FRC Regional Tournament

Hello all! It’s been quite a while since I’ve had a chance to update! Our winter has been VERY busy! We are still fighting this winter weather, sadly, here in NC! It’s mid-March and most of the school systems are closed AGAIN today because of the icy conditions. We are SO ready for spring!

One fun event that we recently had a chance to attend was the FIRST Robotics FRC Regional Tournament in Raleigh. The Conductor is on a local Jr.FLL team here locally and he can’t wait til he’s old enough to be on the FRC teams! They really are exciting ;)


Here’s a little more info about FRC:

The FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) is the premier engineering challenge for high school students. Teams of students, working closely with teachers and volunteer mentors, have six weeks to conceptualize, design, build, program, modify and test a robot to participate in a competition that changes each year.

Every January, FIRST unveils the competition or “game” at an annual kick-off event that is simulcast to locations around the world. Teams receive a “kit” of common parts that are used to build the core systems of the robot, but they won’t find an instruction manual! Students work with hundreds of components, including engineering mainstays such as programmable radio controllers, motors, electrical circuitry and mechanical parts. Following the six-week design and build phase, teams enter one of 77 regional or district competitions, including the 2014 North Carolina Regional.

The season culminates with the FIRST Championship, a three-day event attended by more than 20,000 students, families and friends.


If you are anywhere near a local event, you should definitely stop by a tournament! FIRST has been a terrific program for our family and many of our friends as well!



Day in the Life Hop


I wrote a little bit about how our days look in the Curriculum Week post, but I thought I’d go into a little more detail in this post.

Each day, the Conductor has a set ‘block’ of work that I strive for him to do. These are mostly the books that are specifically setup with a 36 week time frame…


Daily Work


We are *very* active in our many homeschool groups and participate in more co-ops than most people would consider ‘normal’ ;) Here’s a breakdown of how each day looks:


Arabic School (9:30am-1:30pm weekly)


History Co-Op (1pm-4pm weekly) – using Story of the World vol. 2

Chapter Book Club (4pm-6pm monthly)


Jr. First LEGO League (10am-12pm bi-weekly)

Boys Adventure Club (2pm-4pm weekly)

Book Work “extras” (weekly)


Homeschool P.E. (11:30am-1pm weekly)

4-H Cloverbuds (1:30pm-3:30pm bi-weekly)

Book Work “extras” (weekly)


Science Club (10am-12pm weekly) – using RSO: Chemistry

Book Work “extras” (weekly)


Occasional Park Day w/ one of our homeschool groups (10am-12ish)

Book Work “extras” (weekly)

He also has several on-going events that have less of an actual schedule. Chess Club will be starting back up monthly very soon, and he is also joining a Minecraft Club with our local group, but I think it will mostly be done at home.


Make sure to stop by the Blog Hop post to see how others run their day! Thanks for stopping by :)

wright brothers unit

Wright Brothers Unit – Happy Birthday Orville!

Orville Wright was born on August 19th, 1871 in Dayton, Ohio. Orville Wright and his elder brother, Wilbur Wright, were the inventors of the world’s first successful airplane. The brothers successfully conducted the first free, controlled flight of a power-driven airplane on December 17, 1903.

Living in NC, we’ve been fortunate enough to visit the actual spot in Kill Devil Hills where the brothers had their first successful flight(s) and we’ve visited the  Wright Brothers National Museum in Kitty Hawk. If you are ever near the Outer Banks in NC, you really must pay a visit. They have great activities for kids year round as well.

We’ve also had a chance to visit Dayton, Ohio, where there is a wonderful (and FREE) National Museum of the Air Force right nearby. They have lots of great activities for kids at the museum, including a Homeschool Day coming up in October, and even a Wright Brother’s Day coming in December.

Monument dedication with Orville Wright in 1932.

Did You Know?

 The Wright Monument is the largest monument in this country built to a living person. Orville Wright attended the Monument dedication in 1932.

wright brothers unit

To kick off our Unit Study, I pulled out some new chapter books  about the Wright Brothers that we own. I LOVE the Childhood of Famous Americans series – we own quite a few in the series already and I’m always keeping an eye out for more of them. We revisited our Glorious Flight lapbook from our FIAR days. Although the lapbook was actually done with the story of Louis Berlot, many great components are included about flight in general that were great for review!

Check out my Wright Brothers Unit Study Pinterest Board for fun project ideas, crafts and more. The Teachers Guide also has a great page full of all sorts of aviation project ideas, clipart, and so much more.


One of our favorite field trips, locally, is to the Observation Deck at RDU Airport. We’ve been visiting for years and it never gets old! If you are ever traveling through Raleigh, make sure to stop by and check out the Observation Deck! The photo above is from our very FIRST trip to the Observation Deck, when the Conductor was only 17 months old :)


Maker Faire NC 2013


Last weekend, we attended our first Maker Faire! I’ve always heard about them AFTER the fact, so I was thrilled that I caught the date in time this year!!

Sponsored by Make: Magazine, the Maker Faire is packed full of fascinating projects! “Every year at Maker Faire North Carolina Makers, Crafters, Inventors, Evil Geniuses, Scientists and Artists come together for a day of family-friendly fun and inspiration. From home-made cookies to home-made robots, Maker Faire: NC promises something for everyone in a showcase of the American creative spirit.” – Maker Faire NC


Needless to say, it was SUPER packed! I thought maybe it wouldn’t be *as* busy since it was on Father’s Day weekend – but BOY was I wrong…I think everyone was coming out BECAUSE it was Father’s Day weekend (what better event to do w/ dad?!). In any event, it was still a VERY cool event to check out and we will definitely have to stop by again next year I think!

You can view more photos of the event on the Maker Faire NC Facebook page.


Best Week Ever

That’s what he called it anyway ;)

The Conductor just celebrated his 7th birthday at the end of November! We celebrated with family on the weekend of his actual birthday – complete with foam lightsabers ;)

pool noodle lightsabers

We followed up the celebration with an AMAZING trip to Florida (his BIG present from my parents). We started off the trip with a visit to Universal Studios Islands of Adventure – including the Wizarding World of Harry Potter!

Wizarding World of Harry Potter

It was amazing to get to walk down the streets of Diagon Alley and visit some of the shops JUST like the books/movies. We ate lunch at the Three Broomsticks and enjoyed a mug of yummy Butter Beer! The rides were also fantastic – we didn’t brave the Dragons Challenge (loopy upside-down roller coaster), but we did enjoy riding the Hippogriff coaster several (seriously, like 5-6) times and also enjoyed the Forbidden Journey ride twice. That ride is a bit intense, but it’s SO worth it for true Harry Potter fans! The Conductor said he closed his eyes when we got to the part with the Dementors, but otherwise he LOVED the ride!

After spending nearly the ENTIRE day at Universal’s Islands of Adventure (nearly from open until close), we went home and rested up for our big day the following day…a trip to LEGOLAND Florida!!

Like the previous day at Universal, we LITERALLY spent the entire day at LEGOLAND. We arrived just as they opened and left just as they were closing the doors!

There are so many awesome things for ALL ages at LEGOLAND Florida – it was one of the coolest places for kids that I’ve ever been to! The Conductor was tall enough to ride everything by himself if he wanted to, but we chose to ride with him on some of the rides too. My dad was his counterpart for most of the rides at Universal and at LEGOLAND ;) They had a blast!

MY favorite part of LEGOLAND Florida had to be the Brickbeard Show though. It was SO fun!

I mean, where else can you find water skiing LEGO men? LOL!! They arrived in high fashion, as did Brickbeard himself…

But Princess Miranda and the soldiers fought him and his nasty band of pirates off (although, not before getting tied up and having the deckhand scream “Leggo my LEGO!”) – huge roars of laughter on that one ;)

The Conductor said that it was the best week of his life so far. :) Can’t believe my sweet little guy is already SEVEN years old! Happy Birthday!!!