Monday, May 28, 2012
Friday, May 25, 2012
We are so close to the end of our year but there is still much to do. The hard part is listening to everyone else finish their year while we are still working hard. But the finish line is in view and we are almost there.
The caterpillars hatched and we released them this Tuesday. The butterfly experiment was great though, I wish someone would have told me about the shaking chrysalis. We ended our butterfly study with a trip to a butterfly garden. The boys were so excited to observe the butterflies daily. It was kind of sad to let them go but I’m sure there will be other opportunities to raise butterflies. Joshua can not stop saying butterfly.
There were so many beautiful butterflies at the butterfly garden. Unfortunately, I was unable to capture many of them on film.
Studied polygons, place value using base 10 blocks. We have two lessons left before we are done with this curriculum. Christopher really enjoyed working with the base 10 blocks.
Christopher is almost done with his reading curriculum. We are halfway through our current unit and have one more and then it’s a wrap. He is still learning to scan stories for information and answering questions about what he is reading. Christopher was introduced to the Nate The Great series this year and reads these books during his independent reading time. He has about five books left in the series before he completes the entire series. I am on the hunt for another series for him. Please let me know if you have any ideas.
Learned about calligraphy in China, Qin Zheng the first Emperor of China and how the great wall which is a series of walls were built to keep Mongols out. Christopher cooked his first pot of rice during this time.
In addition we began our chapter about Julius Cesar and how he rose to power. During the next few weeks we will take some time to update our time line.
Continued our work with suffixes, changing the y to I before adding a suffix, keeping the y when there is a vowel before the y. We also learned the are family contractions and reviewed a capitalization rule for the days of the week.
Emmanuel is completing his last workbook of the year. We also continue working on his motor skills.
Diligently we are practicing the characteristic of orderliness. We will probably work a week or two more before adding another characteristic to our list. I have found that working together as a family helps to get the jobs done faster and the boys like helping out.
Goals for next week:
Continue planning for next school year. Ideally, I would like to finish the majority of the planning stage. Christopher’s studies are mapped out but I have to finalize the plans for the other boys on paper. Also I would like to complete my third and final video on planning your homeschool year.
Lastly, I have to find a new photo editing site. The former company I used went out of business and I am just not happy with the photos on my site now. *sigh*
Sites I visited this week:
Tuesday, May 22, 2012
As if being a homeschool mom was not a full time job, I still find other things to keep my life interesting. In addition to my roles as wife, mom, and teacher I am a standardized testing coordinator and the box top collector for one of our homeschool groups. You can see that all of these roles keep me very busy and my schedule can get hectic at times.
It’s that time of year to submit our final box top submission for the school year. So I enlist the help of my son Christopher. He and I sit and divide the box tops into groups of ten. As we sort and discard the expired box tops, we divide them into the bundles of 50 for shipping. This is a great mother son activity and it keeps our brains sharp at the same time.
All money raised goes to our homeschool support group. The money is then used for scholarships for families that would like to participate in co-op but don’t have the financial means to do so. It’s a great cause and so I don’t mind giving of my time to keep the program going. If your child’s school or homeschool group participates, please donate. A little goes a long way.
Thursday, May 17, 2012
Usually my two year old can be found making masterpieces around the house. Imagine my surprise tonight when I entered the toy room and found this.
It was not Joshua the two year old but Emmanuel creating a mural. He calls his creation the racetrack. I guess he was inspired to release the artist within.
Wednesday, May 16, 2012
Tuesday, May 15, 2012
Homeschoolers look forward to the yearly conventions that come into town. If you are not a homeschooler let me explain what happens at these yearly conventions. Curriculum vendors come to sell their wares and there are several days of workshops that homeschoolers can attend. These workshops are geared to encourage, help you in your job teaching your children at home. It doesn’t matter if you are just beginning you homeschool journey or if you are transitioning from elementary school years to high school there are classes that can benefit you.
Generally, my calendar is marked for this weekend and this year was no exception. Unfortunately, a series of events prevented me from enjoying this year’s convention. The first sign that this years convention would not go as planned happened the weekend prior when my husband notified me he was traveling unexpectedly the day that I would be attending the event. This meant we would have to find alternate childcare, luckily my sister in law who lives in the area agreed to watch the boys while I attended the fair.
The morning of the fair around 4:30 a.m. a migraine came on me rather quickly. It was as if a light switch were turned on. Bing in an instant I knew it was not going to be an easy day. So I decided to forgo the first two morning sessions. This way I could take my time getting the boys ready and bypass the morning commute giving my migraine meds time to kick in.
Unfortunately, the migraine meds did not kick in and by the time I dropped the kids off and made it to the fair the only parking available was in the overflow lot. The overflow lot is up a small incline about half a mile from the entrance. Finally, I located a spot and made my way into the vendor hall. Since I missed the first two sessions I decided to go ahead and make my purchases have lunch and then attend one afternoon class. Previously I made a list of the remaining items I needed and each vendor had a booth there. The first booth I located my selections paid and quickly maneuvered over to the next vendor. This vendor had a very very long line. So I stood in line with my selections and once it was my turn my debit card was declined. That’s right declined. The sales attendant told me that this had been a problem earlier in the day for several other patrons and when I asked why. He told me that since the vendors are from different states and come with their own credit card machines it appears that I am making charges from state to state. Later I ended up calling my bank about the matter to find out why the card was declined and they said that their was a block on all transactions from that state because of fraudulent activity. Generally I use my checkbook at the fair and so the debit card issue is not a problem but today this valuable tool was in the diaper bag across town at my sister in law’s house. Go figure! Luckily I had another debit card that I could put those purchases on so my long wait in line would not be in vain.
But I was in luck or so I thought because the convention center has an atm machine. So I left the vendor hall and went to the atm and guess what the atm machine could not read my card and I still had one vendor I wanted to purchase from. Anyway I made my way across the exhibit hall to the last vendor and they did not have everything I needed so I decided to just order everything online.
Now its time for lunch so I went to the café where I had hoped to see a few friends from several homeschool support groups. When I reached the café the line was wrapped around the building. I was beginning to feel worse by the minute so I decided to call it a day pick up the boys and just go home. But I stopped at the booth so I could pick up information on how to purchase the speakers that I missed. Three years I waited to see Sally Clarkson. I couldn’t believe my luck when I saw here listed as a speaker. I wanted to introduce myself and tell her how much her books have blessed me personally. But alas it was not meant to be.
So I headed for the exit, only to get the door and it was raining cats and dogs. I did not have an umbrella so I thought I would wait it out for a bit. It’s
Truthfully, a good cleansing cry would have been perfect. But I just got in the bed and rested. Hopefully next years convention will be better than this one.
I think Alanis Morissette’s song Ironic describes my convention experience perfectly.
Sunday, May 13, 2012
I am writing to you on Mother’s Day because without your presence this day would have a different meaning.
As I reflect on my many, many blessings I always include you three in the count. Each day I am blessed to wake up and look into your eyes, grab hugs, steal kisses and have conversations that give me insight into the young men you are becoming. I am blessed to be your mother plain and simple and I don’t want to miss one second. Thank you for making this day and every day special.
I’ve been told more than once that God only gives sons to special women. Apparently, the Lord must see something special in me since he has given me three boys. God give me the strength, wisdom and patience to raise these boys in a manner pleasing to you.
To my three boys Christopher, Emmanuel, Joshua and my two already in heaven mommy loves you.
Thursday, May 10, 2012
This week was not a typical week. I am the coordinator for ITBS Test so three days of our week were spent at the testing center. This was my first year as the coordinator. My friend has been the coordinator for several years and decided to step down. Whew what a week! Christopher will still need to take his exam once he finishes his curriculum but next year he will be included with the group. I must say that I am proud of myself. Successfully, I managed to register, order, recruit administrators, monitors and childcare workers, and administer a standardized exam for students from 1-12th grade. This was no easy fare but thanks to my husband and oldest son they kept me together when my nerves got the better of me earlier in the week.
Our caterpillars are changing into chrysalis. You can see the change from earlier this week to today where two of our caterpillars have now changed. The bottom right picture only one had changed but the other was well on its way it has now changed. Which leaves us with two caterpillars and two chrysalis. Soon we will move them into the butterfly garden. I’m a little scared to move them. What if one falls? Oh dear the things we do for our children.
Began adding three digit math problems ex. 3+2+7=12. Of course I was worried that this would be difficult but Christopher said “Mom I already know how to do this.” And he did well with the concept no trouble at all. Again I have to ask myself why do I worry so much. I don’t know man!!!
Learned what a figure of speech is and how to scan a page looking for key words to answer questions.
Read about ancient China and learned about calligraphy. I wanted to do a calligraphy project but being out of the home most of the week it was not possible. Perhaps next week.
Worked more with synonyms this week.
We are still working on the orderly characteristic. The boys are learning to wash dishes, load the dishwasher and restock the supply pantry. They did a fantastic job and I look forward to the day when orderliness is a characteristic that defines our family. (REAL TALK!)
Joshua was supposed to be putting things in the trash. He got sidetracked and started eating his findings. He was just so cute I had to take a picture with him.
Emmanuel had his first blending lesson this week. I’m beaming with pride.
This is the method I learned from Ruth Beechick’s book The Three R’s . Simply put this is a chart with vowels on top and consonants on the bottom. When I point to the vowel Emmanuel says the sound of the vowel then I point to the consonant and he says the that sound. Then he puts the two sounds together to form a word. Later we will add another consonant in front of the vowel and then we will start changing the vowel out. Ex. at becomes sat, bat, cat, hot, hop, hut etc. Christopher began reading cvc words with this method. From here I place the vowels an consonants on index cards and scramble them on the floor then I call out a word and have the child put the word together. This progresses to other exercises until the child can read sentences. Then I start a reading curriculum which expands the phonics rules and introduces readers. Needless to say Emmanuel did well and we will continue from here slowly building. I just want to hold this moment in my heart and cherish it because he is at the door of reading. Once he walks through the opening the world will be his book.
Tomorrow I will be at the homeschool book fair. I can’t wait! Sally Clarkson will be speaking and hopefully I can catch a good seat. She is the author of several books that have been very inspirational for me. Two years her conference has come to town and I was unable to attend. So I am over the moon that I will get to see her tomorrow.
Well, that’s it for us, how was your week?
*Don’t worry I did not forget the final segment on planning your homeschool year. I just have not had time to sit down and record it. It’s coming soon.
Monday, May 7, 2012
It’s no surprise that homeschoolers collect lots of books. My family is no exception. It became clear that I needed a plan for all the wonderful books we are collecting. After some time researching I have decided on a simple system that should work for us. Our library will be color coded by subject.. My mother purchased the color coded circle labels several months ago and they will not go to waste. It really is helpful to have your list of supplies you need handy just in case someone is ready to bestow a blessing on your family. Here you can see that some of my history resources have been marked with a red label.
On the inside back cover of the book I have noted in small print what time period the book supplements.
Some of the books are not actually history they could be fiction independent reads, playwrights, or other literature but are grouped with history because I have listed them as an extra source to read during the year because the book relates to the time period we are studying. Grouping them together will make the source easier to locate during the school year. Once the indexing is complete a reference chart will be displayed that gives the breakdown of how the books are divided.
Saturday, May 5, 2012
- We are working on our character here at Random Uttering beginning with the orderly characteristic. We discussed the opposite of orderly and all week we looked for opportunities to be orderly.
- Reviewed the capitalization rules. Our year is winding down though at times it does not feel like it, so, its good to see all that we have learned thus far.
- Learned the difference between to and two. To means action or movement. I am going to the store. While two means how many. Christopher has two footballs.
- Fed the ducks on our nature walk. Joshua was on his way in the water several times. I would have more pictures but each time I went to snap a shot Joshua got to close for comfort to the water.
- Got to spend time with another homeschool family during our nature walk.
- Joshua walking away from us. Seriously, this kid has no fear.
- Our butterfly larvae came in this week. I was so nervous because they sat in the mailbox for several hours, which can be deadly in our Texas heat. For some reason I thought the postman would ring the bell or leave them at the front door. Anyway the caterpillars are alive and well.
- The boys spent lots of time observing the caterpillars. Even Joshua joined in.
- Laughing hysterically, at the caterpillars wiggling around. Certainly our caterpillars have developed a complex over this.
- Plugging away with our math as usual. This week we worked with geometric figures spheres, cones, cubes, cylinders. Fun!
- Joshua working with his speech therapist Melissa. He is making some progress but still not talking much.
That’s a wrap for us, how was your week?