Friday, August 31, 2007

I think.

I think I need to challenge my middle child more. I've been having her work along with my younger son so far and it's just too easy for her. She's getting bored so I need to push her a bit. It's funny because last year whenever I'd ask her to do more than he had to do, she'd complain. Now she's ready for her own work, more independent study. I'm thinking of adding a writing component for her. Hmmm. Time to take a look around the internet for some free resources ...

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Finally, maybe?

I think I'm finally maybe getting back into my routine, just in time for the labor day weekend break which will probably throw me off again, but hey, maybe I'll get the hang of it before summer break next year. It doesn't matter to the kids though, they haven't been checking very closely to see if I've gotten my stuff done. I guess they're not desparate for a day off yet! So for now, we're still plugging away at American History, reading, long division and other things ...

Last night when I went to the grocery, the kids didn't want to go with me, so the oldest stayed home and the youngest 2 called Grandma to see if she'd keep them. Not only would she keep them, but she'd bought them all small presents. The younger 2 got bracelets and silly putty and they were quite happy when I picked them up. The youngest said "There are 2 reasons I like Grandma. First, well, she's Grandma and second, she gives us presents for no reason!"

Wednesday, August 29, 2007


I may not be motivated today, but I'm determined. Is that the same thing? After I posted that on my blog yesterday, I went and told the kids that we were on a 2 hour delay. I got my stuff done in that time and then we started our school work that we do together. We didn't get finished until after 5:00 but we got it done. Better late than never, I suppose.

Today, I'm getting it done. (See! I'm determined.)

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Totally unmotivated mama.

Last school year I just kept writing on my blog about how I was exercising and cleaning and sticking to my list, getting things done every morning before school. I was very proud of myself. This time, since we've started back to school, I just haven't been doing it. I'm not motivated. We've been staying up too late and sleeping too late and then if I get up late, that makes my deadlines impossible and I just give up. It's very bad. I'm doing to have to start setting my alarm at 7:00 and getting to business in the morning or this school year is going to be a disaster!
The trick to it all is that the kids aren't checking to see if I'm done and I'm reluctant to remind them about it because I know they'd get some days off and I'm not ready to give them days off yet. Maybe I'll mention it to them today and then again, maybe not.

I really need to set that alarm tomorrow!

Monday, August 27, 2007


The boys had their physicals today. It's not an experience that anyone enjoys, except maybe the youngest. I wonder if he doesn't like the attention or maybe there's the satisfaction of being declared healthy. Anyway, he seemed to be having a good time this morning. None of my children enjoys getting shots, the oldest one hates them the most. Fortunately, for all of us, today he got the shots that will hold him over for the next 10 years and when he is 24, he can make his own decisions about that.

So that's two kids down, one to go. Our daughter has to get hers in a couple of weeks. I had lunch out with the boys and I'll have lunch out with her too, so she has that to look forward to. Unfortunately, the boys let the cat out of the bag with regards to the shots and finger sticks. I told them to say "fine" when she asked how it went, but they told her they needed shots and she'll need shots. She says she's not getting any, but unfortunately for her, like the doctor told my oldest today, "mom's still in charge". Old mean mom, trying to ensure they stay healthy.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Chicken Pot Pie.

Youngest son finally decided he wanted to try my homemade (kind of) chicken pot pie. I've been making it a couple of times a month for several years and he's wanted nothing to do with it. He would not even try it until today. Now he's had 3 helpings! Apparently, he likes it.

Here's the very easy recipe.
1 prepared pie crust.
1 can cream of chicken soup.
1 can cooked chicken. (drain the liquid)
1 can mixed vegetables. (drain the liquid)

Mix ingredients and pour into pie crust. Bake according to pie crust directions.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Arsy Varsy

We are learning about the pilgrims at Plymouth today and learning a little of their speech, like arsy varsy which means backward. We did our lessons backward today because there wasn't any work in my hospital account this morning, so I had to do school in the morning and work in the afternoon - backwards from our usual schedule, but getting the jobs done nonetheless.

Fare thee well.
Pray remember me on the morrow.


Thursday, August 23, 2007

Iced Tea.

Night before last, I asked my youngest son to get me a glass of iced tea. I was still feeling tired from the state fair, so I thought it was worth a try to ask him. He said no. My daughter turned to him and gave him a very stern look. She said "She cleaned it up when you overflowed the toilet AND she put out the fire you started in the toaster oven! (Both of these happened this week!) You should get her some tea!" He couldn't argue with that logic. He's had quite a week!

Transitioning back to school.

I can see why the public schools usually take field trips on Friday. If you do Monday or Tuesday or both, like we did this week, it makes it hard to transition back into regular school. Yesterday, we got about half of our lists done. I was really hoping for the whole thing today, but I don't seem to have much energy. I have been sitting with the younger kids for 2-3 hours each afternoon helping them get their work done and I may have to rethink that and assign them work they can do on their own at least one day a week, maybe 2. That will free me up to get more of the housework done because that's really fallen by the wayside in my endless juggling act.

I still can't find the notebooking pages pictures to share. Yesterday, we made a paper model of Jamestown, which we learned was a triangular fort. Then last night my youngest spilled milk on it. We decided it was now a land of milk and honey with milk flowing in the very streets. LoL.

Here's where we got the Jamestown model for free. Homeschool in the Woods.

And here's an online game about Jamestown.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

The Fair Report.

We survived 2 days of the Kentucky state fair. It's really something and we're really tired. Mostly our feet. I have a huge blister on my big toe and I think the kids have a few as well. It rained again this morning and it was very wet this afternoon and apparently, I have an unfortunate habit of not looking where I'm going and stepping into puddles. I must have done that at least 4 times. Wet sandals are not very comfortable. Sorry, I was going to give you a report of the fair, but all I can seem to think about is the fact that my feet hurt. Let me just list some of the things we did and things we saw.

Baby chickens hatching.
The inside of a tractor.
Bees wax candle making.
Leaf rubbings.
A dog show.
An acrobat show. (very good)
The fair shuttles. (My daughter loved riding these).
Rides at Kentucky Kingdom.
Bumper cars.
An obstacle course.
A sign that said "Pork Butt on a stick" on a food booth. (I'm not kidding!)
A sign that said "Popcorn on a stick" on another food booth.
The inside of a police car.
The inside of a public transportation bus.
The inside of a military vehicle, I think it is called an M3?
Tons of information booths about health and safety.


Sunday, August 19, 2007


There's some kind of water falling from the sky tonight. Hmmm. It seems like I remember we used to call it rain ...

The only time it has rained this summer, other than today, was when we planned to have my youngest son's birthday party at the park. It rained about an inch in 1 hour that day.

Anyway, it's raining and we need it. Selfishly, though, I kind of hope it doesn't rain tomorrow while we're at the fair ...

Friday, August 17, 2007


We may have an 'early release day' today. Our local schools do that every couple of months. Somehow this evens up their calendar or something. Add to that the fact that I overslept today and we have a party with the homeschool group to kick off the new school year and this just seems like a perfect day to let the kids have the afternoon off. I do have a video they can watch this afternoon for part of our unit study. That seems very much like what the public schools would do, doesn't it? I'm just going to play it by ear today and be thankful that I can do that.

*Still can't comment, so I'll say to the commenters below:
Jessie, I'll be glad to eat an elephant ear for you at the fair.
HP: No problem! Hopefully we will enjoy it as much as last year!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

I know I uploaded them ...

but I can't find them. I wanted to share the pictures of the notebook pages we've been making. The kids are really doing well. We're studying about the Native Americans in our post-Columbus but pre-European-settlers period of American History. Anyway, it's been going pretty well but the youngest is starting to get bored with school. I'm not sure whether to just make him deal with it, or to change school up a little bit. Last year, he was always the one who would have a cow if I changed the schedule, so I'm not sure what to do. We're going to the state fair on Monday and that counts as a school day in Kentucky so that will be a nice break from routine.

I can share a state fair picture from last year. My youngest 2 kids were on this ride when I took the picture. I didn't realize the ride when that high when I said they could get on it. You can just see their little feet sticking out at the bottom of the picture!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Good morning!

I've kind of been absent this week, except for that little bit of whining about my computer. Thanks all for the tips on how to comment. I'll give it some thought. I really miss last week's topics on which to write. I may have to get my own daily topics organised or find myself a list of blogger's writing prompts. ;-)

We are still chugging away on school around here. The little kids and I have been making some amazing notebook pages which I will take pictures of and post on here soon, maybe later today. They're getting a little past the begging me to do school phase that they were in at the beginning, but still doing the work more enthusiastically than the norm so I'm not complaining. The American History textbook that I got for my oldest son is awful. Sometimes you get what you pay for, huh? We are going to have to get rid of that and get another one. The end of chapter questions are completely incomprehensible even to me (and I'm a pretty good reader). It's just awful, so we'll try again with that. Otherwise, everything that we are using is pretty good.

The Carnival of Homeschooling is up on Dewey's Treehouse and it is very good this time. You should definitely browse on over there and take a look.

Monday, August 13, 2007


For some reason I can't comment on anyone's blog, not even my own, this week. I've read several blogs over the weekend and wanted to comment but I can't. It will let me type a few words, then it disappears. I read a lot of the other blogs who were particpating in the back to homeschool week thingy and I could comment on some, but then for some reason, I couldn't anymore. Does anyone have any idea what is causing this? I just ran virus scans, cache cleanup and a spyware program this morning and it didn't fix it.

Like I said in the title, frustrating.

Anyway, HP I hope you feel better soon and to everyone else, Hi!

Sunday, August 12, 2007


It was fun participating in the back to homeschool week event and now I am forced to go back to trying to think of my own subject to post. Hmmm. Nice weather we're having, isn't it. A bit hot, though. ;0)

As I posted earlier, I think our break was just long enough and we were all ready to go back to school and school has been going pretty well this week. Of course that means that something else has to go badly, right? I mean, I can't possibly have work, school and housework all done can I? Of course not. The housework took a bad downturn this week and I got a little behind on my transcription work so that I will have to work today. Luckily for me, yesterday, the kids wanted to have their cousins come over so I was able to get them to do a quick straighten up of the house while I worked. Since we cleaned on it all summer, it didn't take too long to put it back in order, at least for relatives who've definitely seen it looking worse ...

I hope school goes as well this week.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Friday, August 10---Curriculum

What curriculum do you use? Where do you buy it? Have you found a "gem" that you must share with others? Was something in particular a complete failure for you and your kids?

I use a wide assortment of curriculum. I guess we're not a one size fits all kind of family.

Christian Cottage
Sequential Spelling
Christian Light publishers
Alpha Omega Lifepaks
Key Curriculum Press

We also get a lot of wonderful things from the homeschool estore.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

A pretty good day, Thursday update.

I almost am afraid to blog about this, for fear my luck will change, but we had a pretty good school day again today. I think our break from school was just long enough. We were all ready to start back. The kids actually seem to be enjoying themselves, even while doing things like math and spelling. Right now, while the weather is almost unbearably hot, it's a good time to be inside, doing school.

Thursday, August 9, If only I had known ...

What have you learned on your homeschooling journey? What would you/did you change? This is an opportunity to encourage others who are just starting out or who are struggling with issues that seem unsolvable. It is also a perfect opportunity to tell us about one of those days made you want to throw in the towel. A funny story? Perfect!

My advice to new homeschoolers would be to just keep trying. It takes a little while to find curriculum, schedules and plans that work for your family. We started out with Konos and while I love it, it takes a little bit more time to plan than I have to give to planning. I still will use it some this year, just not all the time.

I've learned that if I don't put breakfast/brush teeth on my kids schedules, they will not eat breakfast (or brush their teeth) and when I finish work and am ready to start school, they're ready to eat. So, I have to put that on their list of things to do. Silly, maybe, but it works.

I've also learned that I need to make a schedule for myself and I have an agreement with the kids that if I don't do mine, they don't have to do theirs. This helps me to remember to do things for myself (exercise!) and take care of the housework on a regular basis so it doesn't pile up. Otherwise, I'll just get so caught up in working and schooling that I will be worn to a frazzle and the house will be a wreck.

I've learned that reaching out to others who are homeschooling is invaluable because they can help with advice and sanity and a listening ear.

If only I had known how good homeschooling would be for our family, I would have never sent my kids to school at all.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Wednesday, part 2.

The first day of school surprisingly went pretty well. I think the fact that they were grounded helped, because they needed something to do and it is way too hot to go outside! So, they actually wanted to do school. It helps that I'd bought new notebooks, markers and pencil cases and it's always fun getting new things. I've apparently done something with the American History textbooks, so we didn't do anything in that subject except put the History Scribe sheets in their notebooks but we did reading, spelling, math and PE and then made a quick trip to the grocery, which is Home Ec (just kidding! I don't really count that time!). Oldest son did Algebra 1, Intro to Computers, Language Arts, Science, PE and Guitar which he is learning from a DVD.

All in all, it went well and get this, there was almost no whining! My youngest whined a tiny bit when he realized he would have to write his spelling words. He likes to do them out loud, but I need records and he needs writing practice, so he's writing. Hey, at least he got a new notebook for it!

Wednesday August 8 -- Getting out there.

Extra-curricular activities, community involvement, volunteering, sports teams, music lessons, making sure your kids have opportunities to be social, co-ops, etc., etc., etc...

We've been fortunate to get involved in a very nice, small homeschool group in our area. We do field trips and co-ops with them quite frequently, plus go skating together twice a month and swimming in the city pool occasionally. We would also like to get the kids in Karate classes this fall. The kids also participate in church activities and occasionally in 4H activities.

Today is our first day of school and it hasn't started out as well as could be hoped. Last night, when it was time to listen to our read aloud, which we do year round, the kids all got in a big fight and got themselves grounded. All 3 of them. I told my husband and Max to watch out, because they'd be next! Then this morning I overslept and now I'm trying to get work done in a hurry. The kids didn't wake up in the best mood because of the grounding, but we are still going to start school today. If they were in public school, they couldn't change the start date because they were grouchy or because they overslept.

So anyway, here we go, regardless ....

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Tuesday, August 7 How do you homeschool?

Tuesday, August 7---How do you homeschool?
Scheduling, classical education, unschooling, getting the kids to help with chores, how to be "mom" and "teacher" at the same time, special needs, teaching an advanced child, how to teach the tough subjects, teaching high school, teaching with babies and preschoolers in the house, budgeting for homeschool supplies, notebooking, etc., etc., etc...

Well I still have to put in some hours as a medical transcriptionist each day so our school schedule has to work around that. In order to get schoolwork done at all, they have to be able to work somewhat independently. I give myself a list and I give each child a list. I make these on Microsoft word and print them out on Mondays. They have a list of things that need to be done before mom finishes work and then we do things together in the afternoon.

So on the morning list, I'll have transcription, exercise, and some household chores and they'll have things on their lists like eating breakfast, brushing their teeth, exercise and household chores. Then we'll have lunch and meet around the kitchen table, read and discuss our unit study and then give assignments and then usually split back up, with mom staying with youngest son to help him stay on task. The older 2, ages 11 (as of yesterday!) and 14 can work on their own in the afternoons as well.

We use a mix of things as far as curriculum goes. I've spent way too much time shopping for curricula since we've been homeschooling.

We're planning to start tomorrow!

Monday, August 06, 2007

Back to Homeschool Week Challenge - Monday

Monday, August 6---What led to your decision to homeschool?
Why do you do what you do? What brought you to homeschooling? What factors played a part in your decision?

We started homeschooling our oldest because we just weren't ready for him to go to middle school. I had read an article in a magazine about this family that kept each one of their children home for just one year, to bond with them during the difficult middle school years. Then I started reading everything I could about homeschooling. We didn't really have any problems with the local public elementary school, so we decided to leave the other 2 enrolled there.

Then the oldest and I plunged into a World History study that turned out to be a lot of fun and that broke the ice, so to speak, for bringing the other two home. Hey, we could do this and then after a few weeks of the new school year, it seemed that we should do this for them. Neither one of the other two kid's school years were going very well.

The girl, who is always one of the youngest in her class with an August birthday (TODAY!) was 'holding her own' in the second grade when she finished it, but when they moved her up to third grade, they put her in a split class with fourth graders and told me that they'd only put the most advanced third graders the split class because they could handle the work with less instruction. Hey, wait a minute. I attended her parent/teacher conferences last year! I knew that she was doing fine, but was not advanced and not ready to go it alone without much instruction. She was the youngest kid in the class. She quickly started having problems in third grade, getting stressed and upset because the teacher hadn't told her how to do anything and the teacher's aide would only say "I'm not the teacher, so I can't tell you anything." I ended up spending around 3 hours every evening re-teaching everything to her. Meanwhile, youngest son, in first grade, was crying every day and begging us to homeschool him and my husband's work schedule was such that he only saw the kids on weekends. Homeschooling everyone was starting to look like a no-brainer.

We finally took the plunge in September of that year and we have never looked back. Not once. This way of life/schooling is just so much better, it's unbelievable. It's hard to explain to anyone who hasn't experienced it, but it's like walking all your life and suddenly realizing you could fly.

Can you tell we like homeschooling? Of course, as I write this, we've been out of school for about 8 weeks. After the whining starts on Wednesday, I might not be as quite as positive, LoL. ;-)

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Back to Homeschool Week Challenge

Randi over at I Have to Say is hosting an event called "Back to homeschool week" I'm going to try to do it every day on my blog next week. We are actually going to start school next Wednesday if everything goes okay so this is really an appropriate time to think about why we're doing this!

Here's the rules and everything that I copied from Randi's blog.

"Next week, here on my blog, I will be hosting "Back to Homeschool Week". There is a topic for each day and my hope is that my fellow homeschoolers here in the blogosphere will participate by posting their own experiences on their blogs. This is the time of the year that our thoughts begin to turn towards curriculum, planning and scheduling, and I thought that gathering together to encourage one another would be beneficial all of us.

Below is the list of topics for the week. I tried to keep the topics broad so that way we will have lots of different ideas and things to discuss. You may participate for all five days or just for one. Whatever you have time for.

Monday, August 6---What led to your decision to homeschool?
Why do you do what you do? What brought you to homeschooling? What factors played a part in your decision?

Tuesday, August 7---How do you homeschool?
Scheduling, classical education, unschooling, getting the kids to help with chores, how to be "mom" and "teacher" at the same time, special needs, teaching an advanced child, how to teach the tough subjects, teaching high school, teaching with babies and preschoolers in the house, budgeting for homeschool supplies, notebooking, etc., etc., etc...

Wednesday, August 8---Getting out there...
Extra-curricular activities, community involvement, volunteering, sports teams, music lessons, making sure your kids have opportunities to be social, co-ops, etc., etc., etc...

Thursday, August 9---If I had only known...
What have you learned on your homeschooling journey? What would you/did you change? This is an opportunity to encourage others who are just starting out or who are struggling with issues that seem unsolvable. It is also a perfect opportunity to tell us about one of those days made you want to throw in the towel. A funny story? Perfect!

Friday, August 10---Curriculum
What curriculum do you use? Where do you buy it? Have you found a "gem" that you must share with others? Was something in particular a complete failure for you and your kids?

Please feel free to post the graphic on your blog so that the word will spread to others. You can either download the image to your own computer or you can email me for the code. My email link is on the left sidebar or you can leave me a comment with your email address listed.

You may also feel free to cut-and-paste any part of this post into your own blog post so that others know what it going on. In each of my posts next week, I will have an auto-link so that you can link your own post from mine.

Because I know that opinions abound when it comes to homeschooling, I would hope to see everyone using this forum to encourage others, rather than to prove a point. My hope is that Back to Homeschool Week will provide someone with new insight and strength on their homeschooling journey.

I hope to see you next week!?

Friday, August 03, 2007

The Prize.

Yesterday, I told my kids that the public school kids had started back to school and they ought to have a 'not back to school' party. My youngest said that I should get them some kind of prize or bake a cake to celebrate. My oldest said "She already gave us a prize. She didn't make us go back to school today!"

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Our Newest Addition.

We didn't plan to get this kitten. We found her under a bush at church, half starved, poor thing. I wanted to name her Moses, but my daughter won the naming war and named her Zoe.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

What we're using this year.

I've been trying to figure this out all summer and since Pam in Colorado asked, I'll tell you what I'm going to try to do this year.

For my older son who is in high school, I've got an American History textbook called "Out of Many". We will all do American History together and use this book as a spine. The younger two won't go as much in depth. He will also be studying Algebra 1 from Key Curriculum Press, finishing up the English and Science from Alpha Omega that he should have finished last year and doing a computer class from Christian Light Education. I've purposely ordered from different publishers in the hopes that he will like one of these better than the ones we had last year (Alpha Omega Life Packs).

For my daughter who is in 6th grade, she will be studying American History with us. She will also be doing Sequential Spelling, Spectrum Grammar, Mammoth Math. We will be notebooking and she will be assigned books to read and report on.

For my youngest who is in 4th grade (I cannot believe that!), Sequential Spelling, Spectrum Grammar, Mammoth Math, notebooking and US History. He'll also be working on his reading skills, since they are a little behind.

For the US history unit we will also be using History Scribe, Christian Cottage and Konos, along with the free units I've gotten this year from the Homeschool Estore.
I figure I should use them since I've got them.

Here's a list of the ones I think I'll use this year.
Respected American Women.
Proverbs Copywork.
Weather Folklore.
Birds Lapbook.
Christmas Activity Book.
Labor Day.
Mother's Day.
Pioneer Projects you can build yourself.

I also have downloaded one on the Statue of Liberty but now I can't find it on my computer, which annoys me to no end. If you do decide to go to that wonderful store and download something, please remember to click on "save a copy".

So anyway, that's the plan so far.

When to start. When to start.

Last night I went to dinner with a bunch of homeschool moms. We all discussed when we would start school. The public schools in the area are starting tomorrow. One of the families in our homeschool group will be starting at the very end of August and most are starting somewhere in the middle of August. I'm still not sure when we will begin, probably some time next week. I need to get the house a bit more organized. I want to get the sidewalk done. I'm kind of ready to get started, but kind of dreading the whining that will probably happen and hoping I can be more organized this year. (hey, a girl can hope!). I've got all the supplies I need, now I just need to decide when.

Another blogger is giving away a TV!

All I have to do to enter is to be linked to it. So here's the link.


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