Thursday, March 31, 2005

Tomorrow is April Fool's Day


I'm printing out fake, unsolvable mazes from to trick the kids with tomorrow. I haven't thought of what else we might do.

Last year we made a fake spilled cup with a plastic cup, some tacky glue mixed with red paint and a straw and we had a lot of fun with that.

I'm trying to think


For the last few weeks we've had a no-whining reward system for the kids. They get a dollar a week. If they whine or say "do I have to do this?" they lose a nickel. Dan noticed today (we have a chart) that he has had a pretty much whine free week and is going to get a whole dollar if he can make it through tomorrow! He said "Better pay me early on Saturday before I start whining about cleaning".

That kid is such a character.

I'm Glad I'm Me.

A couple of weeks ago, we were watching an educational DVD about digging up a frozen mammoth. The narrator was saying, that the workers would have a breakfast of reindeer meat, a lunch of reindeer meat and a dinner of reindeer meat. My daughter said "I'm glad I'm not one of those workers!" My youngest son said "I'm glad I'm not one of those reindeer!"

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

No Carrots Please.

A while back I made chicken soup and the carrots cooked really soft, until they were just tiny little bits. Dan wanted chicken and noodles, but no carrots. I told him the carrots were very hard to get out and he said "Use tweezers".

Discovery Worksheet

Home*School*Home [BLOGGER PREVIEW]

This is a plan I wrote but have never actually given the kids to do. I may try this later this week when we go to the library. This would be for my 2 older kids who are both kind of reluctant writers. My youngest one, in first grade, would freak out that he had to do all that writing. I wouldn't give it to him. I would ask him for an oral report. He is very uptight about writing. I don't think his fine motor skills are what they should be. Anyway, here it is.

Discovery Worksheet
Today's Date ___________
I want to find out about ________________________

Sources of information.
What I discovered.
Here's a picture.

The most interesting thing to me was _________________________________________________
Next time, I want to learn about _______________

An Orange

A while back, my 8-year-old and I were having a conversation about what she wanted to eat for breakfast. My 6-year-old walked in, in the middle of the conversation just in time to hear her say "an orange". I guess he thought she said "I'm orange" because he said "no you're not, you're flesh color."

I accidently outed the Easter Bunny


I guess I didn't realize how smart my daughter is. She's 8. I took back the headphones the Easter Bunny brought my oldest son because he didn't like them and she was with me. She figured it out. I told her that I bought the toys (they each get 1 small toy) and she said "Did you buy the candy too?" I said "what do you think?" and she said, "you did! I know you did! You are the Easter Bunny!". Then she said "Are you Santa Claus too?" Again, I said "What do you think?". I just couldn't tell a lie. I don't know if it was the right thing to do but I feel kind of bad about it. I guess 8 is probably about the best age to find out though. I don't think Christmas is going to be nearly as much fun this year. :-(

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Back to Square One/ Forgetfulness.


Okay, I brought out my new "easy" post spring break accomplishment list and we all just sat and looked at it. No one could work up any enthusiasm. At all. I know I am PMSing a bit and we all got some bad news last night and we just felt like we couldn't do it today. We just couldn't. Since we worked 2 days of spring break, I just decided that we should take the day off. Well, mostly anyway. I still have to work at my paid job, but no homeschooling today. I feel like we need a radically different approach to homeschooling/scheduling or at least something to pull out on the days when you feel overwhelmed. Any ideas?

Last night Daniel said something that was both cute and profound. I said "that is going in my blog, first thing in the morning". I sat down this morning to blog and couldn't remember. I talked to all 3 kids and they can't remember either. Sigh. How can 4 people forget something? From yesterday?

I'll share a Daniel funny quote from a while back instead. One night I asked him to put something on the nightstand and he said "mommy, don't you have a morning stand?"

Monday, March 28, 2005

Easy Spring Daily Plan


Here's a copy of the easy spring check list system we are going to try to follow for the next few weeks.
1. Chores
2. Mom talks
3 Art/craft/project
4. Math.
5. Work on Awana verse.
6. Read 1/2 hour.
7. Worksheets (From curriculum book we are trying to finish.)
8. PE exercise 1 hour.
9. Personal hygiene.
10. Journal/ Draw, write, now.
11. Report to Mom what you have done. Recite Awana verse. Put worksheets/journals on shelf. Until this step is done, no TV, computer or Nintendo.
Fruits/veggies __ _ _ _ _
Milk _ _
PICTURE OF CLOCK HERE (which didn't come across in the copy.)

It is _________ (time).
Today is _______________

March 2005
Sun Mon Tues Wed Thurs Fri Sat
1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 31

My address:
My phone #s.
Grandmas phone #.

(Since we have 4 phone numbers in our family, there are supposed to be 4 lines under that heading.)

Back to life, back to reality.


Well, the holiday is over and so is spring break. Today, I'm supposed to have a plan for how we will proceed with school the rest of the year, and basically, I don't. I tested the older two kids this week with the Texas Achievement test and they both did okay. They are at grade level. So, my plan was for the rest of the year to do less structured work, possibly literature studies and more exercise/PE since it is spring. All over the news, we are hearing about kids not getting enough exercise and one of my kids is getting a little bit chubby, so I think PE will be a big part of the new homeschool day plan. I just need to put my kind of hazy plans into a checklist form so the kids can check things off as they do them. They really seem to like checklists.

Well, I'm going to search the internet for a math curriculum that will make math make sense to my oldest son. If anyone has a suggestion, I'd love to hear it!

Sunday, March 27, 2005

I think I can survive.

Today after the Easter chocolate exchange, my youngest son came walking by me with a bag of candy. I said
"Dan, do you think you've got enough chocolate?" and he said "I think I can survive until tomorrow."

Happy Easter!


This morning started with fun and chocolate here. My kids got up and found their Easter baskets about 20 minutes ago. Now they are organizing a candy trade so they can each get exactly what they want. It is hilarious to watch. Apparently, a Jolly Rancher pop in pink lemonade flavor is as good as gold. You can get 5 Milky Ways and a Twix for that. Of course, not a Milky Way Easter egg, they are much more high priced, possibly priceless. It is a very complicated system to the uninitiated. :-) Happy Easter!

Saturday, March 26, 2005

More Kids Quotes

Don’t you just love how mommy’s magic kisses make everything better? My little one actually came running into my bedroom one time yelling “Kiss Emergency! Kiss emergency” and then he said “Kiss my big toe”. The thing is, he is totally serious. Of course, I kissed the toe.

Another time, Dan came to me, totally serious and kind of concerned, and said “Barney loves me, but I don’t love him." Then he added more brightly, "I like his show, though”.

Sometimes the things the kids say, that they meant to be reasurring, just aren't comforting at all. One night we heard a very large noise in the kitchen. My husband said "What are you doing in there?" and Dan yelled back “Nothing you need to worry about”. Oh course, that made us worry even more.

Human Beans

My daughter is outnumbered at home by the boys. She’s the only girl and she’s in the middle. She copes with this by being a tomboy and by intimidating the heck out of the boys. One day, I came into the room when she and my youngest son were having an argument. He insisted that the phrase that was correct was “human being”. She said “human bean”. By the end of fifteen minutes, she had him agreeing that "human bean" was right. I mean the poor kid was crying, because he knew he was right, but he also knew he’d never win. Never. Not in a million years. ”Human being just does not make any sense”. She says.

Friday, March 25, 2005

Funny kids.

Kids are such total characters. My youngest is so funny. He’s like a walking, talking punch line.. He used to do stand up in his crib. He’d say “Mommy come here, I want to tell you a joke”. Then I’d come in there and he’d say “Monkeying around” and collapse in his bed laughing. He’s just a natural comic.

When Dan was little, he used get words mixed up sometimes, as all kids do. He went through a period of time when he would say the word “okay” in stead of yes. He never used the word yes. Just okay. We had some interesting conversations. He’d come to me and say “Pop tart.” I’d say, “Do you want a poptart?” and he’d say “okay”., like I had convinced him that a pop tart would be good.

He also substituted the phrase “I can’t” for anything negative. One day, we had squash for dinner. He tried it and said “I can’t like this new stuff.”

Its funny how they take things sometimes. When my husband first got a cell phone, Dan was two. My husband called his brother on the phone, just to make sure it worked. Dan came sidling over to me and said in a whisper “Daddy’s talking to the remote.”

Another story regarding electronics: My oldest son has an electronic hangman game. You try to guess the letters and if you guess wrong, a head appears, followed by a body, etc. When Dan first started playing this game, he was not reading yet. He loved this game, though. He called it “Build a cowboy”.

Endless possibilities and whining.

The kids are kind of whiny today. I console myself by thinking that it is Good Friday and they'd be home and whining even if they were in public school and we wouldn't have been able to take Thursday afternoon off to go to a movie and Wednesday afternoon off for Easter shopping. That is probably the thing I like best about homeschooling. We can have school on Sunday afternoon if we want and not have it on Monday morning. As long as we get in 185 days a year, the actual days we do school are up to us. So far this year, I think we have about 120 days in (just guessing, without looking at my attendance records.)

The other thing that I love about homeschooling is the possibilities. We can take a field trip, even overnight. We can pursue pretty much any subject we are interested in, for as long as we want. I'm thinking of doing a unit study on the Animorphs series of books that my older son loves and using them to teach geography as we try to decide what state in the U.S. the Animorphs live in (the books don't tell, but give clues) and science as we learn about animals, classifications and DNA. I think I could incorporate some math, adding up the number of morphs that each person has and graphing them. It could include reading as we would read the books aloud and art would be easy, inspired by the different settings of the books even in other planets. Oh yeah, and we could study the solar system more in depth, get into figuring out how far away the planets are ...

Homeschooling has endless possibilities and that makes it exciting, even when whiny days happen.

An Introduction

I am a mom of 3 kids, boy age 12, girl age 8, boy age 6. I've been married for a long, long time to their Dad. I work at home as a medical transcriptionist and as of this year, we school at home too. I decided to spend at least 1 year schooling at home for my 12-year-old since he wasn't ready to go to middle school and I wasn't ready for him to go. We ordered a curriculum but didn't like it so we sold it on Ebay and started off on our own. I printed the World Book typical course of study for 6th grade and we started studying world history in depth. We were having a great time. The other 2 kids, in first and third grades at public school, especially the younger one, wanted to homeschool too. We thought about it for about 2 days and then jumped in. We have not regretted it at all. It's been such a fun year! We're doing unit studies and kind of making things up as we go. We may buy a curriculum next year but then again, we might not.

It is funny, because I never thought I'd be a homeschooler. I guess having a friend who was doing it kind of made me believe we could do it, and here we are.

So many blogs, so little time!