Category Archives: Uncategorized

Memory Lane

(I can’t believe I used that as a blog post title. I seriously can’t think of anything else at the moment. Now taking suggestions.)

I pulled out the kid’s unused curriculum from a few years ago to see what I might be able to sell and found some pretty fun stuff. I’m horribly sentimental, so I’ve saved just about every workbook and assignment they completed. Here’s a couple of my favorites.Eden’s language art unit. 3rd grade.

Mike is going… to the game store. He needs to… eat a pill. I’m curious as to what kind of game store this is.

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Apparently it’s a drag to be a grown-up.

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… and you really can’t go wrong with this technique.

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This is Johnny’s… Alfred the Great playing the role of Star Wars Sith Lord.

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This is good stuff, people.

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The myth of patience

Probably the number one comment I get after I tell someone that I homeschool my kids is, “Oh, I would never have the patience for that.” as if I must have patience oozing from every pore of my body. First of all, if you don’t have enough patience with your kids you really should work on that, whether you homeshool or not. Secondly, I’m not exactly the patience poster child.

Eden (for the 100th time): What’s a noun again?

Me: PERSON! PLACE! OR! THING!

I’m mean, seriously? You’re in the 4th grade! What if a public-schooler heard you say that?! (That part was not out loud. Promise.)

I am quite positive that teachers think this stuff, they just might get in trouble for actually saying it.

On an average day the casual observer probably would think I’m unnaturally patient. I usually amaze myself. Like when it’s time for math and all of a sudden my daughter decides she needs use the bathroom…again. Or has to clean her ears with a Qtip. Or is in such dire need for a snack she probably won’t be able to think straight if she doesn’t have a pudding cup. For the most part I stay cool through this stuff, especially at the library because other humans are there. I think it’s because I have the dogs to yell at. I have three… one for each kid and an extra in case of emergencies. The dogs won’t cry when I go all ape crazy on them, they can’t tell anyone and can’t afford therapy. I also know that I can unload everything on John when he gets home. I notice that he never asks, “So? How was your day?” until he’s had a chance to change out his work clothes and relax for a bit.

He is a wise man.

Here is something I do though, when we pray with the kids at bed time and I recognize my fuse has been a little short, I’ll ask God out loud in front of them, “Help me be a patient mom and make good choices for my kids, and give us more love for each other.”

Business letter

One of Eden’s MS Word projects this week was to generate a business letter. I like this because it’s not just a way for her to learn how to deal with people professionally, but also that her voice and opinion matters. Johnny wrote a letter to Wendy’s last year to complain about their new sea salt fries, giving several persuasive reasons on why they should change back to their original fries. I have to pull that up because it was quite brilliant. Eden wrote her letter to the American Girl Doll company (surprise, surprise.)

To whom it might concern:

Thank you for creating Kanani Akinda girl of the year 2011. I love her because she is pretty and I love her character and story line. Can you tell me what girls of the year 2012’s name is? Please write back.

Sincerely yours,

Eden Fowler

(and then her precious little 4th grade signature)

Here’s a template from Scholastic that you can follow

Weekly Lesson Plan – 9/19/11

A few days late in putting these up because the PC was not friendly to me. Only to boys playing Minecraft. All day yesterday it was down until Johnny sat down to play his game and it magically came to life.

This Marco Polo program looks promising, so I want to work that in before we move out of this history unit. If you have a Netflix account it’s free for instant viewing.

Two science experiments this week and I really don’t enjoy them very much. It just seems like a lot of work to observe something that we already know will occur. That’s just me being tired and whiney, need to remember that it’s a good opportunity to snap photos for scrapbooking and such.

I was was actually nervous about him digging into The Hobbit because one of the saddest things for me is when the kids turn up their noses at the classics. I was worried that the language would be more tedious than he was willing to accept or that he would find the storyline boring (you never know!), but he is totally into it and goes to bed reading it every night. The study guide is fantastic and I highly reccomend it if you ever have your children read this book. It’s really making him think and pull the story apart. I’m impressed at what he is picking up between the lines and it’s giving us some fun things to talk about. So yes, I’m reading it too. Haven’t done so since the 8th grade, lol!

He is also working his way through his Window’s Programming and loving it, the little geek that he is.

Having a proud moment here… 3 weeks into school and Eden hasn’t missed one single math lesson. Last year I found every excuse in the book (no pun intended) to skip it and as a result didn’t finish most of what we should have. Scary confession moment here! Saxon lessons aren’t difficult, they are just lengthy. I guess they know what they’re doing though because what she is learning she has down pat and her math reasoning is impressive. Lots of pre-algebra concepts and everyday life applications.

I decided that since we’re letting Johnny tackle the programming project, that I need to let her concentrate on something she likes, which is sewing. She’s been sewing simple things for about a year, so we’re doing some more formal learning times now. Found this cute book at the library that is full of non-machine projects (link provides a good preview.) So, expect pictures of her projects soon 🙂

Half-way through the week! Woohoo!

Reader Review – Berenstain Bear’s “Reap the Harvest”

I’m keeping a log this year of all the books the kids read. I started this last year but they were flying through books and I kept losing track. I always feel better when things are being organized and filed and such, and it’s fun to look back at what they read when they were little. I use a brief book report form last year (I talk about ‘last year’ a lot) from abc.teach. They have report forms for upper-elementary, lower-elementary, biographies, historical novel, general fiction… very fun stuff.

Eden’s Review

Summary: It’s summer and the cubs want a job for cash so they go to work for Farmer Ben. They learned that they got money for their profit.

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Yes. They like picture books and they like thinking about jobs for kids.

Mom’s review

Ok, I really love the Berestain Bear family because I grew up reading the books, but this one really bugged me. Here’s the thing, the story is based on Hebrews 6:12

“Imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised.”

…the book is about the cubs earning money. GAH! As if our culture isn’t obsessed with gaining wealth enough? Inheriting what God has promised does not involve money. This set of scripture isn’t referencing individual promises that God may have made to one of his individual children. The author (jury’s out on this one) of Hebrews is talking about the promises God made to Abraham… that his ancestors would fill the earth, that a savior would be coming to bless the nations, etc… It is His promise of legacy! Why would we choose to explain this concept to our children with a money analogy? This kind of thing drives me angry, to tell the truth, because we’re dangerously close to teaching the next generation of leaders a distorted view of the Kingdom.

Will I continue to read Berestain Bears to my little one? Of course. Will I continue to ponder why Brother and Sister never got the dignity of having real names? Absolutely-freaking-of-course. Every single character in that show and books has a real name. What’s up Stan and Jan?

Red pens, the dreaded ‘X’ and naked science experiments

Last year when we went shopping for school supplies I grabbed up some red pens… cause I’m the teacher now! Finally I get to have the power of the red, Bic pen. Something inside of me happened, however, I checked their papers and put that red ‘X’ on the incorrect problems. It was like telling them, “You’re wrong. You just failed to meet my expectations.” I just hated the way it looked.

So I switched to pink. Yes I did. And I circle the incorrect answers, then we go over them and I put a smiley face next to it. I’m sure there’s some kind of study out there that supports or rejects my idea that red ‘X’s create anxiety, but regardless… it’s pink circles around here.

So I’ve been needing some cork for the classic density science experiment for Johnny. We really needed to have the items ready for yesterday’s lesson and I didn’t feel like driving all the way out to the craft store to buy a whole bag of cork pieces when there is a perfectly good grocery store nearby that sells all kinds of corks. They’re just attached to wine bottles. I was really killing two birds with one stone because I had had one of the worst days ever, if you catch my drift. Well, I didn’t even consider for a second that the wine company would label the cork with their name.I’m thinking I won’t add this photo to our school portfolio, especially if we petition the court for permission to homeschool Jake next year.