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Saturday, April 14, 2018

West Michigan Homeschool Fine Arts at the Homeschool Building Band Class April 2018

West Michigan Homeschool Fine Arts 
at the Homeschool Building Band Class April 2018
Grand Rapids, Michigan

I thought I'd post a few pictures of the Homeschool Building and Dd's Band class from this year to share with you all.  After not having many opportunities, especially musically, in Indiana I remember how curious I was about this "Homeschool Building."  
Homeschool Building Information/website:

On Tuesday's and Friday's, there is a group called "Grace Homeschool Association" that offer many education classes to homeschool students.  This year Dd took two art classes and Saxon Geometry math class. 

Grace Homeschool Website:

 On Wednesday's West Michigan Homeschool Fine Arts (WMHFA) offer music classes--band and orchestra, Dd has taken classes with WMHFA for the past 3 years.

West Michigan Homeschool Fine Arts Website:

Dd's orchestra class were practicing walking out on a stage for the upcoming concert, although the practice was in the gymnasium!

In between classes, Dd gets to socialize with her friends.  At the other end of the gymnasium, there is a choir class going on so the students try to keep it fairly quiet.

A close-up of the choir practicing

Many of the families work on lessons while other brother/sisters are in classes.  

Can you see the wooden window under the clock on the wall?  That is one of the windows to the kitchen.  Each Wednesday there is a lunch offered for the students to purchase.  

There is also a homeschool bookstore at the other end of the building, down the hall with about 10 classrooms.  The bookstore has new and used materials.

Int. Band Class:
This is what the back of the Intermediate Band classroom looks like.  The first year I volunteered to help out during Dd's Beginning Band class all year long for the length of the class.  The past two years I have volunteered to help during Dd's Intermediate Band classes every Wednesday.

Every music class is a combination of all age ranges.  The student's audition to advance into the upper bands, so the theory is that your musical ability would determine which class you were in, not your age.

Dd playing her alto sax.

I'll miss seeing these kids every week!

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

SL Core 100 (American History) Week 11 April 1-7, 2018 Dd:VDB's house

SL Core 100 (American History) 
Week 11
 April 1-7, 2018

April in Michigan...

Hello Friends!
A fairly good, though snowy, week for us.  We had a very quiet Easter weekend, only going out to church on Sunday.  Dd actually did homework on Saturday-very unlike her!  She is really doing a very good job getting all her math assignments done, and this week she had to mail in a test to her teacher who was actually going away for spring break.  We have Giz and Grampy visiting next week, so we did lessons this week so we could take a few days off next week to enjoy our visitors.  The very cold weather also didn't inspire us to head outside!  

After getting to spend so much time outside in March, the poor chickens have been pent back up inside their coop most of the day.  I've been trying to make more fun dishes with left-overs.  Ms. Lemon has completely stopped roosting and doesn't want (or need) scrambled eggs any longer.  She is doing great, sleeping on the rungs beside the other chickens.

I've tried to be more open to Dd spending the night with her friends this year.  We don't do hardly any vacations and I want to make sure Dd gets as much fun as she can while still getting her lessons in.  Dd went home with the VDB family after band on Wednesday, she spent Wednesday night and Thursday night with her bff's.  Friday morning all the girls had classes at Grace, and then after those classes I picked her up and brought her home.  They spent most of Thursday outside in Addy's woods having a good time there.  I love that she has friends that like being outside so much!  The only problem with spending the night (or two) with girlfriends is that Dd comes home t.i.r.e.d!  

Knitting: I'm enjoying a new knitting project!

Dh's mother had testing on her liver, trying to find the root cause of why she went jaundice these past two weeks.  We are still waiting for the results and will have to wait until her doctor gets back from his spring we will be waiting for a few weeks to find out.  Something still isn't working right and the surgeon that "fixed" her ducts hasn't returned calls.

My mom decided to move to Ohio from Maine, and jumped right on it.  She is already there.  My head is still spinning.  


All last week I struggled with heartburn again.  My gastroenterology had told me to try Citrucel for a few months and if I still had troubles then I should try the probiotic, Align.  To be honest, Align is expensive and I was hoping I wouldn't need to try it, but after such a horrible week I decided to give it a try.  This was my first week on Align and I didn't have any heartburn.  I don't know if that is due to the Align or something else.  

Still having such a rough go with his job.  Prayers appreciated.  He has started building a new 'hoop house' for our garden, so we can start our growing season earlier by insulating our seeds/sprouts.  He has also been spending more time in his workshop, basically for his mental health, and so much better than watching a movie in the living room.  It is awesome to see him out there puttering around on things and setting up his area more and more each week.  

Honeysuckle in all her glory!

Strings Group:
Easter Sunday was another performance for the Strings Group.  This time only the people playing instruments did most of the performance.  Dd did a great job!  It is so nice to see her comfortably playing with the church group.  My favorite thing about our group is that we have 13 year olds to 80 plus year olds, all playing together!  Dd and 4 others play the ukulele, a bass, a few guitars, piano, banjo, and a harmonica.

Over-view of Academics:
Even though I am wanting to focus this year on writing and science, this week, and next week are too busy.  She spent hours with her microscope this week, working in the back of her Student Notebook, but we didn't push to move ahead into a new module as I am really wanting to reinforce, reinforce these basic building blocks from the first modules.  I don't care how long it takes us, just that she can actually remember the details as we progress instead of just speeding through.  For this week and next week, I am having Dd spend her time on getting the SL items completed so she can move forward with the core.  

Academic Progress for the week:

Bible: New Addition
Entrusted by Beth Moore
Dd has started the Bible study I've been doing for the past few months.  She really, really didn't like the Sonlight bible book, "Bible Study Sampler" and asked to do something better.  I have been learning so much doing Beth Moore's Entrusted Bible Study and showed her my workbook to peruse.  She thought it looked good so we bought her one for herself.  This week she started and completed Day One.

I'm so glad I've figured out how to keep healthy orchids that rebloom!  I killed a few before I figured out the process.

Through Grace, Saxon Geometry:
Lessons 87, 88, 89, 90 and class

Going over the microscope work from Module 1 again.

Apologia Biology: Module 3: Kingdom Protista
Microscope work, and drawing the slide images in the back of the workbook in the "Intro to Lab Reports" pg's 422-426.

SL History:
A History of US, Book 4:
Ch.'s: 13-24

I didn't have the specific book SL wanted us to read, since I already have a few books on her!  So, I had Dd pick one to read!  
Sacajawea and the Journey to the Pacific by Gina Ingoglia: Completed

Honeysuckle being cute!

SL Literature:
Another switch-out, scheduled to read: They Loved to Laugh, but we didn't have that one, but had a different book to switch out with:

A Gathering of Days by Joan W. Blos: Completed

Watercolors of Lexi and Addy

Art Classes: 2 through Grace Academy
Painting Studio:
Watercolor of Lighthouse

Botany Art:
Watercolor of this weeks plant.

Fun Reading:
City of Bones by Cassandra Clare: In Process

2 batches of Egg Free Cookie Dough for freezing
Salami & Provolone on baguette bread
Stir Fry dinner: chicken, Brussels Sprouts, cabbage, snap peas...

Intermediate Band for WMHFA 

Music Classes:
 ONE week left of WMHFA classes!!!
Intermediate Band: Alto Sax
Intermediate Orchestra: Violin

You can see Dd with her alto sax on the left, she has on a blue shirt, you can see her arm and top/back of her head.

Music Lessons:
Piano lesson with Wendy: Wendy canceled to do Drum Major try-outs
Violin lesson with Christie: violin, went great!

Music Performance:
Strings Group: 5-6 hymns at Easter service at church

Taking pictures outside with a new camera.  She really loves taking pictures, like me!

Saturday, March 31, 2018

SL Core 100 Week 10B March 25-31, 2018

SL Core 100 Week 10B 
March 25-31, 2018

Big cat and little basket!

Hello Friends!
This was a migraine week, yet again.  Dd never gets as much done when I am struggling with a migraine, and being in pain always wears down my immune system, which leads to me getting a new bug/illness---which happened too.  Dd was healthy until Thursday, then she also got the bug I fought this week.  Dd and I both had had a short two-day stomach bug last week, and then this week we picked up another illness.  We didn't have a lot of energy this week and didn't get a lot done.

Both of my older orchids are blooming again!  

Good Friday, Strings Group performance, and Migraines:
Our Strings Group performed at a sister church on Friday night (Good Friday service), but Dd was too sick to go so I went alone.  On Friday afternoon I started to feel better, but Dd was still in the thick of it.  My migraine stayed with me, off and on, throughout the whole week.  So tired of migraines.  I have really been in a migraine cluster for much of this month.  Our Strings Group is also scheduled to perform on Easter Sunday---hoping Dd will be well enough to do that.

If only we had videotaped Honeysuckle trying to fit into this small basket!!!  Oh my!

Dh back to work:
Last week Dh was in Italy; returning Saturday night.  He had to start back to work on Monday morning---still exhausted from the time change.  He has really been trying to keep better hours and keep his new perspective about work.  He finished reading Tony Dungy's book: Quiet Strength.  Tony was the football coach for the Colts for years and is a very prominent Christian.  Dh really appreciated reading how a fellow Christian balanced his work and family life.

Some of the things Dh brought back from Italy:

Cookies (that I can't eat!)

The Balsamic Vinegar on the left is from last year, and the new one is on the right.  So good on salads!

Dd asked for a plaid scarf

"Fonzi's" are a snack that are in Percy Jackson's series by Rick Riordan.  Dd loves that series so much and was tickled to get more of these infamous snacks.

We just love this brand of black licorice.


I'm finally doing a knitting project!  I'd been crocheting this year and missed the process of knitting.  Since I've not felt well this week I thought knitting sounded perfect.  We had to text Heather to remember the little saying about how to start the yarn:

 Signed Dd up for Iowa Testing in May:
Last year I missed signing Dd up for the Iowa Test, so this year I signed up early and am so glad!  One of the hard parts of homeschooling, for me, is that I often wonder how well I'm doing facilitating learning for Dd.  I know Dd spends much less time doing homework than the public school kids, so I really appreciate getting some feedback on how she is measuring up to her peers.  So far, each time we get the results back on the Iowa Test we have been pleased with how Dd scores and that assurance helps me to not feel like we are on the right track and should continue homeschooling.  I appreciate all the encouragement I can get!  I hope she does well again this year.

The chickens spent time outside every day this week.  It is great seeing them outside and getting fresh air, it must be so boring for them during winter to be shut up inside their coop.  I carried the chickens to their tractors a few times this week and also fed the ones who couldn't go out some weeds.  They are all doing really well!

A little dish I made up for the chickens 

Our academics accomplishments this week:

I've been trying, trying to spend more time on Science and Writing, but, this week we only made progress in Writing.  

We went back to my Integrated Study Bible this week, we wanted a lot of Bible this Passion Week:

The Transfiguration, Jesus Heals a Demon-Possessed Boy, Jesus Predicts His Death a Second Time, The Greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven, The Temple Tax, Whoever Is Not Against Us Is for Us, Causing to Stumble, The Parable of the Wandering Sheep, The Parable of the Unmerciful Servant, The Cost of Following Jesus, Jesus Goes to the Festival of Tabernacles, Division Over Who Jesus Is, Samaritan Opposition.  The best, best, best part is that Dd read all our bible aloud this week!  Normally I do all the reading, but she has been really growing lately.

Dd went to Church, Sunday School, Youth Program, and volunteered to run Games at Olympians.

(I'm still loving my Ladies Sunday School class--we are doing Beth Moore's Entrusted Bible Study.  I've really been digging in and really learning a lot!)

Dd typing up her IEW paper while eating the Italian snacks (Fonzi's) that Dh brought her back.  These snacks, Fonzi's, were mentioned in Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson series and therefore are a hot item for Dd.

IEW: Continuation B: Lessons 11 & 12: Completed
Dd wrote the Introduction and Conclusion for her Clara Barton paper.  We rewatched lessons on the DVD and finished the remaining parts on Disc 4.  (So glad to be making real progress in writing again.)

Math: Grace Academy
Saxon Geometry: Although this was Grace Academy's "Spring Break" they had to complete a big test and mail it to her teacher on Tuesday.  She worked Monday and Tuesday to get it completed and we got it to the post office at 5:30.  Then she completed lesson 87 for homework.

Dd reading A Gathering of Days on 'new' sofa!

SL Literature:
A Gathering of Days by Joan W. Blos: In Process
*SL IG had They Loved to Laugh as her Literature book, but this one was on a previous version and I had already bought it, so I decided to go with the book we already owned.  We have a few different versions of Core 100 to chose from.

SL History:
Sequoyah and the Cherokee Alphabet by Robert Cwiklik: Completed

Fun Reading:
Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon: In Process

DVD movie:
Everything Everything, 2015

Music Classes:
Intermediate Orchestra: 1:30 hours Violin
Intermediate Band: 1:30 hours Alto Sax
Strings Group: 1:30 Ukulele

Music Lessons:
Piano Lessons: 30 min
Violin Lessons: 30 min

Music Practice during the week, plus Thursday night's Strings Group practice.

No Grace classes this week- Spring Break-

This week Dd did two acrylic paintings:

"Unique" and "Flower Power"
She titled these paintings. 

 She worked on her painting three days this week.

Fun Movies:
The one fun part of being sick and miserable is watching movies from the library:
The Justice League
The Last Jedi, Star Wars
The Mummy (1999--awful, but we knew that it would be!)
Everything Everything


Dd made dinner on Wednesday: Herbed chicken, Tilapia, and zucchini (delicious!) 

We've been working on the soil in the garden beds

Next week we are supposed to go back to winter weather---temperatures in the teens or twenty's!  Snow and ugly wind.  Here is hoping spring will come back soon!