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!