Friday, June 27, 2014

Relaxing Through It

This week has been one of the most relaxing weeks of this whole summer so far. Not because we set out for it to be, but simply because it was. Though it didn't start out that way...

This is what we did over the weekend (OK, mainly Daddy did it, but we did help him)...

What you're looking at are the remains of our old camper that has sat by the side of the house since late summer last year. Daddy got a burn barrel and took out his big saw. Two days full of cutting, burning, stacking, and bundling. A day off and then more bundling (not pictured) before the garbage men came. Thursday there was some more cutting and bundling, but the wind has not cooperated for burning... We don't want to inadvertently start a fire or spread the smoke too much into our neighbors homes. For those of you who have never had a burn barrel those two buckets of water in the one picture are always there in case the fire gets out of control... Ten gallons of water goes a long way towards putting out a fire in a barrel.

Monday YCJ finally got her spacer out at the dentist. This is a picture I snapped on our walk back, you can just barely see the gap in her bottom teeth where the spacer used to be. And I'm sure you can tell by the smile on her face how excited she was, even with half of her face numb!

While we were at the dentist I made an appointment for a cleaning and check up for Peanut next month. She's the one I'm rather worried about as she doesn't do well with things that don't happen all of the time. I did speak to those at the dentist office though and I'll be in the room with her the whole time. She'd cause them too much issue if I wasn't and not allow them to do anything to her mouth.

If you follow this link you'll see what we did on Wednesday. No, I didn't forget about Tuesday... I just forgot what we did :-)

Thursday we did lessons, played outside, and then relaxed while Daddy worked on more cutting and bundling. Peanut finished her review of the letter I and spent a good amount of time working on her words from McGuffey's Primer. We've got a lot of words we're reviewing from it right now. I make a card for each word and we go through them about four times a day. I ran out of blank cards though, so we won't be moving on to any new words until the week after next. I'll be buying the blank ones next week, but with the holiday and Noni coming out both next week and doing our running that we need to do I doubt we'll have more than a day or so of lessons all week long.

This morning (Friday morning) we woke up to YCJ sitting on the couch like this:
Yes, that is a long sleeved nightgown and stretch pants that she's wearing on an 80* day. Daddy and I both knew immediately that she wasn't feeling well, though she tried to tell us that she was just tired. I had her change into something a little cooler, yet still comfy, and go lay on her bed to watch a movie or two. This way if she wanted to cover up she could. The best medicine for the "blechs" (our word for feeling icky but not really sick) is to rest and take it easy. We'll keep an eye on her all day but mainly she'll have her space to just relax. Peanut's taking this time to clean her room and play quietly by herself, which normally she won't. ECJ is fussing with Trixie cat who's in a mood and keeps swatting at him. ECJ is too old for me to get in between him and the cat, sooner or later he'll stop messing with a cat when it doesn't want to be fussed with.

As for this weekend coming up... Maybe we'll cut up and bundle the rest of the wood. Perhaps we'll burn the dried leaves from who knows how many falls we found under the pile. Or... we might just relax and do whatever we find interesting in the moment. I love not having a plan sometimes... not all the time, but sometimes.

Posts you may have missed this week:    
More Changes
A Day of Summer School (Wednesday)

Linked up with:     
Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers
Faithful Mom of 9

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, June 25, 2014

A Day of Summer School

Let me start this post off with the following statement: "There is NO average, typical, this is how we do it day of summer around this house."

That being said, the following is what happened on June 24, 2014.

Around 8 AM the campers got up, did their chores, ate breakfast, and then headed into Peanut's bedroom. They turned on one of the kid music CD's, danced, sang, and played until a little after 10 AM.

Daddy and I spent that time drinking coffee and doing some other morning rituals we both have. He ended up taking some scrap back while I got ready for some lessons with the campers. It was raining when we woke up and it was calling for periods of rain throughout the day, so it was a perfect day to do lessons in the morning. During this time I also placed a call to the business that will be giving me an interview soon, it was supposed to be this afternoon but they'll be calling me another day to set up the interview. (Fingers crossed)

We began those lessons around 10:30. I'm not sure of the exact time we began but then again I was only on my third cup of coffee at the time. Peanut got a whole lot of work accomplished and even YCJ didn't fuss over her school work. ECJ ended up going outside and helping Daddy and then cleaning up the yard a little while we girls got through almost all of the days lessons.

Daddy got back from the scrap yard a little after noon and we all piled into the truck. Off we went to go check out a camper and view two houses. The camper did not suit us as it had been changed by the owners to fit their needs and not others needs, it would have been way too cramped for even a weekend away. Both houses were nice, one we had already seen and the other we had not. Something to think on later... During the whole time we were in and out of the rain. And did manage half an hour outside.

We got back home around 3 PM. Both girls decided to finish the last items on their list for the day lesson wise. YCJ even gave Peanut some creative advice on her Halloween picture for her letter H review. Peanut also earned another sticker for her Sesame Street reading poster.

Meanwhile, ECJ began working on his lessons again. He managed to get them all finished except for his Apologia by 4 PM. He also managed it all with only 3 changes of spots he was working in. I hopped on my computer for some game time, something I hadn't really been doing much of lately.

Around 5:30 I made a quick supper of soup and sandwiches for the kids and sausage and green beans for us parents. After supper the campers played a few games and read a little while I went back to my game and Daddy watched Netflix. It was raining again.

7 PM is medicine time around this house and it was given out accordingly. Bananas were chosen for desert and then the campers got ready for bed. In their rooms by 8:30 and I kept at my game for another hour and a half.

I turned off the computer and wandered into the bedroom. After a quick shower, I spent the next four hours crocheting and watching Netflix with Daddy. By the time we lay down to go to sleep we had spoken about the houses we'd seen and decided that neither was right for us. The search goes on...

To see how other's have been spending some of their summer days head on over to visit Tristan at Our Busy Homeschool and browse through the link up! It's always interesting to me to see what others are doing :-)

Monday, June 23, 2014

More Changes?

Well, if you're a regular reader of mine you'll know that not that long ago I finished a small series of what we'll be doing curriculum wise next year. At the end of this post will be a series of links to each of those posts. For now though I thought I'd highlight just the changes in what we'll be doing, the things written in red are what's changed since the original posts on what we'll be doing.

Math - We're switching from A Beka Mathematics to Saxon Math for the Cracker Jacks and McRuffy Math for Peanut. The Cracker Jacks both needed a bit more of a challenge and Peanut needed something a lot more visually stimulating. Beginning this summer, and working with it throughout the school year, ECJ will also be working on a new book from a garage sale entitled Painless Algebra, which honestly looks rather fun.

Science - All three campers will be doing Apologia Science next year. The girls will be doing Zoology 1 together while ECJ will be working through Physical Science ... We chose this course simply because we enjoyed ECJ's work through their General Science course and wanted a more meaty science curriculum.

History - ECJ will be doing Studies in World History Vol. 1 while the girls will be working through the first few books of the History of US by Joy Hakim.

Language Arts - There are a few changes here. Spelling for ECJ will come from his vocabulary and reading, any words he doesn't know will be added to the list. YCJ will continue to do her spelling out of our "Big Books" and Peanut will begin with that as well as work with the McGuffey Speller. She'll also be working through the readers in that series, as will YCJ. All three will continue to have reading assigned by me that correlates to all topics that we're learning. We also picked up some wonderful early spellers through 5th grade from a garage sale that was used in one of the semi-local school districts back in the 1930's. We'll be using them for both girls as well. A children's dictionary was also discovered at that same garage sale and we're absolutely going to be working on definitions this year.

Music - We'll definitely be using SQUILT this year along with our continued efforts to learn our instruments. 

At the moment that pretty much covers our curriculum changes this upcoming school year. Below are several links to the specific posts where I talk about most of these things in depth.

Language Arts
Health, Physical Education, Art, and Music
Latin and Religion
Affording our chosen curriculum

Linked to:  Our Busy Homeschool

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, June 20, 2014

What Did We Really Learn?

There is oh so much that we did this week. And lessons were part of that. I'm not sure if there was too much new information learned, but learning did happen.

Most of our time was spent outside this week, so I didn't get to the other couple of posts I wanted to write. I'll have them ready for next week for sure.

We got some upsetting news from across the country about a family member on Father's Day. I spent the majority of the next 72 hours after hearing it simply making tons of phone calls and talking. We did do lessons on Monday and were able to get a little over half of our end of the year math review finished. Peanut worked on reviewing G and H and some of her other letters, but concentrated mostly on her reading (we recently got the McGuffy Primer in and she's able to read it now that we're not looking at it online).

Tuesday we'd planned to do lessons but I was just emotionally worn out and wanted to rest. Instead we played outside, took walks, and relaxed around the house. Though I did pick up my new glasses that morning. I still can't wear them as often as I should as I'm still getting used to the stronger prescription.

On Wednesday Noni came out and we ended up going to the mall instead of the beach. It was storming when we all woke up and was supposed to continue doing so all day. Instead it turned out to be a pretty good day with no more rain until mid-afternoon. Ah well, such is life and we had a blast! The children all got some new summer shoes and the mystery of why ECJ wears so many holes in his socks was solved. That'll happen when you're wearing shoes that are almost two sizes too small but not telling anyone that your shoes are too tight!

That evening Daddy actually took a full night to hang out with a cousin of his, this happens about once every seven years. So the campers and I camped out in the big bedroom with Netflix. I ended up being awake far longer than I thought I would be but got a lot done on the blanket I'm nearly finished with! I had to take a few days off from working on it because a cyst on my tendon in my hand was acting up and it hurt to work on anything that involved my hands for too long.

Thursday we finished up our end of the year math review and did a few other lessons. We quickly realized that the campers just do not do very well on tests because when we went back and reviewed the wrong answers they knew how to do the work and got the correct answers. We'll be doing it again next month so that they get a little more practice taking the math tests, since we'll be doing more of those next year than we have in the past.

So, now we come to Friday. I had a doctor appointment this morning, which went fairly well. I do need to get some x-rays done on my shoulder, wrists, and hands for arthritis but I already knew I had it. A ton of blood work was done as well and I now have a doozy of a bruise and a sore arm, but all in the name of getting healthy. We stopped at the park on our way home for an hour and a half of fun in the semi-sun and then a quick stop at the market before we got home. Now, we'll do some schooling this afternoon to avoid some rain and possibly go to the pool this weekend.

Update on the moving situation: We're still looking. However, we aren't going to make a big move or decision until I've seen the gynecologist. I will most likely be going in for surgery before fall and we know that we won't be moving before then. Instead of stressing ourselves out we're simply looking around to see if there's anything we're truly interested in.

Next week I'll be posting a day in the life post as well as a complete wrap up on how our curriculum plans look at this point for next year.

Linking up with:
Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers
Faithful Mom of 9
Squishable Baby

Friday, June 13, 2014

Whoa What a Week!

So, what did this past week look like? Well, for starters I finished all of YCJ's accessories and bits of her outfit that I'd meant to give her on her birthday last month and began a new project for a friend of ours...
Messenger bag, my own design and freehand
Covered headband

Two-toned shawl/shrug

Harley Davidson colors inspired blanket.
Monday we had lessons inside, a walk to the store, a discussion as to why farmer's let some fields go fallow for a year (and what fallow means), play time outside, and read 25 pages of our new read aloud! It was a good day, especially where Monday's are concerned around here! 

Tuesday we'd only planned on a short lesson day, but as with all plans... that changed. It took far longer to do lessons than we'd planned with far less work to do and most of that review! The lawn was finally cut between Daddy, ECJ, and I ... Unfortunately, I took a fall onto both knee caps while doing so and jarred my knees and back quiet good. Though, even with that we were able to get some good outside time in. Peanut was in one of her "I'm going to be happily cranky and loud today" type of moods, which is always interesting but she calmed down when she got to help me cook supper. She also did her "E is for elephant" page that we got from our lovely librarian awhile back, this is the first time she didn't want my help making one of these!

Wednesday I had an eye appointment, those dollar store reading glasses just weren't cutting it anymore and my old prescription just didn't work either. I think I chose a decent pair of frames... 

We didn't begin our lessons until afternoon, which is more in keeping with our summer schedule. While I was at the eye doctor the children simply relaxed, played games, read, and whatever else they chose to do. The lessons went quickly due to the promise of outside time as soon as we were finished. A simple supper of mac and cheese for the campers and Daddy and I had soup and sandwiches later on.

Thursday we did our lessons and then went on a long evening drive, ending up about 50 miles from us (after the round about way of getting there) and taking a walk on the waterfront. ECJ finished up his latest crochet project and was showing how it can cover the back of a chair. Peanut was super busy reviewing the letter F in various different ways.

Friday and the end of the week has come. We didn't begin our lessons until almost afternoon. Peanut and YCJ managed to get all of their lessons done within our normal limit for school hours, meaning they were finished by 3:30 (we usually don't school after 4 PM). ECJ, on the other hand, spent his day daydreaming and is still currently working on his math (it's now 6:17 PM) and will continue to work on it until it's finished even if that means he ends up working on it in the morning. He's been given a deadline of 10 AM tomorrow morning. YCJ also finished up her English book today!!! All of the pages inside of the book have been completed! Trixie cat was showing off what ECJ's crochet project was really meant for (just one of the things ECJ did today instead of doing his work).

 This weekend we'll be going to Grandma and Papa's house on Saturday to visit and wish Papa a happy Father's Day and Grandma a happy birthday (it's really today). Grandma will be going to visit some of our family in Texas beginning on Sunday and won't be back for about a month!! Sunday, which is Father's Day, we'll be doing just what Daddy wants to do... Relax and do as little as possible! :-)

Our end of the year math review tests I've rescheduled for Monday and Tuesday of next week. Next week also begins the "official" start to our summer schedule. So, we'll only be schooling three days next week, taking Wednesday (a visit with Noni) and Friday off of lessons. Long weekends are the order of the day this summer!!

Linking up today with:     
Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers
Faithful Mom of 9
Squishable Baby

Next week there will be one or two more posts besides our weekly wrap up. I appreciate everyone sticking with me over the next few months while I get some crochet orders done so that I can make extra things to sell this fall to supplement our textbook budget. I'm truly using as much of my time as I can on these projects and have a few custom orders that I need to make already!

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, June 6, 2014

Were We On or Off?

I'm sitting here this Friday morning thinking back to our week and wondering if we were on or off this week. Technically our summer schedule hasn't started yet, but it seems that's what we've done this week instead of our regular schedule.

Monday - No lessons. We did a lot of reading but we were all not feeling really well and so we had no formal lessons.

Tuesday - This was the 3rd and for us that means it's time to do the majority of our monthly errand running. 

In either case, other than when we weren't home, this picture pretty much describes both days...

Wednesday - We did just under two hours worth of lessons. Peanut finished everything on her schedule, YCJ did about half, and ECJ got stuck on something because his mind wandered. When Daddy walked into the house from taking the neighbors up to the store we headed back out the door. By the time we got home I was sporting 4 new skeins of yarn from WalMart and this tote full of yarn from the thrift store!

Thursday - We spent the day going to garage sales and looking for houses for sale. Yup, I know that we only moved into this house a little over a year ago, we're not finished remodeling it, and we hadn't planned on moving. Events out of our control in the community have made us aware that it is possibly time for some change around here. We topped the day off with a trip to Dairy Queen and an evening drive because the weather had cooled and it was pleasant to be out. We did find some good school materials while we were at the garage sales:
3" binder already with sleeve
protectors and a snapping
pocket flap.
Scholastic Children's Dictionary,
Webster's Thesaurus, and
Painless Algebra.

None of the books I found were an absolute must but 3 out of the four were ones I was going to buy any way at some point. The Painless Algebra book I bought on a whim as ECJ needed something to challenge him this summer and it looked like it might be fun. If we don't use it this summer we will next year sometime.

So, now it's Friday... I plan on the children doing some lessons. The yard work getting done. The folding of the laundry being caught up. And a ton of crochet work happening over the weekend. I doubt very much we'll venture far from home today as we've been on the go most of the week. 

All in all it sure felt more like a summer schedule week than a normal schedule week. But, at this point the only thing left text wise that isn't finished is YCJ's English book, which will only take her a few weeks to completely finish at a relaxed pace. Peanut has a lot of workbooks to finish up but nothing that can't be handled by the end of summer. We'll buckle back down for next week and then swing into our summer schedule. All in all it was a good week... Now, if only Daddy and I could get rid of our coughs everything would be semi-normal. :-)

Posts you may have missed this week:    
Summer School Details

Who we're linking up with this week:   
Weird Unsoclialized Homeschoolers
Squishable Baby
Faithful Mom of 9

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, June 4, 2014

Summer School Details

Last Wednesday I shared this post about summer schooling. I also promised that there'd be more depth to that this week. So, here it is...

What our summer "off" and "on" dates are:
Summer schedule begins June 16th and runs until August 29th.
The week's off are July 14th -18th and August 1st through 8th.
First "official" day of next school year is September 8th.

Lesson time:
Lessons will either take place from 9 AM -11 AM each day or 2:30 PM - 4 PM each day, depending on the weather.

Subjects covered (and how):
Math - through our Complete Curriculum books, worksheets, and other workbooks
Language Arts - through Complete Curriculum books, other workbooks, and reading
History - through read aloud and personal reading along with educational videos if requested
Science - through nature walks and interest led learning
P.E. - swimming, nature walks, hikes, camping, etc

"Formal" lessons will only take place 2-3 times a week. Nature walks, nature journals, and reading will take place nearly daily as will P.E. 90% of materials to be covered in both mathematics and language arts have already been covered and will be reviewed. The last two weeks of our summer schedule we do our test prep and our tests in the back of the Complete Curriculum books. Peanut will have review both of these weeks. We have used these books in this manner (throughout the school year at a relaxed pace and finished through the summer and done the testing in the back) for two years now and they work very well for us.

Special events/plans this summer:
The week of July 14th the campers are all attending a Vacation Bible School at our church each morning. ECJ is a volunteer this year instead of one of the students. 
One week out of this summer Daddy will be taking ECJ with him for a "guys" camp with some friends of ours while the girls and I spend the time on various "female" activities here at home.
There will be at least two more trips to the zoo this summer along with the beginnings of our zoo study which will continue through May of 2015.
We're planning on at least one family camping trip, the date is not yet set and school will continue during it.

Special projects by student:
ECJ - Will finish his Apologia General Science course this summer, read at least two books a week, study both the Civil War and World War 2, one book report a week, and finish his Complete Curriculum book. This is the last year for the Complete Curriculum book for him so he will not receive a new one in the fall. He'll also be joining the library reading club this year.

YCJ - Work on her reading each day, two book reports a month, finish working through Colonial history with Peanut and Mom, finish her Complete Curriculum book, work on her crochet work (her goal), and work through each species of penguin (her goal).

Peanut - Work on her phonics and sight words each day, work through the McGuffey Primer, finish all of her Kindergarten workbooks, learn how to tell time, and practice her oral skills so that she doesn't "lose" her words when she's trying to explain something to us.

No more than two hours will be spent on "formal" lesson days on actually doing lessons even when we're "testing". Chances are we'll do "formal" lessons on Monday, Wednesday, and Fridays. More than likely we'll do most of our lessons in the afternoons during the hottest part of the day. Reading is expected to happen even during our "off" time each day, half an hour of quiet reading before bed each evening is the norm.

I don't make a lot of lesson plans during the summer. We pretty much just do a page or two each time we're doing lessons until we're finished. The children will also attend a VBS in the evenings the week after their VBS at our church. Daddy and I will be taking the opportunity to go on evening walks for free "date nights" during that week.

As you can see there is nothing too extensive in our plans. ECJ's Apologia is the only course he didn't finish during our regular school year, we're thinking this is mostly due to it being an online course this year instead of with the book. He gets online and tends to want to listen to music and play video games instead of do his work. That will not be repeated in the fall. As a matter of fact until the high school years we'll be limiting how much is actually done on the computers other than things that will reinforce what they're learning from their texts. 

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!