Saturday, March 27, 2010

work. Work, WORK!

:: AHCHOO ::

Sounds like someone is allergic to work. Hopefully not my kids, because there is another Darkshore Dollars Day approaching.

Since the boys get no allowance and don't have 'real jobs' yet, they earn money when they ask for it, or if I offer some 'extra paying jobs'. Sometimes I offer these jobs just to give them an opportunity to earn money, sometimes because there are too many jobs I don't want to do at the moment so I pay them to do a couple of mine for me, or sometimes because I know there is a function coming up they want to attend and I don;t want to ' just fork out the money' so they get to work it off. I decided to add a few different things I don't normally put on Paying Job List. I'm thinking of letting them earn money by writing reviews to shows they watch. Right now they are watching Farscape and they like to watch Doctor Who. We'll see if it works out well. I'm considering adding 'make a breakfast and dinner menu and cook 2 days of the week'; like a paid personal chef.

So Far I have:

  • mop kitchen

  • pull weeds

  • clean shoe closet

  • wash windows

  • sweep/scrape front porch

  • scrape back steps

  • clean toaster oven

  • clean silverware drawer

  • 25CENT worksheets (need to print off a few)

  • write 1 page reports on Farscape, Doctor Who, etc

  • water plants for a week

  • Darkshore Dollars Day will be Monday and Thursday next week.

    Wednesday, March 24, 2010


    I decided we needed a BEACH DAY!! I told the boys last night that'd were going to the beach today and they can boffer sword there most the day.
    it's the first thing Ki was talking about when he woke up!
    No morning school (I told them Math & science when we got back- that's all)
    Amtgard-Boffersword on the dunes and in the water!

    The were so happy and had a great time.
    we found live Sand Dollars. it was fun to watch their little purple hairs wave and wiggle.

    Tonight is Get Your Own dinner- which is just about their favorite. Top Contenders are CornDogs, Toast, Baked Beans, Bacon Sandwhich.. we'll see..

    and then they'll watch a DVD. They think maybe Battle Star Galactica.

    Tuesday, March 23, 2010

    Just the Facts. Nothing but the facts... and a Burrito




    Open door. Check cat’s water dish. Go back to bed.

    Brian; “my alarm’s going off in about 3 minutes…..”


    Get back up. Get dressed. Brush teeth and hair. With separate brushes. Feed Cat, set out Ki’s School. Drink a few swallows of Mocha Protein Drink. Check Email for an anticipated response. Make a nut,pretzel, choc chip snack for Brian. Get out paper. Pen. Book. Science study Sheet for Connor.

    Write list of school for G&C.


    Time to leave. Ki wakes to give hugs&kisses and walk out to see Brian off. Drive w/ Brian to airport. See all the happy people awake at 5:15. In line at Starbucks. GO BACK TO BED!!!

    Drop off Brian.

    Kiss Brian Good-Bye.

    Drive home thinking of my schedule and debating stopping at Von’s for a banana. They look not quite open. The van seat is heated. Banana can wait.


    Open House Door. See Ki on computer and send him back to bed to at least lay quietly and rest another 30 minutes or so.

    Go outback to get a bucket.

    Push button to start Laptop and take a shower. While waiting for water to get war, collect not-warm/enough-water in said bucket- to water ve\ggies.


    Hear Connor and Ki awake. Once Connor wakes up, that’s it. No turning back.

    Don jeans and a top.

    Start typing up this very log you are reading. Check FB.


    Head back downstairs, finish writing school stuff for the boys.

    “GAVIN- are you awake??”

    “Boys (K&C) as soon Gavin is up and ready, we’ll go to Starbucks for free pastries!!”

    6:41- iron material for dress. All 13 yards.

    7:15- Starbucks. Free Pastries. Card Game with my boys.


    Home Again. Home Again. Jiggity Jig. Gave Connor a needle to pop a blood blister that didn’t need to be popped. Cut my aloe plant to ease my burn pain fro the iron.

    Discussed Morning Independent school with the boys, put my hair up, curled under my bangs, burnt my forehead. It matches my finger, except it doesn’t h also have a cut.


    Left house. Arrive at store. Buy breakfast goodies for Bible Study. Leave store. Arrive at churh. Set out Breakfast Goodies. Commence Bible Study. Help put away chairs


    Leave Church. Pass Target. Do U-turn. Arrive at Target. Buy stuff. Leave Target. Arrive home.

    Eat Lunch, water plants, spill plant, clean up plant, observe Gavin’s sniper gun thing he made on PHUN (website), check email.


    Math with Ki.

    Lots of fabric cutting.

    Rest a few minutes.

    3:15- have boys pack their class stuff & water bottles.

    Cut More.

    Water plants.


    Home and eating a Veggie Burrito.

    Monday, March 22, 2010

    A Chicken named BOB

    YAY Monday! Back on Track Day!

    My day started with tea and printing Gavin’s Chapter 14 test that he took last week, but didn’t turn in and can’t find so he had to retake it. While the boys ate breakfast, I read to them from Story of the World about the first Russians.

    After breakfast clean up and a short intermission (which consisted of making more tea), we read our next lesson in You Decide- Bill of Rights’ book and did the discussion and then the boys had to right out the basics steps in getting the 1st amendment placed in the constitution. (I used that time to hang the laundry on the line out back and water some plants).

    NINJA TRAINING was kicked up a notch today; well, half a notch. Our Inside Warm Up consisted of Butterfly Sit Ups (13), Push Ups (10), Bridges (10, Ki added a small weight), Knee Pull Ups (using the kitchen chairs: 10), and the arm pull down weight thing on the boys workout bench (8 forward and 8 to the back). Then we moved outside to do 10 Box StepUps, Walking Lunges across the entire back yard length, 15 Thread the Needles, 15 Ninja Squats (or 10 if you used the weight bar), then 6 of their choice Frog Steps or Caterpillar Steps. Ninja Training was at 10:30AM today to avoid the heat and intense sun after lunch. It’s not THAT hot, but the sun seems very intense.

    SCIENCE: Ki is reading in Chapter 2 of his zoology book. Gavin is retaking his test (he didn’t turn it in last week and lost it). Connor is correcting the problems he missed (he got a 94% on both tests I graded last night) and then doing his work for the current chapter. Why did I grade 2 tests for him last night? Because, last night I finally got around to grading his chapter 2 test he took last Monday and I found his Chapter 1 test still in the Turn--In folder, ungraded.

    AVOCADO: I picked an avocado today. It should be ready to eat by Friday or Saturday. I think I want it on a veggie sub sandwich with raspberry vinaigrette. P.S. My sugar snap pea has grown but still has no siblings. And I picked a few spinach leaves to eat on my sandwich today.

    SNAILS: I am doing some research on Killer Snails, A.K.A. Decollate Snails. They eat the brown snails that eat the garden plants. Some say if your region is cold enough for snails to hibernate, the Killer Snails will end up eating the plants when the brown snails are hibernating and not available for a lunch date. This needs further research.

    MATH-Oh-MATH: I assigned 8 topics for both Gavin and Connor, but not the required 50 minutes a day even if they reach the 8 goals before the end of the week. This means if they do all 8 topics by Tuesday, they have no math the rest of the week. Ki and I went over his Chicken math questions I wrote for him the other day. The ones that he missed he had to correct after I explained them, then I had him do a couple more problems. He did pretty well. He really does do better with math after lunch like he says. He likes the chicken theme and asked for the red, yellow, and green chickens to be in the nest set of problems I write. Those are the chickens from his earl reading books that I wrote for him when he was learning to read and chose 2 new words he wanted each week.

    The Main Question of the day was about chickens with Feather Syndrome. Feather Syndrome is when feathers are unequally dispersed and right side of the chicken has 3 times as much plus 6, as the left side. which is 3X+6. Ki wondered why you would use 'X' and not just use 3000 (the amount the white chicken had for his problem). So I showed him that sometimes you use the same formula many times with different numbers. Like in the case of the 3 chickens with Feather Syndrome; Chicken Chuck, Chicken Chan, and Bob.

    Wednesday, March 17, 2010

    "I've got Rhythm...."

    or not. Actually, it's more like arrhythmia. It's been a very arrhythmic week, cardialogically speaking. So I took it easy today. No Ninja Training. No Bike rides.

    My students ( the male offspring) decided to sleep in. I had them doing Ninja Training daily, too. Two whole days of it , combined with other activities (like karate and gymnastics) wore the out.

    So we were a little less scheduled that planned. They still did everything, we just didn't use the time slots. Except for art class. It's was at Petra's house.

    "You Decide; Bill of Rights" study is going well. The boys enjoy debating. I enjoy they aren't debating my rules or me or nonsensical issues in my house. (I charge money when they get to be too annoying bickery in the house)

    It was our first "Art with Petra" class. G has been asking to do more art and Ki needed to have some more art experiences. I was very impressed. he drew LARGE; covering the whole paper, and he didn't have to have thee whole thing on the page. He tried just drawing part of the flower very close up. He normally draws small, in the corner, and never ever 'overlapping the edge'. Connor looked very nice, too. The theme was Georgia O'keeffe.

    We hung around a bit longer to let the boys play in the water sprinkler. It was pretty warm today.

    I need to write a tailored math review page for Ki tonight. And grade C's Science test.

    I can't wait till my latest round of seeds sprout!

    Monday, March 15, 2010

    March 15, 2010

    There is something motivating in being done in time with the last time slot to sneak in a couple minutes of journaling or a game on online solitaire before the next time slot. It’s like an extra bonus to going on a Time Slot schedule.

    Connor woke me at 6:40. Those garage doors are loud at that hour. And to think, yesterday it would have been 5:40, which means he was awake by at least 5:30. I did fall back asleep until my alarm sounded at 7:15.

    I made waffles in time for 8:00 B&B. They ate Breakfast, I read a Book to them. At 8:20, I was done re ding and when out to tend to my plants. I decided to transplant some happy white daisy looking flowers (it is a small bush). I moved it from in front of the vertical pocket garden to under the olive tree. I plan on planting sunflowers in front of the vertical pocket garden to help diffuse the intense direct sunlight a bit. I also ate my breakfast and did some talking to God while out there. Connor read in Proverbs and in Revelations after breakfast. Ki read about people trying to assassinate King David. I don’t know what G read.

    I had about 7 minutes to write on this journal entry and reheat my tea before the 9:00 class. I read the 4 court cases from Lesson 3 in chapter 1 of You Decide (learning about the Bill of Rights through studying past court cases). The last cases we read didn’t tell us the conclusion. This lesson did. I read the case, clarified a few parts, then let them think and discuss it for about 5 minutes (what they thought was violating or not violating the amendment and why) then I told them the Supreme Court’s decision. I like the book. I like that the are actually thinking about what happened in a way that goes with the amendment and not what they think should be right and they are discussing things. I like learning more about the Amendments. Their assignment is to fill out a Guide for Analysis for the court cases. It is a form in the back of the book used to analyze the court cases. The assignment was to do a sheet for each of the 4 cases. I assigned G to do 3, C to do 2, and K to do 1.

    I have 10 minutes till the 10:00 class. I can go flip the laundry. YEAH ME!! The boys were all finished within 15-20 minutes. Either they need a bigger assignment or they didn’t do a thorough enough job. That will be seen when I go over their papers tonight.

    Ki decided he wants me to make a worksheet of math problems for him, instead of doing the bridge. I found giving him that option was a good thing. (bridge is just a quiz at the end of about ever 10 chapters in his math story book). I avoid problems he knows well and find creative story lines to have him practice the things he needs to practice. I also make each new problem build on the story of the previous problem. That is what he likes best. And it’s why he likes his math story book. Each chapter builds on the story they are telling and use that to introduce new math concepts. Ki is my ‘storyteller’ learning style kid. The math book is a series called Life of Fred.

    Science went well. G&C had tests. I read from Ki’s Science Book to him and asked him questions…ALL WHILE at Panera eating lunch (bagels and bearclaws for K&C). They were done before I anticipated, so I had time for a quick powernap when I got home, before Ninja Training Class.

    For Ninja Training we did some exercises to help get us read to Ninja Pop Ups. (we did butterfly sit ups). Then some Push Ups to help strengthen Ninja Muscles so we can better at using a lightsaber and Doing Ninja Flips. Some Ninja Knee Ups (good for pulling oneself onto a roof or doing up, over, through tunnels) and then some of those ‘use your hands to pull the bar down in front of our and then behind you, with weights’. Outside we did Caterpillars, Frog Steps, Ninja Hip Pop Box Bobs, Threading the Needle, and Walking Lunges. G was pretty tired throughout. He might be fighting a cold though, he’s been coughing and sniffling a bit.

    By now I am very tired and want to sleep a few hours. I chose to ride my bike to the orthodontists (make a payment) and to Trader Joes for a few groceries. There was a lady there with 6 petitions for proposed new laws. She was getting signatures so these new, proposed laws would be put on the ballot.

    I asked that poor little old lady SO MANY questions and 'well, but what if......". Then I asked her if she was a paid worker or a volunteer-..because the petitions said right on it The Person collecting signatures was either a paid worker or a volunteer and I had the right to ask. So I did. I told her I was just exercising my rights as outlined on the petition. I went home, did a quick DDC Inspection (Dresser Drawers & Closet), then told the boys to get shod for a short field trip. I took them so they could witness the legislative system in action. People with peaceful assemblies in order to redress congress about grievances.

    C&K did some Backyard Parkour Practice. Then the 3 boys watched an A&E about Ghengis Khan.

    Sunday, March 14, 2010

    My Papyrus Strip

    scida is Greek for Papyrus Strip and is a base for the modern word 'schedule. The Middle English word is sedule, meaning a slip of parchment or paper, note.

    Not many people actually use paper to write out their schedula (late Latin) these days. So many schedules are done on a Blackberry or in Microsoft Word or Excel in today's world. I like to do mine in Word, or Excel, or on my Google Calendar, then have it emailed to my Gmail account. (but there is something that feel good and final about writing it by hand, in pen. which I do from time to time)

    I like schedules. I like writing them, and I like following them. I like the feeling of comfort and safety I get just knowing there IS a schedule to which we can adhere our lives.

    I also like FONTS.

    My boys are an odd mix of needing freedom, relaxedness, independence AND needing schedules and plans. (which, now that I think about it, probably isn't odd at all)
    Lately they have too much freedom of time and motion and not enough schedule. Me, I never have enough schedule, but I go without as much as I'd like sometimes to allow the boys freedom to spread the wings of their neurons

    This had led to scholastic entropy. So this weekend I have devised a schedule for the next few weeks. In May, we will have "May Term"; which is like J-Term. but in May and with one class of MY choosing added to their 2 chosen areas of independent study.

    We never made it to getting into a somewhat scheduled groove after J-Term. I decided it was time to buckle down and get a few things done before May Term. The sciences they choose for this school year were being neglected. They can choose what to study and how to learn it, but not IF they study/learn. So, I told them that only those students that meet science and math goal by the end of April will earn the privilege of participating in May Term.

    Personally,I have been in dire need of a good, solid SCHEDULE and since, as much as I enjoy our quasi-unschooling, I know it is good for my offspring to be able to work and function on someone else's schedule, we will have a detailed time schedule to for this week.
    My children excel with a schedule for a short time, but then having and being on a schedule seems to turn off their brains. So we go back and forth as the needs wax and wane.
    After I got the 'hourly schedule' done, I went back and filled in specifics for each student/topic. I have emailed each student with their school assignments and what the consequence of failure to complete it will be. I also emailed the attached file of the 'hourly schedule' for the week. It will be written on the dry erase board.

    Here is Monday's Schedule: (because you really don't want to read the whole week's at once)


    8:00 B&B (Breakfast & Books) ~During Breakfast I will read Story of the World (or assign the boys to take turns reading it after breakfast and I read from the Bible during breakfast- it will alternate) Any time left over after breakfast and before the next class will be for Ki's independent reading time.

    9:00 You Decide ~ we will read lesson 3 from the you Decide book. They will have tailored homework, due Tuesday, from the activities for lesson 3.

    10:00 MATH HOUR (50 minutes) ~ 50 minutes will give them a 10 minute break between classes to switch gears (and get a snack or drink for the next class). Gavin and Connor have been assigned 50 minutes daily AND the completion of 8 topics on ALEKS. If they reach 8 topics before the week is over, they are to do Review (in Aleks) for their Math Time. Friday they print out a worksheet (in Aleks) that will be due the following Monday. Ki is doing 2 chapters in Life of Fred Daily (or his 'bridges'-review every 10 chapters)

    11:30-1 Panera & Science ~ Yes, that is correct. Science Class will be held at Panera. C&G will have tests while Ki & read in his current chapter (and take some notes). If you're going to take a test, you might as well get Hot Chocolate and a Cinnamon Roll while taking it!

    1:30-2 Ninja Training ~ I'll teach the boys some of the 'ninja training exercises' from my Ninja Class. We'll also use their weight bench and hand weights.

    2:45 DDC Check ~ Dresser Drawer & Closet. I don't insist they keep these things organized, cleaned-out, etc..UNLESS they start having problems 'finding' clean clothes in time for church, etc. In Which case they have to clean 'em out and organize them and pass my inspection.

    ~interim time is FREE TIME unless they did not pass DDC Inspection, then they will be working on that~

    4:30 Clean Up House/Dinner Prep ~ Taco Buffet! It's a favorite. Everyone eats well. But it is a lot of work.

    ***After Dinner- Homework. ("You Decide" activity) & BRIAN= Grade G’s test. I will grade C's Test.

    Friday, March 12, 2010

    Dollar Days & Hungry Headaches

    Today is darkshore dollar day. 'The Bruthers" (as James calls them) are earning money credits to go to camp in May. It's only $25 a person. The boys don't get a weekly allowance so anytime they want money, they have to ask for jobs to earn it.


    New Book: It's called You Decide. It's from the Critical Thinking Company. It goes through the 1st 8 Amendments (Bill of Rights). It dissects the amendment to get to what the individual wording means and it tells about Supreme Court Cases and asks the kids different questions based on what the Amendments say. We've only done 2 lessons, but it seems like a good thing so far I never really learned about the Amendments in school, so I've been enjoying it. One of the cases was kind of about homeschooling. from the 40s I think. It was an Amish Community. The parents were convicted of breaking the state law that says children are required to attend school until 16. They stopped sending their kids to the schools after 8th grade because the high school was just too many things that go against their religion. I think the best part of the book is learning about past Supreme Court Cases.


    3Rs. The '3Rs' for most are; "Reading, 'Riting, and 'Rithmatic" for us they are "Reading, Research, and 'Rithmatic" someday I ask them to report to me about what they have researched (hand in some notes or tell me about it). Ki calls those days *4 Rs*
    I need to check up on their sciences. They are all using Apologia Science Curriculum; which includes science experiments. I don't think Connor has been doing his.


    SEEDY. The last big batch of seeds I planted didn't make it. So I have been planting more. And I have been bringing them in at night. I have about 7 tomato plants that are about 3-6 inches tall. I planted 18 more today. WOW I just realized it is 18. Nine are Gavin's Cherry Tomatoes and 9 are Yellow Tomatoes. Gavin's Strawberries are barely starting to show the 1st signs of red. I planted some off Ki's Sunflower Seeds that are from the Sunflower we just harvested by the wall, which are from Ki's sunflower plants last year. They will be 3G plants (3rd generation). Ki is pretty happy about that. I am happy that I saw a tiny bud on my Sugar Snap Pea plant and my Upside Down Tomato is turning!

    Headaches. No More Migraines or Sinus Headaches. The instant I am hungry though I get sharp pain headaches and blurry vision. It's like how I feel if I forget to eat a meal or sometimes in the morning (after 'fasting' all night), but it happens at normal meal time now, just 3 hours after the last meal it seems.

    Wednesday, March 10, 2010

    This Bog's for you

    A recent facebook status talked about the base for a bog imp tunic that my son is making. A good friend of mine said she had to read it 3 times b/c she kept reading my son was making the base of a bong...... She said she knows we are bit 'outside the box' but she knew we weren't THAT outside of the box.
    I thought it was funny. And it got me thinking of one of my favorite songs.
    'Waltzing Matilda'
    Up jumped the Swagman and jumped into the Billibong.......


    Today, the boys asked that I read the section from Story of the World that they read together yesterday. They really like that particular story; the clever rabbi of cordova. But not wanting to be in the same place forever; having the desire to press onward and move forward, I also read the start of the next chapter. The topic of this chapter is the Mongols. I read about Genghis Khan. I found a biography film on Netflix about GK & the Mongols, so I added it to my queue. We should get in in 2-3 days.

    Connor and Gavin lost morning computer for today (they didn't finish their school before getting on the computer in the afternoon yesterday). When I got up at 9, Gavin informed me he had already finished his math and his S.A.T. practice questions. He did them in the morning since he wasn't allowed on the computer and wanted something to do. Connor chose to just sleep in a bit.

    I so love that the boys are so honest like that. Gavin could have played on the computer in the morning, I was asleep. I wouldn't have known. But he did his math. Of course, Ki probably would have just told on him anyway, LOL. But Ki was asleep, too. But all 3 boys are like that. They seem to obey even when I'm not there to make sure they obey. I'm glad theyy are turning out well despite my mistakes and imperfections in raising them.

    and while I am talking about how wonderful my boys are, I want to add what I did yesterday. (I record these nice moments to have something to hold onto when they have their not-so-sweet moments).
    Yesterday, Starbucks messed up my order. I was disapointed. Having migraines seems to increase the level of disappointed to random, small things. When I got home I remembered my Veggie Chips from Trader Joes. I love those and don't buy them often. They are a treat (like my caramel latte that I did NOT get!). I was so looking forward to those chips, esp b/c Starbucks messed up my caramel latte. I got home and my boys had eaten ALL of them!! I was so sad. It is silly, I know, but when you are on week 2 of a migraine, sometimes a missing Veggie Chip will break the camel's back. I did the whole thing of;
    "WHO ATE MY CHIPS??? they were my yummy treat and I was so looking forward to them and Starbucks messed up my latte and all I wanted was my chips and they are gone!!!! .............I'm going outside to be sad, now."

    When Brian got home from work, he had a bag of Trader Joe Veggie Chipss for me!! Ki had called him at work and asked him to buy some on the way home because he and G had eaten them all and I was sad.
    Big, Collective "AWWWWWWW!!"

    Friday, March 5, 2010

    the missing month

    I never really wrote much during February; just a recap of January.
    Apperently I still have some readers, so some of you may still be wondering what has been going over the last month.
    So this is for some of you. Or all of you, some of the time. You can please some people all the time and all people some of the time, but you can't please all the people all the time. Or something like that.
    well, I can't find my Story of the World book and am not happy about it.
    Been riding my bike; when it's not raining, which means I haven't been riding often.

    The boys just did what I call the 3 Rs in February. Reading, Research, and 'Rithmatic. We did some Bible reading; mostly Proverbs and James.

    I had the older 2 chose research topics and get books from the library. They read and took notes on index cards. They also have been doing their daily, online S.A.T. questions.

    Ki read a comic book style story about Robin Hood and started to read the actual Robin Hood Book. He also read the 1st in the Series of Unfortunate Events.

    Towards the end of the month their reading turned to Amtgard and they spent some time upgrading their foam weapons. At the very end of the month we drove up to King City for Sword Knight Boot Camp. The boys took classes to work on different skills and techniques for Amtgard.

    We did a couple garden classes. The first one was simple greenhouses. The 2nd was simple hydroponics. The 3rd will be online due to rain and difficulty of transporting. I'll be discussing container gardens that save space and sharing instructions for vertical vegitable gardens and an upside-down tomato planter.

    Ki & Connor shaved their heads. Ki left a clump of hair in the back. He keeps his hair shaved. Connor's is growing and he had it bleached so when it grows in more he'll have bleached tips.


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