Thursday, November 30, 2006
Bear and Deco were so excited that they could hardly stand to sit and eat breakfast, and they're now out there, happily playing in the "snow". I say "snow" in quotes, because it's actually sleet, and it's very icy and unappealing, at least to an adult. But they thing it's fun, so that's what matters. We're supposed to get real snow tonight! Yippee! Yay for winter!!
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
Just now, I'm sitting here, reading some of my favorite blogs, and I notice Holly, our Big Dog, nosing around the bucket where we keep HER food, picking up random, spilled bits of food because HER bowl was empty. I swear, if there was an Animal DHS, they'd probably be knocking at my door, checking up on the eating habits of our pets! (Note to self: if you notice The Kids nosing around the fridge for random, leftover bits of food, break out the CheezIts!)
*Editor's Note: Lest you are worried to come to my house and eat dinner, fearing that Supey walks all over our kitchen table as well, let it be known that he only gets on the table in the school room. Scout's honor!
Today we decided to run errands this morning because we have a big winter storm moving in and I didn't want to get out in it. (And when I say "we decided", you know I really mean I decided!)
We went to Hobby Lobby and got a whole bunch of things for Christmas crafts - pipe cleaners *, Christmas-colored pom poms, things like that - and to Mardel for school room decorations. It's time for fall things to come down and winter things to go up!! At Mardel, I got this great game called "Auntie Pasta's Fraction game" for us to use in school. On the gameboard, each player has four pizzas divided up in different ways - a whole, one divided in half, on einto thirds and one into fourths, and the object is to get all the pieces to complete all four of your pizzas. We came home and played it (twice, if you count the first time where I didn't read all the directions and we played it wrong!) and had a really good time. Then, Bear and I did her Reading Packet for today. The Kids painted pictures this morning while I was getting ready...so we pretty much had Un-School today!
*Editor's Note: Why in the world do we have to call these things "chenille stems" now? That's silly!
So, now the storm has moved in and it's VERY cold and rainy. We're supposed to get some snow tomorrow, which Bear is SUPER excited about! OH, and I got our Christmas cards in the mail today. This is the first year that we've done photo cards, and I just love the way they turned out!!! I can't wait to send them!
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
Friday, November 24, 2006
This morning, The Kids came into my bedroom, as they do every morning, and one of the first things that Bear said was, "Mom, can we have pancakes for breakfast, since we didn't ge to do that yesterday?" That's my Tradition Girl!
On another note, I decided that today would be the perfect day to put up our outside lights, since it's supposed to be 73 degrees and bee-yoo-ti-ful. So I haul out the box of lights and proceed to plug them in, one by one, to make sure that they all work. Out of 8 strands of lights, ALL of which worked last year because I had them on the front of the house, how many do you think worked? Go on, guess...I'll wait. Did you guess? Well, if you guessed THREE, you were right! THREE STINKIN' STRANDS of lights!! How is it that I can take them down, all of them in working order and twinkling merrily, lovingly coil them up, gently place them in a box, and oh-so-carefully carry them out to The Barn, and when I get them out a year later, I have 5 strands that only half light up? I don't get it. Are there Light Gnomes that get into The Barn and work some gnomley black magic on them? Is there some sort of Gnome Poison I can put out there to prevent this from happening in the future? It's maddening.
So, sometime, when it's not Black Friday, I'll go and invest in MORE lights so that I can put them up on my house and enjoy them this Christmas Season, and make sure they don't work next year. *sigh*
Thursday, November 23, 2006
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
Friday, November 10, 2006
School this week has gone really well. I began an "experiment" on The Kids to see if giving them some protein at breakfast would help their moods during the morning. Last winter, I got into the habit of giving them a piece of sausage or bacon with breakfast, either with their cereal or with eggs, but I've not done that much since we stopped school for the summer. (Who wants to cook sausage on a summer morning?) But I noticed lately that Bear has been so easily frustrated and generally crabby, and I wondered if the lack of protein might be a contributing factor. So all this week, they've gotten a small piece of sausage with breakfast, and it really seems to have made a difference!
Today was a fun day, but sort of short. We were meeting to have lunch with some girls that I used to work with, so we played two "file folder" games, one called "Step Up to 160" which was an exercise in counting to...you guessed it! 160!......and one called "Leap Frog Addition" which was a math game. Bear REALLY had fun with those, I think probably because it really meshes with her competative nature. We've also been working on memorizing a Thanksgiving poem called "All in a Word" (T for______, H for ________, that kind of thing). It's 7 verses (T. H, A, N, K, and S, plus a wrap up verse) and I've been having her write one verse each day, plus reviewing the previous days verses. She's doing very well and hopefully will be able to "perform" it for Nani K. on Thanksgiving!
Ched is on vacation next week, but I think I may plan to have at least a little school on Monday and Tuesday before we go out of town. But, then again, that may fly right out the window on Monday morning!
Oh, and I took and passed my yellow belt test in karate on Thursday! Yippee!
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
(Deco's picture is on the top, Bear's is on the bottom)
They colored the "turkeys" and then we used corn kernels to make up story problems about the turkeys. For example, for Bear I'd say "In the morning, the farmer came out and gave one turkey 5 pieces of corn and the other turkey 3 pieces of corn. How many are there in all?" and she'd solve the problem. I also added in some subraction problems. Deco's problems were just "Give the turkey on the left 3 pieces of corn" and he'd count them out. They both thought this was a fantastic game! I was amazed that Deco sat and colored his, actually, seeing as how he's usually completely uninterested in doing any "school work"!
We've also begun reading lots of books about Thanksgiving, including Thanksgiving on Thursday, which is a Magic Treehouse book. (That one was short, we finished it today at lunch.) I also have a book called Eating the Plates: A Pilgrim Book of Food and Manners that I plan on reading at some point. The best thing about November, from a homeschooler's standpoint, is that there is a built-in theme, at least here in the elementary school years!
We've also been working on "parts of speech", for lack of a better term. Bear has learned what nouns and verbs are and now we're learning adjectives. I had Bear go through a magazine and cut out five pictures that she liked and then glue them on paper. Then she had to choose at least two adjectives to describe the pictures that she'd chosen. It was a fun exercise, especially since she likes practically ANYTHING that she can do with her hands!
Thursday, November 02, 2006
We went apple picking with some homeschooling friends on Monday and as I looked at the pictures that I took, the first word that came to mind was TEAMWORK! The weather was windy - at times, it felt like a hurricane - but the temperature was perfect for our day. All of the kids had such fun, climbing up into the trees and finding the apples that were good, using the huge apple-picker poles to get the ones off of the top of the trees. (Granny Smiths were the only ones that were left. I guess that we should have gone in the beginning of October!)
We sat and had a picnic lunch and we WERE going to go through the educational area that the orchard had set up, but it was just for the school kids...why we didn't think to mention that we were homeschooling kids, I have NO idea! But it was a really fun day anyway.
This isn't the first time that we had gone apple picking. When we were in Ohio and we drove up to Amish country, we passed an orchard and stopped on our way home. That day was cold! I laughed at how excited Bear and Deco were to see apples on TREES!!
OK, I'll admit it, I was surprised that apples grew in clusters!! It was so beautiful!!
Wednesday, November 01, 2006
So, I'm listening to her read and I was just simply stunned at how well she does! In fact, I had to call Ched and have him listen to her. Not only was she reading the words well, she was reading the story with feeling! Putting emotion into the characters voices and everything! It was SO GREAT to hear!! This was something that I needed SO MUCH right now because there have been a lot of days lately where I've been scratching my head, wondering if I'm really doing a good enough job.
It's funny, I talk about all these "special" things that we do and I don't think I've ever mentioned the everyday things that we do. Every day we start school by saying prayers, each of us taking a turn. I love hearing Bear pray because she's really beginning to expand her prayer life. For example, she remembers every time she says a prayer to pray for some good friends of ours who are sick. And not just general prayers for them either, but specific prayers, like asking that Myra wouldn't get sores in her mouth and things like that. That pure, fantastic faith of a child is so amazing to watch. After prayers, she'll go over to the bulletin board and check of the date on the calendar and change the day of the week and the weather card (if the weather has changed!) Then we begin lessons, after I've gotten Deco all set up with whatever activity he chooses to begin.
I've begun checking out Great Illustrated Classics from the library and reading them out loud to The Kids. (Mainly Bear, Deco usually loses interest!) So far this year we've read The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and we're currently about halfway through Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm. I've got The Adventures of Huck Finn on request from the library, so hopefully that will come in soon. I usually read these books at breakfast and lunchtime, and I do a Bible devotional either at breakfast or after we say prayers at the beginning of school.
Things have been kind of hectic since we got back from Ohio, only because I've felt out of my "groove" and haven't been making my lesson plan each weekend. It's amazing how that can throw me off! BUT, I'm back in that as of this past Sunday, so things are looking up this week.
After our salads, we loaded onto a bus and headed for the next station - no, I can't remember the number. In fact, as I write this, I begin to question if the number of the first station is, in fact, 23...but I guess that's not important! At this station we were treated to the most wonderful grilled chicken with rice and veggies. I tell ya, those guys and gals can COOK! Makes my mouth water just to think of it! We also got a treat in that one of the firemen was there with his guitar, so we had some very nice music to accompnay our meal.
At the last station, we had our choice of numerous desserts, along with coffee (for the grownups, obviously!) to finish up our experience. It was really neat to see inside the stations, although we really didn't get to "tour" any of them. There simply wasn't enough time, although we did get to walk through the sleeping quarters at the first station. OH, and we got to see the bathroom...because, you know, The Kids simply CAN'T let any public bathroom go unexplored! I think that this may become an annual tradition because we all really enjoyed eating with the firemen!