Friday, April 30, 2010


Is it really and truly necessary for Ki to learn and know math?? He wants to be a pastor. He can hire an accountant and use calculator... right?
I feel like I am always re-teaching him everything, all over again, all the time.

But he is a very good sport about it.

I guess we'll just plod along- slowly and surely, like the tortoise.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

3 Chicken and Billy Bug

Billy Bug was very hungry. He had eaten all the Bug-Bite leaves on his side of the bridge. On the other side of the bridge was a huge field of lovely, green Bug-Bite leaves. As Billy Bug started across the bridge he was greeted by an Inchworm armed with Bo Shurikens. The Inchworm’s name is Bosh.
Bosh asks our little friend, Billy Bug, what his business is at bridge. Billy Bug tells bosh that he is hungry and out of Bug Bite Leaves on this side of the bridge, so he was just going to cross over to the other side and eat a few leaves.

Bosh says that Billy Bug can do that, but along the way across the bridge are 3 chickens. Each chicken will have 3 questions he must answer correctly to be allowed to pass. But before Bosh lets Billy Bug start across the Bridge he gives Billy a little history about the bridge. He said that the bridge has 33 pieces of wood. Billy bug can clearly see that there are a lot more than 33 pieces of wood and asks Bosh why he thinks it has 33. Bosh shows Billy Bug the page in his history book. Written on the page is; “The bridge was built using 33 planks of wood.” Further down the page, Billy reads that the builders counted using the VIGESIMAL system. And NOT the base 10 system that we are used to.

1. What is the Vigesimal System? What does “33” mean in the Vigesimal system?

Billy has been studying his math and know he’ll be able to beat a chicken at numbers, so he proceeds across the bridge. After what would be a few steps to us, but was more like 30 minutes worth of walking for Billy, he encounters the 1st chicken. The 1st chicken is blue. The Blue Chicken stomps her foot down right in front of Billy and says he must answer her 3 questions before he can pass and if he doesn’t he will be eaten! Billy, though he knew he was better at math than chicken, forgot that chickens eat bugs.

The Blue Chicken asked Billy his 1st question. (which is your 2nd question) and 2nd & 3rd
2. “If a red chicken lays 3 eggs that are yellow, green, and white and they weigh 87 grams, 22.09 grams and 0.77 grams, what do they all weigh when combined?”
3. “A box of chicken feed weighs 453.03 grams. My friend the yellow chicken ate 1 grain of rice that weighed 0.005 grams. How much does the box of chicken feed now weigh?”
4. How much did you (Billy) weigh when you were born? (Billy weighs 0.00072 grams now, but weighed 100 times LESS when he was born.)

Having passed the Blue Chickens 3 tests, Billy then walks about 30 minutes further before being stopped by the Yellow Chicken and asked the following questions;
5. “How many minutes would 44 degrees equal?” (page 16 in your book talks about this.
6. The yellow chicken shows Billy a picture of a circle that has a diameter of 10 feet. Under the picture are 4 options for finding the circumference of the circle and asks Billy which is the correct way to write how to find the circumference of the circle. (I'll write these by hand on Ki's Paper)

7. “Billy Bug, I had a certain amount of corn and divide them by 1 million. What would be the INVERSE function of that?

Billy Bug is a smart bug and got all of the answers correct. He was feeling very pleased with himself and was whistling a little bug tune when suddenly he was captured by a very large white chicken. The white chicken asked him the following questions:
8. In my nest I have 1339 twigs. Rounding to the nearest tens place, how many twigs do I have in my next?
9. Billy, if you stood on my smallest twig and I weighed both you and the twig, the total weight would be 0.09 grams. How much is that rounded to the nearest 10th of a gram?
10. My last question for you is this, Billy; If you were being chased by a giant monster bug that was a thousand times heavier than you, how much would the giant monster bug weigh? (Billy weighs 0.00072 grams)
Billy Bug answered all the questions correctly and was permitted to the other side of the bridge where the green, juicy Bug Bite leaves grew. He enjoyed a huge, delicious dinner!


I COULDN'T SLEEP LAST NIGHT because my mind kept whirling about Astronomy Class and I just had to get the lesson plans done. So around 1AM I got up & stayed up till about 2:30 doing them. This class is for G&C and they will do most of it on their own. They will have notebooks that they will turn in weekly so I can check their progress. Brian said he'd teach some things to them. They'll look up some library books, I'll see what I can get from Netflix, and Brian will play a game with them, called Hard Vacuum.


DAILY- go to APOD Read about the picture. Click on links to learn more. Record new facts in your notebook.

THAT is an APOD picture from their website.


Learn the March, April, May, June Constellations. Choose 8 to learn. (DO & Turn In 2 a week.)


  1. Wobbles:
    2. source:
  2. Learn the Different Types of Galaxies (take notes and draw pictures)
  3. Learn the stages of a star's life cycle (notes and pictures)
  4. if you still have time during your MayTerm Astronomy Study then:
    1. Spend Time doing research of any Astronomy Topics you choose
    2. research it. Take notes, draw pictures, save URLs of websites used, etc

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


Sketchers 101 ***

There will be more "lessons" in the beginning and more "practice" later on. we MIGHT be taking a trip to Yosemite the last of the month- which will provide MANY Sketching Opportunities!

Class to be divided into 2 parts some days. We'll just let it all flow and see where it leads. We'll have to have a BEACH SKETCH trip... or 2... or 3...

Part 1: Lesson, Notes, looking at specific artwork, terms, techniques

We are using a KIT. Faber-Castell Drawing Sketching Kit. instruction book, sketch pad, different pencils, pen, eraser, grid, etc.

Part 2: DRAWING!


[1] Introduction:

[2] Scribble/Doodle/Smudge Techniques. Then drawing whatever using any combo of these techniques


[1] Review Previous. Jobs in Art:

[2] DRAW- Practice Hatch & Cross Hatch, Shade, Stipple, Erase. Assign simple for each. Then Free Drawing- practice today's techniques.


*Visit Art Gallery/Museum

[1] Review. Watch Some Videos. Read Page 4

[2] Practice Pg 4 techniques with assignment. Free Style practice. Start a Sketch Diary.


[1] Lessons – start with short review





  • Review. Practice Techniques.
  • Choose Subject (maybe at the park) and then choose a technique. Draw 'full size', well detailed. Label.
  • Sketch Diary Reminder.


DAY 10

DAY 11

DAY 12

  • Go to an Art Exhibit
  • Choose a Past Technique to Practice today.
  • Sketch Diary

DAY 13

  • Practice Gesture/Quick Draws. Go back LATER to fill in. So- do these at the park, take home and fill in details
  • Sketch Diary

DAY 14


REST OF DAYS- assignments that utilize/practice techniques learned.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

MYTHOLOGY lesson plans

MYTHOLOGY : ROMAN : these are ideas/notes for me. Ki will be getting a basic Syllabus for the class- more simplified and concise than this. along with this, we will get books from the Library and probably watch something via Netflix that goes with the Class.

(Ki's May-term Schedule, probably: HomeRoom 8:30-9. Mythology 9-9:40 (session A) & 10-10:40 (session B). Creative Writing 10:50-11:30 ~~ LUNCH ~~ Sketching/Drawing 12:45-1:15 (A) 1:25-2:15 Science or Math or Reading 2:15-2:45.—ALL times are very approximate and not written in stone- a guide to keep us on track)

WEEK ONE: Roman gods. Their names and stories. Roman Worship Practices.

During week 1- Session A will be reading Myth/Stories (to Ki- he loves listening to stories). Session 2 will be activites: Lapbook, Note Taking, LEGOs, Making a Video/Puppet Show, etc. Watch the Power Point Story of CHOAS- compare to God's story of creation in Genesis 1.( Read Gen. Creation Account), asic skeleton outline of ideas and links so far collected.nd Uranus- who were like God- they created everything in the beginn

WEEK TWO: More Romans gods and their stories. Early Church, New Testament.


Session A: Roman gods in Space (includes Lapbook/Notes Work)

Session B: Roman Creatures/Monsters (includes Lapbook/Notes Work)

WEEK FOUR: UNPLANNED this will be for making up/catching up, review, display of Lapbook, maybe a Quiz, etc. I'll have things to add to WEEK FOUR as we progress ans I see where this takes us.



I oft wonder if I can write something VERY interesting here to get the attention of readers- to lure them in with my awesome writing style and topic. Today’s Post is on Discipline & Kids, Homeschool, eating, and my garden. Some places show the first few sentences of a blog link, so you have to be pretty witty to attract new readers..LOL. Or not. I’m more interest in the ‘social experiment aspect’ of ‘utilizing the teaser paragraph’ than actually getting new readers.

After a not-so-good night of sleep, I made myself a protein shake with fruit. These seem to help with my headaches, energy-level, and dizzy spells. Then I made waffles for the boys, w/ turkey bacon. G&C played chess & checkers while I was making breakfast. I read “You Decide- the amendments” to them while they ate. Then I went over their work for today, both school and housework.

Due to the fact that I have a lot of school planning to do this week, the boys will have a lot of Independent School this week.

Today, they are Reading Story of the World together.

G&C have their SAT questions of the Day. I told them to do 3 (so they’ll do the weekend ones plus today’s), ALEKS math- master 2 topics, read the book of Judges chapter 1- then I’ll have them write up all the attacks and what wounds were inflicted throughout the chapter and draw a picture. Swords & dismemberment- all good things in the eyes of a boy.

Although the boys weren’t as far along as I had hoped when I got back from my outing, they had been working fairly steadily it seemed. I am happy with progress at their own personal rates.

Gavin lost ‘free-time computer’ today because he forgot to do his morning work, which is just take a shower and out away clean dishes-( of which there were only about 7 of on the counter). He does, however, have the chance to earn some computer time tonight (The boys like to play multiplayer computer games with their dad before bed) by doing an extra great job of getting his work done and not needing reminders, prompts, etc and having a good attitude. If I were to just take all computer away with no chance of anything, he’d ne grumpy, moody, pouty, lazy, etc- not getting anything done. But if I offer a chance to earn back something, and then he actually does try and is in a good mood. There is hope; there is something for him to look forward to. This morning he just forgot’ his intent was not to ‘be bad, disobey willingly’, so I am fine with offering opportunities to earn back lost privileges. If he was intentionally disobedient, it’d probably be a different story. I think there is a difference worth noting in ‘Childhood forgetfulness’ and “willful disobedience” and I think that treating the first as if it is the 2nd only frustrates and provokes our kids, which the Bible actually says not to do- provoke our children. I see a lot of parents today punish childhood immaturity (like forgetfulness and lack of attention) instead of disciplining (which means to guide back to the right path basically- not PUNISH) and this results in elevated temper tantrums and willful disobedience. OK- enough of my SoapBox Preaching…..

My Upside Down Hanging tomato plant keeps falling. The twine isn’t string enough. I’ll have Brian fix it for me. (he did)

Something is eating my potato plants. My ‘regular in the ground’ tomatoes are getting flowers. Sugar Snap Peas are looking happy and a few carrots are almost ready to be eaten. Some of m squash have sprouted in the back and I have transplanted the Strawberry-Invading Squash Plant”. I look forward to feeding Gavin a lot of food from the garden this summer. My grocery bill was over $200 last time I went. Maybe not buying veggies for a few months will help- a teeny bit. Those Bell Pepper plants need to start growing!!

We had a surprise Birthday Party for Brian. His Bday was last month, but he was out of town. I h as migraine and meds problems for a few weeks, but am better now, so we planned a Bday Party- we decided Sunday Night and Connor wasn’t in the room, because he was surprised when I came home with wrapping presents and gifts for them to wrap. Sunday I noticed Brian had the wrong Bday listed on facebook and it was saying his Bday was Apr 26. So I thought it’d be a good day to do his Make-Up Party. Being last minute, I bought premade brownie bites from the local store’s bakery, I bought all the gifts (a bunch of fun things –like a key chain clippie size Nerf Gun –which about took out Ki’s eye - some on clearance at target- like mesh desk/drawer organizers and the wrapping papers. They boys wrapped everything individually and we put them ALL in a BIG Gift bag. We wanted to roast a turkey, but the local store didn’t have whole turkey. I bought those precooked turkey breast pieces and heated them. Not bad. We had rolls, corn on the cob, green beans, and a HUGE bowl of mashed potatoes. We played a couple games of Pass The Pigs.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

All in a Day

Connor made omelets for lunch. Two of them. Four eggs each. With bacon and green onions. Can we say; “Growth Spurt”? The green onion was his last from his mini-garden. Ki made a cheese quesadilla with string cheese. We were out of ‘white cheese’ and he found some string cheese in the fridge and shredded that. He doesn’t like cheddar.

I made many, many cups of homemade chai today. Gavin and I drank most of it by early afternoon. It’s been cold and rainy.

I finished my hat. It’s a funny hat. It came out all wrong, but I fixed it. Sort of. It came out way too big. I threaded some thin elastic through it. I want to get Elastic Thread and redo it.

The sun came out for a few minutes so the boys and I did some gardening.
I haven’t checked Gavin’s strawberries for awhile. Somehow squash seeds got in the dirt. There is one large (for a sprout) plant almost right in the middle of the berries. I wonder of I can move it without hurting the berries and keeping it alive. There are also some smaller squash plants close by.

My transplanted cactus is FINALLY showing new growth after being transplanted 1 ½ yrs ago. And I broke my Aloe Plant. All in a Day’s Work!

Later tonight I'll play some Zendo. I want to brush up a bit before the Gaming Convention.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Back to Brain Gym

Ki and I decided we need to go back to doing some Occupational Therapy before math. Ki has Sensory Integration Disorder and Dyspraxia. Lately we haven't done much OT, but he doesn't need it very often these days. He used to need a whole list of therapy activities a few times a day.

He has been having more and more trouble learning his math and being able to have a functioning brain during math. He's been going into his 'Dyspraxic Muscle Fatigue' during math lessons. Which I term as "being a bowl of limp jello"

Brain Gym activities work well with him. They also help the others boys a bit; it's good for helping with focusing and dyslexia. Joint Compression helps Ki, too. I should get him a new exercise ball for that.

Today, as we were starting on his math, I could see the chaos in his brain taking over, so I told him that if he keeps having problems focusing on his math, we'd start doing Brain Gym again beforehand. He said that'd be good and would help him, then asked why I made it sound like a bad thing because it's a good thing. I told him I didn't intend for it sounds like a bad thing; sometimes words are like that.

So I had him do some Brain Gym and drink some water and his math time went MUCH better.
He did some CrissCross marches, some Brain Spots, and some Leg Muscle Massage things. not sure of the later really works; the book says it is a 'before math' activity. I wonder if Ki just thinks it is supposed to work, so it does.

Also, today he told me that he really like his science book! (Apologia Land Animals)


I picked a few early potatoes today. my friend Kirsten was over with her little boy. I thought he might like digging in the dirt, but he seems enthralled with the 3 "Big Boys" running around the back yard. Anyway, I only got 3 small red potatoes. I boiled them to go with my dinner, then mashed then with some salt & butter; but not much. Homegrown, fresh-from-the-garden potatoes don't need much salt or butter at all.

Here is a pretty picture I took this morning. It has been raining here, but the sun had come for a few minutes so everything sparkled with raindrops.

Monday, April 19, 2010

my Boys & their Toys

My boys organized a Demonstration of their favorite Sport at a local park. The demo was yesterday (Sunday). They made fliers, advertised word of mouth, printed forms and waivers, etc. It was a decent turn out. They did a great job teaching others the game and leading small games. They have another demo planned for next month, too.

Some school kids play on the soccer team; some are on the golf team; mine play on an Amtgard Team. It's their organized school sport. It is a national sport. A few months ago they attended a training camp that had some of the best of the best in the Amtgard sport fly in from all over the country (even Canada and as far as the New England states).

Ki has recently passed his Reeve Test (he can now referee events).

I love the extras my boys learn with this sport, too. They have had to make their own garb; they've learned to read patterns, sew, applique, and do simple sewing machine maintenance. They make their own weapons, but ban saws at 8AM aren't my favorite thing. They learn some history and cooking. And it is great exercise!

the first picture is me.

I tried a bit of knitting. I found I am not good enough to knit in public. It distracts me from my counting out loud to make sure I am getting the correct number of knits and purls in the right order.
I have 2 WIPs (Works In Progress).

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

AdVenTurEs In kNitTinG

I'm knitting the ribbing rows for a hat. I counted my stitched cast-on. twice. thrice. 84. I should start my row with K2 and end with P2- so I can start the next row P2...etc. I end the row with 3 stitches- so end with P1. start the next with P1 (then go to K2P2). that ends with P2. the next row starts P2 & ends with P2 the next starts Ps & ends 3 again, so I do all 3 of them Knit, starting the next row with K3P2K2P2K2P2.... we'll see...... It'll be a surprise. kinda like a secret project- but not one I'd want to give as a gift...LOL.

I finished my last row of ribbing. the last 5 stitches were:
P3K2. which goes well with the first 5-- they were 3 knit and then onto P2K2P2.....

I have some think yellow cotton yarn. I wonder if I can double it (to match the thickness of the black I am using) and add a few rows of into this hat. I might try. Might as well add to the mess.

On a very sad note- I think my kitty is ding of old age. she is sleeping in a patch of sun right now. she stopped eating and drinking and can barely stand, but seems comfortable.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

HATS OFF... or on...

I knit a hat. I wanted to knit a green hat for Connor. I have only knit 2 things. half a scarf (which I made into a trivet) and a skinny scarf. I am very pleased with how it turned out and best of all, Connor said it is EPIC!... A mom can't much better than EPIC from her 15 yr old son.

Now the 13 year old is begging for a hat.

I will make Ki's on circular needles. (C's was on straight needles)

Monday, April 12, 2010

Spoiled Kids

I learned about El Niño today, the weather pattern. I was feeling fed up with the spoiled brat Spanish kid wreaking havoc out in the ocean, so I decided to arm myself with information. Why is it called El Niño? What exactly is El Niño and what does it mean for my headaches? What can I expect in the future from El Niño?

As all highly intellectual people do when they need to know something, I went to Wikipedia to find my answers. Some people selfishly drink from the Fountain of Knowledge, keeping all that information for them self. Some others of us more selfless people Rinse and Spit, so you, too, can have this information soaking the front of your shirt and pooling beneath your shoes. You can thank me later.ño-Southern_Oscillation for those that like to have alternative sources of information

۞۝۞۝۞۝۞۝۞۝۞۝ ۞۝۞۝

It is another rainy day. Ki slept in til around 8:30. On rainy, sleepy days we throw the time table out the window; if we have one, which we did today, but don’t anymore, because it is a rainy day.
With May-Term coming up in a couple weeks I want to get buckled down, a bit, so we are on a bit of a schedule. We will still get everything done today, just not on ay time table.

Speaking of MAY-TERM, my students have Made Their Choices.
Gavin chose Drafting/Sketching and Astronomy.
Connor chose Drafting/Sketching and Astronomy.
Ki chose Drafting/Sketching and Mythology.

Connor was confused and dismayed at the lack of choices. I am bit surprised he chose drafting/sketching, but at the same very glad, because he is good at it.

I am a bit surprised Ki chose drafting/sketching, but at the same very glad, because he needs practice and help in that area. I think honing those skills will be good for his dyspraxia.

Having all 3 boys take the same class will make it easy on me.

Now I need to plan their ‘required classes’

۞۝۞۝۞۝۞۝۞۝۞۝ ۞۝۞۝

Back to El Niño. I now have to tie some plants that were blown. .. when the rain finally stops!

I lost a couple plants, too. But I didn’t have to water anything for 2 days.

Friday, April 9, 2010

~ May I Skip April ~

MAY... as in the month after April... during which we are kind of oscillating between strict scheduled and relaxed nothing.
This little bog entry is about May-Term.
May-Term is like J-Term, but in May instead of January.

The last two J Terms, G&C have chosen pretty much the same thing. Gavin actually did chose the exact same 2 classes both years, physics & computer/robotics, which I did offer. For May-Term, which is new this year, they do not have the choice of what they took in J Term.
(J-Term- during the month of January they boys take 2 classes a day- about 2 hours each class- classes of their choice, from a broad list of things I know they will enjoy)
They LOVE J-Term (as i did when I wen to High School and we had J-Term). Ki asks to do it every other month. This year I told him we could do MAY-term, because May rhymes with "J". (and is the only month that rhymes with "J" and they don't want to think they are doing school on other 2 "J" months. Ki is very good when presented with 'a reason I can convince him is logical. The more insane a person is the better they are of convincing others of their logic)

Here is my line up for May Term. I actually considered having all "M" classes.

Mythology.... this is what is sounds it is.

Forensics A&P.... this is Forensics with some Anatomy & Physiology thrown in for good measure. A&P is useful in forensic sciences


Reading (the classics).... I'll have a long list of classical literature. They can choose in which order to read them and that'll be their 2 hours a day for that class. (actually I am thinking I'll go with 1.5 hour slots)

Art (with choices)... choices like "Drafting & Sketching" (G will like this best), Ki got a painting set for Christmas, so that'll be a good choice

Church History.....

The World Wars ...WW1 and WW2. I'll have to take the 'weapons and planes' approach to make it appealing. Like Warfare & Weapons of the World Wars ....or something.

May-Term will be 3 classes a day; hence the 1.5 hour class slots. There will be 2 OPTION slots and 1 REQUIRED slot daily.
There are 2 required classes though. They will alternate on which days they take place, M-W-F and T-Th.

Required classes are [1] ALL-creative writing [2] science for C&K, Sewing for G

Yes. Gavin will be required to learn sewing 2 days a week for the month of May. He will thank me later... or not.

AHHHHHH! I love when a plan comes together!
and even more; I love making plans. THESE are the some of the GREATest times of homeschooling.


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