are Ocean and Chased By Sea Monsters. The kids can sit and look at these books for hours!

We ended the week with a quick trip down at Crystal Cove. I was hoping we would be able to explore the tide pools, but unfortunately I forgot to check when low tide was, and we went right at high tide (mental note to self: just because you think it is low tide, doesn’t mean it is). We had fun anyway, and we talked about all we had learned in our studies, so that was great. Decca gave me a whole speech on why the water appears blue to us even though it is not. I was impressed by how much he has picked up already. And that is our week in review.

We went to a rocky beach...

and saw lots of seaweed...

some driftwood...

and a California quail.

It was a great way to spend a school day!