Thursday, November 30, 2006

Maybe today.

Yesterday we did school in a slightly different way. I gave the kids a list that included a couple of school items and a list of other things that needed to get done, like finding all the libary books, instead of their usual list. Of course, youngest son had to complain. He claims that he doesn't like the regular list, but then complains when I change it. Today we are doing the regular list with no changes and no negotiating for less work. Hopefully it will go okay.

The kids are counting down the days until December the first and then they can use our little advent calendar to count down until Christmas. I think my 8 year old is about to pop with excitement about Christmas! I think I need to get an angel tree angel or something to help them learn more about helping others at Christmas time.

What do you all do?

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Not an ordinary day after all.

When I typed that last night, I had forgotten that our homeschool group had agreed to pick up trash on the side of the highway today. So at 2:00 today, oldest son and I headed out to do that. We had a particularly bad stretch of highway, I thought, very steep and uneven, with briars and stickers and we had to climb over a guardrail and slide down the hillside and lean against a fence to even pick up the trash. If the fence hadn't been there, we wouldn't have been able to stand upright on part of it, it was so steep. It was not something this old body is used to and I am sore and tired tonight.

Hopefully, they'll do a different fundraiser next year. Anyone want to buy magazines, candles or World's Finest Chocolate? Just kidding.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Field Trip.

Today was our field trip with the homeschool group we're in. We went to the Coca Cola history museum, saw a play about a pioneer Christmas and went to an assisted living center and sang some songs and gave out some treats. It was okay. I guess it's good for the kids to get together with their little friends, but I must confess to not being that interested in the museum (having visited it once before) and a tiny bit bored during the play. Going to the assisted living center was probably my favorite part of the day. I guess I was just kind of tired and kind of wishing to be home.

I'm actually glad for the holiday to be over and want to stay home tomorrow and do school and work. A normal day will actually be nice for a change.

A conversation at our house.

Youngest son: Why are we fighting?
Daughter: Because it's fun.
Youngest son: That's because you'll win.
Daughter (with evil chuckle) I know.

I wonder if he'll ever win an argument with her?

We're off to our field trip. Have a good day everyone!

Sunday, November 26, 2006

A Day Off.

I have a day off from work today. I really should clean the house, but sometimes I think there is value in just taking a day off. If you don't stop every now and again and recharge those batteries, they are going to run out on you, probably at a very bad time. I may not do too much today, take it easy and get ready for my week. We've got a field trip tomorrow which I'm happy about. We'll enjoy that. Then we have 3 days of school and then on Friday, a homeschool co-op Christmas craft party. It's not even December yet, but already holiday activities are getting started. I bet it is going to be difficult to concentrate on school between now and Christmas, for mom and the kids.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Holiday Mode.

We're having our second Thanksgiving dinner today. (We divided them up so my DH could spend the night in the Best Buy parking lot on Thanksgiving night!) We are officially in holiday mode around here. The kids couldn't get the big Christmas tree up so they put up a tiny one we have and hung the stockings in the window with care, LoL. We don't have a fireplace so they hang on the window locks. It works. ;-) Of course it's quite a few days before the big guy fills those up, but meanwhile, they make nice window decorations.

Friday, November 24, 2006

I hope you all had a happy Thanksgiving.

Ours was pretty good. We only had one of our family dinners yesterday so the other one is still awaiting us. Mmm. It's fun to see family and friends, eat good food and play some games. I got to hold our family's new baby, my nephew, Zachary yesterday. He's a cutie!

I've been having trouble viewing and accessing my blog for the last couple of days so hopefully, this will publish okay. I'm not going to write much, just in case it doesn't!

Anyway, I hope it was happy!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Last day before the holiday weekend.

The public school kids are out tomorrow so we are going to be too. The younger 2 kids are going to a holiday craft party for about 3 hours and that will probably be enough 'school' for them. That's probably about what the public schoolers would do if they were in tomorrow, make crafts and watch a Thanksgiving movie. I talked to a public school teacher lsdy night and she said that they were going to watch Rugrat's Thanksgiving today. So educational, LoL.

I did make the kids do a turkey craft. Yesterday I told them to and my oldest son made one out of atollo blocks, my daughter drew a handprint turkey and youngest son also made a handprint turkey. I told them that those were kind of weak efforts and they should try again, so today my oldest made one of wooden blocks, my youngest son made one of legos and my daughter made one of playdough. I got nothing to decorate the center of the Thanksgiving table with, but they had fun with it anyway.

Monday, November 20, 2006

6 Whole Days.

I have managed to do 6 whole days of my morning routine which includes cleaning the house and exercising. 6 Days. I didn't do it over the weekend so that is Monday through Friday of last week and then today. That is a record for me. I almost never stick to these things for long, so I am thrilled. Starting my day with exercise makes me feel better all day long.

We are doing school at least today and tomorrow even though it is a holiday week. We probably should do at least 1 turkey craft, don't you think? Isn't that mandatory?

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Tis The Season

It's that time of year when even disorganized people like me have to pull out calendars and actually use them. It seems like there are so many events planned already this month! I love the holidays and yet, it is kind of a strain, getting it all done and being every place you need to be. I got tagged this morning to be in our church's Christmas Pagent, so there goes my Sunday afternoon naps for the next few weeks, LoL. Hopefully it won't be too bad. I also got asked to sing in the Chrismas Cantata with the choir, but I don't think I could handle that too. That would mean practice every Wednesday night as well. I've been using the calendar feature of Yahoo to help me manage it all. Hopefully, I won't miss anything.

At the time I'm typing this, it is 35 days, 11 hours and 37 minutes until Christmas.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Remotes and Temper Fits.

Why do they make TVs that can only be operated with the remote control? Do the manufacturers assume (wrongly) that we will never lose the remote? Last night, when my favorite show came on (Grey's Anatomy), my DH had the TV in the living room set to record and it could not be changed off the channel he was recording no matter what we tried, and we tried everything. So, I went into my oldest son's room where he has a TV. Of course it was on video mode. Someone had changed it to video mode and lost the remote. So mama had a little temper fit and threatened to ground everyone in the house including Dad if they couldn't find the darn remote. They did find it so no one is grounded. Maybe mom should be for having a temper fit in front of the kids!

Still, it is the television manufacturers that are to blame here. Why would they make a TV that could not be switched from video mode to TV mode without the remote? Every function that is on the remote needs to be on the TV as well. I might just have to write them a letter ....

Sorry, now back to our regularly scheduled work and school. I need to get started on my morning exercise routine right away!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Four Days!

Can you believe it? Four whole days of doing my morning routine and exercising! I don't think I've ever stuck with anything this long.

Some of us in this household are not doing so well with our routines. One of the kids has to do twice the math and twice the spelling today because he didn't do it yesterday. He was still dawdling over his math at 10:00 last night. Sigh.

I guess everyone can't be motivated at the same time?

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Motivating Mama.

Since we've been homeschooling, I've made out a variety of schedules and lists for the kids. We've probably tried just about everything, to get the day to go smoothly. Right now, they have a checklist of about 11 things that they have to do each day. As I mentioned last week, they've been getting better at getting these done, now that they've recovered from the fall break blues (just in time for Thanksgiving!). One day they even decided to race and see if they could get done before noon and have the rest of the day free. They got done at about 12:30 that day.

Some people might be concerned that they aren't getting in 6 hours of school time like the public school kids, but if you count the bathroom breaks, waiting in line, waiting for other kids to behave, etc. that the public school kids have to sit through, I think getting done at noon is acceptable. They start about 9:30 so that's 3 hours. I think I remember reading somewhere that in the average day, the average school kid got about 15 minutes of instructional time, so compared to that, we're doing great and the kids are thriving.

However, I have not been doing all that well with my own lists. I usually make up a list of things that I want to get accomplished each day too, then get wrapped up in school and work and ignore it. I think that I may have come up with a solution to this problem though. I've found a way to motivate myself and so far, it has worked for 3 days. You may laugh, but that's a record for me! This is what I've done. I made myself a morning routine of 11 things I want to get done before the kids start school, start a load of laundry, run the dishwasher, straighten up the house, exercise, etc. and I've told the kids that if I don't do my list, they don't have to do theirs. My deadline is 10:00 a.m. If I haven't exercised and done all the other things by 10:00 a.m., they don't have to school or chores all day and the 'no TV until the sun sets' rule is suspended as well, so they can sit on their bums all day, basically. Of course, I don't want that, so I've been doing my list faithfully for 3 days and my youngest goes to check every day at 10:00 to see if I'm done! LoL. I hope I can keep up the good work.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Singular and Plural

Today's grammar lesson for our 3rd grade student was regarding singular and plural nouns. I read the introduction on the page to him and he said "Singular? Isn't that a phone company?"


Monday, November 13, 2006

Half a day.

School around here is optional on Mondays, depending on the teacher's discretion. I don't work on Mondays and sometimes I give the kids the day off as well. A lot of the time, we schedule field trips or doctor's visits on Mondays. Today, my daughter wasn't feeling well, so she took a sick day and the boys had what they call in the public schools, early release day. They did half a day of school. We had a harvest party with the homeschool group tonight and it was pretty nice. I think the craft, story, game and socialization probably took care of the other half of school too, come to think of it. Hey, what do you know, a full day of school for the boys and half for the girl, who played sick this morning and watched some TV but then magically felt well enough to go to the party. I also ended up getting about half a day of work in because my boss called midday and asked me to pitch in because they were behind. It was kind of a weird day, but I guess really, there is no typical Monday around here, they're always different. I kind of wish I was one of those people who had my days all planned out, but I'm so not.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Things that went right this week.

Someone else was doing this on their blog and I forgot who it was, but whoever you are, thanks for the idea. I guess it's kind of like a gratitude journal. Here goes.

I got a lot of work done on my Cafepress store and put a new Christmas background on there. It looks good.

I got to visit a homeschool curriculum consignment store that I've always wanted to visit AND I found the teacher's guide to my 9th grade son's math. (Somehow, we got the student texts without the teacher book so DH and I had been having to work the math problems to see if they were correct. Yay, now we can be lazy!) AND, it was only 6.00 because the store was having a clearance sale. Good times.

I got half of my closet cleaned out this week. That's a bigger job than it sounds because it is a big closet and it was very, very, very messy.

My daughter read several books in the series The Animorphs. Last year, she wouldn't read a chapter book, now she's devouring them. (not literally, LoL).

My youngest son's reading has been getting better by leaps and bounds.

We figured out what to do with oldest son's language arts and that is going much better.

I have today and tomorrow off from work! I made a pot of chili yesterday and so I don't have to cook today either.

Thats all for my list. I challenge you to make one of your own and give me a comment with a link.

Saturday, November 11, 2006


I think yesterday was one of the smoother days that we've had homeschooling. I did not get inspired to do the Konos activities yesterday afternoon, but instead got inspired to clean out my closet and got it halfway done. I hope to get the rest of it done over the weekend. Its a big closet and our main storage since we don't have an attached garage or a basement. But anyway, back to homeschooling, the 2 youngest decided that they wanted to have all of their work done by noon. They almost made it too, they got done at 12:25 and did not require any nagging or prodding. Oldest son took longer but he didn't require any either, but then, he doesn't usually. It turned out to be a pretty good day. Now, I guess we'll see how Monday goes.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Just now starting to recover.

Our routine is just now starting to recover from fall break. Not to say that DH and I don't have to remind the kids to do their schoolwork, but now they are cooperating a bit better. It's subtle, but it's there. They are reminding each other. One of them will propose watching TV or going outside and the other will ask if they're done with their schoolwork yet. It's kind of funny, but I'm thankful for it. We'll keep going as long as we can into the holiday season, until the excitement just overwhelms us, LoL.

We're getting into our earth science unit a little bit, maybe not as much as we should. I put this picture of the earth on here to inspire me to actually do something on the unit study today!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

A Closer Look.

I was looking on the internet to check into possibly buying another language arts program for my ninth grader when I ran across a listing of the one we already have. It's a package of 10 little booklets/ workbooks. He's on book one and it is very, very, intensive grammar which has been difficult to wade through. I noticed though, that the listing said that it also had literature studies and I went and looked carefully at the rest of his books. After he finishes this intensive grammar, the rest of the books look okay, even interesting. He's spent the first 50 days of school getting about 20 pages of language arts done, so I think I'll have him move into the second book and do maybe 2 pages in it and half a page in the grammar book each day, that way the course will get done this year and we won't be pulling our hair out from now until Christmas! Whew. I feel better.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Homeschooling Curriculum.

It seems like we homeschool moms are always on the lookout for a better curriculum, something wonderful that works for everyone with no problems, is probably what we want. Real kids aren't that easy though. They're all different and things that worked for your first might not work for the subsequent kids.

When we first started homeschool, we got Switched on Schoolhouse for our oldest, but he really didn't like it. It wasn't a good fit for him. I supplemented his world history study with a lot of hands on unit studies and that was fun and memorable, but a lot of work for me.

I found Konos that first year and it is a good curriculum, with a lot of hands-on stuff to do, but it does take a lot of prep work. That's my problem lately, is I don't want to do very much prep work. That's why we've been doing the basics lately without much else. Konos is still what I use for the younger two kids, as our main curriculum. I also use Scholastic Success with Grammar, Sequential Spelling and Homeschool Math E-books with them. All of these are working pretty well, I think.

For my older son, I ordered a workbook based curriculum because that is what he wanted, but let me tell you, it's awful. The explanations are difficult to understand, the questions are difficult to understand and both of us were ready to pull our hair out yesterday.

So now I am on the lookout for something to make 9th grade do-able and tolerable if not fun, at least not too frustrating. I'm still making him do the workbooks, but I don't want to do this curriculum for the next 4 years! So I'm looking again. It's frustrating. Any suggestions?

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

50 Days of School.

I finally updated my attendance records today and we've got 50 days of school in so far this year. Only 130 to go. To the kids, it seems like a lot but to me ... well, I wish I only had 130 more days of work and then could take an extended 2 month break. I haven't had a break from work more than 3 days long since giving birth to my youngest 8 years ago. Even after having surgery, I was back to work in 3 days. Whoops, sorry, kind of whiny this morning, aren't I? I really don't mind my job that much, I guess and speaking of work ... I guess I'd better go back to it.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Home Alone.

Youngest son and I are home alone today. Of necessity, I'm working, so I told him that he can do whatever he wants (within reason) and watch what he wants on TV without having to negotiate with anybody. He thought that was cool, just like the movie Home Alone. (He is 8 years old like Kevin.) He then commented thoughtfully that if he was left home alone for a week, he'd eat junk food and have every light in the house on, but he wouldn't watch junk on TV. Now he's watching Home Alone by himself in the living room and he just came running in to report that he has now moved into Christmas mode. I'm not sure exactly what that means, but I think he's working on his Christmas list now.

Very cool web site.

Someone sent this to me by email today and it is a really great web site, tons of lesson plans and tools. Here's the main page. Read, Write, Think!

Here's a link to a very neat comic creator that they have on this site, good for notebooking or writing skills.

Here's a link I also got from that site. Journal Ideas.

Here's another link to an interactive printable timeline tool. Timeline.

Here's a whole list of student resources.

Saturday, November 04, 2006


Finally, this week we got back to doing a little bit of our Konos Unit. The plan is for the kids to do the basics in the morning and then we do the Konos activities together, but lately, I've been slacking on that part and they've just been doing the basics. This week, though, we did get a little bit of the Konos material done. The unit we're doing right now is under the character trait of Inquisitiveness and it is the unit on the earth. So, this week we made clay models showing the inner layers of the earth. This one is my daughters.

Friday, November 03, 2006


Well, the two younger kids finally got finished with their math yesterday, about a minute before sunset, but it was done. My husband had a class to do for for work yesterday, during the day and took my van so we were without transportation all day. It forced us to stay home. Sometimes I think that is a good thing. I have a tendency to want to go somewhere every day and we couldn't so we just enjoyed staying home. We took 2 walks, first to mail some letters and put the garbage out (me) and to climb a tree (the kids). It's a long way to our mailbox and then we walked a ways down the road to get to the climbing tree. Later on, after the mail was delivered, we took a moonlit walk with flashlights to go get it. That was kind of fun and different too. On days like this, I'm so glad we're homeschooling. If the kids had been in school, we would've missed walking, tree climbing, catching the first leaf ever and the miracle of garbage pickup (I love that!). So many things you miss when your kids are gone all day long.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Back and Forth.

We go back and forth. I want the kids to do their schoolwork. They don't, or they say they don't. (They did get bored this summer with no plans.) A typical day includes math, spelling, reading, grammar, art, exercise, KONOS and a game. They think that art, exercise, reading and game are the fun things and consider the others to not be fun. Consequently, they procrastinate about math, spelling and grammar as long as possible every day. Every day my husband and I say things like "do your work" and no matter what they are doing, they say, this is our work, it's our game or it's exercise, etc. I don't know if they have too much free choice in this or if we should applaud their creativity. When I first wrote the schedule out, I told them that I wanted them to play a game from our game collection. Pretty much all of them are at least somewhat educational. They are not allowed to choose a video game as there is no screen time until sunset. They've been very creative lately in coming up with games. Sometimes it is hide and seek. Today, it was catching leaves. My official position is that I don't care what game they play as long as it involves cooperative play and doesn't take up the entire day. I think that on a day like today, with the clear blue sky and the November wind blowing the leaves from the trees, catching leaves is a good game choice. My 8-year-old caught the first leaf he's ever caught today. That's something, right?

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

It's November the First!

Can you believe it? How many shopping days until Christmas? I like November. I like Thanksgiving and I like the weather this time of year, usually. Another thing that is hard to believe is that blogger finally let me post some pictures. These are from the halloween party on Saturday night.

With halloween being over, I have hopes that we will settle in and get some school done today. We did a bit yesterday, but there was just too much excitement in the air to get a lot done.


Related Posts with Thumbnails