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Sunday, July 29, 2012

Writing For 100 Days

Another of the books I chose for DJ, for 7th grade is, 100 Days of Writing. His is purple though, not blue. Not sure if they are different levels, or just different marketing years. You could Google it. I know the purple book is 7th or 8th grade level, because I researched it before I bought it. Anyway, I like this book, and since he is not given a writing assignment every single day, you could easily make this a two year course. Writing is very important to my teaching. I want my kids to not be afraid to write, and stress about it. If you can write well, and express yourself in a clear and concise manner, you will go places for sure. What do you think about writing?


Thursday, July 26, 2012

A WTH Kind Of Week!

The week isn't even over, and by Sunday of this week, I was already saying WTH.  On Saturday hubby told me that FIL was coming to visit from NY, in September.  Yay!  We haven't seen him in 6 years.  Saturday night I go to work, fill out the paperwork for the date given to me, so I can be normal while he is here.  Sunday morning I go home and wake up from my nap, and poof FIL is coming one month earlier than what I was told.  Really!  Now not only do I feel unprepared, but I am not sure if my job will let me change the date from the one I requested.  I called first thing Monday morning, and the staffing person changed it for me, but it will still depend on whether or not the DON signs off on it whether I get paid time off or not.  So now I might have to take an unpaid day which is absolutely what I don't want to do right now.  After the spider bite, and rehab from that, I lost a whole paycheck and that is hard to make up trust me. 

Then the real kicker comes from someone I trust.  Have you ever had someone you trust do something so stupid and unsafe, that you just don't know what to do?  Lets just say it had something to do with a loaded gun, in a room, where my children were also.  This has turned into a big argument, with some hateful words said to me that are totally not true.  All because I requested that either the bullets be removed, and locked, while they are there, or the whole gun be locked up if it is loaded.  I don't think this is too much to ask.  But, the other person does not see it this way, and now we are deadlocked.  My children will not go to this person's home, until they decide to give up their pride and side with caution for the safety of children.  I have been very stressed about this ever since it happened.  It just makes me so very sad. 

As if all that is not enough, I have called animal control twice on the neighbor with the dogs that chase people and go to the bathroom all over everyone's yards.  Now before you tell me I am uptight, this has been going on for years, with me politely asking him to please keep his dogs on his own property.  They are a nuisance and quite frankly I have dogs, they don't trespass on anyone's property because I put the expense into a fence.  Respect, some people just don't know what it means.  Anyway I think animal control has taken two of his dogs, because I have seen him only with the one that he actually always walks.  Why walk one but not the other two anyways? I wish no ill to the dogs, and animal control said if the dogs are found out and taken, then he can pay a fine and get them back.  They don't destroy the dog.  That made me feel better.  So we will see what happens next with all of this.

So, how has your week been?  Do you think I am wrong about the gun issue, what about the dogs?

Friday, July 20, 2012

Homeschool Calendar 2012/2013

I did our homeschool calendar, for the upcoming year, this evening.  I did not give as many days off or half days, because we are already doing basically half days on the Wednesdays that we have play dates.  So, no need for other added half days, in my opinion.  I am sure DJ and Caitlin would not agree.  Oh well, they don't get to have a say in all the decisions, LOL!  I post this for record keeping purposes, and if a new homeschooler needed an idea how to set up their year, this could help them.

09/04/2012:  First day of school year.
09/21/2012:  Early release day.
10/08/2012:  No school Columbus Day.
10/26/2012:  End of first grading period.
11/12/2012:  No School Veteran's Day
11/21-11/23/2012:  No school Thanksgiving holiday
12/21/2012:  End of second grading period
12/21-01/04/2013:  No School Christmas break
01/07/2013:  First day back to school from holiday break
02/11/2013:  No school President's Day
03/15/2013:  End of third grading period
03/18-03/22/2013:  No school Spring Break
04/01-04/05/2013:  No school Easter Break
05/24-05/27/2013:  No school Memorial Day
06/07/2013:  Last day of the school year

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Painting With Friends and Saxon Math

I have had our basic curriculum's for next year printed out for some time. This week I spent a great deal of time going through books that we already have, and that were given to us, to be sure we had everything we needed. Then I go through all those books and websites I found, to narrow it down to the actual lessons I want to use. This is a very time consuming process, but it is worth it in the end, because I am literally deciding what they learn. They get to decide some of it as well. Since we do some unschooling, DJ has chosen Marine Biology as his main focus for Science class. If you are unfamiliar with unschooling, it is the art of teaching via what your child loves. Since you can see math books below, you will know that unschooling completely is not for me. My kids would never pick Math if given the option. DJ really likes Saxon Math. After trying several different products, this one works for him. If you find something your child likes, stick with it, even if you don't care for it. Caitlin will also be using Saxon for 3rd grade. She used it some in second grade, but now that she is reading pretty independently she needs to focus much more attention on Math. She is already doing flash cards this Summer for addition, subtraction, and money. I will share the rest of the books we will be using in later posts.

Today we had a playdate of sorts, where our play group friends came over for some painting and fun. We had lunch and then everyone painted something. I will have to get pictures to share. I forgot to take any. Since we painted some on ornaments, I still have them here so they can be treated. So I can still get pictures.






Monday, July 16, 2012

How Our Garden Grows!

Sorry, I am bored with Music on Monday, might pick it up again next week, not sure. I get bored very easy, LOL! Anyway I thought I would share some of our garden success for this year. Any of you who have read this blog through the years, know that gardening is something I really enjoy, but am not particularly good at. One thing I have learned is that our soil, sand actually, really stinks for growing things. So I bought a bag of good potting soil, and when I plant something new it goes in the hole with the sand and the plant. I also have been adding organic materials to the base of the plants, to help enrich the soil and feed the plant. Potato peels, banana peels, egg shells, orange peel, and any other type of peel all gets put around the base of the plant. Left over coffee, and the grounds are also used. The coffee is especially important in keeping bugs from eating your plants. It is not 100 percent effective, but it does pretty good. Roses especially love banana peels. The potassium in the peel, gives them all kinds of nutrients. I did not take pictures of all the things we have growing, but I will try to get the rest in another post. In this post is my very large yellow rose bush, taken from above. It is a really cool shot. It has been flowering like crazy this year, and is getting quite large now. Then I believe is Caitlin with her sunflower plant. Walmart was giving away free sunflower plants to kids, sometime ago now. It was about an inch tall then. We are hoping it will flower soon. You can also see my hibiscus, which I killed but it is coming back now. It is very sensitive to cool temperatures, and even though we had a warm winter, it was cool enough to kill it. I will have to be more careful with it this Winter. Then you can see my poinsetta plant, which was a gift from a friend last Christmas. Normally they die and that is it. I took mine and planted it in the ground. At first it looked real sickly, but I have been babying it. I was told it will get real huge, like a bush, if I am lucky. Last is my tomato plant, which is getting big and full pretty fast now. I kind of wanted tomatoes by now, but it is just starting to flower now. I have to watch for caterpillars that love to eat the tomato leaves. Oh, and the banana tree. We bought a four dollar banana tree around Mother's Day. It is growing pretty fast for a tree now. I am told they are very sensitive to cold as well, so I will have to watch it come Winter. I love bananas, and hope we get tons. It won't produce for probably three years or so.








Saturday, July 14, 2012

Now My Summer Vacation Can Really Begin!

Our homeschool evaluations are done!  Both kids did awesome, and are above grade level this year.  This is not something I am particularly concerned with, but family, friends and other curious people always ask.  So, I always ask.  If they are at grade level I am always happy and satisfied.  Above grade level is just an extra pat on the back for all of us. 

DJ went to his first birthday party sleep over, Friday night.  All went well and I am relieved.  I trust the family, but it is always hard when your child has only slept in their own house, or with their parents in another room if somewhere away from home.  Now I can consider camp sometime for him.  Not sure if it will be soon, because we know want to save money to go back to NY and visit for at least a week, maybe two, Fall of next year probably.  This is an expensive trip for us, and will take great budgeting and saving, and coordination for our dogs and rabbit.

But, now I can officially begin my Summer Vacation.  That means I get to sit by the pool everyday, do cleaning and organizing, that gets ignored during the school year.  And of course put the final touches on lessons, and plans for the new school year, after Labor Day.  Yay sunshine and warmth here I come!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Art Class, 4H Scrapbook and Homeschool Evaluations

I think we are officially changing the name of painting class to Arts and Crafts class.  Why?  Because my mom is teaching Caitlin to sew, DJ and I really want to take up drawing and painting both, and DJ honestly really enjoys drawing more than painting. 

Tomorrow are our homeschool evaluations, and I will let everyone know how that goes.  I am always a little bit nervous.  I signed DJ up for a Science class for 7th grade, on the FLVS.  By 9th grade I would like him to be all or most of his lessons on the FLVS, so he can earn the proper credits for graduation.  We will see how it all plays out the next two years.  This year just one class, next year at least two maybe three, then go from there. 

It was a busy and beautifully creative day!


Yesterday I drew some roses with colored pencils.  I enjoyed this immensely and was only my second try at drawing them.  The first set I drew I tried to paint last night, but I did not like it at all.
We finished our 4H Scrapbook.  Just need to get fasteners to hold it together.
These are painted roses using the Donna Dewberry method, and some other things I painted.  This is just a practice paper.
If you are into upcycling, take a spaghetti sauce jar, like this one from Bertolli, paint it a pretty color, paint the word flour on it and then put flour in it.  Cool, cute and inexpensive canisters.  You can make a whole set in any design that will suit your kitchen.  They look two different colors because of the lighting on the camera, but it is the same color, same jar. 

Keep the lid and paint that as well.
Again an upcycling idea.  This light bulb had blown in my ceiling fan.  Rather than throw it away, I set it aside to paint on it.  I made this cute snowman, which will end up as a Christmas tree ornament.
My mom made more garden watering bottles today, using my favorite blue bottles.  I have been using the two that we made earlier in the year in my garden, and they are still as bright and all the paint is present, from when I first put them out there.  These will eventually be listed into my Etsy store.  It is a process because they have to sit for two weeks, then I heat set them, and then seal them just for good measure.
Caitlin is learning to sew.  Two weeks ago we painted clothespins with hair and faces.  Caitlin and my mom will now be making clothes for the clothespins and they too will be listed in my Etsy store.  I bet they will be a doll, LOL!

DJ opted not to paint today, and that was fine, because he spent all that time messing with his new Tracfone trying to get it to work.  What a pain!





Monday, July 9, 2012

Music on Monday: Top Three Songs of 1984

1984 is the featured year for today's Music on Monday. Since I was a preteen and teen in the 80's, these are some of my favorite songs. Enjoy!



Sorry, When Doves Cry, by Prince is blocked on Youtube, because Prince does not want his music on Youtube. Oh well Prince too bad for you. The video is a bit racy for this blog anyways.



Friday, July 6, 2012

Homeschool Portfolios Part 3

I hope everyone had an awesome 4th of July! The 4th DJ turned 12, and on the 5th my husband turned 42. We had a small party, just a few friends, and my mom. I made the Xmen cake using cupcakes. If you ever need to make a cake, that you do not have a pan for, cupcakes are very easily made into any object imaginable. One of the ladies in our homeschool group made a pony, with all cupcakes for her daughter's birthday. Cool! I have been super busy this week, and next week too. Then maybe I can actually take the month of August off. LOL I don't think so! I have to get the curriculum scribbled on and fixed how I want it. I have it printed, but have not gone through them yet. I did just finish both kids portfolios for their evaluations next Thursday. So, this is part 3 choosing your work and putting it together. The other two parts are in the archives. You go through all their papers, and take small samples from throughout the year. Then you put them in some kind of notebook, or folder. Some people make fancy, fancy ones, I don't have the time or patience for any of that. This is Caitlin's in the love notebook. You can see some of the examples of samples. I try to pick real good ones, and then ones where she didn't do so good, but showed improvement over time. The same with DJ. My hole puncher died, and since I don't feel like buying another. I took the papers out of a flex folder and put all his in there. So, there are no images of his. Each child also takes a book, of their choice, to read part to the evaluator, and writing samples. Because DJ's is on his blog, I provide the address to Ms Sherri for her to review. That is it. How to make a homeschool portfolio in Florida, easy peasy.

Now, that those are done, we need to tackle the 4H scrapbook. All the pictures are in, and it needs to be put together. It is due July 2oth, so it needs to be done. DJ has a sleepover birthday party next Thursday. He has never slept over anywhere, except when his sister was born, at least not without me. I am a little nervous, but he is after all 12, and pretty mature for his age. I guess I will be OK. Monday is our first meeting for our Earth's Kids Club group. We have five families so far, and maybe six. If anyone in the Trenton area reads this, and wants to join an educational group, contact me and I will get you the info. We are going to have a blast! I am very excited about this.

Well that is it. I hope everyone has an awesome weekend, and the Xmen cupcake cake is the Food on Friday tip too. Bye!










Monday, July 2, 2012

Music On Monday: Top 3 Songs of 1985

So, today for Music on Monday, I decided to put the top three songs of 1985. Why? Because 1985 had some of the most awesome music. I wish I could post them all from that year. Love Jitterbug by Wham.










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