Monday, April 30, 2007

First Impressions-

This is a two part blog- the first is a journal of our school day- the second an entry about new blogger friends.

I woke up on time today, but felt brain dead. The boys were up on tim and Manuel got up, but fell asleep on the couch. My boys asked to dig outside this morninf. So they worked on their current school project- digging a hole in my backyard. Whenever they choose to do something like this, Ki calls it a school project- so I'll let him do it 'instead of schoolwork'. It's cute. So I then ask him what he is learning with his project and get to hear all kinds of reasons....

The did reading and spelling before lunch. For lunch we went to a greasy fast food, fried chicken joint next to their school (where they take once a week clases). It's called Chicken Louie's. Manuel enjoyed saying the name. We ate at the school. the food place is just carry out. Connor found over 60 cents under their pop machines. This is what he does everywhere we go. He's even found foreign currency on occassion!

A lady I know is a nurse and helped me re-wrap Manuel's legs to help elleviate his swelling. There been no change in that though. if you missed it- Manuel's Story

After lunch and Gavin's computer class, we did some more school here at the house. It didn;t seem to amount to much.

I decided to start going through summer clothes, with all this WARM weather! I love this time of year... when I get to look through their 'new for this season' clothes.

I am new to blogspot. I homeschool journaled at a different place, but never got comments and found it hard to get to other blogs to read them.
Being new here and having found some great blogs- I thought I’d highlight some of the ones I read most. The names are clickable links to take yo to the blogs.

A room of my own—A mom to 3 feisty kids- by her own admission.
I love all the links to other bloggers. Her daughter (12) sounds like a wonderful child, full of love and compassion. Her little James reminds me of my boys….. all boy! sharks, cars, dirt! And her 3 yr old is adorable. I’d like to meet her skink. Her latest blog of Sunday Six… or was that Saturday Seven- is GREAT! I love the idea- it’s like a ‘mini carnival’. And being new here, I love all the links and intros to other great blogs to read.

dumb ox academy- I just found this blog. It looks as if she is raising a smart, thoughtful 14 yr old. Having a boy almost that age and 2 more close behind- it’ good to see that others are doing a great job raising teenage boys. It strengthens my resolve.

Enjoy The Journey- I enjoyed her thoughts on Double Standards of ‘Earth Day’. I have just started reading hers and don’t have a lot to say yet. But I have enjoyed all I have read so far! I like her simple truth/common sense thinking.

Get In Hang On- easy to read and thought provoking. And it’s her daughter’s birthday! This is another one I have only read twice. So- my review is short.

Home schooling Aspergers- a mum from Down Under with a fun little boy! I have thoroughly enjoyed reading her blog of homeschooling in Australia. It’s neat to see that kids are kids and just the same everywhere. And I have enjoyed reading her approach to home educating her Aspie Son. (having 2 or 3 myself…LOL) And she has nice photos on her blogs!

Homeschooling in the Garden State- a very PINK blog! LOL. She has a LOT of fun with her little girl, who often is clad in pink tutus or other frilly pretty costumes. I love the feather boa numbers! And the have lots of fun gardening.

In A Spacious Place- a first reader to this one- very well stated and thought provoking. With a loooong list of links to other bloggers!

Issues with Knitting- though I don’t knit and hate to wear sock- I have enjoyed this blog from the get-go. Her blogs are just enjoyable to read. And her knitting is very pretty, too. and colorful. I have enjoyed her review on Leak Brake classes…..

Kitchen Table Learners- also a first time reader here, but I already like it. Homeschool blogs about boys and nature are always among my favorites!

Little Acorn Trees- What is not to love about a fellow chart maker?? I so enjoy reading accounts of others’ homeschool days and gathering tips for organization and schedules!

My Little Wonders- a mom to 3 girls, a boy and a stepson. She is new here, too. And has my favorite type of homeschool blog--- just retelling what went on in their school lives!

Notes from a Homeschoolihg Mom- What a neat idea! A VIDEO BLOG! her blogs are not something you have to read, she video tapes herself talking to you about what is going through her head! I love the concept! (but am too shy to do it myself)

One Big Happy Family- just had a baby boy! They have that great, live and learn with outdoor nature thing going on there too!

Purple Puzzle Place- another blogger I am slowly getting to now. She has the cutest little girls! But I often feel a bit out of place amongst all little girls—like I don’t know what to say…LOL

Ragamuffin Studies- Fun, friendly blogs. And she thinks, too. I have just read a couple of her blogs- but I am enjoying them and look forward to her next.

ScrapLove- a single homeschooling mom in the Netherlands. She has a 13 yr old son and is another mom on my list of ‘moms who homeschool autism spectrum kids). Her blog has lots of photos and ranging from lovely flowers to cool cars! And is another of my favorite blog styles- the recounting of the day!

Sprittibee- She hosted the first Homeschool Blog carnival I posted… Her blog is fun and informative. I like stopping by to see what is new! Hey, maybe I’ll think of another carnival post entry…….. her blog does take a while to load for me, though.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Sugar Cane

My Spanish has been improving. So has Manuel’s English. His knee is healing well and he is able to bend well for therapy time. Read about who Manuel is and how he came to be with us HERE.

I bought the new TobyMac CD and Manuel seems to like it. I don’t think he believes it is Christian though. It doesn’t SOUND Christian to him. He has a Alex Rodrigus CD. I spelled that wrong.

Ki has a little artificial colors/flavors today. Hopefully not enough to cause him to have a bad day. He has trouble with artificial colors/flavors. They used to give him hives. We went 2 years without them. Now he can have a very small amount from time to time, but I try to avoid them on school weeks. It’s just too much for his body to deal with the Sensory Disorder, allergies, asthma, dypraxia, dyslexia, etc… AND have to filter the toxins. He has bad ADHD/SID days when he consumes artificials.

I spent the weekend writing my weekly schedule. I think it will work well. I am actually going to do tests Friday. We rarely do tests here. I think it is a good list. I remember to leave time to get to classes. I have meals planned out so Ki can get protein every 3 hours or so. He needs a constant stream of protein.

Manuel’s leg is swollen. Mostly his ankle and calf. Not really his knee or higher, though.
He told me, yesterday, that at the hospital in Honduras, they were thinking of cutting off his leg. YIKES! and double yikes because there was no pain meds!

Manuel work 8+hours on Saturdays cutting sugar cane. During summer vacation he works 6 days a week, 8-10 hours a day in the grapefruit fields. I am not sure what he does there. But, he needs a good working leg so he can continue to work. So his family has enough money to eat. And he is in 5th grade. After 6th grade he is finished with school and will need to work all year round.

OH! We ate at a Mexican restaurant today. The man who owns it is named Antonio. We go there a few times a month. He enjoys talking to Manuel and is very kind. He sometimes give him free food. Once he gave Manuel $10. Today I asked if he knew of a Spanish Speaking church. He told me about one. So we can go to it next Sunday. Hopefully Manuel will enjoy that! It is a Catholic church, though. Manuel’s family is Evangilisto.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Drama Class

A couple Dormouse PIctures. (Ki my 10 yr old)

KI was GREAT!!!

here are some video links..



Wednesday, April 25, 2007

No Bill Nye

How often do you see cool science experiments online videos???
How often do you see perfect, easy science experiments on kids' science TV shows??
How often do you read (see illustrations) of awesome and fun science experiments in books?

I bring you- REAL SCIENCE experiments-- the ones you try 6 times and they still come out a bit not-correct...

Bill Nye I am not. I am just a Bill Nye Wanna-Be.

Today we did 2 science experiments. The first was creating a vacuum in a glass bottle to suck a hard bpiled egg into it. It is a GREAT experriment... if the egg and bottle are correct sizes. My egg was too big... or maybe my bottle too small. Iused a Snapple Teas bottle and a large egg. If I can get a small or maybe medium sized egg, it may work.
We tried 4 times to get the flame IN the bottle, but it kept going out as soon as we put in there. The 5th time, Connor left his hand on the egg the whole time. so you didn;t get the effect of the vacuum sucking the egg.... it culd have been Connor pushing it. So we did it AGAIN! and I saved the footage. But I need to hire a more compatent camera man. This one was too close, so he couldn;t get the entire bottle in the frame. So you either saw the fire at the bottom or the egg at the top. He wiggled when the egg was starting to be sucked into it, but if you look closely you can see it. And JUST as the egg was being sucked the rest of the way, he TURNED IT OFF! You can hear the start of the suction sound, though. You see Manuel (in red) and Ki in the background. I have the fire, Gavin puts the egg on the bottle (I straighten it). The camera man will remain nameless. Click the video area to activate it. Then click the play arrow and wait a few seconds. if it doesn't work- you can try coming back later- if you have the time. Sometimes videos get too busy I think.

Then we floated citrus fruits. Limes and Lemons to be exact. This was another experiment that didn't work. ACCORDING TO THE EXPERTS (just who are 'they' anyway??) the limes sink and the lemons float. SEE VIDEO of REAL EXPERIMENT If you cut their rinds off and try just their rinds, both float, if you try the lemons and limes without rinds the lime still sinks, the lemon still floats. Limes are more dense (compact mass) and are heavier than the water so the sink. Lemons are less dense, so they float. We have dense lemons. They stood sort of upright at the bottom of the bowl.. didn't float all the way- didn't sink all the way. WAIT!! We were supposed to use the WHOLE lemon and lime I think!! DOH!.
Then we floated mangos pieces and rinds... (no pics of that)

I LOVE MY GLASS BOWL! I bought is with science experiments in mind. So many need a big bowl for water and this is smooth and straight and clear- so you can see right in. I also use it for mixing things (like a double batch of waffles)- most science experiements with water are food items anyway.... water, juice, baking soda, cabbage juice/lithmus tests...

Monday, April 23, 2007

Brain Gym Videos (and more)

I am boring. I don't write exciting blogs. I don't show much emotion or passion in my writing and I really have no desire to persuade anyone that my views should be taken upon by them. I don't tell witty stories. I just like to record what we do and share ideas. Maybe you will enjoy these, though.

Videos of Brain Gym and other Occupational Therapy activites.

Ki doing Joint Compression activity.He does these every day before school and on non-school days when He is having SID overload.
Bouncy Ball Activity

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Elephant 8's. A Brain Gym activity. We do Lazy 8s with some part of our body daily.
Elephant 8s

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Ear Rolls-- good to do before lots of listening-
Ear Rolls

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Music Body Scales (my piano sounds bad)
this one has really helped my son with dyspraxia to cordinate multiple body movements. He was the one recording the video and forgot to turn it off before swinging it around. So you get to see me in my jammies. sorry.
Music Body Scales

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Ki reading his story. He uses his word cards to write a story.
Cat Aliens

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Saturday, April 21, 2007


Here are some new additions - below the new additions is a long list of many educational links. (friend's suggestion) (friend's suggestion) (friend's suggestion) * I hear raves about this one a lot.....
*I has a membership here one year, as Ki loved worksheets and printable activies
*I used this with Gavin and Ki because it helps kids with auditory processing issues with the beginning-reading stuff.
*we have dabbled at this site. (friend's suggestion) *I used this for Dolch Word
*not sure how young this goes, but we have used it in the past
-She has lots of printables and people seem to like her charts, planners, certificates, and organizations printables
*I order many of the homeschool books we use from this place.

*LAPBOOKS ARE A LOT OF FUN. If you don't know what they are go here:
and I have a few my boys did if anyone wants a look, and here are 2 links for templates and ideas"

MY LIST OF LOTS of links...

Well, not ALL OF THEM..... but a long list of LOTS of online links... Hopefully you'll find a new and useful site to try.

To view a URL/Link in a different window (so this page will still be here) RIGHT click the link and choose OPEN IN NEW WINDOW

Biology Lessons
Cell Biology Lesson Plans
Genetic-Genome Lesson Plans
A Periodic Table of the Elements at Los Alamos National Laboratory
Acroname Inc for Easier Robotics
An On-Line Biology Book
BioChemHub - Biology & Chemistry Education
Biology Dictionary -
Chemistry WebElements Periodic Table
Easy Science Experiment Projects with Steve Spangler Science
Edible-Inedible Experiments Archive
Hunkin's Experiments (over 200 home experiments)
Kimball's Biology Pages
Lung Disease--Health-Life Science lesson plan (grades 6-8)
NASA - Office of Education Home
Reeko's Mad Scientist Lab - Educational Science Experiments for Children of all ages (Free science, astronomy, chemistry, physi
Respiratory System Theme Page
Science Connection Do-It-Yourself Lung Model
Science experiments at home
Science Experiments You Can Do!
Science Lesson Plans LOTS!!!!
Science Projects for kids - fun, easy science project ideas & science experiments
The Lesson Plans Page - Science Lesson Plans, Science Ideas, & Science Activities
The Science Spot Science Classroom

MATH Bookmarks

Free Math Worksheets
Fun Mathematics Lessons by Cynthia Lanius
Illuminations Welcome to Illuminations
Math lessons designed to make math fun from Math Goodies.
Math Worksheet Generator - Free - Practice Math with these Worksheets
Mathematics Archives - K12 Internet Sites
Mathematics Lesson Plans LOTS!
Maths is Fun - Math Resources
SCORE Mathematics Lessons
TeacherSource . Math PBS
The Lesson Plans Page - Math Lesson Plans, Math Ideas, and Math Activities
The Math Worksheet

general links-
This has tabs across the top. You can choose THEMES or GRADE LEVEL or PRINTABLES.
LOTS of stuff here. I havent checked it out yet. I am just gathering links right now. I lost them when I changed from the PC to the Laptop.
Thie is preschool-K ideas. I sometimes like to browse this level and change it to fit my kids. They always have such fun ideas for the little kids.
I have a membership here so I have access to more printables and ideas. My 10 year old LOVES worksheets, unlike his 2 brothers.
PRIMARY GAMESCurriculum Based Games


looks like it is just math and language arts
Learning Page provides a huge collection of professionally produced instructional materials you can download and print. Lesson plans, books, worksheets, and much more can be found here

free resources, links, etc
has worksheets, I think you may need to be a member to access more
what it says it is.....
"TeacherPlanet now features over 250 theme based resource pages. Many of these can be found by searching our calendar. Based on feedback from our members, we are now also providing an Alphabetical Listing of all themes. Simply choose a letter from A to Z to begin your search. "
This looks good for upper grades
looks like a collection of links

preschool/toddler stuff:

Music games:

Kid Wizard or is it game wizard? Tons of puzzles, mazes, games etc...

Quiz Hub (used to be Kids Hub) fun online learning games

Neuroscince for kids. Brain facts, memory, etc, games and stuff

Syvum Online ActivitiesOnline Learning and Interactive Education Activities

AWESOME online learning program (like time4learning, cheaper and you can make your own tests and games and assign work to your kids)

another member site (free trial) I haven't visited for awhile, I but I think it has lots of hands on ideas and Lego projects:


Roller Coaster Sites: The Fantastical Engineer A Thrillseeker's Guide to Careers in Theme Park Engineering Explore similar items
Amusement Park Physics -- Roller Coaster
BC Min of Education - Apply - On A Roll lesson ideas
Education World® Lesson Planning Center Lesson Plans Design a Roller Coaster
Funderstanding Roller Coaster
Glencoe Science WebQuest
Howstuffworks How Roller Coasters Work
Make Tracks
MyPhysicsLab – Physics Simulation with Java
Physics Roller Coaster Design eThemes eMINTS
RoboCoaster G2 - Extreme Robot Roller Coaster Science Fiction in the News
Roller Coaster Design
Roller Coaster Math (Lesson Plan)
Roller Coaster Project Page
Roller Coaster Science
Roller Coaster Web sites - It's a Wild Ride
Roller Coasters and Amusemark Park Physics
Roller Coasters In The Classroom - An AskERIC Lesson Plan
Theme Parks Intro

More General Resource Links (some may be repeats)
7th Grade I.T. Curriculum
7th Grade Language Arts Curriculum Links
A to Z Teacher Stuff For Teachers FREE online lesson plans, lesson plan ideas and activities, thematic units, printables, theme
abcteach -- 5000+ free printable pages and worksheets
Activity Idea Place
Alphabetized List
Busy Teacher's Cafe- A K-3 teacher resource site for busy worksheets, units, lessons, education links, and mor
Education World® The Educator's Best Friend
Educational Resources Home
Free Teacher Resources - The Internet's #1 Education Site for K-8 Kids and Teachers
Gamequarium A portal to hundreds of free, online learning games and activities for Pre-School through Grade 6 students.
Homeschooling on a Shoestring - Homeschool Links by Subject Page
Improving Education Inc. - Online Worksheet Project
K12 Gallery for Young People
Kaleidoscope Learning Center,
Kidport Home Page
KnowledgeContext Corporation
Lesson plans and worksheets from
RHL School - Free Learning Resources
School Printables Home School Printables Homeschool Printables Teacher Printables Print - free lesson plans, free worksheets, free software, online math, educational store, homeschool
Seventh Grade Skills - interactive sites to use for assessment practice
state standards
Teacher Planet
Teaching Textbooks
Time to teach - elementary teaching resources for the busy primary school teacher
TIMESAVERS for TEACHERS Teacher, classroom forms, report card comments, printable worksheets and classroom resources

Maybe I'll have a fun and entertaning submission at a further date. Mybrain is sucked up with housework and taking care of a burnt boy from Honduras right now.

Double Doodles

I have nothing to post from Yesterday- so here is a post from March-

Double Doodles is an activity where you draw the same thing with both hands at the same time and they are mirror image of each other. It's good for getting the eyes to work with the brain and getting both sides of the brain to work together at he same time. It is a Brain Gym activity.

here is Connor-

Here is Gavin-

The Schoolroom after school today- we all cleaned up well today.

Here is Ki writing his story yesterday-

Connor and Gavin writing their spelling words yesterday-

I need to get another ball or two. Ki uses the ball for his OT and They all like to sit on it for school.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

a colorful day

(Complete with links)
This morning I read Ki's lines with him. He is in a play next week. I made the mistake of doing this before he had a good big drink after breakfast and before his sensory occupational therapy. It is amazing how little and tired he is before his OT. He is like a limp noodle. Not a big deal though. We'll just read through the lines again after his OT. A little Joint Compression and breathing exercises will do wonders for him. Apparently his teacher doesn't say much to him about his performance during class. She sent home a note about how he needs to work on volume and annunciation. But because she doesn't say anything to him during class, he keeps saying "This is how I do it in class and my teacher is fine with it!"
I will do 1-on-1 school with Ki today and have Gavin do SOS History and Connor do Saxon Math.
Today I go down to Shriner's hospital to spend some time with Manuel. The plan is to bring him home tomorrow. So I will probably spend the night there. I should call first to see what time they expect him to be able to leave tomorrow.
For past blogs about homeschooling and archived links and tips, visit WWW.HOMESCHOOLBLOGGER.COM/3FOLDCHORD

You will find links on the top banner for:
Dyslexia/LDs/ADS tips and journals
Charts and Schedules

Online Links
Our School Day- for examples of a day in our school.

TODAY- We did morning Brain Exersices together. CrissCross Marches, Deep Breathing stretches, Lazy 8s with arms and legs and Hook Ups.This was intersparsed with the consumption of water. (Brains are 80% water and need to be fully hydrated)

Next-Gavin looked up spelling words and wrote their definitions while Connor worked on Saxon Math. During this time I did word family reading with Ki. Beyond The Code. Then he circled base words in the groups. After that we worked with letter tiles. He had to find letters and find certain letters in front or behind to work on letter placement in the alphabet. After that he used the textured letter tiles to spell words from his word cards.

Snack Break

Gavin read poetry. His creative writing teacher is going over poetery with him. (Thursday class). I have a book of Robert Frost poetry for him to read. Connor is reading Time Cat. Ki and I did a few pages in his Miquon with manipulatives.


Classes at Dominion. Ki takes drama and Connor has art class. Gavin stays home. I will be going to Shriners to stay with Manuel. (click to read- who is Manuel?)

Wednesday, April 18, 2007


We started with Story of the World (we are reading about Ancient Greece) then we did Brain Gym. Ki did his bouncy ball Joint Compression. Then water and more Brain Gym. I wrote G&C's spelling words on the board during this time. They still play and bicker when they are in charge of Brain gym, but they are getting better.
For spelling:
G&K had a list of words-
They had to use these words in sentences and they had to have 3-6 sentences for all the different forms of the word they can think of. I told them they could double up words. So some of their sences mght be:
It is strange to arrange eggs by color.
The stranger was arranging flowers.
That is the strangest arrangement I have seen.

I told them I wanted at least 10 sentences (they could use more than 2 words as long as the sentence structure is proper). Connor wrote.
"I like to say. "...then listed all the words with their forms.."
then wrote 10 short sentences like "I see a cat."

Connor is like that. finding loopholes and taking shortcuts..... I have to be so exact with him. I didn't say the 10 sentences had to have words from the spelling list.

Gavin's is so totally sloppy.. and nothing is capatilized. plus he used some words incorrectly, so he hd to look them up in the dictionary.
So they both are rewriting their sentences.

Ki had three parts to his spelling. write his words in ABC order, write in order of shortest to longest and them pick 2 word cards at random and write a sentence using those words. And do 3 sentences like this. He did the 1st part and forgot about the second part and 3rd part. (I was running errands). BUT he couldn't find where in his spelling notebook he did the 1st part so I had him do it again and watching him, I don't think he even did it the first time. So he had to do all of it.

Gavin got most of his math correct. Usualy it was on;y 'wrong' becuase he wrote the answer in the wrong form or forgot the units. I dontt think that's so bad- his math skills are great, it's just the organizational part...

Connor did math online and got a A. But he was supposed to play 3 games not just one. My written instructions were unclear. I wrote - MATH Detective -- 3.....not 3 games. I forgot the GAMES. I think he should have figures it out. I dunno... but he'll be doing what he missed. so I guess it's all good in the end.

Connor had already done his Language Arts book at Grammy's house, he worked ahead and I didn't realize. So he didn't have to do that- but he read the story a second time.

LESSON LEARNED- be more specific in giving instructions! I always think I am specific enough, but it never seems to be.

Ki will not be left to do school on his own for sometime as he really didn't do anything except 2 pages in Miquon. Next time I have to run errands he comes with me then will have to get his work done later after we get home. With his SID and Dyslexia, it's just not working yet. Maybe next year.

Ki has forgotten the alphabet again. He forgets information that isn't constantly reviewed.. I just was thinking by now we'd no longer have to review the alphabet. this is going to be a long road..... he can't be reviewing things like counting in order (which he does still mix up if it's not reviewed often enough) and the alphabet when he's in college...

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

'My 4th child'

We have a boy from Honduras staying with us. He is 13 and doesn't speak English and I didn't speak any Spanish 2 months ago. I can now carry on conversations with him...a little.

He is here for medical treatment. He was burnt on his legs. He had fireworks in his pocket. The 1st hospital turned him away (no resources). The second kept him for a month, no painmeds- daily scrubbing of his burns, but that is all they could do- scrub the burns. He needed skin grafts- so he came here to the states. he was in the Shriner's burn hospital a month, at my house a month, back for more surgeries for a week and then back to my house.
He burnt his legs Dec 24 (which is the day they celebrate Christmas in Honduras according to Manuel). He came to the States around January 26 and he came to my house Around Feb 27.

He has 4 sisters and 2 brothers. He is the next to the youngest child (and youngestson). His oldest sibling is 28. 3 siblings have moved out. One is 19, married, pregnant qand living in an add-on room with the family. (she recently moved out with her husband. The baby is due in July).I think the house is just one room- no walls to partion the areas. He has mango, apple, orange, nance, and guava trees in his yard. No running water in the house, but a faucet or pump in the yard. NO restroom in the house. The kitchen in an outdoor kitchen. It is like a roofed patio.

I have been teaching him a little bit. I homeschool my 3 boys and have been doing a few lessons with him. He is good at math and reads well enough. But he has very little science or geography knowlege.
He has been healing nicely snce his second graft surgeries in April. His expected date to go home is early September.
Here are some links we use:
ESOL games Manuel plays these
Online Translator We can converse back and forth with this when we get stuck with our bilingual knowledge.
Make your own Wordsearch (and more) I use this puzzlew maker to make worksheets to go with his English lessons.


Click on the Tag Word 'Maunel' and it should take you to a page of all posts with Manuel


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