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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Why I Homeschool

This is a weekly meme that I joined for every Wednesday. Oh wait, it is Thursday. That is right I forgot yesterday, so I am doing it today. If anyone would like to join let me know.

One of the reasons I homeschool, there are many, is because I can sign my kids up for cool classes that I think are good for them to take, as part of their education. Like this free 30 minute First Aid class, that DJ will be doing today. I have to give credit where credit is due, I found this link on Homeschool.com two years ago, and have been saving it until now. Your child must be in the fifth grade to take the class.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Spartans

Wow yesterday was my 1,000th post! What a milestone. We had an awesome playdate at the park yesterday, and were able to ward off any thunder or rain, until later in the day. Today looks like another wet day, so not much outdoor activities to speak of. DJ continues with his lessons about Ancient times, and we are up to the Spartans. The three videos will help enhance his lesson, and yours too.

Lesson Plans For 03/30/11:

DJ:
Social Studies: Ancient Times chapters 22 and 23, map skills
Spelling: Chapter 21, put words in alphabetical order
Math: Saxon 54
Head of the Class
If time permits Weather Whiz Kids games

Caitlin:
Head of the Class
Social Studies: Time
Following Directions: Worksheet
Printing Practice: Sight Words
Word Search: Seashore words
Math: Subtraction
Phonics: Short I, and letter h
Colors and Shapes: Orange
Calendar work, clock work, sight words, skip counting





Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Weather Phenomenon Waterspouts

Today we have a playdate in the park, with our play group friends. Beforehand though Caitlin will be doing reading on Mighty Book Jr, Head of the Class, and other online work. DJ will be learning about waterspouts for his Science lesson. A waterspout is basically a tornado over water, rather than land. Watch the video to see a pretty big one that formed over the St John's River, in FL. We have never seen one in person, and I imagine it is kind of scary especially when you are on a bridge like in the video. DJ will also complete his next lesson in Saxon math book, and do Head of the Class. Have an awesome Tuesday, everyone.


Monday, March 28, 2011

Back To School From Spring Break

Today is our first day back to lessons, from Spring Break, and of course everyone is slow moving. We will be doing Head of the Class, of course, and DJ is doing a book review of the Percy Jackson series on his blog. DJ will also do math, and a book report for the last Percy Jackson book. Depending on how long those take him, I may assign more work. Caitlin actually managed to sneak undone work past me, before Spring Break, so she has some makeup work to do. This is one of my roses that are starting to bloom. DJ took this shot, and he is continuing to learn about photography. We are ready to get back to lessons, or at least I am, LOL! One semester left. I can not believe it already. Have a great Monday, all.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Earth Hour 2011

60 minutes out of your day. That is all it takes for you to help out. If everyone in the world does this, imagine how much precious power will be saved, and carbon footprints eliminated. We don't use a lot of lights, so this is not a huge sacrifice for me. So we will have to sacrifice something else like computers, games and TV's. It might be hard, but we will do it. How about you, will you not use power for 60 minutes for one day?



Friday, March 25, 2011

Learn To Draw Eyes

DJ has expressed an interest in drawing portraits, faces, and human images. So I will be adding a whole bunch of tutorials on learning to draw, for him to use, and you as well. Happy drawing!


Thursday, March 24, 2011

Free Online Homeschool Lessons and Curriculum

This is a free website I want to share with my readers. If you hope to homeschool your kids right through to graduation, you need awesome resources like Hoagies. This website is cool, and has so much information you could spend hours just looking and learning about all they have to offer. I will definitely be using some of these links for next year. I have been disappointed with textbooks in the past, and though printing all the time is a kind of pain, I do like the curriculums I have found online, especially for Science so much better. I might not even use the textbooks I bought. The only hard part is if there is no test or way to eval what they learned. That makes it a bit difficult for portfolio reasons. That is one of the reasons I love having this blog. I can use to show what links and resources we have used. We are back to school Monday, yay!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Why I Homeschool

This is a new weekly meme started by Miss Moe. If you homeschool your children and would like to join, just leave a comment here, or on Miss Moe's blog. The object is to pick one thing each week, that made you decide to homeschool your children, or continue to homeschool them. Here is mine.

Why I Homeschool: Because riding the school bus over an hour each way is unbearable, and I don't mean for my children.

Love Food and Live Well: An Energetic Read

Love Food and Live Well by Chantel Hobbs, is an energetic, funny, and fun way to learn about weight loss, and living well.

With that said, I really didn't learn anything I didn't already know. There was no smashing breakthrough message in this book. Ms Hobbs does use faith as a basis for her book, and that until she realized she was fat because she didn't love God enough, she struggled with her weight. While I don't think faith is what helps you to lose weight, I suppose if it works for you then that is great.

Ms Hobbs is funny, entertaining, witty, and she makes a topic none of us like to discuss, humorous. I loved the chapter on Barbie, and her ahem proportions. While I did find the idea of her 80/20 method interesting, she did not elaborate even close to enough about how to use it to make it effective for anyone reading it. Maybe some sample menus and ways to use the method would have been better. The recipes were just OK, but I did find the exercise examples with pictures, to be very helpful, especially for beginners.

If you want to lose weight but find it extremely difficult to begin, Love Food and Live Well, can be the book you need to get you motivated to begin.




Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Perigee Full Moon



I must admit, before I began to homeschool my kids there were a lot of cool things that I never payed much attention to. The Perigee Full Moon, also known as the Super Moon, only occurs about every 18 years. It is closer to the earth so it appears larger and brighter than other full moons. The two shots above were take one the night of the Perigee Moon, and the other at the beginning of Dawn the next day. I take our puppy out very early so I got the shot as the moon was just going behind the trees. Because DJ and I are still learning to use the digital camera at night, we were unsure of the setting to use. You can see the difference after I got to play with it in the morning. This is just a note to me, and will mean nothing to my readers. For night time pictures, the flower must be off, and the lightning bolt must be enclosed in the oval, to get the best shots. For those of you who want to be photo enthusiasts, don't throw away your instruction books, as I did 7 years ago when I received the camera as a gift. It takes wonderful pictures, but it helps if you know what all the settings are ahead of time. Anyway the video below is wonderfully educational, please share it with yourself and your children.

Oh for those of you who read my blog regularly, DJ took 2nd place for his sea lion photo, this past Saturday in 4H fair. Caitlin got a Cloverbud ribbon. The first place ribbon went to a beautiful rabbit picture.



Sunday, March 20, 2011

Report Cards

The first week of Spring Break is over, and I have accomplished a lot. I finished up report cards today, and both are progressing well. DJ's math grade went up, a huge accomplishment. I did notice the last two weeks of the semester he was slacking off again, and not reading questions completely. This was true for both math and science, so he will need to get back to working on that in the last semester. His science grade fell, mostly because of what I just stated. He is also moving into harder science, with harder reading passages. Language arts remains OK, but the grade is misleading because he still struggles with identifying parts of speech when in a written assignment. I can not blame him there it is boring, and a lot to remember. Caitlin did well over all, and Head of the Class has helped her a lot, especially in skip counting. Head of the Class also offers them both Spanish and basic Music topics, things I don't really cover on my own. They also offer some art classes, though we do that in our own lessons. DJ continues to improve on his sign language, and could definitely have a simple opening conversation with someone who is deaf. All in all a good third semester.

The pool is almost clean, though I did have to purchase a new vacuum for it. 100 bucks, but very well spent money. The fair entries are in, and we pick up and fight out if the kids won on Tuesday. We helped my mom dig a hole for her swimming pole, and will finish the rest of that on Tuesday as well. Did you see the full moon last night? It was beautiful and called a super moon, but I will blog about that another day.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

I Want To Learn To Paint

I want to learn to paint. This is a new thing for me, and I am unsure why the idea has come to me. But, I have this urge to paint. DJ has taken some lovely pictures and I would love to reinvent them in painted scenes. Pictures like this one he took just yesterday. These are the beautiful Wisteria, growing into our back yard, and neighbors yard. I think after I am certain that I have purchased all the supplies for next school year, I will attempt to learn to paint.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Bully Gets What He Deserves?

This video has been all over the news. First of all this happened in Australia, not the states, which news shows were not reporting. This boy reportedly has been being bullied for a year or more. He finally stood up for himself and body slammed the bully, after the boy punched him in the face. Now both boys have been suspended, and people are outraged, because they don't feel the second boy should have been suspended. First of all yes, he should have been suspended. If there is a no violence policy, then there is a no violence policy. However, how long can you expect a child to continue to turn the other cheek, to be the coward of the county if you will, and not do anything. Telling a teacher, or principal does not work. We all know this to be true. Don't advocate violence, yet it seems everyone advocated bullying. There are some newer strict laws against bullying, but a lot of schools are still lacking in this area. Yes, this boy could have seriously injured the bully, but what about all the pain and injury the boy being bullied has received over the years? I say good for him. You deserved to be suspended, but just take your punishment, and hold your head high. You broke a rule, but you also stood up for yourself. I say being suspended was well worth standing up to the creep who punched you right in your face. Teachers, parents, and principals get your shit together and start protecting children for real. Stop acting like it is a normal part of growing up. Step in and do something for real, then you won't see this kids explode after years being brutalized by bullies. If someone puts their hands on you, in a violent way, you have every right to protect yourself, and that includes fighting back. What do you think?


Thursday, March 17, 2011

Reinforce Math With AAA Math

Happy St Patrick's Day! Does your child struggle with math, or just needs some extra practice? Maybe you just like to reinforce math over breaks, and summer vacation. AAA Math could be a helpful resource for you. From Kindergarten through 8th Grade, these lessons and activities are very beneficial to any child learning math. If you are re-learning math, like me in order to teach it, or you are going back to school yourself, this website can also be very helpful to you. It is an easy to use website, though somewhat boring. It is difficult to find a math website that isn't boring, unless of course you love math. Check it out, and use it as you need, it is Free! If you already do use this site, please share your experience with all my readers.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Earth KAM by NASA

Are your kids learning about space? The Earth KAM website is put out by NASA and the International Space Station. You will be amazed at the images they are capturing. You can also use the Hubble Site, to get images from the Hubble Telescope. These are free and they have lesson plans and standards for your use in your public school classes, or homeschool classes. We have used these two sites a little bit, but next year we will be using it much more. Even though I bought DJ a Science textbook for next year, I will be using a lot of lesson plans I have found on some awesome websites that have more detailed lessons and activities all laid out and ready for you to use. See my archives for lessons from the National Zoo and Seaworld.


Monday, March 14, 2011

How To Make Rock Candy, Fortified Cereal Science Experiment

We were actually going to make this for our playdate tomorrow, but I had no idea it took so long, and you need quite a few Mason Jars to make enough for everyone. So I will aim to make it for an upcoming playdate. It really is quite simple and you can make a variety of colors and flavors.

Last Thursday we did a Science experiment to teach about fortified food. You will need a strong magnet, a refrigerator magnet is probably not strong enough, cereal that has at least 50% iron without adding milk. You can find that info on the label of the package. Then you just pour some cereal in a bowl and crunch it up into small pieces. Then swirl the magnet around in the crushed cereal. Using a magnifying glass have your children inspect the magnet, and ask them what they think is stuck on the magnet. DJ got it on the second guess. He guessed sugar first but then quickly realized that sugar is not attracted to a magnet. Then explain how cereals and other foods are fortified to aid in getting proper nutrition for children and adults. This is an easy and inexpensive Science experiment. Only took maybe ten minutes, if that.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Spring Blog Cleaning

We are on Spring Break for the next two weeks. You would think that means I am going to relax. Huh, not quite! I want to do some cleaning up of links on this blog, and share some of my favorite links that I haven't done a post on yet. I have so many of them to go through. Plus get rid of ones I am never going to use. I have house Spring cleaning to do, and the pool still needs quite a bit of attention, though it is looking pretty good right now. I hope to get some new jewelry made or gemstones identified, but I am not sure if that will happen. Report cards, books I am reading, and some other odds and ends round out the events. Jeesh I might need more than two weeks. If you are taking a Spring Break, what are your plans? We actually were going to go to Sea World again, but my husband couldn't get the time off. So we will be going the first week of April.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Spring Ahead Tonight

When I used to live up North, I used to pray for this day. Tonight you set your clocks ahead one hour, so don't forget. The weather will start looking up soon.

Things in Japan are looking completely awful. Keep them in your thoughts and prayers.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Too Distracted To Do Anything


I am just too distracted to do anything, today. We mulled through school, but the Earthquake in Japan, and Tsunami, just had me so sad and distracted. Now the news is saying that their nuclear reactors may be leaking, and possible meltdown could occur. I am so sad for all the people suffering right now in Japan. I remember when the 2004 Tsunami hit in Sumatra, and thinking OMG that must be a once in a lifetime thing, and here it is happening again in Japan. If you have some extra room in your prayers tonight, please remember to include all the people suffering in Japan.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Happy Anniversary!

Today is a double anniversary day for me. My husband and I were married five years ago today, and it was like 100 degrees outside. It might have been the fastest outdoors wedding ceremony ever, LOL! I could not wait to get out of that dress. It is also this blogs third year anniversary. I have no idea why I picked this day to start blogging. Maybe so I could remember the anniversary date? Anyway we went out to eat one day last week, and will be taking the kids to Seaworld again the first week of April. Those of you who follow me on Facebook, know my husband gave me a puppy for my anniversary. I hate to sound like an ingrate but I did not want a puppy, they are a lot of work, and I don't need anymore work. She is cute and we are both adjusting, I think. I did make myself a new ring, of course, I just had to. I began this blog in the hopes of making tons of money, as you see others advertise you can. While I have made a little extra money, I in no way can quit my regular job. It has become more of a stress reliever, document keeper, and fun way to express myself more than anything else. I appreciate all my blogging friends, and maybe someday we can all actually meet in person. That would be fun.

Now for a little bit of education topics. DJ has finished his Health curriculum for the year, with the exception of the online first aid program I want him to take. I am going to leave that for closer to the end of the year. He will be doing two chapters in his math book, and Science experiments now on Thursdays. I will share the one we do today, tomorrow and you can try it too. Tomorrow ends the 3rd grading period, which means only one semester until school is out for summer vacation. We are on Spring Break the next two weeks, but don't worry I will still blog.


Happy Anniversary Comments and Graphics for MySpace, Tagged, Facebook
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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Travel To The Outback

Today for Social Studies we continue our studies of Australia, with the Sydney Opera House. Australia is a stunningly beautiful country, and one I would love to visit. My son loves watching the late Steve Irwin on his escapades through Australia. When he passed it was a very sad day for my son, and everyone all over the world. If you would like to see a quick video on the history of Australia, you can view my archive from last Wednesday. Have you ever been to Australia? If yes, what was your favorite part of your trip? Would you go again? DJ would so love to swim The Great Barrier Reef, and visit Steve Irwin's zoo.







Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Weather Fronts and Sea Turtles

Last Tuesday we went on an electronic field trip to Gulf Island Shores. I printed off the lesson about Sea Turtles, and this week we are finishing up with it. There are other lessons available as well that you can print, and other field trips you can take. View my archives for the full description. We are also still learning about Weather, and weather fronts are the topic today. The videos below will all add substance to your lessons and kids love to watch them. The pool is still not completely cleaned, and this blog needs a good link scrubbing as well. Both of these hopefully will be accomplished while we are on Spring Break next week.

Lesson Plans For 03/08/11:

DJ:
Science: Sea turtles, weather fronts, thermometers
Head of the Class: 30 minutes
Spelling: Chapter 20 write each word three times each
Art: Draw sea turtles in natural habitat
Math: Saxon 54
Language Arts: Types of sentences
Sign Language
If time permits play weather games at Weather Wiz Kids

Caitlin:
Science: Sea turtles, dinosaur coloring page
Art: Draw a sea turtle
Math: Money ID, subtraction, space shapes
Language Arts: Describing words, suffixes
Phonics: Letter g
Word Search
Reading: Happy and Max
Following Directions: Worksheet
Printing Practice
Clock work, calendar work, sight words, skip counting
Head of the Class: 30 minutes





Monday, March 7, 2011

Coins In My Hands

Caitlin is learning about money denominations, identifying money, and adding money. This cute video has a catchy tune to help your children learn about the amount each coin is worth. It is much cooler this week, here in FL, so I am hoping to get quite a bit of yard work done. It is a bit of a challenge with a new puppy in the house. It is just like having a new born baby, except way louder. We had been having laid back Monday's, but now I am picking it up a bit, to be sure nothing gets left off the curriculum by the end of the school year. Next week we go on Spring Break, so there will be plenty of time to relax then. Have an awesome Monday, everyone.



Lesson Plans For 03/07/11:

DJ:
Head of the Class: 30 minutes
Math: Saxon 54
Reading Comprehension: With worksheet
Writing: Fishy Monday blog post
Language Arts: Simple sentences
Sign Language

Caitlin:
Head of the Class: 30 minutes
Money Identification
Language Arts: Describing words, suffixes
Word Search: Weather
Phonics: Letter G
Reading: Happy and Max
Math: Subtraction, spacial figures
Animal Coloring Page
Following Directions: Worksheet
Printing Practice



Friday, March 4, 2011

Whew What A Week!

It has been a very busy week, this week. We were able to catch up on all our lessons yesterday, book lessons that is. We did a lot of fun, non book related activities this week. We still need to sign up for the Great Backyard Bird Watch, I will do that this morning. We missed the big count in February, but we can take part in that next year. We can still participate by logging birds we see everyday in our yard. We get lots of birds throughout the year, at different times. We always have Cardinals, Mocking Birds, and Morning Doves they nest in our trees. They are quite loud and vocal in the morning and evening, then we don't hear too much in the afternoon. You can sign yourself or your kids up as well. I wanted to do the bee one, but Caitlin is petrified of bees, so not a good idea. If you get a chance, please read my post from yesterday and rank my review I did on a book. I would love some feedback for the next one I do. That was my first book review.

I almost forgot, Anne at Small Town Mommy, has a new series on Fridays all about being dairy and gluten free. If you have to follow a dairy and gluten free diet, you need to check out her blog. She was very helpful when I asked her for a cupcake recipe, for a St Patrick's Day party. She repeats the series every Friday, so be sure to bookmark her site.

A quick note. I just went to sign up for the Great Backyard Bird Count, and if you want to enter daily bird reports, you need to sign up at Ebird. There are lots of great activities on the Great Backyard Bird Count website as well.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Plain Wisdom: A Book Review

Plain Wisdom, by Cindy Woodsmall & Miriam Flaud, is a simple and easy read. I am going to be honest. When I first started this book, I didn't really like it at all. I found it very plain, and rather boring. However, as I continued to read, I found myself enjoying this heartwarming book. I especially found myself enjoying Miriam. Even though we come from two very different worlds, Miriam is kind, loving and very much down to earth. Her simple ways, yet willingness to work hard every single day, is an inspiration to all.

There were several stories that I absolutely loved, and one that I just said ugh, what an awful story. I loved the story of Miriam's old table and having to get a new one, when her son couldn't find his pants, and the stories of Christmas. The one story that I just did not like was Cindy's story about hope as a child. I just could not understand how her long car ride, and an over bearing father, really had anything to do with real hope. I won't say anything else, you will have to read the book to decide for yourself if you agree with me or not.

I even have a favorite line from this book, "Through our words we have the power to bring darkness and light into our world, and the worlds around us." How true is that? How often do we think of this before we speak, or write?


Plain Wisdom is a loving, gentle, and non overbearing story of friendship, and the joy of diversity and being different. My 10 year old son always asks me if he can read the book I am reading. Usually I have to say no, because well adult books are for adults. When he asked me if he could read, Plain Wisdom, at first I said I am not sure. Now that I have completed the book, I can tell him yes. We homeschool so we are already unique and different. I think the stories in this book will help him to understand that being different is not a bad thing at all.





Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The Story Of The World Book 2

This is not really what I was going to blog about today, but sometimes things get sidetracked. My mom called yesterday to ask if she could stop by for a visit. Because I work night shift on weekends, during the week is the best time to visit and see her. I do not ever care to tell her no, so I have adjusted our lessons to accommodate a day visit from my Mom. We had a blast at our playdate yesterday, and the weather was beautiful. The electronic field trip we did yesterday, was pretty good too. If you missed it you can watch it in their archives, plus many others. Just check my post from yesterday for all the info. I caught up on all the paper grading I had fallen behind on, and just in time to start report cards next Friday. We will be on Spring Break soon, and I can not wait. I hope everyone has an awesome Wednesday. If you have something awesome to share with me, please feel free. Oh by the way the book listed below is an awesome series. DJ is finishing up the first book in the series, and I will be getting this one for next year. I do not care for the activity book, it is just OK. So instead I will be buying the test book instead. Caitlin has no interest in these yet.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Electronic Field Trip To Gulf Islands

Today we are going on a field trip, an electronic field trip to Gulf Islands. I found this website quite by accident, but I am so glad I did. Since my children are so into animals, water, plants, and conservation this is perfect for them. You do have to register, and it is on today, but it shows twice, and it can be watched later in their archives. There are lesson plans that you can print for free. We picked the Sea Turtle lesson plan. It is meant for a large class, but I will tweek it to make it work. I will add art work, and a writing assignment for DJ, to make it for two students. The field trip is one hour long. There are also other activities that you can sign up your kids for. I picked the Great Backyard Bird Count, and we will start that sometime in the near future. Your kids can get involved too, just click the links to check them out, and choose your activities. All are free.

We also have a play date at the park from 12-2, and will do Head of the Class, 30 minutes each child. Have a great Tuesday, everyone and happy learning.

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