Our Adventures in Homeschooling and Life

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Beautification of home

We are in a rental property. But, the owner is hubbys boss from work. So, its a private owner. He allows us to do any repairs or painting, etc that we wish. As long as it looks good. If its anything big he usually pays for the supplies. We did the kitchen floor a while back. It took my hubby all night to complete it, but it looks great. Last night we painted the walls in the eat in part of the kitchen. There is still paneling on the lower half that the landlord wants left there and unpainted for now. So, we do the best we can and work around his wishes. Anyways, we painted the walls a light green called "lettuce alone". It is absolutely gorgeous. It is a very calming color and looks amazing! We love doing little house projects like this. It is a great time for the hubby and I be together. We find it very destressing. Well, heres pics of the outcome.

Friday, September 17, 2010

A new approach

We are trying something new. I am giving the kids more free choice when it comes to their schooling. We are all under a lot of stress right now so, we thought it would be good to try something new. I don't know if it falls under unschooling or a bit of Montessori schooling. I just want to the stress level to go down and the boys to enjoy learning and be happy. So, well see what will happen.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Early Astronomers

John is learning about Early Astronomers in Science. He has learning about several of them over the last few weeks and he put together a presentation board to show his work and what he's learned. He is so proud of it. He did it with no help from me.

Oceans Place mat

Since we're doing a unit study on Oceans we made a placemat for my youngest. He has a coral reef coloring book. So, we took one of his pictures he colored, which has info about the fish below it, cut it out and just laminated it. Quick and easy. He loves it!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Scrapbooking & Crafts

A friend got me into scrapbooking recently. I'm still learning a lot. I have been playing around with some different crafty things as well. I made tags for my scrapbooking pages out of pictures. I think they came out amazing!

My oldest son loves his cat.

My youngest got a monkey pillow pet for his birthday. He loves that thing.

I also made some regular tags for my scrapbooking pages.

I even made a Do Not Disturb sign.

I was trying out a new layout and came up with this. I call it my Pride & Joy page.

This is a craft cone. I made it so I could surround myself with beautiful things. And it holds some of my tags.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Space Mural

Here is some more progress on the space mural. We’re almost finished. This is Eric’s mural. He is so proud of it. He even made a point to say he was attempting to make Orion’s Belt out of the stars.

Oceans Unit

We finished the Oceans book and oceans mural today! Yeah! It looks awesome. Eric totally loves them. When we were done he insisted on showing his big bubba what we did. And he had a whole story about how the shark was attacking the dolphin but the whale was trying to stop it. Then the sword fish was going after the whale, and the salmon were trying to stop the sword fish and the hammer head shark was trying to help the whale. And while all this is happening, the orange octopus was hiding in the orange cave blending in and avoiding it all. It was so cute. His story had a little more detail but that’s the main parts. He was giving me so much info about all these animals too. It was adorable. I loved it.

Thursday, July 8, 2010


We have been having issues with Eric thinking he doesn’t have to do his fair share of the house work. He will make huge mess when eating and leave it. Or when he goes to the bathroom he will not even lift the seat or not pay attention and pee anywhere. So, for the next few days he is cleaning the entire kitchen and bathroom alone. He doesn’t like it too much, but hopefully this will help him. He’s only 8, almost 9, but in our house we work as a team. Everyone has responsibilities, which include chores. And every does their fair share, according to age and such. It just makes things work easier. And if you do a little at a time every day, you can keep the house work down to a minimum. It doesn’t seem overwhelming and the house stays picked up. We save the major cleaning for when we rearrange. There’s more to life than constant cleaning. That’s why be believe in clean enough. Not spotless, but clean enough!

Reading Progress

We have made huge progress with Eric’s reading. He was struggling so much several months ago. No confidence and refused to sound anything out. Now, he is reading a ton of books. It is awesome. He is really trying and it makes me so happy to see that.

Oceans Mural

We are almost done with Eric’s Oceans mural. We have the back ground completely colored and hung on the wall. Now he just has to finish all his sea animals, cut them out and hang them up as well. We are a long way from finishing the Oceans unit though. Eric is loving it. I have been finding “I Can Read” books on paper back swap for him to read. He is learning about a different animal each week.

Silly Kids

My kids are so silly. We got the this bow and arrow kit because they are learning about the middle ages right now, we like to look for games, toys or anything related to what they are studying to help with their experience. We put it in “The Store” and my oldest purchased it this last Sunday. Well, my youngest walked into his brothers’ room without knocking so he shot him with the arrow right in the head and it stuck there. It was hilarious!!! So, I had to capture the moment and then of course because we are nuts my youngest played dead and my oldest pretended to shoot him again. Ahhh, the silly things we do!

Living outside the world of time

I know it’s been several days since I’ve posted anything. Last week my hubby took vacation all week. We decided to totally relax in our own way. The kids got the week off from lessons. And we decided not to live in the world of time. We went to bed when we were tired, got up when we wanted, ate when we were hungry, didn’t pay any attention to the clock and basically had no schedule at all! It was so awesome and relaxing. We ended up doing a lot of work around the house, but we totally enjoyed every bit of it. We rearranged every room in the house except the bathrooms. Hubby even retiled the bathroom floor. We even took the kids for ice cream twice, out to lunch once and dinner once. We watched a movie almost every evening and still had time to do tons of other things. We even took 1 day and drove 3 hours one way to visit my husband’s grandma and aunt. One the way back we stopped by my dad’s and visited him. It was the most relaxing time we’ve had in long time. Even though we we’re totally busy the whole time. The last 2 days we started to feel that it was going to come to an end soon. The feeling that we would have to get back on schedule was sinking in and we didn’t like it. Lol. It was the best vacation we’ve had!!! I totally LOVE my family and LOVE spending every minute with them!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

New Language Arts curriculum

We tried out the new language arts curriculum from Common Press. We are using the red book, which is 2nd grade level but its about where my youngest is. Today is the first day we used it and it went wonderfully. He really enjoyed the lesson and I think he really is getting it. Its wonderful! I am hopeful about this program! Yeah~!

Space food

We got the kids a freeze dried ice cream bar from Hobby Lobby so they could try space food. We discussed the process of how they make it, what its made for, why the Astronauts have that kind of food, etc. It was a nice treat!

Science mural

We are creating a space mural of the planets. Its a work in progress. But the kids are loving it!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Blessed Dragons Store

We have always had a reward system in our house for a while where they earn things like sleep overs, ice cream, DVD's, sodas, etc. ( They don't get candy and soda on a regular basis so this kind of stuff is a treat)(Our boys are 8 & 12). They get rewarded for completing their lessons daily, without giving us grief, completing chores, behavior, going to bed on time with out hassle, etc. This has worked well. For the most part.
We decided to take your store idea and add to it. (age appropriateness and such) We created our own family store complete with Store bucks. We use real change for the change part but the "store bucks" for the rest. My husband thought it would be cute to teach them about paychecks too. So, we created little paychecks with stubs. They get paid 1 Store buck per day for completing their chores. And an additional store buck for getting all stars for their lessons, chores, behavior, etc, per day. At the end of the week they get a pay check. (oldest gets taxed, just a little) They have to take it to the "bank" to get it cashed. They sign the back and get store bucks. Then visit the store where there are various items like sodas, cd's, dvd's, ps 2 games, toys, small candies, suckers, ice cream, sleep over coupons, Stay up late coupons, etc. They choose what they want to have to figure out the change. Then they "Check out". If they have any store bucks or change left it gets deposited in the "bank". They can make purchases every evening if they have money.If they don't then they have to wait for "pay day". They can earn extra store bucks for yard work, and books they've read.
My husband also wants to start letting them take out loans. No more than their previous check amount (with interest). He's hoping this will teach them about responsibily, contracts, giving your word on something and how important it is, and stuff like that.
All of this is of course on their level.
We tried it out this afternoon. The kids thought it was soooo cool! They absolutely loved it. I haven't seen them that excited in a while. lOl. It was awesome!

I designed and printed out store bucks on green construction paper.

Then we laminated them. (I love my laminating machine!

Heres what they look like.

I wish it was that easy sometimes. LOL

Here's the checks. I tried to make them similar to checks but still fun for the boys.
Here's John at the bank cashing his "check".

John still cashing his check.

Eric is checking out the store. Trying yo decide on what to purchase. LOL
John is "checking out" with his purchases. Dad was banker, and teller this time.
We all had a blast!

Friday, June 18, 2010

The "Store"

There was a suggestion made today on one of my e-groups. Some parents do a store in their home and every evening their kids get like 15 cents and get to choose candy and such from the “store”. They are teaching their kids about money, budgeting and more. I talked this over with my husband this evening and we might take that idea and expand on it. Our oldest is 12 so we we’re thinking of giving him a “pay check” for doing his chores and such and take out a tiny but for taxes, ss & medicade. To start teaching him what it will be like to have a job in a few years. We also thought we could create some fake money or get some off Amazon, and they can use the money at the “store” to purchase items such as candy, sodas, ice cream, books, ds games, movies, cd’s and more. We are still working out the details but it might be a cute idea and a great learning tool!

Note booking

Since we are all an artsy type family and love hands on stuff we have started note booking some of our activities and such. In History we notebook our maps, people, etc. For those of you who don’t know what note booking is, it is a lot like scrapbooking, just for kids. It is a great way for them to express themselves through art and a wonderful way to display what they have done.