Monday, November 29, 2010

Homeschooling Change

Since I last posted on this blog, life changes have made it necessary for me to send my kids back to school. Lucy is attending the local public school, and Matthew goes to preschool at a Lutheran Church. Lucy loves school, and has said she likes it more than homeschooling. I'm not really sure how to feel about that. I'm glad she's thriving at school, but part of me wants her to miss homeschooling! What she seems to like most about school is being around the other kids, and being able to participate in things like the radio show and after school art. She wants to be involved in everything!

In any case, I continue to supplement Lucy and Matthew's education at home, and I still think of myself as a homeschooler, even though I'm only able to do it part-time right now. At home Lucy and I are continuing to study history with the Story of the World series. Right now we're learning about the Renaissance, and are about to read about Martin Luther and the Reformation. I found a great picture book about Luther to supplement our Story of the World reading, Martin Luther: A Man Who Change the World, by Paul Maier. We'll continue to read about church history with the book Courage and Conviction, by Mindy and Brandon Withrow. We're also continuing Latin studies at home with Prima Latina. Last year Lucy did Latin through Rosetta Stone for free with a homeschool group. That was great, but no longer available to us without that group!

Lucy has also been working through division in Math U See Delta. She loves division, though she hasn't been very interested in math previously. And we're doing grammar with First Lanuage Lessons, by Peace Hill Press. Lucy does a lot of writing of stories and art at home as well, and we read together nearly every night.

We don't have a lot of time for our studies at home, with school and all the school activities Lucy wants to be involved with, but we work our way slowly through these, and will do more in the summer. So far Lucy has held on to her love of learning. She enjoys what she learns at school, and the teacher says she is the best student in class! Lucy is highly self-motivated and I think the years of homeschooling established that in her.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Meal Plan Monday: March 29

My time in the kitchen has gotten much more complicated lately, ever since I decided to make everything I possibly can from scratch. This seems like a good way to bypass any unwanted, unnatural ingredients. But it's also immensely satisfying. I feel proud of myself for being able to make my own ketchup and salad dressings, and for trying more and more difficult recipes. And there's just something about using my hands, making things for myself that makes me happy. Why is that? I don't know!

Anyway, I've been spending a lot of time on either Saturday or Sunday baking and cooking for the week. This past Saturday I made homemade butter and buttermilk, deviled eggs (Lucy and I like to snack on them), homemade ice cream, and homemade bread (well, in the bread machine, so that was pretty easy.

Here's the menu for the week:

SUNDAY: went out for dinner and a movie with girl friends

MONDAY: pastured, local chicken dipped in homemade buttermilk then dredged in homemade bread breadcrumbs and fried in olive oil, served with brown sugar carrots and broccoli

TUESDAY: pasta with homemade sauce, salad with homemade dressing, bread from the breadmaker

WEDNESDAY: leftovers

THURSDAY: Pasta with Garlicky Roasted Broccoli (a new recipe), salad, bread

FRIDAY: Chicken with Pecan Crust, corn pudding, mashed potatoes

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Friday, March 26, 2010

Weekly Wrap-Up: March 26

This week was so much fun. It was full of so many activities, that the kids and I barely had any time at home. Lucy did a bit of math and some grammar, and she read a lot of supplemental history literature, mostly in the car to and from activities. We went on two field trips this week with our homeschool group. On Monday we saw a play of the book, Are You My Mother? and then toured a local newspaper office. And on Thursday we saw a play of Charlotte's Web, and then went to a local children's museum where we got to ride on their new carousel! The kids had all their usual activities as well: preschool, swim and gym, dance, and playdates.

Then today we went shoe shopping, which ended up taking several more hours than I had planned. As the kids and I sat in a local hamburger joint and ate lunch together today, I felt (probably too puffed up with) pride at how good their manners were, and pleased by how much fun we've been having together. This is one of the biggest reasons why I homeschool -- as we get to know each other better and better as the years go by, we enjoy each others company more and more. I wonder if this would be different if the kids spent most of their time at school. Of course, it also helps that my youngest is almost 4 years old now, and I don't have to worry about changing diapers or chasing a toddler around museums any more!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Outside my window... sun! It seems that spring has come early to the Midwest. I'm not complaining!

I am thinking... about getting on the treadmill and watching a show on HULU while I work out.

I am thankful for... my homeschool group. We get to do so many fun things through this group. Just this week we are seeing two plays!

I am wearing... jeans, gray hooded sweatshirt.

I am going... Matthew had preschool and Lucy had homeschool art class this morning. Now we are at home for the rest of the day.

I am currently reading... The Children's Book, by A.S. Byatt

I am hoping... to plant seeds this week. It's my first attempt at seed starting indoors.

From the kitchen... apple meatloaf tonight. Also an oats and buttermilk snack cake to have around for snacking.

Around the house... setting up my new iPhone, lots of phone calls to catch up on.

From our studies... This is a light week this week, because of the above mentioned field trips. We don't have a lot of time at home this week, in between the field trips and our regular activities.

Listening to... the kids performing experiments with magnets. They tie a magnet to a string and hang it down over the 2nd floor balcony. Then they put a bunch of magnetic stuff on the floor of the hallway downstairs and see what they can pick up.

From my picture journal ... for some reason the button to add images has disappeared from my new post pages, so I can't add any pictures. I hope it reappears sometime!

Visit here to learn how to create your own daybook.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Weekly Wrap-Up: March 19

Spring has come early to the Midwest, and we had a gorgeous week! We spent lots of time outside. We even walked to the beach on Tuesday. We did have to wear jackets, but we weren't cold and the kids had a lot of fun playing in the sand. We also tried out a new playground nearby, which will have a small splash park once the weather is consistently warmer (I see snow in the forecast for this weekend).

Lucy had her usual assortment of activities (dance, Girl Scouts, art class) and we had plenty of playdates too. Somehow we managed to squeeze in some schoolwork! We learned about the Diaspora and and about Genghis Khan and Kublai Khan. Lucy read lots of books: some on these history subjects, and others just for fun. She's trying to read 100 books this year. Looks like she won't have any problem with that!

Lucy has been working hard on math lately, and she's nearing the end of 3rd grade math, finally! It's taken about 2 years to get through the Math U See multiplication book, but I feel as though Lucy really knows the material well and she'll be well prepared to tackle division. Meanwhile, she's flying through 4th grade spelling and grammar. One of the best things about homeschooling is that Lucy can work at her own pace. I love that she's noticed that herself! This week she said something about how hard it would have been for her if she was in school, and she'd had to move ahead in math before she was ready.

For some reason blogger won't let me post pictures today, so later on I'll try to add a picture of our trip to the beach.

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Thursday, March 18, 2010

Everyday Learning

Sometimes I fall into the trap of thinking that learning only takes place when we sit down and "do school." In reality, my kids are learning all day long. I'm trying to be more aware of this, to notice all the wonderful things they do on their own! The projects, the artwork, the pretend play, the reading, the outdoor play ... I suspect all these things contribute just as much to their education as the more deliberate learning times that we have. Today before we sat down at the school table, Lucy had already read an adaptation of a classical novel (Dracula) and worked on putting together a crane with her erector set. Before lunch she went up to her room and worked on some art projects, and now she's out on a bike ride with daddy. I'm looking forward to seeing what she decides to do this afternoon, before she heads off to dance class.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

10 Random Questions

Hello sorely neglected homeschool blog. I've been spending a lot of time writing on my new books blog, and apparently keeping up 2 blogs at once is a bit too much for me. But here's a fun quiz I thought I'd participate in:

1. What time is it right now? 11:14 a.m.

2. What are you wearing? jeans, black shirt, sweatshirt

3. What is your mood? Peaceful. I'm in the library by myself while Lucy is at homeschool art class and Matthew is at preschool. The sun is out and it's supposed to be warm today. The kids and I are planning to visit the beach later. The water won't be warm, but the sand will be fun!

4. What is one thing your children learned today? Not anything from me, yet. But probably something from preschool and art class!

5. What did you (or are having) for dinner? Trying a new recipe for Marmalade Chicken tonight.

6. What's one book you are currently reading? Oryx and Crake, by Margaret Atwood. I'll be writing a review of it later on my book blog.

7. What behaviour (in people) is the most common but also the rudest? Right now, talking loudly in the library and answering your cell phone in the library.

8. What can you see out of your nearest window right now? Lake Michigan

9. What are you currently praying for? friends who have lost their jobs

10. What is your favourite hot beverage? hot chocolate

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