Thursday, December 30, 2010

Declutter and Organize Challenge

So amongst my many things I am to improve over the next twelve months is decluttering and organizing the house. As such I've decided that every week of the year 2011 I will focus on something and work my way through the house. Anyone daring enough to accompany me on my journey? Every Saturday in 2011 I will post a challenge to work on throughout the week and I'll be showing my before and after pictures. Feel free to join in on the fun. Hopefully we will learn from each other and along the way. I'm hoping this will turn into a fun challenge that I can get several people on board with me on. Stay tune for Saturday 1/01/2011 for the first challenge.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas 2010

Another Christmas has come and gone. The days are going by so fast. My boys are growing so quickly. Lucky for me this was the year they really "got" Christmas in many ways. They loved learning about Jesus and loved learning Christmas traditions around the world and of course Santa. One of the favorite things at Christmas this year was the letter Santa left thanking them for the milk and cookies. Here are a few pictures from Christmas morning. Excuse the blurry pictures at times as they were moving fast that morning and the messy house. The rest of the house was pretty darn clean but the front room just didn't seem to get done.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Thanksgiving Day 1k Run for Kids

We've been doing this now for 3 or 4 years, sorry Mary I can't remember. The first year I thought this is kinda dumb but my kids LOVE this. And to be honest I do too. What a great way to exercise right before a calorie laden meal! Around August my kids started "training" cause they wanted to do better than they ever have. And poor little Zach really wanted to come in first in our family. This poor kid is the slowest mover around so I didn't hold out much hope for him. Imagine my surprise when he not only was the first one of the boys to come around the building but the first in his age bracket. He did so good and was so very proud of himself. Sadly I only have pictures of Zachary and Nathan cause my batteries died in my camera right as Noah came around. If you haven't given this race a try you really should. The South Davis Recreation Center does a wonderful job of putting this event on. Btw it was barely above zero at the time of this race. I can't help but think they reason for the fast finishes by all three boys was because it was so darn cold outside.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Zoo Field Trip

The twins have been learning about the animal world so before the weather got bad we took them to the zoo. I gave each child a list of animals they had to search for and then we took pictures as we found them. It was a nice break of the regular school work and it turned into a very nice time. I'm posting a few of the pictures the kids took at the zoo.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Halloween Fun

I always hear of all the fun traditions people have leading up to a holiday yet I never seem to get motivate to start many of those fun traditions in my house. This year is different. We made a big deal out of pumpkin selection, sorry no pictures though, and we made a few decorations for the yard. However one that I've always wanted to do but have never done is the Boo Poem. So I debated for several hours today over homemade goodies or store bought and then decided to go with store bought. We bought two bags of Three Musketeers bags and printed off the cute Boo Poem from here. We waited until dark, which given the ages of my kids was hard cause they caught the excitement, and carefully plotted out which neighbors we could Boo. My criteria was easy place to hide and someone we knew. I know it would have been more fun if we had hit someone we didn't know but for some reason I really wanted to people we knew. I figure the odds are we will be Boo'd ourselves so then we could do a family we don't know. Well it was really cold and rainy when we headed out and I was sure the noise my boys would make would get us caught. The good news is we weren't caught and the boys had a blast. Noah is already watching the door for someone to boo us. I hope we are selected to be Boo'd cause it will break his heart if we aren't. They are already plotting ways to do this for other holidays too. I think we may have found a tradition that works for our family.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Native American Study

So as we finished our study on Native Americans I thought I'd share what we did and what resources we used.
Books we read:
A Picture Book of Sacagawea (note: found at Davis County Library)
The Legend of the Indian Paintbrush (Davis County Library)
Grandma Maxine Remembers (Davis County Library)
Seasons of the Circle (Davis County Library)
Native Americans: A Portrait : The Art and Travels of Charles Bird King, George Catlin, and Karl Bodmer (Davis County Library)
Spirit of the Harvest: North American Indian Cooking (Davis County Library)
More Than Moccasins (Davis County Library)
A Kids Guide to Native American History (Davis County Library)
Between Earth and Sky (Davis County Library)
Tools of Native Americans (I bought this book for myself as the library did not have it)
If You Lived with the Indians of the Northwest Coast (Davis County Library)
If You Lived with the Iroquois (I bought this one myself as the library did not have it)

I also used this blog for books and ideas.

We made longhouses, wigwams, Pueblo village, and tepees. We also made a vest, war bonnet, and a few other clothing pieces that are mentioned in the More than Moccasins book. We also painted a few pictures from the art book mentioned above. Also after reading The Legend of the Indian Paintbrush we painted a picture from that book. Nathan also made a diorama of an Iroquois Indian village. We also made several meals from the cookbook.

Overall the unit was fun and even I learned things I did not know. Sorry I don't have pictures as one of the kids deleted most of the pictures on the memory card.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Weekly Report 9/13-9/17

We took Thursday off and went to Gateway Mall. We rode the Frontrunner down and the boys loved riding the "train" and the light rail. Spent time at the planetarium looking at the exhibits and then let the boys run around in the water fountain. As usual I forgot a change of clothing so we had to run into Old Navy for some dry clothes.

Otherwise this is what we learned this week:
Math Mammoth (all three kids)
the twins learned addition facts 5 and 6
Nathan worked on tens and one, greater than and less than, he also worked in the Kumon word problem book and the counting book on his way to 1000.

Nathan worked on ETC book 3 (review for him) and reading easy readers plus worked on a reading comprehension book and the book 100 words you need to know in 2nd grade
the twins did explore the code book b and a few lessons from Ordinary Parents Guide to reading

Language Arts
The twins worked in WW3000 k on week 5. Plus worked on their handwriting.
Nathan finished learning about sentences in VIE, started a journal, learn his short I spelling words and worked on his handwriting in HWT.

Nathan finished week 2 of ES. We learned about solar eclipse's and more about the Earth. We finished the week by painting our dough map of the earth. Plus we worked on tracking the temperatures and clouds for our weather forecasting unit.
The twins finished up week 2 in ES by learning about the earth biomes. We also started week 3 and learned about mammals and lions. We also did week 3 in the intro to science unit of ES and learned about dilution.

Nathan continued learning about the Iroquois. We had an Iroquois dinner of maple molasses beans and a corn cake. He also made a wampum and we painted pottery.
The twins learned about Japan. We read loads of fun Japanese books and ate at a Japanese restaurant. We also made our own hanging fish and origami frogs.

I may have missed a thing or two. This week has been a struggle for us. If your interested in the actual books we used on anything let me know and I'll list them for you.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Why Public Schooling is Better than Homeschooling.....

I noticed this on a blog while I was blog surfing. I find it funny. I'm not knocking public schools here I'm just laughing at how what some people see as a reason not to homeschool may be a reason that homeschoolers choose as to why they do. I hope that made sense. I found this on this blog.

Most parents were educated in the under funded public school system, and so are not smart enough to homeschool their own children.

Children who receive one-on-one homeschooling will learn more than others, giving them an unfair advantage in the marketplace. This is undemocratic.

How can children learn to defend themselves unless they have to fight off bullies on a daily basis?

Ridicule from other children is important to the socialization process.

Children in public schools can get more practice "Just Saying No" to drugs, cigarettes and alcohol.

Fluorescent lighting may have significant health benefits.

Publicly asking permission to go to the bathroom teaches young people their place in society.

The fashion industry depends upon the peer pressure that only public schools can generate.

Public schools foster cultural literacy, passing on important traditions like the singing of "Jingle Bells, Batman smells, Robin laid an egg..."

Homeschooled children may not learn important office career skills, like how to sit still for six hours straight.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Week In Review 9/06-9/11

Work on 8 pages of Math Mammoth
started the American Story 100 true stories
second week of spelling short e words (Zaner Bloser Spelling Connections 2nd grade)
worked on sentences, telling, commanding and asking (Voyages in English Grade 2)
Handwriting without tears Printing Power Grade 2, worked on perfecting his letters
worked through about 15 pages of Explode the Code 3
read several easy readers
two chapters from Charlotte's Web
finish week one Elemental Earth Science by making a clay flat map of the world
started his book on weather forecasting, we are tracking the clouds and temperature everyday
started week two of Elemental Earth Science, we did a Wobbler experiment
started learning about the Native Americans, we made a longhouse and petroglyph and pictograph

Noah and Zachary
worked on about 8 pages of Math Mammoth
did week 4 of Wordly Wise 3000 K
Explore the Code book B started with the letter p
read The Popcorn Book (P sound)
kumon lowercase letters book
used the ordinary parents guide to teaching reading lessons 27-29
finished South Korea and ate Korean BBQ beef for dinner one night
started learning about Japan
did week one in Elemental Science and made blocks of crayons
started week two in Elemental Science Biology and learned about habitats. Started working on a habitat poster.
finished Blueberries for Sal and made puppets and acted out the story with the puppets

Not a bad week considering we had the stomach bug for two of the days.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Week in Review 8/23-8/27

Well all my planning and getting things ready didn't help this week go smoothly. First the twins are revolting at having to actually spend more than 10-30 minutes doing school work. Nathan who said he didn't want school to start and was arguing the whole week before actually dug right in and started work without complaining. Second one whole day was basically lost due to my father who is recovering from surgery having spent time at the house and us having to transport him to another town. Third one child broke his arm, which as luck would have it is the hand he writes with. Fourth being by late Thursday I just wanted to send them to school.

However looking back at what we did do, when you factor in all of the problems, is actually a lot I do feel like this wasn't a bad first week. Here's a run down on what the kids did:
Charlotte's Web
readers on his reading level
explode the code 3
Math Mammoth grade 2 review
Kumon Word Problems grade 1 (finishing this off from last year)
counting book
The fall of Rome
working on types of sentences
handwriting without tears grade 2 print
Wordly Wise 3000 grade 2 (we may be dropping this very soon)
spelling words with the short a sound
a toy story comprehension workbook for phonics and language art (since he LOVES Toy Story)
learned about our planet, did an experiment showing how the atmosphere keeps the earth warm, and learned about what's in space

Noah and Zach
started to learn about South Korea
started the week working on earlybird singapore math but we've now moved them on to math mammoth grade one
kumon lowercase letters
explore the code book a
Make way for ducklings
wordly wise kindergarten
learned about animals habitat, migration, defense, camouflage and food. we made a food chain showing how animals eat other animals in order to get food.

The pictures at the top show the owl food chain (the owl is brown, the mouse is black, and the grain is yellow) that the twins did. Also the barbarian was from Nathan's history. The other picture is of a duck craft we did to celebrate the book Make way for Duckling.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

School Starts Monday

And I think I am finally ready. A few last minute changes to the choices we made but I think we are set to go. I'm happy with our choices and can't wait to get started. Even the boys can't wait to start.
Here's a rundown, sorry not providing links this time but if you want a link comment and I'll you to it.

Noah and Zachary
Earlybird Singapore math
Math Mammoth 1
Galloping the Globe
Wordly Wise 3000 k
Handwriting without tears k
Kumon lowercase letters
Explore the code and explode the code
Elemental Science biology
Elemental Science intro to science
k12 science

Math Mammoth 2
Kumon Word Problems 1 and 2
Story of the World 2
Rand McNalley Maps
Cantering the Country
Voyages in English
Zaner Blosser Spelling 2
Wordly Wise 2
Explode the code
Song School Latin
K12 science
Elemental Science earth science
Weather forecasting program

All three kids
learning instruments in music
Evan Moor how to teach art k-6

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Killer Deal on Books

I discovered last year that Scholastic would allow homeschool families to register as a school and to buy books from them. Well it's the first of the year and they were offering all kinds of discounts for your first order. One discount being buy $20 worth of books get $10 to spend on any books. Second being spend $20 on books and get 10 books of their choice free. Third being double the reward points which means in the future free books or free supplies. I have three catalogs come to the house so I got the bonus things on all three catalogs. I spent $64 and received 75 books plus enough bonus points to get about $25 more in free books. I paid 85 cents each for the books. Almost as cheap as the thrift store or yard sales.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Thursday's are Fun Days

So this summer we've been having a Fun Day on Thursday's. We give the kids a choice of a few activities and we go and spend the day having fun. No getting mad at something or someone. Just pure fun. It's been a blast and we've really had fun. Some things we have done:
Splash Pad, lunch, and snocones.
Movie, Hungry Bear Pizza (arcade included), and ice cream.
Boondocks with dinner out.
Hogle Zoo with lunch.
Antelope Island with lunch at Panda Express.
Swimming at South Davis Recreation Center, ice skating at the same place, and dinner.
Movie, lunch, and park.
Bowling, food at the alley, and ice cream.

I was hoping to go to Lagoon but its more money then I want to spend. But tomorrow we are going to Cherry Hills with lunch out. Probably dinner too if its late and we are tired.

Anyway its been a great bonding experience for us. I highly recommend doing a fun day for your family.

Monday, July 19, 2010


Gosh I haven't posted in awhile. Let's see if I can remember what we've been doing.

Saw Toy Story 3 in 3D the day it was released. I wasn't going to take the boys on opening day but they really really wanted to so we did. The boys had a blast and still talk about it over a month later.

I've made Thursdays fun day. Basically I give the boys three choices of something fun to do and they pick and we do it. We've been bowling, the South Davis Recreation Pool, ice skating, Boondocks, and a $1 movie. Hopefully we can find a way to give Lagoon a try but if not I have some other ideas of places to go.

We are set for school to begin August 24th. Noah and Zach can not wait to start doing school like Nathan. I think we have everything we need as far as curriculum but still need a few supplies. Noah and Zachary are working on the Iowa Tests right now so I have a base line as to where they need to be focused on and Nathan starts the Iowa Tests later this week. It's not an official test as we are using the practice tests for testing but hopefully it will show how well they have been learning.

We had a lost dog wonder into our yard and it appears we are keeping him. No one has claimed him and the kids love him. Don't tell anyone! Sadly we lost one of our cats. She was a cat we rescued from an abusive situation about 6 years ago. She had been losing weight and we took her to the vet and it turned out she had several teeth infected. We had surgery done to remove them and she seemed to be doing well yet three days later she died. She was a beautiful cat although very distrusting of anyone but Don. She is greatly missed in our house.

We also went to the totally lame Clearfield City parade again. I have pictures but since it was all advertising and almost nothing else I won't bore you with the pictures. I think it has to be one of the least patriotic parades in the USA.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

In the World the Founding Fathers Knew.......

I received a really neat book for Christmas two years ago and I really like reading it in small dosages whenever the urge hits me. The book is titled House of the Founding Fathers. It's really an interesting book full of great pictures of old historic homes and the history behind them. I highly recommend reading this book. Anyway on to the facts:

The average child had a roughly 50% chance of surviving to adulthood.

Slavery was legal in all thirteen states.

All the cooking was done in or around the fireplace.

Men and women were not created equal. Women could not vote or hold public office. And unless widowed could not own property in most colonies.

Travel was slow and uncertain. By water ships relied upon the wind for locomotion. By land a rider might hope to cover thirty miles in a day, the passenger in a coach just twenty miles.

Aside from sunlight the sole source of heat was fire, usually in an open fireplace. After sunset, illumination was either by moonlight or candlelight.

There was no indoor plumbing. The flush toilet, the bathroom, and the kitchen faucet would be nineteenth century innovations meaning chamber pots, outhouses, and buckets were a way of life.

Privacy was a rare privilege for most: people, including children at home and strangers at inns routinely shared beds.

Aside from a minority of city dwellers everybody was a farmer.

There was no anesthesia for surgery or childbirth.

Every household produced some, and in many cases all, of the candles, soap, foodstuffs, and clothing it required.

The medieval notion of the four humors still dominated medical theory, so bloodletting and purging were employed to restore the balance of black and yellow bile, blood and phlegm, and thus, presumably, good health.

Life, in short, was hard in the time of the Founding Fathers.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Kindergarten Plans

Math: Early Bird Singapore
Miquon Math
And possibly Math Mammoth 1

Science: k12
And science kits I find along the way.

Vocabulary: Wordly Wise 3000 K

Phonics: Bob Books
Explore the Code
And maybe some other program

History: Galloping the Globe (countries and continents)
Story of the World Middle Ages
And probably a few other things.

Handwriting: Handwriting without Tears K

Literature: Hans Christian Anderson stories, Brothers Grimm stories, Legends and Fairy Tales from other countries, Winnie the Pooh, Velveteen Rabbit, American Tall Tales and other stories we think we may want to read.

I think there are a few other things I planned on doing and I'll update as I remember.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

2nd Grade Plans

History: Story of the World II Middle Ages
Cantering the Country (learning about states)
Also adding a few more things but I don't have it finalized at this point.

Math: Math Mammoth
Miquon Math

Science: K12
Some odds and ends that I might stumble across.

Grammar: Voyages in English 2

Handwriting: Handwriting Without Tears Grade 2

Literature: A mixture of all types of books. Charlotte's Web, Cricket in Times Square, 39 Clues series, The Great Brain series, The Wheel on the School, The Borrowers, Peppermints in the Parlor, The Family Under the Bridge, The Boxcar Children, plus many more.

Phonics: Finish Explode the Code
Read more Nate the Great Books and others we find and like.

Latin: Song School Latin

Still deciding on other areas but these are ones I am 100% sure we are doing. I'll add the others as we figure it out. Stay tune for the twins Kindergarten plans.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Who lives in a pineapple under the sea?

We took the kids to the Riverdale RC Willey store to meet Spongebob. They also met Dora which wasn't nearly as exciting as Spongebob. Personally I think the whole thing was a joke but the kids loved it. We got there 20 minutes before it was suppose to start and were probably number 20 in line but it appears that everyone in front of us was holding a spot in line for an additional 50 people. As you can tell the kids were getting bored. They were letting you take your own pictures and they also had people taking pictures. Me being the considerate one and probably the only one there who was it appears had all my kids in one picture. Everyone in front of us had each of their dozen or so kids and themselves get their pictures done individually. Seriously they could have had more people go through if they had insisted on group pictures. After you moved on from pictures they gave you either a candy or a spongebob coloring book. My kids picked candy. Anyways they tell us there was free cookies and drinks on the other side of the store so while waiting for our free pictures we take the kids for the cookies and drinks. Let me tell you all those people in front of us treated this as a free for all. I think they loaded up their bags with 4-5 bottled waters on top of the ones they took to drink while eating the dozens of cookies they ate. No lie I heard one mom say to her kids fill up here for lunch kids. The way the whole thing was run was ridiculous. Oh well it was free so why should I complain!

We lost Nathan in the store. Course according to him it was my fault cause I didn't stay in the spot he had left me.