Tuesday, January 30, 2007

It's begun!!!

Yes, it's official. We are not finishing out the public school year. The boys are home and very happy about it. We have started Ambleside Grade 1 and it's going well. It's engaging enough for my oldest. I'll be adding more from Grades 2 and 3 if he needs more to do.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Negate all that I have said

because I read through Ambleside Online and we are going with that. We are going to do Year 1 and I will add extra if G needs it.

I'm trying to come up with a way to spend a very little amount of money for the year. This should be good. There is only one book I would purchase and I just might omit it and do something else. If G can't keep busy enough he can do some Story of the World from the library.

Yeah....I've been reading through the Modern English version of The Original Homeschooling Series. I feel so peaceful and happy =)

Once we get going I'll share what we do every week. I'm sure I'll change somethings because that is what homeschooling is all about.

The Very Happy Mommy

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Grades 2 and 5: 2007-2008

So, I said I would start laying out some plans here. I really want to try Sonlight, but I just cannot afford the whole thing. My oldest is almost 10, has Aspergers and will be in Grade 5. My second child is 7 and will be in Grade 2. My third child is 3.5 right now and I have no academic adventures planned for him aside from reading a lot. Anything I come up with will be in a separate post. My oldest has requested some order and my second has requested fun. So, I'm trying to put together a plan ahead of time to take advantage of Ebay and our local used curriculum sale this Spring. We homeschooled for 2 years before this year, so I know some of things that work for us and some of the things that do not. This is our plan so far....any thoughts?

I really wanted to add this...I'm not sure if I'm taking a break from The Big School this next year. So, creating a plan of study will really help my dear sweet adoring husband to have an easier life. He cannot handle much more on his plate. We might have to consider hiring my Niece for some child playing during the week, as well. I would love to just leave the house and put a plan down that says...here do this!


Otherwise here is the plan right now:
10yos really wants a planner like he has in school right now. So, I'm going to start searching for one. He really likes the spiral binding.


My Grandma loves to buy us magazines, so maybe I'll request these for my summer birthday.

Order Home-Ed magazine for 2 years. $48.00 We all love magazines. This one is great, but the library is always out of them.

I have no idea if I should get a subscription of Learning through History Magazine. It looks really interesting, but maybe I'll just let them pick a couple to order individually. Here is a review Does anyone else have any reviews for this magazine?

I have a huge heart for understanding other cultures. I believe G-d has really impressed that upon me and that I am to pass that on to my children. I think it's really hard to separate History from the study of cultures and geography. We have tried doing Chronological Historyin the past. I really, really wanted to enjoy it, but none of us did. That is when I realized the method does not work for any of us. I'm their mom for a reason. So, we will be using different sources to strew about and hope they find some interests.

1. Homeschool in the Woods Timeline Figures for whatever time period Gibran or Porter wants to study $19.95. I think I might get the CD's that you can print. Do they have a MAC version? I just checked and it's MAC compatible. They are in pdf format, so that should work just fine.

2. Make Timeline book with our own pages, so we can include maps and large pictures-Notebook and paper $10.00 Book of Centuries

3. Family Pass to the State Historical Society-Free Admission to State History Museum $65.00

4. History Pockets $19.95. The boys love these things. They are great for when they want paperwork stuff!

5.The ReMARKable map from Rainbow Resource looks neat. I guess it's like OR is what the map Sonlight uses. I guess this might be nice to hang up. We used a full color one in the past and it was really helpful. I don't know if we have it still. When we would read during the week we might circle a country that came up. G might be reading a nature magazine and read about another country, so we would find it and put Gorilla there or whatever he was reading about. It's fun and well...easy. Once, you get in the habit you start to look at the map whenever you see a new country or whatever.

Each boy will get Math U See. I'm, also, interested in Noble Knights of Knowledge but yikes it's expensive.

Language Arts

1. Book Reports for a few books a month. We read a lot so probably just a few here and there. A sneaky way to get some handwriting in.

2. I'm considering Copywork for boys and little boys $19.95.

3. If P is still having problems reading I might get AlphaPhonics.

4. A Reason for Handwriting for both boys. G is working on this anyway to do cursive because everyone in his class knows cursive. I think it's important, but it has a hard time with handwriting. He is doing better.

5. First Language Lessons for P if I think he can do it. I don't want to overwhelm him. Our library has it, so I can just check it out from there.


Use book selections from Sonlight, Ambleside Online Grade 2, and Ambleside Online Grade 5 to create reading list. We are avid readers and I'm a whizz at the library, so we have read quite a few of these books already. But, I would like to come up with a list. I'm thinking I could print these out and then highlight them once they are read. Stay tuned as I update this more. Did I mention I love to read and my love has been passed onto my boys.


1. We love Apologia Science. We will be going through Exploring Creation with Zoology 1 and Exploring Creation with Zoology 2. I'm not sure how long that will take us. I know it may be hard to believe, but I don't believe in pushing formal academics during the elementary years. It's the time to look into everything and really find our loves. Zoology is for our 10yos. He wants to major in Zoology or Biology when he is grown. If it takes us four years to get through this program I would be fine with that. If all we do for a month is this program I will be fine with that.

2. The ZooGuide at Christianbook.com. G has requested this book. I would like to get him the guide as well as a zoo pass. We have one that is close to us and one that takes a ferry ride. But, the one in Seattle is so much bigger....

Foreign Language

Rosetta Stone is available for free through our local library catalog.

These are some extras
There is rock climbing once a month throughout the school year.
Enchanted Learning Daily Calendar gives interesting topics for every day of the month. The boys can look through here and see if anything pops for them.
Homeschool Sports Club-Fall Soccer, Winter Basketball, Spring Baseball
I think this is perfect for our Grade 5. We have been looking for something like this to help him understand what having Aspergers really means.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Read Aloud January 19, 2007

My 7 year old had this read aloud in his class. I love this book and I can't believe we have never read it yet.


Wednesday, January 17, 2007

2007 10 year old reading list

So, here is my ever evolving list. I'm trying to make a list for each child. I would like to have something to print off and check off during the year. Many of these will come from Ambleside Online or Sonlight. When I come upon other suggestions I will add those. We have our wishlists on Amazon and they always make suggestions based on items you pick. I'm always surprised to see childhood favorites. *Books we will definitely be including.

Nature Study
Nature in the Neighborhood by Gordon Morrison Our library does not have this particular book. But, I was able to order two of his other ones. If they look as good as they do on Amazon I will either order it or see if the library will order it. We are really fortunate to have a library with enough funds to order new books. All we have to do is email the reference desk.

Ambleside list for Grade 5
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott (I'm not sure if I can convince him to read this.)
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
Tanglewood Tales by Nathaniel Hawthorne
This is how things start to happen here.
I start with a small piece of information, check the library
and bam....a month's worth of study is in progress.
Really, with a name like Rudyard Kipling what more could you expect than a writer?

These two books are recommended at Ambleside:
*Captains Courageous by Rudyard Kipling I need to look this over yet. I don't remember reading it.
Puck of Pook's Hill by Rudyard Kipling
My library has these available:
1. Captains courageous [DVD] Fleming, Victor, 1883-1949.
2. The poetry of Rudyard Kipling [sound recording]
3. How the camel got his hump-Easy Reader
4. Poetry for Young People: Rudyard Kipling We have already read this series together. These are beautiful!
5. The story of how the leopard got his spots [sound recording]
6. Rikki-tikki-tavi We have read this quite a few times. My SIL used to have a ferret named this.
7. The Jungle Book from the Whole Story Series

Rikki-tikki-tavi study
Life and Society in Kipling's British Empire

*The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain I picked this up at a garage sale along with Huck Finn.
*The Prince and the Pauper by Mark Twain
*Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
Lad: A Dog (or another book in the Lad series; many are online) by Albert Payson Terhune
The Treasure Seekers by Edith Nesbit
The Wouldbegoods by Edith Nesbit
*Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery I love these! Maybe I can get them to watch the movies with me.

I've got these on the 7 year old's list, so we will probably do these as read alouds.
*Little Town on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder
*The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder
*These Happy Golden Years by Laura Ingalls Wilder
*The First Four Years by Laura Ingalls Wilder

Carry On, Mr. Bowditch by Jean Lee Latham We have already studied this book. It's great. I might see if we have the time to tuck it in again when Escher is a bit older to remember it.
Rifles for Watie by Harold Keith
Across Five Aprils by Irene Hunt
Falcons of France by Charles Nordhoff, James Norman Hall
Goodbye Mr. Chips by James Hilton
The Story of My Life by Helen Keller

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

2007 7 year old Reading List

Our 7 year old is still having some difficulties read well. I know he will be fine because I have watched my first child "struggle" as well. Personally, I have come to the conclusion that 7 year old boys are not suppose to read until they are 8. Most if not all of these will be read-alouds or read togethers. That means the older and younger child will probably be there for these, too. I'm thinking it might be fun to give them there own basket of books to work on each week. I'm still trying to figure how to give them structure you know.

* Are the books I will definitely include. I imagine those are going to be enough. But, I can always bump them to the next year right?
From Sonlight
The God's must be Angry All I can think of when I read that title is the San people.
New Toes for Tia from Sonlight

And from Ambleside Year Two
*Heidi by Joanna Spyri
A Wonder Book by Nathaniel Hawthorne
Five Little Peppers and How They Grew by Margaret Sidney
Hans Christian Andersen fairy tales
Pied Piper of Hamlin by Robert Browning
Abraham Lincoln by Ingri D'Aulaire (I don't know about these books. I read a bad review of them. I will have to search for that and link to it here.)
Five Children and It by Edith Nesbit
*Little House on the Prairie, Farmer Boy... by Laura Ingalls Wilder (I'm just going to read this whole series through to them. I loved, loved, loved this as a child and I'm curious if boys could love them, too.)
*The Story of Doctor Dolittle by Hugh Lofting
*Mary Poppins by P.L. Travers Watch the movie afterwards and compare them
Brighty of the Grand Canyon by Marguerite Henry
*Mr. Popper's Penguins by Richard AtwaterI keep hearing so many good things about this one.
Otto of the Silver Hand by Howard Pyle (sensitive readers - be aware that the child loses a hand in this story)
Chanticleer and the Fox - Barbara Cooney's is one version
Along Came A Dog by Meindert De Jong
*The Door in the Wall by Marguerite De AngeliWe actually have this one.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

The Omnivore's Dilemma

Thanks to my gal Punkie I have yet another book to add to my list. Occasionally I push one up to the front and this is definitely it.

Thank you Punkie! I'm so very fortunate to have become friends with you and go through some very similar journey's at the exact same time.


Saturday, January 13, 2007

Preschool Plan Ahead

I'm just starting some plans for next year.
I might have to pack in a whole lot during the year.
I still haven't decided if I'll stay in school or
take a break for a few years. But, for now I would like
to start some plans.

Charlotte Mason Early Year Read Alouds

I findOak Meadowabsolutley dreamy.

Drooling fantastic

Things we have:
Pattern Blocks
Leap frog Alphabet Fridge Letters

I'll update with some links later!

Working on plans for next year

Well this is really just for me.
I'm a list maker.
Just trying to come up with what to do next year.

They ask for plans.
Who are these children?

Don't they know I could sit all day long,
under a bookshelf (literally I used to sleep under the
bottom shelf of a bookshelf in my bedroom)
and read books (I thought it was quirky
and interesting)
without being bothered over
(I was so strange as a child).

How do you make loose plans.
Room for budging and moving.
Possibly room for mom to wander off
a few times a week
to have interests
of her own.

Back to home education?

So, we have had some long talks lately.

Yes, I think we will be leaving public school behind next year. We really feel like it will be good to finish up this year, though.

So, we are looking and planning. I don't want school to end and then bang oh surprise remember me.....

G asked for more structure. He likes structure. He craves structure.

P wants art, more art. Mom get creative. Dad is creative, but it's just not enough.

E wants a drum set. Well, my Dad wants to get him a drum set.

Today is windbreak

Originally uploaded by Mr&MrsLewis.
I was trying to get a better close up and I forgot to turn off the flash. Still I think you can see it much better now.

A closeup of the end of December into January

Originally uploaded by Mr&MrsLewis.
This calendar goes by the Equinoxes and Solstices...so it started on December 22.

Winter Calendar and Nature Table

Originally uploaded by Mr&MrsLewis.
I have desired to set up a nature table for some time. It's on my long list of things I would like to do and that list is sitting right at the back of my brain just waiting to pop up at a moments notice.

Today it popped up when I remembered we got The Ecological Calendar for Christmas from my SIL and BIL.

I'm a creationist, so I'm not too happy about the Big Bang mentioned at the very top of the middle of the Calendar. I think it could be easily covered up or filled in with a dark blue pen. I just tend to live that stuff out in the open, so we have an opportunity to talk about everyone's theories.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Dr. Jones Update

I don't know if I have posted on here much about Dr. Jones. He is the green iguana we rescued back in November. He had been living with his second owner for about 6 months in the back of a shed. He had a partner but he or she died. That is when they decided they couldn't keep him anymore. He had obviously stopped shedding, wasn't being fed properly and his lighting was just one simple red light.

Since, we have had him...
...he has started eating real fresh food instead of the horrible canned stuff and lettuce they had been feeding him
...he has started to shed like crazy...I mean it's an explosion of skin and sometimes it makes me gag
...he is MBD does not seem to be getting worse
...he is way more active
...he can run! Have you ever seen an Iguana run, it's so cute =)
...he is turning green again. HE IS TURNING GREEN!!!!! He was just about completely black when we got him.

Yesterday he finally shed the skin on his arm. It's horrible looking, but the skin had so many layers on it that it was squeezing his arm and he couldn't move it anymore. The skin that came off is like dark grey leather. That is what makes me gag. He bled a bit from it, but he has been iodined and patched up. He looks much better today and we are hoping he will be using it some more soon. It's really skinny because it hasn't been used much.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Noble Knights of Knowledge

This game looks like so much fun. The basic kit is $78, but I really think it could replace a few years of curriculum. It would be great for those who don't like to use curriculum at all.

I'm putting it on our wishlist.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Library Thing

I just found Library thing and it's sweet. I love, love, love, it. I'm sure like Flickr I will get so into it that I will have to pay the extra to upgrade my account. I just added the link to the right column of the page.


Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Big School Winter Quarter

Big School started only for Mom this Winter Quarter. Dad is stressed and wants a break....I can't imagine why. He does like his new job though.

Just going to share some of my school books for the next few months.

A few more Shakespeare in the same series....

Titus Andronicus
The Comedy of Errors
Richard III

I'm waiting on my Ceramics book because it's backordered. I usually try to buy books early if I can, but I just couldn't afford it till I got my Financial Aid.

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