Monday, August 19, 2013

Botkins webinar

I really enjoy the Botkin family and am joining their rafflecopter giveaway over at western Conservatory!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Cy 1/ Week 8 /Mrs Stokes

Week 8 explained

Week 7-12 with song

History sentence 

Tell me about the age of Imperialism.

During the age of Imperialism- Make crown on head
The British established rule -stand at attention like a British soldier.
over India-point to imaginary dot on forehead
Queen Victoria- make crown on head, then sign V
Empress -pound ground with imaginary scepter
of India- Point to forehead

assassination - Make gun with R hand and shoot at left hand
in 1948 -(whisper the date)
Mohanda G.-Prayer sign
Passive...Movement- R hand makes a gun, left hand reaches over, and puts it away.
India's independence-sign "I" with R hand, and an "I" with L hand

Monocot-really pronounce the mmmmonocot(while holding up 1 finger) monocots have 1 seed leaf
Dicot-say dicot (while holding up 2 fingers) dicots have 2 seed leafs
Conifer-sign an ASL pinecone. All finger tips touch while pointing up.

I have all the points located on the map ahead of time with correct pronunciation next to it (for me)
Huang-He (Wong Hay)-yellow River
Chang-Jiung (Chong jong)-long river
and the city of 
An-Yang (On yong)

Same as last week
is (kiss)
i (pretend to be scared "eee!")
em (look at pretend gem on ring finger)
e ( shrug with hands up, short e)
es (hold up pretend playing card for "ace"
um (rhymes with room)
ibus (big hiccup while saying it)
es (hold up pretend card for "ace")
ibus (pretend big hiccup)

of--sign "o" then "f"
off-place R fist on top of L fist. Raise top fist "off" bottom fist
on-Coming from previous preposition, put the Right "off" hand back ON the Left fist
onto-pretend to get ONTO a horse
out-flick thumb OUT and point it over your shoulder

Presentation-work on Poise. Speaking our best for the Lord, being prepared to present 
with confidence.

HANDS ON SCIENCE-- The kids did a great job, dissecting the Owl Pellets and finding the vole/mouse skeleton inside.
Many of us brought it home, and I look forward to seeing if anyone assembles a whole skeleton.
We learned that an owl has 2 parts to it's digestive system. A gizzard holds all undigestible material and is eventually spit up by the owl before it can eat again.
God made birds on day 5. He gave these owls the ability to see well in the dark, so that they can survive and multiply.
They are able to survive so well, based on the way they were created and designed.
Because of the specific design of their neck, ears and large tubular  eyes, they are able to rotate their head 270 degrees, differentiate many sounds and see very well in complete darkness.

cute video

Fine Arts.
In fine arts we covered the notes.
1/4 note = 1 beat (clap) a quarter note is filled in
1/2 note = 2 beats (clap clap) a half note is open with a stem
Whole note = 4 beats (clapclap clap clap) a whole note is open with no stem
We also covered the notes from the treble clef (right hand)
memorize the notes as EGBDF every good boy does fine)
when the notes land in the spaces it spells FACE going from bottom top.

If you could please bring your Foundations book to class, we will be sometimes using the music in it to play during tin whistle time.

PAGE 162+163 in Foundations

Saturday, September 29, 2012


 Here is your recap of Thursday's class.  
Don’t forget we are off next week, so you have two weeks to practice the week 6 memory work. 


No CC next week on Thursday, October 4. 
 Returning Oct 11.

Allen Family
Clean up: Stokes Family

Tin Whistles are required for weeks 7 - 12, for the music theory unit.  You can read more in Foundations  p 155 - 182

Crayfish anatomy (wk 7), Owl Pellet dissection (wk 8).  
You may prepare for these topics by reading reviewing Foundations p 139, gathering library books, and internet searches, etc.

Individual and class pictures will be October 18 (week 8) at lunch time - outside.  The pictures will be taken by Mr. Stokes.
Pictures will be emailed to you to forward on to family and friends or for you to print.

November 26 - (January 10 (review session at the park!)) -  CC resumes January 17.


History Sentence:  We used the song on the CC memory work CD and the following body movements. 

Taxes – rub fingers together, like you’re holding money
Slavery – hold your hands behind your back, wrists “cuffed”
Unemployment – pretend to pull out your pockets and they’re empty
Disease – put hand to feverish forehead
Contributed to – hold out arms like you are giving something to someone
The fall of Rome –Make a ASL "R" and have if fall in front of your body.

MathSkip counting song from the CC memory work CD. 
11s – to the tune of Ride a Cock Horse to Bambury Cross 

12s – to the tune of Ten Little Indians


Fish – ASL for "fish" (Right hand flat, then thumb up, with swimming motions)
Amphibians – Move from "fish" motion to a walking motion with fingers 2 & 3
Reptiles – ASL for reptile. (Peace sign moving up left arm)
Mammals – show off your gorgeous hair and pretend to hold baby
Birds – Make ASL motion for bird (thumb and pointer finger beak in front of your mouth)
Geography:  We traced the Roman Empire on the map.

Latin:   We used the song on the CC memory work CD.  We will do 2nd declension again next week, and again during weeks 17 and 18.

English Grammar: 
down squat down
during continue to squat and make your right arm do a wave in front of you.
except stand up and cross your arms in front of your chest to form an X
for palms up, elbows bent, pretend like you are holding out a gift
from pull arms toward yourself, accepting a gift from someone


The SKILL for Weeks 6 & 7 is ARTICULATION - Speak clearly so your audience can understand you.

When your child has the previous, INTRODUCTION memorized fluently, work on a new introduction.  It's easy to get comfortable....continue to grow and soon our child's OWN STYLE will emerge.
Introduction: (Wait 3 seconds) Thank you for joining me here this morning.  I'm ____ and I'm here to talk to you about...
Conclusion: (Wait 3 seconds) Thank you
Conclusion: Any questions?

Please practice presentations at home to stay within the 1-3 minute timeframe. I will make a gesture (hold up my watch) to wrap the presentation up if it goes over. Please do your very best at not requiring this prompting. 

Science Experiment: 
To the tune of All Around the Mulberry Bush:
The Scientific Method is Purpose, Hypothesis, Materials, Procedure, (snap or clap!), Results, Conclusion.
We talked about how smell affects taste, using an apple and a cotton ball soaked in vanilla.  We looked at a tongue diagram and the kids all drew one on their lab sheet.

Fine Arts/Drawing: Final project.  The kids were excited when I told them to draw anything they wanted as long as they used all five elements of shape and as many techniques from the last five weeks as they could.  I was pleased to see they had no trouble making a choice, and many included perspective and abstract elements in their drawings.  They seemed to really relax and just enjoy the time to draw. Please take a moment to look through their folders to see all their drawings, and to see how they’ve improved! 
 In my final project I drew a horizon line and then across the line, I drew trees with all kinds of abstract shapes (similar to this: ).  I also had a large house in the foreground and a small house in the background (perspective).  

At home:  Keep checking my pinterest board for ideas.  Feel free to follow me if you would like.  If you do a search on "Classical Conversations" within Pinterest, you will find a wealth of awesome ideas!  Here are a couple of my favorites this week.
If you didn’t see the skip counting worksheets from last week, here they are:
A free drawing book from 1913:
Mirror Images:
A way to incorporate nature study during the fall season with classifying and celebrating vertebrate animals (and a little bit of art, fun, and whimsy too!

Be blessed!
-Cati Stokes

Wednesday, September 26, 2012


Timeline: We used the hand motions from the CCTimeline video on Youtube. 

you tube timeline motions with music weeks 1-6

History Sentence:  We used the song on the CC memory work CD and the following body movements. 

Roman Republic – sign an R with each hand
Punic Wars – Make ASL sign language for wars
Pax Romana – make a peace sign with right hand
In 286 AD – point to peace (which now represents 286)
The empire divided – Cross hands and swing out away from each other
Western and Eastern – point West and East
Germanic barbarians – Lift right arm high wielding a sword
Defeated – stomp the ground
Western Empire –Point West
In 476 AD – Hold up 4 fingers and point at them with other hand.

MathSkip counting song from the CC memory work CD.

9s – to the tune of Battle Hymn of the Republic– Nine, Walk the line
10s – Shout them out!   – Or Jump them out!

What are the major GROUPS of INVERTEBRATES?  (stretch the words groups & invertebrates, and make motions, to make it more memorable)
Some major GROUPS of INVERTIBRATES are....Sponges The sponges (exaggerate the word sponges and act like you're squeezing something with your hands)
Stinging-cell animals and stinging cell animals (exaggerate cell animals and make a microphone with your thumb up)
Flatworms Were singing for the flatworms (make a flat hand)
Roundworms the roundworms (draw a circle with your fingers)
Segmented worms and the segmented worms! (Karate chop segments in front of your body)
Mollusks at the MALL-usks  (push a shopping cart)
Sea stars you can SEEEE STARS  (exaggerate See Stars)
Arthropods and leave in your arthRoPODS!! (zoom off in the distance with a flat hand away from your body)

Geography:  We traced and colored in the map.  
EGYPTIAN EMPIRE  (remember to use timeline hand motion for Egyptians - this integrates geography with the timeline)
Nile River (Trace in the direction it flows)
Upper / Lower Egypt
West / East Deserts
Nile Delta

Latin:  We used a few motions and We will do 2nd declension again next week, and again during weeks 17 and 18.

English Grammar: CC Chant from memory work cd, with hand motions.
between left hand on hip; point between eyes
beyond point to something in the distance
but sign a B, palm facing yourself
by keep signing the B, but rotate your hand out
concerning bring hands to chest, covering heart; look concerned

 this video for a demonstration:  I know the song is really fast, but just keep practicing!

Presentations:  The kids did great today.  Let’s focus on articulating well, and speaking clearly. If we do bring something to show during presentations-Please just bring 1 thing. Thanks so much. 
We eventually can move to a point where the kids can speak to us without a "Show & Tell" type prompt, but just using words. I notice when Tori brings in a Show & Tell item, she stares at IT, and not at the audience-so this Thursday next, will be her first time, with no Show and Tell item :)

Science Experiment 
To the tune of All Around the Mulberry Bush:
The Scientific Method is Purpose, Hypothesis, Materials, Procedure, (snap or clap!), Results, Conclusion.

We did the "Naked Egg" and the "Shrinking Egg"

Perspective – The kids did an amazing job drawing a perspective drawing of a house, with mountains, trees, cars, Pyramids, and other things off in the distance.  
New vocabulary words were horizon, foreground,background, vanishing point, depth, and perspective.
Here are some links for more perspective work at home:
Two point perspective worksheets:

Review Games : 
 We played N/S/E/W game and Rockets.

At home:  Keep checking my pinterest board for ideas.

Feel free to follow me if you would like.  If you do a search on "Classical Conversations" within Pinterest, you will find a wealth of awesome ideas!  Here are a couple of my favorites this week.

Ancient Rome on Google Earth:

Thank you to all the moms who helped in class today!   I could not keep order without you and I appreciate every one of you!
Have a wonderful week and please let me know if you have any questions, comments, or concerns.  

Be blessed!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Classical Conversations Cycle 1 Week 4

Hello All! Please be sure to scroll down to the bottom where I included a new section called "At Home" with some ideas you can implement at home.

Video of me for week 4 (10 min)

Bookmark these links for your children to use as review. Test them after they have had a chance to review several times.

You Tube timeline motions with music weeks 1-6

Week by week explanation - week 4

Try a new memory tool: Several times this week, write out all the events for week 1, 2, 3 & 4.

HISTORY: my motions on shorter video (3 min)

Tell me about the seven wonders of the ancient world.
The seven wonders of the ancient world are: 
Great Pyramids – fingertips of both hands touching forming a pyramid
The Hanging Gardens –hang arms over imaginary bar and swing elbow-to-hand back like a hanging plant
Temple of Artemis –put hands together in prayer, then make Artemis motion (circle representing the moon)
Statue of Zeus – sit down on your throne, holding a staff in one hand
Mausoleum – Cross arms over chest 
Pharos Lighthouse – put two fists up on either side of your face, and make your fists open/close quickly to show blinking lights.
Colossus of Rhodes -Stand erect with legs shoulder distance apart and hold 1 hand up (imaginary torch) and then run both hands parallel in front of your to show a road.

Try an additional memory tool: sketch pictures of each "wonder".  When we draw, it causes us to focus on details and remember.

We will be asked to articulate what we believe one day.  Learning our mother tongue provides the ability to say exactly what we intend to and allow others to know exactly what we mean.

5 prepositions
before arm out with palm facing you
behind flip palm out & move beside right shoulder
below arm bent with palm down & parallel to floor; other hand goes below
beneath bend knees more; move top hand below other hand
beside wipe hands to one side of hip

Try a new memory tool:  eraser method (it's a powerful tool!!)

We have one more week of Noun Endings-1st declension 
Choose a pronunciation and stick with it.  There is a Latin chart in the Memory Master Notebook - copy and laminate for lots of use!

Try a new memory tool: Have your child make flash cards and decorate them with pictures to help them remember, also do the dry erase method.

Math demonstrates God's truths of order.  It never changes.
Skip counting is a fundamental skill.  The classical education model focuses on the fundamentals being practiced to automaticity.
7s 7-84 Tune: Frere Jacques Seven- reach to heaven
8s 8-96 Tune: If Your Happy And You Know It Eight-walk the straight (balance beam)

Try a new memory tool: REEEAAALLLYYY exaggerate the numbers where appropriate.  When we change our voice or exaggerate words, it's more memorable.  Place pieces of painter tape on tile floor - create a hop scotch coming to the breakfast table!  For older students - create a timed test.  There is no such thing as knowing math too well or being too fast or too accurate.....practice, practice, practice!

The Lord created the land and sea on day 3. 
Parents -  Review p 132 of the Foundations Guide.  Please consider these, at home, methods of memorization for your children.

Warm ups: Review Continents, review and trace blob maps & great circles.
Practice drawing on a blank piece of paper at home - use a printed blob map as a reference.  Notice where the continent blobs cross each great circle.  Take time at home to focus on these details.  In class we will do this activity very swiftly without any labels....simply draw quickly, point and share what each feature is to the parent.

Asia Minor
Arabian Desert 

Try a new memory tool: use typing paper (rather than tracing paper) and trace each empire, color and label.  Frame with colored paper and hang on the wall or place in the bathroom to be admired while brushing teeth.

Let's explore how the Lord created order in the plant kingdom.
What are some parts of a plant cell?
Some parts of a plant cell are...
Nucleus    act as a plant new to a jail cell and rattle the bars   say I'm new to jail and I don't want to be here   say NEW-cleus
Cytoplasm sit down and sigh say SIGH-toplasm
Vacuole stand up and vacuum  say VAC-uole
Mitochondria act as if you accidentally vacuumed over your toe and it hurts say MYYYYY TOOOEEE-chondria
Cell Membrane say I'm sitting down in my CELL to hold my BRAIN (membrane)
Cell Wall stand up and act like a mime feeling the wall
Chloroplasts jump against the wall  say CHLO-PLAAST (the sound made banging into the wall)
Golgi Bodies say "OH GEE (pause) BODIES" (like your upset that you didn't break the wall)
Try another memory tool:  CC connected has a song,  Or, write the parts of a plant cell every day (perhaps several times).

The scientific method is a step by step way of solving a problem.  
To the tune of All Around the Mulberry Bush: The Scientific Method is Purpose, Hypothesis, Materials, Procedure, (snap), Results, Conclusion.
VanCleave's 201 Awesome Experiments, #62.  Lab sheet p 138 - Foundations Guide

Purpose: To observe the outreaching effect of a small amount of pollution on a stream and its wildlife
Materials: 250 ml tap water
1 gallon jar or bowl
1 drop red food coloring
GOD'S TRUTH: We know that we are called to have dominion over, and subdue the earth (Gen 1:26-28) We talked about being responsible with our actions. Being careful to not pollute streams and water sources.
Imagine the red food coloring as our sin.  No matter how much water we add, (even if the red is no longer seen) we know that it is still there.  It prevents us from living a full life - the life God intended us to live.  Jesus is the only one who can restore us, and remove those blots from our life. We can confess any sin and be restored.

Review the truth of each experiment with your daily memory work.  Place the truths on a 3"x5" cards.

We do our best, to the glory of the Lord.
 I was pleased with the presentations this week-I love learning more about what each of these children like to do outside of CC.

For week 5 our SKILL to practice is Volume:  - speak with appropriate loudness so your audience can hear you.
Remember to stand in front of class. Wait 3 seconds while looking at your audience, then begin a 1 - 3 minute presentation with "Good morning, my name is ___.  Today I would like to share with you...
Conclude by waiting 3 seconds while looking at your audience, and then say "thank you".

We practiced ABSTRACT ART.  In latin, Ab meas "away from".  In this case, away from the natural world of elephants. 
(more ideas below, really look for the 5 basic elements of shape OiLs)

The Story of 1, with host Terry Jones, takes the viewer through the ancient civilizations we have been studying and shares how numbers were invented. It can be found on Netflix or at the library.

Here is my CC pinterest board

A drawing idea for prepositions:

Make a jello plant cell

Thank you to all the moms who helped in class today!  I appreciate you!
Have a wonderful week and please let me know if you have any questions, comments, or concerns.  

Be blessed!
-Caitlin Stokes

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Better late than never?

How sad is this? My last blog post was 3 months ago. Pa-the-tic! (This will be the introduction of all my posts, because I will always be behind and late ;-)

We have been very busy with Arizona Virtual Academy.
 Busier than I would like. Busy on things like Art, Science, and Music (subjects we did not work on last year) We do not have the time to do what we lived, breathed, & ate last year, which was plenty of time in God's Word, memorizing scripture & hymns, and learning about History with an emphasis on the moral ramifications of each event, and an in depth study of personal choices with historical figures.

Last year, was the year of Sonlight Curriculum. This year is the year of AZVA curriculum-Where I have to pre-read a lot of it, so I don't accidentally say out loud 'Scientists believe that amphibians were the precursors to mammals, and possibly developed from some slimy algae' ---uh-no, we are learning about evolution-but not as fact from our Science book! I have been using Ken Ham's Answers in Genesis to help me teach about Evolution, alongside the biblical view of Creation.

I was disappointed that not much reading occurs in AZVA. (After reading over 100 books in 2nd grade last year for Sonlight)
So, I downloaded Sonlight's 3rd grade reading list and ordered as many as I could from the library and Amazon.
Our first book to arrive was Pocahontas and the Strangers by Clyde Robert Bulla. It was such a great read! -I love all of Mr Bulla's works and this was no different.

The book starts with Pocahontas, in a forest, hunting with her brother, watching a soaring bird, and ends with her dying, whilst remembering that soaring bird, and the camaraderie of hunting with her brother.

Most all of us know this story of a young girl, running through the forests of Virginia-carefree, happy, ignorant.
She meets a group of Colonists and learns English, she really does save John Smith from certain death on a few occasions.
Towards the end of the book, a sad twist occurs. John Smith leaves, Pocahontas is kidnapped and kept in Henricus until her father meets the demands that the Governor has given.
There in Henricus, Pocahontas learns about the Lord, becomes a Christian, and is baptized.-Turning away from the Native Americans Pantheistic ways.
  She then marries John Rolf and goes to England. She is happy in England, but longs to return to her home in Virginia with her baby son and husband. She never makes it. She dies, on a boat, in an English harbor.-This is a really quick summary-but you get the idea!

At the end of the book, Jessica and I discuss how the book made us feel, what we liked about the story what we didn't like.
 I went first. I told Jessica that I felt ' Pocahontas was better off before the Colonists ever came.
They brought disease, stole things from the tribe, took land, kidnapped Pocahontas, (sexually abused her while in Henricus) Dressed her in English clothes, changed her name, and then took her to a foreign country where she died as a very young woman still. (Her life ahead of her)

I liked the idea of Pocahontas never meeting the settlers, never hurting, or sad.
 Just enjoying the unadulterated forest of Virginia for her entire life. Marrying a fellow Indian prince and living to a ripe old age in a warm Wigwam somewhere. I felt like she had been cheated by the English, and it wasn't fair!'
Jessica looked at me and simply said. 'I know what you mean, mom, but if the settlers had never come, and never took her to Henricus, she never would've learned to read the Bible, or became a Christian-and then when she died, she wouldn't have gone to heaven'

EXCUSE ME WHILE I PICK MY JAW OFF THE FLOOR-WHAT?!?!? Did my little 8 year old child just tell me a basic biblical truth that I hadn't even CONSIDERED, regarding the eternal life of Pocahontas? Yes, yes she did. I am quite proud of Jessica for realizing something that is more important than fairness, or happiness of an individual-The significance of knowing the Creator of the Universe has forgiven you, is all that matters.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Saving money? I'll give it a try!

 Ever since Bobby and I were married, I've always worked.
I worked as a nanny, a babysitter, a substitute teacher at a Montessori school in Denver. I had an errand service, & worked as a personal assistant to a successful lawyer (worst)
I took part in surveys, cleaned houses, whatever I could do to help contribute to the family.

  My parents also taught me high work ethics.
--Get up early, study hard, work as hard as you can at what you love doing, and money will follow--

As my girls have gotten older, and we decided to homeschool I decided not to work, and keep them as my first mission field. I will be accountable before the Lord one day, for my responsibility to teaching them of God and His Word-I take this job very seriously!

I will still work a couple times a month if a family needs help, organizing or cleaning, I see it as a ministry also.

This though is getting more tricky as my girls get older and require more- More in the sense of their emotional needs, talking more, asking more questions about "Who am I ",  "Why am I here?"
We are moving towards more complicated school work, that requires lots of plan & prep work. Drill work (multiplication tables)  takes time, and with Tori starting Kindergarten this year, it is my goal that she is reading by age 5. (359 days away!)

Why this huge prologue? LOL Well, with me not working as of July 20th and Bobby paying off houses, cars, and student loans-I am going to be more efficient with the money we have set aside each month for groceries/gas/play.

First on the list, I started couponon-ing. May 1st 2011 was the first week I started and in about 2 months I have spent about 1/3 my normal grocery bill and have an average saving of 66% every time. You should see my pantry-It's crazy!

When it comes to saving $$ the idea to come up most often is making your own laundry detergent and dish detergent.
Dish detergent is salt, borax, washing soda, and citric acid.

 Laundry detergent is a grated Fels Naptha bar, borax, & washing soda. (which is bicarbonate)

           Mixing , mixing, mixing mixing. (I'm glad I save yogurt containers, they were perfect)

Tori was very proud. Immediately afterwards we used both in a load of clothes, and a load of dishes. They worked superbly.  It cost about $ 1.75 for 32oz of each type of detergent (16 laundry loads & 64 loads of dishes)
I will also be making my own bread each week, and planting a garden. Yay for being a good steward of what God has blessed us with.