Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Today seemed to have run just as smooth as any day should. The past few weeks have just flown by!! Jacob and I are learning together each and every day. We have had a couple of bumps in the journey but they are smoothing out nicely!
Tonight we are attending a Japanese cultural event at the university. So for the past few days, we have been learning about Japan and its customs and fun stuff too!
Today we worked on origami (carp) and Japanese kites! Oh and math too...but of course we chose to do origami first! Yesterday, we went over basic phrases in Japanese, the map of Japan and the cities all over the land and we watched a few videos about drumming.
We are super excited about the event tonight. When the other children get home he wants to teach them how to make the origami carp before we go!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

New Science program for us

I have been working diligenty since last night on lesson plans. I feel very blessed right now at how progressive our homeschooling experience has been so far. To this date, I have not spent a penny on any kind of curriculum. We have used school supplies that I had purchased for him at the beginning of the year. I went to Big Lots last night and had to buy a stapler to help out with the lapbooks, a white board, lotion (you know this is a necessity!!), a new blank planner, and a pretty purple pad for me! Ok, back to what I was saying. I really like the website I have mentioned it before. I have been able to pull alot of great resources from there! Today I looked at what they had posted and it was a science curriculum for middle and high school students. Totally free. You can choose to buy the books at $25 ea. or download them for free. Obviously, this was a duh! decision... I have been going through the books and splitting up the lessons and putting them in my plan book. So far I am up to Christmas in the Science planning. Only made it through fall break for the math planning, My goal is to have all the planning done through Christmas break this weekend. Here is the link to the science site JASON
(no pics today!)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

I found some nice freebies today for homeschooling thanks to FreelyEducate !! I think that alot of people could benefit from the teaching math videos on this site... Khan Academy I hear from parents on how they don't know how to help their kids with math homework, well here is a great first step toward homework help! I will be using this as a supplement to our math work. We are still working on factoring at the moment. I found two videos from Khan to help with visual understanding after working two days on prime numbers.
I really need to get back with my hairbows and make some more. Seems the girls have lost all of the ones I have made for them :(

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

I know I will have to double this...but it sounds good and looks easy!

This simple five ingredient casserole is delicious and so easy you can keep the ingredients on hand for emergency meals. When I made it, I used cheddar cheese pasta sauce instead of the Alfredo sauce for a change of pace. And I used frozen brown rice in place of the rice medley.


  • 10 oz. pkg. frozen rice medley
  • 10 oz. pkg. frozen broccoli in butter sauce
  • 1 cup prepared Alfredo sauce
  • 2 cups cooked cubed chicken
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook rice and broccoli as directed on packages. Spread rice in bottom of 1-1/2 quart glass casserole dish. Top with broccoli in sauce and chicken. Spoon alfredo sauce over casserole and sprinkle with cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes until casserole bubbles around the edge and food is thoroughly heated. 4 servings


Just a quick we are in the middle of our morning. So I have found this curriculum for the book "The Book of Virtues" I think this will be a great supplement to our studies!! I am so excited. In elementary school they followed the character traits with the children. And I think this just takes it a step further and will fit in to our home education very well with Jacob. The first unit is on Self-Discipline. It include a reading which I think I will read to him for awhile to see if that is more engaging for him. There is a vocabulary list, projects, activities...and so much more. This curriculum uses a lot of projects such as lapbooks. I have been doing research lately on this type of "art". It is really neat how you can put a unit together using lapbooks. I think it would be a great idea for the younger students. I had to look up how to make matchbook lapbooks on YouTube. While looking around I found a layered book video. I think we may used this technique for the vocabulary words in each unit. Something a bit more fun. Who knows? We may have a really huge project to show at the end of this curriculum. My prayer and hope is that we finish this and he is able to bookmark a lot of it and use it in real life.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Well, we didn't make it to the creek today. But he did get alot of work done. It looked like it was going to storm and we didn't want to chance it. We are going to go on Monday when the other kids are home so that they can learn and enjoy the creek too! Kind of more excited for the others to learn about ecosystems too!
So since our plans were changed I went to the Y with friends and enjoyed a zumba class. I still don't have all the steps down but it was really fun!

Waiting on Jacob to stop wandering around and get his preliminary research finished so that we can leave for the creek. He did a spelling lesson this morning, contributed to his journal and now is looking up links to ecosystem lectures, videos and a few helpful definitions. We are going to stop and grab some noodles and then be on our way! Oh, I did say we would ride our bikes to get noodles...hmmm. Not sure if we will have time! These pictures were taken at Defeated Creek in May 2010.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

So tonight at dinner we figured out that it is about 2880 hours until Christmas. All math was done on a napkin! This is quality dinner conversation with 6 children all watching intensely as I explain how you come up with a big number like that!

On to other things. I had the big AHA! moment today when I figured out a planned day of homeschooling that may be the most productive one yet! It all started out as I want to go to the creek. But I didn't know what to do there. I asked friends on fb what they thought we could do at the creek and someone mentioned an ecosystem project. So I was looking through the scope & sequence that I printed from the county school website and "ecosystem" is one of the topics covered in 6th grade science!! Bingo! We are on to something! So we will spend some time finding out about an ecosystem at home on the computer and then head to the creek to do some more exploring and learning. Then when we get home, we are going to do an ecosystem experiment!! And I found a great one online!

Science Experiment #1: How to clean up an oil spill

We all know that oil spills can damage our environment. Understanding how much damage an oil spill can do is best illustrated by replicating an oil spill in a controlled setting. The purpose of this experiment is to recreate an oil spill, and experiment with different methods to determine the most efficient method of cleaning up after a spill.

Materials needed to make the oil spill:a large cookie tray water automotive oil (dirty is best)small rocks and sand bits of wood, tufts of grass, and feathers a fan

Step 1: Line the edge of the tray with rocks and sand to create a shoreline. Tuck in bits of wood and the grass in the shoreline to represent some of the plant life that live on the coast.

Step 2: Gently add water to the tray until 2/3 full. Drop a small handful of feathers into the water.

Step 3: Gently pour a small amount of automotive oil carefully into the tray.

Step 4: Place the fan along one end of the tray, and switch to the "on" position. Leave the fan on, until the oil spill drifts to one of the shorelines, then shut off.

Step 5: Experiment with different ways of trying to clean up the oil on both the water, the shoreline, and on the organisms themselves. Things to experiment with should include sand, kitty litter, string, Dawn dish washing detergent, laundry degreasers, newspapers, basters, and rags.

Step 6: Record your findings and observations.

Now I need to get a science journal for him. Still looking for a math curriculum. I did an online placement test for Saxon math and he placed in the Pre-Algebra class. But I think I want to do the 8/7 and the Algebra 1/2 with him. I did get to see what type of math he needs to brush up on so we may not need to get the 8/7. Thinking we should do review type things until December and then start the pre-algebra in January.

See I can do this!! And it was great figuring out a variety of things to do on the same subject too!

Tomorrow we will be off to the creek!!!

Photo Shoot

I never have pictures of my niece! She is usually at daycare when I take the other kids out for a photo shoot. So this morning her mom fixed her hair up and we went outside for about 5 minutes and did some rapid firing. She did a really good job! Here are 4 of my favorite ones!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Great Morning...

So today has started off pretty good. I woke up tired today though, not really understanding why since I went to bed earlier than usual. We got the younger kids off to school, then Jacob and I started our morning.
Jacob did a spelling lesson and then we sat down and watched a documentary about Border Patrol and got half way through a boring doc on the aerial history of California. The cinematography was making me sleepy and sick at the same time the way they fly over the land.
Right now he is sitting down and reading his Narnia - Prince Caspian book, so happy b/c he picked it up on his own without me reminding him to read today! He used to have a love for reading but has backed off a lot. I hope to rekindle this for him this year!