Monday, May 28, 2012

Quercus Alba Graduates

Our time at Quercus Alba Academy of Magic has officially come to an end. We started as acorns, grew into seedlings, then saplings and discovered that our roots run deep. We learned who we are and how to "be". We ended the year as mighty oaks ready to face the storms of life.  I am very proud of these kids and all their hard work this year.

And of course we had to have some more yummy treats.

not pictured is the most amazing thing.... butter beer. I love that stuff. 

We will take a few days off to recoup from the craziness of the last week of school, then we will start summer school. Homeschooling for us is now a year round endeavor. I learned this year that it is too stressful to try to fit everything into a traditional school year. It will be a more relaxed schedule though and we can get caught up on some of the more mundane things, like math.

Much Ado About Nothing

The more I read, see, listen to Shakespeare the more I LOVE IT! And I have to admit my heart skips a beat when I hear my 5 year old saying, "To be or not to be, that is the question? That's from Hamlet!" Or when my 12 year old quotes Beatrice from Much Ado About Nothing, "Foul words is but foul wind, and foul wind is but
foul breath, and foul breath is noisome; therefore I will depart unkissed." and I can invision her saying this to some poor boy some day. 

Our latest Shakespearean experience was to go to the Redlands Shakespeare festival. We went to a workshop about stage fighting and the kids learned the first 3 rules to sword fighting on stage. Eye contact, eye contact, and.... you got it.....eye contact. They were able to hold different kinds of swords and even learn some technique. It was a neat experience.

We then had a picnic dinner before the show, Much Ado About Nothing, at an outdoor amphitheater. It was fun to see the actors that worked with us in the workshop perform on stage. It was a great production, even the boys seemed to enjoy it. 

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Why you shouldn't pick your nose

William shared this information with me today and I just had to take a break from my to-do list to tell you about it.

"Picking your nose is bad because that is your brain inside there and you could destroy it."

At this point I look over and, you guessed it, William has his finger up his nose. I raised my eyebrows at him as he quickly hid his finger behind his back and said with a little chagrin, "That is the last time I am going to pick my nose. My brain was just a little too big so I had to get rid of some of it."

I am still laughing.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Family Tree

This started out as a school project, but it kinda turned into a mommy project. It's still not quite finished...but it's close.

Painting on the fence is really fun, and helps keep me content to stay in this house a little longer. 

Thursday, May 17, 2012


At Hogwarts, O.W.L. stands for Ordinary Wizarding Levels. At Quercus Alba, it stands for Outstanding World history Learner.  We started working on this in September and at the end of our "5th" year, a couple of weeks ago, students had to be able to recite the history of the Western World from the creation to modern America. Alahna was the only one from our family to earn her O.W.L. award. It was beyond the boys ability and Anna just got bored with it. The video is a bit long, but if you watch it you will realize what an accomplishment this was.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Some Reminiscing

I have been going through our home videos the last couple of days trying to clean out my memory cards. We have been having lots of fun reminiscing and I have come across a couple of real treasures. Here are a couple of Anna singing some songs from her last school play at Discovery School of the Arts, Geology Rocks. I can't believe how much she has changed!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Oh Happy Day

Last week, a friend posted on Facebook that the Britannica Great Books of the Western World were for sale at the local library. I couldn't sleep that night. I was so excited and also worried that someone else would beat me to them. So I was at the library just a few minutes after they opened and now they are mine! I also scored a few other treasures.

I spent $28 for 74 books, most of them in mint condition. I was giddy for days. The nerd in me felt like a kid on Christmas morning!

Friday, May 4, 2012


Studying herbology gives me a good excuse to work in the yard during school time. We have been pulling weeds and studying their root systems, digging in dirt, learning about different kids of dirt and what kinds are best for growing things, planting herbs and seeds, and learning about how plants get food and grow.

When we weren't "working" for school we did some further investigating. I was surprised when we learned about photosynthesis that Lahna had never heard of it before. I was pleased when we learned about plant cells that Anna was interested enough to watch a rather intense youtube video exhaustively describing the process of photosynthesis within a plant cell..... 3 times. I laughed because we talked about pollination and the girls made faces when I told about the "male" and "female" parts of a plant.  And when Robert and William requested the story of the very hungry leaf....again and again, I had a feeling of satisfaction that they were learning and enjoying it.

Yup, I love homeschooling.

"The Very Hungry Leaf" taught is about Photosynthesis. Robert is feeding the leaf energy from the sun.

William, with his I am smiling face, is about to feed the leaf carbon dioxide.
We collected samples of dirt from different areas near our house. We put the dirt in jars, added water and gave them a good shake. We then watched the dirt settle.
We made a plant cell cake. The kids did all the decorating and it turned out really well. Even Robert and William helped.

The kids presented the cake as a group project.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Please Keep Growing

William, talking to the tadpoles yesterday: "Please, please, please, grow into frogs before you die. I just really want to see you turn into a frog and just know your are going to die before you are a frog. Pleeeease don't die."

So far, I have gotten away with just flushing them down the toilet when they die, but this kid is getting a little attached. I really don't want to have any tadpole funerals. 

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Care of Magical Creatures

We are now down to 4 tadpoles. The death of the last one was a little traumatic for William. The one that died was the biggest and had his back legs, but for some reason was stuck upside down, therefore couldn't eat. There is one more with his back legs and we are anxiously watching the rest for changes.  They have been surprisingly entertaining. Even David and I find ourselves drawn to them.

Last Friday we received our caterpillars in the mail. They are growing so fast and should start forming their chrysalides by the end of the week.

The day they arrived in the mail.
This morning, just 4 days later.


We are loving t-ball around here. Practices are only once a week, games are only an hour, and most importantly, Robert loves it, and we love watching him!

Robert with one of his best buddies, Sam

Robert played against 2 of his good friends, Kennedy and Mackenzie