Jul 31, 2010

DIY: Dry Erase Board

Have you tried any new DIY projects lately?

I don't know about you, but I have a whole Pinterest board filled with DIY projects I might want to try...

I saw this on another blog several weeks ago, but I can't for the life of me remember where....(sorry for horrible pic)
All you need is an old picture. It doesn't have to pretty at all!
I found a picture with a good frame at a yard sale for like two bucks.  I had to peel the cardboard off the back to get to the picture inside. 

Jul 21, 2010

Planning for the School Year

I AM A PLANNER!  So, don't flip out when you read this...I know there are perfectly normal homeschool moms out there that think I'm crazy...and I might be, a little, but don't tell my husband I admitted it. Everybody has their own style.  Homeschool Creations keeps a homeschool planner, and she tells all about it hereBusy Lil' Homemaker really motivated me to get organized, even more than normal. 

I am starting to plan for the upcoming school year.  We choose to follow the calendar of public school, because daddy is a high school teacher, and we do not get much work done when he is home...its just too exciting! So, we are off for the summer at this time.  I have been ordering books...more about that to come. 

I start by figuring out how many days/weeks we will be in school.  In our state, we have to do 1000 hours (600 of those in core subjects).  There is no designation as far as number of days, as long as we get our 1000 hours in before June 30.  So, I found out the hard way, that I must plan. plan. plan. our year and figure out how many hours we have to do per day, and how many weeks we have to do per year, to get in all 1000 hours...hope that made sense.  Otherwise, we get half way through the school year and realize we have to bust our heiny's to get all of our hours in, and that's NO fun! 

(Number of days/weeks divided by 1000...not too hard, even for the mathematically challenged)

This year we will have a 36 week school year.  We will do 5 1/2 hours daily. We are trying a sort-of 4 day week (sorta).  We will do our special subjects like Spanish, Typing, Art, Music, and P.E. on Friday.  That will be our fun Friday!  Yeah!  The other days will be typical: Math, Bible, Reading, Social Studies, Language Arts, and Science.  Thrilling.

Yes, we do a more classical approach with workbooks.  We still do some lapbooks, and fun activities, but I like to keep it simple.  

Planning for each subject:
I begin by looking in the teacher's guide and find out how many lessons/units there are.  I do a yearly goal sheet, which helps me stay on track for the school year.  I can just glance at the week and see if we're behind or ahead or on track.  Here is my simple document that I use to do this.  I just fill in the date at the top, and put in my lesson numbers in the middle (make several copies). It's simple, but it works for me!

 Then its time to plan for each subject.  That's what I've been working on the last week or so.  I bought a file crate from Wal-mart, and I am doing a hanging file folder for each subject.  I have been making supplemental posters and informational sheets (and laminating them- I love my laminator!).  Actually, I am just too cheap to waste spend money on something I can make myself.  I will place them in the file folder to grab when needed. 

I also have a binder.  It has three sections so far:  schedule, household, and the third will be for daily lesson sheets.  I use Homeschool Tracker (love. it.), but I still prefer to write out Jellyfish's activities on paper.  Crazy, I know.

This year, I will be doing his portfolio as we go along, rather than waiting until the end of the year.  Live and learn!  Jellyfish will have his own schedule, so that he knows what subject he should be doing.   I will be posting our schedule soon. 

I will also be posting more about our curriculum in the upcoming days.

Read this if you're having trouble getting motivated!

Until then,

Jul 20, 2010

Weekly Highlights: July

July is rolling by...I have not been writing as often because there have been so many things going on.  We have been busy. 
New window, new roof, and then Caleb decides to cut another hole in my house, between my dining room and living room.  I have to admit, it does make the rooms look bigger.

Of couse this requires that the whole room gets painted.  Soooo, we are doing board and batten.  More pics coming soon (as soon as it is finished).

Sunday, July 18th
No amount of persuading could get my little doll to smile and cooperate as mommy snapped picture after picture...so sad, but she's still cute as a button!

This was the dress that Caleb's family got her for Christmas.
Here are some snuggle pictures.  Brief moments of love, before chaos ensues...
Our garden is growing, despite the heat and lack of rain.  We have squash, tomotoes, watermelon, green peppers, and few other things.  Jellyfish has been watering the garden and picking veggies.  Don't let the picture fool you, he would never actually eat any of the veggies unless they're properly disguised in a dish, but he posed for the picture which is more than my little girlie will do.

Yes, she really is the life of the party...

In the news...

  • Oil spill is stopped at least for the time being.

  • Kagan is about to take a seat on the Supreme Court.

  • Lindsey Lohan goes to jail, finally.

  • Apple iphone 4 has issues.
Until next time,

Jul 19, 2010

Kid's Links: Math

Math is not always so fun for kids. At our house, it's like torture some days, but adding in some educational games can be an attitude changer! They help reinforce new concepts, test comprehension, and are a great review of past concepts. Check out some links we use below:


Cool Math 4 Kids: you could seriously roam on this site ALL day and never see all of the fun games. I found games for all ages and levels on this site. Everything that I've clicked on so far is free!
Mr. Nussbaum: Games for ages 2-12; also gives option to play on iPad or Ipod
Shepherd's: choose a topic on left side and start playing!
Zoodles: safe browser (no popups or outside links), great for toddlers; sends mom an email each week outlining the child's activity. I love this one!

Multiplication Practice:

Interactive Practice
Sunny Bunny
Lake Mathatobie
Math Facts Game
Turbo Skid
A+ Math
Fun 4 the Brain


Practical money skills for life
Family Learning

I'm sure there are a million more; these are just a few that we use and like! Check back often for updates!

Kid's Links: Reading

Read a Story:
Classical Books
Children's Books Online
Reading Planet
Magic Keys
ByGosh Classics
Between the Lions
Storyline Online
Summer Reading Lists By Grade

Reading Strategies:
Good Readers

Reading Skills:
Reading Words
Breakfast Reading Program
Reading Activities ***

Listen to stories online!

Check back for updates!

Kids Links: Social Studies

Sheppard's Games
Interactive Continents
Continents & Oceans Quiz


Martin Luther King, Jr.


Drop the State
States & Capitals
Maps & directions
U.S. timed test
Pick a State

The World:
Latitude & Longitude
World Games
Interactive Bible Maps
3 Branches of Government:
The Star-Spangled Banner
The Star-Spangled Banner (video)
Congress for Kids
Ben's Guide

National Symbols:
Flag Puzzle
The Great Seal
Missouri History:
State Symbols

Lewis & Clark:
Go West!
Interactive Journey

Underground Railroad: Read   Activity book

The Journey (video)
Levi Coffin House
Scholastic Interactive (lots of resources)

Check back often for updates!