Wednesday, August 25, 2010

J: "Hey Mom! Look there's a police car!!"

A: "Mom, make sure you drive slow when the police are around. We can only go fast when there's no police around, right mom?"

Guess their daddy is teaching them a thing or two. That CERTAINLY wouldn't be coming from me!!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Here is the continued subject list of what I use to school my children, when I feel like it...


This was my last purchase, the one I researched probably the most. I realize that the "facts of History" range all across the board. You would think, it either happened or it didn't. Turns out there are alot of opioions out there that are taught as fact. There are some things that are just passed right by that were really crucial turning points in history. Maybe because they shed a little bit of a dim light on good ole' America. Truth be told the US did some pretty nasty things too and I want my kids to have a well rouned view of everything that makes us who we are today. Granted my kids are very young and they are learning just the surface but still, I'd rather start off on the right foot. After reading a kazillion reviews, I ended up with Beautiful Feet. (No I didn't get a pedicure, and actually might never have one again thanks to a certain ER patient that I met during one of my Emergency shifts....GROSS!!!!) Anyway, this is a history through literature approach. It is a kit with lots of books about lots of people and events in history. So far the kids LOVE it!! They have little history notebooks that we color pictures in, write down poems, or different ideas, and then we read a book about it. Not a textbook, a story book, which I love! The first book is about Leif Erickson. One whom I know NOTHING about. So I'm learning right along with them. Truth be told I actually know nothing of history in general. I was a good memorizer in school so I remembered all the facts to pass the test and then it was gone, so I'm pretty sure every single book I will be learning right along with them.

While reading reviews I came across a couple that I just have to share becuase it just sort of shows why maybe there are so many different "history facts" that are taught to please every audience.

One was, "Providence in History" (one of the suggested readings) is was too Christian based, we are secular so we just chose not to read that."

My comment: "I'm sorry, but regardless of your views, religious freedoms and Christianity was a HUGE part of early American history. Maybe one of the biggest reasons that America even exists. And our founding fathers...they were Christian and our country WAS founded on Christian principles!

Another was, "I didn't like "that" (can't remember what book they were referring to) book. The only roles for woman they talked about were a teacher or secretary.

My comment: "Once again, I'm sorry back in the 1800's those WERE the only jobs that woman had. I'm sure there were a few Doctor Quinn's out there. But again, that WAS our history, like it or not. Woman were home raising all the kids they had, while grinding their own flour and churning their own butter...who had time for a job???

It is my desire that my kids be educated with the truth, not just what they would like to think history was. So after reading a few of those comments, I figured this was the right cirriculum for me!!


This one is kind of embarrassing really. I hadn't really picked anything out. I was a little burnt out from souring all the history book sites. Then one day a girl knocked on my door. She was a college student selling a set of educational science books. Long story short, I bought them. I know, a door to door salesman? For my kids education? Yeah I know. I just got them last week and haven't really looked at them yet, but I'm sort of excited about them. It's a set of 30 some books, and they cover all sorts of topics and have projects and experiments in them to match what they're learning. Truth be told Deb is in charge of "projects" and well, I'm hoping science in genearal as well. So I may never know if they're good or not!!


I did throw in a random book teaching about maps. Can't remember where I got it but it's just something a little different to lighten up the reading, writing, math load.

So there you have it. I always thought I would be one to just pick one cirriculum with a neat nifty little lesson plan and follow the schedule and just go with it do or die. As I go along, I find that I like to pick and choose what I use. That's one of the best things about homeschooling. And yes I make a weekly schedule, on a spreadsheet with each date listed and all the assignments that need to be done each day that goes in a neat little 3 ring binder with each of their names on it that sits next to all my other three ring binders neatly labeled. But really if my day goes bad, or someone calls up and wants to play...Scrap the schedule, I just move it on back to the next day and start over...which happens ALOT!!! Yea for homeschooling!

Friday, August 20, 2010

The question commonly comes when I admit that I home school my kids, "What books do you use?" "Do you use that online school thing?"

So to answer those questions, I'll go subject by subject.


Math was my favorite subject in school. I like it because there is only one answer. It's either right or wrong. So I thought teaching math would be my favorite...Not so much. Last year I used Horizon math. Not a big fan. Too much of the same thing over and over which was easy for Quaid and then the areas he struggled there were 2 problems every 10 pages! So this year I went with Math-U-See. It uses blocks and a short lesson taught via DVD. It's going pretty good so far...It's a little confusing for Quaid to relearn a few things with the blocks...but he's going pretty well. Ava is learning everything for the first time so she's picking it up just fine. As for Jentzen and Keira, Jentzen plays legos with the blocks and Keira just wants to eat them!


Last year I used Abeka Letters and Sounds. I really like it. It goes through each letter's sound and then combinations one per day. I'm using the same this year. Actually Quaid is finishing up his book from last year cause we didn't finish, cause it was May and nice weather and we didn't want to. I'm the teacher, and I can do anything I want...that's why I home school!


I didn't do a Bible last year but thought I maybe should this year...Quaid being in First Grade and all, I should probably be a little more official. I searched and searched....I found Positive Action for Christ. I really liked this one because it not only teaches stories and verses but pulls character traits out of each verse and lesson. For instance the first lesson taught about Orderliness, God is a God of order. And God created us to be an individual so we need to find our purpose for God that can be different from everyone else's and that's just fine. This was an awesome one becuase with the three kids they tend to get a little upset if they can't do things as well as the next oldest and the really soaked it up that what each one did was great no matter how it compared to the others. I read once that your kids will outgrow behavior things. They won't always throw their food, they won't always climb all over the countertops, the won't always color with markers all over their legs...but their character that you build at an early stage will always be with them. Even if they don't memorize the verse word for word, or know exactly where to find it...hopefully they will remember what the learned of God's character and that will always be with them.

More to come!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

My Girls...

The girls and I went shopping with Deb for some new shirts. I'm pretty honest I think, so I make a pretty good shopping partner. Ava is bruitally honest, which makes her a good shopping partner as well but a little harsh.

Upon seeing Deb in one particualar shirt, "Deb! That looks REALLY bad on you!!!" Isn't she a charmer.

Keira has recently decided (I'm surprised it took her this long) that her crib is no longer a suitable place for her to sleep. So we've had a few new bed battles ths past week and she's now sleeping in Ava's bed. And you'd think that "Ava's bed" just meant on the same mattress. No. "Ava's bed" actually means on Ava's pillow with her head plastered right next to Ava's.

Last night after we got home from shopping I put the kids to was around 10ish which means it's not only past the kids bedtime, but it's WAY past mom's bedtime as well. So I like to throw the kids in bed, shut the door and run as fast as I can to my bed, jump in, and say goodbye to the world as quickly as possible.

Keira was somewhat settled, and Ava too so I'm thinking GREAT!!

I'm almost asleep...and then I hard a big clang on the bunk beds and couple of thumps. Really?? I'm so tired, we'll just give it a minute. No more thumps, no crying, no little voices. Sweet, back to bed I'll go.

But then my crazy mom worry radar went up. What if they're knocked out and can't cry for me? And what happened? It sounded like the girls room, but what if it was the boys? I couldn't sleep, so I drug myself down the hallway and checked on the girls first. I crack open the door, peek through the dark and see Ava sleeping. Then I scan to Keira's Keira. Shoot, where did that little monkey go?

I scan the room, nothing. I go into the boy's room, nothing. Quaid was awake so I'm guessing the noise came from him tossing something out of his bed that wasn't "organizeable." He's got a thing about his bed being organized.

Super...just what I want to be doing at 10:15 at night when I'm dead tired. I go downstairs and start shouting for Keira, nothing. Seriously where is she? Did she take off outside? Checking the mail maybe?

I went back upstairs, maybe I missed her hiding under the bed or something. Back to her room. Since the lights were off and it was dark I went all the way in and looked at Ava. And there she was. Keira's little head fast asleep propped up on Ava's chest with legs out the side. From the door it sort of looked like her blanket. It was the cutest thing. I wanted to take a picture. But that meant two things. I had to find the camera, and then I had to chance waking them up with the flash.

Nope. Wasn't doing it at 10:30 at night. Sorry you'll just have to imagine it :)

Thursday, August 12, 2010

So it's been some time since I've sat down for a write. Seems I haven't totally managed how to find time to do it all. So for my faithful readers, I apologize but something has to give. I'm okay with letting one ball drop and I'm okay with it being the blog.

I always get told, "Wow, you must be busy!" upon mentioning my children's ages, and the fact that I homeschool, and work. And my answer has always been, "Yeah, kind of." I've never really felt that busy. I'm sort of a goer and doer so I like keeping my day full of things to do so it's sort of enjoyable for me to have a list and get things done.

I think the day has finally come...I AM BUSY! Yes, I am and I'm shouting if from the rooftops! This past week has left me with no time at all left at the end of the day, going to bed too late, and (gasp) not everything done on my daily lists of things to do.

I've added a few subjects to homeschooling now that Quaid is in 1st grade I thought perhaps I should take it a little more seriously. I've got so much I want to do with them and teach them, I realized that it's not all going to get done, and they'll be just fine with whatever I can't get to. But instead of 1 hour max like last year...I'm now into the 3-4 hours a day between all of them....and would like to do more...

I've got that blasted garden to tend to. Some days it's the land of Hades....

I have worked between 32 and 40 hours per week so far and will continue to do so during the month of August. It just sort of snuck up on me. Sometimes I'm just too nice and accommodating.

School has been going well....I think...maybe I should ask the kids! It seems we have accomplished something so far. The kids have learned maybe 1 or two things in the 2 weeks since we've started. Their most remembered, thanks to Ms. DD, Professor of Science, would be Mentos and Diet Coke have an explosive relationship!

On a side note, I get asked a lot what I use or how do I pick a curriculum. Next week I aim to list everything I'm currently using and why.

It's been super hot and muggy which has sent our garden into overdrive. Honestly, if I have to look at one more green bean, I might fall over dead!! If anyone wants pick 'em, you take 'em!! Take note for next year....50 feet of green beans is too many. 25 feet of peas...not enough.

Currently my mind is reeling from the past few weeks, all that I've been doing, all I need to do. It's really a mess and I just want to shut if I'll leave you with what happens when mom works and daddy is home with the kids...

At least they put their mud boots on right??

My sweet Keira or maybe Hitler exfoliated her teeth.

Does is really get any lower than this? I have to say by the time I got home these pictures were the only evidence of this behavior. The kids were squeaky clean and laundry was in the washing machine and not a trace of mud around the house. Pretty sure the kids are way more into the mud pit instead of the sandbox, which is this holes' intended purpose. Oh finished soon!!

Okay, enough. My precious time is ticking...I've got 6 hours worth of work to fit in the next two hours. First up...making a batch of puppy chow for our much needed trip to the cabin this weekend. YUM!!!

Monday, August 2, 2010

We started school today. I figured since all other moms probably take pictures of their kids getting on the bus on a certain day in early September...I should pick up the slack and join in.
So here we our school room...ready for the first lesson. Doesn't it look like we're ready for school. Yeah well it was kind of a disaster, looks more like a toy room. Gotta make due with what's there I guess. That caused a few early morning problems. I got through it. Got through our first lesson and saw that it wasn't supposed to be done until tomorrow according to my neat little spreadsheet. We had one long day today and I guess tomorrow will be a little easier.

To be honest...I'm exhausted. Who knew it was such hard work for the teacher!! It's not so much the schooling. It's not so much the rest of the other tasks of being a wife, housekeeper, mother of 4 that I have for the's the combination of them together. One without the other I can handle. But the pace of keeping all of it going makes me want to fall over. It will take some getting used to...for me and the kids!