Monday, November 19, 2007

Spay and Neuter Clinic

Jacob and I took our cats to the free spay and neuter clinic at the fairgrounds yesterday. They had 4 vets doing cats and 3 vets doing dogs. They said that they would "fix" 150 cats in 8 hours. What a blessing to have this available! Can you imagine 150 more cats running around our little town making more kittens? We would be over run. And they do that many every year.

When we checked the cats in, they asked if we would like to volunteer. We did :) They had us keep the cats warm by covering them with a towel and putting a sock of rice that had been microwaved next to them. Then we sat and petted and rubbed and talked to the cats until they woke up from the anesthetic. That took anywhere from 20 minutes to 1 1/2 hours. It was a good experience for Jacob and I. Maybe we'll do it again next year even though we won't have any more cats to take in.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Boffer Wars

We had our first Boffer War in the Civic Center today. Shane organized the kids this time much faster and without hesitation. They played capture the flag, healers, and no man's land. Don't ask me the rules. I just sit on the side and talk to the other moms. They all had fun (I think). They are worn out by the time we come home. It seems to be good exercise for them.

Friday, November 2, 2007


I want to see if this is emailed.

Thursday, November 1, 2007


I received an email yesterday morning from some RV homeschoolers. They said they were in Bozeman and were looking for something for the teens to do for Halloween. We invited them for dinner and to the Trunk or Treat/Carnival at church (and they came).

It was fun. They are Jewish, and their 15yo son said a blessing on the food in Hebrew. We had a good discussion about religion, then about homeschooling. They are traveling the country for two years to see the sights and learn about American History/Geography.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

The shed

Yesterday Stan, with the help of a few friends and the kids, rebuilt the shed. Before it had a wood and pvc (on the roof) frame and was covered with plastic. It looked something like a greenhouse. With the high winds we have here, we had to replace the plastic 3 times in the last year. He decided it was time to replace the plastic with something more solid.

They started at 9am and by 5pm they had a complete shed with metal siding and shingled roof. That should hold up to the winds this winter :) The friends that came started calling Stan a master scrounger--we paid $25 for all the materials that we bought (some of the plywood). All the rest of the materials he found used for free (roofing nails, felt, shingles, plywood, 2x4's, metal siding...). It came from freecycle, burn piles, and a friend of ours with a roofing company. The roof is in 4 different colors of shingles (they were leftovers) but it's solid. It's amazing what you can find when you start looking around.

Stephen and Shane used this for a project for the Family Life merit badge. It fit right in at the right time.

Monday, October 22, 2007

A Day in the Life of a Home School Student

Here's a cute homeschool project I came across:

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Boffer War

Here is a video from our first hsing Boffer War (last Friday) that one of the dads filmed.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Missoula Children's Theatre

Jessi, Jacob, Joseph, and Sarah had auditions to be in The Pied Piper this morning. Jessi is Council Member #1 (the town council), Jacob is a Townskid, and Sarah and Joseph are Rats.

They will have practice everyday this week from 10am until 2:30 pm. The performances are Friday at 7pm and Saturday at 2pm.

Our homeschool group brings in Missoula Children's Theatre twice a year. Hopefully we will be able to participate in the Spring also. Here is a description of what Missoula Children's Theatre does. And here is how it all was started.

Friday, October 12, 2007


Shane has discovered the wonderful world of boffer fighting. Here is a picture I found of some men having a battle (no one I know) .

They take pvc pipe and cover it with swimming noodles or pipe insulation. Then they cover the whole thing with duct tape. Here is picture of just weapons.

Shane was sssooo excited about the whole thing that he decided to start a medieval war group with our local homeschoolers and see how many show up. Today was the first meeting (at the park since it was warm). We had about 20 kids, which is pretty good for our little town. They all had fun, we had no major injuries and everyone wants to do it again . We decided to meet once a month at the civic center gym to war some more :)

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

I'm baaaack....

Yesterday was my last day of work :) The first three weeks I worked outside, but the last two days I worked in the seed room. I found that I am definitely allergic to barley. I was supposed to work through the end of the week, but couldn't take being in the seed room anymore.

Today we are going to go over what the kids got done for schoolwork and clean house. Both deteriorated considerably in the last week or so.

Stan brought home some black wheat a while ago for Jacob to sell at the farmer's market. He didn't get it ready in time for the farmer's market though. Last night he took a couple of bundles to our local grocery store to see if he could sell them there...They said he could! They are going to take 30 bundles and sell them for $2.50, then Jacob gets $2.00 for every one that sells. I need to find a ledger book for him now to keep track of his business.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Still Working

I've been working for about two weeks now...It's going ok. The kids get most of their school work and housework done. Most of it... We usually have dinner. Usually... It's not working perfect but it's working ok. I hate being away from the kids though. I have more incentive to be extremely careful with our money next year so that we have money sitting in savings for Christmas and holidays. I'd rather not go this route again. Just two more weeks...

One of the big complaints from stay at home moms is no adult conversation. With this job I talk to no one and am around no one all day. I think I prefer conversations with the kids.

Stephen, Shane, and Jessica are learning a lot about running a household. I think it takes more than what they expected.

Stan has started doing science experiments with Jacob. They have made two different types of refrigerator pickles and had everyone do a taste test. Next they are ripening our green tomatoes in paper bags (5 per bag). They have a bag with one red tomato, one with an apple, one with a cucumber, and five green tomatoes on the window sill. They are seeing which green tomato ripens fastest. They are keeping a lab notebook to record all that they learn.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Home, School, and Work

Yesterday I did start working. I left Stephen with a list of what needed to be accomplished by everyone in the house. I came home at 1:30 so that I could get Jessi to her volleyball game in time, and they had finished everything that they were supposed to :) We went to the volleyball game--Jessi did pretty well since it was her first game. And did our grocery shopping for the month.

Today I left a list again, came home at 12:00 to get all the kids to Homeschool PE in time, and they did have their schoolwork done...but not anything else on their list. Maybe tomorrow will work out better.

They seemed to have fun at PE--They want to go again. After, Shane and I went to talk to the Forest Service about a merit badge counselor again. The lady we talked to this time seemed very excited about it. She said she would talk to some of the others in the office and see who would be willing. She's going to get back to us by Friday.

Monday, September 10, 2007

It's Definitely Monday!

Sarah and Joseph are feeling better...but not looking better. They did some school work today.

We did our read alouds--Abraham Lincoln's World, Story of the World book 4, and Across Five Aprils. Abraham Lincoln's World talks about what is happening all around the world during the time of Abraham Lincoln's life. He is 3yo right now (1812). Story of the World also tells what is happening around the World at a specific time. We are at 1853. I was supposed to read Abraham Lincoln's World over the summer, but we were a bit too busy to actually all be home at the same time. We should finish Abraham Lincoln's World before Thanksgiving. We started Across Five Aprils today. It sounds like a book we will like. It is about a boy who is 9yo when the Civil War starts and ends up having to take care of his family while the men fought the war (I think).

We set up a schedule for cooking meals last night. Stephen cooked breakfast, Jessi is cooking lunch (right now), and Shane will cook dinner. We are preparing for me to go to work. Stan needs someone to help him full time for one month, but they couldn't find anyone to take the job. His boss is willing to pay $15 an hour since they can't find anyone. We decided to see if I could be hired (there are nepotism policies). It would give us some Christmas money and pay off a few bills. We should hear back today if it will happen and if it does I will start work tomorrow.

Well, the kids quieted down, so I guess I should check on them. They have been coming down to tell me all the loving (un) brotherly things they have been doing to each other for the last half hour.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Our First Week of School

We started school Tuesday this week. On Tuesday, I was helping with school work from 9:00 am until 2:00pm. Then we ate a late lunch and did a little more school work. It was pretty frustrating. I thought that I was cutting back on school work time after all! We cut back to the basics so that we could all pursue our interests more. Tuesday night I was trying to figure out what more we could cut to make my day shorter.

On Wednesday, everyone was finished by 10:30 am. I guess it was just a first day thing :)

Part of what Stephen and Shane are doing is Merit Badges for part of Biology. The first ones that they chose to do are Personal Fitness and Forestry. We printed out worksheets for them both from and looked to see where the merit badge counselors were. For Personal Fitness there are 3. They all live in the same neighborhood...45 minutes away. There isn't one in our district for Forestry. I think we should have been working on getting counselors over the summer. Too late now... Shane and I went to the Forest Service office to see if someone would help us. They said come back on Monday. We thought getting one counselor right now was enough, so Stephen is supposed to call one of the Personal Fitness ones but I don't think he has yet.

Jacob, Jessica, and Sarah are trying a lapbook from Knowledge Box Central to go along with Apologia Botany. They seem to be enjoying it, but the girls would like even more lapbooks to do. Jacob doesn't seem so sure. For the next science book I might try to get a lapbook from Live 'n' Learn Press and compare them.

Sarah and Joe both are pretty polka dotted (chicken pox), so didn't really do any school work this week. Sarah did do the lapbook though. Hopefully they will feel better next week.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Chicken Pox

Sarah and I had to come home from church early today--She has chicken pox. I didn't notice until the middle of sacrament. She cried for 15 minutes because she didn't want to miss her primary class :) I'll have to tell her teacher. Joe is the only other person in the house that hasn't had them. I guess he's next.

Jessi is enjoying volleyball. She will have her first game next week. She has a lot of enthusiasm for what ever she does.

Jessi, Jacob, and Sarah will be starting a sign language class next week that they are excited about. The homeschool group here is finally getting a few things together. They also have a PE class (that all the kids are excited about), a Greek class (that no one is excited about), and regular park days until it gets too cold. And when it gets too cold we will either rent the community center for free play or go swimming somewhere (an indoor pool with a motel or the hot springs). I have been thinking about starting a board game day once a month at the library also, but probably not until it gets cold.

We are starting the new school year on Tuesday as long as the chicken pox aren't too distracting for everyone that doesn't have them. Joe and Sarah might not get much done this week (or next).

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Another Laugh

You've got to see this :) lol :) A lady is selling Pokemon Cards on EBay--not so funny but her reason for doing it is :)

And here's the lady's blog that sold the Pokemon Cards on EBay. She's definitely another one that I will want to read everyday. Her writing reminds me of Pioneer Woman.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Another Update

The boys went on their hike...they had plenty of food, the lightest packs out of the whole group, and only the adults got any blisters.

Jessi's volleyball was delayed until next week.

Stan and I had planned to go to Billings overnight for our anniversary (18 years :), but decided not to leave the kids for that long. We went to dinner and a movie--No Reservations--which was pretty good. Stan liked it even though it was a chick flick. Then Stan took me to the MSU farm and to let me pick a kitten. There were two very little black ones. I picked one up and Stan picked up the other, and they both cried. Stan took mine and they immediately stopped crying (cute!). We decided to take them both. Daisy wants to play with them but doesn't try to hurt them, and they are not afraid of her so it seems to be working out. On Friday, since Stan already had the day off from work, we went to Yellowstone (I'll add pictures later). We went to the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone first and then came back by the Old Faithful side of the park.

Friday, July 27, 2007

This Summer

I enjoyed Girls Camp last week with Jessi :) The boys have been drying a lot of food for camp and only have the jerky left to do.

I've been busier this summer than I have been since we moved away from Oregon. It's been one thing after another. We started with the canoe trip June 8th-11th. Then there was the camporee June 14th-16th, and Youth Conference 22nd-23rd. Mom and Dad came for Stephen's and Shane's ordinations (Priest and Deacon, respectively) June 29th-July 3rd, and the boys had a campout the 6th and 7th. The four younger kids and I went to my mom-in-law's the 10th-13th, Stan and all the kids went on the ward campout the 13th and 14th, and then there was Girls Camp the 17th-20th. Which brings us to this week. The last Summer thing is the boy's hike next week...then Jessi will start volleyball with the homeschool team in Bozeman on August 13th. That is officially a Fall thing. What a crazy summer.

(And these were only the overnight stuff!)

Monday, July 16, 2007


Jessica, Jacob, Sarah, Joseph and I went to my mother-in-law's last week. They had cousins from Tucson, Arizona, and all over Washington there to play with. Stephen and Shane had to stay home and work. It went pretty well even though there was 15 grandkids and 3-4 adults staying at a 700 square foot house with one bathroom (that had just been remodeled and had no door--just a sheet hanging). There are 3 acres for the kids to have room to play.

This week Jessi is going to Girl's Camp for the first time. She is very excited :) I will go on Thursday night and bring home girls on Friday.

Stephen, Shane and I went shopping today to buy them some hiking boots. They are busy preparing to go on a 40 mile hike at the end of the month. They will need to get used to the new boots and break them in for the next two weeks (before the hike). We also have to dry meats and fruit and get their food ready to be on the trail for 5 days in a row.

And somewhere in between transporting kids and helping them get ready for the next activity, I need to start preparing for the next school year :)

Sunday, July 8, 2007

A Picture to look at...

Here's a picture of Stan on my friend, Jennifer's, blog.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

More Canoe Trip Pictures

Here's the whole crew. Except the camera man (Stan) who never handed off the camera.

I thought I would just post a few more pictures but don't have any comments.

Monday, June 18, 2007


Stephen, Shane, Adam, and Leonard are ready to go.

Which way are we going?

Oh, that way!

Who built this wall here?

Here's Josh unloading gear at the first campsite.

Shane and Adam are kings of the big rock.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

The Canoe Trip

Today we are preparing for a 50 mile canoe trip on the Missouri River for Stephen, Shane, Stan, Josh (Stan's brother), and our friends Leonerd and Adam Claar. We've ...uh...kind of... put off... a lot of the preparations, so we will be busy today. The boys have already cut up fruit and dried it to put in trail mix, and I sliced meat, cured it, and put it in the drier today for jerky. But we have to pack and put together all the rest of the food for the trip.

Our school year will be officially over tomorrow so this is a great end of year activity for the older boys. The boys finished their school work yesterday for the year, and Jessi and Jacob will be done tomorrow. The rest of us are going to have a pizza/movie party tomorrow night to celebrate.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Yet Another Plan for Next Year

I went to a home school discussion/meeting on May 16th about going from homeschool to college. The person setting it up was a 19yo unschooler that had just finished her first year of college. The only thing that her parents required her to do her entire years of being underaged was to go to a tutor for upper level math. Everything else she learned, she learned when she was interested in it and only to the point that she was interested. And she scored in the 98th percentile in the English portion of the ACT and the 50th percentile of the Math portion.

Now she has finished her first year of college. She has gotten one B and the rest A's, has started cooking club on campus, and has been invited to live in a college house (like a type of sorority I think). Being unschooled has given her a love for learning and the ability (knowledge) to pursue what she wants in life.

I have always been intrigued by unschooling. I have met kids (9-11yo) that were unschooled and were extremely intelligent and inquisitive. After going to the meeting, I realized I have been over thinking my school plans for next year. I had started to try to recreate public high school at home and planned backwards from there. We don't need to learn specific things just because that's what they do in school! We can learn what we want, when we want, how we want! I had forgotten that :)

So...I'm changing plans once again. I waited a couple of weeks to post to be able to pray and ponder and make sure this is really what we're going to do. I am going to keep all the stuff I've already bought for next year, but the only thing I will require them to do is math, be reading something (of their choice), and write something (stories, letters, journal, ...whatever :) everyday. I will still read to them--scriptures, history stories, and maybe some kind of other book. And they have to be working on church stuff (Faith in God, Duty to God, Personal Progress) and scouts.

And then...I will encourage them to research whatever they are interested in (I will help the younger ones). The reading and writing can be incorporated into this. I'm sure they will also get a lot of math practice with some of it also. They all love watching PBS type shows that teach a lot of history and science, and scouts teaches a lot of history and science.

We've discussed these changes with the kids--Stephen wants to find a way to program a game that he has been creating for the last 3 years, Shane wants to learn how to make knives, Jessi likes to learn about everything so she will just pick things as she goes along, and Jacob loves science (he's studying Botany through the summer and swimming creatures in the fall).

Stephen's game is a role playing game. He has already researched weapons in history, the history of chemistry, and geology for his game. He has been writing/typing the rules and descriptions of everything (characters, weapons, maps...). He draws maps by hand right now, and we have been talking about downloading a CAD program to assist in this. And he wants to program a computer game doing what they have been playing on paper so far.

With Shane learning about knife making it could include writing, reading, history, chemistry... And the others obviously could incorporate a lot of subjects at the same time. I just need to encourage, but not control their paths. I like to plan, so this is a hard thing to do.

Friday, June 1, 2007

My Cub Scout

Last night's pack meeting had a few bugs :)

The boys and their fathers all made bug cakes and auctioned them.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

In The Beginning...

I wasn't going to homeschool. Period. It was a relief in many ways when the kids each started school. I couldn't teach them all they needed to know. And homeschoolers were all weird anyway.

But I did worry about them. What were the other kids teaching them? Did their teachers treat them lovingly as I would or did their personalities clash? Were the kids on the bus mean?

I just kept sending them though. I lived through it, so would they.

Stephen and Shane started school in Potlatch, Idaho. They had a great Kindergarten teacher that had been teaching for 20 years and did a wonderful job. Stephen also went to 1st and 2nd there. His 1st grade teacher was lacking (couldn't seem to control her classroom and she would tell me she did some things everyday when Stephen said that she only did them when there was a parent visiting), but his 2nd grade teacher did well enough.

Then we moved to Salem, Oregon. Stephen's 3rd grade teacher was again unable to control her classroom. Shane had a great teacher though :) And she had a 1st and 2nd grade combined class, so he had her for 2 years.

Stephen's 4th grade teacher was, again, adequate. Jessica started Kindergarten this year also. She was already reading, but they expected to teach her the sounds of the letters. She liked the social life though, so I let it go.

The next year I had Stephen-5th, Shane-3rd, and Jessica-1st. I requested the best 5th grade teacher for Stephen, Shane had a fine teacher, and Jessica's teacher told me she didn't know what to do with her since she was so far ahead. But she still liked her social life :) Halfway through the school year, we bought a house in another school district and moved. They were in a small school with only 3 teachers for 1st-5th. Jessica and Shane's teachers were wonderful. And Stephen's teacher was again lacking. She insisted that he was behind in all subjects when I knew he wasn't. She put him in a level too low, and he was bored most of the time.

That summer they closed the small school and put all the kids in a very large school. Stephen, at 6th grade, was put in the junior high. He was again not being challenged. His teacher sent home a note saying that he hadn't done any homework for 3 months! I don't understand why they didn't tell me for 3 months. So we grounded him until he completed all his homework for three months. It took him 90 minutes. Definitely not challenging.

Jacob started Kindergarten this year also. His teacher seemed OK. After Christmas the school sent home a reprimand for Jacob for his activity on the bus. Looking at what they said, I was sure he had done it. I asked my other kids, and the neighbors kids what was going on on that bus. Apparently the bus driver never acknowledged anyone unless they did something wrong. In the mind of a five year old little boy, if you only speak to him when he's in trouble, you must not like him.

According to the reprimand I had to meet with the principle before he could ride the bus again, so I made an appointment with her. In part of that meeting, I tried to explain to her that if the bus driver would say something nice to him (like "Good Morning") he would change his attitude and try to be good. She told me that the bus driver had a lot to think about, and didn't have to do anything to make my son more comfortable riding the bus, and that I didn't have to worry, they would take of it. Jacob would be held in for his only recess of the day for the next week.

I went home *so* angry! I told Stan I wasn't sending them back--none of them. If this kind of attitude--what was best for the adults (not the kids) was what was going to happen--was coming down from the principle, I didn't want any of the kids in the school. It wasn't the first time that I had seen the "attitude" at school, but it was the first time it was so blatant. The bus driver couldn't handle the 5yo, Stephen only had decent teachers every other year, Shane did fine in the classroom because he was quiet but had no friends and was often picked on, and Jessica was always so far ahead of her class that she learned on her own, not with her class. Stan said I couldn't pull them out for a month. It would give me time to calm down (and make sure I was really going to do this) and to prepare.

I pulled them out at Spring break, and never looked back (almost). I thought they would drive me crazy, but they didn't. They have grown closer together. I thought the crazy schedule of homeschooling would be harder than having them in public school, but it is easier. I *can* teach them what they need to know (or I can find someone who can). We can sleep in when we want, stay up late when we want, go on field trips when we want, go on vacations when we want, do what ever we want. School work only takes a short time out of the day. The kids are not being subjected to being picked on, being bored, swearing, off color jokes, and bad social skills at school. I am grateful for that rotten bus driver, and grateful I don't have to put up with another one.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Current, for the moment, 2007-2008 plan


Reading--I Can Read It! (a reader), and library books
Writing--2 pages of Handwriting Without Tears and copywork from whatever she read
Arithmetic--Singapore Math 1B/2A


Reading--Explode the Code/ I Can Read It!
Writing--Explode the Code and Handwriting Without Tears
Arithmetic--Singapore Math 1B/2A and Miquon Math


Reading--his choice
Writing--Wordsmith Apprentice and Daily Grams 3/4
Arithmetic--Singapore Math 4A/4B
Science--Swimming Creatures of the Fifth Day
History--Story of the World Book 4 and Activity Guide (the Activity guide has extra reading, maps to fill in, and other projects)


Reading--Lightning Literature Grade 7
Writing--Wordsmith and Daily Grams 5/6
Arithmetic--Finish Singapore 6B and Life of Fred Beginning Algebra
Science--Cooking and Science
History--Story of the World Book 4 and Activity Guide
Foreign Language--Rosetta Stone Spanish


Reading--Lightning Literature Speech and the Reading merit badge
Writing--Wordsmith and Daily Grams 5/6
Arithmetic--Life of Fred Beginning Algebra
Science--Biology from library books and merit badges using an AP Biology study guide as a guide
History--Modern World History
Foreign Language--Rosetta Stone Spanish
Electives--Art History or Logic


Reading--Lightning Literature Speech and the Reading merit badge
Writing--Wordsmith and Daily Grams 5/6
Arithmetic--Life of Fred Beginning Geometry
Science--Biology from library books and merit badges using an AP Biology study guide as a guide
History--Modern World History
Foreign Language--Rosetta Stone Spanish
Electives--Art History, Logic, and/or AP Computer Science

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Mother's Day :)

I love Mother's Day. We have a tradition of breakfast in bed, homemade cards, and dollar store gifts. I get to sit on the couch and do whatever I want as long as its not cooking or cleaning (the kids do that). I usually call Mom, but I forgot they were at Dwight's and waited too late (sorry Mom). I'll have to try tomorrow.

Here's a blog named Confessions of a Pioneer Woman that was just recommended on one of the message boards I frequent. It really makes me laugh. I had to add it to my favorites.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Changes for 2007-2008 Schedule

Changes are in blue. There sure is a lot of blue :)

Joseph and Sarah:
Explode the Code (Joseph only)
Miquon Math
Singapore Math
Mcguffey readers--Neither of them like this. We'll just use books from the library.
We will start from where we leave off this year.
They will listen in Jacob, Jessi, and I read Story of the World

DK Presidents
Not using - DK History of the 20th Century
The Story of the World Book 4 and Activity Book
In the Activity book are reading suggestions in four Usbourne history books that we already own. Jacob and Jessi will be reading these instead of the DK 20th Century book.
We are also using A Child's History of the World
Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day Actually he wants to study Sea Creatures instead.
Singapore Math 4A/4B
Easy Grammar 3/4 Daily Grams 3/4 instead
Literature based on Tapestry of Grace 20th Century Upper Grammar reading list I'm going to let him pick most of his literature to read instead of telling him what he has to read.
Writing using Write on Track handbook as a guide I think I will have him do the first half of WordSmith Apprentice for writing, but still use this guide.

Same history changes as Jacob.
DK Presidents
DK History of the 20th Century
The Story of the World Book 4 and Activity Book
Apologia Biology Change to Kitchen Chemistry. And add in books from the library.
Science Roots
Finish Singapore Math 6B
Teaching Textbooks Algebra 1 Don't like Teaching Textbooks anymore. Will be using Life of Fred Beginning Algebra.
Easy Grammar 4/5 Daily Grams 5/6 instead
Literature based on Tapestry of Grace 20th Century Dialectic reading list She will be using Lightning Literature 7th Grade instead.
Writing using Write Source 2000 handbook as a guide And WordSmith Apprentice.

Will be using Modern World for questions to research and all of these books and more to find answers.
DK Presidents
DK History of the 20th Century
The Story of the World Book 4 and Activity Book
A History of the American People (last half)
Apologia Biology I decided Apologia was too preachy. Stan and I came up with our own curriculum by using the table of contents from several high school biology books. They will research the subjects (from table of contents) and work on related merit badges. (at least 12)
Science Roots
Finish Teaching Textbooks Algebra 1 Change to Life of Fred Beginning Algebra.
Teaching Textbooks Algebra 2 Not getting to this this year.
Rosetta Stone Spanish 1 (first half)
Literature based on Tapestry of Grace 20th Century Rhetoric reading list Will be doing Lightning Literature Speech and getting the Reading Merit Badge instead.
Writing using Writer's Inc handbook as a guide Will do WordSmith also.

History, Science, and Literature will be the same as Shane's.
DK Presidents
DK History of the 20th Century
The Story of the World Book 4 and Activity Book
A History of the American People (last half)
Apologia Biology
Science Roots
Teaching Textbooks Geometry Change to Life of Fred Geometry.
Rosetta Stone Spanish 1 (first half)
Literature based on Tapestry of Grace 20th Century Rhetoric reading list
Writing using Writer's Inc handbook as a guide Will also do WordSmith Craftsman over the next two years.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

The Grounding

A few nights ago Joseph and Jacob were arguing and it escalated (big surprise:).

Joseph threw a boomerang and it hit Jacob. Jacob picked it up and hit Joseph with it and left a little bruise. They both came upstairs, Joseph crying and Jacob still angry.

Stan told Jacob that he was grounded for three days. Joseph misunderstood and thought he was grounded. He said "I can't not eat for three days!" I told him that Jacob was grounded, not him. Then he told me "Jacob can't not eat for three days either!"

It's sweet that he can worry about his brother while he is still crying from the bruise he received. I explained to him that Jacob would be grounded from video games and friends, not food. We don't withhold food from the kids. Really.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Book Reviews...

Well, I thought that I would read all of the assigned books that I was going to assign Stephen and Shane for next year now to be prepared.

I read My Antonia first. If you like a book that goes on and on about the landscape of Nebraska around 1900, you'll love this book. There were a few interesting points in the lives of the people in the book, but they were just mentioned and then the chapter would end. The new chapter would start with the landscape again.

Then I read The Home Ranch by Ralph Moody. I couldn't recommend Ralph Moody books enough. They are great read alouds or read alones for boys. Jessi and I like them also :)

Next I read Murder on the Orient Express. It wasn't bad, but not something I would have chosen. And the end disturbed my sense of justice.

Lastly I read All Quiet on the Western Front. It is very well written and thought provoking, but also very depressing.

After reading all these books since January, I realized why the kids complain when I assign literature. I don't like being told what to read either! Out of four books I really liked only one.

I have a new literature plan for next year. I bought a literary analysis curriculum called Lightning Literature, one for Jessi and one for Stephen and Shane. Jessi's covers 3 novels, 1 autobiography, and a few short stories/poems for the entire year. She will just study them in depth and mimic writing styles/types. Stephen and Shane will be studying great speeches in history. They will also get the Boy Scout reading merit badge for part of their school work. This should relieve the "Mom always tells me what to read" syndrome.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Catching up...

We went to Utah for Easter Weekend. OK, not exactly for Easter, but that weekend. We went for Grandma Smith's 80th birthday party. They had a great turnout with an Easter Egg hunt, family dinner, and reception after, all at the local church building. We saw cousins that we didn't recognize anymore and the people we did recognize just looked a lot older :) For the Easter egg hunt they had an area for the little ones and eggs hidden everywhere for the older ones. Even on top of the security light over the door (must have been 10 feet up). There was enough family there to fill the church gym for dinner.

On Sunday, Stan headed back home in the car we inherited, and I stayed with the Suburban and the kids. We had a partial Doan family reunion Sunday night--Jenny and Bruce (my siblings) and their families came to Mom's for dinner. It was great seeing you all again :)

Jenny and her two youngest stayed overnight so that we could all goto Hogle Zoo on Monday. We hadn't thought about the fact that there was no school that day and the zoo might be packed--and it was. It was fun anyway. That night we met Bruce and his family to see the new Joseph Smith movie at temple square. It was great. I hope to see more of it next time (without a 6yo son :).

Tuesday we spent relaxing with Grandma Sarah and Grandpa, and Wednesday we explored temple square. Thursday we went to the planetarium and saw a movie about taking a cardboard box spaceship to all the planets in the solar system. Joe and Sarah loved the movie. Joe was particularly impressed that they showed the movie on the domed ceiling.

Friday we spent in Logan with Jenny and her family. We just went to the park and let the cousins play. This was my kids favorite day out of all that we did. We'll have to do this again.

And Saturday we came home :) It's good to be home.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Home School Mothers

Here's an article to make all homeschooling moms feel good about what they do : )

Home School Mothers: The Beatrice Brigade

Monday, April 2, 2007

Win a Dyson Slim!

Sign up on this blog to win a Dyson slim :)

Friday, February 2, 2007

Who's Younger?

I woke this morning to Joseph and Sarah arguing about who is younger. I was doing my best to ignore it, but they had to ask my opinion. Sarah said that she was younger. Joseph said that he was smaller (he's 1/2 inch shorter) so he was younger. I explained that since Sarah was born last, she was younger. But apparently that has nothing to do with it--at least in Joseph's mind. They decided to see who weighed more. Joseph weighs a pound more. That settled it. Sarah is younger :)

Friday, January 26, 2007

Another week went by?

How did that happen?

January, 2007, has been quite a month. Stan is on his way to his nephew's funeral (stillborn at 39 weeks pregnant). Jacob went with him this time.

As I was reviewing how the kids are doing in their school, I realized Sarah and Joe needed a change. I had too much math in their notebook each day--they were both avoiding it. Sarah really doesn't like Explode the Code either. I adjusted their math to a little less and took out Sarah's Explode the Code worksheets altogether.

Instead of Explode the Code, I put in a page each day that has writing lines at the bottom of the page and nothing at the top. She read two stories from the Sonlight beginning reader about a rat and a cat, copied two sentences onto her page, and drew a rat from the book at the top of her page. She really liked doing this schoolwork:)

I was reading how copywork helps with spelling on Jeanie Fulbright's website. This is part of what she read in one of Charlotte Mason's books:
In copywork, the child should never copy each letter of a word in turn. They are to see the entire word, memorize its spelling, then copy the word without looking. If it is a difficult word, they should try to spell it outloud with their eyes closed and see if it correct before writing it.
I think most homeschoolers are not getting the full benefit of copywork (including me up to now). Copywork is widely used, but in this computer age the passage is typed at the top of the page and lines to write on at the bottom. That makes it very easy to copy letter by letter. If they have to copy from the book, they will be more likely to memorize the way the word is spelled. Copywork does have many other benefits though (grammar, memorization of the entire passage, encourages critical thinking (if discussed)...)

Friday, January 19, 2007

Our Life This Week...

Well...Maybe this is a once a week blog : )

Sarah went to Utah to visit Grandma Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday while her dad was at his grandmother's funeral. This is the first time Sarah and Joe were apart for more than a few hours. When Sarah got home, she and Joe ran and played for two hours straight.

Jacob only has 2 more things to get his Bear badge (yeah!). I have been concerned about his reading level since I started homeschooling him and hoped that if I kept being patient he would catch up. Well, he is reading the McGuffey 3rd Reader now. When I looked up current reading levels for this book, it is somewhere between 4th and 8th grade depending on where you look and which lesson you try to get a grade level for (they vary a lot). He is officially 4th grade, and is having no problem reading it. I found a different science curriculum (Elementary Apologia) for him that I think we will start next year. It is quite a bit cheaper than Noeo (that I was planning on using) and as we read a sample chapter together, he was so excited about it that he ran off to try the experiments.

Jessica started knitting classes this week. She must really be enjoying it since she doesn't do anything else until late in the day. As I was looking at the website for the science curriculum that Stephen and Shane will be using next year, I noticed that it says to start Biology the same year as Algebra I. Jessica will be starting Algebra I next year, so I guess she will be having science with Stephen and Shane.

Shane has had a book report due on Robinson Crusoe since Monday. I have been trying to get him to write it in a different format than what he has been doing, so he has been fighting me all week. Tonight he finally gave in and sat down at the computer to write. He wrote 5 pages in one sitting! He has said that maybe he wants to be a writer someday...

Stephen is really enjoying seminary. Tuesday and Wednesday, he woke me up to make sure that we would make it in time (usually Stan takes him). His teacher told me he is the only one that reads the scriptures for the lesson ahead of time. He is taking his calling as Teacher's Quorum President seriously, also. He has been calling to remind the boys about activities without anyone reminding him.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

The Museum of the Rockies

We decided to go to the Museum of the Rockies yesterday. It is a hands on kids museum about dinosaurs in Bozeman. Since we were going to Bozeman anyway I decided to goto the library and shopping in the morning, and we would goto the museum in the afternoon. The kids were great shopping and at the library. Then it started snowing, and we had to go home before the pass got too bad :( I felt bad after they had behaved so well. We'll have to try again next week. This week we were meeting the homeschool teen group there, though.

Today we stayed home. With it -3 outside, no one wanted to go anywhere anyway. It is supposed to go down to -23 tonight. Ice Age 2 came in the mail from Netflix, so tonight is movie night. That sounds better than going anywhere.

I've been ordering some of the books for school next year so that I will be prepared. It's been fun getting packages everyday. Today we got Story of the World book 4 and the Activity Guide to go with it. The Activity Guide looks like it has a lot of fun things to do with history next year.

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Our Day

We have started the new year of homeschooling as of today. We started with family prayer, scripture study, and read aloud (at 10am :::grin:::). I let the kids pick the read aloud--they picked Mossflower by Brian Jacques. I think three of them have already read it, but they were the ones that wanted it read aloud so it must be pretty good. We also just received a box of legos with lots of special pieces from freecycle, so the kids were happy to sit and build while I read. I read from the Book of Mormon to them (usually they have to take a turn reading). I was afraid that they wouldn't get anything from it that way, but they asked several questions/made comments showing that they were definitely listening.

This afternoon was warm (45 degrees) so we decided to go to the park. There was still snow in spots, but they didn't seem to mind. Joseph decided that he did need a coat after all though. I minded--I sat in the truck and read My Antonia. It is a pretty good book. There is a lot of description of the landscape of Nebraska around 1900 and it gives you a pretty good idea of what life was like living on the prairie at that time. I also caught up on Sunday School and Relief Society readings (yeah, I know, not very hard at this point).

Sunday, January 7, 2007

Starting to write again

I've been a little under the weather, so haven't put much on the blog lately. I'll have to catch up later.

I've started reading Stephen and Shane's first book for next year (My Antonia) as part of my goal to read all their literature before they do. It's pretty good so far but I'm only through the introduction : ) I also plan to keep up with our Relief Society and Sunday School readings this year. (This is one of my goals most years ; )

I have some other goals, but I'm not sure I want to tell all of cyberspace about them.

Monday, January 1, 2007

Our Daughters

The scene is a middle school auditorium, where girls in teams of three or four are bopping to pop songs at a student talent show. Not bopping, actually, but doing elaborately choreographed re-creations of music videos, in tiny skirts or tight shorts, with bare bellies, rouged cheeks and glittery eyes.
They proceed to dance in a way that I will not let my teenage sons see let alone allow participation from my middle school age daughter. Why do the parents, teachers, and school districts allow such activity to be displayed as a talent? They not only allow it, they encourage it. It required costumes, dance lessons, and permission from the school. What kind of talent were they trying to show? Lap dancing, pole dancing... Don't the adults surrounding this situation realize that this can't lead to anything good? These kinds of things are why I am glad that my children are happy homeschooling. The girls obviously worked hard at their "talent":
Their faces are locked from grim exertion, from all that leaping up and lying down without poles to hold onto.
It's a good thing their parents didn't see this toy before it was removed from the toy section. At the end of the editorial he says:
Suburban parents...allow the culture of boy-toy sexuality to bore unchecked into their little ones’ ears and eyeballs, displacing their nimble and growing brains and impoverishing the sense of wider possibilities in life. ...And it’s a cramped vision of girlhood that enshrines sexual allure as the best or only form of power and esteem.
The only way for this type of situation to be changed is for parents to do some parenting. We have to make the change by doing what we can to not allow our children to wear these types of clothes or dance or act in these ways. We can refuse to buy immodest clothing, refuse to pay for lessons to dance inappropriately, not allow inappropriate music to be played in our house, and encourage our daughters to see the beauty within. "Everyday Mommy" (on her blog) is trying to make a difference. She has come up with the Moms for Modesty Mission Statement to try to unite parents against stores and manufacturers that sell immodest clothing for children. It says:

Moms for Modesty Mission Statement

  • As a Mom for Modesty I believe in common-sense modesty for girls and young women.
  • I believe in refraining from sexualizing our girls and young women.
  • I believe that it is unwise and unfair to taunt boys and young men by permitting my daughter(s) to dress in an immodest manner.
  • I believe that true beauty comes from within and I strive to teach my daughter(s) this truth.
  • I will loyally shop at retailers that provide girls' and young womens clothing that is modest, affordable and stylish.

If you agree with this click here and sign the petition, and add their button to your blog if you have one.

Happy New Year!

I'm not seeing my pictures from the post for the other day, but hopefully someone is and hopefully you will be able to see these. After I started looking through our pictures (this morning) I realized that most had someone else's child in them and I could not put them on the blog. Here are the ones that I could.

Here is our sign (that Jessi made).

Stephen playing video games with a friend.

Shane watching someone play.

Jessi playing mancala.

Jacob ready to fight.

Sarah in her party hat.

Joseph ready to pop the confetti.

Midnight is finally here!