Friday, August 31, 2012

Update on August Goals

Blogging -

1.  Eagle Nest - Write at least 25 Daily Kindle posts (that allows me to forgive myself if I miss a few).  ....  I moved this content to another blog .... Kiddos With Kindles .... and managed to post at least something almost every day.
2.  Eagle Nest - Write at least 25 Other Posts on Homeschooling, Crafts, and such.  (I don't think I reached 25 - maybe 20?)
3.  O 'Scarlett - Write at least 12 book reviews  (I'm not worried about setting a book reading goal - I already have 40 books that I need to write up!)  (I'm pretty sure I finished up around 10.)
4.  Wings - my personal scrapbooking blog - Write at least 8 posts and 1 Family News Update.  (5 or 6 goals and 1 family update)
5.  At least once a week, visit other blogs and leave comments, and visit Blog Frog.  (Barely had time to even skim Google Reader - and my numbers are slowing down.)

Project School Room - and Household Shuffle
1.  Story moved into the play room - collect everything that belongs to her and it goes into her room with her.  (Finished!
2.  Finish sorting out Dad's office so the Ref can move into there  (finished as much as we can do ... the rest is up to the Ref)
3.  After the ref has moved and rehooked the internet to downstairs, get all of our computers moved downstairs  (this will not be easy, since for the last 8 months, every spare item has just been stacked into the unused schoolroom).  (Still waiting for the internet downstairs.)
4.  Set up a "room" for Sunshine in our living room - where Story use to have her "office"  (We put her on the other side of the room, the bed is there and she's been happily sleeping there without problems - unless storms count? - for the whole month.   There is still a ton of work on this project to get her toys and clothes situated into the room)
5.  Paint the room where the Ref did have his office for Scholar - and move Scholar into his room.  (Assuming I can find enough yellow and green paint.)  (Grandma has promised paint, I just hope we have TIME to paint once the ref moves out!)
Bonus:  6.  Get Song's room cleared out of her siblings things and all of her stuff into her own room - this includes her two sewing corners.   (Completed!  -  Song worked HARD and her room looks amazing).

We are actually gaining a room in all of this shuffling - so I am hoping that some of the "homeless" items will actually find a home!  Plus eventually, I do have a storage spot that I've been trying to empty for the last 8 years so my sister can use it as she needs to.

Project Aunt V.
1.  Empty Dad's office (sames as #2 above)  (It's not empty - but the Ref has over half of the room for his usage.)
2.  Empty the bunk house - R3 comes and gets the bunk bed.  Sell the baby bed.  (Bunk bed is gone ... sisters decided to try to sell items, so all of that has hit this room and I'm taking pictures and posting for sis to sell.  Things are not moving very fast.)
3.  Empty the Master Bedroom.  (moved out 1 dresser to Story's room, emptied a shelf to move later)  (Dad and sisters spent 6 or so hours a few Saturday's ago.  Progress.)
4.  Help Dad do the repair work on bathrooms and bedrooms whenever he is here.  (Dad got downstairs bathroom working- happy dance!  ....   But now the toilet is leaking - slow drip on the bottom of the tank.)
5.  Sort pictures and papers so they can be easily stored to go through at a later date.  (have spent a good 10 - 15 hours on 5 and 6 - dusty work)  (Lots of time spent here - but I have a LONG way to go!) (We have spent the last 2 weeks on this project - still a LONG way to go ... pictures will be posted on the peek at our week.)
6.  Toss old catalogs and papers that do not need to be kept.  (A lot has been done here - but still finding things to throw away!  Have emptied 6 large trash  cans of stuff so far.)  (I think we've got 90% of it found and tossed.)
7.  Decide between sibs where things can be relocated or stored, and who can best use things.  (R4 came and got one of the dressers)  (Not much sorting or leaving or relocating happened the past 2 weeks.)  (Still mostly waiting for things to leave, but I sent a bunch of my personal stuff off with friends to be donated in various locations or for their own usage.)
8.  Get with sibs at least 4 times to go through things that need to leave the house.  (We got together twice ... and a planned 3rd time fizzled into packed schedules).
9.  Help R4 get stuff together for Children's sale for Dad.  (Also fizzled)

1.  Go through and organize and itemize the small freezer.   (My BF helped with this and the top freezer at our house.  I have a list and we are doing our best to work as much off as possible. --  Freezers are increasingly emptier.)
2.  Clean the 2 frig top freezers, and itemize what needs to be used up. (One freezer down)  (second freezer organized)
3.  Itemize the Chest freezer - Goal is to have Empty by September.  (And the 2nd refrigerator and the upstairs pantries must be empty by October).  (using stuff with nearly every meal.  But there is a lot of mystery packages in there!)
4.  Make meal plans to use up as much odds and ends of stored food as possible.  (Still haven't made plans ... we just plan to use the stuff.)  --  (Never got actual meal plans made up ... mostly we ate crock pot mystery stews.  A dollop of mayo can hide all kinds of odd and dull flavors.  Thankfully, a friend has been bringing us her extra chicken broth - which has made the flavor so much better!)

1.  Deep clean as each room is cleared or emptied.  (Two bathrooms that had become "catch all" over the past 2 years are now clean and functional.)  (Office partially deep cleaned, as well as the corner Sunshine is in for her bedroom)  (Rooms are not getting empty enough to deep clean ... sometimes we forget and plop furniture where it goes between tired and running out of time.)
2.  Get the main kitchen under control - easier said than done - the table takes up most of the room.  Must decided on new floorplan for kitchen/dining/living rooms - it's all one BIG room.  (Ref has been chasing bugs - mild winter, country life, hot summer, means lots of bugs)   (NOT EVEN touched this room - more than surface  cleaning.  But we've added a LOT to the piles!)
3.  Find a board to put under the foot of my bed - so it doesn't go through the floorboard anymore.   (Somebody tell me why they put particle board in trailer homes - it gets wet, turns to flaky sawdust, and disintegrates!)  (Not done)

1.  Find the schoolroom  (Actually have done a LOT ... but then we bury it again.  Currently pulled the toys out of the pile and we're sorting those. Song's project.)  (Hoping to have this done by the end of next week - we are gaining on it!)
2.  Organize the desks and stuff in the room  (Most of the desks are or were found and organized and somewhat ready for school.  Story's desk is under a pile of empty containers for use as we organize - all of them were full at some point, so it is quite encouraging to see so many empty ones! ...  Song still needs to go thorough all of her desk and get it ready for the new year.)

Facebook and Email -
Goal is to check no more than 3 times a day.  (Better, but still a long way to go.) 

1.  Be in bed before Midnight - WITH the lights off.   
2.  Have all of the kids in bed by 10pm - and asleep.
3.  More consistent devotional times.
4.  Loose 10 lbs. 
5.  No eating after 7pm.
6.  Walk a mile or so at least 4 times each week.  Goal is to work  up to 2 miles by Sept 1. (We did walk at least 15 times this month - it's getting dark sooner - so we need to sit down and replan our day so we walk in the daylight again. ..............   Other than walking, personal goals were mostly unmet.)
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Rearranging House

My posting has been quite wonky lately - it's because we are rearranging the houses - not easy with the smaller doorways of a trailer house.

Hoping to be better situated in another 2 weeks, BUT truthfully, I expect things to be quite off kilter until after Christmas.

I'm planning to write a post soon ... Homeschooling During Chaos.

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Thursday, August 30, 2012

A Dozen Reasons We Homeschool

It has been very hectic around here lately - between trying to get the house rearranged, clean out things for my Aunt's arrival, and sorting piles that have been sitting since before Christmas, when friends moved in with us, and ended up staying for almost 6 months.  It is amazing how much just keeps piling up and up!

So, here are my top dozen reasons why I chose to homeschool.

1.  Our Christian Faith - I wanted to make sure my kids were well grounded in their faith before being bombarded with the world's ideology.  I believed that when God said to "teach these things diligently to your children", that He meant it.

2.  I love my kids - and I just can't get enough of them.  After struggles with infertility and miscarriages, I just couldn't fathom missing out on anything and wanted a close relationship with my kids.  Kind of selfish - but there you go.

3.  I love to teach - really love to teach.  But with my shy personality and failing eyesight, teaching in a school setting was a major challenge.  I'm sure I didn't do as well, especially with the parents, as I needed to or wanted to. ..... BUT .... I could certainly teach my own children.  And I found such a huge joy in watching them learn and finding new ways to engage their personality and learning style.

4.  No long commutes - I don't drive, so either the Ref would have to drive them to a private school, or they would have to ride the bus.  Our bus comes by shortly after 6am, and doesn't arrive back home until nearly 6pm.  That would leave little more than time to feed them and tuck them into bed before getting them up to put on the bus the next day ... and we are not morning people.

5.  Flexibility - We can school where we want to - and when we want to.  School never actually ends for us - even a trip to the grocery store can turn into an extension of what was learned because I know what they are studying.  When we had to move in March, it was easy to shut down school for a month, and pick up right where we left off once we were settled.  When my mom suddenly died, we were able to scale back the schoolwork and spend time with the family.

6.  Silliness - We love to laugh and joke and giggle.

7.  Field Trips - we don't take many with the price of gas right now, but we do have the freedom to go anywhere as often as we want to go.  Sometimes a friend or family member offers to take them on trips with them ... and they get to go without worry about school.

8.  Teaching on their level - Since there is no class to stay with, they can go faster than the schedule or slower.  The class isn't going to pass them up and require them to take it over the following year.  We just keep chugging along at that child's pace - expanding a topic if we need to or skipping over large chucks that they have mastered already.

9.  Extra Material - We have lots of time for home making and home care skills.  Some weeks are spent working on projects, like our garden.  They get to do painting, moving furniture, organizing, chores, and hundreds of other things that we do every single day.  I've never once heard my kids say, "But am I going to use this when I grow up?"  Because they watch us use it day in and day out.  Plus, they get to do volunteer work at jobs that interest them, at times when most kids are at school.  Song volunteers at a horse therapy place, she gets a lot of extra attention and instruction because there are only a hand full of kids who come.  She is there all day long, and the staff has picked up on her mild learning problems, and have her doing therapy to "train the horses".

10.  Specializing - We don't use a lot of curriculum anymore.  Nor do we always follow the curriculum.  The girls have bends that are prominent parts of their personality.   Story loves to do hand crafts - knitting, crochet, necklaces, and she loves to write.   Song loves music, plays the violin, and loves to sew.  Homeschooling allows them extra time to get good at things that they wouldn't have time to do otherwise.

11.  Health - The kids are outside more often, and get more exercise.  We are not around a ton of germs every day.  Song's asthma has been more manageable, and Story's ADHD has been dealt with by allowing her outside time to run instead of medication.  I have been able to watch their diet more closely, and be more in charge of teaching them to eat healthy.    Also, there are days a girl just feels blah ... you know .... and they can take a nap if they need to.

12.  Social Skills - Now it is true that my girls are somewhat clueless about the latest styles of hair, make up and clothes, nor do they think shopping and spending Daddy's money is a national pass time.  But they have wonderful friends ranging from toddlers all the way up to the 90's.  They can hold a conversation with most adults easily, though I'm still working on remembering not to ramble.  But they also can handle young children easily.  Which doesn't mean that they always USE their knowledge ... but they CAN.  They don't really know what a bully is ... nor do they have to deal with peer pressure.  They are who they are - opinionated quirks and all.   I find it pretty cool that some of the teens who know them, really like to come hang out, just so they don't have to worry about hair and shoes and boys and purses ... they can just BE, and often that means running and playing tag or climbing a tree or just being silly.

Now our last 4 years have been quite rough - with the Ref only doing odd jobs and reffing only 6 months of the year - so we've really had to cut back a lot on what we get to do.   But being together has made the struggle so much more bearable.  My kids are not perfect, nor is our school day perfect.  There are a dozen things every day that I would have liked to have done or said differently.  But the teamwork and companionship I have with my two daughters is priceless.

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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Cooking Class

Rummaging around in my older posts ...
Here is a memory from 2009.
Story was 14.
Scholar was 4 ... no, he was still 3 there,
as his birthday was another week away.

Sunshine hadn't been born.
And Emmy was living with us.

Story was cooking supper and got a couple of helpers.

I think we had tacos.

It's a common meal here because it is so fast and we try to make them as healthy as possible.
Otherwise, considering the pan on the back burner ... it was probably spaghetti.

Variety is limited when you can't have dairy products.
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Monday, August 27, 2012

Author: Jules Verne

One of my favorite Science Fiction authors was Jules Verne ... he wrote a LOT of books, and if you remember WHEN he lived - it is thrilling and amazing to line up his thoughts and ideas to what has happened in our past, but his future.

Sometimes he is amazingly accurate.  And sometimes, it is almost hilarious how far off from the truth he was.  He died in 1905 ... before cars and airplanes were common, electricity and telephones were still a novelty, trains were a fast mode of transportation.  He was a grown man in his 30's during the Civil war, having been born in 1828.  During his time, science, technology, and business had taken huge leaps of advancement.  Ideas were being challenged, and for the first time, people were communicating at relatively rapid speeds as mail and trains and telegraph became a standard.

DECORATIVE COVERS ARE NOT FREE, but the Creme color tops and colored bottoms usually are free.

copied from Wikipedia ... these are the works that Jules Verne gave to the world.


Cover of L'Algerie Magazine, June 15, 1884: A drawing of Jules Verne and some of the creatures from his novels.
Verne wrote numerous works, most famous of which are the 55 novels that comprise the Voyages Extraordinaires. He also wrote short stories, essays, plays, and poems.
His first and better known works include:
  • A Voyage in a Balloon (Un Voyage en ballon, August 1851 as published in Musée des familles)[12]

Title: The English at the North Pole 
       Part I of the Adventures of Captain Hatteras
Title: The Field of Ice
       Part II of the Adventures of Captain Hatteras

  • The Child of the Cavern, also known as Black DiamondsThe Underground City or The Black Indies (Les Indes noires, 1877)

Not on the list above ....  Combined works and Essays? or misnamed? or excerpts

Title: A Winter Amid the Ice
       and Other Thrilling Stories


Collections of Verne's Work .... these will not be free



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