Queen Homeschool Pictures in Cursive.

I love to kill 2 birds with one stone.  I know.  Gruesome.  How 'bout, I love to take care of two subjects with one activity?  Just right, says Baby Bear.

Sam the 3rd grader has really nice cursive, but is such a perfectionist that it takes like a thousand hours to copy 1 line.  Benj struggles a bit with handwriting, so it takes like a thousand hours to copy 1 line.  You get my drift.  Enter Pictures in Cursive....we're going to rush thru 3 levels this year: A,B, and you guessed it C.
 Basically the books are laid out such that the kiddo looks at a work of art on one side, then copies sentences about the work of art on the other side:

I have Sam the Younger just copy right into the book.  Benj the Older uses wide lined paper.  Since the other bird I wanted to kill was art appreciation, I actually tear out the picture and stick it in a cheap frame that sits on their school table, so it gets noticed day after day.

I also copied out the first two sentences on the white board....though I'm not sure that really needs to happen.  I just wanted to use my shiney new dry erase markers. 
Today was the first day we actually did this, and it went well.  It will be something the boys do during their independent seat work time.  We're doing 2 sentences a day until we get into longer sentences for copying.  I hope to find a place where we can display all the pictures in our schoolroom, but I'm quickly running out of room....and my chippy shutter simply will not be moved.  It makes me just too ding dang happy to look at each day.
I also need to find a place for our timeline.....still deciding whether to take over the hallway or put it on a tri-fold thingamabob that can be tucked away....which would defeat my purpose of having a perpetual visual display for the boys about the on-going-ness of history.  I make up words.  Regularly.

So far we're doing Writing With Ease 2 (into week 7 now, doing 2 lessons a day and already seeing improvement in dictation and summarizing/narrating), Math Mammoth review worksheets, 30 minutes reading, and now copywork.  I also added Grammar Island today and will post about that next week.  They seemed to enjoy it, at least the first several pages.


Mackinac Island.

We had a vacation of sorts a couple weeks ago....which is what we homeschoolers refer to as field trips. 

Hubs had a trip for work, so we all headed up for a few days to take in the beauty and history of this wee island off the tippy top of Michigan's lower part.  Here's some pictures from some of our favorite parts:

The ferry ride over to the island:

The green in front of Fort Mackinac:

Horse-drawn carriages:

Arriving at the Grand Hotel:

Made it's movie debut in '79:

Our room:

The view from our window:

The fountain:

Getting dressed for dinner:

Hanging out on the porch:

'Old fashioned' phone booths:

Our menu:


Turn-down service with bedtime chocolate:

The Esther Williams Swimming Pool:

Arch Rock from above:

Arch Rock from below:


Giant Chess on the porch:

The rocking chairs:

Old pictures of the Grand Hotel porch at the turn of the century:

The cannons at Fort Mackinac:

The beauty that surrounded us:

'Twas a fabulous time....so thankful we had the opportunity to stay at the Grand Hotel again.  Now that we're home, we've been working on WWE and Math Mammoth.  Tomorrow we add in cursive/copywork practice and typing.  Slowly, but surely we're getting into the routine of school.  But there's still lots of time for swimming in the back yard....it's not the Grand's Esther Williams pool, but it does the trick for these hot, muggy days!