Saturday, November 10, 2012

Still Plugging Along

Life is good-- there have been no major surprises or traumas of any kind.  It's so awesome to be back in the driver's seat so to speak of our lives.  We have been able to stick with our daily and weekly schedules fairly well.  There is always room for improvement, but the girls are working at a good pace in Algebra and in Latin.  We have been watching Teaching Company lectures for history and have kept up better on piano lessons.  Last week we di dn't do so well because of the election and Halloween and a couple birthdays, but overall it evens out pretty well.  So I feel like there's not a whole lot to write a ut because things are moving fairly smoothly.  I love group time, we've  been memorizing a scripture a week and reading and discussing the New Testament.  The words and deeds of the Savior are so pertinent to our day now in dealing with people like the Pharisees and I am amazed at how much the kids understand and pick up.  It works out really well to memorize scripturers during group time because then when the kids are asked to give the talk or scripture in primary-- they are ready to go without any advance prep on my part.  That happened last Sunday-- I forgot #5 had the scripture but we were OK because he had one memorized already-- the only down side was that no one could hear him because the primary is huge( they are about to split our ward).  Anyway-- that's kind of good too because we don't really like attention and you sure get attention when your 5 yr.old has a scripture memorized big words and all.

We have also been watching Myth Busters on NetFlix-- the kids love it and they use sound scientific principles to test different ideas-- the kids are learning a lot of science from that show.  We've also been working on our Singapore Science curriculum so I think we'll be OK in science after all.

We also recently ordered the Teaching Company lecture on photography and my 13 yr. old just got her first video camera she saved all her math books to earn--  we had a policy when we were rich to reward the kids with toy whenever they passed a Singapore Math level.  She opted when she was only about 8 to save all her math books to get a video camera.  She finally passed the 6 B test after a year of  pre- algebra!!  I was sooooo relieved.    Eventually we'll get a good camera-- that would be a great skill to have and a nice side job for photo shoots.    That's all for now!:)

Monday, October 8, 2012


The girls have finally finished pre-algebra-- we made them retake all the Singapore Math placement tests and they passed them all even after not doing Singapore Math in so long.  I am so relieved and  happy that they have done so well. #5 passed the 1a test and the other 2boys are reviewing so they can take the 3B and 4 A tests.  Yay!  The boys are also just about done with their first year course fo Greek!  Everybody has also been practicing the piano and I am so relieved that it is working.  I wasn't sure for a little bit since our lives were in such flux with our move and having a new baby, but things are calmer and we are able to accomplish what we need to.  YES!!!  Lest you get discouraged and thinkI'm perfect-- I didn't shower this morning and I haven't finished the kitchen and will probably go to bed and try to get caught up on the house in the morning. We can't do it all, we just have to prioritize and do our best-- I'm glad that we can focus on academics again.  I think it is a lot of fun and very rewarding.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

First Week of School- sort of

I had the kids do most all of their normal school work this week.  We just didn't do science or group time.  I printed off their checklists and made sure they all knew exactly what was expected of them.  They have to have chores, room clean, be dressed and teeth brushed first thing in the morning-- then they have to have math, Greek or Latin, and piano practice all done by lunch in order to get 15 min. of screen time, then they have to bee all done with the rest of their list by 5 p.m. in order to have screen time at all that day and their 15 min. for completing the list.  It worked pretty well.  I'm going to push them this week to have writing, journal, copywork, workbooks and reading also completed by lunch.  It should be a good week.  I'm excited!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Ready for School!!

We did finally move and we had our new baby a month ago (you can read about it on my other blog), so we are ready to get going on academics again-- I'm so excited to have a schedule and for all the learning we're going to do this year!!.

Our backyard neighbors also homeschool and we have been getting together to do a math study group about twice a week this summer.  It has worked out so well we want to continue, add a few things and make it more consistent and part of the school week.  So the plan is to meet 2 days/ week at each other's houses for 3 hours in the morning.  We'll spend 1 hour on math with the older kids, then assign the older kids to help or play with one of the little kids the next hour while we work on Greek and Math with the Middle  kids for 1 hour, then the Middle kids will be assigned to play with the Little kids the last hour while my girls teach Latin I to our 14 yo neighbor, his mom and me.  I'm going to learn Latin too!!-- and it will be a good experience for my girls to teach it to our neighbors and me.

The girls will be joining a choir run by Janeen Brady who has written some fabulous kids' music-- you can see by searching Brite music.  That will be once a week.  #1 will play city volleyball, #2 will play city soccer and #3, 4 will play flag football this fall.  We will also be joining our old homeschool group again.  We meet once a week-- one week we go on a field trip, 2 of the weeks a mom teaches a class on whatever for the younger kids and the older kids will be doing 4H projects, the last week will be a party, spelling bee or other event. 

I also hope to get my kids able to play a few more songs on the ukelele together so that we can perform  somewhere.  I'll also have them sing along with the piano.  We have quite the crew for that and happily they all sing on key and they like music.  We will also continue with group time- reading scriptures, uplifting stories, work on spanish and whatever else I feel like-- we'll probably finish up the Life of Lincoln by Tarbell and read a couple more Shakespeare plays.  We will also make sure we do Super Charged Science-- I think we'll shoot for everyday-- that has been the hardest thing to fit in!!

Then for the various grade levels I am managing this year-- this is the plan:

6th grade and 8th grade

Both girls should finish the last chapter of Pre-algebra this week, then all they have to do is take all of the Singapore math placement tests again and pass them and we will start algebra.  I love math, I have been waiting to start Algebra forever!!  I was hoping to start it last year, but I'll take it.  They will be preparing for the Latin II exam in the spring with their dad. We'll be watching the History of Rome and Foundations of Western Civilization from the Teaching Company. We've watched a couple lectures this summer and I have really enjoyed it.  I stop the video and make sure the girls know what the words mean and what is going on.  I haven't decided how much writing I'll have them do or if we'll start Formal Logic.  They'll continue with required reading and piano.  I guess I have some more work to do before we're ready to officially start, but I am excited!!!

2nd and 4th Grades

We continue with Singapore math levels 4A and 4B.  They have another 4-5 weeks to complete Elementary Greek year 1. We'll be working on penmanship and spelling.  Also, required reading and piano.  It's so much easier to know what to do having gone through it with 2 other kids.

Kindergarten-- Reading, writing and math!!

Preschool-- have fun

Baby-- grow, grow, grow!!

I really love homeschool-- as hard as it is sometimes-- there is so much to look forward to.  I love group time and reading to my kids.  Also, this new house is so much easier to clean and the kids are old enough to actually help-- I think it's going to be  a good year!!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Destination Imagination State Champs!!!!

I managed 2 Destination Imagination teams for my kids this year. We started the end of January and just participated in the state tournament this Saturday. We had a middle school team that did the fine arts challenge of presenting a live movie trailer which was composed of 5 girls. We also had an elementary level team that did the structural challenge of building a small tower out of wood and glue and a delivery device to put golf balls inside the tower which was composed of 4 boys.

There were only about 15 teams who participated in the tournament which was very disappointing, but we were able to watch most of the presentations which was interesting and helpful. I think this is only the 3rd time they have had a tournament in Utah, so hopefully it will grow and get better over time. There was a lot of time spent waiting around when it wasn't their turn. They also participated in an Instant Challenge, but we aren't allowed to talk about it until after the global finals. I will say that those challenges were disappointing. One was way too simple which made it boring, and one was so confusing, that the team was unable to accomplish it because they just had no idea what to do.

The girls had a rough start in trying to get the team together. We had several girls drop out before we were settled on the 5 that stayed with it. Unfortunately, some of the girls who dropped out had a lot of influence on the story they picked, so it probably would have been different otherwise. Also, I really let them do the whole thing on their own. I read them the rules, but they were left to themselves so I think they did well for not having much guidance or skills taught to them. We had no idea we would have such a good chance of winning. #1 wrote the musical score for the original soundtrack and performed it on the keyboard, and it was awesome!! They had 1 minute to set up their set and 4 minutes to perform their trailer. They had planned to turn off the lights between scenes which they weren't allowed to do, and they had no idea they would be on a stage until we got there, so they were a little flustered and would definitely do some things differently next time. They ran out of time and were unable to perform their last scene so they were disappointed. But it worked out, because although they came in second, the first place team was from Idaho so they still got first for Utah and thus qualify for the global tournament.

The boys had a rough start this year also because they couldn't settle for sure on doing the structural challenge and some of them wanted to do a movie trailer like the girls. We finally figured out that we could just use popsicle sticks and hot glue and that they really didn't need to cut anything, because the challenges have to be done completely by the teams. The managers, parents and others can teach them skills and make sure they follow the rules, but the solution for the challenge has to be done by the team alone. The point of the tower was to make it hold as much weight as possible and then also they had to come up with a delivery device and they could earn extra pounds of weight for each golf ball delivered and captured in the tower. My boys made a couple prototypes with their dad and one of the other dads actually built a tester and another prototype with his son. they tested them all out and found out which one was the strongest in fact we couldn't break it as we only had weights up to about 120 lbs. So once we got to the challenge. The boys put on the big weights, delivered the golf balls fine and won by a lot even for the middle school level. Their tower held 265 lbs, but probably could have held more had they used smaller weights after the larger ones. They got 200 lbs. extra for holding 5 golf balls. It was pretty exciting. They were also supposed to make up a story or skit to go along with their tower, but they didn't, but most of the points were for the weight. The other teams put a lot more emphasis on the skit and their towers were not strong at all. So the boys easily took 1st place.

It was very exciting to be presented with their medals at the awards ceremony and the boys even got an extra medal for their instant challenge presentation which was a little surprising, but they were very happy about it. It was nice for them all to be recognized and to win. They all loved it. Now we have to decide whether to go to globals or not. We will definitely try to go. I would like them to see how a big tournament is run. There are a lot of activities planned also in conjunction with the tournament and people from all over the world coming, so I think it would be really good for them.

I am really glad that we did this program. I think it has been very beneficial overall. I think all the kids are excited to do even better next time and they got some good ideas of what else they can do and what can be done. I think that will happen even more so if we go to globals so I hope it works out!! Very fun and exciting!!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

National Latin Exam Results

We got the National Latin Exam test results back-- There were 148,000 kids from all 50 states and 13 different countries who took it. There were 40 questions, the average was 28. #1 scored 23 and got a certificate of merit and #2 scored 30 and got a cum laude certificate. We had hoped they'd do a little better, but it is a great start and they have learned a lot and they are on a great path for academic success. We are very proud of them both!!

This is definitely not the end of Latin-- it is just the beginning. I am so excited for them. We are going to have them start watching a lecture on the History of Rome from The Teaching Company once a week. They will also be finishing up the Latin I course and then starting Latin II in the fall and take the NLE again for Latin II. We will also be starting a formal logic course from Memoria Press in the fall. I just love where they are headed-- even though it really is challenging, they are doing it.

I hope they get better at taking tests. I am going to have them take a bunch of practice bubble sheet tests this summer too. As homeschoolers I think test taking skills really suffer a bit. This was the first bubble sheet test they have taken, and they both finished in about half the normal time-- so I think we need to work on that. I may even have them take past Latin Exams once a week just to get better used to taking tests and see if we can get some of these things solidified in their minds. In my public school education I became a master test taker, but I didn't retain much information after the test. I would like my girls to be both good test takers and be able to retain the information.

Right now we are enjoying the fabulous weather and taking a week long Spring Break. I am loving it!! My house is pretty clean, I've gotten some good rest and I hope we'll be ready to pick it back up again on Monday- 'cause it has been awesome. The kids are bummed that they still have to do chores and practice the piano-- but it really doesn't take that long and they have been playing outside most of the time. I'm hoping we have time to build a new chicken coop. Destination Imagination tournament is this Saturday, so we may not-- oh well!!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Easter Story pictures

I love these Easter story pictures for the kids to cut out and paste onto papers to make a little book:

My kids are getting printables to color, these and treats this year-- I hope they won't be disappointed.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Great Article on Why kids should learn CS (computer coding)

This article isn't very long and it is well written so I think it is worth a couple minutes to read. One of his points that struck me is how much we rely on computers for our bank accounts, law enforcement, medical records, and just about everything else in our lives-- doesn't it make sense that we should understand exactly how they work and just how to use them? Good stuff:

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Teaching Computer Science

My husband makes his living as a software engineer. He really enjoys the challenge of it and has learned and certified in various programming languages. As we were reviewing the AP tests we'd like the kids to take, he remembered the Computer Science one, reviewed it and found that it is mostly JAVA which he knows well and he got excited about sharing with the kids what he does for a living. So we bit the bullet and bought a Mac Mini computer so that the kids can learn how to program and develop software. We chose the Mac because it will always work and the controls are really easy to use and make it much harder for little fingers to mess up the environments or settings on accident.

He did some research and found this great program that teaches programming to kids:

The kids have absolutely loved it so far. Their first assignment was to make a short game where a good guy follows wherever the mouse points and a bad guy follows him and the good guy makes a sound whenever the bad guy touches him. Their next assignment is to make a short 2-player game. It is fun to see them all so interested in programming and putting some of that attraction to screens to good use.

It is really fun to have older kids able to start doing really interesting things. It just keeps getting better!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Schedules and Motivation

We are still plugging along on all our curriculum choices and having the kids keep up with their schoolwork. It is a struggle everyday especially with my 9 yob. He just doesn't want to put forth the effort it takes to use his little brain and make it grow. He wants everything to be easy and when it's not he wants to give up. He usually pushes through to finish at the end so that he earns his minutes for finishing his work, plus he knows he can't do anything else fun until it's all done- but it is extremely emotionally draining for me and he definitely isn't making as much progress as he could if he would just concentrate. I think I'm going to have to make him do extra work each day so that he builds better habits instead of giving him Friday, Saturday and Sunday off. We'll see if that helps. He is a delightful child otherwise, willing to help with the twins, willing to run whatever errand I need him to- taking care of the goats and chickens. He will miss the goats more than anybody ( the story there is on my other blog He likes to read especially because he gets an hour of screen time for every book he finishes.

We have been traveling a ton, but since we haven't had vision therapy in a while, and soccer is starting and we've been doing Destination Imagination, we decided to quit our Friday co-op. It was just too much! Being gone so much makes it hard to get the house clean, the piano practicing done and the schooling done. With this pregnancy I didn't have the energy to keep everything up on schedule so we really slacked with the schedule, not starting on school until 11 am and working until 6, 7 or 8 p.m. with plenty of breaks in between. Now that my energy has returned we getting back on a better schedule where the kids start around 9 am and are done by 4 or 5 p.m. depending on how focused they are. I'm glad that they really didn't get behind because of this pregnancy-- just the house and the car did. but we are catching back up on that and the kids are helping more than before-- I just have to be on top of it all.

I love spring. I think that is helping us get on a better schedule too. Can't wait to move and have more time at home!!! I love where we're headed. The girls will be studying formal Logic, algebra, hopefully geometry and Latin this coming school year. Then they'll get to move into formal Rhetoric and continue with the Latin and then the sky's the limit-- whatever they decide to study-- they'll have a great foundation and be able to do whatever they desire. I just have to keep them motivated and on task!! No small feat indeed-- but we are finally witnessing the benefits!!! yay!!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Latin Test-- done!!

The girls have been studying extra all week with their dad for the National Latin Exam. My husband wrote a great website and entered in all the vocabulary, endings and other Latin grammar charts that needed to be drilled and memorized to really learn the language so that the girls would be able to drill easier on their own and he would be able to keep up with their progress since he does have a full time day job. They spent the evenings this week doing practice tests from past years and going over what they missed. Then my dear friend and neighbor agreed to administer the test at her house and mail it in for us. My husband had the girls get up early and take a practice test with the bubble sheet this morning so that they would be alert and ready for the real thing at 10 a.m. #1 scored a 67% and #2 scored an 83%. There were a couple things on that test that hadn't been on other tests so we were hoping that this year's test might be more in line with the other tests they had taken. So , this morning, my girls walked over to take their first officially graded test. They both finished the official test early and they both said they knew everything on the test. So we wait-- we should know by April 20.

Even so, without the test scores, we are very proud of our girls. Latin is a difficult subject and there are a lot of things to keep straight and a lot that they had to learn, drill and know over the year in order to make it to the point to be able to take the NLE. They learned a lot academically and they both really buckled down and studied and focused. #1 does well focusing since math never came easy for her, but #2 really had a hard time focusing because she never really had to before, but she's done it in Latin I. Both girls said that it was fun to go and take that test. I think they both feel they have really accomplished something. They got to go to the Olive Garden with their dad to celebrate this evening. What lucky girls!!!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Update and Destination Imagination

What a time we have been having!! We have been keeping up on our work mostly, the girls take the National Latin Exam this coming Thursday, and we've been watching our new house be built and we can't wait to move and we have been commuting to our homeschool and church activities 3 times per week an hour away and we are getting a little burned out and we want to stop, but we just have 2 months left before our house is supposed to be done.

My husband has done a fabulous job teaching the girls Latin. Being a computer programmer who can make computers do just about anything, he set up a website where they can take tests on vocabulary, endings and even past exams and see exactly how they did right when they are done and exactly what they missed. So he would often assign them to take a certain test until they got 100%. Being a full- time employee, it made it much easier for him to help them do what they needed to without him there all the time. We hope they do O.K. on the exam, but even if they don't, they've learned a lot and we plan to have them take all 6 years worth of exams and we expect they'll get better and better each time. I'm proud and jealous of the girls at the same time. I would like to learn Latin some time-- when the babies are grown, perhaps. It is fun to hear #2 tell me where we get different words from, and also tell me the funny things in the story she's translating. #1 seems to be enjoying it too. It has been so good for them all the way around.

The boys are moving right along. #3 has started history reading and daily spelling word copying to improve his cursive handwriting. They are also working better at piano since I sat with them and made sure they were practicing what they need to. #3 can sure be stubborn, he just has to know that there is no getting out of whatever it is he is supposed to do and then he does alright. #4 is amazing at memorizing and is just interested in learning. He knows our Greek vocabulary better than his older brother and it frustrates his older brother so I may have to start drilling them separately unfortunately-- I will probably just have to have the same talk with #3 that I had with #1 when her younger sister was better at memorizing than she was. Everybody has that strengths and weaknesses- let the younger one shine and you still have to learn it even though it comes easier to some-- you can still learn. That's definitely coming up.

We have also joined Destination Imagination which is a national program. Our tournament is on April 15 and we'll have a middle school team of girls presenting a movie trailer- acted out-- with an original music score and soundtrack, at least one special effect and it involves 2 people from different nations. We had a bit of a rough start getting our team together, but they seem to be getting it now. We also have an elementary age boys team who will be building a tower between 7.5 and 9 in. tall out of wood and glue that needs to hold weight and golf balls delivered by their own delivery system. That is also on track to work out despite a bit of a rough start. I'm sure we'll do better next year by starting earlier and having the experience of the tournament under our belts.

We've got other things coming up I'll report on as they happen (hopefully). Oh and baby #8 is a boy!! 6 sons in a row!!! Life is good!!!

Saturday, February 11, 2012


My kids had the best time cutting out valentine cards I printed off the internet.  Here are 2 of the best links I found:

Our homeschool Valentine party was very fun.  The kids made origami flowers to take to a Senior Center along with a card they signed, they also made wax paper pictures, decorated cupcakes and exchanged valentines.  The most creative boxes got prizes.  The best part was that the weather was mild and they got to play on the playground outside afterward.  Very fun!!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Review-- getting back to normal whatever that is!

I am about 14 weeks pregnant now-- past the first trimester and they finally started on our new house 2 weeks ago-- so we are moving toward a nice new normalcy. I haven't had to take a nap everyday and I haven't needed so much sleep so my house is slowing coming back together and I have much more energy to do things besides just the basics. We started a new science program that is really quite fun-- I just need to make sure to schedule in time to do it. We are also starting a team to compete in the Destination Imagination tournament. That should be a lot of fun and educational too.

We went to the Children's Museum at the Gateway in SLC yesterday and we celebrated #5's 5th birthday at the Nickelcade the night before. It was awesome yesterday when we got back from our big away and errand day to come back and have the energy to make the kids follow up on piano practicing and finishing the little things they neglected during the week. #3 is definitely the most difficult right now-- he is 9 and I pretty much just have to sit with him and make sure he does what he's supposed to. I have to check everything for everybody or I'm not sure it will get done.

#2 had a hard time a couple weeks ago because her study habits were horrendous. I changed her piano practice from 30 min. to playing each song 5 times each. She threw quite the fit, but finally finished about 2 hours later and it is now making more progress than she ever has on the piano before it takes her about 30 min. to finish, but she's actually playing the piano the whole time instead of singing or rolling around on the floor or piano bench. I think she is enjoying it more. Also, she is doing much better in Latin. She was learning the material but having a terrible time finishing the writing exercises. She spent an evening listening to her sibling watch a movie while she sat at the table supposedly doing her Latin-- she did maybe one sentence the whole time and threw another fit. I was so angry, but realized that she shouldn't have been out where she could hear-- I should have sent her down to her room to finish. So we had a good talk and she has buckled down pretty well since. I love the feeling of accomplishment they gain when they finish and do things they thought they couldn't. A lot of this teaching is helping them focus and finish things that are difficult.

#1 really went through this at age 10 when she was a year or 2 behind in math and I sat with her and we worked through problems 2-3 hours a day. She is doing great now-- has fabulous study habits and knows how to keep going even when it's hard. She even told me how fun her pre-algebra assignment was!! so now when the boys complain, I ask them if they want to work on playing catch up and I tell them how they just have to do it and I don't let them out of it. It's totally the way to go. They also love the freedom they have when they're done to watch movies, play the wii, ipad, computer or with friends.

I can't wait to move. I think the layout of our new house will make things much easier to keep up on the daily chores and running of the household which will give us more ability to focus on academics and be more efficient. I'm very excited about the bigger kitchen, 2 dishwashers, 2 kitchen sinks, double oven, laundry room, mud room and double sinks in the bathrooms upstairs. We'll also have a library/ study area and lots of places for bookshelves making it easier to find books when we need them, and being able to park in the garage and not climb stairs from outside to bring in groceries for the winter-- actually I think my husband is more excited about that one than I am-- it will just be easier for me to get what I need when I need it and we'll put an extra fridge in the garage and actually have room for the all the food we eat in a week!! Can't wait!!

I am also looking forward to getting rid of a bunch of junk. I won't allow so many toys to be out at a time. The kids have more fun with a box than with a bunch of toys anyway. I'm looking forward to a new start. There are also a lot more opportunities for homeschoolers where we're moving, so I'm looking forward to participating in some of those things as well especially for my older kids. I love our once a week co-op down there. The moms are great, but my oldest especially needs more opportunities to meet kids her own age. The ward is great, but being in Utah I'm accepting the fact that it's just not enough. We really have to make our own support group and find friends outside of the ward for our kids. Still, there are a lot of kids and out of that many, each kid should be able to make a couple good friends they can associate with easily.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Question on History

There was a question on one of my yahoo groups about what kind of history to teach to a 5th grader.  My girls are in 7th and 5 th grades and for history I pick a series for them to read and then they are required to write a summary of each chapter.  Actually my 7th grader's book has questions and activities at the end of each chapter so I have her do those, although typing this I realize I've been remiss as we've been concentrating so much on Latin.

For Latin they are reading A Little History of the World  and The Story of the Romans .  They discuss with their dad during their Latin lesson.  It is so awesome to have him teaching them-- more on that in another post.  So anyway, it takes some time and I know they are learning history that way, so I'm not too worried about it.  Once they take the NLE, we'll pick it back up again.

For the 3rd, 1st and kindergartener, I read to them, although I will be assigning the Streams of History series to the 3rd grader to read on his own in the next couple weeks.  He is also enjoying the Childhood of Famous American series on his own.  Right now we are reading Edna McGuire's Glimpses Into the Long Ago, George Washington Spymaster and Fifty Famous Stories Retold, not to mention the New Testament, Book of Mormon stories and the Golden Book of Bible Stories.

So there you have it.  I like answering questions, so if you have a question, please ask-- you can email me at or leave a comment!!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Educational video game competition

I received an email about this competition.  It looks like a good opportunity to learn some programming and use some creativity.  We won't have time this year- it's right about the same time as the NLE (Latin test) and we are trying to get geared up for Destination Imagination.  But maybe next year!

Here's the email:

Do your kids love games? Do they dream about creating games? With the STEM Video Game challenge, they can develop a game like a PBS KIDS game producer!  PBS KIDS, in partnership with the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), is participating in the 2012 National STEM Video Game Challenge, an annual competition to motivate interest in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) learning among America's youth by tapping into students' natural passion for playing and making video games.
Participants who wish to produce games as part of the PBS KIDS stream are encouraged to develop games for children ages 4-8 that focus on early math skills. This site is designed to provide information and resources to help guide game production.
The contest is open to four different categories: Middle School students (5th grade – 8th grade), High School Students, College students and Teachers/Educators. As a homeschooling parent, you can make this an educational activity for your child, or something to support the curriculum.  
The Middle School and High School winners will each receive laptops, game design software packages and other tools to support their skill development, and youth sponsoring organizations will receive cash prizes and educational software. A prize of $10,000 will be awarded to each of the winners in the Collegiate and Educator categories. At the end of the competition, the winning games for the PBS KIDS and CPB track will be featured on the PBS KIDS Lab and PBS LearningMedia websites.
If you’re interested, here is a link with more information to participate in the challenge or to pass along to friends, readers, etc.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Still Plugging Along

We have been keeping a pretty good schedule.  It helps to have a list of everything each child needs to do each day.  We have been keeping up fairly well.  The girls have been focusing on Latin and should be ready for the NLE in March- very exciting.  The boys will do just about anything to play on the wii, so it has been very easy to teach them and make sure they finish their work-  plus it's my 2nd, 3rd, and 4th time through their curricula.  There's lots more to write, but that's all for now-- til next time!!