Friday, May 28, 2010

New Button

Good evening friends! I haven't been able to post on this blog for a bit and I apologize.

I have given up on all of our A Beka curriculum except the math. It's the only ones I'm still using. And I barely use them for that. It's basically just a guideline of what to teach.

For phonics my girlfriend from high school gave me the Hooked on Phonics program to use. We all like this so much better. And because it includes the readers and reading comprehension stories, I can also use that instead of the A Beka Reading and Language Arts for 1st grade. I am going to do Language Arts on my own next year anyways.

I have been seeing that kids are getting out of school already for the summer. We are going to be working for most of the summer I think. We'll take a little break, maybe a month. We started late and have not worked all the way through the school year because of my migraines and such. We haven't done school this week except on Monday because of my headaches.

I finally got my PSP up and working so I made a button for our blog.

I have a couple of pictures to share also.  The first picture is the kids and Tom listening to Bible study:

The kids were doing art on their own by watching a DVD that Amanda picked out at the library called Rainy Day Activities and here's what they made for me.  Kyle made the first one, the top picture is a picture that my husband took at one of his job sites.  Kyle thought I would like that.  ;-)  Then the bottom picture is my niece Graclyn.  Amanda's is the 2nd one shown and both of her pictures are of Graclyn.

We are just about done with our obedience lessons.  There is one story left to read.  It's been left since about Tuesday, but because of my migraine we haven't done it.  I still need to write up their test also and help them with their verses.  We are also still doing our bird study.  The kids will be starting their bird lapbook next week.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Turtle Week

This week it's all turtles. Here's our cute little craft. Please excuse my underwear boy, he decided it was Naked Tuesday. lol

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Apple Trees

This week's MFW theme was Apples (Aa, Apple, 4). So we made our own applesauce and traced-hand apple trees. I just had to share these pictures with you! lol Check out Corbyn's tree. It's funny & cute how their perceptions of the same thing (a tree) are different.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Recent Happenings

So we've recently jump back into things. Thank goodness for day work schedules and our sense of "normal-ness" returning! Our weeks haven't been exceptionally consistent, but we're gettin' it done. :)

This week we're on Lesson 4 (Apple, Aa, 4) in My Father's World. So far, we've learned about Creation (first 10 days), then weeks one-three were the Sun, the Moon, and Leaf. Each "lesson" is a week and the alphabet letter and number correspond (Sun, Ss, 1, etc). Each Lesson has a Biblical Concept: Sun = Jesus is the Light of the World. Moon = I am the Light of the World. Leaf = I will live and grow in Jesus. So each time we hold up the alphabet/picture card, the kids can name the picture, say the letter & sound and it reminds them of the Biblical Concept. My only issue has been with our public library. It seems that the books they suggest are not available to me (and that's just my small issue with our p.l.) so we're looking in to investing in the books (used) through Amazon.

Bare with me as I haven't figured out the photo placement. So, somewhere in this post, pictures will show up to show what we've worked on....

The first set uploaded is of our seedlings. Since we're so cold most of the spring, we have to have an indoor garden, first. It's been fun to watch the sprouts come up. So far, we've planted Lettuces, Spinach, a variety of Peppers, Carrots, Peas, and Tomatoes. Sounds like an amazing salad to me! If we get time (and outdoor warmth) today, we'll be starting our herbs in the same way. :)

The second set uploaded is of "schooling". Home made sundials, Z's "Masterpiece", our Mobile, and our Ant Farm.

The kids have gotten a kick out of the Ant Farm. I think I ordered it too soon, though... oops. Oh well, we may just have to order more ants a few weeks before the lesson comes up.. They're really fascinating behind plastic. LOL They just work, work, work.

Zoë and Corbyn have really enjoyed school each day. Corbyn gets copied pages to do what Sissy does, but he's learning so much in his own, 3 year old way. :)

Just a question, do you think Corbyn will have an easier time reading since we're going over letter sounds now and while we're teaching Zoë, he's participating? I'm not at all concerned about Zoë reading, but I've heard that boys have a harder time learning. Also, I've been trying to show him the proper way hold a pencil (as much as I can being left handed and he's right...) and write his letters, is there an easier way to do this? I know he's just three and I'm not stressing about it. Z just picked this stuff up much easier and I don't want Corbyn to be frustrated that he "can't" do it right now.

There's always more to come.... :) ♥
Happy Homeschooling!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

MYTHOLOGY lesson plans

Ki asked to study Mythology for the month of May. I wrote up a basic Lesson Ideas/Plan. I will need to add a few more things (esp for Week 2). You can see the plans here: MYTHOLOGY LESSON PLANS FOR KI it's long and has lots of links to info online.

May Term should be very good. Astronomy-Mythology-Drawing/Sketching-Creative Writing
C.W. will be 3 days a week. I need something for the other 2 days. Gavin's will be Sewing. I think Connor's will be Science. Not sure what Ki's will be- maybe just reading.

YEAH!! The boys will each get a Syllabus. Ki loves that (SO DO I!!)

Friday, April 23, 2010

Hit -N- Miss

That is how our school has been lately.

We finished our science on how toys work. Now we are learning about animals. Next is birds and I have that study all planned out.

1. Learn about birds body parts and feathers, Read First Book of Birds ebook (FBB) pg 6-16
2. Learn about birds body parts and feathers, Read FBB pg 16-25
3. Learn about migration, Start bird-watching journal, Do Nature Journal cover, Read FBB pg 52-60
4. Learn about mating/nesting, Read FBB pg 33-43
5. Learn about eggs/babies, Read FBB pg 43-51
6. Look at books with birds in Washington and choose bird to do lapbook on, Learn about bird watching, Read FBB pg 62-65, Bird Watch
7. Research favorite foods, flowers, etc. of chosen bird, Take notes, Read Bird Watching For Beginners (BWFB) ebook pg 8-19, Bird watch
8. Anatomy lapbook, Read BWFB pg 8-19, Bird watch
9. Migration lapbook, Read BWFB pg 19-22, Bird watch
10. Nest lapbook, Read BWFB pg 22-34, Bird watch
11. Babies lapbook, Read BWFB pg 34-37, Bird watch
12. Predators lapbook, Read BWFB pg 37-46, Bird watch
13. Poem and Song lapbook, Read BWFB pg. 46-52, Bird Watch
14. Observation lapbook, Transfer information from bird-watching journal, Bird watch
15. Finish bird lapbook

We have 2 more stories to read about Jacob. We read 3 of the stories about Joseph while we were camping and we will finish Joseph after Jacob. Tonight I am going to change the bulletin board. We are almost done with math for the year. Phonics and Language Arts we still have quite a bit because we started that really late. But that's ok, I don't mind working through summer. We are going to be doing Science during the summer also. A lengthy unit on plants/flowers/gardens.

We read Dinosaurs Before Dark which is book #1 of the Magic Tree House Series. Kyle really wanted to finish it today, so I read the rest to him. Amanda didn't want to do anymore reading so she will finish it later. Kyle was really into the story and that just tickled me! I will definitely encourage the reading!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Facts, Ma'am. Just the facts,



4:47 AM.

Open door. Check cat’s water dish. Go back to bed.

Brian; “my alarm’s going off in about 3 minutes…..”


Get back up. Get dressed. Brush teeth and hair. With separate brushes. Feed Cat, set out Ki’s School. Drink a few swallows of Mocha Protein Drink. Check Email for an anticipated response. Make a nut,pretzel, choc chip snack for Brian. Get out paper. Pen. Book. Science study Sheet for Connor.

Write list of school for G&C.


Time to leave. Ki wakes to give hugs&kisses and walk out to see Brian off. Drive w/ Brian to airport. See all the happy people awake at 5:15. In line at Starbucks. GO BACK TO BED!!!

Drop off Brian.

Kiss Brian Good-Bye.

Drive home thinking of my schedule and debating stopping at Von’s for a banana. They look not quite open. The van seat is heated. Banana can wait.


Open House Door. See Ki on computer and send him back to bed to at least lay quietly and rest another 30 minutes or so.

Go outback to get a bucket.

Push button to start Laptop and take a shower. While waiting for water to get war, collect not-warm/enough-water in said bucket- to water ve\ggies.


Hear Connor and Ki awake. Once Connor wakes up, that’s it. No turning back.

Don jeans and a top.

Start typing up this very log you are reading. Check FB.


Head back downstairs, finish writing school stuff for the boys.

“GAVIN- are you awake??”

“Boys (K&C) as soon Gavin is up and ready, we’ll go to Starbucks for free pastries!!”

6:41- iron material for dress. All 13 yards.

7:15- Starbucks. Free Pastries. Card Game with my boys.


Home Again. Home Again. Jiggity Jig. Gave Connor a needle to pop a blood blister that didn’t need to be popped. Cut my aloe plant to ease my burn pain fro the iron.

Discussed Morning Independent school with the boys, put my hair up, curled under my bangs, burnt my forehead. It matches my finger, except it doesn’t h also have a cut.


Left house. Arrive at store. Buy breakfast goodies for Bible Study. Leave store. Arrive at churh. Set out Breakfast Goodies. Commence Bible Study. Help put away chairs


Leave Church. Pass Target. Do U-turn. Arrive at Target. Buy stuff. Leave Target. Arrive home.

Eat Lunch, water plants, spill plant, clean up plant, observe Gavin’s sniper gun thing he made on PHUN (website), check email.


Math with Ki.

Lots of fabric cutting.

Rest a few minutes.

3:15- have boys pack their class stuff & water bottles.

Cut More.

Water plants.


Home and eating a Veggie Burrito.

I'm still here!

Oh boy! I've been so busy that I haven't stopped to blog here. I apologize!

Let's see, where to start...

Well we took a little break because we had to sell a beloved pet. That was hard on the whole family.

We tried and tried to get back into the swing of things and just couldn't and didn't want to. I decided that maybe I needed to find a new way to do school. And trying not to miss an A Beka lesson is driving me crazy!

So I stumbled upon notebooking and that brought me to Kristy for lapbooking. I have decided to try both of those in our school days. Our first project was a lapbook on ants. It was a great success!! Loved by both kids and myself!

Since History is pretty much a repeat every year, and Amanda did most of the A Beka lessons, I have decided to wait until next year and restart the Story of the World book 1. We only a few lessons into it.

Today I sat down with our A Beka Science book and figured out how I wanted to do the lessons for the rest of the year. We are not doing them in order. Well, most of them we are. I got everything planned out until we start our last unit for the year on plants and that will take us into gardening. It will be a long unit. But we can work on something like that all summer.

I went through Math 1 from A Beka and did the same thing as the science. I eliminated the lessons that we don't need and wrote in the ones we did.

For now I am going to leave the phonics 1 and reading 1 the same.

Kyle is doing all of the same subjects as Amanda now except for math, reading, writing and phonics. They are doing Bible, Memorization, lapbooks studies, Science and anything else I throw in together.

I went to a cute little book store in Sumner the other day. They have lots of used books in great condition. And so cheap! I bought quite a few for school. A few old favorites like The Borrowers, Beaver Creek and a couple of new ones that are a series that I haven't seen until just a few months ago called Magic Tree House series. I bought books 1-4. I read the first one and like it. They are very simple and easy for the kids to sit through one chapter. I also bought Pilgrim's Progress for me.

For Easter studies this year the kids are doing a lapbook on Easter hymns. One by Martin Luther, one by Fanny Crosby and one by Charles Wesley. I am also going to read a book to them called Tor, A Jerusalem Street Boy. It is a story of a street boy that is blinded by Pilate. He then finds Jesus who gives him his sight back and he dedicates his life to Jesus. The poor boy then watches all of the evils that happen during the last week of Jesus' life. It's a little old for the kids now, but I plan on reading it every year for Easter and they will eventually get it! lol

Another great thing that I would like to highlight is that with the kids doing lapbooks, they have been starting to learn how to do their own research!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Just Some Goings On Around Here

Not much exciting happening the past few weeks. Trying to fit in the 3Rs around Dan's comings and goings. We LOVE having Dan home during the days, but it's hard to keep with our 'normal' routine with him in and out all the time. SO, we've focused on reading LOTS of great books, keeping up with our math and language studies and watching an educational video here and there. It's frustrating to me since I am list/goal oriented and I can see the days passing with no "boxes" being checked off, but in reality, I know that it's more important for the boys to be spending time with Dan while they can. I know that the lessons they learn about family are more lasting than a lecture plus a worksheet about decimals. I just worry about trying to explain that to 'the powers that be' should they ever demand an account of what I'm doing with the boys at home. In my heart, I know I'm doing the right things and my priorities are in the right order, but what I think and what the state thinks may be 2 very different things. Anywho, I've given that to God and am resolving to not obsess over it. They are learning, they are growing, they are happy and healthy. That is more important to me than if they can recite the Presidents in chronological order or alphabetical order, be the next Einstein, or write the great American Novel. So, we'll just keep doing what we've been doing and that's enough for right now. Pat did request a certain copy work book the other day and I am waiting anxiously to get that for him. David is still really enjoying the MFW curriculum although I don't think it's challenging enough for him. I'll need to start adding some of the 'extra projects' to keep him engaged for the rest of the year...but I'm fine with that. He needs to start REACHING for things in school instead of waiting for them to be handed to him. It's time to teach him how to do Internet research for school projects, how to master the outlining process and how to write a 'proper' essay. More things to put on my to do list, I suppose. As of tomorrow, we are back to our original schedule for school, now that Dan is working once again (thank you JESUS) so these things will hopefully fall back into place. The 3Rs and MFW are on the agenda for tomorrow, plus some quiet reading. Chores will be done BEFORE school so we can focus, plus no TV before school either, as an enticing reward after school is done. I need to print out the Free St Patrick's Day activities ( ) so I don't forget about them until too late, like I always do....LOL!
I am just re-reading this...sorry if it seems a bit random and all over the place. : ) Guess I just needed to work out some of my thoughts on paper. Time to dig out my lesson planner and my homemakers binder, I suppose. And with that thought...I'm off to find them! Thanks for listening, ladies!!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The Homeschooler' S Christmas Wish List~ Funny!

OK, this is a little tongue in cheek, but it's also kind of funny. Please enjoy! ~K~ **I found it on another homeschooling Mama's blog. Just wanted to give credit where it's due : )

The Homeschooler' S Christmas Wish List

From Secular Homeschooling Magazine, Issue #1

1 Please stop asking us if it's legal. If it is — and it is — it's
Insulting to imply that we're criminals. And if we were criminals,
Would We admit it?

2 Learn what the words "socialize" and "socialization" mean, and use
The One you really mean instead of mixing them up the way you do now.
Socializing means hanging out with other people for fun.
Socialization Means having acquired the skills necessary to do so successfully and Pleasantly. If you're talking to me and my kids, that means that we
Do In fact go outside now and then to visit the other human beings on
The Planet, and you can safely assume that we've got a decent grasp of
Both Concepts.

3 Quit interrupting my kid at her dance lesson, scout meeting, choir
Practice, baseball game, art class, field trip, park day, music
Class, 4H club, or soccer lesson to ask her if as a homeschooler she ever
Gets To socialize.

4 Don't assume that every homeschooler you meet is homeschooling for
The Same reasons and in the same way as that one homeschooler you know.

5 If that homeschooler you know is actually someone you saw on TV,
Either on the news or on a "reality" show, the above goes double.

6 Please stop telling us horror stories about the homeschoolers you
Know, know of, or think you might know who ruined their lives by
Homeschooling. You're probably the same little bluebird of happiness
Whose hobby is running up to pregnant women and inducing premature
Labor By telling them every ghastly birth story you've ever heard. We all
Hate You, so please go away.

7 We don't look horrified and start quizzing your kids when we hear
They're in public school. Please stop drilling our children like
Potential oil fields to see if we're doing what you consider an
Adequate Job of homeschooling.

8 We didn't go through all the reading, learning, thinking, weighing
Of Options, experimenting, and worrying that goes into homeschooling
Just To annoy you. Really. This was a deeply personal decision, tailored
To The specifics of our family. Stop taking the bare fact of our being
Homeschoolers as either an affront or a judgment about your own
Educational decisions.

9 Please stop questioning my competency and demanding to see my
Credentials. I didn't have to complete a course in catering to
Successfully cook dinner for my family; I don't need a degree in
Teaching to educate my children. If spending at least twelve years in
The kind of chew-it-up-and- spit-it-out educational facility we call
Public school left me with so little information in my memory banks
That I can't teach the basics of an elementary education to my nearest and
Dearest, maybe there's a reason I'm so reluctant to send my child to

10 If my kid's only six and you ask me with a straight face how I can
Possibly teach him what he'd learn in school, please understand that
You're calling me an idiot. Don't act shocked if I decide to respond
In Kind.

11 Stop assuming that because the word "home" is right there in
"homeschool, " we never leave the house. We're the ones who go to the
Amusement parks, museums, and zoos in the middle of the week and in
The Off-season and laugh at you because you have to go on weekends and
Holidays when it's crowded and icky.

12 Stop assuming that because the word "school" is right there in
Homeschool, we must sit around at a desk for six or eight hours every
Day, just like your kid does. Even if we're into the "school" side of
Education — and many of us prefer a more organic approach — we can
Burn Through a lot of material a lot more efficiently, because we don't
Have To gear our lessons to the lowest common denominator.

13 Stop asking, "But what about the Prom?" Even if the idea that my
Kid Might not be able to indulge in a night of over-hyped, over-priced
Revelry was enough to break my heart, plenty of kids who do go to
School Don't get to go to the Prom. For all you know, I'm one of them. I
Might Still be bitter about it. So go be shallow somewhere else.

14 Don't ask my kid if she wouldn't rather go to school unless you
Don't Mind if I ask your kid if he wouldn't rather stay home and get some
Sleep now and then.

15 Stop saying, "Oh, I could never homeschool!" Even if you think
it's Some kind of compliment, it sounds more like you're horrified. One of
These days, I won't bother disagreeing with you any more.

16 If you can remember anything from chemistry or calculus class,
you're allowed to ask how we'll teach these subjects to our kids. If you
can't, thank you for the reassurance that we couldn't possibly do a worse
job than your teachers did, and might even do a better one.

17 Stop asking about how hard it must be to be my child's teacher as
well as her parent. I don't see much difference between bossing my
kid around academically and bossing him around the way I do about
everything else.

18 Stop saying that my kid is shy, outgoing, aggressive, anxious,
quiet, boisterous, argumentative, pouty, fidgety, chatty, whiny, or loud
because he's homeschooled. It's not fair that all the kids who go to
school can be as annoying as they want to without being branded as
representative of anything but childhood.

19 Quit assuming that my kid must be some kind of prodigy because
she's homeschooled.

20 Quit assuming that I must be some kind of prodigy because I
homeschool my kids.

21 Quit assuming that I must be some kind of saint because I
homeschool my kids.

22 Stop talking about all the great childhood memories my kids won't
get because they don't go to school, unless you want me to start asking
about all the not-so-great childhood memories you have because you
went to school.

23 Here's a thought: If you can't say something nice about
homeschooling, be quiet!The Homeschooler' S Christmas Wish List

MFW Creation Book

This is our Creation Book. Each day has a number and description to correspond with the picture. We're going to make a cover page and take it to Kinkos and have it bound and laminated. :) I love the art work my kids have done in this. :D

This is such a FUN curric and I'm so glad we went with it! :D Yay!!! Thank you, Kristy!!!



Hello, All! It's been a while since I've posted - unfortunately, that means that it's been a while since we've schooled... soon that will change, though. A new and productive schedule is upon us. :D

We finished the first 7 days of our My Father's World curric. - our 7-day poster and Creation Book are complete. So, I thought I'd share the pictures. :) The 7 numbers - if you look closely - have each of the creation events in them. I'm having a hard time with the pictures of the creation book, so I may put them all together in a different post.

This has been fun and it makes me sad it took us 3 months to get through it. I'll have more pictures and updates as we go! :)


Saturday, February 27, 2010

Notes From Rhonda

We are finishing up on learning about Virginia Randolph, Frederick M. Jones, Charles Drew, and George Washington Carver. We have learned so much about these wonderful people!

Today, Maria will play Dentist in dramatic play. she will give all her dolls and stuff animals checkups and teeth cleanings! I set up a dentist office in our dramatic play area.

For manipulative activity, Maria will do several "tooth" puzzles.

We will also learn how to practice brushing and flossing. I have a Styrofoam egg carton, a toothbrush, and 12" length of yarn. Maria will be encourage to pretend to brush and floss the sections of the egg carton as if she is flossing teeth. While she practices< I will be talking about the importance of brushing and flossing to keep her teeth and gums healthy.

Our Rhyme we are learning is:

Brush Your Teeth
Brush your teeth. It's fun, you'll see.
You can brush them now with me!
Put on toothpaste, just a bit.
Then start brushing, just like this.
Brush and brush, it takes awhile.
When you're finshed, show your smile.

Hope your weekend is going great!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

What's Going on in YOUR School This Week?

We have had some ups and downs this past week. I'm really enjoying the new copy work study of patience the boys are working on, except that I've very nearly lost mine while getting them to work on it...oops : ) David is flying through is section on decimals which is a welcome relief after fractions. Pat is doing well on his linear and volumetric measures after we decided to take a break from long division. Both are doing very well in their language arts sections and are still loving geography. We got our HUGE world map laminated this week and back up on the wall. We all were missing our geography game so that's great news. My Father's World continues to be the favorite for the boys and I'm so glad they are enjoying it. Our arts and craft class with Miss Tracy was a huge hit yesterday as the boys learned about cultural diversity, the 'melting pot' of America and why prejudice is wrong. They made a 'children around the world' poster back dropped by an American flag and they turned out very well!
On another note, as to my schedule adaptations from my last post...Dan has started taking one of those weekend days off each weekend, which is wonderful. So, I'll have to just keep preparing myself for those joyful days when we get a surprise day off of school : ) Reminds me that life doesn't always fit into the neat little boxes that I would like...LOL!
So, for next week, we have GOT to get to the library for some new books, spend some serious time reading those books, David needs to start his literary guide about Holes, Pat needs to continue working on nouns and cursive, Derek needs to play letter and number flashcards with Mama, plus practice writing his name, and I need to write a review of the patience copy work we are using. Another busy week in a homeschoolers haven!
Blessings and Homeschooling Happiness,

Friday, February 5, 2010

*J-TERM* Review/Wrap-Up (we had fun!)

I am pleased with the way J-term went. Gavin did a lot of computer programming. Connor did a lot of robot building type stuff. They wrote a report. Gavin did a few modules of Physics. Connor sewed a few things and has a few more things planned to sew. He learned so adjust a pattern, take measurements, operate the sewing machine, sew, applique, and more. Same with Ki.
Ki did very well with his cooking. He learned techniques, terms, history and more.

Ki took a class at a culinary school and has a big gourmet meal planned. we are finishing up some sewing projects and Ki is working on his culinary this week, too, to get him ready for his big dinner.

I have decided that the phrase 'when things slow down' has no place in my vocabulary. things will not slow down. not for at least 10 years I bet.

I am already making plans for MAY-TERM. like J-term, but in MAY! I have decided they will each have one required class.

and now I need to eat more and do something in the laundry and plant some seeds and make a grocery list and clean my bathroom and help C&K sew and give G a physics test.

tonight- AVATAR 3-D

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Notes From Rhonda

Where did January go? My how these months just fly by!
For February, Our shape is "Heart", Our number we are working on is "7", our color is "Pink", and we will be working and talking about eating healthy and exercise, so we'll be looking at healthy fruits and vegetables, healthy cooking, and healthy snacks. Our rhyme is "Queen Of Hearts" We will be doing lots of activies with hearts. Since it is "Dental Health Month", we will also be talking about dental health, I can't wait to tell about some ideas I have come up with to show Maria how to "Floss" her teeth!

Music music music! We took a class today on music and made "insturments" we made a drum, a shaker, and a jingle bell wristband. Then we sang and played our musical insturments. It was great fun! We also danced to music and when the music stoped we had to stop dancing.

Our art project today was "How many teeth do we have?" So we made a "mouth" and used marshmellows for the "Teeth" . We talked about how many teeth we have and read the story, "The Tooth Book" By Dr. Seuss.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Updated School Schedule~MeYeR's

Most of you know that we have been doing a 4 day school week so far this year, and to be honest I've really enjoyed it except for an occasional twinge of guilt that possibly we should be doing more than we can squeeze into 4 days. Since Dan is now not only working his 40 hours in Tularosa, but also working Fridays and Saturdays...I've decided that we should be working those days as well. Here's a few reasons why.
  • The reason we were taking them off was to spend time with Dan...if he's not home, why NOT do school?
  • We started school in OCTOBER, since we were in IL for most of September, and we weren't going to get a summer break this year, so this will help up get a little less behind.
  • The boys are spending too much time in front of the TV when they aren't at school, and I'm tired of trying to pry them away from it, so more school equals less TV.
  • With trying to fit a full week's worth of school into 4 days...we are skipping some of the fun stuff and some parts of school are just becoming a drag, even for me, so this will allow us more time to do the extra things that they enjoy so much.
  • Both of the boys have an area where they are needing extra help and more time in the class room means more practice in problem areas.

So, here's the plan until Dan quits working weekends. ABeka each morning M-Th, Saturday afternoons but not Friday at all. MFW will still be T and TH afternoons with Jodi and James and we will do some of the extra projects on Friday which will become our Arts, Crafts and Library Day. I'm thinking about inviting a special friend who is the crafting queen to come and lead art classes on Friday morning...whee! Friday afternoons will be loads of reading those new library books, some life lessons and helping with the game night prep. I think that should do it! Thanks for letting me ramble and get a few things out of my head and onto 'paper' : )


Thursday, January 21, 2010

Homeschool is MMMMmmm YUM!! (J-Term Day 14)

MMMMmmm. Just thinking about the food Ki has planned to make! I love that he is taking culinary class; which always sounds like colon when I say it. I just can get it to come through the vocal chords at the correct frequency I guess.

Today we talked about his menu for the gourmet dinner. So far he has:
Tomato soup with croutons. (I wonder if we can make asiago croutons like Panera does for their soup)
Fruit Salad’ like a waldorf, but no mayo and more fruit- gonna talk to him about some specifics still
Almond Crusted Chicken
Sautéed Broccoli with lemon and garlic- and fancy cut mushroom tops.
Death-By-Chocolate Cake
Then the following week he’s making a King Cake for a partial Mardi Gras Party. And he’s going to make atole (special Mexican drink they serve at their version of Mari gras )

I’m glad I’m taking those fitness classes and riding my bike more.
Today we read about the King Cake, Mardi Gras , the tradition, and history. Ki loved it. It was both culinary history and church history at the same time!
Gavin did some work on binary code and taught a little class on tricks to decoding binary. It is starting to become oh so very, very clear now as too why he had such trouble with reading. His brain is programmed to use binary and letters were just way to confusing. I should have started him with reading binary when he was 5 instead of real words with letters.
Ki typed out and printed an invitation for his gourmet dinner. I taught him to resize font to make it fit specific measurements so he could print on vellum and attach it to a pretty note card.

Homeschool Day 1 at the Rogers'

Today was our first day using the My Father's World curriculum. It's only Kindergarten, but it seems SO easy! lol Zoë and Corbyn liked today's lesson. Today was Day 1 of Creation - Dark/Light, our number was number 1 and our letters are Aa, Bb. The first 7 days of the curric is the Creation - at the end, I'll post the poster and book we're making.

Pictures of: The books - What Really Happened to the Dinosaurs? & Cuisenaire Rods Alphabet Book, The Alphabet chart (puzzle) and Butterfly garden, and Ant Hill & Cuisenaire Rods

Super Excited about this stuff! It makes me giddy every time I look at it! LOL

So many more blessings to share soon... :D

Make Your Own "I SPY" Tube

As I was adding things to our never-ending "I Spy" tube, I thought I'd share it with you. We purchased some paint brushes in a bag through a Hobby Lobby site and they came in a tube; that's what we use. You can use a glass jar, a peanut butter jar, peanut jar, etc - whatever you want to use.

For a while now, we've been putting anything we can find in it. Soda tabs, beads, charms from necklaces that have broken, foam stickers, craft items, rubber bands, those little plastic things that hold the potato bag closed, buttons, hair pretties, tiny sea shells. We have an extra Candyland man that I found in box in there... little key chains, a bell, beaded necklaces, broken crayons, magnet decorations (the magnet has fallen off), outlet protectors (child-safety),... and we just keep adding to it. When it's full, we'll glue and tape the lid shut and it will created hours of fun for the little ones and maybe the bigger ones! I get a huge kick out of it (but I'm also easily amused)..... :)

Enjoy! :)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

When it rains- it floods

“Help me! I’m MELTING!!!!!” the witch screamed as she was doused with water.

This scene comes to mind when thinking about our Wednesday. Not the being a witch part but the day melting away from the rains. The day started fine enough. Then the rains made the street flood and we called off school in favor of a FLOOD DAY; which is similar to a snow day but you don’t need gloves and don’t have a risk of frostbite.

Due to my soreness of throat, the boys took turns reading from Prov 19 and from Story of the World. In SOTW they were reading about a man named Salidin. Ki called him Salad Man.

Then it was off too the dentist with Gavin. The plan was to come home and do a little school after lunch but as we drove through puddles left by the torrential rains we turned into our street to be met with a miniature flood.
This was followed by Hooping & Hollering about the wonderful weather development, finding the motorized boats they made & air soft guns and calling it a Flood Day.

see connor's motorized boat he made for J-term -->

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Homeschooling Tidbits

Another week of school is wrapped up at the MeYeR house and as they say, "All's well that ends well" Right? This week was a tiny bit Topsy Turvy, but we managed to get a good amount of work done, have some fun and still get our other things done. In our MFW curriculum, we are focusing on geography all year, with this month focusing on North America and this week and last focusing even more on Mexico. We've learned songs they like to sing, food they like to eat, the capital city, the agricultural aspects, the major religion and language, how to color the flag and what the colors of the flag stand for and many other interesting tidbits about Mexico...many of which, I'm humbled to say, I didn't know before...oops! (Education is SO wasted on the young) We've added a new starting and ending tradition to school. Every day we take turns finding things on our world map that hangs at the back of the classroom...everything for the obvious like the Pacific Ocean, to tiny little things that I've never even noticed before (geography is NOT my forte) The boys really love it. Even Derek tries to get in on the fun, I give him something obvious and then give him hints like what the first letter is and what direction to look, etc. It's fun...and a great way to learn the map. The older boys can hunt if given a certain line of longitude or latitude, or even just what hemisphere or continent to look in and such. I'm really pleased that they are enjoying it so much...they cheer when I say it's time for MFW...WOW! Even for book basket time, Pat will sit and pore over the atlas that I checked out from the library for hours at a time. And this is my child that several people have insisted has ADD or ADHD and needs to be medicated. NO, he needs to be interested! : ) The blessings of homeschooling...they are numerous!

On the flip side, our 'core' subjects of math and language arts aren't going quite as well, and I still get a BOO HISS now and then...but we are slowly working our way through it and are making progress. I'm trying not to think about how long this school 'year' will take at the rate we are going, but for now, I'm happy with any type of progress. David will be having some extra study time now that I'm working on Saturdays at the after he is done working out his muscles, he can exercise his brain while I work. Still pondering where to squeeze in a few extra hours for Pat without him noticing that much...LOL! David seems to be catching on in the Language area, but Pat is still struggling with long division. He understands the concept, but the amount of time it takes to solve one is frustrating for him. We will get there, it's just taking a tad longer than either of us expected. But, we are plugging away at it. As my good friend Rose told me once, "If you sling mud up against a wall for long enough, eventually it will stick." So, in other words, if I keep teaching it and working with him, eventually he will get it. So we may skip ahead in the book to something else and come back to it later...and I'm OK with that these days. Anywho, I'm rambling on and on...suffice it to say that we accomplished 'enough' to make us all happy this week and the boys are looking forward to a short week next week since Pat's birthday is Monday and we don't do school lessons on Fridays. Have a great week everyone, I don't know about you all, but I'm really enjoying this!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Well Yesterday we went to the Nursing home at around 3:30pm. Maria wasn't feeling well, but she still wanted to past out cookies and sing for the residents. She did a great job, and everyone cheered for her singing! She sang "This Little Light Of Mine" "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" "Christmas Time is Here" "If you're Happy and you know it" I let her pick out the songs she wanted to sing.

We did Preschool this morning,here's what we worked on today;

We read the story again "The Snowy Day" Then played a game of what's missing with Maria's winter gear. This afternoon she will go outside to play and we'll play another game "Find The Mitten" I make up these games for her.

For Manipulative, Maria strung beads on a show string and made necklace and bracelet.

For Art, Maria did sand art on paper.

For Cooking, we made corn muffins and we had them for breakfast.

We worked on reading today and writing . Maria practice writing her name. Then we played "The Name game " Where I hide the letters of her name, and other letters too, around the living room and she has to find the right letters to spell her name.

Well that was our busy morning, this afternoon we will just play outside and enjoy the sunshine!
Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Notes From Rhonda

Today we worked on "Jack and Jill" nursery rhyme.

Our Community Helper is "Doctor" So today Maria was "Dr. Maria"! She made a doctors bag on the bag she glued cotton balls, a tongue depressor, and a Q-tip. She then got her own box of band-aids and "fixed" all her dolls and teddy bears. She gave them all a check-up, As we talked about what happens at the Doctors office when we goes see her/him, She claims that they are all healthy!

Next, we worked on Shapes. I took some blue paper and drew a shape on it then I covered it with clear contact paper. then Maria took Cotton balls and lined up them up in the shape. Our Shape today was "Triangle".

Our Story for today was "The Sassy Seniors" we did this story on the felt board. Tomorrow we are going to the nursing home to give cookies to the residents there and Maria is going to sing some songs for them. This is part of our bible work. "Being good and kind to others"

For math we worked on counting to "20" and Maria counted all the canned goods in my kitchen pantry. We were short 3 cans so we went to the pantry in the basement and found 3 cans to bring upstairs. So we worked on 17+3 =20.

We also read again "The Snowy Day" and then Maria practised putting on all he winter gear, snow pants, boots, mittens, scarf, coat, and hat. She then got to go outside to play in the big snow bank that her daddy made for her. When she came in, there was Hot chocolate waiting for her, so she counted the marshmallows to put in her cup, her daddy's cup and my cup. Of course it was to 20!

Middle of the Week Report

Monday wasn't a good day around here and school was skipped for that day.

For our Bible study this week we are studying Noah's Ark. We read a story from another book besides the Bible. Amanda colored her coloring sheets.

Kyle and I read The Frog Prince. He said he didn't like that story. I didn't really think that he would but I wanted to read it anyways. Kyle memorized Mark 16:15, so we moved on to Bear Hug 24. Even though he doesn't want to attend AWANA at church, we are still working through his Cubbies workbook. I bought it, he likes the stories and he is still having to memorize verses. Kyle has a problem enunciating all of his sounds when he talks so today was an important letter for him to go over. It's really strange, some letters he will say in the middle or ending of words but not the beginning. Today he learned the letter "t". He is learning cursive through A Beka also, so he learns the sounds and learns how to write it. We also did the math lesson for the day.

Amanda and I read about tigers and giraffes to finish the zoo animal study for language arts. We started chapter 1 in The Story of the World book 1 about Nomads. So far I am really enjoying this book. And I love some of the workbook stuff that goes along with it. She saw her first spelling list and wrote each word down twice. She likes to do the speed drills in her math lessons and she actually enjoys taking the tests. Today was not a test day, but tomorrow is. Every day has a speed drill.

For our cooking class we sat down with the Paula Deen's My First Cookbook that we got at the library and sat down to do lesson 4. Well Amanda didn't want to choose the dinner she wants to choose the dessert. Kyle wants to choose dessert. So I told Amanda we can do this again but switch roles. For now, pick a dinner. She said to let Kyle decide his dessert first. So Kyle and I looked through the desserts and Amanda sat and listened. She wanted him to do the frozen yogurt pops, but he wants to do the fruit kebabs. She started to cry and got mad. I decided to try again another day. After a little bit Amanda came and told me that she wanted to learn how to make spaghetti, it wasn't in that recipe book. I told her that was fine. Whew! Disaster averted...

Monday, January 11, 2010

Just ordered our curric!!!! :D

Today we ordered our My Father's World Kindergarten curriculum. I'm so excited I can't WAIT for everything to come in! I think I can upload an image (I'm still figuring this blog thing out) --- if I can, I'll show you all what we got. :)


I'm so excited! I think I'm more excited than Z! LOL


Another Great J-Term Day

I am so tired from today's lessons. This is how school should be. It should wear us all out! It's such a feeling of accomplishment to be totally used up after the school day.

Today the boys got mixed up on morning chores. Connor did Ki’s chores and that threw off Ki. But we got it on track.

We started Home Room (Reading together at the start of the day) at 9:30 today. I read Proverbs 11 and G & C took turns reading Story of the World while I cleaned a bit in the kitchen. Then Gavin went off to do His J-Term Stuff while I did Sewing Class with C & K. This week’s Lesson Goals are making gathers, sewing pockets, hemming by hand, and maybe some more appliqué practice.

I showed my tailors-in-training the picture of the gathered, half apron on the front of the pattern envelope. (that’s ‘ahn’-ve-lope’ for those that wondered). I showed them the 2 fabrics I am using and the appliqué I put on the pocket. Then we went to the fabric store and they picked their fabrics. At home they put their fabric in the washing machine to pre-wash while they drew design ideas for their apron and for their Class Project. They both are designing cloaks for their big class projection.

I went out back to hang laundry and plant some green onion seed in the planters I prepared last night.
Ki finished his designs first. I had him practice some culinary skills while Connor finished his. Ki tried different knives on a cucumber. He practiced Slicing & Dicing. Half of the cucumber was sliced and half was a diced and julienned. I had ulterior motives for Slice & Dice Class. I wanted cucumber sandwiches for lunch. I bought one of those small Party Loaves of Pumpernickel. The ones that are about 2 inch square slices. They were yummy sandwiches.

Lunch Time Chat was Amtgard Symbols and Doctor Who. Is he a Zombie..Undead? or not - because he starts the regeneration process when he knows he’s dying(before he is dead so he never really fully dies) . I started my apron so I would have one finished pocked attached to show them then they would watch as I did the 2nd pocket. After that they did their pockets & appliqué. I am glad I have 2 machines, even if only 1 can do appliqué.

The boys had a very productive sewing day! It was a long sewing day! We finished our sewing day at 2:30 today.
We just did one Life of Fred lesson today.
Tomorrow..Culinary Arts & Sewing!! I’m tired just thinking about it!

I decided that I will have different wake up times on different days. 8AM on M/W/F and 7AM on T/Th. That should work. In fact, I’m fine if we all sleep-in on Fridays. But Tues/Thursdays need me up early.

The Wonders of Homeschooling!

Right now I am reading "The Five Love Languages for Children" by Gary Chapman and Ross Campbell and it's reminding me of why I tough out the hard days at home with my boys. This morning went HORRIBLY! I wanted to be in the classroom working happily by 9 am. At 10:15 when we finally got to the classroom, I assure you the mood was NOT great. Both D and P were angry with me, upset about doing school since it was interrupting what they wanted to do and I was discouraged and irritated at their lack of cooperation after all of my obvious sacrifices to home school them...LOL! So, I started thinking about WHY it is that we do what we do...and here's a few of my conclusions and decisions stemming from those ponderings.
~*~My Patrick especially is NOT cut out for public school....not because they are evil and terrible, but because they are centered around visually oriented (textbook/workbook) kids and he is just NOT one of those. He is a 'hanging upside down from his desk, running around the classroom, doodling, whispering, waving his arms kind of kid' and spent PLENTY of time in trouble during his public school days. And being scolded for not following the rules is perfectly appropriate, except that if he never hears anything but scolding, he can't feel very good about himself, can he? At the very least, at home he knows that he is loved and that's way more important than knowing how to do long division in his head, speak 3 languages or sit still in a desk for 7 hours a day. So, instead of fighting with him to work on math this afternoon, we spent quite a while working on a poster to remind him that he IS a good boy and that we do appreciate his efforts to control his behavior. So now it's hanging on the fridge to remind him every time he walks through the kitchen that he is a NICE BOY and knows how to do NICE THINGS. So call me an unschooling wacko (who thought THAT day would ever come) but it was more important that diagramming sentences today. My main goal for homeschooling is to spend as much time with, and be as big of an influence as I can in my boys' lives...and if that means they always need to carry a calculator and use spell check, I'm OK with that. It's more important that they know the Lord, have kind hearts and helping hands. I am realigning my priorities this school year to get Patrick's esteem back to where it should be, he's having a rough year. He's starting to get worn down by constant failure at his attempts to be something he's not.
~*~I need to rearrange my schedule to get school done as early in the day as possible. The boys are all early risers and if I allow them to watch TV or start video games, the day just goes downhill in a hurry when I announce that it's time to start school after I've started laundry, spent an hour on the computer, tidied a bit here and there, etc. SO, I will be getting out my 'Managers of Their Homes' book and making a new schedule for our home. It will be a loose schedule, because there are MANY variables around here, but Pat needs the structure and I need the accountability.
~*~David is getting lazy on me since Pat is taking up so much of my teaching time. It's time for him to start working more independently. I may start making him a list of what needs to get done at the beginning of the week and have him start to self-manage a bit more, or teach Derek a bit more. More thoughts on this later.
~*~Derek needs and wants more lessons...he's the one really getting lost in the shuffle right now. He often ends up watching a video so that I can get school done with D and P...not that watching a well appointed video is the end of the world, but if that's all I ever do with him, then shame on me. So back to our letter lap books we go! This one is easy since I have them all prepared to go, it's just a matter of making the time to make it happen.
There...that's enough self exploration for today : ) Glad I can speak freely and without fear of ridicule. Thanks for your support ladies...none one ever said homeschooling was easy, just worth it! Happy homeschooling everyone! Always remember WHY you do it!

Friday, January 8, 2010


January 8, 2010

Hello, All! I'm April. This may turn out more like rambling or my life story than a great introduction, but I'm going to give it a shot. :)

I'm the wife of Coby - most amazing husband. We've been married since Dec '02, so we just celebrated 7 years. Yay! :) He's an Instructor at the local auto mechanics trade school. I'm a mother of 2 - Zoe 5, Corbyn 3 - and one on the way - we're due in July. Zoe is my super-active, independent, try anything once, head-strong, fashionista. Corbyn is my sweet, Coby look-a-like, cuddle-bug, follower. He loves everyone and just wants to get along. :) They're both amazing blessings! God is so good.

We are in Wyoming and yes we love it. I can't imagine raising our kids anywhere else in the world. It's beautiful (until you're snowed in...) and very sparsly populated. The kids (and parents) are forced to be creative. ;) It totally works out.

We're super new at home schooling, so I can't speak from any experience yet and I can't tell you what "style" I prefer. Infact, even though we've been dabbling in various things before with preschool, this is the first year we'll have a curriculum. I can say though, that with my lack of creativity and "need" for a list of things that have to be accomplished, I'll definitely stick with a lesson plan. :) lol

We really like A Beka because it's what I used when I was homeschooled and I'm comfortable with it, but we've chosen to start out with My Father's World. I read a blurb about MFW's reading program and it sounded great! So once reading is conquered, we plan to switch to A Beka.

I'm so excited to home school this year! I'm also so excited to peek in on this blog and see what's going on with everyone. :)

Blessings to you all!


Good Evening Ladies!

Today was a pretty easy day. We started with our Bible study. When I started it, I realized that what I had chosen to read was just way too much for them, so I moved on to the next Bible lesson. It was the beginning of Noah's Ark. So we will be moving on to this study now. The border on my bulletin board is already Noah's Ark and we will put some of their work up for this theme. I also have a large Bible character of Noah that I will hang up.

We did 2 lessons in phonics to make up for missing it yesterday.

For Story of the World Amanda started a booklet of the History of her Family today. For each one of us, Greg, myself, Kyle and Nichole she has a few questions to ask us about our history. For her A Beka history we covered transportation today and it was an extremely short lesson.

She aced her math and phonics test today. And I messed up and gave her the next units phonics test and she still passed! So we'll move onto the unit after that, lol.

For our cooking class we went over the cooking terms as stated in the lesson. I didn't go to the store today (getting low on weekly funds) so we skipped the cookie making. Maybe tomorrow we can make brownies to make up for it.

Right now for arts/crafts they are making stained-glass window ornaments. I will try to remember to take pictures to post. I will also take a picture of yesterday's fruit salad.

J-Term Days 4 & 5 (Kimberly)

JTerm Day 4/5
Day 4 was spent in Santa Barbara. We went to the planetarium, walked through the museum rooms, had a picnic, drove home, grabbed karate clothes and snacks, drove back to base, had critical Thinking Class, karate class, Fit Class and then dropped the boys off at church, did some grocery shopping, washed dishes, and fell asleep. Kelly did a lot of the driving! She gave us a ride from Base to the planetarium then took us home to grab stuff and back to base.
I read 2 chapters in Proverbs, because we were out of the house so much yesterday I didn’t read Proverbs 7 to them. Then Gavin and Connor took turns reading in Story Of the World about Samurai.

Robotics- Brian has the boys doing computer programming all morning. They are working together and helping each other. Connor can’t wait till after lunch so he can sew.
Culinary Arts. Ki reviewed some sign language. Then we looked up some terms and wrote them on cards. Ki worked on his menu for the gourmet meal later this month. We read about a well stocked pantry and printed out a list. Ki took a break from the reading/writing stuff and practiced garnish cuts on cucumbers. I guess that made him hungry, so he had lunch out in the back yard. Then he took the printed list and went through out pantry/cupboards. He crossed off what he have and not need. What was left uncrossed was our shopping list so we can have a well stocked kitchen/pantry.
Gavin made friend rice for lunch. It’s his latest self-cooked-lunch obsession. Rice, corn, peas, (sometimes carrots- not today), and egg; with soy sauce of course.
I went and played Gavin’s computer game he’s designing and programming.
Ki wanted to do sewing before math, so we (C,K,me) went up and got a start on that. Connor cut out an odd, random shape to practice his appliquéing. Ki finished his bag. He went with a drawstring bad instead of a bag with a handle. I let him use my new BabyLock. All appliquéing has to be done on the B BabyLock because my old Kenmore doesn’t zig as well as it zags and the tension gets all out of whack, resulting in a bundle of thread and fabric.
Connor did well with his appliquéing. He tried different settings and did corners and rounded edges and openings and tight wiggles. He went over it with a different color so he could see if he improved.

Ki finished his drawstring bag.
After Sewing Class was Life of Fred Class. The last episode left us hanging as Fred, who is only 5 ½ years old & 37 #s, was being rushed to the hospital because he dropped a 13 # knife (18”) into his foot. Today we found him at the hospital waiting 35 minutes for the doctor to fix the hole in his foot. Let me say once again how much I love that we have found Life of Fred for Ki’s math.
Connor went back up to do more sewing. Today was Math for Ki and Sewing for Connor but since Ki missed sewing yesterday he did a little of both.

Ki'S POUCH ---->


J-Term Day 3 (Kimberly)

Oh My! Riding a bike for 50 minutes and then going to Fit Class all in the same day has made a very tired teacher. The teacher slept in as did her students. They had nothing planned out of the house. (no where to be at 10AM or 3PM)- so it was a good day for sleeping in.

Connor was already reading his Robotics info for the day and Gavin was going over his physics practice questions when the teacher arrived. Ki was still in bed, but awake. She called them to breakfast and had a cup of tea.

She talked to Gavin about his physics test and gave him some info to go along with his practice problems, Connor was working on the robotics his Computer Teacher left for him to do, and Ki was ready for Culinary Arts.

Morning Culinary Arts:

Ki read his syllabus for the day then learned a few sign language words to go with his course. Then he got his index cards out along with the 5 colored pencils he uses systematically to take notes. His first task was to read about foods from the Bible. This is the site he used: He was shown how to use to look up verses and change between translations. He liked looking up the verses that went with each food he recorded. He liked seeing how foods were sometimes called different things in different translations. (Matt 23:23 was given for anise, cumin, dill and mint- no 1 translation had all 4, they would only have 3. Some would have anise, cumin, and dill and some would have anise, cumin, and mint.)He also found a verse that our pastor talked about a few weeks ago. He was excited about that. (the pastor never really said/quoted the verse but talked about what was said in it and Ki recognized it).

Then he wrote an email to his youth pastor about having a dinner sign up at church. He is going to make a gourmet dinner at the end of the month and needs to invite 4-6 people. Yesterday he thought about different people (friends kids, adults, from different groups etc) and he decided he wanted to invite people from his youth group and have a sign up.

His teacher noticed he spelled culinary wrong even though he was copying it from the syllabus. She had him practice it and he decided he wanted to try in cursive so he practiced writing in cursive a bit.

*** I love homeschooling. I love taking what my child LOVES , cooking, and using that as a means to learn other things. Bible Verses, History, Foreign Languages, Cursive/writing, math, etc ***

Ki took a break and watered the yard to help his dad’s new grass seeds grow. He took a little walk and checked on his Sunflowers. His teacher planted a few things and arranged her mini-greenhouse to a better location. He also checked out what his brothers were looking up in their robotics class.

After his break he moved on to the next tasks on his syllabus. He found a tool online he thought was neat, drew a picture and wrote a bit about it. He choose the Citrus Zester. HIs teacher found a video of a chef showing how to use one, so he watched that and got some ideas for his gourmet meal. Then he found a garnish he wants to practice. He wants to make Bell Pepper Grogs. They can be found at this link (scroll down until you find them).

He is eating his mistakes right now; another benefit of having cooking as a hobby!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Here's a little more...

Today for our Bible study we read the story of Cain and Abel. I have started reading out of a Bible that I had when I was a kid called My Picture Story Bible. This is a great Bible for young kids. We have just started it though. During the first 7 lessons we are also reviewing the days of creation and there is a coloring page for Amanda to color. Kyle does not enjoy coloring right now, so I only make him a copy if he wants one. After Amanda is done with a 7 days, I am going to have her make a booklet with it to turn in. After we read our story, there 4 questions at the end and I split them up between Kyle and Amanda.

Amanda uses A Beka for history this year. Today we covered communication. I also have The Story of the World series that we started using this week. When I read her the first lesson, she didn't really pay attention and couldn't answer the review questions. So today we re-read that lesson and did todays lesson. It starts with the introduction lesson, but I think once it gets going and she has things to color, she will enjoy it more. I have also gotten books from the library to do further studies. We will do each chapter for as long as she'd like to learn it.

For Language Arts right now we are reading about zoo animals. Today we started large cats. We read about Lions, Tigers and other large cats in the children's encyclopedia. For this subject right now I plan what we read and learn about. I like to plan themes that go with another subject. In A Beka math right now she has a zoo theme. After my other A Beka materials arrive for reading, I will not plan Lang. Arts for a while. They should be here any day.

We also covered some AWANA lessons. She was on a part that had to do some research with Mom so we got that done along with practicing 2 verses.

For math we are using A Beka. She is currently doing her seatwork as I type. After she is done we will do 2 lessons, we are trying to catch up.

Phonics has been done with the materials from the school that she was enrolled in last year. I was able to keep all of the phonics materials. Her new phonics materials from A Beka will arrive any day also.

We covered lesson 2 of our cooking class today. Yesterday the kids loved learning about the measuring cups and spoons. Today we reviewed safety and covered the lesson. They made the fruit salad and took turns doing steps. After it was chilled they tried it and guess what...neither one of them like it. Doesn't that figure.

Kyle has spent a lot of time today making himself a tent with his blanket. He's utilizing the kitchen drawers and any other heavy or high object that he can drag in there to hold his blanket up or down. I figure this is very creative and imaginative.

After we are done with her math lessons, we will do phonics. That is the last thing that we need to do today. Right now it is all pretty much review until our new books show up.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Notes From Rhonda

Today, We are working on the Letter "S". So we made snowmen, and we talked about different sizes, shapes,and features in snowmen. We had a snowball fight with marshmallows, Maria thought this was great fun. We also threw "snowballs" into a coffee can, and counted how many we could get in the can.

For computer work, Maria uses "Reader Rabbit" Preschool. She worked on patterns today and how to figure out how to get to the top of the mountain, by using different angles to get to the top. We read the "Snowy Day" We will be working a a "Lap book" this week on this book.

For the sensory table, this week, I used the packing peanuts.

For dramatic play, I set up a "office". I love listening to Maria's conversations with her stuff bears, and dolls, in the office, while they are "at work!"

Notes from Rhonda

Hi I'm Rhonda. I'm a stay at home mommy of two little girls, Maria and Eliza Jane. Maria is 4 yrs old and Eliza Jane is almost 4 months old. I also have 3 adult children,who were home schooled also. I have been married for 28 years to a wonderful man who is retired from the Army and is now a Registered Nurse, in the Emergency room. We live in the Arrowhead of Northern Minnesota, in the country. We raise chickens and goats.

With my old 3 children I used A Beka, and it was a "good fit" we used the VHS videos.
Now with Maria, I am teaching her preschool, and I use a "compote" of teaching styles. I mostly Like Charlotte Mason, and use this style the most. I also use "Before Five In A Row" we love this! Maria also does computer work, she thinks she is "Playing" on the compute, well she is to a point, but also learning so much! She told me she wanted to learn to read, so we use the book, "Teach Your Child To Read In 100 Easy Lessons" I am amazed at how much Maria has learned from just the few lessons we have done, so far. I also use DVDs as a teaching tool. The best DVD to teach the Letter sounds is Leap Frog, "The Letter Factory" In my opinion. Maria learned her letter sounds before she even knew the names of the letters. Now she knows the letters, and learned them by herself. I am also going to use Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace Jr." We want Maria to learn how to handle money, to "Give" "Save" and to "spend" ( in cash) This program is for 3 -12 year old. So we are excited about using this.

My curriculum ~Kristy

In case anyone was wondering what we use for school books, I thought I'd list my favorites so that you could check them out.
David, Patrick and James (my nephew who schools with us) all use the same 2 curriculum programs.
  1. far as I'm concerned THE BEST arithmetic and language arts programs out there. All Bible based, even math is taught from the position that God created order and by extension, math.
  2. My Father's World....for everything (and I do mean EVERYTHING) else. Science, history, music, art, Bible and geography. Again, all Bible based, and the Bible is woven into every subject. The wonderful part about MFW is that it's designed with the purpose of multi age teaching. It's a 5 year cycle...year 1 is a year of geography and getting acquainted with the world and the people in it. The next 4 years are years of historical succession. Quite reasonably priced, especially if you have multiple children and will go the 5 year cycle more than once.

When D and P were in the younger grades, Pre-K through 5th we used all ABeka, all the time. (except for those 2 public school years, of course) Nothing else was used. As we've changed our style of teaching over the years, and got to know our kids better and their learning styles and personalities have emerged and changed...we've made some curriculum changes as well. Like adding MFW. Like using unit studies, lap booking, 'life lessons' day, further our knowledge, not just in textbooks, but in real life. Which leads to my next point and link.

For Derek, I'm using Bible based alphabet lap books that I got off of my fave site called currclick. It's a great site for homeschooling materials. They have things for every type of homeschooler...unit studies, lap booking, note booking, Charlotte Mason method, copywork, character studies, preschool all the way through highschool levels, and they've even started hosting live classes online. If you join their e-mail newsletter, you get a FREE resource every week. Not all will apply to your schooling needs of course, but FREE is always the best price, right? And they have TONS that can be downloaded for a very small price. They even have a wishlist section so you can direct others to the site if they want to give a gift to the school. They can be found at

Hope you've enjoyed this little bit of information about our school curriculum choices. Check out the sites and see what you think



Cooking Lessons for the Deckers

I came up with these lessons for myself but thought that it would be great to share. These are aimed for young children, but older children can also learn from it and help. I think that I will start them today since my kids want to start it and it didn't take me long to write the lessons out. Of course, after the lessons are over, I will keep the lessons up by cooking different dishes. Maybe they will have to choose one night a week to help with dinner or something. And I will have them choose recipes and do the shopping on their own also. It helps to reinforce that this is "their" dish. Happy cooking! I will share on how these go!


Print out Kids Kitchen Safety rules for Amanda. Read these rules to go along with it. You may also to print out this safety worksheet
Kids Kitchen Safety
· 1. The most important rule in the kitchen is SAFETY FIRST. If you think that an action can hurt yourself or someone else—don’t do it. Pretty simple. Be aware of what is going on around you. Know where your little brother is. Make sure he is not going to tip over the hot pot of soup. Make sure that your mom isn’t going to cut herself because you put a knife in a sink of soapy water. Be aware of all the activity in the kitchen.
  • No sharp knives for small children. Keep them out of reach and out of sight.

· Teach children that the stove is hot! Even when turned off, it should not be touched or played around.
  • Make sure all handles on pots and pans are turned inward.

  • Cook hot soup or hot food on a back burner if possible.

  • Teach children about proper sanitation of foods. Use clean hands. When done cooking, wash hands again. Clean counter tops and dishes well after cooking, to prevent contamination of foods. Always clean items that were in contact with raw meats and eggs immediately after using.

  • No licking mixing spoon or fingers -sample when it is done cooking.

  • Always turn off stove top and oven when done.

  • Keep appliances away from water.

  • Don’t put cooked food on a plate or surface that had raw foods on it.

  • Put ingredients back after using. (Makes clean up easier also)

  • Always use supervision.

  • Give a kitchen tour of what is safe and not safe. Tell them what is not to be touched and any other advice for your kitchen.

3. Read through the recipe BEFORE you start. For example, if you were making chocolate chip cookies, you would be very sad if you worked very hard to get almost all the way through the way through the recipe and then find out that you didn’t have chocolate chips in the house. Believe me, I’ve done this before and I was really upset.
4. Make careful measurements. Careful measurements mean the difference between yummy and blechy. I've done this before too. Learn from my mistakes.
5. Clean up after yourself. Do you like to clean up other people’s messes? You do? Cool! Come to my house! Oh, you don’t? Well, I bet no one likes to clean up after you—so to make cleaning easier, clean up as you go along. That way you’re not facing a kitchen full of dirty dishes when you’re very tired after cooking.

Show kids measuring cups and spoons. Let kids use water to practice different measurements. Have kids do measuring worksheets that I got from I used the teaspoons identification worksheet and ounces and three quarters cup worksheets. I also used the math worksheet from

Cooking project:
Skills used- spreading, baking

Safety Sheet
1. No sharp knives.
2. Turn handles in.
3. Always wash hands.
4. No licking spoons or fingers.
5. Pick up and wash dishes and counters when done.

Safety Sheet
1. No sharp knives.
2. Turn handles in.
3. Always wash hands.
4. No licking spoons or fingers.
5. Pick up and wash dishes and counters when done.


For this lesson go over the safety rules. Ask questions about them to encourage the kids to participate. Such as “Should the pan handles be turned in or out?” “Is it ok to lick the spoons?” and for the older kids they should be able to list rules they remember. After reviewing have the children wash their hands.
Remind them that when they are starting a new recipe, they need to read the recipe first to overlook it. Read through recipe with kids. Have all ingredients ahead of time. If you have older children and the time, you may use fresh fruit and let them slice the fruit themselves. The recipe for this lesson is found here If the link is not available it is your basic fruit salad.
After the fruit salad is done, show the children how to fill the sink with water and soap (or however you do your dishes at your house) and teach them to wash dishes. Be sure to remove everything sharp before they start.
Skills used:

Lesson 3

It’s time to learn some cooking terms. The following list and definitions is taken from
Cooking Terms
To Bake: when we cook in the oven.
To Boil: when we make liquid really hot on the stove so there are lots and lots of big bubbles. We boil water for tea.
To Simmer: this is almost boiling. The difference between boiling and simmering is that boiling has big bubbles and simmering has small bubbles. We simmer things that are too delicate to boil. Milk is a good example. We simmer milk when we make hot chocolate. What else might be good to simmer instead of boil?
To Drain: you already know this one. It means to pour the liquid out of a container.
To Grease: this means to lightly coat a pan with some butter or other grease (get it?) so that after you bake, let’s say cookies, the cookies won’t stick to the pan. Have you ever greased a cookie sheet?
To Melt: to add heat until the stuff no longer is the same shape. What happens to an ice cube when it melts?
To Fry: to cook in grease. For example we fry French fries. Have a parent with you when you fry things. Grease heats up very quickly and it gets super hot.
Today the kids can practice their measuring skills again by making this nummy treat!
Chocolate Peanut Butter Treats
  • A sauce pan

  • A big stirring spoon

  • An 8" x 8" cake pan

  • 2 cups milk chocolate chips

  • 2 tablespoons shortening

  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine

  • 1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter

  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar

  • 2/3 cup graham cracker crumbs

In a medium sized saucepan, combine butter or margarine and peanut butter.
  1. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until melted (4 to 6 minutes).

  2. Stir in confectioners' sugar and graham cracker crumbs until it is really super mixed.

  3. Press evenly into the cake pan with a big flat knife.

  4. Wash out saucepan and dry it.

  5. Combine chocolate chips and shortening in a large bowl.

  6. Microwave the mixture for thirty second periods, stirring after each time, until everything is completely melted.

  7. The chocolate and shortening are very hot, so be extra careful as you pour the mixture over the peanut butter.

  8. Let this chill until cool, but still soft enough to cut into squares.

  9. Cut the mixture into squares, then put them into the fridge to finish setting up (get harder)!

10.While you are waiting for them to finish setting up, clean up all the mess.

Lesson 4
Let the children go through cookbooks and recipes that are appropriate for their age level to choose recipes to cook. Depending on how many children you have this lesson will be done differently. I have 2 kids and I am going to have the oldest child choose a dinner to plan and my youngest will choose the dessert for that meal. Once kids choose what they want to cook, allow them to decide upon whom to invite to a small dinner party (or just for your family). Allow the children to make invitations.
Read through the recipes with the children and decide on what you need to buy from the store to be able to accomplish this dinner. Write a list, having the children write it if they are able. Take a trip to the grocery store and encourage the kids to do their own shopping. You are there to assist and aid. Have them keep in mind the different prices and sizes.

After the basics of cooking are learned, allow children to keep using their skills so they won’t forget them. There are many recipes out there for kids to use and have fun with. Now it’s your turn to cook away!