Friday, October 28, 2011

Weekly Homeschool Journal

In my life this week:
I had promised the kids a few weeks ago that we would build a campfire soon. They were aching to put the vegan marshmallows we ordered to good use. Everything from kid activities to Daddy working late to rain to just being tired prevented us from following through. Finally, Friday night I declared we would definitely do it, and nothing was going to stand in the way.

Except then Daddy had to work late and then go to the grocery store. I wasn't going to tell them "no" again. It's not really my thing to build a fire, so I moved a few branches from the big stack we'd prepared a couple of weeks ago and set this puny stack ablaze. They tried the best they could to roast their veggie dogs.

And then Daddy came home and went a little overboard. (FYI: it looks scarier/a little more reckless than it actually was; I promise.)

But then it simmered down to the perfect size for roasting. I made a comment to my 6 year old son that he was making the worst faces (because of the fire's heat) in every picture I took.

So this was his answer.

The most fun probably came from putting the fire out. They ran back and forth to the house, refilling their squirt guns so many times. And the two boys quite enjoyed doing something else to help put out the fire that I can't even mention. You can probably guess.

In Our Homeschool This Week:
The boys are making their way through their Arkansas activity booklets that Googie (my Mom) had picked up for free. They enjoyed the little facts and stumping me with ones such as "State Nut: Pecan" and "State Flower: Apple Blossom." I realized I was completely ignorant about Arkansas. As a Missouri-raised girl, I CAN tell you that Missouri's state tree is the dogwood, and the state bird is the blue bird. I think the walnut is something, too.

This is an activity my 6 year old completed at homeschool co-op recently. I particularly liked this project because real twigs were taped to the back of these posterboard leaf cut-outs. They used watercolors and glitter glue to make realistic leaf veins.

I thought it was cute when I saw Piggie sitting on Tornado's Flying Creature Science Workbook as he worked on his lesson.

Home Stuff This Week:
Ryan has gotten 3/4 of our new bedroom furniture put together! Our room is lookin' good.

Places We're Going and People We're Seeing:
I forgot to mention last week that Ryan had a great time with his brother in Champaign, Illinois. They went to a basketball game (actually the boys' first practice), football game, and girls' volleyball game all in one day. They are true Illini fans. I think they loved spending time on the campus, complete with tail-gating, on such a perfect fall day.

Pregnancy This Week:
Last month, I had to undergo a special ultrasound because my baby's heart was skipping beats occasionally. The pattern was very obvious and scary. His heart on the ultrasound looked normal, but the doctor said I could probably expect it to be irregular for the rest of my pregnancy. And that hopefully it would eventually correct itself after birth as it does in 80% of cases. Well, this week at my monthly appointment, it was completely strong and normal. It was a relief, and I pray that everything continues to go well. About 11 more weeks to go!

Extracurricular This Week:
Sissy and Dash were requested to dress up like characters from the Bible this week at Awanas. Sis wore their horse costume, and Dash was a wise man. I forgot to photograph him with his shiny bowl of gold gemstones.

We went to our library's party this week in costume. (That's all of their costumes you get to see for now.) The kids decorated these masks.

Kid Quotes This Week:
*I get very tired of telling my kids, "Get in the car. It's TIME TO GO." - and THEN, they choose to put their shoes on, declare they're hungry, tell me they're not even dressed yet, etc.

This morning, I knew my 6 year old was completely dressed because he'd taken the dogs out first thing. But after their usual 5 minute, etc. warnings of our imminent departure, when I finally said, "Get in the car; let's go!" he races upstairs to change. I was so frustrated as he was calling down, "I can't find any pants." I said, "Wear the ones you have on!" He refused to wear his green sweat pants to walk his sister into her preschool classroom. Okay, yes, they have elastic at the bottom, but they're not bad. I think they're cute.

When we were finally in the car, on our way, I was giving them all a lecture about LISTENING TO ME when I give directions, that when I say, "It's time to go," that does NOT mean it's time to change clothes; it means GO!!! "Do you understand?!" My son held up his hands in complete frustration, angst, and drama, "I like to look good!" as in "Okay, Mom?!" He was totally serious. I burst out laughing, which he didn't appreciate.

It was the same voice he used awhile back when his behavior was so awful in the car - he was making such bad choices, it prompted me to ask, "Who ARE you?!" His dramatic answer with a anguished face: "I'm your SON!"

*This is just so I can remember how much I love it when they're so excited and expressive:
My 4 year old said this earlier today to her brother, "You HAVE to come see this. It's marvelous!" You know what was "marvelous"? Ryan and I had simply lifted our mattress off the bed frame.

And today when I asked her and Dash to go outside and let the air out of the blow-up pool, she said in a loud, squealy voice as she ran out the door, "This is going to be GOOD!"

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weekly wrap-up

Friday, October 21, 2011

The Homeschool Mother's Journal

The Homeschool Mother's Journal

In my life this week:
It really hit me many times this week how much older my kids look lately. I'm noticing this especially with my daughter, and I can't believe that my baby girl will be five in four months.

One morning this week, the kids were taking the dogs out. The weather was pretty chilly. I caught a glance out the window of Sissy, zooming by on one of the 4-wheelers, with her hair flying and wearing no shirt or shoes. I didn't even really know at this point that she was riding on it by herself much. I'd seen her a few times go kind of slow with abrupt starts and stops. She was a wild thing out there, going fast through the woods.

In our homeschool this week:
the boys, putting together their new Toy Story Lego set

I picked up several blank books at Mardel, and the boys have been working on different stories. Tornado is making a "blend book" (his idea), and Dash is writing a story about knights.

Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory is now extremely loved by them (They're looking forward to the new version with Johnny Depp, which we have set to record off directv tomorrow.), and they have been playing "chocolate factory" at the train table all week.

After homeschool co-op one day, I enjoyed Dash tell me all about "a man (Paul Revere) who warned the people that the British were coming."

The two little ones are going to dress up like characters from the Bible next week at Awanas. This could even be an animal. Any ideas for costumes?

The biggest deal this week:
He lost his first tooth! I was starting to wonder if he was ever going to get a loose tooth. (He's 6.7 yrs.) He pulled it out himself.

What I'm Reading This Week:
I started reading Choosing to See by Mary Beth Chapman.

Places We're Going and People We're Seeing:
Ryan and I were able to go on a spontaneous date last night. We saw Moneyball, which we liked! The kids ate supper and watched Spooky Buddies with Googie.

Quotes to share:
I was straining my body to open a salsa jar this morning. I finally got it and told Dash, "Now my stomach hurts." He said something about the baby, and I said, "I know; he's probably like, 'Momma, what's going on out there?' " He said, "Yeah, he's probably devastated."

In my daughters' roughhouse day with her brothers (see above), I heard her say in a deep, growly voice, "We're the polices, and if you don't tell us where [brother] is, you're going to jail!"

My 6 year old also said, "Do you know what my favorite part of my body is? My heart because it keeps my love for God inside."

Friday, October 14, 2011

Weekly Homeschool Wrap-Up

School Work
Continuing on with our regular curriculum this week. I finally wised up and took Tornado's math homework (from homeschool co-op) with us to Dash's soccer practice. We got so much done. I've got to start doing that more often with our busy schedule (like taking their read-aloud assignments along while we're waiting in the car for someone to finish a lesson or whatever).

Dash finished his first book and workbook in piano lessons. He's moving along quite well. I think I'm going to see how Sissy would do working through his first book because she has been asking to take lessons. I'll teach her since I can't imagine adding another outside activity right now.

We're working on our Chocolate Unit now. We have read several chocolate-themed books, so far, but this week we started Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. They're into it. Tonight, we also watched Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory movie (the old 1971 version with Gene Wilder) while they ate their snack of dark and white chocolate chips. They liked it so much they wanted to immediately rewatch it afterward (but we didn't).

Saturday, October 8
As usual this season, Saturday morning means a soccer game.

My sister and brother-in-law went on a long weekend trip and left their two kids with my parents. They all came to the game. Dash was grinning from ear to ear when he saw them all walking up. Whenever the kids all yelled his name, cheering him on, he was so proud! He kept looking over to wave. And during half-time and his time on the sideline, he was all about giving his 2 year old cousin lots of attention.

W (right) said in a sing-song voice, "Nice and cozy in a chair, watching [the] game!"

Sunday, October 9
Ryan, Googie, Papaw, and I took the kids to Schaefer's & Collins Pumpkin Patch/Corn Maze.

There are a lot of farm animals to see. W kept her distance at first but soon joined in.

The kids were doing a good job watching out for their little cousins and sister. R is explaining back to Dash that he must not put his fingers inside the fence.

There is so much there for the kids to play in and among. We opted not to pay the $5/person and endure the very long line for the hay ride. We found out the next day that right after we left, the trailer with 30 people aboard overturned. Weird accident but no serious injuries, although there were a couple of people who had to be taken to the hospital, I believe, including a pregnant woman (ah!).

Lots and lots of brother/sister/cousin fun!

The kids always enjoy this ride. Ryan rode along in the trailer to make sure the kids were safe as they disappeared through the rows of corn.

Monday, October 10
We finally had our Strawberry Shortcake Unit "culmination party," thinking it was the perfect opportunity since R and W were in town. I'll write more about this in my future Strawberry Shortcake Unit post.

Wednesday, October 12
The boys got to spend a few hours this morning with Googie and Papaw (They even got to go to Hastings to each pick out a new book.) while I went along with Sissy on her preschool field trip. They were in the middle of a Cowboys & Cowgirls Unit, so the class went to a local horse ranch.

They got to take a long hayride. The ranch is located on beautiful land, and it was perfect weather.

Thursday, October 13
The kids started assembling their Operation Christmas Child boxes. They each enjoy picking out things for their own boxes. (I hope Sissy's recipient likes pink!) Collection week is November 14-21.

Friday, October 14
Sissy decorated a bandana and made this pipe stick horse at preschool this week.

Dash had made a horse like this when he was in the same class with the same teacher two years ago. They cut out a horse head shape from a grocery bag, decorated it including a mane, stuff it with extra paper, then staple it together, with the pipe sticking out. The kids love these. It has been fun reliving Dash's experience in preschool through Sissy since they follow the same schedule and activities.

The kids were out and about a lot this afternoon on their 3-wheelers. They were playing with Dash's new police toys.

They also played a long time tonight with their Moon Dough Pizza Factory. You never know how well all of the play dough factories will work, but they really liked this one. It makes very cute pizza toppings.


Giveaway: Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers has a few giveaways going on right now, including one for the first four books in The Adventures of Munford historical fiction series for kids. These look fun. Giveaway ends Oct. 17!


Linkin' Up:

weekly wrap-upGranola Mom 4 God

Friday, October 7, 2011

Homeschool Weekly Wrap-Up and Preschool Corner

One of the biggest parts of our week has been working on our house. Ryan and I had decided it was time to fix up our bedroom. 1) We have not had a cute, organized bedroom since we've moved into our house three years ago. 2) We built our house with no extra space (on purpose, to avoid excess), and we knew we weren't making the most of the room.

We painted the walls one night. Suddenly Sapphire. We used Olympic Premium No-VOC paint so that the kids and I could help for a few minutes. Ryan did most of the hard work. We have ordered a bed frame, armoire, computer armoire, tv stand, etc. and should receive it within a few weeks! It's exciting! We bought a huge mirror at Garden Ridge and are picking out pots for a few houseplants that are specific to cleaning indoor air. We also bought a new ceiling fan/light fixture because the original one we'd picked out for our house was sooo dark. Can't wait until it all comes together.

Saturday, October 1
After my 6 year old's soccer game Saturday, I took him immediately to the birthday party of one of his friends. When we returned, we saw what Ryan and the other two had been up to. They took the big boxes that Sissy's new bed (She's been sleeping on her boxspring/mattress without a frame or headboard.) came in and made a house in the driveway.

I was pretty impressed. It was very spacious inside, and it only just fell down today, after a week of enjoying it.

Wednesday, October 5
This day, my 6 year old came inside and asked if pretty, please could he and his brother have a mud bath outside. I saw enough traces of mud on him to know that he was asking permission a little bit after the fact (but at least he finally remembered to ask). I inwardly sighed and said okay. I heard him say, "She said, 'Yes.'!" as he bolted out the door. I checked on them later and found this. I can't pretend to understand all of the mind of a young boy.

But he cleaned up very nicely as he and Sissy were leaving here for Awanas. We continue to be big fans of Awanas. It makes us very happy to see them there, so lit up. Earlier this day, I took the kids to the Christian book store to buy Dash his first big boy Bible. He is very proud of it. And it also must have helped his team win points that night because he said, for the first time, they won "the trophy." He's doing a great job of memorizing his scripture each week. Sissy is, too.

Thursday, October 6
Someone forgot to tell him that the mornings have been kind of cool outside lately. But that didn't stop him from playing in the sprinkler...fully clothed. It was another, "Momma, come outside and see what I'm doing." moment.

Sissy ended up coming to homeschool co-op with the boys and me today. I teach K-4, so she goes in my class. I still wholeheartedly feel that her preschool is the best thing for her this year, but it was nice to have her with us this day. The kids all got their (home) school pictures taken; I watched, and they all did GREAT. (They haven't always done GREAT at that, so yay!)

I had added these pumpkin picks (from Hobby Lobby) and farmer harvest hats to my fall sensory tub that morning.

Because the kids had went on a field trip their alternative K-4 day, we took a week off from their My Father's World curriculum. We put together puzzles, including this farm one, which went along with our pumpkin activities for the day.

We went through some different pre-writing worksheets that my friend at Random Writings posted about.

The kids completed this worksheet, found at First School. .

The kids also did this pattern activity, also found at First-School.

I asked them if they could guess which colors they would need on their plate to make orange. After a little bit of guessing, they finally came up with the combination. I squirted a little yellow and a little red on their paper plates and let them mix it together as they covered their plates.

This was the finished product.

Friday, October 7
Her class is in the middle of a Construction Unit. They took a field trip to Home Depot, where they were given a tour. (They wear red t-shirts on field trip days.) They received aprons they wore while they built these little wooden shelves. She also got to bring an extra shelf kit home. She was really excited pulling item by item out of her bag, telling us about each.

She said, "And even what they got a carpet!" Then she pulled out, with flair, a really small sample of carpet. I told her she could put it in her dollhouse.

We enjoy the activities that Lowe's and Home Depot hosts for kids. We've marked our calendars to attend the "Monster" Truck Workshop at Lowe's on October 8.