Friday, July 31, 2015

Weekly Wrap-up: Weeks 8 - 9 - Summary of Summer Studies

What happened to last week? Somehow posting my weekly wrap-up got away from me! And I don't remember being particularly busy...Has that ever happened to you?

Look! Cate and Sam completed their first 12 days of summer study lessons. (And then some!) I ordered Cate's book from Amazon for her, and Sam had a Chinese take-out. (It was supposed to be ice cream, but.) They may even exceed my goal of 24 days this summer!

Sentence diagramming through Cate for a loop last year. We've been focusing on her understanding of parts of sentences and the method of diagramming them. Our FREE resources have been:

She's working on the lessons in the worktext now, but her understanding has grown and I don't think she'll need to continue reviewing diagramming afterward. (Just between you and me, I'm not sure the value of DIAGRAMMING if you know the PARTS and their MEANINGS anyway.)

I'm impressed with Khan Academy! Have you used it in your homeschool? Cate is reviewing Pre-Algebra, another struggle from last year. The combination of video instruction, review of previous concepts, and commutation hints (rather than straight textbook learning) has deepened her understanding (and kept her happier with math). 

From an instructor standpoint, I love the ability to get on her profile and see what concepts she worked on, how much time she spent, what she's mastered, and what she struggled with, and I can print it all out.

Sam is moving along with Handwriting without Tears Cursive. He was super excited to learn cursive, but that initial feeling has waned. With delays in fine motor skills and visual tracking challenges, he's finding some of the letters hard to form and he holds his pencil so firmly that his hand tires quickly. (I'm on the search for a chunky pencils grip that might help him.) But his handwriting is impressively neat considering.

He's also reviewing 4th grade math with Khan Academy. His understanding of numerous concepts are shaky, so this review is necessary. He definitely benefits from a combination of visual instruction and kinesthetic (i.e. tapping keys) learning.

Summer School Day Counter
Cate - 17 days | Sam -  18 days
Cate - 38% Completed Math | Sam - 29% Completed Math
Cate - 2 books read | Sam - 3 books read
Cate - walk, swim, kayak,  garden | Sam - walk, swim, bike, fish, kayak, garden
Cate - Band Camp & Concert
Field Trips/Activities - PEAR's Ice Cream Shop, CPL Mad Science, More to Life Campground, Casco Days Parade, Summer Reading Program

As always, special thanks to these bloggers for their weekly homeschool blog link-ups. Click on over to see what other homeschoolers are doing!

 photo 337a3ef2-b881-48f4-8a2c-9c69e457cb5b_zps8b6152cf.pngHomegrown LearnersWeird Unsocialized Homeschoolers

"When one teaches, two learn." - Robert Heinlein

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Wednesday Hodgepodge: Summer Smiles

1.  I recently read here about four secrets to happiness from around the world. They were-

Overcome your fears by facing them head on, allow yourself to relax and reset, work to live versus living to work, and find the good in life. Not sure if these are the actual secret to happiness, but which of the four do you struggle with most? Which one comes most easily to you?

Struggle with? Facing fears head on. I'm a caution person, one that doesn't take risks. I don't like the unpredictable. Comes easy? Relaxing and resetting. Over the last 3 years our lives have faced many changes. It was important for me to find time to relax so that I could offer more to my family.

2. How would you spend a found $20 bill today?

I'd take the kids out for frozen custard at the farm. Or maybe add to my stash of yarn? Both would bring about smiles!

3. Ego trip, power trip, guilt trip, round trip, trip the light fantastic, or trip over your own two feet...which 'trip' have you experienced or dealt with most recently? Explain.

Oh, boy. Trip over my own two feet. :sigh: I managed to drop a plastic plate this morning, turned to pick it up, stepped on the plate which slid, and down I went. I'm quite talented!

4. If you could master any physical skill in the world what would it be, and how would you use that skill?

Does flying count? I would fly around the world, stopping to see God's creations!

5. As July draws to a close, let's take inventory of our summer fun. Since the official first day of (North American) summer (June 20th) have you...been swimming? enjoyed an ice cream cone? seen a summer blockbuster? camped? eaten corn on the cob? gardened? deliberately unplugged? watched a ballgame? picked fruit off the vine? taken a road trip? read a book?  Are any of these activities on your must-do-before-summer-ends list?

Swimming? Check! Ice cream? Check! Movie? Nope! Camped? Yes! Corn on the cob? Nope! Gardened? Check! Unplugged? Nah! Ballgame? Several! Fruit? Yes! Road trip? Of course! Read? Every day! Before summer ends, I'd like to get the kids to the waterpark...

6. The Republican Presidential candidates will debate on August 6th. What's your question?

Ugh. Politics.

7. What's your most listened to song so far this summer?

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

Join Joyce from From This Side of the Pond for Wednesday Hodgepodge. Share in the randomness!

Happy Hodgepodging!

Monday, July 27, 2015

Journal of a SAHM

The Clock Reads...

Weather in My Neck of the Woods 
Rainy. Overcast. Cool.

In the Garden
Dying bean plants were pulled. Both wax and green beans were replanted for a 2nd crop. Pie pumpkins, cucumbers and carrots growing well. Peas? :sigh:

Looking Around the House
Kids are sleeping. Cate's radio is playing too loudly from her bedroom. Fans whir. Dryer is drying.

Menu for this Week
Hmm. Food? Something with chicken tonight. Any suggestions?

What's on my TV Today 
Does crochet how-to's on my laptop count? Or how to turn a minivan into a camper van? (Yes, I'm considering camping in my van! Not with kids, but just Tom and I. We'll bring the "mansion" (20x10 3 room tent) for family camping trips.)

What I'm Creating from the Craft Basket
Washcloths! Dad complained during his last visit that I didn't have any proper washcloths, so I've been crocheting up a variety of patterns and sizes in soft cotton yarn. I'm not sure what a "proper" washcloth is though...

I'm Reading

Things that Make Me Happy and Thankful
Late afternoon fishing on a beautiful lake with my sweet husband.

I'm Wondering
With just over a month to go, what planning and purchasing do I still need to do to start our homeschool year. Summer is flying by!

Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. (Proverbs 30:5)


 I'm linking up to My Cup Runneth Over for Salon Sunday on Sundays, and The Simple Woman at The Simple Woman's Daybook and to the Diary of a Stay At Home Mother at Happy Homemaker on Mondays.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Creative Crochet: Dish or Wash Cloths

I've been whipping up dish or wash cloths in a variety of patterns and sizes from 100% cotton yarn in white, salmon pink and moss green. Quick, simple and satisfying projects!

These came from the same website, Petals to Picots, and are 7 inches square. I haven't blocked them...and probably won't. They're for our use, not gifts. My plan is to use them for dinner napkins (as we try to be "green" around here and not use many paper products).





I'm still finishing up this one, but I love the pattern and size from Snappy Tots. It's 9 inches square and perfect for a wash cloth. (Dad will be happy to have a "proper" wash cloth the next time he visits.) I still have enough yarn left to make one more of these, maybe two.


Do you know about the Red Heart Yarns website? I've been pinning a lot of great (free) patterns from the website. Lots of inspiration! I think I need more yarn...

I'm sharing my crocheting creations over at Lucy Blossom Crafts (Mondays)Frontier Dreams (Tuesdays), The Philosopher's Wife (Tuesdays), Small Things (Wednesdays), Oombawka Design (Wednesdays)Lunamon Design (Wednesdays), and Natural Suburbia (Fridays).

Get hooked! What are you creating?

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Wednesday Hodgepodge: Staying Cool and Airy

1. Is your home air conditioned? If it's not air conditioned, is that by choice? Did you grow up with air conditioning? If not how did you cope with the heat? Share about a time or place you remember as being too hot-the temperature kind of hot, lest anyone be confused.

For the first time in a long, long while, we have AC. A small unit that my husband brought with him when we got married. For just the upstairs to sleep comfortably. We never had AC growing up. But we are in Maine. We don't have many miserably hot days thankfully! And when we do? Fans, water and popsicles!

2. What's something in your life right now that falls under the heading 'up in the air'?

Will I find part-time employment that allows me to get my oldest son off to school mornings and pick him up in the afternoons, homeschool, get my daughter to and from band practices, manage my home, family and garden, and have time for me, my husband and our kids? I'm asking a lot, huh?

3. Your favorite light and airy dessert?

Fresh sliced strawberries with homemade whipped cream and a drizzle of chocolate sauce...Sometimes I eat it for breakfast. Shhhh! Don't tell!

4. When did you last feel like you were 'floating on air'?

Sunday, May 15th. The day I married Tom.

5. Airport, airmail, airtight, airhead...which have you most recently encountered? Explain.

Airhead. LOL (I think I'll leave my answer at that...)

6.  Have you ever been to the Alps? If so where did you go? If not, is this a destination on your must-see list? If you were headed that direction this summer, which of the following would be your preferred activity...a gentle walk, a serious walk, a bike ride, a boat ride around one of the lakes, or summer snow skiing?

I have seen the Alps! In high school, we traveled to Belgium, Spain, France, and Switzerland. Switzerland was an amazingly beautiful place!  And I'm always up for a boat ride (but remind me to take Dramamine so I don't get motion sickness...).

7. What is one saying or phrase that was considered 'cool' when you were growing up?
OK, the island is an odd place. We have our own phrases and words for things.  But I remember in elementary school we were all saying "burn-ah ver-dah" to mean something cool. Don't ask me why! LOL

8. Insert your own random thought here.

Join Joyce from From This Side of the Pond for Wednesday Hodgepodge. Share in the randomness!

Happy Hodgepodging!

Monday, July 20, 2015

Happy Homemaker Daybook: Journal of a SAHM

The Clock Reads...

Weather in My Neck of the Woods 
Another rainy overcast day. The difference? It's supposed to be a steamy day too, warming up to the mid-80s. I'm thankful that the sun won't be shining. I think.

In the Garden
I harvested most of the green beans. Unfortunately the last batch went uneaten and the hens will get to enjoy them. Next time I'll freeze them. I'm excited to see that the cucumbers have taken off and are going like weeds! I just wish my peas would...

Looking Around the House
The carpets need vacuuming, but the dishes are done. The floors need a mop, but the laundry is caught up. We're getting there. (Notice I said WE'RE?)

Menu for this Week
BBQ Chicken Drumsticks with Rice Pilaf and Veggies. Crockpot Beef au Jus on Homemade Crusty Bread and Veggies. Grilled Hot Dogs with Baked Beans and Veggies. Scrambled Eggs with Pancakes and Fresh Fruit.

What's on my TV Today 
I grabbed Kung Fu Panda and Kung Fu Panda 2 from the library. Perhaps we'll actually watch them today...

What I'm Creating from the Craft Basket
Do you have a craft basket? or bag? I found a "clam basket" at a yard sale recently for $1.00. It's perfect to carry my crafting and books along with me to the lake or doctor's offices or wherever I go to help pass the time.

I'm Reading

Things that Make Me Happy and Thankful
Lots and lots of blowing fans.

I'm Wondering
When my van will be repaired and ready for pick-up? Tomorrow? Wednesday?


I've recently gotten into scripture journaling. Some do the journaling and drawing right in their bibles, but I've chosen to do it in a small hardcover notebook. Some have fancy-dancy supplies, but I just use a few Sharpie pens, a mechanical pencil and Crayola erasable colored pencils. It's a great way to focus on specific scripture!


 I'm linking up to The Simple Woman at The Simple Woman's Daybook and to the Diary of a Stay At Home Mother at Happy Homemaker on Mondays.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Creative Crochet: Whimsical Owl Keychains

Stash busting! This week I found an ADORABLY whimsical owl keychain pattern on Ravelry to work up using bits and pieces of leftover worsted weight yarn in lavender, teal, spring green, white, brown-orange, and black.


I love bringing these little projects along with me while I'm at the lake with the kiddos or relaxing on the covered porch of our local library or waiting in doctor's offices. I carry along my supplies, my bible, a pleasure book, and my cell phone in my "clam basket". 

(For those of you outside of downeast Maine, a clam basket is a wooden basket with slats that clams are put in when they are dug out of the mud flats at low tide. The slats allow the clams to be washed with ocean water.)

These owl keychains were the PERFECT project for me to bring along this past week, working up several here and there to past the time.

But I couldn't stop with just THAT ONE, so I made another...and another! (I ran out of lavender.)

As soon as I locate my size J hook or buy another, I'll be back at that ripples blanket. I promise!

I'm sharing my crocheting creations over at Lucy Blossom Crafts (Mondays)Frontier Dreams (Tuesdays), The Philosopher's Wife (Tuesdays), Small Things (Wednesdays), Oombawka Design (Wednesdays), Linda's Crafty Corner (Wednesdays), Lunamon Design (Wednesdays), and Natural Suburbia (Fridays).

Get hooked! What are you creating?

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Six Word Saturday: Studying Scripture

ETA: Several of you asked to see what I'm journaling. Keep in mind that I'm creative, but not an artist...I've added a collage to show the 4 verses I've done. There is a closed Facebook group called Bible Journaling if you would like to send along a request to join for inspiration.

Join Cate at Show My Face for Six Word Saturday.

Have a WONDERFUL weekend!

Friday, July 17, 2015

Weekly Wrap-up: Week 7 - As Summer Marches On

 Even Maine gets sweltering summer days. I'm not made for hot, humid days...It's a WONDEFUL thing that we live so close to a lake for refreshing dips in the water! (BTW, Cate is somewhere out with that group of kids in the photo to the left.)

But the garden is loving the warm weather. We had our first handful harvest of green beans to enjoy with homemade garlic hummus. The pie pumpkins have flowers. The 2nd batch of planted cucumbers and wax beans are coming along, but the peas were nibbled on by the hens again. They must like peas as much as we do.

Cate started band camp this week. We have such a cool program here! Not only does a school bus pick up and drop off band campers, but they provide them with a camp t-shirt and a healthy lunch, and encourage them to learn new songs and practice their instruments through summer. Free!

I also another thing to our summer studies: Physical Activity. On a quest to get us all moving more, I challenged the kids to aim for 7 hours of Physical Activity each week. (As you can see, we have some work to do here.)

We're getting closer and closer to meeting our first summer studies goals! Remember we're getting ice cream after 12 days of Language Arts and Math review lessons? Only 3 more days! (Note: Our counter will show a different amount of days completed as I record field trips and special activities as a day of school.) Cate would rather earn books - That's my girl! - so she'll be foregoing ice cream for an Amazon order.

Summer School Day Counter
Cate - 10 days | Sam -  12 days
Cate - 23% Completed Math | Sam - 24 % Completed Math
Cate - 3 Lessons Revolution, Completed WISC (Diagramming), You Tube + You Tube | Sam - 14 pages Completed HWT
Cate - 2 books read | Sam - 2 books read
Cate - 2 hour 10 minutes Physical Activity (walk/swim) | Sam - 1 hour 20 minutes Physical Activity (walk/swim/bike)

Another of my bible journaling pages. I decided to be more "whimsy" with this one. Each part of the page represents something meaningful for me, but I won't explain. That would take some wordiness!

As always, special thanks to these bloggers for their weekly homeschool blog link-ups. Click on over to see what other homeschoolers are doing!

 photo 337a3ef2-b881-48f4-8a2c-9c69e457cb5b_zps8b6152cf.pngHomegrown LearnersWeird Unsocialized Homeschoolers

"When one teaches, two learn." - Robert Heinlein