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Monday, January 28, 2013

Challenge Your Kids To Think Outside The Box

To use their imaginations, in another words. My kids are pretty creative, except when it comes to the Arts. Whether it be writing, drawing, or painting they are more of concrete thinkers. I am sure that is somehow my fault, lol! We haven't had time for an Art class in a while, but I was determined to get one in today. A while back I had been researching Art projects for kids. One of them was to have your child draw a whole picture and everything had to be a specific shape. So, I picked rectangles. DJ thought about it for what seemed like forever, and then all of a sudden a light bulb went off in his head. He made a creeper mask like on Minecraft. If you play Minecraft then you will recognize this thing. He even made straps so he could wear it. Caitlin complained the whole time that her trees looked like boots, and was she really supposed to paint the sun in the shape of a rectangle. LOL, we all got through it, and you can see the results below. What do you think?






Sunday, January 27, 2013

4H County Events

Each year the county we live in, and all the surrounding counties, have 4H County Events. Each group, and their members get to show off their talents, and win ribbons. All first place winners are eligible to go to District Events. This is our third year in 4H, and I really would like DJ to do Districts. Last year I didn't force the issue, though they really wanted him to. This year I am going to try and be a bit more forceful. Caitlin got 1st place for Fashion Review for her leopard print jacket and skirt. DJ got 1st place for his demonstration on the Fire Ant, and 3rd place in Photography. Each year I tell him he should enter a picture that has to do with Agriculture, and each year we enter another cool photo he took. Every year he gets second or third place, and a cow, chicken or plow wins 1st place. Maybe we will actually take our own advice one of these times. He has pictures of chickens, and horses, but they just don't seem all that interesting, lol! The one cow picture that did win 1st place, was exceptionally unique, I have to say. I never thought I would say that about a cow. I love County Events because I always get to take the Saturday off, and don't have to work. Love it, LOL! Today, we went to church and the kids and hubby are now doing yard work. Yay! Back to school tomorrow.

Oh, the first picture is Caitlin and the fish bowl she painted earlier in the week.









Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Basketball, Math and Earth Kids Club

Seems like I get to do own one or two posts a week now. Just too much going on. Anyway, I wanted to share my very talented dog, Biscuit. Some of you know Biscuit from reading this blog. She has taken up basketball with Caitlin. When Caitlin throws the basketball, Biscuit actually jumps in the air like she is shooting it, then retrieves it and runs off with it, when it comes down. Now if she could learn to dunk, we might be famous, lol!

If your homeschooled child likes the Math they are currently using, don't change it, even if you hate it. Over the Christmas break I decided to try different Math with DJ. We have been using Saxon and it works for him, but I was getting annoyed with it. Anyway for three weeks I have been fighting with him about Math. This does not work for either of us, and achieves little. So, back to Saxon we go. He is comfortable with it, does well with it, and ultimately that is what matters.

We are about half way through our Earth Kids year. Each child finished up their snake demos, and in two weeks we will be doing a nature scavenger hunt. I am especially excited about this, and I hope they have a ball.

That is it for now.




Thursday, January 17, 2013

Back To the Cold!

We have had about three weeks of Summer like weather. It was heavenly. Now today it is raining and about 30 degrees colder. It was the first day we had to miss our Run/Walk Club. But don't worry we are making it up on Monday. I had so much to do this week, and believe it or not I got most of it done and I still have tomorrow.

We had to go through all of DJ's photo since September, and pick one to enter in County Events next Saturday. Then you have to order it, mount it, and make sure it fits all the crazy rules. Yesterday, we had to make an emergency run to my Mom's to get Caitlin's leopard print skirt, that my Mom sewed for her. All the entry forms, and items have to be turned in tomorrow. Plus DJ has to tweak his demonstration and then practice it. All before next Saturday. Thank goodness he has all the data, now just needs to organize it. This year he is doing Southern Fire Ants. A huge nuisance here, but they do actually do some good too. The only thing I have not been able to keep up with is blogging and email. I haven't checked my email since last Saturday. I hope there was not anything important in there, lol! Speaking of email, I wanted to share the website School Express. I have been receiving their newsletter, each week, for almost a year now. I had it before, but then forgot about it, so I signed up again. Each week they send you a free themed unit. I have enough that I can use them for Caitlin for next year of school, mostly Science stuff, so that is awesome. I don't start planning for the next school year, until we get a little closer to the end of this one. Speaking of Science, for Christmas, each of the kids got a mini Science kit in their stocking. Since Caitlin has never seen snow, she got one to make snow. Now it was cold, and white, but trust me was not the texture of snow. And it does not melt. Now she has been playing with this cup of snow for about a week. Today she came out and showed me that she had made a snowman. LOL isn't he cute? Tomorrow we have horseback riding lessons. Have an awesome weekend!




Wednesday, January 9, 2013

No Rest For the Wicked!

Man, I must be wicked, lol! Today was a more restful day, than yesterday. Yesterday, was our first run'/walk club date. The kids ran and DJ's sneaker fell apart, lol! He hardly ever wears sneakers. He loves Crocs and runs in them all the time, surprisingly well. I did tell him he had to get a pair of running sneakers if he was going to take the race he wants to do seriously. So last night, and for now until I am sure he is going to do it, we bought a cheap pair of running shoes that feel good on his feet. Also, he grows out of shoes like every other month, so by then he should know if he is serious or not. I did not run, but I might give it a go after a bit. We have been walking three days a week, over a year, but that is not really the issue. Those of you who know me, know what I am getting at. I walked very fast though, and since we walked from our house to the meeting place and back, I got extra walking time, lol. Then we had to finish school, go the library and then off to our Earth Kids meeting. I was so tired last night. So tired, I couldn't sleep. How does that make any sense?

Today, was a more traditional day, and some rest for me. Since my goal is to challenge both of my kids, academically this second half of the year, DJ began two new FLVS classes today. Now, I know some of my Florida friends are going to say how is virtual public school a challenge? Well since he still has to do those three, plus keep up with his other work, it is a challenge trust me. Plus he has to learn to navigate the system, speak to other teachers than me, and learn to communicate in an effective way when he needs help or has a question. Today, we had three conferences with all three teachers. You have to have a monthly call each month, and then oral exams are done over the phone as well. Since he has to do at least three assignments per week, per class, I think he is being challenged quite well now. Of course, I wouldn't say he is overly thrilled, but he wants to be a Marine Biologist specializing in Photography, so that means college, and that means it isn't going to be a cake walk. Since, I still have to get Caitlin learning harder Math, Grammar and Writing, this frees up my time to really push her the second half of the year. She started multiplication yesterday, much to her unhappiness, and actually she seems to get it already. I really hope that proves to be true, lol!

Well that is it for me, for today. Tomorrow we run/walk again, and do school, plus I want to get testing done tomorrow because Friday morning we grocery shop and the kids want to watch Mulan at lunch time. So, that is a lot to get done. Hope your week is serving you well on this Wednesday!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Back To Homeschool and A New Adventure Too!

It is funny to me how one thing falls apart and a new one grows instead.  Today, we were back to school from a lovely, and much needed break.  It was sluggish and slow at first, but we finally got into the groove of things.  As always, we didn't take an absolute complete break from schooling, but only two days a week, an hour at best.  So, basically no school.  We had a wonderful Christmas and New Year, as I hope everyone did. 

We were going to join a bowling league, but that fell apart when the person doing it became ill.  So, I was kind of bummed for her and for us.  The kids were really excited.  But, then a member of our homeschool group decided she wanted to start a run/walk club, with the goal being that the kids run a 5k race in early Summer.  DJ jumped at this chance, and even Caitlin is excited.  DJ loves to run.  Now he is not a long distance runner, and he thinks he has stamina.  I guess we will find out, lol!  I will not be running.  At the age of 43 I would like to keep my knees in the same good health they are currently in.  However, I can tell you, being that I am short, I mean vertically challenged, and I get with people with longer legs I get a workout just trying to walk with them, LOL!  We start tomorrow!  No rest for the wicked.  We will also have to keep up with our studies, if it interferes with school I will have to make them stop.  That is usually motivation enough.  Plus, we still do 4H and Earth Kids. 

I have evaluated our school lessons, over the break, and made a few changes.  DJ will be finishing up Science on FLVS, he is about half done with segment 2.  And today, he started Language Arts and Photography.  The Photography will go well for him, because he is finishing up the last book from 4H Photography, and he really enjoys it.  By grade 9, I want him to be doing 3-4 classes on FLVS.  This was a hard decision for me, but I think in the end this is what will be best for him in the long run.  Because, he wants to go to college, and it will assure he gets all the credits he needs to graduate with a diploma without added expense.  Caitlin can not start FLVS until 5th grade, and that is another thing I want to stress.  Her work is way too easy, and I need to really challenge her the second half of this year.  DJ doing FLVS will alleviate some of the time I have to spend with him, to free up time for Caitlin to begin much harder Math, and Writing.  Two very important subjects to me.  DJ will continue his Social Studies curriculum, 4H books, Reading, and Writing.  I am also switching him from Saxon Math, to two online Math programs.  One very challenging, that is basically Algebra, and one that is at the pace he was currently doing Math.  Again, this is to free up time for me to work with Caitlin more on Math, and the instructor online can do DJ, and the grading.  Grading takes up so much of my time.  Of course I will continue manage and evaluate their progress, plus keep all record keeping in line.  I am looking forward to the second half of our school year.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

My Favorite Free Apps

As promised I will share my favorite apps that I have used so far.  There have been several that were not worth the time it took to download, and they have been removed.  I have a 12 and 8 year old, so most of these are geared at that age group, medical, gardening, games, reading a couple of others.  You will not see any music apps.  I hardly ever listen to music.  I do love to read though.  So, here they are.  Oh, and they are all free, no paid, though some of them were the free app of the day, and probably are no longer free.  If they are not, I probably would pay for these ones anyways.  I did have one on gardening that was good, but after I read it I didn't want it anymore.  These apps work on my Android run tablet.  I did not buy an expensive tablet, 89 bucks, and I love it.  Works awesome, and does everything I need and want.  My children are only allowed to use the tablet for educational apps, other wise they are on the laptop.

Netflix
Allnurses.com
SAT Free
Words With Friends
Words Scramble with Friends
Gre Word List
My Spelling
Facebook
School in Mobile:  This particular one my kids have not used yet, and they are adding new content.
Amazon Kindle for Android
Amazon App Store
Brain Pop
Beans Quest:  My kids really like this one and they each get a turn when they have complete other work.
Child What Time
Children's Bible
Counting Coins
Droid Sky View:  This one is awesome if you can get a clear night
Free Kindle Books and Tips
Interactive Telling Time:  This is actually too young for my daughter, but she likes it anyways gets free fish.
My Spelling
My CME
Overdrive Media
Stickman
What's For Dinner

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