Monday, February 27, 2006


I found my curriculum book! It helps that it is as big as a city phone book and bright yellow! It was on the homeschool shelves, where it is supposed to be, but turned backwards so that the pages showed instead of the spine of the book. Of course everyone here is denying having put it on the shelf that way and there is some tendency to blame "crazy mama" but I deny it too! Anyway, it is here and we can start being orderly or at least learning about the concept.

Friday, February 24, 2006


I'm ready to start the unit on orderliness next week. There's only 1 problem. Orderly person that I am, I have lost the KONOS book which contains the lesson plans. Today is going to be a day of searching. Hmmm, maybe a treasure hunt? I've been known to offer rewards for the library books that have gone missing. Sigh. Maybe I could take a class in orderliness before I try to teach it?

Thursday, February 23, 2006

The Youngest.

My youngest son has really enjoyed his position as the baby of the family. We talked last night about how he is going to turn 8 in the summer (I can't believe it!). A few minutes later, I was checking e-mail and he came into my room. Out of the blue, he said "We can only get another baby when I can't watch Teletubbies anymore." Of course I asked him to explain. By way of explanation he added, "Right now, I can still watch it for about 15 minutes and then I have to leave the room." I guess this is a sign of maturity?

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Better Now.

We're somewhat better now. A couple of hundred dollars was all it took to get the septic system straightened out. The kids are gradually getting over whatever it is that they had and things are back on a more even keel here, thank goodness. We're even getting our sense of humor back. We've been watching the Olympics but not really taking advantage of any of the unique study opportunities that they present. We've just been watching. Maybe tonight we'll get the globe and locate the countries the athletes are from and I'll look and see if there are any activiities in the KONOS book that we haven't done yet. Then, when the Olympics are over, we will have some sort of end of unit party and then start our next unit, whichever one it is. ;-)

Didn't Sasha Cohen do a great job last night?

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

One of those days.

We had one of those days yesterday. The kids were sick and the plumbing was overflowing. No formal schoolwork was done. My older son, poor thing, just sat around asking when he could take more motrin and checking his temperature. It was high all day, even with motrin. The two younger kids enjoyed watching the spectacle of having the septic tank emptied and kept giving me updates "They're digging a hole". "They're still digging!" I'm not sure how helpful that was, but they really enjoyed it. I guess I could ask them to do a notebook page on rural sewer systems ... maybe not. It is a good thing we started school early this year so we can take off some days without having to go all summer!

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Unusual Rhymes.

We took off from school this week to watch the Olympics and do our olympic house cleaning project. Unfortunately, all three of the kids and myself have been ill most of the week and not much housecleaning has been done. I don't know whether to try again next week or go ahead and start back to school - maybe both. That will certainly make me win popularity contests around here, LoL.

In the tradition of teaching themselves when we don't do school, the two younger kids have been rhyming words a lot and making up poems and songs. Some of the more unusual rhymes I have heard have included orange/door hinge which they are very proud of, and macho/nacho, which, after you've heard it a few times, starts to bring up some very weird mental pictures. ;-)

Saturday, February 18, 2006


All three of the kids have bronchitis. They all three decided to get it at once instead of stretching it out for a month, so I guess that's a good thing? Anyway, today we have the best snowfall we've had all year and nobody really feels like going out and playing in it. I bet the public school kids are bummed about it as well, because it is a Saturday so no snow day. I remember how much I loved snow days when I was a kid. Ah, the joy of an unexpected day off!

Friday, February 17, 2006

A New Song.

We've been watching the show "Dancing with the stars" and my kids have been hearing a lot of songs from the 80s. They immediately liked 9 to 5, the song done by Dolly Parton with the movie of the same title. My daughter has been walking around the house singing it quite a bit. My younger son, who has been very needy of attention from mom for the past few days, changed the words and sang "Bugging mama 9 to 5, what a way to get attention." which is truly what he's been doing all week!

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Patience? Order? Me?

I'm trying to decide which of these units to teach next. Both have large sections on plants, orderliness has sections on animal classification and plant classification. Patience actually has a small sub-unit on gardening. Since spring is coming I was thinking we could use our garden as a laboratory. I may have to do both at the same time. No problem, right? I mean I'm a model of patience and orderliness in real life or at least a good example of what NOT to do! LoL.

Maybe after these units I will become patient and orderly. I hope so.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Still Watching the Olympics

We're doing our Olympic cleaning and watching the Olympics this week and actually, it feels like a break. It's easier than doing all the planning I'm usually doing for homeschooling. I hope to get the house cleaned really well and maybe do some kind of small end of unit party at the end of the Olympics. KONOS emphasizes concluding units on a postitive note with some kind of celebration. Maybe we'll have some people over to see the notebooks and other things the kids have made and done. The next unit will either be orderliness or patience neither of which I am qualified to teach!!! That should be interesting!

Saturday, February 11, 2006

A new word.

Ever since we discovered Hank The Cowdog, we've always been reading one of the Hank books in addition to whatever else we're reading. We always read Hank last, like the icing on the cake. The kids have learned a new word from the books, which may not be a good thing. The word is bohunkus, meaning bottom, as in, as I heard the other day "mommy has a big bohunkus." Hmmm. Thanks a lot youngest son! I yelled back "I can hear you, you know!"

Friday, February 10, 2006


The Olympics start tonight and we are going to watch a lot of the games. I haven't decided if we are going to do very many enrichment activities to go with them, or mainly just watch. I'm still not feeling up to par. We studied them a few weeks ago, but there's always more to do. At the very least, we'll look up countries on the map and track the medals. We are going to do our spring cleaning and in honor of the olympic games, we are calling it our the olympics of housecleaning. I think maybe some medals should be awarded. Hmmm. The gold medal in vacuuming goes to ....

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Mom's Day Off.

I kind of took a day off from homeschooling yesterday. I've been feeling bad lately, tired and draggy. I finally took my temperature last night and it was 100.4, so maybe that has something to do with it. Anyway, I told the kids that they were on their own as far as school was concerned because I just didn't feel good. I called to get an appointment at the doctor but couldn't get one until today.

So, on their own, the kids gave me a kind of glimpse into unschooling. My older son read a lot of the day, (LANGUAGE ARTS)walked the dog, rode his bike (PE)and spent quite a while on the phone with a homeschooled friend (SOCIALIZATION). My 2 younger kids set up their painting selling shops, writing signs for the shop name and writing a 'sorry we're closed" sign. (WRITING, ECONOMICS) About every 5 minutes one of them would come to my desk and say "Do you want to buy a painting?" and if I said no they would say "Don't you at least want to look at them?" and of course I would and would end up buying them. The prices ranged from 2 cents each to 8 cents each. (SALESMANSHIP???)

Then, UPS came and delivered our wonderful new reading book and off they went, doing treasure hunt after treasure hunt. (READING) When I told them not to do anymore today, my daughter re-hid all the clues from all of the previous hunts and they did it again, in a mega treasure hunt.

Later in the afternoon it started snowing and apparently it seemed like a good idea to go outside, ride their bikes in the snow and try to catch snowflakes in their mouths. (PE)

That evening, they played a game of Spin, Spend and Earn, which is a board game that teaches counting money skills. (MATH).

Maybe I'm out of a teaching job now? ;-)

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Encouraging a reluctant reader.

My youngest son is not a very good reader yet. I've been looking for a way to make it fun and I've found it!

So far, this is great. This is the most enthusiasm about reading that my son has ever shown!

Tuesday, February 07, 2006


My 2 younger kids are doing art studies in symmetry today. What I mean by that is that they are painting on one half of a paper and folding it over to get some really cool symmetrical paintings. Apparently this is endlessly facinating. My daughter did one in dark green and yellow that looked kind of like a head of lettuce. My younger son said "That looks like a mutated lettuce leaf." About one of her other paintings, he pronounced that it looked like a ladybug. She said haughtily, "Some people just don't know art!" Then he joined in the painting process, making his own paintings with an idea of selling them for 25 cents each (maybe grandma will buy one!). He had only 2 completed and my daugher had done 13. He said to her "You have more but I have better!" Never a dull moment here.

Blame it on ...

Last night the kids and I were at my parent's house. My youngest had rediscovered the Mega Blocks and was building towers about 5 feet tall with them. One of the towers fell over and made a great deal of noise on the hardwood floors. I asked him not to do it again but sure enough, a few minutes later, I heard another crash. I looked at him and he said "I didn't do it this time - gravity just did it on its own."

Monday, February 06, 2006

Tagged! (Kind of)

Four jobs I've had:
Head Start Teacher, Caseworker, Phone answerer, Medical Transcriptionist.

Four movies I can watch over and over:
While You Were Sleeping, Seredipity, Home Alone, The Princess Bride.

Four places that I've lived:
My parent's house, college dorm (Eastern Kentucky University), mobile home when first married, current house.

Four TV shows that I like:
Medium, The Apprentice, Trading Spaces, Flip That House. I also like everything on HGTV.

Four places I've vacationed:
Gatlinburg, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Cave City.

Four of my favorite dishes:
Mashed potatoes, Cream of broccoli soup, anything mexican, anything chocolate.

Four sites I visit daily:
MT Daily, Blogspot, My.Yahoo and various curriculum sites.

Four places I would rather be right now:
In a house with at least 4 bedrooms and a basement and cable internet, in the HGTV dream house I've just won (I wish), on vacation someplace warm and China.

Four bloggers I am tagging:

1. You

2. You

3. You

4. And You !

If you have as much fun being "It" as I do, please play along, and let me know you did, okay ?

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Our Mixed Up Unit Study.

We're still reading Mr. Popper's Penguins. Because of circumstances with getting materials from the library and from Amazon, etc. we seem to be studying all of the determination subunits at the same time. The subunits in the determination unit are arctic/antarctic expeditions (I added some about the Iditarod), handicaps, great feats/buildings/bridges and the Olympic games. We started with the Olympics, thinking we'd do a review when the actual games came up. We seem to move right on through the KONOS units a bit quickly, doing them for a month to 6 weeks instead of 9 weeks. So Friday we were building bridges. We went to the library on Saturday to get some more books on building bridges and other great buildings and found that our movies had finally come in: Iron Will (about a dog sled race) and The Endurance, about Shackleton's adventure in the antartic. Next week, the Olympics come on TV and I'm trying to figure how to get an Olympic sized housecleaning effort going on at the same time, maybe clean by day and watch the Olympics at night?

Here's Mr. Popper's Penguins.

And here are some links to on-line free unit studies about it.

Mr Popper's Penguins

Of course, since we're doing so many different things at once in our mixed up unit study, we're also reading
Alone Across the Arctic, which is very good.

There is a lot of information in this book too.

Iditarod Links

Anyone who knows me would expect me to teach units this way, I suppose. All mixed up and kind of crazy, but fun.

Friday, February 03, 2006

My Driving.

Tonight my older son said that he always thought he would be afraid of roller coasters, but it couldn't be worse than my driving. Thanks a lot bud. Three years and I'll be his backseat driver! Maybe 4 or 5 years.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Bath Wars

My kids are currently inventing a story that they call Bath Wars - Revenge of the Rubber Ducky. It involves 'the suds' as the force, "soap sabers", "dirty one kinobi", "puke skywalker" and "darth sponge". My daughter keeps saying mysteriously, "Use the suds! Use the suds!" Don't tell me these kids don't have imagination!

Unrelated Musings.

I haven't been in the mood to blog this week. I've been here but just haven't been in the mood. I don't know why. We've been using the block schedule all week and it has been going pretty well. With the block schedule, we finally got started on the Spanish we've been meaning to start on since October. Now the 2 younger kids are running around calling everyone in the house senor, senora or senorita, including the dogs and cats.

We have still been studying determination which is a unit that includes a lot of interesting, seemingly unrelated, things. The only thing that they share is the fact that they took determination to accomplish. One of the assignments in our book is that we should do something that will take determination to accomplish. My older son and I discussed that since he makes walking sticks, he should make a really good one, complete with carvings, polyurethane and a leather thong (meaning the leather strap you hang it up by) etc.

My younger son came into the middle of this conversation, only hearing me tell my older son that I could get him a leather thong at Wal-mart and you should have seen his face. It was hilarious. I guess from now on, I'll be calling them a leather strap.

I guess that's all the news from here for today. I noticed that a couple of my earlier posts this week had the day as the title, as in "Monday" and I thought (sarcastically), I bet everyone is thankful for me telling them what day it is--so I won't do that today!


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