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Showing posts from February, 2010


L’s journal entry today:I feel most peaceful when....I am with my friends skating on the ice,when I just lay down and play with Daphne and Jake,when I get into my slippers and read a bookwhen I am watching tv all curled up in a blanket petting Daphne,when me and my family walk through the whole mall,when me, my Dad and my sister go to IKEA together,when I play with Jake,when I make Daphne crazy,when I look back to the pictures of great memories,and when my Mom and me just hang out.

Blogs, Books and Basketball

I have been doing a lot of blog reading lately. It gives me insight into how other families are managing learning at home along with all the other things busy families do. One post at Camp Creek Blog deals with the issue of technology vs. reading. Putting down the Wii or the Xbox in order to read makes reading a punishment. How does a parent handle the balance between the two? Do they limit time with technology? Do they mandate reading time? Children in traditional school have a finite amount of time to devote to pleasurable activities. Unless more time is freed up during the school day for things like reading for pleasure and game playing they child is forced to choose between the two at home.
This sums up how I feel to a tee. Part of my wish for G to come home is for her to experience the joy of more time. She is the kid described above. She loves to play board games, she loves to play the Wii, she loves to play basketball, she loves to ride her bike, she loves to walk her…

A Blanket for my baby....

I finished L’s blanket. This was my hardest project to date. I had to count rows, change colors and try to maintain even edges. I put on a single stitch boarder to hide the ties and the miscounts. Overall I am happy with the results. I learned I prefer working with bulkier yarn. Already my fingers are itching for a new project.


For Valentine’s Day L put an impressive amount of effort into pouring through the Oriental Trading Catalog to select the perfect gift for her sister. To make sure this was reciprocated, I put a bee in G’s ear that she should do something little for L. G does not do anything “little”. She and her dad when to Taget where they got L the cd she wanted - the one advertised while she is watching iCarly on Nick - Kids Bop 17. Dad did not scan the titles of the songs, and even if he did, he would not know the lyrics since we only listen to xm satellite radio and I do not like most Top20 music. When we put the cd on to listen to kids badly cover the pretty decent original songs, Lady Gaga’s song Paparazzi came on. I don’t know if I can write her lyrics for fear of copyright infringement but to summarize, the song is about a fan stalking a singer until he loves her. I had a flashback to my father who censured my listening to Madonna and the Beastie Boys and I told them I would put the cd…


Because we follow the school calendar since G is in school, today was the start of our vacation.Well vacation started......after L’s spelling test.After her piano lesson.....After we dropped the 33 books that were due off at the library and picked out about 33 new ones....... .......then we were able to say we are on VACATION!!!!We hung out with Auntie and Grammy......played some DSi and watched some YouTube with our cousins...........smiled till our cheeks hurt.... and laugheduntil we almost cried.

What if....

What if I never met J at church?
What if I never switched to OLOP church?What if I never had the courage to introduce myself?What if I told L she just had to deal with school?What if I did not read the right books to give me the confidence to homeschool?What if I waited until summer like I planned?What if I never found the Eagan Center online?What if M was not welcoming?What if I never had the phone call to inform me P was homeschooling?What if I never had been invited to A’s house?What if G did not support me?What if GW came home too?I am so thankful.

Car Wash

L’s Brownie Troop is studying water; the importance of water, its conservation and uses. They have a field trip to a water treatment plant planned for this spring. To build on this learning, we are taking a break from our animal unit and learning more about water. I took out several books from the library which present information through experimentation. I want to introduce the scientific method during these fun experiments. Today we began with "sink or float". G joined in since she was home sick. The girls gathered many objects from around the house, made a list and checked off it the item sank or not. After exhausting their list and being surprised by many items, they turned this into a much loved activity in this house - matchbox carwash!
G beginning the list.....what is better than learning in pajamas?


A friend taught me a lesson about parenting last week. In my house growing up, adults were adults, kids were kids and sometimes the two would mix. If adults were talking, kids were not and more likely than not, the kids were not to be seen while the adults were talking. So, when I was talking with my friend about a book we both read, Free Range Kids, G interrupted asking a question about the premise of the book. Without thinking I sighed, and rather than answering her question, I commented that she really should be upstairs playing with the other children...all who were not interrupting the adults. She was just curious. Here she was watching, listening to two adults hold a conversation about a book! My biggest wish for my children is for them to share my love of language by reading constantly and learning to write with their own voice. Here was an opportunity for me to model that to my child and I blew it. Instead my friend answered her question, for which I was very grateful…


When L was being toilet trained she would sit and sit and sit. I would try to be as patient as I could but patience is something I am learning later rather than sooner. She would see my face and wonder what I was thinking and ask me “Mommy, are you mad?” No L, I am not mad. “Mommy are you angwy?” No L, I am not angry. “ Mommy, are you fwustrated?” Yes, L I am frustrated but that is okay, you keep trying.Now I see her sitting attempting to do her lessons at home her mind full of things other than learning, or just other than the learning I am presenting at the moment. My face must betray me. “Mom, are you angry at me?” Not at all honey. “Mom, are you mad?” Nope, I have nothing to be mad about. “Mom, are you frustrated?” I can just catch the little lisp that remains from her toddler talk and I smile. Sometimes I can get frustrated, sweetie. But that is okay. We are going to figure this out together and you just keep on trying.

How Do They Do It?

I have become an avid blog reader. I like to know how other families are learning, what they are using and how they manage it all. I know I have been doing this just a month but it is easy to feel inadequate. This is how we are doing our lessons:Math: Singapore Math level 1B textbook and workbook. We work on math for about 45 minutes a day. The past month has been spent on fact practice, addition with regrouping (tens place only) and introduction to subtraction (taking from tens place only).Language Arts: We are using First Language Lessons (level 1) and love it. L is 7 but has never learned grammar in public school. We started at the very beginning. Because she is already a fluent reader and writer, we combined several lessons without even knowing it. For example, writing the proper names of our family members included aunts, uncles and cousins (all which were covered in follow up lessons). We are on lesson 36. She has memorized three poems and is working on her fourth. I …


What I am enjoying the most about this experience is the time we have to delve deeper into the topics we are covering. I choose not to move at the pace of one chapter of Story of the World per week because she is so into ancient Egypt. We made of model of the Nile River, flooded it with water and watched grass grow. This involved time for planning, finding material, a trip to Home Depot and the creation of the model. When we learned the difference between Cuneiform and Hieroglyphs (my learning is keeping pace with hers), she wanted to take out the clay and make a clay tablet with the words "I Love You" written in Cuneiform. When the tablet is dry, she wants to give it to her father as a Valentine’s gift. That took about an hour. I make sure that the lessons I require: math, grammar and writing are done before starting the other topics that she can spend hours on should she choose. Because she struggles with math, when she is giving me attention, I stay with it unti…