Wednesday, November 30, 2005

My new shopping socks. ;-) Posted by Picasa

Retail Therapy.

Yesterday, I took the day off from homeschooling and had myself a little retail therapy. My best friend and I went shopping all afternoon, and also had a lovely lunch out. Boy did I need that. It was great. I didn't really get much Christmas shopping done but really just picked up some things I actually needed plus one Christmas present and a gingerbread house kit. I always wanted to make a real gingerbread house and I figured we should do it at least once. Michael's Crafts had the kits on sale yesterday for $8.00 (and some change) which is probably less than the cost of buying the ingredients. All in all, it was a great day. My best friend bought me some new shopping socks. I'll share a picture in the next post.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Homeschool Blog Awards, Voting Going on Now.

Nominate your favorite blogs here. There are several categories. Now I'm off to read some of the ones who have been nominated. ;-)


We finished studying the digestive system yesterday and our curriculum book suggested dramatizing digestion. I thought it sounded kind of crazy but it turned out to be lots of fun. The 2 little kids pretended to be the food we dramatized the digestive process on them, on the king sized bed, using pillows for teeth and blankets for everything else. Hard to picture, I'm sure, but it was hilarious and as a result, my 7-year-old can explain how the whole process works. My older son only wanted to watch and it's kind of good, cause he's a big boy and probably would have been kind of hard to digest. The 2 younger kids were running around saying "Digest me again!" That's not something you hear every day!

Sunday, November 27, 2005

New Nicknames.

I noticed my daughter was calling Max, the dog, a different nickname today. I asked her about it and she said that she's given the pets vegetable nicknames. Lucy's vegetable nickname is "Sweet Potato", Shadow's is "Sweet Pea" and poor Max has been given the nickname "Pea Soup".

Linc's Bad Day

Don't worry, he's fine. That look says "I can't believe you brought the camera! Posted by Picasa

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Linc and Xena a.k.a. Zinc and Lena.

On the way to Thanksgiving dinner, we were talking in the van, about our kitten's names, which are Linc and Xena and how I mix them up all the time and call them Zinc and Lena. My oldest son dared me to say all 4 names 5 times fast. I tried it. (You all try it at home, it's not easy!) By the time I got done I was very confused. I said "which ones did I say last?" and they told me and then I said "Was that what I meant to say?" It's pretty bad when you have to ask someone else what you meant to say!

Friday, November 25, 2005

The Thanksgiving Report.

We're actually only halfway through our Thanksgiving holiday because we decided this year to have dinner with my husband's family on Thursday and dinner with my family on Friday. This way, we get to spend more time with each without rushing off and we don't have to eat 2 huge meals in one day. Much better, I think. My brightly colored hair was only noticible to me, I guess, because no one really seemed to notice it. We had a great time, playing games and laughing. We don't see enough of each other.

I did try to sneak some school in on the kids by getting them to do dot-to-dot and color by number turkeys yesterday, but my younger son would have no part of it. "Today is a holiday! There is no school!" he said. Oh well, I tried. We are learning about the digestive system in our unit study of the human body, and we sure did a lot of digesting yesterday, so does that count?

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving!

Take time to think about what you are thankful for today.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Accidently Blonde.

Tonight I decided to put some lighter brown highlights in my brown hair, which I've done before. The roots needed a little touching up. So I bought a subtle highlights kit and planned to use the shortest possible time for very subtle highlights. I put the little cap on and my daughter pulled strands of hair through the cap with the little crochet-hook looking thing. So far, so good. Then, I followed the directions and put the highlight stuff on my hair. I set the timer for the minimum amount of time. When the timer went off, I went into the bathroom to take the cap off and rinse out my hair. One problem. The cap wouldn't come off. I pulled and pulled. My hair was tangled around the cap. I finally had to call my husband to come and pull it off of me. A lot of my hair ended up getting pulled out by the roots, but what hair I do have left is pretty much blonde. I guess my relatives will get kind of a surprise tomorrow at Thanksgiving. ;-)

Day Before Thanksgiving.

I guess since it is the day before Thanksgiving, I should give the kids turkey crafts to do today? I might give them one or two. I'm actually hopeful that we will have a day as productive as yesterday and do a lot of learning this afternoon. Yesterday went well. We are speeding through the study of the human body in the KONOS book because we studied it last year, when I was just making up my own units, and we learned a lot then. So this year, it is mostly review. I think we'll finish it before Christmas break and then, who knows? We may totally change our routine in January. ;-)

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

I Know That

This site looks like fun, lots of learning games. I know that.

I Hope This Day is Good.

Does anyone remember the country song from a long, long time ago, "Lord, I hope this day is good."? I'm feeling that way today. I hope my work goes okay and homeschooling goes okay. We need to get some of this stuff about the body covered so we need to have a good KONOS session this afternoon. While I'm working this morning, the kids have a list of about 5-6 things to do and I hope they do them without nagging. I'm probably expecting a miracle here, aren't I?

Monday, November 21, 2005

The Christmas Lists

My children have all given me their preliminary Christmas lists. My younger son's has 1 item on it - a video game. My older son's has 4 items on it, "in order of importance" and lists 3 video games and a pair of jeans. He's asking for clothes, does this mean he's growing up? My daughter's list has 25 items on the front page and the "really want list" on the back. Fun times. ;-)

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Medical Transcription

As I've mentioned before, I do medical transcription at home. Yesterday, I had a particularly difficult dictation to transcribe. I let my daughter listen to the very end of it (no identifying data for the patient!) and she said what she heard was "blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, ping!" It pings at the end of the report. My son said, in a different conversation, that his mom knows what mumumumum means because she types what sounds like mumbles to him. Ah, the joy of my work. Now I have to go back to listing to the blah, blah, blah and mumumumum and try to make sense of it.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

The Solution Site

This site has a lot of good resources and searchable, free unit studies. I've been using it for the class on money I need to teach at the co-op. The Solution Site.

No Time.

Yesterday, we had co-op classes with our homeschool group. My youngest son was in a money class, learning how to count money. The only problem was that there were a lot of worksheets that the kids had to do. My youngest is not fond of worksheets. At all. He was dragging his feet and not getting done, so I stepped in to nag him a little bit and keep him focused. He said "Mom, can't you even give me time to scratch under my nose??" His nose must be itchy from the cold he's just getting over.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Learning about Bones.

We are still learning about bones and today's assignment was to cut a bone lengthwise and crosswise and look at the marrow and vessels going through the middle of it. I bought a package of chicken drumsticks. Dad did the cutting. My older son was very matter of fact about it, but the younger two kids ran into the living room and said "we're in the not-looking-at-the-yucky-bone club!" I got them to come back and look at the marrow and then we looked at the joint in detail. Then we cooked all of the drumsticks and Max, the dog, got to have the bone we had cut up. After looking at it in that much detail, no one else was interested in that one, although they ate the other ones with no complaints. We also made dancing skeletons and played some memory games. They need to learn all of the major bones in the body for this unit.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Today's Activities.

We are studying about the human body now and we are working on the skeletal system today. We read several books on the subject and worked on our large body tracings a little bit (from yesterday) and then they were supposed to build a skeletal framework out of something around the house. The pictures are below. My daughter's is made out of paper with a beach ball to help shape the head. I thought they did a good job.

My daughter's version (slightly blurred). Posted by Picasa

My older son built his out of Atollo blocks. Posted by Picasa

My younger son's version was of metal and magnets.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005


My youngest son was talking to his Dad about his school work. He didn't want to do it. His dad told him that if he didn't do it by the deadline, he would be grounded. Youngest son said "I wish I could be grounded from math." His dad said "If you loved math and didn't like video games, we might ground you from math." My son said in a shocked voice "How could anybody not like video games????!!!!"

Birthdays and other stuff.

Last night the kids and I were talking about birthdays. I tried to get them to skip having a birthday this year as they are growing up way too fast. They did not go for that, however, they have agreed that Daddy and I can skip our birthdays this year, if we want to. I thought that was very generous of them, unfortunately, I have several friends and relatives who know how old I am and won't let me forget it. :-P

We went on talking for a while and the kids discussed that it probably wasn't right to lie about my age, so I suggested that I could just say I'm 40ish. My youngest son said "Or you could say you're 50ish!" Um, no. I don't think I want to do that!

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Before Christmas ...

My youngest son said to me tonight "Before Christmas, I'm going to need a camera, some popcorn and some caffeine." Of course I asked why. He said, "The caffeine is to help me stay awake on Christmas night and the camera is to get a picture of Santa." I asked what the popcorn was for, he said, "for me to eat."

Friday, November 11, 2005


The curriculum I use is called KONOS. There are some sample pages on line at the KONOS web site. . What I like is all of the innovative things that they list to do right in your own home. This curriculum was written by homeschoolers for homeschoolers and I love that about it. There have been several activities that I just thought wouldn't work, but they did. For example, there was an activity in there for a child to dress up as Abe Lincoln and recite the Gettysburg address. Now I did not think this would go over with my kids. I read the description of the activity with them and asked if any of them wanted to do it. My daughter said that she would. So, I went to the computer and printed out a copy of the text of the Gettysburg address and my daughter went into her room and got a trampoline and some exercise mats, stacked them up so she could stand on them, on top of the trampoline so she would be "very tall" and taped some of her long hair under her chin like a beard. Then, she read the Gettysburg address with great drama and style. We'll never forget that. If it ever comes up on a test, we are all going to have a mental picture for that one for sure!

KONOs does involve some work for me in that I had to look up a copy of the Gettysburg address. I don't have a set of encylopedias so I used the computer. Yesterday, when I was teaching about skin, I had to have a picture of skin layers for my oldest son to look at and sketch and some facts about skin to read. I didn't find a book on skin at the library so I used Edhelper.. You can see that the teacher has to do some prep work on some things, but other things the kids do the prep work.

Thursday, November 10, 2005


My youngest son came up to me a minute ago and said "do you want to see my sticker collection?" I asked where it was, he said (what every homeowner wants to hear) "its on my wall. Do you know why it is on my wall?" I said "no" and he said "because my wall doesn't have hair and I do." I guess he's had some painful experiences peeling off band-aids. ;-)

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

A New Direction.

We are still in the Cooperation Unit of the KONOS curriculum but now we are changing our focus from the United States and how they work together, to the different parts of the human body and how they work together. I hope it goes well. I always feel this fear at the beginning of a new unit, that no one will learn anything or that the only one of us who does learn something will be me. I think the KONOS book has a lot of cool activities, so I'm just going to open it up and get started tomorrow. I haven't yet got any books from the library, any videos or CDs, but we are going to go ahead and start with what we do have and proceed from there. I did open up the book today, look at the book and vocabulary lists and preview some of the activities we will do tomorrow. I am going to add in some experiments from the Usborne Book of Science Experiments that focus on the senses, just for fun.

Here's the dream catcher we made at the co-op. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Kid Of The Day.

We have a kid of the day plan in place. My oldest son is kid of the day on Sunday and Wednesday, my daughter on Tuesday and Saturday, my youngest son on Monday and Friday and Dad and I have Thursdays. This gives the choice of the nightly reading (which lately is always Hank the Cowdog) and if we happen to be out, the kid of the day chooses the restaurant. Sometimes, being the kid of the day means extra responsibilities too. Someone has lost my remote control and so now the kid of the day has to be my remote control. Fortunately for them, I don't watch a lot of TV but when I do, I seem to need a lot of volume changes. ;-)

Monday, November 07, 2005


The kids have been in a very silly mood all day today. We got a lot of work done, but there was a lot of giggliness too. One thing they were doing was deliberately (or not?) misunderstanding each other. My oldest son said that his forearms were tanned and my daughter said "You have 4 arms?" which resulted in a lot of laughing. Then later, my daughter was talking about her birthstone being peridot and my older son said "prairie dog?" which everyone thought was hilarious. My younger son is not feeling 100% today. He has a slight fever and a slight sore throat. I looked at his throat with a flashlight and said "yeah, it looks red." He looked kind of alarmed and said "What color is it usually?" It was so funny, the look on his face. I guess you had to be here. I'm really glad I was.

Better Than I Expected.

We are studying the Civil War in kind of a mini-unit. For us, that means a week or so. We've watched The Red Badge of Courage. We watched part of the PBS series on the war, but it didn't hold the kid's interest. We watched a documentary about The Monitor, which was very cool. We went to the Frasier Historical Arms Museum and saw Civil War weapons and saw a dramatization by a woman acting as Clara Barton, who did an excellent job. We've read biographies of some of the leaders during the war, such as Harriet Tubman and Abraham Lincoln. (We visited Abe's birthplace last year.) We went to a Women of the Civil War museum, which was very informative and fun. We learned about women joining the army to be with their husbands and to get a pension and acting as spies during the war. We read the Magic Treehouse Book, Civil War on Sunday. I printed out maps of the union and confederate states and we talked about the Mason Dixon line. We talked about Civil War 'firsts' including the submarine and the machine gun. (cool stuff). My boys acted out a battle in the living room and my daughter dressed herself as Abraham Lincoln (she wouldn't let me take pictures, darn it) and read the Gettysburg address. We got most of the ideas from the KONOS volume 3 and I have to say, I think it went pretty well, as it usually does when I trust the curriculum and just go with it.

After the Break.

We are having a hard time getting motivated now, after fall break. I knew it was going to happen and I debated not taking a fall break this year, but we did and now, here we are, having a hard time getting going again. Sigh.

I hope today goes well.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Cool Article About Homeschooling.

I ran across this in my reading tonight. Homeschooling's True Colors

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Chicken Little.

We went to see Chicken Little today and it was really good. Right before I went, I saw a negative review on Yahoo, so I was pleasantly surprised at how cute it was. All of us, adults and kids, laughed a lot.

Lighthouse craft. Posted by Picasa

Friday, November 04, 2005

I survived!

I survived the co-op. I always worry about these things and they usually turn out okay. We reviewed the great lakes area map, studied a little about lighthouses, made a lighthouse craft, studied a little about the Eastern Woodlands Native American tribes and made a dream catcher. Both of the crafts took quite a while, were open ended enough to allow some creativity and made it so that I didn't have to talk a lot (which is the part I don't like) and so it went pretty well. I'll post pictures of the crafts later on.

Thursday, November 03, 2005


I have to teach at co-op again tomorrow, so I'm having another attack of nerves. I don't think I'm the type for teaching a big group. I've been scrambling all day trying to plan enough activities to keep 20 kids occupied and learning about the great lakes states for an hour and a half. Whew. Last time I used all I had prepared including all the stuff for next time and all the emergency stuff. I hope it goes well.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

The sky today, beautiful. Posted by Picasa

Okay, I've adjusted.

After a period of 24 hours, I think I've adjusted to it being November. I took a little visit to Wal-mart yesterday where they were playing Christmas music and putting out the Christmas merchandise and I even started to get in a little bit of a Christmas-y mood. I actually started writing out a Christmas list. I'm probably a bit too early and by the time Christmas actually gets here, I'll be oh so ready for it to be over. I do love this time of year though.

My daughter's pumpkin. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, November 01, 2005


I've can't believe it is already November! Where did the year go? It is time to start thinking of Christmas! Thanksgiving is almost here.

Here at home, we really need to buckle down and get busy. I realize we started school this year in July and that gave us a slight head start on the 180 days we need to do this year, but with almost a 3 week fall break, we've kind of lost our lead and now we need to just try and keep up! We are supposed to be doing a short unit on the American Civil War but I've had a hard time getting started on it. I'm also teaching at co-op again this Friday and that class is on the Great Lakes region again, so my mind has been on that and not what I need to be teaching my own kids. I'll be glad when my teaching time at co-op is over and I can just go and not have to worry about preparing to teach a different subject. It is very difficult for my mind to go in 2 directions at once. ;-)


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