Friday, March 20, 2009

Dave Ramsey Would Be So Proud

If we're in the car between 3 and 7 the kids know we will be listening to financial guru Dave Ramsey on the radio. They used to complain and ask for one of their CDs, but they've finally got it in their heads that they can listen to whatever they want the rest of the day, but 3-7 is Mom's time. They actually enjoy listening to Dave now and Sport asks lots of questions about debt, how credit cards work, and all sorts of things financial. They especially like it on Fridays when listeners call in, report how much debt they've paid off, then scream into the phone at the top of their lungs, "I'M DEBT FREEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!" If the callers have their kids on the line, all the better.

I didn't realize just how much Sport had gotten into the show until the other day. We were struggling through a couple of pages in his math workbook. He understood how to do them, but they were just "soooo borrring!" and it was "sooo unfairrrr" that he had to do all that "stupid stuff". He finally got down to the last few problems and announced, "When I'm done with this math page, I'm gonna throw down my pencil and yell I'M MATH FREEEEEEEEEE!"

And he did.

Monday, March 16, 2009

More From the Land Down Under

Without further adieu...Sport's first ever salt dough map:


The continent of Australia...the red is Ayers Rock (or Uluru), brown is the Great Dividing Range and Tasmania, the tan part is the Outback and "everything else".

Here are 2 more pictures from last week of didgeridoo artwork.
Sport used animal designs.

Spice went with a rainbow theme.
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Sunday, March 15, 2009

Not Me Monday

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else has not been doing this week. As for me...

I did not see a sign outside a business that said "BLDG For Sale" on the way home from Spice's dance lesson and spend the rest of the day pondering,"How can you sell a BLOG?" "What type of BLOG would someone buy?" "I wonder how much they want for it?" Since I never mistook the abbreviation B-L-D-G for B-L-O-G, I did not have an AHA! moment when we drove by the same business again the next day and I realized it was a BUILDING for sale and not a BLOG.

In a chocolate related weak moment, I most certainly did not break my Lenten vows of no snacks after dinner by licking the bowl, beater, and spoon one night after making a huge vat of chocolate pudding for Spice to take to her pre-school class for a "dirt" snack. Even if I had succumbed and licked all of those things, it would not have mattered because the pudding had not set yet. It can't be considered food if it's still in a liquid state! I think something like that would have to be considered really thick chocolate milk instead of food.

In a similar moment of weakness, I also did not cut the Zip-loc bag open that held all of the leftover crushed chocolate stuffed Oreos also required for the "dirt" snack and lick every last bit of chocolate goodness off of it. If that had happened tho, it would have been OK because that's something I would have done in the middle of the day, not after dinner.

Finally, I definitely did not tell Sport to "download the dishes" into the dishwasher after supper so that I could quickly fix dessert for everyone last night. I don't even KNOW what would have to be going through someone's brain to say something like that. That would be beyond scatterbrained!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Weekly Wrap-Up

We had a fun week. Here's a quick re-cap:

Social Studies - Continued our unit on Australia. Sport finished his salt dough map by painting it and labeling important geographical features. (One of these days I'll actually download the pictures from my camera and post them!) We read about Aborigines and watched a lot of didgeridoo videos on You Tube. We also looked at symbols common in aboriginal art and used them to decorate our own didgeridoos made out of paper towel rolls. Sport and Spice had a great time "practicing" their own style of music.

Language Arts - Learned spelling words pulled from this week's science unit; used Australian jokes and a little basketball trivia for copywork, as well as science definitions. I just recently started pulling sports related tidbits off the Internet for the dreaded copywork exercises and they've been a hit so far. Not the usual wailing and gnashing of teeth when the subject comes up.

Science - A big hit this week. We are studying levers, pulleys, and simple machines in our Noeo curriculum. Sport has loved every minute of it. Especially since he got to spend most of the week building levers and pulleys with the Ein-O-Science Mechanics kit.

Spanish - Worked on more household words and body parts.

Math - Finished up adding triple digit #s while carrying more than once. On Friday I broke out a game I found at a thrift store a while back then forgot about called Money, Money by Discovery Toys. I worried it would be too complicated for Spice, but once we started playing I realized it was a very basic game good for all ages. The main idea is to practice making a given amount of money in different ways (example make 31 cents using a quarter, nickel, and penny or three dimes and a penny). Spice needed help of course, but the coins are very realistic looking, so it will help her identify nickels, dimes.... Sport loved it. Definitely worth the 2 bucks I paid!

Reading - In the words of Spice, Sport is a "reading machine." I couldn't begin to list what he's read on his own this past week, but together we worked on more picture books of Australia and he read a couple of chapter books set in Australia, Trouble on the Tracks by Donna Napoli and a Magic Treehouse book. For the first time this year, I also handed him a book about the continent of Australia to read independently then report back with what he'd learned. We didn't get to the report back part until a couple of days later and as usual he proved to be a sponge, soaking up everything he had read. This was much easier than us struggling through it together and a good step toward working more independently next year. We also finished Tomie De Paola's Things Will Never Be the Same (or Everything Looks the Same as Spice often refers to it).

When Boys Do Dishes

One of Sport's chores is to unload the dishwasher (and it has nothing to do with the fact that this seems to be the household job I despise the most). He unloads and dries then I come back and put everything away. This way I can actually find pots, pans, bowls, measuring cups...when I need them. The other day I left the room while he busily unloaded everything. I came back in and saw this magnificent creation...


Sport was trying to balance a dinner plate on top when I came in and let out a small scream. He stood by proudly while I envisioned everything crashing to the ground. He wanted to keep building to see if he could make it all the way to the ceiling, then leave it to be admired by all who enter our home, but I felt it would be better to take a (very quick) photo then carefully disassemble. He agreed when I promised to post it for the whole world to see.
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Monday, March 9, 2009

Not Me Monday

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week. It was a harrowing week around here. Take a look...

I did NOT lock my self out of the house one day because what I thought were keys in my pocket turned out to be a bouncy ball and rock - both confiscated from Sport. Neither one of which would have proved to be very good at starting the car. If that HAD happened, I'd have been delighted to find a spare set of house keys in my purse that I did not even remember putting there.

I did not roll right off of my new exercise ball and smack my head HARD on the basement floor while trying out a new pilates video. I'm much too coordinated and graceful for that.

While we're on the subject of injuries that never occurred, I also never got my hand stuck in the canister that holds the filter on the vacuum cleaner, nearly pinching off a very large chunk of skin. Hubby always complains I don't clean out the filter enough. If this had happened it would be a prime example of why I don't clean out the filter more often. That thing is a man eater.

Finally, Hubby and I did not sit around trouble-shooting why Sport's lamp was not coming on while I worked to reset the timer it is hooked up to until Sport graciously solved our dilemma by asking, "How can the lamp come on if it's not plugged in?"

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Weekly Wrap-Up

Here's a look at what we did in school this past week:

Social Studies - kicked off a new unit on the continent of Australia. This week we labeled a map, looked at different regions of Australia (outback, mountains...), noted major attractions (Ayers Rock, Sydney Opera House, the capitol), read lots of books about Australia, and watched a video about animals from down under. We finished off the week with our first ever salt dough map masterpiece. (It's in the drying stages now so more to come on that later.)

Language Arts - worked on spelling words related to Australia; copywork quotes from Albert Einstein and Aussie jokes; used Scholastic's Story Starter for creative writing for the first time. (It was a hit.)

Science - finished up our unit on light and color and studied Albert Einstein.

Spanish - worked on learning bathroom words (not to be confused with potty words) and yard words. Used the Go Fish cards I made to review foods.

Math - more addition and subtraction with trading/borrowing. We're actually supposed to work on another chapter of this in our math books subtracting 3 digit #s from 3 digit #s with borrowing, but honestly after WEEKS of this, I can see that Sport has it down pat so we'll probably skim through that section then move on to multiplication. We also measured and calculated to see if we could jump as far as a kangaroo. (We could not.)

Reading - aside from all of the Aussie picture books we read this week, we also completed a Tomie De Paola chapter book Here We All Are. This is the follow up to 26 Fairmont Avenue. We'll move on to the 3rd book Things Will Never Be The Same next. Sport and Spice love these books. They are easy to read chapter books de Paola wrote about his own childhood. We do them as read alouds.

Last Saturday we went to a concert by Sapien at a local nature center to get a look at a didjeridoo and hear tales of life in the Outback. It was a great start to our Australia unit. Here's a picture from the event:

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Tuesday, March 3, 2009

This Is How We Roll

As I mentioned in my About Me section, we are homeschoolers. One of the first questions people always ask when they find out we homeschool is how we do it. Let me start by saying this is our first year. We are still finding our way and doing a lot of experimenting.

I decided early on with this being our first year that I wanted to purchase a pre-packaged curriculum. We used this curriculum for about two weeks before striking out on our own. We had fun working on our own, but it led to a lot of late nights for me, searching the Internet for projects and ideas. Since Christmas we have settled into a bit of a routine. Here's what we're using right now and what's working for us. Sport is in 2nd grade.

Science - Noeo Physics - This is a wonderful science curriculum, particularly if you want a literature based program. We just started using this after Christmas. I wanted to purchase it at the beginning of our school year, but cheaped out and stuck with what came in the packaged curriculum which turned out to be too easy and slow moving for us. My son loves science. Noeo is a complete package. Experiments and everything else is included. When we struck out on our own this was the subject that was causing me the most grief and keeping me up late. Now I truly can just open up the book in the morning and go.

Social Studies - We have mainly stuck with our original curriculum here, spending time studying each of the 7 continents.

Math - We use Modern Curriculum Press. It's very basic and a bit boring. We'll switch to something else next year to spice things up a bit. (Any input?)

Language Arts - We use a Charlotte Mason approach to homeschooling so we do a lot of reading. We just make this up as we go along...library books based on the continent we are focusing on at the moment, weekly spelling tests using words I think Sport needs to work on, copywork usually based on our social studies or science topics.

Sport also has a homeschool Spanish class on Tuesdays, a religion class at church on Monday nights, plays basketball, and is a Cub Scout. We also use the I Can Do All Things art book. We need help with music. We started out strong here with the recorder, but haven't touched it since before Christmas. Sport got a guitar for Christmas and we inherited a keyboard so we need to get something going in this area again. As far as music appreciation, we are using the Opal Wheeler books by Zeezok to study famous composers. These are wonderful books that come with study guides and companion CDs.

Monday, March 2, 2009


Snippets from two of our conversations today...

In the car, Spice takes her shoes off and comments "Whew these are stinky socks!"

Groovie Mom: Why are your socks stinky?

Spice: Actually I think it's the feet that's under them.

Later in the evening, stepping out of church after a late night Cub Scout meeting...

Spice: Hey it's dark out here. Who turned off all the lights?

Sport: GOD!