Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Five Counties, One Day

I'll spare myself a bit of the ridicule as to why we were in Winston-Salem two days in a row, but we opted to take the opportunity to check out Pilot Mountain State Park just up the road since we were so close.

An outcropping of rock viewable from a scenic outlook
 off the upper parking area.

The gal in the office was very helpful and lovely to chat with.  We knew we wouldn't be able to hit any of the trails due to complete lack of preparation, but we figured we could get information so an actual outing to Pilot Mountain could be planned properly.  We left with flyers about the geology, the various trails, and even a Junior Ranger booklet (that applies to all of the State Parks). 

She also stated that Hanging Rock was only another 30min up the away we went.  The roads got pretty wendy-windy and Eldest was getting queasy, but we made it just fine.  Hanging Rock State Park has a little museum in its Visitors Center, and some cute little family cabins across the way.  FWIW, there's no cell coverage up there.  *grin*

A collage of images from the Civilian Conservation Corps' (CCC)
 work at Hanging Rock State Park.  This is found in the museum
 in the Visitor Center where you can learn more about the CCC,
 Hanging Rock, and the biodiversity of the area.

Both hold great promise as camping locations, hiking locations, and photography locations for our family.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Checking Off a Box

We took care of our annual standardized testing today.  Scoring was in line with where I expected it to be.  They're tucked away in the master file and will not be looked at again until next year when we merely eyeball how the two years compare.  I don't put a whole lot of stock into it--it doesn't test for things like character or habits, and it doesn't test for the various units being studied.  But I do enjoy eavesdropping on the testing process (we choose to utilize the Woodcock-Johnson III) as it's an intriguing window into my kiddos' brains and it helps me clue in on some areas that we might need to approach differently or cover to a greater extent (like further reviewing colons, or that "pollution" is another way of saying "littering").

I do, however, get great humor out of our annual tradition.  I find it vastly humorous that homeschoolers in North Carolina are required by law to complete a nationally standardized test annually, yet there is no means to compare the homeschooling population to the public school population because there is not nationally standardized testing of the public students unless they opt to sit for the SAT.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Valentine's Day

We don't tend to "celebrate" the candy events, but since we were going to a local nursing home to make Valentine's cards with some of the residents as a group I figured it was as good a time as any to do a quick study on the holiday.  Especially since I got a great deal on it with my SuperMembership and a $4 off special commemorating Hands of a Child's 400th lapbook.  There were a few items that we chose not to do, or utilize, and I should have sorted out my own placement rather than going off theirs--ah well.

That modified envelope again.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

WWII: V is for Victory

Due to weather interference (we don't do lessons when DH is home, we utilize the time to be with him) and sickies we're a a bit behind on our original schedule for our World War II unit studies.  We did finish the segment that revolved around Sylvia Whitman's V is for Victory, but the pamphlet (book report) wasn't completed before the book had to be returned so it's in a state of limbo.  We'll have to interlibrary loan the next time we're at the library.  No credit given for that bit yet.

To go along with the V is for Victory we did a lapbook for the State of Hawaii, since Pearl Harbor was the event that finally involved the United States in the war.

We 3-hole punch all of our lapbooks so we can store them in a binder.
One binder per 'school' year.

We also use a couple of supplemental lapbook/notebooking pages
found here and here.
We modify the large envelopes to hold the 'reading material' from the
lapbook pdf.