School Break

FINALLY! It took an extra seven days, but the princesses are finally on break. Which means I am too. I checked out a bunch of books from the library today to read instead of what I usually do - correcting papers and such. Princesses E and S are going to a horse class through 4H tomorrow morning, so I get to do some shopping with only two kids instead of 4. Those of you with more kids than fit in a shopping cart will know why this is a big deal. But I'm not totally without schoolwork. I discovered when I rescheduled the school work from the week before Thanksgiving that it rescheduled everything to the end of the year instead of the end of the quarter. So, I have to go back through and reassign the due dates on the second half of the year by hand, because although I know how to do it going forward, I don't know how to do it backwards. Oh well.

Princess S has been working on a display board. This has been a six week project for her writing. This is a big deal because she is quite ADD. Pull-out-my-hair and grind-my-teeth-raw ADD. So to keep her on task with anything is a chore. I had to narrow this assignment down quite a bit. She was to make a display board featuring the various cultures she has studied thus far with TOG. I had her focus on three of her choice. She chose Ancient Greeks, Ancient Mayas, and Nez Perce. (The latter isn't totally a focus, but they did live on the western end of the Ancient Americas and this is where her Kaya the American Girl Doll is from. So I just rolled with it.) She had to come up with a list of the things that would be interesting to know about these cultures, and then research through her books and the internet to find the answers. Then she had to narrow the categories down to the most important five things so that she could write a paragraph on each. She had a lot more information, but I figured she would lose focus. She wrote her rough draft paragraphs and then I went back to help her edit them. I told her that it would work best to have her information in the same order with each paragraph.f

We still have a lot of work to do on writing in general. Princess S is very creative if I let her just go at it. She's written some wonderful books with great pictures. But left to her own, she won't use capitalization or punctuation. She'll run all her sentences together. So, to get as far as we did with this was a big improvement. I have to remind myself all the time with her that although she is an excellent reader, with a seventh or eighth grade reading level, her ability to translate that to her own communication via writing or speech is much closer to her age or grade level. I think I also have this problem because although they are 20 months apart in age, both Princess E and Princess S have been the same size physically for about three years now. (Princess S has way bigger feet.) Most people often assume they are twins. In my head, I also tend to think that what Princess E can do, Princess S should be able to do as well. My bad.

So without further ado, here is Princess S's Display Board project.

Now, to enjoy a somewhat quiet half hour before I have to get dinner started.


CHRISTmas Traditions

Everyone usually has their own unique CHRISTmas traditions. We do too. Here are two of them.

When I was a kid, my family of four did something that, to us, was very special. Maybe it was so special because we only did it on CHRISTmas Eve. We had fondue! My brother and I used to think we were actually "cooking" our own food. We had shrimp and steak. The side dish was beef flavored Rice-A-Roni (which we didn't have any other time of the year either.) Mom would heat the oil on the stove and when it was hot she'd pour it into the pot with the sterno can under it. We each had our own skewer. I also remember she had these tiny salt and pepper shakers that she put by our plates so we each had our own. My parents usually had a glass of wine and Brother and I had sparkling grape juice. Then we'd open our one CHRISTmas Eve gift (usually a new outfit to wear to church that evening.) It's a wonderful memory.

We still try to do the fondue with my brother's family - though we don't do it on CHRISTmas Eve, but near it. We now have two pots, because there are between 9 and 11 people now. And we each use two skewers so we can cook faster. (Maybe that's why the oil cools down so fast.) Here's a photo of this year's gathering.

One year for CHRISTmas, my Aunt and Uncle sent my family an electric ice cream maker. Mom must have known we were getting it because she just happened to have the ingredients ready and on CHRISTmas Day we made homemade ice cream. We did that for many years. I told my college roommate about it and for my graduation, December of 1994, she got me an electric ice cream maker. We made it a few times when the older princesses were real little. But we've been unable to for the last three years. So it was a lot of fun making it again. We decided to make Cookies and Cream, but the Oreos were a bit too crushed, and the ice cream turned out quite chocolatey.

It was fun to do once again.

I hope everyone had a safe and wonderful CHRISTmas.


TOG Y1r U2 W16 & W17

Okay, I realized I never listed anything for Week 16. We've been a little busy. Here's what we did:

Princess E (UG)
Bible - Judges
Math U See - Gamma Lesson 14
Growing With Grammar - 3.4 through 3.6
Reading - The Odessey, What the Bible is All About (excerpts)
Writing - first of three weeks on report writing
Hands on - none this week
Extra curricular - the girls went to a homeschool day at a local roller rink

Princess S (LG)
Bible and Extra curricular - same as above
Math U See - Beta Lesson 19 started but didn't finish
Climbing to Good English - pg 157-161
Writing - fourth of six weeks on a display board in which she will be writing about several cultures that she has read about
Reading - Old Testament Days (excerpts)

I haven't been posting this, but we have been doing maps, handwriting, vocabulary, important people, and Student Activity Pages this whole time as well.

Here is Week 17:

Princess E (UG)
Bible: 1 Samuel
Math U See: Gamma Unit Two test and start Lesson 15
Growing With Grammar: 3.7 to 3.10
Reading: What the Bible is all About (excerpts), The Odyssey (finish), Usbourne internet-linked Encyclopedia (excerpts)

Princess S (LG)
Bible: 1 Samuel
Math U See: Beta Lesson 19 test and Lesson 20
Climbing to Good English: pg 162-167
Reading: Old Testament Days (excerpts)

Princess L (PreK)
Letter M

I've discovered a new website called Quizlet and have put all the rest of our vocab words for the rest of the year into it. This site lets them go through "virtual flashcards" with the definitions and words to learn them. Then there are games they can play with those words. Then they can test on them. Finally, they will print out a list of the words and definitions for their vocabulary notebooks to look back on. I'm hoping this will be something less dry and rote for them. And that it will help them remember the words longer. I'm looking into ways to streamline how we do things. I think that's a never ending process. There are always things that can be done better. But they are still young enough that they will be going through TOG another time or two each. So if we miss things we'll catch it on the flipside. Blessings.


TOG Y1r U2 W15

Princess E (UG)
Bible - Joshua and Judges (selections)
Math U See - Gamma Lesson 13
Growing With Grammar - 3.1 and 3.2
Reading - D'Aulaire's book of Greek Myths, What the Bible is All About (excerpts)
Hands on - we may do another cookie dough map it there is time

Princess S (LG)
Bible and Hands on - same as above
Math U See - Beta Lesson 18 continues - this took several weeks for her sister and I'm anticipating the same types of errors
Climbing to Good English - pg 152-156
Reading - Old Testament Days (excerpts)

Princess L (Pre-K)
review letters
cutting practice
catch up on making alphabet lapbook

We had a good week off with Nanny and Papa in town. I hadn't planned on taking that week off. So now we are looking at one of two situations: either finishing four weeks of lessons in three weeks, or cutting our vacation by one week and finishing our unit between Christmas and New Years. Both girls said they want to do the former. I explained that means they need to work ahead and do at least two things from the next days work in order for that to happen. We'll see.

We have church pictures coming up on Friday. This will be our first full family portrait since Princess M joined us. I'm hoping for several good shots of the girls that we can use as Christmas pictures.


Car Conversations

Overheard in the car.

Princess L: Knock, Knock
Princess E: Who's there?
Princess L: Banana
Princess E: Banana Who?
Princess L: Knock, Knock
Princess E: Who's there?
Princess L: Banana
Princess E: Banana Who?
Princess L: Knock, Knock
Princess E: Who's there?
Princess L: Banana
Princess E: Banana Who?
Princess L: Knock, Knock
Princess E: Who's there?
Princess L: Banana
Princess E: Banana Who?
Princess L: Knock, Knock
Princess E: You did it too many times - Who's there?
Princess L: Tomato
Princess E: Tomato Who?
Princess L: I didn't say banana again.
Princess S: No, you have to say orange.
Princess L: Oh - Knock, knock
Princess S: Who's there?
Princess L: Orange
Princesses S and E: Orange Who?
Princess L: Are you glad I said orange? Hey, Mommy - I got it right this time.
Me: Yep - you got it right.


TOG Y1r U2 W14

Princess E(UG)
Growing with Grammar: 2.11 and Chapter 2 review
Math U See: Lesson 12
Writing Aids: Outlining review, outlining sermon
Reading: D'Aulaire's Book of Greek Myths, Usborne Internet-Linked Encyclopedia (excerpts), Ancient Greece 40 Hands on Activities
Handwriting, SAPs, Worksheet on Greek gods and goddesses.

Princess S (LG)
Climbing to Good English: pgs 148-151
Math U See: test 17 and start lesson 18
Writing Aids: work on display board
Reading: Ancient Greece, Jason and the Golden Fleece, The Gods and Goddesses of Olympus, Classical Kids
Handwriting, SAPs, Worksheet on Greek gods and goddesses

Princess L (PreK)
Letter M
review letters in lapbook

We are attempting to do a five day work week in four days. The older princesses have been invited to a swim play day at their friends' apartment on Friday. It is dependent upon getting their work done on Thursday. However, as of Tuesday morning they haven't even finished their Monday work. We had to go order new glasses for Princess E who lost hers at the park. So that is now her Christmas present - new glasses - just what she wants - NOT! It got them behind on Monday. They're going to have to work their little fannies off. Also, I changed up our schedule as Nanny and Papa are coming, probably Friday, and staying through the Thanksgiving weekend. I decided it would be silly to try to do three days worth of school, so I rescheduled those to the Christmas break. Then I'll give them the work a week ahead and give them the opportunity to get their individual subjects done earlier.

Can't believe Princess M is one! She's all over the place - walking, running, climbing. Oh Joy! Now I have to continually leave the room to go find out what trouble she is getting in to. But, it's always fun to see what they come up with. She just figured out the trick of bending over upside down and looking through her legs. That sends her into a fit of giggles. Her sisters too. They are growing up so fast!



TOG Y1r U2 W13

Princess E (UG)
Growing With Grammar: 2.7-2.10
Math U See Gamma: lesson 11
Handwriting, Geography
Writing Aids: Outlining
Reading: Usborne Internet Encyclopedia - excerpts, Ancient Greece 40 Hands on Activities, D'Aulaire's Book of Greek Myths

Princess S (LG)
Climbing to Good English: pg 143-147
Math U See Beta: lesson 17
Handwriting, Geography
Writing Aids: beginning display board
Reading: Ancient Greece, Classical Kids - excerpts, The Gods and Goddesses of Olympus, Jason and the golden Fleece

Princess L (PreK)
Letter L
Reading: Eli, Mama Loves, The Grouchy Ladybug, The Littlest Pumpkin, The Tawny Scrawny Lion

The older girls were supposed to have a piano recital on Friday, which has now been canceled. But they are both practicing for the piano festival competition that they will participate in in February. But they do have a birthday party on Saturday, so that will be an incentive to get all their work done.

Princess M turned One. Here she is enjoying her cupcake. She sat that way, frosting side to her mouth, for about 10 minutes just savoring it. Blessings.


The Lessons Learned

I'm copying my post from my other blog.

The seventh letter has been delivered. Revelations 3:14-22
"To the angel of the church in Laodicea write:
These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God's creation. I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. You say, 'I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.' But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see. Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent. Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me. To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches."

Even if this isn't literally the situation, it sure does fit, and the lesson that God was trying to get across in this passage is the lesson that we are to learn from this election. The American churches are lukewarm. We tell God that we are rich (look at the HUGE church buildings with all their fancy technology) and that we have acquired wealth and do not need a thing (I'll work for my money, food and home and when I need extra for my iPhone I'll pray for it.) While houses get bigger and churches get bigger, the money going to missionaries and to support ministries that help people and preach the Word are declining. Pastors go blue in the face preaching about tithing to the church, but their words remain unheeded. God has stood by patiently and shown us mercy. But He promised in His Word that there would be persecution. The American church has never felt persecution - until now. We are going to see persecution such as the church in Acts. And in order to prevent being spat from God's mouth, we must go through the Refiner's fire. It will be painful, but when the Big C Christians come out on the other side and the little c christians are left in a puddle of ashes, God will take the gold that remains and the world will see a church that is on FIRE for God. May we all repent with our faces to the ground, and then put on the Armour of God and go out and FIGHT!

May God have mercy on us.


My Prayer for the Election

Father God,

You are our Creator, our sustainer, our life-giver, our King. You have given us immeasurably more than we can ever imagine. You are always truthful, always just, always faithful and always holy. You are the one with all authority over heaven and earth. Your plan is a good and just plan. You are our all in all.

Our nation is at a crossroads. On one side stands the church – imperfect and sinful that it is – but with many who desire a nation that walks in Your will and Your ways. Many also stand on that side who do not yet know You, but who possess a Spirit-given sense of right and wrong. Many on that side are Jews, Your chosen people, who fear for that fate of Israel. We are sinners in need of a Savior. We confess our apathy, our laziness, our lack of love for our neighbors and those whom You have directed us to love, our idols – money, entertainment, work, position, our homes, our cars, and our power – which we have turned to instead of You. We confess that we, Your church, Your bride, have sullied our reputation and that we have not followed Your great commission in our own country especially. We admit our sins and ask for Your forgiveness. We beseech You to have mercy on us. You command us to repent. You tell us, in Jeremiah 15:19, that “If you repent, I will restore you that you may serve Me; if you utter worthy, not worthless words, you will be my spokesman.” Lord we claim that promise of restoration. In 2 Peter 3:9, it says “The Lord is not slow in keeping His promises, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” Lord we pray for Your patience as we come to repentance.

Lord we thank You for the United States of America. We thank You for the freedoms that we enjoy as its citizens. Lord we thank You for the freedoms of religion and speech. We thank You that we may elect our leaders instead of have leaders thrust upon us by money and power from below. We thank You for the prosperity this country has enjoyed, especially in comparison with most other countries in our world. We thank You that we may worship You in public, that we do not need to fear persecution, and that we are not forced to worship in a manner contrary to our convictions given by You.

Lord, we beseech You for this election. This election is perhaps the most important one so far because there is an attempt to legislate things that Your Word tells us not to do. Lord we pray for the truth about each of the candidates would become evident in today. Lord we know that You already know who the winner will be, and who our next president will be. Lord nothing is a mystery to You. We pray that You would speak directly to the hearts and minds of each voter, that they would know who to vote for and why. Lord I pray that Your will would be for John McCain and Sarah Palin to win this election. I pray that it would be an honest win, and one that doesn’t need to go to the courts to be figured out. I pray that the electoral winner would also be the popular vote winner. I pray that any attempt at voter fraud would be discovered and that only true and legitimate votes would be counted. Should the Obama ticket be Your chosen winner, then Lord I pray that You would send Your Spirit to him post-haste. Lord, he claims to know You, claims he’s given his life to You. But Lord, the fruit that you say will be evident is missing. Therefore, we pray Lord that regardless of this election that You would turn take a hold of his heart and show him who You really are. Lord that he would know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, who the One True God is and how You sent Your Son to the cross to die for His sins.

Lord we claim the promise in 2 Chronicles 7:14 where You said, “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” Lord we pray for that healing for our land, as regardless of the turnout, it is evident that our nation is deeply divided. We pray for Your Spirit to run across this land and speak calming, soothing words that will heal the anger and hate that have been running rampant. Lord I pray for all the leaders that will be elected that You will direct their steps in the coming years. Lord I pray that you would put in them a desire to seek Your will in all their decisions, and that we in America would uphold them in our prayers.

Thank you, Father God, that we can communicate with You and that You know our hearts. Thank you that You have worked throughout the ages to put into motion Your glorious plan that will ultimately bring You the glory and honor You deserve.

We pray this in Your most holy and precious name.

Prayers for America

I received this in my email - it needs to be done! I'm post-dating this so it will stay on top for a while.

2 Chronicles 7:14, 'If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, pray, seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.'

I was very dismayed when, recently, a member of my Church said to me with great resignation that she was afraid Obama will take the presidency. These words came from someone that in the past has been a great prayer warrior. What is happening was my question??? Why are we Christians settling for the loss of our Christian heritage, not issuing a battle cry and falling to our knees and taking our country back? We allow ourselves to be stripped of the right to pray at school functions and in school, we have the Ten Commandments removed from government places and are told we cannot pray publicly or proclaim Christian principles, all the while providing public prayer places for Muslims. We allow Muslim mosques to operate in America funded by Saudi Arabia , and proclaim anti-American, anti-Christian threats and terrorism.

What in the world is going on and why are we being so apathetic? Why aren't we praying? Our God is an Almighty God who is waiting patiently for us to raise our voices to heaven to stop the tide of the anti-Christian actions in our world today. Now we have a charismatic, albeit inexperienced, candidate for president that does not respect our flag and refuses to wear one on his lapel except when it becomes politically expedient, and whose own wife and pastor that he loves profess to have strong anti-white feelings, and we sit back and say 'it is a given, we can do nothing???' There has never been a time in 2000 years that we can do nothing, never a time that we must sit back and allow the evil in men's and women's hearts to take over our world! We should be afraid, very afraid because our apathy is leading us to perdition.

It is time for all Christian Americans to raise the battle cry and take our nation back! Maybe McCain on his own cannot defeat Obama, but our God can and He will if we take to our knees in prayer and raise a mighty cry to the heavens to 'Save us O Lord'. Who knows where with his message of 'change'; a change which I fear will be away from our Christian ideals, and away from Christ. We have God's promises in 2 Chronicles 7:14, 'If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, pray, seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.' We have the power to change the course of this election and to keep a man as suspect as Barak Obama from leading our country away from one nation under God to one nation under Allah.

We are great at passing stories and pictures around the Internet but where are our prayers and prayer warriors praying to stop this tide of Barak Obama? God parted the Red Sea, Jesus was raised from the dead, and we can bring our country back to its Christian roots and stop the undermining of our country by Muslims. We can stop our country from being 'under Allah' but we must begin to pray, to pray as our country and our lives depended on it because they do.

We can stop all these atrocities against God's commands that have taken root in our country through something as simple as sincere prayer, a call to God to deliver us, to forgive us our sins of apathy and to protect us from the evil that is upon us.

Okay prayer warriors, here is your challenge, start those prayer chains. Get the spiritual power working on our behalf and stop Barak Obama the proper way, by calling on our God to save us from the deception that charismatic preaching is using to lead us on the wrong path. Stop those who would take God out of our country and our government. Raise up good men to lead us and protect us. George Bush is being buffeted because he has fought a holy war against the evils that attack us ... and we should not be surprised because a prophet is not honored in his own country. But we should not rest on our laurels and allow ourselves to be taken further off the path of Christianity and to have God removed from our presence in our schools, courts, government and businesses. Invite God into the fray. Ask that His power rest upon us and give us the victory. Ask him to raise up a mighty army to defend us and to protect our country as he did in days of old. Let us be victorious beginning NOW. The battle is His but we must call on Him without ceasing and unite our voices and hearts in prayer and fasting.

Please pass this around to all people of prayer that you know and maybe, just maybe, a more eloquent person of prayer will write something better and more inspiring and even the rocks will shout that Jesus is Lord and our Mighty God is with us and bringing the victory for us and ultimately for Him. AMEN!


TOG Y1r U2 W12

Princess E (UG)
Growing With Grammar: 2.2-2.6
Math U See: Gamma Lesson 10
Writing: Compare/Contrast writing
Reading: The Maya, Life in the North West, The Corn Grows Ripe (if it comes in before Wednesday)
TOG hands on: cookie dough map of ancient Americas

Princess S(LG)
Climbing to Good Grammar: pg 138-142
Math U See: Beta Lesson 16
Writing: giving directions
Reading: The Maya, Rain Player, Life in the North West

Princess L(PreK)
Letter K
Reading: Kittens Are Like That, Clifford's Kitten, Does a Kangaroo have a Mother Too?, The Emperor and His Kite, King of the Castle

Please everyone - go Vote on Tuesday. And vote for the only candidates with experience, conservative morals and just plain common sense - McCain/Palin.


TOG Y1r U2 W11

I just realized i never posted W11. So here is what they did.

Princess E (UG)
Handwriting, Math review week - mental math practice, Growing With Grammar - finished first chapter and did review test.
Reading: Made in China, Life in Ancient China, Fa Malun

Princess S (LG)
Handwriting, Math U See Beta Lesson 15, Grammar pg 133-137.
Reading: You are in Ancien china, Yeh-Shen, The Great Wall of China.

Princess L(PreK)
Letter J
Reading: Jamberry, Bread and Jam for Francis, The Giant Jam Sandwich, Great Joy, Jump - the Sound of J

We did not get to our cookie dough map this week. Maybe we will move it to next week if my two olders get everything done on time. They had a particularly hard week with that.



Norm Coleman and Tim Pawlenty

We took a field trip today. We went to see Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty and Minnesota Senator Norm Coleman speak. It was packed! We got there somewhat early, but all the seats were still taken. We took a seat on the floor. When they got there, Tim Pawlenty introduced norm Coleman, and then came over and stood next to us while Norm Coleman spoke. Every time he would make a great comment, everyone would would clap. Princess M thought this was great fun and grinned from ear to ear and clapped as loud as she could. I was amazed at how well behaved Princess M and Princess L were. After Coleman was done talking, he started circling the room. Pawlenty spoke with us briefly and Pat Garofalo, the Farmington State Rep, took our picture with him. Then we headed for the Coleman line. I started talking to a friend who had also brought her kids, and didn't notice that Princesses S and E had pushed their way through to the front. Princess S had a question all written out on a note card to ask him. The question was, "John McCain said he supports vouchers. How do you feel about these and what effect will they have on our homeschool family?" I think he thought she wanted an autograph, because before she could ask him the question, he grabbed the card. Then he saw there was writing and read it. He answered by saying he supports homeschooling, that in fact his niece was homeschooled, and that it was a great alternative for a well-rounded education. He didn't really say anything about vouchers. Oh Well. He did ask her if he could keep the card for reference. All in all it was a fun time, and a great experience.

The rest of these photos are of our cookie dough map of the Indus River Valley (India and part of Pakistan) that we made last week. We plan to do one of China later this week.



What Obama Supports

Take a look at these articles. Really think about what this means for you and your family.

The first. Notice Obama's position on homeschooling. The second. This is also a reflection of his feelings on PARENTAL RIGHTS! Obama is pro-United Nations and will put into action the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. This horrible document gives "The State" the right to come into homes, evaluate it, and remove children if *they* deem necessary!!! It also lists the age of children going into the military at 15 years of age!

Don't vote ignorantly!


TOG Y1r U2 W10

We’re back at it after a two week break. I don’t know who needed the break more, the girls or me. But, we started back in with Year 1 Redesigned Unit Two. We will start out this unit in the ancient Indus Valley and learn briefly about Buddhism and Hinduism. We will then move to ancient China and the Americas to learn about Confuscius, Taoism, the Inuits, the Mound Builders and the Mayans. Then we go back across the ocean for two weeks with the early Greeks, then four weeks on the Old Testament Joshua through David, and the Phoenicians. It should be fun and bring us up to our four week break at Christmas time.

Princess E (UG)
Growing with Grammar: 1.13-1.16
Math U See: Gamma Lesson 9
Writing: Compare/Contrast writing
Reading: Life in the Ancient Indus Valley, The Indus Valley, Buddhism Stories, Becoming Buddha
TOG hands on: cookie dough map of ancient India, make Pachesi game board

Princess S (LG)
Climbing to Good English: pg 129-131
Math U See: Beta Lesson 14
Writing: Descriptive writing – using a describing wheel and sensory wheel
Reading: Life in the Ancient Indus Valley, The Indus Valley, The Story of Little Babaji, Becoming Buddha
TOG hands on: cookie dough map of ancient India, make Pachesi game board

Princess L (PreK)
Reviewing letters A-I


My Other Blog

I put a few posts on my other blog that I think need to be read. Here's the first one. Here's the second one.


Sarah Palin's Pro-Life Speech in PA


The Death of Democracy

I'm totally copying this quote from my friend's site because it is so true and scary. This is where we are people.

Alexander Tyler, (in his 1770 book, Cycle of Democracy):

“A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising them the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that a democracy always collapses over a louse fiscal responsibility, always followed by a dictatorship. The average of the world’s great civilizations before they decline has been 200 years. These nations have progressed in this sequence: From bondage to spiritual faith; from spiritual faith to great courage; from courage to liberty; from liberty to abundance; from abundance to selfishness; from selfishness to complacency; from complacency to apathy; from apathy to dependency; from dependency back again to bondage.”


Two Week Break

Well, we've officially finished our first unit. We will take a 2 week break from our schooling. The two older princesses will be expected to do one extra section in their Awana books each week, and will be assigned an extra song in their piano lessons. I plan to try to catch up with Princess L in her school. We've been working on an alphabet lapbook, as well as a notebook with her Letter of the Week stuff. But, we've been unable to work on them this past week as we had a glue stick mishap the week before and I kept forgetting to buy some new ones. So we'll get that up to date this week. I hope to be able to have one kid swap play day with their friends who are also on a two week break from the charter school they attend. And, if we can swing it, I hope to make it to the zoo one day as well.

The princesses worked most of the weekend on a deep clean of their bedrooms. Their toy boxes still need to be gone through, but their rooms look a lot better. Princess L needs help with this, however, and we hope to get hers done this week as well. I plan to finish planning out unit two and getting supplies for hands on activities.



TOG Y1r U1 W9

Princess L (PreK)
Letter I
Reading: Inside Outside Upside Down, Inch By Inch, Inspector Hopper, Inch By Inch the Garden Song

Princess S (LG)
Bible: selections from Numbers, Deuteronomy and Joshua
Climbing to Good English: pgs 123-127
Handwriting: capital W-Z
Literature: free reading
Math U See: Beta continuing column addition lesson 13
SOS Science: finding errors from last weeks test and correcting them
Writing Aids: 5 sentence paragraphs
Reading: Old Testament Days (excerpts), Celebrate (excerpts)

Princess E (UG)
Bible, SOS Science and Handwriting: same as above
Growing with Grammar: 1.9-1.12
Literature: Tirzah pgs. 99-159
Math U See: Gamma Lesson 8
Writing Aids: narrative writing
Reading: What the Bible is All About for Young Explorers (excerpts), Celebrate (excerpts)

This is our last week of Unit One. We will take a two week break and start back with Unit Two on October 20. During the break, I will hopefully be getting together all the things we need for hands on activities. We've really fallen short on those this unit, partially because I didn't gather things before hand, partially because we've had some issues with ADD and irresponsiblilty of the students to not do work they said they've done. Then we've had to implement discipline and extra work, and then the "fun hands on stuff" goes away because there isn't time. It's sad because that is the stuff that they remember, but it's the stuff that is less necessary most of the time. During their two week break, the princesses will be expected to learn double their Awana verses and will be given an extra song or two from their piano teacher. I am looking forward to it as much as they are.


New Blog

Just wanted you all to know that I moved all political posts to another blog. I wanted this one to stay focused on homeschooling. But I do feel it is important that people see what is going on so I moved all the posts (but not the comments because I didn't know how to move those) to a separate blog. Look on the sidebar for the link if you want to visit that one.



TOG Y1r U1 W8

Princess L (Pre-K)
Letter H
Reading: The Happy Hippopotami, Horton Hears a Who, My Hands, Hop on Pop, Ho for a Hat, The Big Honey Hunt

Princess S (LG)
Bible: selections on OT law from Exodus, Leviticus and Deuteronomy with the focus on understanding why the law is there and what it means for the Israelites and for us as Christians
Climbing to Good English: pgs 118-122
Handwriting: capital Q-V
Literature: On Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur
Math U See: Beta continuing column addition lesson 13
SOS Science: plants test
Writing Aids: steps in the Writing Process
Reading: The Story of Shabbat

Princess E (UG)
Bible, SOS Science and Handwriting: same as above
Growing with Grammar: 1.5 - 1.8
Literature: Tirzah pgs. 60-98
Math U See: Gamma Unit 1 test and lesson 7
Writing Aids: descriptive writing
Reading: On Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, The Story of Shabbat

Just passing this along

Post moved to here.


This is so insane - you gotta read it for yourself.

Post moved to here.

LHOTP Field Trip

We were blessed with a field trip to see Little House on the Prairie the musical. We had a wonderful time! We got to see the Guthrie Theater and its beautiful and unique architecture. The girls had been to see Anne of Green Gables before at the Stages Theater, but this was their first big production to see. It was a little weird, at first, to see familiar characters burst out into song. Yet, they weren't totally familiar as they were played by different actors. Melissa Gilbert played the part of Caroline Ingalls. She garnered loud applause when she first came onstage, and I dare say that the play wouldn't be as popular if she were not in the cast. But it was a wonderful, wholesome family musical for all ages to enjoy.

After the play was over we made our way downstairs to the stage door. We brought along our hard copy of Little House on the Prairie on the offhand chance that we would get autographs. We almost didn't. There was a line of 50 people or so waiting for Melissa Gilbert to come out. Some of the actors with ensemble parts came through. Finally, she came out to a cheer from the crowd. We were in the back of the line. The other actors, with more prominent parts, came out and stood off to the side - seemingly ignored by the rest of the crowd. So I took my two princesses and we went to get their autographs. They were wonderful. After getting three of the four, I turned around to see Melissa Gilbert heading for the door because her taxi had arrived. I grabbed the girls and said, "Oh no! Is she leaving? Can you do one more please?" She didn't look real pleased, but did stop. When she saw I had children with me she smiled (I guess that made the difference) and she signed our book and the program. Then she was off. We went back to the other actors to get Kara Lindsey's autograph, the actress who played Laura.
It was a wonderful night.
Melissa Gilbert - Ma
Jenn Gambetese - Laura


TOG Y1r U1 W7

Princess L (PreK)
Letter G
Reading: My "g" Sound Box, The Three Billy Goats Gruff, The Grouchy Ladybug, The Growing Story

Princess S (LG)
Bible: Exodus 19-40
Climbing to Good English: pgs 114-117
Handwriting: cursive capital K-P
Math U See: Beta lesson 13
SOS Science: Plant Parts 3 and quiz
Reading: Old Testament Days (excerpts), Celebrate (excerpt on Shabbat), alef-bet, Count Your Way Through Israel
(I must substitute the suggested book because the library doesn't have it and we don't have the budget to buy books. So I'm using these as they have Hebrew writing in them, which is what the suggested book is all about.)

Princess E(UG)
Bible, Handwriting and Science same as above
Growing with Grammar: 1.1 - 1.4
Math U See: Gamma lesson 6
Reading: Celebrate (excerpt on Shabbat), What the Bible is All About (excerpts), Tirzah - first third of book

I am hoping to be able to do a hands on activity this week. We are studying the Jewish custom of Shabbat, and I hope we will be able to make Challah bread. We will also be looking at the Jewish calender and perhaps working on a model of the temple that was built while the Israelites were wandering the desert for 40 years. It will be dependant on how much work Princess S gets done early on. This past week, she had a very distractible week and had to do lessons on Saturday and today, Sunday. She didn't like that one bit - neither did I - but she has to learn that lessons come before play time.

Also, Princesses E and S and I will be going with Grandma and Great Grandma to see Little House on the Prairie at the Guthrie theatre. This has been highly anticipated for a long time as Melissa Gilbert is playing Ma. Our family is a huge fan of the Little House tv series so we are hoping to get an autograph. Awana started back up last week, so we are adding in some of the verses into our school time to ensure that they get through the books in the year. Princess E is in her 2nd year of T and T, Princess S is in her 3rd year of Sparks, and Princess L is a first year Cubbie. I will be working in the nursery and bringing Princess M with me.



TOG Y1r U1 W6

Princess L (PreK)
Letter F
Reading: Forest, Let's Go Froggy, Five Little Monkeys Jump on the Bed, Fifi Ferret's Flute

Princess S (LG)
Bible: Genesis 32-50
Handwriting: cursive upper case E-J
MathUSee: Beta Lesson 12
Geography: two maps
SOS Science: finish celery experiment, How Plant Parts Function part 3
Writing Aids: conjunctions, interjections, prepositions (Watch Grammar Rock video)
Hands On: make lentil stew, play Hospitality game
Climbing to Good English: pgs 110-113
Reading: The Children's Bible (The Patriarchs), Old Testament Days (excerpts)

Princess E (UG)
Bible, Geography, Handwriting, SOS Science and Hands On from above
MathUSee: Gamma Lesson 5
Writing Aids: same as above, plus writing two paragraphs
Easy Grammar: Prepositions Test
Reading: Life in Ancient Mesopotamia, Ancient Egypt Make it Work (excerpts), What the Bible is all About for Young Explorers (excerpts)

This will be Princess E's last week with Easy Grammar. Neither one of us is particularly excited about it. I cannot totally figure it out and can see that it will not work for her sister down the road. So I am going to sell it and purchased Growing With Grammar. I bought Grade 4, plus I bought the Grade 1 and 2 combo book for Princess S. She will finish her Climbing book at the end of January and I really think she will benefit from the way this book is set up. She will have to do two lessons a day in order to come even close to finishing by the end of the year. But, the majority of it will be review for her. I'm thinking about having her slip the page into a page protector and writing on it with a dry erase marker. Then her next sister in line can use it too. However, her math book from last year had the same thing and she was constantly losing the markers, so that may not be the best option for her after all.


14 Days of Homeschool

I got this here. Maybe you've seen it before. I hadn't but I sure laughed hard. Think I've heard every one of these. Enjoy!

14 Days of Homeschooling

To the tune of "Twelve Days of Christmas."

On the first day of homeschool my neighbor said to me, "Can you homeschool legally?"

On the second day of homeschool my neighbor said to me, "Are they socialized, can you homeschool legally?"

On the third day of homeschool my neighbor said to me, "Do you give them tests, are they socialized, can you homeschool legally?"

On the fourth day of homeschool my neighbor said to me, "What about P.E., do you give them tests, are they socialized, can you homeschool legally?"

On the fifth day of homeschool my neighbor said to me, "YOU ARE SO STRANGE! What about P.E., do you give them tests, are they socialized, can you homeschool legally?"

On the sixth day of homeschool my neighbor said to me, "How long will you homeschool, YOU ARE S0 STRANGE, what about P.E. , do you give them tests, are they socialized, can you homeschool legally?"

On the seventh day of homeschool my neighbor said to me, "Look at what they're missing, how long will you homeschool, YOU ARE SO STRANGE!, what about P.E., do you give them tests, are they socialized, do you homeschool legally?"

On the eighth day of homeschool my neighbor said to me, "Why do you do this, look at what they're missing, how long will you homeschool, YOU ARE SO STRANGE, what about P.E. do you give them tests, are they socialized, do you homeschool legally?"

On the ninth day of homeschool my neighbor said to me, "They'll miss the prom, why do you do this, look at what they're missing, how long will you homeschool, YOU ARE SO STRANGE!, what about P.E. do you give them tests, are they socialized, do you homeschool legally?"

On the tenth day of homeschool my neighbor said to me, "What about graduation, they'll miss the prom, why do you do this, look at what they're missing, how long will you homeschool, YOU ARE SO STRANGE!, what about P.E., do you give them tests, are they socialized, can you homeschool legally?"

On the eleventh day of homeschool my neighbor said to me, "I could never do that, what about graduation, they'll miss the prom, why do you do this, look at what they're missing, how long will you homeschool, YOU ARE SO STRANGE, what about P.E., do you give them tests, are they socialized, can you homeschool legally?"

On the twelfth day of homeschool my neighbor said to me, "Can they go to college, I could never do that, what about graduation, they'll miss the prom, why do you do this, look at what they're missing, how long will you homeschool, YOU ARE SO STRANGE, What about P.E., do you give them tests, are they socialized, can you homeschool legally?"

On the thirteenth day of homeschool I thoughtfully replied: "They Can go to college, yes you can do this, they can have graduation, we don't like the prom, we do it cuz we like it, they are missing nothing, we'll homeschool forever, WE ARE NOT STRANGE!, We give them P.E., and we give them tests, they are socialized, AND WE HOMESCHOOL LEGALLY!

On the fourteenth day of homeschool my neighbor said to me, "How can I get started, why didn't you tell me, where do I buy curriculum, when is the next conference, WILL PEOPLE THINK WE'RE STRANGE? I think we can do this, if you will help us, we'll join a sports team, and we'll homeschool legally."


TOG Y1r U1 W5

Princess L (PreK)
Letter E
Reading: The Empty Pot, Eggs and Legs, The Ear Book, The Little Engine That Could, Elephants Swim, The Easter Bonnet Parade, The Elves and the Shoemaker

Princess S (LG)
Bible: Genesis 11-31
Climbing to Good English: pgs 106-109
Hands On Activities: Build a ziggurat, Play Senet or Royal Game of Ur
Handwriting: letters w-z lower case and A-D upper case
Math-U-See: Lesson 11
Writing Aids: adverbs
Reading: Old Testament Days (excerpts), The Illustrated Book of Myths (excerpts), The Tower of Babel

Princess E (UG)
Bible, Handwriting and Hands on: same as above
Reading: Usborne Internet Linked Encyclopedia of Ancient World (excerpt), Life in Ancient Mesopotamia, Gilgamesh the King, The Revenge of Ishtar, The Last Quest of Gilgamesh
Writing Aids: adverbs, two graphic organizers

This will be an interesting week. Princess E is invited to a sleep over party away from home. So we decided to let Princess S invite her own friend over for a sleep over here. This will be a first for both of them. It will have to be partially dependent on getting their school work done this week. One more week until Awana and piano lessons start back up. That will put our schedule as full as it's going to get for a while. I was toying with the idea of doing Swim-n-Gym classes at the YMCA, but I think I'm going to hold off on those until springtime. I may look into art classes instead.



How Kids Learn to Pray

We were ready for dinner two nights ago. We'd been talking about the election. I explained briefly what I liked or didn't like about the candidates. When it was her turn to pray, Princess S said, "Please let Mr. McCain win, and please help Mr. Obama to learn the Truth so that we could vote for him someday." I was actually quite proud. I know I had never prayed for that, a change in Obama's heart. That's what it takes isn't it? It really doesn't matter who the President is - the President cannot save us. Only Jesus can save us.


TOG Y1r U1 W4

Princess E (UG)
Bible - Genesis 1 -10
Geography - mapping Noah's descendants
Easy Grammar - pgs 33, 35, 37, 39, 43, 45
Handwriting - cursive review S-X
Vocab words and Important people
Math-U-See - Gamma Lesson 4
Reading: What the Bible is All About for Young Explorers (excerpts), Usbourne Internet-Linked Ancient World (excerpts), The True Story of Noah's Ark, The Ark
SOS Science - Parts of Plants, How Plant Parts Function
Writing - adjectives and word games
Hands on activities - measure out Noah's ark, learn to play Senet

Princess S (LG)
Bible, Geography, Handwriting, Science and Hands on - same as above
Climbing to Good English - pg 102-104
Math-U-See - Beta Lesson 10
Reading: Song of Creation, A is for Adam: The Gospel from Genesis,
Writing - adjectives

Princess L (PreK)
Letter of the Week - D
Reading: Daddy, Could I Have an Elephant?, Danny and the Dinosaur, One Duck Stuck, Daddy is a Doodlebug

** Note - This week is the first week that we will have school for a full five days. Also, the local public school will be starting up on Monday. That means that the neighbor girl won't be ringing the bell or calling on the phone to play. (YAHOO!) But, it also means that we need to start stepping things up. Right now neither of the older princesses will appreciate that. Princess L, however, still loves school as long as she can color and cut and glue. If only the real world were all about those few things.



Out of the Mouths of Babes...

We went to the park down the street the other day with Nanny and Papa. Nanny was riding with Princess L on the teeter-totter. (The new kind, not the more fun old kind where you could suspend your partner in the air with feet dangling, threatening to let them come crashing to the ground on their rear if the aren't being nice.) Princess L was leaning over the handles and Nanny told her to be careful because she could hit her teeth on the handles and break them. Princess L looked at her and said, quite matter-of-factly, "God made my teeth and He can just glue them back in." If only!


TOG Y1r U1 W3

This is our fourth week in a row that we have not spent a typical week in school. The first two weeks were half weeks, last week and this week are lighter due to Nanny and Papa's visiting. Next week will be our first "normal" five day week. We've got a lot to do this week, but if they finish it all early then they will have a playday. We will be going to the Minnesota State Fair on Thursday. We go every year, continuing on a tradition from when I was a child. They are all pretty excited about it.

Princess L (PreK)

Letter of the Week - C
Reading: The Caboose Who Got Loose, Clickety Clack, Calico Cows

Princess S (LG)
Bible - Exodus 6-18
Geography - mapping the Israelites path out of Egypt
Climbing to Good English - pgs 98-101
Handwriting - cursive letters m-r
Vocabulary words and Important People
Math U See - Beta Lesson 9 - skip counting by 5s, and nickels
Reading: Tutankhamen's Gift, Egyptian Gods and Goddesses, Celebrate A Book of Jewish Holidays (excerpt), Old Testament Days (excerpt)
Writing - working on verbs
Hands on - making cardboard sandals and making jewelry

Princess E (UG)
Bible - Exodus 6-18
Geography - same as above
Easy Grammar - pgs 21, 23, 27, 29
Handwriting - cursive review m-r
Vocab words and Important People
Math U See - Gamma Lesson 3 skip count review 2s, 5s, and 10s
Reading: What the Bible is all About (excerpt), Usbourne Encyclopedia of Ancient Egypt (excerpt), Ancient Egypt Make if Work (excerpt), Pepi and the Secret Names
Writing - verbs list, dictation, complete sentences from graphic organizers
Hands on - making cardboard sandals and making jewelry


Ending TOG Y1r W2

Well, for some reason I'm not able to post photos of our sugar cube pyramids and the mummies we wrapped. Bummer, but we did it and learned a few things. We learned the hard way that we needed to use glue that was not water soluble. We first used regular school glue, but that just started melting the sugar. Then we tried a Nano glue, but got the same results. Finally we resorted to Tacky Glue and had success. The girls tried a few different building methods to find what they liked best. Princess L did more sugar licking than anything! Then on Friday we made mummies. I had planned to use Dollar Tree barbies, but they didn't have any. What they did have was a clear, plastic human model with organs that you could take out! Since that's what they did anyway, it was an even better find. They took out all the organs but the heart. Then they coated them with an olive oil and cinnamon mixture. They salted them up and we let them sit for 20 minutes, using a scale of 30 seconds to equal one day that they would have waited. While we waited we practiced writing our names in hieroglyphics. After the wait, we used toilet paper and school glue to wrap up our mummies. If we do this activity again in four years, I may splurge and get some muslin to use. But the toilet paper worked for a UG, LG and pre-TOGer.



TOG Y1r U1 W2

(Translation - Tapestry of Grace Year One Redesigned, Unit One, Week 2)

So our first week went fairly well. The girls are still trying to get used to learning some new ways of doing things. First and foremost is learning how to schedule their weeks. We sat down on Saturday afternoon and went through all of their work for the next week. We wrote everything out on their schedules. They will decide this week, because it is a shortened week due to Nanny and Papa visiting, when they will do each thing. The goal is to finish everything by Wednesday evening except for our hands on activities. We will do these on Thursday and Friday when Nanny and Papa can be here to join in the fun. Then we put everything into their new school baskets. I bought two nylon baskets at Target. They are to keep all books, papers, folders, pencil boxes, notebooks, (everything but their 3 ring binders) inside them. Then they can just pick up the basket and move around the house as they need to. They can bring their "school in a basket" with them. Hopefully I won't ever have to hear, "I don't know where ______ is," ever again. Okay, I'm in a dream world I know, but maybe I'll hear it less. Here are the plans for the week.

Princess L (PreK)
Letter of the Week - B
Reading: Blueberries for Sal, The Little Ballerina, Berloiz the Bear, The Baby BeeBee Bird, The Berenstain Bears' B Book, The Big Balloon Race

Princess S (LG)
Bible - Exodus 1-5
Geography - mapping cities, pyramids and water/deserts of ancient Egypt
Climbing to Good English - pgs 94-97
Handwriting - cursive letters d, e, and f
Vocabulary words and Important People
Math U See - Beta Lesson 8 - skip counting by 10s, dimes and pennies and Unit Test
Reading: Tutankhamen's Gift, Who Built the Pyramids, Mummies Made in Egypt, Old Testament Days (excerpt)
Writing - working on pronouns list and adding to nouns list from last week

Princess E (UG)
Bible - Exodus 1-5
Geography - same as above
Easy Grammar - pgs 13, 15, 19
Handwriting - cursive review d, e, and f
Vocab words and Important People
Math U See - Gamma Lesson 2 multiplication 1's and 0's
Reading: What the Bible is all About (excerpt), Usbourne Encyclopedia of Ancient Egypt (excerpt), Pyramid, Calliope magazine articles on famous Egyptian Queens (because I accidentally returned A Place in the Sun)
Writing - pronouns list, dictation, learning about graphic organizers and completing two

Nanny and Papa are flying in on Thursday morning. We will be making sugar cube pyramids, mummifying cheap dollar store barbies, and writing our names in hieroglyphics for our hands on this week. Hopefully, they will enjoy this as much as I know the girls will. I'm anticipating a mess this week.



Prayer Request for Bachman family

I was shocked and saddened at the news today. You may have heard about the American who was killed in Beijing. His name is Todd Bachman. His wife Barb was also stabbed and is in the ICU. I was in Camp Fire Girls with their oldest daughter, Sara, for several years. We would take the bus to their house after school and have our meetings in their family room. This kind of violence is heard about every day, but this violence from across the globe feels like it is in my own backyard. I am asking for you to pray for this family. Pray for Barb's full healing. Pray for Elizabeth (Wiz,) who witnessed the event, that the images of violence would be replaced with happy memories from the past. Pray that Sara and Susie, their other two daughters, would be surrounded with the peace that only Jesus can give. They are a wonderful Christian family who have left a legacy in their town. Blessings.


Ending TOG Y1r W1

Well, we ended our first week today. Things went pretty well considering. Consider that we took two weeks of half days to do everything. Consider that this week has been late nights with VBS at church. Consider that Princess M has been teething like crazy for the past week, not eating much, not sleeping much and wanting to non-stop nurse. We spent yesterday and today working on cookie dough maps of ancient Egypt. (Except for Princess L who made her own island resort.) We are going over to Grandpa and Grandma's this afternoon to watch the Nova special on Pyramids that they Tivo'd for us a month ago. We probably won't watch all of it. Just a half hour or so (unless they really get into it.) The deal is that if they watch it and can answer a few questions, then we will get to watch the Hannah Montana 3D concert that is also Tivo'd for us. Nothing like bribery to get what you want out of school!
Enjoy the slideshow!
P.S. - I have no idea why the slideshow loaded twice but I can't figure out how to change it.


School's a startin'

TOG Yr1Redesigned Week 1 - looks daunting when I type it all out. But this is what I have committed to for the next school year. I'm very excited about it! However, DDs were not nearly as excited when I sat down today to show them how things were going to work this year. They love the topic - in fact had checked out books on mummies on their own this summer without knowing that was on the agenda. They love the idea of using the computer for their vocab words (they will be looking them up at Wordsmyth) and doing SOS for science. But when I opened up the pages of TOG stuff and showed them what the LG and UG assignments looked like, their eyes about bugged out of their heads! "All that work, that's too much, I'm going to die if I have to do all that," were the comments received. Now, realistically it isn't that much more than before. Last year we did more reading together because I spent the first half of the year pregnant and the second half of the year nursing a newborn. Since I was sitting on the couch anyway, might as well read their assignments together. This year they will be doing more reading on their own. But I'm not backing down. I think TOG is going to help prepare my kids for future learning in college, on the job and in life. And if it takes a four week fog, or longer, for them to realize that I'm serious, then so be it.

For this first week, we are actually taking two weeks to complete it due to the fact that we have VBS at church next week. Plus, with so much new stuff I figured I'll need to work with them a little more to begin with. So here is what our Week 1 will look like:

Princess S (LG)
Climbing to Good English pg 90-93 (where we left off last year)
Math-u-See Beta Lesson 7
SOS Science - Lessons 1 and 2
Three pages of handwriting practice of the cursive letters a, b, and c
Reading: Egyptians, The Nile River, several pages from Old Testament Days
Her SAPs (student activity pages)
Hands-On Activities: making notebooks, salt dough or cookie dough map (haven't decided which yet), Egypt coloring pages
Writing - learning about nouns

Princess E (UG)
Easy Grammar 4 - memorizing prepositions (ongoing) and pg 3, 5, 9, 11, 13 and 15
Math-U-See Gamma - Lesson 1
SOS Science - lessons 1 and 2
Three pages of cursive review letters a, b, and c
Reading: The Nile River, A Place in the Sun (5 chapters), Ancient Egypt Make it Work (several pages), Geography from A to Z, What the Bible is All about for Young Explorers(several pages), Usbourne Internet-linked Encyclopedia of Ancient World (several pages)
Her SAPs
Same hands-on stuff as above
Writing - reviewing nouns and learning steps in the writing process

I am not starting Laura until next week. We will be doing the letter A next week and reading books about them. I'll post them later.



Happy Birthday to Princess E

My eldest DD turned nine today. DH was reminiscing about the event during dinner. He reminded me how hot it was. It was so hot, in fact, that the hospital started turning women away only an hour after we arrived. They had to drive a half hour north to the next closest hospital. Thank the good Lord I didn't get turned away or we'd have had a highway birth. Here's the story as best as I can remember it:
I remember standing in the shower the morning of July 14, and listening to the radio announcer saying that today was Bastille Day, the French holiday commemorating the fall of the Bastille in 1789. I thought, that’s a cool day to have a birthday but it won’t be today. I went to work like any normal day. Around 1:30pm I started feeling really tired and not quite right. By 3:30pm I was exhausted and had a headache. Because all the essential work had been done and no one else needed help, I asked if I could go home to rest. I called DH from the cell phone to say I was going home to sleep. On the way home I started having really bad cramps. By the time I got home, I decided to call the doctor’s office. They said I should head right to the hospital. So I called DH, who was just leaving anyway, and sat back to wait. But DH got caught in traffic, and it took him over an hour to get home. He pulled in about 4:50pm and I was rolled up in a ball on the floor in pain.

We got to the hospital at about 5:15pm. They sent us right to a room. After a brief exam it was determined I was about 3cm, so they hooked me up to a monitor for a half an hour. Nothing looked out of the ordinary, so after the half hour was up they told us to try walking around. We didn’t get very far down the hall when I announced I had to go back to go to the bathroom. However, after spending quite some time in the bathroom with no results, I went back and lay down. But I kept feeling like I had to go to the bathroom. DH didn’t know what to do to help me out, and the nurses didn’t really help give him any ideas. Finally after complaining about it for a while the nurse decided to examine me again. She immediately announced, with surprise in her voice, that I was at 9cm. “What!” I said. I was planning to have an epidural, but we were too far along for that. My doctor was on her way to break my water, but she was stuck in the same traffic DH had been stuck in. The next contraction the nurse announced I was now a 10 and could start pushing. “Without my doctor?” was my concern, but at that moment it didn’t matter. E was so determined to get out, and all I wanted was to get her out.
The nurses gave brief instructions about pushing, and my water broke after two pushes. Then the nurses went out into the hall and grabbed a doctor who wasn’t needed at the moment. After an all to brief introduction (we still don’t know his name) he sat down and said “Three minutes and we’ll have this baby out.” He told us right away that they would have to suction her lungs because she had swallowed fluid. A few pushes later, at 6:41pm, she were out and they said she were a girl. DH and I were both shocked because all the way through people had been telling us we were having a boy. So DH turned his attention to E while the doctor worked on me. But I was still in a lot of pain, and nothing they were giving me was working. One nurse attempted to give me a sedative in my arm, but after the needle was in, it backed out and stuck her. Finally they gave me something that put me in La La land for the next hour and a half. I don’t remember much but I know I got to hold E for a short time before I fell asleep. DH followed E around and took pictures so I wouldn’t miss her first bath. Then Grandma and Grandpa got to see E. We called Nanny and Papa to give them the news. And the rest, as they say, is history. Or in this case, herstory.


Stormy Weather

Well, we're having our third storm in two days. There has been heavy winds each time that have toppled several trees and put power out. Thankfully, we have not had any damage. The flower pots fell off the deck, but they were salvageable.

I've made some progress on things for our school starting up. I've got a list made of which library book needs to be requested on what date in order to be here on time. I've left myself a two week window in case we have to wait. I've also earmarked the closest substitute should that book not be available. I have E's daily task chart done and plan to print up a few for her. I have listed certain days that she needs to work in each subject area, but it will be up to her to figure out which assignments to do on which day. The exception is her vocab words, important people and science. She is going to need the computer to do these assignments, so I have certain times she is going to have to do these. I have S's daily task chart designed but I am going to be scheduling all of her work for her, at least for the first half of the year. So I'm just entering all the info into an Excel file and then I'll print it out for her.

Math will not be listed but printed in after the fact. The way that I use Math-U-See is a little different. They will watch the DVD first. I will orally quiz them on what the lesson was about to determine if they understand what they need to do. If it is a completely new concept, then we will do a few practice problems on paper. If they seem to know what they are to do, then they do worksheet A. If they get them all correct then they move on to the first review worksheet D. If they get that one all correct then they may take the test. If they feel they need more practice they can opt to do any of the other worksheets. It was hard for me to see unused pages at first. But, it has allowed us to feel more like we are moving at their pace. If they seem to "forget" how to do something, then they can always go back and do the other pages. With my two extremely distractable scholars, this has helped to keep us from getting bored and goofing off. They prefer learning directly from the DVD first as opposed to listen to me teach so I let them. Mr. Demme is more fun to listen too :)

I still have to: get schedules laminated, get chore schedules put into Handipoints and a hard copy printed, decide on hands on activities for first four weeks and buy supplies needed, and put notebooks together. I've admired the spiral bound workbooks that other's have put together, but realize that I just don't have the time to do that yet. I also know how much I realize I have forgotten to do and we'd have several to many pages that weren't included. I would rather put everything in a 3 ring binder and then have them spiral bound together after we were done with the unit.

The rest of July is looking to be quite busy. I think the time will fly be. E has a birthday on Monday. She will be 9. That is hard to believe. She will be coming back from Big Sandy Camp tomorrow afternoon. S cannot wait to see her. She realizes now, I think, that her sister is her favorite playmate.



Fourth of July and Listing Tasks

So our fourth of July was busy but fun. We handed out the Freeze Pops and watched the first half of the parade. M slept through most of it. We went home for an hour then went to a BBQ hosted by a family from church. The kids went through the sprinkler, even though we forgot to bring swimsuits, so they were completely soaked. But they had fun! Then we went to see fireworks. Our Pastor and his family live a block away from the park where they are let off. So they always let a bunch of people park in their driveway and walk over. We all pitch blankets and chairs on the grass. The kids get to run around and chase each other for a half hour until they finally start. M cried at first so I held her close to me and covered her ears. But then she got quiet and watched. She was asleep again after only about four minutes. We laughed at one of the young teens in our group who was more interested in texting her friends than watching the fireworks.

I made a list of all the things I want to accomplish this next week while E is at church camp. Here they are:

To Do’s While E is at Camp

· Get schedules laminated

· Get chore schedules put into Handipoints and a hard copy printed

· Type up list of TOG books to request out three weeks prior

· Type up list of books for LOTW

· Find and purchase used copies of What the Bible is All About for Young Explorers, Walk with Y'shua Through the Jewish Year and A Place in the Sun

· Decide on hands on activities for first four weeks and buy supplies needed

· Print out several copies of assignment checklists for E

· Type up first four assignment checklists for S

· Put notebooks together



Fourth of July Plans

Today we took the kids to a really neat park called Chutes and Ladders. Go to here to see the photo better. Isn't it neat? The only problem is it is crawling with kids in the summer. Several daycare centers were there (you could tell by the yellow and blue shirts they had) as well as many other families. The girls had fun climbing and running through the water. M enjoyed all the people watching.

Tomorrow is the Fourth of July. I've always loved that holiday. I love fireworks. We've always brought our kids to see them. They slept through their first year while they were babies. My kids have never once cried at the noise. They just love the beauty of all the dancing colors. This year I'm sure will be no exception. We are going to help our church hand out Freeze-Pops at a parade. E & S should enjoy that. Of course, it's going to be hard for them to hand them out and not eat them. I may end up sitting and waiting on the sidelines with L & M. L wants to help hand them out, but I'm afraid that she's too little. There's bound to be tons of people, and she isn't real good at staying with us. Her mind wanders as she people watches and she could get left behind real easily.

I've spent the last two weeks trying to get our schedule done for the next school year. I've worked on an assignment sheet. I've gotten all of my copying done. Now I just need to get notebooks put together and we'll be ready for our first day. I had been planning to start on August 4th, but our church is having VBS that week. So now I'm leaning towards starting on July 28th and just doing half days for the first two weeks. I hope that will help alleviate all of the TOG fog I've heard so much about. The girls are not at all excited to start up school again. I picked our August 4th date to correspond with the start date for a charter school where several of their friends attend. That way I won't have to hear, "But we're the only ones in school." (For those of you who did not read my old blog, we started school right after July 4th last year so that we could take 8 weeks off when M was born in November. They hated this schedule as the neighborhood kids were not in school and could be heard playing outside.) So while not all of their friends will be in school, some will be.


Why Do I Homeschool?

Since this is a question every homeschooler is asked, I thought I'd answer that here with this list of reasons.
1) The public school system is not set up to help each child reach their full potential. I believe each child has the right to be taught in the way they learn best, even when the method varies from subject to subject. They have the right to do a lesson over if they didn't understand it the first time. They have the right to move ahead faster if they understand the ideas being taught. They have the right to question what they are being taught and to learn the Truth from which ever books can give it.
2) My children are very naive. They will believe pretty much whatever other children, and most adults, tell them. (DH and I seem to be the one exception to that :)) Therefore, it is my job as their parent to filter out the junk, and help them learn how to differentiate the Truth from the lies.
3) I want my children to learn how to think, how to research, how to process information and how to come to their own conclusions. I don't want them to simply spit out information they do not understand, or worse yet goes against their beliefs, simply to get a good grade.
4) I believe that the public schools are no longer trying to teach children how to learn. Their soul purpose is to indoctrinate children into a certain mindset, and there is no tolerance for those who think differently. (An oxy moron as this is what they claim to teach - tolerance of everything.)

Therefore, DH and I believe that for now, as God has enabled us to be able to homeschool, our children are best served at home, where they are loved and trained and taught in the methods God has impressed upon us as the best for them. Methods change, curriculums change but God never changes.