Wednesday, March 25, 2009

A Pretty Good Day

We had a pretty good day today! We managed to get all of our planned lessons finished in time for Isaiah to go to wrestling practice, even though I was very tired from dealing with a restless baby and clogged sinuses all night long. Drew has decided he doesn’t want to continue wrestling. He had a rough practice on Monday and got roughed up a bit. Though I would really prefer for him to go to a few more off-season practices with the new coach before he makes up his mind, I am not going to force him to go. Wrestling is a rough sport and Drew is just not that type of kid! Isaiah, however, wants to continue and he has quite a knack for it. We are looking for another extra-curricular activity for Drew to participate in. We are leaning towards either bowling or Karate, but are hoping to get some help with the expenses. Too bad the wrestling didn’t work out, it was really convenient for them to be on the same team. Oh well….
Did I mention I got my hair cut Monday? It’s SHORT!! Well, short compared to what is was (halfway down my back). It is now just a bit shy of shoulder length. I love it, it’s very flattering and I think it may even help me look a few years younger! And it is super easy to take care of and style. That’s the main reason I cut it. What’s the point of having long hair if it’s 1) unhealthy, 2) way too time consuming to style, and 3) always in a bun? Now I can actually do my hair in less than 30 minutes! I will try to take a picture maybe tomorrow..
Joey was in a really good mood for most of the day today. Daddy had him giggling  up a storm. I got to spend some good quality time with him, too! He is all about taking things in and out of containers and handing them to you. He is really getting to be more and more fun. He can do so much it just amazes me!
On another good note, Jazz brought home a much-improved report card over the weekend. It’s good to see her working hard and reaping the rewards!
Well, I am very sleepy and it’s past my bedtime. Off to bed I go!



Monday, March 23, 2009

Grilling Goodness #23

1. Are you competitive?
Not most of the time, however I DO have a hard time walking away from an argument.

2. What do you most often eat for breakfast?
I typically have vanilla yogurt with granola.

3. Do you have a 'raggidy' piece of furniture?
Yes, our sofa was given to us by friends. The back fabric was ripped while we were moving it and I have it covered by a very pretty throw.

4. What do you wash your face with?
Water. Seriously, I rarely use a “cleanser” unless I wear eye makeup. Then I use a lotion eye makeup remover.

5. What colors does Spring make you want to wear?

6. Do you like working your flower beds?
No, because I don’t have any this year :(

7. What is something you want that you've never had?
A pedicure!

8. How many miles do you have on your car?
Not sure of the exact number, but well over 100,000.



Friday, March 20, 2009

Weekly Wrap-up – March 21st, 2009

imageOk, so this is my first weekly wrap up post, but I have been MEANING to participate for quite a while. Although we didn’t get much “schooling” done this week, for various reasons, we still had a very busy, productive week. We had some really nice, warm days this week. On Tuesday we took a break halfway through our lessons to enjoy some sunshine and fresh air. The big kids chose to play on their scooters while Daddy and I played with the baby on a blanket in the grass.
100_1399 Drew riding his scooter
100_1404 Jazz and Isaiah zooming through the parking lot
Daddy playing with Joey on the blanket
We also tried putting Joey in the grass, but it was a no go. He did the usual baby thing and pulled his feet up and yelled every time, LOL! But he DID enjoy ripping the grass up with his hands. He also enjoyed watching Mommy blow bubbles.
On Wednesday, what little work we did was taught by Daddy. The boys really enjoy when Daddy helps them with their schoolwork. Isaiah is doing a chapter on money in Math right now, and he is still having a little trouble with counting combinations of quarters, dimes, nickels, and pennies. So I got the play money out for him and he and Daddy practiced counting it.
100_1410Daddy helping Isaiah with Math
100_1411 Drew working hard on adding 3-digit numbers
Then on Thursday my sister in law was scheduled to have outpatient surgery. So we got to keep “the cousins” for several hours that afternoon. That is a very exciting event in our house as our families are both very busy and the kids don’t get to spend as much time together as they would like. They really enjoy each other’s company and we really enjoyed having them. They are really great kids and never any trouble. In fact, my kids behave better when they are around!

100_1415 Cousin Sarah playing with Jo-Bob. He kept looking up at her and giving her his biggest charmer smile, it was sooo cute!
Then tonight (Friday) the boys had their wrestling meet. It was just an informal meet to wrap up the beginner’s wrestling classes they have been taking for the last month. They both did very well and the coaches distributed medals to all the boys afterwards. We have decided that since they enjoyed it so much and they are both showing talent in wrestling, we will continue taking them to practices twice a week to prepare them to start a new season in October.
The boys showing off their wrestling medals
Tonight was also Jasmine’s 12th birthday/slumber party, so I intermittently hear giggling coming from her upstairs bedroom. The girls seem to be having a good time. I can’t believe another March birthday season has come and gone and Jazz and Drew are another year older. The next birthday is Joey’s, his very first! Gosh, it has flown by right before my eyes. But I can honestly say I have no regrets. I have consciously made every effort to treasure each and every day with him because I know how quickly time can fly when they are small.
I hope you have had a wonderful week! We are looking forward to another warm front coming through over the weekend and more sunshine through the week!



Saturday, March 14, 2009

Interview With a 9 year old Boy…

I saw that a friend had done this the other day on facebook with his little girl and thought it was a really cute idea.  So tonight I did it with Drew, I will ask Isaiah his answers tomorrow. Enjoy!
1. What is something mom always says to you?
Not right now.
2. What makes mom happy?
Baby bottoms (especially Joey’s)
3. What makes mom sad?
That I’m growing up too fast.

4. How does your mom make you laugh?
By tickling me.

5. What was your mom like as a child?
6. How old is your mom?

7. How tall is your mom?
100 ft and 2 in
8. What is her favorite thing to do?
Love on Joey.
9. What does your mom do when you're not around?
Be on the computer.

10. If your mom becomes famous, what will it be for?
That she’s a good cook.

11. What is your mom really good at?
Taking care of Joey

12. What is your mom not very good at?
Video games.
13. What does your mom do for a job?

14.What is your mom's favorite food?
Mac n cheese
15. What makes you proud of your mom?
That she doesn’t play video games so much

16. If your mom were a cartoon character, who would she be?
That’s a hard one. Olive from Popeye

17. What do you and your mom do together?

18. How are you and your mom the same?
We have the same nose. (We do?) Our eye color. That’s all 

19. How are you and your mom different?
I’m a boy and she’s a girl. One of us plays video games and one of us don’t.
20. How do you know your mom loves you?
She just does.

21. What does your mom like most about your dad?
She’s his wife.
22. Where is your mom's favorite place to go?
Wal-mart or Sam’s Club

Friday, March 13, 2009

Our Re-revamped School Plan – Part 1 of 2

Ok. So a few weeks ago, I mentioned that I had restructured our curriculum and the way we get things done. This was a major necessity as things were NOT going well as they were.  We have been going strong for about a month now and I have had enough time to tweak things here and there so that they work for us.  First off, I have to share with you how I have finally tackled organizing, planning, and recordkeeping! I cannot, however, take the credit for all of this myself, as I first got the idea from a blog I came across. Sadly, when I changed laptops, I lost that bookmark. If I come across it again, I will post a link!
We now have a loose “routine” that we follow, rather than trying to adhere to a schedule, which has never worked for us. We basically just have a certain order we complete things in and this is posted on the wall so that there is no confusion..
  1. Prayer, pledge, Bible
  2. Math
  3. Isaiah does Phonics/Reading while Drew does Spelling
  4. Drew does Phonics/Reading while Isaiah does Copywork or journaling (he doesn’t start spelling til next semester)
  5. Science or History (depending on the day)
  6. English/Writing
  7. Specials (Art,music,PE)
I also allow time for one break somewhere in the day. We have been getting everything finished within 2-3 hours since we changed things up. Now on to how we plan and organize our school time….
To start off with, I purchased 2 items for each child….
Notice these are 2 pocket tab dividers. Two pockets are a necessity, and I will explain why in a moment….

These are 1/2” binders with the clear insertable covers.
Ok, after getting these items home I gave the boys some paper and crayons and told them to decorate covers for their new weekly binders. While they were off doing that like good little boys (HA!) I proceeded to make 1 tab divider for each day of the week and place them into each child’s binder. When they finished their pictures, I placed them into the covers and VIOLA! we had our weekly binders!
“Ok,” you are probably thinking, “and that means what?” Well I will elaborate!
As I plan our lessons for the week (usually the weekend before) I take each page from their workbooks or worksheets and place them into the front pocket of the proper days divider. The front of the divider is the “To-Do” folder. Then when we sit down to do lessons each day there is no scrambling around to make copies or printouts or figure out what page to do in their books. You would be absolutely AMAZED at how much time this has saved us! Once we implemented everything and got used to it, our school time was reduced by 1-2 hours a day! Which basically means we actually get things DONE! I know, amazing right?
So, you have probably already guessed by now what the back pockets are for….that's right, completed work! This is also a huge timesaver for ME when I grade, record, and file everything at the end of the week. So when the week is over, I go through and grade each paper I have not already graded and write the date completed on it. Once everything is graded, I then go back through and group the papers by subject..Math, Spelling, phonics, etc. Then I enter grades into each subjects printed gradebook page.  (I will share more about that with you in a moment.) Once recorded, I add that week’s papers to the paper-clipped stack (one per subject) in each child’s current term file folder, and place it back into my filing cabinet. Now the weekly binders are emptied and ready for the next weeks pages! And the process starts all over again!
Now there are a few minor details I have neglected to give you that I will elaborate on now. I mentioned lesson planning earlier. My lesson planning consists of a little more than just ripping out workboook pages and sticking them into a binder  folder. I also type everything out for each day on my own custom-made lesson plan sheets….
imageI love making my own forms and tweaking them as my needs change! Any how if you want an example of a filled out form click this LINK. I also mentioned that I use a printed gradebook. Actually, I use an excel form from called Grades and Attendance. I use weighted grades for most of our subjects, so naturally I used the weighted version. I print off a copy off each subjects page before I add any grades to them.  That way I enter them in by hand before I ever put them into the excel version.  I am really bad with excel and this way if I mess something up, I can just erase! I only enter grades into the excel version from my written copy at the end of the grading period for report card purposes.
So that pretty much wraps up how we have reorganized our schooling so that it works for us! Stay tuned for part 2 where I will discuss why I have changed curriculum AGAIN and what I chose!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

HSM #29 – Sick Days

What a timely assignment this is!  A sickness has been running through our home, taking out about half of us in one weekend, one right after another! Luckily, neither I nor the baby have been counted among the casualties!  But one of my students was!  So what did we do?
Absolutely nothing!  This is a prime example of why we have chosen to school year-round!  We have plenty of “built-in sick days”, not to mention vacation days and I-just-don’t-feel-like-teaching days.  It is stressful enough worrying about and tending to a sick child, much less adding to that the worry of lessons and projects.  So we just went ahead and took the entire week off.  It actually worked out well because I just finished up grades and report cards for our first grading period over the weekend, so it’s nice to take a week off to evaluate and rest.
What do you do on sick days?



Isaiah’s Baptism!

I should have posted this a couple of weeks ago, but I have been very busy and distracted. I hope you can forgive my tardiness.

This was a really exciting day for our family! He has been talking about being baptized for a while now, but we wanted to take our time and make sure he was ready.  He was SOOOO nervous about the pastor asking him questions in front of the whole church! LOL! I think he did a GREAT job!



NEW! Heart of the Matter Forum – must check it out!

I am now a part of something I am REALLY excited about! I am now a moderator on HOTM’s new forum! The gals responsible for setting this up have done a great job of choosing lots of categories for specific discussions. No matter how you homeschool, I guarantee there is something here for you! So what are you waiting for? Click that link and check it out!



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