Wednesday, February 27, 2013

the 8's zoo

let's start with driving lessons

As mentioned in the prior posting from today Boo had a recent eye appointment that didn't go exactly as we had planned.  But through the thoughtfulness and kindness of her Doctor we where able to help Boo *pass a milestone, something without advances in vision technology she will not be able to do: pass the State Driver's Eye Exam.  Okay she isn't old enough to drive but that wasn't want was important at that moment what mattered most was helping her feel like anything was possible.

And it was a good thing she was prepared because today there was some tractor driving to do on the farm!

That is Boo backing out the south gate.

And her heading for the digging spot.  
We are building a garage and wood shop.


time to start over

It was the perfect storm for change, the right time of year on the edge of a winter that won’t let go.  The list is long: a sick kid, a change in gym hours, an increase in training time and days, a possible addition to the house (both older brothers considering living here full time), the sad shock that sometimes moms can die before their kids are raised, and an increase in the need to fight for vision.

There are a million and one reason to home school, equally as many reason to school.  I wish my child could have the benefits of all of it but the reality is you need to choose what mater matters most to you. 

Yesterday as I watched Boo slip in and out of the water of the local rec. center pool 1:00 on a school day I knew it was time for a big change.  Time to start over. 

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

magma density lab

This quick lab is part of an earth science lesson on volcanoes and the movement of magma based on density.

It helps illustrate how/why magma rises not only with pressure from the eruption but also do to physical properties (being less dense than the surrounding solid rock).

-a jar with a lid
-red food coloring to color the water
-cooking oil
-note paper to record the movement of the water and oil
-fill bottle 1/3 full with water and add red food coloring
-slowly add an equal amount of oil
-invert the bottle and note the changes

(Q) What is density?
(Q) Which is denser the water or oil? Why?
(Q) Which would best represent the magma and which the solid rock?

Thursday, February 14, 2013


Boo made a deal with her Papa, one month of brushing her teeth 2x a day without reminders and he would grant permission for her ears to be pierced. 


One side down

And the other

The look of shock

The Piercing Crew at City Creek
Thanks Crew!!!

And if you are trying to see the earrings Boo picked (with much distress and disapproval from the clerk) they are very simple small silver balls :) 

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

middle ages: the making of modern Europe

We made this abstract time line (no dates yet, we will add more notes & details as we go) with our favorite set of stamps while enjoying clips off of youtube and BBC KS3, some serious, some not, all relating to life in Europe during the Middle Ages.

We plan to make more and string them together with the other notes/art/guides we use to create a big Middle Ages poster or foldable book.

Boo doesn't like the pressure of keeping all the names straight so we crafted a little Feudal System totem pole to help remind her who's who and where they fit in.  I am pretty sure we will need one for the Kings & Queens too!

Other references for our Middle Ages studies right now include What Your 4th Grader Needs to Know by Hirsch and Everything You Need To Know About World History Homework, A Desk Reference for Students and Parents, 4th-6th Grades by Zeman & Kelly. 

reading REAL books

I Thought I would share a small bit of joy coming from our house...last night all piled in our bed waiting patiently for her Papa to read to us Boo opened the book peering at the pages.  She held it close to her face and said, "This print is so small.  How does Dad read this?"  Then she stuck her face closer and read the first word.  Then the next and then the next.  She stopped to look up at me.  I smiled and told her to keep going if she liked.  Slowly and carefully at first she read the words.  At the end of the page she stopped, "I could totally read THIS book.  I can read real books!!!"

...Yes, Little One you can. 

Monday, February 11, 2013

LINK: Conquest - Weird Weapons of the Middle Ages - Part 1

word work for gym

One of many changes moving up in gymnastics has in store for Boo is getting to mingle with older girls.  And along with older girls older expectations.  In her LETTER we were asked to have her bring a spiral bound notebook for goal writing to gym.  The look on Boo's face was note worthy: she believes she cannot read or write well enough to fit in.  Part of that is true, she reads below grade level but equally true is the fact that SHE doesn't giver herself enough credit for how well she does read, especially with her visual disability.

Boo without her glasses, eye appointment pending.

 To help get her comfortable today's word work were all gym related terms.  We wrote about 20 gymnastics words on lined paper. We took out our library of donated magazines (thanks mom!) and combed through them for the letters we needed and other words and terms Boo thought fit.

Half way through the project she started getting super excited! She asked if she might give one page to each of her coaches tonight and began custom designing it fight each of their coaching styles. 

Saturday, February 9, 2013

photo booth farewell

After practice last night, the official last as a little team together, remarkable mothers joined forces in a simple gesture of the bringing of cookies and lemonade.      

 It may have been simple but it was huge.  The small party was hosted by the mothers of teammates whose girls are not moving on with the rest, one has moved gyms and the other staying back.  

If you are unfamiliar with the world of gymnastics, gyms, and gym mothers then let me just say: the example set last night was not just for the girls.  And it was further proof of how lucky we are to have met these wonderful families and their daughters.

And finish~

Friday, February 8, 2013

the letter

The letter was waiting for her on her bed.
Welcome to Level 6 Gymnastics Little Boo.
The phone calls to teammates.

End Note:  Boo's fantastic team of 10 Little Giants is changing, as all things must.  Over the last week we have said Good-Bye to 2 members sending them off to find their stars in other places & spaces.  And yesterday we found out 1 more has decided moving forward right now is not for her.  The 7 remaining ninjas along with their beloved Coach will merge with other gymnasts older than them, some much older.  They will be joined by Boo's old Coach pairing the Dream Team of GTC coaches together. Good luck everyone.

tectonic plates

 Tectonic Events That Shape the Land

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

reading now: The House With a Clock in Its Walls

working hard

We have a lot going on these days both at home with school and in the gym with team.  Home school seems to be buzzing again.  Third grade core math well under way, finished 3rd grade US history in the fall which gave us time for Ancient History and more science.  

We just completed our Longman's Earth Science book but I found a great 4th Geography Unit to follow with so we will be hanging around Earth Science a bit longer.    

Boo has been working very hard on her reading!  With a visual impairment reading can be tricky.  Legally blind in one eye Boo's eyes simply cannot work together a condition known as convergence insufficiency.

(Helpful link HERE)

Finding books for her is hard.  Watching her struggle is even harder.  I began keeping track of the worlds she struggled with and at first it seemed random but after a week of the pattern began to appear.  Words with "L" and "I" and "double "T" are the most challenging.  And deciphering handwriting is a nightmare for her.  We use lots of notes left around the house to try to help her practice.  

Which brings us to gym, the one-eye wonder and her teammates have been in 'try outs' since they returned from their out of state meet.  We are patiently waiting for her letter telling us if she made it to Level 6 or not.  Should see it about Thursday is the word on the street....If she did gym becomes a 4 day a week deal.

We will let you know how she does.