Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Make a Joyful Noise (in private please)

People often say that it doesn't matter if you can't sing.  God thinks all songs of praise are beautiful to His ears because they are sung by His children.  Thank goodness for that.  The kids and I have been learning Christmas carols.  I usually play them off YouTube because it will have a video and the words to the song on the screen.  Sometimes though, it won't have anyone singing along with the song.  That leaves me to be the leader of the group.  Yikes!  I've never been known for my singing ability.  I didn't realize how bad I was until I had to sing hymn solos.  My advice, don't drop by the house unannounced in the morning or you might be victim to my "joyful noise".

Friday, November 12, 2010

Off With Their Heads!

We are studying the story of David and Goliath this week.  First Kendall read the story out of the "Beginner's Bible".  It's pretty tame although I do think it says at the end that Goliath dies.  Then we watched the Veggie Tales "Dave and the Giant Pickle" which is REALLY tame.  Then we read the story from the Bible.  When we got to the part when David chops off Goliath's head and carries it around the girls were completely grossed out.  A couple of days later I hear them in the playroom and it sounds like they are acting out the story.  Guess what their favorite part was?  We have a strawberry shortcake doll that's head comes off pretty easy.  They chopped off that poor Strawberry Goliath's head many times.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Darn You Internet!

We are working on reading a thermometer in math.  For an introduction I asked Kendall how we tell what the exact temperature is outside.
She says, "Hmm....the computer?"
"Well yes," I said, "but what if we didn't have a computer?"
She barely took a breath before saying, "Channel 13 news?"
So I said, "Okay we have no computer and no TV.  Now how do we find the exact temperature?"
"Mom, if the computer and TV are down, just check the temperature on your Ipod."

Sigh....we are certainly an electronic dependant society (yes, I have the nerve to complain about our electronic dependencies as I type on my blog.)  Finally I brought out the thermometer and she knew what it was.  Now to see if she can read it!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Election Day

Since we just moved to Kentucky, we voted by absentee ballot in IA and did not have a chance to go to the polling place today.  That is disappointing to me because it is such a good learning experience.  Kendall and I did talk about a woman's right to vote and how that was not always available to us.  She said, "Mom, first girls weren't allowed to go to school or college and now not allowed to vote?  It must have been a hard time to be a girl."

Monday, November 1, 2010

Fe Fi Fo Fum

I learn so much by teaching the kids.  Today I learned the Phoenicians used to worship the goddess of the moon, Astarte and would sacrifice live children to her idol, Fe-Fi-Fo-Fum.  I'm guessing that's why the giant in "Jack in the Beanstalk" says Fe-Fi-Fo-Fum before he tries to eat Jack.  Weird huh?  

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

School on the Road

One of the best things about homeschooling (to me) is the mobility.  We're gearing up to spend a couple of days at my in-laws house.  I'm just teaching a subject and then putting the materials in a box as I go this morning.  School will resume at Nana and Gramp's dining room table tomorrow morning.  So easy!  The best part?  I had on schedule to carve pumpkins this week and it looks like that day is going to be while we're at my in-laws.  So they get the mess!  Hee..hee...

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Scary Ghost Project

We are a little behind on our required amount of school days now that we are in KY.  We have started having school on Fridays.  As you can imagine, this went over like a lead balloon.  So I changed things around a little and we save all our science experiments, arts and crafts, field trips and extra long PE time for Friday.  Now I hear, "I can't wait until school on Friday."  Ahh...music to my ears.  This Friday we made some flour and salt ghosts to decorate for Halloween.  It's a fun, non scary project that any age child can do.  It's just one cup flour, one cup salt, and one half cup water mixed together.  Shape into ghosts and microwave for 30 second intervals until you reach about 1:30.  Then draw on them with a sharpie.  That's it!  Below are some pics of the girls making the ghosts and the final product.  Grace, who's drummer beat is so different I'm not sure it's even in the percussion section, decided to make a sandbox for the ghosts to play in.  That will explain the large white circle in the middle.

Math Fractions

So many yummy ways to teach fractions, so little time.  Kendall and I have been working on basic fractions and I decided to let our math lessons be a cooking one on Thursday.  We practiced fractions while making Twinkie cake.  Yum!  We also got to practice those oh so important cutting skills and mixing skills.  
Kendall's first attempt at cutting a banana into 4 equal parts.  We had to brainstorm a better way.
Success!  Cutting a banana into four equal parts.

Checking how many ounces are in the can.
Ready to present at dinner that night.

Twinkie Cake

1 box Twinkies
20 oz can of crushed pineapple or cherry pie filling
1 big box vanilla pudding
large container of cool whip.
nuts and cherries for on top if desired.

Cut 9 twinkies lengthwise and lay them in a 9x13 pan.  Sneak into the pantry and eat the leftover twinkie will no kids are around.  :-)  Mix the pudding according to package directions.  Spread the pudding on the  twinkies.  Spread your fruit on top of the pudding.  Spread cool whip on top of fruit.  Top with nuts and                 
you're done!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

We're Official

Oh my goodness when was the last time I updated this blog?  No one scroll down to look I will be too embarrassed.  I will try to do better starting today.  We are officially homeschooling in KY now.  I went down and turned in the paperwork to the school office today.  FYI, the Fayette Co. district office is gorgeous!!!  It is so tastefully decorated and has the privilege of being in a beautiful old building downtown that I imagine was a high school many moons ago.  It has the kind of effect that you start to whisper and walk lightly as soon as you enter.  Kentucky tax dollars hard at work.  In their defense, it could have just been the first floor that was decorated nice to impress visitors.  Besides it's hard for these old buildings in Lexington to not look beautiful.  I'm not even much into architecture but we will definitely be planning a field trip to look at some of the amazing buildings around this place. So now that we are official I plan to get back to updating on a daily basis. I will see you tomorrow.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

It's Working!

The other day Maddie brought me a little magnetic plastic letter.  You know, the kind that go on the refrigerator?  I say, "Oh Maddie, what letter is this?"  I wasn't expecting her to answer but she says, "S".  Well what do you know it was the letter S!  Now I'm intrigued.  I say, "Maddie, that's right!  What does "S" say?"  Still I'm not expecting her to respond but she says, "S says sssssssss like snakes".  Whoa!!!!   I think I have a genius as a daughter!  Now if I could just get her to stop putting food in her hair she'd be ready to accept her Nobel Prize.

Monday, August 30, 2010

What's Going on in There?

Kendall working a puzzle during some down time.  (I don't know what is wrong with this pic!)

Our bulliten board
Maddie reading a book.
Grace and Shadow working on some flash cards
I've had a few friends and family members ask me what it looks like when I am teaching school at home.  Do the kids have desks?  Is there a chalkboard?  Do they sit and write and do worksheets all day?  Well, I guess it's probably different for everybody.  We don't have desks.  First, there's no room for them and second I was never a big desk person when I taught public school.  The best way I can explain how I teach "school" to the kids is to say I teach it the same way I teach them anything.  When I taught Kendall and Grace how to fold laundry I didn't schedule a time to do it.  "Okay, from 8:00-8:15 we'll fold laundry".  I did it when I had laundry to fold.  We practice every time there's laundry until we master laundry folding skills.  Guess what?  Still not there yet.  :-)  So school work is similar.  I don't always have a great real life example to teach by, but we go with the idea of working it into our day instead of working our day around it.  We're on day 8, and so far so good with that theory.  Who knows?  Next month could be completely different.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Kendall and Grace singing the "Conditinents and Oceans" Song


This morning Kendall and I read that half your body is made of water. Kendall says "Really, half your body?" "Yes, half," I said. She pauses for a minute and I can tell she's really thinking hard about something. Then she asks, "Which half?"

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Second Day Blues

I wish I could say the second day was as good as our first. We just started out on the wrong foot and never got back around to where we should be. It was raining this morning and when Kendall woke up and saw that it instantly put her in a bad mood. Now when I taught school and I had one kid in a bad mood it was not such a big deal. After all, I had 24 others in a good mood. Usually the bad mood kid would come around because who wants to spend all day in a bad mood when you have good mood kids to hang out it. I found out very quickly when you have one student that is not the case. It is hard to work with a sour puss. There were some time outs and writing lines today for refusal to participate and do work. The little ones were cranky today too which made the day no easier :-) It's a new schedule and a new life and we're all adjusting. We'll get there. We'll have a better day tomorrow and we'll have another bad day down the road as well. On the plus, when Byron asks Kendall what we did today she was able to tell him some of the things we learned. So even a sour puss still has ears that work.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

And Away We Go!

If you are a Christian you believe that you should follow Jesus with all your heart.  Along with all the good stuff that comes with that like heaven, peace in your soul, endless joy; comes some hard stuff.  Turning away from sin,  choosing to be in the world, not of the world, and for us; homeschooling.  I could sit here and tell you that homeschool came as an easy decision to us through prayer, bible study, and wisely counsel.  That would be a lie.  Oh we had a lot of prayer, bible study, and wisely counsel.  However, I have been testing God's patience since 1976 and I didn't disappoint this time.  See, Kendall liked school.   I liked school too.  And since we're on the subject I believe that public and private schools have an important place in our society.  I have taught public school and I know I made a difference in some of those kid's lives.  That's not being pompous, that's just the way it is.  There are parents who need the services of public school so they can go be doctors, nurses, firefighters, police officers, etc. during the day whose services we all use.  So I hope I don't protest too much, but I am just trying to give you an idea of where I was a year ago and why I had to be dragged kickin' and screamin'.  Don't get me wrong.  School starts on Monday and I am EXCITED!!  Kendall is too.  It's going to be a great year of learning and growing and fun.  I beg you though to please don't ask me my theory on this or that, my definition of a great homeschool environment, or my homeschool philosophy.  At least not yet.  I'm just not ready.  :-)  Try me again in May.  In the meantime tune into our blog.  It's going to filled with all our triumphs, flops, funnies, and frustrations.  It should be an interesting year.