Google Search

Custom Search

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

How Do Homeschoolers Know If They Are Doing Enough

It is a very common question, all homeschoolers ask themselves, at one time or another. One of the online groups I belong to, did a great post on this subject. The parent wanted to know, how could she be sure she was doing enough. She had a 3 yr old at home, that could be distracting, to her older learners. I can relate to this with two dogs, and keeping Caitlin busy before she started school work. For me I keep the dogs apart, during the first half of the school day. They want to play, and cause quite a distraction to my kids. When Caitlin was not in homeschool activities I would be sure she was busy with puzzles, coloring, computer games, etc. Keeping her active, and quiet was a challenge, so DJ could concentrate. Anyway, here is the post from the moderator of the group, she is a certified teacher, and has homeschooled her own children.

I'm stressing myself out worrying that the kids aren't doing enough schoolwork. How do I know if we are doing enough?

There is no set answer to this question. There isn't an exact amount of time (nor of work) that each child should do each day.

Some people work with *time guidelines.*
The average kindergartner is going to spend no more than 30 minutes a day on lessons (Some spend much less, maybe 30 minutes 2 or 3 times a week to start with.)--this means "sit down" lessons; if you play educational videos, take nature walks, go on field trips, etc., then obviously the time will be more if you include these "hidden lessons".
The average homeschooled second grader will spend about 2 to 3 hours a day on lessons. From there the amount of time spent on lessons daily will increase by about 20 to 30 minutes each year, with the average high school senior spending about 6 hours a day on lessons.
If your child is spending more time than this on lessons, you may be asking too much of your child. Remember that students in a standard classroom may be in the classroom for 6 or 7 hours, but that includes a *lot* of wasted time, down time, waiting time, time spent moving to the next activity, time doing busy work while the teacher does something else, etc. If a young homeschooler were to spend 6 or 7 hours on lessons, the child and parent will soon be burned out.

Some people work with *goals.*
Set some goals for your child. Perhaps you'll pick 3 core subjects that your child should work on 5 days a week; the other subjects, you'll throw in 2 or 3 times a week. (A couple of things to consider here: Many public schools these days skip certain subjects, such as social studies, most of the year because they aren't on the FCAT, so your children will still be getting more social studies if you do it twice a week than the average public school student. Also, two days of a subject done one-on-one usually means more learning than 5 days of that subject done without any one-on-one attention.)
Some beginning homeschoolers find it best to start with one core subject, such as daily math lessons. Then, once that schedule is established, they gradually add in another and another until they can settle on a routine.
Others may choose goals based on what they want to cover during the year. By looking at the books and breaking them up into chunks, they may realize that covering one or two lessons a week will get through most of the book by the end of the year. (Remember, few public schools ever cover more than 2/3 of a book; so don't feel that you *have* to finish each book within a year.)
Or they may focus on the main topics that they want the child to master. Having a list of topics to cover and checking them off as they are covered, can help you see if you are making adequate progress.

Some people determine this based on *observing their children.*
If the children seem too stressed out, you may be pushing them too hard and need to slow down a bit. If the children seem bored and are getting into too much trouble, then you may not be doing enough intellectual things with them; they meay need more lessons. If the children are active and generally contented, and playing games that sometimes include pretending things related to the lessons, or sometimes drawing pictures related to the lessons, or sometimes telling other people about things related to the lessons, then you may have just the right balance.

The one-on-one nature of homeschooling means that our lessons can get more done in less time than in a factory-like school setting. We can take advantage of teachable moments to teach lessons when the children are most open to them. We can do more lessons orally. We don't have to have quizzes and tests to tell whether they are learning since we have only a few students to deal with. We can turn daily activities into lessons as we talk about fractions while cooking, or talk about the Middle Ages while the kids play knights and castles, or talk about health lessons while the child is in bed dealing with a cold. So, less time will be spent in sit down lessons than in the average school. Yet studies show that homeschooled children do as well, or better, on tests than the average public schooled child. Learning not to worry too much about doing enough is part of parents getting away from the public school mentality... .

As you can see, public schools spend a lot of downtime maitaining control, and quiet also. Homeschooled children however, get more one on one time, with the teacher.

Lesson Plans For 10/01/09:

Half Day of School
Reading: HOP Pig Wig Can Hit
Printing practice
Number printing: 6-10
Alphabet Book: Letter N

No Health class
Math: Division, numerations to one million, estimating sums
Language Arts: Punctuation, prefixes, homophones
Reading Comprehension: Worksheet
Cursive Writing
Spelling/Vocab: Write each spelling word two times each

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Language Of Geography, 50 States Song

Check out these two cute videos. One is a video story book, where a little girl visits, and learns about India. The other is a music animation to learn all of the 50 states, and their capitals. The more your kids watch this, the faster they will learn all the states. The Philippines have had a horrible storm strike their country. Some of my blogging friends, are from there, and I have not heard from them in the past few days. Please extend your thoughts, and prayers, to all our friends in the Philippines.

Lesson Plans For 09/30/09:

Printing Practice
Numbers printing: 6-10
Math: Counting the eggs, with correct number writing
Alphabet book: Letter M
Cutting practice: Spiders
Site words
Reading: HOP Pig Wig Can Hit

Social Studies: The Language of Geography, lesson plan, and video
Math: Multiplication, word problems, rounding numbers
Cursive writing
Reading Comprehension: worksheet
Language Arts: End punctuation, prefixes, homophones
Spelling/Vocab: Use each vocabulary word in a sentence

Monday, September 28, 2009

Childrens Tylenol Recall

My husband just heard this on the news, and I want all of you to be aware. Read the full report below, it came right from the Tylenol website. It seems it may be infected with bacteria.

Children's and Infants TYLENOL News

September 24, 2009

You may have heard that McNeil Consumer Healthcare (the makers of TYLENOL®) is voluntarily recalling certain lots of Children's and Infants' TYLENOL® liquid products that were manufactured between April, 2008 and June, 2008. All products manufactured met internal specifications. However, the company is implementing this recall because during this period, an unused portion of one inactive ingredient did not meet all quality standards. Therefore, as a precautionary measure, it was decided to recall all Children's and Infants' TYLENOL® liquid products listed below, which were made during this time.

Parents and caregivers who have questions or concerns should contact their child's health care provider or our consumer call center at 1-800-962-5357 (available Monday-Friday 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Eastern Time). Consumers can find the lot numbers on the bottom of the box containing the liquid product and also on the sticker that surrounds the product bottle. The lot numbers of the affected products are listed below.

These actions do not apply to Children's TYLENOL® Meltaways and Junior Strength TYLENOL® Meltaways. The voluntary recall applies only to select lots of Children's and Infants' TYLENOL® liquid products.

Recalled Products - Full List

Lot # Product Description
SBM041, SBM067, SCM037, SDM027, SEM109 Children's Tylenol Plus Cold MS Suspension 4 oz. Grape
SBM042, SCM015, SCM036, SDM034 Children's Tylenol Suspension 4oz. Grape
SBM043, SBM044, SCM029 Children's Tylenol Suspension 4oz. Bubble Gum
SBM045, SCM011, SCM030, SDM035 Children's Tylenol Suspension 4oz. Strawberry
SBM064, SCM033, SDM020 Infant’s Tylenol Grape Suspension Drops 1/4oz.
SBM065, SCM005, SCM006, SDM032 Infant's Tylenol Suspension 1/2oz. Cherry
SBM066, SCM068 Children's Dye Free Suspension 4oz. Cherry
SBM068, SCM035, SCM070, SCM080, SDM005 Children's Tylenol Suspension 4oz. Cherry
SBM069, SBM070, SCM081, SDM006 Children's Tylenol Plus Cough & Runny Nose 4oz. Cherry
SCM012, SCM067, SDM007, SDM068 Infant's Tylenol Suspension Drops 1/2oz. Grape
SCM013, SCM014, SCM069 Children's Tylenol Plus Flu 4oz. Bubble Gum
SCM016, SFM024 Children's Tylenol Plus Cold Suspension 4oz. Grape
SCM017 Children's Tylenol Plus Cough/ST Suspension 4oz. Cherry
SCM082, SDM039, SDM040 Infant's Tylenol Suspension Drops 1oz. Grape
SCM083, SCM084, SDM008 Infant's Tylenol Dye Free Suspension 1oz. Cherry
SDM064 Children’s Tylenol Pediatric Suspension 1oz. Cherry
SDM038, SDM009 Infant's Tylenol Suspension Drops 1oz. Cherry
SDM033 Children's Tylenol Plus Cold/Allergy 4oz. Bubble Gum
SDM078 Infant's Tylenol Drops 1oz. Grape
SCM034 Infant’s Tylenol Grape Suspension Drops H/G 1/2oz.
SDM028 Children's Tylenol Suspension 4oz. Cherry, Hospital Govt.

If you have any of these products, I would return them for a refund, or just throw them out.

Johnny Appleseed Video, Science For Kids

Tomorrow is Johnny Appleseed day, here at Melissa's Homeschool. Don't know who Johnny Appleseed is, don't worry I forgot too LOL. The video below, is two parts, and quite cute, from Disney. Tomorrow for science is the food chain, and I found a great lesson plan at Lesson Snips.

Lesson Plans for 09/29/09:

Science: Johnny Appleseed
Printing practice: Fall name, and worksheet
Number printing 6-10
Math: worksheet adding to ten
Alphabet book: Letter L
Site words
Reading: HOP Pig Wig Can Hit yesterdays Ann's Hat was an error
Coloring: following directions

Science: Johnny Appleseed, animal food chains
Math: Division, add and subtract, rounding numbers
Cursive writing
Reading Comprehension: worksheet
Spanish: page 8 workbook one
Language Arts: Prefixes, homophones, capitalization
Spelling/Vocab: Write each spelling word two times each

Sunday, September 27, 2009

The Dinosaur Train, Caitlin's New Favorite Show

For all of my readers, who have small children, Caitlin would like you to check out her new favorite show. Jim Henson has created a new show for PBS, called Dinosaur Train. It really is a cute, and educational show. They learn all about Dinosaurs, and the years they lived on earth. If your kids like dinosaurs, you need to check it out 9:30 AM every weekday, on PBS, which is channel 11 on Direct TV. Tomorrow for arts, and crafts we are making apple frames. To do these simple frames all you need is an apple, cut in half. Various colors of paint, and picture frames. I bought foam ones, from the craft section. Then dip the apple, into the paint, and press it onto the frame. I will take pictures of ours tomorrow, after we do them.

Lesson Plans for 09/28/09:

Printing Practice
Reading: HOP Ann's Hat
Alphabet Book: Letter K
Site words
Math: Counting to ten
Arts and crafts: Apple picture frames
Listening Skills


Spelling/Vocab: Look up the definition for each vocabulary word
Reading: Chapter 4 of Florida Seeds of A Nation
Read out loud to Caitlin pg 16-23 Holidays and Customs
Language Arts: Not prefixes, homophones
Cursive writing
Arts and crafts: Apple picture frame
Writing: write about insects
Math: Problem solving

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Video On How To Homeschool

Saturdays are just quick posts for me. Today is a video on how to get started homeschooling. This is great if you have been thinking about homeschooling, and are not real sure where to start.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Fun Friday, Me Through The Years

Tes, from our Blogging For Fun group, had a wonderful topic idea. To show each of us in our younger years. The youngest picture of me, I had here at my house, was the fifth grade. I am the one with the stars all around it. I also have one from the year we got our nursing caps, I was 16, I am circled in the back. Then about 20 yrs old, and then when I just had Caitlin at age 35. I didn't look so hot in that pic, not a whole lot of sleep going on. So here they are, don't laugh too loud now. I look forward to seeing all of my Blogging For Fun friends, through the years. If you would like to join in Fun Friday, then join by clicking the green sign up box, in the left hand column. The forwards I complained about on Entrecard were removed on most of the blogs, so I am doing limited drops for now, but very limited at sites I trust.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Fun Friday On Melissas Jewelry, Paper Back Swap, Book Exchange

Well tomorrow is Friday, and that means no lesson plans to post, which means I get to share other fun stuff with you. Fun Friday is tomorrow, and if you are a member of my Blogging For Fun group, then you know what that means. If not you will have to come back, and read tomorrow. If you would like to join our small blogging group, there is a green sign up box in the left hand column, you won't be sorry, I promise. To all my fellow bloggers that have an Etsy shop, or craft blog, you can now be featured on my jewelry blog. I am starting a Fun Friday of sorts feature over there. All you have to do is leave me a comment, with your store, or site address, and you will be featured in the order I get them. I have no one yet, so hurry and go leave a comment at Melissas Jewelry, we can all use the extra help promoting our stores.

Yesterday I finally went and checked out a website, a good friend of mine told me about. Paper Back Swap, is just what it sounds like. You post books you no longer want, and you can get books you do want in return. I got two automatic free credits, just for signing up, and chose two Goosebumps books for DJ. The person sending the books pays the postage, by media mail, which is not expensive, and you do the same when you ship a book. I sent my first one out this morning, and will get a credit to pick a book, when the recipient receives it. I think you must live in the US to participate, but I could be wrong. If you go and sign up, put my email address in the referrer box, and I will get free book credits. I receive no money, just credits to get books. After you read the books, you can either keep them, or repost them for others to claim to read. It is a great, and simple concept. You will get the two free credits, after you have posted 10 books for others to claim, if they want them. With books as expensive as they are, you can see how quickly you can save some big bucks. I have not checked out textbooks yet, but I intend to. If you are an avid reader, like me, and don't want all those books lying around, then this is the site for you. It is free too, free! Who doesn't love free? I posted a short video below, so you can view it, and what it is all about.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Reading Nutrition Labels, The Bread Group, Adgitize

Thursday is Health class, here at Melissas Homeschool. Tomorrow we will be covering, more nutrition facts, by learning to read food labels. This can be confusing for a lot of people, let alone kids. The short video below, helps, and is a great way to lose weight, and drop some of your fat intake, by learning to read the label, and what they mean. Also we are doing the bread group tomorrow. Our favorite group LOL. Click here, to go to a website for kids, concerning the bread group. You can print it, or just have your kids read it, and discuss it.

I have added Adgitize back to this blog. Not only is it good for traffic to your blog, but it also earns money. If you do not have Adgitize, and would like to join, click on the banner at the top of my blog. I am letting those who purchased Entrecard ads from me finish up, before I remove the widget. I must say though, that I clicked on every blog on the Adgitize leader board, and there were two with the redirect, and download on them.

Lesson Plans for 09/24/09:

Printing Practice
Reading: HOP Pig Wig
Alphabet book: Letter J
Writing numbers 1-5
Site words
Health: Nutrition

Health: Nutrition labels, the bread group
Math: Rounding numbers, division, learning to check your work addition and subtraction
Language Arts: Capitalization, not prefixes, homophones
Reading Comprehension: Worksheet
Spelling/Vocab: Write the word, and definition two times each
Cursive writing

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

No More Entrecard, The Great Lakes Lighthouses

First I must start with my frustration with Entrecard. I do not know what they are doing over there anymore, but they certainly do not enforce their own rules for standards of blogs. This is the second week I have gotten a virus from an Entrecard blog. There are blogs full of redirects, automatic downloads, freeze frames, pop ups, etc, and quite frankly I am not going to use them anymore until they fix it, or clean up their membership. If you are a member of my blogging for fun group, I will obviously continue to visit, and comment on those blogs. If you would like to join our Blogging For Fun group, and get visitors, and comments, click on the green join box, on the side of this blog. I will have to go back to traffic exchanges, and other methods, for traffic, at least for now.

Tomorrow for Social Studies, we are doing how lakes form. I could not find a cool video, for the subject, but I did find a cool video showing lighthouses of the Great Lakes. I love lighthouses, and I love the Great Lakes. Be sure to check it out. By the way my lesson plan for how lakes form, came from Lesson Snips.

Lesson Plans For 09/23/09:

Printing practice
Reading: HOP Pig Wig
Alphabet Book: Letter I
Adding and subtracting acorns
Writing numbers 1-5
Site words
Same and different: worksheet

Social Studies: How lakes form, Geography
Spelling/Vocab: Use each word in a sentence
Language Arts: Capitalization, no prefixes, homonyms
Reading Comprehension: Worksheet
Math: Subtracting checking your work, compare and order greater numbers, division
Cursive handwriting

Monday, September 21, 2009

Reptiles, Butterfly Migration

Tomorrow is Science class, and we are covering reptiles, and butterflies. How is that for a combination? The butterfly lesson is a hands on activity, from our Science workbook, while the reptile is a lesson plan. Below are two cool videos, on on reptiles, and one on butterfly migration, be sure to check them out. I also found this other cool site, where you can watch all kinds of educational videos. Go here, to see them. Wow, it is the end of September already. I can not believe, where this year has gone. Also wanted to share a website called Starfall. Caitlin uses this free website, as an adjunct to her Hooked on Phonics workbooks, for reading.

Lesson Plans for 09/22/09:

Reading: HOP Pig Wig
Printing practice
Alphabet book: Letter H
Adding and subtracting acorns
Number writing 1-5
Site words
Colors: Worksheet
Science: Reptiles, butterflies

Science: Butterfly migration, reptiles, seasons
Spelling/Vocab: Write each spelling word two times each
Language Arts: Capitalization, not prefixes, homophones
Reading Comprehension: Worksheet
Math: Compare and order numbers, subtraction, multiplication, division
Cursive writing

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Tell Time In Spanish, Draw An Airplane, And Cool School Giveaway

Wow, I have a lot to share with you today. First let me say Entrecard was so super slow yesterday, I could not even complete my drops. Well I could have, if I had the patience to wait forever, but I did not. So I caught up with everyone who dropped yesterday, today.

I have to tell you about a cool, and easy giveaway from Small Town Mommy. Anne from Small Town Mommy, has a new blog, where she will be doing giveaways, and product reviews. You can find her new blog by visiting her Small Town Mommy blog, and following the directions. Once you get to the new site, you can sign up for her giveaway, and win boxtops for education, plus other great items. Even if you homeschool you can sign up to win the back to school package, she is giving away. You must follow her on Twitter, tell what your favorite part of kids going back to school is, and for extra entries do a blog post, on your blog, about the contest. Sounds pretty easy to me. So hurry on over, and get your entries in. It ends soon, so don't dilly dally.

Tommorrow, we are learning to tell time, in our Spanish book. View the video below, to help learn to correct way the words should sound. It is hard to teach Spanish from a textbook, when you have no idea if you are saying it right, so the videos help alot. Also DJ will be drawing another airplane. While he likes the textbook I got this year, he also finds the learn to draw videos helpful. So he is going to draw one using the textbook, then another using the video, and compare the difference. You can use these vidoes too, so feel free.

Lesson Plans for 09/21/09:

Listening skills- listen to DJ read to her
Reading: HOP Pig Wig
Alphabet Book: Letter G
Number Identification: Zero I forgot this one the other day, so we are back tracking
Printing Practice
Arts and Crafts: Scarecrow Craft
Site Words: word helpers

Reading: Read Chapter 3 Florida Seeds of a Nation, and answer questions
Read aloud to Caitlin Holidays and Customs pg11-15
Language Arts: Prefixes, antonyms, and synonyms
Art: Draw an airplane
Cursive writing: worksheet
Writing: The four seasons
Math: Subtracting two digit number from three digit numbers
Spanish: Book 1 telling time in Spanish

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Simple Saturday Recipe

Do you need a nice, easy, cool drink your kids, and friends will love? If you said yes, then this is the recipe for you. My kids had this last year for Thanksgiving, and they loved it. We are having friends this year, with young kids, and I will make it again. You can use any combination you want, if they don't like one of the ones listed.

You will need:

1 carton 64 ounces orange juice, chilled
6 cans, 12 ounces each, of creamed soda, chilled
1 bottle, 2 liters, lemonade
1 pint of pineapple juice, chilled

In a large punch bowl, combine the OJ, lemonade, and cream soda. Top with sherbet, and serve immediately. It won't last long, trust me, you might want to have extra on hand to make more LOL. It makes 16-20 4 oz servings. Enjoy!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Funy Friday A-Z Survey

Well it is Fun Friday, again. Today we are taking a survey, from A-Z. Read below to see my fun answers, and take the survey yourself. If you would like to be a part of Fun Friday, then join our Blogging For Fun group, by clicking on the green button, on the side of this blog.

A To Z Survey from

A - Available - Nope, I know it is a shame
B - Best Friend - Me
C - Crush - Hmm I don\'t think I have one
D - Dad's Name - Gordon
E - Easiest Person To Talk To - Myself
F - Favorite Band - I don\'t really do favorites, but I guess Journey
G - Gummy Bears Or Worms - yuck, neither
H - Hometown - small town in upstate NY
I - Instrument - I can sort of play the organ
J - Job - Nurse
K - Kids - 5 if you count my husband, and two dogs
L - Longest Car Ride - 16 hours
M - Milk Flavor - plain skim white milk
N - Number Of Siblings - two
O - One Wish - Go to the Grand Canyon
P - Phobias - snakes, heights
Q - Favorite Quote - Good, better, best, never let it rest, until you make your good, better, best
R - Reason To Smile - The sunrise every day, and the sunset every night
S - Song You Last Heard - So Whatt by Pink
T - Time You Woke Up - 4 AM I know it stinks
U - Unknown Fact About Me - I am very short
V - Vegetable - tomatoes definitely
W - Worst Habits - loud
X - X-Rays You've Had - ankle, chest
Y - Your Favorite Food - Pizza of course
Z - Zodiac Sign - Leo

Take This Survey at

Have a great weekend, everyone/

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Fun Pictures!

Tomorrow is test day, so I have no great lesson plans to post. DJ will be reading chapter 2 of his Florida book, review tests, and a writing assignment. Yesterday he did plate tectonics, but some of the wording was a bit advanced, and he did not quite grasp the whole thing. I found these two cool videos, and hopefully they will help him understand it better. The two first pictures, are pictures each child took of each other. I think they take better pictures than me. The other two are obviously the puppy, who is growing so fast. Have a great Thursday, everyone!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Whew That Was Rough!

After 6 hours of, scan, scan again, again, again, and how many more times again, disk cleanup, spyware remover, reboot about 100 times the nasty hijacker virus is gone. I wish I knew which website gave it to me. I am almost certain it was on Entrecard, because that was the only thing I was doing when I got it. Oh well, at least it is gone, for good I hope.

Last week I found a totally free website. Now years ago, I tried these free sites, and never got anything, except a bunch of junk. Free education stuff is the link for you to find some awesome cool free educational stuff. So far the only thing that has come was a Character Action plan for young kids, from the one and only Tiger Woods. I could not believe what a nice curriculum this was. It comes with a book to read, along with worksheets that cover the material. I was stunned at how nice it was, and free too. There are other free subjects in the left hand column, but I was pretty much only interested in the educational stuff. Check it out. I will let you know when other cool things come in. I also was asked by Sylvan to do another give away of their products. This year they sent me a first grade Language Arts workbook, to give away to one of my readers. Be sure to watch for it. I probably will not do it until after Nov 1st when my feed the needy promotion ends. Be sure to check that out in the left hand column of this blog.

Tomorrow is our playgroup playdate. We are hoping to be able to swim, but the weather has not been great. Our group is small, and we try to meet every two weeks, for fun, and socialization. If you live in the Gilchrist County Florida, or surrounding area, homeschool, or have a preschooler looking for some fun playdates, come join us. If you are interested in joining our group please contact me at and I will send you the sign up link. Because tomorrow is our playgroup, DJ worked extra hard, to get a day ahead, and left just a few things to finish up.

Lesson Plans for 09/17/09:

Playdate 10Am-1PM with lunch, and swimming

Caitlin: Reading- HOP Dad and Sam, site words, sharing, follow directions.

Reading Comprehension: WS
Review plate tectonics from 09/18/09
Health: Food pyramid
Math: Addition, place value
Language Arts: Capitalization, prefixes, synonyms, antonyms
Spelling/Vocab: Use each word in a sentence


Sidelined For A Bit

My desk top computer woke up to a nasty virus this morning. I am doing a quick post, and am working to get it off. It appears to have come from an Entrecard website, so be careful, make sure your firewall is on. Somehow mine was turned off.

I would like to share this awesome free handwriting generator I found. I like it because it prints off in nice big lines for Caitlin. I use a different one for cursive for DJ. Here it is, check it out if you need handwriting help

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Curse Of The Fourth Quarter Strikes Again

Grr my Buffalo Bills managed to lose a huge win, last night against them dreaded Patriots. I could not believe it. We were winning, we looked so good, it was exciting, only two minutes left, yes, yes, yes! No, No, NOOOOO, it must be a bad dream! Once again they fell asleep at the end of the game, fumbled the ball trying to be a hero, then let them drive down the field, and score. Say it ain't so, please! On a lighter note, at least I won my week one Fantasy Football game. I am becoming an old pro now. Ha, Ha, watch out all you boys, this woman is gonna win this year LOL. If you don't watch football, you should. It will make you laugh, scream, cry, and get really mad all in the same game. If you are a Bengals fan, you know what I am talking about, thank Brandon Stokely. Or better yet, you could be an Eagles fan, and McNabb is HURT AGAIN!. You must be kidding. How does someone as big as him, get hurt every single stinking season. Can you say bye, bye. Good thing they got Vick, too bad he can't play until week four. Football, I Love It! And Patrick Swayze passed away. I must be cursed, LOL. My thoughts, and prayers are with his family during this very sad time. I liked him, and his movies, and the last time I checked him, and his wife were still married all these years. You can not say that about many Hollywood stars. On to something more important, Continents, and plate tectonics. That is subject for Social Studies tomorrow. The cute video is a short song, explaining continents.

Lesson Plans for 09/16/09:

Reading: Dad and Sam HOP
Alphabet book: Letter F
Number Identification: Zero
Printing Practice
Adding and subtracting acorns these are leftover from the acorn wreath
Site words
Shapes and Colors worksheet

Social Studies: Continents, plate tectonics
Math: Place value, addition, multiplication, division
Cursive handwriting
Language Arts: Capitalization, prefixes, synonyms, and antonyms
Spelling/Vocab: Put your words in alphabetical order
Reading Comprehension: Worksheet

Monday, September 14, 2009

Yuck I Don't Like Insects!

I really don't like anything with more legs than me LOL. Here in Florida, we have more bugs, than I would care to admit. Of course my kids are fascinated with them. There are so many ways to let your kids explore Science, that is free. My kids are constantly exploring the yard for bugs, leaves, and any other interesting things. They look at them under the microscope, research them in books, and online. All these activities are free, and require just their curiosity, and will to learn. I really love these old education videos, this one is on insects. If you need a lesson plan for insects, I used Lesson Snips. There are many others out there available, but I chose them this year, for basic lesson plans.

Lesson Plans for 09/15/09:

Reading- HOP Dad and Sam
Alphabet book- Letter E
Printing practice
Number Identification- Worksheet
Site Words-
Shapes and colors- worksheet
Science- Insects

Math- Adding, multiplication, division, place value
Science: Insects, changing colors project
Vocab/Spelling: Write each vocabulary word, and definition, two times each
Language Arts: Capitalization, prefixes, synonyms, and antonyms
Reading comprehension: worksheet
Cursive writing

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Live Animal Cams

I forgot to add these two links earlier. The National Zoo is an awesome site, with live animal cams. My kids will sit, and watch the Pandas forever. Plus they have tons of animal info, to help your youngster learn about habitats, species, etc. I love it!

Next is Africam. One of the reasons I love this one so much, is you can hear all the noises that are occurring in nature. Even if you see no animals, you can hear all the activity going on off camera. Because of the time difference I find it best to go on early in the AM here on the East Coast, when it is afternoon there. Also they do have commercials before the cams click on, so be patient.

Happy animal watching.

Reading, Arts And Crafts

Monday's are basically concentrated on reading, writing, and arts and crafts. Because Caitlin has to learn to sit and listen, and DJ needs to be comfortable reading aloud, I have decided that DJ will read to Caitlin.

Lesson Plans for 09/14/09:

Reading: HOP Dad and Sam
Listening Skills: Farm Puppy, Holidays and Customs read by DJ
Arts and Crafts: Acorn Wreath
Alphabet Book: Letter D
Printing worksheet

Reading: Read aloud to Caitlin Farm Puppy, Holidays and Customs pg 4-9
Math: Multiplication, subtraction
Vocab/Spelling: Look up the definition for each word
Art: Draw a plane
Spanish: Book one chapter one, Michael has an idea
Writing: Five food groups, menu plan
Cursive: worksheet
Language Arts: prefixes, synonyms, antonyms

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Saturday Recipe German Brownie Torte

I have not actually tried this yet. Matter of fact I just found it in a Woman's Day magazine, but it sounds so good. This is something I could make for Thanksgiving rather than the same old pie all the time.

German Brownie Torte:

1 1/2 cups flaked coconut
1 1/2 cups chopped pecans, or any nut you like I will probably use honey roasted peanuts
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 stick butter, melted
1 box chewy fudge brownie mix
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/3 cup confectioners sugar

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 15x10 in rimmed baking sheet with heavy duty foil, letting foil extend above pan on both ends. Coat with nonstick spray.

Mix coconut, pecans, brown sugar, and butter in a bowl until well blended, set aside. Prepare brownie mix as package directs for cake like brownies. Pour batter into prepared pan, spreading evenly. Top with coconut mixture.

Bake 25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Cool in pan, on a wire rack.

Now this part sounds a little complicated to me. Lift foil by ends onto a cutting board. Cut brownie crosswise in thirds. Beat cream, and confectioner's sugar in a bowl with mixer on med high speed until moist, stiff peaks from when beaters are lifted.

Assemble- Place one brownie layer, nut side up, on a serving platter. Spread top with 1 cup whipped cream. Repeat with remaining layers and cream, ending with cake. Frost sides with remaining cream. Refrigerate at least two hours.

Serving- Cut with a serrated knife in one inch slices, cut each slice in half.

I can not wait to try this.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Remembering, What Birthday Flower Are You?

Before I do my Fun Friday quiz, please take moment to remember all the people who died on 09/11 in the terrorist attacks. I can vividly remember what I was doing that day, and watching the second plane crash into the Twin Towers. It was horrifying to say the least. I might have never paid any attention to it, other than I was at work, and one of the doctors who adamantly told us every day how much she hated TV, was staring at the TV. Of course I was curious what she was looking at. So I asked her Dr Rund, what are you watching? She said a plane just crashed into a skyscraper, having no idea it was a terrorist attack. As we stood there talking to each other, the second plane struck. Because I was at work, and my son was at daycare it made it all the more unnerving. A terrible day in the history of this country, and a day I know I will never forget.

OK now on to more fun things, Fun Friday. Today I picked a short, and sweet quiz, to tell you which Birthday flower I am. Mine is a Gladiola, a beautifully stunning flower. I always find astrology type things, so accurate to my personality. It is funny.

August: Gladiolas

Gladiolas is the birth flower for people who are born in August.
The Gladiolas symbolizes remembrance, strength of character, dedication and devotion towards family.
If your birth flower is Gladiolas: You are an intellectual person. People love you for your enthusiasm and charming nature. You constantly try to succeed in whatever you do. You desire to occupy leadership position. You can take the quiz here, be sure to share your results.

Here is some more info about Gladiolas.

The genus Gladiolus comprises 260 species, 250 of which are native to sub-Saharan Africa, mostly South Africa. About 10 species are native to Eurasia. The impressive flower spikes of Gladioli come in a variety of beautiful colors. The Gladiolus flower signifies remembrance. It also expresses infatuation, telling the receiver that he or she pierces the heart. It also stands for strength of character, faithfulness and honor. I found this info at the flower encyclopedia website. I simply must get some of these to plant. What an extraordinary flower.

Join the fun, and see what flower represents your birthday.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Precocious Puberty, Return of Fun Friday

For those of you that belong to my Blogging For Fun group, be sure to check your email for tomorrow's topic. If you would like to be a part of our Blogging For Fun group, click on the green sign up box, on the left hand side of this page. Don't forget about my Feed the Hungry Drive, donate 5 dollars, get free advertising for six months, and win a free jewelry. All that info is also in the left hand column of this blog. So far I have raised 18 dollars, 100 is my goal.

Yesterday I blogged about DJ needing a hand Xray. This year when he went for his 9 yr old check up, the Dr mentioned some hair growth in the pubic area. Now I knew this was there, because he had asked me what it was, some six months ago. I did not think much of it, because it was like two little pieces of hair, and no other signs of over maturation. Due to the fact he was still 8, she was concerned with Precocious Puberty. What is Precocious Puberty? In the most basic of terms, it is when boys, or girls start puberty earlier than what is considered average. Usually before age 9 in boys, and age 8 in girls. The biggest concern is that they will be shorter, than their peers who start at a later date. Now I must say I am not really concerned about this. I am five feet tall, my uncles are all consdired shorter, and they all lead normal lives, with wives, and girlfriends, but DJ adamantly said, I don't want to be short, LOL. So the first step was to make sure all his sexual, and growth hormones were normal. They were, with none of them being out of whack. I would have stopped right there, seeing no reason to pursue, but monitor his progression. The pediatrician insisted we do an Xray for bone age. An Xray for bone age, in kids, is done in the wrist. There are growth plates there that stretch as they age, eventually disappearing. Each year of a child's life the growth plates should look a particular way, so you see how they determine the bone age. I do not have the results yet, but if it is normal, hopefully it will put this issue to rest. He is a big boy, almost 5 feet tall, and 75 pounds. However, he only fell in the 50th percentile, meaning out of 100 boys only 50 would be taller than him, and 50 shorter. By no means do I consider this to be alarming. The pediatrician did say even if the bone age was normal, she might send us to a Endocrinologist. I do not think I will be doing that. I see no reason for it, and it just makes the insurance co spend out money it does not need to. So I await the results, to see what they show. So if you notice, your child possibly having symptoms of early puberty, you may want to get them checked.

Tomorrow is test day, so I have no lesson plans to post. Caitlin does not get tested, and she will be playing a cutting, and color game. She has to color some leaves, then pick the proper color, that I call out, and glue it to the tree trunk. She will also be doing phonics. Other wise she can play, and have fun.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Obama Education Speech, The Five Food Groups

Well I forgot to watch President Obama's education speech yesterday. So if like me, you missed it, you can watch it here. I will be watching it with DJ later this afternoon.

Tomorrow is Health class, and we will be covering the five food groups. This is a multi week lesson plan. We use our workbook with discussion. This little video below, is from 1954, and is quite cute.

Both my kids have a cold right now, and DJ had to have an xray for bone age. I will blog about why, this weekend. I hope everyone is having an awesome school week. I did want to share a website that I love. I may have posted this before, but it is worth sharing. It has all kinds of education games, in all subjects. It is I Know That, and I use it frequently.

Lesson Plans for 09/10/09:

Phonics- HOP sounding out words
Site words- list one
Reading: HOP Cat
Alphabet book: Letter C
Math: Yellow addition
Sept cutting activity hand tree
Handwriting: printing

Blog Post: 10 things about me
Language Arts: Capitalization, prefixes, synonyms, antonyms
Spelling/Vocab: Write each word and circle the consonants
Reading Comprehension: Worksheet
Health: Five food groups
Math: Multiply, divide, addition, rounding numbers
Cursive writing

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Lattitude and Longitude, Map Skills

Tomorrow, for Social Studies we will be doing Lattitude and Longitude. Again I found my basic lesson plan at Lesson Snips, with supplemental info from our Social Studies book. The two short video clips are cute, and help kids put the info together.

Lesson Plans for 09/09/09:


Phonics: HOP sounding out words
Leaf cutting practice
Site words: List one: and, my, are, can, play, come, funny, run, go, he, see, is, jump, this, like, little, up, look, the, to, you, said, red, of. I must say I think some of this are a bit much for a kindergarten child, but we will stick with them.
Reading: Cat
Alphabet book: Letter B
Math: fun with fruit
Science: The sun helps things grow


Language Arts: spelling, vocabulary, syllables, synonym, antonym, subject, and predicate
Reading comprehension: worksheet
Math: Multiplication, division, addition and subtraction word problems
Social Studies: Lattitude and longitude, map skills
Writing: 10 things about me, continued

Monday, September 7, 2009

First Day Of School Lesson Plans

Before I jump right into the lesson plans for tomorrow, I must first say we had an awesome summer. Our new playgroup of friends has kept us busy, and full of fun. Today the weather is not so grand, of course we are having people over to swim. Thank goodness for cable, and playstations just in case LOL. I read an excellent post this morning on foods that trigger migraines. I left a comment, but forgot to add something important that I learned during my own research. I suffer from migraines, for many years. They are hormone related, but have worsened, sending me to the Dr. Something interesting I learned from her, was that I should try to avoid MSG. Ok, so I thought what a loon, I don't even eat Chinese food hardly ever, though I love it. Then I did some research, MSG is actually a preservative, and used in many different foods. The one thing also, however is it is also in some medications, that are gel caps, or enteric coated. I was taking Excedrin Migraine for the headaches, but it was upsetting my stomach. So I switched to the coated ones to help with the stomach irritation. Little did I know I was actually making the migraines worse, because I obviously am sensitive to MSG. Since avoiding it, and stopping taking the coated tablets, my migraines have lessened in intensity. It has not taken them away, my hormones are still hormones after all, but I avoid the MSG which irritates it more. I have only had to take the prescribed migraine medicine once, since applying the no MSG to my diet. Read your labels it is also called monosodium glutomate. That's it, just thought I would share that will all my fellow migraine sufferers.

Lesson plans for 09/08/09:

Phonics: HOP pg 3 say the sound, listen to CD
Beginning sounds: worksheet
Land or sea cut and paste: animal classification
Reading: Book one Cat HOP
Site words: Hat, Cat, Dog, Sun, Mom, and Dad
Alphabet book: Letter A
Cutting practice: worksheet

The alphabet book you can start at the beginning of the year. We will put the book together once the whole alphabet has been completed. If you do not own a Hooked on Phonics program, I highly recommend it. I bought one used, but complete, for 9.99 on Ebay, it has already helped tremendously. I use TLS books, and DLTK websites for free kindergarten printables, they are excellent.

Language Arts: subject and predicate, prefixes, synonyms and antonyms
Spelling: write each spelling word two times each
Vocabulary: look up the definition for each vocabulary word.
Writing: 10 things about me blog award, thanks Tes
Math: Add, subtract, multiply, divide
Science: Animal classifications, falling leaves project
Reading Comp: worksheet

As you can see we jump right back in, and review old material to be sure it has been remembered, then add new stuff as we go on. I used Lesson Snips this year, for both Science, and Social Studies lessons, they are wonderful. I also have workbooks for each as well, for projects. Here is a cool, and easy Science project for your fourth grader.

Purpose to demonstrate that a leaf's death is not what causes it to fall from the stem.
You will need: sprig with four or more green leaves attached, and a small vase.
1 break a sprig with four or more leaves attached off a bush, or tree.
2 Stand the sprig in the vase.
3 Set the vase where the sprig can be observed, but not disturbed, for four weeks or more.
4 Observe the leaves as often as possible, but do not touch them.

We will post the results, and why, after the experiment is completed. If you do this with your kids, be sure to do the same.

This week we may need Friday, to play catch up, due to DJ needing a hand xray one morning this week, and playgroup fun on Thursday. Whew what a week it is going to be. Have fun, and happy schooling.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Last Weekend Of Summer Vacation

Ah it is the last weekend of Summer Vacation. We start school Tuesday, the day after Labor Day. Ever wondered what the history of Labor Day was, watch the short video to learn. Here in the South school starts the second, or third week of August. Being from the North, I follow a similar schedule to what I did as a kid. I probably will not post this weekend, but just relax, and enjoy before the school year starts. I hope everyone has a safe, and happy Labor Day Weekend.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Step 5 Of The Writing Process: Publishing Your Work

Ok so you have gone through all the other four steps. Now you are on to step five, one final edit, and publishing your paper. Probably the easiest step. Go over one last time, and make any final edits needed for grammar, and spelling. Then just turn your paper in, if it is a school assignment, or have it published. The definition of publishing is the way you present your finished work to others. Your final work can be written out, or typed, which is the preferred method these days. It should be neat, and easy to read.

If you are publishing orally, it is an oral presentation. Be prepared before you start your oral presentation. Make note cards, practice what you will say, and speak clearly, and loud enough for everyone to hear. Use visuals such as charts, graphs, pictures, or other illustrations that help make your point. Be sure to know if your audience is formal, or informal, so you can follow the speaking style.

Speaking presentations, have always been my least favorite. I am very comfortable writing out my thoughts, and arguments, but very uncomfortable in front of groups. At one point I was a BLS Instructor, and I had to give oral presentations. This was a way of forcing myself to be comfortable with public speaking. While this tactic will not work for everyone, it is something to consider.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

What Your Child Should Know By Years End

This is helpful to both public school children, and homeschooled children. If you want to know if your child is on track, and what they should have learned by the end of a particular grade, then these can be helpful to you. I use these to make sure my curriculum is complete, and I don't miss anything. I have for kindergarten, and fourth grade shown, but you can Google search for the grade you need to know about. I got this information here.

By the end of kindergarten, you can expect your child to:

  • Follow class rules
  • Separate from a parent or caregiver with ease
  • Take turns
  • Cut along a line with scissors
  • Establish left- or right-hand dominance
  • Understand time concepts like yesterday, today, and tomorrow
  • Stand quietly in a line
  • Follow directions agreeably and easily
  • Pay attention for 15 to 20 minutes
  • Hold a crayon and pencil correctly
  • Share materials such as crayons and blocks
  • Know the eight basic colors: red, yellow, blue, green, orange, black, white, and pink
  • Recognize and write the letters of the alphabet in upper- and lowercase forms
  • Know the relationship between letters and the sounds they make
  • Recognize sight words such as the and read simple sentences
  • Spell his first and last name
  • Write consonant-vowel-consonant words such as bat and fan
  • Retell a story that has been read aloud
  • Identify numbers up to 20
  • Count by ones, fives, and tens to 100
  • Know basic shapes such as a square, triangle, rectangle, and circle
  • Know her address and phone number

By the end of the year, you can expect your child to:

  • Begin to make more decisions and engage in group decision-making
  • Want to be part of a group
  • Think independently and critically
  • Have empathy
  • Show a strong sense of responsibility
  • Be able to memorize and recite facts, although he may not have a deep understanding of them
  • Increase the amount of detail in drawings
  • Work on research projects
  • Write a structured paragraph with an introductory topic sentence, three supporting details, and a closing sentence that wraps up the main idea of the paragraph
  • Use a range of strategies when drawing meaning from text, such as prediction, connections, and inference
  • Understand cause-and-effect relationships
  • Add and subtract decimals, and compare decimals and fractions
  • Multiply multi-digit numbers by two-digit numbers
  • Divide larger multi-digit numbers by one-digit numbers
  • Find the area of two-dimensional shapes
  • Have a greater awareness of fairness

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Can You Believe It Is September 1st Already?

I can not believe it is September already. We have one more week of summer vacation, then kindergarten, and fourth grade begins. I look forward to another year of sharing tips, and ideas with all of you who may use them. I have started my Christmas shopping, yes it is true. I usually start in August, last year I was delayed though. This year I wasted no time. I find it easier to buy something every paycheck, rather than try to buy everything at once. DJ who is now nine, is not so easy to buy ahead for, but he does give me tidbits here, and there. My husband, and Caitlin, are easier. This year, I want to make the ladies in my family some earrings, as their gifts. Anyway the point of this post was not Christmas, see how I get off track, it was to thank my top Entrecard droppers, for the month of August. Every month, I thank my top ten droppers, and the top advertiser, and ask that you take a moment to visit each one of them.

The blog that I got the most clicks from, after placing my widget on their blog is with an awesome 66 clicks from her blog to mine. Wow that is a lot of clicks.

Thank you, so much to all of you who visit, and read my blog every day.

Currclick for Homeschoolers


Custom Ornamental Gates

Create your own banner at!
Copy this code to your website to display this banner!