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.


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