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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

What Do We Do With No Internet?

Go to bed early, apparently, lol.  Yesterday, at exactly 1 PM, the internet went out.  This is not totally uncommon, we just reset the router and it works again.  But, that did not happen yesterday.  It was out for 23 1/2 hours.  That means there was no school lessons, at least not for DJ, most of his is online, and no school today either.  Now, I could have made them do school in the late afternoon, but there is no point by that time.  Now it is back on, and tomorrow we will double up on lessons. 

The kids didn't know what to do with themselves, without the internet.  After about 4 hours you would have thought they were going to die.  I have to admit, I was having a hard time too.  I have obligations to Etsy teams I am on, and I had a sale, that I needed the address to ship.  My 4G on my phone wouldn't work either, so I was at a loss.  Just when I was going to walk to McDonalds to use their free Wifi, it came back on. 

We watched, Planes, Craig and DJ caught up on a bunch of their shows, I watched three shows, and got a bunch of cleaning and crafts done.  Amazing what you can do, without the distraction of the internet.  Caitlin did some drawing, painting, and reading out of the way.  I read everyday, so I don't count reading as an extra. 

What do you do without internet?  Or maybe you limit your internet use.  In this age of everything electronics, it seems like torture to me to be without it.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Red Bellied Woodpecker Homeschool Art Class

There is a short, but cute story, that goes with this bird we painted today. Back at the beginning of Winter, or close to then, a Red Bellied Woodpecker took up home in the Snag in our yard. A snag is a dead tree that is not a full tree, just part of it remains. My husband wanted to cut it down two years ago, but the kids begged him not to because birds and squirrels love it. Since it really is no threat to anything, other than it is ugly, my husband let it be. So when the woodpecker moved in, the kids were so excited. We would watch him digging out his house everyday. Then they decided to name him Jeffrey. After a while I found there was a Mrs. Jeffrey. We figured they were building a nest. Every morning at 7 sharp, Jeffrey would talk right outside my window, and wake me up. About a week ago, Jeffrey stopped talking, and yes I over slept, lol. I thought something happened to Jeffrey. The next morning again, no Jeffrey. But, as I sat there drinking my morning coffee, I thought I saw Jeffrey go into his home. Then he came out again. Then him and Mrs. Jeffrey were taking turns, and they had food, but no talking. They must have babies in there! How exciting! I can not wait to see them. I hope this doesn't mean Jeffrey will leave when the babies are grown.

Anyway, since we have been painting birds all year, we decided to paint Jeffrey who is a Red Bellied Woodpecker. Actually their head is read, and their belly and beak are are a kind of soft orange color, but I didn't name the bird. We all decided we would paint the snag, and then Jeffrey. You can see the results below. I was given a bunch of empty wine bottles. At first I was not sure what I wanted to do with them. I had done some lights in the past, but didn't really care for them all that much. Then, I got a brilliant idea. I paint on the wine bottles, then I insert a solar powered stick light. Voila garden and yard lights for night, that use no electricity. I did four that looked like lighthouses, but the stripes are a pain to paint on. So, today I painted one with Jeffrey on it. I think the rest will have animals too, or scenery, those are my favorite things to paint. I am still unsure if I want to offer them as made to order pieces in my Etsy store. They would be such a pain to ship.







Friday, April 25, 2014

Free or Frugal Friday

First off let me just say something quick about Time 4 Learning.  For the month of April, your first month is only 10 dollars.  That is 50% off, and April is almost over, so you might just as well try it.  No, this is not my review, I am just aware of the offer and sharing it.

There are so many wonderful free, or almost free websites to use for homeschool, after school, or just to supplement your kids over Summer.  I won't share the ones I don't like, lol.  None of these I have affiliation with, except Currclick.

First one is Easy Peasy Homeschool. This woman has dedicated so much time to making a free curriculum for anyone to use.  It is amazing.  My kids didn't care for it a ton, but if you have no money, or money is really tight, it is awesome.  There is even high school now too. 

Second is, Currclick.  Currclick offers free and paid options for the items offered.  Most are made by homeschoolers.  They have live classes that are just amazing.  Check out Currclick for sure.

Last, but not least, for this week, is Forensics Illustrated.  This is a free, and complete Forensics class for High School.  I will definitely have my son take this one during his high school years.  Check it out!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Caitlin and Time 4 Learning

I was offered a 30 day free trial, to Time 4 Learning.  I always wondered about it, so I am more than happy to try it.  Since we have just about one month left to school, Caitlin will be using it.  I will supplement her with my other stuff, if it is not enough to complete her day.  If I like it, and she likes it more importantly, I will use it next year for 5th grade.  My only concern starting out, is whether or not it is a complete curriculum.  If I have to supplement, then I am not so sure I will use it.  Stay tuned, to see my review, after 30 days.  If you use Time 4 Learning, leave me a comment of how you like it, or don't like it. 

Monday, April 21, 2014

A New Way To Do Our Day?

Today, we tried a completely new routine.  I did it this way for a reason, but ended up like it a lot.  Normally, on a day when we have no outside plans, this is how the routine would go.

0830-0930  Breakfast and morning routine
0930-1030  Science class
1030-1130  History
1130- 1200 Language Arts
1200- 1300 Lunch and Recess
1300-1400  Math
1400-1500  Bible, Copywork, Spelling and Vocab, and anything not finished before hand.

Today we did it like this.

0830-0930  Breakfast and morning routine
0930-1030  Science Class
1030- 1130 History
1130-1230  Language Arts which includes Reading
1230-1330  Math
1330-1400  Bible, Spelling and Vocab and Copywork
1400 End of school day eat lunch now.

This worked amazingly well.  I am going to try to keep it this way. 

Thursday, April 17, 2014

A Quiet Week

It has been a quiet week, this week.  No Run Club, because it was raining, and then medical appointments, so we got quite a bit of school in.  Today was the last day of Bio-fuels class, for DJ, and they finished their project books.  This was done through 4H. 

DJ had his first real paid job this week, also.  He got to detail my mother's car.  Now if you think big deal, he worked for his grandmother.  His grandmother is not easy to work for.  She is a perfectionist and she expects things done the right way.  He did very well, and earned 50 dollars.  We do not have much time left before Summer break.  Like six weeks and that is it.  We are right on track and I am so happy with that. 

Yet, I am antsy.  Antsy because DJ will be in High School next year, and Caitlin will be going into Middle School.  I think I have DJ pretty much set up with his curriculum and choices of class for next year.  Just have to plan out how the day will run.  Caitlin is a different story, however.  I have decided to focus on Reading, Writing and Math and that is basically it for her.  She will get Science through 4H, and she is doing Geography over the Summer months withe her brother. 

I am really leaning towards Life of Fred, and the Abeka Math book we already have.  There is a Language Arts Life of Fred also.  It is new, and I had no idea.  It is for high school only.  DJ did 9th grade Math this year, so he won't do a formal Language Arts next year, but in 10th grade, I am considering Life of Fred.  I really love, My Father's World, but I can not see me ever paying that much for a curriculum no matter how much I love it.  I also really like Learning Language Arts through Literature, and that is always in the back of my mind.  DJ is also using Free Rice, to strengthen his vocabulary, and it helps feed the hungry.

Caitlin, for the past two weeks, or so, has been using Easy Peasy Homeschool.  I have noticed that it is very boring for her, and she does not particularly like it.  So, we will be phasing that out, though I really like the format.  For the remainder of this year, Caitlin will be using the websites below, for learning games, and her two Math workbooks. 

We will also be making some other changes, next year.  I love Run Club, but it just eats up too much of the day twice a week.  So, we will cut back to once a week.  Also, we are at the end of our second year running Earth Kids Club.  I run the club, and meetings.  This too has become too time consuming, and we only have four active children.  I will be changing it to a Facebook group only, with maybe a field trip here and there.  We have 19 members on the Facebook group, and hopefully they will be able to be more active. This is completely free, and a great way for your kids to learn about the Earth and living creatures on it.  You can find the group page by clicking here.   We would love to have new members to join us.

http://www.math-play.com/

http://www.abcya.com/fourth_grade_computers.htm

http://www.turtlediary.com/grade-3-games.html

http://www.readwritethink.org/classroom-resources/

http://writingfix.com/traits_primary.htm#forkids

http://www.storyit.com/Starters/ststart.htm

http://www.manythings.org/

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Our Created Resin Pieces From Chemistry Class

I used my love for creating resin pieces, to teach the kids about Chemistry, last Friday.  Below are some of the pieces the kids created.  Now they just have to decide what to do with them.


Did you get to see the Lunar Eclipse early this morning?  If you are anything like me, you had good intentions, and slept right through it.  I got up at 1:45 but nothing was happening.  So, I laid back down with intentions of getting up in another hour.  I didn't set the alarm and slept right through it.  I might have a better chance of seeing the Solar Eclipse in October, lol.  Someone in South Florida, was nice enough to tape it and put it on Youtube, so all of us can see it.  It went pretty fast, only lasted a little over an hour.  The last one I saw took forever, the last two matter of fact. 

No Run Club, because it is raining today, and I am probably going to cut that back to once a week.  Sometimes, I just need change, and there are some changes I need to make.  When I get antsy, things get changed, and I am antsy. 




Sunday, April 13, 2014

Caitlin's Watercolor Easter Eggs

One of the things I hate about decorating Easter eggs is that you can't leave them out to enjoy them. They have to be refrigerated. This year, Caitlin and I found these eggs that look like real eggs, but are not. She painted them with watercolors and then added some of her favorite animal stickers. Now, we can leave them out on the table all week, and re-use them next year too. Love it! They were very inexpensive too, a couple of dollars.





Friday, April 11, 2014

Using Resin for Chemistry Class and Bunny Shaped Watermelon Snack

This past Christmas I got a Luxe Resin kit, as a gift. I had so much fun playing around with the resin, that two of my homeschool friends asked me if I would show them how to do it. So, we did it today. Both ordered their own resin, so they could do more at home after they knew how. There were nine of us, all together, jammed in my small dining room. But, we made it work. The longest amount of time is always spent deciding what you want to put in your resin, and if you want it left clear, or add color. Once that was all decided, one by one, I showed them how to mix and poor properly. We went over safety tips of course, and some of the mistakes I have made in my first two pours. Yes, this is only my third pour. DJ made some with his shark teeth, and a blue sapphire in one for his girlfriend. I will make it into a necklace for him to give to her. Caitlin did a couple with stickers and glitter, and I did an experiment on a candle holder. I have no images of how they will come out, but tomorrow after I pop them, I will share them. The one family bought a mold, so they took theirs home. The other family borrowed some of mine, until she can get a mold, and I will pop theirs for them. It is fun to see the kids being creative and thinking how they would like their pieces to look. Resin is a chemistry lesson because, the two liquids separate are useless, but mix them together and you get a wonderful jewelry making product. Plus, if you do not mix it to the exact directions, or heat it too much, it messes with the chemical reaction. We discussed all these things.

Then it was time for lunch. Lots of fruit and delicious things. I made these cute bunny and carrot watermelon treats, using cookie cutters. Of course the little girls wanted to swim, and so they did. A great day, with beautiful weather, and wonderful friends. I shared the link below to the resin I bought. I love it, little or no odor, and it is nice and clear. If you would like to see any of my resin pieces you can visit my Etsy store.








Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Normal School Day?

What exactly is a normal school day, anyways?  For us, it would mean a full day of book work, and or computer work.  I guess that would be normal.  Well today was not normal, lol.  Yesterday, was normal.  Then the storms started to roll in, and the rains began.  Why does that matter?  Because, DJ was supposed to have his first paid job today, detailing a car.  But, because of the heavy rain, he could not do it.  So, I was going to do a normal school day instead.  Well, that did not happen.  Both kids ended up cleaning their rooms thoroughly, and then we were going to do Art class in the afternoon.  That didn't happen either.  My mom stopped by, and stayed and visited for quite a while, which was real nice.  So, not technically a normal day, but hey I like abnormal.

Tomorrow will be a normal day, Thursday and Friday however, will not.

Friday, April 4, 2014

My Favorite Frugal Homeschool Find For This Week

If I have not said it before, I will say it now, I love Pinterest.  I find so many cool and wonderful things on there, and not just for school.  My kids love to read, but finding young adult books for my son, that are free, and online, is not always easy.  Then, I found Free Children's Books.  They have kids, and young adult books.  You can either download them in pdf form, or read online.  I have a feeling I will be using this website a lot.  There is nothing fancy, or distracting about the website, either.  I like simple.  Check it out if you want to, and I will try to do one of these each Friday.  I love to share all the wonderful things I find.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

From Allergies to Migraines, but A Nice Quiet Homeschool Week

It seems like now I get a migraine right around the first of the month. So, know I am almost certain it is hormonal, and since I have no intentions of taking hormones, I will just have to deal with it. This month's was not as intense as the previous two months. Or, maybe because my allergies were making me feel so awful I just didn't notice, lol. I do feel better today, but still not great. We are supposed to do Run Club tomorrow, but I am not optimistic, since I am still wheezing just sitting still.

It has been a nice, quiet, homeschool week so far. I am very pleased with how much we got done. DJ has Biofuels tomorrow, so there won't be a whole lot of book work. I think I will have him fill my garden tires with dirt for me in the morning. Caitlin does have to do her Math paper tomorrow, and Easy Peasy day 105 or 106, can't remember, have it written down. The Abeka Math grade four, is proving challenging for her, but she is catching on nicely. I am actually very pleased. I plan on finishing the book through this year, and next. Abeka is a grade to a grade and a half ahead, so she won't be behind and I can better evaluate how I like it, and she likes it. I am still thinking of Life of Fred as well for her. She got a request for another letter, and she still has to do her I wonder assignment. DJ did his today.









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