Friday, January 30, 2009

Weekly Review - Week 21

The last week of January is our 21st week of lessons this year.

Bible - We sang our two January songs each day this week and the kids know them well. Our Bible readings this week included 2 Kings 11-15, Jonah 1-4, and selections from the book of Joel. We also read some from chapter 4 of Making Brothers and Sisters Best Friends.

DAVID read a version of Rip Van Winkle this week and created a vocabulary quiz for me and wrote two epitaphs for Rip, as well as discussed theme and conflict within the story with me. He used the laptop to type the epitaphs as well as to type the fable he worked on last week in writing class.

Now that I've obtained his
Algebra I test booklet, he caught up on test taking, completing tests 1-4 this week.

He finished
The History of US Book 4, reading chapters 31-36 (abolitionists, Frederick Douglass, presidents 8-15, Henry Clay, John C. Calhoun, and Daniel Webster) and completing comprehension questions. He had no science assignments this week, having completed his monthly lessons already.

Here is David looking for one of his
missing notebooks or something of the kind. I took a similar picture of James. This is a scene that plays out often in our house. One lesson we are working on with all the kids is to look carefully for things. As my friend Penny would say, "Common sense would dictate...." And in this case, I'd follow the phrase with "...look very carefully for your missing item."

EMILY worked on learning place value to millions and writing place value notation. This did not come easily to her but she did plug away at it. She will work on that more next week.

She finished Number the Stars last week, and she wrote a five paragraph
book review on it. She will be working a little more on that review next week. She read several selections this week from A Beka's Adventures in Greatness and completed 5 quizzes from that book.

Level F in Spelling Power is completed! Emily has moved on to Level G. Great job, Emily!

David and Emily used this week to catch up on any Easy Grammar pages that may have been left incomplete this month. She also typed her IEW fable on the laptop, as David did. Emily wrote a
letter to a friend, addressed the envelope, and stamped it.


In
History, the three younger children studied Columba (Missionary to Scotland), Early Japan & Prince Shotoku, and Pope Gregory the 1st (Gregory the Great). We did a review lesson and also discussed the unique geographical terms of Scotland (moor, loch, firth, etc..) These events all happened in the 500's. We did not do Science this week.



JAMES worked on Lesson 16 in MUS Gamma, practicing his skip counting and multiplying by 4's, as well as reviewing area and perimeter.

He is reading Birds do the Strangest Things and wrote in his literature journal each day a couple sentences about what he read. James loves animals and nature and these books are right up his alley! He also did two Read & Think Skill Sheets (A Beka), but he needs
to pay more attention to detail in answering the comprehension questions.

He is doing very well in spelling thus far and is working on cursive writing in penmanship. He did 8 pages in Explode the Code 6. (And yes, that journal writing pic is a bit on the pouty side!)




SUZY is working on mastering the last few addition facts and she is doing quite well!

In phonics, she is working on the two sounds of "C" and when to use "C" or "S" or "K". She also did 8 pages in Explode the Code, read 1 printed book, 1 Bob book (in 2 days), and a few pages from a very old reader called We Live on a Farm. She wrote a sentence or two in her literature journal each day after reading. And yes, this is a look I get quite often. And the pouty face while doing Phonics is also quite normal. OK, and there's a smiley one too.

Sight words are becoming second nature to her! She memorized a large stack of them and has only 8 more to learn of that initial pile. The chocolate chips are very motivating! lol

She also is working on printed penmanship, but wants desperately
to learn cursive, so I will give her some of that next week.

The kids all had their turns on the computer. Suzy had to make a bunch of silly faces, so I thought I'd share one with you.

Each child also wrote in his or her communication journal and several practiced typing skills.


And I'll leave you with the pictures of the illuminated letters the children colored for their History lessons this week.





Friday Fill-in #109

And...here we go!

ffi

1. I'd really like happy children right now.

2. D***it is the word you'd most often hear me say if I stubbed my toe.

3. Possession is a good movie with Gwyneth Paltrow, Aaron Eckhart, Jeremy Northam, and Jennifer Ehle. Watch it. Enjoy.

4. I need another glimpse of Captain Jack Sparrow.

5. Marshmallows and fire go together like popcorn and butter. (Not that I'm eating any butter nowadays.)

6. Lessons drag on and on.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to grocery shopping & movies, tomorrow my plans include housecleaning, writing, and Book Club and Sunday, I want to veg out!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Kids Coloring Cookbook

Kids Coloring Cookbook from Taste of Home - FREE!

Featuring a yummy recipe and food picture to color on each page. A new page every month.

6 pages are on the site right now, as well as a cover.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Simple Woman Daybook - January 26

For Today... January 26, 2009

Outside my Window...Sunshine today! It's very very cold - 9 degrees according to the thermometer. And still mucho snow.

I am thinking... I should get everyone downstairs and get on with our lessons.

From the learning rooms... 4 days of lessons and one fun day coming up this week! I also have to get February's lesson plans done this week.

I am thankful for... Bob healing, even though it's slow. (He fell off a ladder last Sunday and has been recuperating for the last week.)

From the kitchen... Right now, nothing. But I am going to make Peasant bread again today, at my husband's request. Also going to try a chicken recipe I read in Countryside magazine.

I am wearing... the normal Monday stuff - jeans, long sleeved grey t-shirt under a long sleeved blue striped shirt, black socks, my new black slippers (ballerina style), hair wet and hanging in my face, no makeup. I need a sweatshirt!

I am reading... The Shack by William Paul Young (I had put this aside for most of last week in favor of reading something else), trying to find time to listen to The Fiery Cross by Diana Gabaldon. Reading Ecclesiastes in The Message.

I am hoping... that Bob and the kids go crazy with gardening this spring and summer.

I am creating... plans to get together with friends!

I am hearing... scraping sounds upstairs and faint talking.

Around the house... we have a new vacuum! It's bagless! Look at all the crud it vacuumed up! Ew!

One of my favorite things... Clean bedrooms. That doesn't happen very often.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week...
Tuesday night James has soccer training, Wednesday is Pioneer Club. I should be able to write Mon, Wed-Fri afternoons. Saturday is book club - YAY! And it sounds like plans to get together with friends during the day Tuesday are going to work out! Bob and I may go see Fireproof Friday night.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you...

Saturday, January 24, 2009

More Photos of Lessons

A couple more pictures from this week that didn't make it into the Weekly Review post below. Note that DAVID actually ALLOWED me to take his photo! (I think it's to show off his new sweatshirt.)

Weekly Review - Week 20

Going to change it up a bit for my Weekly Review, give you a better, and hopefully more lively, sense of our week and our lessons. This is quite long, so bear with me. I don't know if I can manage this every week!

BIBLE ideally starts our day. We begin with our songs which this month are Change My Heart Oh God and A New Name in Glory. Emily likes to find it in the hymnbook and the rest like to try to sing along without their songsheets at this point in the month. Each child takes a turn choosing a song we've previously learned also.

We are reading about Elisha in 2 Kings now and this week we covered chapters 5-10 as well as the book of Obadiah (1 chapter long). This is a rather gory section of Biblical history.

We also pray together most mornings. (I'd like to say EVERY morning, but truthfully? It doesn't happen every day.) By the way, Suzy took the picture of our Bible shelf. We read from the NIV version of the Bible, mainly because I have enough of those for everyone to have one.

DAVID doesn't like to have his picture taken, so this is all you'll see of him for today. He is fixing our NEW pencil sharpener that some unnamed person jammed a pencil into the WRONG way. coughjamescough David opened 'er up, cleaned 'er out, and got 'er humming smoothly again. I am so blessed to have his skills in my home!

David is fighting bronchitis, so he had Monday off from lessons. He also stayed home from co-op Friday and thus he worked on his lessons three days this week. Because he hasn't been feeling well, he had the freedom to make his workload a little lighter because he has his month's worth of assignments all in front of him.

He finished up his book on Benedict Arnold (Traitor by Jean Fritz) and although he didn't find it very compelling, I think he learned quite a bit about Arnold and his role in American history. I personally think Fritz's books are an EXCELLENT way to add some zip to your American history curriculum.

David just did one Honors lesson in Algebra this week, because I was still waiting for his test booklet. I have it now and he will catch up on Tests 1-4 next week, so he can move on.

A study guide for Module 5 in Science, several Spelling lessons, a couple Easy Grammar pages on past participles, an IEW assigment, and a couple chapters from his history book rounded out his week. He also wrote to me in his Communication Journal.

EMILY is continuing to practice the multi-digit multiplication that is so difficult for her to master. However, we've moved her on to more topics rather than holding her back until she masters that skill. So, she has been working on place value to the millions and 16 oz = 1 lb. She also has been playing Timez Attack, a free program to drill multiplication facts.

Number the Stars is the book she has been reading the past few weeks and she finished it this week. She also did all of the online quizzes I had assigned. She came to me several times during the week to tell me things that happened in the book.

Emily, like David, completed several Spelling lessons, a couple Easy Grammar pages on past participles and an IEW assigment this week. Spelling the word 'rhythm' really gave her fits! lol She also wrote a letter to a penpal and wrote to me in her Communication Journal.

I am behind in my lessons for History and Science, but this week we (Emily, James, and Suzy) did read about birds' muscles and bones and how those are perfectly designed for flight. Going to have to double up in both subjects to catch up next week.

JAMES has been working on skip counting by 4's as well as 4 quarts = 1 gallon. He completed lesson 15 and took the test. He also worked on Timez Attack. I recommend this program as a fun one that your kids will beg to play. They will WANT to get faster at the math facts to be able to win the game. Be forewarned, though. It isn't a straight drill game.

James completed his book Animals Do The Strangest Things by Leonora Hornblow and moved on to Birds Do The Strangest Things. He loves animals and finding out strange things they do is right up his alley. Every day he chose one or more facts he didn't know to write in his literature journal.

He is doing very well in Spelling and I think he might have been more challenged if I started him in Level C. However, he is moving along nicely and I am happy with his progress. He also did some work in Explode the Code, did a couple cursive pages, wrote a letter to his cousin, and wrote in his Communication journal.



SUZY finds most of her lessons to be quite easy and her biggest struggle is with her ATTITUDE.

This week she worked on Making 9's in Math-U-See Alpha and took the test for Lesson 16.

She read several books I printed off from starfall.com reviewing her short vowels. After reading, she writes a sentence in her literature journal. She also worked in Explode the Code and Alphabet Island, although off the top of my head I cannot recall exactly what the focus of the work was. Sorry! lol

However, I do remember spending a lot of time with her working on sight words. We play a flashcard game and she also has several charts that she is memorizing. She gets candy rewards for this, which makes it the thing she most wants to do, of course!

She also did a couple handwriting pages, wrote a letter, and wrote in her Communication journal.

Everyone did typing and I think they all did computer art. They've all finished the Creativity Express art program I bought and are working in the free art part of the program called ArtRage.

Man, I hate working with pictures in blogger. Anyone have tips for that? I don't think they all ended up where I wanted them, but you'll just have to take it as it is!

I'm sure there's more I wanted to say here, but I've spent too long already, so this will have to do!


Friday, January 23, 2009

Friday Fill-in #108

And...here we go!

ffi

1. Oh, I am so behind in my writing!

2. I need to make some changes, big and little.

3. During winter, I tend to hibernate.

4. Boots made out of plastic foam; are you kidding me??? (Saw them at Walmart. They look like they'd last for a week and then come unglued.)

5. Right now I'd like to be still sleeping.

6. My MP3 player is my favorite gadget. (It's just a plain jane model. But it's so handy!)

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to writing and watching a DVD, tomorrow my plans include writing and helping the kids organize their bedrooms and Sunday, I want to write and maybe relax?

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Do your best, prepare for the worst....

This verse surprised me in my Bible reading this morning.

Proverbs 21:31 (The Message)
Do your best, prepare for the worst — then trust God to bring victory.

I have been reading The Message, which is a paraphrase. My hope is to get a fresh perspective on verses I have read over and over. This would be a good example. Here is the verse in a couple other translations:

NIV - The horse is made ready for the day of battle, but victory rests with the LORD.
KJV - The horse is prepared against the day of battle: but safety is of the LORD.

In The Message, we lose the horse, but retain the idea of preparation. Of course, preparation for battle would include doing your best. If you didn't do your best, you'd surely die. Sometimes you die anyway. But that brings on the second part. Victory is in the Lord's control.

OK, time for lessons! You'll have to draw your own parallels to home education. :-)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Bible freebies

Sign up for Rose Publishing's weekly email newsletter and get a link to download 9 useful Bible charts.

Click the link and the info for signing up is on the right hand sidebar.

They are easy .pdf downloads. And you get another in your email every week according to the information I received.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Simple Woman Daybook - January 19

For Today... January 19, 2009

Outside my Window... So much snow I hardly can see anything else! I think this is the snowiest winter we've had in years!

I am thinking... I need to call the doctor for David, call the print shop for paper, and go to the bank. Also wondering how my back got out of alignment and thinking about getting it back in.

From the learning rooms... Going to try to take more pictures of learning as it happens.

I am thankful for... caffeine. :-)

From the kitchen... Just coffee.

I am wearing... Jeans, moss green fuzzy sweater, black nylon long sleeved shirt, white socks, red fleece slippers. Hair is wet and combed right now. Will blow dry later and put on makeup.

I am reading... The Shack by William someone or other, trying to find time to listen to The Fiery Cross by Diana Gabaldon. Reading Proverbs in The Message. Gave up on 3 books this week. Just having a hard time finding the "right read".

I am hoping... Bob recovers quickly from his fall. He's barely moving today, but there seems to be no serious damage.

I am creating... a new life for Jody and TJ. (main characters in my novel Forget-me-not)

I am hearing... James playing Lego Star Wars 2 on the PSP, David saying "Die! Die! Die!", Bob asking Emily if her hair is combed, and Suzy humming.

Around the house... Books for sale to take to co-op. James is liquidating his stuffed animals too. Any takers? 25 cents for small, 50 cents for large, I believe.

One of my favorite things... Seed catalogs! But I don't enjoy gardening. Go figure.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week...
A busier week this week than last. Monday night is Writing Curriculum (IEW) meeting, Tuesday night James has soccer training, Wednesday is Pioneer Club and the last session of Financial Peace University (cancelled last week), Friday is homeschool co-op. I should be able to write Mon-Thursday afternoons. Hoping for 10,000 words minimum. I finished last week 2500 words less than I had wanted, so.....

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you...

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Rise and Shine?

During our Christmas break, David (age 14) and I were discussing our imminent return to a more structured schedule. He complained about the time I wanted him to be out of bed, telling me it was too early.

"None of my homeschooled friends have to get up THAT early, Mom!"

The time in question is 8:00 AM. My goal is for the kids to get ready between 8 and 9 and then have some scheduled quiet devotional time between 9-9:30. (Not necessarily 30 minutes of it, but sometime in there.) It also gives us a little cushion of extra time. We start our lessons at 9:30.

I posted on my facebook account, asking for other homeschoolers to let me know what times their teens arise from their deep slumbers.

What I hoped for was some reassurance that there are other homeschoolers out there who like to stick to some semblence of a schedule.

What I got was a number of traditionally-schooled kids (or their parents) reporting what ungodly hours those kids have to get up to be ready before their school buses arrive. An oft-quoted time was 5:00 AM. FIVE O'CLOCK AM? That's really not a time I like to think about being awake. If David went to the local junior high school, he'd be tardy at 7:15. So, yes, if you have a long bus ride and if you have an intensive grooming routine, you might need to get up at 5:00.

Most of the homeschoolers that responded were not helpful to my position. They were saying things like, "it wouldn't help for me to tell you our routine" or "We live on a farm, but we definitely don't follow a farm schedule." I assume this means they don't make their teens get up early, or perhaps they don't have a schedule at all. That make work for those families, but I am not satisfied with that approach in our home.

So, I brought it up last weekend when I was scrapbooking. Most (all?) of the other ladies are homeschoolers and many of them have teens. I didn't get a lot of support there either. Studies were quoted. "Teens need their sleep." "Teens need to stay up late." "Teens grow best when they can sleep all they want."

OK, but what about the family? How do we have any routine at all when one member of the family sleeps in until 10 or 10:30 (or later) EVERY DAY? How do the other kids go to bed when one kid stays up until 1:00 AM? And this kid shares a bedroom with a sibling? How do we accomplish family Scripture and prayer time to start our day when one of our family members isn't yet awake?

My position is that it's better to teach them to go to bed at a decent hour and arise at a time that allows them enough sleep, but still keeps the family on a productive routine. Someday when my children have to be to work on time, I am hoping this training will show its fruit. I was encouraged in this approach by a couple good friends.

My goal for my teen? Bedtime is 10pm. He can listen to audio until 11pm. Then it's supposed to be time for sleep. That gives him 9 hours until the appointed time for rising and shining. I think that's a workable schedule, allowing for staying up later than younger siblings, for enough time asleep, and for a family routine that works like, well, clockwork!

So, what about your family? What frustrations do you face with bedtimes and waking up? What approach works best for you? Have you tried anything else?

EDITED TO ADD - I aim to get up at 7:30 to do my own devotions and work out. I don't always make it, but that's the goal. I am trying a year-long plan to reset my body clock and turn myself into a morning person. It's gotta be possible, right? I figure it's at least worth a try. (That's another post in itself, really - my reasons, motivations, and thought process.) So, anyway it isn't like I am asking my kids to do something I'm not doing either.

Also, read the comments for some other comments and my responses.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Weekly Review - Week 19

We had five days of lessons this week, but we started late every day, so we didn't do things in the order I would have preferred. Bible time suffered the most. Recovering from a weekend spent scrapbooking with friends was more difficult than I imagined it would have been.

Bible

  • We read 2 Timothy 3-4 and 2 Kings 3-4.
  • We finished Chapter 3 of Making Brothers and Sisters Best Friends
  • We sang our January songs Mon-Thurs. Change My Heart Oh God and A New Name in Glory.
  • We had family prayer time Mon-Thurs.
  • I hoped to finish up the Friday lesson sometime on Saturday, but since it's after 4pm, it doesn't look likely to happen.
Math
  • David worked on Lesson 4 (Distributive Property) in Algebra 1.
  • Emily finished Lesson 26 in Gamma (Finding Factors, 25¢ = 1 Quarter) and did the test for that lesson.
  • She is continuing to review the multiple-digit multiplication that is so challenging for her.
  • James finished Lesson 14 (Multiply by 6) in Gamma and took the test. He began Lesson 15 (Skip Count by 4, 4 Quarts = 1 Gallon) and did 3 pages.
  • Suzy finished Lesson 15 (Addition, Making 10) in Alpha, took the test, and started Lesson 16 (Addition, Making 9).
Language Arts - Literature and Reading
  • David read Chapters 5-9 in Traitor: The Case of Benedict Arnold by Jean Fritz and answered comprehension questions for each chapter.
  • Emily read Chapters 5-14 Number the Stars and answered comprehension questions online.
  • James did 2 Read and Think Skill Sheets (A Beka).He is getting better at this!
  • James read pp22-47 from Animals Do the Strangest Things and wrote each day in his literature journal about it.
  • Suzy read 4 Bob Books and wrote in her literature journal. She has moved into the 3rd set of Bob Books now. These books are harder and I decided to go back and do some easier short-vowel readers, which are free printables from starfall.com.
  • James and Suzy each did 8 pages in their Explode the Code books.
  • Everyone did some silent reading throughout the week.
Language Arts - Writing
  • David and Emily finished Lesson 8 and began Lesson 9 in IEW: SWI-B (Institute for Excellence in Writing: Student Writing Intensive, Junior High Level).
  • Everyone wrote in their Communication Journals.
  • Everyone wrote a letter.
Language Arts - Other
  • David and Emily both did several pages in Easy Grammar about helping verbs.
  • David, Emily, and James each did 4 lessons in Spelling Power.
  • David, Emily, and James played a game of Rummy Roots.
  • James and Suzy did 3 pages of penmanship.
Science
  • David worked on Apologia Physical Science Module 5 which was on water. He did two experiments. He will finish this module next week.
  • Emily, James, and Suzy had the week off Science.
History
  • David read Chapters 16-26 in History of US: The New Nation 1789-1850 (Book 4 by Joy Hakim) and answered comprehension questions, some orally, some written.
  • Emily, James, and Suzy did a preview of the information in the second quarter of Mystery of History 2.
  • They studied the lessons on the Dark Ages and King Arthur.
  • We all watched a documentary: The Dark Ages (The History Channel ) (90 minutes)
Other activities
  • Most of the kids worked on the computer for art and typing.
  • Pioneer Club and Chess Club were cancelled due to weather.
  • James went to soccer training clinic on Tuesday night.
I wonder what I can add to these Weekly Review posts to make them more interesting to you. I post them mainly because they help me to see that we are indeed progressing, but I would like them to be useful to my readers as well. Pictures? links? videos? audio? Comments are welcome!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Friday Fill-in #107

And...here we go!

ffi

1. Enough with the wind chill already.

2. Sleeping late causes me to be conflicted.

3. I've been craving Word Twist games.

4. Reading Janet Evanovich makes me laugh. (I just read Plum Spooky (A Between-the-Numbers Novel)
- FUNNY!)

5. I wish I could go to a movie in the theater next week. Anyone? Anyone?

6. Writing has been on my mind lately. My story is going swimmingly!

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to watching a DVD and reading, tomorrow my plans include writing and really nothing special (although I could be persuaded!) and Sunday, I want to do more of the same!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Simple Woman Daybook - January 12

For Today... January 12, 2009
(How can it already be January TWELFTH!?)

Outside my Window... I don't know. I'm not looking out. Can't make me. It's 10 degrees according to weather.com.

I am thinking... about Hugh Jackman. Oh wait, did I say that out loud?

From the learning rooms... Nothing new. 5 days of learning coming up this week.

I am thankful for... my friend Maryann who hosted a group of us this past weekend for scrapbooking!

From the kitchen... COFFEE, thankfully!

I am wearing... jeans, a long sleeved black shirt, an apple green flannel shirt, white socks, red fleece slippers. My hair is wet and I am not wearing makeup. I need another sweatshirt. It's CHILLY and I am getting a draft. At least my hands are warm.

I am reading... still The Falcon and the Sparrow by M.L.Tyndall (a Christian regency romance), listening in earnest now to The Fiery Cross by Diana Gabaldon. Reading Proverbs in The Message. Browsing through Writing the Breakout Novel by Donald Maass.

I am hoping... to write 2000 words every day this week, including Saturday. (Yes, that was my goal last week too. No, I didn't make it last week, but this week is not as busy!)

I am creating... an addition to the novel I wrote in 2007. Excited about the possibilities.

I am hearing... Suzy humming tunelessly, the clock ticking, someone moving around upstairs.

Around the house... A LOT of DVD's to watch! Shall I list them for you? Horatio Hornblower series, Waitress, Kingdom of Heaven, X-men, X2, X3. Coming from Netflix - Robin Hood (BBC) - Disc 3 of Season 1. Coming from the library: Kate and Leopold and something else I can't remember right now.

One of my favorite things... X-men! (Wolverine in particular! lol)

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week...
library visits and grocery shopping sometime this week, Chess Club Tuesday for the boys, Tuesday night James has soccer training, Wednesday is Pioneer Club and the last session of Financial Peace University. Lots of writing time! No weekend plans that I can remember either.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you...

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Weekly Review - Week 18

First week back to a full schedule. Week 18 is halfway point through a normal 36 week school year! Not that we follow a normal school year. lol

Bible

  • We read Titus 1-3 and 2 Timothy 1-2.
  • We read Chapter 3 of Making Brothers and Sisters Best Friends
  • We learned our new songs for January and sang them Mon-Thurs. Change My Heart Oh God and A New Name in Glory.
Math
  • David finished Lesson 3 (Solving for an Unknown with One Variable) and started Lesson 4 (Distributive Property) in Algebra 1.
  • Emily moved on to Lesson 26 in Gamma (Finding Factors, 25¢ = 1 Quarter) and did 2 pages in that lesson, while continuing to review the multiple-digit multiplication that is so challenging for her.
  • James worked on Lesson 14 (Multiply by 6) in Gamma.
  • Suzy worked on Lesson 15 (Addition, Making 10) in Alpha.
Language Arts - Literature and Reading
  • David began reading Traitor: The Case of Benedict Arnold by Jean Fritz, completing Chapters 1-4 and answering comprehension questions for each chapter. He also looked up some places on a map.
  • Emily began reading Number the Stars, finishing chapters 1-4, and answered comprehension questions online.
  • James did 1 Read and Think Skill Sheet (A Beka).
  • James read pp1-21 from Animals Do the Strangest Things and wrote in his literature journal about it.
  • Suzy read 4 Bob Books and wrote in her literature journal. She has moved into the 3rd set of Bob Books now.
  • James and Suzy each did 8 pages in their Explode the Code books.
  • Everyone did some silent reading throughout the week.
Language Arts - Writing
  • David and Emily began Lesson 8 in IEW: SWI-B (Institute for Excellence in Writing: Student Writing Intensive, Junior High Level).
  • Everyone wrote in their Communication Journals.
Language Arts - Other
  • David and Emily both did several pages in Easy Grammar about direct objects.
  • David and Emily each did 4 lessons in Spelling Power.
  • James started Spelling Power this week, taking 2 placement tests and then doing 2 lessons.
  • David, Emily, and James played a game of Rummy Roots.
  • James and Suzy did 2 pages of penmanship.
  • James and Suzy each wrote a letter.
Science
  • David worked on Apologia Physical Science Module 5 which was on water. He did one experiment.
  • Emily, James, and Suzy studied feathers this week in Apologia Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day.
History
  • David read Chapters 8-15 in History of Us: Book 4 (by Joy Hakim) and answered comprehension questions, some orally, some written.
  • Emily, James, and Suzy went through an oral review of the lessons we've covered so far in Mystery of History 2.
Other activities
  • Most of the kids worked on the computer for art and typing.
  • David, Emily, and James had art class on Wednesday afternoon.
  • The kids had PJ Day at Pioneer Club.
  • James started a soccer training clinic on Tuesday nights. It will be 10 weeks long.
  • We had homeschool co-op on Friday.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Friday Fill-in #106

fridayfillin.gif

1. It's January; a time for new beginnings.

2. SUGAR is what I crave most right now. (I am on a weight loss plan.)

3. Cork and wine go together like batteries and electronic devices.

4. Reading is so nourishing.

5. Let us dare to count calories. (Sparkpeople.com makes it easy - and free!)

6. Paint my home. (I dare you! It needs a second coat in the spring.)

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to leaving for scrapbooking, tomorrow my plans include scrapbooking and Sunday, I want to scrapbook! (Notice a theme? I'm going away for the weekend - scrapbooking!)

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Frightening CPSIA legislation - ACT NOW

PLEASE READ THIS! I am appalled at what this law will mean to the structure of our economic system.

In August 2008, the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) (PL 110-787) was passed by Congress to strengthen product safety laws to ensure only safe and compliant products are sold to our nation's children. While well-intentioned, this legislation imposes several new and burdensome requirements that increase costs at a time of economic upheaval but that do not offer any improvement in the safety of children's clothing or footwear.

Urge your members of Congress today to work with the Consumer Product Safety Commission to develop a pragmatic approach to the implementation of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act. Strengthening our product safety system is an important goal, but this can only be achieved if there are predictable and commonsense regulations that address safety risks.

Click this link to send an email protesting this law and asking for solutions to the problems it will cause when it goes into effect on February 10.

http://capwiz.com/americanapparel/issues/alert/?alertid=12274476

Here is an excerpt I received today in a homeschool newsletter from Heather Idoni of familyclassroom.net:

=======================
Notes from Heather
=======================

The Sale of Children's Books to be Banned
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Oh, how I wish this were a joke! But it is a grim and looming, almost Orwellian, reality.

Effective February 10th, in the United States, the sale of all children's books (books intended for children ages 12 and under) is to be PROHIBITED. Every single book printed prior to the ruling is affected, whether new or used. New books in production are required to include a "lead-free" certification and will be the only books that are legal to offer for sale.

What does this mean to the homeschooling family?

Well, for one, curriculum fairs across the country will be cancelled as book vendors scramble to figure out how to comply with the new ruling. Complete book inventories will have to be destroyed -- the ruling even prohibits giving away the books!

Local thrift stores will be hard hit -- most will likely have to close their doors -- yes, even Goodwill and Salvation Army.

Clothing, toys and books -- even CDs and DVDs are included in the ruling. Thrift stores will no longer be able to accept or process anything (including clothing) that would be intended for a child.

No more library sales. Libraries will not be permitted to give away or sell book donations. It is unsure yet, however, how the libraries' shelves themselves will be impacted (the ruling doesn't explicitly mention "loaning" books, just selling or giving them away). The key word, however, is "distribution" -- libraries may well be required to destroy books from their shelves.

(The ruling that originally passed was about toys, but the EPA has since made a statement that clothing, books and media are included in "children's toys".)

Just how serious is this new law?

Amazon.com has already notified all vendors of their need to comply. No book can be sold at the Amazon site that was printed prior to compliance. And the "compliance" must be coordinated at the manufacturing stage. At the time of this article there is no clause to be able to grandfather-in older books or even rare out-of-print
books. It can cost between $500 and $1500 to test a book for lead.

I happen to own a children's bookstore specializing in living books from the 1950s and '60s. My punishment for selling a book after February 10th? Up to $100,000 and 5 years in jail. And yes, it is a felony charge. For selling a SINGLE book.

(Although I don't think the S.W.A.T. team scenario would become a reality overnight, at the same time I would be leery of blatantly violating Federal law.)

So what can you do to help save your local used bookstore that sells children’s books? Or that homeschool curriculum business? Or your EBay business selling children's items?

ACT NOW before the quickly approaching deadlines:

1) Email or call the CPSIA - the office of the CPSC ombudsman at
888-531-9070. http://www.cpsc.gov/cgibin/newleg.aspx

Comments on Component Parts Testing accepted through January 30,
2009. Or email: Sec102ComponentPartsTesting@cpsc.gov

2) Contact your local representatives. For their contact informa-
tion, just enter your zip code.
http://capwiz.com/americanapparel/dbq/officials/

3) Make your voice heard by voting on this issue! The top 3 in
each category will be presented to President-elect Obama.
http://change.org/ideas/view/save_handmade_toys_from_the_cpsia

4) Sign the petition.
http://ipetitions.com/petition/economicimpactsofCPSIA/index.html

5) Spread the word! Forward this article. Send an email. Write
about this on your blog. Tell others about this issue and
encourage them to do the same.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Simple Woman Daybook - January 5

For Today... January 5, 2009

Outside my Window... SUNSHINE and snow.1

I am thinking... attitude adjustments are in order for several people living here.

From the learning rooms... Lessons are prepared and waiting. We start at 9:30. (Note, I wrote this at 9:20, but didn't finish the post until later on.)

I am thankful for... being home with my kids, unpleasant attitudes or no....

From the kitchen... trying to find new low-calorie ideas for food. What do skinny people EAT?

I am wearing... the "new" jeans I got at the thrift store, a long sleeved red t-shirt, black socks, white house shoes, and a grey hoodie because I am freezing. And I put on makeup! And blow-dried and curled my hair!

I am reading... The Falcon and the Sparrow by M.L.Tyndall (a Christian regency romance), listening in earnest now to The Fiery Cross by Diana Gabaldon. Reading Psalms in The Message. Browsing through Writing the Breakout Novel by Donald Maass.

I am hoping... to write 2000 words every day this week. (Yes, including Saturday, unless I can get ahead.)

I am creating... a list of 101 things to do in 1001 days. Well, I actually already created it.

I am hearing... Genesis. The kids are listening to it. The book of the Bible, not the band.

Around the house... Christmas is packed up and put away, so things are back to normal. Neater than normal, actually. lol

One of my favorite things... www.sparkpeople.com (At SparkPeople, our mission is to SPARK millions of PEOPLE to reach their goals and lead healthier lives. We offer nutrition, health, and fitness tools, support, and resources that are 100% free, while other sites like Weight Watchers and eDiets.com charge their members for similar services.)

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week...
homeschool meeting tonight, grocery shopping sometime this week and a library visit, Tuesday night James has soccer training, Wednesday is art class, Pioneer Club and Financial Peace University, Thursday - NO PLANS, Friday is co-op, and Then I am going scrapbooking for the weekend! Busy week!

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you...
David got a CARS game for the PSP and allowed Emily to watch him play it, since she adores the CARS movie. He did let her actually play it, but she isn't very interested in video games and found it too difficult.