October 27 - November 5, 2010

Wednesday 10/27/10

We started off the morning by making The Sisters clean their room and play area.
Spelling: We are currently using the Spectrum series for math and spelling.
Reading: I read to them from the book, Ramona Quimby by Beverly Cleary.
Math: I let The Sisters sort out a huge amount of beads we had. We are (hopefully) going to do some beadworking (for charity) soon, and I wanted to organize the materials. (They LOVED this!)
Lunch and Quiet Time
Meeting: We had a meeting with a former pastor about getting involved in his new mission: Rebuilding Together. The Sisters played outside.
Dinner: (Potato Soup and Ice Cream dessert)
Science: A few days ago, we collected black walnuts from a neighbor. Today we shelled them in the dark. My hands are totally stained! Perfect for Halloween, I guess. ...Hey, I'm trying to be positive.
Baths/Bed...I've learned the art of bathing (almost) daily. It helps us reduce the need for the parent-facilitated major scrubdown.

It's a 4 credit day. We've done worse.

Thursday 10/28/2010
We woke up late (10:00 a.m. - not uncommon for us!). I let The Sisters get their one weekly computer credit on AnimalJam.com.
Bible Time: Our church has started a new at-home family time program in place of our at-church Wednesday night program. We are using Elevate Curriculum. Each family gets a dvd with a set of weekly lessons. Little Man LOVES the music.
Social Studies: Today's Bible Time lesson was about the early Christians in Acts and how they shared their stuff...that TOTALLY clicks with my heart-thoughts (inspired by Shane Claiborne) right now. We went through our stuff and found books to give for a book drive and toys to give to friends of ours whose home and belongings were ruined in a plumbing-induced flood. (They are living in a hotel for several months! UGH! We are taking them a home-cooked meal tomorrow!)
Art: I clipped an idea from a magazine about making pumpkin luminaries out of tin cans. The Hub helped The Sisters with the activity while I took Little Man for a walk to our neighborhood bank. I got to enjoy the outdoors and a chat with the friendly workers, spend time with my Little Man AND bring home sweet treats from The Sisters. I LOVE our bank!
Reading: Apparently things got a little overwhelming while I was gone, so The Hub encouraged The Sisters to have a little period of quiet read during their art activity.

It was a 5 credit day! Tomorrow is full with play dates with friends who have the day off from public school, so we won't be getting many credits...

Friday 10/28/10 . . .Ready to crash and burn!

We've had a huge, exhausting day. We went to a friends' house (which is appropriately not proofed for babies). Little Man got into EVERYTHING. I was so tired after that hour and a half I could have come home and crashed. (Not to mention, today was budget day...i.e. payday... so I had to get up earlier than usual to get it done before the play date.)

Art (2): The girls decorated pumpkins with paint and accessories. After a short play session with their friend, they decorated pumpkin-shaped cookies.

We had a second play date. We were going to meet two friends for lunch at McDonalds. Two other friends from church also met there, so we had a play group! There were a ton of kids there! (Big treat for the out of school kids, I guess.) It was chaotic and even more exhausting.

Social Studies: We took dinner to our friends who are living in a hotel. We also delivered some new toys for them to play with. They returned the toys we had previously brought them, which was a pleasant surprise...since one of those toys was really hard to relinquish.

Lastly, we went to Wal-Mart for our budget-day grocery trip. Little Man was horrible...I think he's teething again. UGH! **BONUS: I got the new camera I've been wanting for several years! I love that extra paycheck month.

3 credit day...Better than nothing!


We are in the middle of a crazy work stretch with The Hub, but we got to enjoy his presence on Halloween. Our family dressed up as Mario. The Hub was Luigi, Nature Girl (the eldest) was Mario, The Artist (our youngest daughter) was Princess Peach, and Little Man (the baby) was King Koopa. I played the video game nerd who was playing Mario with WII remote and the Mario shirt I bought before I knew it was to become my costume. (No...I really wasn't too far out of character! We won't discuss the day I played for 6 hours straight when I should have been homeschooling the kids. Hey...don't act like you've never taken a PDO --Parent's Day Off :)

We also had a birthday party at a local moonwalk arena. The kids ran and bounced and played for two hours. In all, I counted four credits yesterday:

P.E. - 2
Social Studies - 2 (Halloween Tradition)

We did not make it to church, or I would have counted two credits for that, too.

As for today, I decided to take it easy. The Hub had a little time off, so we spent it pretty low key...Well, we tried. Little Man was EXTREMELY grouchy and demanding, and all the rest of us were a little on edge. So, I ended up spending just a few hours with The Sisters.

Math: Shapes and Patterns - We are starting a new craft idea of making gift boxes out of recycled cardboard (blog to come soon). Today, the girls worked on making more durable templates, and they traced and cut their first boxes...CUTE!
Reading: I read aloud from Ramona Quimby, Age 8.
Library: We took a trip to the library to return our old books and check out new ones. We LOVE going to the library!

3 credit day!

Tuesday 11/2/10

We had a big day. Nature Girl woke up early, so I let her get a computer credit playing Animal Jam. (The Artist got to play later in the day).

Math workbook on 2-digit multiplication. She did pretty well (83%) for having very little practice with such a difficult concept. I worked individually with The Artist in her 1st grade Math book (Spectrum, I believe).
Social Studies: I took the kids with me to vote. I love the hands on experience! As I was trying to get ready, Little Man was climbing the table and spilling a large glass of water. Finally, I asked The Sisters if I could please trust them to watch him. The Artist said quite seriously, "No, you can't me." (She will say anything to get out of responsibility!)
P.E.: We played outside and got a credit roller skating. (Little Man was getting to be a handful, and he is almost ALWAYS good outside.)
Naptime...AHHH! I even had to take a nap today. Meanwhile, The Sisters had Quiet Reading Time.
Art: Nature Girl gets to go once a week to a new art class, hosted by an art teacher friend/neighbor of mine. We are really excited for the opportunity...me, especially, since I get to watch my friends' newborn during the lesson. We are bartering. I think it's a win-win for me! (The Artist got to pick up an art credit free style at home.)

6 credit day...Wowee!

Wednesday 11/3/10

It's one of those, "What just happened?" kind of days. I'm pretty sure I just woke up, but it is already midnight as I write.

We pushed through homeschool quickly in preparation for our beloved friends, who came over to paint The Sisters' room a Mario theme for Nature Girl's up-coming birthday.

With six kids in the house (two babies...one of them Little Man), the day was a whirlwind. A fun whirlwind. More like a spinning rollercoaster than a tornado, I think.

Bible: We prayed together and spent time listening to God. I asked Nature Girl to write what she heard God speak to her, and I wrote for The Artist. Nature Girl (almost 9) wrote, "You are loved and speshol." The Artist (5) heard, "You are a blessing girl. All the ones who are good shall never die."
Spelling: The Sisters worked in their level-appropriate spelling books by Spectrum.
Reading: The Sisters took turns reading with me and to me. Of course, I read with Little Man, too.
Math: We played a game of checkers on a new checkerboard I knit (pattern to come soon!). Then, The Sisters played with the checkers pieces.

I didn't count the valuable hours they spent playing with friends as credit, but I know it was meaningful experience, too...as is watching their mom work on a major art project with a beloved friend!

4 credit day...not bad!

Thursday 11/4/10

I failed to mention we would be baby-sitting my friends' 3-month-old newborn. I didn't plan to get much else done, but who can top an experience like spending the day helping out a friend with a newborn baby and a very active Little Man?! You can't get that kind of learning in a classroom.

I did manage to have the girls do:

Spelling: Simple practice in their workbooks...we usually do these twice a week...CHECK!
Math: Workbooks...Nature Girl seriously did 2 digit multiplication WITH regrouping for the first time, like it was just the natural progression in her learning. I love teaching hands-on!! We reaped the rewards today. (By the way...I always talk in math terms that make sense. Instead of "add" we use words in context like "give." Instead of "subtract" we say "take away." Instead of "multiply" we say "groups of or sets of." Instead of "divide" we say "shared with." I do sneak in the terms after they know the concept, but I mention it casually..."Yeah, we can also call that dividing, but I like to say shared with." When the language makes sense, so does the math. (I had an awesome Teaching Math instructor in college. She was the first to teach math to me in a way that made sense!)
Reading: Quiet read
Writing: Free Write

4 credit day

Would you believe I had two babies in the house who took naps for two hours at the same time? God's provision is soooooo sweet!

We worked on the Mario room again until late last night...special time with special friends. I'll post pics soon!

Friday 11/5/10

We had our first Homeschool Group lesson day today. I'm coordinating the group, which meets on the first Friday of the month for lessons and the third Friday for field trips.

Man, I did not want to get out of bed today. I was really dragging. We've been so busy and have had so many wonderful opportunities to serve, but I just said, "God, I'm going to need your help. I don't have any 'go' left in me."

Then, I went into the kitchen. The Hub, who woke up early on his day off, had made me a special grilled egg and cheese breakfast sandwich. He packed our lunch and prayed a really powerful pray of strength over me.

I got to the church at 9:30, and I got to see our beloved pastor, which MADE my day. I set up the chairs and tables, while The Sisters colored. Little Man stayed home with The Hub. Then, the families started rolling in. We had a great experience:

Social Studies: (Service) We put together bags of food to send home with kids at a local elementary school. (One of the other mom's and I delivered them and had the opportunity to minister to the social worker at the schoo.! I shared The Treasured One's story and said a very informal prayer over the guy. AWESOME experience for me!)

Music: One mother lead the kids in listening to "The Carnival of the Animals" by Camille Saint-Saëns. She explained some of the narratives and jokes. The kids colored animals sheets while listening.

Art: Another mom lead the group in creating Artist's Trading Cards. She had several stations set up with different craft techniques (including painting with melted crayons and using a dye cutter).

3 credit day.

We had a great time...as much with the fellowship as the lessons.

I am really touched by God's provision over me of late. Circumstances prevented me from being able to eat lunch with the rest of the group, but I was not a bit hungry since my husband had stuffed me with breakfast before he sent me off...it's just a little taste of how God takes care of us if we let Him lead!