Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Erica's Chore Charts

My friend Erica posted these adorable pictures of the
chore charts she made for her kids.
I haven't seen anything as detailed and cute for chores!!

Here's a close up look.

Just wanted to share Erica's neato-crafty boards.
Looks motivating to me!
I would sure want all my rings on the smiley face! :)

John Tesh Concert

You mean, I never uploaded pictures of my special Day??

Robby took me to see John Tesh live in concert.

On the FRONT ROW!!!!

I had such an amazing time!

Several times I was moved to tears and just SO happy to be there. :)

Monday, September 29, 2008

Cooking Class

The boys ask to cook ALL THE TIME. They are so curious about the ways of the kitchen. To satisfy their need for cooking experience, I decided to have "Cooking Class" one day a week, usually on a Monday.

I snapped pictures of them making these mini English muffin pizzas. My mother let me make these on Saturdays when I was quite young, and it is one of my most special memories with her. These are easy for the kids to do AND easy for mom because it's not that messy.
  • Just split the english muffins on a cookie sheet.
  • Let them spoon tomato sauce on it.
  • Then sprinkle cheese on top.
  • Ry likes to add pepperoni to his, so I always keep some on hand.
  • Pop them in the oven (350 - 400) and cook til the cheese melts.

Do random questions frustrate you?

My older son, Ry 11, always asks questions. Lots of questions. Most of these questions I do not know the answers to. Honestly, sometimes it's frustrating when we're talking about ocean currents and he asks how the remote control makes the DVD player work. Usually, I tell him that he can look it up after we finish our daily lessons. I KNOW that's not the right answer, but he really throws me off, and I don't always respond well. I've been thinking about it a lot though, and decided to be more open-minded about his random questions.

Today, while practicing handwriting, Ry asks how the lead gets put into the pencil. Will it surprise you that I didn't know the answer to that question? Immediately, I grabbed the dry-erase marker and wrote his question in his own words on the board. Then I told him that he needed to have the answer to that question by the end of the day. He had it done before lunch.

Then he made a notebook page to record his research:

What's Your Favorite Nut?

The boys called their friends and family to ask them what their favorite nut is.
We used this information to create a vertical bar graph. :)
They had never heard of a pistachio before!

The Results:
Pecans - 7
Peanuts - 5
Almonds - 2
Cashews - 6
Pistachios - 1
Walnuts - 2

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Homeschool Memoirs ~ Something New

Planning your homeschool is a lot of fun, especially if you’re going to be trying something new. Just like finding a shiny new penny you’re excited to use it. Mother Dear has been planning some new curriculum for us, and I am plenty excited to get started on it. This week I hope you’ll share something new you’re using, why you’ve decided to use it, and if you have used it how you like it. Make sure to include the publishing information and where you got it from so others can look into if they like.
I've used a box curriculum for years. I like it, for the most part, and I'm used to teaching it and planning it. Last year, I stepped out of my box and used Apologia elementary science, and the boys and I both just loved it. This year, I looked into other options for Language Arts and decided to try Learning Language Arts through Literature with my 6th grade son. It has short easy lessons that we find interesting and engaging. This curriculum uses real literature passages to teach parts of speech, prefixes, suffixes, dictionary uses, literary terms, etc. All in non-boring fashion. What more could you ask for?? My son and I are both thrilled with it. We purchased Learning Language Arts through Literature (Teacher and Student Books) at a local homeschool store. It is published by Common Sense Press.
Another NEW for us this year, isn't exactly curriculum choice but a journey. Along with homeschooling, mothering, and many other shoes I wear I add college classes to my schedule. It will be a challenge to find how to concentrate on Biology and Philosophy while keeping the family and our responsibilities going. All prayers will be extremely appreciated!! Since I am led to this journey through the Holy Spirit's leading, I feel confident that He has a plan and will not let me fail.

House Rule

The house rule is NO SCHOOL on Birthdays!! That's just how it is around here. And believe me, we fiercely stick by that rule!!
Tomorrow (Friday) is my birthday. I'll be a whopping 35 years old, and we're having a party with our friends on Saturday to celebrate.
My very clever children catch wind of this "party" and develop a plan. They start telling me this morning how they would much rather help me clean the house to get ready for the party than to do their school work.
*GASP!!* What???!?? Clean the house? I say, "Sure, I bet you would!" Then we get started on our day.
While we're working on our handwriting and doing our math, the thought keeps jumping into my mind "HELLO!! They WANT to help you clean the house. How can you turn that down??" I finally give in and tell them to finish up what they're working on right then and that will be it for the day IF they help me like they said they would.
I'm blown away really by their efforts and good attitude. With a joyful spirit they vacuumed, cleaned the bathroom, and helped put stuff away. To me, this was SO worth a half day's lessons.

Thankful Thursday

With a very full and thankful heart, I'd like to express my thanks double-fold.

Before church last night I got to visit briefly with a friend I hadn't seen in a while. We only had a few short minutes to talk. During the course of asking how we had been and what we had been up to, she asked me about my classes. I gave her a few of the details and mentioned that I was really nervous. So nervous, in fact, that I was struggling to keep the nerves below "terrified." She let me know she would lift me up in prayer specifically about that, and I was so touched!! I love it. Then, she reminded me that while God wants to and will take care of me and this situation, that I need to CLAIM His promises and love. Don't just sit there and hope God does something for me, but ask Him and claim it!! Thank you, Lord, for sending Margaret last night!!

My next HUGE thanks goes to my unbelievably sweet husband, Robby. He is taking me to a concert tomorrow night for my birthday. He writes about what it means to him at his blog www.hourword.blogspot.com. I'm so blessed by my friends and family.

Visit more Thankful Thursday blogs by visiting http://www.eph2810.com/

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Zoology 2

This year's science text is
Apologia's Zoology 2: Exploring Creation Swimming Creatures of the 5th Day.
Last year we did Astronomy with both boys, but B. just isn't interested in the subject this year. Ocean animals is right up Ry's alley (11). I'm not sure I've seen him this interested in a subject before. He reads the Apologia text, tells me about what he learned (narration, but he thinks he's "teaching" me!), then one or two days per week he notebooks the information. I let him choose which notebook pages he wanted to use, then he illustrates or adds photos and writes down his description of the topic. Neither of us are "good" at illustrations so excuse us!! But don't tell him I said so, because I tell him he does WONDERFULLY!
We do try and have fun doing it without stressing about it being perfect.

The guy floating in the water there is supposed to be the diver in the book's picture. The pink thing that looks like a water bag is a strawberry sponge.

Like I said, we TRY!! And we LEARN!!

You can find LOTS of notebooking pages at


All about the markerboard

We counted up how many stuffed animals that B. has.
WOW!! That's quite a bit.
Made for a fun bar graph on the markerboard.

Peek into our school room

We do our school work in the dining room mostly.
We've set up "shop" in there with our desks, computer, bookcases, and supplies.
Recently, I pulled up the carpet revealing this lovely hardwood floor.

Moving the computer desk AWAY from where we do our main academics
helps keep the distractions down.

Adding another bookcase helps keep our books and supplies handy but tidy.