Friday, March 25, 2011

Week in Review: 3/25

Well...this was a week of barf.  Poor kiddoes.....this was possibly the worst stomach bug my kids have ever had.....yuck!  We did manage to get some school in...lots of stories read....

We finished The Wind in the Willows.  Hammy LOVED it....LOVED!!!!
Hammy finished his CLE Grade 2 Book 1 CLE Reader Helping Hands. He also learned how to add and carry the 10's!  He is the first kid to just get it!  I love CLE math...and the gentle gradual way they teach new concepts. 

We read about "The Scramble for Africa."  and I had an AHHA!  Moment.

My moment:  For as long as I have been homeschooling,  I always begin our history lessons with the narrative part...and when I ask the kids for narrations,  the kids look at me like a deer in the headlights.  The night before our history day,  I was reading through the Kingfisher Encyclopedia to learn about The Scramble...I had never read about it before...and then I realized,  I needed the backround information in order to make the narrative make sense...(BIG HEADSLAP!)  So,  for our lesson,  I read our Kingfisher to them first...went over the timeline and map stuff...and THEN read SOTW....The kids were able to answer EVERY SINGLE NARRATION question.....So,  after 16 years...I am changing my method!  LOL.

I am making my final decisions on next years curricula...and will be posting on that one it all comes in.

DD wants to do History Odyssey,  but I am not sure about that.  I am drooling over TOG...AGAIN...but I KNOW it doesn't work for me. 

Oh...and I finally decided on Elemental Science...we shall see...LOL.


Thursday, March 24, 2011

Day 11. Minimalism

Oh, how I wish I was allowed to be a minimalist! My family has so much CRAP!!! When you live in a house as small as ours with as many people, who are now turning into full sized people, it is hard to turn around without your behind knocking something over!

So, since we are now creating my schoolroom, I am going to plan to keep it simple...not overloaded with stuff or even closets unless I can get nice even, smooth lines. The clutter and mess around me, makes my mind cluttered and feel confused and messy. I think the same might be said of my students. We like things very simplistic. Even our curricula...not too many worksheets or extraneous nonsense.

So, today's challenge:

The day #11 challenge is:

Today, create a minimalist environment in one room.  In that room, remove the wall art.  (You might put it under your bed temporarily.)  Next, remove everything except the lamps from tabletops, dressers, and counters.  Most people live in rooms that are overfurnished and overstimulating.  In these spaces, we are distracted from the present moment by too many objects from the past.  This task will enable you to experience one extremely simplified room. (30 Days to a Simpler Life, p. 69)

OR for serious simplifiers only---

Create a minimalist environment in every room of your house.  What more can we say?
(30 Days to a Simpler Life, p. 73)

I don't think I would be permitted to do every room in the house. They would run me out of town! But, ummmmmmm....maybe modified

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Day #10. Knick-knack Paddy-whack throw away the crap.....

Beware of overfurnished, overdecorated living spaces.  Create feelings of comfort and serenity by living with less.  Today, let go of at least ten knickknacks.  There are three categories of knickknacks---meaningful, semimeaningful, and meaningless.  Look for ones you have outgrown.  If you can't part with ten, or any at all, put several in a cardboard box and store them out of sight, in an Ambivalence Center.  Experience your home with few visual distractions. (30 Days to a Simpler Life, p. 64)

OR for serious simplifiers only...

Abide by this rule: When something new comes into your home, let go of something old.  Everything has a life cycle.  Embrace change. (30 Days to a Simpler Life, p. 68)

Today's challenge is to get rid of it! Now, if it was me and only me in this house, there would be no Knick knacks! Where would I put all the rest of the books I want to buy if I had more tchatchkes as my mom called them? Now mom, she loved her stuff. Her apartment overfloweth...and can you believe when she passed away, I packed it all very carefully into boxes and stored it in our shed to be gone through by my brother and his wife, my daughters and sons when they have their own homes. I actually have her china closet here in my living room....and it is gorgeous...but is is mostly empty. I don' like too many things because with little kids in the house, they either get broken, and I get upset...or the ones I really couldn't care less for live on until I have to peel the dust off of them. I am sure however, that finding 10 dinky things to get out of here won't be too much trouble :-). Hmmmmm.....where to begin....and when do we get to toss all the odd cups and dishes...and Tupperware containers without lids and lids without containers? Now that will be a progress filled day!

A Week of BARF! What to do during those bad days.

Ugh!  If I need to wash one more bucket or blanket covered in puke,  I may run screaming from my if you see a crazy woman careening down the road...please don't look at me weird,  just have some sympathy.  7 days of puke and poop is enough to try the best of a Mom's soul.

So....I have been pondering or homeschool....and trying to think of ways to start off these seasonal breaks...which happen due to sickness and can't be planned open themselves to a fresh start and a new plan.  I love many aspects of the curricula we are using,  but I feel it is not the best fit for my very active boys without some serious tweaking.  Since I am a natural tweaker,  this hasn't been too much of a problem. 

I am working on our schedule,  re-reading the WTM,  re-devouring the Ambleside Online site and enjoying the WTM forims more than ever....amybe too much. (But as I am trying to rest a lot and allow my body to get healthy again,  I may as well exercise my mind!)

A post that struck me today was "what to do on a bad day....when the kids don't wanna...and quite frankly,  you don't wanna...When there are tears, or harsh words, or down right  obstinance.  What about those days when you are sure that kid is dumb as dirt because he still can't remember that 2+3=5 or a noun is a person, place or thing...although you have been repeating everyday for the past 2 yars....sigh....

There were some good ideas.....One especially that I plan to incorporate into our daily schedule.  We are going to walk to school from now on.
I love this idea!  Thanks Hunter!

I really think this will help get us started fresh...get a little exercise and fresh our minds get ready to begin our day.

I will post the new schedule in another post.

 Here are things I do during those BAD days:

On bad days....I usually..
Organize something...anything...take a before and after picture to see your progress...feels so good!

Take a walk

blow off school and read good books to my kids

make everyone go to their room and play or read quietly

put on a movie for the kids while I read a book

send them outside with instructions not to come back in until I call them. (make sure there is a pitcher of water and cups on the deck, and they all went potty BEFORE going out. Only bloody booboos are a reason to break this rule.)

Give them the choice to sit down and get their work done or clean their room...whichever sounds more pleasant.

Make a list of things I need done...and set the little army to work. No griping or I may add to my list.

Get someone to take them for a few hours (I rather stay home) Grandpa, or an Aunt or older sibling, so I can either rest, or clean ..whichever is more needful.


Be nice to me....go to my room and rest, or read, or web search, or take a nice long shower.

A bath with a glass of wine and a good book...and a "do not disturb" mandate.

Go to the park and let them run it off

Call a friend and cry...let it all out and then get back to business.

When all else fails...I Love Lucy Re-runs and ice cream usually do the trick....for me anyway :-)


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Day 9 Organize Your Recipes

Here is the challenge:

Day #9 is here. Today's task is:

Organize your recipes! Make a three-ring binder for Favorite Family Recipes and another for Recipes to Try. You will need two binders, two divider sets with tabs, a three-hole punch, and a few clear vinyl sheet protector pages.

Notebook #1. Favorite Family Recipes: Gather all of your recipe cards, recipes from magazines, and your favorite dog-eared recipes in cookbooks. On 8 1/2 x 11-inch paper, photocopy recipes you use frequently. Divide them into hors d'oeuvres, salads, entrees, and desserts. Place them in your notebook. This notebook will contain all those old favorites like Mom's Apple Crisp and Uncle Charlie's Chili. It will not contain untried recipes.

Notebook #2. Recipes to Try: Create another binder with dividers and add a top-loading clear sheet protector to each section. Recipes collected from magazines and friends are placed inside the sheet protectors. When you have several odd sizes collected, photocopy them onto 8 1/2 x 11-inch paper, punch, and put into the notebook. After you have tried a recipe from this notebook and know it is a keeper, transfer it to your Favorite Family Recipes notebook.

(30 Days to a Simpler Life, p. 55)

OR for serious simplifiers only...

Make a list of your top twenty simplest dinners. Select dinners with the fewest ingredients. Choose recipes with five or fewer ingredients. Post this list on your fridge and use it to plan dinners during the work week. (30 Days to a Simpler LIfe, p. 63)

This one is also a no brainer for me...LOL.  My oldest dd copied our family recipes into a blank notebook holiday recipes including many from Dh's Grandma,  who was a fabulous cook.
I have my standbys....Betty Crocker (Now on my 3rd Copy!)
For an education in whole foods prreparation,  including combining vegetarian foods for whole protiens,  none is better than this one::(Now on my 2nd copy)
And,  for special meals,  a great geography lesson,  and still keeping in the whole foods...very yummy catergory,  this one can't be beat!
Although we are not vegetarians, (excpet for Ding,  who has been one since she was 3,)  I find it very easy to add a meat dish or add meat to the main recipe. 

These are the only recipes I keep.  Everything else is either in my head, at or

Easy menus:
Breakfast:  must include 1 protien (usually some kind of eggs) and one carb (usually fresh fruit or whole grain toast.  I also do muffins, granola bars (made with lots of ground nuts, or whole grain, hi-protien pancakes.

Lunch:  PB&J, Grilled Cheese, leftovers, soup etc.

Dinners: 1 meat,  2 veggies, (one cooked, one raw) 1 grain.  I  very often stir fry, broil,  or make a crockpot with all but the salad.

Now,  I am going completely gluten free due to Hashimoto's and Fibromyalgia.  I am a very simple cook...unless we have something special.  I try not to bake too much.

Anyway,  my recipe books are already pared down...maybe I live simpler than I thought.


Monday, March 21, 2011

Day 8 Organizing the pantry

Ummmm...did you ever feel like Old Mother Hubbard??  My kids (one or another)  has been sick and barfing since last I did not get to my usual shopping.  That,  and due to my health issues, I have decided to go gluten-free and lo-carb.  I do keep a box of Cheerios on hand for Hammy along with natural peanut butter and not-so-natural jelly...but even those stores are running low.

I have plenty of dog food and cat that will keep our furry family happy....

I am slowly ridding the cabinets of anything that has preservatives, artificial colors or sugars and buying our food as fresh as possible.  The baking cabinet does have a bag of white sugar...but all the flours are whole grain,  all the nuts non- processed bought in bulk....I am also getting rid of soy products because they seem to exacerbate auto-immune I am changing from a soy based protien a pea based one made byt the same company....Peaceful Planet.  ther protien powder is the best...and it comes completely unsweetened.   I just add frozen strawberries,  a T. of flax meal and a handful of spinach leaves....yummy Green Shake!

I hope this one is as good as their soy and whey based powders.

So,  my pantry is clean,  my baking cupboard is not too bad,  my fridge is stocked with fresh meat, fruit, veggies, butter and milk,  so no one ...even if someone feels like eating is going to starve.

...and NOW,  I am going to take a nap....


Friday, March 18, 2011

Week in review 3/14-3/18/11

We entered into this week in winter and exited in spring!!  Birds are chirping,  colts foot and crocuses are popped.  Snow is almost...almost all gone.

Monday was Yuggies 20th Birthday!!!!  Where did the time go??  So,  to celebrate...we had the traditional egg rolls!!!  The story behind that is when i was in labor with him,  it just was not progressing.  Daddy was getting very antsy....and I finally told him to go on down,  find some place to eat and come back.  Well,  wouldn't you know it,  as soon as he left,  my labor kicked into full gear.  Daddy almost missed Yuggie being born because he was eating chinese food down the every year it has been a Father/ son tradition to have eggrolls on Yug's birthday.  I usually make pies...because it is PI day!

OK....back to school stuff:

We had an on again off again week due to Hammy being sick....and our house being under renovation.  I am also trying to de-junk as much as possible....AND,  I am having another flare-up this week of fibromyalgia...I am in a lot of pain....

Ok...this week we covered
BIBLE:  Memory Verse:  With God nothing is impossible
              Scripture:  Luke 1:5-25 The Angel announces the birth of John the Baptist to Zecharias.

History/ Geography:  The new Australian Commonwealth/  Bushrangers/ Ned Kelly


Science:   We finally finished reading Pagoo!!! 
Literature:  Read Aloud.  The Wind in the Willows.   One of my all time favorite books...I love the language and the complexity of the sentence structure.   My kids are mesmerized by the prose.  LOVE.

I especially love this edition with the illustrations by Tash Tudor.  Lovely.

Math, LA and Reading got done daily,  but we only worked on 3 lessons in each this week.  Hammy, Cubby & Tallulah are almostfinished with their CLE readers for this year.  Thankfully,   they love them!

Cubby has really taken to reading in just this past week.  It is like a new world opened to him.  He is reading  This book on Louis Braille

After reading about him in his CLE Reader,  he wanted to know more about this boy.  I had this book on the shelf...and he is loving it.
I am hoping no one else gets the bug Hammy has.  He has been barfing and pooping for 3 days.  He finally looks a bit better today. to plan next week....
Faithe 3/18/11

Day 7. Tackling the Bathroom.

Day 7' s challenge is to tackle the bathroom. Even with our large family, we only have 1 small full bath, and 1 half bath. The 1/2bath is tiny...and already cleared out. I tackled the bathroom drawers on messy drawer day, so that was done.

Now, I realize the shower curtain is ancient and dirty...and I have no toothbrush holders or soap dishes...or pretty much anything that makes the bathroom "serene.". So, even though I have my no purchase of 30 days challenge...I allotted myself $ 50 to make the bathroom pretty... Let's see how I can do.....

The Challenge:

Today, clear your bathroom counter of everything.  Then add no more than three items.  Good choices are a water glass, a soap dish, and a scented candle.  Next, declutter your bathroom cabinets and drawers.  Toss any product in a jar, tube, or bottle that you have not used for six months.  Include prescription and over-the-counter drugs, dried up hand cream, and perfume bottles that are so old the insides are dark brown.  Bathrooms need not be a haven for half-used, nearly empty, never-to-be-opened containers.  (30 Days to a Simpler Life, p. 45)

OR for serious simplifiers only...

Think of the freedom you have when you travel with a makeup kit and a few toiletries.  With that image in mind, remove everything from your bathroom counter, cabinets, and drawers.  (Go for one brand of each item---you don't need three kinds of cold medicine.)  After that, put back your essentials.  Finally, hang plain-colored towels and eliminate excess wall art.  (30 Days to a Simpler Life, p. 49)

Here are my results for day 7:
Medicine Cabinet...check
Closet over toilet cleaned out...Check
Cleaners gone through and empties trashed....check.
Toilet, shower and floors cleaned....check!
New pretty shower curtain, shower liner, curtain holder ringy thingys, soap dish, tooth brush holder, tumbler, bath mat, lovely smelling candle that matches and new green hand towels and wash cloths AND a small green step out of the shower rug....Total price....KA Ching......$35.64!!!! 

Gotta love those Family Dollar stores. !!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

So, What does every Homeschool Mom Dream of??


Thank You to my wonderful, talented, gorgeous husband for not only making me more...and more...and more shelves...BUT,  for teaching my talented, gorgeous, intelligent sons to make them too.  You are a great Dad! 

Day 6: Wardrobe...What Wardrobe???

Spend at least an hour reviewing your wardrobe. Create a wardrobe without "strays" --- items that don't go with anything else. Identify your strays and hang them at one end of the closet. Plan to buy something to go with them or give them away. (30 Days to a Simpler Life, p. 38)

OR for serious simplifiers only...

"Freeze your wardrobe", says Allison, an artist living in Boston. At first, we thought she was suggesting we put our clothes in cold storage. A shuddering thought! But she meant, "Don't buy any new clothes for a specified time period---freeze your wardrobe in its current state (and continue to cull out the clothes you rarely wear). When you feel compelled to buy something new, write it down on a list." (30 Days to a Simpler Life, p. 44)

Seriously?   Well this is a no brainer because...well,  I am so simplified,  I barely have a wardrobe to speak of.  I have 4 pairs of jeans,  3 pairs of dress pants,  (brown, black & burgundy), 2 dress tops, 2 little black dresses,   one dress jacket, 8 short sleeved v-neck t-shirts, 4 long sleeve v-necked t-shirts, and 3 or 4 nice tops from Kohls to wear to Dr. appointments or if I need to be seen in public.  That is all.  I have sufficient underwear and socks that I get rid of  and replace as necessary. 
Now,  what I really need to cull is my book shelves!  THOSE are full to overflowing...and in every room, and closet in the house.  That is where I really have a hard time culling.  I love my books!  Last year I purged a full overflowing car load... You would never know it! 
Anyway,  I think I am going to simplify my dishes today...instead of clothes....

So,  sseeing as I have no wardrobe to speak of,  I decided to attack something that is a terror to all Mom's of large families.  Can you guess what it is????

That's right.  You guessed it!   The sock basket!!!!  Oh boy!  So,  I attacked with vengeance.

                                                  TAH DAH!!!!!...

All done & put away......

I also tackled my pots and pand closet.....I think it looks nice...I really pared down,  got rid of lids that didn't match and pots without lids....It made cooking dinner tonight so easy.  I could find my casserole dishes without an avalance!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Lent Challenge Day 5

I love this challenge....the great closet clean out...LOL.

Design a highly organized closet immediately. To become inspired, visit closet companies and stores like Hold Everything and Stacks & Stacks. I will not be doing this part of the challenge because of the "don't buy anything non-perishable for 30 days challenge...and I still have 23 days to go.  Instead,  I will make myself a list of what I might need to be better organized or pieces of wardrobe that might need replacing for the spring/summer season.

Make your hangers one kind and one color.  I already have enough hangers that do match and are durable.  I am not he fancy hanger type,  and I find myself frustrated by ones that don't match,  so I will stick with the ones I have.

 Next, radically pare down your wardrobe. Recycle at least half of your clothing and accessories. Put your clothes back into your closet using a simple arrangement. (See "Arrange your clothes inventively" above.) Finally, remove your shoes from the closet floor and restrict them to neutral colors.  OK,  so here is where  it gets personal.  I will TRY to weed through the shoes.  Shoes are one luxury I allow myself to have.  I love shoes!  BUT,  I will go through them just for the sake of the challenge,  and any I haven't worn in a year will go to their new home..  


After seven days, review your closet and work out the bugs!

                                (30 Days to a Simpler LIfe, p. 37)

I actually do this one every season.  I have very limited closet space,  so I am always weeding out stuff that gets old or doesn't fit...or I bought and just don't like.  I am usually careful about clothing purchases because of my limited space...and I really have no sentimental attachments to clothing or pretty much anything else.  I am a tosser.  My dh thinks it is because I make poor decisions and don't buy things that last,  while the truth is,  I use my things until I no longer have use for them and then...out they go.

Now,  cleaning the school closet challenge...THAT will be a challenge indeed!!!


So,  I didn't clean the school closet,  but I did organize the math and manipulative drawer.

Blurry in the pic,  but it is nice and neat.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Lent Challenge Day 4

Today's challenge was to make my bedroom a serene peaceful place....ummmmmmm......I am not sure if I can do that especially since yesterday's challenge challenged me not to buy anything non perishable for 30, what to do...what to do...

Ok, I decided to simplify the best I could. I have an extremely small small we can not even fit dressers in there. We gave the master bedroom to our boys so they would have lots of room for playing, especially in the winter. So, I vacuumed, changed our sheets to a pretty mint green, fluffed our pillows and cleaned and straightened out our night tables (mine is really a book shelf.). I also de junked as I went...trash in the trash, etc. I also thinned my pile of books and set them in a shoe box which slides under my side of the bed like a drawer...nice and neat.


Maybe our room does not exactly look " serene". But it does look neat and comfy... Ready for 2 hard working tired parents to fall into .....I need a nap!


Saturday, March 12, 2011

LENT: 30 days to simplifying your Life. Days 1-3

Fairytalemama posted this challenge for lent on the WTM board yesterday.

Day 1 challenge....Fill a shopping bag with things to donate. I was able to fill an entire black garbage bag with pass on stuff and 3 kitchen size bags with junk ton throw out. Dh is on board and is making new shelves!!! I LOVE shelves!

Day 2: tackle 5 drawers...junk or lose it! to see what needs it most!

Will post my success later!


Later: I did really great with this challenge. I started off with the bathroom and I cleaned out the 2 drawers in there. While I was at it, I went through the medicine cabinet and dumped all the expired bottles and empties the kids put back.

I then went into the kitchen, and cleaned out the 2 drawers, made them all spiffy...then since I was on a roll and I was all out of drawers, I straightened out my walk in closet. I do that often, so it wasn't too bad, but definitely in need of doing.

I am looking forward to the day 3 challenge....

DAY # 3

OK,  so Day 3 looks very challenging to me...especially at this time of year.   This is the time of year where I begin to decide on next year's curriulum choices.  Now,  I know I have enough books and curricula in this house to get my kids through 12th grade and then some...but nothing is nicer to me than a new fresh curriculum.  I love how it feels and how it smells.  I love the excitment of trying it out...and then disappointment usually (but not always) follows. 

I am also in the middle of a whole house renovation these questions definitely come into play.  I want my house to be simpler,  cleaner,  easier to work in so I don't have to work so hard at upkeep...and I will have more time to just be with my kids.  We are in the process of building shelves and book cases so everything has a place to go...and in the process,  I am being very brutal on what I decide to keep. 

Create a checklist of questions that will help you decide what to buy and what to forgo.  Below, we have listed examples of questions for your list.  At the very top of the list, write down your major life goals in sound bites.  For example, you might write "get fit", "travel more", or "study wildflowers."  Put your list in your wallet so you can consult it when you go shopping.  When it comes time to purchase something, determine whether your goals and the purchase are harmonious.

              OR for the serious simplifiers---

Take a month long sabbatical from buying anything but "perishables" --- items you use up quickly like gas, food, flowers, and toiletries. During the month, jot down the nonperishable things you think you need or want. At the end of the month, look at your list and cross off as many items as possible. In our society, most of our needs are wants. (30 Days to a Simpler Life, p. 26)

Goals...WHAT are MY life's Goals??

1.  To spend more FOCUSED time having fun with my kids and my husband
2.  To spend more serious time on the Lord
3.  To get physically fit and healthy
4.  To get mentally and spiritually fit and healthy
5.  To totally all areas...
6.  To earn a BA in American History
7. To continue to homeschool my kids through High School and to provide them an exemplary education       without crushing either their, or my, spirit.
8.  To love deeply
9.  To be open to the move of the Holy be still so I can hear His voice and follow His leading wherever it takes us as a family. 

The example questions she mentions in the mission above that will help you decide what to buy or what to forgo are:

Will it enhance my goals?

Will it create more work?

Do I need it?

Is it truly a bargain?

Do I think it will make my life easier?

Do I want it because it's trendy?

Will it bring my family together or tear us apart?

Do I want it because it will make me feel better?

Will I have trouble getting rid of it in the future?

(30 Days to a Simpler Life, p. 22-23)

I really like these questions and I plan to print them out and paste them on the inside cover of my wallet where I keep my credit card.  I am also going to use these questions prior to buying any curricula for next season...adding these questions:

Is this easy to use without much preparation from me?

Will this curriculum help my kids to reach their personal goals?

Will this curriculum help us to reach our family goals?

Does this curriculum fit into the parameters of the goals I have listed for my own future?

I think a 30 day wait period is excellent....and I really like the questions as they pertain to nearly everything and anything I would possibly buy or consider buying.

30 days is not really that long to forgo non-perishables....but I guess I will need to break out that ol' library card. :-)


Friday, March 11, 2011

Week in Review 3/7-3/11/11

This week was a catch up week....LOL.  I didn't plan much work and it is a GOOD thing I didn't.  Turned out dh was home much of the week...which is very unusual!  We had been talking about a big renovation,  beginning with shifting the kids rooms around a decided it was time to begin.  We moved the big boys back into a small room....but decked it out with all their cool stuff!  Best part of it...I GET MY SCHOOLROOM BACK!!!!!  After having no schoolroom for the past 10 years ....TEN YEARS!!!!  I can not wait!    Designing it should be fun too!  .....

Anyway this week we finished up our Light Units that we had been working on.

Hammy finished up reading 204, LA 108 and section 2 of math 108.
Cubby finished up reading 308, LA 210 and section 2 of Math 302
Tallulah (aka Dr. Kazam) finished up Reading 704, LA 703 and began Math 606...3 lessons.

This was a very light workbook week...but we went heavy on our read alouds!  My absolutely favorite part of homeschooling is read aloud snuggle time...and no one is exempt!

We read tons this week.  I also implemented SOYBAR  (Sit on your Butt and READ) for 1/2 hour each afternoon.  My boys laugh so hard when i say..."OK everyone...Grab your book and SOYBAR!!!"  They have read so many books and magazines this week.  My little boys love Usborne books....they do not read cover to cover,  but love all the pictures and captions.  They make me dizzy..

So,  this week we finished the books we started last week...
Thomas Edison by Margeret Davidson (Landmark)
We were There at the Driving of the Golden Spike
and FINALLY finished Pagoo!  We read this book very or two chapters a week ala CM.  The boys LOVE Holling C Holling and his books have inspired them.

We also went ice skating this week for the first time in years.  The boys were so cute falling all over the place,  but by the end of the session,  they were actually skating and having fun.

I  spent a good deal of time this week deciding what we were usig for school next year,  which will determine what we finish up this year.

I think I decided  we will spend an entire year onthe 20th century...that way Tallulah will begin a new 4 year cycle for 9th grade,  Cubby will be in 5th for ancients and Hammy will be old enough to do ancients as well.

For my little guys,  we will concentrate mostly on biographies of inventors and innovators, explorers, musicians and artists.  We will cover the wars and political upheavals in as gentle a manner as possible.  I will go deeper with Tallulah...she is not as sensitive as my older girls were at this age.  We will also study missions and missionaries of the 20th century.  As my plans become more concrete,  I will post them.

Have a great week....

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Week in review 2/28-3/4 2011

This week we tried to stay on task as much as possible.

Our Theme:   The Transcontinental Railroad
VP Card : Transcontinental Railroad

Read Aloud: We Were There at the Driving of the Golden Spike Chapters 1-5.  I love this series of books and have collected quite a few of them.  Children are the main characters in very exciting situations.  There is always a girl and a boy and they are always heroic.  Love these!

Biography: Thomas Alva Edison By Margaret Cousins Chap. 1-5

I thought the boys would be bored by this one,  but gave it a whirl anyway.  They love it and beg for more.  Whodda thunk-it?

We finished our Catherine Vos Bible Story Book and started our next Bible curriculum.

Veritas Press Gospels with The Narrated Bible.

Our Bible theme: God foretold the coming of Christ in the Old Testament.  This is called "prophecy." 

Our Bible memory verse:  And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth; we have beheld his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father.

Math: Hammy: CLE Level 100 Lessons 131-135...
          Cubby:  ClE   Level 300 LU 302  Lessons 6-10 
          Tallulah:  CLE Level 600 LU 606 Lesons 1-3 (with extra work on fractions & decimals.

Writing  Hammy: Copywork from his CLE unit.  A report on Hummingbirds
             Cubby:  Wrote his first book report on Pompeii...Buried Alive using his CLE light unit 210 as a guide.  

Here it is:

Pompeii, Buried Alive! By Edith Kunhardt

Pompeii...Buried Alive is a true story about a small town at the bottom of a mountain. The mountain was really a volcano, but the people did not know that. This story tells what happened to Pompeii when Mount Vesuvius erupted.

Pliny was a little boy when Vesuvius erupted. He lived across the bay and he saw the volcano erupt. He saw boats with people escaping. He saw black, smoky clouds and lave, hot ashes and pebbles exploding from the top of Vesuvius. When Pliny grew up he became a writer and wrote about Pompeii. A long time after scientists read Pliny's letters and dug up the buried city of Pompeii.

I enjoyed this entire book. It was exciting, interesting and I learned a lot. It reminded me of the ride at Busch Gardens called "Escape from Pompeii.". I think you should read this book to learn all about Pompeii.

Cubby dictated his report.  I wrote it out and then we edited together.  He copied his final draft onto looseleaf paper and it went into his finished file.  I tried not to over edit.  We stuck to editing only what he was working on in Grammar...capitalization, punctuation, and adjectives.
Tallulah (aka Dr. Kazam...LOL)  wrote up an interview she conducted following instructions in CLE LU 703....and wrote up a newspaper article on the important even of Hammy's First Annual Birthday Bowl!

Birthday Bowling Blitz

A seven year old birthday

Is big hit to all who were




SAM ANDERSON-a seven year old boy hosted his First Annual Birthday Bowl on the afternoon of February 10, 2011. He had a competition against

grandfather, Theodore Anderson. The Ball Busters vs. The Pin Heads. Sam’s team, The Ball Busters, won with a total of 295 points. Theodore says, “I didn’t mind losing. I enjoyed watching the kids more than anything else. I would definitely do it again.”

Sam and Theodore Anderson weren’t the only ones who had fun. “It was AWESOME!” Aaron Kosinski states. “At the end I liked how we got trophies!”

“I liked bowling. I also liked the cupcakes,” Jordan Kosinski said. His other brother Isaac said, “I thought it was very fun. I can’t wait to do it again.”

This is her first draft,  completely unedited (obviously!)  This week we will use this article as a jump off point for editing and revising.

We all had so much fun.  Such a nice break from the cold winter!!!

All did well on their quizzes and all scored perfect 100 %'s on spelling tests!

Dh and I are now designing a school room.  With our 1 girl married and living on her own and Ding living home only very part time,  we can finally shuffle the kids around and have a place to have our school.  We have been schooling in our kitchen and living room for years...and the mess is driving me crazy.  I am looking forward to a cozy learning enviroment where the kids can be comfortable and encouraged to study.

Next week we will continue to study the effects of the Transcontinental Railroad on the expansion of the US.

Till then...ttfn.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

What is Narration?

I have studied the CM idea of narration for years. In CMese, a narration is another word for "composition" whether it be oral, written or project based. A narration includes what the child takes away from the reading, and how he relates to that reading.

In the early years, that narration will be an oral retelling of the story or portion read. In retelling what he knows, he solidifies those thoughts in his brain. If he can tell it, he knows it.

After a child is able to write well, learned through copy work and dictation, a child will retell in words on paper. This can be a summary or a more detailed report.

Narrations can include: posters, travel brochures, writing poetry in the same meter as the poems being studied, acting out with legos a scene from the Bible, a story or Shakespeare. Narration assignments can be as simple or as creative as you like.

As we move into High School, narration becomes response essays. How I relate to this piece, how I feel about what the author said...etc. It can include literary analysis and then writing your own piece using the literary devices you have learned.

Narration is a small word that encompasses all composition skills.