Sunday, December 27, 2009

What I expect at the VilVite

Tomorrow: Visit the VilVite

The spinner might make me dizzy for awhile .

I might be blown away by the fan!

I want too see the wave pool.

weather:I don't now what makes weather.

ocean:the ocean is an ecosystem that has salt water, fish, and corals. Fish eat grass,kelp, and seaweed.

energy:energy is from the sun, water, and wind.

Then I want to go home.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Painstakingly Slow Progress


A (95) - [>39%]
B (85) - [37-38%]
C (75) - [35-36%]
D (65) - [33-34%]
F (60) - [<32%]

Dec 25 - 39%

Math: ..................... 37% B
Spelling: ................ 40% A
Literature: ........... 38% B
Language Skills: ... 36% C
Social Studies: ...... 39% A
Texas Science: ..... 39% A
Art: ....................... 35% C
Music: .................. 35% C
P.E.: ...................... 44% A
Health: ................. 45% A

Strategies for Testing: 20%

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Visiting the Hemiboreal

We climbed through a lot of snow to the top of the summit. the Hemi-boreal has very few trees, mostly bushes and grasses. the bushes have dark blue berries on them. [Hemi]Boreal means halfway between the temperate and subarctic zones. This area along the Norwegian coast where precipitation is high and winters are fairly mild, the soil is very thin.
Who is the photographer when the photographer is in the picture? Erik. Good Job Erik.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

How Much time to Homeschool?

Week of 8/24 Week of 8/31 Week of 9/7 Week of 9/14 Week of 9/21 Week of 9/28 Week of 10/5 Week of 10/12 Week of 10/19 Week of 10/26 Week of 11/2 Week of 11/9 Week of 11/16 *DC* Week of 11/23 Week of 11/30 Week of 12/7 Week of 12/14 *DC* Week of 12/21 Total To Date End of Nine Week Goal
TOTAL HOURS 31 30 19 24 24 31 23 26 33 29 24 25 28 0 22 24 34 26 453 546
TOTAL DAYS 5 5 4 5 5 5 5 6 5 6 5 5 6 0 5 4 5 4 85 91

I am not stinking kidding you. you have to set aside 30 hours a week LITERALLY to do this.

Saturday, December 19, 2009


Better than Christmas, woke up to find the whole land covered in snow drifts. I got so wet and had so much fun.  We made a snowman and a snow fort. in the snowfort we had had candles. we play all night long in the dark. (It got dark at 4 pm, Magnus played until 7pm - it FELT like all night long.)

I could just play here all the time, the snow is great fun. I do not want to ever go inside.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Reading Exam

Test Submitted
TAKS Reading Benchmark 2
Reporting Category # Correct # Tested Score Grade
Objective 1: Basic Understanding 13 13 100% Commended Performance
Objective 2: Applying Knowledge of Literary Elements 6 6 100% Commended Performance
Objective 3: Using Strategies to Analyze 1 5 20% Did Not Meet Standard
Objective 4: Applying Critical-Thinking Skills 5 6 83.3% Commended Performance
Total 25 30 83.3% Commended Performance
Scaled Score: 2444

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Rosenkrantz Tower

We parked at the University of Bergen, and walked through the city's plaza, 2.1 Kilometers to Bergenhus fortress contains buildings dating as far back as the 1240s.  We walked upstairs in the Rosenkrantz Tower.

on the 6th floor, Sir Eric's Bed chamber and his lady wife's chamber, there are tiny little rooms separated by stones with holes that go all the way down to the bottom of the castle that are TOILETS. MIDEVIL portapotties. how kewl is that? we went from the dungeon today all the way to the tippy top and walked round the roof, I am afraid of heights.

We walked back 2.1 kilometers, stopping along the way at an organic bakery for a snack. we ordered a baggette, with cold meats and mountain cheese, fresh squeezed appelsin jus (orange juice) and a shilling (pastry) an hot chocolate (they squirt the chocolate sauce in the bottom of a glass, and the fill the glass up with steamed milk from the cappachino machine. this snack was 180 Kroner or $30, by the time we got two sandwiches, two shillings, two appelsins, and four hot chocolates, the price was 490 Kroner, $81.67 Dollars. for LUNCH! each person got 1/2 a sandwhich and 1/2 a shilling.

Today I can mark down that I walked 5 kilometers and I climbed like 400 stairs up and 400 stairs down in the castle.  There were 7 stories total in the tower. BTW, it was colder today, -11°C and we are supposed to get snow today, but it has to warm up a bit for that to happen.

Not just cold, but OMG Freaking Cold

Bergen, Norway

-4°C | °F
Current: Clear
Wind: E at 8 km/h
Humidity: 69%

We walked a lot today. For 3 hours. It was cold outside.  I had two hoodies and a ski coat on and froze my butt off! We walked through the gingerbread city pepperkakebyen i Bergen.  My mom let me use her little camera to show you what I saw.

After that , we walked down and went to the mall, it is small, but very very tall.  we rode the escalators all the way up to the 5th floor and used the toilets, you have to pay 10NOK ($.60) to use a toilet!

then we walked to a comic book store and bought some new Yu Gi Oh! cards, and they were all different from the ones that I already have.  THEN we went to a bakery and got a subway and a brownie and freeze orange juice for lunch. It got dark at 4 pm. We drove through like 7 tunnels to get back home to the island.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

school work first, then P.E.

I was having fun and it was warm and slippery.

The ecosystem that I am exploring is called a Maritime mild temperate / marine west coast climate (Köppen: Cfb) along the southwestern and part of the southern coast as in Bergen and Kristiansand. Hemiboreal / humid continental (Dfb) in the lowlands in the southeast.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Reading Pro

Magnus did very nicely on his Math assessment yesterday he STILL has issues with word problems of going to the store, knowing how much money he started with, how much money he got as change, and figuring out what he bought with one known, one unknown. that concept is going to be a struggle this week.

I am taking some 'liberty' on his music course and switching to giving him credit for his foreign language, so for each hour that he practices speaking in norwegian with a local native I am assigning credit in the music curriculum, up to 3 lessons a day if he really is applying himself. out of 8 hours yesterday, he only spent about two listening and speaking norwegian.

He completed the How to Train Your Dragon (Heroic Misadventures of Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III) by Cressida Cowell (I am sooo amazed.) and on the plane he completed Pokémon: Diamond and Pearl Adventure!, Vol. 1 by Shigekatsu Ihara. How stinking cool is that?

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Friday, December 11, 2009

Kindle + PDF=Homework on the GO!

Delima.. how to pack light and travel fast? How to save the trees and the planet? HP 7780 has been the work horse in this house for years. Today I was able to scan multiple pages from a text book, into one pdf file, the scanner has a feature that I can customize the first part of the file name, like math_ or social studies_ and auto saves the files with unique numbers to a memory card.

Then I plugged the memory card into the computer, which also has my Kindle plugged into the USB, and I was able to effortlessly transfer the PDF's over to the Kindle. It read the files into the menu as soon as I disconnected it from the USB and displays them perfectly. HOLY COW. this is so stinking kewl.

I went to Amazon and downloaded Henry Huggins for Magnus so that it is already on the Kindle, and we can take the library book back before we rack up any more late fees because we are so slow.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Wii Golf & Tennis

personal fitness trainer? way kewl.

we do not buy school clothes in the fall since the boys are in summer shorts until November here
finally broke down last week and got Erik some pants that are not high waters... that kid is in a 14slim boys or a womens -0- in jeans and size 6 boys shoe
Magnus also grew, he is in a 10Slim boys jeans.. and a size 5 boys shoe
both have decided to go with the tagless boxer briefs and the heavy metal band hair.

they are growing so stinking fast.

Wii Baseball

It is too cold to go outside, we can not find enough people to play a good game, so Wii are improvising. Did I mention that they have Wii baseball and Tennis attachments at Dollar Tree for $1 each? How sweet is that? I guess we better pack the Wii sports for our trip as well.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Cub Scouts

Normally a very shy, Magnus is getting much better at getting up in public, he did FANTASTIC during his recognition portion of Cub Scouts and was able to enjoy the Cub Master's "Unique" sense of humor.

We are mastering the socialization challenges that was actually what fostered the anxiety that motivated us to find an alternative to brick and mortar school.

During a recent discussion, we talked about 'why' we home school, Magnus and I did. He would get nauseous when he got on the bus because of all the noise. He would get nauseous when the kids in the classroom tormented him with nick names like 'fart boy' and were mean and hurt his feelings.

He would rather just play all day, but he knows that he has to learn something. Some days it is just easier to learn after having a good night sleep, other days, getting out of bed is so hard when you are just so tired after having lots of bad dreams and you get a headache.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

TXVA Gingerbread Activity 2009

Yes it was Snowing, good thing there was Ice Skating inside.

Pond Ecosystem

Bottle Cap Turtle

Turn a bottle cap into a tiny turtle!

  • 1 plastic bottle cap (from milk or juice jug)
  • 2 cotton-tip swabs
  • 1 piece of green construction paper
  • 1 ice cream stick
  • 2 peppercorns or beads
  • Glue
  • Green paint
  • Paintbrush

Monday, December 7, 2009

Mosaic Picture

Art Club

Painstakingly careful placement of each piece of broken glass. Instead of following the pattern of a 'tree', Magnus went 'free form' and created a very nice Fireplace with lots of interesting details.

Mom resisted adding her own ideas by purchasing her own kit and sticking to that. I was completely dismayed when I saw a mom not just supervising her children in this activity, but flat out doing for all three, their activity for them. This was for fun, not even for a 'grade' and yet... Seriously, she was doing their project for them.

Now I am the first one to fuss and want my kids projects to be 'perfect' but I have since learned to just get my own kit and be a perfect as I want on THAT and let the kids explore on their own.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Alright, Enough Goofing off

so this week is the 'big week', we have to get all of our lessons knocked out, we have to create packets to take with us rather than the WHOLE books. We have to get some study island time.

we are going to tackle Henry Huggins by Beverly Cleary which could go over big or not so much. We have had it checked out from the library so long that the overdue bill is probably more than the price of the book on Kindle.

Our first novel was Sarah Plain and Tall (Lexile: 560L - Guilded Reading: R), our second was Stone Fox (Lexile: 550L- Guided Reading: P) and this will be a little leap, Henry Huggins (Lexile 670 - Guided Reading: O). I have discovered that 550/P was too easy and 670/O is possibly too hard, but we shall see, it LOOK easy enough IMO.

I am still a little overwhelmed at the pile of books that I have to condense down to fit on the plane. Currently it is 9 inches tall.

As for free reading, it looks like the recommendations are:

Inkheart (Ink Trilogy, Book # 1) by Cornelia Funke


Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume

were recommended because he loved all the Wimpy Kid books. Since he loved the Bokugan books; he might like: Stormy, Misty's Foal by Marguerite Henry or Afternoon on the Amazon (Magic Tree House, Book # 6)

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Fun Norwegian Tale Books

[1]How to Train your Dragon by Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III translated from Old Norse by Cressinda Cowell Lexile: 990L and it has been reported by Magnus to be very easy to read, he was able to get through 37 pages last night on his own.

[2]How To Be A Pirate Author: Cowell, Cressida990L
How To Speak Dragonese By Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III
[3] How To Speak Dragonese Author: Cowell, Cressida 980L are next.
We do not have How to Cheat a Dragon's Curse Author: Cowell, Cressida 1040L yet.
We do have [5] How to Twist a Dragon's Tale and now we see that there is a couple more out.
[6]How to Ride a Dragon's Storm and A Hero's Guide to Deadly Dragons.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Continuing On

We are finding our flow. The last two weeks have been interesting, we have home schooled on days that we were not and not on days that we were scheduled to. Some days we were able to blast though a significant amount of work and make tremendous progress and other days were just a wash, we got up, went ate, we went to sleep, we may not have learned anything significant but we didn't have to bury any bodies in the back yard.

It is getting easier the more compliant he is that this is a done deal and he will have to follow through eventually. When I mentioned last week that this was harder than we thought, he replied back, it is but I wouldn't want to go back to public school, no matter how much easier it was. Which suggested that he knew he was breezing through and not necessarily being held accountable. I think that we both realize now that my teaching style is different than others. I do cover every single assessment, but I do not belabor the lesson if he already grasps the fundamental knowledge necessary to pass the assessment. So we start with the assessment review online, take the assessment and if he stumbles, we back up and take the lesson apart and dissect it. Frequently, I take that opportunity to use it as a research tool, if he doesn't know the answer, I act like I do not know the answer and demonstrate how to research it in real world time. I break out the Google, I find the key words, and generally we can find a YouTube about it that makes it a multimedia experience and in 3 – 5 minutes we have our information. 

We had an adventure on Friday, we drove to the brick and mortar 'school'. First off, that had to qualify for a Cub Scout Merit badge: type in the address; 104 Industrial Boulevard, Sugar Land, TX 77478
TOLL: $1 to get on, $1.50 x 4 and $1 to get off = $8 (Math)
Gas Tank was empty: GPS to find gas station, finally discovered to ask for DIRECTIONS to SHELL and viola, one 3 miles away. (DROID Navigation Lessons)
One tank is 12 gallons, one gallon costs $2.69, how much will it cost to get home? $33

I am finding other families and visiting (Socialization). Granted every time we connect with a family, we give out our email address and then never hear from them, so we wonder if it is the antiperspirant, deodorant, or what? Could be just that they are as overwhelmed as we are but are sensible enough not to try to chat with other people and instead save that valuable time for frivolous things like regular bath's and obtaining fresh food in-between lessons and assessments.
It would appear that the less expensive a car (Ford and Chevy) the more reasonable the drivers drove in blinding snow flurries, the more expensive a car (BMW and Mercedes) the more like an idiot the drivers drove. There was a tremendous correlation with that one. I was driving 10 MPH under the speed limit in a Honda and so were the Toyota's, we were a little bit crazy. The freaking Beamer's were going 80 or 10 MPH over the limit.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Family Game Night

With all the electronic games in the house, I was pleasantly suprized that the boys asked for old school board games to play with. Fortunately, we aquired a bunch about 8 years ago and they are still like new.

It is good to have a sibling to play with.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Early American History

Early American History for Magnus... going back to my roots.
Schoolhouse Rock

No More Kings (Mayflower - 1620)

Fireworks (Declaration of Independence 1776)

Shot Heard Round the World (Paul Revere 1775)

The Preamble (Constitution - 1787)

Great American Melting Pot (Immigration 1790)

Elbow Room (Louisiana Purchase - 1803)

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Cub Scout Art Belt Loop

We have earned so many belt loops and pins. Scouting is a major part of our lifestyle. I can not imagine what we will do when the boys are too old for scouting.