May 23, 2011

Brazee Street Studios Fused Glass

Today was A's last Girl Scout meeting for the school year.  The leader took a vote on a special outing to end the year with a bang...  the vote ended up with Brazee Street Studios in Oakley (part of Cincinnati).

Each girl scout (and a couple of moms, me!) made a fused glass bowl.   The process was so fun.  We each had two circles of clear glass (the base of the bowl).  Then, we each picked different types of glass to add to our clear glass - there were stringers, rod caps, confetti glass, glass tiles, to name just a few.  There was also a variety of colors and hues.  After planning the layout, we used glue to fasten the extras to the clear glass.  They will be fired in the kiln two times. Once to melt all the embellishments / extras into/upon the clear glass, then the second time they will be placed into bowl molds, and re-fired.  We pick up our bowls on Wednesday, I can't wait! 

This was definitely a cool outing - I'm already making plans to take S and J soon - they'd love it, too.  Luckily, Brazee Street Studios offers summer glass designing open houses (at a quite affordable cost).  If you live in Cincinnati area or will be visiting on a Saturday over the summer, I highly recommend checking it out.  I wrote an article about it over at, too - if you'd like to check out more about Brazee Street Studios and their summer open houses.

May 19, 2011

Grab & Go Thursday - MCT Grammar Town

I love curriculum that is easy to use, and that doesn't require a lot (or any) preparation before we jump in.

We just recently found a curriculum that fits the bill nicely of Grab & Go - it's Michael Clay Thompson's Grammar Town.  It reads like a story about grammar - very quick, very easy and well, easy to incorporate.  We read a few pages a day, and soon our grasp of grammar will be better.  Then we will work on writing next...

Stop by Grab & Go Thursday to see what other things are making life easy for homeschoolers and others.

May 18, 2011

Curriculum for sale

I have some curriculum that I'm trying to sell - no pressure, but I thought someone might be interested...

Here are the items:

In the Hands of a Child Project Pack - The Magician's Nephew  Gr. 4-8 -- Brand New.   $18 ppd.

Moving Beyond the Page age 6-8, Concept 3, Culture   Gr. 1-2   Brand New  $90 ppd. Complete - purchased Sept. 2010 Includes parent manual, student activity book and all accompanying picture books.

Prices are negotiable - contact me if you're interested, please.

May 13, 2011

Weekly Wrap-Up - more field trips

This has been quite a busy week for us.  All fun, but busy.

On Monday, we wrapped up our Around the World Cooking Club for the year.  We ended up having an Around the World smorgasbord (which was really handmade pizzas & chicken wontons).  It was yummy, and I think the kids had a great time.  We used Marco's crust for our pizzas, and it was delicious!

On Tuesday, we had a Lego Robotics field trip to iSpace - a local non-profit offering STEM training and opportunities.  A & J had a Lego Robotics class, experimenting with NXT 2.0 and driving robots.  S took a WeDo Robotics class and she made an alligator that moved, and a spinning top.  She didn't want to go but then had a blast (thank goodness!)   We're thinking about First Lego League and Jr. First Lego League for next year, we'll see if that works out.  All three loved playing with the Lego robotics - it's on our wish list for the near future.

On Wednesday, all three kids had Leaves of Learning in the morning, then we rushed to a local park for a hands-on creek water testing.  It was really fun and interesting.  I learned a lot.  I also realized that I am deathly afraid of snakes.  I was wandering back to the car with our coolers and wondered why there was a black rope on the driveway.  As I walked closer, I realized the "rope" was moving, and it was not a rope, but a long, long black snake.  I backed away very slowly, muttering "giant snake ... road ... just wait".  For those of you who are not afraid of snakes the translation is, " OMG, there's a huge snake in the road, so I don't want to be in the road."   I survived, and so did the snake - it was really not too interested in me.

Still on Wednesday - J had his Shakespeare performance of The Tempest - the group did a great job.  It was a great show. I love Shakespeare.

On Thursday, we spent the day at Quaker Knoll Village for a hands-on frontier Ohio history day.  It was awesome, we rotated through six stations:  militia, cooper, child work, history of Quakers in USA, town meeting and the favorite by far, oxen.  The re-enactors were so believable and great.  A few children were able to actually drive the oxen, by far a highlight of the day.  Oxen are so very sweet, one kept trying to get close to S, she was a little worried about the spit coming out of it's mouth.  The oxen know that children will pet them, so they want to be close.

Today, we hung out at home, we needed a break.  I'm preparing for a garage sale, and culling out curriculum that we don't need anymore.  Still more to do.  Ugh.

Be sure to check out other weekly wrap-ups at Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers.   Enjoy!

May 3, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday - Cool clubs for kids

Top Ten {Tuesday} 
This year we have spent a lot of time participating in clubs, overall they've been a great addition to our home school routine.   Over the past month or so, I've heard of a few more clubs that I think might be a great fit for one or more of my children, so here's our list of 10 Cool Clubs for Kids (homeschooled or not).

1.  4-H - we really enjoy the social aspect of our 4-H Club - we also get the chance to go on fun tours, participate in science experiments, and participate with projects in the county fair.  I also like that I can tie our projects into our learning objectives for the year - win/win.

2. Invention Club - this is a club that a fellow home schooling mom put together for our home school network - and it has been so fun.  We meet once a month and have a science challenge, that we build on-site.  We've built catapults, marble mazes, bridges, and soon will make cardboard boats.  (I'm really looking forward to that one!)

3.  Around the World Cooking Club - this is a club that I created to encourage healthy eating, fun cooking and a bit of geography as well as world cuisine.  Although, it's been fun, I'm not sure if we'll continue this next year.  Still pending.

4.  First Lego League / Jr. First Lego League - this is one we are considering adding to our life next school year.  We're trying an introductory Robotics course in a week and we'll see what we think after that.  It sounds and looks awesome, but definitely a little more expensive than other clubs we've participated in.

5.  Review Club - this was a club we participated in this year aimed toward older kids/teens.  Each child reviews something - a book, a movie, a video game, food, etc - and then shares their review with the group.  It's been fun, and all the kids have improved over time.  We meet once a month.

6.  Girl Scouts - Great organization for girls.  Do I need to say more?  I was a girl scout for a few years, and now both of my girls are.  Overall, we love girl scouts.

7.  Boy Scouts - My son is in his first few months with Boy Scouts although he was a Cub Scout since 1st grade.  He absolutely loves Boy Scouts - I still feel a little overwhelmed with all the information.  It's a great organization for boys and young men.

8.  Destination Imagination - Creative problem-solving, teamwork and fun.  This is another club we are thinking about adding for next school year.  All three kids could be on the same team, and we'd be improving our communication skills and teamwork skills.  We'll see what happens.  It's on my wishlist though (now I just have to get the kiddos on-board.)

9.  American Girl Club - this is a club idea I'm rolling with.  I found a few books at the library with American Girl cooking, crafts and more.  I think it would be really fun for my youngest.  Not sure if I'll be able to fit it in, but I think it would be a fun idea for all girls aged 7 - 12, or so.

10.  Lego Club - play with Legos with other Lego fans.  Fun and easy to organize.  My son has been to a few small group Lego clubs over the past year, he loves it.  It's fun to see what Legos other people own.

So, there you have it, ten cool clubs for kids.  Have any other ones to recommend?  Feel free, we're always looking for more.

For additional Top Ten Tuesday lists, stop over at Oh, Amanda - have fun.


May 2, 2011

Curriculum Clean-Out winner

There were 165 entries in my giveaway for the Handwriting without Tears student printing book.  I used to determine a winner, it was comment number 134 made by Sela.  Congratulations!