Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Run Down

On several of my friends' blogs, they are listing what they are using for the upcoming school year. In all my ramblings about planning and extras and co-ops and time, I'm not sure that I've done that. If I have, you get to see it again!

  • Bible: God, What's Your Name? This is a Kay Arthur study that lets the kids find out what the different names for God are and what they mean. I love this idea and have wanted to do this as a bible study for a couple of years now. It's the only subject this year that we will do all together. I'm a little sad about that.
  • Science: Apologia's Exploring Creation with Physical Science. This is what the big girl and the boy will be using for co-op. There will also be experiments with every module. Yea for experiments! I'm actually excited for that part. Their notebooks are set up and ready to go. God's Design for Life: Animal Life is what the elementary kids will be using. I'm actually looking forward to that as well. It was the science we did 3 years ago and the kids really enjoyed it. We will supplement that with The Complete Book of Animals and a lap book.
  • History and Geography: The big girl will be using World Geography with Political and Cultural Profiles by A Beka. I was given this curriculum and I used to despise A Beka. It was dry and uninteresting. I really like this one. It's not dry and it has more information than one can possibly learn in one short school year. It will definitely be a challenge for the big girl to get everything done. Good thing she doesn't have to. The boy and the baby will be using Story of the World, Volume 3. The boy is specially excited. This has been his favorite history curriculum and he is glad to be getting back to it. This may be the last year we use this curriculum. Or I may start all over with the baby since she was 3 when we started. That's weird to think about. 
  • Math: The big girl will be using A Beka Algebra. We were disappointed with her algebra curriculum last year and finally went back to pre-algebra for her. Her original pre-algebra just did not prepare her well enough for algebra. I hated to do it, but sometimes you have to. The boy will be using Bob Jones Math 6. It's just a straight forward sixth grade math. It has some colorful pages, but we're moving away from "I must be entertained by my curriculum". No, you need to learn. Might as well start now. The baby will be using LIFE Pacs. They worked well for the boy and I think they'll work well for the baby. I just couldn't find anything else that I thought would work for her. 
  • Language Arts: The big girl will be using Themes in Literature by A Beka. She started this at the end of last year. It gave her an idea of how it would work for this year. There will be a lot of reading, that's for sure. I get to read with her so I know what the heck I'm teaching. The boy will be using book studies this year from Total Language Plus (The Whipping Boy) and Progeny Press (Mr. Popper's Penguins and Carry On, Mr. Bowditch). This is the first time we've used TLP, so we'll see how it goes. It seems very thorough. I have used PP before with the big girl and she enjoyed them. It didn't over power the story with lots of activities just to have activities. He may or may not finish all three. That's ok, too. I'm hoping he gets at least 2 of them done. The baby girl will be using Spelling and Poetry 3 by A Beka. At least for now. I would like more spelling, but there are only 5 lessons for each group of words, and most, if not all, look like they can be completed in the first day. It doesn't use all the words. Or if it does, it only uses each one once. I may switch her to Wordly Wise, but I really want to see how this works with our schedule. And, of course, I have tons of grammar and reading comprehension workbooks. We'll see what happens. 
  • Latin: We will be using Memoria Press's First Form Latin Series. There are four books in this series and we could use them all. We'll see how the first year goes, but we're pretty excited about it. 
That's the rundown of our curriculum for the year. There's so much in my lesson plan book. I've scheduled the first two weeks and we start next Monday. The baby asked why we start in August since it was part of summer. I told her because we take off May, June, and July. We may start before schools and a lot of our friends start, but we get done sooner, too. Here's to a great school year. I hope yours is amazing!

Have a great day.         

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Daybook Style

I like the daybook when I have a lot I want to say, but don't quite know how to say it yet. At this point, I'm just glad to have a computer to use. I'll grumble about it on the other blog shortly.

  • Around the House: We are trying to get to those things finished that didn't get done during school or at the beginning of our crazy summer. The kids' rooms are coming along. The baby needs help, but have you seen her room? I'm cleaning up and cleaning out piles. I have books for the kids library at church I need to drop off, clothes to the thrift store, and things I had promised to give to friends that are just sitting in the corner of the kitchen. But at least they're organized. The yard is finally taking shape as is the garden. One thing at a time.
  • Outside My Window: The sun is trying to peak out. It's been a rainy summer (duh!) and we appreciate every drop. Specially the drops that filled our pool. We didn't do much of that, but God has worked overtime on it. It's nice and full now. It will be oppressively hot for a few hours then rain, glorious rain. 
  • I Am Reading: Nothing right now. I did just finish the 50 Shades trilogy. It is not what you think it is. I've got a blog planned for that as well. My next book will be Heaven Is for Real. I've been wanting to read that one for awhile, and borrowed it from a friend. Maybe when I'm done working this afternoon, I'll have a few minutes to get started. And, as usual, my request list is full at the library, I just don't have any books ready to pick up yet.  
  • From the Schoolroom: School starts for us in 2 weeks. Lots of work to get done this year, but I think I've got a groove planned. Can you plan a groove? Anyway, we had to borrow a computer from my FIL, since our laptop decided to go to sleep. Like permanently. It's not what I had, but we can use it for school, so there ya' go. I cannot believe this will be our 5th year homeschooling. Where did the time go?
  • From the Kitchen: There is not much happening there. Between Art and Music Camp, VBS, and all our other summer activities, I haven't made a "real" trip to the grocery store or planned a menu in weeks. I do have a list and even printed my coupons. I did manage to make a really good stuffed zucchini using lentils and brown rice instead of ground beef and white rice. It was lovely. We've been eating more vegetarian meals and no one has complained. I like it when that happens. Now to start adding more raw meals. Slowly, but surely.
  • I Am Thankful: For my HUBBY!!!!! He has stood beside me in good times and not so good times. He has lifted me up and treated me like a queen. As my mom's health was steadily declining, he comforted me and held me and prayed with and for me and for Mom. God hand picked this wonderful man for me and I am ever so grateful for God's discerning wisdom. 
  • From the Farm: You should see our chickens! They are so big! We get between 9-10 eggs a day. I am selling eggs as quickly as they lay them it seems some days. Talk about fresh eggs. We are going to add a run to the coop, but it will probably be the fall before we get to it. The tower has been cleaned out of old plants and is ready for some new stuff. We didn't take everything out, just what was done growing. We are going to start a few things to replace it with. Hubby wants a whole square foot bed full of brussel sprouts. I love that man. He said he never liked them until I cooked them. See what I mean? The man is amazing. We are putting up a portion of privacy fence by the garden, hopefully next weekend. The garden beds have been cleaned out as well. We had to pull several plants that died while we were in Texas and either haven't come back or only partially. It's ok, they'll make great compost. We did move the sweet potatoes container and ended up pulling 5 lbs of sweet potatoes! So happy about that!
  • I Am Researching: Alkaline water. I very much believe that diet and nutrition has as much, if not more, to do with your health than any other thing, including exercise. While I believe that exercising is an important component, I also believe that the food you put in your mouth trumps even that. I am looking at both sides before I decide if that's a route we want to take or not. I know that keeping your body as alkaline as possible will help prevent and discourage sickness and ailments. I even have a list of alkaline foods. I'm basing a series of meals on them and we'll see how easy it is. Lots of veggies, that's for sure. Good thing veggie co-op is this week. 
That's what I've got for now. I think that's more than plenty for now. I've been inspired by my friend and fellow blogger to do some rearranging of my closet and clothes to create new looks. Thanks, ALT. I needed another project. At least my closet will get cleaned out. Wait, I thought that's what the blog was for. Oh, different kind of closet.

Have a great day.          

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Something Old, Something Not So New

My computer is fried. Makes me mad, too, because I still have pictures I need to get off of it. In time, in time. Anyway, we had to borrow a computer (this thing is so ancient), then we didn't have a keyboard, then we couldn't get the mouse to work. One thing after another just makes me want my computer back! Well, really, it makes me want a new one because I am a consumer. Anyway, while I have a minute, here's an incredibly long run down, catch up, freaking out because school is about to start blog. Grab a drink. You may need one. I know I do! Shall we?

  • The last two weeks were incredibly busy. The big girl and I volunteered at church for our Music and Art Camp.The boy and the baby participated and they had a great time. I was exhausted. The next week was VBS. I remember the years when the kids went to at least four a summer. Those were the days! Now I have 2 kids that have aged out and one that only has a couple of years left of VBS. I am so sad. We were all tired when we got home. The great thing about the programs is that they offered breakfast and lunch. The bad thing was the breakfast was some version of toast (buttered, cinnamon, cheese) and lunch was processed to within an inch of it's life. I got to the point that I couldn't feed my kids that junk anymore and took lunches for them. Then Friday morning I woke up late and there went lunch. Oh well, I did what I could. We were all regretting it by the time we got home. It was the thought that counted I guess. And nap time was much appreciated!!
  • I have most of my curriculum and two weeks of lesson plans done. I was waiting for two books I had loaned a friend. I got those back and went to planning. Then my computer died. The history I was planning on using for the boy and the baby is on a disc. Kinda hard to use that when you don't have a computer. It's a good thing I had a whole history curriculum I could use with them. I got it when I was given six boxes of curriculum last spring. Now we have a loaner computer so we're back to the original plan. Thank goodness, too, because my back up history was a TON of work. Like I need that this year.
  • I've decided to add Latin to our school year. I am nothing if not tenacious. Let's do more work!! Ugh!! I've been thinking about it for the last year or so. The big girl has to have a foreign language for high school. She wanted to take French, but I have no desire to teach or learn French. German, I'm good with. The kids want to wait until after Latin to learn German. Um, ok, whatever. I'll order that in a couple of weeks and get it in the lesson plan. Won't this be fun? 
  • I don't get our dance schedule until the Friday before we start school. This should be interesting. The big girl wants to take ballet and jazz. The boy wants to take tap and hip hop. The baby wants to take tap and jazz. Now to get the schedule to work the way I want it to. Please, please, please. I am excited already for recital and it's not even here yet. I'm skipping dancing this year, maybe. We'll see how the schedule works out and when the rest of the classes are. If I can swing a class or two a month, that would be awesome. That's up in the air, but thankfully, not for much longer.
  • I have a folder I keep for field trips and activities. I keep mementos like programs or flyers or ticket stubs. We have quite the array right now. When we were in Texas, we got to go to Grossology at the Museum of Science and History. We also got to go to the Rancher's Museum and another exhibit called Risk. They were both very cool. We still haven't made it to the Texas Civil War Museum, but we're working on it. There is a local place that is like a "retirement" home for missionaries to Africa. I would like to schedule the tour and talk and then visit the gift shop. The items benefit the various projects in Africa that the missionaries started. Pretty cool, I think. I'm not real sure when that will happen, but it's on my list. I would also like to visit a local tractor museum and an apiary. They are both relatively close, just in opposite directions. Lots of great ideas but if you have another, bring it on. I'll add it to the list.
  • Summer reading was a bust. By the time we got back from Texas and had some processing time, there were only two classes left for the big girl. Pokemon Club was in full swing for the boy, but that's come and go. You don't have to be there for the whole thing. There were also cool science classes on Wednesdays, but we had Music and Art Camp and VBS. Maybe next summer...
  • We worked on the garden today. Between hubby working long hours and our volunteering, the house had gone to heck in a hand basket and so had the yard. Thank goodness for our neighbor mowing our front yard. We removed some old cabbage plants and a couple of strawberry plants from the tower. We're going to add kale and bok choy. We've been needing to move the sweet potatoes, so we did. And pulled up 5 pounds of those babies! We didn't treat them very well, but they grew anyway and we are thankful. We've started a new crop and hope to treat these better. We had to pull all of our cucumbers and some of our tomatoes. That was heart breaking. We are starting some beets, brussel sprouts, chard, and carrots. We are looking for okra seeds. We may have to go with seedlings if we can find them. We are babying the strawberries through the heat and are hoping they last until the weather cools down some. I hope the weather cools down this fall. We even have corn. We're still not sure how it lived, but ok. The bell peppers have been loving the rain. They just multiply like rabbits overnight. Now if they would get a little more size to them.
  • The heat has been oppressive. It's like having a hot, wet blanket thrown over your head every time you walk outside. Our saving grace is the pool! Hubby worked really hard a few weeks ago and got the pool up and running. It is so nice to have. One day after VBS, I dumped all my stuff at the door, cleared out my pockets, and crawled straight in the pool, clothes and all. It had been one of those mornings. The baby told the big girl I was in the pool. The big girl didn't believe her, so the baby pointed out the window. I think the big girl wanted to put me in time out. She didn't thank goodness! I took the kids down to the dollar store to get pool toys. I let them spend a little money and everybody got what they wanted. I got noodles. What can I say? I like to float.
I know there's more, but I'll be darned if I can think of it. I cannot stand to type on this ancient keyboard, but at this point, it's better than nothing. Maybe.

Have a great day.        

Thursday, July 5, 2012

School Blogging

My computer has gone off the deep end. It is beyond it's last leg. The last few days it wouldn't power on. I get lucky every now and then. Right now I'm lucky and it's on, so I am blogging. We are waiting until it gets closer to school starting so hopefully there'll be a sale. And maybe, I'll have a coupon. Things were pretty dicey these past few weeks so here's the run down of the good, bad, and ugly.

  • We are doing science co-op this year. There are 5 families involved. I am excited and nervous all at the same time. I need to put notebooks together for the two big kids. The baby is going to be in a group of younger kids. They'll be using a different curriculum from the olders. It's going to be so much fun. I'll be teaching every 8 weeks I think. We already have a tentative schedule put together so that helps tremedously.
  • The baby will be involved in Girls Club again this year. She had the best time last year. I try to let each kid participate in an activity that their siblings aren't involved in and this is hers. My friend M put a schedule together that runs until after Christmas break. Thank you! That helps me get everything on the calendar and in the lesson plan book. The baby is ready to get back to it and seeing her friends on a regular basis again. 
  • The kids will get to take two dance classes this year. I think, because we have so many activities, and a couple of new ones, that I may skip dance this year.  It's just one more thing. I might just pay by the lesson instead of pay for a month and not be able to make any of the classes. The kids are ready. We had to skip dance this summer so we could go to Texas. The boy is taking tap and hip hop. He's gonna wear my shoes. He has big feet, but me not so much. I really hope he needs black tap shoes because that's what mine are. The big girl wants to take ballet and jazz. Hair in a bun every week. I have flashbacks of putting a bun in a 5 year old's hair. Thank goodness she can do her own bun now. The baby is taking tap and jazz. She loves her some tap dancing! She has shoes for both of her classes, too. Recital is going to be awesome!!
  • I am a little nervous about our upcoming school year. There is so much to keep track of. I have schedules for everything printed out and in at least three calendars. I have my master calendar, my phone calendar, and the lesson plan book. I know at this point what day and time two of our activities are going to be. We don't get our dance schedule until the beginning of August. I am hoping for classes that take place on the same day. Same time would be a huge bonus, that's for sure. Then we have to plan guitar and piano. Chores still have to get done. And the chickens are a huge chore every day. Our schedule is full and we haven't even started school yet. School? When do we have time to do that? Taking a breath, taking a breath.
  • We started a youth garden. One of the girls in our youth group wanted to start a garden. So we did. It's taken us a while to get our stuff together, but we finally got the square foot forms together and seeds started. Planting day will hopefully be in about two weeks. I need to keep an eye on the seeds and make sure they're germinating. We started 2 kinds of pumpkins, bell peppers, tomatoes, spinach, snow peas, and something else I can't remember right now. We would really like to get enough supplies to build at least four more forms. That would be awesome.  
  • And because I am not crazy enough, I am thinking about flag football and cheerleading in the winter. Our church is going to start a league after the NFL season is over. The boy wants to play and the baby is going to cheerlead. I am nuts. And my kids will be soon. It sounds crazy, and we spend a lot of time in the van, but we only do the activities that my kids want to do. If it ever got to the point that it was too much, we would drop something. We have before and we will again. My kids mean more to me than "Look how much stuff we can do!" But when the activities stop, we all look at each other and twiddle our thumbs. We do not do downtime well.
  • We are participating in an Arts and Music camp and VBS that our church is running. The big girl and I will volunteer and the boy and the baby get to participate. The boy asked if he could help with VBS. He is part of youth now, but he will age out of VBS after this summer. I remember when the kids participated in at least 4 VBS's. Those were the days. Homeschoolers refer to it as mom's best friend. Kids are gone for a couple hours a day. We make lots of plans, but really only get naps done. Sometimes, that's the most important thing to accomplish. 
We didn't get all of our summer plans accomplished. We didn't even get half of them accomplished, but we had a rough start. The pool is up and running, we still have our Disney passes, and I'm trying to plan some field trips. I'm exhausted. Is it summer yet?