Thursday, November 28, 2013

Counting it Joy in November - Week 4

1.  Clark's thinking he's starving every morning between 9:30 and 10:00 and wanting to make lunch.  He likes to get out the bread and put it on the counter and sometimes he gets out chips or peanuts, too.  He's usually satisfied for a short time if I give him a piece of bread or a couple crackers or fruit.
2.  Projects plans
3.  Shopping trips with all the kids
4.  Assembled Christmas project kits that the kid will take to work on
5.  My Dad cut himself with a knife and was able to get the follow up care including a simple surgery
6.  Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Day 26 in Our Homeschool - Fall 2013

We often use toys in our play that go along with things we have been learning in school.  We might build with Lincoln Logs or Legos.  We might dress up or play with dolls.  Last week when we were learning about Thanksgiving we made pilgrim hats for our craft.  So I pulled out my scrap box and found some white scraps and quickly made some pilgrim aprons and hats for the girls dolls, too.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Day 25 in Our Homeschool - Fall 2013

Sometimes when the big kids are busy with an activity that the little kids will just mess up I give the little kids something fun to do on their own.

This week Clark made all the big kids jealous with his activity when they finished playing a game and realized that they were missing out on the fun he was having.  I quickly pointed out that they had been doing something fun that he couldn't do and they needed to let him continue his activity in peace.

Watercolors on cardboard is fun.  A piece of card board holds up longer than a piece of paper.  I add some food color to a little water and give a paint brush.  If they are wearing a light colored shirt I put a paint shirt over them, since food coloring can stain.  For paper I just use a couple drops of food coloring, but when we use cardboard I put several drops since the cardboard is darker colored.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Day 24 in Our Homeschool - Fall 2013

I have a large whiteboard that we use for school.  Sometimes I use it for teaching purposes and sometimes I write assignments or copywork on it for the older kids.  I also write messages pertaining to school on it.  Yesterday I wrote the following message:

Starting Monday we are OFF school until after Christmas!
Have a great vacation working on homemade presents.
(That means you'll be busy hammering, stirring, tying, etc.)
I was still in the gameroom when Katy came in and saw there was a new message.  She was so excited that she started jumping up and down and flailing her arms.  I think she might have wanted to yell excitedly, but it was quiet time and that wouldn't have been the best idea.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Counting It Joy in November - Week 3

1.  Happy Chatter of kids in the morning
2.  Forgetting to start supper in the crock-pot 3 days in a row - meant we had dinner at the end of a long day later in the week.
3.  Beautiful, sunny warm days
4.  Quinn sleeping for two nights and only getting up to eat, after which he returned to his bed with no crying.
5. A whole Saturday at home - Jeff picked up our Bountiful Basket order at 7 am.
6.  Football - Denver beat the Chiefs
7.  Monday night girls Bible Study
8.  Painting
9.  Sewing doll clothes on a whim
10.  Guitar music being played by my husband
11.  Decorative houses lighting my kitchen
12.  Felicity snuggling by my feet in the early morning on the love seat

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Day 23 in Our Homeschool - Fall 2013

Yesterday was a pretty normal and calm day for us.  We started school about 9:25 am after feeding Quinn and changing a diaper.  We began by working on Day 2 of the Thanksgiving unit study.  Kent read On the Mayflower to all the children except Quinn.  Then we discussed it and I read part of If You Were at...the First Thanksgiving.  We also watched a movie about the Mayflower and checked out other information about the Mayflower at scholastics website.  Then our Little People Mayflower set was available to be played with while Kent and Katy worked on their math for the day.  After lunch we made a Mayflower craft and set it aside for the paint to dry.  Then Clark and Felicity went down for quiet time and Kent, Katy, and Kaomi work on some Mayflower math questions.  We didn't use all the questions, but I chose a few for us to all work on together.  The math was above Kaomi's level, but she was able to listen to the questions and hear the answers as we figured them out.  We did the bar graph activity and she was able to answer questions by looking at the graph.  Then it was quiet time and Kent and Katy returned to their math and other short assignments they needed to complete for today.  Kent needed some help on his math and I helped him after he had stopped whining about it.  While we were waiting for dinner to finish cooking we checked out how well our Mayflower craft would float.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Day 22 in Our Homeschool - Fall 2013

We are all enjoying learning history.  I like that we use true stories from the time period we are studying to learn more about the things that have happened.  This year we are learning about world history.  We started with creation of the world and have worked our way into ancient Greek and Roman history so far this year.  Some weeks we also work on a history project together.  Kent and Katy also work on an Independent History Study each week to help them dig a little deeper into the area we are learning about.  We have a large timeline on our wall upstairs where we are mapping out important facts from history.  We also learn about geography through the places we are learning about and we get to see where those places are in today's world.  I also like how our storytime books go along with the time periods we are learning about.  Some of our storytime books are non-fiction and some are fiction, but they help us to understand better what day to day life was like in history.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Day 21 in Our Homeschool - Fall 2013

Being a homeschooler and homemaker both have a lot of responsibilities.  I need to make sure there is a healthy balance in our home of all the aspects where I am in charge.  School is important to our family so we want to make sure that we spend a good amount of time teaching what we want our children to know.  We also need to make sure we take care of our home, family life, and meals.  Sometimes trying to get the balance for the day or week is easy and other times it is hard.  There are times when things seem to get out of balance and we are running like a mouse in a wheel and getting only one thing done.  Sometimes we need to reboot and take a day just to focus on school, taking care of our home or family or making meals.  Reboot days can still often fall into the category of learning for our children as we work together to help to bring balance back to our lives.  They are learning ways how to take care of of their own families when they grow up.

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Saturday, November 16, 2013

Day 20 in Our Homeschool - Fall 2013

Next week, I am breaking from our standard school to focus on A Thanksgiving Unit Study.


 I will use the free guide for everyone.  I already had two of the books recommended and I purchased another and put one on hold from our library.  Since it is geared for young scholars I'm thinking of having Kent and Katy lead some of the activities with Kaomi, Felicity, and Clark.  Kent and Katy will also continue with their regular English and Math.  I will also have some other Thanksgiving activities out during the week to supplement this unit study.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Day 19 in Our Homeschool - Fall 2013

I'm tired.  Quinn likes to keep night time hours and some days I find it hard to teach school because I am so tired.  When this happens I have the kids work on the things that requires less of me.  I still teach math and give guidance as needed, but if I try to read history, storytime or science I struggle to keep my eyes open.  We will read them the next day.  I try hard to keep my attitude positive, because if I don't I will find myself yelling at the kids and that is destructive to the whole day.  On tired days I pray, just to keep me going.  The subjects that have the most work still get done and I still have a pile of work to correct, which I may or may not get to.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Counting it Joy in November - Week 2

1.  Serving others who really appreciated the thoughtfulness.
2. Kent getting to spend a day with Daddy at the office.
3.  Katy initiated play with items that aren't available for playing with whenever someone want to use them - this kept four children occupied for a while and gave me a chance to think straight again after a crazy start to the morning.
4.  Having a rough Sunday morning - we didn't make it for church, but had family Bible time instead.  We did made it to Sunday School.
5.  Smoke coming out of the oven - means that we enjoyed homemade pizza recently and it dripped all over the bottom of the oven.
6.  Kent helping Clark put his jacket on so they could play outside.
7.  "I'm Sorry" and "I forgive you."

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Day 18 in Our Homeschool - Fall 2013

Last week we finished learning about dinosaurs for science.  We worked our way through the book The Great Dinosaur Mystery and the Bible.  We had discussions, Kent and Katy answered many questions and we did several experiments, too.  In one experiment we learned about animal cell structure and in another we learned about the head and tail balancing the dinosaur.  The kids made dinosaurs with Legos, too.  One day we even watched I Dig Dinosaurs which my mom gave the kids.

Animal Cell Structure

Our next unit in science will have us learning more about the constellations.

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Monday, November 11, 2013

Day 17 in Our Homeschool - Fall 2013

Today is Veteran's Day.  We made sure that our Flag is flying in the front yard this morning.  We will sing our National Anthem after saying the Pledge of Allegiance.  We will use Uncle Rick's Veteran's Day Story to learn more about this holiday.  We will also make a Patriotic Star Wreath and we will work on a Veteran's Day Word Search.

-Sometimes on a holiday we have a day of lessons that focus more on that holiday's theme.

Update:  We also watched an online video of the changing of the guard at The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.  On Kent's patriotic wreath we wrote, "Thank you for your service to our country."  Then we put it on our neighbor's easy chair in his garage, because he is a veteran.

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Friday, November 8, 2013

Day 16 in Our Homeschool - Fall 2013

This whole week I've felt like I haven't been on top of school.  Partly, because I didn't make my weekly plans.  When those days happen I try to make sure we are just doing the basics.  This week we've worked on English Grammar, some writing,  a little math, reading, storytime and a little bit of science.  I know when we stay on top of these subjects we can catch up again easily in science and history, when we get back to our regular schedule.  In place of some of our school we've had low key days, Legos, a show from Netflix or two, more play, working on keeping house, sewing, play-doh,  errands, and getting ready for and packing shoe-boxes.  This is the time of year when I want to take a back seat and enjoy the season right before Thanksgiving and leading up to Christmas, but I know that in order to have a month off in December we need to make sure we are still getting enough work done each school day to not get behind.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Counting it Joy in Novemeber - Week 1

This month I am working on counting it joy.  A couple years ago I wrote about James 1:2-4 and really enjoyed the experience.  So once a week this month I plan to show you a list of the things that I can think of being joyful and blessings of things that have taken place this week.

1.  A broken bowl - no one was injured when Katy dropped a serving bowl that literally exploded all over the kitchen and beyond.
2.  A crick in my neck - I get to care for my own baby and sometimes that means sleeping in odd positions after getting up with Quinn during the night.
3.  Big children helping little children get breakfast.
4. Sewing - something I enjoy doing, but often don't feel like I have the time to work on projects.  It's satisfactory to complete something, whether it is mending or a project that I've been wanting to sew.
5. Jeff coming into the kitchen and seeing that the dishwasher needs to be filled and doing it.
6.  Interruptions - shows that the kids need me in their lives, even when it takes me 30 minutes to remake the bed.
7.  Playing a grand piano for a friend who is learning some songs that she needs to practice singing.  -I never thought I'd be practicing on a grand piano.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Day 15 in Our Homeschool - Fall 2013

I didn't get ready for school today as I had hoped, so I decided to go with what was on the schedule for last Friday, that we didn't do.  We did some math, science, Bible and chores around the house.  I also put a movie on for the littles in the middle of the day, which is almost unheard of.  The older ones watched, too.  They enjoyed their movie time and lunch was ready for them when it was over.  Kent decided to spend some time playing the piano this afternoon.  He was enjoying figuring out how to play Amazing Grace from the hymnbook.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

November Skirts

I made November skirts for Katy and Kaomi today.  So we had an impromptu photo shoot...

Kaomi's November Skirt

Katy's November Skirt

And because I think my girls are beautiful...
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Day 14 in Our Homeschool - Fall 2013

We try to go to the library every week or two.  It is a great resource for books when we are studying a certain topic in school.  When I plan ahead I can put a hold on books that we want to borrow from our own library as well as other libraries that are in our consortium.  The kids enjoy borrowing books that go along with their interests.  Sometimes I give the kids an assignment to look for books on a specific topic or genre.  Then they get to peruse the shelf looking for a book in the criteria that interests them.  They can also ask the librarians or me for help when they don't know where to look or can't find what they want.  Yesterday we came home with books about octopi, mysteries, American Girls, football, healthy eating, and thanksgiving as well as many others.  I didn't give any specific assignments, but you can see that there is quite a variety.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Day 13 in Our Homeschool - Fall 2013

Today is "Teacher's Day".  I try to take the first Monday of every month off to work on things that get missed when we are schooling or just have a break.  This time we were able to take last Friday off, so we have had a four day weekend.  Today I will be finishing up working on the great clothing switch out which I have been working on since Friday and I have a small amount of mending I would like to get completed.  I also hope to get our school plans for the rest of the week ready to be used on Tuesday.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

A Homemaker's Prayer

I came across a poem called A Homemaker's Prayer.  I think it is a wonderful poem about the things that I do in my home.  You can read it on Joanie's blog at Simple Living Mama.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Day 12 in Our Homeschool - Fall 2013

For Halloween, we host an event where we serve our community.  We serve hot dogs, hamburgers, and chips for free as an outreach of Christ's love on the evening that everyone will come to our door.  It is sponsored by our church and small group Bible study.  Our children help get ready and serve where they can during the event.  The next morning we serve our community again, by going out and cleaning up any trash that is on our street and in our neighbors' yards, which may have generated from the event in our home.  This year I just had to laugh as our children who have been arguing with each other frequently, went out to pick up trash and argued over who would pick up different pieces.  They all wanted to pick up the same pieces.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Day 11 in Our Homeschool - Fall 2013

In our homeschool I require every assignment on a loose piece of paper to have a name and date on it.  Since I have up to three children and sometimes toddlers doing the assignments I don't need to be trying to figure out their work and writing their name and the date when they can do it while completing the page.  If their work is in a notebook or folder I require the date on the page they are completing.  I don't require the date in a workbook that they fill in, but occasionally I will write the date on the page that they finished, just so I have an idea when they might have been working on a certain concept.  I do write the date for Kaomi most of the time, since she hasn't learned that on her own, unless she is copying it.  Even though I require the date and their name, everyone seems to struggle with this most of the time.  I usually mark it for them to add while they do corrections  Am I asking too much?