Sunday, September 21, 2008

Making Homeschooling Easier ...

I have to admit there are all cool kinds of curriculum out there to be used ... and with nine very different children passing through the "halls" of this here school ... well, the one thing that I have found that consistently pleases my children are the great FREEBIES & collections that Homeschool Radio Show delights it's listeners with.

My homeschoolers range from the five year old just learning to read up to the thirty year old that has become a voracious reader now that he is grown. But the one in the middle is the one that can't wait to get his hands on the next installment from which ever collection I allow him to listen to - and yes ... I have had to take the cd's away and hide them. Otherwise he will sit and listen to them all - one right after another.

Today, I have the subscriber "extra" freebie ready and waiting just for his sweet ears to devour ... here ... take a look at the "ad" for this freebie. Ah, but I won't be a bad momma and give you the link so don't even ask! You are going to have to register for their letter at Homeschool Freebie of the Day. Okay here is this weeks freebie extra ...

The Tale of the Pine Tree Shilling Storybook & Audio Dramatization

For years, the American colonies had no regular monetary system. They used and depended on money from other lands -- from Spanish doubloons to Dutch guilders to Portuguese joannes -- foreign currencies circulated side by side with English coins in the colonies, whose merchants were eager to trade with all comers. Many times, the ebb and flow of these currencies in the new world created a chaotic economy. It was illegal for the colonies to mint their own money, for that would be a major step toward independence. Would anyone step forward and try to create our OWN money? In this delightful ebooklet and audio dramatization, read the fascinating true story of the very first coin ever minted in the American Colonies, as written by early American novelist and historian Nathaniel Hawthorne, and then listen in to a great dramatization of the story of the Pine Tree Shilling along with other Colonial stories in a great 1936 episode of Cavalcade of America! You and your kids will find this a fascinating story from our Colonial history. PDF storybook & 30 minute mp3 audio.

And here is the link to this weeks regular freebies that everyone can download.

In light of the last week's hurricane Ike - I'm sure some Texas / Louisiana homeschoolers would have loved to have this first freebie!

Monday, Sept 22: Emergency Prep for YOUR Family

Print this out. Read it. Make a plan with your family.
Keep this handy "just in case".

Tuesday, Sept 23: What to Do When Your Daughter Hates Being
in the Kitchen

Excellent little ebook on motivating your young folk to do their share
of the household work, and understand the reasons they are doing it.
Gets at the attitudes & heart of the problem. Good stuff!

Wednesday, Sept 24: Sew Modest Tips

A collection of very helpful sewing and modest dressmaking tips
and ideas from the Ringger family.

Thursday, Sept 25: The Morals of Chess by Benjamin Franklin (MP3)

Great audio recitation of Franklin's classic essay on how the game of
chess teaches real-world lessons and develops strong character.
You'll definitely be wanting to teach your kids to play chess after
listening to this. Extra: Great beginners' Chess rules guide included!

Friday, Sept 26: Treasure Island: A Paratey Literature Seminar For Kids

Wonderful 12 lesson unit study based on the famous Robert Louis
Stevenson book, by Lydia Netzer. Perfect for kids who love
pirates, adventure and fun!

Oh and if you have a problem "remembering" to download your daily freebie like I do ... then I suggest creating a "task" in Microsoft Outlook like I do. Every morning at 5:30 my little reminder pops up, bells ring, and tada ... I am reminded to go download my cool freebie. IF you don't have Microsoft Outlook, then you could make a folder in your email program and just keep this weeks reminder in that folder marked as unread!

Now, go sign up for this newsletter where next week you can get a cool extra freebie TOO!!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Studying ...

~ Wednesday in a Word ~

Monday, September 15, 2008

The Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY September 15, 2008
Outside My Window...

I hear the laughter of my children as they go out to feed their animals and to check on the new litter of puppies.
I am thinking...

of all the blessings God had given me.
I am thankful for...

the mind that God has given me - that allows me to reason, think, learn and grow.
From the kitchen...

I hear my daughters radio softly playing my favorite Bluegrass album.
I am wearing...

my favorite soft cuddly sweater, a tank, and some palazzo pants that look more like a skirt than pants.
I am creating...

a sweater for my daughter, and a sweater for myself.
I am going...

to finish my bloggie dues and then I am going to crochet until after lunch - NO SCHOOL TODAY!
I am reading...

Created to be His Helpmeet
I am hoping...

that this nice cool weather is here to stay for a few days.
I am hearing...

Tiggers bell tinkle as she jumps up to the window to tease Harley again!
Around the house...

I smell the wonderful smells of clean sheets, Clorox green cleaner, and cranberry candles.
One of my favorite things...

a hot mug of coffee to snuggle up with on a cold morning!
A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week:

finishing the chapter in Astronomy, completing one more of my classes sans project, and working on my sweater and Miss Smiley's sweater.
Here is picture thought I am sharing...

He believes I am a traitor for allowing a cat to sit in my lap.

If he only knew ... He is so very dear to my heart! I have entrusted my morning talks to his soft silky ears - fears that are never shared in gossip, worries that never bother another soul, my deepest thoughts only shared with God ... he hears and never judges me.

Monday, September 08, 2008

The Simple Woman's Daybook

For Today...

Outside my is raining, just a light refreshing rain.

I am thinking...I really need to change the radio station.

From the learning rooms...Astronomy, New World Explorers and Famous Artists.

I am thankful for...the rain this morning, being home, and Sarah, she has blessed my heart today.

From the kitchen...sausage, a mixture of lentils, and cornbread.

I am wearing...long navy leggings, a lime green Tinker Bell t-shirt, and a soft cuddly sweater

I am reading...Raising Maidens of Virtue, and Created to be his Helpmeet.

I am hoping...more rain, we need it and to hear good news on my class.

I am creating...a long winter sweater/coat for myself.

I am favorite song on my mp3 player ... Joe Nichols' I'll Wait for You.

Around the house...we desperately need to mow AGAIN!

One of my favorite a warm hug from my toussled haired baby girl.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week...get ahead in school, rest, and exercise more.

Here is a picture I am sharing with you...

Friday, September 05, 2008

You have WHAT, living WHERE?????

Today, I think … we have finally come to a complete understanding.

The cat is in control.

I never in all my life thought I would say these things.

I now have conversations with cat. (Yes, I still talk to Harley-he is still #1 dog in the world!)
I allow cat to sleep on my pillow. (No, Harley never slept on my pillow – he sleeps on Roo’s.)
I actually have come to realize … I like cat. And yes this beautiful green/grey eyed Tabby does have a name.

Her name is Tigger – no not original, but I have a chocolate eyed girl that thinks Tigger is tops, whether it is Tigger and Pooh or Tigger and Smiley! I call her Tiggity-Tig Cat … and she comes to me … she follows me … she seeks me out. I have a theory on this … it is because I am allergic to cats. LOL, oh, yeah did I mention I have purchased stock in OTC Zyrtec®. My little green capped bottle and I are BEST friends.

Of course the most hilarious part about Tiggity-Tig is her 5:30 am playtime with Rooster. While my precious one is in the bathroom doing his morning routine, he has Tig either playing with her toys under his feet, pouncing off laundry baskets at him as he moves back and forth, jumping out from behind the door, watching him shower and shave, and last but not least jumping off of the cabinet shelves at him!! Well, I don’t know … her jumping out from under the bed as he walks by is pretty funny too!!

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Oh, What a Feeling ...

Assignment: Take time this week to write about YOU and your feelings of trials and triumphs with homeschooling. Touch on when you first heard about the concept of home schooling and whether you tip-toed into the idea or just jumped in and never looked back. Share your schooling as a child and how you compare it to what your goals are for your children.

Why is the first assignment always the hardest - especially when you have to write about yourself?!?!? Ah, I know I can make this easier ... just one bite at a time ... you know like eating elephant! LOL

((chewing sounds))

Homeschooling … WOW … once I heard about it (fourteen years ago) I just literally jumped in with both feet. My precious Rooster introduced me to homeschooling - both he and his sister homeschooled before we started dating. **My MOST PRECIOUS Sister Sue that has homeschooled all of her children to some degree ... some she took out of school and homeschooled, some were always homeschooled, and one started homeschool but ended up graduating from a small town school where he played football. I am as proud of my nieces and nephews as I am my own children. I can only hope to raise my children to be as intelligent AND to walk with Christ as they do ... beautiful, beautiful people! ** The only time I have ever looked back is to see how far down the rabbit trails we have traveled. Hmm, makes you wonder from reading this first paragraph who it actually is that gets off of the rabbit trails ... ((GIGGLING))

I look back now ... we started in 1995 homeschooling my daughter and my step-daughter joined our homeschool in 1997 (my step-son who was also homeschooled had already left home to start a family) with boxed curriculum. Then sometime that year, I found unit studies. Rooster and I sat down one weekend, picked a topic and we designed a whole unit around Charlotte's Web - language arts, math, science, history, ... it was all there ... LOL, he calls our units "Prego Units" ... "it's in there!" I don't even know if that is their tag-line anymore, or if it's Ragu's ... LOL, I don't know if they are even in existence anymore - not only has my homeschooling changed from boxed but so has my cooking ... I make food fresh now ... very little mixes or packaged foods! **RABBIT TRAILS**

How do you judge triumphs? Are they the "grades" that your child makes? Are they the fact that when you child is mixed company, they carry on intellectual conversations about their studies? I believe our homeschool triumphs come in many different sparkles I see everyday when I look into the eyes of my children as I talk with them. When I cracked open Amy Pak's New World Explorer CD case, I saw the pure delight in my eight year old Wolf-boy's eyes. He had been watching the mail for days to be the first of my five "mail carriers" to snag the history goodie! Each day when we open our Exploring God's Creation with Astronomy book by Jeannie Fulbright, Miss Smiley (10) and Miss Boo-Bop (5) clap their hands with glee and delight. Bubba-bear looks on with pride as he leaps further and further into his math ... he may struggle with diagramming a sentence, but the maturity and pride I saw creep across his face as he helped ME understand my college algebra problem ... well ... that just said it all for me. Lately, my greatest triumph though was to find for my lost boy ... Sir Hiss-alot his niche if you will, in the academic world. Sir Hiss-alot has fallen in love with MATH! My lost boy, which most of you know is our adopted son - came to us with a myrad of issues - however the failure to thrive due to starvation and attachment disorder (and no he was not adopted from a third world country - he was a relation's child - rolling eyes, spitting, and growling) are the greatest obstacles that we have to get around at this time.

The trials however, fall in line with the triumphs ... it is a trial when a child comes to me and says XYZ is not working for me - but it still works for the other five children. Figuring out a way to make XYZ work for all of my children is definitely my trial. Balancing my class work, work, and home educating my children is another trial. My genius boys just suggested that I get up earlier - how much earlier than 4:30 am can a person actually get up and still be a viable human until 9 pm that night???? Hehehehe ... they are my boys ... I swear I love them ... but "Ethel, there are days ... STRAIGHT TO THE MOON"!

Now I know some started school this week, but we being very traditional homeschoolers (and by traditional I mean we have to do everything different from the system) start our school year in January. We took a longer than usual break this year, as my Rooster and dearest Sister Sue lost their mom. We took some time off to visit Sister Sue, and help her clean out some storage. We also took some time off to be with Rooster-love while he adjusted to his new job and our new schedule (EVERY WEEKEND OFF - no more seven/three/seven/four insanity - no more 6 am to 6 pm that turns into 4:30 am to 9:30 pm - no more nights and VACATION ... we actually get VACATION now!!!!) and we had a couple of mini-vacations mixed in there. So, we "kinda" put some things off until now and are just starting a new study in science and history.See my happy homeschoolers ... this was our "first" day of Exploring God's Creation with Astronomy. We have been "lap-n-notebooking" this year. I have seen such a tremendous difference in how my precious ones learn. Better yet, I see the joy my children have in learning ... now isn't that the ultimate homeschooling "feeling"!

2 Corinthians 7:4

Great is my boldness of speech toward you, great is my boasting on your behalf. I am filled with comfort. I am exceedingly joyful in all our tribulation.

Just as Paul turned to God for comfort during the tribulations of Corinth, I have found great comfort turning to God during our trials of homeschooling. And as Paul found comfort and joy from the Corinthians in his time of need ... I have always found comfort and joy being a part of the homeschooling community - whether it was a time a needed a suggestion for curriculum, or if I needed help on teaching a child! This is only one of many verses that has become my favorite while homeschooling.