Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Already Thinking of Next Year . . .

I am wrapping up this year's schooling. It did not go as I had planned, but I do consider it a success. I was planning on doing a little of something this summer, but honestly, I need a break.

I have been working on my girls' curriculum for next year. It is very liberating to have it figured out. I am using a mixture of paid, already have and free resources.

This is what I am going to be doing with Carol and Donna:
Carol's individual lessons:

Donna's individual lessons:
  • Arithmetic - CIMT-MEP (It is free and if you join 3RHomeschooling Yahoo Group, you can get the password to access all the files)
  • Language Arts -First Langauge Lessons for the Well Trained Mind Level 1 and 2
  • Handwriting - Handwriting Without Tears
  • Health - Human Body Lapbook (will be using some of the templates from Homeschool Share and some of my own) I knew I was going to be doing this with Donna so at our library sale I got quite a few books on the body, exercise and eating properly.
  • Extracurricular - Violin - I tried with Carol last year and it did not really work so I will try with Donna.
  • Special Mother/Daughter Time - I am not sure what I am going to do with Donna but I am still thinking . . . any suggestions?
Having my curriculum figured out allowed me to take advantage of our state home school convention. I bought most of my stuff there. There was not many discounts, but at least I did not have to pay shipping. I also bought items from one store that had a 10% coupon. YEAH! My husband and I are trying not to use credit cards and we don't really like checks floating around (Donald heard on Clark Howard that more damage can be done with stolen checks than credit cards), so we opted for cash. We only carried what we needed and the rest was put in our room safe. There are three items that were not available at the convention and I will have to order online but only one charges shipping. It feels great knowing that I have paid for most of the curriculum and will not see a bill for it later. I will also have time to leisurely look through the books and make lesson plans for next year. Many already have lesson plans and all I will do is copy them. After I bought all of my essentials, I had money left over to buy something I have been wanting for a couple of years--the 1828 Webster's Dictionary. I know that you can get it online, but I think there is something about actually turning the pages of a book.

I am on a message board about Sue Patrick's Workbox System. It is very interesting. I want to implement it next year. VERY basically, you put each lesson in a different box and the child works through them. They stay motivated because they can actually see their work disappearing as they complete it and time is not wasted because everything is put in the boxes the night before. Because of space issues, I might use crates and file folders. We will see. I do not have the book but I have gleaned enough off the message boards to get the idea.

Well, I will say goodbye for now.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Donna's 1 to 100 Number Book

I wanted to make sure that Angel could count to 100, so we made a number book.
Do you know how hard it is to find items for every number up to 100?
Well, I am here to tell you that unless you wanted to pay a fortune in stickers or
print up stuff on the internet, it was pretty darn hard!

Angel wanted to write her own numbers on the cover.

Besides the numbers, Angel had a 100 chart puzzle and some various problems that involved numbers.

Numbers 1 through 20

Numbers 21-40

The left side of the lapbook.

Number 41 to 60

This is my favorite item in the book. Sixty-one paperclips!

Numbers 62-70

The right side of the lapbook.

Numbers 71-79

I did numbers 80 through 99 a little differently. I had Angel do simple addition. She caught on pretty quick.

Number 100. YEAH!

American Girl Josefina Lapbook

Throughout the year, we have completed a few lapbooks. I have neglected to post them. Now that school is, for all intense and purposes, over, I have time to scan and post. I will post as I get them scanned.

This year, Carol attended an American Girl Book Club. For every historical Girl (except Julie), she made a lapbook. I have previously posted Kaya and Felicity.

Josefina is the third historical American Girl that we studied. I try to put something historical on the front of the lapbook. We learned some interesting facts about the Santa Fe Trail.

I kept a basic format for all of the American Girl lapbooks. Not only did it make it easier for me, it also allowed Carol to compare and contrast each American Girl's time period.

I try to have something that is very specific to each American girl. For Josefina, I made a Spanish word fan book. Carol got to pick from a list of Spanish words to put in the book.

Here are some other elements that I had for each American Girl. For the various elements, Carol picked a different color for each girl.

I really like how interactive lapbooks. I love not only looking at a book, but being able to manipulate various elements. I think that is why I love pop-up books so much.

I got the "Design a Dress" idea from the American Girl Book Club Handbook (no longer available from American Girl). I really like to see Carol's interpretation of the clothes each American Girl would wear.

I got the templates from HomeSchoolShare , Josefina graphics from the American Girl Website, and Santa Fe graphics from the following sites: map and picture.

NetFlix vs. Blockbuster

First off, let me say that I am have not been using NetFlix long. But I will say that so far I am impressed. I really like the "instant viewing" that you can watch on your computer. I have already watched Dr. Who and Red Dwarf (yes, I am a fan of British Television) and my youngest is enjoying Shirley Temple's Curly Top as I write this. She is even watching it on our older computer without any problem with the downstreaming.

I was a member of BlockbusterOnline. I really liked them at the beginning but they continued to raise their prices and take away perks that I got feed up and canceled.

With Blockbuster, I had long wait times not only for current movies, but also for older movies and television shows. It was very frustrating. So far, the movies that had long wait times at Blockbuster are available at NetFlix. I have already got quite a few and enjoyed them immensely either by mail or instant viewing. Did I mention that I was fan of the NetFlix's "instant viewing".

I have read about "throttling". But I don't think I will have a problem. I forget to return movies all the time and I don't like a lot of the current movies anyway. If they send me stuff that is not at the top of my queue, I do not really mind.

I will say that with my experience with Blockbust and NetFlix, NetFlix wins hands down.

Monday, May 18, 2009

I Have Finished . . .

cleaning my dining/computer room.

What a silly thing to blog about. But maybe if I do I will feel more accountable to keep it tidy. I am a "piler"--when I was young I had piles of stuff in my room. My mom is not a "piler." She thought my room was a mess. I could go directly to anything I wanted. She would just shut my door. I guess being a "piler" when it is only you that has to worry about the stuff is okay but add three more people and all you get is an unorganized mess. I still have to work very hard at not piling my stuff. Maybe if I give an update on the condition on my rooms about once a month I will feel more inclined to keep them clean. Well, anyway, here are "before/after" pictures.

For those who did not see it--this is the "before."

Here is the "after."

I know there is still a lot of stuff, but I need it for school. I have metal grid walls--the type that retail stores have on the corner wall to hold a lot of my stuff. The bench--my Mom and I made. This is the girls computer.

The work table was completely covered with stuff. I am actually doing a project on it. YEAH!

I even had the inclination to clean up my computer area. It is so nice not to feel hemmed in when you are working.

UPDATE: The living room is still clean!

BTW: I have three cucumbers, at least three squash and many tomatoes in my garden.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

How To Tie Your Shoes

I am still cleaning my computer/dining room. Did not realize how much stuff you can cram in a room! While I was taking a break, I found this video on how to tie your shoes (yes, you can find anything on YouTube.)

It shows both the right- and left-handed way to tie your shoes.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

My Special Angel

We were at my Mom's during Mother's Day weekend. Angel was not allowed to walk Buddy, Mom's dog, so she found her own pet to walk. It is one of those back massagers and, for some reason, the feet have lights.

She would turn it on and it would "walk" on the leash.

House cleaning

I never thought I would be excited about cleaning my house.

My camera is slowly dying but you get the idea. I do not have much closet storage space so I have had to stack my scrapbooking totes by the white cabinet. Not the best but it will have to do for now.

The same cat and yes, I do have a barber chair in my living room. It is actually quite comfortable to sit in.

I finished the living/school room. It took me probably a total of 24 hours to clean it completely. I even opened all the cabinets and cleaned them. I ended up with three bags of garbage (mostly VHS tapes of shows we recorded off telly). I now have my school stuff organized and I even have an empty cupboard in my entertainment center. YEAH! Now the big test. To keep it clean. I have made a new rule for the living room. Toys that are in their room stay in their room. I will know that some stuff will end up in the living room. Every night before bedtime, I have the girls do a quick clean up of their room--I want to start that in the living room. I was thinking of letting each girl have container to pick up their stuff from living room to put up.


Next room--I need to deep clean my computer/dining/not sure what it is room. In my defense, I knew this was going to be the next room I cleaned so I moved stuff from the living room (that I was not sure what I was going to do with) to the dining room. I don't know if this is how other people clean, but I find that if I am stuck with something that I do not know what to do with it, I set it aside and then I can figure it out. The computer/dining room became that space. Even though this room looks really bad in the picture, I don't think that it will take me as long to clean. I know I will have to break up the cleaning because I have to pick my hubby up when he gets home from his business trip in Orlando.

Will post the "after" pictures when done. (Hopefully, tomorrow!)

Monday, May 11, 2009

From Seeds to Harvest Challenge - Join the Fun!

Come on and join the fun! If you already have a garden going-great. Just take some pictures and join the challenge. If you have never tried to plant a garden, have a go! Just click the image and it will take you to the site.

I grew up with my Dad planting a garden. We had the standards--potatoes, onions, carrots, corn, radishes (my dad loved radishes) and then he would plant some fun things like spaghetti squash, Indian corn, and peanuts. I think it is very ironic that I did not get into gardening.

Well, 20 years later and I have started.
Just goes to show it is never too late to start.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

A Terrible Injustice

Hard to believe--two posts in one day. I must be ill! LOL

I have been really thinking about my role as wife and mother. I have read many posts from my friends' blog, Keepers At Home and also from Generation Cedar. They have really got me thinking. I used to tell my girls that they need to go to college before they are allowed to date (it was said somewhat in jest, but the meaning was perfectly clear). I have done them a terrible injustice, which I am now trying to rectify. I cheapened the great profession of being a wife and mother. I think I can thank the "women's movement" for that.

I have been a SAHM since my first was born. I will say that the first time someone said to me "Oh, you don't work" I was terribly upset--my self-esteem plummeted. I had bought into the idea that unless I was financially contributing to the household, I was not worth much. WHAT A BUNCH OF FOOLISHNESS! I have been called to be the keeper of my home.

I know this is old-fashioned, but they got it right. Need to get back to the "old-fashioned" ways.

Do I think girls should not go to college? Absolutely not! I have no idea what God has in store for my girls. But I want to prepare them for all avenues. I want them to the seek God and do what is pleasing to Him NOT society.

I also fell into the "2 kids are enough" mentality. I was 35 when I had my first child and 38 after my second. I decided that would be my last--I didn't want to "burden" my children with an older parent. I had a tubal ligation. I would say that two was enough and if God really wanted me to have a third, He could make it happen. How arrogant of me. I do mourn the thought of what God might have planned for me if I trusted Him. Maybe two children was all He planned--I will never know. I have asked God to forgive me (which I know He has) and am making sure that my girls are better equipped not to fall in the same thought processes of the world.

My Garden--and other ponderings.

I have started a garden--it was a little late in the season but I think I will have a pretty good harvest. I have read about the square foot gardening method.

I waited too late to make the boxes (I want to work on them this winter) so I used an old turtle sandbox (which I think I will use again next year. It is just too cute.) and various planters I had.

Carol likes tomatoes so a beefsteak tomato was planted in the turtle along with green, yellow and red sweet peppers for me. The marigolds are to keep the bugs at bay.

The cucumber and squash are for Donna.

I have Roma tomatoes (5 of the 6 have grown--the 6th was always puny and I did not think it would make it, but I thought I would try anyway) and a hanging patio tomato. I have been making my own ketchup and I want to be able to use my own tomato paste in the future. I hope it works. I also want to make my own tomato sauce and salsas. If I have a good harvest, I will be calling on some of my friends to help me learn how to can.

I planted beans. Out of 8 pots only 1 grew. My friend, Carrie, told me I should plant three seeds per hole to guarantee that at least one will grow. I will harvest my one bean plant and then try again next year.

I am so excited with my garden.

I was trying to think of other ways that I could "financially" contribute to the household (without starting an internet business, etc.)

The #1 answer was "Have dinner ready when husband gets home -- that really lowers that going out to eat and spending lots of money mode".
#2 Garden (see above)
#3 Start making various cleaning products for the house. I am making laundry and hand dishwashing soap for starters. I will let you know how they work in later posts

If anyone has any other ideas, please comment. I am open to suggestions.