Friday, November 30, 2007

Weekly Report - November 12-30

I haven't done a weekly report for a few weeks, so I'm covering everything we've done during that time. Last week was very light because of Thanksgiving.


CLE Language Arts arrived and we have started. We just finished the first quiz and it's going pretty well.


Lots and lots of books about the middle ages were read. We have studied castles and knights the last couple of weeks and the kids are really enjoying it. They've been disinterested in the middle ages up to this point.

Ruth is also reading the Chronicles of Narnia. She read The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe previously, but the others shown have been within the past couple of weeks. Robert has finally finished Lad: A Dog. I asked him if he finally liked it at the end, but he said that he's liked it since the beginning. So why did it take him a full month to finish the book?!


We read about William the Conqueror this week. I wanted to share Robert's notebook page. He is learning chess now, and since it had its beginning in the middle ages, his picture is a chess "battle scene". (We are working on the writing portion. Robert gives very good oral narrations, but struggles with written .)


We're working on the poem The Arrow and the Song by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. I really like this poem, and the kids recognized the first couple of lines from a Foxtrot cartoon. Now, how's that for cultural relevance? LOL (please excuse how crooked this is - I just could not get it to scan straight)


It's taken awhile, but we've finally finished up our sea turtles chapter. I thought we'd never get those last things finished! Kids made sea turtles and sea snakes for the ocean box. I promise the next pictures will show them actually in the box!


I am putting aside our regular Bible curriculum for a study of Christmas. We are doing a Jesse tree for the first time. In an effort to keep it simple (to make sure it gets done!) and inexpensive, we are using the scriptures and ornaments found here. I also found an excellent overview of Jesse trees here.

Coming up:

We will return to our study of Latin and do better with our composer and picture study. :)

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Tracking Assignments

Keeping track of daily assignments has always been a struggle. I've tried several different methods - handwritten, daily assignment sheets, weekly assignment sheets, pre-printed, blank sheets with handwritten assignments. None of them work, mainly because we can't keep track of the sheets of paper and my children forget to check what has yet to be done.

So, I went back to something I used last year.

I have all our subjects listed, with columns for each child, written with wet-erase markers. Assignments are written by me daily with dry-erase markers. It is easy and impossible to misplace. :) (Please note that every single assignment from this chart is done. That hasn't happened since then, but I wanted to make sure you saw this it does happen here occasionally.)

I have also started using the Simply Charlotte Mason web-site organizer. I used to think the $10/month was too much, but after seeing it recommended by Christy at A Common Shepherdess, I decided to sign up for the 30-day trial. I figured if I used it for those 30 days, it would be worth the money (seeing as I've never stuck with any organization method that long - I am so ADD at times). I did and it is! I love it. It's easy to see daily assignments and check them off throughout the day. If I forget something, I can go back later and do it. Easy-peasy.

Another advantage to this method is that I get a break from the paper monster that threatens to take over my home. :)

Monday, November 26, 2007

This Could be a Real Bummer

Ruth told me today that her face feels "itchy" after eating fruit. I asked her how long this had been happening and she said for "awhile". She used to think it was normal. (!!!)

I did some research and found that most people that have fruit allergies also have pollen allergies. She definitely has those.

So, we are headed to the allergist tomorrow morning.

This girl loves fruit (really, really loves it), so removing it from her diet will be very painful. Would you say a prayer that this is not serious?

UPDATE: We saw the allergist today. We got a prescription for an epi-pen and prednisone for an emergency situation. Ruth got blood drawn for that type of allergy test. If it doesn't show the results we expect, we'll have to do the skin test. She cannot have any fruit until we go back in two weeks and get the results.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


The latest...

I took Robert on a Cub Scout camping trip this weekend. It went okay until the rain started Saturday night. The thunder and lightning lasted 4 hours! Thankfully, Robert slept through most of it. We got 6 inches of rain. At 5 am I found more than 3 inches of that rain in our tent. I had forgotten to close the bottom zipper on the door. (I'm smart that way.) Ugh. We were dry because we were on a blow-up mattress, but just about everything else was soaked. I decided then and there we were headed home. So we packed up and left. My rain poncho split down the front while loading the car, so I got soaked and filthy. It was so good to get home and be warm and dry again.

I found out this weekend that somebody is using my personal information (name, address, phone number) to create and forge checks. Not on our account, thank goodness, but I am getting the bounced check notifications and am having to deal with that. Identity theft is no fun, let me tell you.

We will be having more than 25 people at our house on Thanksgiving Day. I think it's going to be a great day, but I'm beginning to be stressed about cleaning my house and things like that. I'm trying to concentrate on thankfulness, and not on impressing everyone with my spotless home. :)

I hope you and yours have a wonderful holiday!


Thursday, November 15, 2007

Don't Forget to Make Your Nominations!

The deadline for nominations at Homeschool Blog Awards is Saturday, November 17th. Don't forget!!

It Must be All Those Weekly Reports

That's the only reason this makes any sense whatsoever.

cash advance

(And am I the only person who immediately thinks "Wile E. Coyote - Su-per Ge-nius"?)

HT: The Common Room

Monday, November 12, 2007

Cat Alarm Clock

I found this very funny. We have two very silent cats. One of them, however, has been known to come meow in my ear very loudly in the early hours of the morning if her food bowl is empty. I'm pretty sure she would take it this far if I didn't get up. LOL

HT: Accidental Blogger

Friday, November 09, 2007

Weekly Report - November 5-9


We studied sea turtles this week. We learned that the leatherback turtle can get as big as 9 feet long. That just astounds me. For an activity, we drew a life-size model of this mammoth turtle on our driveway. Both of my kids fit inside it! (You may need to click on the picture to see the turtle. I had a hard time getting it to show up in a photo.)


I had gotten behind in grading math papers. I caught up this week and discovered that Ruthie is really having problems with multiplication facts. So, she spent this week correcting math papers and drilling multiplication. She hates drill, so this was not a good math week for her.


We did another project from our fall art pack that I bought. I (again) want to highly recommend this if you're craft challenged like me. She has sold out of fall packs, but is currently working on a winter one that will be available in January. Hmmm... I guess that means I'm on my own for Christmas crafts. Bummer.

Ruthie painted fall trees using warm watercolors. Robert was not interested in this, but he did make the origami dog.

Language Arts

We are not continuing our use of Bravewriter's Arrow. I discovered that it's just too unstructured for me. Grammar and writing do not come to me instinctively. I have to work at making sure my children get enough of this and are learning it correctly. The Arrow is just not enough for me to feel confident in this area.

So, we are back to BJU for writing. I did decide to try CLE for grammar (still trying to simplify this subject). I gave them the placement test and ordered the first couple of light units to try it out. Hopefully those will come this week.


I wanted to share a new notebook I made. This one is for our U.S. geography study. I had to divide it into separate notebooks because my comb binding machine doesn't allow for more than 60 or so pages in a notebook. (I want to upgrade to a better one before next school year.)

There are dividers for the different sections of states. Each state has a map (Uncle Josh's Outline maps) and a coloring page with state bird and flower (links for those found in this post).

I love our notebooks. They keep everything organized and help tame the paper monster.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007


The threat of having to clean a toilet is very effective in getting a certain boy to do his math.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Google Notebook

I recently discovered Google Notebook. I'm still discovering the full functionality of this feature, but I figured out a use that is coming in very handy for me.

I use our online library catalog all the time to check if our library has books and request them. I often need books for our history studies and need them particular weeks. One feature I wish our online library had is an ability to save lists of books I will need to reserve at a future date. I am often misplacing my list of what the library has and then forget to request the book.

Enter Google Notebook! I made a notebook for library books. I copied the URL for the book search result and add it to the notebook. In the comment section of the entry I put the name of the book and the week I will need it. Ta-da!

This makes my life simpler and it's nifty neat-o, too. :)

Monday, November 05, 2007

Homeschool Blog Awards

I haven't mentioned it here, but I am part of the Homeschool Blog Awards team. I am posting there twice a month and will be assisting with all that's involved in making the whole process run smoothly.

I'm mentioning it now because nominations start TODAY! Make sure you head over there and nominate your favorite homeschool blog. There are a lot of different categories and there will be some great prizes.

Make sure your favorite blog gets the recognition it deserves!

Friday, November 02, 2007

Weekly Report: Oct. 29 - Nov. 2

We had an unusual week. We spent Monday getting back on schedule, then threw it out the window the rest of the week to work on scouting activities.

Why scouting activities? Well, Robert is at the Webelos level and is working to finish everything up by February. There are quite a lot of things that we are falling behind on, so I decided to take a few days and work on his requirements. Most of them are educational. It was a real hodge-podge of activities, but there was learning going on and it was really a lot of fun!

Ruth also worked on scouting badges. She joined a 5th grade Junior troop this year, even though she is in 4th grade. We are working at home on badges that the older girls earned last year.


This was not a part of badge work, but we did do a lesson every day.


Robert gave an example of producer, composer, and decomposer of a food chain. We got the worksheet from Enchanted Learning.

We did an expirement from our Zoology 2 (ocean creatures) study that involved latex gloves, vaseline, and ice water. Can you guess what this was representing?


Ruth studied food labels for nutrition information.

We studied basic first aid information. We also met with a friend of mine who is an R.N. to go over "hurry cases". This covers badge work for both kids.


Robert wrote a letter to Lego asking why Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga will not be available on Gamecube. He also wrote an email to a friend.

Ruth wrote an advertisement for a healthy food (drawings also count as art).


Robert used our computer to make 6 different designs. (click on this image to enlarge it and see if you can see what would be my favorite design. :) )

We used our watercolors (finally!) to make a color wheel. Pretty elementary principles of art, but the kids had fun. We did discover we need more practice with watercolors, though. :)

The kids made seals for their ocean boxes. Robert's seals (mother and baby) are going to go inside the box so that his killer whale can chase it. (he's such a boy!) Ruth made a sea lion that will be on top of her box (and out of danger).

This was a great week. We had gotten in a real rut and none of us were enjoying our school days. Frustration levels were high and tempers were short. This was a welcome break. I feel rejuvenated and ready to get back to our regular schedule next week.