Monday, March 31, 2014

Serious Supper Suppositions

World English Dictionary
supposition  (ˌsʌpəˈzɪʃən) 
— n
1.the act of supposing
2.a fact, theory, etc, that is supposed
— adj
— adv
— adj

Yup, I had to add the definition just in case you were thinking of looking it up. So, if I'm having serious supper suppositions I'm in the act of supposing that there should be something on the menu plan so supposedly there will be something to eat each night for supper. All of these suppers listed here are mainly theories of what we'll be having for supper this week. I'm in a mind changing type of mood so at any given time on any given day this week the menu just might change.

Sunday - BBQ Steak, baked potatoes, corn, and rolls
Monday - Baked chicken and veggies
Tuesday - Pork chops, noodles, and green beans
Wednesday - Whole roasted chicken and veggies 
Thursday - Pork steaks, mashed potatoes, and side salad
Friday - Daddy and I are going out to supper, the campers will be having tuna noodle casserole with their crunchy cheese bits on top (try baking really cheap American cheese broken into squares on top of a casserole .. they come out almost like crackers and for some reason my kids love 'em)
Saturday - Soup and sandwiches

It's not a whole plan but it's not a non-existent plan either. It gives me a good foundation to jump from. It's been a rainy icky few days and I think it's affected my mood and my willingness to plan out meals (and other things that will somehow get taken care of even if the plan fails LOL).

Linking up today with Organizing Junkie Menu Plan Monday.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Judge Not...

"Let he who is without sin cast the first stone..."

These words have been running through my head since last evening when I read a post by a woman who was of the opinion that every homeschooler needed to make sure that they were up and dressed, along with the children, each and every day to be at their most productive. She had a decent argument, presented her case well, and attempted not to be rude (I'm hoping that wasn't her intent). I personally don't agree with her post, I informed her of that very politely and told her that I respected her right to her opinion, and I spoke of the matter with my husband and, later, my children.

I have seen questions on the matter of "to get dressed or not" at least weekly since the beginning of September on various Facebook groups which I belong to. Some are genuinely curious as to what others wear in their homeschool, some are looking for a general direction to go in, and others are attempting to get their opinions out there for the world to see.

Here is the problem with this issue. It divides us, unpleasantly in some cases, between those who think that pajama days every day (or at least some days) are fine and those who think that if you're not up and dressed you are simply being lazy and couldn't possibly be as productive as you could be ... And everything on the scale in between. 

As a whole we homeschoolers are a very diverse lot. There are as many ways of teaching a child as there are children. What works best for me probably won't do so for you and vise versa. We live in a time of blessings (and the sometimes curse) of an abundance of different curricula that we can choose from. There are those who follow the classic methods, those that unschool, those that choose secular texts, those that chose Christian texts (of the many different varieties), and those who mash it all up into a mix that works for them. We're made up of families who started the homeschool journey intentionally, those who ended up here due to unfortunate childhood illnesses, those who felt called by God to do this, and all sorts of other situations and reasons.

We make jokes often about how others see us, sometimes as a defense mechanism and sometimes because we truly find their views humorous from our side of the fence. We joke that some of the perks of homeschooling are being able to sleep in and do our lessons in our pajamas. And, in my humble opinion, it is one of the perks (at least the pajama part).

"Judge not lest ye be judged..."

I try every day to keep my mouth in check before I blurt out random irritations at what I see going on around me. People who are strong in their opinions trying to ram it down others throats simply because they feel that they are being judged by the actions of people whom they do not even know. I struggle with this every day, I struggle not to be just as rude as I perceive many of them to be, I strive to turn the other cheek.

In our home we have a routine that works for us. The children get up, they eat breakfast, they brush their teeth and hair, don their glasses, do their chores, and get ready for school. If somewhere in there they choose to get dressed then I'm all for it. If they choose to come to their desks in their pajamas I'm OK with that too. When we have somewhere we're going that day the children all know how to dress appropriately for what we're doing. Yes, sometimes I do the "mom thing" and send them to change a shirt or a ripped pair of jeans before we head out. Getting dressed before you head out the door is a part of life (though I've been guilty of going to the store in pajama pants). Heck, if we have no plans that day 90% of the time you'll find me in some form of either pajamas or comfy clothing. I prefer to be comfortable so that I can get dirty with the children, so that I can get down to their level comfortably when we're playing games, so that I can relax and do my job of mothering in the way that works for me.

Personally I don't care if you wear pajamas during lesson time, wear pajamas to the store, or get dressed to the nines to sit on your couch and stare at the television. We're all different. We're all individuals. We're all unique. It is our ability to be ourselves that makes us beautiful. As a group homeschoolers are judged by those who don't understand what we do, we don't need to begin to judge each other on something as trivial as what we're wearing.

The following are words from ECJ: 
"I usually get dressed in the mornings, not because I have to but 
because going outside in the winter with pajama pants on is a little 
cold. Some days I do my lessons in my pajama pants just because I'm 
more comfortable that way that day. Since we started homeschooling
I like that I don't have to worry about what people think of what I'm wearing,
I don't get picked on for having the wrong thing on or being too short. 
I work my butt off at my work every day because I want to learn
as much as I can and wearing clothing doesn't make a difference in how well
I can think. I won't worry what other people think of me anymore
because I know just how good I am even if they don't see it because
they can't see past my flannel pajama pants."

Now, it's still early Saturday morning and I'm going to enjoy the rest of my day. I've made breakfast and had a shower. Then I got dressed... In a t-shirt and my pajama jeans *grin*.

Find us on Facebook here or subscribe to the blog for tips on homeschooling, book reviews, how to get your children helping out in the kitchen, and to see many pictures of the cute kiddos, plus much more!

Friday, March 28, 2014

What the...

*The title of this post in no way infers a cuss word.*

It's been a very, very, very odd week here at Homeschool Camper. I'm not talking like Murphy's Law weird, just plain weird. Nothing happened that caused giant issues, there wasn't a huge catastrophe, not even a week that would normally cause a blip on the radar screen when taken in separate components. But when you add it all up it's definitely been a "what the?" kind of week.
Monday began our week of oddities. I woke up, not on time, but still early and this never happens on a Monday no matter how hard I try. I thought this would bode well for the rest of the week, hrm ... I might have thought wrong. Moments after actually starting our lessons I snapped a nice picture of birds in the field outside of our window, the weather was sunny even if it was a bit chilly (high of 30* F). The campers did their school diligently enough but they drug their feet, it took from 9 AM all the way until 4 PM to finish all the lessons planned. After which I sent ECJ outside to collect some dirt from near the ditch so that we can plant our sprouted onions, found Sunday evening, inside since the frost will certainly kill them off if we try to do so outside. He ended up having an interesting encounter with the neighbor's dog, but thankfully no one was hurt and our neighbors were diligent in their observations of their dog. Right before supper we had our "what the.." moment when we found over 12+ videos in Peanut's room, many of which weren't in their cases. This began the "video check out list" where now each child taking a movie out of the cabinet, including Peanut, needs to write part of the title and their name when taking the movie out and then sign again when they return the movie. *So far it has worked great!* Certainly a Monday, pulling teeth to get cooperation and ready to pull my hair out by the end of the day.

Tuesday was one of those days where it seemed like it was just possible was just never going to end. Honestly I hadn't thought it was going to be such an odd day. I woke up a little later than planned (not unusual), the children began their lessons with hardly a problem (not unusual for Tuesdays), and the weather decided to go crazy and snow again (not unusual for this year, plus it was only 30* F again). Then, after it had started to snow Peanut mentioned having a "small" headache ... within moments I noticed that though she wasn't straining with counting the pictures she was holding her temples with her palms and whining when trying to see the numbers. Quick glance at her pupils and it was confirmed, we had the beginnings of a migraine. Lessons over for her, medication given, popped into bed for quiet time with her favorite Strawberry Shortcake movie playing super super low. *Only her second migraine since starting the new medication a few months ago, so not complaining!* The Cracker Jack's were informed that due to needing showers/baths before catechism we'd be ending lessons at 2 PM and they cracked down pretty quickly to their lessons. By noon Peanut was up and eating a snack but we didn't put her back to work. Instead she chose to "practice for gym" (which is what she was going to do while the Cracker Jack's had their final first communion class). By 4 PM everyone was ready for catechism. Too bad when we got there at 5:30 PM it was to find out that it had been cancelled and almost no one had been informed! Yup, "what the..." moment for sure! Off back home and a late supper eaten that could have been avoided by a simple phone or email message.

The teacher aides in action...
Wednesday Daddy took over for the 40 Bags in 40 Days challenge while I continued with the children's lessons. Daddy was able to take all of our scrap that we'd found in various rooms and outside back to the scrap yard while I attempted to teach the children. My stomach began giving me issues early in the day and I wasn't really feeling well. We kept at it. I was grouchy, the kids were still cranky from the night before not going as planned, and we still somehow got all the work from Tuesday finished and most of Wednesday's. That evening we had first communion practice and it went very well for the children. Our "what the..." moment happened in the church as several (we're talking over half the parents, literally one side of the church pretty much) of the parents began talking throughout the whole thing. No one but the children could hear a darned thing! I was upset, Daddy was upset, even the campers were upset. Turns out even they had to strain to hear what was being told to them from people who were standing less than ten feet from them. Needless to say were were not happy campers. *We had a giant "what the..." day this day due to several calls from a scam artist who was trying to get us to send them money for a loan we were suddenly approved for even though A) we hadn't applied for one and B) they didn't even know our names. A lot of the phone calls were nasty in nature when we told them to stop calling, the resulted in name calling and nastiness. I ended up having to call my cell provider to get blocking added to my line and reported each number they'd called from to the FTC.*

Yup, after all this cold we had rain ... oh wait, and some sleet... OH, then it snowed ... *sigh*
So, that brings us to Thursday (the day I'm typing this up). I woke up just icky kaka! My IBS (how's that for some honesty LOL) has flared up big time, what started yesterday has only gotten worse today. I crawled out of bed and called a day of unschooling. I just could not get my body to cooperate so it's unschooling and movie Thursday and I'm not a bit flustered over it. Peanut got YCJ to read three books (yup that's right three of them) to her in less than 40 minutes! ECJ worked on his sketch work and automobile drawings for awhile, jotted down some notes for a story idea he's had, and has begun straightening up his Legos. The girls have watched a few movies and have discussed which is creepier The Adams Family or Coraline (personally I think Coraline is creepier) and why each thinks their choice is creepier. For those of you wondering, the girls decided that Coraline was indeed creepier and chose to watch Adams Family. Daddy made us a vegetarian lunch of spaghetti with spinach included in the sauce which is one of our all time favorites. And thus far there really hasn't been a giant "what the..." moment other than the IBS hitting me so hard and causing me to reevaluate what I've been eating lately. The small "what the..." moments have come all day long while the weather tries to decide if it wants to rain, shine, sleet, or snow. *Sigh* It is the never ending winter where a day that was supposed to be in the high 40's has so far only reached 34* F. OH, and the meat for supper somehow spoiled overnight in the fridge but everything else is just fine?!?! Who knows? We still haven't gotten those onions planted as the dirt that was dug up first needed to thaw, then dry some (I may dry it more on low in the oven later), and then we'll need to pick out the random roots and what nots before planting the onions. Such is life.

Our plans for tomorrow (Friday) remain that we will do our regular lessons. As next week is scheduled as a short one for us, due to the monthly errand running on the 3rd and some plans for the 4th, we're simply placing Thursday's lessons tomorrow and tomorrow's lessons on Monday so that we'll have two days of general review before taking a couple of days off to do the tasks that life requires. Here's hoping that the last official week day has no "what the.." moments.

In 6th grade news ECJ will finish his A Beka Language book no later than Monday, his A Beka math book should be finished in less than two weeks, and he's going to begin on Module 9 of Apologia General Science next week. This boy is cruising!!

3rd grade and prek/K are chugging along very nicely. YCJ is right on the schedule we set her on and Peanut will be finished with all of her preK books very shortly. Their current science will be completed in less than two weeks which will hopefully coincide with the correct timing for extended nature walks to begin again. 

We've also gotten ourselves firmly entrenched in Colonial America and they're all finding it fascinating.

It was a pajama week other than when we went to the church. Even those days we didn't change until late afternoon for the most part. The weather hasn't done as it should have all week long and we didn't go outside other than to go to the church.
Posts you may have missed this week:    
Cozy Menu Plan
Comments on Homeschooling
Fire Starters - How To
Is It Working?

Who I'm linking up with this week:    
Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers
Faithful Mom of 9
Homegrown Learners
Great Peace Academy

Find us on Facebook here or subscribe to the blog for tips on homeschooling, book reviews, how to get your children helping out in the kitchen, and to see many pictures of the cute kiddos, plus much more!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Is it Working?

I mentioned near the beginning of the year that we were looking into some different curriculum options for "next" school year (next being subjective since we school year round, but we'll say Sept. 2014 to start the next year). And now I'm happy to say we have it figured out and are ready to get down to the serious business of curriculum shopping. I'm going to lay out for you today what's still working that we'll continue to use next year and what's no longer working that we'll be changing next year, and what we'll be changing that to.

Picture taken in Sept. 2013
Now, those of you who've read this blog for any amount of time (or have spoken with me on Facebook) know that we really like A Beka curriculum at least so far as what we use of it. We're keeping their phonics and Language Arts curriculum. It's working for us. We only use their phonics, creative writing, and actual language arts text. We do not use their spelling or poetry portions nor their reading selections.
Picture taken Sept. 2013

Since we don't use those portions of A Beka language arts just where were we getting it from and will we still be doing that? Well, that's a bit convoluted but I'll try to explain. Spelling we were using our "big books" (complete curriculum) and were pretty happy with it as far as it goes, however next year we'll be moving on to All About Spelling in the hopes that it will work better for YCJ. We're still keeping our "big books" because they work for us to give us more to work through in both language arts and mathematics. We never used A Beka's reading selections simply because we prefer to work through books that I (Mommy) decides to put on the reading list per each child's reading level. As for the poetry portion it just hadn't been a major focus with us in the past couple of years, we probably won't focus on it next year either... At least not to the point of it needing to be a whole separate section of our curriculum.

We've also been using A Beka's Arithmetic curriculum. It's a wonderful curriculum that has really worked well for both Cracker Jack's. So well for both of them in fact that they pretty much fly completely through the lessons and are ready for a new text book somewhere in April of each year leaving Mommy to scramble for more math work to challenge them each year. Next year the Cracker Jack's will both be moving to Saxon math for the larger challenge that it presents. There is nothing wrong with A Beka math. It's just not working for us any longer. As for Peanut we'll be moving her from the workbooks she's using this year to McRuffy's math curriculum next year. It's bright, colorful, and engaging not to mention provides challenge and a TON of ways to learn each concept. Well worth the investment in our humble opinions.

We're also keeping A Beka's health curriculum because it's working for us. We only do health during the winter months, preferring to do our more active pursuits (like swim class) during the other three seasons. A Beka has their curriculum schedule set up so that you only do health for a semester and do science for the other. Since we're inside for most of the winter usually it's no issue to get health done in approximately one marking period. We do not use A Beka science...

Next year ECJ will be continuing with Apologia science. And because it works so well, as well as teaches what we believe (along with giving arguments for the opposite points of view when it comes to certain topics), we'll be having YCJ and Peanut begin Apologia as well. ECJ will be doing Physical Science and the girls will both be working with Zoology 1 Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day. Apologia is great for both girls working on the same topic as they provide both student notebooks and junior student notebook. 1 text with 2 notebooks and I don't have to think about it twice. 

For history next year we'll be using A History of US by Joy Hakim. This is a secular series that is actually 11 books in total before you count in any teaching guides or student study guides. It's got study guides and teaching guides for each of the first 10 books in the series (the 11th being a resource book) for both elementary years and middle/high school years. ECJ and I worked through the first two books in the series in the winter of 2012/2013 and really enjoyed them. *These books do use the now popular C.E. and B.C.E. standard instead of the B.C. and A.D. that we all grew up with. I simply explain why they use these terms now instead of what we use in our homeschool and move on. Eventually, if the children move on to college as we hope, they'd need to know these terms anyway.* From what we already worked through I know that these books provide scads of information in bites that are easy to handle for even the less than enthusiastic student. It will also provide us with at least two, if not three, years of instruction for the campers in this subject working at a pace of 3-5 text books per year.

Some things with our Bible lessons may change only because the children want more of it in their lives. Mostly it will just be adding to what we're already doing. I may purchase some catechist books for them myself for them to work through at home, or I may not, it simply all depends on where they are in their interest levels in the Fall.

There's always other things such as music (we're adding SQUILT next year), art (we're adding chalk pastel lessons next year), physical education (we'll just have to see what we're adding), and the list goes on. But these solid core subjects have been firmly decided. Yes, some things will cost us more this year than in previous years and we're going to figure out how to budget those in. However, by combining curriculum choices in science for the girls and History for all three children we're also saving money where we could have gone hog wild.

As you can see some things are staying the same. Some things are being tweaked. Some things are being returned to with a more purposeful outlook. And some things are changing completely. I spent many hours researching before I made these decisions, many hours talking to Daddy about our choices, and many hours praying to determine the right course for our homeschool next year. I would never be so bold as to tell anyone that these are the best choices for everyone to have, just that they are the best choices that we can make with what knowledge we have. 

Linking up with Squishable Baby

Find us on Facebook here or subscribe to the blog for tips on homeschooling, book reviews, how to get your children helping out in the kitchen, and to see many pictures of the cute kiddos, plus much more!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Fire Starters - How To

OK, so many years ago I was watching some show on cable (back before I decided that it was too darned expensive to keep) and there was a guy on there who was proud of being a "cheapskate". He talked about saving his drier lint to use as kindling for his fireplace during the winter. We had a fireplace, I was frugal, I thought why not try it. Yeah, it didn't work so well even if you fluffed it up so that more air would get to it because it burned too fast for the wood kindling to catch. Frustrated at what I saw as another lie from TV, I dumped some melted wax from a candle we had burning onto one of the logs on accident, viola! We had fire and the beginnings of the idea for making our own fire starters.

We found out that just using the drier lint smelled horrid, didn't work, and was plain out a waste of our time. I started keeping the stubs of candles we had around the house for when we went camping because the wax stubs really did help the fire catch, but we still had to get it started. After awhile the obvious hit me smack dab in the middle of the forehead, combine the drier lint and the candle stubs and make fire starters! Huge success! Not only do these work but if you're using scented candle stubs they smell pretty good too.

I mention them last week in this post (and a few others) and have received a lot of e-mail excited about the fact that I planned on writing up a how-to post. So here's the how to and it's really simple to do. They're also good to make just for the science aspect of them even if you're not going to be camping or lighting your fireplaces with them.

Supply list:
Drier Lint
Old candle remains
1 large pan
water proof container
wax paper
plastic container
plastic forks* (not required but recommended)
if doing the science portion of this you will also need a disposable pie tin

1. After gathering all of your materials in the kitchen area (so that you're near the heat source for melting the wax and also for easy clean up) put water into your pan and turn on high heat until at a rapid boil. While this is happening take the time to get as many wick and wick "holders" out of your candles as you can.

2. When water has reached a rapid boil turn the heat OFF. Wax can do a lot of damage if it's heated too rapidly and for safety's sake it's better to do it very slowly. Once the heat is off put your candle remains in the hot water (if doing this with regular stubs place them in a small glass container first). Now, it's the waiting game until the wax all melts.

3. As the wax melts dump it into a plastic container, don't worry if you end up having to do several melting and dumping steps you can always remelt the already warm and still partially melted wax while it's in your plastic container. Just place the whole thing back into the hot water. Make sure if you need to do this step that you keep the plastic container moving so that it too doesn't begin to melt.

4. If doing the science portion this is where your first bit of drier lint and that pie tin comes into action. If you're not doing the science portion skip to the next step. Place pie tin on the stove top so that you know it's not going to fall. Put one piece of drier lint (not fluffed) into the tin, one that is "fluffed" into the tin, and then dip a third in the wax and place it in the tin. Call the children over and have them make hypothesis and observations on what is going to/is happening. Light the non-fluffed lint first, watch how quickly it burns and then goes out. Second is the "fluffed" lint, again watch how quickly it burns and then goes out once lint. (This does smell horrid by the way, just a quick warning to you.) Finally, light the wax dipped lint and notice what happens. This is also a good step to do if you'll be using these to start campfires or other fires in fireplaces etc. It really explains visually why you're making these.

In this picture they'd already started making them.
4. Set child(ren) up with a sheet of wax paper and a plastic fork. Give them each a few pieces of drier lint and some safety warnings about touching the hot melted wax. *Note: Wax should not be hot enough at this point to cause any burn issues, yet it is still melted and very warm so safety is best.* Then walk them through the next two steps...

5. Break drier lint up into quarter to half dollar sized bits and place one at a time onto the plastic fork...

6. Dip each lint piece into the wax individually until fully coated (you'll be amazed how much wax sticks to each piece). Then carefully remove with the plastic fork and set to dry on the wax paper. Even younger children can do this with some supervision. *The small plate is under the plastic container just to protect the table a bit more from the warmth of the wax as that table is near 100 years old.*

7. When all, or most, of the wax is used up with the lint allow the pieces you dipped to dry on the wax paper and dispose of the leftover wax and the plastic forks.

8. Once pieces are dry place them in a jar or other water proof container (we used three of the small candle jars that still had lids). Close up and put somewhere safe until you're ready to use them. You do not have to cut the wax paper, these will peal off of it really easily.

You can carry the science experiment a bit further by seeing how best to use these and under what weather conditions they work best. As well as probably a ton of ideas that my brain simply hasn't thought of.

We use these often while camping under a bit of regular tinder, or we place a few in strategic places in the built (but not lit) fire circle and then light the wax. Within minutes you should have a cheery fire going with minimal fuss.

I hope that you'll find these little gems as useful as we have.

Linking up with Squishable Baby

Find us on Facebook here or subscribe to the blog for tips on homeschooling, book reviews, how to get your children helping out in the kitchen, and to see many pictures of the cute kiddos, plus much more!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Comments on Homeschooling

OK, so we've all been there. Talking to someone and all of a sudden it's like 500 questions tossed at us about homeschooling and all of them about how "bad" it's got to be for either us or the children. Hardly ever do we get those comments about them being glad we homeschool, or how the statistics look for homeschoolers, and seldom do we get the honest curious questions. So, here is a look at a few of the comments on homeschooling and how we really see them...

"But, you're always with your kids!" Well, yeah, we're always with our kids. We're their parents first and their teachers second. We like being with our children (most of the time) and chose this path for ourselves no one forced this on us. Of course, we do enjoy some time to ourselves as adults but then again so do most parents we know.

"It's such a HUGE commitment!" ... Hrm ... How to put this politely... Having children is a HUGE commitment, teaching them just comes along with the job after all we all potty train our children (hopefully).

"You must be one of those Jesus freaks, right?" First off, not all homeschoolers are Christians. Secondly, we prefer not to be called freaks ... It's rude!

"Those poor children! They must feel so isolated!" (OK, as I typed that one ECJ burst out into snorting laughter.) This is such a false statement we usually just look at people with a raised eyebrow. Many homeschool children go to co-ops, church functions, sports practice, martial arts, dance, art classes, swim classes, and so much more. Some even have more on their agenda than many "regular" schooled children. Homeschool children simply do not socialize with only one age group, they learn to socialize with every age group.

"You must be well off to be able to do that!" Actually, by and far the majority of the homeschool families that we've met had to give up an income to be able to homeschool. They survive on one income and manage to budget for curriculum, extra curricular, and field trips along with being able to pay the bills. They simply sacrifice those $5 Starbuck's coffee's (or other extras that they do not need) that they used to drink on the way into work ... Oh wait, I never bought those even when I was working...

"Those poor poor children stuck in the house all day!" Yeah, 'cause you know the only place to play is on the school play ground for the fifteen minutes before or after lunch that you're allotted ... Right.

"You never get vacations from school!" Yup, we're all nose to the grindstone even while we're swimming at the beach and visiting the zoo. It's not my child's problem that they come running to me talking about some shell they found at the edge of the water and instead of saying, "yes, mmmhmm, that's nice dear" we pull out the smart phone to find out what kind of shell it is and answer their questions. But, yeah we're always pen to paper working ... sure thing (I think my kids would tie me up if I tried to get away with making them work out of texts with no breaks 365 days a year, how about you?).

"What about gym class?" Yeah, OK, so we don't have gymnasiums in our houses (well, at least I don't but someone might) ... that doesn't mean that our children don't have gym class. We just define it differently. It's swimming, martial arts, dance, ... wait didn't we go through part of this list already??

Other questions that we've been asked/accused of are:
That must be illegal. Nope.
You must be a saint. LOL NOPE
You just don't send them to school because you want to be lazy. Yeah, because lesson planning for three children, instructing three children, and being on my feet an average of ten hours a day is sure lazy, huh?
Those poor children will never go a prom/find a boyfriend or girlfriend/be able to attend a sports event. Yeah, because we all live under rocks with our kids. There's plenty of homeschool proms and homeschooler's that get invited to public school proms by their girlfriend or boyfriend they met at one of those sporting events or extra curricular they were taking ... Or *gasp* perhaps even church.

There's several more that I'm sure I could come up with or that you've heard yourself. Sometimes we get all of these from one person, sometimes just one question per person, sometimes none of them, but when we get them even Peanut looks at people like they need to try to understand. I'm not talking about those people who are genuinely curious or concerned for your child's welfare (like grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc.). I'm talking those people who don't even really know you who are spouting off like either you're some kind of saint that never looses their cool or that you're completely nutso and keeping your kids under lock and key beneath some rock somewhere where nothing whatsoever intrudes (like, oh I don't know, life).

*This post was not written to offend anyone. Just as my honest take on some of the off the wall things that have been said/asked of me since we began our homeschooling journey.*

Linking up today with Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers for List It {Tuesday}

Squishable Baby 

Find us on Facebook here or subscribe to the blog for tips on homeschooling, book reviews, how to get your children helping out in the kitchen, and to see many pictures of the cute kiddos, plus much more!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Cozy Menu Plan

This week Daddy and I are splitting the cooking up pretty evenly. For the nights that Daddy's cooking I'm putting a (D) for the nights that I'm cooking I'll put a (M). Our menu plan is simple but has a lot of our favorite meals in it.

Sunday - Breakfast for supper: eggs, turkey bacon, biscuits, and hash browns (M)
Monday - Cabbage soup done in the crock pot and garlic bread (D)
Tuesday - Beef stroganoff  in crock pot (M)
Wednesday - Meatloaf with ground chicken/pork (D)
Thursday - Homemade chicken quasadillas (M)
Friday - Cod fillets, fish sticks, and fried potatoes (M)
Saturday - Leftover buffet

I love using the crock pot to cook and it's fun having two right now that way if there's a lot of the one meal still I don't have to transfer everything over to another container if I want to make another meal. Chances are we'll eat cabbage soup for lunch on Tuesday as well so it won't hurt a thing to keep it on low overnight Monday. This makes our beginning of the week very easy as well as nice and warming since we have a cold front projected all the way until Thursday (if you call being in the low 40s a warm up like we do).

Linking up this week with Organizing Junkie for Menu Plan Mondays.

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Friday, March 21, 2014

Our Workable Week

Honestly, I thought that this week (after looking at the forecast last week) would be soooo much warmer than it has been. And, in all honesty, it has been a bit warmer ... At least there was no blizzard this week. But we had rain on the last day of winter (Wednesday) and an ice warning for overnight the first day of spring (Thursday). Michigan weather, go figure!
The girls working on a picture for Mommy
This week was pretty productive although it didn't seem to be at first glance before I began mapping out what to write for this post. You see, if we don't check 50 million little boxes in my plans every week I don't think at first that we've done so very much. Then when I look back I realize that we've done a ton of work I hadn't thought we'd done. We're still doing lessons today (Friday) so a few more boxes will probably be checked off but it's not so that I don't worry that they're learning because it's so obvious that they are!
Attempting to make sense out of a language arts assignment
So, instead of going day by day this week I'm going to cover what we've done in each subject instead. In the spots where it's necessary I'll put the grade like this (grade).
Her reaction to being told she would be attending
a "catechism function" for kids her age Tuesday...
Bible: We did a unit study on Saint Patrick, morning devotionals with daily readings from several different books in the Bible (3+ passages a day), catechism classes at our local parish, and daily rosary. 

Language Arts: (PreK/K) Letter V work, writing our name, phonics work on both and in our phonics books, and several stories read. (3) Cursive H work, spelling all week long, text book work for proper word usage all week long, stories with little sister, helping little sister with phonics (so she can review as well), and independent reading. (6) Creative writing using A Beka creative writing text, text book work using A Beka text, independent reading, lots of dictionary use (independent to look up words in his reading he did not know), and reading to his little sisters a few times to work on his oral presentation and fluidness.
Supervising language arts lessons as per usual...

Arithmetic: (PreK/K) Review of shapes and colors, review of numbers 0-15, concepts of more and less, pattern work, and basic addition: 3+3=6. (3) Work with fractions and adding and subtracting numerators, as well as review of all previous skills learned. (6) Work with compass and protractor, learning angle measurement, radius and circumference, and review of all previous skills learned.
Trixie cat helping out with lessons again.

Health: Both Cracker Jack's finished chapter seven of their health books (different books but both texts from their grades through A Beka) and began chapter eight. Peanut gets simple talks about personal hygiene and why we can't eat certain foods all day long as the questions/needs come up. She also joined in with an experiment from YCJ's health book to show how mucus works (gotta love it when science and health mix like that).
Science: (6) Module 8 in Apologia General Science and enjoying it quite well. (PreK/K and 3) Working through our plant nutrient materials and learning a lot, enjoying the easy flow of the materials and glad that the knowledge will transfer to our veggie garden later this year.

History: Medieval History, in particular medieval England and how people lived during that time. ECJ (6) has been doing some independent looking at this subject as well. We will go ahead and revisit this time frame this summer at our leisure right now we're headed "forward" in time to colonial America next week, we were only supposed to detour for a week into medieval times.
Moragon substituting...

Art: All of the children have been enjoying their new learn to draw books, as well as a bunch of various crafts through the week, and all of our crafting we did on Sunday.
Music: The Cracker Jacks have been working slowly with their new instruments (recorder and guitar) still. Peanut has some empty coffee cans and non sharpened pencils she's using as drums right now (I suppose I'll have to break down and buy her a "real" drum set sometime in the future as she hasn't let this go *sigh*). We've been looking into country music (our favorite genre) more in the past week and have some dedicated listening time each day now.
Shop: ECJ is the only one (other than Mommy and Daddy) who had any shop work this week, he took several safety lessons about table saws and screw guns from Daddy and did some work on his new room alongside of us this week.
Shadow stepping in as a teacher's aide...

Home economics: Sunday all three children "cooked" a meal. Every weekday this week one of the Cracker Jack's has made breakfast and/or lunch. ECJ learned more about doing his own laundry and has almost* become proficient at it now. All the children have been learning to clean up after themselves better this week.
Computers: Each of the campers works on various websites throughout the week in different areas of their lessons. They've all made leaps and bounds with basic computer skills this year.

Wow! *Pantpant* I think perhaps I worry too much about those boxes! It seems like we've done quite a bit more than I had thought we'd done! Perhaps I need to reevaluate how much needs to be done at some point in the future. The only subjects that aren't lead daily are art, music, and shop. Art seems to just happen around here though we do make a concentrated effort at it at least once a week, several of us have artistic hobbies that we work on each day. Music is a constant in our home as well, next year we will be purchasing Squilt to take a deeper look into some of the genres/time frames I myself don't remember much about. As for shop, most of you know that we bought this home knowing that it needed a TON of work (last year), shop only happens when we have a project going on. Sometimes the girls are also involved in "shop class" but when the big table saw comes out they are excluded due to their age and safety concerns.  

My endeavors for the 40 Bags in 40 Days Challenge are going quite well. We've taken out several bags of trash, gotten together a lot of donation bags, and generally gotten more organized around here. It's also not just my challenge anymore as Daddy and the campers are joining in to help me out! In our organizing endeavors we've decided to finally swap the Cracker Jack's rooms (which they want to do) and finish both of them off (our current shop lessons). 
Squeeks supervising breakfast Sunday morning.
As for our hours with the 1000 Hours Outside Challenge we are way behind our midyear goal of 500 hours due to weather having been so horrid this past winter (yay, winter's past LOL). We might be able to get some more hours in today (Friday) and tomorrow so I'm not going to post exact numbers just yet but am looking to do so on Saturday evening on our Facebook page . There's just not enough hours this week for a post unfortunately.

Linking up this week with:
Homegrown Learners
Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers
Faithful Mom of 9 
Great Peace Academy

Posts you may have missed this week include:
OH! It Feels Like Spring!
Kids and Saint Pat's Menu
Happy Saint Patrick's Day
10 Reasons I'm Ready for Spring
Winter is Over! (Bucket List Update)
Project Days (Day in the life)

Find us on Facebook here or subscribe to the blog for tips on homeschooling, book reviews, how to get your children helping out in the kitchen, and to see many pictures of the cute kiddos, plus much more!