Wednesday, March 31, 2010

You'd Think I Would Get It Right By 6 !!

You would think after 6 children I would get the Tooth Fairy thing right. I started out so well with the first few kids. Little notes, fairy dust with a trail out of the window, new toothbrush's and with a little coin to make it complete. Now poor child numbered 4, 5 & 6 come in crying because the tooth fairy forgot them. Once AGAIN daddy comforts them while I race around the place saying "are you sure!" madly putting together the necessary delights left by the above visitor. When all is clear I call out "lets take a better look because maybe you just missed it" They come in and have a 'better' look and to their delight the tooth fairy did in fact deliver. (at an inflated monetary rate because that was all I could find at 5.00am)
Once again all is right with the world!! I really need to get a better grip on this stuff?

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Have a New Kid By Friday!!

We've been recommend this book by a very dear friend, and I have to say I was sceptical. Having 6 children with 3 already on their way in the world, working while saving for a mission, another working, studying and travelling to Europe in September and 1 getting married in December to a Soldier. I figured I had been doing alright, however the second group of 3 born 8 years apart from the first  group are a totally different bunch. All the parenting rules had changed, I was much older and a little more happy to go with the flow. Well, I was clearly delusional. This bunch look at me with their big green, blue or brown eyes and I'm mush. As of this week no more!! My husband and I are back in the drivers seat (actually he never left it, it was me that was all gooey and soft)
Our 4 year old is, well, a little clever. Not much goes past that she doesn't catch on to very quickly. But she is, how can I put this delicately... no I'm not able to put a polite word on here to describe the wildness she inflicts on us. Oh she cute and absolutely adorable but here lies the problem for me! Then I have an almost 10 year old girl so you all know where I'm about to go with THAT!!! Needless to say BRING ON FRIDAY!!!
This book gives you a day by day break down of what YOU are going to do. It's all about you making changes that will in turn produce changes in the child. It's excellent. Day 2 or Tuesday and we can see changes happening already.
Stay tuned for FRIDAY!!! I sure know I can't wait.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

What Language DO We Speak?

This week we've been reviewing Download N Go - Expedition Australia as part of our 'try out' for The Old Schoolhouse (TOS) Homeschool Crew. It has been so much fun for us here at home, and very timely! We spent our summer vacation traveling 4 states in 5 weeks (husband is a teacher so we get great vacation time). We saw some of the most fantastic sights from inland to ocean. We camped in National Parks which meant that it was just you and the best Australia has to offer. So Download N Go Expedition Australian has been a fantastic unit study to apply fact and knowledge to our experience.

However, this unit study doesn't require such an experience as ours to be a fantastic learning tool. It examines Aussie geography, culture, language, traditions and our Indigenous people. It's user friendly and as the series suggest you just download and go. All the research has been done for you including lists of relevant fiction and non fiction books coupled with video clips for the kids to 'see' for themselves, which are available at the click of a button. As the recommended book list is not exclusive or exhaustive, you're not left feeling like you need to purchase or track down all the books they suggest. You are able to mix and match with what you have available to you.

This unit study has been designed to be completed over a 5 day week, but we've spread it over 2 weeks because I'm working with a 7 and 4 year old. It's a combination of workbook style and lapbook. Maddie has enjoyed both aspects and at no time felt bogged down with a lot of writing or over whelmed with facts. Lucy worked on her own lapbook which included many of the same activities that where age appropriate eg. colouring, map work, animal facts. The joy of working with this style of curriculum is the 'tweekability' of it. You just pick and choose according to your 'students' needs. Its all there whether you have big or little people or a combination of both.

The first day I found I was jumping between the computer, books and activities a little more than I would have liked. With young ones the slightest break in 'transmission' and it can be all over, they're off doing their own thing. However I managed to find my flow and was much better prepared with links, books and info on the subsequent days and found the girls fully engaged on their 'journey' around Australia.

My favorite question in the Expedition Australia was "What is the national language of Australia"
I asked Maddie "what language do we speak?" She looked puzzled and said "...clearly" All those speech pathology lessons have paid off because we'd always say " Maddie you must speak clearly". In her mind 'clearly' must have been our National Language!!

Amanda Bennett has done a great job at putting together a variety of subjects for the Download n Go packages. As the E-Book series name suggests "Go for Learning, Go for Fun, Go for Adventure" and they are great value at $7.95 US each. Bundles are also available as are Sample pages for you to try before you buy.
So whether or not you are an Aussie looking for a unit study on Australia or just looking at exploring where we are & our way of life I would give this one a definite thumbs up!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Latter-day Saints Homeschooling Blog!

You will see on my side bar that I have a button that will take you directly to one of the most fantastic blogs on the web. This is winner for me because it is a collaboration of several of the blogs I have been following for sometime and just love , but the women have pool their talents to not only continue their independent blogs but provide us with this amazing resource called the Latter-day Saints Homeschooling Blog. Even if you are not of our faith, the insight into homeschooling, homemaking and just plain old making it through the day is amazing. It has only recently been launched but has oodles of info on there for everyone!

Character Studies Lapbooks

I Love Lapbooks! They are just such a wonderful learning tool, particularly for those who are tactile & visual learners. My girls are all 'hands on'. They love expressing their creativity through this medium and I love facilitating it. I have put together lapbooks to compliment most of their subjects.
One of my favorites at the moment is Character Studies. On a Tuesday's we get together with 2 other homeschooling families to do our Artistic Pursuit. Following this we then continue on with Character Studies. We came across this on a blog Shiver Academy . (When on this blog,scroll down and on the left hand side of the blog is a link to their Book of Virtues Project.) It has been amazingly well put together and it's free. As always with lapbooks you can mix n match with what ever suits you and your needs. We're actually spreading this out over the year, starting with Self Discipline.
It's based on The Book of Virtues by William J. Bennett. This is the most amazing book for all ages. These are my 2 favorite online book stores where it is available The Book Depository and Amazon, but I'm sure your local library would have a copy. I have included a few photos of Maddies work so far.
Also an added bonus at the moment is you can watch the Adventures From the Book of Virtues cartoon series on Each weekend they screen a virtue based on the book. My kids just love watching it, as it explores one of the virtues each week, faith, honesty, compassion and so on.
This is worth checking out as we're totally enjoying it. This is not based on any faith in particular and as our homeschooling friends are not of the same faith, virtues are something that transcends a particular belief and are something each of us needs to learn and understand. Bishop H. David Burton said "Virtuous traits form the foundation of a Christian life and are the outward manifestation of the inner man". Ensign Nov 09.
The way we actually do it is: we read aloud the stories for the day as recommended in the outline provided on the Shiver Academy, then the kids each recount to us what the story was about (ours are not great writers yet and we didn't want them getting bogged down with too much writing.) They then do the lapbook activity & drawing on the day. During the week we get them to do the copy work that is related to the lesson. there are also little goals to work on so as to put that 'virtue' into practice.
This has been such a blessing in our life. I have seen so many changes already with Maddie already trying to keep her room tidier, working hard at being obedient and well.... more self disciplined.
We are all looking forward to the next virtue!!!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Our Busy Homeschool/Hands of a Child Giveaway

Our Busy Homeschool is by far one of my favorite blogs, well they are running a competion in conjuction with Hands of a Child. Check it out!!

Well worth the visit.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Why the name! 'Flowers n Plaid'

We love reading Jamie Lee Curtis' book I'm Goin a Like Me. In the book the little girl says "I'm goin like me even if I'm wearing flowers and plaid" referring to the fact the the two really don't go together but that she is going to feel wonderful about herself anyway. Well sometimes I feel a little like that. Convention says flower and plaid aren't 'right' but clearly you can see that THEY ARE! To some in the world we are a total freak show!! I am a stay home mum, I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints, I homeschool, don't watch television in our home, we live modestly and worst of all I am crazy about my husband and 6 kids (the 6 kids thing is a freak show on its own) and can not get enough of them. Can you see where I am going with this? Is this not a flower and plaid moment or what! I love our life! Forget convention, life is wonderful even in 'flowers and plaid'

Monday, March 1, 2010

It's still raining

This week we have lots of things planned. Tuesdays are our busiest days, as we go to piano lessons in the morning followed by Maths u See & LLAT Blue. It's our afternoon session that we love the most on Tuesday though. We get together with 2 other homeschool families for an afternoon of Art and Character studies.
Firstly Art - We use Artistic Pursuit This is the most amazing curriculum and certainly one of my favorites to do with the kids. One of the mums does the lesson theory with them then I do the practical side. You don't need any artist knowledge or talent before hand as it's all there for you. We are using K-3 book 2 which focus on famous artists and their art. You will never have another boring trip to the Art Gallery again. Its fantastic. This week we are studying Davinci. We will be carving apples, soaking them in lemon juice and salt and 'dressing' them. On a whole each activity is inexpensive and not at all stressful to get together. They help you at the start by giving you a list of items that you will need through out the year, most of which I pulled together out of the craft cupboard. One week we need instant paper mache which was a little more expensive. I just used homemade modelling clay made with corn flower. It was perfect and very cheap. I just couldn't recommend this enough if you are loking for an Art curriculum for your kids.