Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Screen Time.

With school over, the kids tend to want to gravitate to the TV and the Game Cube. In trying to combat their couch potato tendencies, (and mine) I have instituted a plan where they earn screen time by exercising and by making sure their parents exercise. We've been doing this for a couple of days. It's been interesting. I'm amazed at the amount of math they've been doing trying to calculate how much screen time they have left each day. One of the shows they've been watching is 45 minutes long, so that requires a bit more math than just hour long shows, LoL.

We've also continued using the Kid of the Day system. My oldest is kid of the day on Sunday and Wednesday, middle on Tuesday and Saturday and the youngest is kid of the day on Monday and Friday. I have Thursdays. ;-) They have a slightly different schedule at my mom's house because we're there fewer days a week. They other day, my 2 boys got confused on whose day it was and the younger chose the show at first and then my oldest realized it was actually his day to choose. He looked at the youngest accusingly and said "You made me watch Sponge Bob!" How awful!

Monday, May 29, 2006


Should our summer days have some kind of structure? I hate to make the kids feel like they're still in school, but if I don't structure their days in some way, they will just watch TV all the time. We can't have that. I've come up with a plan to help me get in shape and help them cut back on their screen time. They only get screen time when they exercise with me or their dad. For each half an hour we exercise they get an hour of screen time. What do you think? Of course they have to exercise with us or it doesn't count! I still haven't exactly figured out the time ratios but I think it sounds like a good plan. If have a summer schedule, let me know what it is. I seem to be facinated by schedules. I can make them out all day long. Following them, that's a different story.

P.S. I've been working a lot of my Cafe Press shop. Please visit.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Days Like This.

It all started early this morning with me dropping a bunch of dishes while trying to load the dishwasher and I thought, "If that is how today is going to go, I am going back to bed." I should've listened to myself. Actually, it hasn't been an awful day, just kind of one little thing after the other. I was heating milk in the microwave for hot chocolate and it boiled over. I burned myself getting the pizza out of the oven and then I dropped a knife while unloading the dishwasher for the second time and it stabbed into my foot. I immediately saw a little blood and stepped 2 steps to the left to get a band-aid. I couldn't get the package open at first and then when I looked down at my foot in the middle of trying to get the package open, there was a big pool of blood there. Yikes. The dog was looking kind of alarmed. I yelled for my daughter to come so she could go get her Dad and he could apply pressure to the wound, I mean, it looked pretty bad. My husband came and held pressure on it, then mopped up all the blood (not actually with a mop, with several paper towels) and then we cleaned the wound and looked at it. It's a tiny little thing. You wouldn't think it could bleed like that but it did. It didn't even hurt. I'm going to have to have a tetanus shot tomorrow though. That'll hurt much worse than the actual accident! Ouch!

Maybe I should just stay out of the kitchen. All that cooking and cleaning is just too dangerous!

Wednesday, May 24, 2006


It feels nice not to have to think about lesson planning for a while. I did have a short reading lesson with the youngest son yesterday, as his reading needs some improvement but it was a fun, easy lesson and didn't require a lot of prep work or anything.

Now if we can just get the pool up and get some tomatoes set out in the garden, we'll be all set for summertime.

Monday, May 22, 2006

School's Out?

Today is my day off work. I need this day off desperately. I have so much that I want to do that does not involve medical transcription! Also, I'm not doing school today. It is a teacher planning day. I'm going to decide today what we are going to do this summer. First, I think we are going to take a break. I think we could all use one. Then we will go from there. I do think that the kids, at least the younger ones, will need some school type activities this summer, but we'll see how it goes. I kind of wish that I was the kind of homeschooler who planned everything out and followed the plan, but I'm not. We've recently had about 2-3 weeks of rain, we've had family members in the hospital (including me!), we've had a funeral and a lot of stress. Now the sun is peeking out and we are taking a break. We deserve it and we're taking it. Sometime later this summer, we will get those last 5 days in, if we have to do it 1 hour at a time. Ahh, now that I've decided that, I feel better. Yay, it's summer!"

Saturday, May 20, 2006

What we're reading.

We are reading our first Hank Zipzer book. We're enjoying it so much that I'm sure we will read all of them we can get our hands on. These books are co-written by Henry Winkler and we're listening to an audio book that is read by him. Of course I was a Happy Days fan when I was a kid, weren't we all? Hank Zipzer

Thursday, May 18, 2006


I was reading blogs last night and came across an article about homeschool scheduling, which sounded interesting. It said if you were balancing schooling kids, working and housework, you should assign a day to each one, as in Monday school, Tuesday cleaning, Wednesday, school, Thursday business, etc. I thought it was interesting, not totally applicable to me because I need to work most days and we are supposed to do 180 days of school, but she had a couple of different approaches to scheduling which I am thinking about. I think the bigger blocks of time for each thing are probably a good idea, even if not the whole day. (I wish I could link it but I can't remember where I saw it!). Today, I'm kind of doing that schedule. I'm working, working, working. I've got a funeral to go to tomorrow which is a 2 hour drive away and will probably take most of the day, so today I'm working. The kids are doing a lot of PE today while I work, lucky them.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Fizzling Out.

My enthusiasm for school has waned lately and I've been struggling with getting anything done. I am thinking of going ahead and saying we're done with school for this year, but doing a summer school plan to get in those last few hours we need to do and keep some of the skills they've learned from being forgotten. I know we'll do a lot of family reading this summer because we always do, both with my reading and with audio books but I also think that at least the younger two need some extra practice with reading, spelling and writing all summer long. I'm not sure what to do about it. I did get 2 books for the youngest called Games for Reading and Games for Writing which I think I'll do with him this summer, along with the reading treasure hunts book. For my daughter, I'd like to find some kind of daily worksheet that would review everything, just a tiny bit at a time for her. They used to have something at public school called "Drops in the Bucket" which had a little bit of math, little bit of grammar, little bit of spelling, etc., just enough so that the skills won't be forgotten. With my older son, I'll probably just let him read all summer as usual, with some field trips and stuff thrown in.

I'm changing the subject here, but I have to tell something my youngest said at the library yesterday. We were looking in the adult nonfiction section and saw a book by Super Nanny Jo Frost. I started to get it and my youngest son said "Don't read it! Don't read it! You're perfect the way you are!" LoL. I guess he doesn't want to visit the naughty spot!

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Trying to Finish The School Year.

As I mentioned before, school has been on the back burner lately. It seems this week has been devoted to visiting doctors and hospitals and unfortunately, next week is going to involve a funeral, as my uncle passed away last night. At this point, because I am stressed out, I'm looking for an easy way to get those last few days of school in. This is not how I pictured our school year ending. I wanted to plan a big fun event to end the year. Fortunately, our homeschool group has planned a couple of things. We'll have a field day and a luau end of year party and that will work.

I'm going to take a bit of time today and see if I can come up with some kind of fun, easy plan for the next 2 weeks, but something that will involve learning. Maybe we can just do a hodge podge of things we've been meaning to do all year, but haven't yet. I'll work on it.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

The School of Life.

Admittedly, school has been on a back burner around here lately. We have not been doing all that much, just the bare minimum of math, reading, writing and spelling each day and otherwise, we've been doing life school for the afternoons. Yesterday, we completely took the day off so I could have some medical tests done. Everything is okay now, but yesterday was a pretty yucky day.

Today, I hope to make a bit of progress in the Joy/Cheerfulness Unit and we'll probably set the butterflies free. All but one has come out of the chrysalis. It has been very cool to watch. Our other critters from the animal growth unit have not been so lucky. Tiny, the last triops, passed away on Monday. He survived being eaten by Killer, to die a quiet death from unknown causes the following day after the big guy passed. Ironic.

Monday, May 08, 2006

And Then There Was One.

Saturday, we had 2 triops left, Killer and Tiny. Killer was at least 4 times as big as Tiny and we didn't think Tiny's prospects were looking all that good. Yesterday morning, we awoke to only one live triops in the tank, however, it was not Killer, as we would have thought, it was Tiny. Tiny didn't eat Killer. Killer just died, floating gently to the bottom of the tank. He had a flush burial yesterday.
Rest in peace, Killer. We enjoyed getting to know you.

Saturday, May 06, 2006


Today, the kids had a playdate. The kids who came to visit were very well behaved and polite. Still, I don't really like it that much when the kids have playdates. Isn't that awful? I think it is my insecurities coming out about whether the house is clean enough, whether I'll serve okay food, etc., or maybe it is having responsibility for someone else's kids? It always goes well, so I don't know why I stress out about it. We don't live in a neighborhood with other neighborhood kids and I'm not used to having anyone else around. The kids that came today were a little afraid of our dogs so that made it a tad difficult. Our dogs, who are very well loved and friendly, just cannot understand when someone doesn't want them to jump up and say hello. The kids played outside, swung on the rope swing, explored the woods a little bit and fell in the creek (all except my oldest son), so all in all, they had a good day. I used to "fall" in the creek whenever I could when I was a kid too, so I was very understanding about it and thank goodness, the other parents were too.

Friday, May 05, 2006

News for Today.

Sometimes it is hard to think of what to write and especially hard to write a title for it, especially before I've even written it! Today I'm reporting on several different things around here so that's why the "news" title.

My daughter broke a bone in her hand on Monday night and yesterday, she got put in a cast for it. It is light blue and she loved having the cast on until last night, when it started itching. It is not so much fun anymore.

And then there were 2, triops that is. Killer only has one friend now, whose name is Tiny. I wonder how long until Killer is alone?

And in other news, we are going on a field trip today to a museum and a park and hopefully have a lot of fun. I need to put batteries in my camera!

To keep busy between working, homeschooling, taking care of the kids and house and filling out the adoption papers, I've been updating my Cafepress shop. I've added a lot to it. Check it out here.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Win Free Science Stuff.

A fellow homeschool blogger is giving away a free microscope and biology curriculum. Here's the links.

is giving away a Benz Microscope and Apologia Biology Set this week. Click Here to get the details.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006


Yesterday, we actually stayed at home. All day. Yes, I realize that we are homeschoolers and I work at home but we are almost never here all day long. It was very relaxing. I worked and then we did school. After much indecision about what to do for the last few weeks of school, I found the Joy/Cheerfulness unit in my KONOS book. It seems like a perfect way to end the school year, so that's what we are doing.

Back to staying home, we took a walk, waded in the creek, found some tadpoles, made a sunflower garden and generally had a very nice day. I can't wait until the next time we stay home all day, maybe in June ...


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