Thursday, December 24, 2009


I don't really 'do' Christmas Cards. But I like to make coupon cards for my boys each year.
here are the coupons I made for them this year.

• Starbuck’s with mom
• ½ hour computer time. 5 uses. 1 per week limit.
• 1 hour computer time. 4 uses. 1 per month.
• Good for One (1) batch of cookies
• Night of Favorites. ~ Dinner ~ Dessert ~Games (family)
• No Morning Chores. 5 uses. 1 per week limit.
• Lunch Date with mom.
• 2 hours activity with mom. Your Choice.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Signed Up (J Term #5)

The only JTerm update from today is that I got Ki signed up for a cooking class the the Central Coast Culinary School. Just 1 class. They are not cheap, LOL. I should have thought of this earlier and gotten him gift certificates for the Culinary School for Christmas.
He also plans on volunteering there. He has to go to his first class first, though.

He is excited about his class. It's a Healthy Cooking with Trader Joe's class. Easy, Healthy Entrees and snacks. I think they will teach 12 recipes.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Culinary Syllabus (J-Term post #4)

Here's Ki's Syllabus for Culinary Arts Class. I am trying/hoping to arrange a field trip to a nearby culinary school for him, but it's not on the sylabus, as it's confirmed yet. Ki likes to have a schedule of events & lessons. I like to make syllabi for himm during J-term (a little facier than the weekly lists I make for him the rest of the year) The last half is more open ended as Ki will be able to make some choices by then, about what things he wants to do for the class.

SOME GOAL: Planning & cooking a formal dinner, learning gourmet techniques, learning cooking terms, setting a proper table, have a cooking-ready kitchen, knowing about nutrition and cooking safety, knowing some culinary history.
Culinary Arts class will be held in 2 sessions. Session A is will be about history and culture of foods. It will be from 9:15 to 10:15AM. Session B will be more hands-on and will focus more on modern culinary. It will be from 10:40 to 11:40AM.

• Make a simple timeline with note cards.
• Ancient Techniques. Salting, Pickling, dried, stewing, smoking.
• Ancient dishes: Breads, barley porridge, stewed figs, soups.
• Choose an ancient dish to make.
[B SESSION] Modern Culinary
• TERMS write on note cards: Culinary, Gourmet, Garnish
• SIGN LANGUAGE: cook, kitchen, bake, eat, cut, bread
• Watch YOUTUBE or other culinary videos on garnishes.
• Practice your own garnishes with mom.
• Homework think of who to invite to your gourmet meal. Suggestions: Mom & Dad. A Friend from church or homeschool group. James & Haley.

• Foods Mentioned in the Bible
• Practice Sign Language. Add more words; milk, honey, grow, fish, grapes, meat
• TimeLine reading
• Make Invitations

[B SESSION] Modern Culinary
• TERMS write on note cards: Add 3-4 Vocabulary Cards
• Cooking Tools: Start a notebook with pictures and definitions
• Garnish. Learn and Do


[B SESSION] Modern Culinary
• Well-Stocked Kitchen
• Print List, Check Pantry, Go Shopping
• Stock & Organize Pantry
• ASL- Shop, Buy, Organize, Shelf,

• Food Time Line
• Map

[B SESSION] Modern Culinary
• TERMS write on note cards: Add 3-4 Vocabulary Cards
• Cooking Tools: Start a notebook with pictures and definitions
• Garnish. Learn and Do

• Food Time Line
• Map
• Food Nutrition
• Make Lunch Menu for 6 days

[B SESSION] Modern Culinary
• TERMS write on note cards: Add 3-4 Vocabulary Cards
• ASL practice
• Cooking Tools: Start a notebook with pictures and definitions
• Find a technique to learn & do

• Nutrition
• Foods of France
• Famous Chefs
• ASL. Practice & New words: health, vitamins, vegetarian, exercise,

[B SESSION] Modern Culinary
• Cooking Safety
• TERMS write on note cards: Add 3-4 Vocabulary Cards
• Cooking Tools: notebook with pictures and definitions
• Find a technique to learn & Practice

• Nutrition
• Foods of China
• Dining Rituals
• Famous Restaurants
[B SESSION] Modern Culinary
• Research Gourmet Recipes. Start a list.
• YouTube setting a table.
• Learn a New Technique.

• Time Line
• Note Cards
• Famous Culinary Schools

[B SESSION] Modern Culinary
• Research Gourmet Recipes. Add to list.
• Plan Dinner for Sunday.
• Learn a New Technique.

• Food Time Line & Note Cards
• Famous Meals

[B SESSION] Modern Culinary
• ASL Practice. New words- napkins, messy, clean, fold

DAY 10
• Food Time Line & Note Cards
• Famous Meals

[B SESSION] Modern Culinary
• Research More Gourmet Meals/Recipe. Add to List
• Napkin Folding

DAY 11
• Food Time Line & Note Cards
• Famous Meals
• Choose a Famous Meal for later.
[B SESSION] Modern Culinary
• Research More Gourmet Meals/Recipe. Start Choosing your Meals.
• ASL Practice & new words. List, Microwave, Fancy
• Start your Grocery List & Recipe List(in WORD)by category

DAY 12
• Food Time Line & Note Cards
• Famous Meals
• Make a Recipe/grocery List for your Famous Meal.

[B SESSION] Modern Culinary
• Research More garnishing techniques.
• Visit Grocery Story for Layout
• Work on your list so it reflects the store’s layout

DAY 13
• Time Line
• ASL Practice

[B SESSION] Modern Culinary
• Make your Menu
• Practice Garnish Techniques

DAY 14
• Time Line

[B SESSION] Modern Culinary
• Make your Menu
• Practice Garnish Techniques


DAY 16 ~~TEST~~ & Grocery Shopping

CULINARY ARTS (J-term post 3) *updated morelinks

CULINARY ARTS: Idea List & Links

TERMS: Pick out some terms for vocabulary/Spelling. (for the whole month)
INVITE? Think about inviting a friend to your dinner party. If so, make an invitation and mail it.

KITCHEN: & learn about a well stocked kitchen. Also some organizing of the pantry/cupboard and actually Stocking Our Pantry! (List Making & Shopping) (week 1)

GARNISHES & Techniques: learn some fancy garnish & Cooking techniques , research recipes(week 1,2,3. This is the bulk of the class) *proper tools & safety


Knife Skills:

Napkin Folding: & YouTube

NUTRITION: Learn about Food Pyramids & Balanced Meals (week 2)

HISTORY: learn a little culinary history/culinary from different countries. (Week 3)
Obama’s Inaugural luncheon:

Famous Meals: quiz-

SETTING for a formal dinner: & Practice & Plan a fancy set table to go with your fancy dinner. (week 3)

MAKING a Grocery List: compare what’s stocked in the kitchen to what’s on the recipe list. The write your list according to the store layout; all produce together, all canned goods together, etc.(Week 3)
Grocery list generators:

SHOP, PRINT, COOK: Print out your menus, make your grocery list, Choose some background music, make ahead anything that can be made ahead, shop, cook, serve, clean.

SEWING CLASS (J-term post 2)

Ki has requested to add SEWING to his J-term Schedule (of Culinary Arts & Math). I told him we can do that. I plan on taking 2-3 days a week to teach different techniques & terms and then 1 day a week having Ki teach it to a friend. I am planning on 3 small sewing projects and wondered if there was a homeschool student in our group who would like to join us. (I’m not sure yet as to what Ki’s 4th week will be) It’ll work best if we just have 1 person join us per project. (So 1 child for all 3 classes or 3 different applicants/1 per class)
THEN, Connor decided he wanted to take sewing class. I will try to make his class 5 days a week (1 day a teaching class) and Ki's 3 days a week, plus teaching on Saturday.

Here is a list of what the sewing classes will be: (my simple syllabus at the end)

Appliqué Techniques: I think this will be a pouch, big enough for a small to medium book, which can be hung on a bedpost or doorknob. Techniques Studied in this Class: Appliqué Techniques, sewing with ribbon, variant on the pocket, general sewing.

Gathers & Pockets: An Apron most likely. This can be taken by a boy, too, though Aprons are generally girl things. We can make ‘girly aprons’ to give as presents. Techniques Studied in this Class: Making Gathers, Making Pockets, Top-stitching, general Machine sewing

Zippers & Buttons: Not sure the project, but we’ll be doing Zippers & Button (& the button holes) and we’ll finish up with some Sewing Machine Maintenance.


I decided to commit to blogging regularly about our J-Term experience this year. So here's the start: (written last week)

When I was in High school we had J-Term. each January we just took 2 classes. One in the morning and 1 after lunch. We got to choose our classes (there were a couple required classes, though). I loved J-Term! Switching between 5-6 classes every day was never fun. It always seemd the classes I liked always ended just as they were getting fun, the I'd have to go to a class I didn''t like. And then all that mental changing back and forth for each class. I loved getting to spend half the day on subject. I loved getting to take fun subjects like Astronomy or Speed Reading.

I did J-Term with my students (my boys) last year and it was a big hit! They look forward to doing it this year and have asked to do something like J Term a couple times a year- so I think this year we will do J-Term and May-Term.

This morning I compiled the list of classes from which the boys will choose. Last year Gavin & Connor did 2 classes that were 2 hours each and daily reading. Ki did one class that was 1.5 hours annd 2 classes that were 45ish minutes each. The 1.5 hour class was broken into 3 sectons. Ki still struggles with focus so having a 1.5 hour class was a really big deal & knew the only way he could get through it was t break it up. He did very well! He had chosen Church History for his Long class last year.

Last year I wrote a sperate list for each, mainly for Ki to hve a diffrent list. This year I wrote one list for all of them as Ki is ready to have more of the same things on list as Gavin and Connor.

here is their list I typed for them:

J-Term is quickly approaching. During the month of January you will have 2 classes of your choosing that 2 hours long each. There will also be a Creative Writing Class that is mandatory and there will be some sort of project that your dad is in charge of doing with you.

J-Term: Choose 2 of the following
o Algebra 1 (C & K)
o Algebra 2 (C & G)
o Astronomy
o Chemistry
o Church History
o Computer Programming/CAD
o Culinary Arts
o Geology
o Geometry
o History- American Wars
o History – World War 1
o Life of Fred (K only)
o Marine Biology (Life in the Ocean)
o Mythology
o Photography
o Physics
o Robotics/Electrical Engineering
0 Sewing
o World Culture

I was really hoping for 1 of them to take either Mythology or Photography last year and no oone did. I bet no one willl this year either. Maybe for May Term I'll do Mythology as a group required class.

Monday, November 9, 2009

just a Monday

Home Room was delayed about 30 minutes, due to Gavin sleeping late.

In Home Room we read in Romans 1 (memory verses: 16-17) and Story of the Word about Frankish Kings. Ki missed his “S.A.T. question”, so I sent him a hint and told him try it again. I make up and sent “S.A.T.” questions because his brothers get the SAT Question of the Day in their emails and he wanted to as well.

Here is his Question for Today:
Solve this story problem:
Billy is taking an airplane to visit his Uncle Joe. The plane takes off at 9:15 AM. He needs to be there 30 minutes early to check his luggage at the desk. It takes 1 hour and 10 minutes to get from his house the desk at the airport. What times does he need to leave his house?

Connor and Ki like to do their “I hour Play Outside” first thing; to delay the start of ‘real school’ I guess.
11:00 was Research Paper class. C&G did an outline last week and this week they are making changes and additions so they can get to actually writing their paper. They each had totally different things to change and add. Connor used good sentences, but put it all under “A” or “B” (when he should have put them as 1,2,3 under A) and Gavin had good structure, but was told to use sentences and didn’t. He had the Outline Format Wrong. Not a bog deal, but I do want them to at least know how an outline goes; with the Roman Numeral first and under that the Capital Letter and the Arabic numbers, etc.

So I went over what they did well and what they needed to change and sent them off with a Wednesday Due Date.

Ki and I read in his Science book. This week is echinoderms; sea stars, sea urchins, brittle stars, sea cumbers, and feather stars.
Sea Stars eat by spitting out their stomach on their prey to digest it, then they suck the predigested food into their mouth.

Then I assigned the boys a special project; to get on Facebook and send me Restaurant City Gifts.

They watched one Doctor Episode during lunch hour; which was more like Lunch 90 minutes with lunch AND Doctor Who.

Gavin went over his plan for Science. He has a test Thursday so he needs to do his practice problems, review, and going over his notes (he takes ‘open notes’ tests). So he has figured out what he wants to do on each day. I think the boys like to go out of order just because they know I would suggest in order.

I assigned reading in Romans this week; a chapter each day for chapters 1-5. Gavin asked me which chapter he should read first. I told him I would start with chapter 1 and just read through, but he can always start at 5 and read backwards or read 2 then 5 then 3 then 1 then 4 if he wants.

Connor wanted to play German Memory Match with Ki and I. He almost won, too, despite not taking the class with Ki. When Ki learns a new set of words I write them on index cards. I write the English in blue and the German in Purple. Sometimes we play a game of Memory Match with his cards.

I have no idea what Connor did today (that was actually his work, LOL). I’ll have to check to make sure he remembered it all.

Ki is writing out a poem this week. There is a poem in his science book about the Sand Dollar and using it to tell the story of Jesus. I figured it’d be good for his writing this week. I told him he needs to have it written nicely by the end of the school week. Writing is very difficult for him. He can only get about 4 sentences before hi writing ability totally spirals into mass chaos and disarray so I just give him small increments. Being gentle and laid back about seems to work. He will from time to time decide he wants to practice his writing or do more than what I assign. If I were to assign more and often he’d regress and hate it; causing his brain to block it out all together. It’d be like 3 steps forward and 4 steps back.

On his assignment email I told him it was due at the end of the week so to just write daily what he thinks he needs to write to have it done on Friday. He told me today he wants to try to get it done before Friday; maybe even by Wednesday. He wrote about 4 sentences and showed me. It was easy too tell 4 was his limit. The last sentence was getting pretty bad. I told him it looks like his brain needs a little break from writing. He said He thinks he’ll leave it out all day and just write a couple sentences all throughout the day; stopping when his brain needs a break and coming back to it.

Saturday, November 7, 2009


Ki and I planted 2 sunflowers a couple months ago. Two days ago we cut off their heads and dried them. Yesterday we took all the seeds out, sorted them, and soaked some in salt water over night.
NOW we are enjoying warm, fresh from the oven, roasted sunflower seeds! MMM!

We saved a dozen seeds to plant in February or March.

Gavin saved some tomato seeds. He scooped them out of the tomato, let them ferment a couple days, then dried them and put them in a ziplock bag for planting in March.

it's too bad I can't get Connor interested in foods we can grow. He did seem to almost like the radish Gavin grew last month, though.

I need to get some onion plants for him. He likes onions. He likes bell peppers, but wasn;t that keen on the peppers we grew.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


I excitedly ran down the stairs calling out; "BRIAN! I have a math problem for you!!"
His answer was; "Cool. What is it?"
Me; "here. I think I got it right when I did it. Did I?"
I decided to take an online geometry course. Ki doesn't like using ALEKS, so I decided to use his account. I scored a 48% on the assessment test. which I was actually quite proud of seeing as I have never taken geometry (aside from the bare basics in math like how to find the area of a circle and the hypotenuse of a right triangle- which I remembered) and the math classes I did take I barely passed by skin of my teeth with blood, sweat, and tears; only to be placed in a more difficult math class.

the problem was:
find the area of a rectangle that is 20" x 31" and has had half of a circle cut out of one end.
they had a picture, but I don't have one to show you here.
Anyway. I got it right. YAY!!
And Brian seemed quite happy that I was bringing him math problems- even easy ones...LOL

Sunday, November 1, 2009


Highlighter + Pens + Planning Calendar + Notebooks = A Great Afternoon! I emailed schooling tasks to G&C. I made a Study Guide in Connor's science notebook based on his CD-Rom lessons this week. Ki's list in in a small handheld notebook. on Monday-Thursday I left space at the bottom of each page and told him to draw a picture. Some were specific (like favorite snack or an alien) and some not. Friday he's to choose one of his drawings about which to write a detailed description.

With blue & yellow highlighters I marked weeks of school and vacation. School for the first 3 weeks of November. No School last week of Nov -1st week of Dec. School for weeks 2&3 of Dec. No School until Jan 4. Then 4 weeks J-Term followed by a week off.

Brian marked the days off work in purple for the rest of the year.
Connor & Gavin's list are a lot of "Weekly Goals". So no specifics for daily work as long as it's all done before Saturday.

here's Connor's:

Read -whatever you think is a good amount
Math- do something towards your weekly goal
Science- work on weekly Goal
Research- work on weekly goal.
S.A.T. Daily Question.

Math- learn 8 topics
Science- Fill in Notes in your notebook (do through experiment 1.4 )
Research- turn your research into an outline
Make a Christmas Wish List

Gavin is in charge of making dinner Friday.
In the Mornings I 'll be reading the Bible Passage of the week and alernating Story of the World and Geography Mind Builer Questions.

Monday, October 12, 2009

too much computer??!

It's a topic on which I go back and forth. How much time it too much? Why is 'too much time' thought of as 'too much time'? Will it burn their retinas or cause cerebral impairment? Will is make it difficult to sleep?

Why do I want them on the computer less?

Brian (my husband) likes to play games on the computer before bed or while taking a break after working outside or in the garage on the weekends. He will play games with our 3 boys (over the modem). I love that they spend time playing together but am not always happy that after 4 hours (and its 10:30PM) they are still on and I have to remind them they need to go to bed. They only play all together late like that on the weekends and only a couple times a month.

And the last time they did this they had been outside playing for about 6 hours that day. While doing research on why 'they' say to limit computer time, the only real reasons I could find was to make sure they are not on the computer all day instead of getting outside to play and be with friends. They seem to spend enough time playing, for the most part, so as long as they are getting their schooling & chores done , then I guess computer time isn't really that important. They don't watch much TV.

On school days computer time is:
between 7-8 IF they have their morning work done. I don’t wake them (I sleep till 7:30ish). So they have to get up on their own and get things done. Ki often doesn't play on the computer in the morning- and he is fine with that. He likes his sleep. Gavin is pretty good about getting up early and getting all his morning work done so he can play. Connor is 50-50.

After school (which includes playing outside), if they have done a good job at picking up after themselves they get about 45 minutes. If they haven’t done a great job picking up after themselves, I don’t take away all computer. I find it better to take away half. ‘No computer’ really is better than 20 minutes. Yet they take the 20 minutes and then get upset they can’t finish their game- so it is more effective then taking all computer time away for them)Tues/Thursdays they don't get 'after school' computer because we are gone.
But some nights after dinner Brian will play computer games with them. Though sometimes they get into Axis & Allies (board game) or on a RPG kick.

So, I guess their computer time as is, is fine.
Connor has ‘regular school’ pplus LARP crafts- making arrows that are Amttgard legal, and sewing covers.
Gavin will be adding ‘planting radishes’ to his normal list.

Ki is helping Connor.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


I called today about getting a work permit for Gavin. I didn’t know which came first- applying for a job or getting a work permit so he can apply for a job. He needs to apply for a job and have a job lined up first, before he gets a work permit.

The lady wanted to now what school sponsors us. I told her we homeschool & are not sponsored by another school. She then asks about what charter school, or other private school, are we affiliated with. I told her we don’t go through a charter school; it’s just us. She was confused. I was confused as to what they wanted to know. I think the PSA I filed today will be good enough. I have a copy.

In order to grant a wok permit the schools need to have his grades approved. We don’t really ‘do grades’. So I have to go through websites to see what classes are offered in a typical 10th grade so I can figure out what we have done and how it applies to those topics then give a grade letter.
AND we have just had 1 month of school so far, what kind of grades do they expect after just 1 month?

I need an attendance record. I wonder if they’ll accept my “Days Absent Record” in the bottom drawer.

I never replaced our Social Security Cards. I had them in my purse when we were moving here. Dumb idea- but for a big move it seemed good at the time to have them handy. Well, my purse was stolen. I looked into getting them replaced. I forget what I found out, but for whatever reason I guess I decided as long as I have the numbers written down at the house (which I do), I didn’t need replacement cards.
Looks like I do now!

Unschooling would be a lot easier if no one ever required grades or records- but they do at some point. That’s where the “QUASI-“ part of quasi-unschooling comes in.

*small rant* He’s MY kid, I know what he’s doing daily, I know his schooling and as long as I sign that he can get a job he should be able to! It should not be at the discretion of a public school system he does not even attend! *end rant*

The PSA (Public School Affidavit) is always a little unnerving to me. It asks about administrator names and director titles, etc. It was easier in Ohio to submit a form. Just think; if we lived in Texas we’d not have to submit anything at all! But I filled it out and submitted it so we are legally submitted- whatever that means. It’s not approval or anything.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

language arts & dyslexia

This is a NanoFictionary story Ki wrote. I corrected a few things in blue-

There is 2 xplorers they persuwtid [parachuted] there cars out of there
plans [planes]. Then they ran in tow ech other on the shakes remote islandand died the snake uyuy whitnis [witnessed] it all and they ware naver seen oh gen

Friday, October 2, 2009

'boring' science class (and more)

Ki is learning about mollusks in science. I love Youtube for science class! Ki loves watching videos of the sea animals about which he's learning. Today was SHIPWORMS- which are pretty awesome! They are a clam species that bore into wood. They bore into piers and make them collapse. The bore into ships and cause them to sink. (some clams bore into coral, too)We found a goood video that showed some of the Mollusk parts that he was learning, like the foot and siphons. I then found some other videos for him to watch tomorrow or Monday. I always have a couple Youtube Days with his science. He loves that.

here are the videos we watched(and saved for later): this has no sounds, but is pretty informative and actually tells what to look for at different spots in the clip.
 a Swimming Scallop- Ki thought their description in his book was funny so I found this for him.

A walking Clam- again, Ki thought the picture in the book was interesting- the clam 'sticking out it's 'toungue' . SHARK vs OCTOPUS- because it has a mollusk and it's cool!!


today for math Ki listens to 4 Multiplication Table Songs ( I bought a few on iTunes), then 12D x 12D for 15 minutes. That means 2 dice that are both 12 sides- rolled and them multiply the numbers (he has to reroll 1s and 10s)


NanoFictionary- a fun little storytelling card game. We use the game or just the cards seperately for writing sometimes. Today was just picking cards and making a story and writing it. There are 4 types of cards. CHARRACTERS (ex: the household of 3, the alien disguised as a human, the invisible polar bear, etc), SETTINGS (ex: the ice-cream parlour, by locker 17, on the grounds of an insane asylum, etc), ,PROBLEM :('suddenly a fight broke out', ' everyone exlodes', 'trapped!', ' a terrble accident involving food'), and solutions ('duct tape saved the day again', 'the earth was destroyed', 'they spent 6 weeks in the hospital', etc)For this assignment they had to have 1 Character, 1 setting, and 1 problem. They could add one more of each and add a solution card too if they wanted help ending their stories.Ki decided to type his on the laptop. He is color coding the phrases that tell which cards he used.

FLIBBERTY KIDS!--Liberty Kids. they have both DVD 5 and DVD 6 from Netflicks.(and then reading time)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

tossing a few things

HAPPY BIRTHDAY KI! Ki is 13 today and now has a Facebook Account! He’s been waiting for this moment…his own Facebook Account like his brothers. They just play the games. They don’t actually socialize with friends much on Facebook.

For Ki’s birthday I made scones, per his request. I’ll be having a fruity-protein shake. But I am out of protein powder. I do have a chocolate protein drink in the fridge I can use and add fruit to it.
Gavin found a “You Can Draw” book and looked over the list of themes. *Dinosaurs *On the Farm *Cars *Animals ……. He thought “Dinosaurs On The Farm” sounded fun. I look forward to seeing his interpretation of Dinosaurs on the Farm.

Ki did well with lunch. He at first wanted tacos, but them remembered he requested tacos for dinner, so he went with a sandwiches. I pretty much just left them to their own devices for lunch. It’s an extremely relaxed day today.

The boys watched Liberty Kids during (and after) lunch. I decided to chuck the history program I wanted to use and just go with Story of the World and Historical type shows on DVD. The History CD-Rom was EPICALLY BORING! Same with the literature/writing CD-Rom. TOO dry and boring! Every now and then we try to use something ‘curriculum-y’ and we almost never like it. We like using for math ) older two boys) though. But it’s all their pace and they sometimes switch between math courses.

Ki choose to work on his German today. It wasn’t on his (very small) list of school today. He told me; “I decided to learn German, so I’m going to work on learning German.”
Gavin asked to skip science today and I said that was fine.
Even when I try to get all structured and use a bit of real curriculum, it never lasts long and we end back to our “Quasi-unschool’ ways….

Monday, September 14, 2009

Sept 14.

Everyone seemed extra tired. Connor was up before 7, but everyone else slept till almost 8. I hit the ‘snooze’ a few times, too, and didn’t get up until about 7:35. I made Lemon Poppyseed Muffins. I had mixed the batter last night, so all I had to do was cook them. I used our LEGO cupcake pan. MMMMM! I usually avoid starchy foods for breakfast, but Ki offered the remaining half of his muffin to me. I can’t turn Ki down when he’s being so sweet.
So, it’s a late start to our day. I wanted to have the boys do their reading when Brian and were gone, after lunch. They wanted to read first thing. They always read first thing in the morning. It’s what they are used to doing, so I went with it. We can do shorter lessons today. It’s my anniversary present to them…
I spent their reading time drinking tea and researching Bible Passages for this week. I read John 1:1-3 to them. Then I re-read it using “Jesus” in place of “WORD” and “Him”. I then told the boys to go get started on their school. Ki decided to read in Genesis and talked about how in the Original Hebrew text it didn’t really say “In the beginning”. The words used mean something closer to “At some time”. He said he likes that because it doesn’t seem like creation was the beginning of time, like saying ‘in the beginning does’.
Ki and I did science. We read about crustacean anatomy. As I was getting ready to read the next section (about Lobsters) Ki announced he wanted to go draw a lobster that he made up. So I told him where the colored pencils were and gave him a large note card.

C&G did their Alek Math and their science. I read Ki’s church history book with him. He made note cards of people’s names. I had him get hiss clay. He likes to stop and squeeze his clay between note cards. It helps him to be able to write more and better. It’s a glow in the dark clay and Ki says it doesn’t make his hands sticky like other clay.

The rest of school they will do on their own as Brian and I will be out of the house.
After the picnic, Munchkins, and DRIVE THROUGH CAR WASH, we got home around 3. The boys decided to watch the Liberty Kids DVD we got in the mail today. They asked if it would count as their history. I said yes, they could count that as their history if they wrote a paragraph for each of the episodes they watched.

Ki’s German today is a Matching Sheet I made and printed for him, plus listening/watching the YOUTUBE lessons we have in the school playlist.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Sept. 11, 2009

9:30 and all is well. Connor made French Toast for breakfast. Morning chores are done. The boys are in their bedrooms reading (and occasionally whispering & giggling back and forth)
The plants are watered and so if the cat. He likes to jump into my wine-barrel-mini-gardens and use them as his personal outdoor litter box. So I just watered him along with the plants.
Ki finished his Lobster Anatomy drawing and we read a little about Crustacean Head Features, noticed how similar Andelites are to crustaceans, and learned some more Greek Word Roots.
He didn’t complain about his writing and did well with it today!

Lunch was an Adverted Meltdown though I think. I made the mistake of calling them to the kitchen, telling them to make lunch, then going to the Teachers Lounge to watch a DVD for 40 minutes. G&C had made their lunches and eaten. Ki was still standing around talking to his brothers. He hadn’t even started making lunch. I had made a few suggestions for him, but he said to “no” to all of them. I was a bit upset, told him I didn’t want him making Ramen Noodles (he was getting them out), I wanted him to just grab something quickly. He explained that in the microwave ramen Noodles was faster than a sandwich so I told him to go ahead and make it. He was already upset (that I was upset he hadn’t eaten and I said no to his choice)- so he starts to walk off and say he’s not going to eat anything for lunch then. Ki without Protein is the LAST thing I need to deal with. I told him that I said to go ahead and do the Ramen Noodles and to just make them and eat. He did- while lots of fast pacing back and forth and avoiding me.
I set Connor up with his Science. He got the CD-Rom to where he left off and I told him to take some notes on that section and to write about the experiment we did the other day.
Ki was listening to 3 of the Times Table songs on iTunes. I told him start his math today by just listening to the 1st 3 songs. He says “Why can’t I choose which 3?”…… I told him that sounds good. (I didn’t really mean ‘It had to be songs 1,2,&3. I just didn’t want him listening to the whole list (6), only 3 of them (just for time sake) and it just came out “first three”. I think he was offended.
As K&C were doping there thing, I was going over Gavin’s science with him. NOT that I understand Physics at all, just too make sure he was actually take decent notes like he should. He wasn’t. It was not a pretty sight. I feel like the 1st 9 chapters were wasted because he doesn’t have nice, pretty, color-coded, organized notes. But I am getting over it. He gets Bs on the tests usually. But, well, it’s just all other kids in all other school…I know he could do much better if he’d just try more and put more effort into it…..LOL.
He didn’t have something for one of his experiments, so I told him to just close down Science for today.
All during this I was going back and forth helping Ki with his division page.
Gavin then went off to sew his Tunic. He cut it out about 3 months ago. It no longer fits well. Too Small. Maybe he needs a tent to wear until he’s done growing.

I have some ideas for next week. I look forward to school planning this weekend.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Sept 9, 2009

My body did not cooperate with my plans to have a great day. I still have a very sore throat. Sore throats are almost worse than Migraines. At least with Migraines I can take Fioricet and SLEEP. Nothing seems to help a sore throat and it hurts the just breath.
Connor is still a little sniffly, but seems to feel fine other than that, but Ki was feeling pretty lousy last night. Connor was, too. I gave them each a Nyquil Liqui-Gel. The package said ages 12 and up can have 2 pills. I just gave them 1. Ki’s normally awake on his own by 7. It’s 8:30 and he is still fast asleep. Connor slept in a little.
Morning Computer is normally over at 8, but with us mostly feeling kinda icky and Connor sleeping in till 7:55, I let him get on the computer after he finished his morning work. Gavin is making breakfast and Connor will get off when Gavin is done mixing the waffle batter.
Looks like Ki may not be up for much school today. I have some YouTubes on a playlist for him- different things on his school lessons, so he can watch those today. We’ll see how he feels. There will be no Math today if he’s not feeling well .

The boys have been watching lots of videos on Youtube Shark VS Octopus, How Dolphins Hunt, Crustacean Wars, etc. Ki has been reading in the Advanced Melee book all morning. THIS IS LONG- 55 minutes- about dolphins

Gavin researched and made some creatures for a Melee Scenario then planted some radish seeds after reading the back of the seed package and asking lots of questions. I didn’t think planning radish seeds was so mentally involved.

I Downloaded some Multiplication Songs from iTunes to help Ki and also review his Computer German FlahsCards.
That’s about it today.

Spet 9, 2009- off-track scheduling

7-8 is Morning Computer time. (If morning chores are finished). But The boys slept in today. Connor got some morning computer, but Ki & Gavin didn’t.
8-9 is Breakfast, Bible Reading, Story of the World, and any discussion time about the days assignments or agenda. With K&G sleeping in and the fact that I have an extremely sore throat so I slept inn a little, we were off a bit here, too. That’s fine, The times are more just to keep up moving onto the next thing. If we are not done with our ‘together reading’ by 9, we don’t just stop at 9. We finish our reading. So today the next session didn’t really start until 10:15. I had a sore throat (still do) so Connor read SOTW for us. Ki was our Bible Reader today. (Eph 6:10-20)
9-10 is almost always Reading Time. It works best that way. It gives me time to make sure I have gathered any lists or items I need and gives me time to clean up a bit in the kitchen, plus the boys like to ease into the school day and reading is a good way to accomplish that. Ki is reading WARRIORS (cat warriors), Gavin is reading 39 Clues (second book), He’s supposed to be reading Tom Sawyer, but can’t find it. We don’t always do assigned reading books, but when we do and Gavin can’t find his, he usually is handed the Robert Frost book of poetry. I was nicer today and just let him choose any book he’s not read yet. Connor is reading Swiss Family Robinson. His dad assigned that.
OK—we are even further OFF the time slots- All is good. We just moved on to the next thing when we are done with the previous. Ki choose to start with Science. (I printed all his syllabi for his classes. He put them in to their corresponding books). Science was almost a meltdown, because I mentioned he didn’t rite the first word on the list first, he had skiped it accidently then I corrected his letter ‘n’ and told them to write them properly. He makes them like a lazy, upside-down u. no stem- just a bump. He said when he makes them with a stem they look kind of like an ‘h’. I told him at 3 or 5 or even 7, that is an understandable excuse, but at 12 and 13, he can figure out which it is by the word. LESSON has an /n/ sound at the end, not an /h/. He was fighting a meltdown so hard! He then does his verson of an ‘n’ with a stem. He writes it correctly, then ADDS more stem to it. (making it look like a short ‘h’). I told him there is no need to add a stem if he did it when he wrote the letter. He said it didn’t look right without adding the extra stem. He was about to cry and run off and slam doors, I could tell. So I dropped it. Correcting penmanship & pointing out omissions are not worth a meltdown.
(G&C did their math during this time)
Ki wanted to do Church History next, but next in Church History was writing Name Cards. He decided to do german as there was no writing in that. I found that one of our High School Advantage CDs had german lessons so we did that. It’s basically like Talking Flash Cards on the computer. He did great with the 1st two things in the lesson, but the 3rd thing was to type the number name in English that went with the German card. So if it said Eins- he had to type O-N-E.
O.K. TYPING and SPELLING all at the same is NOT going over well for a boys who had Dyslexia & Dyspraxia and already was on the verge of a meltdown. He actually did a couple, but got frustrated that he couldn’t just hit the number button (like ‘ 1’ or ‘5’) and then he always messed up the typing/spelling. So I ended that quickly! I am a “Meltdown-Avoiding Wimp” today.

I’ll be changing his Church History today. No more writing today.
I got out a 10-sided die and we played a little game. We just rolled the die back and forth to each other saying the number (German) that was the number. So if Ki rolled it to me and it landed on 8, I’s say “acht”
We did 2 rounds. Round 1 we had the “0” be ZERO and round 2 we had it ne TEN. It was a good game.

SEPT 1, 2009

WOW. 2 mornings in a row I have woke before 7 Am, all on my own. Well, I did have help from the sun shining in the windows, the sound of the Broccoli and Strawberry trucks barreling down Stowell, and the sound of 3 boys doing morning chores. Gavin takes his shower at night now, so he’ll have more time for morning computer; which ends at 8AM and starts after their morning work, but no sooner than 6:30.
So, yes, they may actually get 1.5 hours on the computer in the morning if they are awake by about 6 AM to get their morning work done. Gavin got 2 new games for his birthday. Spore and Grand Age of Rome.
Today was a ‘get your own breakfast’ day. Gavin made a tuna sandwich. Connor and Ki had leftover Birthday cake. Connor also had yogurt. Ki just had cake and toast. I’ll suggest almonds and a glass of milk during Bible Reading.
9:15- Reading time is over. We meet at the kitchen table. I read Eph 6:10-20. We discuss a few things about it. Out of the 6 items mentioned in the full armor of God, only 1 is a weapon. The Sword of the Spirit. It is a defensive weapon, not an offensive weapon. No where does it tell us to fight. (though it does saw we wrestle against spiritual forces, not against man) It tells us to Stand against the evil one. To STAND. To Withstand. To Quench the Fiery Darts. To Pray and Pray and Watch and pray.

We prayed then read some Story of the world. We read chapter 8- about the Chinese Dynasties of the Middle Ages. The boys sat on the kitchen floor in a spot of warm sunlight, eating nuts, while they listened. We got out the world map to see how the rivers in China split the North & South.

Then head off to different lessons. G&C set off to take a progress assessment on their online math course while I read to K the rest of the Shark Chapter in his Zoology book. I had a little project. Measuring shark teeth (in a photo) and estimating the length of the sharks. I had him draw two teeth; one for a 50 foot shark and for a 35 foot shark. They got their timers from their pencil boxes. Let’s hope they put them back when school is finished. Again, he sat on the floor in the sun while he listened. Then he wrote a few notes and drew a few pictures in his notebook. He does better taking notes that are pictures of what he learned then writing out what he learned. So I have him draw pictures and copy any simple graphs and label things.

The boys were told they could take a break and start their last round of school in 15 minutes. G&C decided to play on FB. Ki decided to get a jump start on his math so he’d be done with school early.

Normally, I don’t set times for them to start and keep them on track. Just – no computer if they don’t get stay on track. But I got tired of them not doing much school until Friday, then rushing through and not getting much done. So I decided for a couple weeks I’d keep them on track and we’d do a few fun things each week after school (which should be done around noon or 1). So we’ll go to the park and play a few hours, or ride roller blades on the bike path, or go to the beach for a couple hours. Then I’ll do a couple weeks of letting them be in charge of their time and if they don’t get things accomplished, we won’t do all those fun things. After a couple weeks of that, we have a talk about how they like it better. When they get done early and we go to the beach or when they get t lollygag most the day not doing much of anything. (actually, Ki is always on daily schedule for school. He likes that.

Ki made a decision for Language Arts. He decided he wants to learn German.
And everyone was done with today’s school by about 12:30.

Things I have to do this week:
Find the Miquon Purple book or order a new one.

Figure out what to do for German. Maybe Petra can help us. Figure out what I need to order.
Go over C’s and G’s sciences to see what exactly they are doing so I can talk thing over with them, maybe think of fun activities to do, etc.

Plan some math for Ki . He was struggling with division. He found a way to help his brain figure some things out and also decided to do some multiplication worksheets. Either the first 10 minutes of Math time or just complete focus on Multiplication this week and back to division next week. He said he’d let me know his decision tomorrow.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

No more headache! Sept 3

The sun is shining and I don’t have a headache! Connor did our Bible Reading today. (Eph 6:10-20). We had a short discussion. Ki was all wimpy, lethargic, and giving the whole room an aura of BLAH, non-cooperativeness. So after prayer we went for a walk. It was an exaggerated walk, to get those arms & legs crossing/alternating and the lungs working to get more oxygen to their brains. Then in he back yard we did 10 complete CrissCross (counting “1” for doing the left & the right instead leftside-1, rightside2,leftside-3, right side 4), 10 Jumping Jacks, and then 10 Ninja Squats- for fun.
Reading time is 40 minutes today (so it’ll be done by around 10, because I want to go to the skate park today). They were told to have their water bottles with them. We’re working on better hydration.
They went straight to their math when thy were done, except I did German with Ki, then he made (out of clay) a dead shark getting it’s innards eaten-out by hagfish ( for Science.
(for German we watched videos online)..

After some more school and some lunch, we went toe the skateboard park to play with some friends. Some law enforcement officers came to the park and walked through the skateboard part talking to the kids. Some were skating some were boffer-swording. One took a boffer sword from Ki and playfully tapped Ki on the head. He had asked to see it and asked about it. Then they came to talk to us moms and just thanked us for making our kids wear helmets- that was it.
I think originally they were probably wondering about truancy with the group of kids at the skate park at 1.
Ki got his First Testing Date for Karate!! He is very exciting!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

SEPT 2, 2009 (with links)

Day 3 of waking on my own before 7. Not due to Early Morning Traffic or the sun streaming in my windows, but thanks to an excruciating headache. After some Excedrin, I went out back to take sun pictures and decided to chase the sun on my bike to take more pictures. Then I decided to take pictures of Monday’s sunflowers; all before 8 AM (and before food- that SO did not help my headache).
I think I’ll assign the morning reading to Gavin and go back to bed.

Gavin read. I rested.
The boys got started on their reading & math. Ki never does math first. He likes to do math around lunch time and read in the morning.
After his reading, Ki decided to do Science. Which consists of me reading to him, us talking about things I read, and him drawing in his notebook. This is a GREAT method for his schooling. Too bad math can’t be done more like this. He likes the hagfish- they vomit slime that cam fill a 2 gallon bucket- but they are small fish. Their slime swells when it leaves them. Here’s 2 videos:
Then Ki had fun teaching what he learned to his brothers and showing them the videos.

The boys got through their work. I was in bed a lot with the migraine. I didn’t feel up to going through the Lang. Arts CD-roms, so just print off a few worksheets for the boys. I did teach Ki a few words in German.
It was kind of a lousy homeschool day. But that’s OK. It happens.

Saturday, August 29, 2009


The boys like to have what they need done scheduled out for them. They have requested I make sure they learn what they need to know to get into college. This makes unschoolish learning look less like unschool in the highschool years. Life is no longer collecting insects and making graphs of the different kids, or planning a menu and writing a grocer list to go with it. Gavin and Connor are in 9th & 10th grade and have high goals of robotic engineering. This means lot of math and science these last few years at home. They choose what maths and sciences and how they want to learn them. They have chosen Apologia CD-Roms and Brian has chosen ALEKS math for them. Ki has always told me that it's my job to make sure he does school and does everything he needs and likes to do workbooks and reading together. (we talk a bit about unschooling and how it is done in some families and they all say they don't want me to leave it all to them, that it's my job to have them learn and teach them and make sure they get things done- So for us it is a combo of unschool & respecting my husband wishes in what and how they learn. I still haven't figured out what to put on Gavin's high school transcript for his 9th grade year.

With all our extra fun things we do, we need to have a good schedule for school. But we have a habbit of startingout all scheduled then next you know we all decide the beach, hiking, science experiment about something they found on Youtube are more important, fun, and educational then the scheduled stuff. We'll see what happens this year.
here is the schedule I have for our 1st week. I actual am not sure what is being done for writing (but Gavin & connor know they need to work on it on order to take college courses during high school to get a head start on their robotics). I am also not sure about history (whatever they end up wanting to learn about from History I guess. Ki alays asks for Church History and a book we have called Peoples of the World. I'll ask him to make a chart of what he wants to use and how. Not sure about Ki's math at all. Monday I'll have him make a decision on what he wants for that.

1. Go through school supplies (notebooks, water bottles, timers, pencils,) and go over where these will be kept.
2. All kids READ 60 minutes
3. Go Over plan for school subjects. EXPLAIN that these couple weeks will not be a model of our regular schedule, bit will be a week of trying all the school stuff to see how to make a working schedule for later.
4. Take C&K shopping for Gavin’s B-day
5. Have C&G take Test in Aleks
6. Have Ki decide on a math. 3. options: 1- complete a workbook to the end or 2. Go on 6 week alternating cycle of Math Programs. (workbooks, MathUSee, DVDs from Netflix, Online programs ) 3. Mix online games with workbook and DVDs. AND what to doo for Language Arts. The Spectrum Workbook is a choice- what else can Ki think of for LA. And- SOCIAL STUDIES- Church History OR Peoples of the world?
7. Make dinner and cake
TUESDAY – READ BIBLE-Eph 6:10-end of Armor of God, Read Story of the World-
· ALEKS (finish test / program work- total minutes 45)
· SCIENCE – read Chapter 9-Take notes, correct quiz, turn in corrected quiz with problems worked out – spend about an hour on it, turn in notes to me
· READ- 45 minutes
· ALEKS- (finish test / program work- total minutes 45)
· SCIENCE- 1 hour load Apologia DVD on Green Computer, read over the intro, Get a notebook and with mom, take a few notes
· READ- 45 minutes
· MATH- do 30 minutes in chosen math
· SCIENCE- finish reading shark chapter with mom ((maybe start some notes, drawings with labels) no more than an hour.
· READ- 45 minutes
** Leave house at 3:55 for Karate, Ninja Class, and Gymnastics.
WEDNESDAY READ BIBLE-Eph 6:10-end of Armor of God, Read Story of the World
· SCIENCE – 45 reading chapter 9/taking notes
· READ- 45 minutes
· ALEKS- (total minutes 45)
· SCIENCE- chapter 1- read for 30 minutes, call mom, have her help you go back and take notes over what you read.
· READ- 45 minutes
· MATH- do 30 minutes in chosen math
· SCIENCE- 30 minutes- finishing chapter-taking notes
· READ- 45 minutes

THURSDAY READ BIBLE-Eph 6:10-end of Armor of God, Read Story of the World
· ALEKS- 1 hour
· SCIENCE- 1 hour- reading, notes, practice problems
· READ- 1 hour
· SAT – answer email question, go over CD Rom with mom
· ALEKS- 1 hour
· SCIENCE – read 30 minutes, take notes, turn in notes
· READ – 1 hour
· SAT- Answer email Question, Go Over CD with mom
· MATH- 45 minutes
· SCIENCE – if finished with chapter- do experiment.
· READ- 40 minutes
· MAT – questions in email.
** Leave at 4 for Karate/Ninja- then YOUTH GROUP
FRIDAY Read Jesus Freaks
· SCIENCE – test chapter 9
· READ- 45 minutes
· ALEKS- (total minutes 45)
· SCIENCE- chapter 1- read for 30 minutes, call mom, have her help you go back and take notes over what you read.
· READ- 45 minutes
· MATH- do 45 minutes in chosen math
· SCIENCE- make clay sharks
· READ- 45 minutes


Friday, August 28, 2009

A great unschooling week

"Unschooling- the way kids learn naturally...."

Though we haven’t ‘officially’ started school, I thought I’d record what we’ve been doing this week.
This week we have had some of our homeschool friends over (M,T,Th) to play the game Insecta. It’s a basically a role playing game of mutant insects.

I really like the game because it teaches a LOT of taxonomy and I have learned a lot of Greek word roots. I, in turn, taught these to the kids that were here. They all did Great. 'B' was really good at recognizing the roots in other words. Like ‘ptera’ in ‘exopterygote’- he thought of ‘like a pterodactyl?’ right away when I asked if they had that in other words- and he was able to pick it out of the written word ‘helicopter’ pretty easily. (The helic part is from the Greek work helix- meaning spiral).
Other Greek root words we learned (or review as most knew ‘exo-‘ and ‘endo-‘ already and a few knew ‘pod’)
Arthropod- Arthro- meaning joint (like in arthritis) Pod meaning foot. (Arthropods are insects, crustaceans, arachnids, myriapods…)
Exopterygote- Exo- and ptera-
Mryiapod- Mryia- meaning many- like in ‘ There was a myriad of centipedes on the tree’
Lepidoptera- Lepid meaning scales, ptera= wings. Moths & Butterflies
Coleptera- Coleo from (Gr)Koleon meaning shield- these are beetles
Diptera- Di meaning two. These are true flies. They have 2 wings. (dragonflies, sawflies, etc- are not true flies. True flies have 2 wings and 2 word names- house fly, fruit fly, horse fly. Non-diptera flies have 4 wings and 1 compound name, like dragonfly, sawfly, mantidfly…)
Isoptera- Iso (Gr) for equal (think isosceles triangle)- these are insects that both sets of wings are pretty much the same size/shape. (termites, not sure what else)
Orthoptera- Ortho means ‘straight’- think of an ‘orthodontist’- they straighten teeth… Straight Wing insects are grasshoppers, crickets, locusts.
And helicopter- Helix & Ptera

I’d like to go over taxonomy a little more at a later date.

Not only was the game a tool for learning some Greek vocabulary, but it was good for planning team strategy and had complex rules to follow and remember (always a good general brain exercise)
Almost any function at our house includes BOFFER SWORDS! I love that when families come to our house the kids all just run right to the back yard and pick up boffer swords! Well, 2 of the kids decided they wanted to make their own boffer swords, so Thursday they brought all their supplies and my boys helped them make boffer swords.
Then I got out my sewing machine and showed them how to make cloth covers. 'T' had never sewn before. I had him fill the bobbin reel, thread the machine, cut his material, and sew it all.

Then his sister decided to make a tote bag out of her scraps. Another girl wanted to make a bag, too, so we found scraps enough for her to make a tote bag. I also had her do the bobbin, thread the machine, etc. Her bag was also requires ironing, turning handles inside out, I did the gussets, and she topstitched and everything.

We also concluded out Insecta Game and went over terminology. I think we had 11 kids over Thursday! It was about 9 on Monday and Tuesday. It was a fun (& educational) week.

Gavin was the HiveMaster. I love when my boys have opportunities to lead a class and teach!

Teaching is the BEST way to reinforce learning!

Connor has been gone all week- so he missed out. But he’ll be home in time for the Night Time Insect Hunt that’s tonight!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Back in the Un-Saddle

I was writing an email and noticed on the bottom was my 'auto-signature'- which included a link to this blog. "WOW" I thought. "I've not blogged about our homeschooling for awhile!"

So I decided that is time to get back to my homeschool blogging.... We still haven't started back to schooling yet. I think we'll have 3 weeks of 'catch up', take a week off for going to the beach and having lots of fun, then get back into schooling.

Catching up? How does one fall behind when one unschools? Well, we just Quasi-Unschool.. and I feel that it's good to finish what you start, usually- but not always. G&K started apologia science courses last year-Physics & Zoology , but with our move to California, we took a lot of time from busy work to get used to our new surroundings- so They just made it half way through Zoology & Physics. G also just made it half way through the math he choose. (C finished his math and half of another math course)

Monday is G's birthday- so we'll start school Tuesday.

And my husband & think daily reading is important, so we have all been reading all summer.

This school year G will be in 10th grade, C in 9th and K in 7th- according to official paperwork.
What the boys have asked to learn this school year, so far:

G-Chemistry (after he finishes his Physics), finishing Algebra 2 and then Geometry (which might change when he finished Alg2)

C- I don't really know yet. He is doing a General Science course from Apologia, but I we haven't discussed math or anything else

K- is doing a second zoology. Last year he did water animals, this year I think is Land Animals. and we haven't discusses what and how for math- other than he doesn't like doing math on the computer.

So I have a lot to figure out before Tuesday I guess.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Snippets from Our Day

They day started with us all sleeping in from our long Tuesday. The boys have PE, Boffer Sword combat, and Gymnastics/Karate (G&C-gymnastic/K-Karate). So they are very tired and sleep in on Wednesdays.
Breakfast was waffles. MMMmmm. And a Chai Latte for me. With the addition of Crystallized Ginger. They are round slices. I gave a small piece to Connor and one to Ki. Connor asks if it is a fruit. I tell him no, it’s a root. Well, that instantly gets Gavin’s attention!
[G]- “Square Roots!? I have a Square Root game…..”
[me] /thinking-‘ACK!’/ -
“no, it’s a ROUND ROOT. No square root games with a round root. It won’t work.”
[G] /oblivious to the discrepancy of the geometric shapes of the roots and once again trying to fit a round root into a square hole. /
“Connor, what’s the square root of 15?”
[C]- “7? I don’t know”
[G]- /doesn’t bother to let us in on the deep secrects of the square of 15/
“Ki, what’s the square root of 4?”
[K] /ignores Gavin/
[G] “Ki, how about the square root of 1, that’s kind of hard.”
[K] /ignores Gavin/
[me] “1.23?” /I am really pretty clueless and don’t care, but like to have fun blurting answers and can’t stand unanswered questions/
[G] “no” /to me/ then to Ki- “Ki. How about the square root of 1? That’s the easiest square root.”
[K] /ignores Gavin/
[me] “I don’t think Ki wants to play your Square Root game”
[G]- “Ki, you need to get better with square roots.”
[K] “why?” /apathetically/
[G]- “So you can do the Pythagorean theorem.”
[K] “why would I want to do that?”
[G] “so you can get into college. It’s just BASIC MATH!”
[me] “Gavin, Ki has 5 more yrs until he goes to college. He’ll learn what he needs when he’s ready.”
[Ki] – “SIX! I have six more years until college, I thought”
[me]-/counting on my fingers/.. “yep, it’s 6” /ki, lets out a BIG sigh of relief/
• See what happens when you don’t use grade levels- you never know exactly how many years until college!

After Ki did his Brain Gym Therapy, he played Math Blaster and did a page or 2 from his Miquon book.
A bit later I went outback to check on Connor and Ki. I asked Ki if wanted to do the sidewalk chalk project from his Science book that he asked about this morning. I was told “NO” by Connor, who informed me that Ki was doing experiments in Physics. Ki had a big stick and a bungee cord. Connor said that Ki had already tested gravity and found that the laws of gravity were indeed pretty accurate. I’m so glad I have Ki to prove the laws of science are accurate and hold true.

I left as Ki was testing, what I can only assume was Newton’s 3rd Law of motion, as he pulled the bungee cord back with 1 end attached to the stick to see how far it would launch in proportion to how far it was pulled back.

I then check on Gavin who is diligently hunched over his laptop and ask what he is doing. He tells me he is making a detailed model of the earth on Lightwave from some images he imported from a NASA Website. Then he goes on to tell me about the pixels and something about 500 yards I think; which is followed by a viewing of his earth model before it is renderable.

So I go to take my shower and Ki decided he’s ready to draw the Dinosaur head. He’s moved the picnic table and swept the back porch. We get out his science book and read about the Pliosaurs and the 9 foot head of the Kronosaur. Or was it a Kronosaurus? Anyhoot- He measure out 9 feet and larks the the ends. The he makes a cross measurement of 3 feet for the height of the head. He uses the picture in the book to draw the head with cone-shaped teeth. Then he labels his picture and lays down beside it to see how the huge mouth measures up to his body.

I still don’t know what Connor did today. I think he did some Geometry at a interactive math website. He was going to do some chemistry and reading.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

long babbling update of business

Reality : we are busy. Busier than I really want to be. But this is how it is. I am finally getting a new schedule/routine that works.

MONDAY- been baking and Monday is a good AT HOME day to get some baking done. MONDAY is the day we pack up for Tuesday's classes, but we have to pack before dinner. No more packing up at the last minute. We have Church Classes from 6-7 or 7:30, them eat. We tried eating at 5 or 5:15 as soon as Brian gets home, but [A] we don;t have time to clean up before we leave [B] we never can get it finished and were a couple minutes late [C] sometimes Brian just can't get home in time. So, last week I made CrockPot Chicken {gavin LOVED, Connor and Brian devouredit, too) heated some rolls and nukes a bag of seasoned frozen veggies from Trader Joes. It worked well, so I will continue it. Let's not forget housework and school. **GOOD NEWS- the Gospel Class only have 5 more weeks. but I think I'll continue the schedule.

TUESDAY- wake at 7:30, eat quick breakfast, clean the kitchen, pack and foods that couldn't be packed the night before and be out the door at 9AM. The kids pack supplies for art class, laptop&school books & paper/pencils, water bottles, change of clothes for gymnastics/karate. I teach 2 ASL classes, they take ASL, P.E.,Art, do some school work they brought,Karate for Ki and Gymnastics for Gavin & Connor. I bring books to read and my notebook.

7PM is about the time we get home, have a snack (it's a 'grazing' day). Put away all the stuff we brought, play a bit and go to bed.

WEDNESDAY- no matter how many times I try to make myself be GREAT and make this a day at home to get caught up on school from Tuesday- we are all just TOOOOOO tired from Tuesday. I finally admitted it, changed it to an easy day with a little school in themorning & park/beach/Farmers Market for the rest of the day. MARCH 25 is Brian's birthday (he requested Salmon & mashed potatoes & chocolate cake). I want to go to the Farmers Market. on the 25th there is a BIG Craft Bazaar with Home Sales people. Pampered Chef (want a couple more things) and a mom from Karate does inhome candle sales adn invited me. So that starts at 5. then I can be home by 6-6:30 for dinner and cake/presents. I hoe to have the boys turn their Tueday Art Projects into B-Day cards- save us a step or two in our week.

THURSDAY- This will be our "GET BUSY doing school" day. Ki has Karate from 4:30-5:30 (getting home at 6-6:10). All 3 boys have youth group from 6:30-8. On Thurs, Brian makes sure G&C eat and gets a quick dinner ready for Ki, so he can eat quickly and go to church. Sometimes they grab Del Taco (cheaper than Taco Bell- cheaper than the grocery store, LOL) and just bring them to church.

MARCH 26- we are skipping Karate. We decided to see if we can skip every-other Thursday. It's a Tues/Thurs class. I'll be making the Aztec Soup and "Sub-Sandwich Buffet"- using stuff from Wed's Farmers Market. Wed's will usually be "Sub-Sandwich Buffet"- but Brian's B-day is this week.

FRIDAY- another "Buckle Down School Day" with Tues & Wed being light school days. Usually we have Small Group, a light dinner before we go and the boys usually make pizzas and watch a movie at home while we are gone. MAR 27 is a Homeschool Pot-Luck and Flashlight Easter Egg Hunt. I plan to make 2 batches homemade bread and maybe some fruit salad.

I have split my prayer list into 2 lists and have them emailed to me. Alternating List A and list B. I get requests online fromout church and I add those in each week. I also have charted my bible research. MON-prep for Gospel Class. TUES-WED is review of Monday's Gospel class (there are a bazillion scripture references each class and I use my Strong's Concordance and my MacArthur Study Bible THUR/FRI is Reading for Friday's Small Group. Saturday is reading/studying for Sunday's Sermon.

I just can't seem to get my Daily exercise. I can;t even get it in 3 times a week right now. I REALLY want to use my Pilates DVD regularly! I seem to get it twice a week and then it's just BUSY-BUSY-BUSY and bike riding. Today we walked a looooooooong path/boardwalk to the beach and back.

I plan on a sit down meal once on the weekend. sometimes Saturday and Sometimes Sunday.

*** Next Week though-- I decided to take a School Break. We went 6 full weeks- so it's tiime for a fun break

Friday, February 27, 2009


check out all my picture posts! I put up a lot of photos tday here. only 5 per post, so it toook a few posts.... lots actually, LOL.


pictures from my Saturday Hike.

(This is the 7th or 8th post of pictures as I can only get 5 to post at a time. Al lot of pictures from around the town where I live and my yard. Check them out)

more pics from my garden.

PICTURES from my backyard

This is my 6th picture entry today. I can only load 5 pics per entry. I can't figure out how to do more. So check all of the posts today to see all of the pictures. a lot are taken from around town here where I live.

5th entry tday- MORE PICTURES

I can't get more than 5 to upload at a time..... so I am doing multiple entries

more pictures (4th entry today)

More Pictures

MORE PICTURES (did an entry the one before this)

Pictures, "M-Term", SEED BALLS

I thought I'd start this blog with some pictures. I have a lot. I have been taking more pictures around town.

That one is the shadow of a wiggly tree against the brick wall.
Looks like we will do one more round of One Month School. "M term" is next.
I think I'd like to do 6 weeks after our March session. I have a feeling we woon;t have school the 1st 2 weeks in April. and we'll have a light week the first week of May- if any at all. soo, who knows.
Have and ugly, empty lots in the neighborhood? Or maybe medians between the lanes that are just plain dirt? How about those patches of dirt at the on and off ramps?
Make Some SEED BALLS to propigate colorful flower growth to brighten up your neighborhood!
1 part seeds (native to your area)
3 parts compost (we used a mixture of worm casting, chicken manure, bat guano)
mix well
add 5 parts (red) powder clay (our wasn't red)
mix well
2 parts water a little at a time
mix well
form into balls (or dice small robots if it's my boys)
This is the homeschool project they did Yesterday. I am not sure if this is the exact ratios Michael used with the kids, though. I couldn't remember so I looked at a couple websites until I found one that was similar to his method.


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