There's a Snake in My Bed!

So for Christmas, Princess M received one of these.  It's cute and not too loud, which means she can use it around her dad.  She loves it and carries it around under her arm and to bed at night.  Until last night.  Last night around midnight she must have brushed the sensor on Chippy's back and he went off.  All heck broke loose. 

I ran into her room and she was standing on her bed screaming uncontrollably.  I didn't know what she was screaming about at first.  I finally got out of her that there was something moving in her bed.  Even in my half awake state, I quickly determined the culprit was Chippy as I heard him chirping.  I picked him up and moved him over to the other side of the room.  I figured with him gone she would settle back in.  No siree Bob!  Though she acknowledged that the chipmunk was moving, she insisted that what she felt was a snake in her bed.

(Side note - when I was a little kid of four, I used to have reoccurring nightmares that there were snakes in my bed.  My mom would have to come into my room, pull back all my covers, and show me that in fact there were not any snakes in my bed.   So to my mom, I imagine this is a bit of a repayment.)

Finally, after five minutes of cajoling, I removed everything off the bed and laid her down.  She didn't want the covers, lest any snakes climb in under them I suppose, and I figured we were done and I could sleep.  Every hour and a half she started crying about the snake in her bed and I had to go back in there and lay her back down all over again. 

Needless to say, with the lack of sleep, she has now napped for almost three hours on top of an empty bed.  I'm hoping that she doesn't remember the whole incident by bed time.

Accountable Kids - First Check In

We've been using this for two weeks.  Here's some initial thoughts.

First, if you considering using this, starting it on the onset of a two week Christmas break is probably not the way to go.  For some reason my princesses seem to think that a "break" for them means a break from every responsibility they have in life.  Not so - my dearies - not so.  It has been two weeks full of reminding them that they have responsibilities to attend to and they do not yet have free time.  "But we're on break," they replied in whining voices.  When mom gets to take a break from every single responsibility in life, then you may do so also.

Second, I was a bit optimistic, I think, in putting up a board for Princess M.   I figured she wanted one like her sissies, which she does, but she has managed to lose one card already and chewed on two others.  They're sturdy, but not that sturdy.

Finally, overall I am pleased with the system.  At this point, all the princesses and mom know at any given point in time what responsibilities are finished, and what needs to be done.  We're working on remembering to move the cards over when complete (princesses) and checking on the finished chores and handing out tickets in a timely fashion (mom).  I'm anxious to begin this during school next Monday.  After a couple weeks of using it during a normal school schedule, I'll post again on our progress.


Kid Funnies

Princess S spent part of her day with a friend.  She went with them to a hair salon as the friend, her sister, and the mom had appointments.  At dinner, Princess S said to me, "Hey, Mom! We should start going to that salon.  They do haircuts, perms and broiling."  Uhh - that would be foiling dear.


Accountable Kids - The Method

After making the decision to purchase the Accountable Kids program for the princesses, I knew that to make anything work, I would need to make it work for us.  When I received the box in the mail, I went through the book first.

The book included a quick start DVD to help learn the basics of the program.  Since I had devoured everything on the website first, I skipped this step as I felt I already had a pretty good idea.

The main part of the program revolves around the Progress Board.  This is where the child is given his instructions as to what are her responsibilities.  The suggestion was to have the child decorate their own board, and I may yet do that once we have the program more established, but for now I used some 1 1/2 inch letter stickers to personalize each princesses board.  You will notice the cards hanging on the board.  I'll get to the specifics in a moment, but the cards that will hang on the board are the reminder cards to be done, the finished reminder cards, any earned and unredeemed tickets, the date cards and any cards done for payment.  Here is Princess E's board.


I also purchased the mini board for keeping track of all the tickets, bonus bucks, best behavior cards and - how I tweaked it for us - the chores that can be done for money.  Here is a picture of it.


I decided to put all the boards up on the wall next to our whiteboard in the school room.  That way it was easy for everyone to see what has been done, and what has not been done yet.  I measured twice and drilled the holes in the wall.  I put the included anchors into the wall.  When I went to put the screws into the anchors, my holes were about 1/16 of an inch off.  I ended up putting the screws in at a slight angle.  Thankfully, they included wooden screw covers that hid the fact that they are in crooked.


Now I will show you some of the tweaks I did to make this system work for us.  First, I decided which tasks needed to be done because they were a member of the family, and which tasks I was willing to pay them to do.  I decided that on the cards that they could earn money for, that I would write what the expectations were.  Some of the cards had to be done on specific days.  Second, I had to decide what time of day each of the tasks needed to be attended to.  Each card comes the same length, but there are five horizontal colored bands that you can use to assign a timeframe to each chore.  When a chore is completed, they take the card and rehang it up facing backwards on the board.  This lets me know they are ready to have the chore inspected.  (Because you cannot expect what you are not willing to inspect!)  When they have finished all of one color group of chores, they will earn a ticket on their board.

Here are the morning chores that are required.


The next set are chores that need to happen before there can be any free time.  It is preferable that they be finished before dinner.   They also must accomplish all of these before they are allowed to do a chore for which they could earn money.


They also each have an after dinner chore that has a blue band.  Next come the chores for which they can earn money.  Since we live in a split level, I divided the cards up and labeled them upstairs or downstairs.  I also listed the steps for each chore on the back.  Here's a slide show of some of these.

One special note is the laundry card.  The two oldest princesses have been trained for several years now in how to do their laundry.  For about a year and a half, I have attempted to assign a laundry day to each of them.  However, it was happening all too frequently that they would start a load, and then forget about it.  So it would take them days to finish.  I was never able to do my laundry, DH's laundry, or the other two princess' laundry.  So a few weeks ago I told them it was up to them to have clean clothes.  If they didn't have clean clothes, then they wouldn't be allowed to leave the house until they did.  What ended up happening is that they would have dirty clothes overflowing in their hampers and they would do one small load - just enough to get a few pairs of clean underwear and socks.  The rest of the clothes would stay dirty.  So to encourage them to take responsibility to do ALL of their laundry instead of just a small load, the laundry card is something they can hang up if they can show me that all of their clothing except that which is currently on their person is washed, dried, folded, and put away in either their drawers or their closets.  If they can show me that they will earn both a star for their date card, and $1.  I decided I had to limit this to once a week, because it is only a matter of time before one of them figures out that they can wash everything up and then proceed to do a load each day.  For the rest of the chores they can earn money for, I put them all up on the mini board and when all other cards (except the blue dinner card) are done, they may choose as many as they would like to do.  They place the chore on their board when it is ready for inspection.  Once a week I will pay out money they have earned.

We needed to decide what they can earn with their tickets, as well as how to utilize the date cards.  We decided that tickets can be redeemed for personal TV time and play time with friends.  We have several old TV series on DVDs that we watch as a family on some evenings - Little House, the Waltons, Andy Griffith, Cosby Show - and we decided not to count that family time in the ticket requirement.  Also included in the system are the date cards.  You can decide how you want to incorporate these for your family.  I decided for now that if they earn all three tickets in a day, they will earn a star sticker on their card.  For now, I just want to focus on completing the requirements within an  acceptable amount of time.   Later, I will change these up.

There are two other types of cards - Best Behavior card and Privilege Passes.  I told the Princesses that after we have the system up and running I will add these in.  These can be used to target certain behaviors.  You can reward them for choosing a desirable behavior instead of an undesirable one.  I'm going to have to think on this for a while to figure out where to start with these with each princess.

We had a family meeting to explain how this would work.  Princess E was excited.  Princess S was aghast.  Princess L just loved the boards.  Princess M ran away because she didn't understand any of it.  Princess M will be just learning about these.  We are just now starting to train her on the morning tasks that she needs to do to earn her tickets.  She will get a lot of leeway.  I'll be reporting back in another week or two with how they are doing with this system. 


Accountable Kids - The Need

Why do we need to have accountable kids?  One reason is that we are raising the future leaders of our world.  If we look at the mess that America is in right now, we can conclude that one of the big reasons we are where we are is that we have a boatload of citizens (and illegal immigrants) who do not believe they need to be accountable to anything or anyone.  You could call it the "entitlement problem".  As Christians, we believe that everyone - parents and children alike - are accountable to God for our words, thoughts and deeds.  Children are also, as part of their accountability to God, accountable to their parents.  For some reason, it is very easy for parents to remind children of that fact.  But what many parents forget, or excuse, is that they are accountable to God for the training and disciplining of their children.  God put on parents the responsibility to make sure that what their children see, hear, and experience are those things that are good and pleasing to Him - those things that will be used by Him to mold our children into the person that He desires them to be.  Too many times in today's society, we see parents making excuses for their children's behavior and taking no responsibility for the behavior themselves.  Then they look to the teachers, daycare workers, pastors, and government to solve the problems for them.  But we can clearly see in the Bible that it is the parents job to instruct and discipline their children.  For example, in 1 Samuel we see God telling Samuel that there will be punishment for Eli's sons because of their wickedness.  But their punishment is shared by their father for his lack of discipline of them. "And I declare to him that I am about to punish his house forever, for the iniquity that he knew, because his sons were blaspheming God, and he did not refrain them." 1 Samuel 3:13   Now, to be clear, I am not saying that everything a child does is a parent's fault.  But I am saying that when our children behave in a manner that is not acceptable, that it is up to the parents to exact a consequence on them that will prevent them from repeating that behavior. 

So that is why I felt we needed to try something different.  After several years of having the same responsibilities as far as chores are concerned, I reached the breaking point at our failures.  I grew tired of reminding kids of what chores needed to be done (even though they are all listed out for them,) calling them back to the chore when they got distracted, having them take FOREVER to complete the chore, then calling them back when they failed to complete the chore to the standard that befits their age and training at the chore.  Also I grew tired of the disrespectful attitudes  and responses that were given to me.  So after seeing my online friend Linda's review of Accountable Kids, I ruminated for many weeks on it.  I finally decided that we needed to give this system a try.

We definitely have our work cut out for us.  We've tried many different systems before.  But the thing I like about this one is that it puts the monkey on their backs, not mine.  All I have to do is check that the chore was done properly and hand out tickets when necessary.   And then I need to try really, really, really hard not to remind them to check their boards.  I'll address how the system works, and how I tweaked it to fit us, in another post.


December Photo Update

I decided to put in some photos of the last month.  The first photos are of Princess M who just turned three last month.  You'll notice the boo boo on her nose.  That would be what happens when you stand too close to mom when she's trying to reach things down off the storage shelves in the garage and she has a split second to decide whether to reach for the heavy box about to land on the hood of dad's car or the car seat that's about to land on your head.  Thankfully, it wasn't as bad as it could have been - thank you Jesus for the save!  Notice the new big girls bed!  She was so excited, though she was sad to return the toddler bed that she was very happy with.  The quilt was a present made by my mom - Nanny.  Princess L got one last year and this was Princess M's turn.  The pattern is called Sleep Over.  Finally, a shot of Princess M making lunch for everyone.  Next we move to Princess L.  First a shot of the first top tooth with a tongue through the window.  Next, a photo from her God's Praising Princess graduation ceremony where she received a princess crown.  Finally, a shot with both teeth gone.  The last shot is a picture of the quilt that we finally got hung in our entry way at Thanksgiving.  It was a gift made by my mom for our wedding back in 1997.  I've had the quilt hanger for about five years, but we needed to paint the wall before I would hang it.  So DH finally did that before Thanksgiving, and my step dad helped me to hang the quilt when they were here.  I absolutely love how it defines our entry way!  The pattern is called Love Knot.

Word(Tooth)less Wednesday


 Guess what she wants for Christmas!


Thinking Out Loud

You really are happy that you only have a 20 year old 3HP snow blower that was given to you.  Because if you didn't have it then you'd be shoveling all that snow.

You really are happy that you have sidewalks that must have the snow removed via city ordinance.  Because if you didn't then the kids wouldn't have anywhere to ride their bikes or walk safely.

You really are happy that the radio stations keep playing the song "Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!" over and over and over.  Because if they didn't then you'd have to listen to "You're a Mean One Mr. Grinch!" played over and over and over.

(Just trying to be a little bit Pollyannaish on our extremely snowy day.  Going to go out to rid the driveway and sidewalks for the second time - even though the snow isn't even close to stopping.  Because if I don't then it will take me even longer when I get up at 1am to do it so that the hubby can go out into the unplowed streets to deliver the newspaper to a bunch of people who don't seem to care that we have the snowstorm of the decade they just need their newspaper delivered by 6:30 am on a Sunday morning.)


Merry CHRISTmas 2010

Every year I take the princesses to get Christmas photos taken to give to the Grandparents and relatives.  Here's a slideshow of the best ones.

TOG Year 4 Weeks 16-17

It has been a busy two weeks.  Princess L was down with a stomach bug one day, but thankfully it didn't spread and was over in less than 24 hours.  We took a field trip to the MN Orchestra.  Princess E had been to the orchestra before with DH, but this was the first time for Princess S and Princess L.  (Princess M got to spend some quality time with Grandma!)  We visited during a Young People's performance of Sleigh Ride.   We were taken around the world through the holiday sleigh ride music from various countries.  The final song was Ode to Joy done with a local string school and the stage and aisles were filled with young violin students.  It was a lot of fun, and the girls really enjoyed it.  Because of the Thanksgiving holiday break, we had one less day to complete week 16.  But we needed to keep at it because of our co-op schedule. 

Princess E - 6th Grade - Dialectic
Latin for Children Primer A: Lesson 20 and begin lesson 21
Math-U-See Delta: We have finally continued on and she has completed lesson 26 and began lesson 27. 
IEW: We did Lesson 7 which had us writing a story sequence outline for "The Boy Who Cried Wolf".  Both girls chose to change up the story a bit.  They certainly enjoy more creative writing as opposed to more formal "scholarly" writing.
Foundations 1:  Finish UN- + -ABLE.  Begin UN- + -ING.
MCT Language Arts:  Read Sentence Island pgs 176-188  We also completed a writing exercise.  Practice Island 18-21.
Spelling: We did not do a spelling bee this week.
Science:  We began the next book in the series - Our Planet Earth.  We got through the first two lessons.
TOG Yr4 Wk12-13: Timeline; SAPs; AQ/TQs; Reading - Joseph Stalin, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Idiot's Guide, Usborne Intro to the Second World War, Tortured For Christ (because I couldn't get the assigned book and our Pastor loaned us this one), The Gift of Music, Lord of the Flies

Princess S - 4th Grade - UG
Growing With Grammar 4: Chapter 3 Review to Chapter 4.5
Math-U-See Gamma: Finish lesson 25 and do lesson 26.
IEW, MCT Language Arts, Spelling and Science: same as above
TOG Yr4 Wk11: Quizlet vocab; important people; SAPs; Reading - War, Peace and All That Jazz,  Homer Price, Winston Churchill, Pippi Longstockings Corrie tenBoom, All the People.

Princess L - K - LG
We began MFW First grade this week.  We are going through two lessons per day as a review.  I am not doing any of the science, but I am doing some of the suggested math.  We are continuing with the games from Winter Promise. 
Math-U-See Primer:  Continue Lesson 26.
Awana Sparks verses: Princess L is now working on her review book.

Princess M - PreTOGger
We are working on the short little song that she has to sing for the Christmas program.  Princess L sang the same song two years ago, so it helps that the whole family knows the song.  Princess M, however, does not seem to like the song and would rather sing Jesus Loves Me (as both songs have the same tune).

We have a two week break coming up after week 18.  I have a few changes that we will be implementing but I have to find the time to work on them over our break.  We will be scheduling several play days with friends we've not seen in a while.


2010 Calendar Photos

Every year I make a small photo calendar for our relatives.  I thought I'd post the photos here.  And lest you think I don't notice, I do realize there are only nine photos in the slideshow.  I am using three photos that have already been posted.  (Yep - this one's for you, Pam.)


Princess L Funnies

While my mom and step dad were here for Thanksgiving, we celebrated Christmas with them.  About five years ago, Princess E and Princess S received American Girl dolls for Christmas.  A few months after that, my mom called from an antique shop in NC to tell me she had found a Kirsten doll with all of the extra outfits and all the books for $78.  It was in excellent condition and she wanted to know if that was a good price.  Yes - do not pass go, do not collect $200 - just get the doll!  We had decided that it would go to Princess L when she was ready to take care of her.  The time had finally come and she received the doll this Christmas.  Princess L was very surprised and excited.  My mom explained to her that another little girl had loved her and had outgrown her.  Quite a while later, Princess L pulled Nanny aside and asked her, in all seriousness, if she would have to give her back to the other little girl who loved her.

TOG Year 4 Weeks 14-15

I will again be posting two weeks worth of assignments.  Or rather two weeks of Tapestry assignments.  We had Nanny and Papa here from NC for the past week.  So I gave them all their TOG work for week 15 on the 19th.  I reassigned all their other work over the next three weeks.  This way we had time to spend doing more fun things - like making cookies, going shopping, and hanging the quilt my mom made for DH and I on our wedding day in our two story entry way.

Princess E - 6th Grade - Dialectic
Latin for Children Primer A: Two weeks of flash cards study on all words from chapters 1-19.
Math-U-See Delta: Continue lesson 25 - Yep - Again.  But I think we'll be doing the test real soon.
IEW: We didn't get to this this week as we had an ortho appointment instead.
Foundations 1:  Finish suffix -ABLE. Begin UN- + -ABLE.
MCT Language Arts:  Read Sentence Island pgs 147-175.  Practice Island 14-17.
Spelling: We did not do a spelling bee this week.
Science:  We took the end of book test.  We will get ready to begin the next book in the series.
TOG Yr4 Wk12-13: Timeline; SAPs; AQ/TQs; Reading - Joseph Stalin, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Idiot's Guide, Usborne Intro to the Second World War, The Snow Goose Corrie ten Boom, The Gift of Music.

Princess S - 4th Grade - UG
Growing With Grammar 4: Chapter 3.9 to 3.11
Math-U-See Gamma: We finally had a breakthrough.  Princess S admitted that her way was not working.  Since her way was a hybrid of the two methods Mr. Steve showed on the video, I figured it would be difficult to switch to either one.  So I taught her the way that DH and I learned, and she finally got it.  I also let her come up with her own problems as long as they had three digits on the top and two or three on the bottom (and not all zeros or ones).  Then I let her check her answers with a calculator.  This was great fun for her, as I general do not let them use mine.
IEW, MCT Language Arts, Spelling and Science: same as above
TOG Yr4 Wk11: Quizlet vocab; important people; SAPs; Reading - War, Peace and All That Jazz,  The Holocaust, Winston Churchill, The Hundred Dresses, Corrie tenBoom.

Princess L - K - LG
We are at a stand still right now.  We are focusing on speech therapy right now and the words that she needs to read and say with that.  We have virtually stopped Winter Promise for the moment.
Math-U-See Primer:  Lesson 26 is throwing us for a loop.  She can do just fine if all she has to do is count by 's, but once she has to switch to counting by units, she breaks down.  We finally were seeing some good results before we took our break.  I figure we will have a small reteaching time the beginning of next week.
Awana Sparks verses: Princess L finished her first book and got her award on Sunday during the service.  She is beginning the review book this week.

Princess M - PreTOGger
Princess M went to her first birthday party.  Her best friend from church turned three and had a big party.  Princess M had a blast!  But, she had a hard time understanding that the present that she helped pick out was not hers, but was going to be left at Princess A's house.  So sad!

We have three weeks left of unit two.  I have a few changes I want to make when we hit the next two units.  Specifically, I would like to begin to incorporate some of the WTM ideas of written narrations for Princess S and written outlines for reading for Princess E.   I will also begin using MFW First Grade with Princess L.  There are some things that I think we missed in switching from MFW to Winter Promise.  So since Princess M is waiting in the wings, I decided to purchase a used copy of MFW to fill in the blanks.  I will still be using many parts of Winter Promise to supplement (the games are awesome!) but we will not be following them in the order Winter Promise lays out. 


TOG Year 4 Weeks 12-13

The last two weeks have been quite rough.  I've had to deal with some stinky attitudes, a great amount of disrespect, and some stubborn strong-willed children.  They are issues that never seem to go away and get worse in waves.  We've also had some outside activities that have taken some time away from our school time.  I'll list both weeks together below.

Princess E - 6th Grade - Dialectic
Latin for Children Primer A: Finish lesson 10 - Flash card blitz.  We're going to go through all the flash cards for the first 19 chapters.  We'll set aside the ones that aren't known and study up on those for a couple of weeks.  I'm hoping that this will help alleviate some on-going problems with translation.
Math-U-See Delta: Continue lesson 25 - We're still on this lesson.  I've printed out lots of worksheets and we will spend even more time next week.  Princess E is frustrated and wants to go on, but I told her that until she can get two or less wrong per worksheet, I cannot in good conscience give her the test.
IEW: We did a rough draft and final draft for lesson six.  Princess E choose to write on Andrew Jackson.
Foundations 1:  Finish suffix -ING.  Prefix RE- and begin suffix -ABLE.
MCT Language Arts:  Practice Island sentences 6 to 13.  We worked on some writing projects for Sentence Island Lesson three.  At first they were very reluctant because they thought it sounded difficult, but it turned out to be less difficult and more fun than they thought.
Spelling: We did one spelling bee.
Science:  We took the last unit test and have begun a review for the end of book test.
TOG Yr4 Wk12-13: Timeline; SAPs; AQ/TQs; Reading - Joseph Stalin, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Idiot's Guide, Usborne Intro to the Second World War, The Red Pony, Corrie ten Boom.

Princess S - 4th Grade - UG
Growing With Grammar 4: Chapter 3.3 to 3.8
Math-U-See Gamma: We finished lesson 24 and moved on to lesson 25.  Princess S is insisting on using the method of multiplication that she came up with - which is a hybrid of what Mr. Steve showed.  While it works, it is tedious.  And she insists on crossing out each number as she uses it.  But, some numbers get used more than once, and she cannot read them.  Nor can I read them so if she gets it wrong, then I am not able to help her because I cannot read her work.  Yet, she persists in doing it this way.
IEW, MCT Language Arts, Spelling and Science: same as above
TOG Yr4 Wk11: Quizlet vocab; important people; SAPs; Reading - War, Peace and All That Jazz,  The Holocaust, Winston Churchill, Mr. Popper's Penguins.

Princess L - K - LG
We are at a stand still right now.  We are focusing on speech therapy right now and the words that she needs to read and say with that.  We have virtually stopped Winter Promise for the moment. 
Math-U-See Primer:  She finished up lesson 24 and did lesson 25.  Lesson 26 will have her beginning to tell time.
Awana Sparks verses: New Testament books went faster than I thought.  She earned the third red and green jewel and the forth red jewel.  I didn't even work with her on those, but since she listens to the CD almost every night, she only needed the reference and the first word and she said them to her leader.

Princess M - PreTOGger
Princess M turned three!  She moved into a big girl twin bed.  I am putting the crib mattress next to the bed at night, and so far she hasn't fallen out.  Experience says that first time falling out won't happen until I move the mattress away - that darn Murphy!  She is very excited to be three.

Our co-op participated in preparing meals with Feed My Starving Children.  This is the third time we've done this, and it's always a blast!  It's amazing to see the before and after photos of what these meals can do for kids with little else to eat.  We also prepared meals with our church for the St. Stephen's Men's Shelter.  We do this every first Saturday morning of the month and it is a ton of fun!  Even Princess M is able to get involved with serving.


TOG Year 4 Week 11

I'm late in posting about our week 11.  We had a lot going on this weekend and my time was short and focused.  Week 11 focused on learning about the start of the Great Depression - the stock market crash.  We talked about how people were placing their hope and future in the promise of money - often times having used borrowed money to buy the stock.  We talked about some of the parallels that can be seen in America today.  Here is what our week looked like:

Princess E - 6th Grade - Dialectic
Latin for Children Primer A: Test for Lesson 18 - begin Lesson 19
Math-U-See Delta: Continue lesson 25 - I think we're gonna have to camp out here for a while.
IEW: We watched the DVD and then worked on a KWO for lesson six.
Foundations 1:  Work on prefix UN- and suffix -ING.
MCT Language Arts:  We began the Practice Island book and got through the first five sentences.  We also worked on the rest of Sentence Island chapter three.  The princesses seem to really enjoy this series.  I think it has to do with the fact that, really, this is all a review of concepts they've learned before.  But practicing it in workbook form isn't always interesting for them.  These books make it much more fun.  I've noticed, especially with Princess S, that she tends to get more correct answers than when she works on her Growing With Grammar book.
Spelling: We did not get a spelling bee in this week.
Science:  We began reviewing for our unit and final test on our book.
TOG Yr4 Wk11: Timeline; SAPs; AQ/TQs; Reading - Joseph Stalin, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Idiot's Guide, Our Living Constitution, Gladys Aylward, Our Town.

Princess S - 4th Grade - UG
Growing With Grammar 4: Chapter 2 Review to Chapter 3.2
Math-U-See Gamma: Continued work on lesson 24. Yes - still there - still gonna be there next week too.
IEW, MCT Language Arts, Spelling and Science: same as above
TOG Yr4 Wk11: Quizlet vocab; important people; SAPs; Reading - War, Peace and All That Jazz, The Great Depression, Gladys Aylward,  Mary Poppins.

Princess L - K - LG
Winter Promise Advanced K: Handwriting practice; Explode the Code - pgs 55-62; Reading - Elk Yelps; word family -ell and -en.
Math-U-See Primer: Lesson 24
Awana Sparks verses: She earned the second green jewel.  She is working on memorizing the books of the New Testament in order.  This might take a few weeks.

Princess M - PreTOGger
Practice being a princess, watching "Monkey Boy" (as she refers to Curious George), getting ready to move into a big girl twin bed, getting ready to turn three.

The Life in the Depression game went over well at co-op, except that two of the boys were home sick.  So the leader of the next meeting asked me to bring it again (since the topic is still the Great Depression) so that everyone can enjoy it again.

We went to Chuck E. Cheese for a Halloween alternative.  Several of our friends from church met us there.  The kids had a blast.  It was Princess M's first time there, except for when she was six months old, and she was ecstatic!  I kept her coin cup with me and she would get one coin from me, run over to one of the rides (probably the carousel), put the coin in herself, hop on and yell for me to look at her and wave.  Two hours of that and she still wanted more.  The older princesses were in it for the tickets, however, and were even willing to do some crazy dances that the guy in the Chuck E. Cheese costume required of them in order to stick both hands in a plastic pumpkin filled with tickets.  Now if someone would just hide the extra candy from me ; D


Getting Political

I know I have a few family members who don't appreciate it when I get political.  But there isn't an option any more.  Our country is broken, and the last chance to fix it is only a few short days away.  Freedom is a gift that was endowed to this country by our forefathers who poured out their lifeblood to ensure it for their children.  It is a gift that is endowed by God to all who believe in His Son, Jesus, as their Savior.  In that sense, it can never be taken away.  However, I, for one, cannot conceive of the country that has been formed in the last decade from the country that God established 234 years ago.  And I refuse to take it any more.  For anyone who reads this, I beg you to get educated on the issues (if you aren't already).  Do not trust in any one source.  Check and double check everything you read, for the deceiver of men has taken over most of the media in this country, save for some radio and internet. 

For those of you not aware of it, there is rampant voter fraud in this country.  In my home state alone, there were 17,000 more votes counted on election day 2008 than there were registered voters.  There were also at least 346+ convicted felons who were not legal to vote, but whose votes were counted in that election anyway.  These were the ones confirmed before the deadline to destroy the ballots was reached.  There is also an ongoing investigation between the states of MN and WI to address many people who voted in both states.  After a much publicized and illogical recounting of votes, Al "Stuart Smalley" Franken was declared the Senator.  In our state, there is not a law requiring a photo id to be shown at the polls.  Some states have a law like that, others do not.  I am asking anyone reading this to please show up at the polls on Tuesday, November 2nd with a photo id in your hand and make sure that the election judges match your photo with you and your records.  Make sure that several others in line see that you are doing it, so that they will do the same.

No matter how this election turns out, our country is in trouble and it will require the sacrifice of many in order to save the republic for our children.  Those who will probably have to make the biggest sacrifice are those who have already sacrificed the most - those from the greatest generation and their children.  As home schoolers, we are able to teach our children the values and principles on which our country was founded: honesty, reverence, hope, thrift, humility, charity, sincerity, moderation, hard work, courage, personal responsibility, and gratitude.  Those values and principles are lost in the public schools today - brainwashed away in the political correctness and progressive bile that fills the teachers unions and Department of "De" Education.  I am grateful that I am but a foreigner to this world, and that my citizenship does not require a vote, or a tax, or a "legal healthcare plan" - but a bathing in the righteousness of my Savior and King, who took my sins to the cross so many years ago.  Let us take the fight to our knees for the wisdom, and to the polls for honor.


TOG Year 4 Week 10

Our one week off flew by.  And I don't know that we got anything I wanted to get done accomplished.  We did get pictures taken of Princess E and Princess M.  I did read the Tracie Peterson book (it was awesome) and also the new Karen Kingsbury book Unlocked (which was awesome as well) - so I was productive in that respect.  But now we've finished Week 10, so it's time for another update.

Princess E - 6th Grade - Dialectic
Latin for Children Primer A: Lesson 18
Math-U-See Delta: Test 24 - begin lesson 25.
IEW: We didn't get one of these in this week.  More on why later.
Foundations 1:  Work on suffix -ER.
MCT Language Arts:  Lesson three - We also worked some more on 4 level analysis.  We will be starting the Practice Island book next week.  My plan is to assign these individually, but go through them together during our group time.
Spelling: We did not get a spelling bee in this week.
Science:  We did not get a science lesson in this week
TOG Yr4 Wk10: Timeline; SAPs; AQ/TQs; Reading - Gladys Aylward, Idiot's Guide, Our Town.

Princess S - 4th Grade - UG
Growing With Grammar 4: Chapter 2.9 to 2.11
Math-U-See Gamma: Work on lesson 24.  For some reason, Princess S thinks that it's easier to think when she does her problems on the whiteboard.  But then, she erases her work, and I have nothing to look at to see where her mistakes are being made.  So I'll be printing out some worksheets for more practice, because she's just getting too many wrong.
IEW, Spelling and Science: same as above
TOG Yr4 Wk10: Quizlet vocab; important people; SAPs; Reading - War, Peace and All That Jazz, Gladys Aylward, .  Alexander Fleming, Mary Poppins.

Princess L - K - LG
Winter Promise Advanced K: Handwriting practice; Explode the Code - pgs 48-54; Reading - Wet Legs; word family -et and -ed.
Math-U-See Primer: Continue work on lesson 23.  I've decided not to push the tally marks.  We'll be reviewing them again in Alpha, so I'll just wait to tackle it until then.
Awana Sparks verses: She earned the first green jewel and second red jewel. 

Princess M - PreTOGger
Practice being a princess, dancing, taking care of her "sick" dolly, watching Little Einsteins, coloring pictures. 

So what was I working on that kept us from doing IEW, Spelling and Science?  I've been working on a game for our co-op meeting next Tuesday.  We are studying the Great Depression.  Not exactly a "fun" subject, and our group seems to need fun or they get a bit wild. So I spent some time combing the internet, but just didn't find what I wanted.  I know how much fun my girls have with our Oregon Trail game, and thought that some kind of role playing game would be fun.  So I got this vision of a game, somewhat like Life, using situations that would have been common during the depression.  I spent two and a half days trying to create the game board, the various draw cards, and the rules.  Now I'm really excited to have them play the game.  I'm thinking that I could perhaps come up with some other cards to change the game to a different time frame.  Here's a sneak peek.  
Life in the Depression 1                                                                   
Life in the Depression 2                                                                   
 Click above to go to my Scribd account if you want to see all the files.


Rest in Peace Peanut

Tonight, Princess S discovered that her beloved hamster, Peanut, had ended her stay with us.  She found her lying on her side in her cage next to her food dish.  Princess S is our animal lover and this is hitting her very hard.  Princess E's hamster, Sweet Pea, seems to be fine.  We cannot see anything that would have caused it, but small rodents, I imagine, are a bit touchy.  We will be holding a "funeral" for her tomorrow morning, but I have a feeling it is going to be a long night.


TOG Year 4 Week 9 - End of Unit One

One quarter of our school year is officially done.  Or at least it will be on Monday morning when Princess E takes her unit test.  We had hoped to get it done today, but due to some issues I've had to deal with one of the other princesses the last few days, I didn't have a chance to sit down with her to teach her how to review for the test.  TOG has a handout giving the Dialectic students tips on studying for it, but I know that alone will not be enough.  And since we're rather busy this weekend, it will be pushed back until Monday.  Also, there is a movie that works with the time frame we are studying - Newsies - that is on our cable On-Demand.  I want to watch it with them to get an idea of how people lived, dressed, etc.  Princess S did take her unit end test and only got one wrong.  I was pleasantly surprised by her results.  I guess she remembered more than she has let on.

Next week we are taking the week off (except for Princess E on Monday) because I have to "celebrate" my birthday.  We have a few fun things planned, including an opportunity for service at the church on Friday when they will join up with their friends and wash and sanitize all the toys and equipment in the nursery.   I plan to use some of my spare time this next week reading the new Tracie Peterson book Embers of Love.

Princess E - 6th Grade - Dialectic
Latin for Children Primer A: Lesson 17
Math-U-See Delta: Work on Lesson 24 - She needs more practice before taking the test so I used the Worksheet Generator to print out some more worksheets.
IEW: We did a second KWO, rough draft and final draft for Lesson 4.
Foundations 1:  Work on suffix -ED.
MCT Language Arts:  The girls had a writing assignment to write a short 10 sentence play.  One character could only speak with action verbs and one could only speak with linking verbs. 
Spelling: We did not get a spelling bee in this week.
Science:  We did lesson 30 this week on the Space Shuttle and learned about Rick Husband, the pilot of the Colombia.
TOG Yr4 Wk9: Timeline; SAPs; AQ/TQs; Reading - Eric Liddell, , Idiot's Guide, The Scopes Trial,  Peter Pan

Princess S - 4th Grade - UG
Growing With Grammar 4: Chapter 2.6 to 2.8
Math-U-See Gamma: Finish lesson 23 and begin lesson 24.  The same issue we had with Princess E began to rear its ugly head.  She refused to line the numbers up and consistently got wrong answers because her numbers were all scattered.  After two days of working on the first worksheet, I think that she finally has decided that the suggestion Mr. Steve has for lining up numbers isn't a bad one.
IEW, Spelling and Science: same as above
TOG Yr4 Wk9: Quizlet vocab; important people; SAPs; Reading - War, Peace and All That Jazz, The 1920s, Eric Liddell. 

Princess L - K - LG
Winter Promise Advanced K: Handwriting practice; Explode the Code - pgs 40-47; Reading - A Bug and Stuck Duck; word family -ump; Concentration games with -ug, -um, -ump.
Math-U-See Primer: We finished lesson 22 and began lesson 23 - using tally marks.  Complete and total melt down.  She cannot seem to grasp the concept of counting by 5s and then switching to count by units.  I'm debating between sitting here another week, and just skipping it.  After all, I think the number of times I use tally marks in a year (maybe twice) means it's a little used skill - especially when you are five.
Awana Sparks verses: She earned the first red jewel and is well on her way to earn her first green one next week.

Princess M - PreTOGger
Fun and games with big sissies.


TOG Year 4 Week 8

As we close in on the end of our first quarter, I always take some time to evaluate our year so far.  There are some things working well, some things working not so well, some things that need to change, and some things I just have to push through to the other side.  Our schedule has been adjusted once already, and will probably have to be adjusted again at some point in time.  We are to the point in Latin with Princess E where we are going to slow down.  I am adding in the online resources from Classical Academic Press and it will take a minimum of four days for each lesson.  She will have to take a test on day four which will reveal whether she really knows the material or not.  If she doesn't pull at least 85%, she will have to do some additional worksheets and online practice and take a second quiz before going on.  She is also complaining, once again, that she is behind all her friends in math.  I told her that it is up to her to speed up her pace in math.  I require her to do one practice or review page per day.  She has to pass the test at 85% in order to go to the next lesson.  But she can do more than one practice page per day if she wants to.  Finally, I have decided to get tough about completing certain TOG assignments on time.  Our discussion times keep getting pushed back because of her lack of preparation.  It would be different if she is coming to me on a daily (or hourly) basis while reading and says, "Hey Mom, I don't understand what I'm reading.  Would you help me understand this part?"  But she doesn't.  She barrels through and does a half-baked job at her AQ/TQs and has nothing to contribute to discussion except tears and laments of "But I didn't understand it."  I'm all for helping her - but we've reached the point (since I have other children to work with as well) that she must come to me when she doesn't understand.  Since this is an issue we had last year and has been carried over I decided it is time to nip it in the bud.  (Nip it, nip it, nip it, Andy! - Barney Fife)  If she is not ready for discussion by our scheduled time frame on Wednesdays (illness obviously excepted) then she will not be attending Awana that evening.   This would be devastating to her, so my hope is that this is a threat which should not have to be carried out more than once.

Princess E - 6th Grade - Dialectic
Latin for Children Primer A: This week she went back and did corrections on several pages she had gotten behind on.  She also reviewed a few concepts that were not sticking as well as they should.
Math-U-See Delta: Finish Lesson 23 and start Lesson 24
IEW: We worked on Lesson 4.  They watched the video, did a KWO and first draft for their chosen topic.
Foundations 1:  I just realized I haven't been reporting on her vocabulary program.  It is going well, a bit easy for her, but she is starting to look at some of the prefixes and endings of words that she doesn't understand and uses it to give her a better idea of what the word might mean.  So far she has studied the prefixes over-, under-, out-, and the suffixes -s, -er and -est.
MCT Language Arts:  We reviewed Sentence Island up to the point we stopped at (because I was supposed to complete Grammar Island first.) 
Spelling: We did not get a spelling bee in this week.
Science:  We did lesson 29 this week on the Apollo Program.
TOG Yr4 Wk8: Timeline; SAPs; AQ/TQs; Reading - Eric Liddell, , Idiot's Guide, The Making of Modern Africa (excerpts), Joseph Stalin, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Peter Pan

Princess S - 4th Grade - UG
Growing With Grammar 4: Chapter 2.3 to 2.5
Math-U-See Gamma: She finished the practice worksheets, but I felt that she still needed some more practice before taking the test.  So I printed some worksheets out from the Math-U-See Worksheet Generator
IEW, Spelling and Science: same as above
TOG Yr4 Wk8: Quizlet vocab; important people; SAPs; Reading - War, Peace and All That Jazz, The 1920s, Eric Liddell.  I was supposed to request her lit book from the library but I accidentally ordered the wrong book.  So I gave her a break from literature this week and for this week and next week she is to read a few chapter books of her choice for fun - no worksheets attached!  Don't say I never give her a treat!

Princess L - K - LG
Winter Promise Advanced K: Handwriting practice; Explode the Code - pgs 33-39; Reading - A Cub and Rub-a-Dub Cub; word family -ug and -um.
Math-U-See Primer: She raced through lesson 22 - counting by 5s.
Awana Sparks verses: She finished the verses for R, K and S and earned her rank patch.  She's quite excited to look like an official Sparky now.

Princess M - PreTOGger
Fun and games with big sissies.


Blog Problems

Just a side note to let you know that I realize there have been problems with comments and clicking on links.  I'm trying several different suggested things to try to fix the problem.  Please bear with me as I work on a few things and there are lots of changes.  Thank you.


Awana Color Night

It's been three years since our Awana club had a color night.  But the wait was ended tonight.  In the past, we started a tradition of spray painting hair on color night.  I think we've only ever had green.  Tonight we had two blue team members and one red team member.  Princess M wanted her hair done too, but I had to take her to Target and didn't want to deal with that one.  I told her we'd do her hair tomorrow since we didn't have to go anywhere.  I'm hoping she forgets about it!  Princess L is with her friends from Our Family for His Glory.  Princesses E and S are with our two neighbor girls.  What a night!


TOG Year 4 Week 7

The Roaring Twenties - that is what we've been studying this week.  But in our reality it has been more like the "Soggy Twenties (of September)" here.  It was a rough week, however, due to our trip to ND which took one day away from our week; and then Princess E ended up catching some sort of bug (probably from the water park) and ran a fever for two days and threw off our week even more.  But we got caught up and had our best discussion time yet!  And to think it began with tears as she claimed she didn't understand anything and didn't have a clue how to start.  But when she slowed down and did things in the order and manner I've been working with her on (gosh darn it mom is right!) then she did pretty well.  We ended our discussion with a goal.  She is getting better at finding the answers to her AQ/TQ questions in her reading.  She also types up her answers in a neat format and turns them in.  In turn, she is able to find the answers during discussion in either her reading or her AQ/TQ answers.  But, as I pointed out to her, her goal to work on (realistically not to be realized completely until the rhetoric stage) is to not merely quote what the books say, but to "narrate" back in her own words and have it mean something to her.

Princess E - 6th Grade - Dialectic
Latin for Children Primer A: Lesson 15 and 16 - at this point, we will be slowing down our pace a bit.  She has reached a few new concepts that she didn't have last year.  I haven't worked out the details yet but I hope to have her do one and a half lessons a week through the rest of Primer A.
Math-U-See Delta: Lesson 23
IEW: Due to her illness, we didn't do any IEW this week as I didn't want to do the next lesson without her.
MCT Language Arts:  We finished Grammar Island.  We will continue with where we left of in Sentence Island and will be starting the Practice Books in another week.
Spelling: Had a bee and every M&M was earned.
Science:  Due to the same aforementioned illness, we did not do any science this week.
TOG Yr4 Wk7: Timeline; SAPs; AQ/TQs; Reading - Eric Liddell, Women's Right to Vote, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Idiot's Guide, The Gift of Music, Poetry for Young People Robert Frost.

Princess S - 4th Grade - UG
Growing With Grammar 4: Chapter 1 review to 2.2
Math-U-See Gamma: finish 22 and begin 23.  She is having the same problem that Princess E had in remembering to shift over with the second digit in double digit multiplication.  But today after she finished her worksheet but before she turned it in, she realized her mistake.  She wasn't happy at having to redo it, but when I pointed out that it wouldn't affect her grade that way, she was a little more satisfied.
IEW, Spelling and Science: same as above
TOG Yr4 Wk7: Quizlet vocab; important people; SAPs; Reading - War, Peace and All That Jazz, The 1920s, The Wind in the Willows, Eric Liddell

Princess L - K - LG
Winter Promise Advanced K: Handwriting practice; Explode the Code - pgs 25-32; Reading - Fish Gift and Bill; played Concentration and Word Work games with -id, -ig and -ill word families.
Math-U-See Primer: She reduced her flashcard speed to 1:24 and got another trip to the prize bucket.  She whizzed through lesson 21 - solving for the unknown.  But she has the tendency to just count the spaces on the blocks rather than trying other blocks when she doesn't know the answer.

Princess M - PreTOGger
Fun and games with big sissies.


TOG Year 4 Week 6

We finished up our study of WWI this week.  It was interesting to notice how the world changed in so many ways as a result of this war.  Having the benefit of hindsight, we looked at how the world was doomed to fight again two decades later as a result of vengeance and retribution instead of forgiveness.

Princess E - 6th Grade - Dialectic
Latin for Children Primer A - Lessons 13 and 14
Math-U-See Delta: Begin lesson 23
IEW: We finished up our  work on lesson three.
MCT Language Arts:  Continue Grammar Island.  We finished the parts of speech, the parts of a sentence and clauses.  So now we know how to do a four part analysis of a sentence.  We will begin our practice books next week.
Spelling: We had a spelling bee and almost every skittle was earned.
TOG Yr4 Wk5:  Timeline; SAPs; AQ/TQs; Reading - Idiot's Guide, Anne of Green Gables, The Gift of Music, Usborne Intro to WWI; Read Alouds - The Story of the World Volume 4
Science: God's Design for Heaven and Earth Our Universe - Lesson 28
McCrabb: Book A Test 11 - we only got one in this week do to preparing for our trip to ND
She also gave her first mini-report for our co-op.  She reported on Fritz Haber who is considered the father of chemical warfare, having created the first gas bombs and the first gas masks.

Princess S - 4th Grade - UG
McCrabb: Book A Test 11
Math-U-See Gamma: Lesson 22
Growing With Grammar 4: 1.15 to 1.17
TOG Yr4 Wk5: Quizlet vocab; Important people; SAPs; Read Alouds - same as above; Reading - War, Peace and All That Jazz, WWI, The Wind in the Willows
IEW, MCT and Spelling - same as above

Princess L - K - LG
Winter Promise Adv K: Handwriting practice; Explode the Code pg 17-24; Reading - A Pig, Pig Jigs; study -ig and -ill word families
Math-U-See Primer: We worked on building numbers with blocks as a review and counting by 2s.  She also filled in a hundreds chart with the 5s and 10s included.  We continued flashcards and she decreased her time to 1:42 earning another trip to the prize bucket.

Princess M - PreTOGger
Fun and games with big sissies.

A Day in the Life of the School 4 Princesses

I attempted to take pictures of our day for several days last week.  Unfortunately, they aren't that great.  But hopefully it will give you some small picture of the craziness of our day.

First are some shots of Princess L doing her new chore.  She has to rinse the breakfast dishes and load them in the dishwasher.  Then she puts in the soap and starts it.  Finally, she has to wipe down the counters, rinse out the sink and run the disposal.  She is doing fairly well, though I dare say our water bill will go up for a while.

Next we have a shot of Princess E during her piano practice.  Generally, while she is practicing, Princess S is doing preschool with Princess M and I am doing school with Princess L.  So the next two shots are of Princess S reading to Princess M (though Princess L had to jump in while I was looking for the camera) and doing an activity from here.  She has to match up the colored halves of caterpillars and Princess S helps her to say the right color.  When the half hour is up and they switch who practices and who does preschool.

The next four shots are of Princess L doing her school.  (Notice the day she put on a Piglet costume which is about three sizes too small but she had to wear it anyway.)  The one with her head on the table was because she had just finished putting the words from the -ill family in alphabetical order.  There is also an example of copy work I made with her Awana verses.

Finally, there is a shot of Princess E doing her individual work.  The last shot is an example of what you get when you have a kid with ADD and SPD who cannot remember to turn in her work to Mom's "IN" bin and leaves it on her desk along with markers for her little sister to decorate for her.  Every. Single. Day.


TOG Year 4 Week 5

This week we continued learning about WWI.  This was also the first transition week to our new schedule.  It is beginning to help.  Princess E still, however, has an attitude about doing school work on the weekends.  And she refuses to do it.  I explained to her that she is in middle school now, and if she were going to a PS, she would have homework every night and on the weekends.  She doesn't believe me, however.  It doesn't help that one of the neighborhood girls (who was held off on K until she was six but is also a very gifted student) finishes any and all homework before she ever leaves school, and the other (who is ten months older but in the same grade) has a study hall at the end of the day and has so far finished all her schoolwork during that hour.  With our new schedule change, however, she will not be able to get away from it as she will have to tackle some of her reading on the weekends, or else do some of her other subjects in order to have her history reading and AQ/TQs done for a Wednesday discussion. 

Princess E - 6th Grade - Dialectic
McCrabb:  Book A Test 10 - her ten test average came in at 4.92.  She wasn't very happy, and I explained that it showed me that she is still trying to speed through her reading.  She finished most tests with 30 to 40 seconds left.  But she would make silly errors on the questions.  So I told her she needs to slow down a little and make sure she understands what each sentence is saying before going on.
Latin For Children Primer A:  Lessons 11 and 12.  In two more lessons, we will change our pace from two days per lesson, to four days per lesson, as there is a bit of new material mixed in with things she learned last year.
Math-U-See Delta: Finish lesson 22
IEW: We skipped lesson two, as both girls seem to understand the process of writing a KWO quite well.  We went on to lesson three, and did a KWO, rough draft and final draft on a fictional short story.  They were assigned another story to begin the process with again.
MCT Language Arts:  Continue Grammar Island.  We took a quiz on labeling the parts of speech for four sentences and they did quite well.  They are really enjoying this series, as am I, for it's humor and originality.
Spelling: Did our first spelling bee during group time.  Earned two skittles for each correctly spelled word out of ten words.
TOG Yr4 Wk5: Timeline; Student Activity Pages (SAPs); AQ/TQs; Reading - Anne of Green Gables, Home Run to Heaven, Usborne Intro to WWI, Complete Idiot's Guide to 20th Century; Read Alouds - Pollyanna, The Story of the World Vol. 4.  We finished Pollyanna and I broke down and purchased the DVD at Sam's Club.  The girls were so excited to watch it, but were very disappointed because of all the changes to the storyline.  I reminded them that, "That's Hollywood for you."
Science: God's Design for Heaven and Earth Our Universe - lesson 27 and quiz on planets

Princess S - 4th Grade - UG
McCrabb: Book A Test 10.  Her ten test average was 5.01.  This was a big boost to her (especially when here older sister got a lower average.) I'm hoping that it helps her to see that she can do well when she applies herself.
Math-U-See Gamma: Finish lesson 21 and begin lesson 22
Growing With Grammar 4: 1.13 and 1.14
TOG Yr 4 Wk5: Quizlet vocab; Important People; SAPs; Read Alouds - same as above; Reading -  Fanny Crosby, Where Poppies Grow, WWI, The Railway Children, War Game
Spelling, IEW and MCT: same as above
Science: same as above

Princess L - K - LG
Winter Promise Adv K: play Memory game with -an, -ap, and -at; Handwriting practice with sentences; Read - Jack, Crab Trap; Explode the Code - pg 9-16
Math-U-See Primer: Lesson 19F - Lesson 20E; flashcards - on Friday she reached her goal and earned a trip to the prize bucket, we'll be adding in new cards in another week or so.
Spelling: same as above
TOG: Read alouds - same as above; Reading - The Velveteen Rabbit.
We also began teaching her to load the dishwasher.  Each morning from 8:15 to 8:30 she will rinse and load the breakfast dishes, then start the dishwasher.  Then she has to wipe down the counters around the sink, rinse our the sink with the sprayer, and run the disposal.  For now, she is excited to do it. I hope to have her master this task by the end of the year so that we can start 2011 with three kids able to load the dishwasher.  Then she will be the loader for every meal and her sisters will split the unloading and putting away task.  Princess L is too little to reach up and put them away.

Princess M - PreTOGger
Fun and games with big sissies.


Princess L Funnies

So this morning DH was getting ready to leave to go to the men's breakfast at church.  Before he walked out the door he said to Princess L who was sitting at the kitchen table coloring, "Hey (Princess L), before I leave can I have you spell a word for me?"  Last night at dinner we were teaching Daddy how to give spelling words the way we do them for our spelling bees.  It took a lot of practice.  So Princess L looks up and says to him, "Mop - M O P - mop."  And then she goes back to coloring.  We looked at each other and lost it.


New Schedule

My goodness, we're already done with five weeks of school!  This was a shake-up week.  After our fourth week, I did an assessment of sorts - a shift in our morning itinerary meant a bunch of changes.  I came up with a two stage implementation plan.  The first stage was this week, the second will occur after we return from a weekend jaunt to ND to visit my Grandmother and Aunt & Uncle.  Because of various times we have to be out of the house (co-op for everyone, piano lessons for the older two princesses, ballet for Princess L, speech therapy for Princess L, Awana, etc.) I have had a hard time figuring out a schedule.  I finally came upon the revelation that we have one of three different types of days.  So I figured out a schedule for each type of day and gave each one a color.  We now have either a red day, a blue day or a green day.  Each day's schedule is posted and that gives us a ballpark to work with.  Also, I've really felt the need to move science back into our regular school year.  My plans for the last two years have had us doing science during school breaks.  But the reality is that stuff comes up over breaks, and only about one third of my plans get completed.  Therefore, we didn't finish our curriculum for either of the last two years.  Well, God used this blog entry to help me figure out what to do.  Since DH decided he wanted to be a part of our Bible time and we moved it to the evenings after he gets home and eats, I have an extra half hour in the mornings to work with.  So here is what came of it.

2010_2011 School Daily Schedule 2                                                            

The oldest two princesses and I have a two hour group time three times a week.  We have a looping schedule with IEW (writing), science, spelling, MCT (language arts), and a memory work section.  For science we are continuing where we left off in God's Design For Heaven & Earth: Our Universe.  Our memory work will include the longer passages that our co-op is doing this year, learning all the states and capitols, and learning the presidents in order.  I have a list of the assignments we need to accomplish in each area and we work at one until we finish that assignment.  Then we move to the next subject in the loop.  I figure most weeks we should get through the loop about one and a half times.  Sometimes it will be more, and sometimes less, but I won't sweat it.  Since we will be finishing our non-looped subjects the second week of May, I figure we can use the other four weeks until the public schools are done to work on the looped subjects and finish them up. 

The other thing that I switched pertains to our TOG schedule.  Up to now, our first day has been Monday and our finish up day on Friday.  Princess E and I have tried to do our discussion times on Fridays.  But last year she never finished her AQ/TQ questions by Friday afternoons and discussion would get pushed off to Saturdays or even Sundays.  And then we were in a time crunch, and neither of us really wanted to do it then so we had bad attitudes.  It was getting to be too much.  Once again, God showed me what to do through another TOG blog.  Our week will now begin on Fridays.  I will sit with Princess E and go through the AQ/TQ questions and underline the key words.   We have started going through some of her reading assignments together and leaving post it notes with which questions are answered where.  (Thanks, Pam, for that advice.) I also have her trying to summarize verbally what the page or section is talking about.  She will have to do some reading over the weekends.  She will have to write out her AQ/TQs by Tuesday so that we can do discussion on Wednesdays.  Princess M will be sleeping, Princess S will be at piano, and Princess L can have her Jump Start Computer time - that way they are all occupied and not able to interrupt.  Then Thursday will be evaluation day, when we decide to use them.  Sometimes I just give them out as assignments to find the answers and turn in.  It depends how busy we are any given week.  We are starting the switch after our ND trip, however.  Too much at one time is overload.


Princess M: New Habits

Princess M has developed a quirky new habit.  As she is talking through her thoughts, often times out loud to herself, I've noticed some linguistic patterns.  She will talk for a minute and then when she comes to her conclusion she says "so", then launches into what comes next.  It amazes me because she is using the word correctly, but for the life of me I cannot figure out where she is getting it.  There isn't anyone that she comes in regular contact with that generally uses the word "so" to get to their point on any consistent basis.  It is something she does almost everytime now.  It's rather cute.


Kid Funnies or The Squirrels and the Bees

Tonight Princess L was looking out the window of the van as we were driving to church for Awana registration.  All of a sudden she got real excited.  She said, "Hey Mom I just saw two squirrels.  One was sitting on top of the other.  I think they were kissing!"  I just kept right on driving and thanked God that her two older sisters weren't paying any attention.  Because if they had, I knew that those comments would have been repeated at church - loudly.


TOG Year 4 Week 4

This week we have continued our study of WWI.  We learned about what life in the trenches was like, and how the new technologies affected the way the war was fought.  We learned about how the new way of fighting meant a much higher death toll.

Princess E - 6th Grade - Dialectic
McCrabb: Book A Tests 7-9
Latin For Children Primer A: Review lessons eight (second half) through lesson ten.
IEW: Finished KWO, rough draft and final draft of a paragraph on the Panama Canal.
Math-U-See Delta: Began lesson 22.
MCT Language Arts: Continue reading Grammar Island.  We have almost finished our study of the 8 parts of speech, which is really a review.  One new thing that wasn't properly learned before was the fact that a conjunction must join two similar parts of speech.  IE: two nouns, two verbs, or two adjectives.
Spelling Power: Did placement tests and we will begin tests next week on list H.  We will not be following this as the program suggests, I am really just using the leveled tests for the words.  We are going to be combining this method, with Spelling City, which we've not used but since they LOVE computer games, I figured this would be a place to put those misspelled words instead of writing them.  Anything but write them - writing anything but the bare minimum leaves some of my princesses with a bad attitude.
TOG Yr4 W4:  Timeline; ; Student Activity Pages (SAPs); Accountability and Thinking Questions (AQ/TQ); Reading - The Gift of Music, Anne of Green Gables, Home Run to Heaven: Billy Sunday, The Complete Idiot's Guide to the 20th Century, The Usborne Introduction to the First World War; Read Alouds - The Story of the World Volume 4, Pollyanna  (We have been listening to this during lunch and dinner.  I found the audio linked on My Audio School which is an awesome site to go to if you have an auditory learner, or one who is a great reader but finds it easier to comprehend when they hear and read at the same time.  I highly recommend it.)

Princess S - 4th Grade - Upper Grammar
McCrabb: Book A Tests 7-9
Growing With Grammar 4 (GWG4): Chapter 1.10 to 1.12
Math-U-See Gamma: Begin lesson 21.  After many exclamations of "I can't do this!" she got the concept down and whizzed through this.  We'll be testing on Monday.
TOG Yr 4 W4: Quizlet vocab; Important People Copywork; SAPs; Read Alouds - same as above; Reading (again - portions each week) - World War One, The Railway Children (with audio again from My Audio School,) Fanny Crosby: Queen of Gospel Songs.  (One of the books that we were to use last week and this week finally came in to the library late today.  We didn't use it the last two weeks.  Instead, I've utilized a method suggested by My Father's World curriculum - book basket.  Often when I go to pick up our books from the library, I go to those sections and grab a few extra books on the topics we are studying.  If I don't assign those books, they will most often be read throughout the week at various times.  Or if there are questions to be answered that they are having a hard time finding, there are additional sources to look to.  We ended up using these a lot the last two weeks.)
Spelling Power:  Placement testing revealed we will begin at level F next week.  I think she will get through this easily, as I think most of her spelling errors were due to it being right before lunch.  But, the extra review won't hurt.  And, as she will be competing with her sisters for candy, the bit of easier words will be an ego booster for her, which she badly needs.
IEW and MCT Language Arts: same as above except she chose to do her IEW paragraph on the Wright Brothers and their first flights.

Princess L - K - Lower Grammar
Winter Promise Advanced K: Studied the letter a and its three sounds;  read "Fat Cat"; handwriting page; -at word family; Explode the Code Book 1 pg i-8; played Concentration with -an, -ap and -at words; began a year long Picture Dictionary project.  We formally discussed the rule of silent e.  This is a rule she knows (thanks to the Leap Frog videos) but we never had really read those words last year.  I'm amazed at how well she is doing with it.
Math-U-See Primer: We continued working on flashcards for 1s and 0s.  We added in the doubles 2+2, 3+3, 4+4 and 5+5.  Her goal is all 39 cards in less than two minutes so that she can have a trip to the prize bag.  We also did lesson 19A to 19E.
TOG Yr 4 W4: Read Alouds - same as above; Reading - Anne of Green Gables (a simpler version than above).  We also read a slew of library books "Just one more time" before they had to be returned.  (I'm sure we'll see most of those books again sometime in the not so distant future.)

Princess M - PreTOGGer
Did some games from Letter of the Week.  We had several things going on this week, so we didn't do anything formal.  There was also some outside playtime in the little pool. Today was much cooler, so outside playtime included warm clothing and mittens.

Finally, we all attended the first meeting of our new co-op in a town near us.  I had to lead the first meeting with the older kids.  We focused on Henry Ford and his assembly line technology and the Wright Brothers and their airplane.  I showed the kids how to fold a paper airplane.  Then the two kids that knew it the best each had three minutes to fold as many planes as they could (each did four and were part way through) in three and a half minutes.  Then we assigned each of the kids one fold.  The got into an assembly line and were given three and a half minutes.  They completed about 27 planes, then took another two minutes to finish the others that were in various stages of completion.  They ended up with 40 some planes.  One boy brought his cookie dough map of WWI, and everyone devoured the battle fields.  We asked some of the pop quiz questions on the presidents, the Titanic and the Panama Canal. I also gave a demonstration of two mini-reports.  One, which was hammed up as much as possible, which was purposely really bad.  The other was in the IEW style of an oral report from a KWO.  Each child will be doing some type of mini-report or project presentation every other week.  Three children will present each week.  The first unit will focus on inventions from the turn of the century through the Depression.  All in all I thought it went quite well.


Kid Funnies (or Exasperations)

So Princess E spent a LONG time on her schoolwork today.  She made some choices yesterday, despite my suggestions to the contrary, that resulted in much work today.  So she was working on her math at 8:30 tonight.  When I told her it was time to move to her room, she argued with me that she needed the white board in our school room in order to finish her math.  She had a new system, she claimed, that was working well for her.  What was her system?  She writes the problem on the white board first and solves it there.  Then, she writes the problem on her scratch paper.  Finally, she writes the answer in her Math-U-See book.  I asked her why she did it that way, as it seemed that it was many extra unnecessary steps.  She said that it was easier to erase off the white board than to use her pencil eraser on scratch paper.  I asked her why it was called scratch paper, then, instead of eraser paper.  I said, "Just scratch it out if you make a mistake."  She looked at me with a completely dumbfounded look and said, "Oh yeah!  I guess that would work wouldn't it."  As my brother would say when we were kids - DUH!


TOG Year 4 Week 3

This week, we began a four week study of WWI.  In some ways, I am looking forward to studying this myself.  I only have a vague recollection of the Progressively tilted public education I received in history, but history has always fascinated me.  So to get to study it now, when I have the benefit of being able to care about the subject and want to learn from the mistakes that were made, is exciting.  Yet, the brutality of WWI - any war - is not something that I look forward to.  It will no doubt bring questions that are hard, but that I realize my children must begin to ask and have answered.  We must understand that the problems in this world are all traced back to the sin of humankind and their refusal to follow God's plans.  And WWI is no exception. 

The older princesses had a sleep over on Thursday with the Bible Study they have attended this summer.  So we had to cut short our normal Friday activities due to tiredness.  Princess E has two assignments yet to hand in (Sunday morning) and will have to complete them this afternoon.

Princess E - 6th Grade - Dialectic
McCrabb: Book A Tests 4-6
Latin For Children Primer A: Review lessons five (second half) through first part of lesson eight.
IEW: We wrote the final draft of our Sea Snakes paragraph.  They each choose another paragraph to do a KWO for and will do another paragraph this next week.
Math-U-See: Reviewed sections in Delta done last year and watched a few lessons on DVD that weren't remembered
MCT Language Arts: We began reading Grammar Island.  It is a quick review, so far, of what we already know.  But we are doing some fun whiteboard exercises.  They love to write on the whiteboard!
TOG Yr4 W1:  Timeline; President Notebook - Woodrow Wilson; Student Activity Pages (SAPs); Accountability and Thinking Questions (AQ/TQ); Reading - The Gift of Music, Stories for Young People: O. Henry, Home Run to Heaven: Billy Sunday, The Complete Idiot's Guide to the 20th Century, The Usborne Introduction to the First World War; Read Alouds - The Story of the World Volume 4, Pollyanna

Princess S - 4th Grade - Upper Grammar
McCrabb: Book A Tests 4-6
Growing With Grammar 4 (GWG4): Chapter 1.7 to 1.9
Math-U-See:  Reviewed multiplication facts from Gamma that we learned last year
TOG Yr 4 W1: Quizlet vocab; Important People Copywork; SAPs; Read Alounds - same as above; Reading (again - portions each week) - An Age of Extremes, World War One, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, Fanny Crosby: Queen of Gospel Songs
IEW and MCT Language Arts: same as above

Princess L - K - Lower Grammar
Winter Promise Advanced K: Review letters u,c,l,g,w,y,v,z, and x; study the -an family and -ap family; practice handwriting letters; read "A Cat" - A Word Family Mini-book.
Math-U-See: We continued working on flashcards and added in the +0 and 0+ facts.  Working on saying them faster.
TOG Yr 4 W1: Read Alouds - same as above; Reading - The Tale of Peter Rabbit, The Tale of Benjamin Bunny, In Flanders Fields: The Story of the Pom.  This last one, we pretty much just read the poem and looked at the pictures and talked about the fact that there was a war almost 100 years ago that included much of the world. 

Princess M - PreTOGGer
Did some games from Letter of the Week.  She enjoyed the size and shape sorting activities with Princess E.  I printed out the A-Z Floor letters and laminated them.  Princess S made a maze around the house and they hopped from letter to letter saying the letter names.  I printed out the Do-A-Dot pages and she covered the circles with pom-pom magnets with Princess E and then with small circle stickers with Princess S.  Yes - I am relegating preschool this year to my eldest two princesses.  They do a fabulous job and they love it, and so does Princess M.  I need the time with Princess L for Kindergarten, and the only way to do it is to have them attend to Princess M.  When you homeschool, you just do what works.  And this works for all of us for now.


TOG Year 4 Week 2

This was a bit of a mixed up week for us.  Nanny came to town to attend a funeral, and as anyone knows, it's hard to concentrate when Nanny (our word for my mom) comes to town.  They did pretty good at getting their tasks done and having some time to play.  Also, we made a short trip to the North Shore so our day on Friday was very limited.  There were some things that got skipped this week.

Princess E - 6th Grade - Dialectic

McCrabb: This would be one of the things we skipped this week.  We'll get back on track next week.
Latin For Children Primer A: Review lessons three, four and first part of five.

IEW: we began the first lesson of SWI-A.  This was really a review as we watched the version of Key Word Outlines that comes with TWSS.  We watched the DVD and did one outline.  But that was as much as we fit in.

MCT Language Arts: We started lesson two of Sentence Island.  Then I realized that really, I was supposed to start with Grammar Island.  So I let the Nanny excuse work for the rest of the week.  We'll start Grammar Island on Monday, but I know we'll speed through this grammar review.
TOG Yr4 W1:  Timeline; President Notebook - William Taft; Student Activity Pages (SAPs); Accountability and Thinking Questions (AQ/TQ); Reading - The Gift of Music, The Call of the Wild, With Daring Faith, Bully for you Teddy Roosevelt, The Complete Idiot's Guide to the 20th Century ; Read Alouds - The Story of the World Volume 4, Kids at Work: Lewis Hine and the Crusade Against Child Labor

Our discussion time got cut short due to having to leave town at 2:30.  I had the best intentions of finishing on Sunday.  Yeah - right!

Princess S - 4th Grade - Upper Grammar
McCrabb: Skipped this week
Growing With Grammar 4 (GWG4): Chapter 1.4 to 1.6
TOG Yr 4 W1: Quizlet vocab; Important People Copywork; SAPs; Read Alounds - same as above; Reading (again - portions each week) - An Age of Extremes, Titanic, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
IEW and MCT Language Arts: same as above

Princess L - K - Lower Grammar
Winter Promise Advanced K: Review letters l,p,s,n,o,j,h and d; study the -ag family and -ab family; practice handwriting letters.

Math-U-See: we reviewed building numbers with the blocks and the various names we gave each of the colored blocks.  Also we began learning how to do flash cards.  More on this in a separate post here.
TOG Yr 4 W1: Read Alouds - same as above; Reading - The Legend of the Teddy Bear, If You Lived in the Time of the Great San Francisco Earthquake.  The second one we just scanned over and read certain portions.  She doesn't like the pages without pictures, so she gets squirmy and loses focus.

Princess M - PreTOGGer
Spent quality time with Nanny while her sissies were doing their school work.

We will be adding in Math-U-See for the older two princesses next week.  I will do a review with Princess S of her multiplication facts using both flashcards and the online drills at the Math-U-See site.  I will be offering a peanut M&M for each fact she can answer in a three second time slot the first time she gets the card.  And yes, I'm so nice I'm even going to let her review the cards on her own first.  I figured it would be a fun way to get her to do this dreaded task.  I'm not sure what we'll do with Princess E for review.  I may just have her do some online drills this week to see where her weak spots are.