Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Thoughts from the day...top 10 list

We had a good day today.  Here's my list of 10 thoughts from the day:

1.  I discovered that my "shark's!" blog post had been featured on the homeschool share blog.  How cool is that?!  I noticed in my weekly stats email that my page loads jumped to 135 last Tuesday, and that got me curious.  I never usually have more than 20-30 page loads in one day, so I did some looking on Statcounter to find that traffic coming from homeschool share blog.  Although, I hope people aren't too disappointed when they actually click over because this is just me, in real life.

2.  We (April and I) finished our volunteer shift at the library tonight, and the librarian said we only had just over an hour left of service before we had the official 11 hours needed to get our card!  Even better than that, she said she would go ahead and approve us to get our out of county card now, and that we could finish the 1 hour left sometime later.  Tomorrow's library day!  So excited to sign up for the card we worked so hard to get.

3.  I just realized that I only posted 5 times in May.  Wow, I have been pretty busy (and distracted)!   I have been thinking a lot today about what I have to post about, and it's not much.  So, that leaves me with a question:  What do you like to read about here?

4.  We went bowling today because we are signed up for the "kids bowl free" summer deal.  I really wanted to take them because I love bowling, but I had also been dreading going because I have a 1.5 year old who doesn't sit still.  He did surprisingly well, and loved all the "balls."  He didn't really run off which I was worried about, and the kids had a great time too.  We forgot to look at our score at the end though, so we don't know who won!  It was a pretty good game though.  I also loved that I didn't play, just the kids. 

5.  One of my favorite parts of today was sitting outside this morning, in the backyard with my boys, in my pj's watching the chickens after feeding them.

6.  It has been fun going to the local pool everyday for the past 2.5 weeks, but I'm glad this Friday is the last day of swim lessons.  It'll be nice to not have to go everyday, and hopefully it'll warm up soon so we can just use our new pool at home!  My kids have learned a lot from swim lessons though.

7.  With all this cool weather I keep having to remind myself that it is actually summer.  I am kinda looking forward to Fall though...sorta.  Okay, I still want summer to get here, then I'll be ready for Fall.

8.  I'm in the middle of planning a unit study about the U.S. constitution/government/elections.  I use the term planning very loosely.  I don't plan too well, but I am making the lapbooks completely ahead of time, and hoping to get a good list of library books ready.  I was thinking about how the kids will take to this unit study.  I'm not sure if they are going to be excited or not, but that will determine how deeply we get into it I guess :-)  Maybe we'll plan a field trip to the state capitol.  April did that with her class

9.  I realized today that I need to start a household binder.  I have been thinking about it for a long time, but I really should do something about it soon.

10.  April likes to change my background on my computer desktop.  I like when she does this because 1. I don't have to take the time to do it, and 2. It's fun to see what she comes up with.  Today she changed my desktop to a picture from camping last year with red, white, and blue lights on it.  It made me happy about camping, and I realized that it's almost time to go on our big 4th of July camping trip again!  Next week!  I'm both excited, and a little bit frazzled.


Thursday, June 21, 2012

I am Thankful

It's Thankful Thursday, and I wanted to take the time to post what I'm thankful for this week in our life and our homeschool.

In our homeschool I'm thankful for...
I am thankful that I don't feel the need to sign Aric up for preschool this fall.  I'm thankful that we can save some money too because of that.  I'm thankful for all the progress that he's made at home, and I'm thankful that I'm so happy and comfortable to do preschool with him here.  I'm thankful he loves it too.  I'm thankful for the great homeschool group that is forming right here in our own little town, I have been hoping for this for a long time.  I'm thankful that we won't have to go far and wide as much anymore to find other homeschool friends.  I'm thankful for all the great math and other homeschool ideas that I'm finding on pinterest tonight.  I am thankful that I can take the time to seek out new and great things to add into our homeschool.  I am thankful for a great homeschool friend that April has quickly become best friends with, and that she was able to have a sleep over with her this week.  I am thankful for the confidence I am gaining as we approach 6th grade.

In my life I'm thankful for...
I am thankful for WinCo, and that I can get so much food that my family needs for good prices.  I only wish we had one closer.   I am thankful for the volunteer time I had at the library this week, and that I have this opportunity.  I'm thankful that I could help a patron find something even though I don't know the library very well.  I'm thankful for libraries and the wonderful resource that they are!  I am thankful for books and that I'm finally starting to learn to love reading them more.  I am thankful for the challenge that my kids are getting at swim lessons, and that it is finally working for them. I will be thankful when tomorrow morning is over because that means I will be done taking wedding pictures (which I'm very nervous about), and off to have a fun weekend with my family.


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Chicka chicka boom boom

P6131483 We are doing a chicka chicka boom boom tree on our wall this summer. My preschooler loves it!

Friday, June 15, 2012

The Homeschool mother's journal: Summer begins!


In my life this week...I feel like summer has officially started here this week!  We've had swim lessons at the pool everyday.  There's also been playing outside with the neighbor kids all afternoon, and cleaning out the garage.  We've also signed up for the library summer reading program which the kids look forward to doing every summer.  We get to spend a lot of time at the park for various reasons.  Trips to the coast, and the Air museum.  Yes, we did all that this week!  Although, it really has been a nice week.  And, we keep adding more and more fun things to the calendar as the summer gets started.

In our homeschool this week...The kids kept requesting to do reading eggs again, so I decided to go ahead and get a 1 month subscription because our free trial was over a few weeks ago.  They have loved doing reading eggs each day, and that's almost enough by itself for their summer learning, especially for the 2 little ones.

We've also started up hooked on phonics again for Aaron because he has asked for it again.  He did his reading lesson 3 days this week!  That's quite an accomplishment for him.  He does pretty good, but he still forgets so quickly what yesterday's lesson was, and so he can't remember the sound combinations from previous lessons.  That makes it hard because there is review each day, and it slows him down.  He is doing better than he ever has though.  I'm hoping this will be a good summer for him for reading.  The boys are enjoying listening to Charlotte's Web too, we are about halfway through it.  I am enjoying reading this book to them, it makes for a great read aloud.  We may actually finish it too.  Our first chapter book read aloud!  Woohoo!

We didn't get a lot of math in this week, but we did get some science in.  I found some solar paper at the Learning Palace, and we tried that out.  They loved collecting different things around the house and outside to try out.  We found that solid objects pressed down firmly next to the paper left the best impressions.  Next they want to make a solar oven.

P6101468 P6101467

I am inspired by...being asked to take a sweet young girls wedding pictures.  This young lady used to babysit my kids, and now she is getting married.  It's so fun to see young ones grow up!  I'm kind of nervous as I've only done 2 other weddings, both of which were family.  This is like the real deal.  I have been inspired to brush up on my photography, and get my camera in shape/ready.  Wedding's are a lot different than families and children, but I'm excited to get some new experience.

Places we're going and people we're seeing...We have been going, going, going!  We went to the air museum last Friday,  Then the coast and aquarium over the weekend.  It was $5 swim lesson week at the pool, so the 2 older kids did swim lessons every day for only $5 each.  We also went to see the Dr. after Wednesday's swim lessons because he bumped the side of the pool and his tooth went through his bottom lip.  April said to me after:  "I guess our $5 swim lessons turned into $30 swim lessons with the Dr. co-pay."  She made me laugh.  At least it wasn't worse!  So thankful that he didn't have to have stitches.

My favorite thing this week was...Going to the Oregon coast and seeing the Japanese dock that washed ashore, and going to the Oregon Coast Aquarium.  We have visited the aquarium a lot over the past few years because we have a joint pass with my in-laws, so it's always a fun tradition at the coast.  They have a new kids exhibit that the kids really enjoyed too.  It was also a beautiful day.

What's working/not working for us...I've realized that I over-plan sometimes (which really isn't much planning at all), and that stresses me out.  Then I get burned out real fast.  I've realized that doesn't work for me.  I need to just relax, and stop over working things in my brain.  Sometimes I find things work better when I just let things be and plan only where necessary.

Questions/thoughts I have...I had a thought this past week about April.  She's getting older, and I need to go more out of my way to find things that are non-preschool activities and things.  We have little boys so a lot of our outings during the day tend to revolve around the preschool scene.  She's a good sport, and always makes the best of it.  But, I need to find more field trips and outings that are oriented more for older children too so she doesn't get too bored with our outings.  The hard part is that I have small children, it's tricky.  It's a thought I'll be working on for a while.

Things I’m working on…reading.  Reading for me.  Reading to the kids.  Finding books that interest them.  Working on getting them to sit still enough to listen.  We ARE making progress.  I am making progress.  I am picking up a book as much as possible.  It's not that I didn't read before, but I am really learning and loving reading more these days, and I'm hoping that my example helps my boys.

I’m cooking…english muffin pizzas for the kids tonight while I go out to dinner with Hubby for our 13th anniversary.  I love how quick and easy english muffin pizzas are.

I’m grateful for…the opportunity April and I had to go to the library and volunteer this week. 

A photo, video, link, or quote to share…a photo of the "Japan bridge".  It's amazing to think that this drifted all the way from Japan and just plopped down on the Oregon coast.  It was pretty fun to look at.  We were bummed that they had to strip so much stuff off of it though.  It would have been cool to see some of that stuff.
How was your week? To see other Homeschool journal's visit iHomeschool network


Friday, June 1, 2012

The homeschool Mother's journal: in between


In my life this week...Two trips to Portland about sums up this week.  I sold and bought something on craigslist, so that meant driving.  Although I technically didn't need to drive up for the thing I sold, I offered to so I could go to Portland and run some errands.  Little did I know that I'd be going up again the next day to buy a dump truck so Alex could have a matching one like his brothers.

In our homeschool this week...I had a good math session with April.  I was getting a little worried that she wasn't really grasping the pre-algebra stuff like I thought she was.  I was afraid we might have jumped too far in the Singapore math by starting with book 6A, but I think she'll do fine now.

Helpful homeschooling tips or advice to share...I recently decided to bring back some things that I quit for a while because they weren't working like calendar time, and work boxes.  Although I've modified both, I have brought them back.  So, here's my advice, don't be afraid to "shelf" something for a while if it's not working.  Sometimes it's good to take a step back from something and then you can see it really does work, or maybe there's a way you can work it differently.

I am inspired by...my garden.  I have really discovered the meaning of the joy of gardening this spring.  It's amazing what can happen when I put forth the effort to help things grow and make our yard beautiful.  I'm also learning what I can do better, and that is inspiring me to be a better gardener.

Places we're going and people we're seeing...went camping for Memorial day weekend.  We walked to the library this week.  We went to Ikea, and that's always fun.  Got another set of "work boxes".  We went to Costco, and McDonald's.  We also went to Bauman farms and got some fresh strawberries, yum!  Saw a chicken with her baby chicks there.  Today we go to the park and have some friends over to play.  Then we get ready for camping again. 

My favorite thing this week was...watching my Husband fold up our old metal swing set like a pocket knife.  It was all rusty and had some jagged edges, it needed to go to the dump.  I thought he would just take it apart.  Nope, he had a better plan.  I couldn't believe that he just bent the legs together, and then folded them in!  The kids were pretty amazed.  I told the kids that their dad must be a "super dad" with amazing strength.  So long old swing set, we're making room for a pool!

Questions/thoughts I have...I am still trying to figure out how to do read-alouds with such a big age range, so my question is this how do you do read aloud time?  Do you have everyone join?  What if you read a slightly younger book for the littles, but your older one may not be interested, do you let them go read on their own?  This is something I am still trying to figure out.  Also, what do you say when there is one that's not interested in the book being read?

Things I'm working on...Getting ready for camping again.  We just went, but we have back to back weekends, so I have to pack up the trailer again on Friday and Saturday.

I'm reading...I almost finished Fablehaven during our camping trip.  It's a light, fun read.  My hubby wants me to read "Me, myself, and Bob: A true story about God, Dreams, and talking vegetables," so I might start that soon.  We are big Veggie Tales fans here so this book looks interesting, but it may be a bit heavy for me.  We'll see.

I'm cooking...less now that we are home from camping.  I realized this last camping trip that I cook way more while camping.  Why is that?  We ate almost no cereal, and I had yummy food for each meal.  Must be the combination more people, more help, less busy life going on, and we eat a lot more while camping.  I wish I could be as good while at home. 

I'm grateful for...another camping trip in just a few days.  I really love getting away with my family.  I'm also thankful that this one will be really close to home.

A photo to share...This one is silly, but I like it.  April's American girl showing us our strawberry garden.  April took this picture.  Apparently she was having fun taking her doll's picture in various places.P5141296

How was your week? To see other Homeschool journal's visit iHomeschool network.
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