Thursday, January 31, 2008

The snake with a GREAT personality!

January 31, 2008

Gavin made pancakes for breakfast. He cut strawberries and stirred a little sugar into them. It was a yummy breakfast.

(Connor made breakfast yesterday; waffles)

Ahhhh.. the ease of having homeschooled 7 yrs…… I can write a lovely plan for the entire week while sipping coffee and looking over past work….. Or I can get up in the morning and jot a few things down on a piece of paper from the top of my head and have a good school day.

I want to go to the store this morning so I jotted a few things down on the White Board.
G&C- read SOTW out loud.
3T- do 3-4 Brain Gym activities
G&C – read + Ki: 4 games “beat the Clock”
Ki- Read + G&C 3 games “B. the C.”

I told them that was their morning school work, I’d be back from the store shortly. They did it while I was gone. Well, they were still doing it when I got home. I was just gone about 30 minutes.

We have Homeschool Gym today, so I think we’ll just stick with the 3Rs plus history (Story of the World).

Then we will do some Home Economics….. (homeschool lingo for ‘house cleaning’ )

I’d like to get in some Sign Language as well.

after all the homoeschool activities this week, that have left us to just sticking with the 3Rs, I look forward to a nice relaxing, scheduled week next week...

Once again we used the nanofictionary Cards for spelling/writing. They had 2 options.#1- choose one character card and one problem card and write a short story using those cards and your spelling words.#2- choose a different card for each word and just use that card and that spelling word for iindividual sentences.Gavin and Ki do well with these exercises. Connor always struggles withthem for a while, them gets really goofy.
Some Examples of their work:

The black cate ate enough brownies.
His WORD was 'enough', he choose the character "the blak cat" and his problem card was "someone ate the brownies"

The Ace pilot shot down eight planes.-
the word was EIGHT, the card was "the ace pilot" (they could choose 1 or 2 cards if they took the individual sentence route)

The snake with a great personality soughed off his skin.
WORD was slough
card was "the snake with the great personality"

The 3 wisemen argued roughly about something unimportant.
WORD was 'roughly' cards were "the 3 wisemen' and 'argued about something unimportant"

I am rethinking the wisdomof giving them 'slaughter' on their list.....
**Kimberly**~7th year homeschooling 3 boys~

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The boys are designing games today and playing them with each other. it explains why they forget to wash their hands when theu use the bathroom. They often make up games. They love to do what I guess is role pplaying games- but they just talk them. they don;t move pieces on a hexboard or dress up in parts they just have someone that tells an open ended story and the other two choose actions and tghe storyteller tells what happens based ontheir actions, etc. They have differenr skill levels and sytrenghts. they have different weapons and armor with different abilities. they collect money and experience pints... but they keep all the info in their heads! no wonder they forget to flush the toilet, theur brainis are too full of their gamestories!

Today they are making up games with dice. dice games are a big hit at our house.They are using Plastic Pyramids (treehouse game by ) It's a great little game, it is a stack of 15 pyramids and you can add on a couple more stacks or a chess board and dice and play ALL KINDS of diffrent games and the company encourages people to make their own games and list them on the website.

I guess today is another UNSCHOOL day. they did their reading and some math games, then decided they wanted to spend the afternoon designing games. So I let them.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008


Today the boys took a tour of Skyline Chili (restaurant), had free coney dogs, and met a few kids. Then after lunch we stopped by Java Cafe because Iwanted to ask the knitting ladies if they'd mind showing my boys how to knit next week.

Then we went to Krytsal Keep and played games. 6 other kids came to play. so there were 9 kids playing games. parents helped their younger kids as needed. My boys taught games. It was fun.

I am too tired to post pictures today.

Friday, January 25, 2008






Thursday, January 24, 2008


January 24, 2008

I still have a migraine today. I think it is worse than yesterday.

I told the boys they are in charge of school this morning and I’d do more after a little bit.
Gavin and Connor read Story of the World. I put Ki in charge of Criss-crosses (they sounded like a herd of elephants), Gavin in charge of Body Scales and Connor in charge of Hook Ups. Then Ki picked 1 of the 2 DNA dvds to watch.

They asked “what next” after that. I couldn’t think, so I told them to get a snack.

I told them to get their list of spelling words and spell their list in Sign Language a few times.

Ate lunch (leftovers for me. Ki burnt his MAC&CHEEZ). Took a shower. Told the boys to play Beat The Clock Multiplication facts 6 games each (each game is 40 seconds I think). That’s enough math for today.

Then Ki came and asked me what he should do for writing. He asked if he could write in his story for writing today. I told him he could do that or he could draw 3 random Nanofictionary cards and make a story about them. He thought a bit and decided to just write in his story. I think he didn’t want me to bother with getting out of bed to set up the cards. Which I did for Gavin and Connor anyway. Told them to write 20 minutes. They can make it up, write about their day or draw 3-4 Nanofictionary cards.

Not bad for a migraine day! It’s nice they are old enough to follow some simple directions.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


I awoke in the middle of the night with the most excruciating head pain. I went to bed with a headache and couldn’t find the Excedrin and didn’t want to use my last Fioricet, so Ii took Motrin- which does next to nothing usually. So I awoke with what felt like my head being split apart with hatches. It was too painful to even cry or get up to get that fioricet.

So I awoke with a headache and will have one all day. I should probably see if I can get a refill on my fioricet. And maybe taking my innopran daily like I am supposed to, will help.

Connor was awake at 4AM (thanks to Soksey biting him) and did his reading then. I need to make a daily list for him to check off again. He likes that. So does Ki.

We started with Story of the World. We are reading about the Romans and the Punic Wars. Tomorrow we will be back in the Indus Valley, I think.

Then we read out of Jesus Freaks. Ki likes that book. They all do, but Ki is the reason I bought the book.

After those two books my throat hurt. I made tea.

I gave quick instructions for Brain Gym. I told them what to do for Criss-Crosses. Connor was in charge of Body Scales (my invention- not a real Brain Gym). I gave quick instructions for Elephant 8s. Gavin choose a body part for a few more Body Part Lazy 8s. Ki was in charge of Hook-Ups.

Then it was Spelling. It is activity day for Ki. He choose to do Crayon Rubbings for his words. The last few weeks he has been copying his words down incorrectly, so we had to fix a few.

Gavin, Connor and I went over their base word list and added all the other forms to make sure they had them all. Then they quizzed each other, because it took Ki FOREVER to do his Crayon Rubbings. His brain plays between each word I think.

When Ki was done he did some Brain Gym before math. He has trouble remembering his multiplication facts, so he plays a Beat the Clock game on the Leap Pad. He said 10 was too many, so he did 5 today. Then he did 4 problems in his Froggy Fractions.

I did a lesson on Polynomials with Gavin and Connor. Kids that want to grow up to robotic engineers need to have sharp math skills.

Gavin really enjoys the book I gave him to read. He’s been reading it through the entire day.

Connor gota gift in the mail from Grammy and Pappy. A big GEOMAG kit. 166 pieces! enjoyed playing with that. Ki, too. Connor lined up the connectors by color. The red and yellow lines were longer than the blue and green lines. So he counted a short line and counted the extra in the long line He still likes to sort, line up and count things. The boys get their engineer gene from their dad. I bet it’s a monogenetic thing.

Connor made a second worry doll to go with his Ninja Worry doll. They fight each other. The 2 dolls. The Bop-It…Bop-It GOOD! Some one sang a section of Whip-It…Whip It Good. and now every verb gets turned into the Whip It song….Bop It-Bop it Good. Fix it- Fix it Good. Eat it- Eat it good. Stop It-Stop it Good.

Guess what- pipe cleaners are magnetic and you can add them to GEOMAG creations! And the GEOMAG structures are more stable if you add the rods with correctly directed polarity. He made pyramids that seem to spin endlessly. They were cool.

I reminded G&C to spend some time on their DNA research so they read a bit and visited a website about a developing embryo- with videos and everything.

Ki and I read more about the people/culture of Central America. Ki watched animation about how the Panama canal works with equalizing the water kevel in chambers. This triggered an idea for a Science experiment.
A clear glad 4 C measuring cup
2 small disposable water bottle. The first with a hole slightly below the midpoint & filled with water. (plug with finger whole transferring). Place the filled water bottle (no lid) into the glass measuring cup. The water stops coming out when the bottle and measuring cup ate even. Next we did it with a water bottle that had a hole very low down, so the water level in the glass covered the hole almost right away and it continued to leak water until the levels were the same. We them dumped ALL the water into the glass and help the water bottle in the glass. The water went from the glass and filled up the water bottle until the levels were even, even when the hole was below the water level. It was fun.


But he calls them Prayer Dolls and is going to make a tag with the Bible Verse 1 Peter 5:7- Give all your worries to God because he bares for you"

The one in all green is what Ki made for Connor.
The boy in red top/blue pants is Jack- the 1st one Ki made.
The cat was made by Connor as was the blonde girl- he wanted to try a skirt.
The one with the red scarf wrap is what Ki made for me. Conpor made the other brunette inpurplpe for me.

Worry Dolls are made by Mayan Children. They telll their worries to their dolls, put them under their pillow and wake up supposedly not worried anymore. Ki says his Worry Dolls wil remind us to give our Worried to God.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


Spelling is a dull dry subject for my boys. And a frustrating one sometimes. So it is the subject I try to be the most creative in planning.

we have the game nanofictionary . It is a card game that has Character cards, Problems, Resolutions, settings.. and some action cards (like steal a setting from someone else, etc).It's a fun story teling card game.
You draw cards and collect the elements if your story. The first person ready gets extra points, (then 2nd gets 1 less extra, 3rd gets 2 less......), but you get more points for having extra characters and stuff... so you could be ready last and have as many points as the guy that is ready to tel his story first.

I seperated the character chards out this morning. The characters are things like:
The evil twin
a black cat
FBI agent in disguise
mad scientist
senient broccoli
the guy that says DUDE
The 3 wise men

The boys are to draw cards at random, one for each spelling word- and made a sentence with each word/card combo.They are in thhere laughing and making up sentences right now.I have a sore throat. Gavin and Connor took turns with the morning's story reading for me.

Ki did extra sentences. He seemed to like this assignment.
**Kimberly**~7th year homeschooling 3 boys~

Monday, January 21, 2008


Wow. It is the 21st already. It’s going to be February soon. And Friday is Connor’s Birthday.

As a kid, I always thought MLK day was MILK day. My brain makes up words where there are none.

Still no news on the California position. Hopefully by February we will have our answer.
Considering the HIGH temp here has been in the high teens, Vandenberg sounds nice this week. It may not get much about 75, but it doesn’t go much below 40 either. I am getting too old for the cold. I love to watch the snow from the warmth of my house or even car, but it’s too cold to play in for me. Of course it might help if I wore SOCKS!

Brian is off today. Because it is MILK day. He doesn’t drink milk though. So I had some for him. We are cleaning today.

I have been putting books on the bookshelves. I just love when the bookshelves are neat and orderly. I love to just look at the bookshelf with the books sorted by size or reading level or in sets or actually all of the above. I put books for Ki to read in a basket that fits on the shelf. This makes it much easier for him. He gets overwhelmed with choices. So I just put a few in his basket. So at reading time he doesn’t think about which book to read for 30 minutes.

I am keeping a good part of the books on the packing boxes due to the fact that we will be moving the shelves next month to lay new carpet. So the book shelf doesn’t look AS nice as it could, but it’s okay.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Unschoolish & Occupational Therapy

(posted a few new blogs from this week...)
Jan 16, 2008
I awoke with a sore throat and headache, so I went back to sleep. When I did finally get up and shower it was after 10. One of the nice things about homeschooling is that you can take care of yourself my sleeping in when you don’t feel well and still start at the beginning and not be behind.

The boys had a small fire so I asked Connor to add a few more logs and ut the screen back in place. Then I had to tell them to eat breakfast. I don’t understand how boys can forget to eat breakfast if not reminded. They weren’t even watching TV or playing on the computer.
Gavin was in the garage looking for his box that contains his crocheting paraphernalia. Ki had found his box of froggies. Connor was poking at embers.

I cream cheesed half of a mocha chip bagel and took a few bites. Then I went outside to take some pictures while the boys ate breakfast. I took way too many.

I flipped th laundry when I came back in and helped Gain put clean sheets on the bed. Then I wrote out their spelling.

G&C – write definitions to your words. Take turns looking words up and also add 1 or 2 alternative forms of the word. They only have about 7 words to look up in the dictionary.
K- write 8 sentences in your story using at least 8 of this weeks spelling words. He asked if ‘officer’ was a form of ‘office’ and if he could use that word instead. (office is on his list)
They sat in front of the fire to do their school work. What a life!

Ki did well in his math class. I had him do criss-crosses and thinking spots right before he sat down to do his math page. WOW, he did really well. He did 9 problems in the time it usually takes him to do 4. He was done before I was one with Algebra with Gavin and Connor so he sat in and had fun figuring a few of the example problems. They were pretty easy example problems. We are using exponents and variables, so we had to explain what those were to him. He likes to sit in on their Algebra class because he can do the simple examples and it really boosts his confidence.

Ki choose to read from his WarHammer Lizardmen book for his reading time today.
Connor is having fun copying an eye trait punnet square out of our DNA book. He wants an eye color chart to carry with him in his pocket.

Aside from independent reading, that’s it for school today.

From January 15, 2008

Mostly a great day.
8:30 AM – Orthodontist appointment. Connor ad a broken bracket, the panoramic X-ray didn’t work, he got springs and his teeth ache. G&K asked DNA Survey Questions of 5 people. Recessive trait for thumbs takes the lead. Pinkies are neck and neck. But Dominant in all others is winning already.

9:30 – Breakfast at Java CafĂ©. They Survey the gals in the knitting group that meets there. There were about 8 there today! Big Group! Dominant is everything except those thumbs! Though pinkies are still kind of close. Gavin and Connor took turns reading out of Jesus Freaks.
- then a couple errands to stores on that shopping strip-

11:30 we get to the little strip mall with the Game Store. I thought they opened at 11, but they don’t open until noon. So we go to the Dollar General store and to Subway to get food to bring.
12:10 arrive at Krystal Keep. Ron was there. It was good to see him. He’s a really nice guy. We haven’t seen him since August. His baby is now 5.5 months old. Maybe next time he’ll bring pictures.

Ron asked the boys why they weren’t in school today. He does that all the time. He knows we homeschool and thinks that’s great. He just likes teasing the boys. The boys survey Ron, Bryce and a few others.

We played a game of Thin ice. With our own rules, better suited to kids with ADD/HD. I’ll post picks later. The Store owner came in and stops back to say hi. All the ‘regulars’ always stop by to say hi to me when I’m there. I guess I am almost a regular, too, though.
The store owners remarks that it must be field trip day. I told him it is “Critical Thinking Skills Day” and also “what school looks like when you are at the in-laws because your house stinks of paint”.

Thin Ice was fun. Ki didn’t do well, be he has dyspraxia. He really enjoyed just stacking pyramids and making designs. Gavin and Connor tied on the last round and we went one last round. Gavin ended up winning.

We took a break and the boys surveyed about 10 more people. Then we played Aquarius. 3 times. Connor seemed to enjoy it. He has been in a game playing mood lately.
They surveyed a few more people. Even Bob went along with being surveyed.
Then we played Volcano. Ki is getting better at that game! It takes the kind of thinking needed for Chess.

We left there around 4:30. Volcano with 4 people takes a while. We stopped at our house to feed the cats and get the mail. I found my camera, but my phone is still MIA.
We then drove to Grammy’s house.

5:30 - arrive at Grammy’s house. Brian pulls in at the same time. The boys want to watch one episode of The Tick before we leave for Dinner. They hadn’t watched TV since Saturday Morning cartoons; poor deprived kids.

After Skyline Chili we drive to our house so Brian can set up the modem and get online to process some online stuff. I took a shot nap in my bed.

From Jan 14, 2008

(I am posting past homeschool journals that I have forgotten to put here)
Here is alist of our spelling words this week and then a little about our day.

Spelling Jan 14
G/C words in black given today. words in red are planned alternate forms to be added.
Politics political politician
Preside presided presiding president presidential presides
Debate debated debating debates
Public republic republican publicly publish
Office offices official officially
Elect elected elections elective electoral


Though words are to written from memory, I will give a bonus word to G&C and offer 5 more words to Ki to better his percentage and then a bonus word. They like their bonus words! The 5 more words for Ki will be from last week and maybe a few altered from this week. I might do people, voted, victory, hero, person. Maybe his bonus word will be ‘selected’.

The boys wrote their words in their notebook, then wrote them 3 times to turn in to me. Then they donned coats and hats and went outside to play. They did their morning criss-crosses in the falling snow while walking backwards. I sat as the table by the window with a cup of chamomile tea and a everything bagel with honey walnut cream cheese. I try to avoid the actual walnut pieces.

If we lived here, we may end up being total, radical unschoolers. We’d be reading hermits. It is so quiet and peaceful. Brian’s parents live on 3 acres. A lot is wooded. Grammy keeps a lovely garden and keeps up her landscaping. I couldn’t landscape or garden to save my life, but I love enjoying the labors of others who do so and do it well.

I need to get my camera from the house and take some pictures.
Gavin and Connor built a fire in the fireplace this morning while I was still in bed. (They did ask first and I told them yes) So after my shower I came out to a nice, crackling fire! I could get used to this!

After the boys played a bit I read from Story of the World. We sat in front of the fire on the couch and chair. It was nice.

We are into the Roman Empire. We read about Romulus and Remus. We read about how the Romans took most of their ideas from the Greek via the Etruscans. And we read about some of the Roman names for the Greek gods. I then read about Ceres and Proserpine. And I recalled I knew the Greek name of Proserpine, but just couldn’t quite remember it. It was right their on the tip of my brain. Fortunately, the book I brought for Connor ro read was a book of Greek Myths (written for children). So I looked it up in there and found it. Persephone. (per-sef- o- ny I think is how it’s pronounced).

Connor decided to read that story, so Ki got his reading book. Ki is reading from a book called “Best Loved Children’s Stories” and he chose to read The Ant and the Grasshopper. Connor found a choose your own adventure story to read for the rest of his reading time.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Our Experiment

What we did the other day. Ki asked for a science experiment, so we did one.

life goes smoothly when you always have the table fairly cleared off and ready for last minute activities.

homeschooling 3 boys

Game Show Spelling

(from Jan 11, 2008)
We do a sequential type of spelling with the older boys. For some reason it just confuses Ki.Anyway, we did something a little different yesterday and they seemed to like it.

I always start them on Monday with a small list is words and we build on them throughout the week and by Thursday they have about 20 words.Normally they write them all from memory (as opposed to conventional spelling where the teacher calls out one word at a time and they write it). It works well. They actually improved when we switched to that way.BUT- Here is what we did this time:Monday the base words were

they had to write each word 3 times and think of 3 alternate forms to write down. They wrote: vacated, solving, location, locating,solves.

Tuesday I went over the words and added a few. They wrote 10 sentences and used 15 words (as many alternate forms as they could think of to use)I have them think of the other word forms on their own and they figure out how to spell them and we go over them.

Wed- I listed all the forms they had come up with and corrected any spelling. (they got almost everything correct) Then I added a few more forms. And I had them look up definitions to a few words and write the whole list correctly in their notebooks.I think our list by then was:
popular, unpopular, popularity
populate (s) (d), populating, population, populations, repopulate, repopulating, repopulated
vacate (s) (d), vacation (s), vacationing, vacationed
locate (s) (d), location (s), locating, relocated, relocating, local,
solve (s) (d), solving, solution, resolve (s)(d), resolvin
resolute(d), resolution (s)

Thursday-we spelled words using sign language. I do a few with them and then they quiz each other while I do sign language withKi's words.That was all pretty much the same as always.

Friday's test was different.Gavin slept in, so I started with Connor. I said the word an he had to finger-spell (sign language) to me. When I got to 15 I told him that he had 13 out of 15 and asked if he wanted to keep that score or do more words to try to better his percentage. but if he missed them he'd lower his percentage.
It was kind of a Game Show Flavor... "Do you want to take the money you already won or try to move up and earn more at the risk of lowering it"

He liked that idea. I'd ask him at each word if he wanted to stop now with what he had or go for one more. He stopped at 19 and didn;t miss anymore, so we figured out what his percentage would have been if he had stopped and how much better his percentage was now. Then we worked on a bonus word. I helped him figure out how to use the words in his list to help him spell 'revolutionary'.

I did the same with Gavin, he thought out the risk of doing more words more than Connor did. He figured put 'revolutionary' on his own so he got more bonus points.

Ki finger-spelled his words to me and asked for a bonus word.Just thought I'd share our 'game show risking more points' method. My boys love to watch those shows, where the contested is asked is he wants to walk with the money or risk losing it to make more.



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