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Saturday, May 26, 2018

Year 5 Celebrations

We've finished up Family School Year 5! Here are some highlights from our end of year/unit celebrations.


The last book we studied was Hans Brinker or The Silver Skates. We played some Dutch games and tried some Dutch recipes. We ate pannekoeken (like crepes) one day and apple pannekoeken (we call this a German Pancake, but this one has apples) another day. We played koekhappen with doughnuts. Some of us put together crafts of Sinterklaas, Black Piet, and Horse Winky.



We always have a special presentation at the end of the school year from someone who has visited the continent we studied. Bonus points if I can find someone who visited the country one of the children picked for their individual reports! N is studying Uruguay and J is studying Paraguay. M chose Brazil, and we have PLENTY of family members who have and do share information about that country too! E is studying Chile, and it would be really neat to find someone who could teach us about that country.

Grandma and Grandpa have both visited South America. They lived there for a couple of years as missionaries for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Back in the early 70s Paraguay and Uruguay were in the same mission and they were both called to that mission! Grandpa spent time in both countries and a little in Argentina. Grandma spent time in Uruguay. Neat fact - they first met in Artigas, Uruguay! Grandma says they weren't friends right away, but thank goodness they spent more time together when they were back home.

Examining coins and bills from these countries was a lot of fun. N tried to find every single coin from her country. Barely shown at the bottom right of the picture is a set of bolas. These are balls connected with rope that gauchos throw to lasso cattle.

I remember seeing all of these souvenirs when I was a child. It was fascinating to see items from a far away country! The tray above is made from butterfly wings which are set in place and covered with glass. This is just one of the trays Grandma and Grandpa own.

A poncho made of wool.

These paintings are so beautiful and show what homes were like for most people who didn't live in a busy city. They bought these from someone selling them on the street.

This shawl was from Chile but was sold in Paraguay or Uruguay. E was happy because Chile is the country she is studying, and she didn't expect to see something from there!

Because these two countries have so many ranchers there are a LOT of items made from leather. Grandma and Grandpa have neat bags and book covers as well as this coat M tried on. In the bottom of the picture you can see blue fabric. It has embroidery on the front and folds for making a button up shirt. All the buyer needs to do is cut and sew it together. Grandma and Grandpa haven't done that, they have two fabrics embroidered and uncut.

Grandma had sent this poncho home to her father. It was very warm and made from wool (I think it was alpaca).

The emu egg! They used to display this in their first home. The wind blew it off a shelf one day and cracked it. They were able to glue the broken piece back on. I thought there used to be two eggs and one was destroyed, but I forgot to ask.

Flags from two of the countries they lived in. There are maps hung up behind them too. I just love hearing stories from their missions and I'm so glad my kids got to experience some of them too!

My parents have slides from their missions. We were able to watch some of them, and we're planning a time to see the rest soon.

The picture below is Iguazu Falls. When my dad was on his mission, he got to visit the falls three times. The top image is when he visited during the dry season. The bottom image is when he visited during the wet season. He tried to stand in the same place for both pictures. Pretty neat!


To finish up art, I set out stations for each time period or theme of art that we studied this year. The year was about Early American Art, and we pretended to take a wagon train to each station. There were a lot of fun things to do! At each "stop" we reviewed the flashcards for the art we had studied. Some activities besides what is pictured here were using a dip pen to sign our names, sitting quietly to reflect on how we know Jesus Christ loves us, leaf rubbings, and eating mini apple pies.

We created paper fans to remember our study of Japanese Art (immigrants).

 We dressed as pioneers for the occasion.

 We had a barrel race. We had a lot of 5 gallon buckets from sealing the fence that worked well for barrels. The children rode on stick horses and tried to beat each other's time.

 This is enough sugar for an entire week! The treat was a covered wagon made from cookies and twinkies

Weekly Recap: With the finished fence!

I've started picking up curricula here and there for the next school year. Is that really going to begin in three more months?!


We've been staying busy. We slowly finished portions of the back fence, then one day it was completely done! HOORAY!!


We didn't want to build wood frames for our gates. I had seen a metal gate frame on a fence at a house in my parents neighborhood. I had no idea what it was or if it was something the homeowner made, but I wanted it. Luckily I saw the Adjust A Gate kit when we were at Home Depot buying supplies! We bought three of them and LOVE them. They are so much lighter than a wood frame gate, easy to build, and smooth to open and close. Hint - be very careful when attaching the 2x4s, drilling the screws into them can make the gate tilt if you're not careful. See the image below. In the image above you can see that we put panels on both sides of the gate. They work great both ways!

M was invited to be the guest pianist at Grandma's piano recital. I got my hair cut, and I went short again. I like it much better this way. For Mother's Day I had to speak in church. The kids have been finishing up various portions of their schoolwork for the year, so some of them have very short days! We found what we think were newborn voles under our trampoline. The cat was seen playing with something the previous evening, and we think it caught the mother. One of the babies was still in the caul when we found it. It was an interesting biology lesson.

School highlights:

History: We had more lessons on immigrants, one focused on what life was like in New York for many immigrants.
Literature: We learned about heroes, talked about the heroes in Hans Brinker, and finished our study of the book.
Science: A lesson on first aid.
Geography: We finished up our reports for our chosen South American countries. We had a special presentation by Grandma and Grandpa about Uruguay and Paraguay. Read about this and our other  Year 5 end of year celebrations here.
Art: A lesson on cowboy artists, focusing on Frederic Remington and Charles Russell.
Music: We learned how good music can bring people together.

This little one came up with a fun way to practice spelling words and typing at the same time! She made a word cloud with them.

Monday, May 21, 2018

"T is for Tree: A Bible ABC" Review

I love having good books around our house for everyone to read. We were asked to review a new book, "T is for Tree: A Bible ABC" by Reformed Free Publishing Association. It is recommended for children ages 3-6, and my youngest is close enough to that range that we wanted to check this book out.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

PandaParents Review

We were asked to review MESSYLEARNING FOR PRESCHOOLERS AND KINDERGARTNERS from PandaParents recently. My youngest is past the suggested age range for this program. She is in first grade, but does 2nd-4th grade work. Keep that in mind as you consider if this would work for younger children!

Monday, May 14, 2018

Kids Email Review

The internet can be a scary place for young children. When Kids Email offered us the opportunity to review a one-year subscription to Kids Email Safe Email for Kids we really wanted to participate!

We have reviewed KidsEmail in the past and we liked it then, so we wanted to use it again. There are so many safety features that allow my children safe access to email so they can communicate with friends and family digitally. I love that I can give them the opportunity to learn early since email is something they'll use their whole life.

Monday, May 7, 2018

Weekly Recap: With two weeks!

Is it summer yet? My kids are starting to feel like it should be. Some days we do great with school and get done quickly, and some days we drag on until dinner. Now that it's warm (hot) outside we are counting down the days!

Wednesday, May 2, 2018


CodeWizardsHQ recently asked members of the Homeschool Review Crew to review a special one-time course they chose to offer homeschoolers. My two older children wanted to participate so we chose from the offered dates and times and waited for the class. This is a live, online coding class for kids (middle and high school students.)

Unfortunately after we were assigned to this review, they had to change the dates. That meant we were not able to participate because we could not attend any of the other classes.  But I still wanted to let you know what I learned about CodeWizardsHQ.