Monday, April 26, 2010

Animal Tracks Workshop at Library

Kids had fun working with local science interns at NYS parks dept. the theme this week was animal tracks!

Caught and released a beautiful swallow tail butterfly!

Boston New England Aquarium - seals!

BOSTON! Field Trip:)

Well there are few better towns than Boston for field trip and educational opportunities! So we headed up to Beantown for the weekend and had fun and learning experiences together. We went on a harbour boat tour and got to see old ironsides and navy ships. We also got to check out the HUGE coast guard vessels and view some of the local animals in the harbor (mostly birds!). But we got to get up close and personal with the marine life at the New England Aquarium. The seals and penguins are two favorites of the kids and of course the shark and sea turtles were also fun to see! Conall enjoyed the new frogs section down at the animal clinic. It was super crowded with MA school break this week, but we managed the crowds fairly well. We also got to dine at Fanuel Hall and go to the local playground. It was a fun trip!

Monday, April 19, 2010

iphone and homeschooling!

So being on the road quite a bit, piano lessons, horse lessons, etc. and one or the other child waiting around, I thought we could squeeze in a bit of schooling using the iphone. I have learned to LOVE apps:). Pictured above you can see some of the ones I have. It's fantastic for learning sight words, math facts, listening to kids audio books, coin math, even learning Irish. . .you name it and there is probably an educational "app" or application for it. The kids will get excited about anything to do with using the iphone, so even if it's something as boring as rote memory kind of work if it's on the iphone they are fine with it! And the best thing is that most of the apps are $1.00 or less compared to the educational games you end up paying a fortune for. Now, even the "baby", my 3 year old, is enjoying the iphone educational games. He plays Clifford phonics, Thomas train mazes, etc. So I highly recommend the iphone for School work:)!

Just some random work samples for 3rd Quarter

Local History and Geography!

We took a field trip to one of the highest points in the village. Amazing views of the Hudson Valley and Catskills. We tried our hand at geo-caching while we were up there. On the way down, I pointed out to the kids one of the houses that legend has it was part of the Underground Railroad. We went into the house once and saw the secret door to underneath the floorboards. It was a fantastic day and some educational learning as well! Pictured above the Hudson Valley land views and also the old house that was supposedly part of the Underground Railroad.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

One of the best parts of Homeschooling is seeing "real life" up close! Got to visit a new foal!

Eoghan on the hunt for butterflies!

Nature Walks are always more fun with a dog!

Homeschool Horse Riding:)

Orla loves riding and helped organize a group homeschool riding class. Now she get to ride with homeschooled friends as part of gym every week.

Poetry Workshop!

Kids attended a fabulous poetry workshop with a local homeschooling group. They got to partner up with friends and draw illustrations to a poem read by the workshop leader. Lots of educational fun!!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

SNOW at our house!

Winter Storms. . .

Well, we've had plenty of snow the past couple of weeks! The kids enjoyed looking at the weather maps, trying to catch snowflakes on black paper to examine and of course playing in it:). The winter has kept us inside more than we'd like, but they have gotten out for their "gym" time with Yoga class and Little Gym classes. Eoghan absolutely loves yoga!! He comes home and practices all the time, head stands being his favorite. They both also really enjoy gymnastics, so they haven't gone too stir crazy! We have enjoyed studying shakespeare and watching his plays that were adapted for kids. Romeo and Juliet is Orla's favorite. We've started concentrating a lot on music this quarter with the kids new fascination with Mozart and other composer's biography's. They are reading the Story of the Orchestra and watching Calvert's Meloday Lane series. As well as lessons with Monica for piano and voice. Orla is just now learning a minuet by Bach. Orla has been loving the Percy Jackson series and is on book 3. Eoghan has also been learning about Greek Myths and went to see the movie with Orla and Dad. Math has been fun with our fun Math trivia quizzes at dinner and logic problems. The kids actually enjoy the math questions Daddy challenges them with:). We also have been been concentrating on writing a good paragraph with all the components of a main idea, details and closing sentence. And lastly, the kids enjoyed learning more about the American Government branches and history. We got some fantastic dvds from the library about it and some books. It's been a a nice pace of learning over the winter!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Conall joins in the Homeschool fun:)!

He is currently obsessed with letters and numbers! Which is great since he's only 2 years old - a good start:)

Eoghan's Essay and Orla's Venn diagram

Orla working on Kidspirations and Eoghan's completed project for Food Chains

Online Fun and Learning. . .

We've been exploring a lot of online supplements for our home learning. Eoghan loves video games and is a very visual learner, so anything I can find that has a "video game" feel to it is a big hit with him! For math, we've enjoyed Aha! Math online games that we get to play for free since it comes with our Calvert School Math program. I find the lessons very complete at teaching concepts. Also, we downloaded free trials of kidspirations. This is a very graphic program for organizing writing using pictures, charts, diagrams, etc. It has really improved both kids writing skills! I just subscribed to a free trial of and I think that is going to be an enjoyable online program for the kids. They LOVE science so I subscribed to which is part of DiscoveryEducation with a huge amount of video clips, etc. And last, but far from least, has helped tremendously with Eoghan's reading. Leveled readers which he would refuse to read if I had the real book, but since it is online and he gets points for his rocket decorating, he'll sit through the reading. So yes, lots of time on the web in this house, but I think it can act as a great resource for motivating and learning! Now, I just have to keep track of all of our usernames and passwords:) - no small task with 3 kids!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Birthday - Science!

Eoghan is still mad about science!! He was very happy for his birthday to get a rock tumbler. It's a fun way for him to learn more about natural sciences. He also got a rock collection and magnifying glass from his aunt. He loves looking at things close up in his microscopes (traditional and tv monitored one), magnifying glasses and his dad's telescope. I'm very happy he has found a subject he loves! He just checked out the book "Inventors" from the library and we will read that over the long weekend.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Busy, busy

Well, the 3 kids have kept things busy as usual:) Orla continues to concentrate on golden retriever book and has a rediscovered urge to re-read the spiderwick chronicles. Both kids went to their homeschool book club today and enjoyed discussing the Field Guide (book 1). They made houses for any boggarts in the house:) and had lots of fun! Tonight is Lego club at the library and Eoghan is looking forward to it, he loves Legos and anything to do with building! He has really enjoyed science books lately -reading lots of library books about volcanoes, earthquakes (we also were following the current events of those), fire works and how they are made, and engineering books. He even started reading his dad's science oriented magazing Nuts and Volts! His reading is still progressing independently which is good. We also revisited family history this week by making pie charts of our ancestor's countries. It was a great visual to see "who" they are from and also a mini-math lesson on charts, etc. We've continued our family writing time and the kid's have helped me with my stories as I've helped them with theirs. We even started publishing some of the stories on self-publishing printers. As far as exercise goes, they have taken to Yoga at home and will be starting a local class next week. They are looking forward to it. Time4learning has continued to be used as well as jumpstart's new online game so Eoghan gets his "computer" time and educational time combined:) Musically, Orla has started voice lessons and is loving it!