Thursday, February 26, 2009

Library List

Books: This is not including the books the kids checked out. Matt says we could open a library with all the books we have. Still, I HAVE to go to the library every week. :) Even thought we have books yet to read here at home.
  • American Girl: The Care and keeping of YOU. (Bre)
  • How to Draw Wild Animals: Bre is writing a report on Zebras. She has had such a fascination with them since watching Madagascar.
  • World Almanac Library of The States: New York: We are going on a great field trip to Albany soon and want to get as much NY info in before then.
  • The Civil War by KerryA. Graves
  • Scholastic Encyclopedia of the Civil War
  • It's ALL in your HEAD A guide to your brilliant brain by Sylvia Funston and Jay Ingram
  • DK Rocks and Minerals
  • DK Hurricane and Tornado
  • Harriet Tubman
  • Eyewitness:Natural Disasters
  • Eyewitness: Human Machine
  • Jesus Camp (going to watch it with Matt before we decide if it is good for the kids to watch) It looks like a documentary but I am not quite sure how they stand on praising Jesus. If they are ridiculing it-they will not watch it. )
  • Legacy
  • Walking the Bible
  • Unchained Memories Readings from the Slave Narratives
  • Monet
  • Library Skill using the dewey Decimal System (old school style)

And for "fun" we got Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (me and Cassie) and LeatherHeads

This week at a glance

I am posting this now because I know I will be way to tired tomorrow night.
Monday: Normal HS day - Bre was sick with a sore throat and cold so she did most of her work on the coach and watched The Harriet Tubman movie
Tuesday-Bre made a very cool shadow box project on Abraham Lincoln. I will post pictures later. Normal HS day.
Wednesday- I started feeling sick with a sore throat and cold and rank my standard cure of 2 tbs 2x a day of apple cider vinegar. Yes it is gross, but it does work. Ty had to study for his CAP test along with his normal school work. He is getting very good at working independently. This is a huge thing for us, trust me. Ty adn Bre went for a walk with some friends and had a mini picnic. Yes, it is cold, but nice enough to not wear gloves and a scarf. Cabin Fever is a terrible thing to have. One must get out even if only for awhile.
Thursday- I was feeling better this morning but had to take Bre to Dr. for follow up for asthma, RiteAid, Office MAx and PetCo/ On the way home I remembered that I had some books to return to the Library. Ended up getting more books and stayed for over an hour. I had to pry the kids out of there. This is a good thing. There was a day when they hated to go to the library-back when we first started homeschooling. Ty finished his first draft on the Civil War. Bre wrote in her journal. Honestly we did not get allot done today as far as the standard book work, but, hey the Library counts for something right? :) I feel very sick and achy Right now. I cannot breathe out of my nose and it hurts to breathe from my mouth because my throat hurts. I was complaining about it (like I am now) when Bre said, "yeah, try having a bad cold when you have asthma." I quickly stopped complaining. Point Taken. Period. Today was another"nice" winter day. The kids took a walk and hung out next door for awhile.
Tomorrow- Chiropractor and Co-0p with an IMAX movie at the end. I am also invited to go to another book club but with the way I am feeling right now, I doubt I will be able to go. I am sure after a full day at co-op I am going to be wornout. I also have to help Ty pack for his weekend trip for bivwack. It's for CAP and he has to sleep outside in a tent with other cadets. I am such a mother, I keep having horrible visions of him freezing to death. My husband who is also going is assuring me that cadets have been going for twenty years with no casualties as of yet. He also told me to stop coddling him. Again, Point Taken, Of course he said it very nicely but I get the drift. Ty is my only boy and I do tend to coddle all my children because I love them so much. Not so much as to suffocate them mind you, I am just what Cassie call a PARENTNOID. When I feel myself going over the edge of paranoia to never return. I pray. It is such a relief to know that God is with them protecting them even when I am not. Trust me I have loosened up ALLOT!
I know it is our duty as parents to TRAIN them up, and let them go. It is just hard sometime, that's all. I love my life and my family so much. I was just wondering what I was going to do when they are all grown and on their own, what I am going to do with myself. I had a moment of nothingness and then I realized I have allot that I am going to do. Matt and I are going to travel together. Also, Cassie said that she wants me to Homeschool her future kids. How sweet. That was such a blessing to hear. Ok, I think the Tylenol Severe Cold has gone to my head-literally because I am carrying on so. I think I will reread this tomorrow and Will have to do some editing. :)

Monday, February 23, 2009

Menu Plan Monday 2/22-2/28

I have been menu planning for years. Now, there have been a few weeks now and then that I did not plan weekly menus in advance. Those times were stressful and chaotic and I do not like to wonder what I am making for dinner, and wonder if I have enough ingredients. I usually write out my shopping list on Thursday's for the following week. I do not like to shop on Saturdays (too crowded and noisy) However, we are down a vehicle and I go when I can, which has been Saturdays. I like to go on Thursday afternoons because it is less crowded and I can take my time. I like to comparison shop and get the best deals. Before I started menu planning our grocery bill was HUGE. Now I spend a reasonable and comfortable amount that even my husband is pleased with. I have a magnetic Meal Planner on the fridge with a tear off shopping list. This makes life much easier because I used to type it out and print it out every week. Now all I do is fill in the blanks and take my shopping list to the store. I decided that like other homeschool/homemaker bloggers I am going to post my weekly meals every Monday. If you would like help meal planning, go to the website above. The writer has alot of helpful hints and tricks to get you started.
Breakfast: Cereal of choice and OJ
Lunch: Chicken Noodle Soup and Sandwiches
Dinner: Manwiches, Fries and pineapple slices
Breakfast: Eggs, toast and OJ
Lunch: Mac and Cheese, applesauce and corn
Dinner: Venison Steak, Baked Potatoes, Peaches and Italian Bread
Breakfast: Cereal, Toast and OJ
Lunch: Sandwiches and Fresh Fruit
Dinner: Chicken Cesear Salad, mandarin Oranges and Italian bread
Breakfast: Bagels, fresh fruit and OJ
Lunch: Chicken Fingers and applesauce
Dinner: Spaghetti, salad and garlic bread
Breakfast: Pancakes, milk and fruit
Lunch: bagged lunch for co-op
Dinner: Homemade Pizza and garlic bread
Breakfast: Cereal and oj
Lunch: whatever you want
Dinner: Crockpot Chili
Breakfast: Pancakes and milk
Lunch: Sandwiches and veggie sticks
Dinner: BBQ Chicken, garlic mashed potatoes and dinner rolls
fruit snacks (gummies)

Thursday, February 19, 2009

I found this neat little chart on the net...

Here is a comparison of homeschool vs. public school:
Homeschool vs. Public School
One on one
/ 30 to 1 student-teacher ratio
Parent directed and monitored/Limited parental involvement
Tailored to student learning style/Caters to visual and auditory learners
Students progress at their own pace/Adheres to arbitrary scope and sequence
Encourages discovery and love of learning/Encourages memorization
Two-way dialogue/Lecture
Balances academics with life skills/Removes student from day to day life
Decisions motivated by concern for student/Decisions tainted by financial and professional incentives
Real life, multi-age/Segregated by age, race and income
Physically and emotionally safe/Danger of bullying, physical and verbal assault
Flexible, suits learner/Rigid, inhibits kinesthetic learners
Consistent, secure/Changes from year to year
Encourages students to do their best/Negative peer pressure
Allows time to pursue hobbies and interests/Wastes time on classroom management and busywork
Independence/Dependence on teacher, government
Self-motivation/External rewards and consequences
Discipline focuses on building character/Discipline focuses on classroom management

SO,whaat about Socialization?

Concerns about the social disadvantages of homeschooling are usually related to one of the following questions:
1. How will your child learn to stand in line, raise his hand before speaking, take turns, etc.?
My children learn good social skills as we live our lives together. We stand in line at the grocery store, we greet our neighbors, and we take turns letting each other speak. I coach my children in their day-to-day interactions, and they also learn from watching me.
My children may never perfect the art of waving their hands in the air, shouting "me, me - pick me," and they may never learn the phrase, “no cuts, no buts, no interrupts,” but they will know how to behave properly in social settings.
2. How will your child learn to handle bullies?
When was the last time you were physically threatened, taunted, groped or sexually harassed? I haven’t experienced any of the above since I graduated from high school.
School creates a perfect environment for bullying and victimization. Children who are bullied don’t learn to handle bullies, they learn to tolerate being bullied. Those who can't tolerate it suffer terribly, sometimes hurting themselves or others.
As an adult I have had to deal with difficult people, but I have never been forced to endure daily taunting or physical assault, nor have I had to interact with those who would engage in such behavior.
Homeschooling and socialization allows parents to shield their children from negative encounters until they have developed the self-confidence and maturity to handle them.
3. How will your child learn to be around different types of people?
Public school students spend their days in a room with children who are their same age, socioeconomic status and, more often than not, race. These children quickly learn that older kids do not play with younger kids, girls don't play with boys, rich kids don't play with poor kids, and so on.
As an adult I don’t sit in a room full of other thirty three year olds, taunting the person next to me because she has a big nose and wears glasses. I don't want my children on the giving or receiving end of that unsocial behavior.
One of the biggest myths about homeschooling and socialization is that children are cooped up with their parents and siblings all day. In the course of a week, my children participate in many activities outside of our home. School is an artificial environment. Real life encounters teach children to appreciate diversity.
4. How will your child make friends/learn to be a good friend?
I recently read a book called, Hold On to Your Kids, which greatly encouraged me in this area.
According to Hold On to Your Kids, early peer relationships cause disrespect, bullying, victimization, rebellion and other undesirable behaviors in children. The authors, Gordon Neufeld and Gabor Mate, believe children need relationships with loving adults – not other children.As an adult, I model respect, kindness, selflessness and other traits my children need to be good friends. I have never understood the concept of sending kids to school to learn how to treat each other. How can someone who doesn’t know how to share teach my child to be a good friend?
5. What about homeschooling and socialization?
To quote the late, Dr. Raymond Moore:
“Does anyone who knows children, believe that the yellow school bus takes children down the road to a constructive, positive sense of society? Or returns them in the afternoon or evening more loving creatures than when they left in the morning?"
I think we all know the answer to that question.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

This is Cool!

You have heard of netflix right? Well, here is a program similar EXCEPT it offers EDUCATIONAL videos. Here is the website:
Check it out!

Scriptures That Inspire Me...

~ Psalm 127:3 ~ "Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him."

~ Proverbs 22:6 ~ "Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it."

~ 2 Timothy 3:16-17 ~ "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness..."

~ Deuteronomy 6:6-7 ~ "And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today. Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up."

~ Psalm 32:8 ~ "The Lord says, 'I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you."

This Week

I often get asked if we take school breaks when the Public School takes theirs. Because our children have alot of friends in the PS, I do give them a break. We do not do "nothing" for a whole week however.
I picked up 5 educational movies from the library that goes with what they are learning.
I still do read alouds- Currently finishing up The Slave Dancer. I also found a website that has lessons to go with each chapter, so I will give them one lesson a day and read one chapter a day.
I will find ways to incorporate living math without them even realizing it, such as recipes and asking Ty to build me a shelf. Life is Learning and just because we are not doing "book" work this week, there are learning opportunities in every day life, if you know where to look.
I will not let them vedge in front of the TV. Educational shows or not. Play a game, go for a walk (when it is nice) Do arts and Crafts. SOMETHING other than TV.

We went to see the Reptile Show yesterday at Beaver Lake , the reptiles were huge! We went on a nature hike afterwards, albeit a bit cold, it was enjoyable. I am thinking of taking the kids ice skating Thursday. However, as homeschoolers we are spoiled because usually during school hours we pretty much have the place(s) to ourselves, with schools on vacation I am anticipating a mad house. :)

Ty spent the night at Church for the Lock-In and they went bowling, sledding, ice skating and I am not sure what else. Matt is going to go pick him up now.
That's all I have for today. I am going to post a list of things to do other than watch TV later. I know how easy it is to just let them watch TV all day, especially when you yourself have alot to do. However, are they really getting anything good from it? Even if it is educational after awhile you Will see their eyes glaze over and you know they are in TV lala land. Anyway this is my thoughts on it. I know families that chooses not to own a TV for just these reasons. We will occasionally have a TV turn off week. However, I do like a few shows and there are good programs for the kids available, so moderation is my motto. :)

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Pictures of Bre and Daddy as Promised ;)

Here are the pictures of MAtt and Bre all ready for the dance. Like I anticipated, Matt didn't take pictures there. I knew he wouldn't he doesn't like lugging the camera around. Oh well, at least I have these. :)
Bre came home with all kinds of goodies like candy and balloons. She spent about an hour telling me about Wacky Chad (magician/trickster) and all the other events that took place. When she was all done telling me about she just had to add " Now, this does NOT mean that I am a Girly Girl!" I laughed so hard because I was totally anticpating those exact words and I wouldn't have it any other way.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Father Daughter Dance

Right now my "baby" is at a Valentine Father Daughter Dance. The proceeds go to the Children's Hospital. I took tons of pictures before they left and forced Matt to take the camera with them. I hope he takes pictures. :)
I just have to tell you the anticipation Bre had for the entire week that Daddy asked her to go to the dance. First of all, anyone that knows Bre knows-she doesn't wear dresses. I used to put the cutest little dresses on her when she was a toddler. However, when she found her voice she put a stop to that! lol. Now that didn't stop me from constantly buying them in hopes that she would suddenly have a change of heart and wear them. She only wears dress pants or skirts to church.

Here's the funny thing, when Matt told me his plan to ask Bre to the dance (which by the way includes a crosiage) I was thinking of how I was going to break it to him that there is no way Bre would want to go. One she is a mama's girl (doesn't like to go anywhere without me) and two, she don't do dresses.(yes I know that is not proper grammar)
Here is the scene: before I had a good excuse for her so his heart wouldn't be broken, he asks her if she would like to be his date for the Father Daughter Valentine Dance. Me: holding my breath and squinting my eyes hears "Really Daddy? I would love to!!" WHAT? I open my eyes to see if she really meant that. She did. The next two hours consisted of her tyring n EVERY single dress that has been hanging In back of her closet until she found the perfect one!! It was such a sweet moment for me. A glorious glorious moment. She is not an all together tom boy but she isn't a girly girl either. I have been OK with that-really. But, I must say it was a sweet moment. Then here comes the kicker-She asks me to CURL her hair and do her nails!! She also said she would like some pearls to go with the dress.We went shopping! FUN! We bought a pretty petite black dress purse to go with her shoes (and to hold her inhaler.) We found a very pretty set of pearl necklace and bracelet at a Thrifty shopper and to top it off we bought nail polish in the exact shade as her dress.
At exactly 5pm she said it was time to do her hair-Beautiful ringlets that we tied into side ponytails with matching valentine ribbon and a pearl clip. She wouldn't put on her dress until after dinner for fear of spilling taco on it. Oh I almost forgot, she also bought daddy a huge chocolate bar that say "Be my Valentine." How SWEET!

I will put pictures of them once Matt gets back with the camera. Probably won't get to it until tomorrow actually. I am sure I will be up late hearing all the wonderful little details of a magical time between a little girl and her daddy.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Today is the 100th Day of School!!

Woo-Hoo! We celebrated our 100th day of school this year today!! We ordered pizza and I bought 100 small chocolates. I also bought soda- Which I NEVER do! We did not do any school other than reading The Slave Dancer. We also watched Get Smart and just had FUN! I want to coordinate with other moms next year to have a huge party somewhere FUN. It is important to have fun days once in awhile and what better day than the 100th day of school? The kids have been doing great with their schooling. I am so proud how far they have come, these past four years. :) We did have a few "bad" days last week. I think they were getting cabin fever and they just kept antagonizing each other. It was driving me CRAZY. My friend Becky invited Ty to go tubing with her family and he came home in such good spirits that I KNEW that this was in fact the problem.
We took the kids sledding Sunday because it was so nice out and we ALL feel better. I am going to make sure we get enough outside time. I constantly ask myself WHY I live in NY because I hate winters! FAMILY is why we stay and FAMILY is why we will always stay. :)

Some VERY FUN Projects we have been included

Here are just a few things we have been doing...
1.) We made homemade chalk-Yes it works JUST like store bought. I will upload pictures once I get around to it. :)

Here is the recipe:

Materials needed:

1 cup plaster of Paris 1 cup water Powdered tempera paint Mold for chalk (small paper cups, ice cube trays, tissue rolls, etc.)Mixing bowl and spoon ( I used a plastic edd carton! they look like the chalks you can buy around Easter time)

What to do:
Step One: In a large bowl, mix the water and plaster of Paris together.
Step Two: Add the powdered tempera paint to the mixture.
Step Three: Once the paint has been mixed in well, set it aside for a few minutes.
Step Four: Pour the mixture into the mold and let it dry. This can take anywhere from several hours to a day (or maybe longer), depending on the size of the mold. Remember: The bigger the mold, the longer it will take to dry.
Step Five: Once the mold is dry, remove the chalk. If the chalk is still moist, let it air dry for another 24 hours.
Now your kids can have a blast drawing with the chalk they created. Anything they draw will be washed away by the rain, so don't worry if they accidentally get some on the side of your house!

MAGIC OOZE: This was a very very cool science project. Even Matt was stumped and played with the stuff. hehe.

Here is what you do:

we put our cup of water in the bowl and we added cornstarch until we couldn't stir it anymore. Now we have our ooze. Aviva poke the ooze with your finger really fast. Tell me how it feels? Hard. Hard. Now I want you to poke it really slow you can put your hand in there. How does it feel now? Ooze. You can play with it now pull it out and you can take a spoon full of it. Put some more in your other hand. Move it from hand to hand. Issac Newton a scientist from the 1700 hundreds describe the properties of ideal fluids. Scientist has found that not all fluids behave like Newton's ideal fluids. Scientist named this fluids non newton fluids. Our ooze behaves a little like a liquid and a little like a solid it is a non newton fluid. When you are finish enjoying your ooze make sure you throw it away in a plastic bag in the garbage. Do not pour it down the drain it will clog your pipes.

Bird House: Food is scarse in the winter here in the north for the birds. This also goes great if you are participating in the Back Yard Bird Count from February 13-16th!

Here is how we made ours:

To make a Milk Carton Bird Feeder, you will need:
milk or juice carton
craft knife or scissors
wax pencil or crayon
ruler or straight edge
two small lengths of double-sided tape
two bamboo skewers or straight, small diameter twigs to use as perchs
bird seed
hole punch
twine to make a hanger
Milk Carton Bird FeederInstructions:

1. Use the wax pencil and ruler to draw the shape of the opening on the front of the milk carton, as shown in the diagram at right. The opening looks like the outline of a house with a peaked roof. You should allow about two inches at the bottom of the carton to hold a good amount of seeds.

2. Use the craft knife to cut out the opening. Younger children will need an adult to help with this part.

3. Using the top of the peak as a center point, fold the piece of milk carton that you just removed in half along its length. Make a half inch cut from the point of the peak down the center fold. Fold up a half inch flap on either side of this cut, as shown in the diagram at right.

4. Attach a length of double-sided tape to each flap.

5. Insert this roof piece into the top of the opening and use your fingers to press the flaps against the inside of the milk carton until the double-sided tape holds securely.

6. Poke a bamboo skewer or thin straight twig through the wall of the milk carton, just below the left side of the opening. Repeat on the right side. Poke skewers all the way through and out the back wall of the carton. This keeps the perches straight and secure.

7. Use a hole punch or a skewer to punch two holes through the top line of the carton.

8. Thread twine through the two holes to make a hanger.

9. Fill the bottom of the feeder with nyger seed or a small bird seed mixture. Hang your milk carton bird feeder from a tree branch that you can reach easily when you need to add more bird seed.Suggestions:If you plan to do a lot of bird watching, hang the feeder in a spot that you can see clearly from a window. If the bird feeder is some distance away, use binoculars or a spy glass to see the birds up close.Buy a good bird identification book and keep a record of all the species that turn up at your backyard feeding station. Record the date that you saw each bird, whether it was a male or female, or a pair of a birds. You may also want to add other observations about their size, appearance, special markings and behaviour. Research the birds that you see to find out what types of foods they prefer, or experiment by offering different types of bird seed in your bird feeder to find out for yourself.

The kids are also currently working on their Civil War lapbooks along with their daily work.