Thursday, December 17, 2009

Fun Science

In C's physical science we did a cool experiment. This is just water and a LOT of corn starch. video video

I have two incase you want to see it twice! LOL! We left it in the pan all day. You could pick up the dish and act like you were going to pour it but it would move but a bit! Pretty fun!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Come Along Way

What you can see in this photo...
A lone boy in a tree house doing his work (math).
My dirty windows...I had to sneak this photo from our kitchen.
The mug of coffee (flavored milk) I made him. He was up late with his dad last night.
A boy who is comfortable and confident at what he is doing. What you don't see...
The steam that is coming from his nose.
A boy who, when we first started homeschool, struggled with math and needed me to sit right by him, even if I wasn't helping.
The tears and frustration that happened along the past three years.
A happy mom behind the camera!

Don't give up! This photo was three years in the making!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Unexcepted Lessons

2 1/2 years: what I have learned/gained from homeschooling.

Distraction come, you will work them and everything works out just fine.

They will get it. After struggling through math, needing me to sit there (even if it was just doing nothing) dear son is getting it on his own!!! He has even done math for fun!!

I am not super woman, nor do I want to be!

I really do love my kids.

I can get mad like never before...where did it come from.

After working on school in the morning, my brain is on auto pilot. (What did you just say?)

Mixing it up and not going by the book is fun! We did math and grammar yesterday. Then went for an hour walk looking for objects that make letters (Christmas presents), talking, getting our vitamin D. When Dad got home we drove out of town to hear a presentation on ghost towns in our area. DH was really excited about this! It was put on by the Historical Society in a Good Samaritan place. Let's just say that it was full of senior citizens. At the end the DS got interested enough to stop saying his stomach hurt and get into it. (Luckily hubby sat between son and I!!!)

There are things homeschool kids learn that aren't in the books.

People expect homeschool kids to be smarter...even if it's there first year of homeschooling.

People think you can rearrange your schedule any ole time.

People are always telling me "that would be a great lesson for the kids." Do they tell that to public school kids...no! And just for the record, while you mean well, I really do have enough to teach, thank you!

SO many moms tell me they couldn't do it. Chance are, you can. I am proof!

I have really learned a LOT about myself too! (Sorry, I will spare you the boring details!)

I know there is more that I have learned, but I know the kids are about ready for me, so I am off!

Have a great day!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Science Takes Patience


You may not be able to see it all here in the photo. This is one of C's science experiments today. We have boiling salt water...
A lid with a bag of ice on the top...
And a bowl to catch the dripping (NOT) condensation.
Let me tell you, some of these experiments have taken a long time and have resulted in patience!
Can you see all of the white spots on the stove and the pan? That's the salt! Still need to wipe it down!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Teaching While Sick

We all have been sick for about two weeks here. The flu.

We have had no school all last week. But will start back today, albeit late.

With this in mind, as I am still a bit stuffed and blowing my nose, I wanted to write about teaching while sick.

I remember the first year of homechooling, I got sick one day and had to teach from the couch. Poor son, was so good about bringing his books to me, etc. I remember thinking, yikes, I wish I could call in a sub! But quickly knew I was the mom, the teacher, the janitor, the coach and the sub. I was it! I also felt more pressure to do school every day. (Whereas, I know now that I can skip a day here and there and will make it up later.) Last year wasn't too bad.

This year, so far has had enough sick days. So since the kids are feeling better. I will pull up my rolling chair, have cough drops in my pocket and tissue within reach and teach!

What do you do when you are sick?

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Just What I Needed


So, we are into our third year of HSing and I feel much more confident, but this morning I kept pushing away the thought of maybe I am not doing enough for the kids. (Pause for a sentence check...we have been going over compound and complex sentences. I think I need the kids to check the first sentence. ;) )
Anyway, I am fighting the thought that "maybe I am short changing the kids' education. Maybe I will send DD to public high school next year."
We are in the post office when the the teller asks why the kids aren't in school. "They are homeschooled." I reply. She was taken back, just a bit. She starts to go on about how smart they must be and encourages me to keep it up. She says that she couldn't HS them at their ages. She really made my day!
You never know when you will say just the right thing at the right time to someone, so be nice!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Our Wall

I was thinking of repainting our walls, but I think this one will have to wait. It seems to be getting covered up. This is our dining room wall. As you can see it is also our main homeschool wall too. On it we have multiplication facts in colored story form, chemical formulas in colors (which I think only DD can read, she wrote them on teenage graphics), a calendar, the alphabet in cursive (as the kids need to write almost all in cursive now and we need the occasional reminder of how a letter should look), the ever essential dry erase board, and two maps for geography.
Last year we also had the US presidents running along the top of the wall. What does you wall look like?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Lunch Break Thoughts 2

Today, the kids worked by themselves for the most part and they did good! (usually I have to sit by DS to help him with his work or just to keep him focused.) I SOOO needed that too! The timing was perfect! I have a LOT to do and am going on a lack of sleep.

Thursday we are going to go on a field trip to the mtns nearby for some historical reenactments! Fri starts our PE group!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Lunch Break Thoughts

When I started this blog I intended it to be more or less my online diary of our homeschooling experience. I wanted to show the good and the bad, our triumphs and struggles. I write this not to complain or brag, but to hopefully encourage someone as I sort out my feelings.

For the most part this has been a wonderful ride...today however is one of those that I don't wish to ride again at least not for a long time. Let me explain. DD can pretty much work on her own. DS needs more of my help even of it's just staying focused. So, I sit with him as he does his grammar and math and work through each problem. Today he had a test. He was on his own. I left the room to get some things done. I had to tell them a few times to stop talking. They only got quieter. After a reasonable time I came back in to find that he only finished 6 problems on his test!! This and a few other things got to me. I was not the most patient mom today. These are the days that I have to stay focused on the big picture.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

First "Half" Day

We are having our first 1/2 day. We started out school just fine. Then DD says she's not feeling well. Stomach.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Physical Science 101

DD is in 8th/9th grade Apologia Physical Science. We have done three experiment so far this week. Here's number three on Concentration.

She filled each glass with 1 c, 1/2c, 1/4c of vinegar added a Rolaid to each cup. We watched them dissolve.
Dumped those out, then added varying amounts of vinegar and water to equal 2 cups. Rolaids dissolved faster in the water that had more vinegar.



Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Grammar, What Grammar?

Day three and we are starting to find the kinks.

I have forgotten to do grammar two days in a row!
I have to do refresher sheets for DS in math. The info's there, just needs to be dug up.
DD and science are not clicking.
History seems to be working...well, for DS. DD said that she needs to let her brain warm up first. (We are doing history last!) As to when will it warm up, after DS answers the questions. Hmmm... He is the one taking notes.
Our days are longer and I don't know how to fit it all in. We are going to keep at this pace until we know if we can do some subjects every other day.
Geography will be M-W-F. We are ahead of schedule on that.
Spelling wisdom M & W.
Fri I want to do the "main" subjects then add the "extras" in.
We are also doing Expository Writing. Joy! The kids don't think writing is fun. But as a keeper of three blogs, I rather enjoy writing! I'd like to write everyday. We'll see.

I hope your school day is going smooth!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Day One Down

I am excited to tell you that today went great! Dh went grocery shopping for me! We all got up on time! It all ran smoothly.

Our days are going to be longer, like two hours longer. But it went much smoother. We did one experiment (Atoms & Molecules).

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Start of School Panic!


School starts Monday! Here's what we have going on:
DS has a cold. The rest of us are getting over it.
DH is taking that day off. (He is working the grave yard this weekend.)
It is a grocery shopping day.
I am feeling like I am not ready.

Monday, July 20, 2009

We have found this great site. Audio books.

Confession...

I have to confess...I just read a friends blog. She is just going to start her first year of homeschooling with 4 kiddos. She is super organized, always has been. People like her always make me feel like I need to get my act together. Then I realize I am not like her. She has chore charts on her frig. (Chore charts never worked for us. I still have to double check the kids stuff.) Her magnets and clips are colored for each kid. Her schedule is already up. I again have to confess that after reading her blog (though I know she is like this for everything) I felt a bit inferior. Though my closet is color coordinated, that's about the end of my super organization skills. I know she is reading this, yelling at me from across the states. But I need to go now and reorganize my school supplies for next school year!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Great Find and Less Than a Month

Less then one month left of our summer vacation! The kids are NOT ready for school to resume at all. They are totally enjoying the summer.

I, on the other hand, though I have been doing the deep cleaning that doesn't happen during school, etc., am getting ready for school. I think it's having a routine that I like. Don't get me wrong, we do have a routine. I just like the school routine better, most days.

I also have to tell you (because as fellow homeschoolers I KNOW you'll appreciate it and not look at me funny) I found a nice, US map. I looked online, looked in our local stores, etc., nothing that wassuitable. Do you know where I found it...it makes it all the better? The Dollar Store (where everything's a dollar!!!)! It's perfect size too.

Now if I can just get my hubby to agree to switch two rooms so we can have an actual room for school, I think I'd be one happy camper.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Anybody There?

Does anyone still read my sadly neglected blog?

If you do, then this may be the last post for the summer. School gets out for us the Friday! I couldn't be happier! I need some time off. I have next school years curriculum all lined up.

Here's what we do the last 2 weeks of school. (We don't seem to completely finish our books.) Once the kids get to a good stopping point like a test. If stopping in 1-2 weeks would mean stopping in the middle of a chapter/unit then we just stop. They use that time to "catch up" on some other subject. So DS is finishing a book for Lang Arts. DD her Math. We finished our History early and were filling it in with study the 1900's with a timeline and reading about the Oregon Trail.

I am going through their books and getting together a "list" of the subjects we've covered this year. Being our second year of HSing, I think I am just getting somethings. And since our DD will be in high school in two years, I know I need to start keeping better records. Anyone used a transcript maker?

Well, I do need to get going. I took a nap, from which I woke up more tired than when I laid down! Please be back in August to read more of our Homeschool adventures! And thanks for following us this year!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

School Outside

How do you NOT take class outside on a day like this!!





Thursday, April 9, 2009

Science Experiment

DD had to do a science experiment on a classmate. Since we have two "students" Dear Brother got to be the guinea pig! He was very willing though. You had to hold your nose while tasting different foods and see if could tell what you were eating while your holding your nose. DD didn't really explain the whole nose thing to son. So he'd hold his nose for awhile then let it go. He'd tell us what he was eating after letting his nose go.
So I stepped in and let the poor guy breathe some!


Out of apples, cornbread and two different crackers, he was only fooled by the cornbread. He thought it was broccoli. This boy knows his food.





Monday, March 30, 2009

Writing Fair

We just got back from dropping of our entries for the writing fair. This is the first year that it's open to HSers. J & C both have one entry. Here's how it works...if there are three or less entries per category then they'll just send those off to the county writing fair where they will compete with the winners from the public schools. If there is more then three per category then they will judge those and have the winners go to county. We should know something maybe by the middle of April!

I'll post the kids' entries later. I have to make you all come back! heehee

Friday, March 27, 2009

Spring Break and Books

Ok, do I still even have any readers? It's been so long since I updated. Sorry! School has been going good. We are on Spring Break right now. Will be back to school on Monday. So we have gotten caught up on cleaning. (You know the deep stuff.)

I have ordered most of the curriculum for next school year! I am excited. The kids are like oh. Here's a quick break down of what we are going to be using. Sorry no linking. I'll do that later.
Math - Math-U-See
History-A good amount of living books from Beautiful Feet and Amazon (CM books) and some cd's/workbooks from Your Story Hour
Science-undecided still, but it will be hands on experiments
Geography-Beautiful Feet and amazon (CM books)
Grammar-Analytical grammar (one year course for C and 3 yr for J) (Simply CM)
Writing-free workbooks from another homeschooler!
Have timeline charts on history, science, composers, etc from Beautiful Feet
Spelling-(dictation too) Spelling Wisdom (simply CM)

I think that's it. We are almost done with this years History Alive. We all like it, but will probably wait to continue the next sections until they are older. I got 9 history books from the library at under $.10 each!!! So we'll use those when we are done with History Alive.They are century books. they break down the 1900's in ten year sections. Also, a lady from church, who HS'd her boys is giving us a full set of encyclopedias!! J LOVES encyclopedias! He takes them to bed to read, seriously!

When I get my schedule written out for next year, I'll post it for you guys.

That's all for now.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Stuck on Nine?



Gosh, it's been awhile since my last post. So sorry! Sometimes no news is good news.

I have a couple of math tips for you. You may already know these.

Multiplies of NINE!

Tip one: 9x4=36, 9x6=54, 9x1=9, right? Look at the numbers...the first number of the answer is always one less then what you are multiplying nine by.

Tip two: look at the examples above. Look at the answers. They all add up to nine!

So if you are stuck on 9x7....6 is one less then 7...6 plus...3 equals nine...your answer will be 63!

Have a good day!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Homeschool Groups

Ahhh...just got back from our valentines party with the homeschool group! I haven't been all school year. So it was very nice to see some of the ladies again. Both of the kids had a really good time and made friends! Praise God. We will try to go again.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Presidents Day and the Bible Sites

I have a few more sites for you!

For bible study: They have each of the books broken down. We are going to finish Genesis today. They have maps, charts, etc. too. The Church of Zion does it, but so far the content has been pretty good. It's amazing the topics we have covered. Some very "adult" topics. I myself have enjoyed it.

For studying the Presidents: I wanted to study the presidents a bit since Pres. Day in here soon. This is actually coloring pages. BUT they are cool pages. Our DC are 13 and 10 and like to them! We do five a day. So, we are going to do our 4Th set today. After they are colored we cut them out and hang them on the wall just under the ceiling. I made numbers and names. We have read some about pres. before so they kids have a few faves. J is excited to get to Garfield and Grant today! They even have a page for our newest president. We even used the pic in our LA study. I veered off of our curriculum. (Which I do now and then.) I want the kids to get better writing skills. (Poor kids have a mother who wanted to be a writer, has four blogs, etc.) Anyway, I explained how words can paint a picture. We had to pick a pres. and describe him/the pic so we could guess who he was. I tried to tell the not to be too obvious, especially at first. It was fun to see how we described the same pres.

We have also been borrowing the School House Rock DVD from a friend. WOW! I don't know who's liking it more the kids or the parents. The kids keep saying, you know this song? Yeah, we grew up on it! But as an adult, I really get what they are talking about. Like I think I get the electoral college now. I KNOW what a conjunction is, etc. Too funny.

I need to stop rambling!
Have a great day!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

I have some curriculum recommendations for you.

The first one is for the kids, but will greatly help the parent/teacher as well.

Math-U-See Is so worth the money. We have been using it for a little more than two weeks now. The curriculum comes with student book, teacher book and test book. They are VERY user friendly. It also comes with a DVD where Steve Demme teaches you the teacher how to teach the next lesson. Our kids watch it with me. Every time we've watched it we've said, "Oh!" or, "Ah!" Math really makes sense. I can't recommend this enough. I'd even suggest it to non-homeschoolers. If your child is struggling in math this would be a great tool to help them. They have free demos online so you can get an idea of the lessons. They also have manipulatives to use that make sense too.

The second one is for parents/teachers.

Dianne Craft Teaching the Right Brained Child. (I have a test under the labels to find out more about right/left brain.) I cannot say enough good about this way of teaching! Our DS is more right brained. And let me tell you these techniques work! (Also, look under lessons in my labels.)
Now this is not curriculum. It is a teaching DVD with book.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

OK, these are backwards. Yesterday, school went well and the weather was just too nice to stay home. So we walked to the zoo. It was about a 30 minute walk. We were outside for alittle more than two hours! We actually got sweaty! These are some photos from the zoo and the walk there.

The monkeys are always a fave! This one is actually watching DS. He even did a dance for him. The kids call him Elvis! J was really interested in the swan. We just finished reading The Trumpet of the Swan. Just a sign on the way. The buildings in the window look like an old western! Actually the street in the window is the original downtown. It has some neat buildings.

Our performing arts center.




The house is a constant remodel. It was the school district building (I think). Some guy has been remodeling it into a house (I think). This is one of the gates to the house. I always like driving by and seeing what's been added.




Thursday, January 22, 2009

Today, we did a hands on project.

Project: Take apart this radio and put it back together. And still have it work.


DS taking the screws out.


Wow, the screw driver's magnetic!


The guts!! We wanted to take it further apart then this, but most of the items were welding on.


DD amusing herself while Mom and DS check out the inside. Another lessons with magnets.

Final outcome: We got it back together. We weren't able to turn it on as the previous batteries had corroded inside.
But it was fun.
Yesterday, we went to the library. We try to go every other Wed. I am one of those weird people who carry their camera everywhere and take pictures of everything! Ha! Anyway, this is where you can find us every other Wed. afternoon.

Monday, January 12, 2009


Man, I have been so busy to even blog about our HS adventures! Sorry! We started back to school last Mon. Things have been going pretty smooth! Yeah! We are reading *So Far From Home* from the Dear America series. DS & I are reading *The Trumpet of the Swan*(DD loves to listen along). I am slowly easing into CM. We have started studying Mary Cassatt. Next week I think I'll bring in poetry.
This morning DS wanted to skip ahead a few pages, in math, to the test. Okay sure, if you think you're ready. He did the first half. The second half totally stumped him. He knows how to do it. He just thinks too much and then forgets everything. Long story short. We closed our books. I took a shower then we went for a bike ride. DD does NOT like bike riding at all. So we cut my regular route a bit short. Poor thing has NO fat to burn, but muscles that need to be built. DS has been riding with DH on much harder rides then mine, so he was wanting to go longer. Again our DC are so different. We are on lunch break and will go back to Lang. Arts and Mary Cassatt after.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Soapbox Warning and an Important issue!

This is the second time I'm come across this in 24 hours. At first I didn't know what to think of it. I don't care what you political stance is, folks were are talking about books here. I am really still trying to grasp this. We are in America and they want to stop selling books!!!! I fear if this does go through, what more is to come? Ok I will stop here and let you read the email I got from a fellow homeschooler. (I deleted much of my ranting.)

The Sale of Children's Books to be Banned---
Oh, how I wish this were a joke! But it is a grim and looming, almost Orwellian, reality.
Effective February 10th, in the United States, the sale of all children's books (books intended for children ages 12 and under) is to be PROHIBITED. Every single book printed prior to the ruling is affected, whether new or used. New books in production are required to include a "lead-free" certification and will be the only books that are legal to offer for sale. What does this mean to the homeschooling family? Well, for one, curriculum fairs across the country will be cancelled as book vendors scramble to figure out how to comply with the new ruling. Complete book inventories will have to be destroyed -- the ruling even prohibits giving away the books! Local thrift stores will be hard hit -- most will likely have to close their doors -- yes, even Goodwill and Salvation Army. Clothing, toys and books -- even CDs and DVDs are included in the ruling. Thrift stores will no longer be able to accept or process anything (including clothing) that would be intended for a child. No more library sales. Libraries will not be permitted to give away or sell book donations. It is unsure yet, however, how the libraries' shelves themselves will be impacted (the ruling doesn't explicitly mention "loaning" books, just selling or giving them away). The key word, however, is "distribution" --libraries may well be required to destroy books from their shelves.(The ruling that originally passed was about toys, but the EPA has since made a statement that clothing, books and media are included in "children's toys".) Just how serious is this new law? Amazon.com has already notified all vendors of their need to comply. No book can be sold at the Amazon site that was printed prior to compliance. And the "compliance" must be coordinated at the manufacturing stage. At the time of this article there is no clause to be able to grandfather- in older books or even rare out-of-print books. It can cost between $500 and $1500 to test a book for lead. I happen to own a children's bookstore specializing in living books from the 1950s and '60s. My punishment for selling a book after February 10th? Up to $100,000 and 5 years in jail. And yes, it is a felony charge. For selling a SINGLE book. (Although I don't think the S.W.A.T. team scenario would become a reality overnight, at the same time I would be leery of blatantly violating Federal law.) So what can you do to help save your local used bookstore that sells children's books? Or that homeschool curriculum business? Or your EBay business selling children's items? ACT NOW before the quickly approaching deadlines: 1) Email or call the CPSIA - the office of the CPSC ombudsman at888-531-9070. http://www.cpsc. gov/cgibin/ newleg.aspx Comments on Component Parts Testing accepted through January 30,2009. Or email: Sec102ComponentPart sTesting@ cpsc.gov
2) Contact your local representatives. For their contact informa-tion, just enter your zip code.http://capwiz. com/americanappa rel/dbq/official s/
3) Make your voice heard by voting on this issue! The top 3 in each category will be presented to President-elect Obama.http://change. org/ideas/ view/save_ handmade_ toys_from_ the_cpsia
4) Sign the petition. http://ipetitions. com/petition/ economicimpactso fCPSIA/index. html5) Spread the word! Forward this article. Send an email. Write about this on your blog. Tell others about this issue and encourage them to do the same.---For the complete story, read the following links:http://www.cpsc. gov/about/ cpsia/cpsia. html Consumer Product Safety Commission Summaries on Legislation Index page for Children's Products Containing Lead; Lead Paint Rule and other rulings http://www.cpsc. gov/about/ cpsia/legislatio n.html#summaries Office of the General Counsel FAQ on retroactive inventory requirements -- The use of forward effective dates appears to force current inventories to adhere to the ruling on February 10th, 2009 http://www.cpsc. gov/about/ cpsia/summaries/ 101brief. html Specific FAQ on their interpretation of books and other media to be included in the testing of lead based products http://www.cpsc. gov/about/ cpsia/faq/ 101faq.html Effective Date: Lead content limit of 600 ppm becomes effective 180 days after enactment. An advisory opinion regarding the application of the new lead limit to inventory existing at the effective date can be found on our web site at http://www.cpsc. gov/library/ foia/advisory/ 317.pdf
Getting the Lead out: There is no lead in children's bookshttp://news. bookweb.org/ news/5695. html
There is no lead in Children's books: From a Pedtricianhttp://health. yahoo.com/ experts/childhea lth/3955/ is-there- lead-in-baby- books/

Monday, January 5, 2009

Since I didn't have a post yesterday I'm giving you two Hide and Seek photos.

Today we start back in school. The kids actually had a week & a 1/2 off. It feels good to get back on schedule. On a different note. I'm thinking about using some of Ambleside Online next year, a CM style curriculum. Anyway, they suggest starting kids out two years back. After looking at the book lists, etc. Our DC are only 1 year back! I'm going to hold off getting any of the books for a few months, maybe they won't be behind. You know (I think every HSing mom feels this way), I think sometimes "Am I teaching them enough?", etc. So finding out that I didn't have to start the kids two years back was a GREAT relief to me!

Friday, January 2, 2009

New photo Series


My new series is called Hide and Seek.
I wish I could say that I could this myself, along with the photos to come.