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.

Friday, February 19, 2010

knitting olympic update

Ok, sorry there are no pictures. That is how I roll, I want to wait and show you the finished thing all at once. So far I have 13" done (I started at the bottom of the sweater) plus the pouch pocket is all made and grafted on. Another 3 " and I stop to make the arms. So far this sweater is going really well. Though it occurred to me that Hubby has been working out and thus has bulked up in the pecs. This might have changed his 40" chest size.

Oh well I am past the point of no return on the sweater so he'll just have to live with it if it is a little tight.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Yarn Harlot's Knitting Olympics

So I decided to do Yarn Harlot's knitting Olympics My goal is to knit a sweater for my dear wonderful hubby using the wallaby pattern (sans hood) in reclaimed yarn from the "sweater that was much too big" tm I have 17 days to get it done starting 9 pm Friday. Yay!!

So far I had Boyo frog the "sweater that was much too big" tm It was much yarn!! It is all balled up and I even did a gauge swatch so everything should work out right. Did I mention that I am changing the pattern from straight stockinette to a moss stitch? Well it gave me 8st/2inch instead of the 9st/2 in but as this yarn has a tendency to shrink when washed and hubby likes stuff big. I should be alright.

I am using lion brand wool ease in hunter green.

Feel free to join in! Click on the yarn harlot link to get full directions and all. Good Luck.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Thanks Patty

I am a crafter. I scrapbook (a little), I knit (all winter) and sew (all summer). I am content with that.
But let me tell you about my friend Patty. She is an artist. She has had her work published and is even a contributor to an e-zine. She makes amazing papercrafts. The things Patty can do with paper and a cricut would blow your mind. Each birthday, holiday and anniversary, I wait with bated breath for the next wonderful card she will send. We have actually kept some of her cards for years.

Knowing Patty's skill set, and not finding anything that I liked for the cover of our civil war lapbooks, I begged her for a favor. I asked her to make some paper dolls and decorations for the kids to use. Honestly, I gave her practically no guideline other than whatever was made for Girlie, she could assemble herself. After all Girlie is a crafty type kid. I knew Patty could come up with something better than I ever could have thought of.

And she did! Patty not only made nifty silhouettes for Boyo, but she sent 4 different paper doll soldiers for Girlie to assemble. Each came in their own envelope with a picture of what they would look like all put together, and all the bit and pieces cut out and ready to be glued.

The kids were so excited by the details and loved putting the dolls together. Girlie even let Boyo assemble one and put it in his lapbook, after they played civil war battle of course :)

My favorite part about these dolls is the attention to detail, not just historically but practically. All the pieces were big enough that 6 year old fingers could glue them without help and there were neat extras for each doll- a canteen, sword, bayonet or gun.

And if all that wasn't enough, she sent me a card in the package. it is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen! She took my "mousetower" name and made this... oh there just aren't words. It is sophisticated, whimsical, and oh- just look for yourself.

How perfect is this!!
Patty- You are amazing. Thank you for taking the time to make these dolls for the kids, for giving them something tangible to cement some of the ideas we talked about with the civil war soldiers, and for every card you have sent us in the more than 12 years I have known you. And thank you Eric for helping with the research, I look forward to seeing you in August.