Friday, July 29, 2011

The Homeschool Mother's Journal: July 23 - 29

In My Life This Week
This week has been REALLY odd for me! It's quieter, calmer and LESS MESSY. I'm DEFINITELY not missing the constant dirty laundry piles! And yet, it's still strange to have my oldest off to overnight Boy Scout camp, and S and A off at Cub Scout camp all day! It's been mostly C and I hanging out!

In Your Homeschool This Week
Although my school planning isn't written down in detail, I do like to skim over the first few chapters in our new books and make notes of projects, activities and supplements on Post-it Notes. (These I leave in the books.) I finished Apologia Astronomy for C and S, and started J's Prentice Hall Earth Science this week. And I'm impatiently anxiously awaiting the arrival of the rest of our curriculum!

And I tidied up the school supply drawers. Yup, DRAWERS! Multiple. Many. And in different parts of the house. LOL The before photos aren't pretty, but after a full year of school and small hands wading through the drawers in search of "something" they're bound to be a bit "disheveled". I started with a clean drawer and reorganized everything into Ziplock baggies and small plastic containers. The results? Well, the drawers still look messy, but really they aren't! I've discovered that my To Buy List is QUITE short this year!

C and I watched a small, black mole cross our dirt road and scurry under the ferns. We spent some time "googling" moles. Did you know that moles are essentially blind, but have GREAT hearing? They are all good swimmers and semi-aquatic. (This is a good thing since it was near the pond!) Males are called boars. Females are called sows. And groups of moles digging are called a labour. Most people consider them pests, but they do aerate soil and eat other pests that are detrimental to gardens.
Moles are Funny Little Things, huh?
And I found a Spring Peeper on the lawn one day. C and I placed it in a small container to observe for a while before returning it to its habitat. Peepers are tiny brown-colored frogs with faint Xs on their backs. They live in forests and wetlands, and have a high pitched call that sounds like sleigh bells when done as a group. Peepers are one of the first frogs to come out of hibernation in the spring and we have TONS of them around here! (The video was taken this spring from our backyard.)

Helpful Homeschool Hints
Now I haven't done this part of THMJ before, but when my friend mentioned a cost-saving, simple way to up our resale value on textbooks, I had to share! Cover your books! Why didn't I think of doing this?! By protecting our textbooks and workbooks we can get a higher $ return later! And you don't have to buy those fancy-mancy stretchy covers at the department stores. Remember covering your books with brown paper bags from the grocery store? Go "old school"! Or even "green"! LOL So, I took some photos to share the steps with you!
You Need: Paper Grocery Bag, Book, Scissors, and Marker
Cut Down One Long Fold and Cut Out Bottom Rectangle of Bag
Lay Bag Flat, Place Closed Book in Middle, Cut off Excess Bag so Edges are About 3 Inches Longer Than Book Edges
With Writing FACING OUT/TOWARDS YOU on Bag, Fold Bottom and Top Edges (LONG SIDES) to the Width of Book
Line Book up in Middle of Paper and Fold the End Edges Over Book Sides
Slide Edges of Book in the Paper Sleeve (FOLDED IN) Edges of Bag
Write Name of Book on the Front and Spine
Places We're Going and People We're Seeing 
  • C went to her friend's birthday party, staying overnight
  • J played with his friend B and went swimming
  • A, J and S were busy at scout camps
  • Swimming in the lake
  • Multicultural Fair displays and food at the library
  • C and I went to see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 
  • Free lunch at the Rec Center 
  • C went to American Girl Crafts, Drawing and the Harry Potter Extravaganza at the library
What's Working/Not Working For Us
A sneak peak at what's working for us. Stay tuned for a special post about this in another week or so! LOL
  My Favorite Thing This Week Were
While C was doing her activities at the library, I sat on their covered wrap-around porch. A cool breeze blew as fluffy clouds floated by.  I watched the traffic zoom through town and the boats glide across the lake and people-watched. I quickly checked e-mailed then read The Winter of our Disconnect by Susan Maushart. (Are you thinking of limiting or turning off electronics in your household? Read this book! It's very humorous!) It was just what I needed after a busy day!
A Photo, Video, Link, or Quote to Share
OK, I had to share this! Not for what they're selling, but for the song. LOL

 I'm linking up to The Homeschool Mother's Journal, Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers, Fun Tuesday Hop, No Ordinary Blog Hop, Tiggerific Tuesday Blog Hop, and Hip Homeschool Hop. Head over to read more homeschool happenings!


  1. It's funny - I never thought to cover our books! Terrific advice. And yes, I remember covering my school books every single year using paper bags. I also remember my high school offering spirited covers one year and how excited we were then! Did you take the photo of the mole yourself? Fabulous close-up!

  2. I love organizing school supplies.

  3. The book recommendation looks interesting. I may have to request it at our library.

  4. I totally remember covering books in school! I am cleaning and organizing today too, as well as procrastinating!! Have a great weekend.

  5. of course!!! holy cow, we had to cover books in high school, why on EARTH didn't i think of that!!!??? brilliant!

    i totally want a chicken coop!! i love fresh eggs!! we go through so many eggs. are you going to incubate your own hatchlings too?? we did that for 4H and the kids loved it.

    yay for clean, organized drawers!!

  6. Love your organised drawers - wanna come to Australia and do mine? Love the book - might be what we need 'round here! Love the chicken coops (we want to build one) and LOVE the crazy chicken song! I'm laughing so much!

  7. The book covering is brilliant! Maybe I have found a new use for my overflowing scrapbook paper stash!

    The smelly pencils you mentioned on my blog comments - just to let you know, you can get some really good smelling ones called Smencils at Rainbow Resource and I think at Timberdoodle as well.

  8. I love this post!
    I have a blog award for you overr at my blog...

  9. Love your organizing! I am trying to get situated for homeschool beginning on Monday.

    Stopping by from the HMJ.

  10. Awesome mole shot!!!! And the coop looks great!

    And WTG on the organizing. I've been doing a bit of that over the last couple of weeks. Although everytime I organize one thing, something else winds up in disarray. LOL

  11. I should give credit where credit is due...The mole photos is from Wikipedia. I did not take it. (I really should bring my camera everywhere! LOL)

  12. Wow! I never would have thought of covering the books. It reminds me of high school! :-)

    Great facts about the mole. I didn't know them, either!

    Awesome organizing. Can you please, please come here next? :-))))

    Many blessings,

  13. I love this new homeschool mothers journal. I think I will use this format.

    We got some stretchy coves on clearance last year. The kids love those. I cant find paper bags anywhere!!

    I want to build a coop now!! :)

  14. I remember back in the day covering our books was a requirement. We all used brown paper grocery bags. Occasionally someone had something fancier and we all were a bit jealous! My drawers look like your before pictures--I suppose I have something new to add to my to do list.

  15. Well, first of all I love your banner photo at top. I had to pause there a minute. Ah. Wow - time with children away = cleaning out drawers! Plus, I really like your idea of covering the school books. Practical and nostalgic!

  16. Sounds like a great week! I love the covering books idea as would my daughter because she could doodle on the cover too. Thanks for the idea!

  17. Nice book cover! We used to do something similar when I was younger. Your drawers look great! I'm so unorganized myself.

    And, I don't think I've ever seen an actual mole before--very cute. :)


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