Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Linc's Bad Day

Linc's bad day, part 2. Posted by Picasa If you look, you can barely see his head in the fork of the tree on the right. He finally came down after several hours.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Monday Again.

It is Monday again. You can tell because nobody has any enthusiasm today. We all want to keep sleeping and not do anything. The tempation is strong, but we must get up and do something, anything! We have a to-do list a mile long. Maybe more coffee would help. At least it would help me. The kids are on their own.

Saturday, January 28, 2006


No school today!! I sound more like the kid than the teacher, don't I? Probably the teachers say that too. I don't know. This is the beginning of my second year of teaching homeschool, so I'm not very experienced. Saturday is usually my main work day. I get more work done on Saturdays because of the fact that we have no school, but not today. Today started at 4:00 a.m. with Max, the dog, barking frantically at something in the kitchen. We got up to investigate and found out that the new world map was falling off of the wall. Thanks for letting us know about that Max! Good job protecting us from falling paper!

Then, when I actually got up and started working, I had a computer malfunction. The tech support guy is on vacation this week and so I emailed his substitute. No answer so far. My husband and I made the decision to go ahead and start letting me work on my new computer that I was supposed to start on Tuesday, so we had to set it up. That took hours. Now, finally, I'm able to work but the only keyboard we have for this computer is split aerodynamic keyboard and it and I don't get along all that well.

I guess Sunday will have to be my major workday this week. :-(

I think maybe I need some Calgon.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

The New Schedule.

In my neverending search for the perfect homeschool schedule, I've abandoned the one we've used for the past month (which was very much like the one for the 4 months before that) and just put 2 subjects on each day. Yesterday, we had Spanish and Science. Today, Language Arts and KONOS. I assign more work in each subject, but this way, they get to spend a longer time doing something and hopefully, getting involved in it. The last few days since we've been doing it this way have been great. I'll probably change it in a few weeks, though, knowing me.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

March of the Penguins.

We borrowed March of the Penguins on DVD from our local library last night and watched it. I hadn't seen a lot of information about it, and didn't know what to expect, but it was really good; enjoyable and educational. I had no idea that emperor penguin males stand there with the egg on their feet, right through the antarctic winter, and go without eating for 4 months. Wow. Super Dad. It is very cool. The baby penguins are cute. It is done with a sense of humor too. The DVD also had some bonus educational features too.

Night before last, we watched Everest which is really a great thing to show determination, although sometimes I wonder why. That old "because its there" answer just doesn't get it for me. I'm not climbing it. Still it was educational to watch.

Today, we are going to start reading "Alone Across the Ice" One woman's epic journey by dog team.

Sunday, January 22, 2006


In our study of the character trait of determination, we have moved (temporarily) from the Olympics to a study of polar expeditions, starting with Antarctica. We read a book on Shackleton's Antarctic shipwreck survival story and have been studying about Antarctic plant and animal life. My youngest son, who has been wishing it would snow more here, has suggested that our next vacation, we go to Antarctica. He has it all planned out. He said "We'll go on a 3 day vacation to Antarctica and since days are 6 months long there, we'll be on vacation for a year and a half!" Good plan!

Friday, January 20, 2006


My older son's reading really took off a few years ago when he got interested in reading the Harry Potter books. Now he reads really well. My daughter has never wanted to read much but maybe, just maybe, we found something that will help her reading, at the library this week. She is very interested in dogs and cats and this week she picked out 7 or so books on dogs and cats and this afternoon, she read 5 of them. Granted, they aren't large chapter books, but they aren't picture books either. There were quite a few words in all of them. Now, if I can just find the subject that will make my younger son's reading fun for him. Hmmm. Something about Nintendo?

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Happy Birthday!

Please join me in wishing a happy birthday to my husband today! Please leave comments, he reads them. I'll keep my mouth shut about how old he is and hopefully he'll do the same for me. ;-p

Here's a picture of the backyard today. It finally snowed!  Posted by Picasa

Homeschooling, Working and Scheduling.

I'm still trying to balance the homeschooling with the working and the housecleaning. It seems like every week, I make up a new schedule detailing how I am going to get everything done and every week, I don't get everything done. Maybe I need to put down the tasks I need to do, along with an estimated time of how long I should spend doing it and then see if it is even possible to get all of that done in a week. I think I spend about 15 minutes a day opening a child proof wrapper on my Prilosec OTC. Last night, I had to get one of the children to open it. Now that's good packaging. But, I digress. I do tell working parents that they can homeschool, because I do, but it will only work if your kids will actually do at least some of the work while the parent is not physically present in the room. My 7-year-old is not too good at this, but we are working on it.

I'm going to work on that schedule again.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006


Yesterday, I made oatmeal chocolate chip cookies from a Betty Crocker mix, which I love. I make them about once a month or so. My younger son does not like them at all. He told me yesterday in no uncertain terms. "That is a waste of perfectly good chocolate chips!"

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Simon Says

My youngest son tried to get the other two kids to play Simon Says with him. They didn't want to. My older son said "You aren't Simon, why should we listen to you?" and my younger son said "I have a psychic connection with Simon."

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Our Dog.

Max, our inside dog, is quite the little character. He has been accident-free in our house until a couple of days ago when he decided that one particular area of the house would be okay to use. I blamed myself the first time it happened because he had gotten closed out of the bedroom that night and I figured he couldn't get in to wake me up, so he'd had to use the carpet. The second night, I made sure that the door was open and when he made 1 tiny noise, I put him out for 10 minutes. The next morning, there was another little 'surprise' on the carpet. This time, he didn't have an excuse. Still, we don't believe in punishing a dog, especially hours after the fact, which would only confuse him. Instead, we've undertaken a systematic blockade. We block his access to the area with the two things that he fears most -- balloons and pool noodles.

Thursday, January 12, 2006


One of my goals this year was to use notebooking as an educational tool. The idea is that instead of filling in the blanks on a worksheet, you make an informational page for a scrapbook or notebook and therefore learn about the subject. The kids have only been lukewarm on the idea, but I think if they get ahold of it, it will be a good thing. Right now they are just humoring me but below are today's efforts for an olympic games collage notebook page. Both my older son and daughter conveniently 'forgot' that they were supposed to write a brief history of the games to go along with the collage, but I'll go remind them now. ;-) I do think that their photo collage efforts are pretty good, especially my daughter's who used the Olympic motto "Swifter, higher, stronger." to make her page more artistic or dramatic or something. Anyway, it is good.

Notebooking Olympics Posted by Picasa

Notebooking the Olympic Games Posted by Picasa

Notebooking the Olympic Games Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

I got a teacher evaluation today. It was favorable.  Posted by Picasa


Was it just last week that we started school and I was trying to get a schedule done? On the schedule, each child has a checklist and about 10 things to complete a day. The problem is, trying to keep after them to make sure that they get all their stuff done. I'm thinking of scheduling, instead of all subjects every day, 2 subjects a day, with a different schedule every day of the week. So only 1 day a week we'd do writing, but we'd do a lot of writing that day, all morning, and then something else, like science, for example, all afternoon.

I may try it today and see how it goes.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006


My daughter was playing with the Leapster that she got for Christmas and while she was playing, she was saying dum, dum, dum, dum for some reason. My oldest son said "If you keep playing Leapster you won't be dumb!" and my youngest son chimed in "because its educational." They all 3 want me to let them use Leapster for math every day now.

Monday, January 09, 2006


A recent game of Upwords. We've never had a word go all the way across the board, but this game we did. It was unexpected. And, yes, hider is a word. It means one who hides. ;-) Posted by Picasa

Not too much.

There is not too much going on today. We'll work on some school related things but not too much else. That's nice to say. Not too much going on. At Christmas time, there was definitely too much going on!

We do need to go on a library book hunt today!! That's always fun. (not).

Friday, January 06, 2006

Co-op Today.

We didn't do school today at home, but had a co-op meeting with several other homeschool families. It is a lot of work for the parents but I think the kids enjoy it and I think it is a good idea for them to be in a classroom from time to time, for the experience. The highlight of my day was getting to babysit temporarily for a little one and he went to sleep on my shoulder. Wow, it's been a long time since I've held a baby. It brought back a lot of memories.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Day Two.

Okay, we're getting back into the swing of things. Mom got up on time today and got her work done early, we had the morning assembly and I think we're easing back into the school routine pretty well. We are studying the character trait of determination, as I've mentioned and one of the subunits is the Olympics. We are reading an article I got from this site Olympic Committee and it is very good. The kids are doing notebooking while I'm reading and the older two kids are learning to take notes, an important skill for later. Last night we watched the movie "Miracle" about the 1980 US Olympic Hockey team. I enjoyed it but it didn't completely hold the kid's interest. I need to ask the library to get us a couple of other movies we need. I realize at this rate we'll finish with the Olympics part of this unit before the 2006 Winter Olympics begin, but then we can use the actual games as kind of a review, so that will be cool.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Back to School

Well, today is back to school day. We're going to start slowly for a couple of reasons. First, mom overslept. Second, it is the first day back after Christmas break and nobody is in the mood to do much work, including me. I typed up a new schedule last night, adding in something we hadn't had for a while, a morning assembly. This will get us together in the mornings to help get them started on their assignments. I'm sure I'm going to be very popular today ...

On another subject, I was searching for quotes on determination, which is the character trait we are studying this month and I found a site with lots of free lesson plans Learning to Give.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

What's Next?

Yesterday my youngest son and I went to Walmart to spend my Christmas money and we were browsing through the kitchen gadgets. We saw a really cute little coffee maker and my son said "what's next, cute, tiny little washers and dryers?!" He's so funny.


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