Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Catching Up...

Well, my efforts to hold myself accountable have been rather lame, at least for the posting portion of things. Im going to attempt to update things as we have been quite busy!!!

Stay tuned!

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Sunday *Staging Day*

Growing up in the restaurant/food service industry I am familiar with the idea of a staging area. An area where you have all your supplies and needs set up for quick access and a seamless feel to an event. You will have your coffee cups, your extra napkins, the service setups for the next phase of an event.

Well, I have decided that this is what I need for our life. A staging area, or beter yet, a staging day. A day where we get the house to a balanced level, I have materials gathered and ready for classes, projects, upcoming events and lessons. I have a master list of things that need to be done and all shopping or organizing done.

enter... SUNDAY!!

So, we spend Saturday much like a weekday, the kids have classes and volunteer work and we try to do some sort of family fun thing in the afternoon. So, that leaves me Sunday to get everything gathered and ready for the next week. I will admit to blowing the morning hours on coffee, chatting with my husband and goofing off on the computer, but now it is time to dig in!!

Here is the list...
  • Laundry all caught up and put away
  • Dishes done and put away
  • Dinners planned out for the week
  • Bathrooms cleaned
  • Floors all vacuumed and mopped
  • House dusted
  • Study cleaned completely
  • Porch plants all watered
  • Chicken Coop cleaned out
  • Bunny hutches cleaned out
  • Bed linens washed
  • Fridge Cleaned out
  • Butterfly unit planned and printed
  • G2's Harry Potter Exercise planned
  • M's craft materials gathered
  • Get performance ticket check ready to mail
  • Pay Bills
  • Charge Camera
  • Clean out my car
  • Buy paint for dining room

OK, so that should do it. Oh yeah, and Feed the Baby!!

I will change the color of each item as it is completed. I think green for GO will be a good choice.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Our week

Well, I had tried to make entries for each day of the week, and you can see how unsuccessful that was. So I thought I would do a weekly recap instead.

So on Monday...

  • bosque hike to find tadpoles

  • science class at museum

  • jazz ensemble


  • math homework for G1

  • Plant cell diagram G1

  • Spanish vocab work at G1

  • International Harry Potter cover activity G2

  • Make your own cover for HP book G2

  • Math G2

  • Frog LifeCycle mobil with M

  • Housework for Mom

  • Fencing

  • Jazz Ensemble

  • dinner with FIL and BIL


  • Lessons at home

  • Math class

  • Library for lessons for G2 and M

  • Using a Thesaurus to expand vocab and writing tools for G2

  • Math lessons 9-11 for G2

  • Phonics lessons 6-12 for M

  • Library time to check out books

  • Great Grandma's for family dinner


  • Health with G1 (Body in Numbers)

  • Reading for G2

  • Free-play for M


  • drumming lesson for G1 and G2

  • fencing


  • Hiking with RGRS to monitor 45 trees we planted last spring

  • housework

  • cooking with Maggie (pot of beans)

  • rock climbing

  • fencing

Then today we have...

  • Balloon Fiesta Watching

  • Pre-historic Preschool for M

  • Naturalist Center Volunteering for G1 & G2

  • Armory clinic for G1 and Dad

  • Greek Festival in the Afternoon

  • HOME!!!!

Thursday, October 02, 2008

October Goals for our Homeschooling...

I LOVE making lists, setting goals and mapping out a plan to success. I can sit and work out every detail of how to be at point B by a certain date. It is similar to my love of school supplies; that fresh, hopeful beginning. Ahhh, it is wonderful how a clean slate can inspire us!

Then there is the reality that if I spent half the time I use up with all my planning on DOING, I would really be a successful person. LOL Hey, at least I have half of the program down, maybe I will just continue to "fake it, till I make it."

Well, since I am using this blog as a way to hold myself accountable, I think I will try to set some goals on here and track our progress. It is irrelevant if anyone actually reads this, it is just the point of putting it out there and using the posts as a measure and deadline for our lessons and other family goals.

So, here goes...

October 2008 goals per child...


  • Math 7/6 he is almost finished with it, but we need to knock out a few more lessons to really be able to close the book on it.

  • Ancient Egypt the next civilization in the Oak Meadow 6 book

  • Continue to make A's in math class, doing homework and completing quizzes (without me)

  • Biology unit from Real Science 4 Kids along with lesson expansions (drawings and detail exercises)

  • Continue Jazz Ensemble

  • Continue Drumming

  • Continue Fencing

  • Flag bearer and Prayer leader at toastmasters meeting

  • Continue Science class

  • Volunteer at WRI and Nat Center

  • RGRS projects and hiking

  • Read a chapter a day of Redwall

  • Four units of health program

  • Complete Engineering Team Challenge

  • Attend theatrical performance


  • Harry Potter Guide book *finish lessons for Sorcerer's Stone

  • Read books for book club and participate in the games

  • Finish Chamber of Secrets

  • Dig into math, we are restarting Math 3 after being half way through it. We have a "hole" in our ability with this and the only way I can find it is by starting over again and taking it much slower. I will also research different math programs that might better suit him.

  • continue rock climbing

  • continue jazz ensemble

  • continue drumming lessons

  • Complete Biology from Real Science 4 Kids along with expansions

  • Continue working on SOTW History book, complete Egypt and next civilization in program.

  • Begin participating in toastmasters meeting

  • RGRS projects

  • Volunteering at Nat Center

  • Bunny responsibilities (ours and his bunny sitting responsibilities)

  • Spanish vocabulary, family, numbers, people...

  • Science class
  • Attend theatrical performance


  • Up to lesson 50 in Phonics program

  • complete life cycle studies and projects

  • begin unit on Autumn and the seasons

  • weekly painting project

  • RGRS projects

  • science class

  • Prehistoric Preschool

  • Work on cooking skills (math)

  • Help with all animal care

  • Early math activities

  • Geography practice with continents and animals who live there

  • explore some music instruments, trying to find one that interests her

  • attend a theatrical performance

  • learn to sew or knit (I will see what interests her more)

Im reading her list and I realize it sounds so sexist. But it is important to note that both the boys did the cooking and sewing when they were younger too. :-)


  • basically continue to be a cutie pie and being drug around town to all his siblings stuff!


  • Yes, I have to have goals for me too, things I need to do that relate to our homeschooling success...

  • Teach butterfly unit to our science group

  • Lead and coordinate activities for RGRS

  • Organize our paint stuff for M

  • Feed the baby

  • Cut the boys hair

  • Make dentist appointments for me and the kids

  • Make Dr.s appointment for O and Me

  • Kids and I need to clear the summer garden beds

  • G1 and I need to repair the greenhouse door and plant some seeds for experiment

  • Clean out our homeschool supply closet

  • Clean out my art studio stuff

  • develop the next phase of G2's Harry Potter Curriculum

  • Lead the Engineering Team unit for October

  • develop M's next science lessons from Littlest Scientist books my mom sent

  • Make Halloween costumes

  • Decorate for Halloween

  • plan Thanksgiving and activites leading up to it

  • Make holiday lists for each child and figure out a budget

  • Help in launching Homeschool Art classes with the old Art Museum teacher

  • Develop writing club for young homeschoolers with a friend

  • maintain the house

  • change over clothing from summer to winter

OK, that seems like most things off the top of my head. Wish me luck. I will post a weekly update to keep myself on track.

(Yes my list is muddy with Mom stuff and lesson stuff, but that is just the reality of my life)

Monday, September 29, 2008

Monday = Science!

Monday seems to be a great science day for us. We get together with a science coop in the mornings, not every week, but not on a regular basis. For the past three weeks I was teaching an Archaeology unit for the coop and Im happy to be able to just be home on this Monday morning. I love teaching units, but it also is a huge drain on our regular lesson schedule. I end up using a lot of the time I could be putting into my own kids lessons in order to put together a unit of study for the group. Unfortunately it is usually the teacher's kids who gain the least out of a unit. So, while Im happy to contribute and wouldnt have it any other way, I do recognize that it is something you have to keep in balance and not allow my desire to support the coop to take away from my own family and our needs.

Anyway, today we will be getting together with a friend in the bosque to study the life cycle of frogs. We have done this several times before, but it is so much fun, and the kids love getting out in nature and exploring. M will enjoy it, she hasnt reallystudied this before and so it will be a first for her. The boys will have fun finding where the tadpoles are and figuring out which stage they are each at. M will have fun drawing what she sees and seeing her friends. O will hopefully just enjoy the trees, he is a tree fanatic and just loves to sit and watch them blow in the breeze.

We will picnic in the bosque before heading over to our science class at a local museum. the boy's classes are today. the love all the fast paces experiments and M and O enjoy exploring the rest of the museum with me and their friends.

My goals for today are...

clean up the house this morning (dishes, study, laundry)

get everyone a decent breakfast

pack a lunch

have the kids review their biology chapter

read the Tadpoles and Frogs book to M

Remember my camera

head out to the bosque (frogs, lunch)

head to Science class

home for some math

G2 work on his Harry Potter guide

M do some art work about the frogs and the bosque

O take a nap (haha)

Head out to Jazz for G1

home/dinner by 6:30pm (chicken potpie)

hang out and exhale!

Here goes.....

Well, we did quite well today. I did complete my list of things I wanted to get through and the kids had a wonderful time in the bosque. We were not able to find any tadpoles, the season is off, but the kids still were able to learn a lot about the lesson. The older boys obviously already know a lot about tadpoles and the life cycle of a frog. We used to have a small pond in our yard in VA and we always had a TON of little tadpoles and frogs in it. They loved exploring them and watching them develop throughout the summer. Anyway, M and her friend did a great job with their life cycle books and seemed to really understand the order of how things happen. So, I count that as a great outing and a fun way to get out in the bosque for a nice morning.

The great suprise for the day was Dad meeting us in the bosque for our picnic. It was nice seing him in the middle of the day and getting to share some of the fun with him. He works so much it is hard to get to see him like that. I guess it is a good thing that he likes peanut butter and jelly roll-ups! :-)

Thursday, September 25, 2008


That is what I miss about writing in this blog. It is a diary of sorts and it helps me to be able to review our week and to look forward to upcoming opportunities. So, I am going to try to make time for this again. I know I can do it, it is just about it becoming a habit again.

So, it is good to be back, and Im looking forward to the motivation and accountability that comes from keeping this up.


Friday, January 18, 2008

Weekend Getaway

We decided to load up the family and head down to Tucson to share our nie little guy with his Great-Grandma, Tata-Ish and his uncle. Of course Nana too, but she had been able to see him when he was born so it was more of a reunion for her.

The drive down was nice, and a bit of an adventure with a five week old infant. He did really well, only adding about an hour and a half to our drive time to stop for feedings and snuggles. We are really lucky to have GM and all his help. He is really great about keeping baby O entertained or just holding his little hands to let him know that he has someone right next to him. I will admit there were a couple moments that I thought we were nuts and that this was a mistake, but in the end it was terrific. On the way home he was happy and all things went smoothly. It was nice.

Tucson is lovely this time of year, as it is all year round. My mother has a beautiful home with a really relaxing and lovely yard. It is always nice to visit, even if just for a couple quick days.

The kids all had a wonderful time, playing with their uncle (he is only two years older than GM). ME explored the yard and collected some new sticks, pinecones and leaves for her neverending collection of cool stuff she finds on her journies. Baby O enjoyed the attention and all the warm arms to hold and love him.