Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Start of a Schedule

I've been working on Bethany and Trenton's school schedule for next year. They will be 3rd grade and kindergarten, respectively.
I started planning the Language Arts and History/Geography. I want to tie in these two curricula:
Galloping the Globe (I was silly to think that we'd get through the book last year; so much good stuff there!)
Five In a Row volumes 1 and 2, selected books

Here's what I have so far: Blue means Galloping the Globe, Green means Five in a Row, regular black means I have a literature guide or unit study for them.

September: France/Madeline, Italy/How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World
October: Great Britain/The Tale of Peter Rabbit, Spain/The Story of Ferdinand
November: Canada/Very Last First Time, Mexico, Cranberry Thanksgiving, Molly's Pilgrim
December: open
January: Brazil, Venezuela, Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening
February: Harold and the Purple Crayon, Sweet Clara and The Freedom Quilt, Quilting unit study
March: South Africa, Kenya/Magic Treehouse: Lions at Lunchtime, Miss Rumphius, Sarah Plain and Tall
April: Morocco, Nigeria, Make Way for Ducklings, Keep the Light's Burning Abbie
May: Egypt/The Giraffe that Walked to Paris, Magic Treehouse: Mummies and Pyramids, Australia
June: New Zealand

I tried to connect the book and countries together as much as possible. The ones with slashes are the books/countries that I was able to connect. I like this stage of planning...then the hard part is carrying out the plans. I'm praying that I'll be consistent and diligent!

I've started copying the needed papers for Madeline/France and I will put that in a separate post. The other thing I'm planning is a "light start" in August. We have done this for the last couple years and it works well. In August, we will start with one subject the first week, then add another subject the next week. We will continue in this manner until the day after Labor Day when we will be in full swing. While we are getting into the groove of each subject, I also try to walk through the daily schedule we will be following for the year. This gives them time to adjust and me time to tweek...because it usually needs tweeked! :)

Hopefully I'll continue to fill in the blanks for both kids until I am ready for the new school year!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Summer is Here!

I really enjoy each season. When I was a kid, summer was my favorite because my birthday is in July. This year, it feels as though spring was skipped and we've been in the heat of summer for weeks and maybe months already. So although I really do enjoy each season, summer doesn't hold the same excitement for me, mainly due to the heat. The kids have enjoyed the 'medium sized' blow-up pool in the back yard as well as fruitie popsicles and the occasional sprinkler.

Me?? I'm enjoying the air conditioner! hee, hee.

I spend most of the day working in the house on lesson plans, chores, etc. And then in the evening, my hunny and I have been walking for exercise.

So welcome summer...and let me know what you do for summer fun!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Linky Like

I like this blog that I recently found:: Confessions of a Homeschooler. She has some great printables. I'm a big fan of this Creative Correction chart. (Scroll down and look under "Forms for Mom.") It is similar to the chart we've used for years and years from Doorposts. I colored it and laminated it, then filled in the consequences with a permanent marker. The permanent marker can be 'erased' using fingernail polish remover. These charts help take the guess work out of what consequences will be given for certain behaviors. When I use the chart consistently it works and the children respond well. :) It also takes away the emotional element of disciplining.

What have you found that works with your kids?

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Trying Windows Live Writer

Jolanthe at Homeschool Creations is one of my favorite people to read! Her recent post lists the fun and functional features of Windows Live. I’m trying it to see if I like it. I’m using Windows Live Writer to write this blog post.

First thing I’ve noticed is that it slows down my computer. I’m sure that’s because our computer is old in “computer years.” I’ll have to see if the benefits outweighs the petty pace at which my computer is creeping.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Yummy Homemade Macaroni and Cheese

Bethany received a kids cookbook for her birthday. Our friend, Becky knows Bethany loves to cook and in fact they have cooked together on occasion. The cookbook is called Let's Cook! by Pamela Gwyther. I look forward to more times of cooking together with Bethany and Becky!

We've made the Perfect Pasta twice now with raving reviews.
Here's what you'll need to make it:
9 oz pasta
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 stick or 1/4 cup butter
5 tbsp all purpose flour
1 3/4 c. milk
1 c Cheddar cheese, grated
4 1/2 oz cooked ham, roughly chopped
4 cherry tomatoes, cut into quarters
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 c Parmesan cheese, freshly grated

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Heat some water in a large pan. Add salt and bring to boil.
2. Add pasta carefully and cook pasta according to package directions.
3. Gently melt the butter in a pan over low heat. Add flour and mix well. Cook mixture for 1 minute and then remove from heat.
4. Stir in milk (I use dry powdered milk and water), a little at a time, to make a smooth sauce. Put pan back on heat. Stir while the sauce thickens so it doesn't get lumpy.
5. When the sauce boils, turn down heat and cook, stirring for 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat. Mix the Cheddar, ham and tomatoes. Season.
6. Drain the pasta. Mix with the sauce. Place in oven safe dish and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake in oven, on a baking sheet, for 20-25 minutes.

Side note: The first time we made it, I had some ham but no tomatoes. Tonight when I made it, I had neither of those things, but it was still delicious. We had raw veggies on the side.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The Spider and My Son

My little boy is still up...yes, it is 10:30 p.m. I suppose this is because he fell asleep on the couch this afternoon for about an hour. Now he claims, he can't get his eyes to close.

He has colored a picture, sat in my lap, listened to music and protected me against a spider. He is so brave! He was laying down coloring, when he spotted a spider (small, yet I'm sure to him, BIG). He ran over, got a paper napkin and boldly declared to "Get this big guy!" And he did. I thanked him for protecting me and he said, "Your welcome, Mom" in his deep 'manly' voice he gets when he does something big.

I love him.

Now, I just hope he goes to sleep soon.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Tuesday and Links I like

We spent a quiet Memorial Day here at home. My hunny worked, but came home a little early and the kids played outside in the small pool. I worked on decluttering the school room--my goodness what a mess! I've been stacking stacks all over the place lately and it shows (obviously.) But now I'm in the "everything must go" mood. I've got so many books that I'm going to try to sell at our local homeschool used curriculum sale. I'm selling them cheap--and praying that they sell. :)

I wanted to share a couple links that I've recently come across:
Organized Junkie has a great list of links for free printables.
One of her recommended links I want to highlight because I really like it! It's Sarah's Sweeties Godly Character Trait pages. (By the way, her boys look like such cuties!)
And I recently re-discovered The HomeschoolMom website. All sorts of helpful information and goodies.

Okay well, I must clean that school room.