Thursday, June 13, 2013

The Homeschool Mother's Journal: The One With Drastic Measures and a Fluffed Turkey

In My Life This Week
I couldn't face another sink full of not-so-dirty cups and took DRASTIC MEASURESAre my kids the only ones who need a new cup EVERY time they get a drink? even if it's water? :sigh: I removed our usual tableware and replaced them with LABELLED ones from our camping set. Everyone is responsible for washing his or her things after using them. MUCH MUCH BETTER! I'm not running the dishwasher every day JUST for cups! (And Mama knows exactly who's leaving their cups in the livingroom...)

What I'm Working On
Inspired by Chris at Tales of a House Husband, I decided to pick an area in the house that needed attention. You know - a good ol' declutter and organize. I've been making GREAT progress this year, but I thought sharing with you all would keep my motivation UP. This week I worked on the office area in an alcove between the foyer and kitchen. Next up? The entry closet!

What I'm Cooking
Oh, blueberry! This is THE best fresh berry cake around! Moist, tangy, sweet, perfect! The original recipe at A Spicy Perspective called for strawberries (which we also tried), but our wild Maine blueberries were even better.

Homeschool Happenings
Don't you love the phrase DELIGHT DIRECTED LEARNING? It's such a WONDERFUL image of learning! With summer almost in full swing here - we have ONE MORE WEEK of scheduled spring activities - our days are our own, filled with whatever "floats our boats". Our learning is only limited by our imaginations...and maybe by ::ahem:: TV. (I'll admit I've gotten a bit lax about "screen time".)

Despite the threat of rainy weather, we meandered around the Maine Wildlife Park. The MWP rehabilitates native animals, releasing them back into the wild if possible. We saw moose, black bear, bobcats, ring-necked pheasants, turkey vultures, ravens, owls, bald and golden eagles, and lynx, but our favorites were the BEAUTIFUL male peacocks and a wild turkey. That turkey! So not a pretty bird, but VERY INTERESTING. He kept fluffing up those feathers to warn us of his displeasure.

I know - the photos aren't all that spectacular. My DSLR's battery died soon after arriving so I used Jake's "fancy" iPhone, and, well, it's not very good. Or maybe it's the USER? :wink: What you're missing from my photos is the WILD TURKEY'S FACE. You gotta see that! It's the, um, interesting part. Handsome, huh? :snicker:

Photo Credit

Not everything was delight directed though. Just ask Sam. We've been working on his sound blends with Hooked on Phonics, and, honestly, it's not the most exciting way to read, but it seems to help him. I would SO MUCH RATHER he read books from the library, but they aren't giving him the CONTROLLED VOCAB that he needs to practice particular blends. Perhaps his A-HA MOMENT will come SOON and we can get back to the more fun books. But I do try to make it as ENJOYABLE as possible for him...

I also pulled out the ICE CREAM REWARDS PRINTABLE from last summer and have been encouraging the kids to fill them out. Each 30 minutes of reading or a math lesson counts and a square is X'ed out. When it's full, it's off to the ice cream parlor for a sundae. You can find the FREE printable from iMom here.

Places We're Going, People We're Seeing
• Maine Wildlife Park (All) • Scouts (J/C) • Softball (C/S) • Portland Seadogs (S/C) • Clarinet (C) •

My Favorite Thing
Sam has little dimples that I find SUPER DUPER cute (even when he's making faces at the camera).

Something to Share
Yeah, the 'quitoes are out in full force these days. :itch itch: Hopefully they won't carry us off this season.

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  1. I love that ice cream reward chart. My girls find our local library's summer reading program not worth their effort. I am not sure I really need to promote reading with them, but that might be a fun way to reward their effort to read and not use a screen this summer!

    1. Definitely an incentive here! I don't often bring them to the ice cream shop OR allow them to get anything but a small cone, so earning a SUNDAE or FLOAT is a good motivator for SOME of the kids.

  2. Ahahahahahaha- "Maine Woman's perfume of choice" LOL

  3. Okay, do you accept house guests?? I've been wanting to visit Maine for YEARS! :-)

  4. I just love that photo of Sam with the chicken :-D My SPD 8 year old does his phonics (Toe By Toe) with our dog on his lap. This means frequent cuddle-pauses which drives me crazy but seems to work for him!
    Good idea about the cups. I'm trying to train my kids into "a glass for the day" too...we're getting there slowly!

  5. I feel you on the plates/cups -- my issue is beach towels -- told the kids today to look long and hard at their towel as they'll be using only that one til Wednesday. We'll see...You've been nominated by me for The Super Sweet Blogging Award! That photo of your sweetie with the chicken (is that a chicken?!) is adorable!

  6. Where did you put all that stuff? What an amazing transformation! You are not the only one with kids who need to use every cup in the house. I've tried labeling too, but my mistake was n not removing all the others! It was nice catching up!

  7. That was quite a decluttering job there! Okay, I have to admit I just noticed the egg count widget and just love it! That is also a whole mess of eggs.

    The wildlife park trip looks fun too, we normally just go to the large zoo in St. Louis, but last year tried a small zoo during a trip and found that those can be just as fun.

    I hope you have a good week!

    1. LOVE the little zoo in St. Louis years and years ago!

  8. LOVE the perfume of choice ... we have to use it frequently here too!


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