Tuesday, January 27, 2009

What our homeschool looks like.

We read scriptures together every night where everyone in the family takes turn reading. Angel can read through the scriptures at a normal pace with little to no help. Tumbelina can read through the scriptures a bit slowly with only 1-2 helps on the words in each verse. Hugs is working on her sight words like unto, the, this, them, etc, and she is learning some basic phonics.

We do a devotional in the morning where we learn music, memorize different scriptures or poems, and read and write our family history. This is reading and writing in journals.

My kids also play computer games that drill them in spelling and math principals while I am at work.

Angelic right now is reading through The Magic Tree House books as fast as I can supply them to her. She reads through one in the same day I get it for her, sometimes she has read two, so I have turned her onto some of the other classics we own. Since Christmas she has read Robin Hood, The Secret Garden, some other cute little books about cats and at least four magic tree house books, I can hardly keep her supplied.

Tumbelina is playing with reading chapter books. She has read at least 1 Magic Tree house book this month, one pony palls. Mostly she picks up books and reads them for a while and then looses them and forgets about them until she is inspired to read again by watching her older sister.

These are just the things I can measure for someone outside of my home. We have a habit of introducing learning into everything. Shopping at the store, internal economy where the kids earn spend and save money themselves, Car rides, dinner discussions, discussions before or after our reading/ devotional times, Family field trips, and learning activities we do with our homeschooling friends.

We normally take one thing and do it until it becomes a habit or a pattern that is natural and then build from there. It can be very unpredictable how long it takes for us to master each habit. I ordered the K-12 curriculum because I knew I would have less time to do all the research and prep I was doing before. But I failed to take into account how much effort it takes to learn a new pattern, and have it fit into my family, on top of my family adjusting to me working from home. We have now found 2 hours three times a week where we can fit in k-12. Based on my experience thus far I feel we will have the most success with the courses that are able to be taught to all the kids at the same time and require the least amount of preparation from me. For this reason we will be working in Art, History, Science, Music and Spanish.

K-12 added in a VERY wonderful new tool for Advanced Preparation. With this new tool I feel it is more likely for me to start teaching the k-12 core subjects in the future. But it is unpredictable how long it will take for us to start including the core subjects. That is going to take more preparation time from me.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Bloggin' with Fly Fusion By Leapfrog

Right now I am sitting on my living room coach, watching my kids dance to music while I write in my fly fusion Journal with my fly pen. This is a fun way to blog, journal and participate with the kids, all at the same time.

My kids have also been having fun with the fly fusion. I have added their drawings, writing and things to their blogs.

The fly fusion seems to be sensitive to light.   Journal entries I have written in dim light have been lost.  Because of this I try to sit so my hand casts the least amount of shadow on the page.

Overall I rate the fly fusion high.

Music Maker is lots of fun the kids can mix and record and save their songs.  Only one problem, the songs wont download onto the computer, so you can only hear them on the fly and it only saves ten songs.

Memory expansion is a plastic cartridge that removes from the back of the pen and is replaced with another cartridge. This means small pieces that are easy to loose.

Fly notebooks each have a sticker On the front that make them "unique'' the fly eye scans the sticker to know which notebook you are using. The only problem I have found with this is when my son took off the unique sticker. This made it so all the entries went into a generic notebook. The paper in the notebook have a very fine pattern the tells the pen where you are. I would assume this means each page is unique.

Jeanine

Monday, January 19, 2009

Family History

Our families new home teachers are Dirk and Ray.  Ray told us about Tammy's  hard work on family history.  How she compiled everything she could into a large three ring binder and every time there is new information for the family she mass emails her family with the updates for them to print and put in the binder.  This re-inspired me towards family history, thanks Ray (and Tammy, lol)

I remembered my lovely family history book for the My dad's mothers side, it is one of the largest books we own (not quite as big as our 1828 dictionary).  We have now included this in our morning devotionals.  What a lovely addition it makes, full of stories and photos of our ancestors. 

Also I found at Seagull Book and Tape a book on clearance that is a fill-in-the-blank family history, it asks lots of fun stuff like "what was your happiest moment" and "what is your favorite book".  

Now for devotional we are reading our family history book, filling in pages in our book, learning the song Holding Hands Around the World and memorising D&C 75:3.

Jeanine

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Sunday, January 11, 2009

D&C 75:3

"Behold, I say unto you that it is my will that you should go forth and not tarry, neither be idle but labor with you might."

Yesterday in scripture reading we read this.  1 Nephi 12:23
"And it came to pass that I beheld after they had dwindled in unbelief they became a dark, and loathsome, and filthy people.  Full of idleness and all manner of abominations."

After reading that it seemed rather important for us to avoid being idle.  We discussed what idle was.  At first the girls thought it was idle worship.  After learning it meant not working they seemed rather impressed about the importance of working.

We then looked up that D&C scripture and decided to memorise it, and made future plans for the work we would do to help us avoid being idle.  

Scripture Reading

Saturday Jan 10th 09

Our steak president has asked us to commit to read the scriptures everyday for the rest of our lives, Angelic and Papa were the first to make this commitment.

Together they carefully reminded the rest of the family of scripture time.  Now it has become a habit that the whole family remembers and enjoys.

Today Jeff was sick and I was running late on getting laundry ready for church. Angelic opened right up to her book mark and told Tumbelina where we were. Then Tumbelina helped Hugs find the right page. Next Angelic started reading, Tumbelina took up her turn right afterwards. Then to top all this Tumbelina started to help and coach Hugs on reading her part just like she had seen her father do. They continued just like that, orderly taking turns and helping each other with difficult words, just the same way Jeff does. All the time with out any prompting or help From Mama or Papa.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Monday, January 5, 2009

Sterling the Big Mean Man

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New Hats

My trainer at work sent cute hats she made for my kids.

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Sunday, January 4, 2009

2008 The Middle Year

In the year 2007 we had our fire, and mom had her miscarriages, those two things along with the moves that were necessary because of the fire, made it a year of surviving.
This year 2008 seems to be summed up as the Middle Year.  The in between year.  In between what?  I do not know yet.  

2008 was kind of a year of recovery.  They way you feel as a parent after Christmas has passed.  You sigh in relief, and live in the moment.  You play with your children's new toys, because after all you did like them enough to get them for the kids.  You eat sweats because it is the holidays, even though you know it is not good for you.  And you let the little upkeep things go by the wayside, for now.  Because, you are in recovery mode.  The time frame leading up to Christmas was stressful enough, now your body needs to just live, and relax.  That was the year 2008 for my family.  The majority of the stress of 2007 was over, and in 2008 we just lived.  Much of life's maintenance passed us buy, we were just living, just recovering, just spending time.  The year 2008 is the year of time passing. 

2008 Events
  • Jeanine worked in the ward as an Activity Days leader.
  • Starz Unlimited danced in a temporary location while they worked towards obtaining a new building.
  • The kids got Whooping Cough and we were interviewed by some government agency for diease control.
  • We took over a month off of life for the kids to recover.  And then went back to dance classes etc.  But we could still visit Kerry because her kids had it also.
  • Kerry (Jeanine's BFF) got Jeanine interested in Ron Paul.
  • Starz had their dance recital.
  • Eva had a Webkinz Birthday Party, Crystal had a birthday party at Wheeler Farm, Ari had a (humm.. I forgot this one, I will have to update this when I remember) Sterling had a birthday party at the park,
  • We got poultry, our chickens, ducks and turkey.
  • Dee (Jeff's sister) and Sarah (our cousin, once removed?) became Baby Ben's care givers.
  • Mom played in the garden in the front yard.
  • We worked to rebuild our food storage.
  • Mom decided she loved making muffins, and they became a family staple.
  • Jeanine asked to be released from Activity Days so she could focus more on her families needs.
  • Jeanine and Crystal started attending counceling.
  • Jeanine started working at home for Alpine Access.
  • Jeff got a second job.
  • Both Jeff and Jeanine are taking inbound customer service calls for credit card companies, while they are working hard to pay off all of their credit card debt.  There is irony there.
  • We enrolled the kids into K-12 for schooling at home.
  • Kerry found out she was expecting.
  • Granny moved to Dee's house to help take care of Baby Ben.   
  • We moved the rooms around (again) because we had more space.  We love the extra space, thank you Granny :).
  • We shopped for a new home.
  • The Economy took a crazy turn.
  • We decided not to buy a new home until our family was more financially stable.
  • We decided to run like a Gazelle, Dave Ramsey style and get out of debt.
  • Baby Ben died.
  • Ron Paul was blacklisted and could not be a presidential canidate.
  • Erica (Jeff's cousin, once removed?) went off to work on a cruise. 
  • It is discovered that Baby Grant (Jeff's nephew) needs eye surgery in order to help him see better.
  • Nicolle (Jeanine's sister) came to live with us.
  • Proposition 8 passed in California.
  • Jeanine voted for Chuck Baldwin.
  • Obama won the Presidential vote.
  • The family (first Jeff, then Eva, then Jeanine following in their examples) took on our Steak Presidents challenge to read the Book of Mormon every day without missing.  This task became easier then we thought it would be, and is now a natural habbit for our family.
  • Crystal and Eva showed their great reading skills as we read in the scriptures everyday.
  • Jeanine took up a hobby of soap making, along with Kerry.
  • Jeanine started using FaceBook.
  • Julie (Jeanine's oldest sister) joined FaceBook (now to get Linda on FB).
  • Linda and Hung (Jeanine's sister and BIL) came to visit before flying off to Irag.  Hung with the army.  Linda working in Small Business Policy Reform, in order to help small business growth in Iraq.
  • We enjoyed the holidays.
  • Jeff decided to take time at the beginning of scripture reading to teach Ari to read better.
  • Grant and Juliette headed off to LasVegas first, then California for his eye surgery.
  • Skylynn (Jeanine's niece) turned 1 year old.
  • New Years came
And now we are to the year 2009...So far in 2009 
  • Sterling has started attending primary.
  • Baby Grant will have eye surgery this week. Say a little prayer for him.
  • Kerry should have a new baby by tomorrow.
Now Jeanine finds her self caught up in the question... 2008 was in between what?  What will 2009 be the year of.  That question is still unanswered.

Saturday, January 3, 2009