Saturday, April 30, 2005

Carrying Around a Notebook.


I am so forgetful. Half of the things I think of that I want to put on this site, I forget. So yesterday, I took an extra notebook to the homeschool table. My daughter said, "what are you going to do, write things down for your blog?" Uh oh. They're onto me now.

Working at Home.


I've mentioned before that I work at home. I do medical transcription for a national company as an independent contractor. I telecommute. (I think that is a cool word.) I download voice files through the internet, type them and send them back via the internet, through a secure connection. I work as many hours a day as I can fit in with homeschooling. When I had my first baby, 12 years ago, when he was 6 weeks old, I handed him over to my mom (sobbing) and went back to work. When he was 11 months old, I gave my notice on that job and stayed home for a year and took a correspondence course in medical transcription. By the time his sister came along, I was working part time for a local hospital. Let me tell you, 20 hours a week away from your baby is not as bad as 40, but still, it wasn't good. When our #3 little surprise baby dude came along, I decided it was time to make my move to working at home. The first at-home job I got was very part time and I would nurse the baby, take the kids to my mom's (3 miles away) and come back home to start work. I'd work until mom called me that the baby needed to nurse, then I'd go over to her house, nurse him and come back to work. It was so much better. I wish I had been better prepared for parenthood by having a larger variety of job skills, so I could have been more flexible about working because not-working has really not been an option for me. :-( At the time I started doing it, medical transcription was the only way I knew of to work and stay home, but now there are so many opportunities. I think I may look into a virtual assistant job in a few years, as I understand that field is really taking off.

Friday, April 29, 2005

Shoot the dishes.


I've added washing the dishes to the kids list of morning chores. Right now, they choose one chore (I'm thinking of at least doubling that!) as a part of school. (Home ec.) My youngest son enjoys washing the dishes a bit too much. He uses the sprayer a lot and gets water all over the floor. This morning, he asked if he could 'shoot, I mean, wash the dishes."


Why do I have this blog? I work at home. I school at home. So, basically, I don't get out much! LoL. I love the thought of communicating with people, expressing my ideas and having my own little publication, my own voice. Please, if you don't mind, leave a comment so I'll be able to get to know who is reading.

Thanks for dropping by.

Rambling Thoughts About Various Unrelated Things.


We have a bunch of educational games that we like to play at least a couple of times a week. We have word games like UpWords, Quiddler and My Word, math games like Yahtzee and Racko and thinking games like chess (which everyone in my house knows how to play except me!). We also have some educational computer games that the kids play, like the Reader Rabbit series, etc. Still, a part of me feels like if they are playing games they can't possibly be learning, you know what I mean? I guess somehow along the line, I've internalized that learning is serious stuff? Still, I've read that playing games is good and I enjoy it so we are going to keep it in the schedule.

I think I may need to do a unit on consumerism or commercialism or something like that. My youngest child is absolutely facinated with infomercials. He is absolutely convinced that I should by a Chocolate Factory and a Smart Spin (or something like that) and tries to convince me every time one of those commercials comes on. With a credit card, that boy would be dangerous! We'd have every gadget in the world!

As you can probably tell, we aren't participating in TV free week this week. I think it is an excellent idea, but we never actually do it. The only time we have been TV free is during a snowstorm when the electricity was out and last year when we went to a campground for 3 days. The cabin we were in didn't have a TV. I just don't have the willpower. :-P

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Tentative Plans.

We are tentatively thinking about possibly , maybe adopting a child. How's that for a positive statement? We just decided today to take the very first little baby step and find out what kind of adoption financial aid is out there. I found the below listed site and that is where we will begin.



Last night my youngest son said "oh no, we are down to our last library book! We have to go to the library as soon as we wake up tomorrow!!" Around here, we do not like to be bookless. Books are wonderful. We are in the library at least once a week.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Notes to Myself.


I saw a woman yesterday in a pharmacy, with the words "hair appointment 10:30 Saturday" written on the back of her hand. I knew I had seen a fellow forgetful note-writer. Some of us just haven't made it all the way into the information age. Some of us are still in the ballpoint-pen-writing-on-anything age. I write myself crazy notes sometimes. Once, in a lack of sleep-fogged time after one of my babies was born, I wrote myself a note to "feed the laundry". Seriously. I also find it pretty much impossible to call the doctor's office and make an appointment for myself without writing my own name down. Why do I do this? I have no idea. They ask me what my name is, and I tell them, but simultaneously write it down. In case I forget my name???

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Why I am reading this magazine.


A while back, I was sitting at my husband's desk looking through the mail and reading the newspaper. My 6-year-old was sitting with me, on the desk, intently studying the Wal-Mart ad. After a few minutes, he whispered "Do you know why I'm reading this magazine?" I said "no" and he whispered "So I won't have to play Barbies with Delaney." (his sister).

Wondering about Homeschooling?

If you wonder if you can homeschool, I encourage you to look into it. There are so many different ways to homeschool; traditional classroom (school at home), charter schools, cyber schools, correspondence schools, DVD classes, computer classes, workbooks, unschooling or interest-led education, unit studies and I'm sure there are many more. In many cases it is possible to homeschool with both parents working. Read some of the many, many books on the subject. Find out what legal hoops you need to jump through in your state or country and go for it. If it doesn't work out, you can always send them back to public school.

Monday, April 25, 2005



I don't like pickles. I absolutely cannot stand them. So, when my oldest son was was little, just old enough to get a hamburger at restaurants, I would carefully pull the pickles off every hamburger and dispose of them. Now that he is old enough to express a preference, he loves pickles. He puts about 15 slices on a single hamburger. I think it is hilarous that I thought I was protecting him from those awful things and he loves them. There is probably a great metaphor for life here ...



Today we are back to work. We'll finish Maniac Magee and do some wrap-up activities. One of the underlying themes of this book is racism and how this one kid unites this town that was racially divided. My kids have no concept of what racism is, I explained that the people didn't like each other because they had different skin colors and they thought that was the craziest thing they'd ever heard. Tomorrow, we'll start Anne of Green Gables, I think.

Don't you love the way I'm not sure from day to day? This indecision is driving me (and probably you) crazy, but the kids don't see all the indecision and they are learning. I do want to get a curriculum though. I want to wait until I can go to a book sale and look at the books, inside, but I don't know if I want to wait until the end of May because I want to go ahead and start a unit this spring and another thing, I'm not a patient person!

Sunday, April 24, 2005



Last night, my youngest son was explaining to me about his little action figure guys and he made this statement "They have backpacks and they are not afraid to use them."

Busy Day Today


I'm only here for a minute today. We've had a picnic and a birthday party today so we're in the house and in a few minutes, we'll be going back out again. I've still got to fit in work sometime this afternoon or evening too. Sunday is a day of rest? Not today.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Saturday Homeschool.

We did a bit of schooling today, even though it is Saturday. We cleaned the living room and kitchen while listening to Maniac Magee to help the time go faster. I really love listening to audio books while cleaning or driving long distances. It makes the time go so much faster and you don't even feel like you are working (almost.) Afterwards, we made "butterscotch krimpets" which are a dessert that Maniac Magee loves, but I thought they were a bit too sweet. I got the recipe on-line in a Maniac Magee lesson plan that someone thoughtfully shared. I would link it if my computer was behaving properly, which it isn't. So, we covered literature, cooking (measuring, fractions) and home economics. :-)


My mom went to the doctor yesterday and found out that she has a low HDL, which is good cholesterol. She is resistant to taking another medication for this and so, asked me to do a little internet research to see what foods boost your HDL score, so she can eat a lot of those and not have to go on a new medication. I did some research and found 4 foods that really help with raising a low HDL. From now on, my poor mom is going to have to eat apples, orange juice, pecans and chocolate!

Friday, April 22, 2005

Homeschool Headaches.

I've realized that almost every morning I get a headache. I wonder if you can get a headache just from doing too many things at once. Sometimes I'm saying "I don't know why that is" to my older son and to my daughter I'm spelling something and to my younger son, who is really interested in adding up numbers now and I'll end up saying sentences like "I don't know, B-E-C, yes 16 + 16 is 32, A-U-, really? 32, S-E." Could this be causing my headaches????

Springtime Snow


It is springtime here in Kentucky, beautiful. Everything is blooming. The trees are leaving out. The kids were watching a little bit of morning TV today and Dan suddenly yelled, "hey mama, it is going to snow this weekend!" I came in the room and said "What?!!!" and he said "someplace else!"

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Homeschooling and Housecleaning.

As part of our homeschool day, we do chores. I've been teaching the kids how to do things like load the dishwasher and do the laundry. I'm afraid I'll jinx it by writing this, but my daughter loves doing laundry. She does a good job and doesn't forget the fabric softener. She is doing a load right now, for FUN! Can you believe it? I can't but I am not questioning it. She asked me a few minutes ago if she could go laundry and I said "okay, I guess." I mean I don't want to get too excited about it, in case that might make her stop ... :-) My dream now is for the boys to really decide that they love doing the dishes. Hey, a woman can dream.

Once on the way home from a shopping trip with my best friend, who is single with no kids, I made the ridiculous statement "Hey, maybe DH cleaned the house while I was gone!" to which she replied, "Hey, maybe my cat cleaned my house too!" Yeah, just about as likely. :-)

Just kidding DH, if you are reading this ;-)

Achieving Balance.

I never can quite get there. Balance. Between school and work, housekeeping and grocery shopping, homeschool co-op meetings, kid's clubs and sports, I can't seem to find my balance, my breath or my sanity. Sigh.

Still 1/2 An Hour of School.


Last night we were going to bed and I told the kids to hurry because we still had a half an hour of school work to do ... listening to Maniac Magee on audiobook while in bed, in place of our usual story. I kind of scared them there for a minute, LoL.

We really have enjoyed this audiobook experience. The lady that is reading it does such a great job of characterizing all the voices, you can just see the people in your head. It's something.

My Advice For Child-Rearing.

I have said, since my older son was about 3, that parents have to take the child that they are given and do the best they can. What I mean by that is that all kids are different. They are born with a temperment of their own. You have to take it into consideration. Tonight my younger son didn't want to go to a boy's club event that his older brother was going to and someone said to me that it was because I homeschool him, that is why he wants to stay with mama all the time. Well, you know, he's been this way since birth and I only started homeschooling him 7 months ago! Grrr. Seriously, this is just the way this child is. I think he'll outgrow it. I think he'll be fine.

Tonight when I announced bedtime, the two older kids were in the kitchen eating toast (we really need groceries!) and they said "We're having a buttered toast party." My other son wasn't eating toast but was running around and bending side to side. He said "I'm having a run around and bend over party."

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

One Grouchy Homeschool Mama -


I once saw a kid's t-shirt that said something like 'Mom having a bad day? Call 1-800-GRANDMA!" I feel that way today, grouchy for no apparent reason. I guess I'm just a little stressed. The day isn't actually going all that badly, really. The kids are being reasonably cooperative. Maniac Magee (turns out is spelled with an "A") is good. I got asked to work extra today and so I might go a little lighter on the homeschooling to make up for it. Maybe I'm cranky because I'm having a birthday tomorrow and getting older; it could be a midlife crisis. Whatever the cause, I've abandoned the kids to their work (which they probably won't do) and come in here to my quiet bedroom, to be alone and I'm going to use work as an excuse to stay in here for a long, long time!

Homeschool Unit Study


We decided to read Maniac McGee first. Actually, we got the audio version from the library and it is excellent and I enjoy being able to just listen and not read sometimes. We are also digging into fractions with worksheets from the site, which I find helpful because we can all work on fractions, but at appropriate grade levels. That way, what we are doing is related. It helps with the mommy brain too, not having to switch subjects so much.

I also did the 'no leaving the kitchen until the work is done' and it worked very well. We got done earlier than usual! It was great. I'm definitely going to make this the routine.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

At Dinner Tonight

We were eating spaghetti when Dan, my 6-year-old, looked at me and said "my stomach has all kinds of compartments in it, for every kind of food. The one for spinach is always empty." He's not a fan of spinach. :-)

My New Nickname

My 8-year-old daughter has a maternal streak a mile wide. She loves taking care of people, kittens, puppies, etc. She loves taking care of her little brother most of all, unbuckling his seat belt, tying his shoes, etc. This has earned her the nickname "Little Mama". She was trying to help my younger son do his math this morning in kind of an overbearing way and he shouted "I don't want Little Mama to help me, I want Big Mama." I hadn't realized I was giving myself a nickname too. And such a lovely one at that. LoL.

Every student can learn, just not on the same day, or the same way.
-- George Evans


Library Day

Yesterday was supposed to be library day. I planned it (in a rare event of planning for me) for a Monday morning because I am off work on Monday and I figured there wouldn't be too many people in the library children's area. I thought it would be a great time to show the kids how to use the card catalog and how to find books on the shelves, based on the Dewey decimal system. Our library is 2 stories, the downstairs is the adult area and the upstairs is the children's area. Unfortunately, there is only 1 card catalog dedicated computer upstairs and someone else got to it first. There was a university student there who had thought that Monday morning would be a good time to have the computer card catalog completely to herself. We spent an hour or so browsing the shelves and letting the kids play on the game computers but didn't get to have so much as a look at the card catalog. So much for planning.

Today, we are going to dig into fractions and start our new book, which we will do by vote because I came home from the library with 3 choices yesterday, Sarah Plain and Tall, Anne of Green Gables and Maniac McGee. My oldest son is very much in favor of Maniac McGee, even though he's read it before. I guess the others sound too girly. I am particularly interested in Anne of Green Gables since her last name is Shirley and that is a family name of ours. We could do a little geneology.

Monday, April 18, 2005

My Homeschool Curriculum Reviews.

This is my first year homeschooling, but I do actually have some reviews to post. I started out getting Saxon Math, a homeschool staple, and both 2 older kids complained about it so much that I went out and bought cheap math books at Barnes and Noble. Then they whined about those too, so figure it is just a "whine about math" thing they do. Right now, I am getting math pages off of the EdHelper site, and using those for everyone. They have tons. I do think it is worth the $20.00 yearly subscription.

I also bought The Story of the World by Susan Bauer and we read a couple of those, from ancient history up until recent times. I didn't use the activity books but we loved the storybook type history and we did a lot of activities that I found on the internet. To go along with The Story of the World, we really enjoyed Laurie Carlson's books, More than Moccasins, Westward Ho and Classical Kids. We did a ton of fun activities out of those books, including making Roman sandals and togas, making bread, making a little western purse and Greek necklaces. We loved those books. I see on that she also has one on gardening now. I would love to get that one!

At someone's suggestion, I bought Draw, Write, Now for my younger son who does not like to write and does not write well. He wasn't crazy about it, but his sister loved it. She loves all kinds of drawing books and will work and draw things for hours with any kind of book like that. We no longer use it as a textbook for him, but she still likes it and draws things from it occasionally. I also bought A Comprehensive Curriculum of Basic Skills for each child and they're pretty good.

Open Season

Just this morning I declared it officially open season on any of the kid's leftover chocolate from Easter. If there is a chocolate Easter Bunny anywhere in the house and I find him, he's mine. I'll teach them not to procrastinate! LoL.

Energetic Kids/Planning

Last night, right before bedtime, my daughter was boucing up and down on the bed and singing. I said "you're very boisterous for this time of night". Dan said "She's not boisterous, she's girlsterous".

It is Monday 6:30 a.m. and I still am not sure how we are going to proceed with school today. Good planning, eh? I do have some fraction pages and other things for them to do and then the plan is to possibly head to the library and the park. Tomorrow, we'll get down to more serious work. We may do Maniac Mcgee by Jerry Spinelli. My oldest son says it is a good book. He's already read it though and I'd like to do something he hasn't read to keep his interest up. It is hard to engage his interest. I'll see what our library has to offer.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Hide and Seek

My 2 youngest kids just had this conversation.
"Do you want to play hide and seek?"
"Only if you'll be IT every time."

Unit Study.

Well, it is Sunday morning and I don't know what we are going to study next week. To me, that definitely indicates that I need to order a curriculum next year. I'm also going to rearrange my daily plan/schedule so that we aren't doing the same things every day. I think maybe moving each subject to every other day but spending longer on each subject might be the way to go. Sometimes you just need a change.

I talked to another homeschool mom yesterday about how to get the kids to complete their work everyday in a more timely fashion and she said that she doesn't let them leave the school-room area until they are finished with their work. Period. I think that is a good plan. We'll have sceduled breaks but otherwise, stay in the kitchen until we are completely done. I hope it works. (fingers crossed.)

Now I need to get everyone awake and start the laundry show. It is rather boring to me, but the 2 younger kids enjoy watching the washing machine work. Anyone want to come over and see it? The admission price is very reasonable. :-)

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Brain Clutter.


I wonder why I am so forgetful? I have to have people call me or use my yahoo calendar every time I have to be someplace or I will miss it. I have to tell my kids to remind me of things. I think maybe there's too much information in there; way too much information in my brain that is completely useless, so that when I am trying to sort through it, it is like looking for a needle in a haystack. I know it is in there, I just can't find it. Brain clutter. That's what it is. If I had known that I was going to run out of brain space eventually, I don't think I would've put all the words to "Maggie May" in there, cause they are still there, taking up space.

Please Stop Talking.


Two of my children are talkers. They talk a lot. My oldest and my youngest. I think the middle child is in the realm of the normal amount of talking for an 8-year-old child. It may be just that she can't get a word in a lot of the time. She does write me a lot of notes. Hmmm. My oldest son doesn't talk as much as he used to when he was younger, but still quite a bit. My youngest, however, talks. A lot. If no one is around, he'll talk to himself. He talks in the bathroom, in the tub, in the car, while playing; constantly, even in his sleep! It is funny because he's always been extremely talkative at home but in public, he hardly says anything. One time he said something to me at a family party and a lady there said "He can talk!" and I said, "I would hope so, he's 5 years old!" She had seen him hundreds of times, but never heard him talk. The irony of that comment, with me sometimes saying, "Honey, please stop talking for a minute, mommy needs to ___ (fill in the blank: work, breathe, think!!) is incredible.

What was I doing?


Today, my son is supposed to have a playdate, my daughter has a birthday party, I'm supposed to work for my job and I need to clean the house. I need to decide on and plan our studies for next week. I need to fill out all of that paperwork for foster care and schedule physicals for everyone including the dogs. I need to get my garden planted sometime soon. Sometimes I just don't feel like I know whether I am coming or going. Since I began homeschooling, I've become more disorganized. I wouldn't have thought it possible, but it is. Oh yes, it is.

Friday, April 15, 2005

Comments Today.


Today my daughter offered to eat my nachos for me, so they wouldn't go to waste ... I guess I am a waste of good nachos?

My son said his sister was tickling his "knee pit".

Tonight my daughter asked the Magic 8 ball if her brothers were going to be the goofiest people in the world tomorrow and it said "yes." Why should tomorrow be different from any other day?

We Finished the Literature Study

We finished reading "Number the Stars" last night and it truly is a remarkable book. We are going to have a discussion and wrap-up today, then it is off to something else next week. I have no idea what but I'm sure I'll come up with something.

Later today, we are going to be writing essays for this essay contest for inventors. Here is a link (obviously something is wrong with my linking abilities, but you can copy and paste. Sorry!) Wish me luck with my reluctant writers!


I need to know what the secret is of getting kids to do chores without complaining. Is there one? My kids know that they have to help with Saturday cleaning, and each day they have one chore that I let them pick, but I'm thinking we need more. More. More. More. I want one of those homes that runs like a well-oiled machine, with the kids accepting their chores and doing them each morning, so that the house looks pretty good when we start on work and school. Am I dreaming?

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Two Funny Things.

Earlier today, there was a picture in my youngest son's workbook of a bunny with eggs around him, for him to recognize all the color words and color them in (really easy, but it was something to keep his hands busy while I was reading). He colored all the parts he was supposed to color the appropriate colors, then he colored the bunny's eyes red. He said "his eyes are red because he's been up all night, delivering the eggs."

Then later, he came to me and said "kiss my big toe. My little toe is the one that got hurt, but my big toe is where all my toe muscle is."

Slow Starts in the Morning

We are getting a slow start this morning. My computer is as slow as Christmas and it has been hard for me to get my morning activities done today. Luckily, I printed my homeschool papers out last night and the kids chose "Number The Stars" as their bedtime book last night, so we got a little ahead on the chapter schedule. I'm off to get started now. Since we are reading first, it is a very pleasant start to the homeschool part of the day.

Please take time to scroll down to the bottom of this page to see the ads for Sonlight curriculum (which has been highly recommended to me) and for 3Moms curriculum in a box which is a great help in figuring out what curriculum to use.

Vacation Thoughts

This time of year, my thoughts turn to vacation. We like to go vacationing with extended family, the more the merrier, and like to stay kind of close to home because it is easier to coordinate with that many people. Last year, we went to a nearby city and stayed at a nice hotel with an indoor pool. One evening my kids and I were in the pool and my son sneezed. A huge booger went out of his nose and into the pool. I could see it floating in the water. We didn't want to spend the rest of the time swimming with the booger, so we decided to try and get it out. (Thankfully, our family were the only ones in the pool area!) We didn't have a cup or anything, so I, in a very heroic gesture, caught it in my bare hands, threw it away and went and washed my hands, thereby making the pool safe again for everyone. Now we like to joke about the time I went on vacation and went 'bare-handed booger fishing." I don't think it will catch on as a sport though. ;-)

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Number The Stars - Literature Unit Study

We have begun reading the book Number the Stars by Lois Lowry and we are on chapter 7. It isn't a long book, only about 160 pages. I can't praise Mr. Cornish's web site enough. He's done a great job with the worksheets, background info, etc. The kids and I have been talking about historical fiction, separating fact from fiction, bravery, friendship, ethics (whether it is okay to lie sometimes) and we have referred to the map a lot, looking for countries and cities. Tomorrow, we are putting up a timeline to keep track of all the historical novels that we are going to be reading in the next few weeks. I haven't decided what the next one might be.

What Do I Need To Homeschool?


Keep in mind that this is my first year homeschooling, actually we've just begun, but I've been looking at curriculum and reading everything I can get my hands on and I think that the most important thing that you need is the belief that you can do this. I think that you can have a job or not have a job to work around, have a college degree or not, have money to spend on it or not and still homeschool successfully. You can work around a work schedule, splitting schooling with your spouse and/or working in the evenings. In some states it is legal for a grandparent or other adult to do a portion of the schooling. You can spend money on a packaged curriculum new or buy used or use resources from the library and/or internet. The possibilities are endless.

Check out this site for help if you are beginning.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Homeschool Wishes vs. Reality.


It is 8:30 p.m. here. I have just finished my paid job as a medical transcriptionist for the day and I am going to go check to see if the kids did their work. In my daydreams, all this gets done before noon and we have the afternoons to do fun and exciting projects. (And if I'm really dreaming, we're doing these projects while the housekeeper finishes cleaning the house.) Truthfully, it often works out this way, I'm tired, but I'm not done for the night.

Work At Home

I've been working at home, doing medical transcription, since my last child was born, almost 7 years ago. Before that, I worked in a hospital transcription department. What I like about working at home is the flexibility, the lack of a commute and the fact that I can work while doing other things, like homeschooling or taking care of a sick child. I work in the bedroom, so the kids can lie on my bed if they are sick and I can keep an eye on them. The main thing is that I am available to my children most of the time even though I work. That's important to me. On the other hand, some days it would be very nice to dress up and go out to work. Somewhere far, far away. :-)

Homeschooling/ Open to Possibilities.

Yesterday, we took the day off from homeschooling because my DH and I went to a foster care preliminary meeting. We are thinking about getting into a foster-to-adopt program. They gave us a pile of paperwork, that is, I'm not kidding, an inch thick. I've got to start filling out forms. I don't know if I am a strong enough person to do this, but I feel called to it or drawn to it, so I am going to open my life up to the possibility and see what happens. If there is a child who needs us, I want to be available for that child.

Today, we finally start the literature study of Number the Stars by Lois Lowry. I'm excited to have a plan again after my spring fever episode.

Dan heard the poem 'Find a penny, pick it up and all the day you'll have good luck." and now he drops pennies here and there for me to find. :-)

Monday, April 11, 2005

I guess you had to be there ...


Last night we were watching America's Funniest Videos and saw the hilarious video of the baby fussing at the water slide, shaking his little tiny fist and babbling. It was so cute. I said to my youngest son "what do you think he's saying?" and Dan said "I don't know, I don't speak him." Then when I laughed he said,
"Mom, are you going to put what I said on your blog?"

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Falling Asleep


My youngest son has been having some trouble going to sleep. He's been using the talk-a-mile-a-minute-until-you-start-snoring method for going to sleep, which I guess works for him, but is annoying to other people, especially at 12:30 p.m., for whomever he is talking to. My older son used to use that method and now he does the relaxing muscles method which works for him now. The older one is going to mentor the youngest on how to go to sleep. I have tried the pretend-you-are-asleep method but so far, he hasn't changed to using that one.

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Funny Husband Sayings.


One day we were at a picnic and my husband's grandma saw him there. She gets a bit confused and may have confused him with his younger brother. She asked him when he was going to get a girlfriend. He said "Granny, I've got a wife and 3 kids. I don't have time for a girlfriend!"

A few years ago we switched from 2% milk, to 1% milk and then to skim. My husband looked pitifully at his milk glass one morning and said "There's less milk in my milk every week."

Since I am the author of this blog, any silly things I say, I think I'll keep to myself!

Medical Transcription Funnies

These are a few slips of the tongue that were actually dictated to me by doctors during my career as a medical transcriptionist.

"The patient's name is knee pain, status post fall."

"This is a healthy-appearing male who appears to be acutely ill."

"The patient had a normal, spontaneous cesarean section." (I really wonder about that one!)

"oh my gosh, I fell asleep! I can't believe I fell asleep while I was dictating ..."

The physicians and patients will remain anonymous.

Making a Living

A year or so ago, my youngest said that he was not going to have a job when he grows up. Apparently, he's had it all figured out. He'll just get some money, go to the store, buy something and they'll give him more money back. He's going to make a living getting change. He said this when he was five and now he's the ripe old age of 6 3/4 so probably he knows better now. I might should check ...

Friday, April 08, 2005

The tooth, part 2.


My youngest finally let the tooth go last night. He had finally managed to say his goodbyes, I guess. He got a dollar under his pillow this morning, and he was happy.

But really, why are they home?


I really should address why they are homeschooled, shouldn't I? I did a little in my first article on this blog, if you look way back at the beginning. Here's the short version. We decided that we didn't want to send my 6th grader to middle school, we felt that he was not ready, so we kept him home. A month into the public school calendar, we pulled the other 2 out of school for many reasons. They weren't seeing much of their Dad because he works an odd work schedule. The youngest was not happy with school and cried every morning. I felt that my daughter was beginning to drown in her split third/fourth grade class; she had so much homework and would come home not understanding it and I would have to teach her. Now that we've been homeschooling for half a year, my reasons for keeping them home include getting to see them more, being excited about teaching and learning and having a lot of fun! This is the best thing I have ever done.

Why aren't your kids in school?


This question was posed to me by an acquaintance, today in the grocery store. Now, normally, I don't take all 3 kids and go to the grocery in the middle of the day, but we were out of everything and it was a grocery emergency, so we went. The reason I don't usually go this early is that usually we are working and schooling in the mornings and don't go anywhere until the afternoon.

There's been some discussion about this topic on the homeschooling site about what to say to this question, how to answer it, why people ask it, etc. I think probably if I was not a homeschooling parent and had run into an acquaintance in the grocery aisle and she had her kids with her, I'd probably ask. I guess I'm just naturally nosy. If there was some kind of illness that made all 3 of her kids sick, if the schools were unexpectedly closed for some important reason, I think I'd want to know. I don't think people mean any harm when they ask questions like this. I think it is just human nature to be curious and probably most of them are just being friendly. There probably are a few who think that we are crazy, wacko homeschoolers and should put our kids back in public school immediately, be we can pretty much ignore them, I think.

At the grocery store, we got one of those car carts, that is huge, plastic and shaped like a race car. My 12-year-old tried to drive it and was scaring people up and down the aisles. I told him he was turning people against homeschoolers with his driving and he should be more careful. After a couple more aisles and near misses, I told him he was turning me against homeschooling when I used to be quite fond of it. :-) After that, he let me drive. He doesn't want to miss out on being homeschooled for the rest of his school career. He has said that he wants to homeschool through college and he knows that depends on me not getting fed up with it. :-) Looks like mom has leverage now. ((grin))

Mad Libs/ Schoohouse Rock


Yesterday, I was in a contemplative mood, wondering about my approach to schooling and open to possibilities. Of course, the kids could somehow tell and they talked me into doing Mad Libs instead of a grammar worksheet. Mad Libs aren't the best for teaching all of the parts of speech, but for nouns, adjectives and verbs, they can't be beat. My youngest, who is in first grade, knows all about nouns, verbs and adjectives from Schoolhouse Rock and consequently, has to sing either the noun song "a noun is a person, place or thing, do-de-do-de-do-do" or "unpack your adjectives" or "verb, that's what's happening", before he answers. My daughter was in a very silly mood and kept giving us words like "Barbie" and "underwear" and the results were so hilarious that someone in the family (I'm not saying who) actually had to change their underwear when we were done.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Literature Study/ Unit Study


I talked with the kid about our lack of enthusiasm lately and we've decided to do a unit study on Lois Lowry's book, "Number the Stars". I've read it and it is very good. I think we will chart it on the timeline, find it on the map, see if we can make a dish from that time and place, etc. Just thinking what direction to go in has given us some enthusiasm. We will start it on Monday.

Here's the web site I will start with.

10 More Hours

I just told my youngest son we'd be starting school in 10 minutes. He said "Make it 10 hours!"

Feeling a Little Lost.

I am going to admit to feeling at a loss as to what to do with homeschooling right now. We were moving right along before spring break and I was kind of on a roll. We were just finishing up a science unit. Since their public school friends were having spring break, the kids talked me into letting them have one too. I had plans to clean the house thoroughly on spring break and that didn't happen, but that's a whole 'nother story. After a spring break week, we were going to start back, but then spring break stretched into 2 weeks. (The public school kids here have 2 weeks too.) Then we were going to start schooling again. I made an easy spring lesson plan to follow. We have been half-heartedly looking at that thing for a week and not really doing much of anything. I think we all have spring fever or something. Maybe an attack of unschooling? I've got to admit, I kind of feel the call towards unschooling or delight-led learning as some call it, but on the other hand, it terrifies me. What if my kids grow up and don't have any of the necessary skills? I have heard such great things about unschoolers and they never seem to have this problem, but still, it scares me. So, for now, I will persist with at least schooling the basics. I'd like to have some schedule where the kids cover the necessities in the morning and follow their interests in the afternoon, but I haven't worked anything like that out yet. My kids tend to look at me blankly when asked what they want to study, especially the two older ones. They were in public school for several years and they expect me, the teacher, to decide what they will learn and make it interesting. I may ask the youngest to name something he wants to learn about and pursue that interest with a passion, even if it is something like 'bubble gum'. I could make a unit study out of that! Right??? As for today, I'll probably fall back on the workbooks ... but I'm not looking forward to it.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Unlimited Prayers


I certainly hope that the amount of prayers that one can pray in this lifetime is not limited in any way because I have used some of my prayers up in frivolous ways. We got a puppy this January. I was taking him outside day and night, through sleet, rain and snow. I found myself one night about midnight, praying that the dog would just please go soon so I could go back inside because I was freezing. Then I thought, "great. I'm praying for poop." Like I said, hopefully there is no limit.


Home*School*Home This is a good elementary science link with worksheets. This is a fun geography game. Good math tips and tricks here. Some fun animal worksheets.

I'm only putting a few links because they haven't been showing up. These are some websites I have used. I'll add more if these work.

Money / Frugal Fun.


Money is a very complicated subject. I used to be very much a spender and would shop to relieve stress. I called it retail therapy. Since my husband lost his job and was out of work for a while, my retail therapy has changed somewhat. I'm more careful with money now. I still like to shop, I'm just a lot more careful about spending. I shop at Goodwill a lot. I shop at Dollar Tree a lot. I go to the library and check out DVDs for free. (It feels like shopping!)

I don't think that just because you are living frugally, you can't have any fun. The field trip that we went on the other day cost very little. The wildlife preserve was free and very cool. The museum was listed as free in a book I saw it in, but the price had went up to $2.00 for admission. Still that was okay.

It is funny to me that people won't talk about money much, myself included. We don't talk about how much we have, how much we make, how much we spend. In a way it mysterious to me, but in another way, I understand. Other people can make judgements about how you spend the money and won't agree on what you think is important enough to spend money on.

For example, I think family vacations are important. I think getting away with members of my family and extended family are worth it. Since our financial problems began, my husband has wanted me to totally stop planning any vacations, but I disagree. I think they are treasures of memories and fun and worth every single penny. Last year, we went to a campground for 3 days and 2 nights, swam in the pool, slid down the waterslide, (not me!), saw a mama duck on her nest, participated in campground run activities like bubble blowing contests and scavenger hunts and had a great time. We spent under $200.00 and the memories are priceless. My daughter had never gotten to have an overnight with her cousin before that. They were in little girl heaven and it was worth every penny.

Heredity Musings.


Tonight I noticed that I have a gray hair. It is very noticible for a couple of reasons. First off, it is right in the very front and secondly, it sticks straight up. It's a very spunky little thing. I haven't had the heart yet to yank it out. I will though. I will. Its days are numbered. My dad has completely white hair now, my mom, a few gray strands, but mostly still brown. Guess who I seem to be taking after? I started getting gray hairs a few months ago and they have been coming very frequently lately.

My kids seem also to have lost in one aspect of the heredity game. My husband has perfect eyesight. Even though he is close to 40 years old, he's never needed reading glasses; he can see signs on the interstate way before I can, even with my contacts in. I on the other hand, am legally blind without my glasses or contacts. I had to explain to my children the other day, that yes, my glasses could be lying on my desk and I could be standing right in front of them and still not see them. I have to reach out and pat the desk with my hand until I feel them. One of my kids already has glasses and the other two had a free vision screening at Wal-Mart the other day and scored in the range of "better get this checked." :-(

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

The Tooth.


A few days ago my youngest lost a tooth. Not his first, his fifth. But this one is different for some reason. All the others have gone eagerly to the tooth fairy in exchange for a dollar. But this one, he wants to keep. He put it in an envelope and then instead of putting under the pillow, he put it in the nightstand. Every night he pulls it out and says "mommy, do you think I should keep my tooth?" Then he asks his sister and brother. Then he puts the tooth back into the nightstand. Until tomorrow night when the decision has to be made all over again. I'm not sure why, but it is interesting. A right of passage, I guess.

Field Trip/Mom's Meeting.


We are off on a field trip today to a local museum and wildlife center. We are going to get to see a display of birds of prey. Cool, eh?

I had a homeschool mom's meeting last night with the new homeschool group I've joined and we had a good time. For me it is interesting to get to see and hear about the curriculums that others are using. I'm still not sure what direction our curriculum will go next year. So many options. I could enroll the kids in an online complete school course with online teachers doing the grading, a correspondence course, a curriculum package that I would teach from or continue to mix and match following the scope and sequence from the World Book site as I have been doing. I'd put in a link to the world book site, if I could figure out how to do it.

Monday, April 04, 2005

Teacher In-PMS Day Today.

School here was cancelled today because the teacher has PMS. My children are better off with their grandparents today. I do not feel guilty about it. I can't. I'm too busy feeling horrible about every single other thing in my life. Every. Single. Thing. I've decided that even though it is my day off at my paid job, I will go ahead and work. Why not? I'm in a bad mood anyway. Since I'm a medical transcriptionist, and work at home, alone, with the kids now at grandmas, I can work without making anyone else suffer for my bad mood, although if the doctor's I'm typing for could hear me ...

Why The Boy Cats?

My best friend recently took in a mama cat who, shortly thereafter, had 4 kittens, 2 male, 2 female. She was fortunate that our local human society would neuter all 5 for a small amount of money through their feral cat program. She took them all in and they were all recuperating from their surgeries when my friend's niece came over to visit. After a while playing with the kittens, her niece asked "If Tanner and Dreamy are boys, why do they have to have operations so they can't have babies?" My friend said "Why don't you ask your mom and dad that question?" and her niece said "They won't know! They're not vets!" (I guess the fact that my friend is an R.N. is why she got favored with this question.) She went on to give a very good answer about how boys help make babies and now those 2 particular boy kitty cats can't "help" anymore.

Kid of the Day


Something that has been very helpful to me for the past couple of years is the "Kid of the Day" system. I got it from an article in Family Fun magazine. (I probably should post a link to their site since I mention their magazine in almost every post!) Anyway, it works like this. My oldest kid is kid of the day on Sunday and Wednesday, middle child has Tuesday and Saturday and youngest has Monday and Friday. This way they all have a weekday and a (kind of) weekend day. The kid of the day has extra privileges and possibly extra responsibilities. If there is an argument over who goes first or who gets to choose the TV show, I say "who is the kid of the day?" That usually settles it. The kid of the day also gets to choose what we read at night and if we go to a restaurant on their day, s/he gets to choose which one. Since we had one day of the week left over, I'm the kid of the day on Thursdays. One day I got a funny look from a man at the grocery store when the kids asked who was the kid of the day and I said "Me! I'm the kid of the day!"

Sunday, April 03, 2005



Yesterday, we were supposed to clean the house. And we did. A little. I told my youngest son he needed to clean and he said "I don't like cleaning." I told him that I don't like it either, but it has to be done. He said "my liking of cleaning is as low as the earth's core."

Saturday, April 02, 2005

The Free Enterprise System


Last night my youngest son brought me a pile of play money and told me that I won the lottery. (Funny, I don't remember buying a play lottery ticket.) Then he declared that his store was open and I could buy anything in this room (my bedroom) from him. I ended up getting a real steal on a backscratcher for a approximately $300.00 in play money. Since then, my daughter has sold me half a deck of Swap cards from her store for $10.00. I am going to see if I can convince them to go share these incredible bargains with Daddy...



A while back, my daughter was in the mood to watch Mulan over and over and she learned all the songs. She was going through the house singing "when will my reflection show who I am inside?" My younger son said, "It never will, silly, it shows what is on the outside." I thought that was pretty wise, coming from a 6-year-old.



This morning we were getting ready to go to a homeschool co-op class and we were running late (as usual). I went to the bathroom to see how my daughter was progressing with her bath and to tell her to get out. I looked in the bathroom door which was partially open and saw my daughter, in the tub, eating a taco salad. Honestly. She had made herself a taco salad (from last night's leftovers) and was eating it in the tub. That is some interesting multi-tasking.

Friday, April 01, 2005

A Chip On The Window


To get my husband for April fools this morning, the kids and I put a big corn chip on the back glass door and then told him there was a chip on the door and he should go look. He got kind of annoyed till he saw where they had written "April Fool" on the glass with those window FX markers and the chip hanging there. It was cute. Let me tell you from experience it is difficult to tape a corn chip to a window. They're too salty. :-)

April Fool!


I surprised the youngest kid with the unsolvable maze that I printed from the Family Fun website and for the older two, I printed out a fake test that I found on line. It said on the first question that they should read all the questions before proceeding, then on the last question it told them they didn't have do anything but read it all. Then questions 2-9 had them doing silly things like drawing two squares in the corner of their paper, writing their birthdate in another corner of the paper, etc. They were a little stressed about testing at first but then they got started. Of course both of them drew the little squares and all the other silly little things. We had a good laugh about it afterwards. I think it would have been funnier if the things that they had to do included things like clapping their hands and doing a little dance ... might have to do that next year. :-)


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