TOG Y2 W19 - end of Unit 2

We are now officially done with Year 2 Unit 2. I don't know that we did justice to this unit, but I've learned, in my six years of homeschooling (and it's been a hard lesson) that sometimes you have to just let some things go. The nice thing about using Tapestry of Grace is that I know my kids will be doing this time frame again. I know we will be revisiting the places, the people and the events. So I'm not concerned that we didn't touch every fact I wanted to, or every thread, or done every project. Sometimes life just happens, and we must deal with what God puts on our plate. That's been the rule since the beginning of October in our home.

Princess E

Latin: Lesson 9.1 to 9.3, Exercise 9.3 to 9.4
Math-U-See: finish Lesson 10
Literature: Bard of Avon
TOG: vocab, important people copywork, geography study
Reading: The Awakening of Europe (excerpts)

Princess S
Growing with Grammar: 2.20 to 2.22
Math-U-See: Finish lesson 13
Literature: The Midsummer Night's Dream
TOG: same as above
Reading: Elizabeth I, William Shakespeare and the Globe

Princess L
MFW Kindy: start lesson 8 /d/ is for dinosaur
Math-U-See: Primer finish lesson 12

Princess M
This is my first child who actually puts herself to bed. This little munchkin, when she decides she wants to take her nap, will go into her room, start her Lori Line CD by herself, grab her blanket and ask me to get her Nuk. (She is also the child who has used her Nuk the longest because I haven't the heart to take it away yet. It's the only thing that soothes her teething, which is close to being done. So I'll take it away then.) She is officially down to one nap a day, but unfortunately it's not at a consistent time. Some days she want to nap right after lunch, other days I cannot put her down until after 2pm.

We will have a three week break starting on the 21st. I told the princesses that they will be required to have a one hour free reading session each day, and that they are still responsible for their chores each day. We will try to have a few play days with friends that are also on break. They are also hoping to get together with some friends at church so Princess E can teach them the song she wrote. One of these days I'll try to get the audio to post here.


TOG Y2 W17-18

We did two weeks in one week. That's because I noticed that we would have our three week break and then one week left in our unit. I decided that it was worth it to double up for one week and merely highlight stuff in order to end our unit before the break. Then when we come back, we will have only seventeen weeks left. This will allow us an extra week somewhere to either stretch out a week, end a week early, take several Fridays off, etc. We will have to see what happens. I like having options.

Princess E
Latin: Lesson 8.3 to 8.5, Word Power D1 and E1 and E2, Exercise 8.4 to 8.6, and Vocabulary E
Math-U-See: Lesson 10
Literature: Hugenot Garden
TOG: vocab, important people copywork, geography study
Reading: Brilliant Brits: Henry VIII, The Awakening of Europe (excerpts)

Princess S
Growing with Grammar: 2.14 to 2.19
Math-U-See: Lesson 12 test and start lesson 13
Literature: The Boy Who Held Back the Sea
TOG: same as above
Reading: The Netherlands, Brilliant Brits: Henry VIII

Princess L
MFW Kindy: finish lesson 7 /u/ is for us
Math-U-See: Primer finish lesson 12

Princess M
It is fun to hear the new words, which come daily now, that she tries to say. We still don't know what they are half the time. But they are getting there. She is enjoying playing out in the snow with her older sisters. She really didn't get to do that much last year, as she didn't have a warm enough snow suit.

We will end this week with the Nutcracker Ballet. I'm bringing some thing for Princess L just in case she gets squirmy.


BooMama Giveaway

Of course BooMama would be in on this too. Where is P Dub on this one?

Totally Together Reviews Giveaway

HP and BlogHer rock! Another giveaway to check out here.

Kelley's Reviews Giveaway

Same giveaway going on here. Check out her blog.

MckMama Giveaway

This is almost too good to believe. Follow this link and read MckMama's latest giveaway. It'd make an awesome Christmas present. But even more important, if you've never read her blog, stick around for a while and read about the miracle this family was given for their faith and patience over the last year. Her beautiful son, Stellan, is a testament to the Power and Glory of Jehovah Jireh!


Meet the Pioneer Woman

In case you've never heard of the Pioneer Woman, then you need to get your head out of the clouds, and head on over here. You're in for a real treat. She homeschools, she takes awesome photographs, and she makes incredible food. And she blogs about her life in a way that makes you ache for the simple life on an Oklahoma cattle ranch. Ree, aka Pioneer Woman, aka P.W., aka P-Dub, just finished writing a cookbook. You can pick one up here, or here, or here.

When I heard that she was coming to my own turf on her book tour, I jumped at the chance to get mine signed. So I got to the destination at 11am. I was way back in line, but it ended up being right next to the stage. P-Dub showed up at noon. What I didn't realize at the time, was that she was surrounded by media from both the local FoxNews station, and for the TLC show Mall Cops. I met some really nice people in line. There was one comical moment. We noticed that the mall cops, the real ones, stopped traffic. On the other side of the ropes from where we were standing, they were fanning out to control the crowd. It took a few minutes, but we figured out that they were looking at a bag that had been left unattended on a bench near us. They were calling in a bomb sniffing dog. There was a young mother ahead of us in line who had two small children. These kids had done so well all day. We were almost up to the front of the line. She had stepped out of line for a short time to give the kids and herself a break and get off her feet. She had accidentally forgotten her diaper bag on the bench. But they wouldn't let anyone get near it, even when she told them it was hers. After the dog finished sniffing the bag, and it had been opened and the contents sifted through, she was told she could pick it up later.

After a four and a half hour wait, I finally got my cookbook signed. It was worth every minute in line. I've made many of the recipes in the book, and have my eyes on several others that I must try soon.

TOG Yr2 Weeks 13 to 16

It's been a long time since I've blogged. We've had so much going on. And I was without a computer for two weeks. It had to be reformatted, and while I had it all backed up, getting everything back on takes time. Some of these weeks we did the bare minimums because it was during the holidays, we had relatives in town, and without my computer, I didn't have access to my HST+. Also, because I use TOG DE, I didn't have access to much of it. I had printed out all of the SAPs I needed, I didn't have the reading lists to know which pages or chapters had to be read, and some of my requested books didn't come in to the library on time and I didn't have any way to find alternates. So some of these are just what we came up with from the stacks.

Princess E
Latin: Lessons 5.5 to 8.2, Exercises 6.1 to 8.2, Word Power C3 to D2
Math-U-See: Finish lesson 5, Do lessons 6-9
Literature: Morning Girl and Spy For the Night Raiders. I could not get either the suggested lit book, or any of the alternates. So since the original book was a historical fiction that took place during Martin Luther's time and the Diet of Worms, I managed to find a Trailblazer Book (Bethany House) that dealt closely with that topic. She said it was one of the best books she's read. So I think I will be trying to find others that coordinate with the time frames we study.
TOG: vocab, geography study, important people copywork
Reading: The Awakening of Europe (excerpts), Exploration and Conquest, Aztecs and Incas. We were supposed to do Mr. Pipes, but I couldn't get it through the library and just couldn't swing the expense.
We have fallen behind on our read alouds for this unit. Between getting the flu, having relatives here and no computer, we skipped a lot of this. We will pick back up on read alouds after our Christmas and New Years break when we begin our next unit.

Princess S
Growing With Grammar: 2.2 to 2.13
Math-U-See: Finish lesson 10 and do lessons 11-12
Literature: St. George and the Dragon, Coming Home, Psalm 8, Mother Goose
TOG: vocab, geography study, important people copywork
Reading: Ferdinand Magellan, The Sad Night, Usborne Internet-Linked Middle Ages (excerpts), Martin Luther, Pieter Bruegel, Henry VIII and His Wives

Princess L
MFW Kindy - finish lesson 5 /n/ is for nest. Do lesson 6 /t/ is for turtle and lesson 7 /u/ is for us
As with the TOG studies, we did the bare minimums with this.
Math-U-See: Finish lesson 10. Do lessons 11-12. Learning the colors has been interesting. We used the same names that we used with her sisters.

Princess M
This little firecracker keeps us all busy. She is getting her two year molars, so there has been excess fussiness because of that. She is gaining a larger vocabulary every day. She celebrated her second birthday. My baby is now two. (Excuse me - I'm getting a little emotional.) She is funny to watch, because when she does something, she gets so into it. When she is coloring, she is so intense. When she is building with blocks or legos, she is uber focused on it and gets upset if someone tries to work next to or with her. She is officially down to one nap a day.

Because we got a little behind, we will be completing three weeks in two weeks so that we can finish up unit two before our break begins. Hopefully, we will begin our break on the 18th when we have a field trip to see the Nutcracker. Then we have three weeks off. I hope to include pictures of our "new" homeschool room after I've used the time off to finish sorting and purging. I am also hoping to do a potty training immersion with Princess M.


TOG Year 2 Weeks 11 and 12

It's been a while since I posted. We spent about three weeks dealing with, most likely, H1N1. I say H1N1 because I matched our symptoms with it, but I was not willing to pay $85 per person to go hold down my screaming kids for a blood draw to confirm it, then to have them say they cannot do anything for it and to let it run its course. Seemed a waste of money. But a neighbor girl, who probably caught it from us because she was on a two week school break and only had contact with us, was confirmed with it. So I will try to condense for you what we did do over those weeks. We had a total of one week off.

Princess E
Latin - Lesson 5.1 to 5.4 and Exercises 4.3 to 5.4
Math U See – Delta Lesson4 and 5. We are stuck on 5, which deals with parallel and perpendicular. I'm not sure why she isn't remembering the difference. Since I told her that parallel lines are like the double l's in the word parallel, she is getting that. But not the other yet.
Literature - I, Juan de Pareja
TOG - vocabulary, geography study, important people
Reading - The Renaissance (excerpts), Michaelangelo, Exploration and Conquest (excerpts), First Voyage to America
Read Alouds - The Story of the World Volume 2 (excerpts)
Week 11 was a focus on the Renaissance artists of northern Italy and week 12 was a focus on the early explorers, with an in depth study of Christopher Columbus's voyages.

Princess S
Growing With Grammar - Lessons 1.15-2.1
Math U See - Gamma Lesson 9 and start lesson 10
Literature - Mario's Angels and Columbus
TOG and Read Alounds - same as above
Reading - Usborne Internet Linked Middle Ages (excerpts), Leonardo DaVinci, The Renaissance

Princess L
MFW Kindy - finish Lesson 4 - /a/ is for apple, begin Lesson 5 - /n/ is for nest
The final activities for the apple stuff got skipped because of the flu. I didn't have the energy to make it a priority, so we mostly did the pencilwork and reading stuff.
Math U See - Primer - finish lesson 9 and move on to lesson 10. Now we add the "hundreds" to the concept of place value. We've been using mostly the manipulatives and various games we come up with. I think she is starting to get the idea, though she has a hard time writing the numerals correctly. But she is only 4, so I won't worry.

Princess M
This little one has discovered writing - on walls that is! I was thinking I'd maybe try to paint some walls this winter, but she has quickly changed my mind. All of my princesses have done lots of writing on walls. The older ones still get caught from time to time, much to my displeasure. I'm sure this is why the little two have also picked up the bad habit, regardless of how many consequences are doled out for the infraction. She also is able to reach many of the light switches now, so lights are constantly found on throughout the house.


Why Sick Homeschool Moms Need Subs

(I posted this for my Yahoo Group friends, but thought my few blogging friends would enjoy it too.)

So I'm on day two of being sick. Worse today than yesterday. Never made it out
of pjs. After my first nap, awoke to find Princess L in this year's Christmas dress. (Yes - we're in that stage.) After second nap on the couch, I discover Princess E had given her sisters ice cream for lunch. After Princess L fell asleep on the couch and Princess M was in her crib, I head to my bedroom for nap number three. Princess S wakes me to ask if she can use the tube of sugar cookie dough. Nope - that's for cookie dough maps next week. When I wake and stumble through the kitchen to the couch, I discover Princess S with her younger sisters making my mom's sour cream sugar cookie recipe - the kind that requires rolling out and using cookie cutters. Not happy because she didn't have permission, but not able to stand on my feet much longer I head to the couch. In and out of my feverish consciousness I hear the following comments:

- No, I couldn't find the baking powder. Well, just double the baking soda,
they're practically the same thing anyway. (Princess S)

- Why can't I mix this? The butter won't mix in. (Me - did you soften it
first?) Nope - just took it out of the fridge. (Princess S)

- We cannot do this with these spoons. We'll have to get out the mixer. No, I
don't know how it works. (Princess E)

- We aren't going to get more than eight cookies out of these. (Princess E)

- Why do these cookies look like biscuits? No - they look more like dinner
rolls. (Princess S)

- They kinda taste gross. Maybe we could melt some chocolate chips on them.
(Princess E)

- Now they look like poop. (Princess L - remember she's four - everything looks like that)

- Mom - I was supposed to put this mixer into the dishwater to soak, right?

So, readers, I rest my case. Homeschool moms really need to hire a substitute
when they are sick.


TOG Year 2 Week 10

Well, we started this week with snow. In October. So much for that global warming argument. Last week, we finished up Unit One. We are now enjoying a one week break doing a unit study on astronomy. I'll post on what we used next week. (Because I'm still not sure what all we will use myself.) Checked out a bunch of stuff so we'll see what we have time for.

Princess E
Latin - Lesson 4.1 to 4.3 and Exercises 4.1 to 4.3
Math U See – Delta Lesson 3
Literature - continue The Door in the Wall
TOG - vocabulary, geography study, important people
Reading - The Story of the Middle Ages (excerpts), The Story of the Crusades, Fine Print
Read Alouds - The Story of the World Volume 2 (excerpts), Famous Men of the Middle Ages (excerpts)
This week we focused on the three Johns - Wycliffe, Hus and Guttenberg. (The latter more commonly seen as Jan and Johannes.) We learned about how the development of the printing press helped to usher in the Renaissance and Reformation movements.

Princess S
Growing With Grammar - Lessons 1.12-1.14
Math U See - Gamma Lesson 8
Literature - Marguerite Makes a Book
TOG and Read Alounds - same as above
Reading - Usborne Internet Linked Middle Ages (excerpts), John Gutenberg and the Amazing Printing Press, The Middle Ages (excerpts)

Princess L
MFW Kindy - begin Lesson 4 - /a/ is for apple
This was a great week to be in this lesson. Because Dad had Friday off, we all went to an apple orchard to pick apples. We went to the same spot we've gone for three years. Good thing we went when we did, as the snow would have probably damaged them if we'd tried to go this week. Hopefully, at the end of this week we will get to make some homemade applesauce, apple crisp, and apple pie.
Math U See - Primer - continue on lesson 9 with place value. It seemed like last week in the middle she was starting to get it a little. Then this weekend she asked me how to write 27 and I asked her how many units and "t's" it had and she couldn't tell me.

Princess M
Trying to stay healthy, as two of her sissies were sick this past week and weekend. Trying to keep her away from them, and them away from her, is always difficult. She has observed her sisters move chairs, or the kitchen stool, around to reach items that we keep out of her reach. She discovered this week that she, too, can move said chairs and stool. So now she can be found grabbing items left high up on the counters or even in the kitchen cupboards. The others didn't do that at this early of an age - but then again, they had fewer other kids to watch do this trick. My life just got harder!


TOG Year 2 Week 9

We have one more week until we take a week's break from our regular school to do a science study. Not sure yet what we're going to do, since we only have a week. I'm thinking of a unit study, but picking between several possibilities. We went to a Medieval Fair at a park near us. It was free! Cannot beat that. The girls had fun seeing some of the things they had read about - or rather realistic replications of them. We saw a sundial and Princess E told me that it was a mosaic. I hadn't even noticed, but I was impressed that she did. Pictures are below.

Princess E
Latin - Word Power B4 & 5, Exercises 3.2 and 3.3.
Math U See – Delta Lesson 2
Literature - continue The Door in the Wall
TOG - vocabulary, geography study, important people
Reading - The Story of the Middle Ages (excerpts), The Story of the Crusades, The Story of Joan of Arc
Read Alouds - The Story of the World Volume 2 (excerpts), Famous Men of the Middle Ages (excerpts)
This week we focused on learning about life in the High Middle Ages. We learned about craftsmen's guilds, the Black Death, the Hundred Years' War and Joan of Arc.

Princess S
Growing With Grammar - Lessons 1.9-1.11
Math U See - finish Gamma Lesson 7
Literature - the book didn't come in from library in time, so we skipped it this week
TOG and Read Alounds - same as above
Reading - Usborne Internet Linked Middle Ages (excerpts)

Princess L
Finish Lesson Three - /l/ is for leaf - we had a drastic change in the weather this week so we really weren't able to do any of the leaf activities as leaves are now browning an falling anyway.
Math U See - Lesson 9 - Place Value - we will be camped out here a while. We've been building with blocks and using place cards. We've played a few games with them. I'm starting to move into asking her some verbal questions instead of just relying on the cards. It's a fine line, with the Primer book, between understanding and overkill.

Here are some of our photos from the medieval fair:


Prayers for Klickas and Ferrises

Got this from Spunky Homeschool.

Two emails from Tina Farewell:

Dear friends,

Bob's in Colorado Springs this week at the HSLDA Leadership Conference...

~ He just called asking for prayer for his dear friend Chris Klicka, who, amazingly, since the sharp downturn in his MS the last couple of months, has been there also. He's been barely intelligible and is, at this moment, was admitted to the hospital, where Bob's been with him praying.

~ Mike Farris is flying home, at this moment, to join his wife Vicky, who is hospitalized and has had a turn for the worse.

Please pray for each of these people and for our nation's Christian homeschool leaders to stand strong against the enemy and to know in their heart of hearts that God is in control!

May Christ's Name be praised!!

Tina Farewell
Bob just called with these very urgent prayer requests….

Pray for

~ Pray for the Klicka children who have just been told to come to the hospital.

~ His blood pressure to go up

~ His temperature to go down

~ For his body to absorb oxygen or he won't last for another few minutes and his children won't get to see him again on this side of Heaven…

As Tracy often writes,

Clinging to the Vine!
Tina Farewell


TOG Year 2 Week 8

This was a very fast week. We didn't really do anything extra to make it that way. It just was. Here was our schedule.

Princess E
Latin - Word Power B3, Lessons 3.1 and 3.2, and Exercise 3.1
Math U See – This week she started Delta. She was very excited as she thinks she is behind her public school friends because she hasn't learned division yet. I think she will pretty much fly through this book. As long as she keeps her numbers lined up that is. She did lesson one this week.
Literature - begin The Door in the Wall
TOG - vocabulary, geography study, important people
Reading - The Story of the Middle Ages (excerpts), The Story of the Crusades, Marco Polo: Overland to China
Read Alouds - The Story of the World Volume 2 (excerpts), Famous Men of the Middle Ages (excerpts)
This week we focused on Marco Polo and his family, and the Khan family.

Princess S
Growing With Grammar - Lessons 1.6-1.8
Math U See - Gamma finish lesson 6, Test on 6, begin lesson 7
Literature - Chanticleer the Fox
TOG and Read Alounds - same as above
Reading - Usborne Internet Linked Middle Ages (excerpts)

Princess L
Start Lesson Three - /l/ is for leaf
Math U See - Lesson 9 - Place Value. We will probably camp out on this lesson and the next one for a while. Her sisters had some issues with it, so want to make sure she really understands the concept. We are playing some games with the blocks and some color-coded number cards. She has a real hard time writing numbers yet, so I am having her use the number cards instead of always writing the numbers.

Princess M
Working on transitioning from two naps to one. This will be harder on me than her I think. The problem is that she gets herself so tired out by the time naptime comes around. But then she only takes about an hour to 90 minute nap. And that isn't enough to keep her "happy" until bedtime. Nor is it enough time for us to get school in with Princess L on some days. I don't even remember what I did when the other three were making that transition. It all seems a blur!

We did some hands on fun on Friday. When I was a kid, my brother received the game "Crossbows and Catapaults" for his birthday. It was perfect timing because my parents were having a family room built on to our house. We had this huge flat floor to play on. But then they put the carpet in. We had to play on a large piece of plywood after that. We played it for hours. Two Christmases ago, his girlfriend found that game (now renamed Battleground) and got it for him. So we borrowed it to play this week. There are now many new pieces, as well as new rules. We left out lots of the pieces, and played by the rules we used when I was a kid. We tried playing it on the kitchen table at first, but that wasn't big enough. So we moved the table out of there and played on the floor. They had fun building their walls and hiding their flags. There were two catapaults, a crossbow and a cannon to shoot the chips. It was fun. Here are some pictures.


TOG Year 2 Week 7

This week was the start of Awana! This year I have a third year T&T'er, a first year T&T'er and a second year Cubbie. All the girls were excited to back at it. We had a faster week as we tried to get most of our work done by early Friday morning to get in a swimming play day with some other homeschooling friends. They live in an apartment with a really nice pool. Also on Friday, I planned a spur of the moment birthday celebration for a friend and got to GO OUT WITHOUT KIDS! Y'all don't know how good that is unless you are a homeschooling mama.

Princess E
Latin - Vocabulary B, Word Power B1 and B2 and Exercise 2.4 and 2.5
Math U See –Unit 3 Test and Final Test
Literature - finish Robin Hood
TOG - vocabulary, geography study, important people
Reading - The Story of the Middle Ages (excerpts), The Story of the Crusades, Trial and Triumph (excerpts)
Read Alouds - The Story of the World Volume 2 (excerpts), Famous Men of the Middle Ages (excerpts)
This week we focused on the crusades. My princesses are really not into all the war stuff, so we glossed over much of it. We tried to just focus on the fact that these were religious wars that in many respects are still being fought today.

Princess S
Growing With Grammar – Lessons 1.4 and 1.5
Math U See - Gamma Test 5 and start lesson 6
Literature - The Minstrel in the Tower
TOG and Read Alouds - same as above
Reading - Usborne Internet-Linked Middle Ages (excerpts), Francis: The Poor Man of Assissi

Princess L
Finish Lesson 2 /m/ is for moon. We made the letter M out of Math-U-See blocks. She also did Primer lesson 8.

Princess M
She learned how to say Princess S's name this week, and decided to call her all the time everywhere she went. Princesses S was going a little crazy. It was cute though.


TOG Year 2 Week 6

This last week marked a nice milestone. The public schools opened, which means we no longer have to turn away the neighborhood friend who didn’t “remember” each day that our princesses had school. It also was the first week of high school for my niece. That made me feel older than I’ve felt in a long time. The princesses were motivated to finish their work a little early because we were anticipating a visit from Nanny and Papa – my mom and stepdad. Papa helped them complete their hands on activity for the week – constructing a medieval castle out of boxes and egg cartons. The slideshow is below our list for the week.

Princess E
Latin - Lesson 2.2 and 2.3 and Exercise 2.2 and 2.3
Math U See –Gamma Lesson 30
Literature - start Robin Hood
TOG - vocabulary, geography study, important people
Reading - The Story of the Middle Ages (excerpts), Life in a Medieval Castle, Castle (video)
Read Alouds - The Story of the World Volume 2 (excerpts), Famous Men of the Middle Ages (excerpts)
This week we focused on knights and castles. We learned about the feudal system – which reminded me vaguely of where the American government seems to want us to go again.

Princess S
Growing With Grammar – We started the third grade book this week. Lesson 1.1 and 1.2 (She also worked ahead and did 1.3. Or rather, she was avoiding doing a chore and did it instead.)
Math U See - Gamma finish lesson 5
Literature - The Making of a Knight
TOG and Read Alouds - same as above
Reading - Usborne Internet-Linked Middle Ages (excerpts), Knight

Princess L
We began lesson 2 – /m/ is for moon. We talked about the moon and how we are like the moon. The moon does not have any light of its own, but reflects the light from the sun. We, as Christians, reflect the light we receive from the Son. I had printed out a moon calendar for her to do with Dad, but as luck would have it the first two nights they weren’t able to see the moon. Maybe we’ll have better luck this week.
Math U See – Primer lesson 7 and number writing practice. Princess L really has a hard time making her numbers. I remind myself that she is only 4, and therefore probably doesn’t have the dexterity yet to make them properly. So we just keep tracing the numbers each week to help cement it in. As long as I can tell what number she means to write on her worksheet, I don’t concern myself that it might be backwards. But she is getting the concepts of the lessons and that is what I think is important.

Princess M
We didn’t work on potty training at all this work. I was spending time cleaning some junk drawers. Instead, there were a few books that for whatever reason struck her fancy this week and we read them over and over and over and over.


TOG Year 2 Week 5

Yep - I'm posting twice in one day. Here's what we've done for week 5. (Since we've been down with the flu I cut out the hands on projects we were possibly going to do. But we've got a bigger one planned for over the holiday weekend and next week. I hope I remember to take pictures.)

Princess E
Latin - Exercise 1.3, Word Power A3, Lesson 2.1 and Exercise 2.1
Math U See - Gamma Lesson 29
Literature - finish Leif the Lucky
TOG - vocabulary, geography study, important people
Reading - The Story of the Middle Ages (excerpts), The Vikings
Read Alouds - The Story of the World Volume 2 (excerpts), Famous Men of the Middle Ages (excerpts)
This week we focused on the vikings. We watched played a cool online game that had them be vikings raiding a monastery on Lindesfarne.

Princess S
Growing With Grammar - Lessons 188 thru Section 8 Review 3
Math U See - Gamma finish lesson 4
Literature - The Tomten
TOG and Read Alouds - same as above
Reading - Usborne Internet-Linked Middle Ages (excerpts), The Vikings

Princess L
Last three days of Lesson 1 - /s/ is for sun
Reading - Bearshadow
Math U See - Primer Lessons 5 and 6
Cuisenaire Rods Alphabet Book - letter S (This was a little difficult because we used our Math U See blocks instead of Cuisenaire Rods. Didn't want to buy them when they are so similar. The suggested colors didn't match up at all - so we had to use our own. But it was fun.

Princess M
She went "naked" for a few hours this week. She kept running back to the bathroom, would sit on the potty for a few seconds, grab the paper and then flush. She has not yet actually gone on the potty. I'm hoping that will happen soon. Want to get the whole "naked" part of potty training over before winter comes and it gets too cold. I really don't want to push this off until May. It is bittersweet though. As much as I would love to not have the expense or hassle of dealing with diapers, it is a bit sad to think the baby days are really going to be over.

We are planning to make a trip to our state fair on Saturday. We're hoping for nice weather.

TOG Year 2 Week 4

Okay - so I'm a little behind in blogging our weeks. We all had the flu over the last two weeks. And, Princess E got her braces on. Or, should I say the top and part of the bottom. Here's what we did in week five:

Princess E
Latin - Lessons 1.3 to 1.5, Word Power A2
Math U See - Gamma Lesson 28
Literature - finish Tales of King Arthur
TOG - vocabulary, geography study, important people
Reading - The Story of the Middle Ages (excerpts), The Middle Ages (excerpts)
Read Alouds - The Story of the World, Volume 2 (excerpts), Famous Men of the Middle Ages (excerpts)
This week we focused on the beginnings of feudalism, and the reign of Charlemagne.

Princess S
Growing With Grammar - Lessons 182 to 187
Math U See - Gamma start lesson 4
Literature - The Adventures of King Arthur
TOG and Read Alouds - same as above
Reading - Usborne Internet-Linked Middle Ages (excerpts)

Princess L
First three days of MFW Kindergarten for Lesson One - /s/ is for sun

Princess M
Starting to watch the infamous potty videos.


TOG Year 2 Week 3

As busy as last week was, this week will be even crazier. Princess E is getting her braces on. We're going to visit a pregnant friend who's been put on bed rest. I agreed to have a Pampered Chef party on Friday so have major house cleaning to accomplish this week. Here's what was accomplished during last week's schooling.

Princess E
Math U See - Gamma Lesson 27
Latin - Lesson 1.2, Exercise 1.1, Vocabulary A, Word Power Exercise A1
Literature - Tales of King Arthur
TOG - vocabulary, geography study, important people
Reading - The Byzantine Empire (excerpts), Mecca, The Middle Ages (excerpts), The Story of the Middle Ages (excerpts)
Read Alouds - The Story of the World, Volume 2 (excerpts), Famous Men of the Middle Ages (excerpts)
This week was a focus on the beginnings of Islam and Muhammad.

Princess S
Math U See - Gamma Lesson 3
Growing With Grammar - Lesson 175-181
Literature - Sinbad
TOG - same as above
Reading - Usborne Internet-Linked Middle Ages (excerpts)
Read Alouds - same as above

Princess L
Finish up Creation unit
Math U See - Primer lessons 3 and 4

Princess M
Better enunciation of consonants. I can understand more of the things she is saying, but I don't think anyone else really does. Stubborness is off the charts right now. Going to have to ramp up on the consequences chart.


How God Speaks To Us Today

This shows how we - as humans, as a nation, and as believers - often miss when
God is trying to speak to us. This week, the ELCA church has been meeting at
the Minneapolis Convention Center to discuss and vote on whether or not to
ordain homosexual pastors. Yesterday, there was a storm that passed through
Minneapolis. Although the weather service has not yet confirmed that it was a
tornado, there are many reports from Twitter and from radio station callers that there was, in fact, a tornado that swirled around over the convention center and briefly touched down next to it. Interestingly enough, the tornado touched down next to and damaged church that is just up the street from the Convention Center. The cross at the top of the church steeple was sheared off and was hanging by a thread. You can see a photo of it here. It is the fifth shot in the gallery. This storm is, to most people, just a freak thing. But is it any coincidence that while the storm was raging overhead, the pastors and voting members inside were trying to decide whether or not to follow the Word of the Bible or to reinterpret the words to make it fit what they want it to be?!


TOG Year 2 Week 2

Well, we've got week two done. Here's what we did this week...

Princess E
Lively Latin - finish intro, language timeline, lesson 1.1
Math U See - Lesson 26
TOG - vocab, important people, notebooking, SAPs
Reading - The Story of the Middle Ages (excerpts), The Middle Ages (excerpts), Knights and Castles (excerpts), Tales of King Arthur
Read Alouds - The Story of the World (excerpts), Famous Men of the Middle Ages

Princess S
Growing With Grammar - Lessons 171-174
Math U See - Lesson 2
TOG - vocab, important people, notebooking, SAPs
Reading - Life in a Monastery, The Usborne Internet-Linked Middle Ages (excerpts), Days of Knights and Damsels (excerpts)
Read Aloud - Same as above

Princess L
My Father's World - Creation days 4-6
Math U See - finish lesson 2 and lesson 3

Princess M
Saying a few new words - Let go of me & Put me down - were two phrases I was able to pick out this week. She said them when either of her big sisters tried to pick her up or when Princess L was wrestling with her. She also said it to me when I had to bring her into her room for her nap.

We studied the Byzantine Empire this week. For our hands on project, we learned about mozaics. We looked at some and then the princesses created their own. They lightly sketched the outline on black paper. Then they used half inch colored paper squares (which I spent way to long cutting out) and glued them to the paper. Here is a slide show of the project.


TOG Year 2 Week 1

Wow! One week down already. We tackled everything on our agenda. Here's what we did:

Princess E - UG
Math U See: Gamma finish lesson 25
Lively Latin: Introduction pages
TOG: Quizlet.com vocabulary, important people copywork, mapping Europe, SAPs
Literature: Tales of King Arthur
Reading: The Story of the Middle Ages (excerpts), The Middle Ages (excerpts), Trial and Triumph (excerpts), Knights and Castles (excerpts)
Read Aloud: Famous Men of the Middle Ages (excerpts - done together with Princess S) and The Story of the World Volume 2 (on audio CD - excerpts - done together with Princess S)

Princess S - LG
I already posted her first two days of workboxes below.
Math U See - Gamma lesson 1
Growing With Grammar 1/2: lessons 165-170
Literature: Brigid's Cloak
TOG: same as above
Reading: Saint Valentine, The Usborne Internet-Linked Medieval World (excerpts)

Princess L - K
We are doing kindergarten light - in otherwords, three days a week. We did the first three days of a ten day unit on creation. We covered day one - creating the light and naming it day and the dark night. We covered day two - separating the sky from the waters below. We covered day three - rising the land out of the water and creating the plants, grasses, flowers - and yes the weeds, too. We also reviewed the letters of the alphabet. She already knows these pretty well. Princess L is excited to do any school as long as it involves paint, scissors or glue.

Princess M is having to adjust again to our schedule. She is still taking two naps a day - Thank you Jesus - as this works best for her and us. I am able to work with Princess L when I put her down in the morning, then do our read aloud after I put her down in the afternoon.

Way to go Michele

While this would probably better fit on my other blog, this is too important to ignore. I'm happy to say that Michele Bachmann is one of the representatives from my state. She lays it all out there. There are so many problems with this bill. She picks out just a few and smacks them out of the park. Too bad "Mr. Speaker" wasn't listening. "Mr. Speaker" was sitting in her chair with her fingers in her ears, sticking out her tongue and saying, "Nya Nya Nya - Not gonna listen!"


Workboxes 101

Last year I was introduced to workboxing. I was impressed, but concerned about the space issue it could create in our already too-cluttered home. So after reading a gaggle of other blogs, and scanning various online stores, I finally came up with a system that I believe will help our homeschool.

First, the reason I was attracted to this system is because of all the struggles I have had with Princess S. She has been "officially" diagnosed with ADD - for whatever it's worth. But after talking to a friend whose profession is in the area of special needs kids, I'm looking into the possibility of sensory processing disorder. Either way, I believe that the idea behind the workbox system will aid this princess in finishing her schoolwork, with less fighting, in a shorter amount of time. And hopefully bring a little fun back as well. I will be doing a version of workboxes with Princess S as well as using the system as presented with Princesses L and M.

Here is how we work the system . . .

I gathered up a bunch of things we already had and put them into bins. I have one bin for each of the three princesses doing workboxes. I then snatched up a bunch of learning items at the dollar store and the dollar bin at Target. I also picked up some cheap art supplies at Wallyworld (AKA Wal-mart). I have one in the hall closet and the others below my laptop desk.

Next, I purchased a cheap four level shoe rack at Target, as well as six plastic shoe boxes in two different colors. I had several clear boxes already. Princess L will use the pink, Princess M will use green, and the clear boxes will be for activities they will do together. I am not putting Princess L's actual school lessons in there, as most of these require her to do them with me. But, I will put a few activities in each box for each Princess to do with their sisters, and a few to be done together.

For Princess S, I decided to put up a shelf in her bedroom where she has a little indent in the wall next to the closet. I bought cardboard magazine boxes from IKEA. Then I made the numbers and number strips for each princess. For Princess S, my horse lover, I made a number strip with horses, and plain white numbers over the top. For Princess L, my dress loving princess want to be, I choose a pink frilly number strip posted at the workboxes Yahoo group. She will have to practice returning the numbers in the correct order. For Princess M, I used the number strip from the Yahoo group featuring the Disney Princesses. But, as she is nowhere near learning numbers yet, I added the princesses to the number strip so that she matches the princess to the grid.

I made up some note cards which I covered in clear contact paper. I write on these with a dry erase marker what the assignment or activity is. Then I attach the note card to the inside of the box with a clothes pin. I include any necessary items - pencil, eraser, timer, etc. - in the box. (This will cut down the half hour search for a pencil which ran rampant last year.) If the assignment is a worksheet, I put it into one of the folders that Princess S got to pick out.

I use the box system grid to fill in the school assignments for Princess S, leaving several blanks to put some fun activities or chores into the schedule. I made a few chore cards for the chores that will be scheduled - laundry, bathroom cleaning, piano practice, etc. The night before our first day, I filled all the boxes. When she is ready to start her boxes, she takes the number strip off the refrigerator. As she completes each box she puts the number from the front of the box onto the number strip. When she finishes the boxes, she is to return the number strip to the refrigerator. (She has forgotten this strip all week.) If there is time during the afternoon, I will take all the items out and refill the boxes. If there isn't time, then I take the boxes out when it is bedtime and fill them at night. So far, it hasn't taken me longer than 15 minutes. I bought extra boxes so I can fill them as needed. Here is an example of the first two days of this week:

Monday Boxes
1: Laudry in wash machine
2: Growing With Grammar lesson 165
3: Do first two workboxes with Princess M
4: Move laundry to dryer and reload washer (START the dryer)
5: Do 100 jumping jacks
6: Quizlet.com Year 2 Week 1 vocabulary words
7: Important People copywork week 1
8: Remove dry clothes and fold, move laudry to dryer (START the dryer)
9: TOG Map week 1
10: Do 1 workbox with Princess L
11: Math-U-See Gamma video lesson 1 and worksheet 1A
12: Practice piano
13: REmove dry clothes and fold

Tuesday boxes
1: Quick Clean downstairs bathroom
2: Usborne book reading
3: Gridlock game - visual/spacial thinking game
4: Piano practice
5: Coloring page - Horseland
6: Math worksheet 1B
7: Growing With Grammar lesson 166
8: Quick clean upstairs bathroom

(Princess S does her laundry on Mondays while Princess E does a quick clean of both bathrooms. A quick clean is basically just cleaning the surfaces with Clorox wipes, cleaning the mirrors, and picking up stray items. On Tuesdays, it is the opposite with Princess E doing laundry. Wednesday through Friday they each quick clean one bathroom. On Saturdays they will be deep cleaning the opposite bathroom that they are responsible for quick cleaning during the week. They also each have a kitchen chore that must be completed after each meal. This chore switches each day. They get Sundays off - I don't!)

Here are some photos of our system.

Princess E's Birthday Party

When Princess L was born, we realized that it would be way out of our budget to afford birthday parties for each princess every year. Princesses E and S had birthday parties each year up through 2005 when Princess L was born. That was their last. We said that each princess would get a party at 5, 10 and 15. (Princess E is trying to tell me it makes more sense to do 16 rather than 15 because she will have more to celebrate. I think she assumes she will get her license then.) So this party has been in the planning for three years. The theme has been changed several times - finally ending up as a popstar slumber party. There were nine girls invited and eight in attendance. The first thing we did was eat pizza. There was pepperoni, sausage and just cheese. It was such a nice night, they all ate out on our deck.

Next, Princess E really wanted to do a craft. (So typically 10-year-old girl!) She decided on these wooden bag shaped boxes at Dollar Tree. We squirted paint onto paper plates and they all got to mix paint to their hearts' content. They were each given three pencils for their painted pencil boxes. Next, we had a bonfire (one of Princess E's favorite activities) and roasted marshmallows for s'mores. The girls came up with some games to play, including one which had them telling brain teaser stories. When they started getting a little rowdy, DH suggested they go inside and open gifts.

This got a little crazy. They started grabbing gifts from each other and shoving them at Princess E. She wasn't totally sure which gift was from which girl. (We think we got it right when she was writing out her thank you cards.) But she got some really neat presents. (It's very hard to buy stuff for a 10 year old girl.)

Then we put in a movie. Princess E picked out "Princess Protection Program" even though she had already seen it. They got popcorn during the movie. After the movie we had the birthday cake. It was a homemade strawberry cheesecake. No - I didn't make it. When asked what kind of cake she wanted, she asked for one of Mr. Lang's cheesecakes. We have a talented man in our church who is a chef and he makes THE BEST cheesecakes. So I arranged for a strawberry cheesecake (made with neufchatel cheese and less sugar)with a crushed oreo crust. It was sooooo good!

After settling in their sleeping bags, they spent about an hour and a half goofing off. When DH got up to leave for his weekend paper route at 1:15am, he quieted them down one last time. I finally went to bed at 1:45 am. Princess S was spending the night with a friend, and Princess L was spending the night at Grandma and Grandpa's. So I only had Princess M to worry about. Sure as shootin' she woke up at 6:00am. So I got up and tried to keep her quiet. One of the guests, the sister of the friend Princess S was staying with, had to leave for a trip up to her grandparents at 7:30. As quiet as we tried to be, everyone else ended up awake by 7:30. After they had all gotten dressed and rolled up their sleeping bags, I served cinnamon rolls and orange juice. They watched "Enchanted" and then it was time to leave at 10:00am. Needless to say, the princesses were so exhausted, they all took a nap later that afternoon without any complaint! Here is a slideshow of the event.


All Set to Start the '09/'10 School Year

Boy does that title seem surreal or what?! I cannot believe it is the school year 2009/2010. This means it is exactly twenty years since my senior year of high school. I feel so old - and yet at times it seems like it was just yesterday. I'm sure many of you know just what I mean by that.

The summer break is almost over. I don't know for sure who is more excited by that - me or my princesses. Oh - they won't tell you they are excited. But I can tell by the fact that they are bored with everything that they are more than ready to get back to having something constructive to do all day long. I, too, am excited. (But then again, I always enjoyed school - I was a bookworm geek who actually enjoyed school and learning new things. I cared about getting good grades, and studied hard to get them. Well, actually I studied hard in college. I was sidetracked with danceline when I was in high school, therefore I would gladly accept a B+ on a test in exchange for spending all my time on the sport I loved.)

While the princesses have spent their summer break having lemonade stands, reading books, watching way too much TV, and playing with their neighborhood friends (all two of them), I have had my own agenda.

I had three main goals for my time. First, I wanted to get all of our lesson plans into my HomeSchool Tracker Plus software. But, I didn't just want to enter the assignments; I wanted to enter things in as lesson plans so that next year I can simply reassign the activities that will remain the same and put in the specifics with a few keystrokes. This has been a long-suffering project, as I changed things many times in the entry process. But, I think that all the time and effort will really pay off next summer when the planning process will be much easier. Second, I had to decide how to deal with Princess L's MFW Kindergarten. I decided to create my own HST+ lesson plan, not so much for keeping up with grades, but to make sure I don't fall behind. We will only be doing kindergarten with her three days a week, as she is technically still only four. So, as this curriculum is based on a six day cycle, it will take us two weeks to finish a lesson. This has her taking a year and a half to get through kindergarten. We will still consider her pre-K, however, as we will keep her with her age peers for activities and church events. Finally, I spent time thinking through how to implement Sue Patrick's Workboxes with our princesses. Princess E said she wanted to keep things how she was doing last year, so she will not be doing them. She will, however, be assigned a few boxes to help Princesses L and M complete. Princess S has these set up on two shelves in her room. She currently has a desk next to them, but I am looking into moving that desk into Princess L's room and getting her a simple table desk with an excersize ball so she can move around to her heart's content. We are looking into getting her tested for SPD, and are implementing a few strategies to deal with it. I bought the shoe rack as suggested by Sue Patrick, along with shoe boxes, but will only have one for Princesses L and M to share. I will not be putting any of the kindergarten work in there, only various activities for them to do individually with their older sisters. Princess M will do two activities with each sister, and Princess L will do one with each sister. I am hoping that this gives me enough time to work one-on-one with Princess L, give them each dedicated time with each sister, and hopefully keep the house from getting as chaotic clutter wise as it has in the past.

Another goal was to once again re-evaluate how we do chores. It has been difficult to keep track of and make sure they are done. The chores themselves have not yet changed, just the system used for tracking them. We are trying to decide whether or not to utilize allowance.

Princess M has hurled herself into the terrible twos! It is not uncommon to hear her high-pitched shriek when you tell her "no" or "stop", or to see her throw herself backwards onto the ground if she doesn't get her way. I've been reminded that this is the time to nip it in the bud. However, seeing as how the past methods we've tried have not exactly worked, I'm not sure how to do that. Fun times!


Happy Independence Day!

What better thing is there to do on Independence Day than serve people?! We went this morning, as we do the first Saturday morning of each month, to prepare meals for a local men's shelter. Because it was a holiday, we did a picnic theme meal. Our church is selling brats to raise money for a missions trip. At the end of the time, they will cook up about 60 extra brats. So we didn't have to worry about that. We also made potato salad, chicken salad, brownies, pumpkin bars and sliced watermelon. The job that the kids have each time is to put together goody bags for the men. In each bad is a shirt, toothbrush, toothpaste, razor, candy bar, gum, and other little trinkets. They have an assembly line to put these together and have a blast doing it. The host family have been doing this for years and have everything down to a science. It is a lot of fun! One of these days, we are going to go help with the serving portion as well. We haven't thus far because I think the two younger princesses would be a handful.


Prayer for Junker and Hermiston/Ashley families

This has been a hard couple of days. We were informed via email late Sunday night that the father of a friend of ours from church had drowned on a lake and our former youth pastor was still missing. Details were slow to trickle in. What we did know is that these two men died as heroes, swimming out a life vest to a middle schooler who was struggling in the water. I went to a prayer meeting last night at church. I found out this morning that around the time of the prayer meeting's closure, Nathan's body had been found. There is much to pray for still. The timing of this will never be understood. There are many special family days - birthdays, baby dedication and anniversary - that will forever surround this event. My heart is heavy for what these two families will be going through for the next few weeks, months and years. But, God is Good!!!!! Even in the shadows, God shines through. We were reminded at our prayer meeting last night that it is time to praise the LORD.

Al leaves behind two grown children, four grandchildren, and his wife. Please pray for these wonderful, Christian family members. His daughter's birthday is Thursday, the day before his funeral. She is a very tender-hearted girl, very much a daddy's girl. This is very difficult for her. Pray God's unexplainable peace for her. His wife witnessed the entire event. Pray that God would erase the unnecessary details from her mind.

Nathan leaves behind his wife and four children. His oldest turns six on Thursday, his youngest a mere four months old, and who was dedicated in church on Sunday morning. It was also their wedding anniversary on Sunday. Words are beyond me in this situation. I cannot put my mind around my friend, now a widow at such a young age. Her main ambition in life has been to be a stay-home mom. Pray with me that God would provide for her so that she might be able to continue doing so. I don't know how it is possible, but everything is possible with God. Nathan's wife and children also witnessed this whole event. Pray that God would protect their minds from the visions, and that the children would not remember this event, but that the older two will remember enough of their Dad to share him with their younger two siblings. And for Nathan's wife - pray for God's peace. May we remember these men for their servant hearts and their constant pointing to Jesus as the only way to heaven.



So our first day on summer break (except for the fact that we are doing science each morning) turned out to be grey, cold and wet after a rainy weekend. I decided to let the rules slide and let them watch DVDs for much of the day. They did get bored, however, as I was busy in my planning for next year. The older princesses decided to do some face painting. Witness the results.

Princess L Funnies

So Princess L is just naturally funny. Picture with me these scenarios will you.

First, the girls and I were invited to lunch at the new home of some good friends. They have an extremely steep driveway. Most of the kids were across the cul-de-sac enjoying the neighbors front yard tree tire swing. Princess E was with Princess M on our friends' driveway. She put Princess M on one of those small kid bikes - the kind with no pedals that they move with their feet. But Princess M got herself pointed down the driveway and started to take off faster, and faster. Princess E started to run down the driveway to catch her and ended up diving after her at the bottom. They both crashed and got hurt. My friend, who'd been outside and witnessed it, brought Princess M in to me with a bloody arm and toe. She went back out to be with Princess E who had banged up her arm and her ankle. I got Princess M cleaned up and headed outside to see how Princess E was. She has sitting at the end of the driveway with ice on her ankle, the other moms and kids standing around her in a circle. Princess L was still across the street. She suddenly realizes that everyone is back across the street so she comes tearing across the cul-de-sac and yells, "Hey you guys! Don't have any fun without me!"

Second, Princess E was standing on her bathroom stool doing her hair. This is a fairly typical site. Because of her haircut back in December, she needs her hair wet down in the mornings to control the fly-aways. This day she came out of the bathroom with it completely soaked and stuck to her head all over. I asked her what kind of look she was going for. Her answer - "I wanted to look like a homeless person." Whaaaaa?

Finally, our Princesses are often doing their version of the Hoedown Throwdown and the song is heard often at home and in the car. Princess L was doing it the other day to her vocals. Here are the words she sang...

Pop it, Lock it, Polk-a-dot it
Countrify and Hip-Hop it
Put your "honk" in the sky
Move side to side
Jump to the left (said while jumping right)
"Stink" it - slide
Zig-zag cross the floor
"Snuffle" in "dinagonal"
When the drum hits hands on your hips
One, two, three
(Last line completely undiscernible)

Here are the actual words:
Pop it, lock it
Polka dot it
Countrify then
Hip-hop it
Put your hawk in the sky
Move side to side
Jump to the left
Stick it, glide

Zig-zag cross the floor
Shuffle in diagonal
When the drum hits
Hands on your hips
One footed
180 twist

This princess keeps us all in stiches on a daily basis.


How I Used TOG This Year

Thanks to Rhonda for asking this question. Hopefully this will help out anyone who is thinking about TOG, or looking for more information on it. Tapestry of Grace is a curriculum covering a multitude of subjects (the humanities) and written for kindergarten through 12th grade students. TOG has the reputation of being very daunting for those who first look at it. That's because they need to have enough meat for the 12th graders. But the creator, Marcia Sommerville, is always reminding people that we are to take from it what works for each of our students as individuals. If you have a kindergartner and all you are able to fit into your day is the reading assignments done as read-alouds - then that is what you do with that student. But, that child is then better able to understand when you are talking with your 2nd grader, your sixth grader and your 10th grader about what they are learning in school.

I am using TOG Year 1 Redesigned. This is our first year using this curriculum. I have an almost 10 year old DD who is doing UG (upper grammar) work, and an 8 year old DD who is doing LG (lower grammar) work. (I also have a 4 yr old DD and an 18 month old DD who will take over the house if not occupied.) It is my plan to have the UG do part time D (dialectic) work the last half of the year next year to ease her into doing it full time the following year. I wanted to do the same with the LG but have some ADD issues with my LG girl, and as such there are many things we’d like to do that we just cannot get to with either of them. But, here is what we have been doing so far this year.

Geography: We have been simply using the Map Aids disc. I have a book with all the teacher’s maps printed out. They get out their student copy and simply copy down the information. If we had more time, I would probably incorporate some of the maps available at Enchanted Learning for these lower levels as I think it would be more interesting for them. We have done several cookie dough maps as well this year. They really enjoy these.

Vocabulary: We started out the year going through the words and deciding which ones they knew, and which needed to be looked up in the dictionary. This proved too tedious, however, so we instead moved to looking them up online at the Merriam-Webster, and doing a cut and paste. But, they really weren’t learning the words they didn’t know this way. Then I discovered Quizlet. Both the girls and I absolutely love this! I set up my own account that is not accessible to anyone else, as I knew that posting the words online would be a violation of the copy write laws. I was able to upload the words from the Evaluations CD to my dashboard. My girls go into the dashboard, pick the week we are on, and are given the words and definitions to look at. Then there are virtual flashcards that come up to allow them a chance to try to remember the words. Next are two different games they can play with the words. Finally, they take a test on the words. They can print the words out as either flashcards or a word list. We do the latter, and then they cut out the list and tape it into their vocabulary notebooks.

Important People: We have been doing this as copy work. I printed out the list from the Evaluations CD and then have a list, printed for each unit, with the weekly people on it. They look up the person and copy the information into their important people notebooks. I am considering putting these on Quizlet as well, or perhaps alternating with the copy work method, for next year.

SAPs (student activity pages): Some people make neat, bound notebooks out of these. I don't. I simply print out the sheets from the Loom and keep them in a central folder. Each week I pull out their papers and put them in smaller paper folders. We don’t do many of the activities on these for lack of time – ADD issues – but I hope to incorporate more next year. My UG student often is required to do the Bible Questions written out on notebook paper. At the end of the week I take all their loose papers and they get put into a large one for each girl.

Scheduling: TOG is designed to have the child, increasingly by age, do their own schedule. However, neither of my girls is able to do that yet. So I use HST Plus to fill in the assignments that they have on various days. They are allowed to pick what order they do them in. We are currently operating on a five day a week plan, however it is my goal to get them to work ahead on their own so that we have Fridays free. I eventually hope to have them look at their week on the computer (we have DE now) and fill in their schedules themselves, but we have to conquer the ADD monster first.

Writing: We are currently using Writing Aids, which I, as an English major, really like. I am planning to adjust their writing assignments for next year, however, so that they do their writing for the week on last week’s topic. They cannot adequately do their rough draft when they have not thoroughly fleshed out the topic, which sometimes does not happen until Friday. So, I think next year I’ll just keep the writing a week behind to give them more of a chance to reflect and try to find their own answers to the topic throughout the week.

If you are interested in TOG, I would suggest you first try out the three week samples. Follow the widgets on the side to take you there. If those get you more interested (and if money is tight) then I'd suggest you try to buy a used year plan as these may be resold if you decide it just won't work for you. There are many benefits to the DE (digital edition). You will always have the most updated edition. You will always have access to it in case of fire, computer damage, toddlers with permanent markers, etc. You can get a network license so that more than one student can access stuff at once. But, the disadvantage, at least in the eyes of some, is that you cannot resell it. I bought a used print copy. DE came out halfway through the year. I decided to switchover because I'm committed to using this curriculum with four kids all the way through (binding any currently unforeseen issues.) Therefore, the actual cost per student for me is $3.96 per year. (I bought DE at it's low introductory price last January.) You cannot beat that! And should my children decide to homeschool my grandchildren, the cost goes even lower.

Hopefully, if you came here with intrigue to begin with, you want to check this out further. Please click through my widget (so that I can get credit for any purchase you might make,) to bring you to the Tapestry website. Happy Homeschooling!


Contest for a free ticket!

One of my TOG Loose Threads sisters is hosting a contest on her blog to give away a free ticket to the Ultimate Homeschool Expo. This is a great opportunity for someone to take part in. Click on over to check out her blog!


And don't forget to check out all the other awesome stuff she has on there. You're bound to find something that will help out your homeschool.


Finishing the year - Princesses L and M

There is much to do with these two princesses. Nothing really for now - but lots of planning for the summer and the next school year. I have some ideas of some summer activities for Princess L to do. But I'm not sure what to do with Princess M. She has officially entered the beginning stages of the terrible twos. She has started showing her will to do things on her own. She has picked up several bad habits from her sisters. I'm going to have to spend more time working with her. I plan to have a rotation this summer, when we aren't doing science that is, where the older princesses will spend time with one of the littler princesses and then have them switch. (I'm seriously considering a rule that they will not be allowed to play with the neighborhood kids until 2pm. And at that time it will have to be outside as Princess M will have to take her nap. They aren't going to like it and I'll hear how I'm the meanest mom in the world. Then I'll just grin and say, "Then I must be doing something right!")

Princess L will get to go to VBS again this year, but is very disappointed that it won't be the same exact program. She's been practicing last year's songs. I told her she would get to learn new ones, but she still likes the old ones. Princess M will be with me in the nursery - unless I get lucky and there aren't any workers that need it.

TOG Y1R U4 Week 34 to 36 - Princess S

This is the Princess who will make these assignments take at least three weeks - maybe more. Here is what she has:

Growing With Grammar: Lessons 138 to 164. She will still have a few lessons left. I will probably give her the option of finishing the book in the week after. Not sure what she will choose.

Math: She will be doing two worksheets a week from themathworksheet.com until the end, which amounts to six worksheets. However, she really seems to like doing these and has been asking for more, so we might do more.

TOG studies: We've got the last three weeks of Year One Unit Four. She has to complete all of the vocab on Quizlet, a couple more maps, some important people copywork, and some SAPs.

Reading assignments: The Tale of Three Trees is the only new book. She will finish a few others she has been reading portions of throughout the unit.

I just found out today that our local PS is actually done in two more days. That will make it very difficult as the neighbor girl will be calling and showing up at the door by 9am. I'm going to have to nip it real quick.

TOG Y1 U4 Wks 34-36 - Princess E

Well, I'm going to divide this into three separate posts. I handed the girls all the rest of their work for the year and told them that when they were done, then they were done for the school year. I always end up doing this at the end of the year out of impatience. Not that they will be done exactly - we are going to be doing their science this summer during a break from our normal studies. So first up will be the remaining assignments for Princess E.

Growing With Grammar: Not much left here actually, only lessons 8.7 to 8.10 and Chapter 8 Review. She really likes this series. I'm tentatively planning on it for next year, though I wonder if adding Latin will make it over the top.

Math U See Gamma: This week she is in lesson 24. She caught onto multiple digit multiplication much faster than I thought she would so far. She says that she wants to finish this book up so that she can go on to Delta right away next year. We'll see how motivated she is. I said that she could do the lessons by doing one of the worksheets A, B, or C. If she got it all correct then she could choose one of the review pages. If she got that with one wrong or less, then she could go straight to the test.

TOG studies: We've got the last three weeks of Year One Unit Four. She has to complete all of the vocab on Quizlet, a couple more maps, some important people copywork, and some SAPs.

Reading Assignments: She will finish up the Usbourne Internet-Linked Ancient World Encyclopedia. She has seemed to really like this book this year. She will also finish Famous Men of Rome. She will read Mystery of the Roman Ransom and Galen to finish up her literature studies.

The last day of piano will be this Wednesday. I plan to have the girls take four lessons throughout the summer just to keep the practice up. I am debating whether or not to try to get a vocal scholarship for Princess E to Macphail in the fall. She would LOVE it of course, but not sure if the cost, even with a scholarship, would be too much.


TOG Y1R U4 Week 33

We are all, me included, anxiously awaiting the end our our school. This will mark the end of our first year using Tapestry of Grace. I am very much pleased that the LORD brought us to this curriculum. There is a lot more I wanted to do with it, but our year is what it is. There are many things you have to let go when you are homeschooling with a baby and a preschooler. I am looking forwarding to beginning my plans for next year - the Middle Ages through the Constitution.

Princess E
Bible: selections from Acts
Growing With Grammar: Lesson 8.5 through 8.8
Math : Lesson 23
TOG: vocab, geography map, important people copy work, Student Activity Pages, prayer letters
Reading assignments: Usborne Internet Linked Ancient Worlds (excerpts), Famous Men of Rome (selections), Mystery of the Roman Ransom

Princess S
Growing With Grammar: Lesson 128-137
Math: 2 drill sheets a week
Reading assignments: City, Classical Kids (excerpts), Who Were the Romans (excerpts
Bible and TOG same as above.

Princess L
I'm trying to decide when we will begin her MFW Kindergarten. I'm planning to take two years for this, unless she takes off and wants to do more. But I'm also considering starting her this summer. That way we can get into a grove before I have to start in with the other girls.

Princess M
Her vocabulary is growing. I'm figuring out more and more what she is trying to say. Her pronunciation is not very good if I compare her to Princess E, who was speaking in three word sentences by 18 months. But, there are other things she is able to do that. Her determination to do everything her big sisters does is huge.

I will try to get a short video of Princess L's performance posted, if I can figure out how to make it smaller.

TOG Y1R U4 Week 32 (a week late)

So I'm a week late. Oh well, this will be after the fact then.

Princess E
Growing With Grammar: lesson 8.1 through 8.4
Math : Lesson 22
TOG: vocab, geography map, important people copy work, Student Activity Pages, prayer letters
Reading assignments: Usborne Internet Linked Ancient Worlds (excerpts), Famous Men of Rome (selections), A Triumph for Flavius

Princess S
Growing With Grammar: lesson 118 through 127
Math: Decided to do drill sheets for the rest of the year - two a week.
TOG: vocab, geography map, important people copy work, Student Activity Pages, prayer letters)
Reading Assignments: City, Classical Kids (excerpts), Who Were the Romans (excerpts).

Princess L
She had her recital on Saturday and she did great.

Princess M
Finally has four eyeteeth peeking through.


TOG Y1R U4 Week 31

This week we have a few events going on that may require us to shorten up a bit. We'll have to see.

Princess E
Growing With Grammar: lesson 7.9 through Chapter 7 review
Math : Lesson 21 - This lesson starts on double digit multiplication. We may camp out here or she may surprise me.
TOG: vocab, geography map, important people copy work, Student Activity Pages, prayer letters
Reading assignments: Usborne Internet Linked Ancient Worlds (excerpts), Famous Men of Rome (selections), The Bronze Bow

Princess S
Growing With Grammar: lesson 109 through 117
Math: Decided to do drill sheets for the rest of the year - two a week.
TOG: vocab, geography map, important people copy work, Student Activity Pages, prayer letters
Reading Assignments: Cleopatra, Classical Kids (excerpts), Portions of Matthew's Gospel.

Princesses L & M
We are in the process of putting up a new wooden play structure and swing set as our old, secondhand metal one bit the dust last fall. These two are having a grand time with climbing up the steps and sliding down the slide - the only two things that are usable right now. If we have nice weather, they will be spending about an hour a day working their muscles on this. I'll get pictures posted once it is all done - hopefully next weekend.


A Shout Out to My Wonderful Spellers

This morning we had an informal spelling bee at our co-op. After looking at the graded lists earlier this week, I decided that Princess E needed to receive the sixth grade words and Princess S needed the fifth grade words. In reality, I could have bumped them up even one more, but didn't want to completely frustrate them seeing as how they also have their piano recital tonight. The each correctly spelled every word they were given. Even more cool was Princess L. She doesn't read yet, but knows all her letters and their sounds. Her friend who is 5 and doing kindergarten work decided to do the spelling bee. So, Princess L wanted to as well. She correctly spelled cat, mad, mat and her own name. For a just turned 4 year old who hasn't officially had phonics yet, I was pleasantly surprised. I helped her by telling her to name the first sound, then the second, then the third. She was so pleased with herself. Isn't this what homeschooling is all about?!


Reason #1349 to Homeschool

When all the other schools are closing for fear of the swine flu, you can stay in school, finish the year on time, and protect yourself all at the same time.

TOG Y1R U4 Week 30

I realize it is Thursday and I'm just putting up the week. It's been busy and we've had computer issues - AGAIN! Still waiting for a new hinge and new keyboard for our laptop repair as well.

Princesses E and S have their year end piano recital tomorrow. They have been working hard on their songs, but their teacher is not requiring them to memorize them. They have, but are both going to bring their music up with them anyway. Their teacher does two recitals a year and most of the students perform in the piano festival, so they have plenty of opportunities to have to play their songs by memory.

Princess E
Growing With Grammar: lesson 7.5 through 7.8
Math : Lesson 20
TOG: vocab, geography map, important people copywork, Student Activity Pages, prayer letters
Reading assignments: Usborne Internet Linked Ancient Worlds (excerpts), Famous Men of Rome (selections), The Bronze Bow
** Because the library didn't get in the book I had requested for literature, I am doing an experiment with Princess E. The suggested book was a three week assignment. I found another book within the unit that was a three week book for the Dialectic level. I gave her this and told her it would be harder, but that I thought she could handle it. We'll see how it goes. **

Princess S
Growing With Grammar: lesson 99 through 108
Math: Lesson 30 - She finished the book today! Now I need to decide if we simply do some drill sheets to end out the year or whether or not I should actually start her on Gamma, the next level. I'll pray on it over the weekend.
TOG: vocab, geography map, important people copywork, Student Activity Pages, prayer letters
Reading Assignments: You Wouldn't Want to be a Roman Soldier, Classical Kids (excerpts), Portions of Matthew's Gospel.

Princess L
This little one was so excited to be a part of her first Awana Award Ceremony last night. She completed her first book and received a little stuffed Cubbie bear for her uniform vest. She is getting ready for her ballet recital performance on the 16th.

Princess M
Three of her four eyeteeth have officially erupted. I'm hoping this means better nights. She has discovered that jumping is a lot of fun and she spends many hours jumping on the floor, trying to jump on the couch and jumping in her crib if I don't get her out right away. She has also, finally, picked up the signs for Please and Thank you. But, she is also trying to say some words as well. Her oldest sister had a large vocabulary already at this stage, but I'm not worried about it. Her oldest sister also learned how to say NO at an early age and we've had a hard time since. Maybe we'll get a few more months in the NO-free zone.


TOG Y1R U4 Week 29

This week should, potentially, be an easier week. The older two princesses are in the final stretch of preparing for their spring piano recital. Princess L is preparing for a ballet performance at a local Christian bookstore, and Princess M is preparing for her four eyeteeth to break through any day now. (Please LORD, let it be any day soon.)

Princess E
Growing With Grammar: Lesson 7.1 through 7.4
Math : Test for lesson 1e, lesson 19 and starting lesson 20 if there is time.
TOG: vocab, geography map, important people copywork, Student Activity Pages, prayer letters
Reading assignments: Usborne Internet Linked Ancient Worlds (excerpts), Famous Men of Rome (selections), Vacation Under the Volcano

Princess S
Growing With Grammar: Lessons 92 through 98
Math: Test for Lesson 29, start lesson 30
TOG: Same as above
Reading assignments: Classical Kids, Who Were the Romans?, Brave Cloelia

Princess L
I am debating starting Math U See Primer with her. She loves to play with the blocks like legos. She also loves to count and color. I just am not sure whether we should start before our six week summer break. Decisions, decisions. I did purchase My Father's World Kindergarten to start with her in the fall. She will only be 4 1/2. I started Princess S at 4 1/2, however, I had one less child to deal with, and less attitude to deal with. So I think I'll spread this out over two years.

Princess M
Same old, same old. Life must be fairly boring for her now as we reach our homestretch.

We will be taking the CAT test soon. I have the tests in my possession, but have to look through them and decide how to administer two of them. This is the first year Princess S has to take it. And with her ADD tendencies, it could make for an interesting ride.

TOG Y1R U4 Week 28

I know, I know. The week is over and I'm just posting this now. We had a lot going on this week. We had a field trip on Tuesday. And Princess L was trying to pull out the extension cord that our laptop was plugged into. It fell. Thankfully the important part - the data, the hard drive, the other stuff - is okay. But, the hinge for the screen on the lefthand side is broken. Plus, Princess M got the laptop when Princess E left it open on the coffee table and pulled off several keys. We don't have an X key currently. We need to replace these, but not sure when that will happen. Our other computer, our desktop, which is the one the girls usually use, has an obscure virus affecting the ability to pull up the internet. It was treated once by our internet provider, but they told us the chances that the entire virus was wiped out was slim. Sure enough, four weeks later it's back. So the only computer we can access the internet from is the laptop. That is the computer that our TOG DE is loaded on. My Homeschool Tracker Plus is on there as well, with all their assignments. To have it gone for several days will be a big problem. We're trying to put it off as long as possible.

Princess E
Growing With Grammar: Lesson 6.8 through Chapter 6 review
Math : Because of all the work on drill sheets, we are speeding through several lessons. So this week will be lesson 17 and 18 - except for the test, which will be next week.
TOG: vocab, geography map, important people copywork, Student Activity Pages, prayer letters
Reading assignments: Usborne Internet Linked Ancient Worlds (excerpts), Famous Men of Rome (selections), Vacation Under the Volcano

Princess S
Growing With Grammar: Lessons 82-91
Math: Lesson 29
TOG: Same as above
Reading assignments: Classical Kids, Going to War in Roman Times, Who Were the Romans?, Brave Cloelia

Princess L
This little princess learned to ride her big girl bike with training wheels. I sent her outside with Princess E and told her to teach her. She couldn't figure out how to start out or break. Now, she wants to ride up and down the sidewalk all the time.

Princess M

Now that she has experienced Spring, she wants to be outside all the time too. Our cat sits in front of the door and meows until someone lets him out. I think this little princess has picked up on that, because she just walks up to the doors and cries. Can't just let her out though.


Field Trip

Our homeschool group took a field trip to KTIS radio. It was fun! We got to meet several of the radio personalities, as well as see the behind the scenes work that goes into radio. The large wall of computers in a environmentally controlled room was neat. The kids even got to record little blurbs for an advertisement. We're hoping to hear it played today or tomorrow. Lisa Barry was on the air at the time and she came out and talked to us about how she got involved in radio. She gave the kids each a signed picture. Here is our whole group in front of the reception desk.


Happy Easter 2009

Happy Easter 2009


Final Week of Break

Well, we are on our third and final week of our break. It's really a break from most of our school work, although we are doing some science. Our plans have changed quite a bit from how it was originally supposed to be.

We were supposed to drive to Minot, ND for my Grandmother's 90th birthday. But the same day we were to drive through Fargo, the Red River was cresting and an early spring blizzard had all roads within an hour of Minot completely closed. So, we decided to reschedule our trip to June. If we run into the same problem then it should be proof to all that global warming is a hoax!

This past weekend I attended the MACHE conference, our state's homeschool convention. It was tiring, but good. I heard Michael Ferris talk about the ParentalRights.org PAC that he has started. If you haven't heard of it, make sure you go here to find out about it. And sign the petition while you are there.

Princess L and her sisters were invited to a birthday party for a girl in her ballet class. It was a cheerleading party. They had a blast.

This week we have a full agenda lined up, starting with getting Princess S's glasses fixed. She doesn't know what happened, but they sit so crooked that I cannot even look at her any more without getting dizzy myself. Princess L's ballet class is having family day tomorrow, so all her sisters will get a chance to join her in class. Should be interesting.



TOG Y1r U3 W27

Okay - we're on our last week of Unit Three. Hard to believe. This year has gone very fast - it's 3/4 done. There is a lot more I wish we could have done. We are going to have one Princess evaluated for ADD. I know without a doubt that she has it. We are to the point that something more needs to be done because her education, her sisters' educations and my sanity are starting to suffer. Please pray that this will be the start of some helpful steps. Here's our week:

Princess E
Growing With Grammar: Lesson 6.4 through 6.7
Math U See: Gamma - continue online drills for last week - time is getting better and accuracy is getting better
Handwriting, Geography, Vocab, Important People, History
Reading Assignments: Ancient Greece 40 Hands on Activities, What the Bible is All About, Usborne Internet Linked Ancient World, Alexander the Great, The Librarian Who Measured the Earth, Jewish Holidays All Year Round
Writing: Working on all final copies of newspaper articles and learning how to layout a newspaper.

Princess S

Growing With Grammar: Lesson 72 to 81
Math U See: Beta finish 28
Reading Assignments: Classical Kids, Ancient Greece, You Wouldn't Want to Be in Alexander's Army
The rest is the same as above.

Princess L
Some Starfall
We'll be getting some more books on CD. She really got hooked on the one we got last week, so thought I'd capitalize on that and get some more.

Princess M
Learning that hard way not to climb up on chairs and tables and stand.

We'll be getting ready for a trip to ND for my Grandmother's 90th birthday. We'll be starting out three week break next week. But it's only a break from our usual studies, not from school altogether as I will be adding our science back into the mix. We will be using Apologia Elementary's Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day. I plan to have us all work together for about an hour and a half each day. Nothing like immersion to get us going.


Happy Birthday to Princess L

My little ballerina princess is turning 4! I cannot believe it. She is getting so big. She has the silliest laugh that always makes the whole room light up. She is always a bundle of energy. Yet, she still will settle down if you tell her to pull out a book and snuggle close. She loves to tell us what happened in Cubbies, or Toddler church, or Sunday School, or whatever adventures she has in her room during "nap" time. She loves her friends from church and loves to sing and dance. Happy Birthday Princess L! Mommy loves you!