“The Best Day Ever”

Yesterday we had our back to school celebration. Ani declared it the Best Day Ever. I made sure the kids got dressed as soon as they got up and took their picture in front of a “Welcome Back to School” banner I made for them.
Back to School

I told them to look in their pencil boxes. There they found the first of six clues for a scavenger hunt.
Back to School

And off they went reading the clues and figuring out where they should go to find the next clue.
Back to School

They both had a great time looking for their clues.
Back to School

The sixth clues led them to the surprises they were looking for.
Back to School

Backpacks filled with school supplies (plus a few fun things)!
Back to School

I even sewed Calvert School patches onto the backs of their backpacks.
Back to School

They had fun looking through their backpacks to see what they got.
Back to School

They were both very happy with their things.
Back to School

Then they got to look over their school things. Cameron was thrilled with his dry erase board.
Back to School

And then it was off to breakfast at IHOP. Jamie stayed home from work for the morning (the kids didn’t know he was going to until they got up) so it was the whole family.
Back to School

The kids all ate very well.
Back to School

We returned home to another surprise: Cirkis.
Back to School

We played a couple games before Jamie had to head to work.
Back to School

A few “back to school” pictures…
Back to School

…and we’re ready for our new year to start on Monday!
Back to School

Download N Go Expedition China

We did the Expedition China Download N Go last week. We learned all sorts of things about China, the most interesting being that all of the cities we learned about are exactly 12 hours off of our time (eastern) and the temperatures were very similar to our own. For some reason Cameron was fascinated by the fact that there is golf in China.

Expedition China

After we finished the five day study, we went to a Chinese restaurant for dinner. The first thing we were greeted with when we walked in was a lovely water display.
Expedition China

After we ate lots (and lots – it was a buffet) of food, we had fortune cookies.
Expedition China

Expedition China

Another really fun study!

Box Day for Ani

Last weekend we received the last of our Calvert boxes. This box day was for Ani.
Ani's Box Day

We went through the fifth, sixth, and seventh grade samples on-line and really agonized over the grade to put her in. She would be going into 5th grade if she went to public school. However, because of what we’ve used for school over the years we can’t point to a grade and say she’s completed that grade.
Ani's Box Day

We initially had planned to put her in 5th because of her age and lack of much US History. But it was clear from the sample that she was well beyond what that would provide her. I leaned strongly toward putting her in 6th grade. It would not be difficult for her, but she would be able to get a lot out of it.

Ani and Jamie wanted her in 7th grade. It was obvious she’d be able to do the work. She had no problem with the sample. But, it would be challenging for her. Ani said she’s never been challenged in school. It’s always been easy. And so she wanted the challenge of 7th grade. I still wasn’t sold on skipping her two grades, but in the end, with a lot of pressure from Ani and Jamie, I ordered 7th grade (Scholastic version) for her. Looking through everything I do think it’s a perfect fit for her.

We got such awesome stuff in the box. I ordered a couple enrichments for her to go along with her regular curriculum.

Ani's Box Day
Discoveries in Reading 7a and b. These each came with several books and activities and lessons to go with them. Through this program, she’ll be reading Julie of the Wolves, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Giver, Medieval Times Through the Enlightenment, Red Scarf Girl, Hatchet, The Call of the Wild, and Famous Stories for Performance over the course of the year.

Ani's Box Day
I gave her the choice of Latin, French, or Spanish. She chose Spanish. The first year of Spanish came with a lesson manual, textbook, and workbook. I took 2 1/2 years of Spanish and have forgotten most of it so I am excited to get to relearn it along with Ani.

Ani's Box Day
Since we are not using ATS I also ordered the Calvert Test Series for core and for math. I also got the printed answer keys for core and for math.

The 7th grade curriculum is very complete. Ani was so excited going through everything. She’s been begging to start it right now. I think I’ve got her convinced that it’s okay to wait until our planned start date of August 2nd.

Ani's Box Day
She’ll be reading Around the World in Eighty Days, Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry, Classic Poems to Read Aloud, The Diary of Anne Frank, and The Miracle Worker. Before we decided to switch to Calvert I had actually planned for her to read Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry and The Diary of Anne Frank this coming year.

Ani's Box Day
She will be studying architecture this year. She’s quite excited about that both because she loves looking at old buildings and because Annabeth (from the Percy Jackson series) was into architecture. There’s a book about architecture and a spiral bound book of pictures of old buildings. Ani’s already spent quite some time going through those pictures. Also pictured are two pads of lined paper and a pad of blank paper.

Ani's Box Day
Somehow my daughter figured out negative numbers on her own. I’m not quite sure how. That’s what 7th grade math starts with. The math includes a textbook, workbook, and a huge lesson manual.

Ani's Box Day
Calvert gives you a lot of lesson manuals. These are the computer applications and skills manual and the two huge regular lesson manuals.

Ani's Box Day
Her textbooks look nice. There’s an Everyday Spelling workbook, Elements of Language textbook, Across the Centuries textbook, and The World and Its People Geography textbook.

Ani's Box Day
She got lots of science textbooks. There’s a set of science activity sheets and five textbooks: Animals, From Bacteria to Plants, Human Biology and Health, Motion, Forces, and Energy, and Sound and Light.

Ani's Box Day
Ani was very interested in her science kit. She got some graduated cylinders, a prism, a hand lens, and a few other things. She also got a compass to draw circles and a little composition book. Totally awesome stuff!