Tuesday, April 21, 2015

It has been a few years

So I finally remembered I had a blog.  And after looking and trying to find it, I had almost given up hope.  But then in some lost folder in my email, there is was.  Hi Little Blog, I missed you. It has been so busy in the last 5 years! The kids are bigger, both are in school. Boyo is heading off to High School, and Girlie is going to Middle School.  Oh how the time has flown!

So I got a new job where I will be, eventually,  writing a blog and I want to get back into practice.  And while this blog will no longer offer any new free lap-books (which were amazing for helping my kids learn- thank you internet who introduced them into my life), I will start offering patterns and pattern reviews on sewing, knitting and general crafty-ness stuff.

So welcome back to the Mousetower!!

Friday, September 10, 2010

What we do-organization

I have been reading about all the different organization systems for homeschoolers. Everything from chore charts to workboxes to computer trackers. Some days I feel like I have tried them all, now as we enter our 5th year of homeschooling (really 5 years- good grief, I could have sworn we just started last year!) I realize that we have a system that works for us.

First we pile. Hey don't knock the pile. Piles can save lives (or take them if they get out of hand)
We pile all our books that we will use that day next to our desks.

Next we pick and choose. I let the kids pick what subjects they want to do and in what order. The only time I have them wait or skip to a subject is if they are going to be doing it together. But even that isn't that often because unless they are to be playing a game together, they can usually figure out what they need without their sibling to help.

After that, the list. For English, the kids have a list of what activities they need to accomplish that week as part of the curriculum. As they work though the list, stuff is checked off. It makes all of us feel better checking things off.

Finally, put it away. As they finish with each subject they put it back in their desk so at the end of the morning (or afternoon) they just have to put their desks away and the living room is neat and clean again for playing Wii or watching TV or playing a game of Harry Potter Legos.

As for how I track what we did each day (because some years I get the awful evaluator who wants proof of "regular and thorough instruction") I have a daily calendar and I make a note as to what was done.

Today's looked something like this:

T-Reading comp. Chap 3
L- Science 43-45
T- Science 44-45
L- Reading comp.
Descriptive sentences
T- IEW Lesson3a

Obviously we did more than this but as an example I'm sure you get it.

Monday, February 22, 2010


Here it is, the end of February, and I have plans for next year on the brain. I know it is too soon but I can't help it.

I am working with my local homeschool group to set up a co-op. There is so much to do. Between planning the location, figuring out forms, classes, age groups and rules, I wish it was just planned and ready to start. But honestly I love plans. They make me feel secure. They are like lists but more long term.

So my friends and I have been working on this co-op, which leads me to start to think about next year's curriculum. It is a big year with Boyo going into 4th grade and Girlie in 2nd. We will finally be done with speech (hear the singing? between 1 to 3 afternoons a week have been taken up by speech for the past 4 years!)

Some stuff I want to cover next year:

--I really want to start a good writing program with Boyo. I think by now he really should be writing paragraphs that are more than 3 or 4 sentences. So we will spend lots of time on that next year. I plan on using IEW and Myths and fables or US History.

-- We have been working on a $1 Target book about the states, next year I want to go more in depth and really cement that in. I don't need for the kids to know all the capitals (though that would be cool) but I want them to know all the state names and have a good idea where in the USA they are located. Not sure what curriculum I want to use for that.

--I think we have a good language arts program so we will continue on with that. Queen Homeschool

--Singapore math is working well for Boyo so we will stay with that. We might try a more spiral type approach for Girlie as she is still struggling with much of it, maybe saxon or horizons

--We will continue with Latin as the kids love it, we might add in Spanish but maybe not, it depends on life :)

--I want to do Chemistry next year, we tried it out and the kids loved it so it is definitely on the to do list.

-- History, hmmm, well Boyo has enjoyed the workbook I got for him at BJ's and he won't finish it this year so he is covered for a while. Girlie has enjoyed doing the lapbooks on different topics so we might continue with that otherwise I'd love to do Beyond the Page with her. I really think she'd like it.

Well that is as far as I have gotten. Need to work out the budget, research different ideas, oh and sew for Gulf wars, Celt wars and Pennsic so I can afford these goodies.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Night at the Museum

Lately the kids have been working on a lapbook about the movies- Night at the Museum and Night at the Museum 2. We got it from we3kids. This is a wonderful lapbook with more than just the usual minibooks with a "read and report" mentality. There are informational paragraphs (to save mom much of the research) but there are also wonderful activities to go along with certain topics.

For example in the movie there is an Easter Island head ("Got some Gum-gum, Dum-Dum?") and in addition to reading a paragraph about the heads in the lapbook, the kids are encouraged to make their own.

Boyo's Moai

Girlie's Moai

We have all really enjoyed this unit. Thanks we3kids for making it!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Our homeschool day

I love seeing how other families plan their days. What stuff do they do? How do they organize their kids? Do they ever get done with dishes and laundry?

So in the interest of transparency here is a typical day right now, in February, in 2010, with a 6 and 8 year old. Because as we all know typical changes -often!

Sometime between 8 and 9 am: The kids get up, lay on the sofa watching TV, drinking chocolate milk, eating cereal.

8:30-ish: I get up and have breakfast, cuddle the kids, review our plans for the day.

9 -ish: Pull out all the school books, make 3 piles (Boyo, Girlie, and both) and start school.

12:00 : Take a break for lunch Usually by this time Girlie is done with all her workbook work.

12:30: Back to school concentrating on whatever subjects the kids have to do together (science, unit studies) When Girlie is done, she goes to put away laundry, empty dishwasher, clean bedroom etc. then she can play. Boyo goes finishes up whatever else he has to do.

1:30 : School is usually over and we can head for the library or to speech class or run errands.

4:30: Home from errands or whatever and the neighbor girl calls. Kids go out to play and I get a break.

5:00: Contemplate dinner, clean up the house, get on the computer, etc.

6:00-ish: Kids home, Dinner time, Hubby comes home too.

8:00: Kids sent off to playroom to watch movies or read books or play quietly.

10:00: Lights out for the kids.

12-1: Bed time for me.

I am not strict about a schedule other then we have a set amount of work to get though each day. When that work is done- the kids can go play. This works for us. It may not work for another family, and that is ok too.