Welcome to my blog! It's a place to write about my life. It includes everyday things, but mostly it's a place to share our homeschooling journey.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

I'm a bad blogger

I'm a bad blogger for not updating more this week! On Monday we got our July unit study started by starting our lapbook:



We added a copy of the Pledge, and a cool little maze. We also started saying the Pledge in the morning.



We are worked on cutting while following a line. Notice one picture he is cutting with his left and one picture he is cutting with his right. He still shows no teal preference to either hand.




We also worked on pasting and coloring.

I found this cool little thing at the book store; it's a wipe clean book about Phonics. It's super awesome and Little Bear loves working with it. Working on his reading/spelling/writing ALL at the SAME time!



We did more, like spin art, but my camera died. We also decided to have a party- a Birthday Party- on the 4th of July. Because "it's America's birthday". So yesterday I took LB to the dollar store and let him pick out some decorations for our party. I promised to take him back to get some balloons ("it's not a party without balloons!")

What are your plans for the 4th of July?

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Getting our July Unit study started

Well, tonight I'm working on getting our July unit study- Patriotism,started. We are starting it tomorrow so that we have a full week BEFORE the 4th of July. Mostly we are going to be learning about the flag and what the colors mean. Starting to learn the Pledge, and sparking all his questions (and he's full of questions!).

So far I have found some really cute pictures for Little Bear to glue to the front of his lap book, which decorating the lapbook is always our first thing we do. I have found a super cute 4th of July Maze, that you can print out at different levels, at Busy Bee. I have found some color pages at Coloring Book Fun

So tomorrow we'll start our by saying the Pledge and then listening to the Star Spangled Banner. I think this unit is going to be such a FUN month!

This past week in review

Ok, so there's really nothing to review. We played a little chess. Colored a few pictures. We have both been sick this week so we just kinda took it off. But tonight I'll sit down and figure out this up coming week. The LAST week of JUNE! Can you believe it? We are going to learn about America in July, and since the 4th of July is a week away, I'm going to start July's unit study tomorrow. So I should have that up tonight or tomorrow what I plan on teaching during the Red, White & Blue unit study. It should be a lot of fun. I'm a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution and Little Bear will be joining The Children of the American Revolution soon, so this is very close to my heart.

So my Sunday Question is this: How do you do to teach your child/ren to be patriotic?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Child-Led Parenting equals Child-led learning

My husband and I are a child-led family. That means that we watch for our sons cues as to what we teach, how we discipline, and just about everything else. Well, Little Bear found chess on his daddy's iPod about a month ago, and ever since has been begging to learn. So I found a game for the computer called "Learn to play chess with Fritz and Chester". It's a little over his level but I played with him for the first week and now he plays it on and off by himself. The other day, I bought a cheap $5.00 chess game from K-Mart and we set it up and talked about it and have been "playing" with it. I also started a lap book about chess:

The outside:


The inside (we started with the pawn):




In just 2 days of really talking about chess, he can tell you the name of each piece AND tell you how just about each one moves. SO I guess we'll keep up with the Chess lessons as our everyday lessons.

He's a few pictures of us playing a game today (oh, and he set up his half of the board himself):



Little Bear taking one of Mama's pieces:



Little Bear pointing out his options:



I was planning on teaching him to play chess but wasn't planning until he was like 5 or 6, not 3!! But this is where he has led us so this is where we will go.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

So what's the big idea about color?

I'm working of having a designated area for homeschooling. Now the question is- what color should the area be? In my research, I have found that for young children are attracted to warm, bright colors but tints and pastels work best. Blue, Green and indigo help with logic while green, violet, red, peach, pink light yellow and purple stimulate creativity. But red is also a hunger trigger (think Micky Ds, Pizza Hut, KFC, ect). Blue increases productivity and green is very relaxing and is associated with nature, creativity, and fertile thinking.

So I'm thinking either pale blue or pastel green. But I'm not sure. Do you have a designated place for homeschooling? If so, what colors do you have it?

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Day 6, 30 Day Challenge

Day 6 – Write 30 interesting facts about yourself.
----------------

Ok, I don't have a problem writing 30 things, but do you really want to sit there and read 30 things? Ok, here we go.

(1) I knew I wanted to be a mama since I was about 4.
(2) I met my husband at 17 (and knew I was going to marry him)
(3) The above mentioned husband was my 2nd boyfriend and only the 3rd guy that I went out on a date with.
(4) I'm a blue jean & tshirt kinda girl...don't like it, tough.
(5) I love making people feel better.
(6) I believe that everyone is born with a special gift.
(7) I can talk to just about anyone, I'm friendly with just about anyone, but I consider very few people a friend.
(8) My favorite sight is my son sleeping. My favorite sound? Him saying "I love you more Mama"
(9) One of my favorite shows is NOVA.
(10) I'm a PBS junkie.
(11) I try not to judge, but I really have to wonder about some people.
(12) I currently have the MUNCHES!
(13) When I was little I wanted to be an Anthropologist.
(14) I spent 5 long years in Speech therapy
(15) I have an interest in Native American history.
(16) I do genealogy.
(17) I don't have blood in my veins, I have sweet tea
(18) My favorite cookie is Oatmeal Raisin cookies.
(19) I love to bake.
(20) I may be addicted to facebook.
(21) I have 4 older brothers. No sisters (at least not blood related sisters).
(22) I'm starting to wonder WHY I decided to write 30 things about myself.
(23) I'm a little smarter than what people give me credit for (and a lot of that is my design)
(24) I homeschool my son (he's in preschool)...and I'm considering keeping it up once he's in kindergarden.
(25) I enjoy buying and selling on eBay.
(26) I LOVE the stars.
(27) My favorite colors are purple, yellow and chrome.
(28) I just got my first tattoo last Saturday.
(29) I've always had long hair.
(30) I'm VERY happy this is over. :-p

Friday, June 17, 2011

Fabulous Friday!

What an exciting week of homeschooling we have had! We have done all kinds of fun and exciting things. Lots of arts & crafts this week.

Yesterday, we made "Puffy Shapes". I don't know what else to call them. I took and cut out simple shapes out of card stock and them cut tissue paper into small squares. I put a little amount of glue on a scrap piece of paper. I showed Little Bear how to put a pencil, eraser down, in the middle of the tissue paper, then pull up the edges. Holding the tissue paper around the pencil, he dipped it in glue and then stuck it to the shapes. This is how they looked:



And today, wow, today we made Father's Day cards for Daddy, Granddaddy & Grandpa. I don't have pictures of those, but they turned out cute.

Then after lunch, Little Bear did water painting. It's super fun, and so easy that even the younger kids out there will be able to do it. First you take a paper towel (I had 3), using a washable marker, draw or write on the towels (I did numbers 14 - 20 since we are reviewing our numbers, and then one with simple shapes). Then give your child a *small* amount of water in a cup or dish, and a paint brush. Show them how to dip the brush into water, and then trace the shapes/numbers/whatever. The ink will feather out and look like painting! Then I simply put them outside to dry so that he can show his daddy when he gets home from work.

Here's Little Bear "painting" a few numbers:





And here are all three 'paintings' drying.



I have big things planned for next week too. I can't wait! But for now, Little Bear and I will be enjoying Father's Day weekend with the most important man in our lives! Happy Dad's Day to all the wonderful DADS out there. And to all the wonderful men who take part in the lives of children.

Day 5, 30 Day Challenge

Day 5 – A time you thought about ending your own life.
--------

I can't name a time. Oh, I'm sure there *is* a time- I've been struggling with depression since about 15 years. I'm also a cutter (or at least back in the day I was) and when they diagnose you as a 'cutter' they also diagnose you with suicidal tendencies, which I don't agree with. Sure the thought crossed my mind, but really, I kinda enjoy life. I became an Aunt at 12, so the thought of leaving my nephew and nieces hurt. Knowing that I couldn't do that to my mom or my family, really held me back. I met my husband at 17, in the depths of my depression, so he really helped me through. So, a time I thought about ending my own life? Yes, I'm sure there was a time, but never a time when I thought it was a true option. Ending your own life is the easy way out.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Day 4, 30 Day Challenge

Day 4 – Your views on religion.

-------------

Simple-
Religion is for those who want a relationship with God.
Spirituality is for those who already have one.

I'm a fan of Unorganized Religion. I don't like to be told what to do or how to have a relationship with my God. He's got a direct line to me, ya know?

I'm gonna leave it at that.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

What a Wacky Wednesday!

Lets see, I tried my hand at a File Folder game for Little Bear. I came across them on another blog and fell in love with the idea! I just did a simple one, nothing fancy like some I've seen. Little Bear has a problem with rhyming words, so I made a File Folder Game about rhyming words.

Here's the cover:



And here's the inside of the game along with a handmade envelope to keep the 'game pieces'.



And here's Little Bear playing his first ever File Folder Game.



So the concept is this: I print out on card stock pictures with their name (ie.
a picture of a tree with the word tree under it). Then I pasted them to the inside of the folder. Then the 'game pieces' are pictures with words printed out (also on card stocks) that rhyme with the words in the folder. Then Little Bear has to match the game piece to the picture it rhymes with. He's already played it 5 or 6 times, even taught his daddy how to play. So I think File Folder Games are a big Thumbs Up!

We also pulled out the Play-Duh today. And also pulled out the cookie cutters. We made shapes, and letters and numbers- we had a blast.



Ok, now on to a problem that I have. About the time my son turned 3, he started giving up naps. Which was ok, he still goes into quiet time. However, he's not sleeping good at night anymore. So I did some research, and the 'experts' say that a 3 year old should be getting 10.5 to 12.5 hours of sleep at night and 1 to 3 hours (1 nap) during the daytime. Now, I've always been big on schedules. He's ALWAYS had a bedtime, and he's been such a good sleeper. I know that he should be napping during the day, but how in the world do I *make* him take a nap? Do I get him up earlier in the morning? But that just makes him grumpy in the evening cause even those days he doesn't take a nap. But it's to the point that if we go anywhere after my husband gets off work (which is 4) that he falls asleep in the car. Which of course leds to him staying up even LATER at night.

We have moved his bedtime from 7:30 to 8:30 since it's still day time outside (and he wasn't going to sleep until then anyhow). But now he's staying up until 10 or later and getting up at about 8:30 (maybe a little later, maybe a little sooner).

We have the same routine as we always had. Supper, play, bath, quiet play (like games, and make believe or something), books, bed. Why is he fighting sleep so much? HELP! I'm at my wits-end. So if you know anything that might help, please, please, PLEASE leave me a comment!

Day 3, 30 Day Challenge

Day 3 – Your views on Drugs and Alcohol

I'm kinda split on this one. As for drugs, I don't like them. Not sure why you need something that changes your mind in order to have a good time. It's been PROVEN people...drugs are bad. And people do them, and get behind the wheel. So know you are making yourself dumb AND putting my family in harms way. You don't have that right. On the other hand, I'm aware that certain drugs can be used for medical purposes, and in those cases I can understand (as long as you are not driving! or doing something else that can cause harm to someone else).

As for alcohol- well, I do drink....from time to time. I have never been drunk, and don't see the point in it. I have been tipsy....twice, and not sure that i like that feeling. My husband and I will enjoy a glass of something, from time to time, when we are out to dinner, but never more than one and always at the beginning of dinner. If we are at a party, only one of us will drink (even if it's only a glass).

So I guess, for me, the bottom line is- Drugs are bad, unless used for TRUE medical reasons. Alcohol, maybe not so bad, when used correctly and you ARE NOT DRIVING! (Are you starting to see a theme? It really comes down to, I don't care what you do, as long as what you are doing is not putting someone else in danger).

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Day 2, 30 Day Challenge

Day 2 – Where you’d like to be in 10 years.

--------------

Where would I like to be. That's a hard question to answer. 10 years AGO I thought I wanted to have 2 or 3 kids by now, but God choose to give me one, and I wouldn't want it any other way. I guess in 10 years, I would like to have 1 or 2 more kids running around. A nice piece of land where I can have a few dogs, and the kids can run around free. I grew up on nine acres, so I'm all for roaming through the woods. I don't want to be so far out nobody ever comes to visit me, but I like the country. Where I can sit out and look at the stars, and chase lighting bugs.

In 10 years, I'll be celebrating 23 years of marriage...yes, 23!

I guess the bottom line is that in 10 years, I want to be happy. Happy and having fun with my husband, my son, any other children I'm blessed with, my family and my friends.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Day 1, 30 Day Challenge

30 Day Challenge

A friend of mine is doing the 30 Day Challenge over at her, Peace, Love, Cloth. And well, that got me thinking, maybe I should do it too. But I didn't want to put too many posts up that people wouldn't read, so I decided to make a page just for this. So here we go-

Day One – Your Current Relationship

My current relationship...ummm....with who? With my spouse? Ok, well, I'm 31, he's 33. We've been married for almost 13 years and together for just over 14 years. You can do the math. I knew the moment I saw him that I was going to marry him. Told my mom the very night, "I've meant the guy I'm gonna marry". He's my best friend. He knows pretty much everything about me. He works very hard to support me and Little Bear. And he supports me in staying home and raising our son. He's unlike any other guy I've ever met before. And you can ask anybody that know him, he's amazing! I'm not sure what I would do without him.

My current relationship with my son? It's good, but he's three. I'm sure the road is gonna get rocky at some point, but for now everything is good....most of the time.

If you are asking about my current relationship with my parents, that's pretty good too. I act a little too much like my daddy, and my mama is one of my closet friends.

Wanting to know about my current relationship with my friends, all of those are up and down. Mostly up. Friendships come and go and I tend to let them. Everybody in your life teaches you something, and sometime when they can't teach you any more, you have to let them go. I'm lucky that I'm still learning from a lot of people, including my BFF for about 15 or 16 years now!!

And my current relationship with myself is so-so. I have my ups and I have my downs. Most of the time I get along well with myself. We have been through a lot together. I like who I am (on most days).

There you have it...my current 'relationship'.

Welcome to Marvelous Monday!

Well, okay, maybe not quite Marvelous. Had to take Little Bear back to the doctors this morning. He was there about 3 weeks ago, and was given some meds, but they didn't really work. He still has fluid behind his right ear, and congestion and a cough. So the doctor gave him MORE meds (two liquids and a nose spray), so we'll see if these work. Poor kid...hasn't slept good in days!

So with us getting right and heading right to the doctors, we haven't had school yet. My husband's computer went out (it's dead....rest it's little computer soul) so he was on my laptop last night, so I had to draw/write out all his work for the day. I really do kinda enjoy it!

The first thing I did was make an "I Can" chart. Little Bear will earn stickers for each thing he completes on the chart over the next few weeks. Such as "I can read 40 words"...I know that's a lot, but he knows at least 43 sight words, so I know he'll earn that sticker fast. Then "I can read 50 words" and then 60. And I can spell 5 words- which he can spell about 10. I tried to give him some stickers he can earn fast to get him going, and then some that will take a while longer. See the picture:



I think this will be a good way to see how much he's learning. This is our Summer Chart...and then I'll make one for the Fall, Winter, Spring.

Speaking of Summer, our unit studies are going great! We have learned so much about penguins. Little Bear really likes working on his Lapbook every few days. So that's a BIG thumbs up.

In other news, we are trying to clean up our down stairs room (which is where the people who owned the house before us enclosed the carport). Once it's all clean and stuff, we are gonna divide it up into a game section (we want to move a TV down there and hook up the game systems) and a homeschool section. I'm so excited that we'll have a room (or at least half a room) by fall. It'll be nice to have a desk or table to work at, and things on the walls and stuff. Of course I'll post pictures once it gets all clean and organize and things.

Not much else going on other than laundry, and I'm sure you don't want to read about that.

Hope everybody has a wonderful week!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Can I complain for a minute?

I'm gonna say yes, since it IS my blog. I hate shopping for a swim suit. With a passion. I normally avoid it, but this year, well, this year we are going on our first real family vacation (to the beach) and I've been working extra hard to lose weight. And I decided that the swimsuit I have is about 4 years old and it's time for a new one...one that flatters a little more. See, I can find suits that fit, that's not the problem. The problem is that they fit everywhere BUT the breasts! I'm not losing weight there, and well, GOD blessed me (or cursed me) with large ones. But designers think the bigger the breasts the bigger the rest of you. The smaller the suit gets the smaller the cup size goes. I'm not wanting a bikini or anything...although I LOVE tankinis. I just want to go to the beach and have my breasts contained! WHY is it so hard? I mean, I'm comfy with how I look in a suit...it's not like I'm trying to 'catch a man'. I'm happily married. We are going as a family to have some FUN! I just want something to contain the boobs and to withstand my 3 year old (and the hubby!). Why is it so hard? Does ANYBODY out there know of a good place to get a swimsuit WITHOUT spending $80, $90, $100+?? HMU! Tell me about it.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Sight Words & Muffin Tin Meal Success!

So first on the list, I bought Little Bear some Sight Words Flashcards (by Mead). There are 55 cards making 110 sight words (they are double sided). So today we sat down, opened the cards and we went throw them (our first time, mind ya). Out of 110 words he read 43 of them. 43! On his first round through them. 43!? I didn't know that he could read that many words. Guess he got me pretty good.

Muffin Tin Meals...I first heard about these over the weekend. It's where you take a muffin tin, and fill each little cup with a different food for either snack or lunch time. The idea is to have at least one thing from each food group. This concept sparked my mind, and well, today I tried it for lunch. Little Bear is in his 'picky' stage and I hear "I don't like that" at least 2 or 3 times a day. He was getting stuck on PB&J sandwiches every day...nothing wrong with that, I just thought it was time for something new. So this is what I made for him:



There's celery (which he's never eaten...just put to his lips and spoke his motto "I don't like that") with peanut butter. Real Fruit Bites by DOLE. 3 Nilla waffers (I know, I have two foods in one cup, but hey!). Vanilla yogurt with sprinkles. A serving of cheddar cheese (LOVE pre-packaged). Some honey turkey (he doesn't eat meat hardly). And lastly, some wheat thins.

Well, he was super excited when I put it down in front of him at lunch time, but the question is, did he eat it?

Yup, all but a bite of celery and he didn't care much for the fruit bites. I was amazed! He ate the celery. He ate the turkey!



I guess sometimes it IS about how you put it on the table. Who knew serving lunch in a muffin tin would be a complete SUCCESS!!!

Monday, June 6, 2011

It's Monday

I need some catchy titles for days....like...ummm...."Make-it-or-break-it" Monday. Naw, that may be too long. "Might-be-a-good-start-to-the-week" Monday? HA, even longer. Ok, so I'll have to work on the week day titles. So, what's going on on our Monday? Well, Little Bear and I did school this morning. And he earned himself some extra iPod time today. He was such a good boy at Wal-Mart and the grocery store. At Wal-Mart he walked right next to the cart and held on to it, and stopped and turned when I asked. And even helped put the stuff in. That's been a HUGE problem with him- not wanting to stay right beside me (or Daddy) when we are out. Normally I have the rule that if it's just me, he HAS to ride in the cart, no question. But he asked very nicely today to walk so I decided to give it a shot. And he did great. Earned the right to walk the next time we go out. Now, at the grocery store he rode, just because we were getting so much stuff.

Then some friends came over to look at a climber-slider thing for outside that we are selling. Little Bear informed me that he was too big for it now. I want to get him a swing set anyhow. We are getting some clean-up work done to the very back of our land, so it'll be the perfect place for a swing set.

Got a lot of cleaning done today. We are having a yard sale this Saturday. I'm hoping to earn some more money to put in Little Bear's Swing Set Fund. Not to mention that my house just needs to be de-cluttered.

Me and Hubby have had a lot of things happen over the past few months, and well, I feel the need to release. And part of that is getting rid of all the crap that has built up in my house. I wish I could take everything OUT....then put things back all nice and neat and what doesn't fit just gets thrown out. Know what, that's a pretty good idea!!

Anyhow, hopefully I'll get some new pictures up soon. Lots of new and cool things planned for this week. Happy Monday!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Organizing is the Name of the Game

So about a month ago, I noticed that my homeschooling stuff was everywhere in my house (which isn't very big to begin with). So I decided to start putting everything into one closet, just to keep it together. Which worked great and looked a little like this:



It wasn't bad, but not too organized. So I got to work and the closet turned into this:





It looks A LOT better. And so much easier to find stuff. I can just go right to whatever I need. That is until today...when I bought all this stuff at a yardsale:



And I contacted the lady this evening about if she had any of the 4 MORE boxes of stuff left, and she told me she had ALL of it. So guess who is going tomorrow to get ALL the rest? Yup, that would be me. I'm gonna need a bigger closet!