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!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Irresistibly Sweet Blog Award

Thanks SO much for nominating my blog for The Irresistibly Sweet Award, Lori. Check out Lori's blog Keeping it Simple!

Guidelines for this Award:
1. Thank and link to the person who nominated you.
2. Share 7 random facts about yourself.
3. Pass the award along to 15 deserving blog buddies.
4. Contact those buddies to congratulate them.
Random Facts About Myself
  • I grew up on an island off the coast of Maine.
  • I LOVE chocolate!
  • I enjoy reading children's historical fiction.
  • I live sitting in the corner of the sectional sofa.
  • I hate doing dishes!
  • I like watching Reality TV.
  • I miss camping this summer. 
15 Favorite Blog Buddies
Thanks to all these bloggers for GREAT reading, ideas and fun posts!

Friday, July 22, 2011

It's THAT Time of Year! Curriculum 2011-2012!

It's that time of year again! Although some homeschoolers have already started their new year, others, like us, still have a few more weeks of summer vacation. (6 MORE! LOL)  But we're all thinking about curriculum and planning for our new year!
Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers
Kris at Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers is having a linky party to share curriculum today. So, join up! Or grab some iced (sweet) tea and read along for ideas!

ETA: And I'm joining up with Heart of the Matter for her "Not" Back to School Blog Hop!

Not Back to School Blog Hop

Welcome to Year 8!
J (7th grade):
Saxon Grammar and Writing 
Saxon Algebra 1/2
Prentice Hall Earth Science
Around the World in 180 Days
Electives: How To Teach Art to Children, English From the Roots Up, Analogies, and Phys. Ed.

C (4th grade):
Saxon Grammar and Writing
All About Spelling or Spelling Power
Saxon Math 54/65
Apologia Astronomy
A Beka Health
The Complete Book of US History
Draw Write Now: Sea-to-Shining-Sea
Electives: How to Teach Art to Children, Word Roots, Analogies, US Geography, Signing Time, and Phys. Ed

S (1st Grade):
Hooked on Phonics: Learn to Read
First Language Lessons
Saxon Math 1
Apologia Astronomy
Draw Write Now: Sea-to-Shining-Sea
Electives: How to Teach Art to Children, Map Skills, Handwriting Without Tears, Signing Time, and Phys. Ed.
We're very excited about a new homeschool co-op starting in the fall! This co-op will focus on hands-on, creative, natural activities, and will meet all day one day a week. The kids will also continue with scouts, 4H, volunteering, library activities, and recreational sports.

Wishing all of you reading (and not reading LOL) a fun learning year!


The Homeschool Mother's Journal: July 16 - 22

The Homeschool Mother's Journal
In My Life This Week
Clunk! Ssssss! Did you hear that? It's the sound of my tire going flat after running over a rock in the road. Fortunately it happened just 300 feet from the driveway. C and I were just coming back from town with a load of groceries. Phew! Guess who has new tires? Me!

Oh, and since my sinus and ear infection woes didn't go away, I'm on a stronger, longer antibiotic. Let's hope this does the trick!

The high, humid temperatures this week have been hard for me to handle all congested, so we did our swimming after dinner! Not only was the lake less crowded, but the water still felt GREAT!
In Our Homeschool This Week
S and I continue to work on his Hooked on Phonics: Learn to Read program. My goal is still to finish Level 1 this summer, and he has 6 more readers and about 12 pages to go in the worktext. It doesn't sound like much, but it can take him 3-5 days to finish a reader or a few pages of worktext. He's discovered that he can read words in other places now and is QUITE excited to show me! We'll review all his readers from the past year when we're done with Level 1. (And perhaps we'll have a new story video to share with you!)

I switched to Spelling Power with C, taking a break from All About Spelling. We're reviewing words and rules in Levels 1-2 to reinforce her learning. I decided to have her copy misspelled words on index cards and tape them to the edge of the TV so while she's "glued to the tube" those words will be there too! LOL She's not a natural speller so repeated review is needed. She'll get there though!
2nd Flower from C's Flower Bed
 And J just reads, read, reads...with some breaks for the History Channel, friends at the Rec Center and gardening! We're enjoying his peas and beans!
Peas and Beans from the Garden
An Insect on a Cucumber Blossum
Winter Squash is Growing
 I pulled out the Learn to Tie Your Shoe box and S worked on tying shoelaces. He needs some more practice, but he's getting it!

Here are the kids' favorite library books this week:

And don't forget to check out my post about our 2011-2012 curriculum! Click here!

 Places We're Going and People We're Seeing
  • Rec Center for Kids Free Lunch, gym games and friends
  • Multicultural Immersion Workshops at the library
  • Swimming in the lake
  • J hung out with  friends at an amusement park
My Favorite Things This Week
I ordered the rest of our curriculum for next year! I'm more enthusiastic than the kids and I can't wait for Box Day! (The kids aren't thinking beyond summer! LOL) 

And guess what? We found it! Our chicken coop! It's a DIY kit and will hold ALL our hens! Stay tuned for our chicks' "housewarming party"! (No more BARN SMELL in the house!)

Here's a new video of the chicks. Cheeper is 8 1/2 weeks old and the others are 4 1/2. They REALLY enjoy being outside! (You can hear the neighbor's dog barking in the background and her yelling at it! LOL)

Photo, Video, Link, or Quote to Share
 I did it! I figured out how to make a blog button. I think!  I'm not completely satisfied with it as I'd like something more whimsy with a mountain AND kids, but for my first try I'm happy.  Does anyone want to give it a try?
I'm linking up to The Homeschool Mother's Journal, Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers, Fun Tuesday Hop, No Ordinary Blog Hop, and Hip Homeschool Hop. Head over to read more homeschool happenings!