Friday, January 30, 2009

100 DAYS!

The boys and I are headed to Omaha to celebrate there with Gramma and Grampa. We'll also celebrate Gramma's birthday with extended family! 100 Days is a long time and it's finally getting a little easier. At least I know what to expect even it my children are oblivious. The little girl gets to do a campout with the Daddy for Indian Princess weekend. I just hope I don't end up with girl-sicle. Cheers!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Violin/Piano and new library books

G#3 finished reading/listening to Stuart Little and is now started My Side of the Mountain. He seems to like the idea of setting out on his own. G#1 is finishing The Magician's Nephew soon and has now read how Narnia began. His is a most trying task because he answers comprehension questions in complete sentences now that he is in second grade. It's a tough job, but he's really enjoying the book. G#2 is finished with Through the Looking Glass and is reading/listening to From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. She is getting lost less frequently, but needs watching because she slyly disregards the words as she listens to the story. But, she is narrating thoroughly the story to me when she finishes each day.

Violin is begun for G#3 and he has an official lesson book too. Our piano teacher is also home schooled and chose violin for her second or third instrument, so knew exactly what we needed. I'm fixin' to rig the violin and bow, and maybe even a teacher, now that I know where to have him measured for the proper size. The other two are doing well and enjoy the piano lessons, if not the practice. I'm amazed at their fingers and how small their hands are still.

I'm posting another ad from Intercontinental Hotels which puts into words an aspect of my philosophy for life. I also enjoy the creative adverts from AT&T. Those marketing folks are brighter than the usual bulbs. What do these images conjure up in your mind?

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Mapwork builds character and maps

We've finished using the Dover State Birds book to identify each state bird in order to admission to the Union. We noticed that the Cardinal lives mostly in the upper midwest to east coast because there were seven states which claimed it as their state bird. We'll keep mapping similar birds as we move west and states are added on the timeline. We've established where each of the 44 presidents of the United States were born and mapped that information. Noting in that exercise that the highest number of presidents were born in Virginia and Ohio. We also observed that as states from the west and south entered into the Union later in time and presidents were born further west and south.

We were also able to finish work on the history chapter about the Franks and Clovis. We get to talk about the Moors next. The work on Jupiter is done and we'll talk about Saturn next. But that's enough about school stuff, let's talk about warmer weather and snow! No, let's go play!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Monopoly on a sub-zero evening after waffles

Everyone was filled to the brim with whole wheat waffles from Alton Brown's recipe. Bacon was a winner tonite from Oscar. So, the Daddy went back out to snow blow the drive way while we put away our school room (library where Daddy's computer desk lives) and ready to resume the game of monopoly. It's just so cold.

Each of us is becoming more independent in finishing what is set before us each day. God allows us each what He would have us do each day. We're set for a report on Galileo from the History Scribe pages tomorrow because the Notebooking2Learn pages for Jupiter are completed. Mommy just needs to pay attention and keep from messing with the facebook rubbish. Cheers

Friday, January 9, 2009

Finishing Week #18

The boys, like their father, are more consistent with this rising early and working through their weekly checklist of school work expeditiously. I need to be a better example. I've been able to rise early as well and complete my Bible study before coming down to find them with their noses in the books. We all enjoy our afternoons much more too. The snow is being shoveled from the driveway and ensuing play in the snow is had; I made home made laundry soap yesterday; we went to the library and enjoyed some new books and cd-rom time there; we vacuumed the entire first floor of our home together in order to prepare for evening guests last night; and today there is a play date planned for G#1. It was good to sign up for the winter reading program at the library and each are anxious to finish it. I'm excited that Jupiter is half covered and they still enjoy knowing more about the fifth planet. When you next see them, ask them about Jupiter - they're really paying attention to this one. I've asked G#1 to read through 2 sections of the book about where babies come from. Yes, it's a little early, but it's better if he learns it from us than from the neighbor kids down the street. Today, I'm hoping to make paper. I picked up the book at the library to walk me through it. I would love to put seeds in the paper so it can be used to sprout little flower pots, but I may need to practice a bit first. I wonder if the little girl will finish her school checklist in time to work with me on that one...

Tuesday, January 6, 2009


The children have been rising with the Daddy at 6AM for breakfix ever since G#1 was 3 years old. There is a consistent attempt made every work day that they rise and eat a serving of cereal while the Daddy reads morning devotions for them aloud and for himself silently. Then there is prayer time and generally they quietly return to their rooms to play until I go downstairs to begin my morning routine. I am far less consistent than their father however.

All this is to say that, for the last 2 mornings, I've left Bible study sheets on the counter with the Bible open to the reference for that study. I've left the binders where the sheets go once completed and the weather collecting calendar also. There has been no reason for them not to start at their school checklist before I'm there to "wrangle" them.

So, with the cooperation of the Daddy, as he leaves for work a little before 7AM he encourages our reader to lead in the Bible study and weather recording of the day. I've found the children working at the next things on their checklist, whether it be math, explode the code, state bird study or handwriting for a reason.

Yesterday was a big day because we had so much to do in catching up with a few things on the checklist that weren't thoroughly accomplished last week during a loosely organized 4 days of school. There was also the introduction and completion of chapter 10 in Story of the World 2 about the "Bottom of the world." That chapter discusses aborigines and the maori. But all was completed in addition to math test and G#3 final tests from Math-U-See Alpha level.

Today, I was able to go through the entire checklist with the children, mind you less intense because spelling can be done more independently on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, before 10AM. That also included all three reading/listening to their books on tape. Those are The Magician's Nephew for G#1, Through the Looking Glass for G#2 and Julie of the Wolves for G#3. We reviewed SOTW2 chapters 8-10 and now are ready to attack Jupiter during the remainder of this week. Next week we continue with Jupiter and move onto history chapter 11 about the "Kingdom of the Franks."

So, obviously I have diligent children who are thrilled to serve, but I'm no newbie here. Nothing lasts forever except for God's eternal love for us. And, I did only have my own classroom for a year and those were 7th, 8th and 9th graders in rural Iowa, and my experience substitute teaching for sport is very different. What I do know is that we are weak and heavy laden most often and we all need a Savior. I'm praising God for making the last two days a blessing to homeschool my kids. And I'm grateful to be able to teach my kids about the Creator and his Son each and every day by example all day, 24/7 is the job. I just keep trying to enjoy what I've seen them do here and remember that "Mommy is my name - praying is my aim."

Saturday, January 3, 2009

a new year and a new look

I just got the next ten lessons of SOTW2 copied last night after mexican at a new place. I'm trying to print out the Jupiter lapbooks from notebooking2learn, but the printer cartridge is a bust (no more canon printers thank you very much!). I'm also trying not to let my new hobby of take over my sewing goals which, by the way, includes the use of my serger (it was a Christmas present from '07 - a power tool that intimidated me). But right now, I'm planning for a field trip before the end of the month.

Where should we go?