Friday, December 28, 2007


First Term Exams are done!!!

Yea, now to get ready for the new term. My poor black ink cartridge is just not up to it, I am hoping a little $$ is magically found in our budget through divine means so that I can wear out my printer some more!! (I would use my budget but I have already spent some of my food money on books!!) We may be eating beans and rice but we will be enlightened!! :) Ha Ha!

Riley did well on his exams, it sounds like my poor little 6 year old was whittling through pencils for hours on end doesn't it?! No worries, they were mostly all oral, he put the timeline pictures he has drawn throughout the term in order, told me a couple of Aesop's Fables, found the Tigress and Euphrates rivers on our world map, recited Robert Lewis Stevenson's poem; Time to rise, and did well on word problems in math. Over all he did well, we have been able to realize we need to concentrate on certain things when we study geography and world history, and that swords, ships, and Indians make all the details not so memorable in American History! :)
The picture up top is the first stanza in Riley's poem, (his is the 2nd, & 4th lines) He can write very nicely when he tries, he is even getting down the space between words most of the time!
Over all we are happy with the curriculum we have gleaned and tweaked from Lindafay, what a blessing to have experienced mama's willing to share and mentor! We have lost that too much these days in our society. Now to start in again with zeal, as we have no trips or major holidays coming up, although we will have to plan a little break for February when Grandpa comes to visit!! :) I am hoping to find a way to integrate it all into our lives more, to really enjoy and learn from it.
Any ideas are welcome and very much appreciated! Have a great New Year!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Wow, did you think you were at the wrong blog?? I know it is completely different, but I like it! :)
On a non-school-day note, I have also added a little banner over on the side for Ron Paul, I find his Homeschooling philosophy engaging, along with his desire to uphold the constitution. I hope you will take a minuet and read his views on homeschooling and really consider who you are voting for and what it means for our children, now and in the times to come.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

AAAAAAA, term 1 is ending, term 1 is ending!!!!!
This was me yesterday when I realized in the short fundage of getting school supplies last summer I only finished shopping for term 1, SO I am now going through list and finding what more I need! :)
Things are going pretty well, we are learning that the routine we started with needs a little tweaking. So I have been searching out other families routines, one of our big problems is that we don't get all the family subjects done first. So when there is something left to do it gets done with who ever is available instead of everyone! So that is one tweak. Also I just don't think we are enjoying the "lifestyle" the way we should, most days Riley's question is "am I done yet", Jake is another story, he loves getting the extra time and reading good books! :) We are also now getting into the horrid stage where there are some days when Fern does not take a nap, so leaving some school activities for "nap time" just does not work! Another tweak is the need to make more of an effort to have quiet time. And on my own personal tweaking, I NEED to put a renewed effort into getting up before my kids. It is hard with an early bird who has been known to get up for the day a 6am, I could get up at 6am but I would need a little time before I could nicely deal with a morning person!! :)
How does your family's routine work?
As our term is winding down, and Christmas is quickly upon us I will be around a little less! But I look forward to starting the New Year, the new term, and making new friends!!
And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Can you tell I am a visual learner? I love the written word, but I usually "get it" better if I have never seen it by seeing it first! :) So I have a slew of pictures from our school fun last week, and a special video from today! Last week Jake and I were reading Katy-No-Pocket. It is a great book for learning about different animals. This is a picture of Jake the Kangaroo, with his pockets full of animal friends!

video

Here is Kangaroo Jake hopping around the house, sorry it is sideways, It is just going to have to stay that way!!
Here is a handicraft we did last week together. We made Fleece scarves! Very useful because the boys did not have one and fun because we made them. I got the idea from Me and My Girl, I had to simplify a little bit for our babes, but they LOVED it! Here they are wearing theirs and showing the gigantic one they made for Dad. They also made one for a friend who's birthday was last Fri. and they were quite happy to give him a gift they made even with all the other light it up, making noise kind of toys that he received!
They were Oh so excited to have camo fleece, and I was oh so happy it was on the clearance table!!

video

Now we have been in this school year for 7 weeks, and every time I told Riley we were going to learn to read he would turn off. If I even touched the book "Teach your child to read in 100 easy lessons" he would grone. It was awful!

So I thankfully decided to try another way. And I offered Riley 2 options, learn to read with a few short words and then work on a Little Bear book off my shelf, or learn a few words and read from the Book of Mormon. He choose Little Bear, so we did two of Lindafay's lessons today.. a MIRACLE!!!!! Watch!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Well today we started our Composer Study for the next 6 weeks, The Ballet! Now this was not a foreign concept to my children. The Orchestra was more so. They have been indoctrinated from the beginning, ballet is... life. You see long before I was their Mama, I was a dancer. I breathed dancing, I danced when I was not dancing! So this is great to share with my kids!

~

My kids know what the Nutcracker is, I first saw it when my mom took me when I was 5, and that is when I started collecting nutcrackers. But this year I will share it with them. This is the CD we have, it is the COMPLETE Nutcracker, not the "best of" that is most available. I would rather they make their very own best of!


But before we started listening to it this morning I introduced them to ballet the dance by showing them a dancer EVERY little boy should see, Mikhail Baryshnikov! There are no other words to add, all you have to say is Baryshnikov... that is it! I highly suggest going to youtube and watching any of the Baryshnikov clips you can! I could spend hours doing this and still want more.
Then I thought it would be great for them to have an object to hold to better understand, so I pulled out my old toe shoes from my days on pointe. They were so excited and interested, and by the end they had talked me into them, literally! They were impressed I was taller than Daddy when up on toe! :) And Jake has spent the rest of the day asking me to put them back on and dance for him. Maybe I will have my own little Baryshnikov!
Don't look too closely, I did not tie them correctly, and my feet are not as pretty as they were before years of dancing! :) And my back foot is not turned out! But it was a great object lesson and I hope they enjoy it as much as they enjoyed Peter and the Wolf!

Now if you will please excuse me as I Pirouette my way to bed!

Monday, November 05, 2007

Oh my where have I been, well we took a fall break for our trim to Calif. and then we got home and fought the stomach flu for almost a whole week, so finally today we are getting back into the swing of school. I was sad to abruptly stop the nice rhythm we had started and now we are tiring to jump back in!


For Jake we are working on Katy-No-Pocket still, we just never got to start it, let alone finish it! :) We are also doing the letters K and W.


With Riley we are in our 7th week of term 1. We are on lessons 17,18, & 19 in our Abeka Math, Ch. 7 in A Child's History of the World & Ancient World p. 12-13, Ch 5 in This Country of Ours, Ch. 15-16 in Paddle to the Sea, We are reading As You Like It for our Shakespeare study, Our new Artist for this 6 weeks is Rembrandt, our composer study is learning about the ballet, we will be listening to the Nutcracker and I am hoping to find a performance to go to as the holidays approach, plus the various stories, fables, poems, and such. Oh and for our Nature Study we are concentrating on the Heavens for this next 6 weeks.


The scripture we are working on memorizing as a family is Moses7:18 "And the lord called his people Zion,because they were of one heart and one mind, and dwelt in righteousness; and there was no poor among them."


Yesterday just for fun we read a book I remembered as a kid, that I found in the library. Stone Soup by Marcia Brown


This of course lead the boys to wanting stone soup for dinner! So we got out our soup stone and made soup. It was a lentil and wild rice soup, but the kids ate 3 bowls each! Riley kept telling me how magical the stone must be to make such good soup. I wonder if I could put the stone in every dinner? Maybe I could put it in Borscht and then Dan would eat it!! (He gages just at the word) So here is our fun read book recommendation for the day!! If you read it with your kids please let us know how you liked it and how your soup turned out!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

This is the 6th week of our school year, we are finishing up our first artist; John William Waterhouse, at the end of our study of the orchestra, and mammals! I need to get on the ball and get the last bit of fun in! We are going to go see a friends horse and learn about what they do to take care of it, a large mammal we do not get to be around often!
With Jake we got a little ahead and I am trying to pull back a bit, so he has had a less structured week. The next two weeks will be short on school time as we are having a small hiatus for a family wedding and fun!
I am hoping to start on Jake's new book Katy-no-pocket before we leave so that hopefully we can go to the Zoo and see some of the animals we have been learning about! I think we will take his animal classification cards and see who we can find! :)
Riley is still enjoying his math the most, but has developed quite a delight in the Aesop Fables, he even did our Family Home Evening using one of the stories from last week. It was about a family of boys who quarreled constantly, the father then took a bundle of sticks and asked them to break them, they could not, but when he asked them to break it one stick at a time they could he then told them that alone their enemies would overcome them, but if the we're united they would be strong. So Riley found many sticks in the back yard and we broke sticks. It was fun!
Hopefully as we get back from our trip and the weather drives us inside for the majority of our day we will be able to get more into our studies and I pray constantly that they will engage Riley!
What have you been up to this week?

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Our fun field trip last week was a day spent at the Roaring Brook Nature Center. After all the WONDERFUL post during the Charlotte Mason Blog Carnival (see previous post), we just felt like being outside! They had a nice little 2 room exhibit to walk through, it is so interesting seeing all the different animals that I didn't grow up seeing or that the boys have been around ether. We also got to go on a great walk/hike on their trails. We ended up near the brook, and had two boys thoroughly enjoying tiring not to get wet, they were quite unsuccessful! :) We also scored some great photos of plants, bugs, and animals to put up on our new nature blog, Never be within doors...
We just finished our third week of "school", Riley is doing ok, he loves his math and is very good at it, he is now writing addition equations. He does not enjoy writing, and has some interesting excuses. He is enjoying quite a bit of our readings, especially Paddle to the Sea.
Jake is ahead of schedule because he is always wanting MORE! :) Plus he is quite observant, so as we are working on recognizing the alphabet, I am finding out that he basically knows all of them. We were at a ball field today and with a stick in the dirt he was writing T's and telling us that it is a T, we have not even covered T's and I have not had him writing at all! It is just weird to change gears, I never imagined there could be so much difference in 3 (almost4) year old knowledge.
And Fern well, she is enjoying getting up on the table and sitting or laying on whatever it is that we are working on, I think she is related to my recently late cat Angel! :)

Saturday, September 15, 2007










Jacci over at The Educational Life has risen to the task of starting a Charlotte Mason Blog Carnival. So as this is the first, with the topic of "The Great Outdoors", I thought I would try my hand and hope that maybe someone could glean from me a bit of help, as I have gleaned from other Mama's who have so generously shared their knowledge and experiences. So here we go!









One of our families favorite ways to make a normal day a bit more exciting is to eat meals outside. Before our move from Southern California last year it was a year around activity. Now we have had to curb it during part of the year. :) Of all the "investments" we have made none have been so thoroughly enjoyable as our picnic table. We have enjoyed our family, friends, good food, and great memories there.





In Vol. 1 of the Charlotte Mason Home Educating series it says, " Never be within doors when you can rightly be without." I think I may hang this over our door! She continues, " Besides the gain of an hour or two in the open air, there is this to be considered: meals taken al fresco are usually joyous..." I know ours are, it is just hard to be grumpy when enjoying a simple meal in the open air!







Being outdoors throughout the day leads to deeper reflection, Charlotte continues, "... here is the mother's opportunity to train the seeing eye, the hearing ear, and to drop seeds of truth into the open soul of the child, which shall germinate, blossom, and bear fruit... there is much to be got by perching in a tree or nesting in heather..." I know that in all the "education" I received there was none so sweet and so imprinted on my mind as the solitary hours spent throughout our yard, but especially in my tree.





But why? Why should we enjoy the open air? Why did our Creator create it for us? "And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good." Genesis 1:31 KJV. For us to enjoy, learn, and see His hand in it all.





I am not saying this is the easiest thing for me, even with my love of the outdoors, but it is wonderful to hear from another that a day spent entirely out of doors is no more wasted than a day spent deep in a great library!





As my children are still mostly in the wonderful "quiet growing time" we are just now dabbling in the enjoyment of Nature Studies, my Riley (6) and I have started nature journals during the last month. In vol. 1 we read, " As soon as he is able to keep it himself, a nature-diary is a source of delight to a child." I started one to help set the example, I could not have guessed how much enjoyment I myself would reap. Riley still struggles with putting much effort into it, but he is happy with his journal so what more can I ask (for now) ! :)

A page of mine on the left, Riley's on the right.

As we dive further into the wonderful out of doors I hope Riley, and eventually Jake and Fern will learn as much about themselves as they learn about the world around them.



Thursday, September 13, 2007

So this week we started Blueberries For Sal, Jake has enjoyed this book. It really became cool when he got to go "blueberry picking" the other day. It was raining all day so we did it indoors. Since I had planned out books out I knew this one would come just after blueberries were gone, so a few weeks ago we bought some at the farmers market and froze them!Here is our blueberry bush waiting to be found! Jake was so excited to "pick" the blueberries! I had to hold Fern and shoo Riley away! But Jake did share a few. What a nice boy!
Jake was so proud of his blueberries and he LOVED the little bucket! :)
Today we worked on a bit of botany, but Jake didn't know it! I photo copied a page out of the book (they are great illustrations!) that had both blueberry bushes and a few pine trees in it. So we went outside and looked at our blueberry bush and the pine tree that hangs into our yard from the neighbors. We talked about them and then pasted a blueberry leaf and a sprig of pine onto the picture. Jake really enjoyed the glue!
I enjoyed BFIAR with Riley and again it is a tone of fun with Jake. Jake enjoys it even more than Riley did I think, plus I enjoy the time I get to spend with Jake. I would recommend this program to anyone!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

We had a great American History field trip yesterday!!
The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island were amazing! And all the better to get to share it with our kids!

Friday, September 07, 2007

We made it through our first week of school!! And we are all still smiling and looking forward to next week, I consider that a great miracle! We have been truly blessed!!
As wonders never cease, Riley is truly Grandpa M.'s grandson! When given the option of reading a story or doing a math lesson first he consistently chose the math! American History was his toughest this week, it was a long reading, but it ended well after a few animal crackers! Geography also went over well, it is a fun story that grabs Riley's adventurer side! Fables, and scripture stories did well also. It took Riley a bit to warm up to scripture memory, but today he read it with me. All in all it was good.
We have found that life in general and school in particular is harder when Riley has been playing with neighborhood friends. I think I have com to the conclusion that Riley is too young, and that our friends need to be chosen more wisely, But it is hard when they are playing outside to avoid the problems. I have been praying fervently over this and hope for some good vibes on the matter.
Jake has had a great time with Jesse Bear this week, I think he will be sad at first next week to move on to another book, but it is a good one, Blueberries for Sal. One of my favorites! I think Jake's favorite this week was the Jesse Bear paper doll I made. Every day since I pulled it out he has talked about it to Dad when he calls! Today he and I made two new outfits, a snow suit and a rain outfit. Jake loved dressing Jesse Bear in his new outfits! Our letters for the week were A & J, he loved the big A out of green paper that he then got to put apple stickers all over, and the jet plane coloring page went over well!
Jake asked most mornings if it was time for his school yet! Too cute! I am glad he is growing and learning, but I do miss my little cuddle bunny. But tonight I am just wishing he would go to bed, I am tired!! :)
I hope you enjoyed our first week review!!

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

YEA! The First Day of School!!Here are the boys on the door step after we had put the flag out and said the Pledge of Allegiance. They were a little bummed to go back inside after. :)
Fern needed to be apart too!
School went well, we kept it light for the first day. Riley and I did his world history lesson, introduced our first picture for our artist study, it is John Waterhouse's The Orange Gatherers, Then we put our calender up, did our weather log, and worked on our first scripture to memorize.
With Jake we read our book for the week, Jesse Bear, What Will You Wear? and then Jake colored an alligator picture. Our letters for the week are A & J.
We were lucky today, Dad was around to keep Fern occupied a bit, but he has left tonight, so we will see how the rest of our week goes, we may have to move school time to Fern's nap time, we will see! :)

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Here we are the Saturday before the first day of school!! Our first official day of preschool & first grade is Tuesday the 4th! Yesterday I went to the library and checked out a book I needed for Riley and found out the one I wanted for Jake is out of print and our library system does not have it. :( There are a couple things I am still missing, but for the most part we are set to go! I hope Riley jumps in, that he does not get the attitude he is prone to get. I guess on;y time will tell, but I have been saying my fair share of prayers each day that it will be good. That and I have quite a bit of faith in the new school year blessings Dan will give Monday night at FHE. So until an update on our first days of school I bit you adue!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

As summer is winding down and starting school is fast aproching Lindafay at Higher Up and Further in started a What we did last summer topic. So here we go!
Our summer has been full of fun and family, wild animals and far off places, our backyard and exciting adventures!
We read all summer, all together! We visited Minnesota & NIHM, California & Narnia, and of course Connecticut & Ellwood City all from our own cozy home!
We visited the planetarium at the children's museum, the lighthouse at the beach, and the farmer's market on the green!
It has been a full fun summer, we have enjoyed learning on the fly and now are all looking forward to the new school year that will bring us lots of new adventures!
So what did you do this summer?

The first zuccini, followed by MANY more!

Dad with the crew at the San Diego Wild Animal Park!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Since I have used BFIAR before, I have not been spending as much time getting things ready for Jake. But I have been doing a little, and I am really excited to share these great books with him!! Our first book is Jesse Bear, What Will You Wear. I used this pattern of the bare bear to make a paper doll that I laminated, I also made clothing like in the book and laminated it. Then I put sticky velcro dots on them so that the clothes can be "put on". I think Jake will enjoy dressing his bear along with the story!

I am also thankful for this fun resource I found, another mama did all the work for me!! :) There is this neat activity to do with most of the books (not Jesse Bear though) it is called animal classification. Well this mama made these great cards to go with the animals from the books, I only with she had a blank template so that I could make more of the cards, I could make one, it is just easier when some things are already done.

So there is where I am at with that, I still have not picked out what activities we will do for Jesse Bear but I made a nice page to help me schedule it. If you want it email me and I can send it! :)
Here is the doll I made, with his undies velcroed on! then his bubble bath, his read shirt and blue pants, blue pjs, and blanket. Cute bear hu, I was glad to find one so cute!

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

I have not posted recently because we are playing lots and getting ready for the new school year to start! But we have of course been regularly going to the library this summer (it IS air conditioned!) and reading alot of great books. We have been really good about keeping a chapter book going as a family. We just finished Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIHM, it was great. This week we were playing play doh and Riley used the mouse cookie cutter and then exclaimed, "look I made Mrs. Frisby", it was great! And then a kind of yukky neat, Dan and the kids were in the "hiking area" and found a mouse that was "almost dead". :I So the boys wanted me to come see it, I declined but they told me it looked like one of Mrs. Frisbys children. Gross, but I am glad they made the connection.

Tonight we started a new book, The Magicians Nephew. It is the first book in the Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis. (not the first he wrote of the series, but the one he intended to be read first.) And as I finished the first chapter and closed the book Riley was practically in tears, he was flailing on the bed wanting me to read more so that he could find out what happens! IT WAS GREAT!!!! He was so excited and wanted it SO much!

This has all made me understand more why Charlotte Mason suggested that books be read slowly and savored. Mrs. Frisby became real to him, he was in the story, he will remember it. Maybe not all of it, he is just 6, but he will remember! And although it is so hard to say, "no extra chapter tonight" when he is begging, I mean he is not begging for candy or anything!! I am thankful to know that he is being able to savor this great literature! She said:
"We hear of 'three books a week' as a usual thing and rather a matter of pride. But this, again, comes of our tendency to depreciate knowledge, and to lose sight of its alimentary character. If we perceive that knowledge, like bread, is necessary food, we see also that it must be taken in set portions, fitly combined, duly served, and at due intervals, in order to induce the digestive processes without which, knowledge, like meat, gives us labour rather than strength." (vol. 5 of CM's educ. volumes)
Also qouted over at Higher Up and Further In! :)

Someday I will splurge and buy the set of Charlotte Mason writings, but for now I read bits here for free. :)

Thursday, August 02, 2007

I just read this on Higher Up and Further In, and I had to share. What a great story, can you imagine a mother's joy to hear her child fighting Satan with words of scripture!!!
Why Should Children Memorize Scripture?
My seven-year old daughter and I are reading Pilgrim’s Progress together this year. Yesterday, we came to the part when Christian fought Apollyon. My three-year old son listened in attentively because the duel had swords in it and that particular word, ‘sword’ is the love of his life right now. He couldn't help himself and picked up his sword (which is attached to his belt at all hours of the day ) and began fighting the imaginary monster with a passion.A moment of inspiration came to me and I quickly grabbed my pretend darts and shouted out a lie to them, “God doesn’t love you!”Dear Daughter grabbed a nearby toy sword and responded with a sounding blow upon my head while shouting aloud, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whoever believes in Him shall not die but have eternal life!”I, Apollyon, threw another dart, “Your brother is being mean so you should not share your toys with him.”She paused for only a moment, “A gentle answer turns away anger, but a harsh word stirs it up!” --while raising her shield.I was thrilled that she caught on to the game so quickly. Dart after dart I threw, and she would respond with verses that she had memorized. My dear little son parroted her words and used his sword upon the wicked fiend as well. Finally, ‘Apollyon’ gave up, wounded and flew away.Sometimes we need to be reminded why we are teaching our children to memorize the Word of God. Sometimes our children need to be reminded as well.
Posted by lindafay

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Wow two days in a row!! :) First to see an update of our garden you'll have to check out this post on my other blog.
And second, today I got the next LDSHEA newsletter with reasons #5a & 5b of why LDS families should homeschool. And I have to say they are "meaty" there is no hiding on this one, I thought they were great and I enjoyed all the prophetic quotes! They are a bit long, but hang in there! I have read the book they reference By Jack Monnett, " Revealed Educational Principles and the Public Schools ", It was good, a bit of a dry read at times, but also full of fire and amazing history. It puts a whole new spin on LDS HSing. :) I hope you will take the time and read them!!

Monday, July 09, 2007

Well we have been busy having summer! We have been outdoors alot, we have been to the Children's Museum in Hartford a couple times, and we have just been enjoying Dan as his airplane is still broken! :)
I have ordered or bought most of my books for the fall, I have not started on "supplies" yet, I tried last week and of course they only had one and I needed more, so they said to come back this week. So I am now stalking the mailman daily hoping for more books!! I received two of our books today, Aesop's Fables and a little book of a couple fairy tales, but I think it may be the wrong book. :( I will have to see.
Last week Lindafay at Higher Up and Further In had a great post about their nature study. I was struck with an "ahha" when I read it, and will now be studying a topic, instead of all crazy here and there. Plus the book she mentioned "Pets in a Jar" looked so good that I ordered it too!! :) And then today she had a great post about "lesson plans", I have always enjoyed a certain amount of planning, but recently met another HSing mama and she is mostly only HSing her oldest, as the others are little, and she made comments that all she does outside of teaching is learning/reading/planning for the teaching. I was blown away and kind of felt bad for her, and that I should share with her that she does not have to do it like that. You know that feeling like when you think you should share the Gospel with someone, but your nervous. I didn't share, but maybe I will, I wish I could just email her the post, but that might seem rude don't you think?
With Dan being home since the end of May and maybe home for another 3-4 weeks, we have been flying by the seat of our pants, gone is the comforting rhythm that we naturally fall into when he is away. And I have been thinking about that alot, and feeling the need to let our rhythm overtake the craziness. We just need to indoctrinate Dan and get him to follow a little more. Maybe I would be less of a slacker, and actually get something done! :) So I am hoping to have the strength and will to do this, pray for me!! :)

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Yea, I have been MIA for almost the whole month! I have been working on our 1st grade curriculum, I have it all planned, now I have to get it all ready! :) But now I can enlist Dan's help so there will be plenty of delegating. :) Here is the quick overview for grades 1-3, it is based on Lindafay's at Higher Up and Further In, she has been heaven sent! And for Jake we are going to do the Before Five in a Row! :)




Math
Abeka 1
Abeka
Abeka

World History
Ancients, creation-400AD.
Medieval, Early Renaissance, 400-1600
Late Renaissance/Early Modern, 1600-1910

American History
Exploring America, Colonies
Explorers - Pilgrims 1629

Revolutionary War
Colonial Times1629-Revolutionary War1776

Focus on Pioneers, Civil War, Indians
Revolution1776 - WWI 1917

Geography
Ancient World & Early America
Early Europe & Early America
World & America

Science
Nature Study/ Read & find out
Nature Study
Nature Study

Beg. Read
Grammar
Spelling
Teach your Child to Read in 100 easy lessons

Narration
Oral
Oral
Oral

Copy Work
From our reading
From our reading
From our reading

Poetry
1 a week
1 a week
1 a week

Shakespeare
Beautiful Stories from Shakespeare
Beautiful Stories From Shakespeare
Beautiful Stories from Shakespeare or Tales from Shakespeare

Literature
Family –chapter books
Family – chapter books
Family & personal reading

Artist Study
1 artist per 6 weeks
1 artist per 6 weeks
1 artist per 6 weeks

Composer Study
1 composer per 6 weeks
1 composer per 6 weeks
1 composer per 6 weeks

Foreign Language
Hearing, vocabulary
Hearing

Hymn Study
Family
Family
Family

Scripture Study
Daily – family – Old Testament
Daily – family – New Testament
Daily – family & personal

Scripture Memory
As a family, until all have memorized
As a family until all have memorized
As a family until all have memorized

Character Development
As a family - A Child's Book of Character Building –Book 1
As a family - A Child's Book of Character Building – 1 or 2
As a family - A Child's Book of Character Building

This is really pretty on my colorful table I whipped up in word, but I can not get it on here, I hope you can decipher it!

Friday, June 01, 2007

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Ahh, summer science!! Look at our fun! We have gotten into the routine of going outside after dinner, it is cool and pleasant, and I water the garden.I have to keep on top of these or they tend to disappear!! So they usually get picked before they are overly red, for the fear that I will not see any and my patch will get tromped! The kids are so amazed at the food we are growing, these are the first fruits this summer.
Dan made the boys bug boxes, and Riley found a bug today to put in it! Although he would not touch it, so I had to pick it up for him and put it in his box. He is so proud, but sad the caterpillar has to live outside! :)
He is a bit fizzy, but not like the big fuzzy black ones we always had growing up. Too bad, those were so cool!
So there is our science for the day! :)

Friday, May 25, 2007

I have been a slacker on both of my blogs this week, oh well! :)

The new LDSHEA newsletter came out today with #4 reason LDS parents should homeschool! So go here to read the entire thing!

Yea so I am here at home on the 25th, not in Virginia. :( Dan's trip got moved and it was getting "too hard" to make it work to go to the homeschool conference. I am bummed, but the weight off my shoulders is good. I made Dan promise to buy me the CD's when they are available!! :) So I will report on it then! :)

I have been furiously working on the Hook Family Curriculum for next year, and now am trying to design a planner of sorts to keep school stuff organized, I am looking at FIAR's planner, and using the free Donna Young site. Along with my trusty word program with tables!! :) I do not have a way to post them on here, but if you really want to see any of it, email me and I will send it! :)

I just read the Leadership Training proceedings in the June Ensign, it is also available to watch on the church website. It was good to read, I got alot out of it for my calling at church, but also about teaching at home. It might be easier to follow watching it, I might go do that, alot of it is dialogue, so unless you are seasoned at reading from scrip style form, you might want to watch it!! :)

Monday, May 14, 2007

Just some cool sites I have been perusing!

FIAR forums -it is amazing what you can learn from other mamas!!

Simply Charlotte Mason - neat curriculum (free) ideas, and the planner looks interesting.

Donna Young - she has amazing forms, they are all free and even if I do not use hers it gives me a jumping off point to making my own! :)


And some books I am "hankering" for! (Sorry we watched the new Veggie Tales Movie last night "Moe and the Big Exit" and instead of "coveting" they use "hankering" and I thought it was great! :)

Crinkleroot Books

Beautiful Stories from Shakespeare

Lets Read and Find-out Science Books

I will probably have at least the second one and a couple of the third one for school next fall, the Crinkleroot books I can find at the library occasionally! :)

I have been looking into what we need and what we have and what we are doing for the fall, and having fun outside! It just is so hard to do sit down work when it is finally so pretty outside!! :) But Riley and I buckled down today do do a little, Fern and Jake are asleep, which helps A TON!!!!!

Saturday, May 05, 2007

I have loved Shakespeare for a long time, it all started my freshman year in high school in Drama 1 with Mr. Scott. Most of the year was devoted to Shakespeare, we had to memorize a monologue to preform in class, and then translate it into modern day jargon and preform that. What this did for my understanding of the scriptures is in measurable! Well I always thought I would have to wait until high school to enjoy the Barb with my children, tis not so I learned today! Even with the FIAR I am planning to do next year with Riley, this WILL be one of the other great things we will work on! I hope my library has these books so that I can read them before I decide if they should be apart of our library. We are going to have to add on to the house just to house all these book I want and have!!
So here is the plan on the blog, Higher Up and Further In. I thoroughly enjoy reading this mama's blog! Enjoy!!

Thursday, May 03, 2007

You have to LOVE environmental science! Hands on makes it 10X better!! Here is one of the bird feeders we put out today, not only are we learning about birds, but we are recycling too! This morning we saw an American Robin (there are alot of them around it is CT.'s state bird), and we saw a female Hairy Woodpecker!
This picture does no justice to this earthworm!! This thing was ENORMOUS!!!! Think James and the Giant Peach big! It was close to 5 inch. long and as big around as my little finger!! Dan dubbed it the Granddaddy of earth worms and then when Jake and Fern turned away welcomed it into the "Earthworm Relocation Program". Jake LOVES earthworms, but unfortunately does not quite understand about holding too tightly! So Granddaddy now has a new home in our garden plot.
Here are our veggie beds, we planted everything today except the tomato plants, we will see what comes up! That pile of rocks in the middle are SOME of the rocks that came from the 4 new areas. We completely understand now about pioneers moving west with the promise of fewer rocks to dig out of fields!! It is crazy!
Now along with my daffodils the previous owners tulips have popped up! They are a beautiful red, and they look great next to the bright yellow! Just since last night there are actual leaves on our trees! It is great to have the green coming back! :)


Friday, April 27, 2007

We went on a great outing today, it went along well with our book, The Ox-Cart Man. It was perfect to see a colonial era house after reading about it, Riley recognized alot! So I guess this is one good thing about not living in Calif. there are no colonial houses there to go see. But don't tell anyone I said that! :) Dan commented that our tour guide gave us mostly fluff info, and that he was hoping to learn more, then commented on how Riley will soon be able to out tour the tour guides! :) Oh well, it was a great outing to go along with this fun book. Doing this unit study has made me more excited about doing FIAR next year, I am waiting to continue my research and also to look and see at the curriculum fair at the HSing conference next month, plus continuing to pray over the mater. So we will see! :)

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Well the new LDSHEA newsletter came out with #3 of "Why Latter-day Saints should homeschool"!! And better yet they now have all 3 on there site! Here is a little sneak peek, and the link to read the rest!

Some mothers weep in the fall. Others rejoice, feeling liberated when the children go back to school. Marjorie Hinckley was one who wept: "[Marjorie] loved the sound of the screen door slamming shut as children ran in from the backyard. . . . [she] savored the days she had her five to herself, and she went to great lengths to keep summers unstructured so her young ones would have time to lie in the gully and listen to the birds sing if they wanted to. She wept each fall when it was time to send her brood back to school; even when school was in session she looked forward to the moment each day when her children burst through the door and started scrounging for an afternoon snack. One day when Dick had to stay after school for some grade-school discipline, Marjorie marched over to his classroom and announced to his startled teacher, 'You can do anything you want with this boy all day long, but after 3 p.m. he's mine.'" (Glimpses into The Life and Heart of Marjorie Pay Hinckley, Virginia Pearce, p. 53)

This is one of my favorite quotes, in one of my favorite books, about one of my favorite people!!
Have fun reading, here is the link to #1 and #2!

Last week and this week we are having a great time with a free unit study from Homeschool Share, we are using the book, The Ox-cart Man. We have been studding about Connecticut, and working on our garden plot has fit in nicely! I said to Dan this morning, that it has been nice that he is doing hands-on science and math with the boys all week! :) This is similar to FIAR, using a book as a jumping off point to learn about many things! As a side note, the illustrations in this book are beautiful, I could look at them for a long time!!!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Well I finished my book and then decided to reread the original "Thomas Jefferson Education" book, and I am listening to the lecture "7 Keys to Great Teaching" also by DeMille. I realized that it had been too long since I had read it, and I had only read it once or twice I can't remember. Anyway, it is good to read again, I was feeling overwhelmed by it, even though I thought it was right for us, plus I have had a hard time implementing it as obviously my kids and I are not discussing Plato at great depths! (Not yet!) But I just need to get into it and read what I can and discuss it with whom I can. In other words, Dan better get reading too! Who else would I discuss it with! :) So it is good and much better this time around, what ever number that is, and I am feeling that although I am still not quite sure how to go about it with 6, 3, & 1 year olds that is will come, I just have to be patient and pray. It reminds me of a lesson I recently taught in Relief Society from Elder Robert C. Oaks of the Seventy on Patience; he quoted Elder Maxwell when he said,
"Patience is tied very closely to faith in our Heavenly Father. Actually, when we are unduly impatient, we are suggesting that we know what is best—better than does God. Or, at least, we are asserting that our timetable is better than His".
So lots of prayer and patience!!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Well I got my book (The Thomas Jefferson Education Home Companion) on Saturday and I am over half way through!!! I am enjoying it, there were a couple chapters I had to wade through, as they talked alot about TJed in respect to much older kids, but I am learning alot! I highly recommend it, but you should read A Thomas Jefferson Education First. At the LDSEHE conference next month, there is going to be a TJed seminar the day before, but it cost extra, and I am not sure we can be there a day early, with Dan's schedule. :( We'll see!

Yesterday the video "Letter Factory" came and we watched it, the kids enjoyed it, and they picked up some. Then today Riley sunk downstairs and put it in and started watching it. He is not suppose to do that with out asking, but how do you get upset at him wanting to learn! :) So I would say this was a good buy. :)

Thursday, April 12, 2007

WOW!!! HOORAY!! EXCITING!!! That was yesterday!! Riley read a sentence, with out help!!!!! We got turned on to this website, and it is awesome, and FREE!!! I do not approve of lots of computer time for littles, but we will be doing these!!! The sentence was, "Zac sat on a can". HOORAY!! Maybe we will make it through the letter sounds!!!! We have had a hard time with letter sounds with Riley, some moms suggested a video, I am not a big fan of "educational" videos ether, I like the one on one, but we are really struggling and the moms who suggested it are very like minded on theses things, so I splurged and ordered it yesterday! Oh and I finally got to order "Thomas Jefferson Education Home Companion" I am so excited to read it, I can not wait!! Just thought I would share our GREAT milestone!!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

On our adventure today we found this bird nest! I was really cool how it was hanging!
I was up on Dan's shoulder to take this one! Good thing he has been working out on the road!! I wonder if there is any way to find out what kind of bird made it.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

We have jumped back on the wagon this week, it was a bit of a rocky week last week. Oh well you win some you lose some! :)
Anyway I read this which I thought was lovely, and inspiring last week and wanted to share it will all of you, (aka: no one!) :) (Just ignore the political talk at the beginning!)
And I have turned my head to find something good for next year, and as it happens some times it is not "new". Last year for Riley we did Before Five in a Row (BFIAR) and I loved it, I have been so excited about doing it with Jake this coming year. SO, why not try the next level, Five in a Row (FIAR). Isn't it amazing when the answer is right under your nose and you can not see it until the Lord (after sincere pleadings) points it out!!! They have added a few new "things" since I last looked at them and I have been enjoying reading the forums, with all the great ideas from fellow "rowing" mothers! I still plan to use the Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons too. And of course plenty of gospel teachings!
Have a great day!!

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Well school has been all over the place, literally, but we are home and going to try to get into the swing of things. LDSHEA has a news letter they send out that I enjoy, they have a new series going about why Latter-Day Saints should homeschool, I seam to have deleted the #1 reason, so I thought I would share the #2 reason. I could h=not get it on their site to just link to so I will just post the article here, it is by Joyce Kinmont. :)

Why Latter-day Saints Should Homeschool . . . and how to do it!
Reason #2: Homeschooling Will Help You Grow
I know, I've heard it many, many times: I can't homeschool; I haven't got the patience!
Did you leave the pre-existence without patience? Do you want to leave this earth without it? Of course not, and here is your opportunity. Sign up for Patience 101. After that you can enroll in Parental Leadership, Service in the Family, Organization Skills, Teaching by the Spirit, Learning by the Spirit, and every other Celestial skill you ever wanted to develop. Your major is Godhood.
Sound overwhelming? It's not, unless you picture yourself moving a school classroom into your home and see yourself standing before a small classroom delivering lessons you stayed up late to prepare to an uninterested, uncooperative child. It can be done that way and lots of homeschoolers try it, but the Lord's way of teaching is much different. Elder Dallin Oaks tells us, "The most basic example of differences between the Lord's way and man's way concerns how we learn" (The Lord's Way, p. 16).
Man's ways are usually burdensome, usually involve force, and seldom bring satisfying results. Man's yoke is heavy and stressful. The Lord's way is certainly less popular, and it may seem more difficult, but in the end it is the "easier" and more satisfying way."Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me, For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." (Matthew 11:29-30) The "easy" yoke is one that fits well, that makes the burden not just bearable, but joyful.
We live in an historic moment of time in the preparation of a Zion people. The Church is trying now to move us to a new way of learning, by the spirit. We are encouraged to ask questions and find answers by study and by revelation, and to teach each other the gospel through a higher level of discussion. President Packer, Elder Holland, Elder Bednar, Elder Bateman, and Elder Roger Merrill seem to be leading the way. Since the gospel encoumpasses all knowledge, homeschooling fits right into this; in fact home is the perfect place to learn how to learn by following inspired questions and being led to truth by both study and revelation. We are told that we live below our privileges. As children of god, shouldn't it be our privilege to learn from on high?
When we Saints sing "I am a child of God" we really mean it. We recognize that we are created in His image, and we are most fortunate to know something of what God looks like. In the ConferenceCenter in Salt Lake there is a small statue of the Father and the Son appearing to Joseph in the sacred grove. Which is the father, and which is the Son? You can only tell because the Father is gesturing with His left hand. Then, when you look at the back of the statue you see the Father's right arm placed tenderly around the back of his son. A real father and a real son. This is no small matter. Most of our Christian friends think they are created in the image of a God who has no image and loved by a God who has no passions.
We understand the meaning of a "divine nature and destiny." We are gods in embryo. We know something of what we will be like when we grow up. Our destiny is to rejoin our heavenly family as adult children, having matured in our earth-school experience, and then to keep on growing until we too are "gods."
What is a god? A perfected being. What do gods do? As I've pondered the Divine Nature, everything seems to fall into two categories: they Create and they Bless. Sometimes they cry (Moses 7), but they certainly must also feel great joy.
What we need to do to develop our divine nature is to practice creating and blessing until we get very good at it. We are allowed to cry along the way, and we are expected to experience joy. Our laboratory is our home. Our texts are written by apostles and prophets who are also the professors. We read the texts and listen to our Professors to find out how children should be raised and what they should be taught in the Kingdom of God. We are coached by our personal tutor and mentor, the Holy Ghost, who whispers to our seeking hearts. We try out what we learn in our family laboratory. Our "lab experiments" are our children. They are like precious, tender plants, and we learn to serve and bless them as we become experienced gardeners in our own little family garden plot.
I don't know how we got to be the children of Heavenly Parents in the first place. I don't know what we were when they found us, or chose us, or harvested us. Intelligences? Points of light, perhaps? Whatever we were then, we are theirs now. They gave us spiritual bodies and loved us and taught us. They prepared a "school" for us, individualized to provide just the circumstances we would need for our personal growth. Then at the right time, when they knew we were ready, they sent us off. There was no compulsion, no force, no threat, no competition; we wanted to go. We all committed to help each other get back. Surely there was a final good-bye, a long embrace, and we were on our way.
Now we are complaining and fighting the experience, looking for ways to avoid the hard work and the growth opportunities, looking for short cuts and easy outs. Why would we skip the core part of our earth school? How can we say, "Naw, I'll pass on this one. I'm not smart enough. I need my free time. I have other things to do. The mall is calling me. Let the state do it. I pay taxes. And I haven't got the patience."
Here we are with this great opportunity to work right in our homes to develop our own godhood, to learn to bless and create, and we turn down the opportunity because we haven't got the patience?
We are blessed to have the gift of a teaching nature to help us fulfill our teaching duty. We are further blessed when we have a child or two or six or twelve to give us hands-on opportunities to develop patience -- and obedience, and self-reliance, and creativity, and the use of agency, and many other traits of our Divine Nature. If our "homeschool" must be just a 15 minute mini-discussion over dinner to start with, and if it requires a soul-stretching, patience building effort on our part to make it happen, so be it; but we can'topt out.
The second reason for homeschooling is to take advantage of a great opportunity for our own personal growth and happiness -- to learn patience.
Our first estate featured learning of a cognitive type, and it was surely a much longer span than that of our second estate, and the tutoring so much better and more direct. The second estate, however, is one that emphasizes experiential learning through applying, proving, and testing. We learn cognitively here too, just as a good university examination also teaches even as it tests us. . . We have moved, as it were, from first-estate theory to second-estate laboratory. - The Neal A. Maxwell Quote Book, p. 198
Reading aloud is my favorite part of homeschooling. How many others have had this experience: I am sitting on the couch (a chair would never do) reading a good book, such as Men of Iron by Howard Pyle. One child sits on my right, and one child sits on my left, and one child sits on the back of the couch behind my neck, and one child sits on my lap. The fifth child has to make do. Everyone must be situated, just so, in order to see all of the pictures - which must be examined minutely before the page is turned. This is one of the ways God taught me patience. . . . If I could have just an hour of that time again, right now, I would gladly read Corduroy fifteen times in a row and not complain. - Lauri Bluedorn, "Ten Things to Do with Your Child Before Age Ten, Teaching the Trivium," 1998
www.triviumpursuit.com

Funny, I gave that link just recently! :) Have a great day!! :) I am not sure anyone reads this, if you do let me know! :)

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Well "RE" week went pretty well, the bought curriculum got thrown out the window (soon to be eBay), I think Dan is a little scared about the money we spent on it. I was also hesitant to stop using it for that reason too, but it is just too important of a job to do it with mediocre curriculum. That may sound harsh, it just did not work for our family, and the important job of educating these little ones! So I think we will fall back on what we felt right about first; A Thomas Jefferson Education. It is not a curriculum, more of a ... philosophy? I am not sure that is the correct word. Anyway the reason I went looking for a curriculum was I was afraid of the responsibility of doing it my self. But I believe this is what the Lord wants for our kids, so basically; God, Family, Country, and good literature. There are so many other words I could use, but we will suffice with these. There is a new book out about TJed, so another thing for me to save for. :) Maybe after I sell the other curriculum I can buy a couple of these books I have been wanting for our homeschool. :) So I highly recommend reading the book A Thomas Jefferson Education by Oliver DeMille, good stuff!

So the night before last we finished "The Little House in the Big Woods" by Laura Ingalls Wilder, it was a hit with the boys, even when I thought they were not paying attention they were. There were many mornings that they played pretend that sounded alot like what we had read the night before! Last night we started "James and the Giant Peach" by Roald Dahl, I was afraid when we started it that maybe it was a little too scary for the boys, especially Riley. But he loved it, when I was going to stop he asked for a little more! So we will see how this goes. Now I have to think of another book after this, any ideas are welcome! :)

And I am reading this! :) Among other things! :) I know it is the summary not the real book, but the real book is like 200+ pages, that is alot to print out on my sad printer!

Thursday, February 22, 2007

It is hard to see but Riley went on a # scavenger hunt. There is 1 car, 2 hammers, 3 shapes, 4 rattles, 5 books, and 6 dishes. He had fun, it seemed a bit overwhelming at first, but he was so proud of himself in the end!
I got this idea off of the preschool ideas link in the last post. I made Jake a "bank" out of a nut can, I covered it with construction paper and put his name on it, then covered it with fun stickers. He was so excited that I was making something for him! Then I gave him a handful of coins and said put them in. He put them in and dumped them out for over a half an hour! He loves his bank and periodically has asked to play it since then. It is ranking right up there with the wooden puzzles!
We have been enjoying "RE" week, the kids have watched a little too much TV, and I have been doing a lot of reading. I don't feel like I am at any conclusions yet, but I have read a lot of great things! It is hard to get things read let alone get to hash it out in my head with my three wild Indians running around. (I can really say that too, they are a little Cherokee)! :)

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Well I have dubbed this "Re" week. Re-view, Re-vamp, Re-lax...hmmm, I wonder if there are any others I could insert there. :) Although there was one new thing we worked on, I decided that I should be introducing the lowercase letters with the upper, so since we have gone through A-H we worked on the lowercase A-H. So far Riley did pretty good, he has a hard time forming the letters the correct way, so we worked on that today. I have these cool stamps that are "dot" letters, so I stamped them in his book and then he traced them. I put them together like "Aa". So far so good, plus he was eager to work at it today!
I found this and thought it had some fun ideas for Jake, we have a theme for the month, but it is pretty loose, yesterday Jake worked on the file folder game "Grandpa's Garden" from the Finch Family File Folder Games book. (I have 1, I would love ALL of them!!)
So we will see how "Re" week goes, and we'll see what gets revamped! :)

Friday, February 16, 2007

Well this school year has definitely been a roller coaster, not the best fall to start kindergarten! Being nomads for a month and packing and unpacking on ether end of our wondering, curriculum building got the fuzzy end of the stick. So with the limited amount of research time I chose a packaged curriculum. It is good, but now after diving into it, and banging our heads for a few months, I have come to the conclusion that it is just not for us. So maybe I will be exploring the selling side of eBay! So now I am mostly improvising our curriculum now, loosely following the shell of the one I bought. I wish I could call TIME OUT and gather myself. But I think with my present state that could take a few years, so we press forward. I have been reading other blogs and trying to glean from experienced moms. Now I just need to get myself motivated and into action. Something my severe lazy bone works against. The other impediment unfortunately is money. I hate to admit it, but homeschooling does take some money. I know there are moms who can do it relatively free, but our library and my sanity are not so ready. So we improvise. I think this is a good buy, I have had it recommended by a few moms. I am looking forward to getting it and starting working with Riley on reading. Not hard core, I don't want to turn him off I want him to love it! :)

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

So for the month of February Jake is learning about weather, so for an art project I had on the list to make windsocks. I guess since I am from San Diego I imagine the round tube with many tales flapping behind, so we were going to do it with a tube of construction paper and crepe paper tales. Dan did this activity with the boys while I ran a couple errands, and can you guess what kind of windsocks the pilot made? Ha Ha, so funny that we thought of two different things that both work well with our discussion on wind. It gave me a good giggle though! So here are my boys and their windsocks!
I have been reading more here . :)

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Well I thought I would start a blog with what we do for school and also different teaching options I learn about! So lets start this wild ride!
I have had many people when I tell them we home school say, "your brave", I haven't, but I'd like to respond, "your the brave one". I know it is not like me to have a loss of words, but I have had a hard time with the question of why we home school. Hopefully it will come soon. In single words, that will be investigated further I'd say: content, socializing, learning, love, out come, God, character, country, family.... I'll leave the list hanging, it is not complete.
Here is an article I read this week, I thought it had many good points. And another article. I may not agree with everything, but I found it thought provoking, and had some good information I could use. :)