My Simple Woman's Daybook 9/13/2010

Outside my window...humid

I am thinking...I've been up since 4:00 am.  It's amazing the things you can get done when you get up that early!

I am hearing...Logan playing the keyboard.

I am thankful for...our great weekend! Lots of resting and doing things that I don't normally want to spend too much time doing.

From our lesson plans...Konos character Self Control, math and reading games, lots of reading!

From the kitchen...baking and cooking this week...
3 bean salad
Asian Salad
Granola Bars
Chicken, Green Beans & Potatoes in Crockpot
Spaghetti & Meatballs
Carbonera Pasta Crusted Pizza

I am going...
Monday - gym, baseball
Tuesday - gym, baseball
Wednesday- gym, baseball
Thursday - Ignite, gym, baseball
Friday - nowhere
Saturday - two baby showers
Sunday - church

I am reading... Never Let You Go by Erin Healy, Habits of a Child's Heart by Valerie Hess, 31 Days of Praise by Ruth Warren, Boxcar Children Big Yo-Yo Mystery

I am hoping...that Logan would quit being cranky.  I think he's teething

Around the house...getting boys Fall/Winter clothes out, cutting out stockings that I'm making for Christmas.

Works For Me

I would have to say we are a very eclectic style of homeschooling family.  I like unit studies, bits and pieces from a few curriculum, LOVE hands on games (especially for my wild, wiggly boys), enjoy some structure, firmly believe that you can homeschool your kids for practically free, and think that most of learning is unplanned opportunities that happen during daily life.  Through all this I've learned that a very flexible routine work for us, and most kids like to have some sort of structure so that they know what to expect day to day, although they love the choices and creativity of helping pick what they are interested in and what they want to learn.

I thought surely there's someone else out there like me that is a organizer/planner that has learned the balance of organization with creative learning.  Workboxes almost had me, but after stalking people who did these for awhile, the thought of having to round up supplies every week and have those stack of boxes sitting around caused me to discard the thought.

We already have a chore card system in place (I did this growing up).  It works great because instead of a list that gets marked off and never seen again, you have a tangible card that can be moved to different days of the week within your card box (I'll share about this system soon.)

It finally occurred to me to write all the little creative learning ideas on cards just like chores and have them in boxes for the boys to pick from.

I run across ideas in books, blogs, etc, but to remember the idea was my problem.  Then when we were ready to sit down and do activities I wasted so much time trying to find that idea that I was thinking about and the time is gone.  Now I just jot it on a card (sometimes with a short description).  On the back I put the initial of the kid it is for, what resource I got it from (if I did), and what subject.
Any supplies used just for a particular game goes in a ziploc bag labeled with appropriate items inside, and I mark "bag" on the back of the card.

I keep all supplies on these two shelving systems and the boys can go pick the item out for the card that they want to do.

I also have an "extra" section in the back of their card boxes.  No boredom around this house!  If they need something to do, they can go look through the extra section for boredom buster ideas!  (It never fails that when they are bored I can't think about ideas - now they're all written down).

If you have any questions ask away!  I will be sharing more of my resources and activity ideas this week.  If you have a good organized/with flexibility system for school activities please share!
We Haven't Started School Yet
It’s hard not to get caught up in the whole hype of the first day of school. We are going to have an official start day the day after Labor Day, but through my ponderings of what we are going to do through the school year I’ve reflected on what we’ve done this summer. Here is our day Tuesday just to give an example of what our summer break has been like taking a break from “school”.
Early A.M.: While reading my Bible I decide to read a Psalms out loud to my kids. Long discussion ensues on heaven, God, Jesus, making right choices, David, Goliath, Satan, and on and on.
Finish reading our chapter book, The Boxcar Children Caboose Mystery. Questions and discussions about the story and many other random things follow.
Boys go play outside, then inside building legos and skateboard ramps for their lego guys.

Kaden asks to play numberbow with me. Will wants to build a tower. I ask, Will, can you sort this box of legos by color, can you build me a tower with 12 black blocks, can you build me a tower that has a pattern of blue, red, yellow. Ok, so we have some unplanned math.

Throughout the day: Will: “I know what F starts with! Football!” (Same difference. He gets the concept. Discussion follows about other letters and their sounds.)
Kaden: “I’m going to make a mask.” Lots of cutting, pasting, and coloring goes on before he has his creation.
“Let’s write Grandad Bill notes and put them in his mailbox.” Lots of drawing, spelling, coloring, erasing, rewriting, crumpling, starting over until they are happy with their letters and go deliver them.
We picked the garden, played games, drew pictures & did puzzles throughout the day as well.

Lunchtime discussion: Questions: “What is a bobcat?” “What do they eat?” “What animals eat chickens?” “How do chicks hatch?” “Is this a chicken’s arm?” “How big are lions?” “Is Goliath in hell?” “Were angels already on earth or did God create them?” “Do deer eat people?” Very random. Lots of learning and discussion. Zoology, check.
Reading time: Read a book about hot and cold. Discussed weather, friction, seasons, & other random questions. (It takes us a long time to get through books through all the discussions.)Read a book about The Stupids (one of their favorite books). Read Mickey Moonbeam. Talked about outer space, planets, space ships, aliens, etc, etc.

Snack time: I ask if they’ve gotten enough colors of the rainbow in their diet. Discussion follows of healthy foods and the fact that yellow cheese doesn’t count as yellow, but the mango we’re eating does. They go grab a handful of peas, and take a bite of tomato to get a little more colors taken care of for the day.
Driving to the Ignite kick-off: Questions: “How many miles are we going?” “Are we there yet?”“How many miles are left?” “How many minutes are in a year?” “I’m going to count until we get there.” “I’m going the read the signs.” “What is the difference between a farm and a ranch?”“What are boulders?”

And on and on and on and on… That’s just a few of the learning opportunities we had that day and every other day.
So yeah we haven’t “started” school yet. I better get on the ball because I’m afraid they might not learn anything. They might be getting behind! Ha!
This just proves that life really is school, and even though I’m going to throw in a couple of more structured things throughout the year, after our “official start” of school our days just won’t look much different than this one.
My Simple Woman's Daybook 2/1/2010

Outside my window...lots of snow

I am thinking...another day stuck at home... oh well...I love it

I am hearing...Will eating cereal

I am thankful pazzles inspiration and my glue pen (I've been scrapbooking a lot lately)

From our lesson plans...crafts from and to name a few, red, yellow, green, blue. Games from Games for Learning. Lots of reading! Maybe some valentines crafts.

From the kitchen...baking and cooking this week...
(I rarely follow recipes, but I normally look recipes up close to what I make to post for those of you that have asked - I change things a lot too)
Chicken, bacon pizza, salad
Gumbo Soup, turkey kielbasa
Cajun Chicken, wild rice

I am going...
Monday - nowhere
Tuesday - maybe gym?
Wednesday- life group
Thursday - Ignite, gym, baseball practice
Friday - nowhere
Saturday - church
Sunday - Super Bowl Party

I am reading... Conspiracy of the Rich, How to Get Your Child Off the Refrigerator and On to Learning

I am hoping...that these roads clear up enough for workers to work on the new house.

Around the house...scrapbooking, straightening, maybe starting sewing on the stockings that I'm making for next Christmas.

My Simple Woman's Daybook 10/19/2009

Outside my window...Dark and windy. Jon had to leave early and I couldn't get back to sleep.

I am last week I wasn't ready for baby to come. I'm ready now!

I am brewing...mmm.

I am thankful for...great friends and family who check in with me during this season of my life.

From our lesson plans...Autumn unit study I got free through The Old Schoolhouse Store. We've been drawing lots of pumpkins around here. Lots of games and reading as usual.

From the kitchen...baking and cooking this week...
Apple Almond Bread
Sweet Potato Bread
High Fiber Oatmeal Banana Waffles
Asian Chicken Noodle Soup
Chicken Tortilla Soup
Nachos Supreme
Grilled Brats, macaroni salad
Mini Meatloafs

I am going...
Monday - gym, baseball practice
Tuesday - Dr.'s Appt., errands, baseball game
Wednesday- baseball game
Thursday - Ignite, gym
Friday - nowhere
Saturday - church
Sunday - nowhere

I am reading... Day After Night.

I am hoping...that I can just be at peace and live in this moment even though it seems like so much anticipation for upcoming baby, house, etc. God, help me live for you in this moment!

Around the house...picking out countertops, garage doors, etc for new house. Finally time to pack the bag for the hospital and get the cradle and car seat from friends. Working on Christmas gifts.

Pregnancy pic...40 weeks on Saturday!


Here's the last 4 months...


Join us every monday here.
Our Homeschool Journal 10/5 - 10/9

We took a break from unit studies to get some more time spent on reading and math skills. As always I try to come up with fun ways to teach skills current to the boys' learning so that they don't even know it's "school".

To help Kaden with his addition and subtraction, in addition to printing numbers, he wrote the numbers from 1 to 30 on individual index cards. We laid them out in order and did counting by twos, fives, and tens. (He got to jump to each index card as he counted it). We counted backwards from 30 a few times, and then he had to do it without looking. I find that "challenges" are a good way to motivate him. I say, "Try to count backwards from 20 before I finish loading the dishwasher", etc. Not only have I given him a challenge, I get housework done too! Getting comfortable with the order of numbers helps him with addition and subtraction equations. Will even joined in on the counting forwards and backwards.


For reading we have been doing thinking games like I'll say, "I'm thinking of something that barks and rhymes with log", etc. Kaden guesses and then gets to give me one. For Will I say, "I'm thinking of something that starts with "B", and he guesses all the words he can think of that start with that sound, etc. We have fun going back and forth with these type of thinking games.

The boys have a favorite that we always come back to. I hide index cards around the room with relevant words, letters, colors, shapes (whatever they need to work on!) around the room. They have to find them and tell me what's on the card. Kaden is currently working on sight words. Will has graduated from colors to letters!

We got a Haloween drawing book that shows step-by-step instructions of how to draw little monsters and things with just shapes and lines. The boys have been having fun with this.
My Simple Woman's Daybook 10/12/2009

Outside my window...Drizzly and cold. Um, where did Fall go? It seems like Winter already!

I am thinking...I am the wierdest pregnant woman. I was up all night with contractions and was freaking out because I'm not ready for the baby to come yet. I have too many things I still need to do first, so no early baby please.

I am thankful for...Jon being home!

From our lesson plans...Autumn unit study I got free through The Old Schoolhouse Store. Lots of games and reading as usual.

From the kitchen...baking and cooking this week...
Monday - leftovers
Tuesday - breakfast casserole, homeade rolls
Wednesday - out
Thursday - leftovers
Friday - paninis, salad
Saturday - steaks, cheesy potatoes, green beans
Sunday - tuna patties
banana muffins

I am going...
Monday - gym, baseball game
Tuesday - Dr.'s Appt., gym, baseball game
Wednesday- nowhere
Thursday - gym
Friday - nowhere
Saturday - nowhere
Sunday - family BD party

I am reading... Nothing . . . can't focus on anything right now . . . I need good reading suggestions!

I am hoping...that the building of our house goes smoothly - or at least I can not freak out so much when little hiccups come along the way!

Around the house...ordering dumpster, rock, wood burning stove, jacuzzi tub, etc. for new house.

Here's the progress on our house so far...course by the end of today it will look way different, the framers are so fast!


Join us every monday here.