Monday, December 20, 2010

end of the year confessions

I have a new follower?  How can that be when I never post?   Anyway, welcome, so glad to have you.

This school year I have struggle with more than just keeping up with this blog.
I have wondered and pondered more then once if I need to send the kids back to public school next school year.

Here's why (honest reasons):
*I want more "me" time.  Not that the kids at grades 9 and 7 need me all too much.  However, I am sure you all know exactly what I mean. 
*I am bored with most of the stuff we have.  I realize that it can't and won't all be fun.  We did something out of the ordinary the other day and that really reminded me what I loved about homeschool.  I need to step out of the books more often.  I don't want to short change them if I am not into it anymore.
*Since the kids are in 9th and 7th I feel if they were in PB school that they would have more opportunities (electives).  I have asked them if they want to do this or that and no, they are doing what they want for the most part.
*The kids get really tired of being around each other all of the time.  We have gotten them "into" separate activities outside the home, which helps some.
*Sometimes the task of searching for the right curriculum is daunting.  Where we live we are pretty much on our own.  Which is nice, but you really have to do a lot of leg work.
I have talked to two other homeschooling moms that I respect and one says keep them home and the other says to put them back in for one year and see.  I know a mom who homeschooled for two years then pbschooled for one and so on.

How do you stay motivated?

Saturday, November 6, 2010

They Need to be Around Other People

We, as you, have gotten the, "They need to be around other people and get out of the house", more then once.
We have also gotten the, "They need to be around other people besides your church people."

While I understand, and somewhat agree, I know they people are not seeing the whole picture.

At public school they see and are exposed to:
good kids
bad kids
kids who get into trouble
kids who are into drugs (our kids are older)
and so on, you know
They are around all kinds of adults as well.
They are around different types of people from different walks of life.
People who aren't like you.

In church they see and are exposed to:
good kids
bad kids (yes, even in church)
kids who get into trouble (These ones they know personally and are more affected by it)
people who are on drugs, most who get delivered
couples who were shacking up getting it right and getting married
Last night in revival, we had a scitzophrenzic (sp?) get saved and prayed for.
They see all walks of life.
People who aren't like you working together.

They go on outreach and meet all types.
They go to the grocery store, etc. and see and interact with all types.
They volunteer, etc.

I really could go on.

Are our kids sheltered?  Yes, but they were before public school.
Are our kids at home a lot?  Sort of, but that is part of the point.
Do I feel our kids are missing out, not too often.

Sorry for the rant.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Catching Up

Does anyone have time they could loan me?
We have been very busy.
Here's some science we did a few weeks ago.

Experimental Epidemic
Focus: Disease Transmission
Objective: To explore how disease can spread so fast and far.
Overview: Diseases sometimes spread rapidly across vast areas. 

We have also started Passport to India through Sonlight.  I am sure you all could join too.
We are on day 2.
We visited a fisherman slum neighborhood. 

Gotta run!  Have a great day!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Living History Days

We went to the mountains today for Living History Days.
I really liked it.
The kids...gave me a shoulder shrug.
Son wanted more hands on stuff.
We ended up hooking up with another group. 
I knew the mom from public school.
It was nice to see her.

Here is a frig in a caboose!
You had to put a bag of cold water in the top.
 You have to read the writing on the wall...the second part.
(when you flush, it all goes out, right onto the track or whatever)
Did you know that a caboose can go either way.  You can move these vents inside depending on which way you are going.
 Son looking at a toy train set up of the mountains.

Learning about wool.
Funny thing...the man said that this wool is clean.  The girl with her hand on her hip said "CLEAN!".
The cost of a homemade sweater from scratch (starting with the wool on the table) $5,000!
It would take a week to make thread out of one pound of wool.

Homemade butter.
 Adding machine.

This trapper is 250 years old! 
Those are real furs!
The trappers would trade horses, furs, etc. for women, to be their wives.
The women did a good deal of the heavy work too.
We also learned about blacksmiths and Harvey Girls. (and here)
Son said this was the best part!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Blood, Cartilage and Cardboard?

Red blood cells, plasma and white blood cells.

Does your back hurt?
Don't worry...

It all came together.
We were a few short.  Your real spine has 33 vertebraes.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Greener Grass

I must be in a self-searching mood here.  Forgive me.

You would think four years into this homeschooling journey that I would have this licked.

It must be the case of the grass is always greener on the other side.

Someone always seems to be teaching better then you, have better books, etc.

When your kids are in public schools, you can blame anything and everything (just about) on the school or teacher.

When it's you, it's you.  I think the most daunting task of homeschooling is finding the right curriculum. 

Maybe by the time the kids are graduated, I will have found the perfect fit for each of them!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

By the Numbers

This has nothing to do with numbers.
I just couldn't think of a better title.

Going into our fourth week of school, we have some reviews for you.

This is all Sonlight reviews...Core 7.  Again, both kids 7th and 9th grade do this together.

1. BBC...let's say we started on page 36 this morning and dear daughter asks, "What is this all about anyway?"  It is part of our bible studies.  Granted, they know a lot of this info already.  But you can tell how well they have been paying attention.

2. The King's Fifth...they did not enjoy reading this.  This is part of the group of books they read themselves.  Now when I asked them the questions, they did pretty good.

3. Don't All Religions Lead to God?...We ended up skiming through this one.  Again, they knew much of this anyway (without all of the details).  We will quickly move onto the next book, How to Stay a Christain in High School.

4. The Iron Peacock...another read-themselves books.  They are still reading it, but are enjoying this one much better.  I enjoyed it better to.  I read the read-themself books in bed.

5. The Story of the World Vol.3 Early Modern Times...History.  If the stories were longer, I would lose them.  But we do geography here (and with some of the afore mentioned books).  We also have the Usborne Encyclopedia of World History (It's not pictured here.)  I think it's a great follow up on to the preivous book.  Love the photos.

6. A Murder for Her Majesty...they kids thought it strated out boring, but golly, we are hooked!  Each chapter leaves you hanging!  We will finish it this week...can't wait to see how it ends!

Over all, I really like how the Sonlight is laid out.  Will try to post some science photos soon.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Peanuts and Elevators

Life Science
Science you can eat, burn, ferment.
Food energy and nutrients.

(Tuttle, the failed {sort of} experiment was supposed to be: Respiration.  To explore how seeds use energy and oxygen.)  A few of the seeds started to open, but that was that.  It ended up stinking.

Elevators- A Writing Lesson
The kids are having a hard time with the Creative Expression in the Sonlight.
So, I came up with this for now.
I picked the topic Elevators.
Day one: Describe what youe elevator is like.  Smells, looks, feels, sounds, etc.
Day two: What is going on inside your elevator?  Outside? 
This is what we have so far.  These are just sketches, therefore sloppiness is allowed! :)
Day three:  I will think about that tonight in bed!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Another One Bites the Dust

As the commerical goes..."No more tears."

Analytical Grammar is done for.  As I told you, it is a three year course.  DD did it in one year.  DS started his second, and forgot just about everything he learned from last year!!  And there is no way he is going to reread all of that and neither am I.  This is a building thing, so you have to remember what you learned.  In all honesty, much of it is way over the top and just not that practical, unless you plan on being an editor, english teacher or the like.  So, it is going in the trash!

He is still learning grammar through Wordly Wise.  Which I use as their spelling too. 

They are not to hip on the Creative Expression part of Sonlight.  This is frustrating for me.  Writing was my outlet in school.  So when they look at me like deer in the headlights, I get stuck.  Imagine you were someone, somewhere far, far away.  Time travel even.  Tell us your story, what happened, where'd you go, what did you do? On and on...the kids, well, they say, I don't get it!  I think I am going to have to help them think.  Break things down even more for them.  They are beginning to not like writing.  Now, don't get me wrong DS has an imagination...a very vivid one.  It's just putting all of that onto paper.  DD is well, more of think in the box sort.

We also started DS in the Boys and Girls Club.  Turns out he really needs more socialization ( I know I may have opened a can of worms here.) then I can give him.  I thought DD would be the one who needed it more.  Funny how things are.  Anyway, it was hubby's idea.  I had some reservations.  DS did not want to go.  However, he LOVES and I mean LOVES it!  He can't wait for 3 ish to come.  He is one of the oldest there, but it's fine with him.  He comes home much nicer and respectful. 

Thanks Tuttle for your well wishes and prayers.

If you read and have your own blog, I would love to read about you and your adventures.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Our daughter loves making videos. 
Here's one she made of last year.
You get a chance to view my rascals live (well almost live).

The artist in the family (son) had this for us our first morning.

Geography, as if you needed an explaination.

Science...a week long project, that looks like it may not work.

Monday, August 16, 2010

First Day...Nice Day

We did it!  First day down and done!

With one in 9th grade and the other in 7th, I knew we would have a bit more work. 
We also tried Sonlight for the first time.
I think I am going to really like it.
The kids, well the jury is still out.

All in all, today went really smooth!

I tell you the week before we all stayed up too late and sleep in even later.

This morning God made sure I woke up on time.  We had a thunder storm nice and early!  I have been up since five!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Sleep? Sometimes it's better not to...

So my goal was to get the kids on a school schedule. 
Early to bed, early to rise.
However, life has a way of not following plans.
Sometimes that is a good thing.
Take last night, we stayed up LONG after we prayed and said goodnight.
Our daughter and I in the living room talking about boys, life, friends, God's will, etc.
I wouldn't trade it for the extra sleep.
Our son was hanging out in the garage with dad, talking.  He went to bed ("but not to sleep") first.
Then dad joined us girls on the couch and talked more about life.
This morning, they are still in bed.
I slept in and still spent time with God (good time!) and ate breakfast!
Even the dog is still asleep.
Only poor hubby had to get up EARLY for work.  Bless his soul.

Oh, Thursday night will be a late on too.
We plan to stay up to watch the meteor shower.

So, for now, our school sleep shedule will be on hold.
I guess that's one of the many blessings of homeschooling.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

This Years Line Up

We have used a number of curriculum over the fews years.  Some we are keeping and others, well, they didn't work for us.  Here's what we are using this year.

Math-U-See:  Keeper!  It works great for both kids and for me.  I can't say enough about it.  I have recommended it to other people who love it as well.

A Reason for Science:  Keeper!  It comes with everything you need!  We are going to be doing 7th and 8th grade this year.  There are only 36 lesson per year.  Both kids are doing this together.  DD was having a hard time getting science.  DS gets it easier.  So I lowered her two grades and teach them together.  By the end of this year DD wil only be one year "behind" and DS will be one year "ahead".  This curriculum only goes up to the 8th grade.

Analytical Grammar:  DS will keep on working on his grammar.  It is a three year (6th-8th) course.  DD was able to do it in one year.   It is a pretty intense course.  When they are done with it they should "know" all the grammar they need.

Sonlight: Core 7 for history, geography, current events, writing, bible, etc.  Again, both kids will be using this.  This will be our first year with Sonlight.  Have heard many wonderful things about it.  I finished reading through my instructor's giude and I think I got it.  We'll have to work out how they are going to share the books.  From the looks of it, I know I am going to love the books.  We have read some of them already.

Wordly Wise 7 and 9:  This is through Sonlight.  I think you can get it other places.  It will be our spelling (ha...I just spelled that wrong...twice!).  I am sure DD will have no problems.  Spelling is one of her best subjects.  I often have her look over the things I write.

We don't have set electives.  The kids "do their own thing" here.  They each play an instrument...drums and guitar.  DD takes singing lessons and spends her time making movies (really small videos).  She also volunteers at a local thrift store once week.  DS is always doing something, drawing, building, sports (not with any group), he has a garden.  They both "dress up" and do skits, which are video taped and then DD makes then into videos.  We like to let them come up with their own stuff here.  It is probably more on the lines with what they will do in real life anyway.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Back to School...Already!

In two weeks the alarm clocks will ring early once again. 
In two weeks the sounds of school will once again fill our house.
In two weeks our summer will end.

Where did the time go?

I had a list of things to get done before the new school year came!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Trying to Find a Routine

It happens every time.  The end of school means the end of one routine.  Time to make another one.  The first few weeks are usually that way.  We have been in revival in our church since May 30th, so we have been having late nights.  The kids have been sleeping in, even dear son (who very rarely sleeps in).

Also, I am not one of those moms who plan everything out.  However, I do need some sort of routine.

If you take summers off, do you have a routine?

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

End of School Post

Well, it's here...the end of the school year.

(Sorry I didn't post more.)

I did the grades today.  Some are assessed by me and the others were their test grades.

I am proud to say that they got A's and B's.  One great grade is DS's math grade.  He got an A!  He pretty much did it on his own and has come a LONG way!

This was the first time I actually sat down and went through their books and gave out written grades.  I think I am going to do it from now on.  (Especially since DD is going into high school next year.)  DD could care less about the "report card".  DS wants his and gets all excited over good grades.

Do you give grades? 

Why or why not?

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

We are Still Here

Did you think I moved?

Or stopped hsing?

Nothing new here, just busy and honestly, nothing really new in homeschool to write about.

I am finding it harder to stay focused these last two months of school.  We will finish our geography this week.  DD is already done with her grammar.  I think we need to go on a field trip! to plan it!

Friday, March 12, 2010


Today we had s new family in our little homeschool group!  That is always good. 

They made me think of how different each lady (and a few men) are in our group of moms.

Let me intorduce you to them:  (sorry I don't have any photos)

H: she is a long standing homeschooler and one of the regulars.  She has, I think 9 children.  The first half were girls and the second half boys.  She has been at this for like 20 years!  She is a true talker, wears no shoes (unless it's very cold out) and no bra.  She doesn't shave and, yes, eats natural food (you knew it was coming).  Her husband works for the public schools!

C: she is another regular.  She has two kids close to our kids ages.  Really sweet lady, talks to everyone and remembers your name (the kid's names too).  C & H meet even in the summer!  Her husband puts in septic tanks.  She keeps the books for him.  They own horses.  DD plays piano.  Her DD and my DD are pretty close and the most alike out of the girls.  C's hair always looks nice and she is put together type of a lady.  Christian woman.

Then there is mom a (I don't know her name.)  She had a bunch of kids too, most of them are grown.  Nice, eats good food, brings healthy snacks.  Comes every now and then.

L:  She was one of the first ladies I talked to when I first started homeschooling.  REALLY helped me.  Talking to her gives me peace...she settles my spirit.  I actually run into her more at the library then at the PE group.  She has three kids.  Her DD is super nice, dresses like a modern little house on the prairie, braided pig tails and all (she's 17).

Mom b:  has two kids, comes fairly often, she more drops her kids off or they drive themselves.  DH smokes and hangs out along the fence.

T: the PE teacher, scout mom, tall athletic type.  She has been at this for awhile too.  I haven't talked to her much.  Though when I have she has been nice.  She is pretty serious and has things together.  Without her we'd have no PE.

Then there's the new family.  C & A have two kids, one much older then the other.  They just started HSing and just moved here.  They are REALLY into it.  They are for real rcokers, have records, fans, toured the whole bit!  He has tatoos.  She had really cool Doc Martins!  Anyway, I am getting sidetracked.  Really nice folks.  Their DD and my DD hit it off today.  She may end up giving our DD singing lessons!  (Answer to prayer!)  I told my DH that they would have hit it off.
  My DH loves to paint ball--C loves to paintball
  My DH is a "rocker"--C plays the bass in their band (I play bass in our band)
  MY DH sings/plays guitar--A. sings/plays guitar
  I have to stop myself from rescuing dogs--A has the same problem
  I have always wanted to adopt--A takes in kids
There are a few more things that they are alike.  I hope to see more of them.

Then there's DH and I.  Dh comes sometimes on his Fridays off.  He usally comes as he is, in his work clothes, or something similar.  He'll play with the kids who are "straglers" (sp?).  Me, well you know me.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Why I Love Homeschooling

Somedays I would rather be by myself or just not have school, but then our son does this and reminds me of why I homeschool and love it.
He rounded up some scrap wood that was in the yard and put together this scooter.
He was getting rid of his skateboard.
He used the wheels for his scooter. 
(My idea...I earned some "Cool" mom points there!)

Science offers some fun photo opportunities.
Here the kids are learning about camoflouge (sp?) and animals use it to save them from getting eaten.
We use a Reason for Science and really like it.  I had to bring DD in a lower grade. 
So DS and DD use the same book.
They had to color toothpicks.
Then throw them in the yard and try to find them.
Can you see it?  It a green one.
Here they are looking for some more.  I think they found them all.
Notice the reason DD loves homeschool!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Decomposition-This is a Bit Gross

In our science we had to do a couple of experiments with bananas.

Each experiment had two bags each. 
The first had bananas with nothing, and then bananas with yeast.
After a week the bananas with the yeast were REALLY mushing and well, yucky.
The second had bananas with again nothing and then salt.
The salt acted as a perservative.  The salt sucked the water out of the bananas really fast. 
Brings to mind what it does to our bodies after a bowl of chips.
Pass the tea!!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Back in the Day

So the kids and I were answering the Smarty Pants U.S. Presidents quiz by The Pioneer Woman yesterday, we got to a question that had to do with Bill Clinton. I knew the answer. DD says, well you were back in the day, so you know about that. Back in the day?!?! I chuckled and let it go. Though I think I will go get my hair highlighted to cover the grays now!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Have you seen this?

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Egg Drop

You've probably seen this done before. We tried the famous egg drop experiment. Each kid got two eggs to wrap as they wanted. The idea was to see if the wrapping would protect the egg from breaking when dropped.#1 tissue and medical tape
#2 duck tape, duck tape and more duck tape
#3 attempted rubber band wrap.
#4 newspaper and yes, duck tape
#5 stuffing

Boy, very excited about dropping the eggs.
None of the eggs made it. The duck taped one cracked the least.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Problem Solving...

This morning I found myself explaining the relativity of pre-algebra to my 8Th grader.

My explanation probably was as relative as algebra itself.