Sunday, December 16, 2012


Robin went to see the movie version of The Hobbit, which he has also listened to as a recorded book.

He learned about the Wisdom of King Solomon.

And about polka music by watching several short videos of people performing the music or dance - thanks to a clip in our music collection which references polka.  Robin had never heard polka before and was curious about what it was.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Quiet Day

We read a lot today.

Including a book about the Buddha.

And one about elephants, and one about the life cycle of a flower.

Robin rode his bike.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Capture the Flag

Robin attended the Holiday Co-op at MAHC. He capitained one of the Capture the Flag teams.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Cutting the cord

Robin's sister was born very early this morning at home.  Robin was asleep during the birth but woke up afterwards to meet the baby and observed the placenta and newborn exams.   His first thought when we told him we were going to have a baby was that he wanted to cut the cord, which he got to do, with some help from his 3 year old sister and our Certified Professional Midwife:

Saturday, December 8, 2012


Robin worked with Saxon Math 1 today, and worked on subtracting half of even numbers up to 20.

He did a word worksheet, and I read to him.

Including a book about Michael Jordan.

And one about the dietary habits of amphibians, insects and birds.

Friday, December 7, 2012


Robin worked with Saxon Math 1 today.   The topic was paying for things using dimes and pennies, and he was very confident and able to do it easily.

Robin did a word worksheet.  Apparently I should have been giving the worksheets to him repetitiously (the same one each day for a week or whatever) all along, because I got lazy and started doing that instead of mixing them up and lo and behold, he can read all the words on this one without prompting after about 3 days of it.  Good to know.  I read to him.

Including a book about animal tracks.  It pointed out that dogs have a 5th toe, and Robin was excited to examine our dog and find out that yes, he does have a 5th toe!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Long Bike Ride

Robin took an hour long bike ride.

He worked with Saxon Math 1 today.

Robin did a word worksheet, and I read to him.

Including a biography of a famous strongman.

And a biography of Barnum Brown, and early paleontologist.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

"Don't tell me!"

Robin worked with Saxon Math 1 today.

He worked on "o" words.  He is not yet confident about what sound "o" makes, but he is starting to tell me NOT to tell him how to figure out words, which is huge progress from when we started this and would not even try to figure out words without a clue for every letter.  I read to him.

Including a book about animals who swim.

Robin went for a bike ride.

Friday, November 30, 2012


Robin worked with Saxon Math 1 today.

He did a typing game on-line, and a word worksheet. We went to the library.  I read to Robin.

Including a book about the history of music.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Experimenting with instruments

Robin worked with Saxon Math 1 today.

He did a word worksheet and was able to read all 6 words ("i" words) independently. I read to Robin.

Including a book about the body and one about a runaway slave.

Robin rode his bike.

He experimented with a variety of instruments my midwife had sitting out in her living room.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


Robin worked with Saxon Math 1 today, learning about subtracting 0 and subtraction problems resulting in 0.

He did a word worksheet.  I read to Robin.

Including a 'newsletter' about ancient Nubian and Egyptian civilizations.  It had a small section on hieroglyphs and Robin got out a photo album from my travels to Egypt as a young teen and tried to decipher some of the hieroglyphs on temple structures in them.  We couldn't get much beyond NIC or KIN, depending on direction, but it was fun!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Puppet Show

Today was the final day of the fall session at Mt. Airy Homeschool Coop.  Robin presented a puppet show based on Humpty Dumpty to an audience of classmates, siblings, and parents.

He also attended final classes in his Jungle and Ancient African Civilizations groups.

Friday, November 23, 2012


Robin worked with Saxon Math 1 today.

He did a word worksheet.  I read to him.

Including a book about how your heart works.

Robin took a bike ride.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Monster Mash

Robin worked with Saxon Math 1 today.  It's been a while since we sat down to this and he demonstrated some good latent learning.

Robin did a word worksheet, succesfully sounding out three 'i' words by himself, and I read to him.

Including a book based on the song "Monster Mash", which I'm sure he'd heard before but didn't remember - so we watched a YouTube video with the song on it, just for fun.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Humpty Dumpty

Robin attended Mt. Airy Homeschool Co-Op today.

He is preparing a puppet show based on the story of Humpty Dumpty in his puppetry class.

According to his teacher, he is a 'delight' in his Jungle class, because he 'knows so much'.

And he is working on a paper mache mask in his Ancient African Civilizations class.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Solar power kit

Robin attended his Religious Education class today, which focused on the story of Daniel in the lion's den.

We read a book about the Titanic.

And he experimented with a solar power kit.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Play Date

Robin had a play date at a park with one of the kids from his soccer team and had a great time.

I read to him.

Including a book about the Titanic.

And one about the seasons.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


Robin attended his Mt. Airy Homeschool Co-Op classes in puppetry, the jungle and Ancient African Civilizations.  He is particularly enjoying the puppetry class and is apparently developing a short show with a classmate that is a retelling of Humpty Dumpty.

I also read to him.

Including a book indirectly referencing the solar system.

And a book about Johnny Appleseed and the Butter Battle Book which prompted a conversation about the Cold War.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

A Saturday

Robin worked with Saxon Math 1.

He did a word worksheet.

And watched his brother's last soccer game of the year.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Election Results

Robin worked with Saxon Math 1.

And did a word worksheet.

We discussed the results of the election!  Robin was excited by President Obama's re-election.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Election Day!

Robin attended his Mt. Airy Homeschool Co-Op classes in puppetry, the jungle, and ancient civilizations of Africa.

He went to the polls with me to observe democracy in action - and was allowed to help me cast my vote!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

The final soccer practice

Robin worked with Saxon Math 3.

He did a word worksheet. 

Robin played in his last soccer scrimmage of the season and his team won 4 - 3.  He scored several goals!

Friday, November 2, 2012

"I know them all!"

Robin worked with Saxon Math 1.

He did a word worksheet.  "E" words seem to be easier for him - he's looking at them and saying 'I know them all [how to sound out all the letters in each word]' in a disappointed tone because he likes having me tell him one of the sounds from each word.  I'm trying to persuade him that this is actually a GOOD thing!  I read to him.

Including a book about the legend of Androcles and the Lion.

Robin went for a bike ride.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Costume party

Robin played soccer.

He also attended a costume party dressed as a ninja!

We began monitoring Hurricane Sandy and how it will impact our home and other places we go.

Friday, October 26, 2012


Robin worked with Saxon Math 1. 

Robin completed a word worksheet and we went to the library. I read to him.

Including a book about the workings of a Chinese restaurant, a book about time, and a book about Common Wombats.  His favorite was this one:

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Head Injuries

Well, not Robin's head injury.  His sister hit her head and started vomitting so had to go to the emergency room.  Robin learned about care for a person with a head wound and emergency room procedures.

Robin worked with Saxon Math 1.

Robin did a word worksheet and I read to him.

Including a book about a runaway slave escaping on the Underground Railroad.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012


Robin attended the Mt. Airy Homeschool Co-op today. This is the second half of the semester, so he has different classes.

His first period is about puppetry.  He made two simple puppets today!

Robin's second class is about the Jungle.

And his third class is about ancient African civilizations. His art project for that class smells really good because it includes coffee beans!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Soccer Scrimmage

Robin worked with Saxon Math 1.

He did a word worksheet, and I read to him.

Including a book based on the song "She'll Be Coming 'Round the Mountain".

And a book about bullying.  Robin attended his soccer practice and scored the only goal for his side in the scrimmage game at the end.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Fire Safety

Robin worked with Saxon Math 1.

He did a word worksheet.

Robin helped with our grocery shopping. And observed his brother's soccer practice.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Field Trip

Robin attended his Brainteasers and Anatomy of Stuff classes at Mt. Airy Homeschool Coop today.

He also attended a field trip to Mill Creek Urban Farm with his Growing a Green Thumb class.

Robin rode his scooter.

Saturday, October 13, 2012


I read to Robin.

And he scored two goals in his soccer scrimmage game!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Harvest Festival

We went to a Harvest Festival at our congregation.  Robin enjoyed himself!

He worked with Saxon Math 1 today.

Robin did a word worksheet, and we went to the library. I read to him.

Including one about dinosaurs.

And one with silly words to common tunes.

Robin took a walk.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Cabbage with Cheese Sauce

Robin worked with Saxon Math 1 and played more UNO.

He did a word worksheet, and I read to him.

Robin went for a walk. He also tried a new food (steamed cabbage with cheese sauce) although he did not like it.

And did some drawing.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


Robin is the family champion of UNO.  He spent lots of time today playing it with his siblings and his grandmother who is visiting.  He also worked with Saxon Math 1.

Robin wrote the last batch of "a" words!

And went for a walk.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Building a Lamp

Robin attended the Mt. Airy Homeschool Coop today.

His classes were Brainteasers, The Anatomy of Stuff, and Growing a Green Thumb.

In The Anatomy of Stuff included making a lamp shade.

Sunday, October 7, 2012


I read to Robin.

Including a book about the sinking of the Titanic.  Robin also attended his Religious Education class and learned about the story of Noah.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

The Battle of Germantown

Today we had the opportunity to go to a reenactment of the Battle of Germantown!  Robin was able to be right up close as the Colonial and British troops 'fought' over Germantown Avenue and then Cliveden House, one block from our home.

Robin says, "I saw them shooting out of the house, and a lot of people got killed.  They fired cannons to open the gate!  I totally loved it!  The cannon was an old-fashioned kind of cannon and they all had muskets.  There were a lot fewer people on one side - that was the red side.  We wanted to get wooden muskets or daggers or slingshots or pirate swords but we couldn't get one because we didn't have enough money to buy one for ourselves.  "

The cannons were literally loud enough to make me jump involuntarily every time one went off. We also saw displays of period clothing, got close to some period weaponry, and listened to some musicians in period clothing playing period music on (presumably) period instruments.

Robin went for a walk.

Friday, October 5, 2012


Robin worked with Saxon Math 1 today.

He wrote his second batch of 'a' words, and went to the library.  Typically, Robin refuses to go pick out books unless I go and sit with him and tell him all the titles on one shelf - then he won't stop picking till we get to the end of the shelf, even if he's already got the number I specified he 'must' get.  I read to him.

Including a book about markets around the world.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Soccer Picture

Robin worked with Saxon Math 1 today.

We have reached the end of the multiple, repetetive "A" word worksheets I made for him, so I gave him one of the sets of "A" flashcards, picture side up, and asked him to write the words free hand.  He was able to do half of them with no difficulty, and the other half just needed a little help.  I read to him.

Including a book about Halloween.

And one about Pele, the great soccer player.  We got his soccer photos today (the digital ones anyway) - here he is!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012


Robin is beginning to be excited about Halloween!  He wants to be a mummy and fortunately we happen to have a bunch of old sheets I don't want anymore handy.  We read a book about Halloween.

Robin worked with Saxon Math 1. I read a magazine to him with a focus on numbers.

Robin did a word worksheet, and I read to him.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Experiments with Food

Robin attended his classes in puzzles, the anatomy of electronics, and plants at Mt. Airy Homeschool Co-op today.

And experimented with food.

Friday, September 28, 2012


Robin worked with Saxon Math 3.  We read a magazine focusing on numbers.

Robin did a word worksheet and I read to him.

Including a magazine about farm animals.

We bought a Kiwano or Horned Melon.  Robin tried it - and was actually willing to eat several spoonfuls of this bizarre and not very attractive fruit!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Visiting a Conure

Robin worked with Saxon Math 1. We read a magazine focusing on numbers.

Robin did a work worksheet and I read to him.

Including a magazine about farm animals.  We visited a pet store and spent quite a while playing with a Conure (smallish parrot) who was very social and curious.  We got the bird to come from one side of a large cage around to the other side to click and gesture at us.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Homeschool Coop Day 2

We attended the Mt. Airy Homeschool Coop today.

Robin's first class is Brainteasers.

His second period class is the Anatomy of Stuff.  Today he helped disassemble a turntable and tape.  And the final period is a science class about growing plants.

He also played Capture the Flag.

I read to him.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Honey Guides

We read a book about Honey Guide birds, which we complemented with a brief video on how the Masai tribespeople work with Honey Guides to find honey.

Robin worked with Saxon Math 1 today.

He did a word worksheet, and we went to the library.  I read to him.

Including a book about the first flight across the English Channel.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

William Bartram, Naturalist

We read a biography of the early American naturalist William Bartram today.  It was excellent!  Much of the early book takes place near Philadelphia, and Robin said we should go camping in all the places Bartram did!

Robin worked with Saxon Math 1 today.

He completed a word worksheet and I read to him.

 Including a book about fire safety. 

And one about about simple machines.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Following Along

This was a day for following along as people did stuff Robin didn't necessarily want to do - but he's a good egg about it, most of the time.

Robin worked with Saxon Math 1 today.

Robin did a word worksheet, and I read to him.

Including a book about rain.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Sharks and Thomas Edison

We took it easy today as I am recovering from my busiest time at work and it was rainy. I read to Robin.

Including a book about Thomas Edison.

And one about panda bears.  Robin also watched a National Geographic documentary about sharks.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Soccer & Chestnuts

Robin worked with Saxon Math 1.

He took a bike ride and played in his soccer scrimmage.  The score was 0 - 5 in favor of the opponents, but he seems to have had a good time anyway.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Midwife's Visit

Robin worked with Saxon Math 1 today.

He worked on spelling, and I read to him.

Including a book about home safety.  We also visited my midwife and Robin was able to see a picture of the baby at life size, and hear his brother or sister's heartbeat amplified by a doppler.

Robin practiced his soccer skills.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

A Wednesday

I read to Robin.

Including a book about the first transcontinental flight by an African-American.

And a book about 'extreme vehicles.'

Robin practiced soccer and took a bike ride.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

First Day of Mt. Airy Homeschool Co-Op

We had our first day of classes at the Mt. Airy Homeschool Co-Op today.

Robin's first class was Brainteasers.

His second period class is called the Anatomy of Stuff and involved disassembling electrical appliances - and then smashing them.

Final period was a science class about growing plants.

He also played Capture the Flag and rode his bike.

Sunday, September 9, 2012


I read to Robin today.

Including a book about Ron McNair, one of the Challenger astronauts, when he was a child in the segregated south.

And one about hearing.

Robin attended a worship service full of music, based around the song Kumbaya.  Robin definitely enjoyed the sillier moments in the service!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

First Soccer Practice/Scrimmage

I read to Robin today.

Including a book about a small town boy in Latin America, and one about the Hindu holiday of Diwali.

Robin had is first soccer practice and scrimmage today!  I was working, but what he told me about it was that there were NO GOALIES!  And that this was a bad thing.  But obviously he enjoyed it anyway :-)

Friday, September 7, 2012


Robin had a physical exam today.  According to the doctor, I have the cutest kids ever.  I was also pleased that when asked to, Robin was able to write numerals 0 - 10 with 6 and 9 in the right places - they often confuse him.

He worked with Saxon Math 1.

Robin did a word worksheet, and went to the library. I read to him.

Including a counting book in English and Chinese.

And a book about bones.

Thursday, September 6, 2012


Robin's about to start soccer and yesterday he got cleats, shin guards, and a soccer ball.  Today he went out to a field and kicked the ball around, and attended his brother's first practice

Robin worked with Saxon Math 1 today.

Robin did a spelling worksheet and I read to him.

Including a book about Pandora's box.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012


Robin worked with Saxon Math 1 today.

He did a spelling worksheet.  I read to Robin.

Including a book about the history of inventions.

And one about proper hygiene.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

First day at Mt. Airy Homeschool Co-Op

The serious version . . .
Robin attended the opening day of the Mt. Airy Homeschool Co-op today. Here he is with his siblings, in our version of a 'first day of school' shot. We will be attending weekly through November; Robin is signed up for some exciting classes (which I will detail later on.) Today he attended the kids' meeting, and had 'the best time ever!' playing Capture the Flag in the rain.

Robin went for a bike ride.

And the silly version . . .
He watched two documentaries about dangerous animals.

Friday, August 31, 2012


NumbersRobin worked with Saxon Math 1 today. We read a very simple book about numbers, really meant for much younger children, but Robin liked it quite a lot because of the level of detail - the 1 chicken laid 1 egg, the 4 watermelon slices each had 4 seeds and 4 stripes, etc.

Robin did a word worksheet and I read to him.

Including a book about emergency medical technicians.  Robin went for a bike ride.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

New Bike

Robin got a new bike today!  (His old one was, unfortunately, stolen.)

Robin worked with Saxon Math 1.

Robin did a word worksheet and I read to him.

Including a book about dust and where it comes from.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012


Robin worked with Saxon Math 1. We read a book about Zero.

Robin completed a word worksheet, and I read to him.

Including a bilingual book.

And a book about penguins.

Robin painted.

And took a walk.

Saturday, August 25, 2012


We read a book written from the perspective of a child living through a hurricane in Puerto Rico today, and it developed into a nice little 'unit study' on hurricanes. We looked up Tropical Storm Isaac (see picture) which is currently walloping Haiti and the Dominican Republic and heading for Florida and hurricane status. We watched a couple of YouTube videos of high winds and waves during hurricanes. I had to stop the video of tsunami footage shot by survivors because I am too emotional while pregnant to deal with it! But we discussed tsunamis, too, and how they form and how you would know one was coming, etc.  Robin asked how many hurricanes there have been in history. Records apparently go back to 1851 and Robin was fascinated to learn that there were 6303 recorded hurricanes around the world, over 161 years, for an average of just over 39 hurricanes a year.

Robin worked with Saxon Math 1.

Robin did a word worksheet, and I read to him.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

End of the Pool Season

 Today was the end of the pool season at the public pool we've been going to.  Robin had fun!  And ice cream after ;-)

Robin did some drawing.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Paper Airplanes

The Klutz Book of Paper AirplanesRobin worked on making paper airplanes today. We have a paper airplane book someone gave us years ago (maybe an uncle?) and while the planes are very cool, they are also pretty difficult and Robin is not terribly skilled at following visual, printed directions. I have had some success convincing him that is is fun (I should know since I did this a lot as a child) to make improv paper airplanes and see how they work.  He made one that resembled a skate or a ray.  We also worked with Saxon Math 1 today.

Robin completed a word worksheet and seems to be developing some better word recognition!  I read to Robin.

Including a book which I liked a lot - politics per monkey tribe (Looking for the Easy Life by Walter Dean Myers).

And a book about rain and one about the earth.

Robin went bowling.

Friday, August 17, 2012

The Experiment That Didn't Work

A lot of Robin's time today was spent on some experiments with batteries.  We got more 9 volt batteries but were still unable to get the batteries-spinning-a-magnet experiment to work.  However, he and his brother were able to successfully short out some batteries, creating sparks. Appropriately, we also read a book about science experiments that didn't work!

We worked with Saxon Math 1.  Robin also built a penny pyramid, and counted out the pennies he was using with his 100 number chart from his math work.

Robin worked with his flashcards and writing.  I read to him.

Including a book about Chinese characters.

Robin went for a walk and helped care for his younger sister, who had a fever.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Alphabet Recognition

We worked with Saxon Math 1 today.

Robin did some Montessori Pink Card words today.  I noticed that he was more confident identifying the letters by name, both during the exercise and at other times (during math work, on the computer keyboard).  I don't know how consistent that will be - but it's a good sign.  Robin tends to need a lot of repetition and practice - that's how he learns best - so hopefully this 'worksheet-y' approach will work well for him.  I read to Robin.

Including a retelling of the myth of Cupid and Psyche (this one was pretty 'prettied' up, IMO.)

We went swimming.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012


Robin worked with Saxon Math 1, and sorted Pokemon cards.

Robin worked with Pink Cards and wrote the words he tried to read.  I read to him.

Including a book about a polar bear cub raised in a zoo.

Robin went for a walk and did a lot of climbing and exploring on a great playground.  Which also has a sprayground.  Robin had a great time!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Reading by writing

Robin said something interesting to me today: "I don't know how to read it but I know how to write my name so I know that's it."  Now, obviously, this means he DOES know how to read it (which I already knew) but it gave me the idea that maybe we should be doing some more writing with him.  I decided to start by using a Montessori set of words called the "Pink Cards".  I printed out a set of cards from this site to use as flashcards, and then I made writing practice sheets using this site using the same words.  We did six words today and that seemed to be about the right amount.  I also read to Robin.

Including a retelling of Jason and the Argonauts and a book about butterflies.

We worked with Saxon Math 1 today.

Robin did some drawing.

We went for a walk.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Magnets and Batteries

Robin did some more sorting of Pokemon cards today, and some building with a castle construction toy.  He was very proud of both following the directions succesfully and then being able to build something freestyle.

 Robin attended his Religious Education class.

We went for a walk.  Robin climbed a traffic light pole, and then came down very quickly when we realized that there was a wasp nest at the top (and the wasps were on their way out!)

Robin participated in an attempt to make a wireless motor using batteries and a magnet. We were unsuccessful but have some more things to try to see if we can make it work.

Saturday, August 11, 2012


We went to a Food Festival at the historic Wyck House around the corner from our home. While there were undoubtably many historical aspects we mostly focused on the kids' crafts around seeds, recipes, etc.

We went for a hike to Toleration statue.
Robin helped sort the Pokemon cards he and his siblings inherited from their uncles (probably at least a thousand of them) into the 5 types and a pile of Trainer cards, and began sorting each pile roughly alphabetically so as to pull out one of each unique card to put in a binder.

We also looked up a simple magnetic spinner that Robin wants me to help him make tomorrow.

Friday, August 10, 2012


Robin did his first full lesson (#25) from Saxon Math 1.   He also took all the pieces from a game we have called Castle Keep and created a pretty neat 'castle' by connecting the wall and corner pieces in the ways allowed by the game.  This is hard to describe and I do have a picture but it's stuck in my phone.

I read to Robin.

Including a book about John & Abigail Adams.

Thursday, August 9, 2012


Robin went swimming today at one of the free, public pools in the city.  His technique has improved dramatically this year - his crawl looks like a crawl, he can do a backstroke, and tread water.  All briefly - but endurance and distance will come!

Robin completed another assessment in Saxon Math 1.  At Lesson 25 we've gotten to something he wasn't sure how to do (although he did it readily when shown how) so now we'll start going through lesson by lesson.

We went to the library.  I read several books to Robin.

Including one about sanitation in the city.

Saturday, August 4, 2012


We began our math year by having Robin take the first couple of 'assessments' in Saxon Math 1.  I love that they have the assessment lessons so I can figure out where we need to start working through the book this year.

I read comic books and other books to Robin.  He is working on alphabet recognition and sounds and also on some short-a sound, three-letter word flashcards.

We read a book about Abraham Lincoln.

Robin went swimming.  He also climbed around the Walnut Lane Bridge, after hiking there (with bare feet!)

Friday, April 13, 2012

Progress on Counting

Robin is making good progress with counting.  Reciting numbers isn't automatic for him, but he's now able to count pretty solidly to 100 with minimal prompting.  He's also getting the hang of counting by 10s - we are using a number chart and cuisinaire rods, which seem to be working well for him.

Robin did some drawing.

Robin read to me and I read to him.  

We went to Oxon Hill Farm with our homeschooling group this week and took a tour with  one of the Rangers there.  It focused on the dynamics of slave-holders and slaves at the time the house there was built, and on the Underground Railroad as it passed by the house.  

Robin walked and biked this week.

Robin went camping last week and learned about camping safety including fire building and safe fire tending.  We also read a book about camping safety.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Counting by 5s

The topic of counting by 5s has come up recently for Robin in Saxon Math K.  This has been quite challenging for him.  He needs a lot of repetition to learn things like this.  At the same time he has excellent pattern recognition skills.  We're supposed to use nickels, but it was just confusing him terribly.  So I got out the hundred number chart and showed him how to put a nickel on each multiple of 5.  He understood how to do that immediately, and once he got that he had no problem figuring out how many nickels it takes, for example, to make 35 cents.

I read to Robin and he read to me.

Including a bi-lingual retelling of Jack and the Beanstalk.

And a book about a boy who assisted the Wright Brothers at Kitty Hawk.

Robin jumped on a trampoline, walked, biked, played kick-ball, used a batting cage, and played miniature golf (Happy Birthday, Patrick!)

We read a book about rainforests and one about animals fighting.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Metal Detector

Robin found a magnifying glass/metal detector kit at the thrift store for 90 cents.  We weren't sure it would work but he put it together with some help from his dad and lo and behold it works quite well!  We read books about meadowlands, lions, tigers and sharks.  We looked up ligers and tigons.  We also had a discussion about sextuplets (Robin's sister is very interested in multiple babies).  

Robin continues to work with Saxon Math K.  This week's topics included tangrams, and we worked on counting a lot.

We read a book about markets around the world.

We read a book about the Great Depression.

Robin walked, roller bladed, and biked.

Friday, March 16, 2012


Robin got really into an experiment we did with magnetism:

The paperclip is defying gravity (well, sort of)!  We also visited the Battle Creek Cypress Swamp in Calvert County with our homeschooling group.  And read a book about owls.

We celebrated Pi Day on 3/14.  Robin worked on Saxon Math K.

I read to Robin and he read to me!  This is still so exciting.  We 'catch' him reading things occasionally, too, although he claims he is just 'guessing'.

We read a book about the Underground Railroad.

Robin and his brother had quite a jam session with a drum and the piano.

Robin walked and rode his bike.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Marble Run

This morning, after arriving at our house at 6:30 in the morning from our 2 week trip to Texas (we drove at night) Robin and his brother were inspired by an episode of Curious George to take our recycling and some tape and design a marble run.  I am especially impressed because they did it ALL by themselves, while I was unpacking and decompressing from the 36 hours in the car.  (Excuse the lousy photo - I forgot the camera was on manual!)  Robin did several puzzles, including one up to 550 pieces.

We spent the last two weeks on vacation, driving to Texas (through Virginia, Tennessee, & Arkansas) and visiting family in Austin and Roby.  Robin was quite interested in mapping our trip.

He learned about the history of Lady Bird Lake in Austin, TX.

Robin walked a lot, including in neighborhoods and along Lady Bird Lake.  He also did a lot of bouncing on giant trampolines (trust me, this is a major workout.)  He used his grandparent's apartment building's exercise room, too.

We visited the Texas Memorial Museum, a Natural Science museum including fossils and minerals from Texas (and dinosaur footprints!)  Robin also went to the Zilker Botanical Gardens in Austin.

Friday, February 24, 2012


Robin read his first book this week!  He's been doing pretty well with short-vowel sound flashcards so I got several level 1 easy readers out and we started with this one.  He's very proud of himself.  I'm proud of him, too!  He needs a bit of help sounding things out, of course, but this is the first step (yes!)

I read to him, too.

The math lessons this week involved learning to play War, which I'm pretty sure he already knew.  And we worked on counting and I think he's ironed out his avoidance of 15 and his uncertainty about transitions from 20s to 30, 30s to 40 etc.  We read a book about shapes and opposites.

Robin drew a birthday card for his uncle.

We read a book in Spanish.

Robin did some exercising.  We read a book about running.

We read books about sharks, animals, pumpkins, and bugs.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Gym Fun!

We visited a homeschool play-group at a rec center gym in Philadelphia this week.  Robin loved it!  They had these scooter-like things with a flat plastic seat, three wheels, and a handle-bar in front of the seat.  You sit on the seat, put your feet on the handle-bar, and hold the ends.  When you wiggle the handle-bar side-to-side, you move forward.  If anybody knows what they are called, tell me!  We also visited a homeschool coop, which Robin was a lot less enthusiastic about.

We read a book about peace illustrated entirely with quilts which he found very interesting.

Robin's Saxon K math this week included making various different types of patterns and practicing with word problems.

I read to Robin.

Friday, February 10, 2012


Robin took one of the 'assessments' in Saxon Math K today.  It was to sort and then graph pattern blocks.  I was quite impressed by the ease with which he did this.  He wouldn't have known how before, but he sure does now!

I read to Robin and he continued to work on learning short-vowel words.

We read a book about Buster (from the TV show Arthur) visiting Chicago.

A book about being sick and how to get better.

And books about the stone age and a woman pirate from the 17th century British Isles.  He also watched some of a documentary on WWII.

Robin did lots of walking, jogging, scootering, and strength training.

We read parts of a book about how things work.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Pattern blocks

One of Robin's Saxon Math K lessons this week involved replicating a pattern with pattern blocks, and then creating a different pattern within the same outline.  Robin loved this, and when he was done, he took the pattern blocks and created a design using every pattern block available.  He chose to do it symmetrically, although he knew he didn't have to.

I read to Robin and he practiced vowel-sound words.

We went to a buffet chinese restaurant for lunch with our homeschooling group in honor of Chinese New Year.  Robin also attended an RE class about this holiday.

Robin went swimming and roller-blading.

We read a book about bugs.

Saturday, January 21, 2012


Robin has been asking for at least two years to go skiiing - and this week he got his wish!  We went to Whitetail Resort and Robin skiied for 4 hours without stopping.  He fell down a lot at first, but after trying a slightly more challenging hill he got more confident on the bunny slope.  He had a great time.

Recent Saxon Math K topics have included ordering numbers through 20 and replicating patterns.

We found a vowel-sounds app for the iPod which Robin has completed all the free levels of and he's trying to get me to buy the $2.99 version.  I read to Robin regularly.

We read books about Hanukkah, Passover, Easter, narrow gauge railroads in the Rockies, and a bilingual Spanish/English book.

We read a book about the supermarket.

We read books about a Cuban girl who immigrated to New York in the 1950s and one about the building of the Great Wall of China.

We read books about winter and cells.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Reading Words

Opening presents Christmas morning!

I asked Robin to try reading some very simple words today, just to see what would happen.  I gave him "rat," "hat," and "bat."  We sounded them out together, since I know he is more confident about what sounds letters make than what their names are.  He felt successful!  And offered to do more right there and then, although because we had other things we needed to do, we didn't actually do more.  Next time!

Saxon Math K topics have included making charts (life-sized, on the floor), experimenting with geo-boards, and writing the numeral 3.

Robin made a pot out of clay.

We read a book about Nascar racing.  And one bilingual book.  Robin also practiced simple Spanish words and phrases with his newly adopted half-aunts (ages 11 and 13) from Bogota, Columbia.

We read a book about Samurai and one referencing Greek gods and heroes.

Robin tried a bean this week and although he did not like it, he did consume it.  His comment was that it tasted kind of like potatoes, which is an accurate description of the texture.

Robin enjoyed experimenting with making drums using a pick-up with his dad.

Robin is active nearly every day, either outside walking or biking, or indoors doing pull-ups, sit-ups, etc.

Robin is learning how to manage a wood-burning stove safely, including how to work the dampers, how to manipulate wood, and how to protect younger children from injury.  He especially likes splitting logs (small, pre-split logs that need further splitting into kindling.)

We read books on turtles and DNA.  One of our favorite Christmas presents (thank you Great-Grandpa & Great-Grandma) was a family membership to the Zoo, so Robin went to the Zoo and observed & photographed animals including apes, alligators, and goats.