Wednesday, February 28, 2007

No nagging.

This has been very difficult, but my husband and I have been trying not to nag the children this week. It was starting to seem like that was the only thing we ever said to them "Have you done your schoolwork?" So we've tried to give it up. Cold turkey. I think we're both having withdrawal symptoms and, strangely, so are the kids. Yesterday, my youngest came into my office area where I was working and asked me to nag him because otherwise, he won't be able to do his work. So I did. I said "Do your schoolwork. Do your schoolwork. Do your schoolwork." That ought to get him through a few days. Probably not. I've had to go into a more subtle method of reminding, walking through the kitchen saying things like "Wow, would you look at the time?" or "I didn't know it was 2 o'clock already, did you? Where does the time go?" LoL.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

1 Reason, 1 Interesting Fact and Something I Forgot.

Reason I'm glad we're homeschooling for today: I've met a really nice group of people in the homeschooling community, both on-line and in real life.

Interesting Fact: We are studying about explorers. I'm learning things, even if no one else is. Yesterday, I learned that Leif Eriksson, the Viking explorer and son of Erik the Red, was a Christian and brought Christianity to Greenland. That doesn't fit with my concept of who the Vikings were. Anyone else? Now, of course, I have the Ray Stevens song "Erik the Awful" on my mind. Joy.

Something I forgot yesterday:
We're also using History Scribe, which I got a long time ago and am just getting around to using. Yesterday was the first day. My daughter liked it and did a good job, youngest son didn't mind and did a good job on it, but older son complained that he doesn't like notebooking. I think he has to do it anyway, don't you? I think it's a good way to show what you've learned. Maybe I could start making him write an essay every day instead, hmm?

Monday, February 26, 2007

I really don't like trying to think of a title.

I mean, I am more than likely just going to ramble on about absolutely nothing, but here goes.

Good homeschooling web site for today: Columbia Education Center There are a lot of lesson plans here.

Reasons I'm glad we're homeschooling for today:
1. I don't have to get up early.
2. The fact that my 10 year old still acts like a 10 year old and not a teen. That will all come soon enough.

What we use for homeschooling: I've mentioned a few times the curriculums (curricula? curriculi?) that we use but never all in one place, so here goes.

Homeschool Math - The woman who wrote these books did an excellent job of explaining math. This is a very affordable program too. Most of the ebooks are $2.00 to $5.00 and I think you can get all of them for around $35.00 as a download or a CD. It goes from basic addition through geometry 1.

AVKO Sequential Spelling - The spelling program that I can't spell. I can never remember if it is AVKO or AKVO, but it is a very good spelling program. I use it with the younger 2 kids.

Grammar/Reading: I bought some grammar books that I didn't like much from Amazon and we've been using those, but this site has the Tommy Tales books and free grammar worksheets to go with them, so now I'm using them for the younger 2.

Unit Studies for History, Science and Social Studies. The ones we are currently using are from Christian Cottage.

For my highschooler, I use Alpha Omega Lifepacs. He does these on his own. Basically all I have to do is check his answers.

I think that's it. For PE, we just exercise. The rest of the stuff we do we really don't need a curriculum for. I want all of the kids to know how to take care of a home and cook for themselves when they grow up and all of that goes under life skills, I guess.

See, I knew this post was going to be un-title-able. :-)

That's it for today unless someone does something funny around here.


Sunday, February 25, 2007

The Mummy.

This afternoon, my daughter came up to me and said "I mummified Dan" (youngest son) which would have worried me, had I not the alledged victim just a few minutes before. I mean, it's not a quick process according to our Egyptian studies. She also had a roll of toilet paper in her hand, another good sign, that she wasn't trying an authentic Egyptian mummification. Still, it's an interesting way to spend a Sunday afternoon, you gotta admit. When I saw him again, a few minutes later, he was not mummified and seemed to have suffered no ill consequences. ;-)

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Grocery Trip.

I went to the grocery today by myself, a rare thing. The kids stayed with their Dad. I had a coupon for ice cream sandwiches so I brought some home. My youngest son said "Mom, you hit the yummer lode at the grocery store today!" He's recently learned what the phrase mother lode means, can you tell? I had to look it up on Onelook myself. (It means the main vein of an ore in a mine.)

Friday, February 23, 2007

Why Veggies?

We were talking about the differences in fruit and vegetables last night. Essentially, if it has seeds, it is a fruit, according to the source we read. So that means tomatoes, cucumbers and even green beans are fruits. Weird. I always figured if it tastes good with salt, it's a vegetable. Anyway, last night my youngest came to me and said "Why do they call the show Veggie Tales, when they are mostly all fruit?" LoL. I guess Fruity Tales didn't sound as good. ;-)

A Sunny Day.

Yesterday, we had a wonderful warm, sunny day, a rare thing around here in February. In honor of the sunshine, I gave the kids half a day off, so that they could play outside. I knew it was going to get cold and yucky again soon (like today!) and we've done approximately 120 days of school so far this year, so we're right on schedule. I know we can't do that every warm, sunny day, but it is nice to have the freedom to do it for the first warm sunny day of the year.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Another field trip!

We were lucky enough to get to go on another field trip yesterday. We went with our homeschool group to the Louisville Science Center. It's a good hands-on museum and we enjoyed it very much. We got to see an IMAX film on the coral reef, which was very cool and a good end to our ocean study. Now we are going to study explorers and geography. I'm glad to have a direction to go in. I really enjoyed the ocean study and now I'm looking forward to this geography study. I'm going to combine a Konos unit on explorers with a Christian Cottage unit on geography. I think we'll learn a lot. This fall, when we were just doing the basics and no unit study, was no fun at all and I'm glad we've got a plan now.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Finishing Ocean Unit.

We're finishing the ocean unit today and I've decided that we are going to do a countries and cultures study for the rest of the year. I'm going to also tie it in with an Age of Exploration history unit. We've been gradually working through a study of history and stopped after our middle ages unit back in the fall. After that unit, for some reason, I just couldn't get back on track with Konos. The ocean study that we did and enjoyed very much was from a Christian Cottage Unit study which I downloaded for free from the Homeschool Estore I found it well written and easy to use, so I'm looking at their countries/cultures study. I don't want my kids to be among the 11% of young adults in the United States who can't find the United States on a map. Actually my kids can now, thank goodness, along with most of the major countries of the world. We're going to take some time and study some of the lesser known countries too. I think it's going to be fun. I'm actually getting some of my enthusiasm back, yay!

I was proud of the kids this morning, we played a game to test their knowledge of the ocean unit and this was the coolest part, none of them missed a single question! They weren't all easy questions either. For example, they had to explain what a tide is, what a current is, explain vertebrates and invertebrates, name characteristics of fish, birds, mammals, amphibians and reptiles, name 2 stages in jellyfish development (there are 6!), explain photosynthesis and the difference between zooplankton and photoplankton among other things. Way to go kids!

Saturday, February 17, 2007


It's Saturday and we are not doing too much around here. It's been snowing all day, tiny, teeny little snowflakes that are hardly even visible. After snowing all day, we have maybe half an inch of snow on the ground. Youngest son was looking dejectedly out the window a while ago and said "If it keeps snowing like this, we might have enough to make a snowball next week." Poor kid.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

A kind of a break.

We've actually had kind of a break from whining around here the last couple of days. On the day I was complaining about the whining, here on my blog, I had a conversation with youngest son. We negotiated that he could have 1 more hour if he would raise his right hand and swear to try very hard not to whine. He did and it has been much more peaceful around here. Weird what works sometimes, isn't it? I'm not complaining. I'm enjoying the peace.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Here are the turtles.

We haven't attempted any art projects for a while so this was a nice change. All 3 of the kids are pretty good artists, I think. I think these turned out well.


Have you all been hearing the whining today? It's been so loud and long here, that it seems the whole world must be able to hear it. Youngest son. Again. He doesn't want any deadlines on his schoolwork. He wants to be able to just do it whenever he wants.


I just don't think that would work. The good news is that despite the whining, he's doing really well in all of his subjects and his reading is really coming along, finally. The (free printable) Tommy Tales books have been really good for him. They are interesting enough to keep his attention and short enough that he doesn't get overwhelmed. The one he read today was about the ocean, so it went with our unit, which was a plus.

The kids are painting some really cool pictures of sea turtles today, an idea I got from this website. Elementary Art.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Still studying the ocean.

There are tons of resources for studying the ocean on the internet. Today, the kids were making a minibook about kelp, looking for products made from seaweed in our kitchen (low fat butter, sour cream and salad dressing)and making a picture of a kelp forest for their notebooks. All of these ideas/printables I got from the internet, free. My high schooler joins in, but I'm not sure if we're going to be able to count it towards his high school diploma. Maybe if he has enough of a science notebook done, it will count as a science credit. Right now, we're not worrying about that too much (maybe not enough). I'm thinking of enrolling him in some kind of accredited high school so he can get an accredited high school diploma and to track his credits in case he wants to go back to public school sometime.

Otherwise, there's not too much going on around here. I'm thankful it's Monday and I don't have to work.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Whoops, I did it again.

Yesterday, I didn't get my list done and the kids got the day off. I hate it when that happens. I begged for mercy because I got a call from my employer and had to type a stat dictation and it took a long time to download, but I got no mercy from my cruel, heartless children. I finished my list at 11:32, instead of 11:00. They thoroughly enjoyed their day off. I've given them a daily 3:00 p.m. deadline and usually I let them go until 3:30 or 4:00 but no more. I'm not giving them any slack. If they're not done by 3:00 they are grounded for the remainder of the day. Every time they look at me today, I say "No slack!" Silly, I know, but hey, they didn't give me a break yesterday! Fair is fair. They need to learn time management anyway.

Of course they know that any days they miss this winter will have to be made up at the end of the school year because Kentucky state law requires 180 days of instruction, but they don't care. I remember when I was a kid, knowing that I'd have to make those snow days up did not take any of the joy out of the snow for me.
I've decided that since I've mostly had success with my morning list, only missing 2 days since November 12, that I'm going to make myself an afternoon list, so I can (hopefully) remember to get the little details done, kind of like the Flylady's morning and evening routines. I've always just winged it, but I forget to do things sometimes and hopefully, this will help. I'm excited about being a little more organized! It's very unusual for me.

Reasons I'm glad we are homeschooling for today: I couldn't do this whole list thingy if the kids were in public school because I couldn't give them a day off.

Reason #2 for today, while I'm thinking of it: We don't have hours of homework at night. When we're done at 3:00, we're totally done.

Another picture from the aquarium trip, just for the fun of it.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

More aquarium photos.

We took so many pictures that day, I have to share a few more. These were in the Lorakeet area. I'm not sure why they have Lorakeets at the aquarium, but we had fun feeding them. My husband almost walked out of the room with one on his back, not realizing it was in his jacket hood!

Complete Idiots.

Have you noticed that instead of saying "for Dummies" a lot of books are now saying they are for "complete idiots" My oldest son has recently shown a little bit of interest in playing the guitar. I saw a book at the library called "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Playing the Guitar" which I thought was kind of a strange title. I didn't know whether to bring it home for him or not. I don't want him to think that I think he's a complete idiot. ;-) I came home and asked him if he wanted it, then on my next library trip I got it, along with one for me, "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Nutrition". I'd hesitate to give one of these books as a gift though, wouldn't you? LoL.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Field Trip!

We went to the Newport Aquarium today. We really had a good time. If you live within driving distance of Cincinnati, I recommend that you try and make the trip this winter. They are having a special so that kids get in free and they get a free kids meal at Bob Evans. These are some of our most up-close-and-personal pictures from today.

Sunday, February 04, 2007


It snowed a little bit more this morning, giving the kids some fine powder on top of their established sled tracks, so they did some more sledding today. I even went out and joined them for a while. My main problem in sledding is that our outside dog, Lucy, thinks that she is a lap dog and wants to climb in my lap every time I sled. It'd be okay if she wasn't so big, LoL. That's her in the above photo.

My daughter does this thing where she starts out standing up on the sled, then gracefully sits down while going down the hill. It's pretty impressive, not to mention fun. I hate to admit it, but we did break the law today, though, because we do not have any hot chocolate and, as my readers know, hot chocolate is the law! (According to my youngest!)

Friday, February 02, 2007


We got the snow we so richly deserved. ;-)

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Happy New Month!

One of my kids greeted me this way this morning, so I thought it was a good blog post title today. It snowed a tiny bit today and I toyed with the idea of giving them a snow day but then I figured with the little bit of snow, they'd play in it for 5 minutes and then want to watch TV and play video games all day, so I decided not to go that route. We're doing school today. I'm not sure if the county schools in our area are closed or not. I kind of enjoy not having to check that (especially since I had to get up around 6:15 a.m to find out if there was school and if I needed to wake the kids up!) Anyway, we're doing school and work as usual around here.

Free internet resource for today:

Reason I'm glad we're homeschooling for today: When the dog goes outside and steps in cat poop that the cat has not buried properly because the ground is frozen, my daughter is home and can give the dog a bath. How's that for a reason? Sure, it cost me financially, but I don't have to give the dog his bath. Priceless.


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