Monday, September 27, 2010

Lewis and Clark Preview

I just received a preview copy of Download N Go’s Lewis and Clark unit study.  I am really looking forward to doing this unit.  We have not studied Lewis and Clark in a long time and it will be really fun to do it the Download N Go way!

In each Download N Go unit there are 5 days of lessons.  In Lewis and Clark you’ll find:

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Nature Study- Mushrooms

(**This is an edited post. It was originally Autumn Treasures part 3 but I wanted to make it mainly about the mushroom study so I renamed it and moved the pictures to Autumn Treasures part 2 and I'm adding more of our mushroom study here.)

Emma in front of our Maple tree.
You can see the leaves are starting to change. 

Emma and I went out alone today on a mushroom hunt in the woods.  I have been reading the Handbook of Nature Study blog. I've had the Handbook of Nature Study for many years but unfortunately it has mostly spent its entire life on the shelf. I hope to remedy that! Anyway, I knew we had a lot of mushrooms in the woods from previous nature walks so we went out and looked at all the different ones we could find, took pictures then later went back and collected a few samples to try to make spore prints.    (This is the original mushroom post that inspired me.)

mushrooms growing in our front yard

more mushrooms in the front yard

a frog (it's on the tire)

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Double Birthday

Yesterday, two of my daughters celebrated birthdays.  Jenna Rae turned 5 years old and Sadie Grace had her first birthday.  We celebrated with gifts, a dinner at Applebees last night and some cupcakes at home.  Today extended family members came for cake and ice cream.

Jenna and the cupcakes (Ellie is on the left, Emma on the right)
Katie holding Sadie while we sang

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Autumn Treasures Part 2

It has only been a few days since I wrote part 1 of Autumn Treasures but we have done so much in that time!  One of the activites we did on Friday that I didn't write about was a watercolor lesson. I purchased some Prang waterpaints at Staples and a couple of Rose Art trays as well.  I didn't want to spend over $5 each on Prang but you can tell the difference between the two when using them so I should make an effort to make sure they each get their own set of Prang watercolors. (though at this stage I'm not sure the younger ones really care.)  They all LOVED painting and keep asking to do it again.

Emma, Jenna, Ellie and Connor learning about watercolors

On Saturday, we visited a local pumpkin farm for their annual fall festival.  There was so much to do as you'll see in the pictures.  Before we left for the farm, I filled the crockpot with apples, sugar and spices and later in the day we had some nice homemade applesauce.  I used this recipe.

preparing the apples for the applesauce

applesauce before cooking...I sliced the apples with a mandoline

Connor, Emma and Ellie sharing a warm blanket on a chilly morning

Just before entering the corn maze

Friday, September 17, 2010

Autumn Treasures

A year ago at this time I was about to have my 10th child. (Time flies!!)  At about that time, I got an e-mail introducing these new Download N Go unit studies and an offer for a free unit.  The unit was Autumn Treasures.  I remember skimming it and saving it on my computer to "possibly look at and use at some point".   Little did I know, that a year later I would be using Download N Go as my main curriculum for some of the kids... not to mention reviewing units on this blog and loving every minute of it!

I made an error in my planning for this unit.  I thought I had an extra week and planned to use it over a 2 week period. So, we are not currently finished with it. I plan to post Autumn Treasures part 2 some time in the near future. Find it here.

At first, I thought that it was too early to start a unit on autumn.  I mean, it's technically still summer and I was originally thinking about doing this unit in October.  However, now that we are working on it, I think the timing is perfect. We have started observing nature early enough in the season to watch summer turn into fall.

Jenna and Emma in front of our green maple tree.
We'll take pictures like this all season as it

For those who are not familiar with Download N Go, it is a unit study curriculum for grades K-4.  Each unit is broken up into 5 daily lessons and covers a variety of topics within the main topic.

 In Autumn Treasures the daily topics are:

Day 1: What is Autumn?
Day 2: Science Secrets of Autumn
Day 3: People and Places of Autumn
Day 4: Time for Tips and Treasures of Autumn
Day 5: Goodies and Gadgets of Autumn

Just before starting this unit we were able to go to a local apple orchard that we try to go to every year.  We picked over 40 lbs of apples (it didn't take much time either).  This year we only picked two varieties; Ginger Gold and Gala.  YUM!  Besides just eating plain apples we have had apples with two different kinds of dip, apple cake, apple pie and apple crisp.  We are planning to make applesauce and possibly apple butter among other things.

Connor picking a Gala apple

On the way to the car.  Lots of apples!!

apple cake

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Download N Go Reviews

This is a list of all of my Download N Go Reviews.  I thought it might be easier if they could be found all in one place. I will keep adding to the list as I add more reviews.  They are listed in alphabetical order.

Autumn Treasures 
Davy Crockett (COMING SOON!)
Expedition Africa (preview)
Expedition Australia (COMING SOON!)
Expedition China
Expedition Mexico
Lewis and Clark(preview)
Pizza Party
Rocking Robots
Roller Coasters
Sunny Seashells
Terrific Tigers 

Monday, September 13, 2010

An assignment blog

I am trying out a new idea for assigning work to my 14 year old. She needed more direction and is interested in blogging so when I saw this idea I knew I had to try it.  I set up a private blog and typed out all of the assignments for the week.  I included links to a few things I want her to watch or read too.  If this is successful I may end up using this for more of my of children.  Thanks for blogging about this Marcy!

Constitution Day Special

Download N Go is offering a special until September 18 at midnight.  In honor of Constitution Day you can get a Patriotic Bundle of 3 Download N Go unit studies for $17.76.  It includes, Constitution Celebration, Ben Franklin and George Washington.  Semester bundles are also on sale.  See the Download N Go blog for more details.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Dolphins and Whales!

Over the past 2 weeks we have completed 2 Download N Go studies.  First we did Dolphin Days, followed by Whale Tales. Emma was so excited to learn about dolphins. She had been asking for a while to start on the dolphin study.  We learned a lot about dolphins and whales that we did not know.

On the last day of Pizza Party, I went to the library to pick up the books I had ordered for our Dolphin study.  The minute I got home the kids were digging into the books.  One of the nice features of Download N Go is the extensive list of books that you get.  None are necessary, but they are wonderful to add.
checking out the dolphin books
Some of the books from our dolphin study

Friday, September 3, 2010

I won!

I am so excited that I won a copy of Charlie and Trike in the Grand Canyon Adventure by Ken Ham on The Wise Woman Builds her home blog!  Thank you Mrs. June Fuentes!  She has a beautiful blog with lots of giveaways so check it out.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Pizza Party Review and Give Away

Pizza Party is another great Download N Go unit study from Amanda Bennett and The Old Schoolhouse.  We had a great time with this unit learning about Italy, Galileo (and other famous Italians), how mozzarella cheese is made (and we bought some fresh to try), how yeast works, geography, volcanoes and more!  Not only that but we ate pizza! (and lots of it as you will see!)

These one week unit studies are designed for grades K-4. The more of these studies we do, the more I like them.  (Be sure to read to the end to find out how you can win a copy!) They are so easy for me to implement and we have fun learning too.

Pizza holds a special place in my heart because my husband and I met 23 years ago when we both got jobs at Papa Gino's (a pizza chain here) when it opened in our town.  We worked there for several years while going to high school and college.

In Pizza Party there are 5 days of lessons:

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

National Geographic Map Set Giveaway on DNG

Go to the Download N Go blog for your chance to win a bundle of new maps by National Geographic.

Contest ends Saturday, September 4.
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