Wednesday, October 19, 2011

2011- 2012 Curriculum

I am a curriculum research addict. There, I said it. The first stage to recovery is admitting you have a problem. Sometimes, this little "problem" really gets me into trouble. I will go bumping along smoothly, happy with my curriculum choices and then see something that makes me second guess my approach.

Fortunetly, I don't  change my kids curriculum all that much. This problem seems to only drive me insane and doesn't leak out on anyone else. I think I might have finally kicked the habit though.

I spent a long weekend charting out a rough draft of curriculums I can use until 8th grade. I don't know if my husband will let me homeschool that long, but I am a planner. I am following a sort of Well-Trained Mind/Charlotte Mason hybrid.

My main focus is getting through this year. I am spending a lot of time as a caregiver for my grandmother and lessons are not on the same days or times as usual. Routine is difficult right now, so we are doing our best.

Morning lessons run about one hour for each child. Our family lessons run between 1-4 hours.

If I can get the time, I will post about teaching each of the curriculums I use.

Optimus, 3rd grade (Morning lessons)

Writing With Ease, Level 3

First Language Lessons, Level 3

New American Cursive, Workbook 1

McGuffey’s Eclectic Reader, Third

Math-U-See, Gamma

Math-U-See, Delta

Usborne IL Encyclopedia of World Geography

Tink, 1st grade (Morning Lessons)

Writing With Ease, Level 1

First Language Lessons, Level 1

Practice and Learn, 1st grade

School Zone Phonics Workbook, Grades 1-3

Phonics Pathways

Dolch Site Words flashcards

McGuffey’s Eclectic Reader, Primer

McGuffey’s Eclectic Reader, First

Math-U-See, Alpha

Usborne IL Encyclopedia of World Geography

Both children


Burgess Book of Animals

Usborne First Encyclopedia of the Human Body

R.E.A.L Science Odyssey for Kids Life, Level 1

Atlas of the Universe (Insiders)

R.E.A.L. Science Odyssey for Kids Earth and Space, Level 1


Usborne IL Encyclopedia of World History

Story of the World, Volume 2 textbook and activity guide

The Story of US, Volume 1

3-D Maps of American History

History Pockets, Native Americans


various printed art cards




State Study Guide, pdf file

The United States of America: A State by State Guide

The Illustrated Encyclopedia of American Landmarks

Many Biomes, One Earth

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

3rd Grade homeschool test

At the end of August we will have finished our 1st quarter of 3rd grade for my son. I have been working on a test to put into his portfolio. This is something new that will be added from now on to the portfolios. In prior years I pulled samples from his work during the year to make up his portfolio. I will still be doing this, but I would like to add the tests as well. In Arizona, the public schools test in 3rd and I will start this also.

Here is my rough draft for the test. I will post up the finished copy later if anyone is interested in using it.

3rd Grade Skills Test (1st quarter)

1. Write 2-4 lines of a poem that you memorized this quarter. Please include the title and author.

2. Write this sentence in cursive.
The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog.

1. (I will read the sentence and he will write it).
"In spring, the boy and the rabbit spent long days in the garden." from The Velveteen Rabbit

1. Write a narrative about the following story.
Mercury and the Woodman

A Woodman was felling a tree on the bank of a river, when his axe,
glancing off the trunk, flew out of his hands and fell into the water.
As he stood by the water's edge lamenting his loss, Mercury appeared
and asked him the reason for his grief. On learning what had happened,
out of pity for his distress, Mercury dived into the river and,
bringing up a golden axe, asked him if that was the one he had lost.
The Woodman replied that it was not, and Mercury then dived a second
time, and, bringing up a silver axe, asked if that was his. "No,
that is not mine either," said the Woodman. Once more Mercury dived
into the river, and brought up the missing axe. The Woodman was
overjoyed at recovering his property, and thanked his benefactor
warmly; and the latter was so pleased with his honesty that he made
him a present of the other two axes. When the Woodman told the story
to his companions, one of these was filled with envy of his good
fortune and determined to try his luck for himself. So he went and
began to fell a tree at the edge of the river, and presently contrived
to let his axe drop into the water. Mercury appeared as before, and,
on learning that his axe had fallen in, he dived and brought up a
golden axe, as he had done on the previous occasion. Without waiting
to be asked whether it was his or not, the fellow cried, "That's mine,
that's mine," and stretched out his hand eagerly for the prize: but
Mercury was so disgusted at his dishonesty that he not only declined
to give him the golden axe, but also refused to recover for him the
one he had let fall into the stream.
"Honesty is the best policy." Aesop

1. Describe your favorite book from this quarter. Please include the title and author.

2. Tell a story from another book from this quarter. Please include the title and author.

1. Underline the subject and circle the predicate in the sentence.
Pythons are snakes.

2. Diagram these sentences.
The Sahara Desert is dry.
Mount Rushmore is spectacular.

3. Write the definition of a noun.

4. List 5 linking verbs.

5. Change these words to plurals.

1. Describe something we learned about in history. Make sure to use names, locations, and details.

1. Please write the name of the states on the map for the following numbers. 6, 19, 24, 36, 47, 50

2. What is a valley?

3. Name the 5 oceans. Circle the two that surround North America.

Natural History and General Science
1. What order does the beaver belong to? Describe the beavers traits and habitat.

2. Describe one other animal. Remember to add information about its habitat, traits, and enemies.

3. Name three types of matter and explain why water can be each of them.

Reading Skill
1. Lexile Level of last book read

2. Schonell reading test score

1. Math-U-See 6-14 unit test

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

3rd Grade (1st Quarter)

This week is week two in our 1st Quarter for 3rd grade. I thought I would share my lesson plan for Optimus. We may not get to everything each day, but for the most part we will. Most lessons don't usually take more than 20 minutes. Some lessons I think will be short turn out to be all day affairs. I try to let the kids interest level decide on the length of the lesson. Except of course for math and language arts. Those subjects just need to be done, no matter how low their interest level!  Some of the resources I use are cataloged at Old Fashioned Education, a very interesting site with tons of free resources.

May - August

LA Extras (Mon, Wed, Thurs, Fri)
Dictionary use
Bear Essential News for Kids worksheet
Boys Life (read an article, write on reading log, summerize the article)
Ranger Rick (same as above)

Grammar (Mon, Wed, Thurs, Fri)
1st Language Lessons, Level 3 (4x a week)
Spectrum Language Arts, Grade 3 (2-3x a week)

Reading (Mon, Wed, Thurs, Fri)
Read a book of choice for 30 mins, write book summary

Phonics (Mon, Wed, Thurs)
Funnix (2x a week)
Online Phonics (2-3x a week)

Literature (Mon, Wed, Thurs) These are selections that I read to the kids.
Historical Novel

Writing (Mon, Wed, Thurs)
Project (news story, interview, letters, etc)
McGuffey Reader (Read story and write copywork in cursive)

Math (Mon, Wed, Thurs, Fri)
Practice math facts
Timez Attack

Social Studies (Wed, Thurs, Fri)
Foreign country research paper or lapbook

Geography (Mon, Wed, Thurs)
Memorize state locations
Work on United States packet
Geography lesson

History (Mon, Wed)

Science (Thurs, Fri)
Listen to science story
Conduct experiments
Complete botany lesson

Typing (Mon, Fri)

Art (Wed, Thurs)
Use to explore Artist (2 a month) works
Complete art project
Complete artist pages for binder

Music (Mon, Fri)
Listen to Musician (2 a month)
Complete musician pages for binder
Use to learn about each instrument

Unit Study (Mon, Wed, Thurs)
Work on independant unit study of choice (lapbook/notebook)

Saturday, May 7, 2011

3 Reasons to Consider Homeschooling

The truth is that homeschooling is not about making your children into college professors or religious robots.  Parents that homeschool do so for a myriad of reasons. Religion, academics, and morality are just a few. These reasons may not even be the most important for some homeschoolers.

Homeschooling is a way of life. Now, you may have heard that before. It is true non the less. Those families that choose to homeschool open themselves up to a world of possibilities that are not available to their public school parent peers.

The first and most important in my opinion, is time. Your family schedule is completely open. You, as the parent, decide what is important to your family and can fill your schedule with activities that reflect personal beliefs and goals.

Another key advantage to homeschooling is religious, spiritual, and moral freedom. I have heard many parents that are concerned with images and content in media. If your children are in PS (public school) it is very difficult if not impossible to censor exposure of "negative" media they get from peers and staff. PSers have to use the time they have with their kids to combat these concerning influences. I'm not only writing about religious influence, but also about things like sex, lying, drugs, disrespect, and their like.

I'll be the first to admit that I might err more on the side of sheltering the kids and my husband is more on the side of more exposure. Most of the time we meet in the middle and the kids are exposed to things that are age appropriate (or slightly above). I will also readily admit that being around other homeschooled families does not mean your child will never hear, see, or pick up negative things. My children have had a few very interesting experience with other homeschooled children. The difference from PS is that I have the immediate opportunity to help my children sort through these sometimes difficult situations and guide them back to our family's core beliefs.

The last of the three reasons to homeschool is freedom of curriculum. Every child is different and in my opinion deserves a certain amount of individual attention in their studies. Take my two precious ones as examples:

My son at four-and-a-half was ready to read. He asked me to teach him and we worked 15-20 minutes a day until he was reading on his own. By five years old he was reading level 1 readers. My daughter on the other hand could not be bothered to remember a letter we worked on for several days at four-and-a-half. I took a break and started again with letters at the age of five. Again she wasn't ready. We started yet again at five-and-a-half and that is when she was ready. She started learning letters, began to write everything, and slowly started reading. She is now almost six-and-a-half and reading sight word cards and phonics books.

Without the freedom to tailor my homeschool curriculum both of my kids would be miserable. My son would not be challenged enough and my daughter would not be given the creative outlets that have helped her develop in her own time. I doubt that this ebb and flow of accelerating and slowing down will stop while I homeschool. Homeschooling allows us to adjust to the students current abilities and prepare them for when they hit the gas and speed through a semesters worth of work.

Homeschoolers also get the unique opportunity to choose curriculum that upholds family beliefs and values while still catering to the child's interests and ability.

How important are Art, Music, and PE to your family? These subjects are virtually disappearing in PS. If your child loves these subjects or has a particular aptitude you can make sure that their lessons are filled with these creative outlets.

Imagine you have a child that is certain of their career path. As a homeschooler you can allow her to pursue studies that are needed in that career. She uses her time to sign up for a community college course (our cc allows kids as young as 13 with a parent), internship, or volunteer in that field. Perhaps this time she spends pursuing her goal teaches her that this is the right path and she can then focus on her career more in depth than before. Maybe this time teaches her that she is not passionate about this career choice. Better to find out now then after spending a year and thousands of dollars in college.

So these are my top three reasons to consider homeschooling. There are as many reasons as there are homeschoolers. What are your top three?

happy homeschooling

Friday, April 15, 2011

Naked Eggs and Flying Potatoes

While searching Youtube for science activities, I came across an Ellen show clip with science guy, Steve Spangler. The clip showed the two shooting potatoes across the studio. After searching for more of Steve Spangler, the kids and I found some awesome Halloween experiments. You can check out his site here My kids love his videos from his site. He is very energetic and entertaining. Optimus is very interested in a few of the kits offered on the site.

For Optimus' birthday, his Oma (grandmother) and Grandpa Mike bought him Steve Spangler's book.
It didn't take him long to open it up and start the density project inside.

Tink also wanted to make a similar project. The book is filled with great science facts and experiments. Both of the kids are looking forward to diving in deeper to the book. I highly recommend it! At about $15 you can't go wrong.


Sunday, April 10, 2011

Week in Review

NTH Geography Fair
Optimus showcased his Brazil project.
Tink's South America project.

Tink singing about water.

Optimus' flight with the Tucson 99's Club.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Life in Early Crete

We usually only need Story of the World and various library extras for history, but since we are heading into Ancient Greece, I have decided to beef things up  a bit. This is our absolute favorite time in history (so far). We will be spending about two months in Ancient Greece.

Here is what we are using:
Story of the World, vol 1
Story of the World Activity Guide, vol 1
Usborne Internet Linked World History
Magic Tree House Research Guide, Ancient Greece and the Olympics (Optimus' reader)
various library books
D'Aulaires' Book of Greek Myths Ancient Greece lapbook
Percy Jackson The Lightning Thief (our nightly read aloud)

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Concepts of Energy: Part 1

We have taken a two week break from our science curriculum. I had strep throat, we went on a small vacation, and completed a few small experiments. Now we have jumped back in!

This week we are tackling the C-1, Concepts of Energy: Part 1, from Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding.

Part 1: Forms of Energy and What They Do. I made some "energy" cards and we used them to figure out what kind of energy was need for different things. Download Energy Cards

Part 2: Storage and Release of Energy.

Part 3: Energy Changes from One Form to Another.
Here we used the energy cards again to fill in the blanks like, "A motor converts (what kind of energy) to (what kind of energy)?"

Ending Activity:
We made a book depicting four forms of energy incorporating everything we had learned about energy.

take care everyone,

Friday, March 18, 2011

Things to Do - April

Continuing from March
CurrClick's Get-Fit-Athon

April 2nd
Tucson 99's Event
"2011 Pound Rides at Ryan Airfield

Sat. April 2nd 2011
20¢ a pound for a 20min flight in a general aviation airplane
Ticket Sales begin early at the airport
We weigh you Calculate your cost And you get to go up in an airplane!"

April 7th
Family Astronomy Night -
Catalina Community Center 7:30pm - 9:30pm

April 14th - 24th
Pima County Fair

April 27th
Wordgirl Definition Competition -
10am (online webcast)

April 30th
Relay for Life -
You can see my Hubby on the commercial located at the website. We will be there raising money for the 501st Team!!

 As a public service announcement I would like to advise you to put on the filter if you are googling "April flowers". Apparently there is a porn star with the same name! Ah!

Happy Homeschooling

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


I had a very interesting conversation with my soon-to-be eight year old.

I wanted to talk to him about his lessons for next year and the fact that he will be entering the 3rd grade. We went down the list of things he will be working on and discussed them all. He loves 1st Language Lessons, Timez Attack, and reading. He wanted to bargain on math a bit. We finally settled on a system of Math-U-See dvd segment followed by the test for the unit. If he passes the test (verbally), we move on. We will use worksheets only when he needs extra practice before passing the test.

Next we talked about starting Latin, reading more historical books, and blogging. He was particularly excited about getting his own blog to post on. He will continue with Chess and Lego Club, PE, Tennis, and Scouts. After we were finished talking about all the "school" stuff, I asked him if he had any personal goals for the next year.

Optimus thought for a few minutes. His list includes; taking more walks, learning to do his own laundry, learning to ride his bike, and finishing his work on time. He would also like to learn more about hunting, fishing, hiking, and survival training.

I was pretty blown away at his choices. I was thinking they would be more like, beating Mario into submission or conquering Lego Harry Potter. I think he showed great maturity and I am a very proud Mama!

Monday, January 31, 2011

Looking ahead to next year : a curriculum story

In the mail yesterday was a Critical Thinking company catalog. It got me thinking about curriculum for next year. I like to have my shopping list made out, so that I can take it to various homeschool curriculum fairs and bookstores. I found a SOTW activity guide at a local used bookstore for $7. Don't forget to look in occasionaly on those used bookstores or library sales!

Next year I will have a (gasp) 1st grader and a 3rd grader. I will be able to use most of Optimus' old books for Tink, but I will need to buy new things also. So here is the "list".

2011-2012 Curriculum List

Items I already have:
Science - will continue with Building Foundations through Scientific Understanding.
Math - MathUSee (Tink)
Language - First Language Lessons, Levels 1&2 (Tink)
Reading - Funnix and Reading Pathways (Tink)
Literature - various book and The Illiad by Susan Hope Osborne from the library.
Nature Study - no curriculum needed

Items I need:
History - Story of the World Volume Two : The Middle Ages. Textbook and Activity Guide.
Music - Piano lessons  (Optimus)
Art - hopefully Artistic Pursuits, otherwise continue with art topics exploring
Language - First Language Lessons, Level 4 textbook (Optimus)
Life Skills -
Foreign Language - Song School Latin
Sports - PE and Tennis lessons (both)
Math - MathUSee and Reader Rabbit Math software (Optimus)
Other -
Building Thinking Skills Level 1, software (Optimus)
Word Roots, beginning (Optimus)
Brainbox USA We will use this for geography.

Art Topics

I will be the first to admit that I am not gifted in the art department. I liked drawing when I was younger. I would only draw horses and unicorns, but I was never any good at it. It's not really my "thing". When looking to add more art to my children's homeschool days I was pretty lost. 

I would love to someday afford Artistic Pursuits. It seems like a really great program, but there is just never enough in the budget to buy it. *Sigh* Someday...
Anyway, until I can sit back with the Artistic Pursuits books and teach art in depth, I have come up with a list of art topics for the kids to explore. 

I use this list to give the kids some variety in their drawing. My son is not really an artist (that kid seems more like me by the minute). My daughter LOVES drawing. She would probably only draw reindeer and pegasus if not stretched a bit though. 

I give the kids two topics a week. Topic "a" is a one day project and "b" is a two day project (usually). Topic "a" is always pencil and I change the medium for "b" each week. 

Art Ideas for 3rd Quarter

1a. Bird heads
1b. Vehicles of the Future
2a. Bird wings
2b. Your Dreams
3a. Bird body
3b. Monster of Your Making
4a. Bird (complete)
4b. A City Underwater
5a. Insect wing
5b. A bowl of fruit
6a. Insect head
6b. An ant's worldview
7a. Insect body
7b. Giraffe's worldview
8a. Insect legs
8b. Your favorite toy (or object in your room)
9a. Insect (complete)
9b. A pond, lake, or stream
10a. Leaf of a plant
10b. Self-portrait

There you have it. These are the topics we will be working on for this quarter. If you have any ideas please post them in the comments. I have 12 weeks in 4th quarter to fill!

Happy Homeschooling

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Week 7, 3rd Quarter

This week definitely had it's battles and triumphs! Overall a good week that ended with Optimus' scout Pinewood Derby.

Let's start with Tink:
- MEP is working well with her so far, she enjoys all the praise she's getting for the focus and attention she is giving her math.
- Tink wrote a book this week. I will have to write a second post to share the book and pictures.
Funnix has now replaced the 100 Easy lessons book that we had been using with her. Funnix is by the same author AND he actually recommends it more than the book.
- I am wondering if tennis is just not Tink's "thing", or if she would be this easily distracted at any sport. At times I get incredibly frustrated with her. She seems to be constantly wandering around in her mind and focuses on tennis for only short bits. I'm going to just take a deep breath and have her finish out the term.

On to Optimus:
- MEP has not been the right fit for Optimus. I think it is the worksheets. He is not a worksheet type of kid. I am now researching math games and other non-worksheet ways to "do" math. This has not been an easy subject for either of us.
- Optimus organized his thoughts for his book, but we didn't have a chance to get even the first draft done.
-Funnix has been very good for Optimus. He sometimes completes a few lessons on his own. He enjoys the stories.
-Optimus is really doing well with tennis. He listens to the coach and has improved his hitting. He hit 15 balls back to the coach at this week's lesson. Yeah!
-Language Lessons are still one of his favorite things to do. This week we focused on the dictionary skills lessons at the back of the book. He finished the McGuffey book and is on to the next reader in the series.
-Magic Tree House books have really captured his attention. He even took one in the car to read on the way to scouts! The group of books I ordered came the other day, so I can keep my word at giving him a book each time he reads one. He wants to finish the series. I hope he sticks to it.

In SOTW, we took on Far East: Ancient China. We only got half way finished though. We will need to combine the second half with Ancient Africa next week. I really wanted to get the kids making their Ming bowls, but that will have to wait until next week.

With BFSU we talked about Distinguishing Between Plants and Animals. This topic seemed to be an easy one for the kids and they got the concepts quickly. I am happy with this program. I finally have a science curriculum!

This week's activities were a huge amount of fun. We did our routine of PE and playtime, scouts, park day, and tennis. Yesterday we had loads of fun at the Pinewood Derby. Optimus didn't place this year, but he did win a ribbon for the Funniest car.

 "Armored Brick of Cheese"

Happy Homeschooling!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Tink turns 6

Where did all the time go? I can NOT believe that my baby is now 6 years old. She is growing into a young lady. Here are some pictures from her birthday weekend.
Daddy and I gave her a microphone. She adores it!

Tackle Cousin!

She really loved her Pet Shop tent.

Her unicorn and a visiting flat traveler

The BEST cake hands down I have ever tasted!

I love you sweety.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Week 6, 3rd Quarter, 1/17-1/21/2011

Morning Meeting - Words of the day (generous, respectful, obey, natural, discuss), calendar work, gathering stuff for our Flat Travelor from Pennsylvania.

Science - Living vs. Non-Living
History - Ch. 9, The 1st Cities of India
Math - MEP for both

FIAR - Night of the Moonjellies
Language Arts - Funnix and other curriculum

Nature Study - Bird bodies
Art - underwater city and Cub Scouts Art belt loop

Color wheel

Left page is his tea cup. Right page is a dog (exploring texture).

This is Tink's dinosaur egg and bird.

Life Skills - forgiveness and animal care

Silent Reading

Week 5, 3rd Quarter 1/10-1/14/2011

Morning Meeting - Words of the day (difficult, clutched, scrumptious, kind, and quality), calendar work, sent off Flat Travelor to Pennsylvania.

Science - Gravity I

History - Ch. 7, Hammurabi and Ch. 8, The Assyrians

Math - MEP for both
FIAR - Owl Moon
Language Arts

*Continuing with Funnix and regular curriculum.
Nature Study - Bird wings

Art - vehicle of the future and Cub Scouts Art belt loop
Life Skills - forgiveness and animal care
Silent Reading

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Week 4, 3rd Quarter 1/3-1/7/2011

So I said I was going to try and take pictures this week, but I didn't have batteries until Thursday! I am set for next week though and have my camera sitting on the workbox! No way I can forget right, right.

Morning Meeting - Words of the day (satisfied, beckoned, amazing, gleam, and tidy), calendar work, made flat trav for Pennsylvania. We received our flat on Friday.

Science - Matter and it's Particulate Nature
*We did a simple experiment with blowing bubbles in soapy water. We also ripped up some paper.

History - Ch. 7, Hammurabi
*We are going to have to push this to next week. I ran out of printer paper and we just didn't have time to even read the selection.

*Still loving MEP.
FIAR - Beatrix Potter selections
*I adore these stories. I am going to just finish the book with my daughter.

Language Arts

*We are trying the program Funnix based on the Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons. There are two levels, so each kid is trying it out.

Nature Study - Bird tails
*Focus was much better this week.
Art - Color Wheel and Cub Scout Art belt loop
*Daddy will be teaching the kids about the color wheel on Sunday and the kids and I will be making an Elements or Art book.
Life Skills - honesty and cleanliness

Silent Reading

*Optimus has started reading the Magic Tree House series. He wanted to make a deal with me that if he finished one book, I would buy him the next. DEAL!
Happy Homeschooling!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


I have never done a post about a product other than used for homeschooling, but I can't contain this one. I must share the awesomeness that is this tea.

Honey Vanilla Chamomile, herbal caffeine free tea
It's made by Celestial Seasonings.

Oh my, it is wonderful. Even the kids like it.

I now return you to your regular broadcast.

take care,

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Week 3, 3rd Quarter 12/27-12/31/2010

This is my favorite picture of 2010!

Week 3 is over. Here are the highlights.

Morning Meeting - Words of the day (struggled, delighted, horrid, cozy, and responsibility), calendar work, choose next state for Flat Travelor.
*We chose Pennsylvania and I was able to find a nice family we will trade with. This week we will be making new flats to send out by Friday.

Science - Air is a Substance
*The kids really understood the concepts and loved the experiments.

History - Ch. 5, The First Sumerian Dictator
*We had a bit of a break before getting back into SOTW, but I was super surprised by how much Optimus had retained!

*We started MEP. I really like the the pace of this program. I was shocked when Tink was answering the < > = correctly! I think this program is a keeper. Optimus took the New York State, 3rd grade Math test and received an 82%. I am happy with this considering he is in 2nd grade. It was a good exercise to see if we had any gaps. We will focus on those and retake the test later in the year.

FIAR - Make Way for Ducklings
*My kids adore this book.

Language Arts
*The kids each had their own assignments in LA. Tink is at Lesson 30 in Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons. She still loves it. Optimus started First Language Lessons, Level 3. I really love the drill and he is learning a lot with this program.

Nature Study - Bird heads
*We really had a struggle with focus for this project. Tink, who is my artist, lacked interest. Unless it is unicorns and reindeer, I guess she just doesn't want to draw it. Optimus took his time and added good detail.

Art - self portraits
*I had each child go into the bathroom with their papers. They looked in the mirror to draw their own faces. Fun.

Life Skills - honesty and cleanliness

Silent Reading

*This was a great week. I feel like we accomplished a lot. I am very happy with both of the kids for jumping back into the swing of things after a big break. Next week I hope to take pictures of our lessons.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

A New Year and a Fresh Start

Now that Christmas is over and we are mostly settled in to the new house (don't mind the boxes in the background!). It's time to make those New Year resolutions. I feel like this is going to be a great year for us. I am so excited about the things we have planned and our current situation.

I have a few New Year's resolutions. I make a resolution each year, but have never followed through with keeping them an entire year. Perhaps if I cronicle them on the blog, like a journal, I will keep up with them.

#1 Get fit.
I am not making a resolution to loose a specific amount of weight or to exercise a certain number of times a week. Those just have never worked to keep me inspired enough to do it. All I want is to be more physically active with the kids. I want to be able to play football (really play) by Thanksgiving. Last Thanksgiving we talked about playing football afterwards. I thing that sounds like a lot of fun. There is a really big park near our new home and it would be perfect for this purpose. I know I'm thinking almost a year away, but that is my goal.

#2 Play with the kids more often.
I am a homeschooling mom, so I am with my kids nearly 24/7. You would think that meant that we played all the time, not so for me. Our routine has been more like: make food, eat/clean, lessons, eat/clean, lessons, free time, eat/clean, movie, bedtime routine, sleep. With my free time I am usually going through emails, watching tv, reading or planning homeschool stuff. I am going to set aside my a half hour of my free time to just PLAY with the kids. I am also "scheduling" dates with each kid individually.

#3 Blog more.
The key to this will most likely be to write blogs ahead of time and schedule them to be posted. I really like blogging about our life and the things we do. It has taken the place of scrapbooking for me. So, one those nights I can't sleep or the mornings I wake up at 4am, I am going to remember to blog a few extra entries.

What are your New Year's resolutions?

take care,